Minister Mareye: “An Appeal to those Trapped in Al-Shabaab to Reject Violence Now, and an Urgent Call for Humanitarian Assistance in Gedo, Bakol & Bay Regions During the Current Offensive Against Al-Shabaab’s Remaining Strongholds”

HE Mohamed Abdi Hayir (Mareye), the Minister of Information, Culture & Tourism, first congratulated Somali forces and AMISOM for the liberation of Bardhere district from the hands of Al-Shabaab.

The Minister sent a message to those trapped inside al-Shabaab: “The Federal Government is committed to bringing peace and stability back to Somalia.

The recent offensive against the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, aims to retake all remaining areas under their control so that the people in these areas will be able to enjoy peace and stability.” HE the Minister also sent an urgent appeal to humanitarian agencies to provide humanitarian assistance to people fleeing from Bardhere, Dinsor and other areas as a result of the recent security operations and in anticipation of other areas coming under government control.

HE Mohamed Abdi Hayir (Mareye), the Minister of Information spoke on the ongoing military operations against Al-Shabaab in Gedo, Bay and Bakol regions: “Military operations will continue until we have retaken all areas currently occupied by terrorists.

The military operation is going very well and Somali government forces and AMISOM are making advances, liberating town after town. We are very grateful for the support from public and their rejection of the terrorist’s brutal, oppressive rule.

While we are making significant gains and advancing into Al-Shabaab controlled areas, at the same time the security forces and the Somali people must remain vigilant everywhere and at all times.”

HE Minister Mareye continued: “As the military operations continue, there are will be an inevitable influx of people fleeing from the areas that were under al-Shabaab control: they will face hardship and difficulties.

Therefore, I call on all humanitarian agencies to urgently provide food aid and shelter for those families as they try to rebuild their lives, free from the tyranny of al-Shabaab rule.

The Federal Government of Somalia is working hard to address this issue. However, the government alone simply does not have sufficient resources to provide food aid and shelter to those families that are in this desperate situation.

I also call on Somalis everywhere to assist their brothers and sisters, particularly the business community and others who can afford it as well as Somalis in the Diaspora.”

HE Minister Mareye commented on Federal Government’s policy towards Al-Shabaab: “The Federal Government of Somalia understands that military operations alone cannot bring peace and stability.

As a result the government has always been open to any options that bring the nation closer to peace and stability, and that includes reconciliation.

The FGS is continuously reaching out to any Somali who is willing to renounce violence as a means of resolving political disputes and who instead embraces dialogue and other peaceful means.

Therefore, once again, the Federal Government calls on all those trapped inside Al-Shabaab but who are willing to join the peace process to reach out. As has been the case before, we offer amnesty provided the individual meets four simple conditions: reject al-Shabaab; renounce violence; commit to participation in the peace process and the reconstruction of the country; and be an ambassador to others still trapped within al-Shabaab.

Our offer has no time limit: but the longer you remain under the black flag, the more likely time will run out for you, as it already has for so many others.

We guarantee you safe conduct and a place to return to within Somali society. Now is the time to leave, before al-Shabaab enters its final catastrophic phase.

HE Minister Mareye concluded: “Somalia is at critical stage. We are making huge progress across many fronts, not just in terms of security, but also in the implementation of federalism across the country and the implementation of the democratization process with a view to holding elections by September 2016.

In conclusions, at this time that we call on all Somalis to unite and to support the security forces during the on-going military operations, so that we will be able to eliminate, once and for all, the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.”

Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism, Mogadishu, Somalia