How Al-Shabaab can be defeated in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia – Al-Qaeda-linked group Al-Shabaab can be defeated in Somalia if international community emphasizes development agenda, Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] General Robert Kibochi said, noting that “it is not too late”.
Al-Shabaab militants still control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia and have over the years attacked military bases, government offices in addition to targeting innocent civilians. Thousands of people have been killed in the process.
But General Kibochi notes that there have been considerable gains in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants thanks to the concerted efforts of the African Union mission forces. [AMISOM] in the country of the Horn of Africa. He said economic and social development is needed to deter the militia from recruiting new recruits and making a comeback.
“Are we on the main stage? Not yet. The reason is what happened, is that we applied kinetic force where we hit the enemy, what to do is bring development. People in the area need to see development happen, schools reopen and children go to school so you can dry out the pool from which Al Shabaab is recruiting, ”Kibochi told Citizen TV on Wednesday.
“We need to bring social development into this space so that we can open up the country, open up the roads and put in place the infrastructure so that we can get to a point where the Somali security forces can take our place. “
According to him, the development program proved useful in Sierra Leone during the civil war which left thousands dead. KDF played an important role during the peacekeeping mission in this West African country.
“The same happened in Sierra Leone, we went there to liberate the place but the development came into play later and the country is now booming,” he said.
Kibochi also insisted that despite the restructuring of AMISOM forces, the forces will continue to help in the fight against Al-Shabaab and will prove vital for the complete liberation of Somalia.
Kenya joined the Multinational Defense Force Group in 2012 after successfully completing Operation Linda Nchi in Somalia in October 2011.
“There is an upcoming debate in the Security Council that examines how AMISOM can be reconfigured and our thought has always been that now that we have been able to degrade the threat, it is time for us to make more progress. other dimensions that we need to introduce the economic dimension. There are no threats in Kismayu because of AMISOM, ”Kibochi added.
With threats of terrorism constantly evolving, the general insisted that the KDF’s recently unveiled Strategic Communications Department, coupled with combat experience, will prove vital in preparing the military for the new threats. terrorists.
“Strategic communications is not really a new direction, it is a route that many modern defense forces are taking because war has changed dramatically due to technological advancements,” he said.
“Information is one of the elements of national power along with diplomacy, the military and the economy, and so for the KDF to be relevant in modern warfare, we had to think about how to develop our capacity and it is an ability that allows us to sharpen our arrowhead to be able to fight.
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