May 31, 2010
Somalia Conflict Maps: Islamist and Political
The Critical Threats Project has produced two maps outlining the conflict in Somalia using extensive open-source research.
The first map shows the locations of the three main Islamist groups in Somalia: al Shabaab, Hizb al Islam, and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama'a. Al Shabaab is currently in control of southern Somalia and has established Islamic administrations in its territories. Hizb al Islam controls Beledweyne and administers Hiraan region, as well as Afgoi district near Mogadishu. These two Islamist groups have coordinated their efforts in central Somalia and in Mogadishu, but have clashed over important southern cities, such as the port city of Kismayo. The third Islamist group in Somalia, Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama'a, tends to align itself with the governments - both local and national. It has worked in cooperation with the Transitional Federal Government and with the Galmudug Administration.
The second map depicts the political situation in Somalia. In northern Somalia, the self-declared Republic of Somaliland administers its own, independent government, as does the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Galmudug Region in central Somalia is an administration that spans the Mudug and Galguduud regions. Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama'a clerics have worked in conjunction with the Galmudug Administration and have publicly stated their opposition to al Shabaab and Hizb al Islam. Islamists remain in control of the rest of central and southern Somalia. The Transitional Federal Government only controls key locations in Mogadishu and has a presence in other strategic areas in Somalia.