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NEW YORK, September 30 (Itar-Tass) - It is impossible to finally defeat the Islamist group Al-Shabaab until the authorities of the Republic of Somalia take under control the entire territory of the state, President of the African country Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud stated on Sunday in an interview with CNN television.
According to him, Al-Shabaab are losing the battle to the government forces, which are supported by the African Union Mission in Somalia, but despite this, the group retains the ability to carry out attacks against the civilian population. “Al-Shabaab has lost the military front” to African Union and Kenyan forces, Mohamoud said. “When they lost the military, they melted down into the society and then they started” watching people in the streets. “And there they attack.”
The president stressed that the main condition for the destruction of Al-Shabaab is the strengthening of the state power in Somalia and its spread throughout the country. “Without a state that controls the Somali territory, it would be very, very difficult to defeat completely Shabaab,” said Mohamoud. It threatens, in his opinion, not only Somalia and African countries, but also the whole world.
The military victory over the group and liberation of the territories sized by it will be only the first stage, said Mohamoud. According to him, after that the work would be started aimed at the reintegration into society of some of the members of the group, especially the young. The leader of Somalia also said that the United States has been providing to his country strong support in the fight against militants.
The Al-Shabaab terrorists on September 21, 2013 attacked visitors of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi (Kenya), taking about 30 people hostage. According to official figures, at least 68 people were killed and about 300 injured. Al-Shabaab stated that the Nairobi attack was staged in retaliation for Kenyan troops’ participation in combat operations against it in Somalia.
The Jamaat Al-Shabaab or simply Al-Shabaab group (Mujahideen Youth Movement) originated in Somalia in 2004 as an armed wing of the Islamic Courts Union, which sought the introduction of Shariah courts’ authority in Somalia.