East African leaders have decided to make a final push to defeat al Shabaab in Somalia, according to a joint statement issued on Wednesday.The decision was reached after Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Kenyan President William Ruto and Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud attended a summit in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital on stepping up regional efforts to stabilize Somalia and eradicate terrorism.
The summit convened in the wake of the ongoing targeted and sustained campaign by the Somali Security Forces aimed at degrading the capability of all terrorist groups.
In a joint statement, the heads of state said there is a need for new partnerships and enhancing solidarity among the neighboring states to stand by Somalia in a united fight against the terrorists.
The leaders “agreed to make the final push for joint operations in the areas that remain under the terrorists to completely liberate the whole of Somalia from al Shabaab,” the statement read.
The leaders further agreed to facilitate the drawdown of ATMIS troops and the gradual handing over of security responsibilities to the Somali Security forces.
In a 15-point discussed solution, the summit also requested international partners to support Somalia’s stabilization efforts in the newly liberated areas.
“This will facilitate the federal government to enhance its service delivery and extend its authority,” the statement read.
They also commended the advancement made in developing capabilities in managing weapons and ammunition regime, endorsing Somalia’s quest to completely lift the arms embargo by the end of 2023.
“We also emphasize the importance of establishing a joint border security mechanism that intends to eliminate cross-border terrorism activities and ensures legal passage of trade and movement,” the statement said.