Somalia Using Ideology, Economical War to Defeat Al-Shabaab

Somalia's president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud speaking Wednesday at the US-Africa Leaders Summit's Peace, Security and Governance Forum in Washington, DC. (Photo: Screen grab)

The Somali government says it’s fighting the militant group Al-Shabaab through ideology and cutting off the group’s financial sources.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said Wednesday on the sidelines of the US-Africa leaders’ summit in Washington that his administration was taking different approaches and was on the right track to defeat the terror group.

“Al-Shabaab or any other terrorist organization cannot be defeated militarily alone. Military is a very important component for their defeat, but in the case of Somalia, we have determined that two other crucial components or variables must be factored into the equation: ideological and economic war,” said Mohamud.

Mohamud said the ideologies the insurgent group is propagating in the country have nothing to do with religion.

“We decided to establish a campaign that will make our people understand this what they are propagating is not Islam and has nothing to do with Islam. They are a group of mafia covering themselves with the blanket of Islam.”

In August, the Somali government launched an operation targeting the militant group on the battlefield. The government forces and allied militias have managed to drive out Al-Shabaab from significant territories in the central regions.