The African Union Peace-keeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has begun to weaponise Somalis with soft tactics in the heightened fight against Al Shabaab.
The African Union troops have therefore set on a mission to work with communities in order to win hearts of Somalis.
The new approach involves reaching out to clan heads and ordinary citizens to challenge the dominant Al-Shabaab propaganda that AMISOM troops are infidels who must be ousted.
“This harmful propaganda cannot work anymore because we have started engaging these communities and we are telling them, ‘look, AMISOM is composed of Muslims as well; it is wrong for you to simply fight on religious grounds’,” said Lt Col Robert Nahamya
The troops have organised key opinion leaders mainly the elders, whom they are encouraging to preach oneness. They say they are carrying out the operation with caution to avoid infighting of the clans.
Efforts to bring the community closer have seen multiple attacks repulsed as members of the public bravely choose to work with the forces. The seamless sharing of information has also seen thousands of militants killed and masses of sympathisers arrested across the region.
Most of them say working with security agencies is beneficial as the troops assist them in building back their communities by providing medical care, counselling programs, construction material and most importantly security.