United Nations Security in November 2013 approved the expansion of AMISOM by a further 4,000 bringing the total strength of the force to 22,126 troops.
The addition has bolstered AMISOM capability to launch the offensive and liberate swathe of Somalia that were under the control of the Al Qaeda branch in Somalia, the Al Shabaab.
In March 2014, Somali National Army supported by African Union troops began military offensives in the various parts of the country.
In Baidoa, the capital city of Bay, joint military operations made significant gains against the Islamist group by liberating the towns that they had controlled for several years.
AMISOM and SNA forces continue to battle Al Shabaab militants out of key locations in Somalia. So far, the joint operations have seen six strategic town liberated; Rabdhure , Hudur, Ted, Weel dheyn and Burdhubow cities in Bakool and Gedo regions in Sector 3.
The joint forces have driven Al Shabaab militants out of Buulo Burde in Hiiran region. The liberation was a significant triumph for the government and allied forces as it was a strategic town for the militant operations.
Buulo Burde served as militant’s supply nerve hub and was home to hundreds of Al Shabaab fighters.
According to the African Union Special Representative for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif , the capture of the various towns serves as major victory for the SNA, AMISOM forces and to the Somali population.
Also the Force Commander, Lt.Gen Silas Ntigurirwa further reiterated the troops’ commitment to enforce peace in Somalia, stating that the joint operations were being carried out with due diligence and strict observance of International Human Rights standards in line with the trainings received by both SNA and AMISOM forces.
“This mission is the pride of Africa and the ultimate success in Somalia will be when its people live in peace and determine their future without intimidation from terror groups,” said Lt. Gen Ntigurirwa.
“The military offensives will facilitate for the extension of the Somali government’s control over its territory as well as enable the people of Somalia to live their lives free from Al Shabaab’s tyranny. Ultimately, sustainable peace in Somalia will be a product of the collective will of the Somali people”, he added.