Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-Recent reports indicate that the offensive war against Al-Shabaab has paused, with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud returning to Villa Somalia after leading operations from Dhusamareb in Galgudud region. While the government has focused on constitutional amendments, tensions with Ethiopia, and its new UN Security Council seat, Al-Shabaab has reportedly regained control over several areas previously liberated by Somali forces.

Government Claims vs. Investigative Findings

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has publicly denied that Al-Shabaab has recaptured any liberated districts. During the Independence Day celebration on June 26, he stated, “Al-Shabaab did not recapture any of the districts in which they were liberated before.” However, investigative reports by Dawan TV and statements from senior American officials contradict this claim.

Areas Allegedly Recaptured by Al-Shabaab:

  1. Galcad District (Galgudud): Liberated on January 6, 2023, now under Al-Shabaab control.
  2. Ceelbuur District (Galgudud): Seized by Danab forces on August 25, 2023, now under Al-Shabaab control.
  3. Wabxo Town (Galgudud): Liberated on August 21, 2023, now under Al-Shabaab control.
  4. Budbud Town (Galgudud): Captured in April 2023, now under Al-Shabaab control.
  5. Ceel Cali Heel (Middle Shabelle): Came under government control on January 13, 2023, now under Al-Shabaab control.
  6. Shabelow Area (Mudug): Captured on September 10, 2023, remains under Al-Shabaab control.
  7. Camaara District (Mudug): Fell into government control on September 18, 2023, now under Al-Shabaab control.
  8. Caad District (Mudug): Captured on January 4, 2024, now under Al-Shabaab control.
  9. Cowsweyne: Government troops stationed here on August 22, 2023, Al-Shabaab regained control after a deadly attack.
  10. Bacadweyn in Mudug region is the same situation.

Ongoing Threats and Attacks

Even in areas still under government control, Al-Shabaab continues to mount direct attacks and maintains a presence in rural regions. Security analysts suggest that the government may be shifting towards a strategy of dialogue with Al-Shabaab, as indicated by President Mohamud’s recent statements.

“The threat of Al-Shabaab remains unpredictable. The recent complex attack on Somali Security Forces in El-Dheer – Galmudug region, and the mortar attack on the ATMIS camp in Baidoa, Southwest State, is a reminder to us that Al-Shabaab remains resilient”, Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef said during UN Security Council’s meeting on the situation of Somalia this week.  

Potential for Dialogue

At the Oslo Forum in mid-June, President Mohamud emphasized the possibility of negotiations with Al-Shabaab:

“We believe the ending game with Al-Shabaab is through negotiations. When they are ready, we were ready yesterday. We are looking forward to them being ready. Once they are ready, we will negotiate, and that negotiation might take time, but at least it will create new hope.”


The Somali Government’s military efforts against Al-Shabaab have seen mixed results, with several key areas reportedly falling back under militant control. While the Government has made significant sacrifices in terms of lives and resources, the potential for dialogue with Al-Shabaab remains a strategic consideration for achieving long-term peace and stability in the region. Whether President Mohamud’s administration will resume its military offensive or pursue negotiations remains to be seen.

Hassan : The Ending Game with Al-Shabaab is Through Negotiation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *