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Infamous in the past decade for its pirate-infested waters, Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Situated in the African Horn, northeast Africa, Somalia’s geographic location has blessed the nation with abundant natural resources and a fertile land. However, plagued with violent extremist groups, most notably Al-Shabaab, Somalia has failed to take advantage of its natural resources and step out of poverty. (more general information about terrorist group – when was it established, cause)  Because of this, the nation continues to go through a period of political instability present day. Where is your roadmap? How are you going to prove your thesis?  The jihadist fundamentalist group, Al- Shabaab, is a major dilemma for Somalia as it attacks its own citizens. Founded in 2006, Al-Shabaab, has frequently carried out several attacks in Somalia and neighboring countries. The terrorist organization is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters, who are heavily armed with advanced weapons (add citation). To this day, it still controls a vast amount of land in the south of the nation and carries the potential to recover territories or regain the impaired reputation as a social service provider to ordinary civilians (“Who are Somalia’s al-Shabab?”). As stated in a CNN article published on December 3, 2017, “the number of dead in the devastating twin bombing in the Somali Capital of Mogadishu in October had jumped to 512.” (Rehbein, Nor). It is clear that Al-Shabaab will continue to terrorize Somali citizens in order to achieve its goal of establishing a society based on strict Sharia Law.Somalia has been torn by conflict and prolonged instability for almost all of its 48 years of independence, which has created an opening for terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab. In 1969, provide context for this man Muhammad Siad Barre assumed power after a coup, declared the country to be a socialist state. Hereafter 22 years was the golden age of Somalia, However, in 1991, Barre’s long-standing government eventually collapsed when triggered a major conflict between clan-lords, in which motivated the UN to send troops to stabilize the country. Arriving at 1993, the UN underestimated the seriousness of the political turmoil, and eventually in 1995, the UN troops were forced to leave the country. Contrary  to its intention, the UN’s intervention largely exacerbated the conflict by the late 1990s. Everything had stopped functioning properly. To make matters worse, Somalis had to deal with a massive national debt and series of droughts at the same time (Middleton, Miller). As the bloody civil war seemed to everlast, the notorious jihadist fundamentalist group, Al-Shabaab, founded in 2006, gathered its power and seized vital territories of Somalia. Ever since, the group enlarged its size and control economically and politically and now became out of control. As a result, the African Union pledged to combat with the issue, with high expectations to finish the crisis.One attempt to solve this issue has been conducted by the African Union(brief explanation of what AU is) . The African Union ambitiously started its mission in Somalia in 2006 by initating a regional peacekeeping mission called “The African Union Mission in Somalia” (AMISOM), but proved to have little effect. (CITE!). Its efforts have been incompetent into making progress mostly due to the lack of  funding and insufficient financial reserves (CITE). The European Union, a major, benefactor, cut down 200 million dollars of funding on January 201666 which was spent to support the AMISOM soldiers. Francisco Madeira, the African Union Special Representative to Somalia, expressed the difficult situation in an interview on March: “The mission is finding it increasingly difficult to fund its programmes” (EastAfrican).  In addition, the European Union has also reduced $165 a month in each soldier’s payment in funding troops, and rumors of the peacekeepers going without pay for several months has spread throughout the region (CITE). The biggest issue is that no one is interested into supporting AMISOM’s missions. Although AMISOM has set a deadline, May 30, 2017, to achieve its goal of “(quote)”, without proper financial support, their prospects look grim (Muvunyi). For the previous decade, various solutions and strategies have been tested, but each one has failed. Now it is the time to approach towards Al-Shabaab through dialogue, and . Most attempts to deal with this issue had shown poor outcomes, hence Somalia should now prepare to enter into the room of negotiation with Al-Shabaab. The UN has intervened in the fighting against Al-Shabab for over a decade. However, it has failed to root out the power base. The new Somali government, lead by president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, has expressed a desire to engage in peace talks and negotiations with Al-Shabab. Whilst the environment for this may not be ideal, the provision of support for and encouragement of the idea may be a way to resolve the conflict. By all means, negotiation will only take in place if Al-Shabaab would be agreeing to enter into dialogue. Negotiating with an enemy does not signify surrender or weakness. In fact, Al-Shabaab is the one who faces a more unfavorable situation as it lost control of cities and power within Somalia. In addition, Al-Shabaab withdrew from the vital port, Kismayo, in 29, September 2012. An Al-Jazeera article reports, “Kismayo was the backbone of the funding al-Shabaab; it was also the location from which the group bring in their arms and supplies” (Al-Shabab Rebels Pull out of Key Somali Town). In conclusion, “right now” is the golden time to start the negotiation. The ideal road map of the dialogue would be for reach a compromise, with Al-Shabaab promising to stop destroying the infrastructure and taking away innocent lives. The process of negotiation would be painstaking, but it is worthwhile to chatter new channel of solutions, and open the possibility of a better future.

Categories: Government


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