December 22, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Four Al-Shabaab Militants Surrender To Somali Government

21 December – Source: Xinhuanet – 176 Words

Four Al-Shabaab militants including top commanders surrendered to the Somali government on Thursday, officials said. Ugaas Hassan, the Information Minister for the Southwest State in Somalia, confirmed to Xinhua that the militants agreed to lay down arms and surrender to Somali National Army and Southwest State forces in Berdale town. “Four Al-Shabaab fighters including deputy commander of the group in the Bay region surrendered to the officials of the Somalia National Army (SNA) and Southwest state in Somalia in Berdale town, these militants decided to denounce the wrong ideology of the terrorist group Al-Shabaab,” said Hassan.

The joint forces, including the SNA and African Union troops, have intensified military operations against Al-Shabaab militants in the recent past while some militants are either escaping or leaving from the group now. “Military operations are going on in the region now, and we are welcoming anyone who is in the terrorist group to accept peace process,” Hassan said. The latest development came against a backdrop of factional wars within the Al-Qaeda linked terrorist network that has intensified this year.

Key Headlines

  • Four Al-Shabaab Militants Surrender To Somali Government  (Xinhuanet)
  • Abdishakur: No One Can Be Silenced Through The Barrel Of The Gun (Goobjoog News)
  • Regional Council: Keep Off The Army From Politics And Allow Political Differences (Goobjoog News)
  • Security Concerns Continue To Frustrate Somalia’s Bid For Peace (TRT World )
  • 2017 Was Hugely Successful But Challenges Still Lurk Says AU Special Representative For Somalia (AMISOM)
  • Anti-radicalisation Should Tackle Anger Driving Terrorism (The Standard Kenya)


Abdishakur: No One Can Be Silenced Through The Barrel Of The Gun

21 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 237 Words

Though his case is over after being freed today by Banadir regional court from detention, Abdirahman Abdishakur is looking forward to begin a second part through seeking his rights by initiating a civil suit to seek justice against his illegal arrest and subsequent detention for four days noting the time for silencing people through the gun is over. Addressing the media following his court release earlier today, Abdishakur called attention to the supremacy of the law and time  long gone when the top leaders of the government used to suppress the people through the barrel of the gun.

“The first part of the proceedings is over, and the second half will be rolled open to seek my right.  “I am appealing to the two house of the federal parliament to hold accountable anyone that who acts outside the law. I am reminding the MPs that through the law that people can live in this country. Any person that failed to execute their responsibilities shall be held accountable by the two federal houses”

Abdishakur was released earlier today following his second hearing when the court termed evidences presented against him as irreconcilable ones with article 39 of the Criminal Act. “Today was the time for the office of the attorney general to give evidences in line with article 39 which they failed to forward evidences relevant under this article forcing the court to release him” said the Judge.

Regional Council: Keep Off The Army From Politics And Allow Political Differences

21 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 271 Words

The Council for intergovernmental cooperation (CIC) has today released an official communique in response to the arrest of Abdirahman Abdishakur requesting the federal government to keep away the national army from taking over police duties and allow freedom of association and expression. It also stated “their close follow up of developments from the latest incident where if no urgent political solution is exercised can lead to instability in the country.”

As a result, the council has reached several consensus among them it “welcomed the unconditional release of politician Abishakur Abdirahman after extensive efforts by the intergovernmental cooperation council, federal ministers, MPs, chieftains, traditional elders.” “We warn to criminalize the continuous political differences since the law permits for the opposition and conservative to measure their thoughts towards the current political situation in line with the constitution which allows freedom of association and expression” read the communique.

The council proposed to desist from “pursuing the path of solving political difference through military power while the country is in a fragile state which makes imperatives to reach everything via reconciliation and with satisfactory conclusion which their absence can result new division and retreating back to long days passed.”

The Council also sent its condolence to the families whose members were killed in during the assault carried on the arrest of Abdirahman Abdishakur 3 days ago. It further reiterated as “earlier agreed not to use any of the intelligence agents and the national army for local issues to play the roles of the police force.” The statement concludes with the “readiness of the council to play its role towards achieving solutions to this current issue.”


Security Concerns Continue To Frustrate Somalia’s Bid For Peace

21 December – Source: TRT World – Video: 3:12 Minutes

After years of enduring a protracted civil war, Somalia continues to face a set of intractable challenges with security foremost among them. In October, more than 500 people were killed in a double bombing attack in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Others challenges include violence, famine and disease.

