Sep 6, 2019

Internal politics weakening Al Shabaab Leadership

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Al-Shabaab’s overarching narrative of one Islamic system that claims to put the Somali faithful first is the sole most destructive ideology in their Arsenal. Using religion, the group often styles itself as a mediator in local conflicts, while implying international, regional and Somali forces as partisan.
In the past couple of years, the group has suffered and survived not only territorial losses but also a bitter internal leadership battle ever since a U.S. drone strike killed its long-term emir Ahmed Abdi Godane. These internal wrangles can be attributed to various reasons, but which include loyalty politics as ISIS tries to establish its own foothold in Somalia. A challenge was made by factions who wanted to transfer official allegiance from Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State that saw a large number of foreign fighters defect both to ISIS and to the Transitional Government. The move dealt a huge blow to the outfit as its focus was now redirected inwards into local politics and governance issues.
This therefore meant reduced attacks across their borders relegating and isolating their foreign fighters and especially Kenyans to small attacks in the border towns of Kenya, while their Somali counterparts turned attention towards Mogadishu. Persistent airstrikes by the US and AMISOM have also greatly reduced their operational capabilities, taking out several key leaders and forcing them to stay in hiding.
The above, coupled with mass defections and surrender by hundreds of Al Shabaab militants show signs of a dilapidated outfit that is on the verge of collapse.

Article Categories:
Al Shabaab

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