Somalia with the double tragedy of a discreditable NISA and a credible Al-Shabaab: the case of Ikraan


A worse off NISA has shown its worst yet to Somalis through its shoddy coverup job. Somalis pray that this doesn’t drag their state project back to unreasonable lows.

By crediting Al-Shabaab with the disappearance (abduction and execution) of NISA’s agent, NISA discredited itself and conferred credibility on Al-Shabaab. Already suffering from public credibility crisis, NISA has shot itself in the foot by confirming the public’s worst fears.

Even if the agent is still alive and NISA’s message was only a tactic to defuse the pressure and possibly reprisal consequences igniting from the agent’s mother, who has been doubling down on matter of her daughter’s disappearance, NISA should have to be killed to survive this. That’s if Somalis hope that it should exist as a critical institution to serve Somalia’s national security interests. That’s, however, the job of any next administration sincere in its determination to make a positive contribution against the challenges facing Somalia.

If truly the agent is dead, it just confirms to the living their long held suspicion of how dead NISA has been. From their poor statement on the whereabouts of their agent, other than revealing its gross depravity of imagination and sophistication, it’s clear how high its expectations were for Al-Shabaab to have mercy on its agents. That expectation of mercy from Al-Shabaab was the lowest NISA could sink from the depth of the sink hole they had been.

This leaves Somalia with the double tragedy of a discreditable NISA and a credible Al-Shabaab. With NISA’s single lie we have a truth and a lie— both dangerous. The truth is NISA exists as the political operation center of a fractious faction. The lie is, despite the contrary situation that NISA put Somalia in, Al-Shabaab is far from being credible. (Hey Al-Shabaab, we know you have nothing to do with the NISA agent, but don’t ever think that your denial of it would make you credible. We also know very well know that you have been claiming a lot more than your share of aggression in Somalia which your latest denial would do nothing to change anything about).

Somalia has not liked how an immature faction has been treating it as thought it’s a mature state. If continued, this has the risk of delaying, if not reversing, the progress Somalia has been making toward  political maturity.

Lacking the monopoly of violence and faced with the reality of more powerful and credible armed non-state actors, a leader half-endowed with reason would lean more on the art of persuasion than use of coercion. It appears 25 April violence in Mogadishu never taught this faction a valuable lesson.

It’s hoped that this faction doesn’t officially sanction Somalia’s regression into revenge and reprisal attacks with its callous actions. It’s very easy to be humbled in Somalia. People and clans have been willingly submitting themselves to state authority but those entrusted with authority have been doing everything to betray their cautious trusts and make them revolt and revert into their clannish cocoons for protection.

Somalia will prevail through thick and thin. It’s the losers that will lose. But right now everyone of us in Somalia politics is a loser. May Allah stop giving Somalis the leadership they deserve. May Allah give Somalis great leadership (with knowledge and wisdom) from among themselves.

By: Aydid Guleid