After African Union forces evacuated Buqda, a populous town in central Somalia, al Shabaab reclaimed the area. This comes after the group attacked the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Janale base.
According to local officials, this is the third town seized by the Islamic insurgent group since Friday.Over the last two days, al Shabaab has taken two towns in the lower Shabelle region of Somalia: Kuntuwarey, on the road between the capital and Barawe port and El Saliindi which is south of Mogadishu.
“We have taken Buqda town peacefully today. The town is now under our control,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military spokesman, said. But while some residents welcomed the return of al Shabaab, others said they had been treated brutally by both sides.
The African Union peacekeeping force, AMISOM, withdrew from Buqda on Saturday night, barely a month after taking control of the town from al Shabaab. But although the militant group claimed that it had taken full control of the base, AMISOM rejected the claim.
AMISOM has consistently faced attacks from the militant group. In June, the group rammed a car into its Leego base and killed 35 soldiers. The group vowed to step up attacks in Mogadishu, the country’s capital and also continue to target AMISOM as long as their forces remained in Somalia.
On April 20, 2015, al Shabaab killed six people, among them four aid workers for the international children’s agency UNICEF, in Somalia’s northeastern city of Garowe. The attack came only a day after the militants killed three AU peacekeepers, a week after the group killed 17 Mogadishu, and barely a month after it murdered 148 students in Kenya. There have been more than 1,700 terrorist attacks and the death of over 4,000 people in Somalia, Kenya and Uganda,the orchestrator- al Shabaab.
The Islamist militant group which is seeking to shove the Western-backed government aside and implement its harsh version of Islamic law, has also been prolific through terror campaigns. In March, it murdered 148 students in Garrisa, Northeast Kenya, and since then has severally attacked AU security forces, aid workers and government officials in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
On September 1, 2015, members of Islamist militant group, Al-Shabaab, attacked the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Janale base. According to Reuters the militant group claimed responsibility for the attack and said it has left 50 soldiers dead, but government officials are yet to confirm the number of victims.
With Boko Haram destabilizing parts of West and Central Africa, and ISIS joining AQIM to attack North Africa, African countries must begin joining forces to combat terrorism which is presently the continent’s existential threat.