Somali President Hassan Shaykh Mohamud has stressed that security forces have made progress in recent days in their fight against the Al Shabaab terrorist group following recent fighting in central parts of the African country.
“We are seeing a steady momentum against Al Shabaab and I want to maintain it to defeat a group that has shown that it has no mercy and that, like the mafia, has achieved economic autonomy through intimidation and the killing of innocents,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, the Somali Army announced the killing of more than 40 suspected Al Shabaab members in an operation in Aborey, located 220 kilometers north of the capital Mogadishu, the Somali news agency SONNA reported.
Shaykh Mohamud is in the United States, where on Thursday U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin conveyed to him Washington’s “commitment” to Somalia “in the fight against violent extremism,” primarily Al Shabaab.
U.S. President Joe Biden approved in mid-May a Defense Department request to send U.S. troops back to Somalia to fight terrorist groups, reversing the order of his predecessor, Donald Trump, to leave the African country in 2020.
Somalia is facing an increase in the number of attacks by the Islamist militia Al Shabaab, linked to the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, both in the capital and in other areas in the south of the country, which has led the president to promise a reinforcement of security operations to deal with the threat.