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Vol 52 No 17

Published 26th August 2011


Somalia

Al Shabaab – neither gone nor forgotten

The drought has weakened the Islamist militia only temporarily and the political threat to the region is as serious as ever

When Al Haraka al Shabaab al Mujahideen retreated from Mogadishu on 6 August, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was quick to claim victory. The United Nations claimed it was evidence of a growing crisis within Al Shabaab and that ‘moderate’ commanders led by Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali ‘Abu Mansur’ would quickly defect and put an end to the insurgency. These assessments owe more to wishful thinking than reality. The military and political damage to Al Shabaab is likely to prove temporary, and it remains determined to boost its presence in the region.

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