Top US officials meet with the president of Somalia at the Pentagon

On Thursday, the Somali president met with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin. The meeting’s main goal was to improve Somalia’s military’s ability to combat Al Shabaab, which US generals have called Al Qaeda’s deadliest organization.

“Since June 2022, the Somali National Army (SNA) has been able to work with the local forces to drive Al-Shabaab out of 20% of the previously under their control territory.

We are aware that dismantling Al-Shabaab calls for a multifaceted strategy that takes into consideration inclusive state building, competent and accountable security forces, and the ability of the state to deliver essential services to the populace “declared Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

The gang has been conducting a murderous uprising against the internationally supported government of Somalia.

“Somalia and the Horn of Africa have entered a pivotal phase of transition,” said Lloyd Austin, US Defense Secretary. Given the ongoing wars in Ethiopia and the continuous threat posed by Al-Shabab, which continues to conduct high-profile, heinous, and flagrant atrocities against people, this time period will be particularly crucial. We must work together on this, Mr. President, and we are prepared to do so.

Al Shabaab, which is responsible for an estimated 36% of all militant Islamist group attacks, has been one of the deadliest and most effective terror organizations on the continent this year, according to a research from the Pentagon’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

The gang has also been dubbed Africa’s wealthiest terrorist group; in 2020, it is expected to bring in $120 million through extortion and other illegal means.

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