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Al-Shabaab losing, desperate, AU says after UN base attack

The African Union has condemned Tuesday’s mortar attack on a United Nations base in Somalia, terming it proof that Al-Shabaab terrorists are desperate to stay relevant as they are being defeated.

Ambassador Franscisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, issued a statement on Wednesday, reiterating support for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

SOLIDARITY

UNSOM is one of the groups helping the country achieve peace and stability and push out Al-Shabaab, who want to impose a harsh version of the Sharia Law.

In the ambush at about 2pm, the terrorists fired seven mortar shells, which the Amisom said targeted the basecamp.

The mission noted that they all missed the target.

The attack at the base in the capital left three people injured. Two of the victims are UN employees and the other a contractor.

Mr Madeira expressed solidarity with their families and UNSOM, and noted that significant progress has been made in the quest for peace and stability.

FORCED OUT

Ambassador Madeira said the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists have been forced out of Mogadishu.

In a statement released by Amisom on Wednesday, the special representative said, “Amisom [and] the Somali National Security Forces have forced Al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu and from most cities and towns of south-central Somalia.

“Yesterday’s attack is yet another manifestation of [the terrorists’] desperate attempt to remain relevant after losing strongholds.”

He noted that Al-Shabaab, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, does not respect the sanctity of human life.

“They insist on scuttling the progress achieved in restoring peace and security in the country,” the ambassador said.

AMISOM

Countries in the Amisom include Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Djibouti, which contribute troops.

Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and Sierra Leone contribute police.

The mission announced in 2016 that it would withdrawing soldiers from Somalia in October 2018.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has, however, said repeatedly that the Kenya Defence Forces will only leave the country now led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, or Mohamed Farmajo, until the mission is accomplished.

The AU has asked Burundi to withdraw 1,000 soldiers but the country has opposed this.Uganda began its pullout in December 2017.

By Daily Nation

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