From Positive Change to Extremist Force: The History of al-Shabab in Somalia

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

One of the biggest obstacles to providing aid to those affected by the drought and famine crisis in Somalia has been the militant group al-Shabab, which controls large parts of southern Somalia. The al-Qaida-linked group is refusing to allow many Western aid organizations into the country, and at the same time is blocking people who attempt to flee. As a result, the lives of 500,000 children are at risk as they suffer from malnutrition. Al-Shabab is viewed as a dangerous and extremist force in Somalia today, but that was not always the case.

Bronwyn Bruton, author of a special report on Somalia for the Council on Foreign Relations, and Abdi Aynte, who is writing a book on al-Shabab, and recently returned from Somalia, talk about how al-Shabab went from being viewed as trusted and popular to extremist force.

Guests:

Abdi Aynte and Bronwyn Bruton

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

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