Somalia’s prime minister told VOA his government has been successful in suppressing almost daily attacks of hard-line Islamist insurgents, including al-Shabab, who have vowed to overthrow the government to implement the strictest form of the Sharia law.
Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed said that it is in the interest of the international community to help his government eliminate the threat posed by the insurgents. He warned that failure to do so will create a haven for terrorists including, al-Qaida, in Somalia.
“I believe that, if you don’t have a secured environment, there is no way that the government can function. So, it is my first priority to make sure that I have security forces that are capable of defending any al-Shabab advancement to a new area or new territory,” said Mohammed.
“We are also mobilizing our population to help them to understand that this government is an honest government that transparency and accountability are our main priorities, and it looks like the population somehow believes that we are serious about correcting the current situation in our country.”
He further said that his administration is serious about good governance and that, in his words, “We should make sure that this government should be free from corruption and to make sure that every government employee signs a code of ethics pledging that no corruption takes place.”
The hard-line Somali insurgents have refused to recognize the internationally-backed administration and have been battling to overthrow the administration.
Described by Washington as a terrorist organization with strong links to al- Qaida, al-Shabab controls large portions of the capital, Mogadishu, as well as other parts of the country.
Prime Minister Mohammed said his government is reorganizing the Somali security agencies to ensure stability in the capital, Mogadishu, as well as the country.
“Facing al-Shabab, or freeing our people from al-Shabab, is the responsibility of TFG (Transitional Federal Government) armed force (and) that is what everybody should understand. We have eight-thousand Somali troops and now they are ready to take up their challenge and face al-Shabab probably very soon,” said Prime Minister Mohammed.
“We are all grateful for what AMISOM (African Union Forces in Somalia) have done fighting side-by-side (with) our troops and that is a noble thing and we are really grateful for what Uganda’s army and Burundi’s army have contributed to bring peace and stability to Somalia.”
AMISOM is an active regional peacekeeping mission in Somalia, which is operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations.