Somalia: AMISOM says working closely with Somali forces to degrade al-Shabab

Somali Officials Vow to Retake Puntland Town
FILE - Members of Somalia's al-Shabab militant group patrol on the outskirts of Mogadishu, March, 5, 2012. Analysts say that the fight against the insurgency may be moving into the north of the country, to regroup in the semiautonomous region of Puntland after coming under heavy pressure from three foreign armies in southern Somalia.

on Saturday dismissed media reports that its troops are not working closely with Somali forces to degrade extremist group al-Shabab.

The AU mission said the reports claiming that AMISOM troops are not fully committed to work together with Somali Security Forces to defeat and downgrade the militants are not true.

The AU mission said its peacekeeping force is collaborating with the Somali security forces to build capacity and bring stability in the Horn of Africa nation by setting up governance structures in areas AMISOM had liberate.

“AMISOM reiterates its commitment to support the government eliminate al-Shabab and continue building capacity of the Somali Security Forces to ensure that all gains achieved so far are well secured and consolidated by the Federal Government of Somalia,” AMISOM said in a statement.

The pan African troops are expected to relinquish the security of the key towns to the Somali forces, through a conditions based transition plan, to allow them to take the lead responsibility as part of the planned exit.