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"Our fighters have entered AU's Halane base by force through the gate and now fighting is going on inside the base," Spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musabe said.
This same message is played every time Al –Shabab al Mujahidin commandoes attack a prestigious, extraordinarily fortified and challenging target that is locally perceived equally by the international security experts and the allied AMISOM /Somali troops as un-breakable. This successful daring broad daylight attack on AMISOM command center, Diplomatic quarters and the International spy Hub - delivers, according to some analysts, the most devastating story of all times. Others are in the mindset that no place in Somalia or in East Africa are safe any longer as Al-Shabab Al Mujahidiin demonstrated in action that they have the capability to attack simultaneously multiple targets across international boundaries and hence destabilized the biggest economy in East Africa – the army and police of Kenya are standing shoulder to shoulder all the way from Nairobi to Mombasa in fear of Al-Shabab’s Christmas attack. The government is made to incur security related expenditure that is beyond its means so much so that the sheer weight of the deficit in making will ultimately tumble the purchasing power of the Kenyan currency. And still others are of the opinion that the Mujahidin groups are spreading like wild fire – in the space of a decade their original franchise in Afghanistan, in the face of all out war of Western powers, managed to colonize the Middle East, North Africa, West Africa and East Africa.
To know the road ahead, ask those returning
With all the uneasiness that comes with the perpetual insecurity with no end in sight, one might rightly assume the current policies and strategies put in place to combat the Al - shabab Al Mujahidin, to put it mildly, isn't working at all not only for Somalia but throughout the territories the Mujahidins are operating. The heavy handed tactics Kenya employed to curtail Al –Shabab’s influence actually worked for the advantage of the same group they intended to defeat. Good percentage of Muslim Kenyans lost their faith in their government and the newly passed Anti- Terrorist bill, if not cautiously implemented, will certainly create the biggest divide in the country – Kenya at this point in time is in the same league as Somalia.
The assassination of their leader Mr. Godane, was hailed as the beginning of the end of Al-Shabab but on the contrary the front is carrying its business as usual – they have upgraded their assassination techniques of government officers in Mogadishu by going mobile and their cross border attacks are increasing both in frequency and in ferocity. Too many leaders of the Mujahidin were assassinated across the Islamic world and yet the common man didn't have a moment of peace on the ground – Mujahidin institution is just like a Lizard as the old Ibo saying goes “the clan is like a lizard; if it lost its tail it soon grew another". To this day Somalis don’t see a single country that returned from the road Somalia and its likes are on to inquire about its turns, twists and potholes.
The time for international community to take stock of their policies towards Somalia has eventually arrived as IC is looking failure in the face. The consensus of the Somali elite, as always the case, is to empower the federal government to get rid of the nation’s ailments as it knows better than any foreigner. Somalia needs sustained meaningful budget support to create, among many, Somali National Army, education services, Health services, civilian infrastructures and other economic activities. Once the government is able to deliver security and services to the masses then parents will be happy to pay the taxes and within a relatively short period of time Somalia can once again be self financing and AMISOM troops can head home for good.
Notoriety of infighting between the Presidents and Prime Ministers of Somalia has nothing to do with the political culture of the Somali politicians but rather is out of international community premeditated political frustration – too many nations with competing interests are involved in the political paradigm of the nation and none is committed to help Somalia to overcome its difficulties. How on earth a country that fell apart to a degree not witnessed in the contemporary political history and is still in a state of war can survive and deliver services out of the proceeds of Mogadishu Port only? If 20% of the budget spent on AMISOM was given to the host government as a budget support, most of the national elite are confident that the government would have regained its sovereignty in total. The current statuesque of using money collected in the name of Somalia to sustain AMISOM, and other International Organizations and yet keep blaming the government of Somalia, whose hands are tied behind its back, of not doing enough is seen locally as just a mockery of the highest order.
In conclusion; a new Prime Minister was taking handover of the office at the time the Base of AMISOM came under attack. Lessons should be learned from the attack of the last jewel in the crown – the Presidency, Parliament, Judiciary and UNDP compound were done – are you waiting for the next round? . The voice of the people of Somalia is saying loudly “It is time for the international community to make choices – come up with robust meaningful and workable policy as the country is going through a critical stage at this juncture or else stick to your barren policy which the blind can see from distance. Beware rain doesn’t fall on one roof alone – yesterday was Somalia and today is Somalia/ Kenya but tomorrow the rain is ought to reach more countries- containment policy is all out failure!. Remember! The Somali elite anti -terrorist squad (Alpha Group) flushed out the Al-Shabab Mujahidiin from their hide outs in Halane in a flash speed like they did in all other encounters.
Abdikarim Haji Abdi Buh