Somalia’s new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said Al-Shabaab “established a state within a state” and promised to defeat the Al-Qaeda-aligned jihadists which control vast swathes of territory in the central and southern regions of the Horn of Africa nation.
In a recent interview with The Economist, Mohamud lamented most of “the districts we liberated have been lost again” during the term of the outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. He also pledged to fight Al-Shabaab and push its fighters back into the countryside before beginning talks with the armed group that has been waging an insurgency campaign against Western-backed Somali government for than 15 years.
Local businesspeople told The Economist that the Islamist group mediates legal disputes more cleanly and efficiently than the federal courts.
In a separate interview with the American newspaper, Puntland leader Saeed Deni accused Farmajo administration of having “no plan to fight Al-Shabaab” and complimented the new leader for promising that he would share power with regional states.