MOGADISHU, SOMALIA – Authorities in Somalia have installed security cameras on major roads in the capital, Mogadishu, in an effort to deter ongoing attacks by the Islamist militant group Al-Shabab. Residents and business owners have welcomed the stepped-up security. But, as Mohamed Sheik Nor reports from Mogadishu, some analysts doubt the cameras will be enough to stop the attacks.
This month, Somali authorities began installing security cameras on some of Mogadishu’s major roads, like the Maka al-Mukarama, which leads to the presidential palace.
Abdullahi Farah, director of policy and legal affairs at the Ministry of Security says the closed-circuit television cameras, mounted at key intersections, are meant to deter frequent attacks by the al-Shabab terrorist group.
Farah says the security cameras will reduce criminal activities and prevent al-Shabab from carrying out attacks.
He says these surveillance cameras will reduce the terrorist attacks. They will deter them from carrying out attacks because the cameras are tracking them. Therefore, he says, our people are quite happy about the move and deem it a step forward.
Mogadishu residents and business owners have welcomed the cameras in the city’s business center, which the Islamist militants often target.
Business owner Deqa Salad is one of those who think the cameras will make a difference.
She says these cameras deter anyone from committing a crime. Even ordinary thieves avoid cameras like these, she says, because they afraid to be caught on camera.
But political analyst Hassan Barise says the cameras will only deter terrorists who fear getting caught — not suicide bombers who were told that if they kill, they will be rewarded in the afterlife.
“But the others who have been seriously brainwashed, or heavily indoctrinated ones, will not be avoiding anything,” said Barise. “Because, in the end of the day, they think that they will go to heaven.”
Barise adds the cameras themselves will need security, as al-Shabab is likely to target them for destruction.
The terrorist group in May ordered Mogadishu businesses with cameras to remove them or else they would attack.
Ibrahim Hajji, director of communications at the Ministry of Defense, says authorities will closely monitor the new security cameras.
A special team is manning this system, which the government established, he says. He says he does not want to go into details, as it is a sensitive matter.
To further deter the Islamist militants, Somali authorities say they are also training and deploying more police and intelligence officers in the capital.