Somalia president sets rapid timeline to defeat Al-Shabab

Dhusamareb (Caasimada Online) – In a robust move reflecting his vision for stability, Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has laid out an ambitious five-month plan to rid the nation of the militant group al-Shabab.

During a town hall meeting on Thursday night, President Mohamud announced that his government has “clear plans” to achieve within the next five months.

Central to this strategy is the liberation of Somalia from the clutches of al-Shabab. “We will either eliminate the group, or they will remain in small pockets where they can’t hurt the government,” he asserted.

Prioritizing soldier’s sacrifice

Highlighting the sacrifices made by the Somali soldiers, President Mohamud declared that it would be unacceptable and disrespectful to the soldiers who shed their blood if al-Shabab were to return to towns once reclaimed by government forces.

“Our soldiers’ sacrifices won’t be in vain. We can’t allow these terrorists to regain a foothold,” Mohamud emphasized.

President Mohamud revealed that his government has shifted its tactics.

Instead of focusing solely on capturing towns and villages, the new strategy involves “sweeping” the militants from the countryside, denying them the opportunity to launch rear attacks on government forces.

“This is a strategic shift designed to choke off the militants’ options,” he said.

Ambitious, yet attainable?

This prediction by President Mohamud is even more ambitious than similar remarks made by National Security Adviser Hussein Mo’allin during an interview with VOA in January.

Mo’allin projected that the government would defeat the militant group by the summer of 2024. “The timeline is aggressive but necessary,” Mohamud added, illustrating his confidence in this endeavor.

Apart from combating al-Shabab, the President’s plans for the next few months are extensive and transformative.

These include the completion of the provisional constitution, convincing the UN Security Council to lift the arms embargo, and pursuing debt relief for the embattled nation.

“These are pillars for a new Somalia,” President Mohamud stated, “it’s time for the world to see Somalia rise anew.”

The President’s initiative, if successful, would be a significant victory for Somalia and global efforts to combat terrorism.

A peaceful Somalia could serve as a linchpin for stability in the Horn of Africa.