Abdisalam Guled, a security expert and counter violent extremism specialist, offered an optimistic outlook on the future of Somalia, acknowledging the multitude of challenges that the country must overcome while emphasizing the potential for ultimate success.

Political instability remains a primary obstacle for Somalia, characterized by decades of civil war and a fragile central government.

The absence of a robust governance structure has allowed various armed groups to flourish, exacerbating the prevailing instability.

“One of the main challenges that Somalia has been grappling with is political instability. The country has experienced decades of civil war, resulting in a weak central Government and the emergence of various armed groups,” noted Guled.

The extremist group Al-Shabaab has exploited the vulnerabilities of the country, conducting frequent attacks both within Somalia and in neighbouring nations.

“Another major challenge is the ongoing threat of terrorism. Somalia has been a breeding ground for extremist groups like Al-Shabaab, which has carried out numerous attacks within the country and in neighbouring countries,” he asserted.

He acknowledged the efforts undertaken by the Somali government, with the support of international partners, to counter terrorism and improve security. Collaborative initiatives such as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have played a pivotal role in pushing back against groups like Al-Shabaab and reclaiming territories.

“However, significant efforts have been made by the Somali government, with the support of international partners, to combat terrorism and improve security. This includes the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which has successfully pushed back Al-Shabaab and reclaimed territory. Despite these challenges, there are reasons to be optimistic about Somalia’s future,” he added.

Guled also highlighted how the Somali people have demonstrated unwavering resilience and determination towards achieving peace and stability.

These developments come at a time when the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) drawdown is underway, and Somalia is embarking on a path towards self-reliance.

The United Nations Security Council renewed the presence of ATMIS troops in Somalia for an additional six months on Tuesday but approved a plan to gradually withdraw from the country until they are completely withdrawn.

Guled further stated that Somalia will not be able to achieve self-reliance in combating terrorism, citing a lack of preparedness and weapons due to the arms embargo imposed on the country since 1992.

“The drawdown of ATMIS forces will be completed by 2024, which is less than a year and a half away. It is truly impossible for Somalia to recover the position that ATMIS will leave and achieve self-reliance in combating terrorism. Considering the preparedness of the armed forces, I can see that Somalia is not ready to fight against terrorism alone. We need support from external partners,” Guled said.

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