Scramble for the Horn of Africa
Al-Shabaab vs. Islamic State
Over the past three years, the so-called Islamic State (IS) has made significant progress in building an international network of Jihadist groups that pledged allegiance to the organisation. The affiliates of IS are both new-born movements like the Islamic State in Libya, and older groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria. The latter are much more valuable for the ‘Caliphate’ because they have broad experience and capacities that allow them to operate independently of IS. In its global Jihad, therefore, the Islamic State tried to gain the support of the members of former al-Qaeda franchises, shifting their alliances from Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi. The paper offers an overview of such IS efforts in the Horn of Africa and an evaluation of how successful this quest had been until 2017.