Demise of al-Shabaab extremists appears imminent but clan factionalism dividing region could take decades to mend
Sept. 29, 2012
|Ugandan soldiers serving with African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) take a break during patrols in Lafole village, near Afgoye district in Mogadishu. Photograph: Omar Faruk/Reuters|
Al-Shabaab has reportedly been distributing weapons and may count on local sympathy if it clings on, seeking to test Kenyan soldiers' stomach for battle in prolonged urban warfare. As in Mogadishu, expect more roadside and suicide bombings as the group seeks to score propaganda coups.However, cries of mission accomplished would be absurdly premature. First, the Kenyan "liberators" will not necessarily be greeted with sweets and flowers. Their naval bombardment of the port city has reportedly killed civilians, including two teenage boys and a pregnant woman, and caused thousands to flee. This week a Kenyan soldier allegedly went renegade and shot dead six civilians.