MOGADISHU – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Federal Government of Somalia have agreed to intensify joint operations in the final push against Al-Shabaab terrorists.
Ambassador Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) to Somalia, met with the Somali Minister of Defence Hassan Ali Mohamed.
The meeting, which was attended by senior officials of AMISOM and the Federal Ministry of Defence, discussed a wide range of issues including operations to degrade Al-Shabaab elements.
In particular the officials discussed the ongoing joint operations between AMISOM soldiers and the Somali National Army (SNA).
Mr. Madeira also acknowledged the progress being made by the Somalia Security Forces to take over from AMISOM as agreed in the Somali Transition Plan.
“Somalia is ready to take on its responsibility of national security. Somali forces now control Sabiid and Bariire. We intend to do the same in other locations,” the Ambassador said.
He added, “We are considering handing over some Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) to the Somali Security Forces. When we do this, AMISOM forces will become more mobile to secure the Main Supply Routes.”
Mr. Madeira also reaffirmed the commitment by AMISOM to implement the Somali Transition Plan and pave the way for the African Union forces to exit Somalia.
During the meeting, the officials discussed operations in AMISOM area of responsibility and agreed to keep up the speed of operations. They also shared lessons learned following the recent successful joint operations to liberate areas in Lower Shabelle region.
Last month, Somali Security Forces supported by AMISOM troops carried out operations in the Lower Shabelle region that liberated the towns of Sabiid and Bariire.
At the end of the closed-door meeting held at the AMISOM Mission Headquarters in Mogadishu, Minister Hassan said they had also agreed to strengthen information-sharing with AMISOM.
Minister Hassan said, “We agreed to expand operations and open up Main Supply Routes.”
The officials also agreed to form a technical working group, led by the Chief of Defence Forces and the AMISOM Force Commander.