US congressman hails Somali military’s successes in opposition to Al-Shabab

FILE – US Congressman Ilhan Omar addresses a crowd of his constituents in St. Paul, Minnesota, November 9, 2022. The Somali-born lawmakers are presently visiting their dwelling nation.

US Congressman Ilhan Omar hailed current victories by the Somali authorities and native forces in opposition to al-Shabab militants in central Somali areas.

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Omar, who was born in Somalia, has been visiting the nation since Thursday. In Mogadishu, she met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre and members of the federal government and parliamentarians on Monday.

Talking at a dinner in her honor hosted by Barre, Omar congratulated the Somali leaders for the “great success” in opposition to al-Shabab militants.

Omar known as for cooperation to defeat the group she accused of “disgracing” Islam.

“Our country and our religion have been associated with terrorism [because] about the disgrace they brought upon us,” she mentioned. “We must get rid of them as Somalis and as Muslims and pray and support each other in that work.”

She mentioned native Somali representatives have been capable of go to their constituents for the primary time since becoming a member of the federal government due to the navy operation that liberated central territories from al-Shabab.

Final week, the Somali authorities and native forces captured Ruun-Nirgood, the final main city within the Center Shabelle area managed by al-Shabab.

Somalia’s military chief Odawa Yusuf Rage informed VOA on Monday that operations at the moment are increasing to the neighboring Galmudug area. He admitted that militants stay in small villages on the western facet of Center Shabelle close to the border with Hiran area.

In the meantime, al-Shabab has imposed restrictions on staff and autos from Somalia’s largest telecommunications firm, navy officers mentioned on Tuesday.

The militant group informed Hormuud’s telecommunications staff that they aren’t allowed to journey between the areas managed by the group and areas in authorities arms, the navy mentioned. The restrictions additionally apply to autos belonging to the corporate.

Somali navy Brigadier Normal Abdullahi Ali Anod, a spokesman, confirmed to VOA the restrictions imposed by al-Shabab on Hormuud Telecom.

“We heard it, we got it,” he mentioned in an interview.

He mentioned Hormuud has repaired telecommunication facilities, masts and restored providers in not too long ago recaptured territories. “They are on standby, wherever the army goes,” he mentioned.

Hormuud Telecom has not commented on the reported restrictions.

Anod mentioned the extremist group additionally desires to forestall members of the general public, together with pastoralists, from passing on details about al-Shabab actions to the military and police.

Anod mentioned the group has the false perception that the military is utilizing the phone community for its operations. “The military has its personal communications. It is doable they do not know that, he says.

“They are punishing the businesses and the public,” Anod mentioned.

The Somali authorities reported that it has seized almost 70 cities from al-Shabab since August when operations by the navy and allied native militias started. Anod mentioned they recorded 11 incidents through which the group destroyed telecommunication masts and phone exchanges in seized areas.

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