Somali leader vows to ramp up security operations to regain territories from al-Shabab

(Xinhua) 10:32, March 16, 2024

MOGADISHU, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed to intensify security operations across the country to reclaim territories from al-Shabab terrorists.

The president, who held a strategic meeting with top security and government officials in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Thursday evening, underlined the government's efforts to eradicate terrorism and called for public support in securing the country.

The Somali leader said this was an important time to defeat the enemy, and noted that recent military offensives across the country have gained significant ground. "Every time the enemy is defeated. At this point, we want to make sure that the enemies will not come back to the liberated areas. We want to make sure they don't return," he said in a statement issued after the meeting.

The Somali army, backed by local militias and international partners, has been engaged in a sustained offensive against al-Shabab since 2022 when the president declared an "all-out war" on the terrorist group.

The extremist group frequently targets hotels, restaurants and other military installations manned by the Somali army and African Union forces in Mogadishu and elsewhere across the country.

Mohamud, whose remarks came hours before al-Shabab attacked SYL Hotel, a popular hotel in Mogadishu, Thursday, lauded the security forces for their courageous efforts in defeating al-Shabab and securing Somalia, saying security gains which have been witnessed since 2022 have enabled stabilization efforts.

Mohamud stressed that the government is determined to eliminate terrorists, and called for cooperation between the security forces and members of the public, which he said will play a big role in the war to liberate the country and in overall security. 

(Web editor: Chang Sha, Kou Jie)


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