Somalia clashes escalate regional tensions


Somali troops clashed with forces from the country’s semi-autonomous Jubaland region last week in a flare-up of violence that is raising tensions with neighboring countries and may play into the hands of the militant group al-Shabab. Tensions have been rising since August, when Jubaland’s incumbent president, Ahmed Madobe, won regional elections that Mogadishu described as “not free and fair.” The central government wanted a loyalist candidate to win, as it seeks greater control over Somalia’s regions ahead of upcoming national elections. Kenya, which has troops deployed as part of an African Union peace enforcement operation, is on the side of Madobe, who it sees as an ally against al-Shabab, while Ethiopia has aligned with Mogadishu. Kenya accused Somali troops of encroaching on its territory and destroying property during last week’s violence, while the US said that the clashes are a distraction in efforts against al-Shabab. An estimated 56,000 people have been uprooted by the recent fighting. according to the UN.

From The New Humanitarian, March 6

Map: African Executive

  1. US air-strikes in Somalia kill civilians: report

  2. Somalia: civilian deaths mount from US air-strikes

    Civilian casualties continue to mount from the US military’s secret air war in Somalia, with no justice or reparation for the victims of possible violations of international humanitarian law, Amnesty International warned April 1, as it released details of two more deadly air-strikes so far this year. Amnesty said it has unearthed evidence that AFRICOM killed two civilians, and injured three more, in two-air strikes in Somalia in February 2020.

  3. Shabab leader reported killed in US air-strike

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  4. Deadly blast in Mogadishu after US defense secretary visit

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