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Al-Shabab in Central Somalia Al-Shabab in Central Somalia

The government has thwarted planned attacks by al-Shabaab during the Holy Month of Ramadhan, which would have seen a number of abductions and hijacking of government vehicles, a confidential security brief seen by the Sunday Nation shows.

It was made possible by the collaboration of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS).

“Al-Shabaab terror group has upscaled targets in Kenya ad Somalia.

The group has established parallel operational administrative structures in five of the seven Federal member states (FMS) including the capital city, Mogadishu. The terrorist group has also infiltrated the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) where they occupy key positions, receive financial support and influence decision making.

“Al-Shabaab's gains both in FMS and FGS are part of its plans to ascend to political power in Somalia and in the long-term create an Islamic caliphate in the Eastern Africa region. The militants have also taken advantage of the negative propaganda by Somali citizens and their diaspora community in the mainstream media in denting the images of Amisom contributing countries and Kenya in particular following the maritime dispute,” it reads.

The attacks by the Somalia-based militant group are part of the campaign to force President Uhuru Kenyatta to withdraw KDF troops from Somalia where they’re battling the terror group as part of the effort to pacify the troubled nation.

Equally, since Shabaab like any other terror group likes to hog the limelight, the dominance of the news on the coronavirus outbreak has also generally meant they scale down their operations.

In Mogadishu and other towns, the Shabaab militants have been forcefully collecting zakat (taxes) both in urban and rural areas within the five regional states especially in the South Central Somalia and Benadir where FGS does not have full control.

The group has deployed agents who instil fear and coercion on FGS and regional government tax collectors in these areas forcing them to work closely. They have also erected roadblocks in major supply routes in areas where there is limited FGS presence to collect taxes.

At the same time, a Forum for National Parties in Somalia has written to President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asking him to clean up The National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) which they allege is entertaining the outlawed group.

“The Forum for National Parties is very concerned about the information and reports which have increased these days and are about relations and co-operation between the NISA and al-Shabaab. This information has raised doubts and fear for the Somali people,” the parties said in a letter dated April 11 intercepted by the Kenya security agencies.

The forum is demanding radical changes at NISA to restore its credibility.

“We want an independent and immediate investigation into the attack at the Benadir regional capital. We also want communications on social media between two commanders, who are NISA and Al-Shabaab commanders, and to conduct a comprehensive and independent investigation about this communication. So that the veracity is presented to the people,” they said in a letter to president Farmajo.


Courtesy Daily Nation


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Last modified on Monday, 04 May 2020 20:48

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