The Somali Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khayre has claimed that the offensive against al-Shabaab insurgents has intensified, leaving them increasingly cornered and unable to regroup as an effective fighting force.A statement from his office on Saturday quoted him emerging from a meeting of national security stakeholders witnessed by representatives of the international community, saying that despite recent spates of deadly attacks on Mogadishu in which over 300 people were killed, there has been no letup in the pursuit of the insurgents by AMISOM peacekeepers and Somali army personnel.
PM Khayre, who opened the security meeting in Mogadishu over the weekend, said it was a follow-up on a London conference in May aimed at tackling the challenges of returning Somalia to normalcy over 25 years after it descended to full-scale civil strife.
He said the federal government is increasingly confident that the Somali National Army has an improved capability to operate as an independent force capable of protecting citizens from al-Shabaab.
According to the statement from his office, the Somali Defense Ministry has sent security experts to various regions of the country in a bid to coordinate strategies aimed at defeating the insurgents.
Prime Minister Khayre informed representatives of the international community at the meeting that although security and stability was slowly returning to Somalia, their role in stabilizing the country should not be curtailed until the ultimate victory against the insurgency was achieved.
He enjoined them to help sensitive the local population on how to deal with the security problems posed by Shabaab whose operatives still control large swathes of south-central Somalia.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Mr. Francisco Madiera, EU Ambassador, Veronica Lorenzo, and UK, US, Ugandan, Ethiopian, Chinese and Kenyan officials attended the meeting.