AU says Somalia raids weakening Al-Shabaab threat to region

Friday July 25 2014

A Kenya Defence Forces soldier manning a roadblock in southern Somalia. The African Union Mission in Somalia has reported several victories against al-Shabaab. Picture/FILE

African forces in Somalia made a series of successful raids against Islamist militants al-Shabaab that have weakened the threat of attacks in the Horn of Africa region, the African Union Mission in Somalia said.

Soldiers from the mission, known as Amisom, killed senior leaders of the al-Qaeda-linked group, injured combatants and smashed militant training camps and logistics centers, the regional peacekeeping force said today in an e-mailed statement.

“The past week has been instrumental in the fight against terrorism in Somalia,” it said. The “Somali National Army supported by Amisom continues to liberate more areas and root out al-Shabaab from their strongholds in a bid to protect the hard won security gains.”

READ: Amisom relief as EU releases $1b for security.

Al-Shabaab has waged an insurgency against Somalia’s government since at least 2006 as it seeks to impose Islamic law on the Horn of Africa nation. The AU offensive comes as militants step up attacks across Somalia, including in the capital, Mogadishu, where gunmen have targeted government buildings and lawmakers.

Amisom forces last week killed two senior al-Shabaab commanders, including Issa Mohamed Dhoore, a confidant of the group’s leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, near the town of Bulla Burde, according to the statement.


Yesterday, African forces seized a militant training camp in Khadija Haji village in the country’s Gedo region near the Kenyan border, the mission said. Another offensive in Jilib town in the Middle Juba region on July 23 destroyed an al-Shabaab logistics base and wounded “several” militants.

READ: Amisom weathers deadly Al Shabaab attacks.

African Union forces were deployed in February 2007 to stabilize Somalia, help provide humanitarian assistance and support the country’s weak government and institutions. Most of the 22,000 troops come from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.