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Al-Shabaab Can Be Defeated Through Partnership – AMISOM Commander

Acting AMISOM Force Commander Major General Mohammedesha Zeyinu who toured to recently liberated towns of Biyo Adde and El Baraf, which were captured from the terrorists by the Burundi contingent, said it’s through such partnership that the militants have been flushed out.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shabaab in any dimension is weaker than AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces. As you have seen in your current operations, they are not able to confront you directly,” according to a statement from AMISOM released on Sunday.

“Our mandate is to free Somalia from Al-Shabaab threat, to create a favorable environment for peace and stability and open doors for the peace loving Somali people to achieve economic development. Therefore you need to prepare for more tasks until Al Shabaab is destroyed,” he added.

Zeyinu’s visit was aimed at boosting the morale of the forces. The force commander lauded AMISOM and SNA troops for reducing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed groups.

The tour was to assess the implementation on the ground of decisions made during the Sector commander’s conference in Mogadishu.

Zeyinu sought to ensure that the Sectors were prepared to conduct operations to flush out Al-Shabaab from the remaining pockets inside Somalia.

While in Biyo Adde, Zeniyu challenged troops to nurture relations with the local communities.

“To create good relations with the people is necessary. If we enhance these relations, the people will give us timely information, also important for our co-existence,” Zeniyu said and urged the troops to ensure safety of communities in their vicinity.

“While you are in your defensive positions, your defence should be an active one, which focuses on protecting all areas of responsibility by conducting continuous day and night patrols; preparing organized defence positions, effective firing plans, strengthened positions and by being active and vigilant. This will not permit the enemy to carry out surprise attacks on you,” Zeniyu added.

Meanwhile, life is back to normal again in Biyo-Adde, a town in the Middle Shabelle region, one month after its liberation from Al-Shabaab militants.

Joint forces of the SNA and the Burundi National Defence Forces under AMISOM captured the town in February after years of occupation by the militants.

With security now guaranteed, residents are returning to their homes and starting up small businesses.

Second Lt. Noor Ahmed Abdurhman of the Somali National Army said the situation has greatly improved, with the residents relishing their newly found peace and freedom.

“This week is much better compared to four weeks ago, when we first came here. There are more and more people returning to Biyo-Adde after they got assurance that we are staying with them,” Abdurhman said.

“The market is booming now with trade. This town has a weekly market, and there is a lot of change now with more shops open, crops and animals on the market. The enemy is far away from here because we engage them rather than wait for them to attack us. We are planning to pacify the whole area and push them out of the entire region.”

AMISOM has resolved to intensify military operations against the terrorist group and ensure that they are pushed out of the small pockets in the countryside which they still yield influence.

Operations are being reviewed to increase mobility and counter the asymmetric tactics being employed by the terrorists when launching attacks.


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