The African Union Mission in Somalia is in early preparation for the holy month of Ramathan.
At the core of their preparations is heavy deployments against possible attacks by the al Shabaab militants.
The Amisom Contingent Commander for Sector One (Uganda), Brig Paul L’Okech, said on Thursday the assignment will largely be done by the Somali National Army and the Local Police.
He was addressing Ugandan journalists at the military base in Mogadishu.
He said Amisom troops are already vigilant and ready to reinforce the police and other local authorities in case of attacks.
“The al Shabaab usually want to use Ramathan to carry out attacks, but we are on ground and all places are already secured,” Brig L’Okech said.
The main targets for the militants usually include common meeting places such as markets, hotels, Amisom bases and other busy centres in the urban areas.
Before Brig L’Okech’s address to the Ugandan journalists visiting Mogadishu, troop commanders at the Forward Operating Bases were involved in community dialogue characterised by meetings between village chiefs and clan elders.
This is all intended to build harmony, in the run up to Ramathan, but also as a continuous undertaking for long lasting solutions against the al Shabaab.
In the Lower Shabelle region, for instance, UPDF commanders in Ceeljalle, Shalamboot and Buufow held continuos back-to-back meetings with local leaders in the pursuit for peace.
Col Bonny Bamwiseki, the Group Commander for Battle Group 22, operating in Lower Shabelle said this is one of the strategies to bring together the masses and win the enemy without using armed measures.
“These are the same people, one colour, one language and one tribe, why do they have to kill one another?” Col Bamwiseki said.
The al Shabaab is a militant group battling the UN-backed government in Somalia and it is believed to have the backing of al-Qaeda terrorist.
It has carried out a string of attacks across the region, and despited having lost most of its battle fronts to the Amisom forces, it remains with potential threat.
The group taxes the business community, and to make it potent, it lives within the communities and only strike when chance prevails.
Source: Daily monitor