The election period represents in Somalia a unique window of visibility for Somalia’s al-Shabaab jihadist militias, who intensify their attacks with the intent to discredit federal government forces and bolster their credibility locally.
On November 30, the jihadist militias launched an attack against the Ethiopian contingent stationed on the airport of Baidoa, capital of the Bai region, causing the death of a soldier of the AMISOM contingent and of a civilian.
The attack was conducted with the use of heavy weapons, against multiple targets both in the airport area and in the city, where it was also hit a military base located in the district of Suuqa Hoolaha.
A few days later, on December 1, al-Shabaab came back to strike AMISOM forces again, this time further south, near the Kenyan border, where a base of KDF (Kenyan Defence Force) forces was attacked near the town of Kulbiyow. No information has been released regarding the presence of victims and wounded, although the images circulated on social media show that also in this case the attack was conducted through the use of heavy weapons.
Finally, al-Shabaab announced on December 5 that it had killed several Kenyan police officers in an ambush in the northern Kenyan county of Mandera. The attack has been confirmed by local authorities, although scaled down in numbers, recording two victims and about ten wounded.