Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has said his country was seeing a strong momentum against the Somali-based, al-Qaida-affiliated Islamist militant group Al-Shabab.
The president’s remarks followed recent clashes in central Somalia between the Somali National Army supported by pro-government local clan militias and Al-Shabab.
Mahamud said, “We see a strong momentum against al-Shabab and want to sustain it to defeat a group that has proven to be remorseless and [like the] mafia, which has attained economic autonomy through intimidation and the murder of innocent people”.
Also, the president in a speech to the Somali diaspora community in the Washington area added that his government is organizing a strong military front in the southern Jubaland state of Somalia.
Further, he affirmed, “There is ongoing preparation to liberate al-Shabab from middle-Juba region in southern Somalia, the only region in the country where the militants control its entirety”.
He said his government’s new approach is being encouraged by the resistance of local clan militia, who keep fighting al-Shabab in the central Somali regions of Hiran and Galguduud.
“Once they could not tolerate the intimidation, the extortion and the abduction of their children, now some local clans say they have started fighting al-Shabab. Therefore, we want to support our people to live in peace and dignity,” Mohamud said.