The only way to defeat al-Shabab is to attack them and to also fend off their attacks, this is according to the African Union Special Representative for Somalia, Francisco Madeira.
“Disrupting al–Shabab means going after them and not waiting for them to come to us. The correct tactic is both defence and attack. We need to attack al-Shabab,” Ambassador Madeira, said.
He was addressing a meeting of top military commanders of the Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in the capital Mogadishu. He said taking the fight to al-Shabab was key to deny them room to plan and execute their heinous acts that have cost the lives of hundreds of civilians.
Disrupting al–Shabab means going after them and not waiting for them to come to us. The correct tactic is both defence and attack. We need to attack Al-Shabaab.
He further reiterated the resolve of the SNA and AMISOM to ensure that the upcoming polls were peaceful. The African Union has in the recent past stated that a peaceful election would signal a victory against the insurgents.
AMISOM sector commanders and their SNA counterparts have been meeting in Mogadishu to review joint operations ahead of the 2016 electoral process.
“There is no way the elections will be stopped because of the attempt by al-Shabab to disrupt them. We are aware that this is their main aim.”
‘‘They will try as much as possible to frustrate our objective, but we are getting even better prepared to make sure that they do not succeed. I appeal to the entire population and all the electors to go to the polling stations and vote and make the elections a success and not feel intimidated,” Ambassador Madeira said.
He summarized the main role of joint security team as follows: to secure voting centres, important election materials and also provide security for candidates, delegates and the general population.
Somalia’s electoral process is scheduled to begin next month, it has received support from Somalis at home and in the diaspora. The electoral process will culminate in a presidential vote on 30 October.