How to win the war against al-Shabab

By Hassan Sheikh Mohamud - Information, education, development, and international support are essential in defeating an extremist enemy in retreat.
Article Keydmedia Online
How to win the war against al-Shabab

When I meet my fellow African leaders in Addis Ababa this weekend, we will be sending a powerful message to the world; we will be demonstrating continental unity against extremists. It will be the latest victory for Somalia in an information war against an enemy that is firmly on the back foot.

Much of the commentary in the aftermath of the Westgate atrocity has suggested the attack emboldened al-Shabab. Allow me to argue that it demonstrated precisely the opposite. It is often said that the media has a short attention span, but one does not need a great memory to recall how, before 2011, al-Shabab controlled a great majority of Mogadishu, in addition to the strategic port cities of Merka and Kismayo, which served as their financial and logistical hub, and whole swathes of Somalia. Most of my country was then victim to their perverted form of "governance" - beatings, beheadings, amputations, extortion, and a complete betrayal of Islamic practice. There is no such thing as a legitimate al-Shabab government. Their rule was human rights abuse plain and simple.

Those who do not know Somalia may have been fooled into thinking, both by al-Shabab

Article 21 May 2021 10:14

I read your article on Foreign Policy with keen eyes and interest. While whining from public officials does not deserve response from any sensible citizen of the Republic of Somalia, I felt compelled to counter false narrative with more objective analysis.