Somali Forces to Take Lead of Security Operations

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army (SNA) agreed Somali security forces take a lead role in security operations against Al Shabaab and other armed groups. (Photo Credit: AMISOM)

The African Union officials and the Somali National Army (SNA) leadership have agreed on strategies for Somali security forces to lead future security operations.

The head of the Somali national army General Odawa Yusuf Rage said his forces are ready to protect the government and Somali people.

“I want to express my commitment to all the plans we have agreed upon and make it clear that SNA is committed to implementing its part as agreed. I call upon the sectors to take seriously the reconfiguration synchronization matrix and put in action all its recommendations so that we can achieve our harmonized plans,” said General Rage.

In December 2017, the Somali government and the international community agreed on a transition plan to enable Somali forces to assume responsibility for its security from 22,000 AMISOM troops.

“The conference marks an important milestone in the roadmap towards peace and stability in Somalia, where Somali security forces are to assume a lead role in their own security operations, as laid out in the Somali Transition plan (STP),” said Ambassador Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) when he officially opened the conference on Wednesday.

In recent years, Somali government forces have been involved in the security operation to push Al- Shabaab out of the Shebelle region, which the group has been using to organize and carry out attacks in Mogadishu. 

Last week, Somali forces repulsed the Al Shabaab attack in Awdhigle and Bariire military bases some 100 kilometers from the capital Mogadishu. Somali military officials said they have killed more than 70 militants and captured 10.

In March, AMISOM handed over the Afgoye military base to the Somali National Army as part of plans to ensure the transfer of security responsibility to Somali troops.

“I urge all the sectors to embark on its implementation along with the AMISOM mandate. You have to establish as soon as possible the AMISOM-SNA joint planning and coordination cells within your sectors, and ensure that they are fully operational,” said AMISOM Force Commander, Lieutenant General Diomede Ndegeya, while addressing the sector commanders who joined via online link from their bases across Somalia.

General Ndegeya reminded Somali forces of the enemy it must defeat for Somali to enjoy stability. 

“I call upon sector commanders to continue to degrade Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups, and secure the main supply routes and key population centres by conducting joint operations with Somali security forces.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has been in the country since 2007. In 2011, the troops from Uganda and Burundi helped liberate Mogadishu from terror group Al- Shabaab.