Local And Indigenous Forces Known As Ma'wisley Vowed To Tackle Alshabab Insurgents

Article Local And Indigenous Forces Known As Ma'wisley Vowed To Tackle Alshabab Insurgents
SEP 22, 2022 LISTEN

MOGADISHU. SOMALIA. The extremist Alshabab group which ultimately and gradually morphed into brutal death squad, has unveiled brutal and callous tactics and strategy to blackmail and decapitate, dispossess and disempower but the savage genocide of Alshabab won't last.

Ma'wisley are local and clan militias orchestrated voluntarily and is being described as the perfect antithesis of Alshabab in terms of assassinations,ambushes and guerrilla warfare. Ma'wisley are self-organized, self-trained, self-armed and self-funded local forces who revolted against the brutalities and atrocities committed by Alshabab insurgents to the local people.

Historically Ma'wisley emerged out of necessity 15 years ago and has been engaging Alshabab extremist groups in low-intensity conflict in isolated and remote areas that are largely uncharted by the Somali media. They have demonstrated their effectiveness against Alshabab and ultimately flushing it out from areas it has been occupying and dominating for years.

Ma'wisley initially came into existence or emerged following Alshabab's constant extortions and plundering of rural populations specifically in the provinces of Hiran, Galgadud and Middle Shabelle for years they have been mobilizing only when they perceive threats from Alshabab as such they do not have a permanent military bases, organized leadership, military chain of command, regular forces or external financial supporters

Ma'wisleyhas been able to defeat Alshabab at their own game by employing same guerrilla warfare strategy, Alshabab has been utilizing against the federal government forces they have been successful at targeting safe havens, military outposts and remote hideouts deep within Alshabab territory, safe havens the group has been depending on ever since they were stamped out of urban areas by government forces,

furthermore the Ma'wisley with their deep knowledge and experience of the terrain have been able to undermine the group's strength by sabotaging supply lines and have been successful at staging ambushes and raids.

Ma'wisley lack much-needed resources, poorly organized, ill-prepared and ill-equipped they mainly comprise of livestock herders who were coerced to take up arms due to the Alshabab's siege and brutality, they operate in underlying and remote areas with no functioning hospitals, good roads and effective telecommunications without adequate government's military and financial support Ma'wisley will eventually get weary of fighting and could end up negotiating with Alshabab

Due to their brewing fear of grassroot uprising Alshabab has always been reluctant to engage in a full-scale offensive against clans and now is desperately attempting to appease and reach some kind of compromising settlement with them, if Alshabab is successful by doing this and negotiating and resolving conflicts with the revolting clans. It will be a missed opportunity that might not easily come again.

Ma'wisley who took up arms against Alshabab were grappling with their daily lives, such as herding their own livestock and farming their own farms in the middle of the ravaging drought. Every Ma'wisley is eager to resume their normal lives once they liberate their territory and free from the scourge of Alshabab. They don't pose any threat to Somalia's national security because they are merely defending themselves from a group out end their lives.

Political and security analysts describe Ma'wisley Somalia's government-allied militia; indigenous heroes determined to eradicate Alshabab or more vigilantes with ulterior motives within the past few months, Alshabab has committed bold terrorist attacks and savage Massacres against the indigenous, decimated and wreak havoc their livelihoods and properties including water wells, boreholes and the local people have every legal and moral rights to defend themselves by any means necessary and available.

Militia members in central Somalia have helped kill scores of Alshabab Militants in an ongoing operation against the Islamist extremist rebels that is gaining aerial surveillance and support from the United States, Somali authorities said suspected Alshabab fighters are being hunted in the Hiran region areas of Yasoman and Aborey and more than 100 had perished as of Sunday, the Ministry of information, culture and town said in the statement issued on Tuesday.

The US Africa command center (AFRICOM) reported Wednesday that its airstrikes On Saturday near the town of Buloburte in Hiran province killed 27 Militants. It called the operation against Alshabab the largest of jointly launched by Somali forces and ATMIS peacekeepers in five years. The defensive aerial strikes allowed the Somali national army and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia forces to regain the initiative and continue the operation to disrupt and sabotage Alshabab in Hiran, US Africa command said in a statement.

Ali Abdulle, a community leader in the town of Beledweyne told the ModernGhana by phone that Alshabab had made life for residential so miserable they had to fight back. " Alshabab has set blaze of our village, blow up and poisoned our wells and boreholes, vandalized telecommunications tower, planted IEDs and murdered innocent civilians indiscriminately " he said " so ther is no option left except to fight against them"

After assuming office in May 15 after the perpetual and acrimonious wrangling associated with the long-delayed presidential polls which led several and bloody skirmishes within the security apparatus. President Mohamud has been re-elected

He soon declared "all out war" and vowed to launch full-scale offensives against Alshabab to dislodge the bloodthirsty group and to liberate the large swathe of territory they have been dominating for years the president proclaimed "total war" against the Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels who pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda during the leadership of slain leader Osama bin Laden and the following deadly attack and the longest siege that lasted for over 30-hours on the Hayat hotel in Mogadishu last month.

Alshabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rageah alias (Ali Dhere) acknowledged the government's uncompromising stance in his comments during a ceremony to graduate batches of Militants who were trained as suicide bombers to carry out suicide bombing missions and death squads indoctrinated to assassinate the government officials as well as civil servants that ceremony was filmed and released on Saturday. And he insisted that Alshabab would remain undeterred.

" stick to your oath and know that we will not back down, stand by your words, and we will stand by ours, and we shall see which one of us is left standing " he said " we ask the Almighty Allah by his grace and mercy to grant us swift victory over the agnostics, apostates, disbelievers and their allies"

The government appears to be seeking, lobbying and gaining momentum from one notable and influential local militia mobilized voluntarily and ready to sacrifice their live. The clan-based group known as Ma'wisley has for years clashed with Alshabab. It's latest popular uprising was sparked by alleged Alshabab brutality, exploitation and double taxation ( contributions of Jihad) that includes the pillaging and plundering of their livestock.

while the country is going through the worst drought caused by the four consecutive failure of rainfall and climate change which impacted 7 million Somalis almost half of Somali population and is on the brink of famine as said by Martin Griffith the Undersecretary General of the UN and humanitarian affairs and relief emergency coordinator and the head of UN OCHA in Somalia.

Samira Gaid a security and intelligence analyst and the executive director of Hiraal Institute, a Mogadishu-based security Think-tank said. " it is always the people who bear the brunt of the excesses of rule under Alshabab that they don't enjoy popular support " she said " some populations who aren't as armed are not able sometimes to take up arms against the group, but others are better equipped and are stronger politically to stand up against Alshabab rule"

Gaid warned that for an uprising by locals to be effective " government support logistically and financially is critical " Omar Abdi Jimale a Mogadishu based political analyst said the government supporting militias to fight Alshabab could be decisive after the authorities previous reluctance " clans were unable to carry on a protracted fighting because of the absence of official government support, as a result, their uprisings ultimately were ending up in signing a peace deal with Alshabab " he said " the previous administration had the chance of providing direct support to the revolting clan militias without directly equipping them but by not doing so gave Alshabab a chance to consolidate their grip of power and control over the revolting clans territories "

Coerced to retreat from Mogadishu and vacate number of their bases in their stronghold in 2011 and remnants were also flushed out in late 2011, Alshabab has gradually regrouped and rearmed and made a come back from the rural areas to which it retreated, defying the presence of African Union peacekeepers as well as US drone strikes targeting Alshabab combatants.

Alshabab insurgents which was established by the disgruntled members of the defunct union of Islamic courts in late 2006 vehemently opposed the federal government and deployment of the peacekeepers and other foreigners on Somali territory, has seized more territory in recent years during Farmajo's tenure in which no military offensive is being launched against Alshabab. As well as taking advantage of the rifts within the security apparatus and dissension between the federal authorities and regional leaders.


MOHAMED HUSSEIN MENTALIST; Author, blogger, prominent researcher, Horn of Africa Affairs analyst and senior lecturer at Mogadishu University.

Author: Holds BA in English Language and literature at Mogadishu University and BA in Business administration at Simad University. Master of arts in applied Linguistics at Kisii University in Nairobi as well as Master of peace and conflict studies at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Mohamed Hussein Mentalist
Mohamed Hussein Mentalist

East Africa correspondent of ModernGhana. Page: MohamedHusseinMentalist