Militant Somalia: The Fight Against al Shabaab

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That is that so we will remain vigilant what also I was trying to do is to complete they’re morphing into a proper guerrilla force we are in Mogadishu the capital of Somalia which is a word that’s become synonymous with war over the last 23 years because that’s how long no government has controlled the entire territory of the country that’s something that the international community is trying to change they spend a billion dollars a year here supporting the federal government and their fight against al-shabaab which is an affiliate of al Qaeda over the last few months the government’s actually had a lot of success against the militant group unlike it has in the past so we’ve come here to see and learn more about their fight against al-shabaab even though Somali is hold on much of the country is still iffy this may be the only conflict in the Muslim world today where international efforts have successfully put Islamist militants on the backfoot the fight is being spearheaded by AMISOM which is a grouping of African militaries that are mandated by the United Nations to be here they are supposed to both support the Somali government but also to prevent the violence in this failed state from spilling over into their countries when we arrived in Mogadishu and the somme in the Somali army had just taken over al-shabaab last stronghold a coastal town called bhorali they took it without a fight because al-shabaab reportedly scattered when they heard troops were on their way this morning at 5 o’clock we advanced and it took us only 30 minutes actually 45 minutes to reach bar away we are now in Barra we have taken over bar away this specific field the ground here is the exact ground where Shabaab we used to contact conduct its execution this fusion of those they think we are going against the Sharia law when the soldiers moved into biragi for the first time in over two decades the governor came out on to the main square to get his haircut keeping a promise he’d made if he was ever able to set foot in the city this is the first time that the youth of burrow we have ever seen government officials the attack on borough has been long in the making M asam and Somali forces had to push through another al-shabaab stronghold called cruelly back in March just to open the road leading south the United States has carried out at least two operations in burrow II since 2013 the first targeted at crema the men thought to be the mastermind behind last year’s Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi Kenya we’re 67 people were killed American Navy SEALs attempted to raid a criminal villa but they were driven back after an exchange of gunfire and failed to get their man but the second operation dealt a considerable blow to Al Shabaab when US airstrikes killed its charismatic leader Ahmed Abdi kudani in September this operation was a direct strike against the Al Shabaab Network specifically the group’s leader that dealt a major blow and probably the organization after him is going to struggle to remain as a cohesive entity when the Somali government managed to regain control of Mogadishu three years ago it marked a crucial turning point in the battle against al-shabaab and the gallic Alka can Lou Amdur male ma hang the garlic is chopped yeah a murrain ah ha de galis trachea strategic a super cool asana in a new measure gaba tadka shallop but as somalia shows up key territory al-shabaab has changed its strategy relying more on guerrilla tactics that are harder for a conventional force like Amazon to counter I mean the fighting model really that they are now taken in the last three years is to move away from organized the conventional groups into very small cells that can carry out hit-and-run attacks suicide attacks targeted assassinations and so on and they have done that with some success since the beginning of this year they’ve killed five members of parliament and there were a number of suicide bombings they’ve attacked the presidential palace twice since the beginning of this year they’ve attacked the High Court once they have attacked the Parliament all three branches of government they have attacked the UN compound they’ve attacked the Turkish embassy all of that in this year these repeated successful attacks run counter to the image the Somali government is trying to present we dropped in on the prime minister at a press conference where he was announcing the defeat of al-shabaab in Marawi concerned that because how about have given up a lot of territory without a fight that they’re going to just regroup and then attack your forces and make it difficult to hold that territory we know the course about will not give up until they are forced to give up we will stay vigilant and we are well this activists at the plate do you expect retaliation from al-shabaab for your latest push into their territory well we always expect sabab responses and Shabaab enemy T you don’t think they’ll be able to muster a massive response and attack on the capital or other areas that you’ve only recently taken over and not fortified what we know is the ability to type have significantly gone down you know these are people on the run that doesn’t mean that the threat is not there the threat is there because their cells may be sleeping cells in you know the visit facilities of Mogadishu so we will remain vigilant in addition to that threat the Somali government faces the challenge of establishing a rule of law in Berwick something that until very recently had been handled entirely by al-shabaab also up continues to offer better governance in the areas they control despite the fact that they are exceptionally brutal but as long as you don’t challenge them politically to live under them is not really horrendous as as it may come to see and of course if they convict you of adultery they can stone you to death which they have done numerously and that’s very brutal but the fact of the matter is that compared to the to their rivals they seem to govern better I think the Somali government deserves some credit for defeating al Shabaab from major towns in Somalia there are strong signs showing that this country is now recovering from 20-something years of fighting and what we see right now is buildings all over the but also now there is a lot more international support for the Somali government that success is based on what appears to be progress in the war against al-shabaab but al-shabaab may merely be changing also has gone through an evolution they started as a nationalist movement fighting against invasion of Ethiopia after Ethiopia withdrew at the end of 2008 they ended up controlling largest piece of land in Somalia and then really evolving from a nationalist movement tomorrow over global jihadist movement started to pledge allegiance to al-qaeda and to bin Laden and that’s when they started to also lose popular Somali support among the Somali people despite losing territory and support in Somalia al-shabaab will remain an effective guerrilla force with the Somali government still so dependent on the international community for economic and military support al-shabaab is still no less a threat to the stability of Somalia

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