August 9, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia, AU Forces Seize Key Area From Al-Shabaab

08 August – Source: Mareeg News – 176 Words

Somali National Army (SNA) forces and African Union  troops have launched a joint military operation, against targets held by Al Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab. The coalition forces captured Gaywarow, a key area for Al-Shabaab, where is believed that the group’s fighters launch  attacks against military bases in south of Somalia, according to a military official, Mohamed Hussein.

Mr. Hussein said the allied forces clashed with number of militants armed with AK-47s, grenades and machine-guns during the operation near Qoryoley town. It remains unknown if any SNA forces or group’s fighter killed in the skirmish. The Al Qaeda inspired group of Al-Shabaab did not comment on latest claims made by Somali military over Qoryoley fighting.

The Al-Shabaab has been waging an insurgency in Somalia for more than 10 years. A 22,000-strong African Union force is in the country to help the government fight the al-Qaeda-linked militants. The group has been driven out of many urban areas since 2011, however it still controls territory in rural areas and carries out gun attacks and bombings on military and civilian targets.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia AU Forces Seize Key Area From Al-Shabaab (Mareeg News)
  • AU Convoy Hits Landmine In Mogadishu (Hiiraan Online)
  • One Person Killed Three Injured In KDF Airstrikes In Gedo (Goobjoog News)
  • Five KDF Soldiers Killed Six Injured In IED Attack In Lamu (Standard Media)
  • 27 Graduates Benefit From Dahabshiil Scholarship Programme (Daily Nation)
  • Somali Army Strength Cannot Defend Somalia: Analysts Warn (Intelligence Briefs)


AU Convoy Hits Landmine In Mogadishu

08 August – Source: Hiiraan Online – 113 Words

Africa Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy hit a landmine on Wednesday morning in Somalia’s capital. Residents told journalists that the convoy was travelling near the livestock market in Huriwa district when a landmine struck  the convoy. The landmine is suspect to have been buried in the middle of the road. “The AMISOM convoy hit a huge landmine near SOS Hospital and there was a heavy blast,” stated the local resident.

According to the locals, AMISOM forces then opened fire and started to carry out security operations in the area. The casualties of the blast and the gunfire are not yet unknown. Neither Somali government nor officials of AMISOM have commented on this  incident.

One Person Killed, Three Injured In KDF Airstrikes In Gedo

08 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 158 Words

Kenya Defence Forces fighter jets launched major air strikes against Al-Shabaab camps in the outskirts of El Wak town in Gedo region on Wednesday. Locals said the strikes led to civilian casualties and forced some families to flee their homes for safety.

“The strikes hit Tuulan-qurac village early this morning, killing one of the elders in the village while three others were injured among them a mother and her child,” Mahad Hassan an elder told reporters. An estimated six families of the small village have fled, from their homes since the KDF target the area in the last few days, the residents said that the Kenyan forces conduct similar strikes twice a month ago.

The militant camps targeted by KDF airstrikes have been used to mount attacks on the Somali National Army and AMISOM forces, near the Kenya-Somalia border. Gedo residents have in the past complained that some of the strikes have targeted civilians and livestock.


Five KDF Soldiers Killed, Six Injured In IED Attack In Lamu

08 August – Source: Standard Media – 313 Words

At least five Kenya Defence Forces soldiers were Wednesday killed and six others wounded after their vehicle ran over a homemade bomb between Bodhei area, Boni Forest Lamu County. The soldiers were riding on a lorry when it ran over an IED in Kwa Omolo area. Witnesses said the vehicle was moving from Baragoni towards Bodhei and was extensively damaged in the Wednesday morning incident. Department of Defence headquarters said it would issue a statement later.

The incident happened in the forest that has been experiencing a lull of attacks in the past months due to various measures taken by authorities. The measures include deployment of special units in the area to deal with Al-Shabaab terrorists who are operating there. The area is under special operation code named Operation Linda Boni to flush out the terrorists there. It came a day after Kenya and Tanzania on Tuesday marked 20 years since the devastating US embassy bombings that thrust Al-Qaeda onto the global stage and went on to shape how a generation thinks about personal security.

It was mid-morning on August 7, 1998, when the first massive blast hit the US embassy in Nairobi, followed minutes later by an explosion in Dar es Salaam, killing a total of 224 people and injuring around 5,000 — almost all of them Africans.  The device is suspected to have been planted by Al-Shabaab militants. Masalani, Sangailu, Ijara and Handaro are all within the Linda Boni Operation zone.

