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AMISOM force commander calls for improved relations with Somali forces and communities to defeat Al-Shabaab

Storyline:National News, Security

The Acting AMISOM Force Commander Major General Mohammedesha Zeyinu has stressed the importance of building on the partnership between AMISOM troops and the Somali National Army (SNA) to win the war against Al Shabaab.

Gen.  Zeyinu added cooperation and mutual relations between AMISOM and local communities was key to liberating more areas still under Al-Shabaab control. He called on his troops to create a closer working relationship with communities.

“To create good relations with the people is necessary. If we enhance these relations, the people will give us timely information, also important for our co-existence,” said the Acting Force Commander.

There have been reports of poor relations between AMISOM and local communities leading to lack of intelligence sharing and cooperation in the fight against Al-Shabaab.

Liberated areas

Gen. Zeyuni spoke at the conclusion of his tour to recently liberated towns of Biyo Adde, and El Baraf, which were captured by the Burundi contingent.

Major General Zeyinu also visited Leego in Sector 3 and Baledogle in Sector 1, which are under the Ugandan contingent of AMISOM. Al-Shabaab attacked the AMISOM base in Leego last year with reports that up to 50 Ugandan soldiers were killed.

Zeyuni sought to ensure that the Sectors were prepared to conduct operations to flush out Al Shabaab from the remaining pockets inside Somalia.
“Al Shabaab in any dimension is weaker than AMISOM and SNA Forces. As you have seen in your current operations, they are not able to confront you directly,” said Major General Zeyinu while addressing troops in El Baraf.

AMISOM said in a statement Monday the visits to AMISOM Forward Operation Bases (FOB) were aimed at boosting the morale of the Forces. The Acting Force Commander complimented AMISOM and SNA troops for reducing the threat posed by Al Shabaab and other armed groups.

The tour by the Acting Force Commander was to assess the implementation on the ground, of decisions made during the Sector Commanders Conference in Mogadishu, said AMISOM.

Safety of communities

The Acting Force Commander urged his troops to ensure safety of communities in their vicinity.  “While you are in your defensive positions, your defence should be an active one, which focuses on protecting all areas of responsibility by conducting continuous day and night patrols; preparing organized defence positions, effective firing plans, strengthened positions and by being active and vigilant. This will not permit the enemy to carry out surprise attacks on you,” noted Zeyuni.

“Our mandate is to free Somalia from Al Shabaab threat, to create a favorable environment for peace and stability and open doors for the Peace loving Somali people to achieve economic development. Therefore you need to prepare for more tasks until Al Shabaab is destroyed,” added Gen. Zeyuni.