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War and Peace in SomaliaNational Grievances, Local Conflict and Al-Shabaab$
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Michael Keating and Matt Waldman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190947910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190947910.001.0001

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Motivations and Drivers of Al-Shabaab

Motivations and Drivers of Al-Shabaab

(p.309) Motivations and Drivers of Al-Shabaab
War and Peace in Somalia

Roland Marchal

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the motivations and drivers of Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab has built itself on a clear agenda: ridding Somalia of foreign forces, portrayed as Christians, and implementing the Sharia. These goals implied the need for reform and discipline of Somali society using all means: dawa (preaching) as well as violence. While the goals fit well with Somali nationalistic and Salafi agendas, more fluidity or even flexibility is shown by Al-Shabaab in a situation of weakness. However, there is no doubt that Al-Shabaab eventually intends to monopolize the religious arena and curb the political and social influence of any contenders. Somali viewpoints are not always antagonistic towards Al-Shabaab, which throws light on some of the mistakes or weaknesses of its enemies.

Keywords:   Al-Shabaab, Somalia, Sharia, politico-military organization, Somali

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