URUGWIRO VILLAGE - Rwandan ministers are set to review with their Somali counterparts different areas of cooperation in an effort to help the latter’s transitional government, the two countries’ Presidents decided yesterday.
The new President of the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic, Sheikh Ahmed Sharif, is in the country on a two-day state visit.
As part of his visit, the Somali leader yesterday held talks with President Paul Kagame yesterday at Urugwiro Village, a meeting that was attended by several ministers from both countries.
Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rosemary Museminali who also attended the meeting, said that areas of cooperation between the two countries are likely to include training the Somali army, advising on setting up the country’s different governance institutions and their reconciliation process.
“The starting point is going to be identifying which areas we are going to cooperate,” she said shortly after the leaders’ meeting.
“Line ministries like both Ministries of Foreign Affairs and other ministers, we are going to consult each other and decide on how Rwanda can help,” she added.
Other Rwandan ministers who attended the meeting with the two Presidents include the Minister of Defence, Minister for the East-African Community, Minister of State for Environment and Mines, and the Minister of Sports and Culture.
Museminali said that President Ahmed asked Rwanda to support his country’s government as he also presented its plans to pacify the country through unifying different insurgents and building the country’s institutions.
Somalia has for decades been marred by civil wars that have left the Horn of Africa State shattered.
Rwanda has in the recent past provided training to Somali armed forces to assist efforts to build national security capacity, which is likely to continue.
“The President of Somalia was seeking Rwanda’s support in training their security forces, to really look at the general security of the country and see how Rwanda can input, mainly in training areas,” Museminali said.
President Ahmed was scheduled to tour Gako Military Academy during his trip in the country, visit the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre and the Mandela Peace Village in Bugesera District, Eastern Province. He came to Rwanda after paying similar visits to Burundi, Kenya and Uganda.
While in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, he said that he would promote security in his country and lobby for support from other regional countries.