Al-Shabaab forces near Mogadishu; no response from Security Council

By Yuvin Manadeniya, for Al Jazeera

The crisis that transpired yesterday on the Kenyan-Somalian border dominated much of the discussion that was led in the Security Council. The debate that arose centred on the removal of Kenyan forces in the area of Somalia known as Jubaland. While this remains a present and immediate threat, it has been noted that this has been done so at the expense of the current situation regarding the move of militant forces towards Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

The push into the Jubaland was achieved by relocating Kenyan forces that were involved in the AMISON mission. Kenyan forces were observed abandoning their positions in order to assist in the push into Jubaland. As a direct result of this, previously liberated areas were lost to Al-Shabaab forces and it has been reported that these forces are now moving towards Mogadishu. Somalia now faces two immediate threats; the Kenyan annexation of the Jubaland and the threat of an attack on Mogadishu.

It would be expected then that any discussion on the issue would reflect a holistic approach and encompass both issues, however this was not the case in Security Council meetings yesterday. While discussions attempted to find solutions for the Kenyan annexation of Jubaland, with proposals ranging from economic sanctions and punitive measures, there was little discussion to be found on the issue of Al-Shabaab forces moving to Mogadishu.

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When questioned on this, the Security Council did admit that discussions had led away from the Al-Shabaab crisis, with the delegate for Azerbaijan emphasising today the need to address the immediate threat which Somalia faces from these militant forces. It is hopeful that discussions today will lead to an effective solution which addresses the weakened nature of the AMISON forces, and the Al-Shabaab forces converging on Mogadishu.

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