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Mogadishu's Endless Security Challenges: Addressing the Root Causes of Conflict

Friday February 24, 2023


Why has no government been able to find a solution for the security of Somalia's capital? How is it possible that armed forces are still engaged in fighting in the heart of the city?

Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, has faced serious security challenges for several years. Armed groups like Al-Shabaab have carried out numerous attacks in the city, targeting both civilians and government institutions. Despite efforts by the Somali government and its international partners to address the security situation, challenges remain. One of the main reasons for the insecurity in Mogadishu is the presence of armed groups. While the Somali government and its partners have made progress in pushing back Al-Shabaab, the group remains a significant threat to security in the city.

In addition to the threat posed by armed groups, there are also issues with the security forces themselves. Corruption is a significant problem within the security sector, with some officials taking bribes or engaging in other illicit activities. This can undermine the effectiveness of the security forces and make it more difficult to establish control over the city.

There are also political factors that contribute to the insecurity in Mogadishu. Addressing the security challenges in Mogadishu will require a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of the conflict. This could include addressing poverty and unemployment, promoting political stability and good governance, and reforming the security sector to reduce corruption and improve professionalism.

Reforming the Somali security sector is crucial to addressing the ongoing insecurity challenges in the country. Addressing corruption within the security sector will require a comprehensive effort to reform the sector, including improving recruitment and training practices, ensuring that personnel are paid fairly and on time, and establishing accountability mechanisms to investigate and punish corrupt officials.

Another key area for reform is improving the professionalism of security force commanders. This could involve providing commanders with more training and resources and establishing clear guidelines and standards for their behaviour. Ensuring commanders are held accountable for their actions and subject to disciplinary action if they engage in corrupt or unprofessional behaviour could also help to promote professionalism and integrity in the security sector.

Overall, the success of security sector reform efforts in Somalia will depend on the commitment of the government and its international partners to addressing the underlying issues that contribute to insecurity in the country. Improving the professionalism of security force commanders and the security sector as a whole will be a key component of these efforts and could help to establish greater stability and security in Somalia.


Ahmed Abdulahi Kaboole is a political science graduate from Swedish Defence University in Stockholm,  specializing in security and crisis analysis.


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