Somalia approves measures to defeat al-Shabaab

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Sunday September 25, 2022

Somalia’s forces in eastern Galgaduud have taken over the Labi-Dulle area, 16 kilometres from El-Lahelay town. CREDIT: SNA

The Somali cabinet on Thursday approved counter-terrorism measures aimed at eradicating the al-Shabab militant group which has been fighting to topple the internationally-recognized government.

The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, resolved to strengthen national security policy to guide the ongoing security operations against the insurgents.

A coordinating committee on the national strategy of eradicating terrorism to step up anti-al-Shabab operations will be formed.

According to a statement issued after the meeting, the ministers would transform preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE) program into a national agency to defeat terrorists’ ideology.

The ministers also agreed to form a task force for coordination and fulfilling anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism acts (AML/CFT) law, and successful counter-terrorism strategies.

The measures came after the Somali National Army (SNA) ended the first phase of a military operation against al-Shabab in the Hiran region on Wednesday where they liberated almost 30 villages, killing over 200 militants.

Mohamed Tahlil Bihi, SNA commander of infantry troops said the security forces killed 127 militants who were staging several attacks in the Hiran region.

Bihi said the security forces will now extend the operation to flush out militants in Galmudug, a state in central Somalia.

The extremist group still controls some parts of rural southern and central Somalia and continues to carry out high-profile attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

However, the government and allied forces have intensified military operations into territory formerly controlled by al-Shabab after driving the insurgents out of Mogadishu in 2011.

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