Hassan Sheikh: We've succeeded in neutralizing Al-Shabaab in Somalia
MOGADISHU - Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud believes that the country has made significant strides in rectifying economic problems but it will take some time before most of the issues are solved due to financial challenges the Horn of Africa nation is facing after years of instability.
In a pre-recorded video released by Villa Somalia ahead of his trip to Djibouti and the United States, Hassan Sheikh asked locals to "bear" with him as he seeks long-term remedies to issues hailing the country, noting that the challenges cannot be solved within a small duration of time.
The president says his government is committed to rebuilding the country as one of his pre-election promises, adding that the move will likely take some time before it is actualized due to the weak financial power it is currently facing as he strives to get the cutting-edge in his administration.
"We want to rebuild the country, but we cannot build it quickly because of our weak financial power," said Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, adding that Somalia will seek hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to build social and economic infrastructure to clear all debts.
Last week, the World Bank announced that Somalia's economy had grown by 2.9 percent against the initial projections while attributing the success to the recent Al-Shabaab crackdown which has helped the country to liberate a number of strategic towns which are potentially revenue collection centers.
The president has since confirmed government troops and local fighters seized Adan Yabaal from Al-Shabaab. He said Al-Shabaab fled, forced residents to leave the town, and removed the pumps from the two water wells; pledges the army is sending replacement pumps as soon as possible.
Whenever they face imminent defeat, Al-Shabaab militants have been destroying government installations and other economically viable projects further making the entire population desperate. The Al-Shabaab extortionists have been facing serious setbacks across the country in recent weeks.
So far, Ruun-Nirgood, 77 km East of Adan Yabaal is now the only main district in the Middle Shabelle region remaining in Al-Shabaab hands. In the Hiran region, government troops appear to have seized all districts on the eastern side; while on the western side Buq Aqable still remains under Al-Shabaab control.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has also requested well-wishers to help his administration effectively fight the militants who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
The Somali government troops have also managed to liberate several villages, a move that will help the government take control and install its own administration.