The multi-agency operation seeks to flush out Al-Shabaab militants from Boni Forest. More than 100 security agents have been killed in Lamu, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera Counties in IED attacks in past three years alone. The attack comes just days after Boni honey harvesters saw more than 200 heavily armed suspected Al-Shabaab militants at Belasange-Jima 2, within Boni Forest in Lamu West, causing fear in the neighbouring Pandanguo village.

27 Graduates Benefit From Dahabshiil Scholarship Programme

08 August – Source: Daily Nation – 314 Words

Twenty seven graduates have benefitted from an educational programme in law and community leadership. The programme was supported by Africa’s leading money transfer company Dahabshiil. Dahabshiil and several tertiary institutions among them the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) facilitated the beneficiaries during the six-month scholarship which was followed by work placement.

Speaking to the beneficiaries after the graduation ceremony, Dahabshiil Chief Executive Officer Abdirashid Duale stressed the company’s commitment to empowering the youth to achieve their academic goals.  Dahabshiil has been supporting education programmes in communities where they operate as part of their corporate social responsibility. In an interview with the Voice of America, Mr Duale highlighted the positive impact of an educated community and how Dahabshiil is committed to supporting the youth.

“The students who study in the UK have challenges in applying what they study in the community, some years back,  some students came and asked us if,  we (Dahabshiil) could sponsor some professional courses and we accepted. Dahabshiil is always there to help the community,” Mr Duale said.  For the last 40 years, Dahabshiil has been supporting communities around the world.

The company has invested a substantial percentage of its profits in charitable projects in more than 126 countries. In education, Dahabshiil has partnered with various universities around the world.   Mr Duale said: “We advertise the courses and depending on the students’ interests, they send applications to universities of their choice. Dahabshiil has a strict non-discriminatory policy where students are considered for placement as long as they are qualified and committed to give back to the community.

Mr Duale also reiterated Dahabshiil’s commitment to creating jobs through its subsidiaries including Dahabshiil Money Transfer, Dahabshiil Bank as well as SOMTEL, a telecommunication company which has more than three million subscribers. Dahabshiil has also built many health facilities in rural and urban areas as part of its humanitarian response programme.


“Somalia has by all means seen better days with its military capability but the same has been diminished since the inception of al Shabaab and the continued state of disarray and war. While we cannot fully ignore the presence of some semblance of a military structure in the country, the SNA cannot support or sustain the security of the war-torn nation in its current state.”

Somali Army Strength Cannot Defend Somalia: Analysts Warn

08 August – Source: Intelligence Briefs – 1005 Words

The United Nation Security Council has unanimously voted to extend the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) until May 2019 a move that has been met with conflicting reactions from across the board. The council cited deteriorating security and an upsurge of attacks on security and civilian population as the motivating factor for the extension.

It is important to note that the extension will bring the AMISOM mandate close to a little over 12 years begging the question about its efficacy and effect it has on the political and military condition of the East African Nation. Security analysts have on numerous occasions referred to Somalia as the ‘army-less’ nation partly because of the de facto role played by the peacekeeping forces as well as the non-existent structure in the country’s military and security forces.

Somalia has been under civil for over two decades which has created a political and power vacuum that was filed by the al Qaeda affiliated a Shabaab seeking to establish a society governed by sharia law. The rampant spread of the radical agenda by the al Shabaab through violence and intimidation spurred the international intervention in fighting the terrorists and establishing a unifying federal government.

Since 2007, AMISOM has taken center stage in the counterinsurgency campaign and by default becoming the de facto army in the somewhat lawless Horn of Africa nation with an estimated 22,000 troops from different countries. The ballooned role undertaken by AMISOM has without a doubt affected the capabilities of Somalia to establish and maintain an Army that is fully capable of handling the interior security of the country.

However, lack of a military has not always been associated with Somalia as in the 1960s with the help of the Soviet Union, the country had sought to build a formidable army referred to be the locals as ‘The Lions of Africa’. However, the situation in Somalia is very multi-faceted as a lot of factors can be attributed to the lack of a military that can adequately protect the sovereignty of the nation and protect her citizenry from both domestic and foreign enemies. Ergo, highlighted below are some factors that have limited Somalia’s capability to create and sustain an army both directly and indirectly.


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.