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Africa

'Somalia needs substantial funding to strengthen security'

An African security expert tells DW that the international community needs to support the Somali government in strengthening its security forces to combat al-Shabab, as weekend attacks in Baidoa claimed dozens of lives.

At least 30 people were killed in a twin-bomb attack at a busy restaurant in the Somali town of Baidoa. The Islamsist militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Baidoa lies 220 kilometers west of the capital Mogadishu. A suicide bomber blew himself up at the popular restaurant Beder, while another one detonated a car bomb remotely in front of Reedo restaurant, police said earlier.

An independent analyst in Nairobi has told DW that international forces in Somalia are not doing enough to support the government in strengthening its security forces.

DW: What does it tell us about the state of affairs in Somalia, considering that the attacks are happening one after the other?

Emmanuel Kisiangani: It demonstrates the challenges of dealing with an insurgency that uses this asymmetric warfare. The problem is that we have AMISOM forces which cannot protect every individual in Somalia.

They cannot provide security for each and everyone; it has to be limited to certain areas. Until Somalia gets its own security agencies working well, it will be difficult for an external force to stabilize Somalia.

Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta said AMISOM need more international support to defeat al-Shabab and strengthen Somalia's weak government and regional security. Do you see this support coming any time soon?

One Key challenge on Somalia is insufficient funding. The international actors on Somalia meet in London, in Turkey and pledge support to the government in Somalia. There have been some support and some people urged that financially the Somali government has been managing well some funds but also there's a criticism that international community has not sufficiently supported Somalia.

If you look at recent incident that involved killing of Kenyan soldiers, there was nothing that AMISOM could do other than Kenya itself bringing in its own troops from Kenya and other tools to confront the attackers, so you find that AMISOM is facing serious challenges.

What is the missing link that would enable Somalia to have its own security apparatus in place?

Somalia needs capacity building and funds. The government has been recruiting individuals to police but they are not paid for a very long time, while al-Shabab is raising funds from different sources including taxes.

They are able to pay their members on time. Police forces are defecting to al-Shabab. So besides building institutions, Somali government needs a substantial funding to build its military and police.

Emmanuel Kisiangani is an independent analyst based in Nairobi.

Interview: Isaac Mugabi

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