Al-Shabab, a terrorist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda, has been responsible for numerous attacks in Mogadishu over the years, targeting government officials, security forces, and civilians.
One of their most deadly attacks was the truck bombing in October 2017, which killed over 500 people and injured hundreds more. The attack was carried out at a busy intersection in the city’s heart, causing widespread destruction and chaos.
Al-Shabab has also carried out numerous hit-and-run attacks using vehicles as weapons. In January 2021, the group claimed responsibility for a car bombing at a busy checkpoint in Mogadishu that killed at least ten people and injured dozens more. In December 2019, the group targeted a busy street in Mogadishu with a car bomb, killing at least 90 people and injuring over 100. These attacks have not only caused physical harm and destruction. However, they have also created a sense of fear and insecurity among the population.
Mogadishu has been plagued by war, terrorism, poverty, and inadequate infrastructure, making life difficult for its residents. One of the city’s biggest challenges is the absence of designated walkways, traffic planning, and marked lanes for transportation that follow the rules and regulations approved by the government or the Benadir region administration. This has become a significant threat to the safety and security of the population in Mogadishu and has damaged the image of Somalia’s interior, as the city is often seen as a hotbed of terror.
The lack of designated walkways marked lanes, and traffic congestion has made it easier for terrorists to carry out hit-and-run attacks, causing chaos, fear, and confusion among the Somali population. Terrorists often use vehicles as weapons to ram into crowds, causing casualties and mayhem. The absence of designated walkways and marked lanes allows terrorists to blend in with regular traffic and escape after an attack, making it challenging for law enforcement agencies to identify and apprehend them.
Al-Shabab attacks not only threaten citizens’ physical safety but also have a profound psychological impact. These attacks cause the destruction of property and infrastructure and the loss of life, leading to a sense of fear and insecurity among the population. The constant fear of an attack can lead to anxiety, stress, and trauma, which can have long-term effects on the mental health and well-being of the population. To combat the threat of terrorism, the government of Somalia must prioritize the development of an organized transportation system that includes designated walkways and marked lanes.
The intermingling of traffic makes it difficult to recognize the car that terrorists may be using or the one that innocent people may be in, which can lead to security forces mistakenly targeting innocent individuals. This can damage the security forces’ reputation and create a rift between the government and the people. Therefore, it is crucial for the government to implement policies that prioritize the safety and well-being of civilians while also taking into account the need for effective law enforcement measures.
Additionally, it is crucial for the security forces to work closely with the community to build trust and support and to ensure that their actions are in line with the law and serve the best interests of the public. Therefore, it is important for the security forces to address these challenges and work towards building a safer and more secure society.
Moreover, designated sidewalks and marked streets not only increase the safety and security of people but also improve the overall quality of city life. Pedestrians can walk freely without fear of being hit by cars, and drivers of both trucks and Tuktuks, who face daily risks of shootings and death, can move through the city more efficiently, reducing road congestion and improving transportation flow.
In conclusion, the absence of designated roads and marked lanes in Mogadishu has made the city vulnerable to terrorist attacks, causing chaos, fear, and confusion among the public. To achieve the objectives of the capital, it is essential to identify the root of the problem and take appropriate measures to solve it. Mogadishu needs security and stability, which can be achieved by following the path to lasting peace and security for the people of Mogadishu. By taking these steps, the government can create a safer and more secure Mogadishu that prioritizes the safety and well-being of its citizens.
The author, Ahmed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Ahmed Kaboole, is a qualified political science expert with a special focus on security and crisis management. He holds a degree from the prestigious Swedish Defense University in Stockholm, Sweden.