Somali president met with the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin on Thursday, the meeting was focused on strengthening the capacity of Somalia’s military to battle Al Shabaab.
“Since June 2022, SNA has let, Somali National Army, has been able to partner with the local forces in the removal of Al-Shabaab from 20% of the area they controlled before.
We recognize that defeating Al-Shabaab requires a multi-faceted approach that includes practical and accountable security forces and inclusive state-building process, the ability of the state to provide the rule of law and critical services to the public” said Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somali President.
The group has been waging a deadly insurgency against Somalia’s internationally-backed government.
Lloyd Austin, US Defense Secretary stated that “Somalia and the Horn of Africa have entered a crucial period of transition. This period will be significant given the ongoing hostilities in Ethiopia, and the persistent threat of Al-Shabab, which continues to launch high-profile, cruel and brazen attacks on civilians. Our cooperation here is crucial, Mr President, and we stand ready, as your partners.”
A research report published by the Pentagon’s Center for African Strategic Studies named Al Shabaab as one of the deadliest and most effective terrorist groups on the continent this year, and the richest terrorist organization in Africa, accounting for an estimated 36% of all militant Islamist group violence.