The East African region and more so Kenya are near the brewing pot of an al-Qaeda affiliated terror outfit, Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen. These militants have caused a lot of trouble in terms of attacks on Kenya claiming quite a number of lives.
This constant threat posed by the HSM has caused the Kenyan government through the Defence Forces to launch an operation in Somalia dubbed Operation Linda Nchi which was later backed by the AU under the name AMISOM. The operation was able to recaptured and take control from the AL Shabaab strongholds.
The success of the Kenya Defence Forces and the African troops begs the question when it is appropriate to withdraw from Somalia. Recently, the USA recently gave Kenya 100 million Dollars to boost her counter-terrorism kitty.
Terror in the Middle East is rapidly spilling over to other regions globally especially Africa which financially-challenged to deal with the extremist Islamists finding havens in the continent. It is very fundamental that peace and balance is upheld and tight grips continue to be held to prevent reemergence of the collapsing groups.
Resources should be injecting especially in the East African region which is a key element in maritime trade. Financial aid is required to fund a longer stay in Somalia by the KDF and AMISOM troops which will shun off international fleeing extremist from finding haven in Somalia.
Furthermore, the Somalia government is still very weak and lacks the necessary niche of a central government. The withdrawal of the troops from Somalia would mean the reemergence of the otherwise ‘running militia’. The Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen has lost most ground with a little longer stay in Somalia would render the extremist defeated to never re-group again.
The modus operandi of the Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen especially lately has been to attack foreigners especially from the West and non-Muslim making it a global responsibility to use whatever means necessary to eradicate the outfits. The area that the AU and KDF troops have control over mitigates and plans of regrouping for training of the jihadists.
Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen is an Islamist outfit that broke off of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) after its defeat in 2006 by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen was in control of major cities and towns in Somalia’s southern region. Since the incursion by the KDF, they have withdrawn from all major towns and cities and have control over few rural areas which intelligence say are steadily losing grip of due to the prolonged stay of the troops.
Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen has been recruiting a lot of foreigners with most of them coming from the neighboring countries. Kenya which is most affected has initiated ‘Nyumba Kumi’ which helps people take charge of their own security in neighborhoods. This aids with knowing people living around you making it easy to detect a missing person or an ideological convert.
Border security and patrol enhancement will monitor the flow of people and arms both from and into Kenya. Constructive Islam and ideologies especially in the recruitment prone regions as has been witnessed in the past will instill good morals and deradicalize the already converted. Programs to keep the youth busy, give a sense of purpose will aid in making the Youth vigilante and less susceptible to radicalization.