al-Shabaab Spokesman Ali Dheere Speaks – and the Somali People Respond

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In January 2017, the al-Shabaab spokesman, Ali Dheere, spoke to AJE’s Hamza Mohamed (although the interview itself was released through a Somali Diaspora online news channel called Dalsoor). The first part is here and the second here.

About a month later, two cheap-and-cheery locally produced products appeared, challenging Ali Dheere’s comments on the bombings of hotels (here) and the bombings of public places such as markets (here). The products experienced a surge in views this week in the aftermath of the bombing of the Wehliye Hotel on Mogadishu’s Makka ul Mukarama Road.

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The products are slightly clumsy and the English subtitles, which mimic the English subtitling of the original interview, might ring alarm bells for some, but it is nonetheless interesting to see the Somali people feeling confident enough to speak out openly against al-Shabaab.


Continuity and Change: The Evolution and Resilience of al-Shabab’s Media Insurgency 2006-2016 by Chris Anzalone


Quality analysis of al-Shabaab’s communications by Chris Anzalone of the International Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University:

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There is also an associated podcast, also featuring Dr. Stig Jarle Hansen and moderated by Bronwyn Bruton of the Atlantic Council.

 

The Shop-fronts of Mogadishu – 6

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Bar Kamal Diin

Via Moscow, Hamarweyne district, Mogadishu

Back in the day when literacy levels were low, Mogadishu shopkeepers would engage a local artist to depict their offerings on the exterior wall. Sadly these are disappearing and being replaced by blast walls and HESCO bastions or, worse still, the tatty plastic faux-glitz signs you see in every African and Middle Eastern city.

 

The Shop-fronts of Mogadishu – 5

  


Caaqil Shop

Police Academy, Mogadishu

Back in the day when literacy levels were low, Mogadishu shopkeepers would engage a local artist to depict their offerings on the exterior wall. Sadly these are disappearing and being replaced by blast walls and HESCO bastions or, worse still, the tatty plastic faux-glitz signs you see in every African and Middle Eastern city.

The Shop-fronts of Mogadishu – 4

  

Allaa Waldilee Bar Restaurant

Via Roma, Hamarweyne district, Mogadishu

Back in the day when literacy levels were low, Mogadishu shopkeepers would engage a local artist to depict their offerings on the exterior wall. Sadly these are disappearing and being replaced by blast walls and HESCO bastions or, worse still, the tatty plastic faux-glitz signs you see in every African and Middle Eastern city.

 

The Shop-fronts of Mogadishu – 3

  

 Ala Aamin’s Barber Shop

Via Roma, Hamarweyne district, Mogadishu

Back in the day when literacy levels were low, Mogadishu shopkeepers would engage a local artist to depict their offerings on the exterior wall. Sadly these are disappearing and being replaced by blast walls and HESCO bastions or, worse still, the tatty plastic faux-glitz signs you see in every African and Middle Eastern city.

The Shop-fronts of Mogadishu – 2

  

Haji Hassan’s Bakery

Via Roma, Hamaeweyne district, Mogadishu

Back in the day when literacy levels were low, Mogadishu shopkeepers would engage a local artist to depict their offerings on the exterior wall. Sadly these are disappearing and being replaced by blast walls and HESCO bastions or, worse still, the tatty plastic faux-glitz signs you see in every African and Middle Eastern city.

The Shop-fronts of Mogadishu – 1

  
Aweys – Super Tailor

Via Roma, Hamarweyne district, Mogadishu

Back in the day when literacy levels were low, Mogadishu shopkeepers would engage a local artist to depict their offerings on the exterior wall. Sadly these are disappearing and being replaced by blast walls and HESCO bastions or, worse still, the tatty plastic faux-glitz signs you see in every African and Middle Eastern city.