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CrisisWatch Somalia

Unchanged Situation

Parliament elected new president, former PM Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmajo, as Al-Shabaab continued to launch attacks on national and international forces in capital Mogadishu and rural areas. Delayed electoral process concluded 8 Feb when Farmajo won four-year presidential term, beating incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud 184 votes to 97. Al-Shabaab senior official 18 Feb said group would target anyone who collaborates with new president. In Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab fired mortars on presidential palace 16 Feb, day of presidential handover, killing two children; suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen 16 Feb killed traditional elder; Al-Shabaab assassinated National Intelligence and Security Agency general 18 Feb; officials blamed Al-Shabaab for 19 Feb suicide bombing at central market that killed at least 39 people. In rural areas, Al-Shabaab 7 Feb ambushed AU mission (AMISOM) convoy near Mahaday town, Middle Shabelle region, claimed it killed several Burundian troops. Al-Shabaab attacked Somali National Army (SNA) checkpoint in El-Wak town, Gedo region 8 Feb, killing two soldiers; overran two SNA camps in Tihsile and Warmahan villages outside Mogadishu 12 Feb, killing at least two soldiers; reinforcements en route to villages hit by roadside blast same day near Walanweyn, Lower Shabelle region, four military personnel killed. In Galmudug state, Al-Shabaab clashed with SNA in Adaley village near Amara 14 Feb, at least seven people killed; group took control of Amara 15 Feb. Al-Shabaab attacked AMISOM convoy outside Mogadishu 18 Feb. In Puntland, pro-Islamic State militants 1 Feb beheaded three of five civilians abducted late Jan in Bosaso; abducted and beheaded five Puntland soldiers in Af Karin, SE of Qandala; claimed 8 Feb attack on hotel in Bosaso, two guards killed. In Galkayo, which straddles contested border between Puntland and Galmudug Interim Administration (GIA), skirmishes between militia from each side resumed 10 Feb. UN warned country is on brink of new famine due to persistent drought in north.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

6 Mar 2017
[Farmajo] should turn his attention firmly [to strengthening the army] and appeal to the West and Arab countries to give Somali troops proper training, equipment, salary. Voice of America

Rashid Abdi

Project Director, Horn of Africa
3 Mar 2017
The concern in Washington [about Al-Shabaab in Somalia] has been mounting for some time now ... U.S. special forces are already on the ground. Drone attacks have been scaled up. The Seattle Times

Rashid Abdi

Project Director, Horn of Africa
16 Feb 2017
If [Somalia's new president Mohamed Abdullahi] wants to re-adjust the relationship between Somalia and Ethiopia, he has to be very careful. If he uses the old anti-Ethiopia rhetoric, he is going to quickly run into trouble. AFP

Rashid Abdi

Project Director, Horn of Africa
9 Feb 2017
If I were to advise [the new Somali president], I will tell him to go slow in relation with [Ethiopia and Kenya] and to build new bridges.They ultimately have collective, strategic interest working together to stabilize Somalia. VOA

Rashid Abdi

Project Director, Horn of Africa

Latest Updates

Statement / Africa

Twelve Points for the New African Union Commission Chairperson

Africa is experiencing the highest number of humanitarian crises since the 1990s. As the new chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, takes office, International Crisis Group suggests how he can strengthen the organisation’s response to threats to continental peace and security.

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Commentary / Africa

Somalia: New Leadership, Persistent Problems

The recent election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is an important step toward Somalia's recovery after decades of instability. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2017 annual early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group encourages the European Union and its member states to support the government by injecting new life into the national reconciliation talks and boost assistance for sub-national governance.

Commentary / Africa

The Islamic State Threat in Somalia’s Puntland State

A stretch of Somalia's coast has been seized by Islamic State fighters who split from the country's main jihadist militia Al-Shabaab, which is aligned with Al-Qaeda. A concerted response by the Somali federal authorities is now urgently required to contain the threat.

Commentary / Africa

Al-Shabaab’s Kenyan Ambitions

Three members of Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa staff consider the implications of Al-Shabaab’s longstanding ambition to broaden its campaigns from Somalia into the wider East Africa region.

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