Somalia

Must Read

Irish Times: Somalia Starts to Pick Up the Pieces

Author: Mary Fitzgerald

"For the first time in a very long time, people here have hope," says Liban Mahdi, one of scores of diaspora Somalis who have returned to Mogadishu since al-Shabaab were routed from the city by African Union and Somali forces in August 2011. Parts of the battle-scarred capital are experiencing a construction boom, with hospitals, homes, schools, shops and hotels rising from once rubbled neighbourhoods. Streets hum with cars and hawkers. "We have traffic jams in Mogadishu now," says Ismail, who works in construction. "I never imagined I would see that here."

See more in Somalia; Economic Development

Must Read

The Guardian: How The US Raid On Al-Shabaab In Somalia Went Wrong

Authors: Abdalle Ahmed, Spencer Ackerman, and David Smith

"What had been invisible to Sheikh and other residents of Barawe was the stealthy advance of navy Seal team six – the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan – in a speedboat towards the Somalian coastline before first light. The team consisted of about 20 Seals, according to leaked accounts, and their craft was flanked on the Indian Ocean by three small boats to provide back-up."

See more in Somalia; Military Operations

Interactive

Timeline: Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab is a militant group fighting for the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state in Somalia. An African Union military campaign in recent years has weakened the group, yet it remains a threat in a politically volatile, war-torn state. Al-Shabab's activities have mainly focused on targets within Somalia, but it has also carried-out deadly strikes in the region. This interactive timeline looks at the recent history of Al-Shabab from 2004 to present.

See more in Somalia; Terrorism

Primary Sources

UN Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea: Somalia, 2013

The UN Security Council's Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea submitted this report on July 12, 2013, pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea and in accordance with paragraph 13 (m) of Security Council resolution 2060 (2012). These resolutions address how the UN Security Council will monitor peace and security efforts in the region and report on violations such as trading arms and charcoal or funding terrorist organizations.

See more in Somalia; Fragile or Failed States; Sanctions

Foreign Affairs Article

Why Drones Work

Author: Daniel Byman

The Obama administration relies on drones for one simple reason: they work. Drone strikes have devastated al Qaeda at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused.

See more in Somalia; Pakistan; Yemen; Drones

Ask CFR Experts

Have U.S. relations with Somalia improved since stronger maritime security measures have decreased piracy?

Asked by Charlotte Stafford, from Columbia University

The United States restored official relations with Somalia in January 2013 after years of civil unrest there, reflecting an increasingly stable Somali political environment. Better relations with Somalia, however, have little to do with the decrease in piracy, and the drop in offshore piracy cannot be attributed to Somali government efforts.

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See more in Piracy; Somalia

Backgrounder

Combating Maritime Piracy

Authors: Christopher Alessi and Stephanie Hanson

A surge in pirate attacks off the Somali coast in recent years has prompted the deployment of an international coalition of navies. But experts say that military force alone cannot address the underlying issue of failed Somali governance.

See more in Somalia; Piracy

Interview

Al-Shabaab and Somalia's Spreading Famine

Rashid Abdi interviewed by Jayshree Bajoria

Somalia's growing famine partly stems from a global failure to act on warning signs, but it's exacerbated by militant group al-Shabaab, factions of which are blocking aid delivery and might have to be negotiated with, says Africa analyst Rashid Abdi.

See more in Food Security; Somalia

Must Read

The Nation: The CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia

Author: Jeremy Scahill

 

The Nation's Jeremy Scahill offers a look into CIA counterterrorism operations in Somalia, particularly the CIA presence in Mogadishu. Washington is intensifying its focus on Somalia, including targeted strikes by U.S. Special Operations forces, drone attacks, and expanded surveillance operations.

See more in Terrorism; Somalia