by Habtamu Worku ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia
(Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Monday
said security situations remain fluid and unpredictable in
The statement was made by the AU Commission
Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, while presenting the progress
report on the current security situations in Somalia, with
particular emphasis given to ongoing security operations
undertaken by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
"Al-Shabab continues to maintain its presence in South
Central Somalia, with sustained use of improvised explosive
devices and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, under
vehicle improvised explosive devices, ambushes along major
supply routes, and other asymmetric tactics, including mortar
attacks, suicide bombings, probing attacks and targeted
assassinations," the AU’s progress report issued on Monday read.
Chairperson of the 55-member pan African bloc also stressed
that "the overall security situation in Somalia remains fluid
and unpredictable, particularly with the increasing use of women
by al-Shabab, as recently witnessed in the attack on the Banadir
Regional Administration’s Office in Mogadishu."
"As al-Shabab continues to pose serious threats to security
and stability across Somalia, AMISOM, with support of the
international community, will need to expedite its force
generation and training of the Somali Security Forces (SSF) to
engage in joint operations with AMISOM to continue degrading al-Shabab’s
capabilities," the AU said.
The AU also said that the re-emergence of the pro-Islamic
State factions in Somalia (IS-Somalia) also poses a new
challenge to the ongoing peace process in Somalia, as well as
the joint efforts of AMISOM and the federal government of
"Despite the efforts of AMISOM and the international
community to degrade al-Shabab and other armed opposition
groups, al-Shabab remains a serious threat to security and
stability across Somalia," the AU Commission Chairperson’s
progress report read.
"This is as a result of al-Shabab’s capacity to continue its
recruitment, training, and deployment of fighters, both local
and foreign, as well as its ability to raise considerable
revenue, through extortion, Zhakat collection and imposed levies
on businesses across South Central Somalia," the report added.
According to Faki, the al-Shabab "still has the capacity to
operate in unrecovered areas and within population centers where
it plans and launches asymmetric attacks against AMISOM and
Somali Security Forces (SSF), key government officials and
installations, as well as civilians."
The AU also expressed its concern regarding al-Shabab and
other armed opposition groups’ continued threat to security and
stability in the Horn of Africa country. It also reiterated
AMISOM’s continued resolve in the fight against the peace and
security perils in Somalia.
"The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) continues to
conduct defensive and offensive operations, including targeted
operations and combat patrols to deter al-Shabab actions and to
protect civilians," Faki affirmed in his periodic progress
The pan African bloc also affirmed that its peacekeeping
mission to the troubled Horn of African nation "will continue to
protect population centers in its operational areas and provide
airport and seaport security as well as convoy escorts to ensure
safe movement of people and goods, distribution of humanitarian
assistance, and enabling the federal government of Somalia as
well as federal member states to facilitate governance
initiatives and support to the population."
The AU Commission Chairperson’s latest progress report on the
overall security situations in Somalia, which described
Somalia’s security situations to remain "fluid and
unpredictable," was revealed just weeks after two deadly car
bombing and suicide attack incidents that killed dozens and
injured many others.
Amid continued attacks by militants loyal to al-Shabab and
other forces, the joint Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM
forces have also intensified operations against militants in
central and southern Somalia, even though the al-Shabab still
holds sway in rural areas in the regions, conducting ambushes
and planting landmines.
Al-Shabab, which is fighting the Western-backed government,
has been driven out of major strongholds in Somalia in recent
years in a joint offensive by AMISOM and local forces.
The group, however, still stages guerrilla-style assaults and
bomb attacks attempting to drive out AU troops from Somalia and
impose its harsh version of Islamic law across the Horn of
Somalia and African Union
begin audit of
firms operating in airport to boost security
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM)
and the government has started a physical audit of companies and
organizations operating within the Aden Abdulle International
Airport protected area to enhance security.
The audit, targeting firms and organizations contracted by
the UN and AMISOM, is aimed at ensuring the private entities
operate within the laws of the country, said Dahir Salat, audit
team leader who is also the senior operations advisor to the
Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International
"The Somali government is conducting the audit for
accountability and transparency purposes and to make sure that
every company is operating within the laws of the country,"
Salat said according to a statement issued by the AU mission in
Salat said the audit exercise will be conducted every three
months to ensure the government keeps an up-to-date database of
all entities operating within the airport’s protected area also
referred to as the green zone.
The inspection involves verification of land lease
agreements, tax records, vehicles owned, number of workers and
waste disposal mechanisms among others.
"Our objectives are simply to get the list and number of
companies that are (operating) here and to make sure that every
company (operates) within the framework of the regulations and
the laws of this country," he added.
African Union says reduced
aggravates dire humanitarian situation in Somalia
by Shiferaw Tadesse ADDIS ABABA
Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The communities’
reduced level of resilience is contributing to the already dire
and challenging humanitarian situation in different parts of
Somalia, the African Union (AU) said on Monday.
The 55-member pan African bloc, in its latest progress report
issued on Monday, mainly attributed the current challenges in
the provision of humanitarian services in parts of Somalia due
to communities’ reduced resilience, as well as the exclusion and
discrimination of socially marginalized groups.
"The humanitarian situation in parts of Somalia remains dire
and most challenging, due to reduced resilience of communities,
triggered displacement and impeded access to basic services and
humanitarian access to those in need," said the progress report
issued on Monday.
The report also noted that "exclusion and discrimination of
socially marginalized groups contributed to high levels of acute
humanitarian challenges and lack of protection among some of the
most vulnerable people."
"Disease outbreaks such as Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD),
cholera and measles have contributed to preventable deaths
across the country," the report added.
