Al-Shabaab militants fight to regain control of southern Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia – After a series of casualties in southern Somalia, Al-Shabaab militants have now returned to claim the area, carrying out a series of attacks against senior government officials, security forces and innocent civilians, which literally affected operations in the region. .
For a long time, the Lower Shabelle region was the focal point of operations for militants based in Somalia, as recruitment and training of young people took place in the region. Radicalization of youth in the region was rampant.
But last year, security forces from the U.S. Africa Command, Somali National Army and African Union mission forces pitched tents in the region, significantly downplaying terrorist activity at the suite of sophisticated operations.
The operations, according to reports, left several towns free of militants in addition to killing several of them. Others, the Somali National Army said, have since defected militants and cooperated with the government.
But in recent weeks, the militants have reportedly returned to liberated areas where they have faced violence against innocent civilians in addition to collecting taxes that would support their operations in the region.
On Saturday, Southwest Head of State Lafta-Garen visited the town of Hudur, where thousands of Somalis are suffering behind the Islamist food blockade of Al-Shabab. Activists, he noted, have blocked major supply routes to the region.
“We are determined to ensure that these people are defeated,” he said, noting that: “They have made it impossible for the Good Wishes to distribute food to the suffering population who desperately need it. It is time for the Somalis to rise up against these extremists who are difficult for the Somali people. “
The southwest leader, who is a close ally of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, called on the local population to cooperate with the security forces in an effort to ensure the region is freed from militants. In addition, he praised the security forces for their “determined” efforts to ensure the security of the region.