Security was beef-up at the main streets in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday as AU chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, visits the country for the first time since he was recently elected.
The Somali police, army and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces were deployed at various points and main roads in the city to improve the security ahead of the AU chairperson visit.
The roads locked-down include Maka Al Mukarama, Sayidka, KM4 junction, Zoobe and the Airport streets, which lead to the heavily fortified Somalia’s Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, the Villa Somalia.
The AU chair is expected to meet with Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
Thousands of residents were seen on saturday morning walking to their offices, schools and health centers in Mogadishu as public transport and private cars were halted following movement restriction.
The Chadian diplomat was elected as the new AU Commission chairperson after seven rounds of voting in Addis Adaba in January.
After seven rounds of voting, the Chadian foreign affairs minister defeated favourites Amina Mohamed of Kenya and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday also made a historic visit to Somalia meeting Kenyan troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia at Dhobley Military.
It was President Kenyatta’s first visit to Somalia in the context of lifting morale of Kenyan troops. The President has already been to the Somali Capital Mogadishu previously on other state engagements.