"The main theme of this paper centres on the paradoxical state of affairs in which on the one hand the nature and dynamics of the conflict continue to change and the insecurity deepens and on the other hand the policy options remain limited. Whereas the security situation seems to be going from the frying pan to the fire, policy responses of the international community, from the exclusive focus on the TFG to an AU-led peacekeeping intervention, are failing to yield any progress toward ending the con- flict. This paper argues that with the TFG failing to achieve a cohesive leadership or functioning governance structure, and lacking a well-organised and motivated military capability, there is little chance that Al Shabaab’s insurgency and the resultant misery, death and dislocation of ordinary Somalis, can be curbed, despite the emerging division in Al Shabaab. Until the balance of power shifts in favour of the TFG, which requires strong leadership and the support of the Somali people, there is very little the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) can do with its limited resources, inadequate force size and limited mandate, to help arrest the deteriorating situation in South Central Somalia, particularly in the absence of political leadership on the ground in Somalia."