News / Africa

New al-Shabab Call for Rebellion, Analyst Says Somalis Want Peace

Wreckage is seen after an attack outside the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu, Jan. 2, 2014.
Wreckage is seen after an attack outside the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu, Jan. 2, 2014.
The al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab carried out an average of one deadly attack every seven weeks during 2013.  At least 18,000 African Union soldiers are in Somalia attempting to crush al-Shabab and end more than two decades of conflict.  But the militant group is still pushing to overthrow the internationally-recognized government.  On Wednesday one of the top al-Shabab commanders in southern Somalia called on the locals to rebel against the government.

More than two years ago al-Shabab withdrew from the capital Mogadishu, and for the first time in decades the city was relatively safe from street battles.  But the situation has remained fragile.

The militant group is still capable of carrying out deadly attacks on government facilities and public places.  The government insists Mogadishu is safe and that it is doing its best to prevent terror attacks.

Somali government spokesman Ridwan Haji Abdiwali tells VOA the government is going to put more effort into training and bolstering the national army to provide security.

In 2014, he says, the government plans to strengthen the army, to provide sophisticated weapons and to train more soldiers and commanders.  He says the government is also working on operations to take more territory from al-Shabab.

The group lost control of major cities in south and central Somalia in 2012 during a concerted military effort by African Union forces and Somali government troops.  But al-Shabab continues to control parts of the countryside.

On Wednesday, the al-Shabab commander in Somalia's Lower Shabelle region, Sheikh Mohamed Abu Abdalla, called on locals to rebel against the Somali government.

He said, “Those people who live in areas where our enemy controls, this is the time to buy your weapons and fight against them, and we are ready to help you.”

The commander, speaking to pro-al-Shabab Radio Andalus, also accused the government and AU forces of committing crimes against the population in areas under its control - something the Somali government has strongly denied.

Analysts doubt Somalis are ready to rise up against their government.  Emmanuel Kisiangani, a senior researcher with the Nairobi-based Institute for Security Studies, says it seems Somalis are tired of war and are ready to have a peaceful country.

“Now with people fatigued with war, I think the government has this opportunity and it does enjoy international credibility compared to some of the previous interim governments.  So I think it's important the government manages to take over some of these regions and assert its authority,” he said.

He thinks the militant group still presents a major threat in neighboring countries.  In September, the group attacked an upscale mall in Nairobi, killing more than 60 civilians.

Kisiangani notes al-Shabab's activities in neighboring countries are growing and that presents a problem to regional governments.

“From last year, we had several incidences, where we had people as far as from Western part of Kenya who were behind attacks.  This is very dangerous, it’s a process of creating local fundamental individuals and that presents much bigger problems,” he said.

Al-Shabab has other ways of creating problems besides terrorist attacks.  On Wednesday, it said it is banning the use of mobile Internet and fiber optic telephones throughout Somalia.  The Somali government says the group cannot enforce the ban.  But it could pressure or attack communications companies, further slowing the progress toward peace and normalcy in Somalia.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
January 16, 2014 6:41 PM
The current so called federal government of Somalia wants only beneficially controlled peace that solely enable them to siphon off aid money into their secret foreign banks.
Western donors recommended National Bank Governor, Ms. Yussur Abrar, refused corruption advances from government officials. When she was threatened, she ran for her life and resigned after only two months on the job.
According to UN report, almost 78% of foreign cash aid vanished from local financial institution. To my surprise while there's no audible outcry from donors, the Somali officials are shamelessly behaving as if nothing serious has happened.
One has to take full responsibility for this grand theft aid.
The world should help rational Somalis curb the culture of corruptions.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs