AFRICA/SOMALIA - Government takes action against Al Shabab militias: “The aim of the terrorists is to destroy the Somali people”

Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Mogadishu (Agenzia Fides) - "The aim of the terrorists is to destroy the entire Somali people". In a statement, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud recalled that the al-Shabab militias do not shy away from destroying mosques, as was the case in the recent attack in Beledweyne, 330 km from the capital Mogadishu, on September 23, in which 21 people lost their lives and more than 50 were wounded. "It was from Beledweyne that the Somali government's ongoing military offensive against the extremists who control parts of central and southern Somalia began," a local source who requested anonymity tells Fides. "In many parts of Somalia, it is the villagers themselves who are expelling the terrorists from their territories, contributing to the efforts of the Somali army to liberate key cities that have been controlled by terrorists for years and deprive al-Shabab terrorists, who are killing Muslims and rebelling against the government, of important economic income". Meanwhile, there are 1,420,000 new internally displaced people in Somalia, according to the latest report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Around eight million people are currently dependent on humanitarian aid, and the risk of natural disasters has not been averted. In addition to humanitarian aid, Somalia is also asking for military support for the difficult task of combating terrorism and the climate catastrophe. "From this point of view, the recent meetings between the Somali authorities, President Biden and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd in America and Djibouti, where the main US military base on the continent is located, are of great importance. The Somali government has asked the Americans for a further commitment in supporting the country and the civilian population". Meanwhile, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud thanked the Turkish authorities for their support during this difficult time for the country. For his part, Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre stated that the country has managed to liberate 45% of the terrorist strongholds. (GF) (Agenzia Fides, 27/9/2023)