News / Africa

Many Somalis Still See al-Shabab as Threat

A United Nations report this month said half of Somalia’s population wants to leave the country despite security gains and the creation of a new government. Some Somalis who have fled still see the al-Qaida linked group al-Shabab as a threat to both their lives and the future of their country.

In 2008, Ismail Maalim Ahmed, was working with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Somalia’s Bay region.  That year, in July, he came under attack from al-Shabab.

“I was working with WHO as a health surveyor.  Al-Shabab kidnapped me at a place which is 25 kilomteters away from Baidoa and took me to a remote place.  In the first place they deceived me by asking me a favor to give them a lift to some place.  When we arrived at the village they told me to come out of the car at a gunpoint and they said to me I was infidel and a spy and they shot me nine times,” Ahmed said.

Left to die, Ahmed struggled to walk for seven kilometers over eight hours.  After a long ordeal he got help and he was taken to the town of Dinsroor.  The next day he was airlifted to Nairobi for further treatment.

After three months staying in Nairobi he went back to Dinsoor.  Ahmed says he wanted answers as to why al-Shabab wanted him dead.

But al-Shabab still saw him as a threat, and left him a message demanding he leave the country within 24 hours.

Ahmed‘s story is the example of the kind of pressure al-Shabab has put on Somalis to leave their own country.

The U.N. report says despite security gains made in the last two years, Somalis are not yet convinced things will change for better, and half of the population wants to seek refuge in other countries.

Lack of opportunities inside the country have also made easy for al-Shabab to recruit youths to fight for the group.

A Human Rights Watch report released in February noted the militant group has increasingly recruited children to strengthen its numbers.  Families and children that resist the recruitment drive face severe consequences and even death.

Some parents whose sons have joined al-Shabab have found other alternatives to get their sons back without being detected by the militant group.

Thirty-year old AbdiKhadir Mohamed, who lives in Nairobi, has recently travelled back to Somalia to get his 12-year-old nephew who joined al-Shabab when his entire class joined.

Mohamed said he took the initiative to get the youngster back after his parents were so afraid from al-Shabab.

“I talked to the parents of the boy if they were comfortable with their son joining the group al-Shabab.  They told me they were not okay with it.  That’s when I decided I have to play the role of an uncle to save the boy whatever it takes.  So that I can change his life and his future,” Mohamed said.

With al-Shabab in retreat now, losing large territories they once controlled, Mohamed says it is time for all Somalis to get their sons out of terror groups.

“Every one of us has to look ways to get our people back whatever it takes.  We all know each other, we all live in the country, we know every district, town and village and we all know where our boys are stationed.  They have to find solution to their sons before they are kille,” Mohamed said.

Despite al-Shabab losing ground in recent months Somalis are still worried about the threat posed by its members.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More