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August 29, 2022

Learning from history

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No man can have in his mind a conception of the future, for it is not yet. But from our own conceptions of the past we make a future. – Thomas Hobbs

The threat of terrorism and violent extremism keeps manifesting itself differently in different regions of the world. In the Horn of Africa region, this threat has for decades manifested itself with the uprising of different radical groups. There are many issues that underlie the formation of these groups but for a vast majority of them, greed for power and money has fuelled their ideology to justify criminal activities and cause division among societies. These groups are terrified of people and by extension, the world forgetting about them and hence they launch attacks for publicity.

For instance, the Al Shabaab militant group in Somalia recently launched an attack on a hotel. The thriving business was a source of employment for dozens of Somalis as it provided the services needed by their clientele. The attack came as the world was commemorating the 5thanniversary of the victims of terrorism. The irony of the attack was that for such a significant day, the group could not resist planning and launching an attack. Al Shabaab constantly says that they are fighting to protect the Somali people but their terrorist activities have been responsible for thousands of deaths and injuries and massive destruction of property which sets back Somalia’s growth and development.

Greed for control and power has fueled and sabotaged development plans and goals in the country chasing away foreign and domestic investors wanting to conduct business in Somalia. This has placed Somalia with one of the highest poverty indexes at 75%. The group has also worsened the effects of the ongoing drought in the country. It has been reported to raid and rob villages as soon as they receive food aid and attack food and hijack humanitarian aid distribution trucks.

Statistically speaking, the Al Shabaab is responsible for 90% of Somalia’s problems and issues. The group had dragged the economy and development of the country to the drain and left it on its knees. Any attempts to grow the country have been met with excessive use of force by the group and eventual destruction. Learning has been completely paralyzed as the group launches attacks on schools while targeting the student population for recruitment.

Al Shabaab’s main purpose is to profit from chaos and destruction in Somalia. This get-rich-quick scheme has only profited the group’s leaders and members while the rest of the Somalis continue to suffer and die in anguish from the group. The Al Shabaab has achieved nothing but consistent bloodshed and destruction. Peace is possible in Somalia but for peace and security to be restored, citizens must work with the government and law enforcement authorities to report terrorist activities in their communities until the group’s members and leaders are flushed out to face justice.