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Showing posts from July 4, 2014


Terrorist attacks continued as ethnic clashes increased. Al-Shabaab recaptured several villages previously liberated by AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) offensive; besieged several towns in south-central Somalia, displaced thousands of civilians. Mogadishu court judge killed 17 June by suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen; 3 security forces killed 29 June in capital; at least 2 killed, 7 wounded 30 June in attack on market. 74 killed 1 June in clash between Al-Shabaab and Somali and Ethiopian forces near Ato town, SW; 2 AMISOM peacekeepers killed 26 June in Bula Burde, central Somalia; 80 Al-Shabaab reported killed 23 June in Kenyan airstrikes in Lower Juba region. Al-Shabaab threatened increased attacks during Ramadan; Somali police 23 June announced establishment of special force to maintain security in capital during Ramadan. Clan tensions remained high in Lower Shabelle, Bay, Bakool, and Middle Shabelle: SFG, UNSOM, and IGAD 23 June recognised new federal South West State (SW3) compri…

Somalia: Al-Shabaab – It Will Be a Long War


Despite the recent military surge against Somalia’s armed Islamist extremist and self-declared al-Qaeda affiliate, Al-Shabaab, its conclusive “defeat” remains elusive. The most likely scenario – already in evidence – is that its armed units will retreat to smaller, remote and rural enclaves, exploiting entrenched and ever-changing clan-based competition; at the same time, other groups of radicalised and well-trained individuals will continue to carry out assassinations and terrorist attacks in urban areas, including increasingly in neighbouring countries, especially Kenya. The long connection between Al-Shabaab’s current leadership and al-Qaeda is likely to strengthen. A critical breakthrough in the fight against the group cannot, therefore, be achieved by force of arms, even less so when it is foreign militaries, not the Somalia National Army (SNA), that are in the lead. A more politically-focused approach is required.

Even as its territory is squeezed in the medium term, Al-S…