Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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US report to assess the Army and terrorism situation in Somalia

Tuesday 30/June/2020 - 12:49 PM
The Reference
Ahmed Adel

From bad to worse, this is how the situation in Somalia is going after the spatial control of al-Shabaab elements affiliated with the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda in the country over large parts of the countries of the Horn of Africa, as well as the failure of government forces to eliminate these terrorist elements.

The US State Department announced, on Saturday, June 27, 2020, in its 2019 report on terrorism, that the Somali army is still unable to drive Al-Shabaab out of its strongholds, allowing the terrorist movement to tighten its control of large parts of the country.

 The report pointed out that last year, Al-Shabaab carried out more than 1000 attacks inside Somali lands and northern Kenya, adding that the movement currently has a number of terrorist elements ranging between five thousand and nine thousand.

Funding…The password for the spread of terrorism

The report adds that Al-Shabaab funds its terrorist operations through “the production and export of illegal charcoal, the imposition of taxes on residents and local companies, and through financial and other remittances from the Somali diaspora.”

The report pointed out that the Somali army is launching complex operations against "terrorist youth", and the Somali army relies on military assistance from the African Union (AMISOM) forces and the US military command in Africa, "AFRICOM", which provides support to them even in ground battles.

 But the report did not mention the intense campaign of air strikes launched by the African-American Command (AFRICOM) against Al Shabaab targets, as AFRICOM carried out 63 such strikes in 2019, compared to 47 in 2018 and 35 in 2017.

According to the report, the Mogadishu government has failed to implement the main aspects of the security reforms, a move that further impedes efforts to enable the national army to counter the terror of the grassroots youth movement.

The report notes that Somali military officials "have failed to implement vital national security reforms and pass legislation that could help strengthen the government's ability to effectively secure governance at all levels."

But it found that the Somali federal government remained a willing partner in the efforts of the United States to improve the quality of police entities across the country.

It also describes the Kenyan government as an American partner willing to investigate, prosecute and respond to terrorist attacks.

But the Kenyan police and army hailed their response to the DusitD2 attack in January 2019, and the report says: "Their performance on that occasion was in line with international standards for the protection of human rights in response to terrorist threats and attacks."

The United States is discovering that the Kenyan trial of the suspected terrorists shows progress and shortcomings.

The report states: "Trials of terrorism cases were often slow and ineffective," noting that the three remaining defendants in the 2013 "Seagate Mall" attack were still on trial at the end of 2019.

It included "important victories" that were achieved last year; Restore the convictions and sentences handed down against Iranians involved in a 2012 car bombing of 15 years.

In 2019, a Kenyan court found that three of the four accused were guilty of the Garissa University massacre in 2015.

The United States and its partners have also chased al-Qaeda around the world, and the organization has faced a major setback with the killing of its prospective leader Hamzah bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, however, groups and associated forces have been able to act and continue to represent a threat in Africa, the Middle East, and regions Others, Al-Shabaab in the Horn of Africa is among the most active and dangerous terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda International.