Al Shabaab in Somalia
Stig Jarle Hansen, Author; Associate Professor of International Relations, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Discussant: Mary Harper, Africa Editor, BBC
Chair: Mohamed Omaar, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Somalia (2010-2011)
Al Shabaab surfaced as a powerful insurgent movement in Somalia in 2006, going on to control large parts of south central Somalia. But since 2012, the strengthened African Union military presence has seen al Shabaab lose ground, and it remains unclear what role whether the group could play a role in the country's future political dispensation.
Al Shabaab remains widely discussed, yet little-researched and understood. Stig Jarle Hansen's book, Al-Shabaab in Somalia: The History and Ideology of a Militant Islamist Group (published by Hurst), explores the history and ideology of the organization, based on field research and interviews conducted in Somalia. The author will examine the context of the retreat by al Shabaab and its implications, as well as debating the group's resilience and possible future direction of its insurgency.