The first indications of a internal faction battle in al-Shabaab emerged in the middle of June, with fighting in the coastal town of Barawa. The fighting quickly gave way to a broader battle between several factions over control of the key southern port of Kismayo.
Kismayo is an economic and strategic lynchpin to all of southern Somalia, and the fighting includes not only factions hoping to use it to fuel insurgency, but at least one secessionist faction that hopes to establish an independent state-let in the region. 71 people have been killed and over 300 wounded.
No matter who wins, it seems certain they’re going to be an opponent to the self-proclaimed government in Mogadishu, which after years of trying to solidify its power still has little to no direct influence outside of the capital city.
There’s a growing sense of Kenya’s involvement in this as well, with the nation’s troops seen as backing one of the secessionist factions in hopes of creating a state along their northern border that will be easier to control.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Foreign ISIS Fighters Left in Raqqa Face 'Certain Death' - October 22nd, 2017
- US-Made Vehicles Led Iraqi Invasion of Kurdish Town - October 22nd, 2017
- Niger Ambush Serves as Excuse for AFRICOM to Seek More Funds - October 22nd, 2017
- Catalan Leaders Vow to Resist Spain's Attempted Takeover - October 22nd, 2017
- Spain Seeks Huge Power Transfer in Trying to Oust Catalan Leadership - October 22nd, 2017