GOOBJOOG NEWS | DJIBOUTI: U.S Defence Secretary Austin Lloyd has lauded Somalia’s war against Al-Shabaab and pledged his country’s continued support in the fight against terrorism.
Lloyd made the remarks following a meeting with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Djibouti Sunday. The U.S defence chief said the meeting discussed ‘our shared efforts to counter al-Shabaab and acknowledged the courage and sacrifice of the Somali people as we work together to tackle the challenges that lay ahead.’
Villa Somalia said the meeting also focused on ‘’’ further enhancing the Somalia-U.S. security partnership, support for the ongoing offensive against international terrorism, and efforts towards lifting the decades-long arms embargo.’
The meeting was part of Lloyd’s trip to the region. He will be heading to Kenya today where he will be hosted by his defence counterpart Aden Duale.
The meeting with President Mohamud comes amid heightened military activities in Somalia as the renewed war against Al-Shabaab enters the second year. It was not clear if President Mohamud reiterated his country’s call for a delay of the withdrawal of African Union troops.
It emerged this past week that Mogadishu had requested the UN Security Council to delay the withdrawal for 90 days following emerging challenges including the increased Al-Shabaab attacks on Somali National Army positions.
On Saturday, a truck bomb attack killed at least 20 people in the central town of Beletweyne while security soruces said the military intercepted a second truck loaded with explosives on Sunday.