Al-Shabab Somalia Branch in Decline, But Not Gone: UN Chief

Published: October 29, 2014

15471871719_255dc344c6_oUNITED NATIONS, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – Somalia’s Al-Shabab militants are in retreat but still a threat, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated on Wednesday during a tour of the Horn of Africa.

“Al Shabab’s power is declining, but it is not gone. I congratulate the Somali National Army and AMISOM for their advances and the contributions to peace and stability of Somalia. It is critical that they now secure roads to newly recovered areas to enable commercial traffic and humanitarian access,” Ban said.

The UN chief also called for increased aid to Somalia.

“I am very concerned about the humanitarian situation in this country. Over three million Somalis are in need of humanitarian assistance and unfortunately that number is growing. I urge donors to step up contributions to avert another famine in Somalia,” he stressed.

Turning to politics, the secretary general said “this country [Somalia] is coming together like never before. I especially commend the agreements to form regional administrations. These bodies must be inclusive with strong representation of women and young people.”

“I urge Somalia’s leaders to remain united and focus on the country”s peacebuilding and state building priorities. Somalia needs continuity and stability at this critical time,” he added.

Ban’s trip comes amid a political dispute in which a cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Abdiwali Sheikh Ahmed was rejected by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Since the fall of Siad Barre’s dictatorial regime in Somalia, the federal government, which took power in August 2012 and controls the capital of Mogadishu, is the only legitimate authority in the country recognized by the international community.

The rest of Somalia is under the control of unrecognized state entities. Some areas in southern and north-western parts of Somalia are governed by local clans and radical Islamic movements, including the militant group al-Shabab linked with the international terrorist organization al-Qaeda.

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