News / Africa

Progress Claimed Against al-Shabab in Somalia

A soldier serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia takes up a defensive position in a fire fight during their joint AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) operation to seize and liberate territory from al-Shabab militants in Deyniile, Somalia, MayA soldier serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia takes up a defensive position in a fire fight during their joint AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) operation to seize and liberate territory from al-Shabab militants in Deyniile, Somalia, May
x
A soldier serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia takes up a defensive position in a fire fight during their joint AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) operation to seize and liberate territory from al-Shabab militants in Deyniile, Somalia, May
A soldier serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia takes up a defensive position in a fire fight during their joint AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) operation to seize and liberate territory from al-Shabab militants in Deyniile, Somalia, May
Peter Heinlein
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - African Union and Somali government troops are said to be nearing victory in a lightning offensive against al-Shabab insurgents northwest of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

A statement issued Wednesday says African Union forces made “significant progress” in the first 24 hours of an operation in the strategic Afgoye corridor between Mogadishu and the regional capital of Baidoa.

The statement says a senior al-Shabab rebel commander was killed during the fighting and a convoy of cars in which he was traveling was destroyed. It gave no further details, but other top officials linked to al-Qaida have been the targets of drone strikes.

Somalia's Defense Minister Hussein Arab Essa told VOA the first stage of the AMISOM offensive is almost complete.

"They successfully conducted an operation where they inflicted huge damage to al-Shabab and al-Qaida and captured new territories toward Afgoye, and we are hopeful in next 24 to 48 hours we will capture Afgoye and go even further," said Essa.

The heaviest fighting is reported in an area that is home to the largest community of internally displaced people in the world. Four hundred thousand people forced from their homes by famine and war are said to be surviving in squalid camps.

Essa said the two-fold objective of the offensive is to secure the Mogadishu-Afgoye road, and to ensure the safety of civilians.

"The targets are to make sure we connect all regions of Somalia and that operation is on target. However, our mission is always to make sure the safety of the population in the area where the attacks are going to be," said Essa, who spoke to reporters at African Union headquarters, where he is attending talks on Somalia's political transition.

Al-Shabab has held the Afgoye corridor for years in its campaign to topple Somalia's United Nations-backed transitional government. But after being driven out of Mogadishu earlier this year, the rebels have been forced to retreat to their mostly rural strongholds.

Al-Shabab's military weakness has given rise to hope that the political process currently underway might lead to establishment of Somalia's first elected government by August.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid