The defense ministers of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti met in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Tuesday to discuss joint anti-terrorism measures, particularly against the al-Shabaab terrorist group.
Discussions focused on mitigating the terrorist threat to “regional security, in full cooperation with the Somali National Army, the African Union Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and the non-ATMIS forces in Somalia,” the Somali Information Ministry said in a statement.
Somali Information Minister Daud Aweis said the meeting was “crucial” to boost regional anti-terrorism efforts.
Somalia has been waging war on all fronts against al-Shabaab and has decided to bring on board other countries who have an interest in stability in Somalia and the region, he told reporters.
This meeting of defense ministers was the first in Somalia since 2007, when the African Union mission was launched in the country.
Apart from the ministers, top military commanders of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti also took part in the discussions.
On Wednesday, the heads of states of these four countries will meet for talks in Mogadishu.
Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti are among the countries who contribute troops to the ATMIS.
Under increasing pressure due to Somalia’s security operations, al-Shabaab has intensified attacks in the country in recent days, targeting security personnel, military bases, and government sites.
Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with al-Shabaab and Daesh/ISIS being among the main threats.
The UN has warned of growing instability in the country, issuing periodic reports last year that detailed attacks by al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh/ISIS terror groups.
Source: Anadolu Agency