Somalia’s latest attack is another blow in the country’s deep crisis

Children studying in group in Mogadishu, Somalia Children studying in group in Mogadishu, Somalia Ismail Salad Hajji dirir/ Unsplash

19 June 2021

Several crises are simultaneously progressing in Somalia that are destabilizing the political and security condition of the country. 

Al Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist militant group created in 2006, still controls vast parts of the Somali countryside. The political system is highly divided into ethnic clans causing instability, and frequent droughts lead to severe famines. 

On Tuesday, June 15, 15 young army recruits were killed in a blast outside the General Dhegobadan military camp. Al Shabaab’s radio Al Andalus said the Islamist group’s fighters carried out the attack. Survivors of the bombing were carried to the capital’s Madina Hospital. The bomber disguised himself as one of the recruits standing on the line. Al Shabaab usually carries out such types of attacks against military targets, like soldiers, military facilities, security checkpoints, and hotels.  

All this adds to an already tense situation, where a political gridlock is threatening the country, with forces loyal to outgoing President Farmajo and those opposed to his rule rivalling each other. The President failed to conduct the reformed ‘one person one vote’ election as he promised. So, he extended his presidency by two years, apparently to conduct the delayed election. This sparked outrage, which materialized an opposition front, led by two former Somali presidents and a former prime minister. Furthermore, the Somali army, traditionally divided into clan-based lines, splintered in two fronts, thus leading to an exchange of gunfire in late April, in Mogadishu.

However, after massive domestic and international pressure, President Farmajo agreed to cease the hostilities and come to the negotiating table, by permitting the prime minister with the duty of leading negotiations. Still, the situation is quite volatile as exemplified by  Farmajo’s sudden refusal of the role of an African Union’s special envoy. 

 

Sources

https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/least-10-people-killed-suicide-bombing-army-camp-somalia-state-media-2021-06-15/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/15/somalia

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2021/5/20/somalias-political-crisis-explained

 

Author: Pasquale Candela; Editor: Shrabya Ghimire

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