The murderous bloodlust group al-Shabaab has decided to abandon its reliance on the illegal charcoal trade in favour of its mafia style taxation after it devastated Somalia’s forests and water catchment areas.
The group’s terrorist activities may have lost momentum apparently caused by loss of territory and all means of revenue, resorting to plundering starving villages of cash and extorting money from local businesses and livestock from local herders from the handful of villages it still controls.
Recent efforts by the federal government in Mogadishu and partners, to seal off illegal trade routes for charcoal trade have forced the militants to opt for other “taxations”.
The group has been weakened financially and militarily and has opted to extort money from locals. Defectors have revealed crippling extortion by the terror group and brainwashing of boys, as it suffers apparent crisis of morale.
But locals in villages under al-Shabaab’s rule are tired of the illegal taxes and are fighting back. The number of armed groups, largely made up of livestock herders that are opposed to the illegal taxations, has exponentially increased in recent months, with raids made by those groups on al-Shabaab becoming a daily occurrence.