Region wary as Somalia threatens to degenerate

The insecurity in Somalia is fast threatening regional peace, with calls for international intervention to avert a continental crisis.

BY FRED OLUOCH

Advertisement

The insecurity in Somalia is fast threatening regional peace, with calls for international intervention to avert a continental crisis.

Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are at most risk because of their porous borders, the proliferation of small arms and the ongoing recruitment of young people from these countries into the Al-Shabaab militia.

As the militia group pull off a flurry of takeovers of areas previously controlled by the government, the United Nations-supported African Mission in Somalia (Amisom) are in danger of being overwhelmed.

While Al-Shabaab is getting stronger, the Sheikh Sharif Ahmed-led transitional government currently controls only two of the 16 districts in Mogadishu — Wadajir and Darkabley.

Al-Shabaab’s strongholds are Bakara market, Heliwa, Yaqshid.

Amison controls the airport, the seaport and the area around the presidential palace.

President Sheikh Shariff Ahmed, Speaker of the National Assembly Osman Elmi Boqore and the Prime Minister Omar Abdulrashid Sharmarke are all guarded around the clock by Amisom.

According to the director of communications at State House, Abdulkadir Osman, the crisis in Somalia is getting out of hand and the international community should assist the country with both logistics and finance to save the region from possible anarchy.

“If we fail to contain the Al-Shabaab, it will be hard for the continent and the world to restore peace in the region,” said Mr Osman.

“We need financial support to train our armed forces and the intelligence in order to stand on our own feet,” said Mr Osman

Morale is low among government soldiers as most must go without pay.

Meanwhile, some officials are supplying Al-Shabaab with arms diverted from the government troops.

Recently, Kenyan authorities arrested seven Somali nationals at Kilindini harbour with an assortment of arms including rocket launchers, grenades and AK-47s, clear evidence that small arms from the war-torn Horn of Africa country are already flowing within the region.

Despite the threat, Kenya and Ethiopia, as the frontline states, were barred by the 2004 peace agreement from direct military intervention in Somalia because of conflict of interest.

The Ethiopian intervention in 2006 went against this mutual agreement.

More From The East African
This page might use cookies if your analytics vendor requires them. Accept