Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Somalia Control Map & Timeline - August 2019

(To see other maps in this series, view all Somalia updates.)

Who controls Somalia? Map (2019). With states, regions, and territorial control. Best Somalia control map online, thoroughly researched, detailed but concise. Shows territorial control by Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), Al Shabaab, so-called Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), separatist Somaliland, and autonomous states Puntland, Galmudug, and Khatumo. Also shows boundaries of Jubaland, South West, and Hirshabelle federal states, as well as ares of operation of  anti-Somaliland militias of Khatumo and Colonel Aare. Updated to August 13, 2019. Colorblind accessible.
Base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com, with territorial control by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic.
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Timeline by Evan Centanni

Mapping Al Shabaab Control

In the nine months since our previous Somalia control map report, the front lines in southern and central Somalia have changed only subtly: Al Shabaab, Somalia's Al Qaeda-affiliated religious hardline movement, has expanded its governance in some rural areas of the country's southwest, but at the same time has been driven out of two more important towns in the densely-populated Shabelle River valley west of Mogadishu. Scroll down for a full timeline of territorial changes and other major military and political events since last November.
 

New: Somalia's Federal States

One major change that readers may notice in this edition of our Somalia map is several more white dotted boundary lines. These show the boundaries of Somalia's five official federal states - Jubaland, South West, Hirshabelle, Galmudug, and Puntland - with the names of the states labeled in white. This does not reflect any change to the situation since our last update, but simply an improvement to the map. The lines are shown along the states' officially claimed boundaries except where they conflict with actual control, in which case the lines of actual control are shown. The map also uses white dotted lines and labels to show the approximate areas of operation of other autonomous forces that do not claim independence from Somalia.

Military forces of Jubaland, South West, and Hirshabelle states are treated as part of the AMISOM/federal government coalition (black dots, white territory) on our map, since they are closely associated with those partners and often fight side-by-side with them on the ground. The militaries of Galmudug and Puntland states, on the other hand, are treated as "autonomous armed forces" (blue) because they operate almost entirely independently, generally in areas where AMISOM and federal forces don't go.

Political Realignment in Galmudug

Another noticeable change to the map involves politics within Galmudug state. With the elected state government estranged from the Somali federal government, religiously-based anti-Al Shabaab militia Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'a (ASWJ) has stricken its own deal with Mogadishu. The ASWJ now considers itself officially part of the federal military, with real integration supposedly underway, and has allowed federal troops to assume control of state capital Dhusamareb. Pending a planned "reconciliation conference" later this week, Galmudug is now fragmented between the ASWJ/federal alliance and autonomous state government forces (not to mention the parts of the state's supposed territory that are firmly under Al Shabaab control). Accordingly, PolGeoNow's map has been revised to reflect federal government control in Dhusamareb and shared or unclear control in other ASWJ-dominated areas.

Somaliland Rebellion

Another realignment has occurred in the north, on the frontier of self-proclaimed independent Somaliland. Army Colonel Saeed Aare, who quit the Somaliland military in May last year, is now at war with his former commanders, using his loyal forces to launch attacks and even capture one town along the region's eastern edge. The area where his forces are challenging Somaliland's control is labelled "Col. Aare" on this edition of the map, and any towns controlled by his forces will be colored blue, since opposition to the Somaliland project usually implies an endorsement of a unified Somalia (he is also sometimes said to be affiliated with unionist Puntland state).

Comparing Notes: Norwegian Government Report

In addition to our usual media and non-profit sources, for this edition of the map PolGeoNow has also taken into account a new report from Landinfo, a research organization connected to the national immigration agency of Norway. The report briefly lists which of Somalia's district centers are believed to be under Al Shabaab control, primarily citing anonymous local sources. It is not clear whether the report's information is precise or up-to-date enough be taken as more reliable than PolGeoNow's existing analysis, but we have taken it as a chance to compare notes.

The report agrees with PolGeoNow's previous judgement that the following towns are under Al Shabaab control: Rabdhure and Tiyeglow in Bakool region; Elbur in Mudug; El Dher in Galgudud; Bu'ale, Sakow, and Jilib in Middle Juba; Jamame in Lower Juba; and Kurtunwarey in Lower Shabelle.

