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President Farmaajo 'will defeat al-Shabaab and secure Somalia' | Coastweek

MOGADISHU (AMISOM News) -- The president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo speaks during a ceremony to mark the 57th Anniversary of the Somali National Army held at the Ministry of defence in Mogadishu. Somali National Army soldiers [right] march during the Anniversary celebrations. AMISOM PHOTO - ILYAS AHMED

President Farmaajo 'will defeat al-Shabaab and secure Somalia'

MOGADISHU (AMISOM News) -- Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ has promised to rid Mogadishu of Al-Shabaab militants who have continued to kill and maim innocent civilians in the capital city.

Speaking during the Somali National Army (SNA) 57th anniversary celebrations held in Mogadishu, President Farmaajo asked the militants to take advantage of the amnesty issued recently, warning that those continuing to commit acts of terror will face the full force of the government.

"We will look everywhere.

"We will use the same tactics that we used in the past and we will liberate the country with the capability of our troops," President Farmaajo said at the function attended by top military and government officials, senior African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) officers led by Force Commander, Lt. General Osman Noor Soubagleh, and representatives of the international community.

The head of state recognized top SNA and AMISOM military officers who took part in the 2011 offensive that liberated the city from Al-Shabaab, among them, the current Contingent Commander of Uganda People’s Defence Force, Brig. Kayanja Muhanga, and the former AMISOM Force Commander, now Uganda’s Deputy Ambassador to Somalia, Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha.

He noted that he will deploy the same tactics that forced out Al-Shabaab from the capital city and other major towns.

His administration, he emphasized, was ready to dialogue if the militants take advantage of the amnesty, but promised to pursue them if they don’t renounce violence.

"The leaders of Al-Shabaab should know that they are not destroying the Government of Somalia.

"The Government has international support and a large army.

"You are destroying property and killing your brothers.

"The leaders of Al-Shabaab should know that they have been fighting for the last 10 years and we have patiently waited to negotiate.

"If you refuse the peace that we are extending to you, we will come after you wherever you are.

"I am asking you to stop killing people.

"Let us negotiate, disarm and develop the country," the President stated, urging the public to brace for a major offensive that will be jointly undertaken by the SNA and AMISOM.

As part of ongoing efforts to rebuild the army, President Farmaajo pledged to tackle corruption and address the welfare of soldiers.

He paid glowing tribute to AMISOM for the role it has played in pacifying the country but noted that for the SNA to be able to play its part, effectively, there is need to have a clean and dedicated leadership, which the administration has started putting in place.

On his part, the Defense Minister, Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed, challenged the SNA to strive and regain it lost glory, urging the military to ensure humanitarian aid reaches drought victims in various parts of the country, by opening main supply routes connecting the major towns.

Mr. Mohamed reminded those present that the army in 1975 had helped deal with a similar drought that hit the country.

"Today we have the same drought like the one before.

"The people are expecting you to open up main supply routes and fight the enemy so that you save vulnerable people; the elderly, women and children.

"I am directing you to fight and defend the country.

"Our biggest enemy is internal and the enemy is harassing our people.

"Without getting rid of the enemy, it is difficult to have development," the Defence Minister observed.

The SNA Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Jimale reiterated Mr. Mohamed’s sentiments, saying the Somali security forces must work extra hard to bring back peace and security to the whole country.

"I want the Somali National Army to be consolidated and reorganized.

"Our most dangerous enemy is inside and we need to fight this enemy who is killing innocent people," Gen. Jimale said.


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