Somalia Conflict:

Shabab War


Map Kenya and Somalia
Map of Kenya and southern Somalia in 2011

Somalia Conflict:

Shabab War



The Somali Civil War is a decades-long, complex conflict that has drawn in numerous foreign nations and has featured shifting alliances among the Somalis. The current phase of the Somalia Conflict can be called the Shabab War, in which the al-Shabab militia, which is a militant Islamic group, is battling against the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its foreign allies.

Shabab fighters in Somalia

Shabab fighters in Somalia


The Shabab War Began: 2006

The Shabab War Ended: Continuing

The Shabab War Involves: Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the United States vs. al-Shabab rebels and al-Qaida

The Shabab War Also Involves: Eritrea and Somaliland are alleged to be providers of military aid to al-Shabab . Various Somali militias also fight against Shabab when it suits them. 

After the disintigration of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) after the U.S.-aided Ethiopian Invasion of 2006, the al-Shabab militia became the leading Islamist military group. In 2007, Shabab publicly aligned itself with al-Qaida, and has waged a bloody guerrilla war against the TFG government forces and the African Union troops (primarily troops from Uganda and Burundi), in Mogadishu and in southern Somalia. Al-Shabab is considered a terrorist group by Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (see also U.S. Special Forces Attack on al-Qaida in Somalia (September, 2009)

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  Kenyan forces enter Somalia, October, 2011

Shabab engaged in a terrorist attack in Uganda in 2010, and in the autumn of 2011, Shabab militants kidnapped several foreigners from Kenyan soil, prompting a Kenyan military intervention in southern Somalia to battle the Shabab fighters. Kenyan government sources claimed that the goal of their invasion was to end the Shabab presence in the southern Somali city of Kismayo.

Witnesses reported seeing 25Kenyan armoured vehicles carrying Kenyan soldiers passing through the Somali town of Dhobley, and there were reports of warplanes bombing two Shabab bases near the border.

According to the BBC, Somali government troops are acting in conjunction with the Kenyan forces ito attack the al-Shabab-controlled areas in southern Somalia. The third day of the Kenyan offensive featured a slowing down of Kenyan forces due to heavy rain and mud in a region with few paved roads.


In February of 2012, Mukhtar Abu al Zubayr the leader of Shabab, pledged Shabab's allegiance to al-Qaeda. Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda following the death of Osama bin Laden, accepted Shabab as a part of al-Qaida.


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 Links and Sources on the Somalia Shabab Conflict:


Shabaab formally joins al Qaeda--Long War Journal, Feb. 9, 2012

Following Troops, Kenyan Officials Go to Somalia--New York Times, Oct. 18, 2011

Kenya troops 'advance into Somalia near Afmadow'--BBC, Oct. 18, 2011

Kenyan Forces Enter Somalia to Battle Militants--New York Times, Oct. 16, 2011

As an Enemy Retreats, Clans Carve Up Somalia--New York Times, Sept. 09, 2011

Islamists Claim Attack in Uganda--New York Times, July 13, 2010


Al-Shabab Asks Foreign Fighters to Come to Somalia--Voice of America, Sept. 16, 2009

US Special Forces Targeted al-Qaida in Somalia--New York Times, September 15, 2009

U.S. Says Raid in Somalia Killed Terrorist With Links to Al-Qaeda--Washington Post, September 15, 2009