Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said:
I am pleased to hear that renewed operations by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have resulted in the capture of several towns in Western Somalia from Al Shabaab. As terrorism in Somalia is a direct threat to the UK and UK interests, we remain committed to providing support to AMISOM, both bilaterally and through organisations such as the UN and EU.
AMISOM are to be commended on their continuing efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia. The participation of the Somali National Army (SNA) in these operations is very welcome; Somalia’s long-term security depends on the development of its national security forces. However, Al Shabaab remains a threat, as demonstrated by recent attacks including against President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on 21 February. As operations progress, it is important that the Federal Government of Somalia and the international community support stabilisation efforts to ensure AMISOM’s and the SNA’s successes are not reversed.
SOURCE UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office