African standby force 1
Photo: Stuart Price/UN AMISOM troops on Mogadishu's frontline.

Somalia and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are intensifying joint operations against the al-Shabab terror group, said Francisco Madeira, special representative of the chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia, on Tuesday.

The decision resulted from his talks with the Somali military held earlier in the capital Mogadishu. The two sides also agreed to strengthen information sharing in fighting the al-Shabab extremists, who control large parts of the rural southern and central Somalia.

The al-Shabab militants often carry out high-profile attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere, on bases of the AMISOM and Somali security forces and public places among others.

In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, Madeira also noted the progress being made by Somali security forces in taking over from AMISOM as agreed in the Somali Transition Plan.

“Somalia is ready to take on its responsibility of national security. Somali forces now control Sabiid and Bariire. We intend to do the same in other locations,” Madeira said in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.

Sabiid and Bariire are two strategic towns recovered in April in the Lower Shabelle region by the allied forces.

“We are considering handing over some forward operating bases (FOBs) to the Somali security forces. When we do this, AMISOM forces will become more mobile to secure the main supply routes,” Madeira said.

He also reaffirmed AMISOM’s commitment to implementing the Somali Transition Plan to pave the way for the African Union forces to withdraw from the African country. Enditem

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