The Somali National Army (SNA) and local Ma’awisley militias have been making gains in the Galgaduud region of Somalia’a Galmudug State. The allied forces liberated the Oswein village 35 km west of El Dhere city in the past few days.
Oswein, Galgaduud, Galmudug, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
According to the Somali government, al-Shabaab fighters fled from the area before the advancing SNA troops and local Ma’awisley forces.
“Somali National Army, backed by local forces, has officially taken over the Oswein area in the Galgaduud region, which was a stronghold for the al-Shabaab terrorist group. Sahid Jama Farah, commander of the 18th Battalion of Gorgor (Eagle) Commandos, confirmed to state media that Oswein and other villages in the area have been completely captured. The victory is a major blow to al-Shabaab as the army advances to El Buur,” the government media tweeted.
The capture of Wabho
Earlier this week, on 21 August, the government forces and the local militias took control of Wabho, a critical hub in Galgaduud.
Wabho has experienced multiple changes in control since 2014. Ethiopian forces initially captured the town from al-Shabaab in August of that year but lost it to a swift al-Shabaab counterattack in December. A second Ethiopian campaign to retake the town succeeded in October 2015, only to see forces abandon it in June 2016. Most recently, in November 2022, the Somali government captured Wabho, only for al-Shabaab to reclaim it days later after the government withdrew.
The SNA’s capture of Wabho signifies an essential advance in the ongoing struggle against al-Shabaab. Yet, in light of the region’s turbulent history, analysts and experts caution that success will require more than just military victories.
The newest battlefield successes come as the government wants to complete the first phase of the counter-al-Shabaab offensive, which has now taken more than a year.