Hassan Sheikh: Gorgor soldiers, important in Al-Shabaab war


DHUSAMAREB, Somalia - President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has backed Turkish-trained Gorgor soldiers otherwise known as the Eagles to do "extremely well" in the ongoing crackdown against Al-Shabaab militants, adding that "I have no doubt that they are important for us".

Gorgor elite troops are trained by Turkey and have significantly grown in numbers in recent days, they have been taking part in various operations against Al-Shabaab across the country, notably in central areas where the military is involved in special operations which have yielded fruits.

At Dhusamareb in Galmadug on Wednesday, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud maintained that Gorgor commandos, just like other military contingents across the country, have been patriotic throughout the period he announced total war against Al-Shabaab militants.

Gorgor soldiers, he said, have been in the Frontline together with US-trained Danab Special Forces, in offering guidance in areas requiring special operations. The government, he added, will ensure HirShabelle and Galmadug states are fully liberated from Al-Shabaab before embarking on the second phase of operations against Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia.

He addressed the commanders, saying, "You are engaged in a war that aligns with Islamic law principles, and Allah will reward you. You are sacrificing your lives for our country to attain the honour and dignity other nations enjoy, and both the government and the Somali people stand by you."

By next year December, it is anticipated that the Somali National Army and other local forces will take full security responsibility from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS]. The peacekeepers have started leaving gradually from Somalia, with already 2,000 exiting.

However, a number of stakeholders want the soldiers to stay a little longer, citing increased Al-Shabaab sporadic retaliatory attacks across many frontlines. For instance, the Somali National Army was forced to withdraw from a number of strategic towns after the military suffered casualties in Cawsweyne village.

Somalia has continued to train soldiers not only in Turkey and the US but also locally in neighboring countries. Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Uganda have been assisting and the newly recruited groups are expected to assume security responsibilities from ATMIS in the coming months, the government said.


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