Home Front cover PHOTO ESSAYS About Letters Contact Products Back issues Shop Contributors LIFE FORCE
The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
March 2015 issue
The Hunt for Al-Shabaab Somalia
by Adriane Ohanesian
The town of Qoryooley in Lower Shabelle, Somalia came under the control of the African Union's Ugandan troops on March 23rd, 2014 during Operation Eagle, the most recent offensive against the al-Qaeda linked militant group, al-Shabaab.  Although the African Union forces have been successful in removing al-Shabaab from some main towns, the struggle continues, even in the capital of Mogadishu. The militant group was pushed out of the city in 2011, but still imposes the daily threat of attack. In addition to the challenges that the enemy presents, the Somali National Army is battling with the capacity and commitment of its own forces. The European Union has provided training to some of the troops, but most of the Somali forces have not received any formal military instruction. The government must prove to the people of Somalia that it has the means and capability to take the country under its control and out of the hands of al-Shabaab.
Members of the Somali National Army complete a drill under the guidance of the European Union at the Jazeera Training Camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, May 1, 2014.
A soldier in the Somali National Army learns to clean, assemble and load a gun at the European Union’s Jazeera Training Camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, May 1, 2014.
Ugandan soldiers on patrol outside of the town of Qoryooley, which was taken from al Shabaab during Operation Eagle, the first joint military offensive with the Somali National Army, in Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 29, 2014.
The port city of Merca lies on the coast that stretches between the capital of Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle, one of the areas of the military offensive against al Shabaab in Somalia, April 28, 2014. The Somali National Army lacks any military capacity to patrol the expansive coastline.
A member of a local clan-based militia is seen along the coast, just south of Merca. The group was formed as an alternative to the Somali National Army which they say has not only failed to protect the community from al Shabaab, but also supports pro-government militias in Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 30, 2014.
Ugandan soldiers secure the main street while out on a morning patrol in the town of Qoryooley, in Lower Shabelle, April 29, 2014. There were few Somali soldiers to be seen in the newly captured town.  Earning $100 a month and with no training or resources, there is little incentive for the soldiers to commit to the Somali National Army.
Ugandan AMISOM soldiers walk along a road that was flooded by al-Shabaab in order to slow the advancement of the troops outside of Qoryooley, Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 29, 2014.
A Ugandan AMISOM soldier uses a truck for cover as he helps to secure a side street in the town of Qoryooley in Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 29, 2014.
Women carry water as Ugandan soldiers patrol the road leading into Qoryooley, Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 29, 2014. The forces use foot soldiers to search for and prevent improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from being placed along the roads.
Ugandan AMISOM soldiers patrol the town of Qoryooley, which was taken from al-Shabaab during the most recent offensive, Operation Eagle, in Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 29, 2014.
In order to track the movement of al Shabaab, a Ugandan soldier launches a surveillance drone from the military base in Qoryooley, Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 29, 2014.
Men believed to be members of al Shabaab sit in the street after being arrested by Somali National Intelligence during a cordon and search operation in Mogadishu, Somalia, May 4, 2014.
Ugandan soldiers return a tank to the military base after an evening patrol in the town of Qoryooley, Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 28, 2014.
A Ugandan soldier shows off a flag which was removed from al Shabaab’s base and training camp when it was taken by the Ugandan troops in Qoryooley, Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 29, 2014.
A Ugandan soldier makes a call on a satellite phone from his tent on the military base in Qoryooley, Lower Shabelle, Somalia, April 30, 2014.
Back to menu