Today from Hiiraan Online:
Normalcy returns to Mogadishu after al-Shabaab pullout
Friday, August 16, 2013
Exactly two years ago, the Somali armed group al-Shabaab was forced out of the capital Mogadishu largely because of the efforts by the African Union and Somali forces.
It took the joint forces five years to regain full control over Mogadishu. AMISOM argues that the capital’s security has improved since then.
Since the pullout, the city has recorded tremendous progress. Key roads have been opened as reconstruction is taking place throughout the once bullet riddled and war ravaged capital. The business community is particularly enjoying the improved security as shops open until late at night.
The militant group recently claimed responsibility for an attack on a Turkish diplomatic post that left six people dead. AMISOM and UN offices have also been recent victims of Al-Shabaab’s deadly attacks.
Two years since the pullout of the dreaded armed group, security forces are still struggling to maintain the capital’s security. In particular, the group intensified its attacks on AMISOM and Somali government during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The capital has experienced relative calm but the militant group continues to launch guerilla attacks. Security still remains the biggest challenge for President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Despite all progress, there is little to show. Several of key Mogadishu roads have been blocked with concrete barricades. The government says it has introduced new forces that will take charge of the capital’s security. It also calls for public support in its war on Al-Shabaab.
The group is facing serious challenges after the arrest of one of its senior most commanders. Nevertheless, it says that it will continue with its war until it unseats the new internationally backed federal government under President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
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