20 December 2012

Somalia: Amisom to Expand Operations

Colonel Osman Dubad Hil, the AMISOM commander in Hiiraan region, has told reporters that AMISOM troops will shortly expand their operations outside Belet Weyne.

He gave no indication of what this might entail, but AMISOM and Somali government troops advancing up the Shebelle River from Mogadishu recently took Jowhar.

Both Jowhar and Belet Weyne are some 250 kilometers apart with the towns of Bulo Burto and Jalalaqsi, also on the Shebelle, lying in between the two AMISOM forces. Both have yet to be liberated. Colonel Osman took the opportunity to urge members of Al-Shabaab, which has sustained defeat after defeat in various parts of the country in recent months, to surrender to the AMISOM troops and Somali government forces in the city.

Belet Weyne was liberated in December 2011 by Ethiopian troops, and its security is currently under a one thousand strong force of Djiboutian troops together with elements of the Somali National Forces. The final contingent, of fifty Djiboutian troops, arrived in Beletweyn on November 28th.

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