somalia:War on Al-Shabaab needs more than just a combat
Since the federal government of Somalia declared a major offensive against Al-Shabaab militant group unlike its defensive nature before several key strategic areas were ceased from the group
with little or no resistance at all.
Somali National Army supported by AMISOM forces have advanced and forced Al-Shabaab out of more than ten key strategic areas including their stronghold town of Bulaburte in South central
The government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and other regional countries which contributed troops to fight
Al-Shabaab militant group are already celebrating the frontline gains since the
launch of the offensive few weeks ago in that the defeat of Al-Shabaab is just
a matter of days or weeks. Government and AMISOM peacekeeping
troops are focusing more on combat and liberating new areas from the Al-Shabaab
while advancing towards the groups’ territories.
In my opinion there three key points that is greatly undermining the government and its AMISOM ally’s success against Al-Shabaab and if not carefully dealt with can strengthen and reinforce
Al-Shabaab back to the game. To start with, the Government of
Somalia forces which are fighting alongside AMISOM troops against Al-Shabaab
are ill equipped and poorly paid compared to AMISOM peacekeepers and even the
Al-Shabaab militant group.
The recent extension of the United Nations Security Council arms embargo on Somalia is making Somalia
National Army to seriously depend on the support of their African Union
counterparts on the frontline this has made them very difficult to battle
Somali soldiers are poorly paid compared to AMISOM counterparts’ this has made the Somali forces so desperate whereas several times looted the public properties of the newly liberated
Secondly infighting between various Somali security agencies particularly the police and the army on who to control
the revenues of the areas previous control by Al-Shabaab has also greatly
diminished the credibility of the government forces to bring law and order in
the war torn nation.
Recently a senior Somali police chief was killed when fighting erupted between the police and the army on
control of a town in south west Somalia.
Thirdly the humanitarian crisis in the areas liberated from Al-Shabaab and the influence the group still has on the residents is still unimaginable. During their rule the Al-Shabaab
militant group has cut off the areas under their jurisdiction from
nongovernmental organizations trying to provide humanitarian assistance to
residents on the basis of spying for their western enemies this has forced
several locals to initiate their own survival tactics through farming and other
incoming generating activities an investment that has been washed out by the
return of the NGOs through the launch of the offensive against the group.
The hypocrisies of majority Somali politicians who are tribal allegiance towards the realization of stable and
peaceful Somalia another major challenge to the horn of Africa’s road to
UN monitoring group report on Somalia recently revealed that Al-Shabaab still has a strong support within the
government claiming that the group receives arms diverted from Government
Finally the double standards of the international community in helping to rebuild the collapsed government of Somalia institutions such as the security agencies is doubtful as it is spending more
resources on the African union forces instead of rebuilding Somalia’s own security forces