Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: Somalia
Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: Somalia
Podcast / Africa

Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: Somalia

In this second episode of The Horn’s mini-series exploring jihadism along the Swahili coast, Alan Boswell talks to regional expert Samira Gaid about the evolution of Al-Shabaab and how Somalia can use external stabilisation support more effectively.

Somalia’s Al-Shabaab insurgency was born of a strong nationalistic reaction to the Ethiopian invasion in 2006. Over the years since, the group has treaded a thin line between galvanising local support and tapping into the rhetoric of global jihadism, including through allegiance to al-Qaeda – a strategy that has seen it grow in prominence amid a governance vacuum.

In this second instalment of a mini-series on jihadism across Eastern Africa, Alan Boswell is joined by regional expert and former government adviser Samira Gaid for an in-depth look at Al-Shabaab’s origins and rise. Samira describes how the militants have embedded themselves in the dynamics of Somali politics – particularly through the clan system – to extend their reach across the country. She also explains why military efforts by Somalia and its international partners have failed to stem the insurgency, discusses whether political elites – embroiled in an electoral crisis – have the will to open a dialogue, and assesses how waning external support for stabilising Somalia could affect progress toward an eventual settlement to the conflict.

The Eastern Africa’s Jihadis series of The Horn is produced in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Contributors

Project Director, Horn of Africa
alanboswell
Samira Gaid
Former Somali Government Adviser