Somali President wraps up NCC meeting: Prioritizing ongoing efforts against al-Shabab and fostering reconciliation
Monday August 28, 2023
The two-day National Consultative Council meeting in Dhusamareb was successfully concluded on Sunday. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and leaders from the Federal and four regional states were in attendance.
The focus of the meeting was on various important agendas, including showing unwavering support for the federal army, ongoing military operations, stabilizing liberated areas, expediting preparations for the second phase of the military offensive, and promoting reconciliation among communities residing in areas freed from militants.
The council praised the remarkable achievements of the armed forces and local militias in their relentless fight against al-Shabab in the Galgudud region of Galmudug State. The leaders commended the President’s crucial role and the Members of Parliament at both levels in the anti-al Shabab operations.
The Somali government troops have made significant progress by gaining control over strategic territories in the Galgadud region. Notably, they have secured the district of Elbur, located about 400 kilometers (249 miles) north of the capital, Mogadishu. The capture of Elbur, which had been a stronghold for al-Shabab for nearly a decade, deals a major blow to the group.
However, the council expressed deep concern about the conflict in Las Anod town and urged the Northern Somalia and SCC-Khatumo administrations to exercise restraint and avoid actions that could prolong the strife. The council emphasized the importance of protecting prisoners’ rights and called for urgent assistance to be provided to the displaced population affected by the Sool wars.
Somalia’s international partners have also “strongly condemned” the recent clashes between Northern Somalia’s separatist forces and local clans in Las Anod town.
“We are deeply concerned about reports of a large number of detainees. We expect all parties to comply with human rights and international humanitarian law, especially the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure,” said the international community in a joint statement.
The statement was issued in response to the escalation between armed Northern Somalia forces and clan militias, known as SSC-Khatumo, in Laascaanood. There are growing concerns about the risk of the fighting spreading to the outskirts of the urban area.