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The end of Al-Shabab is coming closer, president Hassan

Storyline:National News

Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping forces have launched a major offensive to retake key towns that remained under Al-Shabab control. At least seven major towns were recaptured since September when the new onslaught was launched.

Somali In an exclusive interview with Xinhua in Mogadishu said the federal government is committed to uproot Al-shabab seize the areas under its control.

“I would not say the security is perfect but in the two years the security has improved considerably and now it is improving further” the Somali President told Xinhua.

The Somali leader said the end of Al-Shabab terrorism is coming closer and that his government will defeat the group “as a military force” before the end of this year as its fighters are on the run in the face of Somali government forces and AU troops in many parts of the horn of Africa country.

He said there are now no regions that are under Al-Shabab control, though there are few rural districts under the group’s rule which will soon be brought under government authority.

The Somali President however admitted that “cleaning up” Al- Shabab from Somalia all together will take time as the fighting melt into civilians once they are defeated militarily in order to regroup and relaunch guerrilla-style attacks on government targets.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud on Saturday praised the bilateral relations between Somalia and China as long and historical and has never been severed since diplomatic relations between the two nations was established.

The Somali leader said that ties with China “has always been there” and that it was the insecurity that had prevented Chinese diplomats from operating in Somalia.

“China and Somalia had a very long relationship and a very historical and ancient one. And in modern times Somalia and China are friendly countries,” said the Somali leader who spoke with Xinhua journalists shortly after he returned to Mogadishu following tours to regions retaken from the militant Al-Shabab group.

The Chinese government has been providing humanitarian support for Somalia since the collapse of the central government back in 1991,he said.

The president said Chinese Embassy in Somalia had been closed for more than 20 years, but its reopening on Sunday and the appointment of the new ambassador will further strengthen the bilateral relationship of Somalia and China.

The Somali President said the security situation in Somalia has changed for the better and that the country is now conducive for foreign investment by Chinese and international companies.

Since security is improving in much of Somalia, president Hassan said the country is open for business and called on Chinese companies and entrepreneurs to invest in Somalia where he said there is a lot of opportunities for investment.

He said now is the right time that foreign investors including Chinese companies should come to Somalia and invest in various sectors of the economy.

“Today Somalia is a place that can be invested. There is a lot of opportunities. This is a very rich country in terms of maritime resources, in terms of agricultural resources, in terms of livestock, and in terms of very vibrant people who are entrepreneurs and business-minded,” the Somali leader explained.

He said as the country is emerging from years of conflict his government would give priority to companies that come to Somali and invest early.

“We will give priority to those who pioneer to invest now in Somalia than those who come after five years from now. Those first comers are the real partners for us,” President Hassan said.

Somali President told Xinhua that foreign private companies have already started investing in the country’s sea and airports as two Turkish companies are in joint venture with the Somali government.

He said Somalia hopes China to take a bigger role in investment on key infrastructures and rehabilitation of previously implemented Chinese infrastructure projects including the national theater, the hospital and universities in Mogadishu.

Source: Xinhua