February 8, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia Security Forces Nab 4 Al-Shabaab Militants

07 February – Source: Xinhuanet – 113 Words

Somali National Army (SNA) on Wednesday arrested four Al-Shabaab militants behind the killing of former Bulo-burte commissioner and other terror plots against government officials and community leaders in Beledweyne town in Hiiraan region of central Somalia, officials said. Isak Ali Abdule, a police commander, said the forces successfully captured the militants believed to be behind several deadly attacks and killings of regional officials in the region.

Ali Jeyte Osman, Governor of Hiiraan region, said the militants had escaped after killing several people in the region, adding authorities are still in operation to arrest more militants. Al-Shabaab militants often carry out assassinations in Beledweyne town despite the presence of African Union and SNA forces.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia Security Forces Nab 4 Al-Shabaab Militants (Xinhuanet)
  • Three Officers Injured In A raid On Police Station In Puntland (Hiiraan Online)
  • A Somali Military Official Shot Dead In Mogadishu (Radio Shabelle)
  • Turkey Okays Extended Force Deployment In Gulf Of Aden (Anadolu Agency)
  • Outgoing AMISOM Force Commander Honoured By The Somali Government (AMISOM)
  • Base Race In The Horn Of Africa (The Interpreter )


Three Officers Injured In A raid On Police Station In Puntland

07 February – Source: Hiiraan Online – 159 Words

Three police officers have been injured on Tuesday night after suspected Al-Shabaab fighters attacked a police station in Bosaso town of Somalia’s Puntland state. An unknown number of Al-Shabaab attackers armed with machine guns and grenades have stormed the station, prompting a clash with the police officers at the station. Reports say that three officers including the deputy Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) of the station were injured in the attack.

Al-Shabaab militants claimed the responsibility for the attack saying their fighters executed a well coordinated attack on a police in Bosaso town. Puntland security forces have launched operations to arrest those behind Tuesday night’s attacks.The semi-autonomous regional states of Puntland is struggling to flush Al-Shabaab militants from Galgala mountains. Al-Shabaab militants have carried out several attacks including suicide bombs, assassinations and raids in Puntland. The group which has lost the control of most towns in Somalia is trying to topple the government and establish its own administration.

A Somali Military Official Shot Dead In Mogadishu

07 February – Source: Radio Shabelle – 103 Words

A senior Somali military officer was assassinated in Mogadishu, on Wednesday morning, the fourth killing in the city in less than 24 hours. Lieutenant Farhan Hussein Barkhadle was shot dead by pistol-wielding militants near former Gaheyr University compound in Mogadishu in the early hours of the morning.

Witnesses said the killers fled the crime scene on foot before Police arrived. Al-Shabaab has immediately claimed the responsibility for the murder of late Barkhadle, who was operating at Villa Baidoa military base in Mogadishu. Last night, at least three people, including soldiers were killed in the same area by gunmen believed to be Al-Shabaab members.


Turkey Okays Extended Force Deployment In Gulf Of Aden

07 February – Source: Anadolu Agency – 86 Words

Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday okayed the extension of Turkish forces serving in the Gulf of Aden, Somalia, and the Arabian Sea. Parliament ratified a motion extending authorization of the deployment through Feb. 10, 2019.

Since it was first approved by parliament in 2008, the Prime Ministry motion for the deployment has been extended 10 times. The Gulf of Aden — near Yemen and close to the world’s fourth-biggest choke point for oil transit, the Bab el-Mandab strait — is a strategic energy route for Middle Eastern crude oil.

Outgoing AMISOM Force Commander Honoured By The Somali Government

07 February – Source: AMISOM – 587 Words

The outgoing Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh was today feted by the Federal Government of Somalia for his valuable contribution in the ongoing stabilization process in the horn of Africa country. Lt. Gen. Soubagleh, who completed his tour of duty last month, was hosted to a luncheon in Mogadishu by top Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) officers who praised his contribution in pacifying and stabilizing the horn of Africa country.

The luncheon was attended by top Federal Government of Somalia officials, among them, the Minister of Defence, Ambassador Mohamed Mursal Sheikh Abdirahman; State Minister of Defence, Mohamed Ali Haga and the Somali National Army Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Maj. Gen. Abdiweli Jamaa Hussein. Also in attendance were senior AMISOM officials and members of the diplomatic corps.

Gen. Soubagleh from Djibouti, who recently handed over office to Lt. Gen. Jim Owoyesigire, has been the AU Force Commander since July, 2016, and has been instrumental in improving cooperation between AMISOM and SNA in the fight against Al-Shabaab. Speaking at the luncheon, Mr. Abdirahman paid glowing tribute to the African Union and the international community for their efforts  in pacifying and stabilizing Somalia. “We know you have sacrificed and your target is for Somalia to become stable and secure and for that we always recognize your efforts and that of the international community who have always stood by the Somali people,” he noted.


“This base race is symptomatic of bigger strategic aspirations of several “non-traditional” middle powers in the Indian Ocean region. Turkey has not been seen in the Indian Ocean since the time of Lawrence of Arabia, more than a century ago.”

Base Race In The Horn Of Africa

07 February – Source: The Interpreter – 983 Words

A race is underway between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Turkey to build naval and military bases right across the Horn of Africa. This threatens to change the naval balance in the north-west Indian Ocean. But it may also presage the beginnings of a new strategic order in this complex and multipolar region where a host of major and middle powers jostle for influence and position.

The strategic order in the Indian Ocean is changing fast. In the last few years we have seen major powers, such as China and India, building new bases in the western Indian Ocean. But we are now witnessing several Middle Eastern players building their own areas of influence. This is happening in the Horn of Africa, but is likely to spread further into the Indian Ocean.

Saudi Arabia has recently finalised a deal to establish a naval base in Djibouti. Its UAE ally has just built major naval and air facilities at Assab in nearby Eritrea. The UAE also runs a military training centre in Mogadishu in Somalia, and is rumoured to be seeking access to port and air facilities at Berbera in the breakaway province of Somaliland.

In recent weeks, Turkey signed a deal with Sudan to rebuild the old Ottoman-era port of Suakin on the Red Sea, which will reportedly include naval facilities. The port last hit the international spotlight in 1883 when British (and Australian) forces under Kitchener used it as a base to pursue the “Mad” Mahdi. A Turkish naval base at Suakin would upset the military balance on the Red Sea, potentially setting off a naval arms race with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. This is on top of Turkey’s existing military facilities at Qatar (where some 3000 troops are now stationed) and Mogadishu.

Indeed, hosting foreign military bases has become a bit of a regional specialty. Djibouti, which sits on the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb (the maritime choke point between the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal), has made virtue of its geography by creating a successful business model out of hosting foreign military bases. It now hosts naval and military forces from France, the US, Japan, Italy, China, and the Saudis, among other countries.


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.