Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed to end the war against al-Shabaab within five months. He made the statement on Friday night at a meeting with the public in Dhusomareb, where he said that his government has prepared a clear plan to achieve victory.
The president said that the government will eliminate al-Shabaab or they will be reduced to small, isolated groups that pose no threat. He added that the government has changed its strategy from focusing on capturing major cities to liberating rural areas, where al-Shabaab is most active.
“When a person sweeps a room, he takes a broom and leaves no garbage,” the president said. “We will sweep the same way.”
The number of al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia is disputed, but estimates range from 7,000 to 15,000. The group has been weakened in recent years by military operations by the Somali government and its allies, but it remains a potent force and has continued to carry out attacks.
The president’s vow to end the war against al-Shabaab is ambitious, but it is a goal that many Somalis share. The group has caused widespread suffering and instability in the country, and its defeat would be a major step forward for Somalia.
The government’s plan to liberate rural areas is a key part of its strategy. Al-Shabaab has traditionally been strongest in rural areas, where it has been able to exploit poverty and lack of governance. By liberating these areas, the government will deprive al-Shabaab of its base of support and make it more difficult for the group to operate.
The war against al-Shabaab is likely to be long and difficult, but the president’s vow to end it within five months is a sign that the government is committed to victory. With international support, the government has a good chance of achieving its goal and bringing peace to Somalia.