Al-Shabab and clan wars threaten peace in Somalia

By November 30, 2020

Somalia (MNN) — In an effort to limit the strength of al-Shabab, a militant Islamic group based in Somalia, the United Nations has voted to prevent the sale and shipment of bomb components to the East African country.

The UN has also urged Somalia’s government to crack down on al-Shabab’s illegal financing operations, which brought in as much as $21 million last year. In fact, the group excels at extorting money, as well as child recruitment and propaganda.

Peter, a humanitarian worker in Somalia, says some regions in Somalia have more success against al-Shabab than others. “[al-Shabab has] been able to [occupy] a lot of land in the southern and central regions where they have mostly dominated. Where we are currently in the north, there have been limited issues with al-Shabab.”

Dealing with violence in Somalia

But al-Shabab isn’t the only cause of violence in Somalia. Peter says, “We have clan conflicts that keep coming up every other moment. This is because Somalia’s culture is a clan-based culture. On a larger scale, when you talk about security, this affects the whole of Somalia because of the ripple effect.”

Peter says his organization works to minister in Somalian communities that have been damaged by violence. But what does this look like in a land so often hostile to Christianity? He says, “Although we understand we are coming into the land to deal with the need (ours is not to be able to publicly evangelize but to be able to address the need), behind the scenes we pray towards the needs of the people.”

Pray that as Christian agencies work with communities hurt by violence, many Somalians would see in them the compassion and love of Christ.



The header photo shows a child with his mother in Somalia.