AMISOM and SNA Senior Commanders agree on new plans for joint operations against Al-Shabaab (23.11.2016)

ALJAZEERA Somali AMISOM

Mogadishu, 23 November 2016Senior military officers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army will undertake major military operations to liberate areas still under Al-Shabaab control.

The plans for the offensive against the militants were firmed up during a three-day meeting in Mogadishu, chaired by AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh.

In attendance was the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces of the Somali National Army (SNA) Maj. Gen. Ali Bashi Mohamed. “We are going to plan and come up with a common operation, fighting side by side against Al-Shabaab,” Lt. Gen. Soubagleh said.

The SNA Deputy Chief of Defence Forces said the meeting had further strengthened cooperation between the join forces, in countering militant insurgency. “We agreed to work closely to flash out the enemy from the country. There has never been a better time for SNA and AMISOM to come together like now,” General Ali Bashi noted.

The commanders will reconvene soon to finalize plans for joint operations.

Key issues discussed in the three day meeting included strengthening the SNA, in preparation for AMISOM’s exit from Somalia in 2018.

Dr. Omar Abdulle Alasow, the senior International Humanitarian Law/ Human Rights Advisor to AMISOM made a presentation to the senior military officers on the international rules governing the use of force in AMISOM and SNA military operations including the implementation of the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP) on UN support to non-UN security forces.

AMISOM has put in place mechanisms for preventing, mitigating and strengthening compliance of International Humanitarian Law, to reduce the risks of grave human rights violations by troops. “It also has policies designed to investigate and take necessary disciplinary measures against erring uniformed personnel,” Dr. Omar noted.

African Union Special Representative urges continued assistance for Somalia’s security forces

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Mogadishu, 29 August 2016 – The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, on Monday urged international partners to increase their support to the Somali National Army (SNA), describing the fight against militant insurgency by Al-Shabaab as at a “critical stage.”

Speaking at the conclusion of a six-day meeting of Force Commanders of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the SNA, Ambassador Madeira said a needs assessment task undertaken by both AMISOM and the Somalia National Army (SNA) was complete.

“The next step requires concrete operational commitments, logistical commitments and intelligence gathering commitments. It is something that cannot be done by SNA alone, AMISOM or development partners alone. It is something that can be effectively and successfully done with convergence and concurrence of all the three stakeholders,” Ambassador Madeira observed.

Madeira said following the assessment task a committee would soon be established to determine the requirements of training camps to be set under the Guulwade Plan, launched by the Somali Ministry of Defence, which outlines the SNA’s arms and equipment needs for effective joint operations with AMISOM. Under the plan, a total of 10,900 SNA troops, comprising units from the regions, would receive support from international partners for participation in joint operations with AMISOM.

The conference was attended by the AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh; SNA Chief of Defence Forces, Maj. Gen. Mohamed Aden Ahmed; SNA Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Brig. Gen. Ali Bashi, UN representatives and other senior AMISOM and SNA officers.

“We have been planning and preparing to ascertain the conditions for execution of offensives to disrupt, degrade and deny Al-Shabaab their freedom of movement and access to safe havens across Somalia,” Gen. Soubagleh noted.

Speaking on behalf of his troops, the SNA Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Brig. Gen. Ali Bashi promised its full participation in joint operations.

“We take AMISOM as a reliable partner. We will improve the way in which we coordinate. We will build the level of trust and build further on the meetings that we have had by meeting more regularly at all levels,” Brig Bashi added.

The meeting was meant to foster cordial working relations between the officers and enhance collaboration in operations against Al-Shabaab.

AMISOM Acting Force Commander Concludes Tour of Kismayo, Dobley and Bilis Qoqani In Sector 2

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African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) acting Force Commander  Major General Mohamedesha Zeyinu has concluded an extensive tour of Sector 2, where he commended troops for their remarkable work in securing Somalia.

Maj-Gen. Mohamedesha visited troops in Dhobley, Bilis Qoqani and Kismayo to assess the situation on the ground, get apprised on security concerns, address administrative issues and the challenges facing the forces.

Addressing troops drawn from the Burundi National Defence Forces, Kenya Defence Forces and the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, the acting Force Commander said the secret in defeating Al Shabaab lay in planning and building close working relationship with the local community.

“The reason why we should build a strong relationship with the population is clear. If we handle the population well, they will be a good source of information and they will share the information with us. The more the population approaches us, the more the enemy will be isolated from the population. We will build a strong relation not only to benefit the population but ourselves”, the acting Force Commander said.

During the visit Maj-Gen Mohamedesha visited the Somali National Army (SNA)  training camp and said AMISOM would  support the force by offering them more training opportunities.

He noted that SNA forces were drawn from local communities and had a better understanding of the situation on the ground than their AMISOM counterparts. He encouraged closer working relationships between them and AMISOM troops.

‘’The other issue is about SNA, SNA Forces have an advantage as their understanding the area of operation well. They know the enemy and tactics, they know the terrain and moreover they know the culture and the norms of the society better than AMISOM Forces. Because of these capabilities we need to work closely with SNA so that we can differentiate, Isolate and decisively fight with Al shabaab”, Maj-Gen Mohamedesha added.

The acting Force Commander also met with Interim Jubba Administration President, Ahmed Mohamed Islam. The two discussed  ways of dealing with Al Shabaab to liberate the little pockets still under the control of the terror group.