Africa vs Al-Shabab: Joint military offensive in Somalia

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – Al-Shabab, the Islamist insurgent group, has been a significant hindrance to the progress and stability of Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa region since its inception in 2006.  

The group has taken advantage of Somalia’s weak central government to control large portions of the country’s ungoverned territories, including parts of the capital city of Mogadishu.

The group reached its peak in 2011, when it took over parts of Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu. However, regional leaders have had enough and have come together to discuss a joint military offense to eradicate Al-Shabab once and for all. 

A coordinated effort by Horn of Africa countries

On Wednesday, Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud hosted a summit with his Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Djiboutian counterparts to discuss a coordinated military offensive against Al-Shabab.  

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has supported the Somali government in its fight against Al-Shabab for the last 15 years. The African Transitional Mission in Somalia has taken its place with the goal of reducing troops to zero by 2024 and security being assumed by Somalia’s army and police. 

This collaboration among Somalia’s neighbors is expected to lead to the quick liberation of the country from the Islamist insurgents who have been dealt heavy blows on the battlefield in recent weeks.  

The recent meeting highlights enhanced engagement among Somalia’s neighbors in their quest to eradicate Al-Shabab. 

Insurgency impediments to Africa’s progress and stability

The insurgency issue in Africa has been a major hindrance to the progress and stability of the region, and Somalia being a victim, understands this well. 

The presence of such forces assaults the global image of the countries. It has even hindered Somalia’s bid for East African Community (EAC) membership, which has been rejected because of “sporadic conflicts and weak institutions.” 

African leaders’ decision to counter-insurgency

The recent decision by Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia to join hands in countering the insurgency is a result of the direct or indirect impact of the Islamist militants on their countries.  

Fresh from a deadly war, Ethiopia wouldn’t want to face another challenge and has decided to contribute significantly to countering the insurgency. Kenya, which shares borders with Somalia, has also been a victim of Al-Shabab’s terror and sees this as an opportunity to project itself as a champion of counter-terrorism initiatives. Similarly, Djibouti considers this a chance to join the regional effort and project itself as a champion of counter-terrorism initiatives. 

African leaders’ search for African solutions 

Despite the US and other Western interventions in Africa, the insurgency issue has only worsened, pushing the countries into further underdevelopment. 

Leaders like Ruto, Abiy Ahmed, Ismael Omar Gelle, and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud have now decided to counter African problems with African solutions, primarily through destroying the Islamist rodents once and for all. 

A unified Africa is the need of the hour, and this meeting marks the beginning of a new era in the African war on terrorism.

In conclusion, the Horn of Africa countries have come together to launch a coordinated military offensive against Al-Shabab to put an end to its insurgency that has caused much havoc. 

The African leaders have realized the need for African solutions to African problems. They have taken the first step towards a unified Africa in the fight against terrorism.