April 12, 2017 | Daily Monitoring Report

Main Story

Government Forces Capture Several Militants In Lower Shabelle

12 April – Source : Garowe Online – 169 Words

Pro-government forces in Lower Shabelle region have napped several Al-Shabaab militants including senior commanders during security operations in Qoryoley district. A district official, Abdi Ahmed Ali told Garowe Online that among the apprehended suspects is the head of Al-Shabaab operations in the region. “The suspects were captured during a security sweep conducted by the security forces in Farhane area, located about 5 kilometers south of Qoryole town,” added Ali. He said the Police authorities are currently conducting investigation with the suspects who are believed to be linked to al-Qaida-inspired Al-Shabaab group.

The authorities said that 2 suspects are guards to the captured senior commander. Following the investigations, the suspects will be brought to the military court for trials. So far the militant group Al-Shabaab hasn’t released any statement in regard to the capture of its fighters and commanders in Lower Shabelle region. The militant group is fighting the Somali security forces and allied African Union Peacekeeping forces (AMISOM) in a bid to topple the western-backed Somali government in Mogadishu.

Key Headlines

  • Government Forces Capture Several Militants In Lower Shabelle (Garowe Online)
  • Somaliland Arrests Members Of A Newly Formed Religious Group In Hargeisa (Hiiraan Online)
  • Somali Armed Forces Day Being Marked In Mogadishu (Jowhar.com)
  • Somali Pirate Leader Missing After Attempted Hijack(VOA News)
  • 9 Sailors Of Indian Ship Kidnapped By Somali Pirates Rescued (NDTV)
  • Remembering Somalia: Guns Poverty And Hospitality (Middle East Monitor)


Somaliland Arrests Members Of A Newly Formed Religious Group In Hargeisa

12 April – Source : Hiiraan Online – 134 Words

Somaliland authorities have arrested members of a newly formed religious group in Somalia.  Somaliland police commissioner Abdullahi Fadal Iman confirmed the arrest of three members of the Al-Saaciduun Bil-Xaq (Proclaimers of the Truth) religious group in an operation in Hargeisa.Fadal said the group was illegal and dangerous to security in Somaliland. The new group was announced via simultaneous video recordings posted on social media platforms. The group has so far got presence in Mogadishu, Hargeisa and Garowe.

Soon after their announcements, majority of Somalis reacted against the new group with some commentators accusing it to be a Takfiri group, who are said to have extreme views on interpretation of the Islamic religion. However, the group said they were not terrorists and didn’t want to fight despite aiming for an Islamic government in Somalia.

Somali Armed Forces Day Being Marked In Mogadishu

12 April – Source : Jowhar.com – 183 Words

Somalia’s armed forces day is being marked today in Mogadishu.  The day, April 12 is always celebrated in commemoration of the establishment of the National Armed Forces in 1960 and today’s event marks the 57th anniversary of the Somali Armed Forces.The day will also be marked in regional state capitals respectively. The event at the ministry of defense headquarters will see troops stage military parades in honor of the day which is considered a significant day in the history of Somalia.

Somalia’s newly appointed Army Chief Ahmed Jimaale sent congratulations to the army and urged them to be patient during this time of difficulties and serve the nation as the country gears towards regaining its nationhood. Top government leaders including President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre, clad in military uniform, are attending the event at the Military Headquarters.Most of Mogadishu’s main roads have been closed to beef up security during the commemoration. The Somali government has apologized to the public for the closure of roads and asked them to remain patient as marking the National Army Day was significant.


Somali Pirate Leader Missing After Attempted Hijack

11 April – Source : VOA – 244 Words

A notorious Somali pirate leader is missing following an attempt Saturday to hijack a cargo ship, maritime sources and villagers said. Abdikarim Salah “Aw Koombe” and two other pirates were last seen on board a Lebanese-registered cargo ship, OS 35 near Socotra Island, as they attempted to intimidate the crew and steer the vessel to the direction of the Somali coast, sources say.Two pirates who remained in the ship have escaped and reached land, sources told VOA’s Somali service.

The surviving pirates told residents in the Red Sea town of Alula that Aw Koombe and two other pirates who boarded the ship had been left behind. They believe Aw Koombe and the two other pirates were likely captured by the Chinese navy who rescued the crew of the ship Saturday. The Chinese navy was not available for comment, but internal information shared between international maritime forces off the coast of Somalia indicated that at least three pirates were arrested during the operation.

Aw Koombe is a known, notorious, wanted pirate leader who authorities believe was involved in the hijacking of at least 10 ships over the course of several years. Meanwhile, Somali pirates are still holding nine Indian sailors who they moved to land after abandoning the boat Al Kausar following an operation by Somali regional security forces off the coast of Hobyo port town Monday night. The sailors, including the captain of the boat, are being held in a village called Qararrow.

