Depletion of locally available ingredients for making explosives could force the militant group Al-Shabaab to smuggle the components into the country, the UN has warned.
The Chair of the UN Security on Somalia Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve told the Council Wednesday Al-Shabaab was capable of smuggling precursors for producing bombs in light of dwindling local resources.
“If the current chemicals used for Al-Shabaab’s homemade explosives become scarce, the group would shift to other sources of explosive materials or precursors, possibly through illicit smuggling, the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia said,” a statement from the Council read in part.
Buytswerve said efforts by the UN Mine Action to clear mines and unexploded war remnants across Somalia had reduced Al-Shabaab’s access to military grade explosives, apparently triggering a shift away from such explosives.
The UN Monitoring Group in Somalia said in its report in 2018 Al-Shabaab had built local capacity to produce up to 1200kgs of bombs using locally available materials.
The militant group, the Monitoring Group said was harvesting bomb making ingredients from military ordinances in the country and using fertilizer.
It cited the 2017 Zobe bomb which killed over 600 people noting the bomb weighing over 1000 kgs was locally assembled by the group.
The militant group has suffered major blows from US airstrike in the last three years denying it ground movements within the regions.
However it has also remained resilient and still manages to launch attacks targeting government installations, civilians and military convoys.