The Ugandan military contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia-AMISOM is warning that the Al Shabaab militias have changed tactics of war.
The UPDF reports that the fighters of the weakened Al Shabaab militia have changed from moving on foot to stage guerilla attacks on African Union forces to using vehicles to carry fighters to the battle front.
Brigadier Michael Ondoga, the Ugandan contingent commander, explains that Al Shabaab militias use vehicles so that they can easily escape after carrying out attacks on their targets. He says the militia adopted the tactic after realizing that they could not confront the AU forces at close range.
Ondoga says the Al Shabaab now move in vehicles to aim at civilian targets and escaping faster to avoid being pursued by the AU forces.
He says one such incident happened earlier today, when the militias engaged the UPDF at a place called Jannale, but were forced to flee leaving behind a vehicle registration number “21658 Somalia”.
Ondoga says the UPDF have since the beginning of the month recovered three vehicles that Al Shabaab used for carrying fighters to the battle front.
Major Henry Obbo, the Ugandan Contingent Spokesperson, says the capture of the three trucks is a big blow to the militia who were using them to transport fighters to stage attacks. He says each vehicle could carry up to forty fighters.
Uganda People Defense Forces last month launched an offensive to dislodge the Al Shabaab militias from lower Shabelle region. Some of the achievements that they have so far recorded include the capture of Buur-hakba, the militia headquarters and Jowar Airfield.
The Ugandan contingent is moving south towards Baidoa, the last bastion of the militia in lower Shabelle region of Somalia.
Uganda provides the bulk of the 17,600 strong Amisom force deployed to stabilize Somalia, a country that has been without a functioning government since the fall of General Siad Barre in 1991. The other countries with troops in the war-torn Somalia include Kenya, Djibouti, Burundi and Sierra Leone.
The UN Security Council resolution mandates Amisom to conduct peace enforcement operations against hostile forces, using necessary appropriate force.