Adan Yabal in Middle Shabelle, Haradhere in Mudug, and Badhade in Lower Juba are assessed as Al Shabaab-controlled in the Landinfo report, but had been previously marked as uncertain in status on PolGeoNow's map. In the cases of Adan Yabal and Haradhere, PolGeoNow has concluded that the Norwegian report's assessment pushes the preponderance of evidence in favor of Al Shabaab control, but we have continued to indicate uncertain control in Badhade due to media reports suggesting that government forces are also active there.

One district center, Sablale in Lower Shabelle, was indicated as being under Al Shabaab control in Landinfo's report, despite the fact that PolGeoNow had assessed it to be under federal government allied control since a major government offensive to capture it reportedly succeeded in February 2018. However, it is possible that it has since quietly reverted to Al Shabaab control (or that the original reports were not entirely correct), so we have now marked its status as uncertain.

District centers Salagle in Middle Juba and Galhareri in Galgudud, assessed as under Al Shabaab control by PolGeoNow, are left off of the Norwegian report's list, which is intended to be comprehensive. However, this seems likely to be due either to simple oversight or to a different accounting of Somalia's list of official districts (many of which are not in active use as administrative units).


Flag of Somalia Country Name:  
Somalia (English)
Soomaaliya (Somali)
• aṣ-Ṣūmāl (Arabic)
Official Name:  
Federal Republic of Somalia (English)
Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka Soomaaliya (Somali)
Jumhūriyyat aṣ-Ṣūmāl al-Fideraaliya (Arabic) 
Capital: Mogadishu

Timeline of Events

The following is a timeline of of major political events and changes to territorial control since our previous Somalia control map report of November 14, 2018. Information gathered directly from online media sources is indicated by in-line links to the source materials. All other information comes from the freely-available ACLED conflict database (see footnote for full citation).


November 19, 2018
Al Shabaab fighters in a village northwest of El Hur, on the central coast, were targeted in two separate US airstrikes. The US claimed to have killed 37 Al Shabaab members in the strikes.

The same day, Kenyan border patrol police fought off an attack from Al Shabaab fighters in the Boni Forest area in Kenya.

November 21, 2018
The federal government's Somali National Army (SNA) claimed it had captured several villages along the coast just northeast of Marka. The SNA claimed to have killed 28 Al Shabaab personnel in the battle, including foreign fighters from Kuwait, Lebanon, and Sudan.

November 22, 2018
A militia loyal to Colonel Saeed Aare, who had defected from the northern self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland the previous May after accusing its government of taking sides in local militia battles, clashed with Somaliland military forces near El Afweyn (Source: ACLED).

November 29, 2018
Somali media sources reported that Al Shabaab had withdrawn from Harardhere district along the central coast amid increased US airstrikes against its positions. However, federal government allied forces seem not to have moved in to take its place, and a May 2019 report from the Norwegian government would assess Harardhere town as still being under Al Shabaab control.

November 30, 2018
Al Shabaab reportedly recaptured all the villages northeast of Marka that government forces had taken nine days before.

December 3, 2018
A local militia known as the Ma'awisley was said to have driven Al Shabaab out of Gulane in the Middle Shabelle region.

December 5, 2018
Army forces from Somaliland moved out of Badhan, in the area disputed with neighboring Puntland state, and established a new base in another town.

December 10, 2018
An Ethiopian military convoy arrived in Somalia at the border town of Yed. Ethiopian troops have been present in this area of Somalia for years, and are allied to the Somali federal government, but many operate outside the command structure of AMISOM.

December 13, 2018
President Isaias Afwerki, leader of the nearby country of Eritrea ever since its independence from Ethiopia in 1993, made his first-ever visit to Somalia, amid improving relations between the three countries. In the past, Eritrea had been accused of supporting Al Shabaab. 

December 13-15, 2018
Somali federal police arrested Mukhtar Robow, a well-known former Al Shabaab leader who was campaigning to become the first elected president of South West State. The police reportedly had help from AMISOM's Ethiopian contingent, though AMISOM denied that. Protests and armed violence broke out in Baidoa, the state capital, with 11 protestors killed.

