UN envoy lauds Puntland’s “rapid response” against Al-Shabaab

The UN envoy for Somalia has lauded quick response by forces of semi-autonomous region of Puntland to counter-attack Al-Shabaab militants in northern Somalia.

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Somalia

Michael Keating, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, praised the response by Puntland, which said Monday its forces killed over 70 militants in the past four days.

Somalia“We applaud the swift actions of Puntland’s forces during the recent fighting,” Keating said in a statement received on Tuesday in Mogadishu.

“This is a year of decision and transition in Somalia. The international community will stand with the people of Somalia and maintain support for the country’s armed forces in their battle against the menace of terrorism,” Keating said.

The envoy also strongly condemned the incursion by Al-Shabaab fighters into Puntland, a large part of northern Somalia, that began on March 14.

The attacks started in the seaside village of Garcad in the Mudug region of Puntland, and then spread northward into the Nugal region over the ensuing days.

The Al-Shabaab insurgents have become more active in Puntland since moving more forces there after being pushed out of its strongholds farther south by African Union forces and the Somali National Army.

While the incursion signifies an expansion of the extremist group’s activity in Somalia, Keating welcomed the rapid response of Puntland’s armed forces in confronting the Al-Shabaab fighters.

The UN envoy also welcomed the provision of support from the Somalia government to Puntland in this effort.

“This underscores the need for all armed forces in Somalia to work together in the ongoing campaign to contain and ultimately defeat these violent extremists,” he said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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