A wave of shock and sadness is flooding the Somali capital Mogadishu after a devastating attack that left 79 people dead and more than 100 injured. A truck carrying explosives was blown up on a busy intersection, meaning that all those in the area – including a bus full of university students – were caught by the attack. People who were at the scene of the attack and those with relations to the victims have spoken about what a sad day this was. It is an extremely tragic and drastic loss of life. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but there is suspicion that there is a link to the Shabab which is an Al Qaeda group. This group has been known to attack in this area before. Kenya and Uganda have also been victims of attacks from this group in the past. Mogadishu has suffered several attacks this year from Shabab, although this one is the worst in years.
BBC reported that the Horn of Africa Project Director, Murithi Mutiga said that, “it doesn’t appear that much progress has been made in combating this very resilient and deadly insurgency.” It is now being noted internationally that Somali forces may have been underestimated as their strength continues to grow. The U.S. Embassy tweeted that they continue to stand with the Somalis. They too wish to see the end of terrorism.
This single attack is certainly part of a bigger picture. As already mentioned, it is just one of many attacks carried out over several years. Somalia has seen so much violence, and there is little peace for the people trying to go about their lives. American forces and a peacekeeping regime is an honourable attempt at creating a peaceful environment, but this attack shows that realistically, it is not enough. Improvements are needed – in fact, they are expected – for peacekeeping in not just Somalia but all of Africa. The U.S. has been juggling several conflicts all around the world, and their troops are being pulled and pushed in multiple directions. Now is the time to keep some focus on Africa, as tensions are certainly rising.
The Shabab has repeatedly proven themselves to be the strongest terror group in the area, capable of the most horrific violence. They have pushed their agenda with aggression since 2006, and this is most apparent in the areas that they control. However, the Shabab has not held steady control, as the group has been met with opposition from American troops for example, but they are far from being beaten. This group has been known for censorship and oppression, a violation of human rights, so it is clear to see why the people of Africa want to see their harmful agenda ended and those responsible for so much devastation brought to justice.
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