9 Sailors Of Indian Ship Kidnapped By Somali Pirates Rescued

12 April – Source : NDTV – 315 Words

Somali security forces have rescued nine of the 11 crew members who were kidnapped from an Indian cargo dhow and taken ashore by pirates, said Hirsi Yusuf Barre, the mayor of Galkayo town in central Somalia. “The hostages were freed without fighting. The security forces overwhelmingly besieged them and the pirates tried to flee, but three of them were captured,” Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, deputy commander of the maritime force in Somalia’s Galmudug state said. Mr Ahmed said the newly freed crew members were “safe and healthy.”

The forces had rescued the hijacked Indian cargo dhow, Al Kausar, on Monday, but the pirates managed to escape with the crew during an exchange of gunfire, authorities said. The vessel was seized earlier this month. The Al Kausar, which was transporting cargo including wheat and sugar from Dubai via Yemen to Somalia Bossaso port, was the third vessel hijacked in the space of less than a month off the coast of the East African nation.
The pirates had told Reuters that they would use the crew to bargain for the freedom of pirates jailed in India. “We encouraged our friends to run away with the crew if they are attacked so that they can be exchanged for the release of 117 pirates jailed in India,” pirate Saiid said. Somali pirate attacks peaked with 237 in 2012 but then declined steeply after ship owners improved security measures and international naval forces stepped up patrols.


“As my plane descends over the town of Baidoa the plains of Somalia’s dune like landscapes make clear there is something terribly wrong. Scorched earth dotted by lifeless trees and slender dirt roads resembling scars encapsulate the notion from what briefings were given to me.”

Remembering Somalia: Guns, Poverty And Hospitality

11 April- Source : Middle East Monitor – 585 Words

Having faced down a history of adversity another catastrophic drought has ravaged Somalia several times over. The horn of Africa, surrounded by water, known for piracy and civil war is barely recognised for its hardships and a Trumpian blacklisting of Somali citizens further overshadows its plight. According to the administration of Somalia, more than 360,000 people are affected by the encroaching disaster breeding famine and disease as a consequence. Little aid is delivered and agencies on the ground are beginning to struggle without the necessary media coverage to spotlight problems of the displaced.
As my plane descends over the town of Baidoa the plains of Somalia’s dune like landscapes make clear there is something terribly wrong. Scorched earth dotted by lifeless trees and slender dirt roads resembling scars encapsulate the notion from what briefings were given to me. But to witness it first-hand demonstrated what Somalia has become a desert.Guns, poverty and hospitality is how I will remember the country. Around every corner a soldier carries his gun like a third arm, glistening through the sweat accrued standing in the sun. Shown to my room it was evident the building had been attacked in the past; it had crumbling walls and bullet holes scarring its exterior. Barbed wire decorated the compound as did barred windows. I was fortunate that a fan had been installed in my room. The gust of it barely caught the bare soles of my feet in the searing 37 degree heat which were magnified by the enclosed walls.
Walking through the streets, the poverty struck me as children lay by themselves while parents made a short way to investigate the availability of water. As I walked I took pictures of my surroundings, heads peered from a makeshift home. Feeling threatened, some children panicked mistaking the camera for a firearm triggering them to drop what they were doing and run screaming.Somalis need not say anything, their story relays through the eyes, in the physical wounds and ills they carry. The bloating of feet and weathered skin a sign of drought turned famine. Flies divide amongst the air, clinging to any and everyone in their way. And, as I review the photographs at basecamp, I notice how many I have captured in the pictures.


@HassanIstiila: Somali National Army commemorates 57-years, since  its establishment following the end of Italian rule. #Somalia

@AFP: #BREAKING Eight hostages held by Somali pirates freed: coast guard

@AbdihakimAinte: New report frm @HIPSINSTITUTE acknowledges how #Caawiwalaal played major role in averting humanitarian catastrophe: http://www.heritageinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Somalia%E2%80%99s-Drought-Induced-Crises-Immediate-Action-and-Change-of-Strategy-Needed.pdf …

@amisomsomalia: #AMISOM congratulates Somali National Army on its 57th Anniversary. We are proud to be a part of the rebuilding of SNA.#HappySNADay #Somalia

@Daudoo: #Mogadishu on security lock-down today due to ceremony for Somali National army day. All Major roads are closed. #Somalia

@HIPSINSTITUTE: Al-Shabaab’s control of some territories- challenge to delivering relief supplies to communities http://bit.ly/2o4Nlgd  #avertSomaliafamine


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Image of the daySomali National Army today celebrate its 57th anniversary since they were formed

Photo: @HassanIstiila


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