Jun 18, 2018

Why Al Shabaab Is Under Pressure Now Than Ever Before

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Al Shabaab has been under a lot pressure this year than ever before. After years of leadership wrangles, the militia was dealt a hard blow after news leaked that their emir Abu Ubaidah is suffering from cancer.

US has started targeting the Al Shabaab bases now outside Mogadishu the recent one being 15 miles southwest of Mogadishu killing 10 Shabaab militants. This brings the total number of militants killed by airstrikes to 1,410 militants with 50 being members of the decision making council also known as ‘Shura’.

The United States is working closely with AMISOM and SNA to ensure that upon withdrawal of AMISOM troops scheduled to start next year, the threat posed by Al Shabaab militants will be diminished to a manageable level.

Alshabaab is also facing internal conflicts on the issue of who shall take over from their ailing leader Abu Ubaidah. The conflict has brought about clannism conflicts something that the militia had tried to avoid for a very long time.The fighters have started taking sides based on the clan they belong to and are now attacking each other.


Major defection especially of the high ranking leaders who have surrendered to work with the government poses a great threat to the militia, because the last time a defection of the deputy leader happened (MuktarRubow) on 2013, it led the death of the previous Al shabaab leader Abdi Godane a year later.

Defection of foreign fighters is also a major setback since they are the ones used to perform major attacks inside their home countries. The defections have been fuelled by governments’ incentives and the clan conflicts in the militia which have left them with no sense of identity which was the main thing they were in search of when they joined the militia.

Loss of Local Support

Alshabaab have continued to lose support from the locals because of the attacks they have been performing during this period of Ramadhan which were labelled Haram by the local leaders, pushing them to take actions against the militia and start working with the security forces to smoke out those militants who had camouflaged into their villages and homesteads.

This series of events have weakened the militia to an extent that they are requesting for help from the Al Qaeda in terms of both money and personnel, on several audios released by the very ill leader since April. Al Qaeda leader Ay-man Al-zawahiri never responded to any of them.

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