The United States is increasing its military assistance to Somalia as the country sees success in battling what the US calls “the largest and most deadly Al Qaida network in the world”.
Sixty-one tons of weapons and ammunition arrived on Tuesday in Mogadishu, the US said in a statement of support for a historic Somalia-led military offensive against Al Shabab extremists that has recaptured dozens of communities since August.
The government of Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared “total war” last year on the thousands of Al Shabab extremists who for more than a decade have controlled parts of the country and carried out devastating attacks while exploiting clan divisions and extorting millions of dollars a year.
The current offensive was sparked in part by local communities and militias driven to the brink by Al Shabab’s harsh taxation policies amid the country’s worst drought on record. Somalia’s government quickly lent support. Now neighbours Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti have agreed to a joint “search and destroy” military campaign.
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