The AU also stressed that its peacekeeping mission AMISOM has
created the necessary security conditions for the delivery of
humanitarian assistance and contributed to the development of an
effective approach to the protection of civilians.
The establishment of civilian sector teams under AMISOM is
also said to considerably facilitate the needed increased
engagement and access to the most vulnerable people in parts of
Somalia, it was noted.
Enhanced engagement with humanitarian agencies and relevant
stakeholders and providing lifesaving assistance to the people
in areas that were recovered from the terrorist group al-Shabab,
particularly in areas without humanitarian actors, also said to
be another prime target of AMISOM.
The AU also said that an increased coordination among AU, the
United Nations, Somali federal government, as well as other
international partners have "significantly contributed to the
implementation of joint initiatives that have aligned strategic
and operational efforts in the promotion of peace, security,
stability and reconciliation in Somalia."
"Such coordination needs to be sustained and further enhanced
to guarantee the achievement of the Somalia Transition Plan (STP)
and the gradual handover of security responsibility to Somali
Security Forces (SSFs)," the AU stressed.
Last month, the UN had also stressed that humanitarian
operation in Somalia remains underfunded with the 2019
Humanitarian Response Plan having received only 38 percent of
its requirements by mid-year, forcing aid agencies to limit or
reduce relief efforts at a time when scale-up is critical.
According to the UN, severe climatic conditions, combined
with other persistent drivers of the humanitarian crisis, mainly
armed conflict, continued displacement and a spike in evictions
of internally displaced people are again pushing Somalia towards
a major humanitarian crisis, two years after the prolonged
2016/2017 drought destroyed livelihoods and displaced almost one
The AU’s urgent call to tackle the current dire humanitarian
situations in Somalia also followed the recent joint emergency
humanitarian appeal by the Somali government and aid agencies to
help address the impact of the current humanitarian crisis in
the Horn of Africa country.
On July 12, the Somali government and the international aid
community said they are jointly implementing a Drought Impact
Response Plan, which will provide "critical life-saving
assistance" to some 4.5 million Somalis from late July to
December this year at a cost of 686 million U.S. dollars.
African Union to enhance
joint military operations against al-Shabab
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and
the Somali security forces will intensify joint military
operations to liberate regions still under the control of al-Shabab,
the AU senior envoy said on Monday evening.
Francisco Madeira, head of AMISOM, stressed the importance of
troop generation in securing Somalia, saying the country needs
trained forces capable of holding liberated territories.
"Today, partners are helping Somalia generate trained and
"It is these forces that, with our support, are now holding
liberated towns," Madeira said in a statement issued by the AU
The AU envoy who spoke at the Eid al-Adha dinner hosted for
the Muslim community in Mogadishu, said the resolve by AMISOM
and the Somali government to defeat al-Shabab and bring back
peace and security remains unshaken.
"As we celebrate Eid al-Adha, let me congratulate the Force
Commander and the Sector One Commander for the important
achievements they have made, the recent one being the liberation
of Awdheegle," he said.
Madeira added that the strong working relations between
AMISOM and the Somali security forces had made the liberation of
bridge towns possible.
Awdheegle is the fourth bridge town to be liberated in the
Lower Shabelle region this year, from the al-Qaida allied
terrorist group by Somali security forces with the support of
AMISOM troops. Other towns are Sabiid, Bariire and Eel-Saliini.
The AU envoy praised the government for making troop
generation a priority, saying Somali National Army battalions
are the ones holding liberated territories in these four towns.
"The issue of troop generation to be able to hold on to the
liberated towns was very important," Madeira said.
He added that AMISOM will continue pushing for the
strengthening of the Somali security forces following the recent
success of the joint military operations.
Madeira said conducting joint military operations, protecting
population centers and clearing main supply routes are key
activities that AMISOM is undertaking as part of the
implementation of the Somali Transition Plan, which has the main
objective of transferring security responsibility to the Somali
Somalia and United States
to seize regions under al-Shabab control
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Somalia and U.S. army have resolved to put
pressure on al-Shabab fighters to liberate the Somali people in
remaining militants’ held areas.
Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command (Africom)
who held talks with Hassan Ali Khaire, the prime minister of
Somalia in Mogadishu on Wednesday, reinforced the U.S. army’s
commitment to mutual security interests in the region.
"Evil doers are out there.
"They are looking for an opening and an opportunity to do
"If they could attack U.S. interests and the homeland they
"We can’t give them an opening.
"We must deny them that opportunity," Townsend said in a
statement issued on Wednesday night after his visit to Somalia.
While in Somalia, Townsend met with the U.S. units
responsible for training the Danab, a specially trained Somali
military force engaged in the fight against al-Shabab and
"Along with Somalia and other international partners, we will
apply continued pressure on violent extremist organizations.
"This pressure creates conditions and opportunity for further
political and economic development," Townsend said.
He noted the importance of confronting violent extremist
organizations in East Africa, noting that while terror groups in
Africa currently lack the capability, they possess the will and
desire to attack the U.S. homeland and interests.
The Africom commander visited Somalia as part of his first
trip to the African continent since taking command on July 26.
He said the visit offered an opportunity to assess the
situation in Somalia while reinforcing Africom’s commitment to
mutual security interests in the region.
Charles Bergman, Africom’s integrator for developing security
in Somalia, said the unique level of cooperation between the
multiple international efforts in Somalia has led to more
effective government security forces and their ability to
conduct offensive operations.
"This demonstrates to the Somali people that their national
Army’s capabilities to secure Somalia are growing," Bergman