Members of Somalia’s National Consultative Council have agreed to continue with a major military offensive against the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab militant group which began in August last year.
The council, which brings together the leaders of the federal government and regional states, met in the central town of Dhusamareb on Sunday to discuss the fight against the group.
In a statement published on x (formerly Twitter), the presidency said the leaders agreed to co-ordinate the offensive and “align it with the national counter-terrorism strategy” to end the group’s long-running insurgency.
The leaders said they would form “a joint command structure” to manage military operations against militants.
The meeting came hours after the army seized a major al-Shabab stronghold in the central Galgudud region, in what the local media described as a significant blow to the group.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed to defeat the group before the end of 2023.