Al Shabab is currently facing a greater pressure by the U.S military which has shifted its attention towards Somalia’s security in recent months, having conducted flurry of airstrikes against Al Shabab and ISIS-linked fighters in the horn of Africa nation, a move which US military commanders said would provide time and space for the gradual development of the Somali National Army, police force and government.
By Jeff Mwaura, email@example.com
NAIROBI —The United States government has expressed qualified optimism about progress made by Somalia’s government in recent months, demonstrating a determination in helping it to strengthen democratic institutions, improve stability and security, and deliver services for the Somali people.
In a statement issued by the US Africa command (AFRICOM) on Thursday, the United States has lauded efforts by Somali prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire his defense minister, and chief of defense staff that enabled the approval Somali National Defense Strategy and a reorganization of the Somali National Army.
“These key steps demonstrated important security sector progress.” The statement said.
Despite facing major challenges including occasional attacks by the Al-Qaeda linked militants, Somali government has been praised for its efforts to build the army to enable them to take over responsibility for the country’s security from African Union forces that are preparing to leave Somalia by 2020.
Security remains a major concern in Somalia as Somalia which is recovering from decades of conflict is grappling with a deadly insurgency by Al Shabab group which has carried out major attacks across, including the deadliest attack in the Somali capital in October, which killed more than 500 people and injured hundreds on which the group was blamed.
However, the group has since faced greater pressure by the U.S military which has shifted its attention towards Somalia’s security, having conducted flurry of airstrikes against Al Shabab and ISIS-linked fighters in the horn of Africa nation, a move which US military commanders said would provide time and space for the gradual development of the Somali National Army, police force and government.
“The Federal Government of Somalia, led by President Farmaajo, faces significant work ahead to help Somalia recover from the nearly 30-year vacuum of Somali federal governance, but we are encouraged by their progress.” said Thomas D. Waldhauser, the Commander of the U.S. Africa Command.
According to Somali officials, successive US airstrikes against Al Shabab have forced the group to scale back its once aggressive and sustained guerilla attacks and restricted their movements.
Meanwhile, Somali and African Union forces are currently preparing for a major military against Al Shabab, to push the fighters out of areas still under their control.
Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi has recently vowed that his government would liberate the country from the grip of Al Shabab terrorists – which now controls few towns and villages in the country. But the threat from the group still remains.
Thousands of soldiers have been prepared to participate the upcoming decisive battle with Al Shabab which is currently facing a greater pressure that experts said hampered its guerilla tactics and put its fighters on back foot in recent months, as US military continues its unprecedented military campaign of airstrikes against the group.
US which has deployed hundreds of soldiers, mostly military advisors earlier this year is expected to provide the allied forces with an air support, intelligence and advisers to help alleviate hindrances soldiers may encounter during the offensive, In an indication of US’s commitment in shoring up Somalia’s government.
“Our pressure on the network and information sharing efforts are paying off with an increasing awareness of what the enemy is doing, making our targeting efforts more successful.” Waldhauser, the AFRICOM commander said.
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