Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – Somali authorities are holding a major rally at a Mogadishu stadium on Wednesday where President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will officially announce the launch of “The Mogadishu People’s Uprising” against the al-Shabab militant group.
The rally is the first major protest against al-Shabab, which has been oppressing civilians and security forces for over 15 years.
Thousands of progressive forces are expected to participate in the rally, where they will declare war against the militants.
The government of Somalia is taking a multi-faceted approach in its efforts to combat extremist groups that threaten the stability of the UN-backed federal government. One key aspect of this strategy is the direct involvement of civilians in the fight against these groups.
The president has emphasized that military action alone will not be enough to defeat these extremists and that addressing their ideologies and finding ways to counter their recruitment efforts is also crucial.
In central and southern Somalia, residents have mobilized against al-Shabab, with the famous Macawisley militia leading the charge. The militia has been engaged in battle alongside the Somali National Army (SNA), the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), and US AFRICOM.
President Mohamud announced that over 500 militants had been eliminated through combined efforts, and several important towns in Somalia had been taken under control by the military. The successful operation is due to the strong partnership between the local population and security forces, which led to many militants, mainly young people, surrendering to the government.
Prime Minister Hamza reported that approximately 2,000 Al-Shabab fighters had been killed in military operations carried out by the Somali army, with the support of other international partners, since the conflict began four months ago.
Despite rumors to the contrary, the government has stated that it has no plans to negotiate with these militants. Instead, officials are focused on sustained crackdowns on the group and targeting their sources of revenue to weaken them further.
Intelligence reports indicate that foreign fighters are leaving the group and seeking to avoid arrest or death. The United States has also increased rewards for individuals who provide information about the group’s revenue collection centers.