President Mohamed Farmaajo returned to the country Wednesday follow a tour of three countries to marshal support and resources for an expected offensive against the militant group Al-Shabaab in the wake of a deadly terror attack in the city. Addressing the media upon arrival from Djibouti, the President Farmaajo said he had secured the commitment of Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti to reinforce the country’s military to counter Al-Shabaab.
The president has laid blame on Al-Shabaab for the October 14 attack at Zope Junction in Mogadishu which claimed over 300 lives but the group has gone silent over it.“We traveled to seek support to double the fight to liberate the country from Al-Shabaab and we succeeded by the grace of God,” the president said adding, “The leaders promised they will respond to our request which is strengthening our army by equipping them with the needed tools.”
He called for unity to fight Al-Shabaab and stabilizing the country reiterating his earlier call for solidarity with the national army.“In order to avoid the sadness of Zope from happening again, we have to stand up for the defense of our country and fight our enemy so that they cannot find the opportunity to continue harming us.” Farmaajo started three country tour in Uganda Sunday where he met his Uganda counterpart Yoweri Museveni.
A tweet from the President’s account noted the two leaders had fruitful discussions on the supporting the offensive.“We agreed that we will continue to work hard and to bring our resources to fight against these terrorists,” said Farmaajo after meeting his Ethiopian host Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.“I am here to seek the solidarity of our brothers here in Ethiopia, and now I will go to Djibouti to do the same thing and to unite in this war against Al-Shabaab which is real threat to the peace and stability of the region,” the President told the media in Addis Ababa.
President Farmaajo is expected to chair the National Security Council Saturday bringing together heads of regional government and army chiefs. Newly appointed army chief Major General Abdiweli Jama Hussein said Monday the extermination of Al-Shabaab was critical to allow exit of Amisom forces. “As time approaches for AMISOM to exit, we will continue to work hard together with AMISOM so that the SNA can assume responsibility for the security of the country and we will say thank you,” he stated, while stressing the need to eradicate Al-Shabaab to pave way for a smooth AMISOM exit.