Al-Shabaab fighters take over three towns from Somalia government
Mogadishu (Alshahid) – The strongest Somali insurgent group al-Shabaab, which has vowed to oust the UN-backed Transition Federal Government (TFG), has seized three towns in Galgudud region from the pro-government Ahlu Sunna movement.
Al-Shabaab took over the towns of El Der, Masagaway and Galad on Friday reportedly without any resistance from the rival group, adds Al Jazeera news.
Al-Shabab fighters control much of south and central of Somalia, as well as part of Mogadishu capital.
The three towns lie on the road linking Mogadishu, the capital, and eastern Somalia, considered to be al-Shabab’s power base.
Sheik Yusuf Kabokudukade, a senior al-Shabab official was up-beat and said; “We have overrun those who tried to stop the efforts to spread Islam in Somalia. With the power of Allah we have taken control of three districts in Galgadud region,”
Al-Shabaab, which the US says is linked to al-Qaeda, has vowed not to stop at anything until they take control of the whole region from the ‘enemy of Allah’.
Ahlu Sunna and the government signed an agreement last month to work together against al-Shabab but the loss of the three towns from Ahlu Sunna controlled region is devastating to the alliance.
A US-based Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday that although the Islamist group had achieved some stability in once volatile areas, this has come with a price of brutality and human rights violations in areas under their control.
The UN special representative to Somalia said on Thursday that there could be no peace in Somalia without national reconciliation.
The special envoy attributed the endemic violent conflicts in Somalia to the belief by every tribe or faction that it has a right of veto even when an internationally recognized government is in place.
These sentiments were supported by the secretary-general of the Arab League Amr Mussa, who urged Somalia’s dissenting groups to join in the peace process and support the legitimate transitional government so as reconstruction of Somalia can commence successfully.
Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991 and is on the verge of total collapse.