The Somali government announced the re-opening of its National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) headquarters on Monday (January 7th) this week.
The announcement was made at a ceremony marking the event and its 41st anniversary. Speaking at the opening, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said the government was happy with NISA, an institution that had "earned the respect of [Somali] citizens". He said its desirable discipline and commitment "makes the National Intelligence and Security Agency the role model of all Somali security forces".
The President called on the people of Somalia not to be brain-washed by foreign criminals, such as Al-Shabaab, who were trying to disrupt Somalia. He said the people of Somalia should know that "Somalia belonged only to Somalis". They should tell foreign criminals "you need to go back to your countries". He said Somalis "are Muslims, but Somalia belongs only to Muslims who are Somalis".
The President expressed his appreciation to countries that have provided support to Somalia at difficult times, and noted that the country would never forget the support given to help ensure peace, stability and development. He said security, one of the government's Six Pillars Policy Plan, was a current priority and underlined his government's commitment to in restoring peace in Somalia. Others attending the ceremony included members of the Parliament, cabinet ministers, foreign diplomats and AMISOM commanders.
The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Mahamat Annadif, applauded the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency for having been a reliable partner to AMISOM since the deployment of the first AU contingent. He congratulated the government and the people of Somalia for the reopening. NISA, he said, was a "key security instrument in the search for sustainable peace and security, particularly in the fight against extremism.". He said the re-opening of NISA headquarters symbolized the re-building of state institutions which had been destroyed by two decades of fighting.
Ambassador Annadif reaffirmed AMISOM's continued commitment to working with NISA as the government moves to stabilize the country and rebuild its institutions.