July 18, 2024

Somali army reclaims strategic area in southern region

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Somali army reclaims strategic area in southern region

Somali army reclaims strategic area in southern region

The Somali National Army, in collaboration with Jubaland regional forces, has successfully reclaimed the village of Falfley in the Bula Haji area of Lower Juba province. This strategic move, announced late Saturday, marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts to destabilize extremist strongholds in southern Somalia.

According to the Somali National News Agency (SONNA), the joint forces’ offensive resulted in the deaths of 30 members of the al-Shabaab militant group. Army officials stated that the reclaimed village had been a haven for extremists who preyed on local herders, extorting livestock and looting property.

The military emphasized that operations will continue until all terrorist strongholds in Jubaland are eradicated.

“The village that the joint forces have reclaimed was a refuge for militants who extorted livestock from herders and looted their properties,” army officials told national media.

They further pledged to continue the fight until the last terrorist enclave in Jubaland is liberated.

In a related development, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud firmly denied any ongoing negotiations with al-Shabaab, a militant group linked to al-Qaeda.

President Mohamud reiterated his refusal to engage in talks with the extremists, maintaining a hardline stance against the insurgency that has plagued the country since its formation in 2004. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks targeting civilians and security forces alike.

President Mohamud’s sentiments were echoed by National Security Advisor Hussein Sheikh Ali, who also dismissed rumors of secret negotiations between the Somali federal government and al-Shabaab.

Addressing reports circulating on social media about potential talks in Doha, Qatar, Ali clarified that any negotiation with the militants would require them to sever ties with global terrorist networks, respect Somalia’s territorial integrity, and pursue their political agenda through peaceful means.

“The president has set clear conditions for any possibility of negotiations: cutting off all connections with international terrorist organizations, accepting Somalia’s territorial integrity, and committing to a peaceful political process,” Ali stated, referencing a report by the news outlet New Somalia.

Despite being expelled from Mogadishu in 2011 and losing control over many regions due to offensives by Somali and African Union peacekeeping forces, al-Shabaab continues to exert significant influence across large swathes of Somalia.

The group remains relentless in its efforts to overthrow the Somali government and establish a strict Islamist regime.

The latest military success in Lower Juba underscores the Somali government’s resolve to reclaim territories and weaken al-Shabaab’s operational capabilities.

However, the road to peace and stability in Somalia remains fraught with challenges, requiring sustained military efforts and robust international support.

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