PM: Over 45% of Al-Shabaab strongholds liberated in Somalia
NEW YORK, USA - Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre says at least 45% of Al-Shabaab-controlled areas have been liberated in the last 12 months, noting that ongoing operations would further dethrone the militants from strategic towns as the military pushes further into their strongholds.
At the United Nations ' 78th General Assembly, Barre also called for
“the complete and unconditional removal of the arms embargo” that has been imposed by the Security Council since 1992, when the country plunged into a civil war.
“Lifting this embargo would allow us to combat terrorism more effectively and build a peaceful and prosperous future for our people,” he said.
The arms embargo on Somalia has been the world’s “longest-lasting … widest and most comprehensive,” he added. Barre said his country has “dealt with an iron fist with extremism,” employing a “successful campaign” encompassing military, financial and ideological measures.
The Prime Minister contended that the country has “necessary administrative systems that are strict in controlling possession, use and storage of firearms.” The arms embargo has derailed the fight against Al-Shabaab militants, he added.
The first phase of operations against the militants left over 3,000 fighters dead in HirShabelle and Galmadug states and the military has returned to the two states for combing exercise. The second phase will be activated in Jubaland and Southwest states, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said.
Barre stressed the need to establish a similar approach in dealing with terrorism worldwide. “We must guarantee the effective integration of local communities in a manner that protects their rights by offering justice and upholding the rule of law,” he said.
On climate change, Barre called for collective responsibility from all nations, while emphasizing on implementation of the Nairobi Conference outcome. Kenya hosted the inaugural Africa climate change summit early this month.
He said “It’s a great injustice for Somalia,” a nation that “had the least to do with carbon emissions globally,” to bear the brunt of the negative impact of climate change.
“In the past years, Somalia has been the victim of a vicious cycle of prolonged droughts and destructive floods that have killed thousands and displaced millions,” he added, urging the international community to support the country in tackling climate change.
“There’s no poorer country — compared to where it was in the 1960s — than Somalia,” he said. “Despite this, Somalia in the last decade has made tangible progress toward peace and stability. We’ve started to witness qualitative and tangible socio-economic growth.”
Somalia has been fighting Al-Shabaab militants for the last 16 years with the help of international partners, particularly the US Africa Command and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS]. It is anticipated that the militants will be eliminated completely by the end of 2024.