The AMISOM troops led by the UPDF have in a joint military offensive with Somali National Army, SNA liberated the bridge town of Jannale, a stronghold of Al-Shabaab, in Somalia.
Jannale, approximately 90km (55 miles) south-west of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital city, has been the hub for terrorists’ operations and activities.
It was where they planned dastardly activities to wreak havoc that saw the killing innocent civilians and destroying of property across Somalia.
On Monday, the AMISOM troops launched an offensive that saw the insurgents flushed out of their hub.
In 2015, Al Shabaab militants stormed a UPDF AMISOM base in Jannale when one of its fighters rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into the perimeter of the base.
Consequently, a team of heavily armed fighters entered the breach and attacked Ugandan troops inside as the base was overrun by the militants in an attack that saw over 10 Ugandan soldiers killed.
The Lower Shebelle region has since been a hotbed for the Islamic insurgents however, the joint offensive on Monday dealt a big blow to them.
Speaking after the operation, Sector one and Ugandan contingent commander, Brig.Richard Otto commended the troops for being resilient and ensuring they liberated the town which has over 30,000 people.
“We have minimized the threat posed by Al Shabaab and their fighting capability has been reduced to small scale attacks on isolated targets,” he noted.
The Deputy Head of Mission for AMISOM, Simon Mulongo, congratulated the troops for the job well done and ensuring stability in Somalia.
“The liberation of Jannale is a major win against terrorism in Somalia. This will destabilize the operations of Al-Shabaab who continue to destroy lives and properties. Increasingly, Somali Security Forces are taking the lead in efforts to degrade Al-Shabaab,” Mulongo noted.
The capture of Jannale is in line with the revised AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPS 2018-2021) and the Somali Transition Plan.
AMISOM forces jointly with Somali Security Forces, have conducted offensive operations in Lower Shabelle to capture the four bridge towns.
They successfully captured Sabiid-Anoole in April 2019, Bariire in May 2019, and Awdheegley in August 2019. As part of measures to secure the coastal areas, the town of Ceel Saliini was also captured by the joint forces in June 2019.
The UPDF was the first army to deploy in Somalia under the AMISOM in 2007 and by then, the Ugandan army was controlling less than 10% of the battered capital Mogadishu, the biggest part being in the hands of the Al Shabaab insurgents.
In some of the fiercest battles, in 2011, the Al Shabaab militants were expelled from Bakara market, which was one of the insurgents’ strongholds in Mogadishu and since then, the jihadists have never returned to Mogadishu.
UPDF’s deployment demystified the saying that AMISOM was a “dead on arrival” mission before opening the way for other countries to send armies in Somalia.
Since their expulsion from Mogadishu, Al Shabaab insurgents loom in other areas mostly in the Lower Shabelle region.
The Ugandan troops are deployed in Sector One in Benadir,(has 16 districts) Banadir, and Lower Shabelle regions having pushed Al Shabaab militants for over 200km away from Mogadishu city.