Somali leader says al-Shabab weakened under his tenure

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MOGADISHU, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Somali President Mohamed Farmajo said his administration has intensified fight against terrorism in the country, weakening al-Shabab terror group which has been fighting to topple the internationally-recognized government.

Farmajo who participated in a panel discussion on the country's elections in Mogadishu on Saturday night said al-Qaida allied terror group has lost several grounds which it had previously occupied following a string of defeats.

"Our gallant forces have recovered strategic locations and dislodged the terrorist groups from our midst. With continued support to our security forces, and political stability, we shall win," he said during the discussion which was organized by the think tank, Raas Institute for Political Analysis.

The Somali leader who will seek re-election in February 2021 said his government has reformed armed forces to help secure populations areas where terrorists have organized bombings and attacks against the innocent populations.

He said the contributions of the armed forces have made major achievements in flushing out the militants from their strongholds in southern and central Somalia.

The Somali army, backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), forced al-Shabab extremists out of the capital Mogadishu in August 2011, but the militants still hold swathes of rural areas in southern and central Somalia conducting ambushes and planting landmines as they stage attacks in the city and elsewhere.

During the discussions, the Somali leader engaged the public on current issues of national importance, especially the recently approved electoral agreement, highlighting the government's efforts to hold elections that reflect the country's progress and democracy.

Farmajo emphasized the importance of Somalis to elect a leadership they trust to help steer the country forward. Enditem

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