Mogadishu – A militaryoffensive operation conducted by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somalia National Army (SNA) in the Lower Shabelle region has resulted in a crushing defeat of Al-Shabaab militants, who lost control of the areas of Basra.
Basra had been under the control of Al-Shabab and was the base from where they launched deadly attacks on AMISOM, SNA and innocent civilians. Last week’s successful joint operation was conducted by the SNA’s Eagle Battalion, supported by AMISOM troops from the Uganda and Burundi contingents.
The operation began on 16 October 2021 and concluded on 22 October 2021, with the objective of clearing Al-Shabaab militants from their positions.
“AMISOM stands ready to continue working with the SNA in degrading Al-Shabab and take control of more areas to protect the population and extend state authority,” said the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, in reaction to the Basra operation.
“Across Somalia, Al-Shabaab has lost control of large territories as a result of the bravery, sacrifice and coordinated operations between the SNA and AMISOM troops. Per our Concept of Operations, we are forging ahead with degrading Al-Shabaab and putting it on the backfoot,” he added.
The commander of AMISOM Sector 5 troops, Brig Gen Télesphore Barandereka said the concrete results being achieved on the military front are a result of joint planning and execution with the SNA, as well as the support of civilians.
“AMISOM and SNA forces have done an excellent job during this operation to push Al-Shabaab out. The militants are on the run and living on the margins of society as outlaws. With sustained offensive operations, we are optimistic that the people of Middle Shabelle shall live free of the terror and extortion of Al-Shabaab,” Gen Barandereka said.
The week-long offensive operation started with AMISOM and SNA troops pursuing the militants from their hideouts, all the way into Baghdad town. The joint forces then intercepted the fleeing Al-Shabaab units at Bandar Salam, approximately 1.5km South of Basra and at Buulo Barwaarok, some 7.5km northeast of Basra.
After the successful operation, the Sector 1 Commander, Brig. Gen. Don Nabasa, said taking control of Basra was important as the terrorist group had been using that location as a base to launch lethal attacks on AMISOM and SNA bases and innocent civilians.
“Basra was also used to assemble and transport Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and to extort money from farmers and local traders by imposing illegal levies and fines”, said the Sector 1 Commander.
AMISOM troops conducted the operation in line with the mandate and responsibility to conduct targeted offensives against Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups (AOGs).