Conflict Trends Update

SOMALIA

Al-Shabaab claimed a suicide attack on a military training centre in the capital Mogadishu on Tuesday that killed at least fifteen people. The bomber pretended to be a military trainee and detonated as new recruits, seeking training from Turkish forces, gathered. Crisis Group expert Omar Mahmood says the attack, the ninth suicide incident in Mogadishu this year, shows Al-Shabaab’s determination to undermine the development of the Somali security sector, including by targeting efforts undertaken by Somalia’s external partners.

US-RUSSIA

Presidents Biden and Putin met in Geneva for their first face-to-face summit since Biden took office in an attempt to pause deteriorating relations that are at their lowest ebb since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Crisis Group experts Olga Oliker and Oleg Ignatov say the low bar set for the meeting seems to have been met. The sides agreed to keep talking about arms control and strategic stability as well as to return ambassadors to their posts. But while neither side seeks a new Cold War, it remains to be seen if both states can install guardrails on the relationship to prevent any dangerous escalation and make progress on resolving contentious issues.

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