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.