August 21, 2017 | Morning Headlines.

Main Story

We Respect The Decision Of HirShabelle State Assembly-Federal Government

20 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 145 Words

The federal government respects the verdict of HirShabelle state assembly to oust the state president Abdullahi Osoble last week, Interior minister Abdi Farah Saiid has said. In a notice Sunday, Saiid said the decision to fire the president was the prerogative of the assembly and called for the election of a new president within 30 days starting from August 14 the day the president was voted out in a no confidence motion.

HirShabelle parliament, the minister said should elect ‘a trustworthy electoral committee supervised by the Federal Ministry of Interior and Federalisation’ which will also offer technical support. The minister said the government also welcomed the suggestion by the HirShabelle parliamentary committee that the presidential candidate should hail from the Hawadle clan. The assembly ousted Osoble last week in a majority vote but the embattled leader has since remained adamant noting the vote was illegal.

Key Headlines

  • We Respect The Decision Of HirShabelle State Assembly-Federal Government (Goobjoog News)
  • Puntland VP Calls For End To Clan Fighting In Buuhoodle (Garowe Online)
  • Joint Forces To Await Set Up Of Local Administrations In Captured Areas Before Exit (Goobjoog News)
  • Kenyan Police Pursue 3 Terror Suspects In Mombasa (Xinhuanet)
  • Somalia Forces Capture Key Al-Shabaab Town Of Bariire (VOA)
  • Pirates Of The Caliphate: Who Is The Somali Kingpin Accused Of Aiding Al-Shabaab? (Newsweek)


Puntland VP Calls For End To Clan Fighting In Buuhoodle

20 January – Source: Garowe Online – 356 Words

The Vice President of Somalia’s northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland and acting president, Abdihakim Abdullahi Omar (Amey) spoke about the inter-clan fighting broke out in Buuhoodle town Ayn region on Saturday, August 19, 2017, Garowe Online reports. In an interview with Radio Daljir, Amey said Puntland state is deeply concerned about the latest outbreak of battle in the northern town, and has urged the two brotherly clans to bring an end to the battle, and opt for peaceful coexistence.”We are calling for a ceasefire.

Definitely, In war a youth is killed, not born. You know the disadvantage of war. Nobody in Buuhoodle will benefit from this senseless conflict,” said Puntland Vice President. Amey added that Puntland government is ready to take any measures to end the hostility and will send a peace delegate to Buuhoodle, to contribute to the mediation process to stop of the inter-clan clashes.

He stated that they have made contact with the intellectuals in Mogadishu, who hail from the region, and agreed to go to Buuhoodle and take part in the efforts to solve the recurring conflict. The government is expected to dispatch today a team comprising of Ministers to the town, that will broker ceasefire between the warring clan militias. The VP ruled that the war is based on political issues.

When asked about the efforts of Somaliland to bring ballot boxes to the region, Amey said: “It was an attempt and a failed plan. As you are aware of, Somaliland’s ballot boxes were burnt down in Laas Anod town, and the security guards of the election campaign teams have been killed, their guns seized by local resident,” he added. “Puntland and its people will defend their territory and not accept Somaliland’s movements in the Sool and Sanaag regions.” He added.

Last week, Puntland deployed more troops to Sool and Sanaag regions in an attempt to prevent Somaliland from holding election in Sool and Sanaag regions. Puntland and Somaliland had been fighting over the control of Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions in northern Somalia for more than 20 years after the civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991.

Joint Forces To Await Set Up Of Local Administrations In Captured Areas Before Exit

20 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 305 Words

A joint team of Somali National Army and Amisom troops will keep vigil in newly liberated towns until the government sets up local administrations to take charge, the military has said. Somali National Army spokesman Abdullahi Iman said the joint Somali and AMISOM forces are currently taking charge of recently captured towns of Barire, Zabible and Anole in Lower Shabelle regions pending the deployment of a local administration. Iman said the federal government and the South West state will soon deploy a local administration in Barire to avoid a gap when they move ahead to capture other towns.

“We need to talk about the wide operations and successful outcome gained by the Somali National Armed Forces with the support of AMISOM soldiers including recent success in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions. In the last 48 hours, they captured the locations of Barire, Zabible and Anole in the Lower Shabelle region from Al-Shabaab fighters” said Spokesman Iman.

Iman added the security ministry is initiating military plans to retake all the towns under the control of Al-Shabaab fighters. “The military offensive is not yet over and we will continue as we wait for the arrival of the local administration and the police officers to take over which is being organized the federal and regional governments.” He appealed to the local residents to disclose the hiding place of the enemy to the security officers. “The informant will receive education, health benefits and financial help and to live in liberty since they have been under the occupation of the enemy for a long time.

I hope these freed locations will experience developments soon like the rest of the country” he added. Al-Shabaab has in the past managed to retake some towns following the exit of Somali and Amisom forces since there have been no government authorities to take charge.


Kenyan Police Pursue 3 Terror Suspects In Mombasa

20 August – Source: Xinhuanet – 394 Words

Kenyan police said Saturday that they are pursuing three accomplices of a wanted terror suspect who was gunned down in the coastal city of Mombasa on Friday evening. Coast Regional Police Commander Larry Kieng told a news conference in Mombasa the three terror suspects are allies of Hussein Said Omar alias Babley who was shot dead after engaging security personnel in a shootout from his hideout before he was overpowered.

