Report: Al Shabaab attacks soaring in Kenya, Somalia
Despite the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) forces preparing to leave the war-torn country in a year, Kenya and Somalia are experiencing rising Al Shabaab attacks, a new report shows.
According to a survey by Strategic Intelligence on Counter Terrorism, Kenya is a hotbed of recruitment with youth, especially from Kwale county, being lured into the militant group.
Once recruited, the youths are sneaked into Somalia from where they are trained to launch attacks on Kenyan soil.
The report reveals that the Somalia National Army is not independently capable of dealing with the highly trained militants by themselves, as they do not have operational capability.
Currently, the Somali National Army plays a leading role in the military assault to wipe the militants out of Somalia with assistance from Amisom troops as per the 2020 Somalia Transition Plan.
Still, a lot needs to be done to completely neutralise the militants’ threat, the report notes.
“Besides, Somalia Security forces continues to rely on international support for operations and Al Shabaab is not degraded to the point where Somalia security forces can contain its threats independently,” the report.
In November alone, the terrorists claimed at least 69 attacks in Kenya and Somalia while in October; they claimed 73 attacks. A month earlier, they had also taken responsibility for at least 65 attacks.
Report indicates the group has resorted to its traditional large-scale attacks in theatre, suicide missions and indiscriminate close quarter combat to maximise on casualties, a trend which has increased significantly last month.
These attacks, according to the report, will increase significantly in the period preceding the Somalia presidential elections slated for February 2021.
In Kenya, Al Shabaab is known for its sporadic attacks, especially in the vast North Eastern region and in Lamu county.
Further, the group does not only target military and police officers, but also civilians, both locals and non-locals.
“Al Shabaab have overly employed insurgent- style tactics, including ambushes, hit and run attacks and Improvised Explosive devices operations,” the report.
In conclusion, the report states that Al Shabaab will target Amisom groups with the aim of accelerating their withdrawal from Somalia and filling the void that the push will increase in its areas of operation.