Somalia’s regional administration of Jubbaland is ready to launch a significant military offensive against al-Shabaab militants, the leader has said.
Addressing journalists in the port town of Kismayo, President Ahmed Madobe said that ‘’Operation River Jubba’’ will be launched soon and aimed at liberating the towns and areas controlled by the militants in the provinces of Lower and Upper Jubba.
‘’We are ready to drive out al-Shabaab militants from this region. The operation and troops are ready, it could be any day,’’ he said.
The operation is the most ambitious by the Jubbaland forces against the militants, who have unleashed a torrent of attacks against top security installations in the capital of the state, Kismayo over the past few months.
Jubbaland forces will heavily rely on the support from the Ethiopian and Kenyan troops, which are part of the African Union peacekeeping forces.
Since 2012, Al-Shabab lost key strongholds to the AU troops and Somali national army, but the group has since carried out deadly attacks in the country and neighbouring Kenya