On 9 June 2023, al-Shabaab replicated its all too familiar mode of attack by launching a six-hour raid on Pearl Beach hotel on Mogadishu's coast, as reported by BBC News on 10 June 2023. The hotel is popular with government officials. In the attack, at least 9 civilians were killed and 80 held hostage until they were rescued by security forces. This hotel attack comes just two months after al-Shabaab militants killed 54 Ugandan UN peacekeepers, 110km (68 miles) south of the capital in the Lower Shabelle region (France24, 6 April 2023).
World Watch Research analyst Yonas Dembele comments: “The ongoing operations carried out by al-Shabaab highlight the strength, resources and determination of the group as they continue to pursue their goals of territorial expansion and the imposition of radical Islam. Their relentless pursuit of control and influence poses a significant threat to the Christian community in the wider region. Besides strengthening security measures and bolstering counterterrorism efforts, it is equally crucial to address the root causes that fuel al-Shabaab’s popularity, such as addressing socio-economic disparities, promoting social cohesion and fostering religious tolerance.”