Somalia’s Neighbors Support Anti-terror Campaign Against Al-Shabab

From left, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Kenyan President William Ruto meet in Mogadishu Wednesday for a security summit. (PHOTO CREDIT: Presidency)

Djiboutian, Ethiopian, and Kenyan leaders have pledged to support Somalia’s ongoing military offensive against al-Shabab.

Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Kenyan President William Ruto agreed to work together and support the government’s offensive against militants.

In a statement issued following their meeting with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu on Wednesday, the leaders said they are united against a common enemy and are taking a joint stance against al-Shabab.

The four countries’ leaders said there was an urgent need to plan a decisive operational strategy and mobilize regional support.

“The Summit agrees to make the final push for joint operations in the areas that remain under the terrorists to completely liberate the whole of Somalia from al-Shabab to facilitate the drawdown of African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops and the gradual handover of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces,” the statement said.

The UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 after the collapse of the central government and the country disintegrated into civil war.

Last November, the United Nations renewed the arms embargo, citing al-Shabab’s continued threat to the country and regional stability.

Somalia’s successive governments have pushed for the sanctions to be lifted for the government to fight and defeat al-Shabab.

The Somali government has stepped up its anti-terror campaign and liberated large areas from al-Shabab.