The Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, popularly referred to as Al-Shabaab, is a jihadist fundamentalist group that has been operating from Somalia and carries out deadly attacks on innocent lives since 2006 - when it was founded.
The group became a part of the notorious international militant Islamist organization, Al-Qaeda in 2012, an affiliation that has enabled it to carry out larger and more deadly attacks around East Africa in recent years.
The group has claimed responsibility for a series of high-profile attacks in the East African region, among which was the attack at the Westgate shopping mall in 2013 – which recorded over 71 deaths, and the recent bombings at the DusitD2 hotel complex on January 16, 2019, which took 21 lives and left many injured; both attacks were in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi.
In a move that will bring hope to many, the African Union Mission in Somalia has just announced a new change of strategy which it plans on adopting in fighting the militants and this was capped with the appointment of a new Force Commander to lead the Union’s troops in the fight against Al-Shabaab insurgents.
In a bid to switch defense strategy into attack, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has replaced Lt. Gen. Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire, who has served as Force Commander of the AMISOM since January 2018, with Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn from Ethiopia, who is known for his attack strategies.
At the handing over ceremony, head of the political arm of AMISOM, Francisco Caetano Madeira spoke at length on the need for work to be done in rooting out the insurgents and expressed faith in Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn as the right man for the job.
“The task ahead is enormous, but I am very confident that you can do it,” he said. For his part, the commander said: “This Mission is a challenging one, but we are up to the task.”
In a report made available by a journalist with VOA, Ethiopia had before now refused to accept the command of AMISOM unless some of their soldiers are deployed in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. There was however no confirmation whether this condition was met.Who is Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn?
Gen. Tigabu has 34-years experience in the military and has served the Ethiopia National Defence Forces (ENDF) in several capacities, including as Division, Brigade, Battalion, and Company Commander.
Prior to his appointment, he served as a member of the Defence Council and Head of Defence Logistics Main Department, where he was instrumental in planning, delivery, generation and integration of the defence capability, among others.
He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration, a degree in Leadership and Military Science and a Diploma in Law.
Biography Source: Africa News
Header Photo: DireTube