Dhacdo.com is reporting (in Somali) that al-Shabaab is forcing each clan in Kismayo to contribute 150 youth to its forces.
TFG lawmaker Ali Maxamed Geddi spoke out against al-Shabaab’s forced recruitment, pointing out that residents do not want to fight along the group.
The group is making the move in anticipation of imminent incursions by Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its allied forces from Ethiopia, Kenya, clan militias such as the Ogaden Ras Kamboni, and veteran Somali warlords–including Marehan clan militia leader Barre Hirale.
TFG Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohammed Ali promised that al-Shabaab would be driven out of Kismayo “before…August.”
One of the key issues if Kismayo should fall to TFG-allied forces is how control of the port would be divided between Ogaden, Marehan, and to some degree other clans.
Al-Shabaab will use this as a wedge issue to mobilize clans in Kismayo–especially the Marehan–against TFG-allied forces, as it is doing currently.
However, this issue easily also could spark violence between clan militias presently loyal to the TFG, more specifically the Ogaden Ras Kamboni and Barre Hirale’s Marehan militia if an agreement cannot be reached before they are able to wrest control of the profitable port from al-Shabaab.