The same day, Al Shabaab forces seized a village near Guri El in Galmadug state, after a battle with the Galmudug-allied Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'ah (ASWJ) paramilitary group.

December 15-16, 2018
The US military claimed to have killed 70 Al Shabaab fighters in a series of three airstrikes between Marka and Mogadishu, farther northeast along the coast from the villages that had changed hands the previous month.

December 18, 2018
A peace deal was reached between two kinship-based militias in the Lasanod area of the north, ending a months-long war between the rival groups that had reportedly killed nearly 100 people.

The same day, eight Al Shabaab fighters were said to have been killed by US drone strikes in the mountains outside of Bosaso, in a joint operation with Puntland state security forces.

December 19, 2018
The US said it had killed 11 Al Shabaab fighters at a location between Mogadishu and Marka.

Meanwhile, Abdiaziz Laftagreen was declared winner of South West State's first presidential election, six days after his opponent Mukhtar Robow had been arrested by the federal government.

December 20, 2018
An agreement brokered by the Somali federal prime minister ended a dispute between federal president Farmajo and a group of legislators who had attempted to impeach him a week earlier.

Meanwhile, Al Shabaab openly declared war on Somalia's affiliate of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL). This came amid an expansion of IS activity in southern and central Somalia over the past year - the group had been quietly driven out of those areas by Al Shabaab soon after forming in 2015, and for the next two years had been largely confined to the mountains of northern Puntland.

December 22-25, 2018
Some 27 people were killed, and dozens more wounded, in battles between rival kinship-based militias in Mahas district, southeast of Beledweyne.

December 27-28, 2018
Al Shabaab fighters attacked the town of El Muluq, north of Adale, and tried to take control of the town from Hirshabelle state troops. They were pushed back after the arrival of federal army reinforcements, apparently with the support of the Ma'awisley militia. Clashes between the Ma'awisley and Al Shabaab continued in the Adale region the next day.

December 29, 2018
Al Shabaab captured Gofgadud village north of Baidoa in a battle with the SNA. The village is known for switching back and forth between Al Shabaab and federal government control several times a year.

December 30, 2018
Security forces of Jubaland state briefly took over an Al Shabaab position in the Bulo Haji area southwest of Kismayo before leaving again.

December 31, 2018
According to non-government watchdog organizations, the US military carried out 45-47 strikes with drones or other aircraft in Somalia during 2018, killing over 300 people. The US government claimed that all of the people killed were enemy fighters.

The strikes had surged after April 2017, when US president Donald Trump declared Somalia an "active area of hostilities" (from April to December 2017, there were 34 US air/drone strikes in Somalia, more than the total of the five previous years combined, but still less than in 2018). By the end of 2018, the frequency of strikes was again increasing rapidly.

January 1, 2019
Al Shabaab fighters were reported to have set up camp in a village just east of El Muluq in the Middle Shabelle region.

January 2, 2019
The Somali federal government expelled the UN's Special Representative for Somalia after he publicly questioned the arrest of South West state presidential candidate Mukhtar Robow the previous month.

January 5, 2019
Some 40 men reportedly deserted from Colonel Aare's anti-Somaliland militia in Qardho, Puntland. By some accounts, the militia had been based in Qardho after defecting from the Somaliland army the previous year, but later in 2019 would move its operations back to the disputed areas along Somaliland's eastern frontier.

January 8, 2019
Autonomous Puntland's parliament chose Said Abdullahi Deni as its next state president, to replace controversial President Abdiweli Ali Gaas, who it eliminated in the first of three rounds of voting. Deni, who had lost a bid for the Somali federal presidency in 2017, beat his closest challenger, Asad Osman Abdullahi, by a parliamentary vote of 35 to 31.

Meanwhile, the Ma'awisley militia was reported to have driven Al Shabaab out of its base in Gulane village of Middle Shabelle, for the second time in just over a month.

January 11, 2019
Al Shabaab fighters reportedly fled a village north of Mogadishu amid an attack from federal government forces.

January 13, 2019
Al Shabaab took over Wel Maro in Lower Juba region from Kenyan troops in an overnight raid.

