July 4, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Allied Forces Clash With Al-Shabaab In Gedo Region

03 July – Source: Garowe Online – 199 words

At least three people were reported to have been killed, and several others wounded in a fierce fighting between Somali soldiers, backed by Ethiopian troops and Al-Shabaab fighters in Gedo region on Monday. Osman Nur Hajji, deputy Governor of Gedo region in charge of security, confirmed to Garowe Online that the battle erupted after the militants attacked the allied forces when they were clearing IEDs near Birta Dheer area. “Today’s battle erupted after armed militants ambushed government soldiers conducting mine clearance operations on the road linking Garbaharey to Birta Dheer settlement,” he added.

Hajji added that Al-Shabaab fighters have been repulsed and suffered a grave loss during the skirmish that occurred in the outskirts of Garbaharey, the regional capital of Gedo region, in southwest of Somalia. Sources indicated that soldiers were among those killed in the fighting. Local residents reported loud explosions thought to be land mines, and heavy gunfire as result of the confrontation. There was no statement from both Somali government and Al-Shabaab regarding to the latest clashes. Al-Shabaab has intensified its attacks over the past months, after the group lost major ground to the Somali government forces supported by the African Union Peacekeeping troops in Somalia.bbb

Key Headlines

  • Allied Forces Clash With Al-Shabaab In Gedo Region(Garowe Online)
  • Ethiopia Hands Over 120 Prisoners To Somalia (Horseed Media)
  • Somali Shilling Hits A New Low Against US Dollar After Large Amount Of Fake Currency Entered The Market (Bartamaha.com)
  • Puntland Requests Nomadic Communities To Return To Remote Vicinity(Garowe Online)
  • US Strike Targets Al-Shabaab In Somalia (VOA News)
  • Why Be A Pirate? Understanding Motivations For Piracy( Piracystudies.org)


Ethiopia Hands Over 120 Prisoners To Somalia

03 July – Source : Horseed Media – 261 Words

More than 100 Somali Prisoners were set free on Monday and handed over to Somalia’s Federal government in a rare move made by the Ethiopian government, a top official has confirmed. Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre, who is currently attending the 29th African Union summit in the neighboring East African nation confirmed the release on his twitter feed. “Ethiopia has agreed to hand over 120 Somali Prisoners in the framework of an agreement we reached,’’ he tweeted. Mr Kheyre did not mention if there were other Somali inmates still in Ethiopian jails.

The freed detainees are expected to join the Somalia Prime Minister’s trip back to home in the coming days. It is unclear if the prisoners, who were released under an agreement reached by both governments last month in Addis Ababa, completed their sentences. Details of the offences for which they were imprisoned were not immediately available. Most of them have served in the Ethiopian jails for decades without any trial. Over the years, a number of Somali nationals have died in Ethiopian jails subject to inhuman abuses.

Ethiopia is a country of dual realities. Visitors and diplomats alike are impressed with the double-digit economic growth, the progress on development indicators, and the apparent political stability. The current government, runs the country with an almost complete grip on power, controlling almost all aspects of political, public, and even much private life. According to human rights organizations, the conditions in Ethiopian prisons are harsh and life threatening. Prisoners are subject to torture and inhuman treatment.

Somali Shilling Hits A New Low Against US Dollar After Large Amount Of Fake Currency Entered The Market

03 July – Source : Bartmaha.com – 185 words

Business in many parts of central Somalia’s region of Hiiraan stalled on Sunday after Al-Shabaab militant group imposed ban against the only Somali banknote in circulation following allegations of fake denomination distributed recently. Residents in Beledweyne town, the provincial capital of Hiiraan, said the livestock and food and grocery markets were closed since Saturday after the business owners rejected to accept the 1000 banknote, the only Somali shilling currently in circulation. “The business people rejected the 1000 banknotes saying that it was fake.” said Abdulle Abdirahman who trades in Beledweyne livestock market. “There are rumours that fake currency came from Puntland.” he added.

Following the rumours, the militant group Al-Shabaab, which currently controls parts of the region’s rural villages instructed the local traders and foreign exchange shop owners not accept the alleged fake banknotes leading to standstill in the main markets including Beledweyne town controlled by the authorities under Hirshabelle state. Meanwhile, the development soon impacted on the rate of the foreign exchange, mainly the rate of the dollar when converting into Somali shilling which jumped up hundred percent. Authorities in the region and the Federal Government officials are yet to comment on the issue despite it  already negatively affecting lives of locals.

Puntland Requests Nomadic Communities To Return To Remote Vicinity

03 July – Source : Garowe Online – 238 Words

The government of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, has warned the nomadic communities from setting up settlement at the outskirts of Garowe city the regional capital of the state. The order came after about 1,500 nomadic families moved from remote vicinity in hope to receive humanitarian and financial aid from international organizations operating in Somalia. The families were reported to be displaced following the recent drought crisis that hit large part of the country including Puntland region. Many families lost livestock, a crucial livelihood for the nomadic communities living in the remote areas in the region.

