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Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Somalia

Crisis Group Role

As the Senior Analyst for Somalia, Omar conducts field research, provides written analysis, proposes policy recommendations and engages in advocacy efforts.

Professional background

Omar has previously worked as a senior researcher focusing on the Horn of Africa for the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Addis Ababa, and as an international consultant covering Boko Haram and the Lake Chad Basin. Prior to that, he obtained his Master’s degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso. 

Languages

  • English (native)
  • French (conversant)
  • Urdu (conversant)

Select Publications

In The News

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, Somalia
20 May 2021
Any intervention [by ANISOM] during renewed fighting [in Somalia] will be seen as partial to one or the other, while the cost of doing nothing can see the reversal of security gains. The New Humanitarian

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Somalia
27 Apr 2021
Any sort of miscalculation could happen [in Somalia]. It just takes one trigger-happy soldier to fire on the other side, and that's going to erupt those dynamics. AFP

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Somalia
8 Apr 2021
[Somalia’s election impasse] comes down to unresolved internal political tensions, but also a lack of preparation and political will. The Guardian

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Somalia
16 Jun 2020
Northern Kenya is increasingly looking like an area that al-Shabab seeks to incorporate under its rule rather than just using it as a rear base. The New Humanitarian

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Somalia

Latest Updates

Q&A / Africa

Why Somalia’s Electoral Crisis Has Tipped into Violence

After months of deadlocked talks over elections, the streets of Mogadishu on 25 April witnessed heavy fighting between rival army units. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Omar Mahmood examines the factors that triggered the latest violence – and explores ways to calm the waters.

Podcast / Africa

Somalia's Election Crisis

This week on The Horn, Crisis Group’s Somalia expert Omar Mahmood joins Alan Boswell to assess the likelihood of disorder once President Farmajo’s mandate ends on February 8 and the urgency of renewed consensus on an extended process for new elections.

Commentary / Africa

Somalia-Somaliland: A Halting Embrace of Dialogue

Ethiopia, the U.S. and the EU have brokered surprise talks between the Somalia and Somaliland administrations, which are historically opposed, though progress has stalled while both sides prepare for elections. The parties should cooperate on technical issues, pending a shot at deeper dialogue.

Podcast / Africa

The Political Fallout of the Pandemic

The Horn of Africa faces myriad crises. Beyond the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 on politics and the economy, the region is grappling with deeply troubled transitions, cross-border jihadism and remains a playground for great power competition. This week on The Horn, Host Alan Boswell joins five Crisis Group analysts to analyse the pandemic's political and economic implications.