News / Africa

    US: Al-Shabab Will Continue Fighting

    An undated handout photograph released by Kenya's Ministry of Defense on September 29, 2012, shows members of the Kenyan Defense Forces during an operation at an undisclosed location in Somalia.
    An undated handout photograph released by Kenya's Ministry of Defense on September 29, 2012, shows members of the Kenyan Defense Forces during an operation at an undisclosed location in Somalia.
    East African troops have driven the Somali militant group al-Shabab from its last stronghold in the southern port of Kismayo.  The United States believes the al-Qaida affiliated group is seriously degraded but will continue fighting.

    Al-Shabab abandoned Kismayo in the face of a combined assault by Kenyan, African Union, and Somali government troops. Announcing its withdrawal Saturday, the militia group vowed to strike back.

    US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo)US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo)
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    US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo)
    US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo)
    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson believes the fight will continue as al-Shabab is pursued by an African Union intervention force known as AMISOM.

    "They have not been defeated entirely yet. We expect that there will continue to be asymmetrical operations against AMISOM and against the government, but they have been effectively degraded," said Carson.

    Al-Shabab Timeline
     
    2006: Launches insurgency to topple Somali government, impose Islamic law
     
    2008: U.S. declares al-Shabab a foreign terrorist organization
     
    2009: Seizes control of parts of Mogadishu, Kismayo
     
    2010: Expands control across central and southern Somalia; carries out deadly bombings in Kampala, Uganda in first attack outside Somali
     
    2011: Blocks drought/famine aid from areas under its control
     
    2011: East African leaders declare al-Shabab a regional threat, Ethiopian, Kenyan troops enter Somalia to pursue the group, which is driven out of Mogadishu
     
    2012: Declares itself an al-Qaida ally, loses ground in Somalia, troops advance on the group's stronghold Kismayo
    Al-Shabab is seeking to impose a hardline form of Islamic law in Somalia. It once controlled most southern and central regions, including the capital Mogadishu, but has lost most of its territory over the past 18 months.

    In an interview with VOA, Carson said the success of AMISOM along with Ethiopian, Kenyan, and Somali forces gives a big boost to Somalia's new government.

    "All of this represents not only a military success but it contributes to the political progress and stability and the return to stability that we have been missing in that country," said Carson.

    Somali leaders this month elected a new president. Carson says the international community must help President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's government restore public services such as schools and health clinics while training a strong Somali military that answers to constitutionally-elected civilian authority.

    "No more warlordism, no more clan and sub-clan militias, no more regional forces but a military that is well-trained and subservient to the government at hand," Carson added.

    Kenyan forces entered Somalia last year after a series of cross-border kidnappings that Nairobi blamed on al-Shabab. Losing the port of Kismayo not only deprives the al-Qaida-affiliated group of its main route for weapons but also means a significant loss of revenue from taxes.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi
    October 01, 2012 3:46 AM
    The only way to finally stop the Al Shabab and their terror networks is for the USA to send them a clear message and an aircraft carrier to patrol the region with drone capabilities .Hard decisions will have to be made by the Allied forces like in the Second World War when a decision had to be taken to drop the A Bombs on two Japanese Cities in order to bring the second World War to close .

    by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi
    October 01, 2012 2:25 AM
    The USA should have lend us a hand in their strategic war against terror since the Al Shabab has claimed to be linked or affiliated to the Al queda terror networks .One aircraft carrier patrolling the region will send a clear to the Al Shabab that the World does not tolerate terror networks and extremism .And does not condone the Bombing of Sunday school children or innocent civilians .This will also put a stop on their support for piracy ,smuggling illegal trade and an arms embargo against illegal firearms that harm innocent civilians and are used for criminal activities and cause instability in the region and mass exodus of refugees worsening a human crisis

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