January 15-16, 2019
Al Shabaab staged an attack on a hotel in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya (not pictured on map). Including the attackers, a total of 21 people died and 28 were injured. The dead included one member of Kenya's security forces, as well one citizen each of the US and the UK. 

January 18, 2019
Al Shabaab claimed it had killed 52 Ethiopian soldiers near Burhakaba and taken their bodies. 

January 19-21, 2019
Media reported that Al Shabaab had captured Bar Sanguni town, northeast of Kismayo, from Somali special forces. In response to the Al Shabaab attack, the US military launched an airstrike on the city of Jilib in Middle Juba, which it claimed killed 52 Al Shabaab fighters. Federal and Jubaland forces reportedly were able to return to the base within the next two days after receiving reinforcements from Kismayo.

January 24, 2019
An airstrike by the Ethiopian military - a much rarer event than the now-common US drone strikes - reportedly killed 35 Al Shabaab fighters after targeting their base northeast of Burhakaba.

January 31-February 2, 2019
ACLED reported that sources on Twitter said Al Shabaab and IS-aligned forces clashed with each other at two villages just southeast of Dasan, in the mountains of Puntland. The clashes were still continuing in one of the villages two days later.

February 2019
Amid ongoing clashes with the so-called "Islamic State" (IS), security forces of Puntland state reportedly lost control of their base in Dasan. February also saw an increase in Al Shabaab attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere, including several targeting civilians.

February 5, 2019
A Somali government intelligence agency claimed it had killed 40 Al Shabaab fighters in a village near Qoryoley - an unusually high casualty count. 

February 16, 2019
Somalia's ambassador to Kenya was expelled by the Kenyan government. The move came amid accusations that the Somali federal government had held an auction offering oil companies the rights to drill off its southern coast, within a section of the Indian Ocean also claimed by Kenya. Somalia denied the accusation, saying it wouldn't offer up anything in the disputed area until the dispute is resolved by a pending case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

A document leaked later in the year would confirm that Somalia had indeed offered to let companies drill in the disputed area starting from January 2020, though it did not indicate that the rights had actually been auctioned off yet. 

February 23, 2019
Burundi withdrew 400 of its over 5,000 AMISOM peacekeepers, but refused to follow through with a plan calling for another 600 to be withdrawn by the end of the month. Somalia's President Farmajo supported a delay in the planned withdrawal of AMISOM troops, and had met with the president of Burundi four days earlier.

March 1, 2019
Al Shabaab took over Fafah Dhun village in southwestern Somalia's Gedo region after AMISOM troops withdrew.

March 5, 2019
Puntland and Somaliland forces clashed in an area west of Tukaraq.

March 6, 2019
The presidents of Somalia and Kenya met in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi for talks on their sea boundary dispute, mediated by the prime minister of Ethiopia, but were not able to reach an agreement.

March 7-9, 2019
Somaliland Army troops withdrew from Yube town after clashing with a stronger force loyal to renegade Colonel Aare, but mounted a counterattack two days later.

March 17, 2019
Al Shabaab reportedly captured Dif village, on the border with Kenya, from Jubaland state forces, though the group apparently would no longer be holding it as of three months later. The same day, 27 people were killed in clashes between rival kinship-based militias in Adale, along the coast northeast of Mogadishu.

March 18, 2019
The president of Somaliland received representatives from the Eritrean government in Hargeisa, and the two parties agreed to establish a relationship. No country in the world formally recognizes Somaliland's claim to independence, but some neighboring countries maintain semi-official relations with its Hargeisa-based government, which operates entirely separately from the Somali federal government in Mogadishu. 

March 19, 2019
Al Shabaab took over Busar village in Gedo region after Kenyan forces withdrew.
 
March 24, 2019
A village south of Jowhar in Middle Shabelle region was reportedly taken over by Al Shabaab under unclear circumstances.

March 31, 2019
Approximately two years after the US began its surge of drone and other airstrikes in Somalia, Amnesty International released a report presenting evidence that at least 14 civilians had been killed in just five of the 110 strikes the US military had carried out since June 2017. By the US military's own estimates, 800 people had been killed in the strikes, all of whom it said were "terrorists". It said an assessment had found that no civilians were killed or injured in any of the strikes, and blamed claims of civilian casualties on Al Shabaab propaganda.

