By Joshua Kato
Ugandan AMISOM forces in Somalia, have captured the central Somalia town of Wanlwayne from al-Shabaab militants. The town, located in operational Sector 1 of AMISOM lies 86km from Mogadishu.
The town is strategically located on the highway from Mogadishu to the strategic central Somalia city of Baidoa.
“We captured Wanlaweyn as our first key town on our long advance to Baidoa. No resistance registered, no casualty,” Capt. Henry Obbo, the Ugandan contingent spokesman, said.
This was the second major town to fall out of the grip of the militants, after they lost Kismayu in Sector II, to the Kenyan contingent.
Baidoa was captured by Ethiopian troops and Somali National Army in February. In May, a contingent of Ugandans and Burundians deployed there by air and took charge of key installations, including the airport.
However, there are still areas between Baidoa and Mogadishu that are still under al-Shabaab control.
In May, on the same route, the Ugandan contingent captured Afgooye — 30km from Mogadishu and they have now captured Wanlawyne. Other towns captured during the last two months include Balad to the north of Mogadishu and Marka port along the coast to Kismayu, 90km away from Mogadishu.
The Ugandan contingent is also poised to capture the city of Johwar in the north.
According to Obbo, AMISOM’s major aim is to reach Baidoa and open up a secure road route from Mogadishu.
The captured town is around 90 miles from Baidoa. Currently, the AMISOM contingents in Baidoa are supplied by air and through Ethiopia. However, the opening of this cheap road route will ease the operations