President William Ruto made a historic trip to Mogadishu, Somalia, on Wednesday, February 1, to participate in a joint Heads of State and Government summit aimed at putting an end to violent extremism in the region. Accompanied by the Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale, President Ruto joined other leaders in the frontline states of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, as they gathered to tackle the pressing issue of terrorism.
The summit, led by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, was a testament to the ongoing efforts of the Somali Security Forces to diminish the operations of all terrorist groups in the country. In an official document from the summit, the leaders showed their commitment to continuing to support the Federal Government of Somalia in its fight against terrorism.
“The Summit applauds President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s vision of a comprehensive, all-government approach to defeating terrorists through military, financial, and ideological means,” the document stated.
The heads of state also agreed to launch joint operations in the remaining areas under attack to fully liberate Somalia from Al-Shabaab. With this move, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia troops would be drawn down and security responsibilities gradually transferred to the Somali security forces.
President Sheikh emphasized the urgency of a joint operational strategy against Al-Shabaab, acknowledging the need for regional support. The recent increase in Al-Shabaab attacks in northern Kenya, including the tragic shooting of a pregnant mother of nine, highlights the pressing need for action.
This historic summit marks a new chapter in the East African region’s commitment to bringing stability to Somalia and eradicating terrorism for good.