Slightly three months after take over of strategic Busar town in Gedo region, notorious Al-Shabaab militants on Sunday morning recaptured Bosaso region after the exit of Puntland soldiers.
newinsideIn March this year, Al-Shabaab militants stormed Busar hours after the exit of Kenya Defense Forces troops. The troops had left the region despite pleadings by locals.
“Our people spotted the troops heading towards the Somali border. They destroyed their military base before leaving,” a senior politician from Gedo, who requested not to be named for fear of reprisals by both KDF and Somali security forces, told the Nation in March.
Incidentally, the town is located in Gedo region, where KDF had suffered a major blow following the death of over 200 soldiers in 2016 following an attack by Al-Shabaab.
And on Sunday, the armed militants were pictured in Bosaso at Af-Urur village celebrating take over after the exit of Puntland soldiers, who have been manning the region.
It could not be immediately established why the soldiers opted out. In 2017, Al-Shabaab militants killed over 48 soldiers in the region.
Al-shabab intensifies military gains against territories under government control, exploiting the internal political rifts and tensions between between Somalia and Kenya over alleged over ocean borders between the too nations. Somali government finds itself in between the Rock and hard place i.e. between Al-shabab’s military gains and Kenya’s threats and mounting diplomatic pressure on Somalia.
Recently Al-shabab militias made signifant military gains in south and eastern regions of Somalia, where “Al-Shabaab fighters moved into Af-Urur village in Galgala mountains, SW of Bosaso after Puntland forces withdrew earlier Sat for undisclosed reasons – sources. Af-Urur was a military base for Puntland. It was the scene of June 8, 2017 attack which left 48 soldiers dead,” Voice of America journalist Harun Maruf tweeted.
The continued take over of major towns that had been liberated could be a major threat to KDF and allied forces. Kenya had tentatively identified 2021 as the year soldiers are expected to have fully withdrawn from the war torn region.
Taken all together, these latest developments are major military setback for the weak Somali government backed by western allies.
HANAHR Editorial team