African Leaders at Mogadishu Summit Formulate Strategy Against al-Shabab
Four African leaders came together on Wednesday to plan a decisive strategy against the terrorist group al-Shabab. The leaders, who included President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, President William Ruto of Kenya, Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh, and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, met in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, for a one-day summit.
The leaders discussed the need for well-equipped security personnel to fight al-Shabab and decided to establish a joint operations mechanism to coordinate their efforts against the Islamist terrorist group. They also called on the international community to repeal the existing United Nations arms embargo on Somalia so that the Somali government can better equip its military in the fight against terrorism. The leaders praised Somalia for its progress in managing arms proliferation and endorsed the country’s request for both lethal and nonlethal support for its newly generated Somali National Army.
The leaders agreed to launch a joint operational campaign at the front-line states level, targeting key al-Shabab strongholds in southern and central Somalia. They emphasized the importance of consolidating the existing efforts to liberate Somalia from al-Shabab and hand over security responsibilities to the Somali security forces.
“The summit agrees to make the final push for joint operations in the areas that remain under the terrorists to completely liberate the whole of Somalia from al-Shabab,” the leaders stated in a communique issued after the summit.
The presidents, who are mainly from the front-line states, stressed the importance of timely campaigns to prevent any future infiltration into the wider region. President Mohamud, who took power in May 2022, has launched a major offensive against al-Shabab, which has already seen parts of Somalia freed from the terrorists.