KAMPALA, Uganda—The security situation in war-torn Somalia is improving thanks to the efforts of Ugandan and Burundian troops under the African Union peace-keeping mission in Somalia, or AMISOM, the Ugandan presidency said Saturday, citing Somalia's president, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
A Ugandan presidential spokeswoman quoted Mr. Ahmed, currently on a state visit to Uganda, as saying that the efforts of Ugandan troops continue to pay off in the fight against the al Qaeda-inspired al Shabab militants, who are fighting to topple Somalia's Transitional Federal government.
"[The] visiting Somali president briefed his host on developments in his country, saying that the situation was getting better...He also saluted President [Yoweri] Museveni for his exceptional role in the restoration of peace in Somalia," she said.
Since last year, Uganda has had at least 4,500 peacekeeping troops in Somalia. Last week, Uganda deployed an extra 1,800 troops to bolster AMISOM. Despite troop pledges from other African states, only Uganda and Burundi have so far sent troops to Somalia.
Since August last year, Ugandan troops have been on the offensive against the al Shabab militants who claimed responsibility for the July 11 terror attacks in Kampala that left at least 79 people dead.
The Ugandan president said last year that Ugandan troops would continue fighting the al Shabab until they are routed out of Somalia, following the July 11 attacks.
Meanwhile, the al Shabab continue to warn of more terror strikes in Uganda and Burundi. The American Embassy in Uganda this week warned its citizens that local terror groups are interested in attacking American interests. The embassy said it is particularly concerned about the month of February because Uganda will be holding its presidential and parliamentary elections at that time.
During the July 11 attacks, the terrorists targeted an Ethiopian restaurant, popular with foreigners. The strike left one American dead and several others injured.