Somali president declares “total” war against Al Shabaab

The president of Somalia, Hassan Shaykh Mohamud, announced Tuesday the start of a “total” war on the terrorist group Al Shabaab, responsible for the assault on Friday against a hotel in Mogadishu that resulted in at least 21 deaths.

The president led a meeting of the main security authorities and, in his first public statement since the attack on the Hayat Hotel, advocated launching an all-out fight against a group that continues to control areas of southern and central Somalia.

“Al Shabaab is like a poisonous snake that gets into your clothes. There is no possible solution other than to kill it before it kills you,” summed up the president, who until now had not ruled out the possibility of negotiating with the terrorist organization, according to Garowe Online.

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Friday’s attack, which lasted several hours and unleashed an extensive police operation, is the first of this magnitude since Hassan Shaykh Mohamud took office in early June. He had previously held the same post on another occasion, between 2012 and 2016.

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