The Prime Minister of the TFG, Mr. Mohamed Abdulahi declared yesterday on the government radio that the Government would “finish off” Al-Shabab in 90 days. This is reminiscent of the PM’s declaration about four months ago that the TFG would “finish off” Al-Shabab in 100 days. The 100 days came and passed, and – unless something changed five minutes ago – Al-Shabab is still there.
The only thing that was “finished” was Al-Shabab’s hold on one building that was the former Defence Ministry HQ. Interestingly, the TFG and its supporters say that now the government has moved from controlling a few city blocks to controlling 70% of the city (one wonders how big the defence ministry must be!). That happened about two weeks before the 100 days ended. If one looks at the land the TFG gained at the end of the first deadline, it seems that the government plans to take just one other building from the Shabab in 3 months.
This time it won’t be as easy in Mogadishu. Now the Shabab seem to be entrenching themselves even more by digging tank traps and trenches all across the frontlines, and not only in critical areas. This time it seems the government will take a town or two by the border and claim to have taken 70% of the country from Shabab!
One wonders when the TFG will wake up and realise it won’t take weeks or months to see Shabab go. Actually, they won’t go anywhere. The Taliban has been more pummeled by superior firepower than the TFG and her allies can ever dream of, and yet they are still there. Perhaps after another ten 90-day deadlines will the TFG see how ridiculous they are. By then, it will be too late for the TFG to have any chance of ever taking all of Southern Somalia – if it isn’t too late now.
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