14 November 2017

Somalia: Lessons From Somalia - Building Community Resilience Is Crucial

opinion

South Africa's Somali community is a community of self-sufficient, law-abiding citizens. These people have learned the consequences of non-tolerant radicalised societies and their moderation continues to hold true despite being victims of xenophobic and criminal attacks resulting in about 40 deaths to date in 2017 alone. By DAVID BAX.

The recent bombing in Mogadishu, when an improvised explosive device built on the back of a truck exploded in a vulnerable location killing as many as 400 people, points to the incompetence, coercion and collusion from security officials at checkpoints. A bomb of the magnitude used in the attack requires a large truck to carry, and concealment is very difficult. The weakness in the security envelope around Mogadishu is, however, only part of the problem.

The security forces and the African Union (AU) allies -- logistically supported by the United Nations -- have never tried to expel al-Shabaab from more than the main towns and villages, allowing the Shabaab fighters to build bombs, train and attack almost at will. In the last few years, they have repeatedly attacked AU camps, resulting in many hundreds of deaths among the peacekeepers.

If Somalia is not to slide further into chaos, to be effective,...

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