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Last updated: June 2022

Both Al-Shabaab and ISS have targeted federal and state officials, however, this sub-profile focuses on individuals targeted by Al-Shabaab.

This sub-profile should be read in conjunction with the Overview.

COI summary

[Targeting, 6.1]

Al-Shabaab has increased its operational tempo since August 2020, and the beginning of 2021 has seen a new peak in the number of attacks targeting government officials.

Al-Shabaab has targeted individuals such as high-ranking FGS and FMS government and administration officials, police officers, government intelligence officials, tax collectors and any individual suspected to be a government or an administration employee. It has also targeted government officials with different or non-specified profiles, both in targeted assassinations and in attacks on venues frequented by government and security officials. Lawmakers have also faced attacks, assassinations and executions.

During the reference period, examples of attacks against federal and state officials include: the attempted assassination of the acting Minister for Education, the killing of the Governor of Mudug region in Galkayo and of Nugal region in Garowe, the assassination of two state ministers in Jowhar, the assassinations of NISA officials in Mogadishu and in Galgaduud region and of intelligence officials in Puntland, the killing of a former village chief who allegedly worked as an official of the Jubbaland administration, the killing of three local government department heads in Gedo region, the killing of a regional lawmaker in Middle Shabelle region, the suicide bombing in a restaurant in Baidoa targeting the Governor of Bay region, the suicide bombing on a restaurant near the police academy in Mogadishu, the suicide car bombing targeting a tax collection centre in Mogadishu.

Attacks against such officials have taken place in Puntland, where Al-Shabaab has steadily become stronger, and in South-Central Somalia. Al-Shabaab has limited capacity to carry out attacks in Somaliland because it has only a small presence there.

Risk analysis

Federal and state officials could be exposed to acts which are of such severe nature that they would amount to persecution (e.g. assassination).

In South-Central Somalia and Puntland, well-founded fear of persecution would in general be substantiated in the case of higher level federal and state officials. With regard to lower level officials, not all individuals would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. The individual assessment of whether there is a reasonable degree of likelihood for the applicant to face persecution should take into account risk-impacting circumstances, such as: nature of duties, visibility of profile, area of origin and operational capacity of Al-Shabaab, etc.

In Somaliland, where the group has limited operational capacity, well-founded fear of persecution in the case of federal and state officials could be substantiated in individual cases. Risk-impacting circumstances (e.g. visibility of profile, nature of duties, area of origin and operational capacity of Al-Shabaab) should be given due consideration.

Nexus to a reason for persecution

Available information indicates that persecution of this profile is highly likely to be for reasons of religion and/or (imputed) political opinion.




See other topics concerning persons associated with the government of Somalia and/or international actors: