Operations against al Shabaab in Somalia will escalate to a final push according to a communique from AMISOM, the AU mission in the east African country.
Ambassador Francisco Madeira, special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) to Somalia this week met with Somali Minister of Defence Hassan Ali Mohamed.
The meeting, attended by senior AMISOM officials and the Federal Ministry of Defence, discussed issues including operations to” degrade Al-Shabaab elements”.
Ongoing joint operations between AMISOM soldiers and the Somali National Army (SNA) also formed part of the discussions.
Madeira acknowledged progress made by 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,” he said.
“We are considering handing some forward operating bases (FOBs) to Somali Security Forces. When we do AMISOM forces will be more mobile to secure main supply routes.”
He reaffirmed the AMISOM to implement the Somali Transition Plan and pave the way for AU forces to exit Somalia.
During the meeting, officials discussed operations in AMISOM’s area of responsibility and agreed to keep up the speed of operations. They shared lessons learned after 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 to liberate Sabiid and Bariire towns.
At the end of the closed-door meeting at AMISOM Mission headquarters in Mogadishu, Hassan said they agreed to strengthen information-sharing with AMISOM.
Hassan said, “We agreed to expand operations and open up main supply routes.”