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Al-Shabaab defeated militarily—US

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Saturday April 22, 2017

Lt Gen Osman Noor Soubagleh, the commander of AMISOM, said Al-Shabaab consists of native Somalis and some foreign fighters.

Senior US military officers have said from the military side, African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) has defeated Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab.

They were on Thursday addressing a telephonic press conference at the end of the African Chiefs of Defense conference that took place in Stuttgart, Germany from 18-20 April.

Lt Gen Osman Noor Soubagleh, the commander of AMISOM, said Al-Shabaab consists of native Somalis and some foreign fighters.

"Whenever you fight, they melt with the population and they have not confronted the AMISOM. And we at the AMISOM, we are human.  We look after the humanitarian and the human rights of the indigenous," he said. 

Soubagleh stated that that was the reason they were taking time. "Because we know the law of (inaudible) is for this.  So, Al-Shabaab has no stronghold.  But we avoid them to take collateral damage with the civilians. That is why Al-Shabaab is now dividing."

Praises AMISOM 
Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the commander of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), said from his perspective, AMISOM, which has been in Somalia for over 10 years, has contributed a lot.

"They (AMISOM fighters) have taken a lot of casualties over that time.  They have removed Al-Shabaab from a lot of that country in terms of various locations," he said.

He noted that the time is for Somalia National Army and Somalia National Security Forces to begin to prepare that eventuality (of taking over security) will come at some point in time.

"And I think the key is, that we really concentrate our efforts on training the Somali National Army Forces," Waldhauser added.

He explained that their goal is that the Somali National Security Forces will be prepared to provide for their own security sometime in the 2020/21 when the next series of elections go.

AMISOM has grown from an initial deployment of 1,500 Ugandan soldiers in 2007 to a multi-national African force of over 21,000 soldiers, with troops from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Uganda. Sierra Leone withdrew its battalion of troops in early 2015.


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