AMISOM troops have captured the town of Buur-Hakba located 64km from Baidoa in the region of Bay, the command of the peacekeeping force said on Wednesday.
According to an AMISOM statement, the latest territorial gain was made with the help of Somali government forces and represented a “significant loss” to al Shabaab given its strategic location as a base for the group to plan and launch attacks against government forces and installations.
The latest military success follows the capture of other towns such as Janaale, Aw-dheegle and Barrir and an airfield 20kms north of Jowhar in the Lower Shabelle region.
AMISOM accused al-Shabaab whose fighters still control large swathes of southern Somalia of extortion from the town’s residents.
Reacting to the news, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Mahamet Saleh Annadif said the military campaign in the area was to link Mogadishu and Baidoa.
“Securing the Afgooye-Baidoa road will allow for free flow of civilian traffic from Mogadishu to Baidoa which until now has been restricted. It will also facilitate the provision of much needed humanitarian assistance to the local population,” Annadif was quoted saying by the AMISOM statement.
He said AMISOM will continue to push for more territories and liberate Somalis from the clutches of al-Shabaab.
Somalia has been without a functioning government since the overthrow of President Said Barrie in 1991, a situation which plunged the country into clan warfare for over two decades.
Source African Press Agency
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