Africom Counter-terrorism Strategy Mired in Geographic Absurdities

Africom counter-terrorism operations in Puntland State affects lives of innocent people in parts of Bari region. Drones killed two men collecting frankincense in a remote area known as Ameyra. Families of victims sent a letter to Puntland Parliament , where an MP had read out the statement. Poor geographic knowledge causes wrong operational decisions. Clues to this counterterrorism anomaly can be found in a bar chart in paper entitled Estimating Fighter Numbers in Cells across the Continent.

A geographically inaccurate chart

In the chart Somalia appears twice  under Islamic State in Somalia (ISS) and Islamic State in Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (ISSKTU). Egypt crops up in the chart twice under Islamic State in Egypt (IS-Misr) and Islamic State in Sinai.

Drone attacks against civilian populations put Puntland Government in a bind. It relies upon Africom operations to deter ISIS attacks by fighters in far-away and less populated parts of Bari region but it finds hard to be viewed as indifferent to the plight of families affected by drone attacks.

Africom claims it conducts strikes with the Somali Federal Government forces strikes against parts of southern Somalia under Al-shabaab.

© Puntland Post Monthly, 2019