Al-Shabab launches a new recruitment campaign amid renewed pressure

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – Al-Shabaab has launched a militia recruitment plan amid increasing pressure from AMISOM and Somali government forces, sources within the Somali National Army have told Caasimada Online.

The sources say Al-Shabaab has ordered residents who live villages under its control to contribute light weapons, and young men to be trained for the group’s army.

The most recent incident occurred in a village known as Geel Gub in Middle Shabelle region where Al-Shabaab has recently captured from the government.

Residents were stripped of their firearms and were forced to provide their young men for recruitment. Some were also reported to have lost their livestock to the group too.

UN Panel of Experts on Somalia 2019 report stated that Al-Shabaab has been collecting “taxes” from almost all businesses in the capital Mogadishu. These taxes are also collected from people who buy or build houses using intimidation.

“Al-Shabaab has amassed a lot of capital from their illegal dealings and collection of “taxes” which they are investing in building up their ranks, specifically the guerrilla divisions, the bombings division, and the intelligence division.” Said a Somali Military Official who has requested not to be named.

In spite of all this Al-Shabaab is still facing a lot of pressure from the Somali National Army and American drone attacks which have in the past couple of months caused sizable casualties for the group, forcing them to withdraw from many villages.

Suicide bombings and killings were a regular occurrence in the capital of Mogadishu, but recently, the government seems to have reduced these activities. This is as a result of a renewed focus on intelligence by the government to overcome any plots undertaken by the group.

The new recruitment campaign by the group is believed to be as a result of the increased pressure and the strengthening of the government intelligence services.