The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) welcomes the death of al-Shabaab’s Chief of External Operations with responsibility for intelligence and security planning, Abdi Nur Mahdi, also known as Yusuf Dheeg, in an airstrike on January 31st, 2015. U.S. forces conducted the strike using unmanned aircraft carrying Hellfire missiles and specifically targeted the Al-Shabaab commander, dealing yet another major blow to the group.
The FGS believes that the killing of the leaders through precision, low risk strikes such as this one, increases the opportunities for bringing peace and stability back to Somalia. The FGS and the US have been cooperating closely for some time to target senior leaders within Al-Shabaab and the FGS will continue to work with our friends and allies in order to completely eliminate the threats posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed groups. The Pentagon Press Secretary, US Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby gave details of the strike to the media on February 3rd, saying, “This operation was, as others have been, an example of the commitment made by the United States government, our allies and partners, to the people and to the government of Somalia. And it goes to show, again, how long our reach can be when it comes to counter fighting groups.”
HE the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has on a number of occasions, offered amnesty to all those within Al-Shabaab who are willing to renounce violence and join the peace process. The killing of hardcore fanatics within the leadership of Al-Shabaab is an opportunity for those trapped within Al-Shabaab, who want to join the peace process. The FGS strongly believes that in the effort to rebuild the Somali nation, every citizen has a role to play and reconciliation and peace process is the only way out of the current chaos in parts of the country.
Once again the FGS reiterates its commitment to all those trapped within Al-Shabaab who are ready to join the peace process: they should come forward now, confident in the knowledge that the FGS will guarantee their safety and assist them in any way it can, as the FGS has previously proved to others who renounced violence such as Sheikh Atom and Zakariye. However, to those who choose to continue to follow the path of violence and destruction, be aware: the FGS and its allies will continue to target you and your network, as we have done previously and will do again and again and again until the threat from Al-Shabaab menace within Somalia and the region as a whole no longer remains. Somalia’s story is now one of success, something of which the FGS and the populace are very proud. Every one of our citizens can be part of that success story – if they choose the right path, the path of peace.