Amnesty also reported that there had already been 24 US drone/airstrikes in Somalia during the first three months of 2019, compared to its estimate of 47 throughout the whole year of 2018. It noted that this was more than the total number conducted during the same period in Libya and Yemen combined.

By the end of July 2019, the number of year-to-date airstrikes in Somalia would already have reached 47, matching the total count for all of 2018.

April 1, 2019
Somali government special forces reportedly took over a town south of Bardere, near the boundary with Middle Juba province, from Al Shabaab. PolGeoNow had already judged this town to be under government control, though an Al Shabaab takeover at some point in the past could have gone unreported.

The same day, AMISOM and Somali federal troops captured a pair of towns between Afgoye and Barire from Al Shabaab.

April 2, 2019
Government forces captured a village north of Mogadishu from Al Shabaab. On April 20, sources would say that government forces had assumed control of a base in the village.

April 3, 2019
Kenya and the Somali federal government agreed to exchange ambassadors again after expelling each other's representatives in April over their boundary dispute in the Indian Ocean. 

April 5, 2019
The US military announced that, after a new internal review, it had discovered two civilian deaths among the 800 people killed by its drone and airstrikes in Somalia since June 2017. It said that the two deaths were not from the same strikes that Amnesty International had claimed killed 14 civilians in its report from a week before.

April 12, 2019
Two Cuban doctors were kidnapped in Mandera, Kenya, and allegedly taken to an Al Shabaab hideout near El Adde in Somalia. Four months later, they would still be missing, but thought to be alive, possibly held in a forest near Barawe on Somalia's southern coast.

April 13, 2019
Five civilians died in clashes with government forces in Mogadishu while protesting the police shooting of a young rickshaw driver.

April 14, 2019
A US airstrike outside of Qandala killed Abdihakim Dhuqub, deputy leader of Somalia's chapter of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS). The group is estimated to have only 150-200 total fighters in Somalia.

April 23, 2019
A senior Al Shabaab official known as Aden Obe surrendered near Bardhere in Gedo region.

April 24, 2019
Government troops took over a village between Wanla Weyne and Lego in a battle with Al Shabaab.

May 1-2, 2019
AMISOM and Somali federal troops captured Barire, a major Al Shabaab stronghold west of Mogadishu. The town had previously been held by pro-federal forces for two months in 2017, but has been under Al Shabaab administration for most of the past several years.

May 4-7, 2019
Al Shabaab conducted three attacks against Kenyan security forces on Kenya's side of the border, one near Mandera, one in Ishakani, and one north of Dif. No one was killed in the attacks, but several of the involved Kenyan personnel were injured.

May 5, 2019
Al Shabaab was reportedly driven out of a town between Buloburde and Jalalaqsi in central Somalia by a government offensive.

May 5-11, 2019
The Somali federal government held talks on a variety of issues with the five federal states in Garowe, Puntland, but the negotiations did not reach a resolution. The state governments had announced on September 8, 2018 that they would suspend cooperation with the federal government, though it was not clear to what degree they afterwards implemented that decision. Jubaland state and the federal government had acheived some degree of reconciliation in March, but as of May, Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, and South West states remained estranged from Mogadishu. 

Despite the limited cooperation between the federal and state governments, the military forces of Jubaland, Hirshabelle, and South West states were still presumably operating side-by-side with federal and AMISOM forces, their senior partners in the anti-Al Shabaab coalition. Galmudug and Puntland, on the other hand, do not host AMISOM or large numbers of federal personnel, and their militaries are therefore more independent. 

May 7, 2019
Media reported that Al Shabaab had captured the down of Dhamase, on the border with Kenya, after a battle with Kenyan forces. 

May 10, 2019
Kenya placed a three-month ban on direct flights from Mogadishu to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, requiring them to first stop in eastern Kenya for security checks.

May 13, 2019
Thousands of students protested in Mogadishu after the Somali federal government canceled high school entrance exams partway through, citing systematic cheating. 

May 17, 2019
Al Shabaab fighters reportedly captured Dif village, on the border with Kenya, from Jubaland forces for the second time since March.

