The Uganda troops serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), have completed road expansion works for the nine-kilometer stretch connecting Buufow and Janaale towns in the Lower Shabelle region.
The road which is on the main supply route connecting to the key towns of Afgoye and Arabiska north of the capital Mogadishu, was expanded to reduce the thicket of trees along it where Al-Shabaab militants often hide to stage surprise attacks on convoys and civilians.
For the past two weeks ATMIS Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) engineers, officers and partners from Bankroft Global Development have detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) implanted by Al-Shabaab militants, graded and compacted the road with tractors to ensure it is accessible, safe, and secured for movement of people and goods.
“Tens of people have lost their lives and properties due to the IEDs emplaced along this stretch by Al-Shabaab. Clearing this route will improve security, and connect the two towns”, said Col. Charles Asiimwe, Commander of the Uganda Battle Group 37 who spearheaded the repair works.
“The clearance of the bushes will help to secure the road and impede the operations of the Al-Shabaab who are an obstacle to the social-economic wellbeing of the people and the general development of Somalia,” noted Jasper Genis, the head of engineering at Bankroft Global Development.
The Janaale District Commissioner, Mohamed Yusuf, commended the leadership of ATMIS and the Ugandan troops for providing security and ensuring the free movement of people along the road.
ATMIS UPDF worked collaboratively with the local district assemblies and neighbouring communities with support from American security consulting company, Bankroft Global Development.
The next phase will include clearing the main supply route from Shalaambod to Beled-Aamiin towns, south of the capital Mogadishu.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).