Horn of Africa

  • Pham on the Appointment of an Ambassador to Somalia

    PBS News Hour quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on why right now isn't the right time for the United States to appoint an ambassador to Somalia:

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  • Can al-Shabaab Strike the United States?

    Somali terror group has sympathizers, but no active sleeper cell in United States, says Atlantic Council's Pham

    Al-Shabaab, the al Qaeda-linked militant group in Somalia, has sympathizers in the United States, but likely does not have the ability to strike targets in the West, despite its recent threat to do so, according to Atlantic Council analyst J. Peter Pham.

    “Shabaab has always had a transnational reach, but it has never struck transnationally beyond the region,” Pham, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, said in an interview.

    “There has also been no evidence of an active sleeper cell, but there has been more than sufficient evidence of sympathizers,” he added.

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  • Anti-Terror Financing Rules Choke Somali Remittances

    On February 6, 2015, one of the last Western banks willing to transfer money to Somalia on behalf of the country’s diaspora—transfers which represent up to 80 percent of all funds sent from the US to Somalia—ceased operations, cutting off one of the diaspora’s last options to support relatives and friends still in Somalia.

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  • Ethiopia: Press Restrictions and the 2015 Elections

    Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, will go to the polls in May. The election will be the country’s first since the death of longtime Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, and has brought into focus the state of independent media and citizens’ access to information in the East African country.

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  • Pham on Al Shabaab Defector

    VICE News quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on an al Shabaab defector's claim that Somalia's Islamist extremist group is in "total collapse":

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  • Somalia's Slumping Fortunes

    Bottom Line Up Front:

    • After almost eight years on the ground, African Union troops have nearly beaten the Qaeda-linked militia al-Shabab—at least militarily

    • Since 2011, Shabab has steadily lost territory, and on October 5 was pushed out of its last coastal stronghold, the port city of Barawe

    • The loss of Barawe, and the successful airstrike on al-Shabab’s leader, Ahmed Godane, on September 1, has dampened the radicals’ morale and precipitated a rash of defections

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  • Counterinsurgency in Somalia: Lessons Learned from the African Union Mission in Somalia, 2007-2013

    Africa Center Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton co-authored a Joint Special Operations University monograph with Dr. Paul Williams, associate professor at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The authors bring their expertise in governance, conflict mitigation, and Africa, to this analysis of Somalia's attempts to establish security and build state institutions while facing the Harakat al-Shabaab insurgency. By every measure of state effectiveness—income generation and distribution, execution of the rule of law, and ability to provide basic human security—Somalia has little or no capability.

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  • Transition Seminar for Incoming Head of African Union Mission in Somalia


    The Atlantic Council's Africa Center hosted a transition seminar for H.E. Maman Sidikou, incoming African Union (AU) special representative for Somalia and head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), on Tuesday, September 9.

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  • Pham on Implications of US Airstrikes in Somalia

    Al Arabiya quotes Africa Center J. Peter Pham on possible ramifications of the death of the leader of the militant organization al-Shabaab:

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  • Pham on US Airstrikes Targeting al-Shabaab

    Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham joins BBC World News to discuss the US airstrikes in Somalia that killed the leader of the militant organization al-Shabaab: 


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