May 21, 2019
Puntland's state government issued a statement outlining the specifics of its suspension of cooperation with the Somali federal government, saying that it would not recognize any new federal laws, and that it would stop coordinating on constitutional review, elections, and national security. Puntland had already announced the previous September that it would end cooperation with Mogadishu, but it was unclear to what degree it followed up on that threat prior to May.

Although the suspension of ties suggested that Puntland would be operating almost like an independent country, the document made it very clear that its leaders still considered their state to be part of Somalia in principle.

May 26, 2019
Military sources said that federal government-allied forces had recaptured Dif from Al Shabaab. 

May 30, 2019
Galmudug state reportedly followed Puntland in issuing a formal statement suspending cooperation with the Somali federal government. Galmudug and Puntland had recently reached an agreement to cooperate with each other on security, bypassing the federal government.

May 31, 2019
The UN Security Council endorsed the continued operation of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for another year.

June 2019
Al Shabaab continued with a series of attacks and kidnappings inside Kenyan territory during June.

June 8-11, 2019
Af Urur town in the mountains of northern Somalia came under Al Shabaab control for three days before Puntland security forces returned and pushed the group out.

June 12, 2019
Al Shabaab seized a Somali village near El Waq from the Kenyan military, capturing three Kenyan soldiers.

June 14, 2019
Forces of Somaliland and Puntland clashed in Badhan, far to the north of their recent conflict zone around Tukaraq.

June 17, 2019
Somali federal and US forces conducted a raid in an Al Shabaab-controlled town just southwest of Barire, killing several enemy fighters.

June 19, 2019
Twenty-nine soldiers were killed in a friendly fire incident after Burundian AMISOM soldiers mistook Somali federal military troops for Al Shabaab. One source indicated, perhaps incorrectly, that the incident happened in Middle Juba region near the boundaries of Lower Shabelle and Bay - an area thought to be deep within Al Shabaab territory.

June 20, 2019
The parliament of the Arab League came out in apparent support of Somalia's side in the country's sea boundary dispute with Kenya. Somalia, but not Kenya, is a member of the Arab League (Arabic is one of Somalia's official languages, though few Somalis speak it natively).

June 22, 2019
The Somali federal military took over a village near Marka after Al Shabaab forces left.

June 23, 2019
Somali federal forces and AMISOM troops captured a village northwest of Barawe from Al Shabaab.

June 25, 2019
Somali federal government and AMISOM forces took control of an Al Shabaab held town east of Bar Sanguni for "a few minutes" before retreating.

June 30, 2019
The Somali federal government announced that it had completed agreements with the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and passenger airline trade group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to transfer full control of Somalia's airspace to Mogadishu one month later, on July 30. ICAO had been managing Somali airspace for the past 28 years, since the fall of the last Somalia-wide government in 1991, and had begun the process of transferring stewardship to the new federal government in 2013.

However, a 2013 agreement for the federal and Somaliland governments to jointly manage airspace in the north appeared to have been passed over in the 2019 deal, apparently placing Somaliland's claimed independent airspace under control of the federal government.

July 1, 2019
Troops loyal to the Somali federal government seized a village near Jowhar from Al Shabaab.

July 3, 2019
Somaliland's government announced that it had lodged a formal complaint against the air traffic control deals signed days before between the Somali federal government and international aviation organizations, arguing that they were in violation of previous agreements with Somaliland.

July 1-4, 2019
On July 1, a tweet from Kenya's foreign minister called Somaliland a "country", sparking outrage from the Somali federal government, which considers Somaliland to be part of Somalia. The next day, Somaliland president Bihi was welcomed to Guinea as a foreign head of state, prompting the Somali federal government to cut diplomatic ties with the West African country until its government apologized.

July 4, 2019
The Alhu Sunna Wa Jama'a (ASWJ) armed group in Galmudug, which had signed a political unity agreement with the state government in 2017 after federal mediation, once again agreed to integrate its forces with the federal military, which it had originally promised to do as part of previous deal. At this time the ASWJ still maintained military influence in Galmudug's official capital city of Dhusamareb, while the state's parliament was meeting in Adado.

