Who is the mother of Al-Shabab? Do you have any argument that Al-Shabab was a faction or part of the defunct Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)? If you have any objections to raising this question, then probably you don’t have any question regarding Damul-Jadid faction of Islaax Somalia fighting along UIC against Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) in 2006. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was then leader of Damul-Jadid, led the group to join the fight along Al-Shabab and militia of UIC. Students of SIMAD College were transported to the battlefield in the vicinity of Baydhaba, the Seat of TFG then, unprepared and untrained, to fight along Al-Shabab or UIC militia. Former Interior Minister, Odawaa, commanded this operation in which SIMAD students were routed out by joint counter-offensive of TFG and Ethiopian forces. Like thousands, who had perished in Mogadishu following the outbreak of the Civil War from 1991, SIMAD College students were unaccounted for and nobody was held accountable for this heinous crime.

Trying to follow up and attempting to express remorse for past mistakes or crimes is an initial positive step forward by perpetrators. I don’t see this happening. This, in turn, makes everybody skeptical of President Mohamud’s sincerity in fighting Al-Shabab. Until he shows otherwise, the burden of proof is on the President.

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