Locals start mobilization against Al-Shabaab in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A few weeks after pulling back from various frontlines, local militia in Somalia have started serious mobilization against the Al-Shabaab militants, a move which could significantly rejuvenate troops fighting the militants in central parts of the country.
The Somali National Army [SNA] resumed operations in HirShabelle and Galmadug, a few months after the completion of the first phase of operations against the militants. The first phase left over 3,000 militants dead according to the Federal Government of Somalia.
Despite the resumption of operations in central regions, local militia, who have been indispensable in planning and execution during the first phase, the team has been reluctant to return to the battlefield. There were offers recently to have them receive stipends from the government to rejoin the war.
Multiple sources have confirmed the intense activity reported in the vicinity of Cali Fooldheere today as local Ma’awisley fighters and some government troops are mobilizing to have another go at al-Shabaab militants stationed in Ciid Ciidka.
Earlier this week, at least one soldier was killed in an IED explosion in the area. Regional officials are now pushing for a quick positive outcome - which will mean pushing the militants back onto the west side of the river. A helicopter is in the sky targeting the militants, sources added.
The government projects that after the combing exercise is complete in central Somalia, the teams will engage in Operation Black Lion Mission, which will target Jubaland and Southwest states. In these two states, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud had said, that the second phase of operations will be launched by the teams.
Forces from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], US Africa Command, and a section of the Somali National Army [SNA] have already started preparations to participate in the much-anticipated operations. A number of Al-Shabaab terrorists have also surrendered to government troops.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who has been touring central states, acknowledged the immense experience brought forth by the local fighters in the country. The president also encouraged locals to take arms against the militants, who he described as "enemies of peace" in Somalia.