Somali and African troops recapture of strategic port in Somalia from al Shabaab fighters. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A soldier stands on a hill top overlooking Barawe in Somalia, holding out the promise of peace after retaking ground from Islamist rebels. Somalia's army and African troops are reenforcing a strategic port which they retook from al Shabaab militants over the weekend. Military officials say they had drove the militants out of their stronghold without a fight. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMISOM UGANDAN CONTINGENT COMMANDER BRIGADIER GENERAL, DICK OLUM, SAYING: "This morning at five o'clock we advanced and it took us only 30 minutes, actually 45 minutes to reach Barawe. We are now in Barawe. We've taken over Barawe. This specific ground right here, is the exact ground where al Shabaab used to conduct its executions. The execution of those they think were going against the Sharia law and it's this ground, and it's this same ground that we have decided to come and bring this population and tell the people of Barawe that al Shabaab is gone, is no more, and that we are taking charge, the government of Somalia is taking charge, the Somali National Army has taken charge." African and Somali troops launched an offensive this year to retake centers still held by the al Qaeda linked al Shabaab group. Despite gains, diplomats say some recaptured centers have turned into "ghost towns" because al Shabaab blocked supply routes, forcing residents to flee. Officials now say they want to prevent that from happening again.