Community Perspectives Towards Al-Shabaab

Joanne Crouch and Abdi Ali

in War and Peace in Somalia

Published in print March 2019 | ISBN: 9780190947910
Published online June 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190055929 | DOI:
Community Perspectives Towards Al-Shabaab

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This chapter discusses the results of key interviews with Somalis regarding their perceptions about Al-Shabaab. Respondents expressed concerns about Al-Shabaab's indiscriminate and excessive use of violence, which are considered inconsistent with Islam, and its restrictions on freedom of speech and movement. However, they spoke positively about Al-Shabaab's strict enforcement of rules and their impartial resolution of disputes. They also compared Al-Shabaab favourably to the government in terms of reducing clan influence over politics or the allocation of resources, and in terms of minimizing corruption in ‘tax’ collection, but noted the group's failure to provide social services. Three-quarters of respondents expressed support for a negotiated solution to the conflict, but doubted Al-Shabaab would be willing to engage.

Keywords: Somalia; Al-Shabaab; Somalis; insurgents; militant groups; violence; freedom of speech; freedom of movement

Chapter.  3798 words. 

Subjects: Conflict Politics

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