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.
Somali militia groups are beginning to operate in Kenya’s remote and arid North Eastern Province, an area that borders southern Somalia – a former stronghold of the extremist group Al-Shabaab.
Mukhatar Jama has been teaching at a secondary school in Mogadishu for the past decade. Religious education is part and parcel of the curriculum of all schools in Somalia, but he says most parents are unaware of exactly what their children are being taught – a radical form of Islam.
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.
Somalia is well-known for being a country torn apart by decades of conflict, by hunger and instability. Today, with fragile stability emerging and a new government in place, there is an opportunity to define a new future of peace, prosperity and justice.
After his first year as president of the world’s most dangerous and failed state, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is still grappling with limited financial resources, corruption, a lack of service delivery, and the ongoing assassinations of government officials, including attempts on his own life.
The system of government remains the biggest political obstacle in Somalia as key political players boycotted the government’s current national conference to discuss this country’s political future, according to Jaylani Mukhtar, a local academic based in capital Mogadishu.
Somali clan leaders say that an Aug. 27 agreement between the government and only a few leaders from the country’s three southern Jubba regions, which aims to resolve the ongoing dispute over who controls the area, creates more problems than it solves.
Somalia’s journalists say that the government is not serious about reviewing the country’s new, controversial media bill that requires them to reveal their sources, despite a series of recent consultations.
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.
A listing ship taking in water and facing up to the treacherous Indian Ocean monsoon is hardly cause for optimism.