Joint command established to intensify war against Al-Shabaab in Somalia

Leaders from the Federal Government and Federal Member States of Somalia have reached a consensus to establish a joint command structure to oversee the ongoing war against the extremist group Al-Shabaab.

The decision was made during a meeting of the National Consultative Council (NCC), chaired by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Dhusamareb, which concluded yesterday.

The NCC, a high-level forum, brings together key stakeholders such as the President, Prime Minister, Federal Member States presidents, and the Banaadir Regional Governor. President Mohamud, who has been stationed in Dhusamareb for the past three weeks, has been personally overseeing the relentless efforts to combat Al-Shabaab.

One of the key resolutions of the NCC meeting was the formation of a joint command structure dedicated to the ongoing offensive against Al-Shabaab. This collaborative approach aims to enhance coordination and cooperation between the Federal Government and Federal Member States in their fight against the terrorist organization.

Additionally, the NCC decided to align the current operations with the national counter-terrorism strategy, ensuring a unified and comprehensive approach to tackling the menace posed by Al-Shabaab. As part of the second phase of the operations, the NCC agreed to expedite preparations for an offensive that will extend further south, targeting regions in South West, parts of HirShabelle, and Jubaland states.

While it remains uncertain whether Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti will deploy additional troops as part of the agreement reached during the Front-Line States Summit in January, the formation of the joint command structure signifies a renewed commitment to addressing the security challenges posed by Al-Shabaab.

In a call to the militants, the NCC urged Al-Shabaab fighters to seize the opportunity presented by the recently announced amnesty and renounce the terrorist ideology. This appeal reflects the government’s willingness to embrace individuals who choose to abandon violence and pursue a path of peace and reconciliation.

Furthermore, the NCC emphasized the importance of nationwide reconciliation efforts in line with the National Reconciliation Strategy. The government aims to foster unity and harmony among diverse communities throughout the country, recognizing that a comprehensive approach is necessary to achieve lasting peace and stability.

By uniting the Federal Government and Federal Member States, this initiative demonstrates a shared determination to counter the Al-Shabaab organisation and protect the well-being of all Somali citizens.

As the offensive moves into its next phase, the international community closely watches Somalia, supporting its endeavors to defeat Al-Shabaab and create an environment conducive to sustainable development and progress.

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