Military capability of Al-Shabaab insurgents degraded in Somalia: UN envoy

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Augustine Mahiga

The military capability of the Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia has been tremendously degraded although they continue to carry out terrorist attacks.

That's what the top United Nations envoy in the country, Augustine Mahiga, told reporters in the Tanzanian city of Dar Es Salaam on Thursday.

Mr. Mahiga said the Al-Shabaab fighters have been pushed out of the major cities and have retreated into some parts of the countryside.

"Some of their former combatants have defected and they continue to defect. Their revenues have been blocked, which they used to collect mainly from the ports of Kismayo, Merca and sometimes even Mogadishu. Their sources of revenue therefore to finance the war efforts are drying up. The morale is definitely low. They are not totally out of the country. They are in the countryside and need to be pursued and to be pushed."(29")

On the political front, Mr. Mahiga said Somalia has made tremendous improvements under its new government.

He said the belief that has prevailed for the past 22 years that the Horn of Africa country is without an effective central government has changed.

What remains now, he added, is the stabilization and effective establishment of government and administrative structures in various parts of the country.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'22"

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