Mogadishu Map: al Shabaab's Ramadan Offensive

September 23, 2010

The Critical Threats Project has produced a map of Mogadishu depicting general areas of control in the Somali capital and highlighting recent events in al Shabaab’s ongoing offensive against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Please see here for an updated version of this map.

The TFG still controls strategic locations in Mogadishu, namely Aden Adde International Airport, the seaport, and Villa Somalia, along with the main supply route, Makka al Mukarama road, that connects Villa Somalia to the airport.  AMISOM headquarters are located near the airport, and a major AMISOM base at the K4 intersection north of the airport secures the road.  TFG and AMISOM bases protect government interests and transportation routes.  The Ugandan contingent of AMISOM operates the K4 base and all bases to the east.  Burundian forces control the AMISOM bases in Hodan, Dharkenley, and Wadajir districts.  New AMISOM bases tend to reinforce the security of already-established bases and are not expanding the area of control.  The AMISOM force, now at 7,100 troops, is unlikely to be able to push farther with its current numbers.

Al Shabaab operates safely out of Yaqshid, Heliwa, and Karan districts, where it has established bases and can prepare for operations.  The group has recently gained control over Abdi Aziz and Wardhigley districts and is strongly contesting control over Shibis and Hawl Wadag districts, where it has gained significant ground.  Bakara Market, for example, is under al Shabaab control.  Hizb al Islam, fighting in support of al Shabaab, generally operates out of Hodan district.

The primary attack zone encompasses Bondhere, Hamar Weyne, Hamar Jabjab, and Waberi districts where there are high-value AMISOM and government targets.  Al Shabaab generally executes larger-scale attacks in these districts.  Shibis, Hodan, Abdi Aziz, and Hawl Wadag districts experience a more constant level of violence stemming from ground movements and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted along transportation routes.  Shelling by AMISOM is concentrated on, but not limited to, Bakara Market in Hawl Wadag district because of al Shabaab’s location.