Somalia:Will more troops solve Mogadishu’s insecurity?
Yesterday, Somalia’s Oldest and long serving Member of the federal Parliament killed in Mogadishu. On Wednesday deputy AG was also killed in Mogadishu, both killings were claimed by Al-shabaab. The killings come after 1,400 police cadets were inaugurated to join law enforcement protecting Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. Prime Minister Khayre, security minister, and the police chief have attended the graduation ceremony of the new police unit. The Somali government is hoping these fresh police unit will at least improve the deteriorating security condition in the capital city.
For the last decade, each successive Somali governments have failed to secure Mogadishu, a city of close to 3 million people, including thousands of internal displaced people since the overthrow of Siad Barre, securing Mogadishu has been a challenge.
Although Federal Government with the help of Banadir Regional Administration, security somehow has improved; however, Mogadishu is still a dangerous place to work and live. Most of the attacks are directed at government officials, businesspersons, and NGO’s. A lot of people are upset the failure of the government to secure Mogadishu.
The federal government and Banadir regional administration have been prioritizing the security of the city, but attacks on military targets, assassinations and murders committed by unknown perpetrators are rampant. al-Shabaab attacks and occasional violence by the government forces also continue to undermine the safety of the City.
Mogadishu is the capital city where Embassies, main government offices, and private companies’ operations are located. The government should have given a top priority securing the city while also highlighting the major failures of any breaches to the security. Since no Al-Shabab is visible in the city, but still several targeted killings and suicide bombing caused by vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices have been taking place mainly on government controlled areas with major offices, hotels, restaurants, and mostly frequented by government officials for example On July 7 of last year, After detonating a car bomb on the gate, Al-Shabab suicide’s stormed the Otto-Otto government building housed by the security and interior ministries.
Both previous and the current administrations have been trying to fix the insecurity of Mogadishu, but their solutions to the problem were just adding more police on the streets. However, they fail to figure out what are the security failures that keeps the city into this predicament. Although many slight changes have been made, but there is no comprehensive strategy to find a lasting solution for Mogadishu untenable security condition. Blame too the insecurity in Mogadishu the lack of trust between the government and people.
A city can never be secured if the there’s a mistrust between police and the different communities, Corruption, al-Shabaab sympathizers in the government system (double agents), many small arms in the hands of civilians, broken court system, are also hampering government’s efforts to pacify Mogadishu.
A city can never be secure as long as the enemy is a live outside the city. Mogadishu can never be secure as long as Al-shabaab operates in Middle and lower Shabelle.
Mogadishu city can never be secure as long as the gab between the rich and the poor grows wider. In Mogadishu, a poor cannot afford to eat daily while the rich have a car, earn enough and enjoys events every now and then.
A city can never be secure if arrivals and departures are not accounted. If anyone can come to Mogadishu city either by land, sea or air and no one knows who, what, When and why; Then any one with bad intention can come and carry out missions without detection.
Better intelligence gathering, close relationship between government and the communities, cracking down corruption, job creation, smart plans and better thinking and common-sense strategies would significantly improve government’s chance of controlling Mogadishu. More importantly, a genuine peace and reconciliation among the rival sub- groups in Mogadishu, would accelerate a victory against al-Shabaab. Cuban strategy to secure the capital city is needed (people that don’t live the capital can not just come to the city with out permission, should have a reason to come and live in Havana).
Finally, as the third year just begins for the current administration and Mogadishu’s security seems deteriorating, I don’t think adding more troops will solve the insecurities.