HomeSomaliaLatest terror events in Somalia bring back the unrealistic parallel with Afghanistan

Latest terror events in Somalia bring back the unrealistic parallel with Afghanistan

An attack on the outskirts of Mogadishu and military-style attacks on villages revive comparisons between the Taliban and the Al Shabaab. Preparations for the vote continue while PM Roble's three-days trip to Egypt has been concluded. Many official meetings have been held – including with President Al Sisi.

The last terrorist events in Somalia are represented by a suicide attack on the northern outskirts of Mogadishu and by advances in the interior of Puntland and in Mudug. A lethal explosion targeting a bar frequented by civilians and the military conquest of two villages can be referred one to the Al Shabaab and the other to the branch professing affiliation to the Islamic State. Violence also occurred in the Bay and in the south along the lower Juba River, while the Army reports having repelled two further attacks.

The events in Afghanistan may provide an incentive to resume insurgent actions with greater vigour and revive competition between violent groups. However, the substance of the terrorist threat in Somalia is unlikely to change. At the moment, it tends to result in short-range actions, which confirm how in large areas in the centre and south of the Country, the control of the federal and local Authorities remains uncertain – but within a framework of similarities which have always been, all things considered, superficial.

More decisive appears to be the attention that the international community can dedicate to the Horn of Africa to curb possible involutions. Afghanistan is also compared to Somalia as far as cooperation is concerned, because it is a warning to great international humanitarian aid projects, doomed to fail if they lack security, adequate control and local participation in a fragmented and unstable framework.

As for domestic politics, there is little news before the start of the elections for the Lower House. The course remains set for the vote, although preliminary operations are only slowly proceeding.

On the international front, however, the three-day official visit by Prime Minister Roble to Egypt for meetings with his counterpart Madbouly and then with President Al Sisi is a major development. Discussions are reported to have been cordial.

While there is no revision of Mogadishu’s strategic relationship with Addis Ababa, the opening of a diplomatic channel with Cairo is a noteworthy development. It comes on the tenth anniversary of the resumption of Turkey’s armed, commercial and diplomatic presence in Somalia; Roble did not attend the ceremony organised by President Farmajo to mark the occasion: a sign of distance between the two political leaders, rather than between the governments.

Vincenzo Palmieri
Vincenzo Palmieri
Vincenzo Palmieri è un Senior Analyst per l’Africa dell’Institute for Global Studies, dove si occupa prevalentemente di Africa Orientale. Analista politico di una grande multinazionale, il suo ambito di esperienza professionale verte sull’analisi dei sistemi politici e delle dinamiche di crisi del Medio Oriente e dell’Africa.


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