Situated 30kms north of Mogadishu, Balad is an area rich in farmland and a bread‐basket for most of Somalia. Securing Balad allows the local population in this important farming region to build their livelihoods free from extortion of money which Al‐Shabaab used to fund their daily terror activities against the Somali people.
Speaking about the importance of Balad town the AMISOM Deputy Force Commander Brigadier General Audace Nduwumunsi said: “The Al‐Shabaab were using Balad to launch attacks on Mogadishu. Now that it is liberated, the city of Mogadishu will be much secure from terrorist activities”.
Balad is a key strategic town and its loss is an enormous setback for Al‐Shabaab, being the gateway connecting Mogadishu to central Somalia regions as well as the Puntland regions. It is 50kms from Jowhar, the provincial town of Middle Shabelle region.
Last week Somali leaders agreed to the country’s draft transitional federal constitution and emphasized the principles of ending the transition by August this year. The Al‐Qaeda backed terror group has in recent months lost most strategic towns in both south and central regions of the country.