Speaking to the local media, the deputy Minister of Interior, Abdulahi Mohamed Hashi urged the families to return back to their areas, saying the situation is back to normal following low rainfalls that showered part of Nugal region. “They were told they will receive livestock and food assistance, I hereby inform respected Puntland people that this information is false,” said the deputy Minister. He later said the administration will take strong actions against those who are behind the move. Deputy Minister blamed individuals who are taking advantage of the drought’s victims to make financial profits by moving the families to the outskirts of Garowe. The new settlement clearly lack any essential services including water and latrines, added Hashi. So far it is not clear the current administration’s plan to stop settlement or providing the needed families with humanitarian or financial aid.


US Strike Targets Al-Shabaab In Somalia

03 July – Source : VOA – 293 Words
The U.S. military has conducted a strike against Al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia, officials tell VOA. “We are currently assessing the results of the operation, and will provide additional information as appropriate,” U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokesman Chuck Prichard said Monday. Local sources said the strike on Sundaytargeted vehicles in Kunya Barrow, in the lower Shabelle region. Sources also said the strike was conducted against a high-ranking Al-Shabaab militant, without going into further detail.

After the strike, U.S. AFRICOM said its forces “remain committed to supporting the federal government of Somalia, the Somali National Army and our AMISOM partners in defeating Al-Shabaab and establishing a safe and secure environment in Somalia.” The strike comes about two months after a Navy SEAL was killed during an operation against Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, the first U.S. service member killed in the war-torn country since the battle in 1993 that inspired the movie “Black Hawk Down.”

Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken was killed on May 5 by small arms fire near Barii, Somalia, approximately 65 kilometers west of Mogadishu, during an advise-and-assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army. “This was a Somali mission,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters. “We were operating in support of them.”


“In the absence of challenging the current misaligned perceptions, young Somali men will continue to believe that piracy is not only a valid risk/reward sum, but also akin to a moral duty to protect their communities from outsiders; it should be our moral duty to persuade them otherwise,”

Why Be A Pirate? Understanding Motivations For Piracy

27 June – Source: Piracystudies.org – 828 Words

Following primary research recently conducted at Montagne Posse Prison, Seychelles, little has changed behind the drivers to commit maritime crime. To prevent piracy, a more nuanced approach to understanding the behaviour might be key to a solution.Maritime crime, piracy and Somalia have become seen as synonymous in East Africa’s geopolitical narrative following years of prolific and highly profitable hijack for ransom activity of vessels in the Indian Ocean. Attacks have abated over the recent past, but the motivators to attack and seize a vessel remain unchanged. Arguably the intervention of international navies, the adoption of vessel protection measures and some resumption of the rule of law ashore have created an environment of prevention, but not necessarily a cure.

In a series of Focus Group Discussions and In-depth Interviews it was discovered that piracy is driven by a series of ‘push’ factors: a lack of opportunity on-shore, lack of faith in Government and Security Forces to protect the Somali fishing industry and ‘pull’ factors, such as unparalleled economic possibilities, active role in fighting against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and an active role in defending Somali territorial waters. None of these factors are unexpected, or indeed revelatory since they are in line with previous research conducted by UNODC and OBP and academics.In a society that has little faith in central government and its ability to impose a rule of law, a locally acceptable narrative has been built.

While Somalis polled in 2015 confirmed that they understood that piracy was wrong, illegal and haram, a vast majority noted that their community tolerated piracy. The justification given, and repeated by the imprisoned pirates in 2017, was that young men put to sea armed as a means of defending Somali waters and ‘fighting’ foreigners engaged in illegal fishing. The internal narrative for the Somalis involved in piracy is that they only board ships that are either stealing fish or dumping waste. Other vessels boarded are a form of ‘collateral damage’. There are deep flaws in this philosophy that show up under the slightest scrutiny, but without an external push to consider them, the Somalis remain within a locally generated understanding of the situation that casts them as the victims with little alternative.

The potential for enormous reward is undoubtedly the major draw for young pirates. Consideration of the potential risks is fleeting and ill-informed. Our research found that while family separation, brought about by imprisonment, weighs heavily on the imprisoned pirates, they made it clear that, upon release, they would be willing to return to sea as soon as an opportunity presented itself. The potential rewards still outweigh the many risks.The narrative amongst the pirates (and their families and communities) appears at odds to the broader understanding of the international community. For the imprisoned Somali pirates, their Government has failed to secure the waters in which the Somalis have traditionally fished, IUU fishing is seen as an area of direct physical combat, and the prisoners believe that Foreign Naval Forces have taken the opposing side. In their view, the hijacking of vessels is entirely justified.


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.