RESILIENCY OF AL-SHABAAB
Mukata Kasaija, Hamuzata
Gregg, Heather S.
Everton, Sean F.
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Al-Shabaab has remained a resilient threat in the Horn of Africa and one of the few Islamist insurgent organizations to seize and maintain territory over prolonged periods of time. It has carried out some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in modern history and is still a major threat to stability within the region. This study seeks to determine why al-Shabaab has persisted as an insurgent group despite considerable regional and international efforts to defeat it. It focuses specifically on evaluating how al-Shabaab has used religion, the Somali clans, and economic incentives to build a relationship with the population and remain in power. Through qualitative methods and social network analysis, this study finds that al-Shabaab’s resiliency is most directly tied to its ability to use religion as a means to gain popular support and maintain control over its territories. To counter al-Shabaab’s success, this research recommends that the African Mission in Somalia focuses on breaking al-Shabaab’s close relationship with the population by decreasing the focus on kinetic operations and partnering with Somali forces in professionalizing policing operations according to Shari’a Law.
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