July 7, 2017 | Morning Headlines

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National Forum On Education Policy Kicks Off In Garowe

06 June – Source: Garowe Online – 236 Words

The Ministry of Education of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, hosted the national forum on education policy in Garowe city on Thursday. The forum is aimed to focus on the policy of education and unified educational curriculum in the country with the participation of Federal government delegation led by Minister of Education and Puntland officials. During the meeting, Puntland Minister of Education, Abshir Yusuf Aw-Isse expressed optimism on the outcome of the forum, scheduled to carry on for coming two days in Garowe. He also extended gratitude to the Somali Federal government delegation participating in the forum.

On his side, Federal Minister of Education, Abdirahman Dahir Osman, noted that both sides have mutual consent on most points regarding the national policy on education, however, he said the remaining issues will be reviewed and finalized by designated committees. Osman also announced that Somalia received educational scholarships from Egypt and handed over Puntland’s quota to Minister Aw-Isse during the forum. The Federal Minister also commended Puntland for the outstanding achievements and development that it reached in the educational sector and revealed it is success for the country as whole. The forum is scheduled to wrap up on Saturday as both sides are expected to jointly release a communique on the outcome of the forum.  This is the first high-level meeting on education sector since the appointment of new Cabinet ministers by the new leaders of Somali Federal government.

Key Headlines

  • National Forum On Education Policy Kicks Off In Garowe  (Garowe Online)
  • Angry People Loot Stores And Hawala Shops In Abudwak Town Force Businesses To Closed (RBC Radio)
  • Businessman Dies In Bomb Blast In Galkayo (Garowe Online)
  • US Military Vows To Dismantle Al-Shabaab Fighters In Somalia (The Sun News)
  • NISA Convenes Second Workshop On Screening Disengaged Al-Shabaab Combatants In Mogadishu (UNSOM)
  • This Is Why Al-Shabaab Won’t Be Going Away Anytime Soon (Washington Post)


Angry People Loot Stores And Hawala Shops In Abudwak Town, Force Businesses To Close

06 July – Source: RBC Radio – 346 Words

Hundreds of angry residents in Abudwak town have looted hawala shops and stores in the Galgadud region in central Somalia forcing business activities in the town to close down. The angry residents turned violent as they were protesting against the business owners’ move to ban the 1000 Somali banknotes following rumours of fake banknotes in circulation. The menace started in Hiiraan last week where  Al-Shabaab group issued restrictions on trading with the only 1000 banknote remaining from the Somali shilling and soon spread to other regions including Galgadud. “Residents started to protest against the foreign exchange and business owners who rejected to trade with the shilling. The protest turned violent. Several shops of hawalas and food stores were looted.” Said Abdi Yonis, a resident in Abudwak.

The protesters mostly low income families in the town later marched in the centre of the town as they called the Federal Government and local authorities to intervene in the menace. They warned the local traders against the use of EVC Plus, a local mobile money transfer service. On Sunday residents of Beledweyne took to the streets to protest against the ban on the Somali shilling and alleged the business owners and foreign exchange operators to have sided with Al-Shabaab.

A directive from the Ministry of Finance of the Hirshabelle state in Somalia on Tuesday stopped all services of the local mobile money transfer by the Hormuud Telecom following standstill in the central Somalia region of Hiiraan. The directive came following the closure of businesses in Beledweyne for the third day. “After witnessing the challenges faced by the community in Beledweyne which led to business closure, we have ordered all EVC Plus (Electronic Voucher Cards) stopped. Said the directive from the Jowhar-based Ministry of Finance of the Hirshabelle state. Local traders rejected to use 1000 banknote a mode of exchange, the only banknote currently in circulation in the country.  The move came after Al-Shabaab issued ban against the banknote as they alleged that fake new denomination of 1000 banknotes were coming from Puntland.

