Horndiplomat-Today, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD’s) Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) in collaboration with Sahan Foundation has officially launched the study report conducted on “Al-Shabaab as a Transnational Security Threat”.
Al Shabaab has aspired to become a truly regional organization, with the membership and horizons that transcend national borders. It becomes active in no less than six countries (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania) of the region, striking five of them terrorist attacks.
It is well known that Al-Shabaab’s operation reach has expanded beyond Somalia to the wider region. This can be attested to the expansion of its military wing that includes two transnational units; one, the Jaysh Ayman, directed against Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and another dedicated to operations against Ethiopia (Jaysh al-Usra).
While the latter formation has yet to mount an effective operation on Ethiopian soil, the Jaysh Ayman launched a series of cross-border attacks into Kenya in 2014 and, despite a Kenyan counter-offensive in late 2015, the group remains a serious threat to the country’s national security.
Furthermore, Al-Shabaab’s special operations wing, the Amniyaad, stepped up attacks against neighbouring countries, notably those contributing troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
This resulted in a spate of attacks between 2013 and 2015 in Kenya that claimed over 350 lives, an attempted suicide bombing of a football match in Addis Ababa in October 2013, and the suicide bombing of a popular restaurant in Djibouti in May 2014, among others.
Due to the extensive security threat within the sub-region, IGAD Member States, in December 2014, called upon IGAD to urgently establish a Transnational Security Threats Initiative to promote cooperation and coordination within the sub-region.
In this context, in April 2015, the IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) with the assistance of Sahan Foundation launched a pilot project to research and analyse the threat posed by the terrorist group Harakat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahideen to the sub region.
Accordingly, field research was completed in early 2016 with the final report being approved by IGAD Member States in mid-2016. The approved final report has been officially transmitted to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Committee on Somalia and Eritrea in support of the Committee’s mandate. The submission of the report was intended to:
Underscore the threat that Al-Shabaab represents not only to Somalia, but also to regional peace and security;
- Respond as effectively and efficiently as possible to successive UNSC resolutions calling on Member States to take specific actions against Al-Shabaab, and to report on their progress; and
- Express IGAD’s alignment with key findings of the June 2015 High Level Review (HLR) of UN Sanction, which urges greater cooperation between Security Council Sanctions Committees and regional organization.
- Assert the full cooperation of IGAD and its Member States to the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea in line with UNSC Resolution 2023 (2011) paragraph 17.
The report has provided a series of recommendations to be taken by IGAD Member States and other stakeholders in order to mitigate the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.
The launching ceremony was held today in the presence of high level officials of IGAD Member States, international partners, and other invited stakeholders. A guest of honor from the Government of Ethiopia has officially opened the ceremony.
Press were also invited to attend the launching ceremony and there will be a Press Conference with Panelists who are involved in the research later today.
Click here IGAD-report-Final
Photos for the Igad Meeting