Al-Shabaab demanding money child recruits from Somali villages


Militant group al-Shabaab is extorting large sums of money and forcibly recruiting children from villages in Somalia.A new investigation conducted by the Guardian reveals al-Shabaab militants are threatening villagers to hand over large sums of money, abducting children to recruit as new members and committed grave human rights abuses.

Al-Shabaab demanding money, children

The Guardian interviewed residents living in parts of central and southern Somalia that are under control of al-Shabaab and also intelligence documents and interrogations of defectors to compile its finding. The publication gained insights into the brutal rule al-Shabaab maintains over areas under its control but also revealed “significant support in some areas.”

As previous investigations have found, the Guardian also encountered cases where children are being taken from villages and forcibly recruited by al-Shabaab While residents are also being extorted for large sums of money to help fund the extremist group.

Grave human rights abuses

The same investigation also reveals the extent of some of the human rights abuses taking place under al-Shabaab rule. Dozens of “criminals” were found to have been executed by the militants, including a 20-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy who were killed in a public square after being found guilty of homosexuality.

Other punishments include stonings for adultery and public lashings for engaging in sexual activity. In another case, four men and a 16-year-old boy were shot dead by a firing squad after being accused of spying for the Somali government.

Feartured image: By Yo – Own work, Public Domain,

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.