News / Africa

Withdrawal of al-Shabab Offers Hope to Somalia's Transitional Government

Somali government soldiers patrol in Mogadishu's Bakara market, August 8, 2011
Somali government soldiers patrol in Mogadishu's Bakara market, August 8, 2011

Multimedia

Mariama Diallo

Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is offering amnesty to remaining insurgents in Mogadishu following the withdrawal of the Islamist group al-Shabab.  But it is vowing to continue fighting until Somalia is free of all rebel forces. 


The group's departure from Mogadishu has provided a boost of confidence for Somalia's Transitional Federal Government and the African Union peacekeeping forces, AMISOM, both of which have been fighting the insurgent group for a long time. .

"We are prepared to continue fighting until we get al-Shabab completely out of Somalia," said Abdullah Alia Nod, a commander with the TFG forces

A statement that David Shinn, former ambassador to Ethiopia, now professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington, says might be overly optimistic.

“Taking and holding Mogadishu is one thing but taking and holding south-central Somalia is quite another thing.  So I don’t see that as a real possibility,” he said.

Shinn says the Somali government needs to do more.

“The TFG has to show that it has a vision and it has something it can offer to the Somali people; and that’s where it’s failed so far on the political front//Because of internal division within the TFG, constant turnover of government; they change ministers just about every six months. They have a parliament of 550 members, which frankly is totally unnecessary for a country the size of Somalia,” Shinn said.

Shinn says al-Shabab also has its own weaknesses and divisions that could be exploited.

“There are those who have global jihadi agenda.  There are those who somewhat have some nationalistic agenda.  There are differences between indigenous Somalis and foreign Jihadis who have infiltrated al-Shabab.  So they have their own internal problems,” Shinn said.

More importantly, he says, there are divisions within al-Shabab when it comes to food aid.

“There are those who think more latitude ought to be given to Western aid agencies, there are those who don’t want Western aid in but they do allow the Islamic aid agencies. If I had to look at any mistake that al-Shabab has made in the last couple of years, this is by far the biggest: they’ve absolutely botched the relief effort and the Somali people don’t like it,” Shinn said.

Experts say the pullout will allow aid agencies to better address the famine affecting millions in the East African nation. In the meantime, al-Shabab says the pullout was just a change of tactics and has vowed to return to Mogadishu.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid