Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Somalia’s neighbours commit to send more than 30,000 additional troops to combat Al-Shabaab

Thursday March 2, 2023

Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia's neighbours commit to troop surge against Al-Shabaab.

Neighbouring countries of Somalia, including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti, have reportedly committed to sending more than 30,000 troops outside the African Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) mandate to fight against Al-Shabaab, according to a high-level security source who spoke to HOL on condition of anonymity.

Ethiopia has reportedly committed a significant number of troops, who will be commanded by a general based in Mogadishu.

The three countries will also reportedly pay for their own troop contributions.

Hussein Sheikh-Ali, the presidential national security adviser, told VOA on Thursday that the troops could arrive by May.

Earlier this month, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud hosted the three countries' leaders for a defence summit where they agreed to a "search and destroy" operation. The surge aims to intensify military operations against Al-Shabaab in Somalia's second phase of military operations.

Since President Mohamud declared an all-out war against the militants last year, government forces have intensified their attacks against Al-Shabaab. On Wednesday, Minister of Information, Daud Aweis, stated that Somali security forces had killed more than 200 Al-Shabaab fighters, including senior leaders, in a three-day operation in central and southern parts of the country.

President Mohamud is currently visiting Kismayo to prioritize the acceleration of the country's second phase of liberation and the plan to flush out Al-Shabaab terrorists from the areas they still control, according to government officials.

The recent troop surge will operate outside of ATMIS, whose mandate is to implement a Somali transition plan, setting up the handover of security responsibilities from the AU to Somalia's federal government.

ATMIS has troop-contributing countries from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, with soldiers and support personnel deployed throughout south-central Somalia. The total number of soldiers involved in the mission stands at 18,586.


Click here