Al-Shabaab Militancy in Somalia: A Timeline
Al-Shabaab Militancy in Somalia: A Timeline
Interactive / Africa

Al-Shabaab Militancy in Somalia: A Timeline

There’s no end in sight to the war with Al-Shabaab Islamist militants in Somalia, which has been raging for more than fifteen years. This timeline explains how the group came into existence and how it evolved amid the country’s other troubles.

Al-Shabaab’s Islamist insurgency has sown chaos in Somalia for more than fifteen years and shows no sign of abating. In the face of military operations by Somalia’s government and its foreign partners, Al-Shabaab has proven resilient, continuously adjusting its strategy while entrenching itself deeper in Somali society.

This timeline helps make sense of Al-Shabaab’s evolution in a country whose government struggles to establish itself outside major towns. It traces the group’s history, from its beginnings as the enforcement wing of an alliance of Sharia courts to an insurgency holding swathes of Somali territory and perpetrating attacks elsewhere in East Africa.

You can find all of Crisis Group’s work on Somalia here, including our latest report on Al-Shabaab, “Considering Political Engagement with Al-Shabaab in Somalia”.