2017 Was Hugely Successful But Challenges Still Lurk, Says AU Special Representative For Somalia

21 December- Source: AMISOM – 595 Words

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) Ambassador Francisco Madeira has described 2017 as a hugely successful year in the fight against Al-Shabaab but cautioned that there were challenges facing the transition from the multinational force to Somali security forces. The SRCC named the successful conclusion of the electoral process that saw a new Parliament and Senate, culminating in the election of a new president as some of the milestones achieved by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2017.

Addressing a media briefing in Nairobi this morning, Ambassador Madeira said some of the challenges AMISOM faces include the dearth in funding and uncoordinated training of Somali security forces by different partners.  “The reality is, AMISOM and the Somali security forces face major challenges due to unpredictable funding. Without funding, little can happen to move forward with certain undertakings already made on the security front,” said the SRCC who is also the head of AMISOM.

He said in 2018 AMISOM will require funding to recover territory under the control of Al-Shabaab, to enhance the capacity of Somali security forces to take over from AMISOM troops, and to integrate the Somali National Army (SNA). “Militarily, subject to logistical support, we are planning elaborate offensive operations mainly in the Jubba valley, Gedo region and Middle Jubba regions which still harbor pockets of Al-Shabaab militants,” the SRCC noted.

Ambassador Madeira said this was part of AMISOM’s exit strategy to ensure that it liberates the entire country and hands it to Somali security forces. He called for synchronized training of the Somali National Army to establish a strong force capable of defending the country once AMISOM exits. “The training of the army must be synchronized and centred upon a common doctrine and ideology. Currently, there are too many stakeholders involved in the training of security forces, without a harmonized plan as indicated in the operational readiness assessment,” the SRCC observed.


“Last, relevant authorities should alleviate the challenges and grievances of Muslim communities and make them the first line of defence against youth radicalisation and terrorism. The recent Mogadishu truck bomb that killed hundreds of Muslims and left dozens wounded is a pointer to this unstated fact,”

Anti-radicalisation Should Tackle Anger Driving Terrorism

18 December – Source: The Standard, Kenya – 615 Words

There is so much diversity in the young people who are recruited to fight for pseudo-religious terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram in Nigeria, which pledge their allegiance to al-Qaida and the ISIL global terror networks respectively. Those fighters who have Western education mingle with ease with their uneducated colleagues as the rich ones seamlessly mix with those from poor family backgrounds all in a united bid to strategize and execute hellish missions within and places far-flung from their management and operational bases.

However, the common factor that draws them together to fanatically take up arms is found in the mind-bending language of anger inside their hearts and minds following years of indoctrination by the propaganda wings of these bloodthirsty outfits. The number of young Muslims falling prey to the anger-filled doctrines that these terrorist groups preach is also alarmingly on the rise. In 2016, the Public Broadcasting Service, an American public broadcaster and television programme distributor, reported that Kenya contributed the highest number of foreign fighters to the Al-shabaab terror organization in Somalia.

The perception that places of worship and centres for religious education are used for imparting the ideological infrastructure that causes terrorism is proving to be false since those who have committed terror attacks in the country and outside are mainly people who are products of western education and lifestyle. That’s what we saw in the 2015 Garissa University attack. The main suspect was a young lawyer who scored A- in his KCSE exams. Two of the suspects of the November 13  Paris attack Saleh Abdeslam and his brother Brahim were reportedly people with a tainted past where the former engaged in robbery and the latter owned a bar, an un-islamic venture.

The key reason for the permeation of radicalisation in Muslim societies is that purveyors of the vice spice up their agendas with the legitimate grievances of the community like marginalisation and discrimination in citizenship and employment rights, poverty, bad experiences with security officials, ethnic and religious profiling of Muslims under the guise of countering terrorism and Western, especially US foreign policy. In fact, the US intervention in Afghanistan in the 80s played a major role in breeding Al-Qaida while their hunt for Saddam Hussein ended up destabilising Iraq and subsequently created ISIL.

US stand Recently, President Donald Trump announced his country’s decision to relocate the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, an offensive move that has tarnished the credibility of the US in fairly mediating the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state’s solution. Besides Palestinians, Jerusalem is a very sacred place to Muslims, given that it hosts the third holiest site in Islam; Al-aqsa mosque.

Many see America’s decision on Jerusalem as a win to terror groups because they would use the outrageous situation to sell their propaganda and unleash terror. ISIL terror group has announced it will target America for its pro-Israel action in Jerusalem. The link between radicalisation and terrorism should be clear. Defeating this social malaise will require, more than anything else, an intellectual battle to demolish the anger-laden ideological infrastructure that drives terrorism.


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.