BY STAFF WRITER

Harakat al-Shabaa al-Mujahideen, more commonly known as Al-Shabab, is an Islamic insurgence group, plotting terrorist attacks  in the Horn of Africa. The group describes itself as Jihadist against “enemies of Islam” and is engaged in combat against the Federal Government of Somalia and countries in the region.

Al-Shabab, an offshoot of the Islamic Courts, ousted from power in 2011, has been operating in Somalia for the last 16 years with the objective of forming Islamic Greater Somalia by incorporating the Ogaden area of Ethiopia, North Frontier District of Kenya and Djibouti.  

Over the last several Years, Al-Shabab continued to launch attacks on Kenya and AMISOM peace keeping mission in Somalia. A couple of years back, Al-Shabab started to operate in Somalia as extension of Al-Qaida, conducting sporadic operations against the Somalia Federal Government.

The Ethiopian Security and Joint Intelligence Force recently reported that it has swatted Al-Shabab’s terrorist action and plot that was organized to conduct terror attacks in Addis Ababa. The task forced disclosed that 31 members of Al-Shabab and ISIS were successfully rounded up before they were able to conduct the terrorist attack in the city. This vividly indicates that Al-Shabab is a major component of the greater global conspiracy against Ethiopia and should not be perceived as an isolated factor.

On July 21, 2022, a contingent of terrorist Al-Shabab militants launched a planned attack on the Ethio-Somali border in Afder Zone of Ethiopia Somali Region. The group reportedly launched attacks in three villages in Bokol area in the villages of Washaaqom , Aato and Yeed.

This is the first cross border attack ever conducted on Ethiopian territory by Al-Shabab. Why did Al-Shabab dare to conduct this attack? A more profound analysis for the attack shows that Al-Shabab launched the attack in a bid to establish terrorist cells in Ethiopia and to use these cells as jump seats and launch further attacks in the center of Ethiopia.

By attacking villages in the Somali region, Al-Shabab has tried to test its strategy of further stretching its insurgency into vast territories of Ethiopia, thereby weakening the Special Forces of Somali Region and the National Defense Force.

The latest attack by Al-Shabab was based on a wrong speculation that the ENDF was weakened as the result of its law enforcement operations it has been taking in the northern part of the country.The attack conducted by the terrorist organization is indeed part of the international terrorist conspiracy to open a new front for destabilizing the Horn of Africa by conducting widespread terrorist attacks within the region, linking up with Shene which is already engaged in its terrorist acts in Ethiopia.

It is important to carefully assess the timing of its terrorist activities and the rampages of terrorist Shene which has no ideology, vision or any strategic objective. Shene can cooperate with any terrorist group in Ethiopia and Africa as long as it thinks it can get some benefits. What Shene professes on the media regarding its struggle for the Oromo people is a smokescreen to hide its real profile. Shene has massacred thousands of Amhara and Oromo farmers who had nothing to do with politics.

Both Shene and Al-Shabab are totally subservient to the objectives of terrorist TPLF which is trying to conduct a proxy war on Ethiopia under the pretext of liberation movement and pave the way for the military and political domination for other forces in the Horn of Africa.

In an attempt to please Egyptian irredentist motives too, Shene has joined other militant groups making a series of joint attempts to sabotage the ongoing development endeavors in Ethiopia. Al-Shabab has now made a shift from confining itself to Somalia to infiltrating insurgents into the territories of other countries.

Al-Shabab claims to fight for the establishment of Islamic Greater Somalia. But Shene has no political objective worthy of the name and continues to serve as a surrogate organization for terrorist organizations like Al-Shabab or any other terrorist group. Shene is out to destroy the economic and democratic contributions the Oromo people have made to the Ethiopian state. The deception and political treachery of Shene has been revealed over the years to the Oromo people in particular and the Ethiopian people in general.

The National Defense Force Deployment Head and Acting Security Command Post Coordinator, Major General Tesfaye Ayalew recently told ENA that the Al-Shabab was beaten back and fled after suffering huge loss. The general warned that the defense force and the regional special force as well as the security command post are in a state of alert to take measure against any force that violates the boundary of Ethiopia.

The weapons and supply depots of the terrorist group were also destroyed in an operation carried out by the Ethiopian Air Force.

The National Defense Force and the joint security forces are on high alert at present and they are more than ready to crush armed insurgents of the terrorist group.

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