I have a seventh guest piece on Informed Comment, the widely-read blog of Prof. Juan Cole of the University of Michigan's Department of History, who is a noted expert on the modern Middle East and South Asia, with a specialty in Shi'i Islam. The piece is entitled, "Building an Insurgent State in Somalia?" and it analyzes the attempts of the Somali insurgent movement Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior-Youth; Al-Shabaab) to build structures of governance in the country. The movement currently controls more than half the country, excluding the autonomous region of Puntland and self-declared "republic of Somaliland" in the north.
The beginning of the piece is below:
"The Somali insurgent movement Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior-Youth) has controlled nearly all of southern and central Somalia since 2009 and was in the process of consolidating its authority when the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), aided by Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops and fighters from the Somali Sufi militia Ahlul Sunna Wal Jamaacah, launched a major military offensive against them in mid February. As fierce fighting continues in the capital Mogadishu and the surrounding Banaadir district as well as border areas with Ethiopia and Kenya, it remains to be seen how the movement’s attempts at constructing the basic governing structures will fare. The control and governance of territory presents an insurgent movement like Harakat al-Shabaab with a unique set of challenges. "
Read the rest at INFORMED COMMENT.
My first guest piece, "The Islamic State of Iraq’s Positions on Iraqi National Elections: The Continuing Decline of a Self-styled Jihadi State," can be read HERE.
My second guest piece, "The Death of a Caliph: Will the Reported Killings of the Islamic State of Iraq's Two Senior Leaders Spell the End of the Self-styled Jihadi State?", can be read HERE.
My third guest piece, "From 'Martyrdom' Videos to Jihadi Journalism in Somalia," can be read HERE.
My fourth guest piece, "HAMAS' Rhetoric as Spoiler," can be read HERE.
My fifth guest piece, "Hezbollah's Double Standards: Iran, Tunisia, & Popular Protest," can be read HERE.
My sixth guest piece, "Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood & the Demonstrations: Fact vs. Fiction," can be read HERE.