The recent string of devastating al-Shabaab attacks proves that the new Somali government's military approach to defeat the group with the help of Western allies, African Union troops, and local militias don't promise success. Moreover, the weak federal government lacks public legitimacy. What is needed now are direct talks between Mogadishu and al-Shabaab, and political power sharing to consolidate the government's authority.
The latest terrorist attacks are a setback for the Mohamud government and its allied clan militias. But that doesn't diminish the fact that the offensive against the Islamists has recently produced a number of successes, with al-Shabab being driven out of key regions of Somalia with US military support. Even if victory isn't yet within reach, and further military and political efforts are necessary, the government is on the right track.