Somalia: Burundian linked to Al-Shabaab suicide bomb in Jana Cabdalle

FILE PHOTO: Al-Shabaab targeted the Jana Abdalla base ahead of planned offensive

MOGADISHU- A Burundian national was directly linked to the recent Al-Shabaab attack in Jana Cabdalle, a town located in Jubaland, the group has claimed in a statement. This development exposes the militants' recruitment strategy, which is expanding rapidly across East Africa and the Great Lakes region.

Recently, the group acknowledged that Kenyan and Tanzania nationals participated in an attack targeting US Naval base in Manda Airbase within Kenya which left at least three Americans dead. The attack was mainly engineered by foreigners with two Somalis also taking part.

Al-Shabaab says the attack on March 7 in Jana Cabdalle was conducted by a Burundian from Kibimba, who detonated a car bomb leaving at least five soldiers dead and a number of civilians. The town had been abandoned by Somali National Army under unknown circumstances after the militants fled only for them to return days later.

The attacker was identified as Dnayizeye Isxaaq Khaalid aka “Showkaani” from Hutu tribe within the country. Born in 1992, Dnayizeye came to Somalia seven years ago, Al-Shabaab said, adding that he has been coordinating the group's activities across the country and borders given his "experience" in handling explosives.

Burundi which is fresh from civil war, has also struggled with stability before a peace agreement was signed in 2005, effectively ending leadership wrangles. Several Burundians have been crossing over to the far East through Tanzania and majority of them have ended up in Kenya without proper documents.

Al-Shabaab has been taking advantage of desperation to recruit youths from outside Somalia who end up being commanders of various sub groups tasked with specific assignments. The group generates almost $120 million annually according to a report compiled by the United Nations.

Burundi is one of the frontline nations in Somalia just like Djibouti, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya. The five countries have contributed obey 22,000 soldiers serving in the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] and the number is likely to rise after Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Djibouti pledged to add more troops.

Somalia has been coordinating crackdown against the militants in the last seven months in an operation which has left over 700 dead besides liberating various strategic towns. The group may suffer revenue dip after the government of Somalia also started targeting money transfer firms linked to the militants.


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