The African Union (AU) on Monday said security situations remain fluid and unpredictable in Somalia.
The statement was made by the AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, while presenting the progress report on the current security situations in Somalia, with particular emphasis given to ongoing security operations undertaken by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
“Al-Shabab continues to maintain its presence in South Central Somalia, with sustained use of improvised explosive devices and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, under vehicle improvised explosive devices, ambushes along major supply routes, and other asymmetric tactics, including mortar attacks, suicide bombings, probing attacks and targeted assassinations,” the AU’s progress report issued on Monday read.
Chairperson of the 55-member pan African bloc also stressed that “the overall security situation in Somalia remains fluid and unpredictable, particularly with the increasing use of women by al-Shabab, as recently witnessed in the attack on the Banadir Regional Administration’s Office in Mogadishu.”
“As al-Shabab continues to pose serious threats to security and stability across Somalia, AMISOM, with support of the international community, will need to expedite its force generation and training of the Somali Security Forces (SSF) to engage in joint operations with AMISOM to continue degrading al-Shabab’s capabilities,” the AU said.
The AU also said that the re-emergence of the pro-Islamic State factions in Somalia (IS-Somalia) also poses a new challenge to the ongoing peace process in Somalia, as well as the joint efforts of AMISOM and the federal government of Somalia.
“Despite the efforts of AMISOM and the international community to degrade al-Shabab and other armed opposition groups, al-Shabab remains a serious threat to security and stability across Somalia,” the AU Commission Chairperson’s progress report read.
“This is as a result of al-Shabab’s capacity to continue its recruitment, training, and deployment of fighters, both local and foreign, as well as its ability to raise considerable revenue, through extortion, Zhakat collection and imposed levies on businesses across South Central Somalia,” the report added.
According to Faki, the al-Shabab “still has the capacity to operate in unrecovered areas and within population centers where it plans and launches asymmetric attacks against AMISOM and Somali Security Forces (SSF), key government officials and installations, as well as civilians.”
The AU also expressed its concern regarding al-Shabab and other armed opposition groups’ continued threat to security and stability in the Horn of Africa country. It also reiterated AMISOM’s continued resolve in the fight against the peace and security perils in Somalia.
“The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) continues to conduct defensive and offensive operations, including targeted operations and combat patrols to deter al-Shabab actions and to protect civilians,” Faki affirmed in his periodic progress report.
The pan African bloc also affirmed that its peacekeeping mission to the troubled Horn of African nation “will continue to protect population centers in its operational areas and provide airport and seaport security as well as convoy escorts to ensure safe movement of people and goods, distribution of humanitarian assistance, and enabling the federal government of Somalia as well as federal member states to facilitate governance initiatives and support to the population.”
The AU Commission Chairperson’s latest progress report on the overall security situations in Somalia, which described Somalia’s security situations to remain “fluid and unpredictable,” was revealed just weeks after two deadly car bombing and suicide attack incidents that killed dozens and injured many others.
Amid continued attacks by militants loyal to al-Shabab and other forces, the joint Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM forces have also intensified operations against militants in central and southern Somalia, even though the al-Shabab still holds sway in rural areas in the regions, conducting ambushes and planting landmines.
Al-Shabab, which is fighting the Western-backed government, has been driven out of major strongholds in Somalia in recent years in a joint offensive by AMISOM and local forces.
The group, however, still stages guerrilla-style assaults and bomb attacks attempting to drive out AU troops from Somalia and impose its harsh version of Islamic law across the Horn of Africa nation. Enditem