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August 25, 2022

Countering Al Shabaab

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The UN calendar recognizes 21st August as theInternational day commemorating victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief. On 19-08-2022, which is coincidentally recognized as World humanitarian day, Al Shabaab launched an attack at the HAYAT Hotel, Mogadishu.

Al Shabaab seeks to fight and muddle the new government that came into power after the 15th May 2022 Somalia Presidential elections, to bring about political change and rule using extreme violent ideologies derived from Sharia laws. Hence, the attack on the hotel which is popular with lawmakers and Somali government officials.

Militia groups like Al Shabaab and ISIS have over time evolved in their actions. They carry out well-thought-out vile plans strategically, after months of intense planning. They continually seek to disrupt society’s good gestures and noble acts such as the commemoration of these memorable historical injustices, by trying to attack on or before such historical dates.

The attack at the HAYAT Hotel in Mogadishu, strategically before the international day commemorating victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief, informs us of the Al Shabaab’s awareness of current happenings. They do this to communicate to their audiences with the expectation of gaining more recruits and sympathizers.

It is our mandate as P/CVE experts, to identify and counter such horrendous acts through awareness creation for society. There is a need to approach violent extremists prudently. Our presence on social media platforms, relaying messages of countering extremist’s narratives, and communicating messages of coexistence and cohesion especially before such memorable dates, can curtail and tone down their deceptive intentions.