As reported by Garowe Online on 21 June 2023, al-Shabaab used suicide bombers to target a joint Somali National Army-Ethiopian military base in Bardhere, Gedo region, southwestern Somalia, killing eight and injuring about 19 others. On 18 June 2023, al-Shabaab abducted 30 clan elders and children in Daru Na’im, El Dheere district, in north-central Somalia (Gulf of Aden Security Review, 30 June 2023). Meanwhile the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), the April 2022 successor of AMISOM, began withdrawing from the country by handing over bases to government forces.
World Watch Research analyst Yonas Dembele comments: “The withdrawal of ATMIS forces raises apprehension about the security vacuum that may now be created in Somalia. The departure of international forces, if not carefully managed, could provide an opportunity for al-Shabaab to regain control of certain areas and expand its influence. This could lead to an increase in attacks and further endanger the lives of Christians and other vulnerable groups in the wider region.”