The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali government are planning joint military operations in Middle Jubba region, to flush out Al-Shabaab remnants.
The joint operations will involve troops from AMISOM, Jubbaland State Forces and the Somali National Army.
Speaking after holding talks with the Jubbaland State Deputy President, H.E Mohamud Sayid Aden, the AU Mission’s Deputy Force Commander in-charge of Operations and Plans, Major General Charles Tai Gituai, said the military operations are contained in the new Concept of Operations (CONOPs) document, which was approved by the African Union in November.
The document will guide AMISOM’s operations during the 2018-2021 period, which also marks AMISOM’s final transition and eventual exit from Somalia.
“We met the (Deputy) President of Jubbaland and held discussions on how to implement the Concept of Operations, which was approved by the African Union in Addis Ababa on 30th November this year,” explained Maj. General Gituai.
“We also discussed the issue of joint military operations; how best we can work together with Jubbaland State Forces and Somali National Army, in conducting targeted operations,” he revealed.
Middle Jubba is believed to be one of the last hideouts of Al-Shabaab militants, who have been driven out from most parts of the country. The militants have resorted to waging asymmetric war tactics to stay relevant.
Mohamud Sayid Aden, the Jubbaland Deputy President said preparations for the joint military operations were at an advance stage.
“The objective of this visit is to coordinate AMISOM troops operations in Jubbaland with Jubbaland State Forces and the Somali National Army, to be able to conduct joint military operations,” Mr. Sayid said.
He stated that Jubbaland administration and its partners were working on an elaborate plan to liberate Middle Jubba region from Al-Shabaab control.
Maj. General Gituai, who was accompanied by senior AMISOM military officials, also held discussions with sector commanders of multinational AU troops based in Kismayo. He lauded the troops for their dedication and exemplary work that has contributed to the relative peace in Jubbaland State.
“The visit is important because, we need to talk to our troops, get to know their needs and also motivate them to continue working hard in their duties,” Maj. General Gituai noted.
The Deputy Force Commander and his delegation also visited Dhobley in sector two and plan to visit Baidoa, Belet Weyne and Jowhar, to assess the welfare of troops and the level of coordination between them and the regional forces in the Federal Member States.