POSTED ON October 30, 2023

Operation Black Lion: Challenges That Lay Ahead of Somalia’s Second Phase of the Offensive

Following a series of clan uprisings against al-Shabaab in the central regions of the country, in August 2022 the federal government of Somalia, working alongside clan militias known collectively as the Macawiisley, launched an offensive against the group. Much of this fighting has been concentrated in the central regions of the country, particularly in the Federal Member States (FMS) of Hirshabelle and Galmudug. Partnered with clan militia and supported by foreign actors, the offensive has yielded some notable gains, including the recapture of key territories from al-Shabaab in the areas of Hirshabelle and Galmudug. However, in recent months, government and militia forces have faced significant setbacks, with al-Shabaab proving capable of conducting attacks and projecting power into the areas it has lost. More concerning is the absence of a clear strategy to hold and govern the recently recovered territories. This has been a recurring issue and has resulted in a situation where territories recently regained by government forces are then quickly recaptured by al-Shabaab.


For tailored research and analysis, please contact: