A military source in the Somali government announced last week that government troops and AMISOM peace keepers are preparing an attack on all fronts in southern Somalia, especially the port town of Kismayo. At this point the government only controls half of the capital of the country, Mogadishu. Last year a similar large offensive was announced but never took place.
The attack is meant to face and defeat the Shabaab controlled regions by attacking their strongholds in southern Somalia. This will be the first military test of the new Somali government.
Last week a meeting took place in the presidential palace between the President, the Minister of Defence and the general of the AMISOM troops on how to efficiently execute this offensive.
The attack would start simultaneously in several parts of the country at the end of January. Sources say the attack on Kismayo town may receive support from European Union military elements in the area.
If the offensive is successful, the new government of Somalia under Prime Minister Farmajo could very well change the course of the conflict so far.