The Star (Nairobi)

East Africa: Amisom Strikes Al Shabaab Training Camp

Photo: Capital FM
Al Shabaab members.

The Somalia National Army troops and their African Mission in Somalia counterparts yesterday morning launched an operation to capture al Shabaab's main training camp in Lanta-Buro in Somalia. The attack on Lantaâ-Buro, which is 40km west of Mogadishu, is expected to cripple the operations of the al Qaeda-linked insurgents and limit their ability to train recruits.

The move to take the camp comes at a critical time for the capital as it prepares to host a National Constituent Assembly which will adopt a provisional constitution and end 12 years of transitional government. Lanta-Buro hosted political prisoners during the Siad Barre regime but was converted into a major terrorist training camp by the al Shabaab.

AMISOM Force Commander, Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti, said the operation would enhance security in the capital by denying the terrorists a base from which to launch attacks. "AMISOM is committed to supporting the peace process in Somalia and this operation will not only bring relief to the population in that particular area, but will also help create a safer environment in the capital," he said. Our aim is to ensure that the people of Somalia can continue to pursue national reconciliation free of the fear of terrorist attack," he added.

AMISOM has been pushing the insurgents further out of Mogadishu since the UN Security Council boosted its numbers to over 17,000 and helped Somalia's Transitional Federal Government to secure major al Shabaab controlled towns such as Afgooye, Afmadow, Fafadun, Marka, Baidoa and most recently Balaad. Kenya Defence Forces were last week officially inducted into AMISOM although they were included by the UN Security Council in February after launching operations against the insurgents in October 2011.

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