The Gulf crisis involving Qatar and Saudi Arabia could be behind the attack in Mogadishu on October 14 that caused, according to the latest report, at least 300 dead and more than 200 injured.

This is the thesis advocated by Luca Puddu, Senior Africa Analyst of the Institute of Global Studies, expert in Somalia, speaking to Fides.

“With all the prudence that the case demands, it could be said that if the government of Mogadishu accused the “al-Shabaab” movement of having committed the attack, such a bloody act affecting the civilian population contradicts itself, since the act does not contribute to consolidate the image of the national liberation movement on which the Shabaab seek to build their own rhetoric, “explains the researcher.

“On the other hand, the Shabbab denied being responsible for the explosion. Given the contingency of the moment, I think the attack is aimed at weakening the federal government, which is already accused of extradition to Ethiopia about a month ago of Abdikarin Sheikh Muse, a senior member of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) , which sparked strong protests from the parliamentary opposition, which has issued a motion of mistrust regarding Premier Hassan Ali Khayre,” Puddu said.

“It is also necessary to contextualize the vicissitudes of Somalia – including the latest attack – in the serious conflict in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the one hand, and Qatar on the other. The Somali federal government formally maintains a neutral stance in this conflict, but in fact more or less openly supports Qatar. Mogadishu made available its airspace for Qatar Airlines as an alternative to airspace closure by Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, whose governments repeatedly pressured Somali federal authorities to take a clear condemnation of Qatar. So far, however, the federal government has resisted these pressures, “says Puddu.

“On the other hand, President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed won this year’s elections thanks also to Qatar’s financial assistance, and above all is building a preferential alliance with Qatar, but even more so with Doha allied Turkey, which is building a military base in Somalia to train officers and sub-officers of the Somali army, “adds the researcher.

“The philosopharian policy of “Farmajo” is, however, contested by most states of the Federation, such as Puntland, not to speak of Somaliland, which hosts a base in the Berbera of the Emirates. On October 8, the presidents of the regional states met in Chisimaio to talk about constitutional reform and the peace process, completely independent of the federal government. ”

“Thus, a strong division was created between the federal and federal governments, with the first aligned with Saudi Arabia and the Emirates and the second with Qatar. In this context, the Mogadishu bombing is intended to further weaken the federal government, demonstrating that it is unable to secure security in Mogadishu. Recall that the speech of security was fundamental for the current President in the victorious election campaign,” states the researcher.

‘In this context, the Mogadishu bombing is intended to further weaken the federal government, demonstrating that it is unable to secure security in Mogadishu. Recall that the speech of security was fundamental for the current President in the victorious election campaign,” concludes the researcher.

In the blast, the embassy was also hit, said Doha Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

(JE / Fides)

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