5/22/2024
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Al-Shabaab resurgence in Somalia as state elections approach


Friday March 29, 2024


Mogadishu (HOL) - With the Somali state presidential elections scheduled between June and November 2024, candidates have launched campaigns in Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubaland, and Southwest states. Incumbents' potential re-election bids stir unrest among local politicians and clan leaders, particularly in Galmudug and Hirshabelle. The strife is fragmenting the coalition against al-Shabaab, enabling the militants to regain footholds in Galmudug. Concurrently, security forces in Lower Juba have initiated a new offensive against al-Shabaab, recapturing territories in March.

Galmudug and Hirshabelle Face Electoral and Political Challenges

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The Galmudug administration's delay in announcing election dates has led to criticism, mainly targeting State President Ahmed Abdi Karie for aggravating clan conflicts. In Hirshabelle, government reshuffles and clan tensions are mounting, especially after the dismissal of Hiiraan's governor, which threatened the region's stability. The political tensions complicate the upcoming elections, risking further instability and potential secessionist movements in Hiiraan.

Al-Shabaab Exploits Security Weaknesses

Amid these political tensions, the Somali National Army (SNA) has encountered setbacks, allowing al-Shabaab to reclaim territories. Operational delays, internal disputes, and logistical issues have hampered the SNA, facilitating al-Shabaab's resurgence in key areas of Mudug and Galgaduud. The group has also successfully engaged with local militias, undermining the SNA's efforts.

Renewed Counter-Insurgency Operations in Lower Juba

Despite central Somalia's challenges, the security forces have initiated a robust counter-insurgency campaign in Lower Juba, targeting al-Shabaab with support from U.S. military forces. These operations have led to significant militant casualties and the dismantling of key bases, demonstrating a sustained commitment to eradicating al-Shabaab's presence.



 





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