Islamic State Gaining Power in Somalia

ICC Note: Christians in Somalia fear the Islamic State is regaining power. An IS-affiliated group is exploiting the country’s power vacuum to expand and recruit fighters, presenting a major threat to peace and stability in Somalia.

2/22/2018 Somalia (World Watch Monitor) –  A bishop responsible for the minimal Catholic presence in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, says the Islamic State group is gaining ground in the country.

Bishop Giorgio Bertin of Djibouti, who serves the Diocese of Mogadishu from outside the country, says the extremist group known for its brutality in Iraq and Syria has chosen Somalia “because there is no central authority. The country also represents a good possibility for them to continue their search for an Islamic state or, at least, they can continue their ideology without many obstacles”, he told Catholic News Service (CNS).

An IS-affiliated group has set up base in Puntland state, north-eastern Somalia, from where it is recruiting fighters who have fled Iraq and Syria, as well as former fighters of the Somali militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab.

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