Al-Shabaab is likely to continue posing threats to the nations of East Africa in the coming year, the heads of the US intelligence agencies have said.
Violence on the part of the Islamist insurgents is unlikely to be reduced due to “elite competition, corruption and poor coordination among security services in Somalia,” the spy masters stated in a report released on January 29.
Shabaab’s ability to carry out attacks will also not be significantly blunted by the forces of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), the report suggests.
The 21,000-strong Amisom detachment, which includes about 4,000 Kenyan troops, “is unlikely to engage in aggressive offensive operations against Al-Shabaab in advance of the mission’s scheduled withdrawal from Somalia by 2021,” the intelligence chiefs said.
The report offers no analysis of the effects of intensified US air attacks on Shabaab targets. The US military claims to have killed hundreds of Islamist militants in Somalia during the past two years.
The analysis of security conditions in East Africa is presented as part of the latest annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community.”
Africa receives only one page of generalised attention in the 42-page report that gauges challenges facing the US and its allies.