News / Africa

Al-Shabab Still a Threat to AMISOM Countries

Ugandan peacekeeping troops stand during a ceremony at Mogadishu airport in Somalia May 18, 2014. U.N.-backed peacekeepers pushed the Islamist fighters out of Mogadishu in 2011, but the al Qaida-linked group has continued to launch guerrilla-style attacks.
Ugandan peacekeeping troops stand during a ceremony at Mogadishu airport in Somalia May 18, 2014. U.N.-backed peacekeepers pushed the Islamist fighters out of Mogadishu in 2011, but the al Qaida-linked group has continued to launch guerrilla-style attacks.
Marthe van der Wolf
AFRICOM, the United States Military command for Africa, believes that al-Shabab will continue to attack nations that contribute troops to the Somalia effort.
 
The commanding general of AFRICOM, David Rodriguez, said despite the fact that al-Shabab’s area of control has decreased in recent months, the militant group continues to be a threat. 

“We think that they are going to continue to go after the troop contributing countries to try to disrupt and frustrate the populations of those countries," Rodriguez said, "so that the support to the AMISOM effort is limited from those nations. So what they want to do is get those nations out of Somalia and they are going to threaten them, they are going to go after their homelands to show and to demonstrate to the populations of those countries that it’s not worth the continued efforts to support AMISOM."
 
Kenya was attacked again by the militant group Friday when two car bombs were set off in its capital, Nairobi, and 10 people were killed. The attack came right after countries such as Britain and the United States had issued travel advisories for certain regions in Kenya because of security threats.
 
General Rodriguez said al-Shabab remains a threat to U.S. interests in the region and in Europe and has stated a wish to attack the U.S. mainland as well.
 
“The challenge is that al-Shabab is now really focusing on asymmetric attacks and they adjusted some of their strategy about a year ago by conducting the sensational terrorist type attacks,” Rodriguez explained.

Al-Shabab attacked a popular mall in Nairobi last September, killing 67 people and making world headlines for days.
 
General Rodriguez said the U.S. is training AMISOM troops before they go into Somalia to improve their capabilities. “And then we are working with each of the troop contributing nations to help them develop the capacities to mainly share information among all their agencies to get the best intelligence picture that they can get on the threats to their nations and their homelands,” he said.
 
AFRICOM also has a small team at the AMISOM headquarters to support the mission against al-Shabab.
 
Nations contributing troops to AMISOM are Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Burundi and Djibouti.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid