Somalia continues to struggle with al Qaeda-aligned al Shabaab and ISIS terror groups aiming to tear down the federal government and incite chaos, allowing these extremist groups to continue to operate unfettered. To stabilize the country in the long-term, civil society organizations must be empowered to address issues organically. Establishing a long term solution for self-sustained stability within Somalia is a goal supported by US Special Operations teams. Stopping malign actors from further destabilizing Somalia entails more than military operations alone, however, and requires capable and trusted civil institutions.
USSOF teams have formed partnerships with a youth council in Somalia, comprised of the nation’s brightest future leaders. These forward-thinking and patriotic youth are exploring efforts to loosen the stranglehold that extremism and violence have had on Somalia for so many years. Supporting these initiatives and facilitating opportunities to discuss and enact regional solutions is a necessary investment and alternative approach to standard military operations. Progress is being made, and real change is within reach.
To support those that believe in a brighter future for Somalia and are willing to make that vision a reality, the US military and their Somali partners plan to refurbish a community meeting space. This project will allow people to gather to discuss common issues and, more importantly, devise solutions to the most difficult challenges facing Somalia. Bringing local citizens and leaders together in a safe space and empowering internal solutions is a critical step that, until now, was missing.
This refurbishment will coincide with a youth committee event to discuss countering violence, exploring best practices in conflict resolution, and enacting ways to stabilize a region with a long history of intra-clan violence. The inaugural meeting will culminate with a tree planting event, symbolizing a new beginning that will grow into something strong and lasting – ever progressing upward while still maintaining firm roots in the red clay of Somalia.
To make this progress a reality, however, financial support is needed. Your generous support will further the efforts of our troops on the ground who identified these needs, and contribute to building lasting and invaluable partnerships. With your help, we can refurbish a town meeting hall, host a community forum, and support a tree planting ceremony, ultimately aiding the peace efforts at the local level.