For years the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab was seen as the most cohesive, united and powerful force in the failed state of Somalia. But it is now disintegrating like a house of cards because of internal divisions and power struggles within its leadership, according to Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, a history and political science professor at Kenya’s Kenyatta University.
The explosion went off at 2:40 on a Sunday afternoon, on a tree-lined side street in Ethiopia's capital city of Addis Ababa. The area was a quiet one - home to foreign diplomats, domestic civil servants and several embassies - and the blast was strong enough to kill two men, startle the neighbours, and demolish a small home.
The refusal by the Ethiopian government to redress grievances harboured by the Muslim community here, which comprises about 34 percent of the country’s 91 million people makes this Horn of African nation vulnerable to extremism.
Gory social media images that fueled the global Jihadist influx into Syria 18 months ago are back. But this time the outpouring is coming from Egypt.
Strong action now expected against the al-Shabaab group may well end up strengthening the group rather than weakening it, local people fear. The extremist group is suspected of involvement in the attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi.
In the aftermath of the worst terror attack in East Africa in three years, foreign policy scholars here are urging the U.S. government to rethink its counter-terror policy in the region.
Heavy and sustained gunfire has been heard from the Nairobi mall where the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali Islamist rebel group Al Shabab are holed up, holding an unknown number of civilians hostage.
Foreign aid workers are increasingly becoming targets of corrupt officials within the Somali government and the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab.
As the Somali government announced it would set up a coastguard to combat piracy in this Horn of African nation, insecurity is emerging as the biggest challenge that the government faces – and it is only getting worse.
At 18, Farah Osman should not be a battle-hardened soldier. He should not have spent the last seven years fighting for the Somali Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab, or have been trained by foreign jihadists in handling and repairing weapons and improving his shooting skills.
A Kenyan military advance into Somali territory to push back Islamic militants has had some measured military success - but is not without controversy.
The United Nations has called for sustained aid efforts in Somalia to prevent the war-torn country from experiencing another humanitarian crisis as more than three million people remain in need of urgent aid.
With an international meeting aimed at resolving the political crisis in Somalia set to take place Thursday, the local media in this East African nation is awash with scepticism, referring to the efforts as a new system of re-colonising the country.