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Somalia's Fight Against Al Shabab | Citizen Support

In the middle of last year, Al Shabaab were controlling about 80 per cent of Somalia’s territory. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud came into power in May 2022, following a prolonged political crisis. He vowed to eradicate Al Shabaab, and an offensive began, with government forces backed by clan militias, African Union forces, and the US. In the three months to December, the Somali government said it had killed more than 600 Al Shabaab members, while capturing 68 settlements. President Mohamud said last month that the group now controls just 20 per cent of Somalia’s territory.

They may have been pushed back, but Al Shabaab still controls large swathes of territory. Despite restrictive rules and public executions, some Somalis prefer the order they impose, compared to a central government that can be perceived as ineffective or even corrupt. The threat from Al Shabaab has created something of a disconnect between the government and the experiences of Somalis displaced by drought and desperate for aid.

Even if Al Shabaab are eradicated, the trauma from the conflict will last a long time, say locals and government officials.”We talk about resilience. If there is an explosion today, tomorrow [Somalis] will rebuild. But “surely they are traumatized. The whole population is traumatized.”

Source: Global Fight Against Terrorism Funding (GFATF)



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