Al Shabaab continues to hold and control diminishing territories in Central and Southern Somalia where they have intensified efforts to slow down the government operations targeting to liberate the regions. Al Shabaab targets have mainly been security officers and military installations both for ATMIS and for the Somali government. Attacks on ATMIS forces and positions have likely increased in the period of its one-year anniversary since the transition. The onslaught of the group is assessed to be aiming at taking over control of critical military infrastructure including barracks, police stations, and weapons stores, which will boast the ability to take back control of liberated areas. However, Al Shabaab plots and attacks have largely been thwarted by security agencies with limited casualties. In addition to managing only low-level attacks, Al Shabaab has not managed to take back any significant territories, and losses within their ranks continue as the government intensifies its operations. Government efforts have included strategic changes and appointments in the security sector and the search for justice through the prosecution and sentencing of militants who captured or surrendered the Al Shabaab bomb and gun violence. Political appointments at the top levels of the executive have also been lauded to bring critical experience, stability, and impetus to the war against Al Shabaab. They included the appointment of Mohamed Abdi Ware, a respected elder from the HirShabelle region as the President’s Special Envoy for Stabilization and Civilian Protection. His main mandate is to stabilize liberated territories by ensuring no further loss of civilian lives and efficient provision of critical reconstruction and humanitarian services to the population amidst persistent famine concerns. Ramadan has also provided an opportunity for the government to connect with the population in the liberated territories by distributing foodstuffs and other necessities. The government has also intensified preparations for the second military phase of the operations likely to begin after Holy Month.

However, even as the operations are going on and successes are reported by the government in terms of reclaiming territories, there growing concerns on how to meaningfully limit and fizzle out al Shabaab resources and access to weapons. Al Shabaab continues to show a lot of resilience in mobilizing resources and accessing weapons for its operations, with the group alleging to be contributing resources externally to groups in Mozambique and Nigeria. While the mainstream channels are considered to be effectively regulated and monitored by the government to a good extent, Al Shabaab has reportedly shunned them and activated the group’s sophisticated networks of black market channels of financial extortion and weaponry access. The underground network is assessed to be strongly connected to racketeering and smuggling in Yemen. Partners including UNODC should realign efforts to weaken the resource muscle of the group by disrupting the storage and transfer disguises as well as taxation and laundering syndicates.

March 2023


Summary Activity

2ndAl-Shabaab injured 3 Somali Forces in 4 IED attacks on General Gordon Military Base, a barrack and a foot patrol in Hodan.
3rdA multi-agency operation by Somali National Army kills Aruriyow Mohamed Omar alias Ahmed Salah, a  senior Al Shabaab commander in charge of coordinating attacks in Lower Jubba.
4thAl-Shabaab kill a Somali intelligence officer 
4thAl-Shabaab shell a Djiboutian Military base with missiles in Jalalaqsi City, Hiran State
4thAl-Shabaab ambush a Kenyan Military base in Damsi District, Lafi Mandera County
4thAl-Shabaab assassinate a drug dealer Yousef Ado and destroy his drug center in Lafoli. 
4thAl-Shabaab kills 2 police officers and destroyed a government administration headquarter with IED in Helgen District, Denili
7thAl shabaab raid on a military base in Jana cabdalle village recently liberated by government forces.
8thAl-Shabaab ambushes Somali forces, seizing motorcycles in Afgoyee and Zabid in  Southwestern Mogadishu,
9thAl-Kataib Media (al-Shabaab) reports an "attack on a Military Base in Janay Abdale District, Kismayo, Juba State
10thAl-Shabaab assassinate a drug lord, Abdi Gosto, in al-Tawfik District, Yaqshid
10thPuntland armed forces court executes 7 al shabaab militants 
11thal-Shabaab attacks a Somali military base in Souq Hawla District, Harwa, Mogadishu 
12thAl-Shabaab assassinates a Somali official, Abdali Ado Afrah, in Middle Shabelle in and a Somali Member of Parliament in Karan, Mogadishu, Somalia
13thAl-Shabaab shells a Somali military base with missiles in baardheere District, Hiran State, Somalia
14thAl-Shabaab target Louk City Police Commander in an IED Attack in Louk City, Gedo State, Southwestern Somalia
14thSuicide car bomb targets guest house in Gedo, hosting senior military officers and government officials, including injured governor of the region 
15thSomalia’s military court execute 3 Al shabaab militants found guilty of carrying out bombings and murders throughout the country and in particular in Mogadishu,
15thal-Shabaab attacked Wardikli Police Station killing and injuring several in Mogadishu, Somalia
16thal-Shabaab kills 2 Somali forces, injuring 3 others and destroying military vehicle in an IED Attack in Derkinli, Mogadishu
19thAl-Shabaab attacks Ethiopian and Somali military bases in Bardiri City, Gedo Province, Southwestern Somalia 
21stAl-Shabaab kills 20 government aligned fighters at a military base in Daru-Na'im, Middle Shabelle Region
21stSomali forces kill 30 Alshaabab terrorists, destroy explosives laden vehicle and recover weapons after terrorists attack Daru-Na’im village
22ndFive Alshabaab militants killed, 1 captured and 5 AK-47 rifles recovered by Somali National Army’s Commandos in Kismayo district villages operations
23rdAl-Shabaab kill four Ethiopian forces in an attack on Ethiopian military base in Wajid City, Bakool Province, Southwestern Somalia
23rdTwenty Three (23) Alshabab militants, including two ring leaders, Ahmed Ali Farah and Gedi Warfa killed in Somali forces operations in Kismayo 
29thSomali military forces repulse an attack by al Shabaab near Baladweyne town, some 335km north of the capital Mogadishu

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