Former Somalia senior military officials to meet in Washington, DC

3 Jun 2009

Former Somalia senior military officials to meet in Washington, DC

Nairobi, 03 June 2009 - Former Somali senior military officials will convene on 4 and 5 June 2009 in Washington, D.C. at a meeting organized by the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) under the auspices of the Somali Ministry of Defence.

The meeting will serve as a preparatory forum that will solicit support and participation from prominent Somali military leaders with follow-up meetings expected to be held in late July.

In keeping with the Djibouti Agreement and the Government's commitment to build up security institutions, the meeting will look at the structures of Somalia's military before the collapse of the state and the best ways to address the current and future security needs.

"We are expecting this to be the first of several fruitful meetings," UN Special Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said. "The senior military officials that will participate in this meeting are respected for their past professional experience during a period in Somalia's history when it was called upon to help train soldiers from other African nations."

During the meeting, the participants will discuss best practices and the way forward for security sector development.

"This is a great opportunity for Somalis to find within their past some solutions to their future," Mr. Ould-Abdallah said.