African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) senior leadership held a meeting with leaders of the Lower Shabelle region to exchange views on how they can strengthen the fight against al-Shabab.
The closed-door consultative meeting was held on Saturday followed recent operational successes recorded against al-Shabab, the AU mission said in a statement on Sunday.
Francisco Madeira, special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission to Somalia, said the meeting also reviewed the situation following the capture of strategic towns of Sabiid and Bariire.
"We are happy with the progress and we will continue to work jointly, in coordination with our partners. The governor is in control, and we support him and his administration," Madeira said. Somali Security Forces and AMISOM troops liberated the town of Sabiid on April 2. On May 3, the forces also liberated Bariire town.
The agricultural-rich Bariire, which lies about 60 kms west of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, is one of the strategic areas located in Lower Shabelle region along River Shabelle.
The meeting also reviewed the progress made in recent operations, the challenges and the way forward, the statement said.
The military offensive to liberate Sabiid and Bariire is part of the implementation of the revised AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPS) 2018-2021 and the Somalia Transition Plan.
The CONOPS, which aims to provide a structure for AMISOM operations from 2018-2021, marks the final phase of the AU mission's transition and its eventual exit from Somalia.