The extremists were forced to retreat from Mogadishu overnight, following operations launched earlier in the week by the Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM with the aim of eliminating the threat they posed to humanitarian aid deliveries. A failed counteroffensive yesterday seems to have precipitated their retreat and they are now reported to be far as 100km away from the city.
Congratulating the SNA, Prime Minister Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said it was a great achievement for the Somali people and a big step towards defeating the extremists. “We have been dreaming of this day for the last three years,” he said.
“This is a big day, and a tremendous step forward, towards a more stable Somalia. B their actions in the past hours the extremists have shown that they never had a place in a peaceful Somalia, that they are foreign and motivated by a violent ideology. And the people do not want them here.”
He said that the Transitional Federal Government was moving to secure the abandoned areas and to assess the needs of the populations there with the aim of providing humanitarian supplies. “The insurgency and the violence they impose on the people of Somalia is a fundamental cause of the famine we are suffering. There is now an opportunity to give the international community the necessary confidence and assurance to ramp up its provision of humanitarian aid to Mogadishu.”