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Resource shortage for Amisom and SNA derailing war on Al-Shabaab, Africom

Storyline:National News, Security

An overstretched Amisom force and endemic deficiencies within the Somalia National Army risks providing impetus for Al-Shabaab increased operations in Somalia and the rest of East Africa, US Africa Command has warned.

Africom chief Gen David Rodriguez said efforts by international forces to prop the Somali Army has not produced substantial gains adding the army is still largely dependent on foreign support on its daily operations.

“The Somali National Army remains dependent on foreign forces to conduct operations and is challenged by leadership, logistical support and clan factionalism,” Gen Rodriguez told the US Senate panel.

The European Union implemented its 20 per cent cut on Amisom support in January raising concerns among troops contributing countries especially in what they termed as crucial phase for the Amisom operations in Somalia.

Senate brief

In his brief to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen Rodriquez warned though Al-Shabaab had lost significant ground in Somalia, the group still had the capacity to regroup and launch attacks beyond Somalia.

“Financial and territorial losses inside Somalia could bolster the group to broaden its terrorist agenda throughout East Africa,” Gen Rodrigues said.

His remarks come in the wake of heightened US air and ground operations in Somalia in the past week which has resulted in deaths of over 150 Al-Shabaab militants.

A US drone strike last week hit Raso camp in Central Somalia killing over 150 Al-Shabaab militants. Another helicopter borne operation Wednesday night killed 11 militants.

August elections

General Rodriguez said areas not under government control in Somalia were providing territory for Al-Shabaab in which it can evade security forces and continue launching attacks on regional countries, European and American interest.

The run up to elections in August remains delicate and is likely to increase political tension in the country especially if the government does not deliver in its pledge on the polls, Gen Rodriguez noted.