Regional leaders meeting in Somalia, have agreed on a joint offensive operation against the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.
The “search and destroy” operation will boost the momentum built up by government forces who have made huge gains over the past few months, including recovering territory controlled by the al-Qaeda-affiliated group.
“The time-sensitive campaign will prevent any future infiltrating elements in the region,” said the communique signed by the leaders of Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya
It did not provide any details about the operation.
Al-Shabab, which launched mortar shells in Mogadishu ahead of the leaders’ meeting, has not responded to a request for comment, news agency Reuters reports.
The militant group has been fighting since 2006 to topple Somalia’s central government and establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.
It occasionally attacks hotels, military bases, and government establishments in Somalia and in the region.