The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has called on the African Union (AU) and the Somali National Army (SNA) troops to intensify joint security operations to flush out al-Shabab militants in the Horn of Africa nation.
Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire, AMISOM Force Commander, tasked his forces in Hirshabelle region to enhance coordination with SNA for improved peace and security.
“The Force Commander tasked the forces to intensify the training and mentorship of their SNA counterparts through joint planning, coordination and execution of operations in line with the AMISOM transition plan,” the AU mission said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Thursday.
Owoyesigire was speaking during a visit to Johwar as part of the ongoing security assessment across all areas of AMISOM responsibility in Somalia.
The AMISOM commander urged the troops to strengthen relations with the local community through cooperation with the regional administration and undertaking of quick impact projects to address pertaining social infrastructural challenges.
Owoyesigire who met with the Sector five commander Leonidas Niyungeko, lauded the effort and commitment of the AMISOM troops in Hirshabelle region.
“Discussions focused on the security situation in the region, the need to secure the Mogadishu-Johwar supply route and the necessary stabilization efforts,” the mission said.
Aid agencies say the poor state of main supply routes in south-central Somalia had provided conditions for al-Shabab to continue laying ambushes and use explosive devices against AMISOM convoys and Somali national security forces.
Niyungeko said operations would be undertaken to improve the general security of the area, enhance free movement of the local population and enable an environment for trade to thrive.
The AMISOM commander has undertaken similar visits to Baidoa, Beletweyne and Baledogle as part of the ongoing assessment of the AMISOM forces and their operational environment.