Security of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has been the concern of African Union forces since quite a while. Finally, the militant threat against the capital came to a halt, as government troops backed by African Union forces captured a major base of the country’s militant group, al-Shabab, on the outskirts of the capital.
When the African Union commander, Major General Fred Mugisha was contacted to comment on the reports, he replied that the operation was necessary to consolidate the security of Mogadishu. Even after the government & AU joint forces took control over most of Mogadishu last year, threats by the militant forces remained and their attacks from their bases on outskirts increased, mostly from Maslah base. A year back, when the Al-Qaeda backed militant group withdrew its forces from the city, it termed the move as “tactical”, and continued to launch attacks in the form of suicide bombings in the city. al-Shabab still manages to control over many southern and central Somalia provinces.
As per the detailed reports on the attack, BBC’s Mohamed Dhore mentioned the AU forces used a couple of choppers during their attack on the militant group’s Maslah base (5km North of Mogadishu). Local residents and UN-backed interim government officials too admitted that they heard loud explosions from Maslah during the clash. The reports and analysis coming in from BBC suggests that the retrieval of AU forces from key locations doesn’t mean giving up the fight at all.