58 years after independence, 30 years after civil war, many years of no governance, 8 years of transitional govt, 6 years of recognized federal government, Somalia is moving forward in a progressive direction. Although political instability, corruption, effects of gulf crisis, limited trust and insecurity remains a challenge but Al-Shabaab remains the most immediate threat to the security, peace, development and stability in Somalia. Somalia has been through rough situations like civil war, drought, lack of governance, humanitarian crisis, piracy and recently terrorism. As Al-Shabaab lost many strategic places but the threat of Al-Shabaab’s terror attacks intensifies, in every attack many civilians and prominent people lost their lives. Many people in south felt insecure. The government forces, AMISOM, AFRICOM and all other international partners engage with Al-Shabaab and provide security help. Although Al-Shabaab cannot carry direct fight but their guerilla tactics of war remains a threat especially use of explosions. The big question is the ultimate security of Somalia depends with who?
The security of Somalia depends how its citizens decide to defeat the terror groups like Al-Shabaab, ISIS and mafia groups that taxes them or kills them. it depends on how the locals fight against the group, don’t give any hide-outs or safehouses. AMISOM, Somali National army and other international partners fight against Al-Shabaab but still Al-Shabaab remains a major threat. Although US airstrikes is trying to eliminate Al-Shabaab’s leadership, but the group’s ability to carry out complex asymmetric attacks like the one on October 14, 2017 (Zoobe) in Mogadishu Somalia remains undiminished.
Somalia’s security depends on how its politicians, intellectuals, media, civil society decide to cooperate and lead the country. How the current administration handles the competing interests of the Gulf states, how current leaders compromise their grievances and fight corruption. No state in this world agrees on all agenda’s, and no politicians agree on which side to take but ethics, morals, interests and knowledge drives what to do, the politicians should not confuse internal politics from the external pressures, interests and wants. The security of Somalia depends how its intelligence branch capable of protecting the people, how the government seeks trust and cooperation from the citizens.
The security of Somalia remains if manufacturing of the explosive devices stopped, to a recent report by The Monitoring Group “Al-Shabaab is manufacturing home-made explosives for use in its improvised explosive devices”. The government has to research on how to stop production of this explosive devices, components and importers of such things. Not paying any tax to Al-Shabaab, Al-Shabaab’s domestic financing revealed that the militant group generates more than enough revenue to sustain its insurgency. “the Monitoring Group estimates that Al-Shabaab generates approximately $10 million per year by taxing transiting vehicles and goods only. Al-Shabaab’s financial operations, including the collecting of revenue and payment of its members, are facilitated by the services provided by poorly regulated domestic telecommunications and financial entities”. The security of Somalia depends if all financial sources and funds of Al-Shabaab sanctioned.
The security of Somalia depends If the Security sector is reformed following the national security architecture such as military, police, and justice sector, while supporting ongoing African Union peacekeeping efforts. The United States, the international community, and Somalis themselves should work towards developing the Somali National Army and this can come by Lifting UN Arms embargo; this will strengthen the Somali Army, Law enforcement and al-Shabaab threats can be defeated. Wining the hearts and minds of the people, ideological argument made, and psychological help given. Failure to do so might result continues funding, reliability of International forces, more Al-Shabaab and ISIS threats.
The security of Somalia depends on the existence of Al-Shabaab and ISIS. How their ally organizations survive in other parts of the world depend on their existence too. if the Taliban’s are brought to the negotiating table (according to Washington post president trump sent a letter to Pakistani president to facilitate talks between the US and the Taliban), ISIS and Boko-haram defeated then the future of al-Shabaab is in dark. president Trump recently tweeted that united states gives Pakistan hundred million but in return do nothing in-return Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan tweeted, the United States should undertake a “serious assessment” of why, after a war involving hundreds of thousands of NATO and Afghan troops and more than $1 trillion in costs, “the Taliban today are stronger than ever before.” The Somali government and its international partners must ask themselves this same question. Why after 10 years of 21000 AMISOM forces, SNA forces, and millions of international funds to fight with less than 7,000 al-Shabaab militia men taking longer time to defeat?
The security of Somalia depends on how it’s citizens support the Government. you cannot be a part time citizen, so the best thing to do is give every administration time, after 4 years term check whether the administration completes the constitution, builds the Army, creates a high court, constitutional court, and other important institutions. see after 4 years whether the government recognized the root causes of Al-Shabaab? as majority of its fighters are young youth that lacked opportunities like education, health and equal justice. Did they call them to the negotiating table? Did they fight with their ideologies? How the current/future administration deals with all that complex questions and issues should remain how you oppose, propose, rate or scale any administration rather than the individual, his party, his/her clan affiliation.
I’m sure a politically stable, vibrant, secure and economically progressive Somalia will be beneficial to all while unstable and divided Somalia will lead to more disastrous, chaos and insecurities. It’s up to the Somali leaders to take a freedom path or continue poor politics they encounter now. it’s up to the Somalis to work/plan for their safety and security.
The world can help but the security and future of Somalia lies in the hands of its people.