KAMPALA: The Al Shabaab on Tuesday lost control of key town to African Union forces from Ugandan contingent, South West of Capital Mogadishu.
A statement issued by Ugandan army says in operation code named “Western Sweep,” Uganda Battle Group XV, under the command of Col Silvio Aguma, drove away the militants from Torotoro town, 100km South West of Mogadishu.
The AMISOM forces started the advance from Awdigile to Torotoro at 1500hr on June 1, 2015 and by5:35am, on June 2, 2015; they had covered 40kms and fully captured the town.
“We can confirm that we are fully in charge of the town but we are making a firm base in case of a counter attack.” Col Aguma said in telephone interview, a few minutes after the capture of the town.
He added that the defeated Al shabaab force fled westwards towards Dugul and Bulwakaba which is 40km away from Torotoro. “Intelligence indicates that they are likely to settle at a presumably safe distance from us of up to 100km at Dinsur. But there is no where safe for them,” Col Aguma said.
The town of Torotoro had continued to provide a safe haven to Al shabaab militants since the liberation of Mogadishu and key towns of lower Shabelle by AMISOM and Somali National Army. The Al shabaab had freely operated in this area recruiting, training, indoctrinating and laying Improvised Explosive Devises along Afgoye – Marka – Barawe routes.
“The town also harboured key Al Shabaab leaders, including foreign fighters who planned and coordinated terrorist activities in Mogadishu and Lower Shebelle” Col Aguma said.
Having been displaced from Marka, Jannale, Awdigile and Qoryooley and Barawe, the terrorist misfit had resorted to Torororo as the nearest place of aboard to Mogadishu. Recently, they attempted to overrun a Somali National Army unit at Awdigile, springing their attack from Torotoro.
“Following their attempt on Awdigile, it was urgent that we took this town. They are now on the run. I don’t think it’s wise for a person to be on the run forever. Its time they denounced terror and joined in National Peace building,” Said Col Aguma.
In coordination with the Somalia security forces and international partners, AMISOM forces have showed determination to defeat violent extremism which undermines the peaceful, prosperous and democratic character of the Somali State.