The Africa File is an analysis and assessment of the Salafi-jihadi movement in Africa and related security and political dynamics.
Ethiopia Crisis Update: Al Shabaab likely exploits infighting among Ethiopian forces in Somalia
[Notice: The Critical Threats Project frequently cites sources from foreign domains. All such links are identified with an asterisk (*) for the reader's awareness.]
Al Shabaab is targeting Ethiopian forces in Somalia, possibly to exploit recent infighting. Al Shabaab *attacked an Ethiopian African Union Mission to Somalia military base in Burdubo district in southern Somalia’s Gedo region on December 10. This attack follows a *reported al Shabaab attack targeting Ethiopian soldiers in central Somalia’s Hiraan region on December 6. The militants attacked Ethiopian forces after Ethiopian soldiers clashed with each other over ethnic tensions related to the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia. An Ethiopian official *claimed members of the Tigray region’s political party are falsely circulating reports of infighting among Ethiopian forces deployed to peacekeeping missions.
Some Ethiopian forces withdrew from the Gedo region in mid-November after hostilities broke out in northern Ethiopia. Al Shabaab has previously capitalized on Ethiopian force withdrawals and will likely increase its territorial reach and rate of attacks in the coming weeks.