Addis Ababa August 10/2022/ENA/ Ethiopia’s effective military operation against Al Shabab militants proved its capability to repulse terrorist attacks even amid internal security challenges, a Horn of Africa Researcher at the Institute of Foreign Affairs said.
The researcher, Befekadu Bogale, told ENA that the operation against Al Shabab, which entered Ethiopian territory, will reduce the capacity of the terrorists and provide lesson for many actors.
“That will have an impact on the operational capacity of the group.
It is a significant achievement because it taught them a lesson that it is not easy to attack Ethiopia in a conventional way.
I think this is the first time Al Shabab tried to use conventional war strategy.
They used a lot of vehicles and entered Ethiopian territory.
But our security forces repulsed them and taught the group a lesson that it is not possible to achieve its objective in such a way.”
Ethiopia decisively dealt with the organized infiltration of Al Shabab units by killing hundreds of combatants, including many top leaders, capturing over hundred militants and seizing massive armaments.
“I think they have learned the hard way that Ethiopia is not an easy target. With all the domestic challenges, our security forces managed in repelling the Al Shabab. So, the lesson they were given is that Ethiopia can withstand the threat of Al Shabab, despite the challenges it has been facing domestically.”
The researcher assumes that the killing of Al Shabab leaders such as the Propaganda Chief “Shengole” by Ethiopian security forces may stoke division and disagreement within the group.
“Some top leaders of Al Shabab have been killed and that is a great success. I think it may even lead to internal frictions within the group. So, disagreement may emerge regarding the next strategy.”
Befekadu believes that the successful military operation will also send a signal to other African countries, especially neighbors, and the international community that Ethiopia is still capable of defeating terrorists and cooperate with it to combat the common enemy.
He underscored that the effective military operation by the Somali regional force and the National Defense Force against the terrorist group should be supported by bilateral, regional and global actors.
According to the researcher, it is the lack of domestic, regional and international devotion in fighting terrorism that emboldened Al Shabab to enter Ethiopian territory and get more attention from the world and support from extremist networks, including Al Qaeda and IS.
More commonly known as Al-Shabaab, Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen is a Somalia-based Islamic insurgence group which describes itself as waging jihad against “enemies of Islam.”