Strategies for Somalia to Overcome Al-Shabaab Militants

Strategies For Somalia To Overcome Al-shabaab Militants

How Somalia Can Defeat Al-Shabaab Fighters

The coming months are crucial for Somalia as it continues to face persistent disruptions from the Al-Shabaab militants. The administration, backed by international support, has been actively fighting to topple the militants with the help of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), the US Africa Command, and local militia forces. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been at the forefront of these efforts, advocating for military operations and targeting Al-Shabaab’s revenue sources. Religious scholars also play a crucial role in preaching against violent extremism.

Mohamed Abdi Ware, the presidential advisor on civilian protection and stabilization, who has experience as HirShabelle’s president, believes that Somalia is on the right path in this war. However, he suggests a few adjustments to ensure victory over the militants.

Ware argues that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud should prioritize “rearranging clan leadership.” He believes that the government will provide support if leaders take the initiative to liberate their territories. Additionally, a credible plan for holding the liberated territories should be presented.

Ware also emphasizes the need for a cabinet and departmental purge to effectively combat Al-Shabaab. Although he has not provided specific details, he has raised concerns about Defense Minister Abdikadir Mohamed Nur.

Regarding the withdrawal of troops from ATMIS, Ware feels that the government has not been clear. He believes Somalia should decide whether to support the withdrawal or ask for more time for local security forces to take over. Ware suggests engaging the international community to discuss the timing and speed of the ATMIS drawdown, as contradictory messages are being sent. He further recommends postponing the September ATMIS drawdown and commissioning an independent review to ensure the sacrifices made by African countries were not in vain.

While thousands of troops have already been withdrawn, Somalia is preparing for the second phase of operations against Al-Shabaab. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has requested support from Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia, urging them to deploy non-ATMIS troops under the command of the Somali National Army for three months. However, the commitment of these nations is yet to be confirmed. Currently, the Somali National Army is focusing on central regions, including Galgaduud, Mudug, and Hiiraan, before moving on to Jubaland and Southwest states.

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