ASWJ's new agreement with the federal government came amid a growing rift between the militia and the Galmudug state administration of President Haaf. The ASWJ was allegedly collaborating with Mogadishu to force early presidential elections in July, while the Haaf administration remained estranged from the federal government, with whom it had suspended cooperation on May 30. The new elections, which Haaf at one point reportedly assented to holding on July 4, apparently never happened.

July 6, 2019
Media indicated that the town of Tortorow northwest of Mogadishu was again under Al Shabaab control, after having been captured by federal troops in February 2018. PolGeoNow was unable to determine at what point the town reverted to Al Shabaab administration.

July 9, 2019
Colonel Aare's renegade militia attacked Somaliland forces southeast of El Afweyn, then east of Erigavo the next day.

July 12, 2019
An Al Shabaab attack on a hotel in Kismayo left 26 dead and 56 injured, not including several of the group's own fighters who were killed in the attack and subsequent battle.

July 15, 2019
Suspected Al Shabaab fighters battled with Kenyan police southwest of Ishakani in Kenya, leaving three of the fighters dead and two police injured.

July 19, 2019
A committee formed by federal president Farmajo to hold talks with Somaliland was rejected by both Somaliland and rival Puntland state.  

July 24, 2019
A suicide bombing in the office of the Mayor of Mogadishu, thought to be targeting United Nations envoy James Swan, missed the envoy by minutes but killed six other people. The mayor himself, a widely-respected man known by the nickname "Engineer Yarisow", would die a week later of wounds sustained in the attack. 

July 25, 2019
Jubaland state announced that it was again suspending cooperation with the Somali federal government, arguing that Mogadishu was taking steps to interfere in the state's upcoming elections.

July 26-27, 2019
Forces of defected Somaliland Colonel Saeed Aare took over Karin village northwest of Erigavo, blocking the road from Erigavo to the coast, and leading to a battle with Somaliland loyalist soldiers the next day. The fighting began just one day after Somaliland's president had announced a supposed peace deal with Aare.

July 27, 2019
Somaliland's three major political parties reached an agreement on the terms of upcoming parliamentary and municipal elections, which had been delayed due to political deadlock.

August 1, 2019
The federal presidential office announced that President Farmajo had completed the process of giving up his US citizenship. Somalia's provisional constitution allows public officeholders to hold dual citizenship (38% of Somali parliament members have it), but there is controversy over divided loyalties in Somali politics.

August 2, 2019
As part of the deal signed on July 4, the ASWJ militia in Galmudug state officially handed over control of state capital Dhusamareb to the federal government. Security in the town would now be the responsibility of a federal force combining preexisting government troops and newly integrated ASWJ fighters. The traditional ASWJ strongholds of Guri El and Mataban were apparently not part of the handover, though with the integration of ASWJ into the federal military they might be considered federally-controlled in principle.

August 6, 2019
Somali federal forces captured Awdhegle, a longtime Al Shabaab stronghold and the next major town downstream from Barire along the Shabelle River west of Mogadishu. Al Shabaab reportedly vacated the town ahead of the federal troops' arrival, possibly as part of an ongoing retreat in the face of increased US airstrikes.

August 9, 2019
Galmudug state president Haaf, his administration sidelined by the federal government's deal with the ASWJ, announced that he would not seek a second term in office. The state government had originally argued that Haaf's current term was to extend until 2021, but the federal government insisted the state should hold new elections in 2019.

With Galmudug now politically fragmented, the federal government scheduled a state "reconciliation conference" for August 17, with the goal of forming a newly unified state administration. However, a council representing Adado, home to the non-ASWJ-controlled state parliament, announced that it would not participate in the conference.

August 13, 2019
Jubaland state swore in its new parliament, elected by traditional elders living in the state's. The members of parliament will be tasked with choosing the state's next president on August 24, in a hotly contested elections marred by accusations of federal interference and disputes over the make-up of the parliament.


Graphic of Somali flag is in the public domain (source). Timeline compiled with the help of the ACLED database:

Raleigh, Clionadh, Andrew Linke, Håvard Hegre and Joakim Karlsen. (2010). “Introducing ACLED - Armed Conflict Location and Event Data.” Journal of Peace Research 47(5) 651-660. https://www.acleddata.com/