Terrorism is one of the greatest evils the world faces today.

There is no greater challenge than defeating it because so much of our collective progress depends on stability, security and partnership.

These are the very enablers of development that terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab do not want to see happen in the Horn of Africa.

The Government of Somalia shares the pain of the loss of our Kenyan brothers and sisters in arms who came to restore and advance hope and peace in Somalia as part of Amisom.

Indeed their loss, which resulted from a terrorist attack on their base in El-Ade on Friday, is heart-breaking.

However, as we mourn the passing of these heroes and stand in solidarity with the survivors and the families of all the victims, we must direct our collective anger at defeating the enemy: terrorism.

From the tragedies the world witnessed in Paris, Istanbul, Jakarta and Ougadougou, we know terrorism is one of the greatest challenges the world faces.

We should be under no illusions and understand that the terrorists we are fighting are tough and determined enemies.

Tough because they have no regard for human life and determined because they are driven either by an extreme, twisted and arrogant belief in their own moral superiority or pursuit of material gain.

Somalia and Kenya are brotherly nations whose future prospects are intertwined.

What affects one will certainly have an impact on the other and as such our governments are working together to defeat terrorism in many ways already.

SEALING SECURITYGAPS

We are sharing intelligence and working alongside one another on the ground both in Somalia and Kenya.

More crucially, our two governments have proved time and again that they will not allow Al-Shabaab to achieve their goal of dividing us.

Despite our collaborative efforts, more needs to be done, and quickly, to enhance knowledge sharing, border management and monitoring and economic development to close the vital security gaps that Al-Shabaab exploits.

We also need to reach out to our youth who are being radicalised and misled by baseless ideological nonsense which rests on the twin pillars of hate and societal destruction.

The Somali National Army is working closely with their partners on the ground, Amisom, of which Kenya is an important contributing State, to rid the evil of terror from Somali soil.

Their valiant efforts has returned the vast majority of Somali territory into government hands and ensured the weakening of Al-Shabaab operations.

The best evidence of this is that the Somali leadership is in the Somali city of Kismayo today, defended and protected by the Somali National Army and KDF as they discuss key state building matters which will ensure Somalia’s progress towards stability and prosperity.

AVOID COMPLACENCY

Today, the weakened Al-Shabaab is ideologically despised by the Somali people and they are mainly limited to carrying out opportunistic attacks on innocent civilians and private properties.

However, we cannot and will not be complacent.

We will not and cannot rest until Al-Shabaab is militarily and ideologically annihilated for the mutual benefit of our two nations.

The surest way to deliver the killer blow to Al-Shabaab and terrorism in the Horn of Africa is for all nations to share information, enhancing border management and by making financial transactions more transparent.

We have a common enemy in terrorism and we must defeat this evil collectively for a safer, progressive and prosperous region and world.

Dr Abdusalam is Somalia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion

By DR ABDUSALAM H. OMER