Tuesday March 28, 2023
Mogadishu (HOL) - As the Federal Government of Somalia makes final preparations for the second phase of operations against Al-Shabaab, criticisms have emerged regarding the government's strategy for this next stage of the mission.
Former National Security Agency Director and current Member of Parliament, Abdullahi Mohamed Ali Samboolshe, expressed strong concerns about the government's approach to the second phase of the war against 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 best 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.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announced the commencement of the second phase of the offensive against Al-Shabaab on Sunday. 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.
"Every region will be liberated; we are committed to helping Somali citizens and ensuring that no one is left behind," said Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama.