August 11, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

US Airstrikes In Somalia: High Level Al-Shabaab Leader Killed

10 August – Source: Associated Press – 130 Words

The U.S. military has announced two new airstrikes against al-Shabab extremists in Somalia, and Somalia’s President says the joint operation killed a high-level leader of the group. The U.S. statement says the airstrikes were carried out Thursday near the Banadir region in southern Somalia. Somalia’s President in a separate statement says the al-Shabab leader had been part of a network responsible for planning and carrying out several bombings and assassinations in the capital, Mogadishu.

President Donald Trump earlier this year approved expanded military operations against the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab, including more aggressive air strikes and considering parts of southern Somalia areas of active hostilities. Al-Shabab is the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa. The U.S. earlier this month confirmed another airstrike killed Al-Shabaab’s shadow governor for Mogadishu.

Key Headlines

  • US Airstrikes In Somalia: High Level Al-Shabaab Leader Killed (Associated Press)
  • KDF Fighter Jets Bomb Al-Shabaab Stronghold Near Afmadow (Garowe Online)
  • President Farmaajo Praises MPs For Passing Communications Bill (RBC Radio)
  • Official: Security Forces Minimize Car Bomb Attack In Mogadishu (VOA)
  • For Many Girls School Holidays Means FGM “Cutting Season” (UNFPA)


KDF Fighter Jets Bomb Al-Shabaab Stronghold Near Afmadow

10 August – Source: Garowe Online – 195 Words

Kenyan Air force fighter jets have bombed positions of militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab in Lower Jubba region of southern Somalia on Wednesday night, according to reports. The warplanes had targeted Weelmarow area, used by the militants as a training camp in the outskirts of Afmadow district, inflicting casualties on herders and their livestock, according to the residents.  A resident, who asked not to be named, told reports that several civilians have sustained severe shrapnel wounds, while more than ten camels were killed during the aerial bombardment by Kenyan military jets.

Reports said KDF launched the air raid, targeting senior Al-Shabaab commanders attending a graduation event held for newly trained fighters at a secret camp in the rural vicinity near the town of Afmadow, which is under Jubbaland state forces control.  Meanwhile, the Al-Qaeda linked militant group Al-Shabaab has denied claims that it suffered heavy casualties in the KDF airstrike, but confirmed the deaths of at least 10 camels belonging to the herders. Kenyan warplanes have targeted Al-Shabaab positions in southern Somalia on numerous occasions since it sent troops to the neighbouring country in mid October, 2011 following series of attacks and kidnappings in its soil.

President Farmaajo Praises MPs For Passing Communications Bill

10 August – Source: RBC Radio – 168 Words

President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo has lauded members of parliament for unanimously passing the National Communications Act, a bill that seeks to streamline the country’s telecommunication sector. This bill clears the way for the creation of a telecommunications authority, which would regulate the sector and provide protection of corporate and consumer rights. “Members of the House of the People have taken a bold step in passing this bill, I hope the upper house would follow suit. I look forward to receiving it and assenting to it”

While opening the second parliamentary plenary session of the 10th parliament on 8th July, President Farmaajo asked the National Assembly to pass 15 bills that the administration plans to table in this parliamentary session to fast track delivery efforts. “This is the first step towards fulfilling that request, it is prove that the parliament is ready to work for the progress of our country” The bill is expected to pass through the Upper House for further approval before the president assents to it.


Official: Security Forces Minimize Car Bomb Attack In Mogadishu

10 August – Source: VOA 227 Words

At least three people were wounded Thursday after a car packed with explosives blew up in Mogadishu. Somali authorities said the car exploded at Maka al-Mukaramah, Mogadishu’s busiest street, minutes after it was stopped by intel forces. A Somali official who asked not to be named told VOA, “The alleged attack was thwarted when security forces who were closely following the car in the city prevented it from proceeding.”

The official said the target of the suspected attack was not yet clear. The violence occurred seven days after Al-Shabab militants fatally shot Mohamed Ali Elmi, the governor of Galgadud region in central Somalia, and his brother in Mogadishu. Less than three hours before that, a car packed with explosives blew up in the center of the capital, killing at least three civilians. Meanwhile, Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed said Thursday that he had authorized a coordinated strike with international partners that killed a high-level al-Shabab leader who was behind Mogadishu bombings and assassinations.

“In the past two weeks, our brave Somali security forces have successfully disrupted multiple al-Shabab tax stations and removed a key Al-Shabab governor, Ali Mohamed Hussein [Ali Jabal],” the president said in a statement. U.S. African Command confirmed last week said that an earlier airstrike had killed senior al-Shabab member Hussein, who served as the group’s shadow governor for the Mogadishu area.


“Schools are closed for two months between July and August, and this indeed the peak season for FGM,” said Ahmed Jama, a UNFPA specialist working on the issue of FGM. “Girls travel from the West and from Djibouti to be cut here.” UNFPA partners with the government, health workers, local organizations, as well as religious leaders and youth activists to encourage their community and policymakers to abandon the practice.”

For Many Girls, School Holidays Means FGM “Cutting Season”

10 August -Source: UNFPA – 1034 Words

Asha Ali Ibrahim, 41, has been performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls in Diaami, Hargeisa and other parts of Somalia since 1997. July and August are her busiest months of the year. “This is the peak season, when parents bring their children to be cut,” she told UNFPA. July, August and September are something of a “cutting season” for many girls around the world, when the break from school means they have time to undergo, and recover from, FGM. Though there is little formally collected data, experts say that FGM is commonly practiced during the school vacation period in parts of Guinea, Nigeria and Somalia.

In some cases, girls even travel from abroad to undergo the procedure. And in some places, it is a precursor to child marriage, which may also take place during school holidays. FGM is carried out for a variety of reasons. In some places, it is the belief girls must be cut to control their libido. In others, it is the perception that intact girls are dirty or ugly, or that cutting is a prerequisite for marriage. But the practice causes serious medical problems, including haemorrhage, infection, complications in childbirth and even death. In all cases, FGM is an internationally recognized human rights violation.

About 98 per cent of women and girls in Somalia have undergone some form of FGM, according to a 2011 survey. The most common type involves cutting the genitals then sewing them closed, which can cause significant and long-lasting harm. Somali girls typically undergo this procedure between ages 7 and 10, but Ms. Ibrahim says girls brought from abroad – especially from the United States and Europe – are usually older, between 12 and 14 years old. “It is a bit cumbersome to carry out the procedure on tissue that is more mature, and the grown up girls struggle more than younger ones,” she said.

Ms. Ibrahim is clear-eyed about some of the dangers. When she took over the role of circumciser from her aging mother, she was motivated in part by a desire to protect girls’ health. “My mother was using one razor blade on all girls she cut. My daughter got sick soon after being cut by my mother, and I was informed at the hospital that the infection may have occurred from the procedure,” she explained. “I had been understudying my mother, so I asked her to stop carrying out FGM and I took over.” Ms. Ibrahim uses one razor blade per client to avoid infections.


The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.