Al-Shabaab consolidating power in Somalia?

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Al-Shabaab forces are consolidating fighters in southern Somalia in a united stance against Kenyan forces massed along the border, an analysis finds.

Kenyan forces are positioned along the border with Somalia as part of a military offensive against al-Shabaab. Kenya responded with military forces after a series of high-profile kidnappings of Westerners in the area.


An unidentified source in the Horn of Africa told Texas intelligence consultancy Stratfor that al-Shabaab forces are trying to unite to face the Kenyan military.

Frictions between various factions of al-Shabaab in 2010 resulted in loss of control of most of the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Stratfor notes, however, that Kenyan intervention is an opportunity for al-Shabaab to reunite.

The Kenyan military is looking for regional help with its operations in Somalia, though any support from the African Union is unlikely given its limited abilities in the area.

"There might be some strong differences of outlook and ideology within al-Shabaab, but the fighters can agree on defending their turf against a common enemy," Stratfor notes.

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