Somalia: Puntland can defeat al-Shabaab without AMISOM troops – leader

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Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas has said that his administration is capable of defeating al-Shabaab militants without ‘’AMISOM’’ troops being deployed to the region, Horseed Media reports.

Mr Ali’s statement late Wednesday statement came hours after Puntland security forces and al-Shabaab militants clashed in the remote coastal province of Nugal.

Somalia’s Federal government officials also said that AMISOM troops will be deployed to the region to help the battle against the extremists.

‘’Puntland is capable of defeating al-Shabaab and there is no any need of AMISOM deployment. They [al-Shabaab] have been here before and we have fought them in Galgala mountain ranges,’’ he said in an interview with the VOA Somali Service.

AMISOM, which was established by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council in January 2007, operates in Somalia’s Southern territories, assisting the federal government in fight against the al-Qaeda-linked extremists.

President Abdiweli Gaas added that his administration just needs part of the military aid given to the Federal government by the International Community in fight against al-Shabaab.

In his interview, he also denied a recent accusation from his minister of Security that al-Shabaab militants that arrived at the Northern coastal province earlier this week had the backing of the Federal government.

Puntland has on several occasions strongly objected on the idea of deploying African Union troops to its region.

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