African Union okays plan to liberate all areas under Al Shabaab.

The African Union Peace and Security Council has now approved a new plan of operations in Somalia that will enable peacekeepers to start liberating regions that are still held by Al Shabaab.

Known as the Concept of Operations (ConOps), the blueprint will enable the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) to start with Middle Jubba region to flush out Al-Shabaab remnants at the beginning of 2019.

The operations will be carried out jointly with the Jubbaland State Forces and the Somali National Army. The ConOps was approved by the Council on November 30 and will guide Amisom operations until 2021.

Middle Jubba, which borders Gedo, Bay, Lower Shebelle and the Indian Ocean — is the only region entirely controlled by Al Shabaab, which has been driven out of most parts of the country.

According to Amisom spokesperson Col Richard Omwega, ConOps is part of the implementation of the Somalia Transition Plan, which involves reconfiguring the forces into new sectors in preparation for a conditional handover of security responsibility to Somalia security forces.

“Opening and securing of main supply routes in the country in a priority. It also addresses capacity building of Somali citizens and stabilisation programmes to enhance and sustain peace and security as the country readies for a general election in 2020,” said Col Omwega.

Source: The East African