In a bold move to combat the threat of the Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab, Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud sent off a new battalion of the army to join the second phase of an offensive.
The president gave a rousing speech to hundreds of newly-trained Somali National Army (SNA) members at the General Gordon military base in Mogadishu, urging them to boost their efforts to dislodge militants from south and central regions of the war-torn Horn of Africa nation.
This offensive comes after the army, backed by US and Turkish air force drones, managed to retake a number of towns and villages in central Somalia. However, the army has faced setbacks due to militant attacks overrunning a number of bases, resulting in the death of soldiers and the seizure of military vehicles and weapons.
As a result, President Mohamud’s call to action was met with great enthusiasm by the newly-trained SNA members. The president’s speech was delivered hours after main roads in the city had been closed to traffic, emphasizing the seriousness of the offensive.
The SNA members, who had completed their training in recent months, were excited to be joining the fight against Al-Shabaab. The new battalion will be joining the existing forces on the ground, working together towards the common goal of eradicating Al-Shabaab from Somalia.
The offensive against Al-Shabaab has been ongoing for years, with various setbacks and successes. The international community has been working with Somalia’s government and military to combat the threat of Al-Shabaab, which has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Somalia and neighboring countries.
President Mohamud’s latest offensive is a clear indication of the government’s commitment to ending the Al-Shabaab threat once and for all. With the support of the international community and the newly-trained SNA members, the hope is that this offensive will be a turning point in Somalia’s fight against terrorism.