Nearly two weeks ago I posed a question (see the post of below on 7/6) why there is no an East African country in the #Counterterrorism Forum. The rationale behind this question was the presence of an Al Qaeda affiliate on Somalia. For me, it was only reasonable to have either Kenya or any of the relatively stable country in the region as a member of this forum. I now think the reason for not having any of the EA countries is possibly due to the secrecy that has been characterised the fight against terrorism in Somalia.
On Friday, 15th June, the White House admitted that the US directly fights #terrorism in #Somalia (see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/16/world/obama-admits-us-fight-of-al-qaeda-has-extended-to-somalia-and-yemen.html). This is good information for researchers who are interested in looking at terrorism in Africa.
After the UN declared #famine crisis in Somalia, I gained interests in studying and researching about this country and the security situation in the region (i.e. Horn and East Africa). I started by doing documentary analysis particularly on the nexus between terrorism (and subsequently the war on terror) and the famine/humanitarian issues in the country. Because of the secrecy on this issue (i.e. countering terrorism in the area), most of the documents that were available for analysis were news articles, UN reports, and secondary materials from published papers and briefs. The analysis turned into a draft paper, which was presented as a poster at the #MPSA conference, Chicago, April 2012. For this paper to be complete, more information is needed, which is why such a step by the Obama administration to admit that the US has been directly involved in countering terrorism in Somalia is crucial. The importance of this is not only for my paper and me but it is for all academic researchers who are interested in studying terrorism in the Horn of Africa.