Somali Prime Minister Hamsa Abdi Barre held a meeting with senior military commanders and the leadership of the Ministry of Defense after visiting the Ministry of Defense Headquarters in Mogadishu yesterday.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Barre discussed intensifying ongoing military operations against al-Shabab in Hirshabelle and Galmudug States. He emphasized that the government’s primary focus is to liberate the country and strengthen the National Army to assume security responsibilities from ATMIS by 2024.
“Our government’s foremost priority is safeguarding the nation and rebuilding our armed forces. When we assumed office, we recognized that our country could not achieve progress until we removed al-Shabab. Only then can we move forward with our plans. A nation plagued by terrorists who detonate bombs daily, taking hundreds of lives, cannot make economic and educational advancements,” He said.
He pledged that the government would address the diverse needs of the Somali National Army to create a well-trained and robust force capable of defending the nation.
In a related development, on Friday night, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud acknowledged that the country’s armed forces had withdrawn from several frontlines following a deadly al-Shabab attack in the village of Cosweyne in central Somalia.
President Mohamud attributed these retreats to technical errors and stressed that measures were being taken to raise awareness among the troops and encourage them to return to the frontlines. He also admitted that the attack had a significant impact on the government.
Reports indicate that Somali government troops retreated from El Dheer, Masagaway, Gal’ad, and Budbud in the Galgadud region after a deadly al-Shabab attack on soldiers in the village of Cosweyne on Saturday.