Contingents of the Transitional Federal Governments (TFG) of
and some of its allied forces have over the weekend reluctantly retreated from their frontline bases in Gedo region where they have been battling with fighters of the insurgency group Al-Shabaab. Somalia
The TFG troops who have been in action in the region for the past few weeks said, their fall back followed lack of morale occasioned by the absence of a regular monthly salary.
"We have been battling in numerous battles in several settlements of Gedo region. There is lack of morale and regular salaries. That is the main reason why some of the force has retreated from the frontline” said Sahal Maalim, a military official in Gedo.
Al-Shabaab fighters have reported taken offer the town of
a small settlement in the neighborhood of Elwak district, without any military confrontation shortly after TFG forces left the area. Dhamasle
Military sources said the retreating contingents have routinely asked the executive in
to settle their complains regarding especially the lack of salaries. “This is a serious issue that can result the defeat of the TFG and allied forces” the official added Mogadishu
The latest fallback of allied TFG forces in Gedo follows yet another retreatment a few days ago when some of the Somali army left their military bases in Buusar, a remote hamlet some 40km East of Elwak district. The town is now ruled by Al-Shabaab fighters.
In late February and early March Somali forces trained in
Ethiopia and Kenya launched an offensive capturing several towns in Gedo after a successful military onslaught to wipe out insurgency groups which have been ruling much of South and Central Somalia.
March 5, 2011, on the Kenyan and Ethiopian border, a pro-TFG militia drove al Shabaab out of the town of
, killing or wounding nearly 40 of the Islamist fighters in the process. Beled Hawo
The TfG has several thousand pro-government clan militiamen in the drought devastated Gedo frontier, but fighters have only received some basic military training, they are not nearly as effective as the professional soldiers serving in the AU peacekeeping force.
Recently the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) said support should be given to the TFG forces in terms of equipment, training and payment of salary in order to have a cohesive security force. But the forces are still in their nascent stage without proper military structures and conditions.