Al-Shabaab discredits Somalia president's achievements


MOGADISHU, Somalia - The al-Shabaab militants have dismissed the much-publicised achievements of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who assumed powers from Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed two years ago, terming him a 'serial failure'.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is entering his third year in power after much-publicised elections, which caused sharp divisions in the country. The president had pledged to eliminate the group within the first two years in power.

Al-Shabaab says President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud failed in his objectives, justifying the statement's major setbacks Somali government forces suffered at the hands of al-Shabaab including attacks in Gal’ad, Awsweyne and El-Lahelay.

The militant group’s media highlighted that government officials including Hassan Sheikh Mohamud promised to eliminate al-Shabaab in months but have not achieved that. The government kick-started the fight against Al-Shabaab immediately after Hassan Sheikh took over.

Through a documentary and special interviews, the state media focused on the federal government’s achievements in the war against al-Shabaab, and its seizing large territories from the group. The first phase of operations against Al-Shabaab was activated in Galmudug and Hirshabelle states.

Testimonial interviews commended Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for taking the al-Shabaab war seriously by setting up a temporary base on the frontline. Government estimates indicate that over 3,000 militants had been killed during the first phase.

However, the second phase was halted due to logistical challenges, including lack of enough weapons and motivated force. President Hassan Sheikh, who had requested for a backup, said the second phase is due to start soon in Jubaland and Southwest states.

Somalia anticipates that the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops will completely withdraw from the country by the end of 2024 before the Somali National Army (SNA) takes over security responsibilities.

Already, 5,000 ATMIS soldiers have left the country, with a similar number slated for June 2024. The remaining contingent will leave by December, but there are concerns about the country's preparedness, which has significantly affected future security plans.


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