Kieng said they believe the three suspects escaped with injuries during the operation mounted by special anti-terrorism police unit on Friday evening. Kieng added that the four were planning a major terrorist attack in Mombasa County. “We are reliably informed the three were planning attack on Friday but our officers acting on intelligence information thwarted the imminent terrorist attack,” the police commander said. He said security have intensified intelligence gathering and patrols in the war on terrorism. The enhanced operation comes after the killing of Omar, one of the most wanted terror suspects in the country.

Omar is the logistician for the Al-Shabaab militia operating in Boni forest and is behind the killing of innocent Kenyans in Mwalei, Pandanguo and Milihoi. He is brother to another terrorist who is also on the run by the name Dogo. Omar came to limelight in 2013 where he was involved in facilitating a group of French foreign fighters as they were running away from Al-Shabaab militant group. He later on took up a bigger role in facilitation when his brother Ahmed alias Dogo left for Somalia and sent a cell of fighters back in late 2014.

Somalia Forces Capture Key Al-Shabaab Town Of Bariire

19 August – Source: VOA – 498 Words

African Union and Somali government forces have captured the town of Bariire, a strategic militant base in the south of the country, officials and witnesses said Saturday. Commanders said the Islamist al-Shabab group fled following heavy fighting outside the town in which the joint troops approached from three directions. Bariire was one of al-Shabab’s strongholds in the south and only 45 kilometers (27 miles) from Mogadishu, the country’s capital. “The joint troops attacked the town from three directions, forced the militants to flee and secured its control,” Abdinasir Alim Ibrahim, a district commissioner in nearby Afgoye, told VOA’s Somali service. “Hopefully, the next target will be Toratorow, and then we will proceed to other towns and cities controlled by the militants.”

Seven civilians were reportedly killed and four injured when a minivan they were traveling in ran over a land mine as they fled the town. But Ibrahim could confirm the deaths of just four civilians and injuries to three others in the incident. Witnesses told VOA on condition of anonymity that they saw about a dozen military personnel supporting the Somali and AU forces as they moved into the city. Somali government officials confirmed the involvement of the non-African foreign personnel in the attack, but they declined to comment on their nationalities.

In April, dozens of American soldiers were deployed to Mogadishu to train and equip Somali and AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) forces fighting with al-Shabab. Somalia’s defense ministry said the U.S. team mainly based at Baledogle airfield, a former Somali air force base in Lower Shabelle region has assumed the role of training and equipping the Somalia National Army, and also is advising and assisting troops in their operations against the militants.


“The criminal networks that have been running Somali piracy are still intact, those ashore who are behind and funding the criminals and organized crime to do it largely have not been arrested or changed sides, they are still there,”

Pirates Of The Caliphate: Who Is The Somali Kingpin Accused Of Aiding Al-Shabaab?

19 August – Source: Newsweek – 1072 Words

A feared Somali pirate kingpin is being investigated by the United Nations over claims that he has aided fighters from the Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabab. A top United Nations official confirmed to Newsweek that Mohamed Garfanji Ali Dulai has provided logistical support to the Islamist fighters, who have been waging a bloody insurgency against the Somali state since 2006. “We believe he has been involved in the moving and provision of boats and logistical support to move Al-Shabaab fighters into the Galgala mountains,” said Alan Cole, head of the U.N.’s Maritime Crime Programme. A former senior U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak about the investigation, was more specific, telling Newsweek that the probe into Garfanji centers on “Djiboutian allegations that he received arms from Eritrea and channeled them” to Al-Shabab.

CNN, citing U.S. officials, was the first to report the existence of the investigation, which it said focused on two ringleaders, Garfanji and the other unidentified. The investigation also focuses on their alleged support for the affiliate of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Somalia. The U.S. Department of Justice said in an email statement to Newsweek : “As a general policy, the department will neither confirm nor deny the existence of an ongoing investigation.”

Somali pirates have taken dozens of hostages and plundered millions of dollars from companies and private individuals over the past decade, as lawlessness in Somalia has enabled vast criminal enterprises to operate with relative impunity in the seas off the Somali coast. News of the U.N. investigation now uncovers a potential nexus between piracy and extremist activity in Africa. So who is this pirate kingpin and why is he now suspected of working with extremist groups responsible for some of the worst massacres in modern East African history?

As well as his alleged ties to Al-Shabaab, a U.N official said that Garfanji had links to Mohamed “Big Mouth” Abdi Hassan—known as Afweyne—a key player in the Hobyo-Haradhere Piracy Network, based out of the Somali fishing village of Haradhere. Afweyne was lured to Belgium on the promise of appearing in a documentary in 2013 and then was immediately arrested by Belgian police for his role in the hijacking of Belgian vessel the MV Pompei in 2009. American-German journalist Michael Scott Moore whose case Garfanji is suspected of playing an integral role said that Garfanji and Afweyne were on a similar level in the Somali pirate hierarchy.

Moore was kidnapped in Somalia in 2012 as he researched a book, now titled ‘The Desert & The Sea,’ due to be released in 2018. He spent two-and-a-half years in captivity. “Garfanji’s a kingpin among pirates in central Somalia, a boss on the level of Afweyne, so he belongs in jail. In my case he seems to have been a major investor, not an operational boss, not in charge of holding or even capturing me,” says Moore.

The capture of the pirate chief would be “significant,” Cole admits, if he could be taken abroad for arrest. “But unless the Somali authorities can extend their reach to where he is, it’s going to rely on him traveling overseas and getting picked up, which I don’t think he does.” But it has not only been the weakness of the Somali authorities that has enabled Garfanji to evade capture: other Somali pirate figures have taken on his name in order to confuse both his potential captors and hostages.


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.