BAIDOA [SMN] – Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Sunday presided over the passing out ceremony of fresh troops joining the national army after finalizing the training.
Villa Somalia, the state house said in a statement that Mohamud inspected the SNA’s 60th Division military training facility in Baidoa city, the current seat of Southwest State of Somalia.
In his speech to the Armed Forces personnel, the leader praised the cadets’ dedication, noting that the second phase of anti-terror operations would soon begin in the Southwest regions.
The president has announced recently that the government this year will end Al-Shabaab’s presence in Somalia as the army with the support of locals regained control of more areas.
The head of the state is credited for taking the war inside Al-Shabaab and liberating swathes of territory within 4 months. This dealt a big blow to the militants’ grip.
Al-Shabaab has been fighting for 15 years to oust the UN-backed Somali government which is getting US and AU military support.
Hassan Sheikh is in Baidoa for the Southwest State reconciliation conference which he opened last Tuesday to resolve the current deadlock over Lafta-Garen’s term extension.
Al-Shabaab lost key ground but is still capable of staging high-profile attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country. The group is an Al-Qaeda-linked East Africa ally.