Somalia: Puntland leader commends troops for gains against Al Shabaab
GAROWE, Somalai, April 26, 2015 (Garowe Online)-The President of Somalia’s Puntland Government Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has urged army troops to continue consolidating gains against Al Shabaab militants in Galgala in the wake of the recent terror attack on UNICEF vehicle, Garowe Online reports.
Speaking to reporters at Garowe airport shortly after his official return from a 10-day visit to neighboring Ethiopia, Puntland leader commended Puntland Defence Forces (PDFs) for pressing ahead with offensives against militants in the rugged terrain of Galgala, 50km southwest of Bossaso port city.
He said, Puntland’s oversight committee will share findings into the recent rare deadly attack on the bus carrying UNICEF staff in public.
“Puntland is strong enough to tackle internal security challenges [fight against Al Shabaab fighters],” said Ali in response to the remarks by Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who pledged that his administration would help Puntland deter threats following UN bus bombing.
On raid by Presidential Security Unit (PSU) soldiers on a court in the state capital of Garowe a week ago, Puntland President vowed that the government will hold the soldiers behind the incident accountable for the what he described ‘unacceptable action’.
Presidential guards broke their way into first degree court during criminal hearings, snatching a defendant in a move that sparked debate at public places.
On Monday, Al Shabaab suicide bomber targeted UNICEF staff in deadly attack in front of main UN compound in Garowe.
Evers since, Puntland has been beefing up soldiers presence at key government installations and United Nations facilities.
Puntland Army Chief Gen. Saed Mohamed Hirsi (Saed Dhere) earlier in March blamed bad weather condition and rough topography for hampering anti-Al Shabaab operations.
In late 2014, 8-member panel of UN experts said in confidential report that ‘catch and release’ policy adopted by Puntland President contributed to unprecedented upsurge in terror attacks, largely in the gulf of Aden port city of Bossaso.