Friday, December 4, 2009
In an interview with Aljazeera TV news on December 3, I agreed with the AJ commentator that the bombing was most likely the action of al-Shabaab, which has a record of suicide bombings in Somalia. I emphasized that this is its way of intimidating Somalis. It is difficult for any government to prevent suicide bombings, but the weak Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia is especially poorly equipped to deal with these kinds of challenges. On the one hand, the international community has not provided the TFG with all the support that it has promised. More importantly, the TFG has not yet given most Somalis sufficient reason to believe that it deserves their support. The TFG must quickly develop its own loyal security force to counter the challenge of al-Shabaab. This effort is underway but it may not materialize before al-Shabaab seizes power through force and the support of foreigners. Even if al-Shabaab should manage to take power, however, I believe it will be short lived. Most Somalis are just not prepared to accept the al-Shabaab program and would eventually turn on the organization. The text of the AJ article, titled "Ministers killed in Somalia attack," can be accessed here.