– As the Federal Government of Somalia finalizes plans for the second phase of military operations against Al-Shabaab, concerns about the government’s plan for this part of the mission have surfaced.
Abdullahi Mohamed Ali Samboolshe, a former director of the National Security Agency and a current member of parliament, expressed grave concerns about the government’s strategy for the second phase of the conflict with Al-Shabaab. Samboolshe explained that the government is deviating from the strategy that had previously been effective against the extremist group, which involved direct confrontation between the locals and Al-Shabaab. Instead, the government now plans to have its forces lead the second phase of the operation, a move Samboolshe argues will be detrimental to the offensive.
“The key to success in this war has been pitting the people against Al-Shabaab. When the government leads the war, setbacks and defeats occur. When locals lead, progress and success follow. The role of citizens is vital; soldiers alone cannot win, nor can the people. The biggest chance of winning comes from working together. A delicate balance between locals, the international community, and government forces is required, and if one element is missing, victory becomes unattainable,” said MP Samboolshe.
On Sunday, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud made a statement announcing the start of the second phase of the campaign against Al-Shabaab. Following Samboolshe’s comments, Somali Minister of Defense Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama emphasized that liberation efforts are already underway in Hirshabelle and Galmudug, with plans to expand the war to other Al-Shabaab-controlled parts of the country.
Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama stated, “Every region will be liberated; we are committed to helping Somali citizens and making sure that no one is left behind.”
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