In recent week, Somalia’s government has scored several important successes against al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda aligned Somalia militant organisation. The group has been driven out of Mogadishu, the Somalia capital, and from much surrounding territory, cutting the group off from its most important sources of funding. Although the group has fallen back on its last remaining stronghold, the port-city of Kismayo, its fighters are reportedly fleeing to Kenya and Yemen.
However, Al-Shabaab has disputed reports of this reversal of fortune, promising to emerge victorious, formally allying itself with al-Qaeda and additionally claiming to be extending its reach into Puntland, a largely-stable autonomous province in northern Somalia. (more…)