Al Qaeda Chiefs Meeting Near Mogadishu – UPDF General

more about geneva; font-size: small;”>Over the weekend AMISOM Force Commander Maj. Gen. Fred Mugisha and his deputy Brig. Gen. Audace Nduwumunsi held discussions on the issue with the Deputy Mayor of Mogadishu Mohammed Iman Icar.

Gen Mugisha later met with the UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Mogadishu Kilian Kleinschmidt.

The city Mayor said government was making arrangements to receive the civilians seeking protection while working with other stakeholders to provide them with immediate needs as appropriate.

Gen. Mugisha said AMISOM was seeking to liberate the population in Afgoye, provide access to the humanitarian community and secure the people of Mogadishu.

“These meetings are part of ongoing consultations with local authorities to ensure that civilians are protected. Afgoye Corridor is home to hundreds of thousands of displaced people, many of whom had initially fled fighting in Mogadishu,” Mugisha said.

“And this area is controlled by al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda backed militants, who have prevented aid agencies from accessing the beleaguered population,” he said.

“Afgoye is also used as a centre for planning and coordinating terrorist attacks on the civilian population in Mogadishu and it is no secret that Al Qaeda leaders frequently hold meetings there to plan such attacks,” he added.

“AMISOM understands and appreciates the concerns of the humanitarian community. However, the choice is either to leave Afgoye in the hands of Al Qaeda or to liberate its people. In any future operations, AMISOM will, as it has done in Mogadishu, take all measures to minimize harm to the civilian population,” he said.


The statements come at a time when UPDF led forces are preparing for a major onslaught on Afgoye to crush the resistance pocket.

Sources tell the attack is hugely imminent possibly later this week. UPDF has made significant steps in liberating Somalia from the deadly insurgents.

In August 2011, AMISOM helped expel the Al Qaeda backed militants from Mogadishu, significantly improving the security situation and allowing international aid agencies to deliver supplies to the city.

Partly as a result, the humanitarian situation in the country has eased and in January, the UN declared that the famine had ended.

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