Djibouti, 11th March, 2014 – The leader of Somali terrorist Group Godane purged most of his rivals within the al Shabaab leadership after years of wrangling over Wahabi ideology, Non-Somali strategy and unworkable tactics. According to HAN & Geeska Afrika Online’s Senior regional Intelligence & Security analyst, Nur Kafi, MIPIS said “Al-Shabaab’s bombing campaigns and killings of civilians had made many Somalis uneasy about the terror ideology and its anti Somali doctrine.”
Former Somali Transitional Federal cabinet minister Abdirashiid Haashi, said Al-Shabab leader’s message was an attempt to create an atmosphere reminiscent of the 2006-09 period when many Somalis at home and abroad opposed Ethiopian invasion in Mogadishu. “With the way al Shabaab have been conducting themselves over the last couple of years, I think it will be very difficult for Godane to create the kind of mood that there was in 2006,” Minister Hashi said. “A lot of Somalis are more worried about him and his Wahabi policies.”
The leader Al Shabaab has urged Somalis to wage holy war against Ethiopia, Somalia’s Horn of Africa neighbour whose forces are leading an African Union (AMISOM) offensive against the militants – Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
Ethiopia fought an ill-fated war in Somalia in 2006-09 but sent troops back in 2011 to fight al Shabaab. In 2013 it became part of AMISOM, a 22,000-strong AU peacekeeping force that includes troops from Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone.
Ethiopian forces have in the past two weeks pushed al-Shabaab out of several towns, including Hudur, the capital of the Bakool region in south-central Somalia. Analysts say these advances could presage a planned countrywide offensive.
In an Online recorded voice message released though internet, Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane, also known as Abu al-Zubayr, said Mogadishu’s Western-backed government and Ethiopia were acting at the behest of the United States and would be defeated.
“Somalis, your religion has been attacked, your land divided, your resources looted directly and indirectly through the puppet government – our victory lies in Jihad (holy war),” Godane said in a recorded message, pointing to the historic rivalry between mainly Christian Ethiopia and Muslim Somalia.
Godane said landlocked Ethiopia had invaded Somalia in pursuit of access to Somalia’s Indian Ocean coastline. The two countries fought a war in 1977-78 over the Western-Somalia (Somali national regional State in Ethiopia).
Meanwhile, U.N. officials report an improvement in Somalia’s humanitarian situation thanks to “innovative approaches to aid delivery, favorable rains and success against Al-Shabab militants.” There are currently about one million fewer Somalis listed as being “in crisis,” about half as many as One year ago. While the situation in Somalia has radically improved both in Central and Southern Somalia, “we are at risk now if we don’t support the people to come out from this very, very uncertain satiation to go back to a situation like in 2011,” according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.