19 February 2013

Somalia: AU Forces Capture an Airfield

The Somali National army supported by African Union forces from the Ugandan Contingent on Monday evening captured a strategic airfield located 100km North East of Mogadishu.

Maj Henry Obbo, Spokesperson Uganda Contingent says Jawhar airfield located in Middle Shabelle, 15 Km North of Jawhar town; fell to the allied forces after minimal resistance from the fleeing Al Shabaab.

He says the operation comes only four days after allied forces ejected Al Shabaab out of three towns in Lower Shabelle.

The Ugandan Contingent commander Brig Michael Ondoga said: "Al Shabaab has no place in the community any more as its now time for peace. We are committed to ensuring that the will of the people to attain immediate peace is fulfilled. We will therefore continue pursuing al Shabaab and making their lives very uncomfortable until they disengage and join in the peace process."

The Allied forces did not incur any loss.

The capture of the airfield does not only add more area of control to the Somali Government but also provides better protection of Jawhar city (the Capital of Middle Shabelle) as the insurgents are kept off the environs of the city. It also opens up opportunities for reconstruction process of the Infrastructure on ground and improving on the transport sector in general.

Brig Ondoga says Balidoogle air base and KM-50 airfield that were recently captured from the Al Shabaab have already begun receiving flights and plans are underway for their renovation.

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