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Somalia

CrisisWatch Somalia

Unchanged Situation

Newly elected president took steps to mend ties with regional member states and appointed new PM; Al-Shabaab suffered major defeat in Galmudug state; risk of famine persisted. In effort to reset relations between federal govt and member states, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud late May-early June travelled to South West and Galmudug states, whose leaders had been aligned with former President Farmajo. First meeting of National Consultative Council, consisting of president and member state leaders, 11-12 June took place in capital Mogadishu; participants agreed on seven-point agenda for new administration, including finalising constitution, pursuing security reforms, deepening federalism and focusing on reconciliation. Mohamud 15 June appointed experienced politician and MP representing Jubaland state, Hamza Abdi Barre, as PM; parliament 25 June approved Barre’s appointment. Some Farmajo supporters appeared inclined to challenge Mohamud’s tenure. Notably, former intelligence chief Fahad Yasin mid-June released series of interviews taking aim at govt officials, including his replacement, whom he accused of plotting political assassinations. Meanwhile, suspected Al-Shabaab combatants overnight 8-9 June launched nine mortars on airport compound in Mogadishu, which hours later hosted Mohamud’s inauguration ceremony. Galmudug state said armed residents and local security forces 17 June repulsed Al-Shabaab raid on Bahdo town, killing up to 70 militants. Army mid-June started operations against Al-Shabaab in Mataban district of Hiraan region (Hirshabelle state) following militant group’s recent gains in area. U.S. 3 June conducted first drone strike under Mohamud’s presidency near Beer Xaani village in Lower Juba region (Jubaland state), reportedly killing five Al-Shabaab. In departure from previous public statements, senior Al-Shabaab member Mahad Karate told British TV broadcaster Channel 4 in video released 15 June that group could consider negotiations with govt when time is right. Mohamud in interview with The Economist published 2 June said he intends to launch big offensive to contain and push back Al-Shabaab, then engage in talks. UN agencies 6 June said over 200,000 Somalis at risk of starvation and 7.1mn or nearly half the population faced with acute levels of food insecurity as drought worsens and global food prices hover near record highs.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

17 May 2022
If we look back at Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud's previous tenure [in Somalia], he seemed more open to consultation and compromise than the recent administration. DW

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Eastern Africa
15 Apr 2022
The swearing-in of MPs [in Somalia] is certainly a major step whose significance goes beyond symbolism. Irish Times

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Eastern Africa
12 Jan 2022
As long as the election cycle and current tensions [in Somalia] drag on, the attention of the political elite will be more inwardly focused, while other priorities lag behind. The New York Times

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Eastern Africa
27 Dec 2021
When the political elite [in Somalia] are focused on each other, attention turns away from the battle against al-Shabab. The Washington Post

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Eastern Africa
22 Jul 2021
Al Shabaab is fully embedded in Somali society, especially in areas under their control, where local populations have little choice but to engage the group. VICE News

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Eastern Africa
27 May 2021
Through these specific talks [in Somalia], Farmajo really didn’t play much of a role, but that doesn’t mean that he permanently is sitting out the campaign period. The Washington Post

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Eastern Africa

Latest Updates

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How Somalia’s Election Reshapes the Region

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Q&A / Africa

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It took sixteen months, but Somalia’s elections have finally concluded – and without major incident. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Omar Mahmood looks at the challenges confronting the new chief executive and suggests some ways of tackling them.

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