New strategy by Al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia

Somali government officials have revealed that the Al-Shabaab group, affiliated with Al-Qaeda, is behind the escalating clan tensions witnessed in recent months, which have led to the deaths of dozens of people.

Residents and medical officials reported to Reuters that intense clashes occurred early in the week between two clans in central Somalia, resulting in at least 55 deaths and 155 injuries.

Farah Noor, a clan elder residing in Herale, stated that the fighting broke out on Saturday between the Dir and Marehan clans and spread to the towns of Abudwak and Herale in Galmudug. He noted that the cause of the conflict was a dispute over grazing land and water sources.

Noor highlighted that the heavy toll could have been avoided if government forces had intervened in time.

“It would have been easy to stop the fighting, but that did not happen, and the situation spiraled out of control and spread like wildfire,” he added.

The Somali federal government faces significant challenges in containing not only the violence instigated by Al-Shabaab but also the clashes between clans over control of land and water resources in the Horn of Africa country.

Ahmed Shire Falagle, security advisor to the Governor of Galmudug, said: “We believe that Al-Shabaab is indirectly behind this unusual war… These two brotherly clans had fought together to defeat Al-Shabaab.” Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre previously stated that Al-Shabaab deliberately fuels conflicts among Somali clans to create problems among them.

Barre pointed out that “the aim is to distract the Somali government forces by engaging them in resolving clan conflicts instead of continuing military operations against Al-Shabaab fighters.”

The Prime Minister called on the Somali community to “unite and avoid clan conflicts,” reiterating that his government would take “strict measures against anyone found involved in clan disputes.”

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