MOGADISU – Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud hosted a summit with his Kenyan, Ethiopian and Djibouti counterparts to discuss a joint military offence against islamist insurgents – Al-Shabaab.
The four leaders of the Horn of Africa region are due to discuss a co-ordinated military offensive against the Al-Qaeda linked group, which has been waging an insurgency in the troubled country for more than 15 years.
President Mohamud has declared an ‘all-out war’ on jihadists upon taking office in May 2022 – rallying Somalis to help flush out members of the islamist group.
Stringent security restrictions are in force in the Somali capital – in addition to the suspension of all commercial flights into Mogadishu.
In recent months, the army and local clan militia have retaken territory from the militants in an operation backed by US air strikes and the African Transitional Mission in Somalia.
The 20,000-strong African Union force is drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya, with troops deployed in southern and central Somalia.
Its goal to gradually reduce troop numbers to zero by the end of 2024 with security to be assumed by Somalia’s army and police.
“This collaboration is expected to lead to the quick liberation of the country from the renegades who have been dealt heavy blows on the battlefield in the past few weeks,” the Somali government said on Tuesday.
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