Somali Federal Government and AMISOM have questions to answer [Op-Ed]

Published: March 17, 2016

Puntland State of Somalia, a relatively stable and functioning State in the Northeast of Somalia, has become the talking point in the Horn African region, after a sizable number of misguided Alshabaab forces entered its territory.
The motive of Alshabaab’s entry into Puntland territory is not yet fully verified. It is possible that the Puntland government, through its sources, might have genuine intelligence reports about who funded, mobilized and dispatched them to go to Puntland. The motives of Alshabaab are as yet unknown, however, this has not stopped the public from making their calculations.
Without doubt, considering the size of the militia, their physical visibility, and the efforts needed to mobilize them, and move them from one geographical area to another AMISOM and the Somali government forces should have been able to sense their movement. The Somali Government has yet to comment about how they have miserably failed to notice the movement of these militias.
Rationally, one would assume that both the Somali Government and AMISOM forces have information-gathering moles in the area that Alshabaab operates. The insurgents who are estimated to be around 600 to 1000 people have used boats to travel and sail around the most dangerous and volatile regions of Somalia where Alshabaab, as well as, pirates are known to operate. The fact that the Somali government and AMISOM had not noticed Alshabaab’s movement is hard to believe.
So, with that evidence, one may come to one of two conclusions; firstly that the Somali government and AMISOM forces are incapable, dysfunctional and hopeless, or secondly that they were aware of the deployment and were in tacit agreement with Alshabaab if not fully involved in every aspect of the operation.
Additionally, the United Nations special representative for Somalia Mr. Michael Keating has yet to speak, at least publicly, about the attack waged against the most stable and functioning State of Federal Somalia. This is very suspicious.
Furthermore, the Somali Government has yet to comment about the issue in question and how they have miserably failed to notice the movement of these militias.
Now, why are AMISOM and the Somali government are so silent and why haven’t they taken a stand on the issue in question? In this juncture, the Puntland Government and its people are entitled to have a clear and un-spiced explanation of why these forces were capable to depart from an area that AMISOM and Somali National Forces operate in or at least monitor.
In short, Puntland Government and Puntlanders have never had the intention to conspire against anyone and there is no doubt that any conspiracy against them will never succeed, God willing. Nevertheless, if attacked the Puntland Government and its people are capable to defend their territory successfully.
Omar Mohamud Farah OAM
Chairperson of Somali Australian Advisory Group

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