Chapter

Can Al-Shabaab Deliver?

Richard Barrett

in War and Peace in Somalia

Published in print March 2019 | ISBN: 9780190947910
Published online June 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190055929 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190947910.003.0032
Can Al-Shabaab Deliver?

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This chapter considers the origins of Al-Shabaab and the gap between its rhetoric and practice. Despite its globalist agenda, reinforced by its allegiance to Al-Qaida, Al-Shabaab is at its core an ethnic movement with its focus on Somalia. As such, it can only survive, let alone expand, by offering better security, better prospects, and better governance than the structures established by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS). Currently, however, the FGS is dominant and Al-Shabaab does not look like a viable alternative. To stem its decline, Al-Shabaab has appealed to Somalis as Muslims to support its role in the global campaign against ‘Western aggression’, while mounting attacks inside the country to undermine any appearance of growing stability, and attacking outside the country to dissuade Somalia's regional allies from continuing their support.

Keywords: Al-Shabaab; Somalia; ethnic movement; rhetoric; Muslims; Federal Government of Somalia

Chapter.  3189 words. 

Subjects: Conflict Politics

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