Ethiopia, Somalia eye shift from military to economic cooperation
In the past few days, the army retook several villages in central Somalia from Al-Shabaab without encountering stiff resistance, according to the military.
BELEDWEYNE, Somalia - Somalia's armed forces backed by armed villagers made significant early gains against Al-Shabaab militants in central regions, where most heavy fighting is taking place.
In the past few days, the army and their local allies retook several villages in central Somalia from Al-Shabaab without encountering stiff resistance, according to the military.
The newly liberated villages on Tuesday are Booco located on the outskirts of Beledweyne within the Hiran region under HirShabelle and Sinadhaqo near Dhusamareb city, Galmudug state capital.
In Sinadhaqo, according to the residents, there was an IED explosion that targeted Somali government forces resulting in unspecified casualties. Al-Shabaab fled the two areas to nearby strongholds.
The Minister of Defense Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur and the Chief of the Armed Forces Gen Odowa Yusuf Rage went to the Yasooman area of the Hiran region after its liberation this week from Al-Shabaab to boost the morale of the troops on the ground.
But the war is likely to go on for some significant period of time as there are a huge number of Al-Shabaab fighters that are in the central regions, where they ruled for over 10 years with an iron fist.
The president of Somalia Hassan Sheikh announced last month that his government is committed to defeating Al-Shabaab within a year and added that it will leave a stone unturned to restore peace.
He affirmed Ethiopia’s readiness to work at various levels with the new Somali government “with particular emphasis on economic growth,” according to a statement from Abiy’s office.