Is The US Fighting Extremism In Somalia Or Fuelling It?



Is the US fighting extremism in Somalia or fuelling it? The terrorist group al-Shabab has struck Somalia again, this time with twin suicide attacks that targeted restaurants and coffee shops in the southern city of Baidoa. The death toll is estimated at 40 with 50 more injured. But these attacks were hot on the heels of US airstrikes that occurred a day before. Africa Today asks whether US military engagement in Somalia is worsening the country’s situation and giving al-Shabab more justification for its deadly activities? As Somalia remembered the one-year anniversary of the most deadliest terrorist attack in Africa, it had to deal with yet another terror attack from al-Shabab. There is a surge in air strikes that is part of the Trump administration’s broader foreign policy strategy in Africa and the Middle East. The number has grown to nearly 40 in 2018 with at least 5 of them hitting the country in the last month. Experts fear that the escalation in US military engagement sends an aggressive message to the people of Somalia, which could provide fodder to al-Shabab’s recruiters and lead to more radicalisation.


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