The ongoing political battle between the administrative wings of the Government of Somalia, be it between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and other five Somali regional states, and the ideological battle with the extremist faction, Al-Shabab, that has been continuously expanding its coercive pangs for power control has resulted in making the region a hotbed for conflicts and violence, with the sufferings of innocent civilians augmenting on a daily basis.
It is worth noting that the military capabilities of the Al-Shabaab have taken an upward hike in the past few years that is openly manifested in the number of violent attacks carried out by the extremist group on regular basis.
The high-level attacks carried out by Al-Shabaab highlights the military capabilities and strengths of the faction that per the message of the group’s Emir, Ahmed Umar (alias Abu Ubayda or Ahmed Diriye) is the result of the weakened administration and political squabbling between the FGS administration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” and other semi-autonomous Somali regional states.
The void created by the political instability in the region has provided a fertile ground for the proliferation of extremist forces in the soil of Somalia.
Al-Shabaab’s Emir, Ahmed Umar in a new standalone audio message released after a long gap of about 16 months to mark the start of the new Islamic lunar year on September 1, titled “But Allah Will Complete His Light Even Though the Disbelievers Hate It”, released in both Somali and Arabic with English subtitles, highlighted the augmenting military capabilities of the faction as well as their governing priorities in the region of Somalia that ranges from mediating disputes between local forces to carrying out developmental works in the region, that according to Umar has been neglected by far in the region.
Umar blamed the FGS and the over-powering western hegemony in the region for the situation. The Somali message of the audio was broadcasted domestically by Al-Shabaab’s Radio al-Andalus and Radio al-Furqan.
In no way, violence could be the answer to development and the claims of Al-Shabaab’s Emir, Ahmed Umar falls flat with his group carrying out violent attacks in the region that despite targeting government and international aid agencies have time and again claimed the lives of several civilians.
As per the message released under, “But Allah Will Complete His Light Even Though the Disbelievers Hate It” on September 19, and broadcasted by the external media department of the Somali militant Islamist group, Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, the Al-Kataib Media Foundation, Umar pointed and praised the suicide attack carried out by Al-Shabaab on July 24, that targeted the United Nations Special Envoy to Somalia, James Swan and fatally wounded Mogadishu’s Mayor, Abdirahman Omar Osman.
The radio and video messages released by the extremist factions are steps taken to consolidate their influence and unite the scattered forces to fight together for the ultimate goal.
Umar’s robust and egoistic claims of being successful in carrying out violent attacks in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia showcases how the group idealises violence and thinks the same to be the only answer for development and their claim of ending the so-called hegemony of the westerners that in his message he terms them to be “Crusaders”. Ahmed Umar even reiterated Al-Shabaab’s ideological connection to Al-Qaeda and urged local Somalians to support the group to win the ideological and political battle that is at the heart of their struggle to reinstate the lost lustre of the Islamic State.
Al-Shabaab has openly locked their horns with the administrative forces operating in Somalia and in their battle of “reviving” the Caliphate, has been rejecting all international models associated with development.They have claimed to drive in development by relying on primitive methodology and overtly theological teachings.
All modern and international concepts of development be it capitalism, secular education, federalism and modern usury system are blatantly rejected by Al-Shabaab’s Umar as just dominating sciences and techniques to disunite the Muslim Ummah.
Witnessing the augmenting influence and increased military capabilities of Al-Shabaab in Somalia, there is a dire need for integrated efforts on part of international communities to fight back the evils of extremism and prevent the group from proliferating its influence within the region.
Al-Shabaab holds capacity to traverse the geographical borders to bring other areas under its violence and coercive controls to defend their idiosyncrasies for fighting for the Muslim World in general and the Muslim good in particular.