AMISOM involved in training clan based militias in Somalia
By Harar24’s Editorial Team
A recent video by the AU/UN in Somalia showed local militia in the Lower Shabelle province being trained and prepared by the AMISOM in order to defend their region should the need arise.
The video appears to have been shot at the beach of the coastal city of Marka, which is located 110 km southwest of Mogadishu, with many of the militia members appearing to be young men and women, some who proclaimed that they had left their education in order to enlist in the militia, in order to fight those who they considered as “enemies of their region”.
Maj. Simon Pitola, a Ugandan/Amisom commander, who was featured in the video commended the militias and confirmed that they had nothing to do with the government forces and were entirely from the local clans. “The entire security in this village is manned by the local militia. It’s not by the SNA” he said. “These local militias are really doing us good” added the Major.
One of the militia men upon being asked as to why he was trained, against who and whether they trained solely against Al-Shabaab responded: “Not only against those who are against peace (a reference to Al-Shabaab), they are also there, but these militia men have been trained to face everything, particularly anything that threatens Somalia and my region in particular”.
According to residents of the Lower Shabelle who confirmed to Harar24 they have started to arm themselves to ward of possible attackers belonging to rival clans who are more powerful. They further confirmed that the AMISOM had been participating in training them and aiding them.
Local clan elder Abdulahi Hasan from the KM-50 area in Lower Shabelle told Harar24: “After facing attacks on a constant basis by rival clans embedded in the government forces we were left no choice but to arm ourselves and the AMISOM have been helping us train our young men to secure the region”. When asked who they would fight against, the clan elder responded: “Anyone who seeks to attack us and our region will be considered an enemy by us”.
The Lower Shabelle region in general, and the KM-50 & the towns of Marka and Jannale have been suffering for a lengthy period of time from bloody tribal wars which have left many innocent people dead. Locals and clan elders from the area have long accused rival clans embedded in the army of being behind the atrocities committed.
As optimistic as the AMISOM might believe that this plan will help secure the region, many analysts believe otherwise, and in fact believe that this will destabilize the region further, due to the fact that these clans will inevitably seek revenge from their rival clans once they have completed training.