Al-Shabaab: An Update
Are you aware that Al-Shabaab has been identified by the international community as a major threat to both regional and international security? And that Somalia is viewed as a crucial arena of the global fight against terrorism? Of course you do, but are you also aware that Al-Shabaab’s military and non-military capabilities remain real and that recently they have enhanced them, and through these improvements are now a much more lethal, capable and resilient Non-State Armed groups (NSAG) (almost like some kind of Al Qaeda 2.0)
This scenario makes us to question of how it is possible for the group to expand (and if so how far?). These are some of the main questions which are the subject of ongoing discussions being held by local and international scholars, researchers and policy-makers.
It is important to keep in mind that despite some tremendous efforts carried out by the Somalian Authorities and the International Community, Al-Shabaab is still showing signs of maintaining high resilience, flexibility and strong kinetic and financial capabilities, allowing them to be one of the more longer-lasting NSAGs in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Hub recently held a Workshop entitled “Assessing the reach of Al-Shabaab in East Africa and beyond” that, along with a document by the same name (out soon), has been completed in conjunction with British-Somali Research Company, Krypteia, and the University of Kent’s Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC). The Workshop was designed to trigger some serious discussions and analysis related to the issues mentioned above. To ensure the debates remained credible and relevant, the Hub invited some of the most-best known experts regarding Somalia and Al-Shabaab.
The Workshop has allowed a better understanding of not only the intentions and the functioning of Al Shabaab, but also in regard to local, regional and political decisions being taken by national and international actors, which could further increase Al Shabaabs’ importance and legitimacy, or definitively weaken it.