Since the beginning of 2019, al-Shabaab has been active with several high-profile attacks, chief among them the DusitD2 attack. In January, three al-Shabaab members detonated a VBIED in front of the business complex and hotel in an affluent Nairobi neighborhood before entering the facility and killing over 20 people.
In the first part of this video, a series of mid-day assassinations are highlighted, followed by multiple IED attacks. Several AMISON and KDF vehicles are hit with IEDs equipped with pressure plate triggers.
At the end of the video, the al-Shabaab leader warns Somalis not to work with the “unbelievers” or face severe punishment.
It’s not that the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) is without traction. With the aid of AFRICOM strikes, it’s killed over 100 militants in the last two months. The FGS is dead set on reclaiming the last strongholds of al-Shabaab in Southern Somalia. However, since al-Shabaab is aware of the governments’ goals, it only needs to hold out until rainy season starts in April. This makes it close to impossible to move vehicles, as roads are covered in water and mud.
Al-Shabaab is trying to win this war of attrition, and has no intention on going toe-to-toe with FGS and its allies. It only has to survive long enough for the people to get tired and demand the governments’ resignation, which is highly unlikely. However, in the Gedo region, 900 new recruits were added to an almost previously nonexistent Federal Police Force. New recruits are trained as a paramilitary unit with the ability to enforce the law in rural areas.
By Ahmed Hassan