Somalia’s Wadajir opposition party leader, Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, has said that the militant group Al-Shabaab has infiltrated security and financial institutions in the country.
At a press conference in Mogadishu, the opposition leader gave detailed examples of how entrenched Al-Shabaab has become in the country.
“We all know that Al-Shabaab has deeply penetrated security and financial institutions in the country. We know that Al-Shabaab takes taxes from various businesses belonging to the people of Mogadishu and also gets revenue from sources of income which are under the control of the government, including the port of Mogadishu where Al-Shabaab taxes all incoming containers,” Warsame said.
He added that he had information that Al-Shabaab takes $160 from every 40ft container and $100 from 20ft containers.
The militants group, Warsame went on to say, is thoroughly informed about incoming commodities at the port.
“At the Mogadishu port, there are the companies which bring commodities, and the Turkish company, AlBayrak, which controls the port and which is in charge of offloading those commodities, and then there the companies which take those commodities out of the port. Al-Shabaab has each of their bills. We have seen Somali traders who, when they were paying the Al-Shabaab tax, found that the group had all the details of their cargo,” he said.
Warsame said he has information that Al-Shabaab receives domestic revenue from export commodities, gets a five percent cut from contracts, and had recently ordered traditional elders selecting parliamentarians to bring the group an AK-47 rifle and three magazines pouches each.
He slammed the government, which he said was distracted by trifle political maneuvers and disputes with regional states.
“The Somali government, instead of focusing on the task given to them by the people, are distracted with wrangling with politicians, weakening the parliament and destroying regional states,” Warsame said.
Al-Shabaab has been carrying out deadly attacks across Somalia in the recent past, the with its latest victim being being the late Banadir governor and Mogadishu mayor, Eng Abdirahman Omar Osman (Yarisow), who was buried in Mogadishu yesterday.