Al-Shabab’s Gorilla Attack: Islamic Militants Storm AU Base in Somalia, Leaving Many Dead

On Friday 26th June, 2015, Islamic militants from the Al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabab group attacked a remote African Union base in Somalia, causing a catastrophe that led to the death of 25 combatants while several others were injured, according to the AU mission reports and Abudi Guled (Associated Press). In a tweet, the Africa Union mission confirmed there had been an early morning attack on the terrorist group’s outpost in the village Lego but no further information was provided at that time.

According to Mohammed Hami, an official in the Lower Shabelle region, the militants attacked the entrance with a suicide car bomb before gunmen began their assault. They forcefully infiltrated the entrance after the car bomb blast which led to the massive attack. One of the most dreadful engagements during the attack was to behead women. The governor of Lower Shabelle, Abdiqadir Mohammed Siidi also affirmed that a minister for the regional South-Western State and the commissioner of Lego were still missing. Moreover, Mohamud Ade, a local elder confirmed through phone that Al-Shabab had taken control of the area: arresting people and patrolling parts of the village (Lego).

Furthermore, it should be recalled that Al-Shabab terrorist group vowed to launch attacks during the Musilm Holy month of Ramadan. Subsequently, on 24th June,2015 the terrorist group killed 9 people after a suicide bomber tried to ram his explosives-laden car into a convoy of vehicles transporting Emirati diplomats in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, according to Associated Press (AP). Although Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, confirmed that the targets of Wednesday, 24th June, 2015 were unharmed and safe, most of the victims were Somali civilians caught up in the blast. The Islamic militants from the Al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabab group have also claimed responsibility for the attack on AU base in Somalia on 26th June, 2015. According to the group’s spokesman, Sheikh Ali MOhamud Rage, the militants have taken control of the base which is on a key supply route for the AU forces.

Despite several efforts made to push the militants out of the territory they once controlled across the Horn of Africa nation, including Mogadishu, they remain a lethal threat, carrying out guerrilla attacks on government and civilian targets. Be that as it may, the UN Special Representative for Somali and Africa Union Special Envoy both condemned the attack and reaffirmed their resolutions to continue to support the Somali Government and people until they are free from terrorism.

Pathetically, the most expression that capture minds was from one of the victims (Ahmed Mohamed) whose wife was wounded during the attack: “we are dying like insects every day”. The expression has demonstrated the degree of brutality, barbarism, oppression, suppression, deprivation, hopelessness and fundamental abuse of human dignity, divinity and rights by Al-Shabab terrorist group. In other words, the expression could signify “who is the next insect to fall into Al-Shabab’s net?” It is an expression of hopelessness which came out of experience. One of the mechanisms to leverage attacks of terrorist is to address the inertia of information asymmetry which blinds early warning signals. Since the recent attacks have followed similar pattern, efforts should be made to enhance communication in the affected areas – a tripartite strategic communication exchange mechanisms that facilitate uninterrupted and timely information among citizens, governments and armed forces.

Oyewole Oginni
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