Somalia: Amid attacks, Somali capital tests new security formula

Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed across the Somali capital on Sunday as parts of a new security approach by Mogadishu’s local government which has taken over control of the city’s security from the intelligence agency after series of deadly attacks by Al Shabab group last month.

The militant group’s fighters have carried out at least three deadly attacks in Mogadishu and Baidoa town late last month.  Both attacks have killed at least 50 people.  In addition, the group had also targeted the hilltop presidential palace with mortar shelling, killing three people in a nearby residential area.

Meanwhile, the new Mogadishu security exercise has seen cars passing through several checkpoints, with drivers were being required to provide identifications before they were allowed to proceed to their certain destinations. .

Somali officials stressed that new security plan aims to treat Mogadishu’s security as a top priority, playing down critics’ observations that similar to previous efforts; the new security measure would likely be a short-lived one which may not help to change the city’s precarious security situation.

Security remains a major issue in the horn of Africa nation especially the capital Mogadishu which has seen an increase in the number of attacks by Al Shabab group which despite being ousted from its key strongholds stepped up its guerrilla attacks across large parts of the country.

The group which security experts say shifted its military tactics also carried out three major attacks on three African Union force bases in Somalia, which saw fighters overrun bases and killed ‘scores of soldiers. Militants have also confiscated a large amount of military armaments and vehicles, raising fears among AU officials that the group would use to them to carry out attacks disguised as African Union forces.