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In a stunning announcement by Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, the Somali Government claims that Al-Shabaab attacks within the country have decreased by an astonishing 70% in just half a year. The Government cites enhanced security measures within the city as the primary reason for this remarkable turnaround. The Prime Minister praised security officers for their “invaluable sacrifices” in the fight against terrorism. This announcement marks the beginning of a new era of safety and security in Somalia, should sustained efforts against Al-Shabaab continue.
The capital city of Mogadishu now enjoys a level of security never seen before. During this year’s Holy month of Ramadan, no attacks were recorded in Mogadishu, a significant milestone as Al-Shabaab is notorious for launching gruesome attacks during the Holy Month in urban areas to shock and terrorize citizens. Since the government launched its offensive against Al-Shabaab, with the support of the US Africa Command, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and local militias, over 80% of villages earlier under Al-Shabaab rule have already been liberated. The government is now installing civilian rule in these towns.
At a town hall event, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud revealed that the United Arab Emirates trained and paid the salaries of new government forces that helped secure the capital city. The second phase of operations against Al-Shabaab is due to launch soon, with the non-ATMIS troops from Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya expected to participate, with Somali National Army supervision. These troops will serve for three months. The African Union anticipates that the Somali National Army will be responsible for security by December 2024, but this will depend on Al-Shabaab’s strength and the readiness of the Somali National Army. The first ATMIS troops will withdraw from Somalia from June 2023, with the first batch of 2000 expected to leave.