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AU forces foil Al-Shabaab attack at military base in Somalia

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Africa Union Mission troops in Somalia foiled an Al-Shabaab attack at a military base in Somalia, which comes at the time the country is fighting growing militants insurgency which has threatened to plunge the country into unprecedented chaos.

For the last ten years, the Al-Shabaab have been pushing to topple the fragile UN-backed Somalia government, which they claim is imposed on Somalis by foreigners. The fight has left several civilians and security forces dead within the same duration.

And on Saturday, the Al-Shabaab militants attempted to run over the Arbaow military at Elasha Biyaha but the attack was immediately foiled by security forces. A gunfight ensued between the two sides but no casualties were reported.

Sources said the militants fled from the scene after being overwhelmed by security forces and have since disappeared into the nearby bushes. A search and rescue mission has since been mounted in the region, with AU forces taking the lead.

The attack comes barely a week after the militants attacked a US military outpost in Kismayo, in a raid that left two Danab forces dead. The attack, US Africa Command said, also left one US Marine Corp seriously injured but he has since been stabilized.

The AU forces have been pushing for peace and stability in Somalia for a couple of years now. In 2021, the team which comprises of over 22,000 troops, are set to leave the Horn of Africa nation under the Somali Transition Plan [STP], and will officially hand over to the Somali National Army [SNA].

Last week, AMISOM new Force Commander Lieutenant General Diomede Ndegeya visited the Sector 1 Headquarters in Mogadishu manned by Uganda Peoples Defence Forces [UPDF] as part of a familiarization trip to all six sectors in the country.

The Sector One, whose jurisdiction includes Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle region of Somalia also houses the AMISOM Force Headquarters where the Force Commander Lt. Gen. Ndegeya sits and together with his deputies and a host of other senior AMISOM military commander offers administrative and strategic expertise that runs the entire AMISOM military operations in Somalia.

In his address to the sector leadership, Lt. Gen. Ndegeya said that it was befitting for his familiarization tour to start at the home of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), since they were the first to deploy troops to Somalia in March 2007, and have since contributed immensely to a number of gains the mission has made against the Al-Shabaab.

“As the first contingent to have deployed in Somalia, UPDF is praised for bringing home the most significant victories for Somalia, AMISOM, Africa, and the world. Together with the Burundian National Defense Forces who later joined, you both successfully liberated Mogadishu in 2011. This is a huge feat that will always be remembered whenever AMISOM is mentioned,” said Lt. Gen. Ndegeya.

The Force Commander said Ugandan troops have since the 2011 showdown brought many more victories to Somalia, including the capture of Afgoye, Marka, Barawe, Qoryooley, and other key bridge towns in the Lower Shabelle region liberated recently.

“I must also recognize and applaud the UPDF for capturing the key bridge towns of Sabiid-Anole, Bariire, Awdheegle and El-Salini, and more recently the victories of the current UPDF combined Sector 1 troops commanded by Brigadier General Richard Otto, in capturing the key bridge town of Janaale,” said Lt. Gen. Ndegeya.