11 January 2013

Somalia: Amisom Declares 'Security Progress' in Somalia

Mogadishu — Spokesman for the AMISOM forces in Somalia spoke to Radio Garowe and discussed the security progress in southern Somalia, Garowe Online reports.

Col. Ali Adan Hamud spokesman for the African Union mission in Somalia AMISOM gave an interview to Radio Garowe, a Puntland based media organization, on Friday speaking about the forces' achievements fighting Al Shabaab in southern Somalia.

AMISOM forces alongside Somali Federal Government troops captured major Al Shabaab strongholds such as Afgoye, Marko and Kismayo.

When asked if the AMISOM forces would come to Puntland to fight Al Shabaab in the Golis Mountains, Col. Hamud stated that the AU forces did not have a mandate to fight in the mountain range that stretches through many regions in northern Somalia.

"The AMISOM forces are mandated to fight Al Shabaab in southern Somalia, however we do not have a mandate to fight in Puntland state of Somalia and that would involve a political process between the various governments involved," said Col. Hamud.

The colonel also added that the threat Al Shabaab poses to the Puntland government is very limited and that despite infiltration of the Golis Mountains by Al Shabaab, there has been minimal attacks launched by the terrorist organization.

Col. Hamud stated that Mogadishu's security has improved considerably, a response to a statement from a Al Shabaab spokesman last week, where he stated that there was "no security progress in Mogadishu".

Spokesman Ali Dheere Mohamud Rage said in an audio recording posted on the Internet, that Al Shabaab is present

Col. Hamud concluded by advocating to the youth in Somalia not to join Al Shabaab.

Al Shabaab had many of their main strongholds in southern Somalia captured but remain present in many remote villages in southern Somalia.

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