Counter-terror and the logic of violence in Somalia’s civil war: time for a new approach

Although military efforts have pushed back al-Shabaab in parts of Somalia, neither the Somali government nor al-Shabaab have been able to change the basic dynamics of the conflict. Our latest report explores how counter-terror tactics have fuelled an ugly fight for survival: guaranteeing a violent future for Somalia unless a new approach focused on achieving peace can be found.

This report explores the current state of militarised efforts against al-Shabaab and how the organisation’s violence can be understood as motivated, at least in part, by its drive to protect itself.

Saferworld analyses the adverse impacts of the Somali government and international partners’ counter-terror approach; and examines how it is undermining the potential to resolve Somalia’s protracted conflict.

Finally, the report considers whether a new paradigm focused on achieving peace could offer a better means of tackling violent political contestation in Somalia. 

Read the full report.

Read the author's comment piece 'Somalia's war can't be won militarily: time to give peace a chance'.

Read more about our work in Somalia.

Read more about our work on peacebuilding responses to terrorism and migration.