The state-building project in Somalia is, however, far from complete.
As with other terror groups, the historical, political, and geographical context in which al-Shabaab developed their goals and became violent are crucial to understanding their dynamics and causes of their terrorist activities today.
Al-Shabaab means the youth, in Arabic and it is comprised mostly of young men under the age of forty.
Al-Shabaab operates and conducts its attacks in Somalia, a country, like its youth, that has known proxy war, civil war, instability, and terrorism since the s, following the shift of its alliance from the US to the Soviet Union.
Mbugua, 8 Moreover, Somalia lost the region of Ogaden to Ethiopia in the mids, State instability in somalia accelerated its descent into civil war in Collapsed and ungoverned, Somalia found itself prey to other forces.
In earlythe Islamic Court Union ICU organization, a group of Islamic judges took control of the capital city of Mogadishu and most of southern Somalia, uniting most of the country for first time in two decades. However, unity did not last.
Ousted, thus by the AU, that same year most of the ICU members formed an insurgency and created al-Shabaab, which soon became a terrorist organization. Somalia is the poorest country in the Horn of Africa HoAa sub-region of eastern Africa that is also known for its instability including: Somaliland and Puntland, two regions situated in northern Somalia seem, so far, to have been immune to terrorism.
However, a few years ago, al-Shabaab started conducting daring terrorist actions in Kenya, thus becoming a transnational terrorist organization. This move has henceforth attracted the attention of the international community.
Bab al-Mandab, a strait on Red sea that borders Yemen, where al Qaeda has a stronghold, is another geographical element that makes this region more vulnerable to instability. Youth that were raised in a country and region of poverty, war, and injustice, have experienced only one unifying entity since their birth, the Islamic Court Union that later became al-Shabaab.
In context of the regional instability, this initially provided the al-Shabaab credibility and respect, despite their violent nature.
However, an alternate reality of rational behavior drives their actions with no plan to negotiate or find a solution with groups that oppose their ideals Their ideology is based in religion above cultural. Somalia is a majority Sunni Muslim country, whose people follow Shafii teaching, a school of thought known for its moderation and openness to local cultures, if they do not contradict Islamic principles.
Mbugua, 17 Like in other Muslim countries, Somali people have come to have a stronger Islamic identity than national identity. Clannism is an ancestral way of living in Somalia, regulated by Xeer, a code of honor that dictates civilian laws.
Clan elders judge cases and are chosen on the extent of their knowledge of local customs. Powel et al, 19 Since its genesis, Islam has seen a series of reformer scholars advocating for Tajdeed, Islamic reform.
Those scholars claimed that Muslim society has been polluted and corrupted by unjust rulers, and local cultural practices that challenge the unicity of God. Their demands went beyond asking for change, by calling for Jihad, holy war, to free Muslim society from its sickness of divergence.
This created a collision between Xeer a cultural practice and tajdeed Islamic reform. According to Burrhus Frederic Skinner, a Harvard behavioral psychologist, free will is an illusion and human actions are conditioned by previous actions and circumstances.
Radical people, whether religious or not, have strong convictions. They can be arrogant about their beliefs to the point that they cannot see an alternative. Al-Shabaab believes that Somalia has morphed into a hybrid society, where Muslims already corrupted by ancestral and cultural beliefs are now bombarded by western influence.
Like many other undeveloped countries, globalization has hit Somalia hard. Although Al-Shabaab uses communication technology to operate, they also see this technology as an unnamed invasion to their Islamic identity.
Al-Shabaab does not see itself as part of a solution imposed by outsiders, because those who oppose the group are largely supported by foreign entities primarily the UN and AU. This armed group tends to present itself as a religious entity, thus holy driven. If someone is against them, it means he is against God.
Therefore, retaliation is justified until victory; you are with us or against us, as they may say. Al-Shabaab aims to take back control of Somalia and implement Sharia law, as they understand it.
This struggle is represented through violent acts as al-Shabaab uses religious doctrine to justify its acts to gain control of Somalia. While religion is at the surface of the conflict, Al-Shabaab is the ultimate manifestation of violence in Somalia caused by structural factors from the colonial legacy of European powers to the more recent collapse of the government and economy.
During colonial rule, the UK, Italy, and France divided the country into different parts, Central and south Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland, and Djibouti, between clans. Following the independence from those powers in the early s, clans continued perpetuating violence and instability while competing for power and resources.The politics of Somalia takes place in a framework of federal parliamentary representative democratic republic.
According to the Constitution of Somalia, the President of Somalia is head of state, and Prime Minister as head of government who is appointed by the President with the parliament's approval.
3 Overview – Somalia in the s In order to better comprehend the security threats posed by Somalia’s total state failure, a brief review of recent Somali history and external intervention must be.
Feb 22, · Al-Shabaab and instability in Somalia. Children as young as 10 years old increasingly face horrific abuse in war-torn Somalia as the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab has targeted them to replenish its diminishing ranks of fighters, according to a new Human Rights Watch report.
Somalia’s instability has led to mass atrocities and human rights violations against the civilian population, being committed by all major parties involved in the conflict, especially by Al-Shabaab insurgents, Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces, and intervening Ethiopian military forces.
Somalia's History. 1. Is Somalia a State? Somalia is a country that has experienced excessive amounts of political instability during the past decade. MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY. THE POLITICAL IMPACT OF THE. INSTABILITY OF. SOMALIA TO THE HORN AND EAST AFRICA.
Masibo, Moses. 4/6/ [email protected]