Somalia army prepares to take over national security from AMISOM

Somali authorities have been meeting in Mogadishu to lay groundwork for Somalia to take control of its own security from the African Union.

This comes after Al-Shabaab’s most recent attack in Mogadishu where a vehicle laden with explosives was used to carry out a massive explosion targeting a police station.

At least ten people including security officials lost their lives.

The attack – a stark reminder of the challenges facing Somalia and its security partners.

On Tuesday, authorities held a meeting with security partners to discuss transitioning security to Somali forces from the African Union forces AMISOM.

Mogadishu currently relies on support from a multinational peacekeeping force drawn from several African countries – the mission is due to come to an end in 2018.

Authorities have over the years been training thousands of troops that are expected to replace AU soldiers who’ve waged a ten-year campaign against al-Shabaab – the al-Qaeda proxy in the Horn of Africa.

The group has killed hundreds of peacekeepers over the years – including more than a hundred Kenyan soldiers at a military base in January 2016.

Somalia’s leader has called on security chiefs to eliminate al-Shabaab within two years – but argues that for this to be realised, an arms embargo against Mogadishu must be lifted – a move that’s also supported by the African Union.

On the streets of the capital – relative stability has been restored – a stabilization forces has thwarted several Al-Shabaab attacks over the past month.

And on key roads – security forces inspect vehicles – and disarming potential threats to peace.

ISIL also remains active in northern Somalia – posing a deadly threat to Puntland forces – the region lost more than fifty soldiers recently after militants overran a military base in the mountainous regions of Galgala.

“Al-Shabaab has overran several Somali military bases including those belonging to AMISOM – forcing the military to abandon some of its forward operating bases – but as AMISOM plans to handover security to Somalia – many have expressed concern over the preparedness of the country’s military and whether it’s the right time to go it alone.