In October 2011 al-Shabab fighters killed more than 70 African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeepers in one of the worst attacks that occurred in Somalia since the rising of the Islamist insurgency. However, the exact number of casualties is not known as AMISOM itself has confirmed only ten. Some of the bodies, reportedly Burundian Soldiers, have been put on displayin the al-Shabab-controlled El-Maan area, 18km from Mogadishu.
Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) Beatrice Kiraso recently stated something rather obvious: “Instability in one country means instability for others. We should not allow this as it will undermine our integration efforts”. The EAC hopes those efforts will turn it into the EU of East Africa. It is also obvious then that the time is right for those words to be followed by actions in order to transform hope into reality. Deep-rooted competitive thinking amongst East African nations has to be replaced with true cooperation in order to ensure a prosperous and stable East African region that attracts both foreign investment and tourism.