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After Al-Shabaab what next?

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th September 2011 08:00 PM

SOMALIA is one of the homogenous nations on this earth; religiously, culturally and even ethnically, yet their homogeneity has not helped them to overcome their prolonged woe.

SOMALIA is one of the homogenous nations on this earth; religiously, culturally and even ethnically, yet their homogeneity has not helped them to overcome their prolonged woe.

Omar Sheikh Hamid

SOMALIA is one of the homogenous nations on this earth; religiously, culturally and even ethnically, yet their homogeneity has not helped them to overcome their prolonged woe.

It was an economic and military power in the early 1980s, before the collapse of Somali national government led by Gen. Siad Bare that left everything destroyed in 1991.

The prolonged civil wars, deep rooted tribalism, the loss of nationalism, as well as the current famine are the main existing challenges. Those are the things that plunged Somalia into the current catastrophic situation.

The biggest challenge faced by the government after 1991 was the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) that defeated the warlords and tried to restore peace in Mogadishu for the first time in 15 years, and brought most of southern Somalia under its ambit.

Consequently, Ethiopian forces invaded the country with justification of supporting the government.

In contrast, many Somalis supported the UIC demanding the international community to engage them peacefully.

But the peace did not last. Ethiopian invasion of 2006 defeated the loyalists of UIC, displacing more than a million people and many lost their lives. Al-Shabab, originally the youth wing of the UIC, then emerged.

Though the group wants to establish an Islamic state, it failed to govern and provide the basic services. Now that the militants are no longer in the capital; the question is, after Al-Shabaab fleeing, what is the way forward and how soon will normalcy be restored?

If the Government with AMISOM troops do not take advantage of this opportunity to fully control the capital, then the transitional Government will fail and the Somalis will despair from hope of lasting peace.

Somalis should learn from history, since after the collapse of central Government in 1991, it was in 2006 when the whole of Mogadishu was under the control of former TFG led by Col. Yusuf but unfortunately, they didn’t take advantage of it to control the city; the opposition re-organised themselves with tactics of guerrilla war and won to challenge the government again.

The writer is a student of Kampala International University (KIU)

After Al-Shabaab what next?

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