MOGADISHU, Somalia – The United States and Somalia have revealed three names of the most wanted Al-Shabaab agents, who have been on the radar for a few months but have not yet been located given their highly sophisticated modus operandi, which has not yet been discovered.
At the UN Security Council meeting on Monday, the United States and Somalia listed the three agents, whom they now want the UN to impose sanctions on, after establishing that they are linked to the terrorist group that controls large parts of central and southern Somalia.
The three include Abukar Ali Aden, deputy leader; Moallim Ayman, the master of Jaysh Ayman; and Mahad Karate, a former deputy leader and a powerful figure. The measure requires the approval of all UNSC members, but the Council will first review the list before voting.
For several years, the United States and Somalia have often listed the names of Al-Shabaab operators, their financiers and sympathizers, and many of them are now appointed by the US State Department. However, the UN appointment takes a little longer due to bureaucracies involved.
The move comes just a month after the United States withdrew troops from Somalia, which has trained local Danab troops. Most of the soldiers were relocated elsewhere in East Africa, the US African Command had said in a statement.
In a statement to the UN Security Council [UNSC] On Monday night, UN Special Envoy to Somalia James Swan said the group stepped up its attacks from August 2020 to early 2021, targeting various strategic points including military bases and various hospitality industries.
“Al-Shabaab continues to pose the primary threat to the country’s security. Al-Shabaab has increased its operational pace since August 2020 and early 2021 has seen a new peak in the number of attacks, including more personal and vehicle-borne IEDs targeting government officials and key figures in Somali society, “Swan said in a statement.
But the envoy noted that security operations have continued to bear fruit, especially in Lower Shebelle, where the group has been supported for a couple of years. The military has managed to liberate several strategic cities throughout the region, with the US precision attacks also eliminating terrorists in Middle Jubba.
“Major military gains were made by Somali security forces backed by AMISOM in the Lower Shabelle region in early 2019 and again in early 2020, and these are now being consolidated to enable further progress against Al Shabaab in other areas,” Swan noted. “UNSOS has maintained its support for AMISOM and qualified Somali forces throughout this period, despite the complications of the COVID pandemic.”
Over the weekend, SNA chief Odawa Yusuf Rageh said 50 terrorists were killed, including Moalim Bukhari, the group’s intelligence chief in the Lower Shabelle, and Sheikh Hasan Ganey, the commander of ops in the southern Somalia region, a further manifestation of the group’s losing grip across the country.