By William Tucker
Reuters is reporting today that the Australian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning stating that al-Shabaab is planning to strike Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during this week’s African Union summit. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has recently changed its travel advice for Ethiopia to state:
“According to credible information, extremists are planning to bomb unspecified locations within Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the Africa Union Summit.”
Unfortunately the information available is rather thin, but it would fit with al-Shabaab’s need to break the stalemate between its forces and those of the AU in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab has been unable to eject the AU forces from Somalia and has been forced to try to break the political will of the nations supporting the AU mission. It is this type of strategy that led to the suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda in July of 2010. Uganda is a primary supplier of military forces to the AU mission that is protecting the Somali Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu. Some may remember that in March 2010, I had stated that al-Shabaab was looking to launch an international attack when notorious terrorist Fazul Abdullah Mohammad had been given command of an al-Shabaab unit. This warning does fit with what is known about al-Shabaab and the status of the Somali theater. Threats to Addis Ababa aside, the TFG mandate set to expire in August of this year and with waning support from the west the militant group may just have to wait a few months before it can launch an effective offensive on Mogadishu.
Photo of al-Shabaab militants: Wardheernews.com