Report states that more than 1,600 militants from Al-Shabaab were eliminated in Somalia


MOGADISHU, Somalia – The government of Somalia announced on Wednesday that military operations within the country have resulted in the deaths of at least 1,650 Al-Shabaab militants in recent months. The majority of these casualties occurred in central regions of Somalia. According to the government’s statement, 550 militants were critically injured during the operations, particularly in Galmadug and HirShabelle states. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been leading these operations in the central regions for the past two months.
The government claims that among those killed were 19 Al-Shabaab commanders who were responsible for planning and carrying out attacks across the country. Additionally, at least three top commanders surrendered to the Somali National Army [SNA]. However, these claims have not been independently verified.
Meanwhile, a Somali regional official is calling for an extension of the deadline for African Union (AU) troops to withdraw from Somalia. The official cites al-Shabaab attacks and “unstable” political developments as the main reasons for the extension. The deputy president of Jubaland state, Mohamud Sayid Aden, suggests that the withdrawal of AU forces should be extended until December 2025. Aden argues that al-Shabaab militants have had ample time to regroup and amass funds, and that the current situation warrants a longer presence of AU forces.
In response, the government of Somalia has requested a technical pause in the withdrawal process, in order to temporarily halt the exit of approximately 3,000 soldiers. In June 2023, 2,000 soldiers had already withdrawn from the country in compliance with the Somali Transition Plan, which aims for a complete withdrawal of troops by December 2024. The government believes that an additional 90 days before the second phase of the withdrawal would allow security teams to reorganize effectively. With al-Shabaab continuing to target security teams, a pause in the withdrawal process is seen as crucial for maintaining security. However, there are differing opinions on the matter, with the National Security Advisor, Hussein Sheikh Ali, affirming the government’s commitment to the full exit of AU troops by December 2024.