The government in Mogadishu says al-Shabaab militants have been cornered and overran thanks to a spirited military campaign against their insurgency in the dwindling pockets of territory under their control.Prime Minister Hamse Abdi Barre, chaired a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the country’s security situation and the arms embargo which has been on Somalia for decades.
al-Shabaab have been waging a bloody insurgency to topple the Somali federal government in favour of a puritanical version of Islam since 2006.
Since 2011, an African Union-led military campaign has helped the Somali military push back the insurgents from swathes of Mogadishu and surrounding regions.
Officials from the Ministries of Defense and Internal Security reported on operations to free more territory from al-Shabaab control, a campaign which has achieved spectacular successes, especially in Galgaduud, Hiraan and Middle Shabelle regions.
Operations to wipe out the insurgency have killed more than 2000 insurgents in the last four months, according to a statement by the government.
Prime Minister Barre was quoted as saying that the militants’ time is running out.
The meeting proposed the establishment of a committee consisting of an executive committee and a technical committee that will work on implementing the government’s planned targets of ensuring the complete lifting of an arms embargo on the country.
This will be implemented within a year, according to a government timeline.
Last November despite strong objections from Mogadishu, the UN Security Council voted to maintain the arms embargo, arguing that the militants still carry a serious threat to peace and stability and that such measures are necessary to downgrade their capacity to cause harm.
During the meeting, the bill for the Security and National Intelligence Agency, a bill to combat terrorism and another for the Immigration and Nationality Agency of Somalia were also discussed.