In the tumultuous landscape of modern-day Somalia, a battle of existential proportions rages on. The enemy, the terrorist group al-Shabaab, seeks to capture our beloved nation, or the very least hold it hostage, threatening to plunge it into a bottomless nightmarish abyss. To emerge victorious in this harrowing war, unity among Somalis is not just needed; it is vital.
“We are finally winning, and therefore must stay resilient” is an emerging mantra that resonates in the hearts of all Somalis. With the death of brilliant young commanders, and the displacement of entire villages, the resilience of our people and the sacrifices made in this war are testaments to our unwavering determination.
Yet, as we march forward, we find ourselves facing a perilous foe within our ranks. Saboteurs, both known and unknown, within and outside the government, are actively undermining our efforts to defeat al-Shabaab. These individuals are not wielding guns on the battlefield, but their actions are equally destructive. They provide the moral support that allows terrorists to thrive—the oil for their propaganda machine.
For years, these entities, some Somalis, others only ethnically, masqueraded as patriots and nationalists, claiming to have the best interests of our nation and its people at heart.
The saboteurs and al-Shabaab sympathisers, mainly supporters of former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, paraded themselves as the ultimate patriots during his five-year tenure and often labelling the opposition as traitors. However, their actions spoke louder than their words. The administration they supported, mainly due to clan affiliation, never managed to liberate a single village from al-Shabaab, revealing that their true intent was not to save the country, but to milk its national resources under the guise of nationalism and patriotism.
After losing power in the 2022 elections, they embarked on a mission to undermine the government’s efforts to combat al-Shabaab. They became a source of morale for terrorists and a force of destabilisation against the government.
Their tribal hatred towards President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud knows no bounds. They began propagating al-Shabaab’s narrative, peddling fake news as if it were legitimate information, and go insofar as to suggest a mutiny and a military coup d’état against the current administration. When the government eliminated militants or recaptured territories, they vehemently denied it. However, when al-Shabaab launched attacks, they eagerly amplified the news, sometimes even exaggerating the events beyond what the terrorists themselves claimed.
It is a grim revelation when those that once claimed to be sympathetic to your country’s cause turn out to be dangerous adversaries. The true face of CBB (the insects of social media) as they are widely known on social media, emerged after their beloved was voted out of power, exposing their unsettling resemblance to al-Shabaab and their potential to harm the armed forces.
Their despicable act of mocking the deaths of Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers at the hands of al-Shabaab or celebrating the capture of territories by al-Shabaab is a betrayal of the patriotism and nationalism they once claimed. Worst of all, they recirculate al-Shabaab’s media propaganda videos to demoralise the national army—a betrayal beyond comprehension.
In this multifaceted war against terror, the social media battle is an important and critical front. As we move towards the second phase of the operation, we must recognise the enemy in our midst and stand united against the darkness that threatens our nation. The road ahead may be treacherous, but our unity, resilience, and unwavering commitment to a united Somalia will ultimately triumph over the forces that seek to tear us apart. In unity, we shall find strength, and in strength, we shall secure our nation’s future.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of this publication.