Fight against the Shebabs in Somalia: the Americans scratch the authorities

A car bomb attack left 89 people dead in Mogadishu, Somalia, on December 28, 2019. REUTERS / Feisal Omar

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The United States has just released its annual counter-terrorism report. A document which evokes in particular the fight against the Islamist shebabs in the Horn of Africa. The terrorist group was involved in more than 1,000 violent actions in 2019, in Somalia but also in Kenya. In this report, the Americans are not always tender with the government of Mogadishu.


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With our regional correspondent in Nairobi ,   Sébastien Nemeth

Even though the United States still describes Somalia as an "  engaged partner  ", its report is not overwhelming. Somali power is still deemed "  highly dependent on its foreign partners  " for security. The national army "  remains incapable of securing its territory alone and retaking cities  ". As a result, the Shebabs still control large areas of southern and central Somalia. Areas where they move freely, levy taxes, recruit, etc.

But the report noted some positive things nonetheless: the creation of the FRC, which is a center responsible for tracking illegal financial flows. There are also laws against money laundering, against the financing of terrorism, against money transfers by phone, widely used by Islamists.

On the ground, Washington reports some notable operations. Those intended to disrupt the circulation of what are called IEDs, these bombs left on the side of the road and triggered at a distance. And also campaigns to take back key territories close to the capital.

For example, Operation Badbaado, which allowed the reconquest of several cities used as bases for the shebabs to assemble equipment, plan and launch attacks. Besides, it continues this year.

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  • Somalia
  • Kenya
  • United States
  • Shebabs
  • Terrorism
  • Horn of Africa

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