Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


AU forces to advance on Shabaab

13 February 2012, 08:55

Mogadishu - African Union forces in Somalia are planning to attack a stronghold town of Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels to the west of the war-torn country's capital, a commander said on Sunday.

Audace Nduwumunsi, the AU force's deputy commander, said the troops are planning to raid Afgoye town, which is some 30km west of Mogadishu and hosts the biggest population of displaced Somalis.

"The battle for Afgoye will start very soon. We will start attacking Afgoye very soon, but that depends on the circumstances then," Nduwumunsi, told AFP, but did not give an exact date.

"We will avoid civilian casualties," he added.

Much of southern Somalia is under the control of the extremist Shabaab militia fighting to overthrow the Western-backed Somali government.

The 9 700-strong AU force, comprising troops from Burundi, Djibouti and Uganda, protects the government.

The Shabaab abandoned fixed positions in Mogadishu last August, but has continued to carry out grenade and suicide attacks on government targets in the anarchic capital.

In January, the AU urged the United Nations to boost its forces to 17 731 troops from the currently authorised maximum of 12 000.

Kismayo crucial

Nduwumunsi said Burundi and Uganda, which form the bulk of the force, will deploy more troops if the increase is authorised.

The Shabaab have been facing increasing encirclement by regional forces, with Kenya battling the insurgents in the south of the country and Ethiopia stationing troops in western Somalia.

A Kenyan military spokesperson said on Saturday that since Nairobi sent troops to fight the Shabaab in October, the insurgents have been weakened and their revenue sources disrupted.

Nduwumunsi added that the AU troops were also targeting the key southern port town of Kismayo, currently under Shabaab control.

"Kismayo is a crucial target because the Shabaab earn a lot of money from this port. We will take Kismayo come rain come sunshine," the commander said.


Join in the conversation on News24 Kenya’s Facebook page.

Get the latest news by following us on Twitter



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...