Businessman Dies In Bomb Blast In Galkayo

06 July – Source: Garowe Online – 143 words

A known businessman was killed in car bomb blast in Galkayo city on Thursday afternoon. The late businessman was identified as Abdirazaq Muse Nur, who was a member of a local committee responsible for the reconstruction of Galkayo’s General Hospital. Security officials said the bomb blast occurred after unknown men fitted a bomb into Nur’s car and remotely detonated the bomb leading to his death. No other casualties were reported from the blast, as authorities launched an investigation into the incident.

Galkayo city is witnessing increased attacks in the past period, as the city is beset with insecurity, recurrent fighting between warring administrations and Al-Shabaab targeted assassination against government officials. Puntland region has experienced weakening security situation in the past period, due to proliferation of terrorist organizations, weak anti-terrorism policy and lack of salary payments to the security forces for over several months.


US Military Vows To Dismantle Al-Shabaab Fighters In Somalia

06 July – Source: The Sun News – Words

The US military on Thursday vowed to dismantle the Al-Shabaab  militants in Somalia. In a statement, the US Africa Command (Africom) vowed to intensify onslaught against Al-Shabaab militants in order to protect people including Americans and its allies. “We continue to work in coordination with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle Al-Shabaab, and help achieve stability and security throughout the region,” Africom said. Africom confirmed its special forces conducted a successful collective self-defense strike operation against an Al-Shabaab troop concentration in Somalia on Sunday and

Africom, which has in the past conducted counterterrorism airstrikes against the terror group in Somalia, said the Sunday airstrikes that targeted the militants occurred at about 480 km southwest of Mogadishu. The statement comes after Somalia on Wednesday confirmed that 10 Al-Shabaab militants were killed in the joint attack by U.S. and Somali government forces. Washington said the units and assets involved in the operation would not be identified to ensure operational security. “We will continue to assess the results of the operation, and will provide additional information as appropriate. “Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operational security. “This strike was conducted within the parameters of our authority to engage in collective self-defense of our Somali partners,” Africom added. According to Africom, Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world. “Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the U.S. and our allies,” Africom said.

NISA Convenes Second Workshop On Screening Disengaged Al-Shabaab Combatants In Mogadishu

05 July – Source: UNSOM – 493 Words

A two-day workshop aimed at reviewing standard operating procedures and building the capacity of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) for screening ex Al-Shabaab combatants ended today.

The screening process is an essential part of the National Programme for the Treatment and Handling of Disengaged Combatants in Somalia. The workshop was attended by NISA officers drawn from all of the country’s federal member states. It discussed various ways of combating terrorism and ensuring that disengaged al-Shabaab combatants who want to be reintegrated into communities receive the support they require.

Speaking during the opening ceremony on Tuesday, the NISA Deputy Director Col. Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur welcomed the training workshop, which followed up on a similar workshop held late last year that developed standard operating procedures for screening disengaged combatants.“This is a very important program and the government has given special priority to peace-building in this country. As much as the use of bullets can be employed in stability, peaceful channels can achieve much needed results. These peaceful settlements can be achieved through dialogue and forgiveness,” he said. To help achieve that objective, Col. Nur noted the government’s pledge to pardon al-Shabaab militants who surrender and also assist them to reintegrate into society.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Police Commissioner Christoph Buik said security agencies like NISA were the pillar of the program as they deal directly with ex-combatants who decide to defect.“You’re doing the screening. You will decide about the future of the ex-combatants coming from Al-Shabaab, what they will do and how they can be integrated into the society in Somalia again. This is a huge responsibility,” said UNSOM Police Commissioner Buik.


“Al-Shabaab positions itself as a defender of disenfranchised and marginalized clans, expertly manipulating and capitalizing on local and clan grievances to gain support — including gathering the support of anti-government leaders and militias. This has caused the group to become more decentralized, integrating into local communities and permeating Somali society in a way that will make it increasingly difficult to distinguish civilians from combatants.”

This Is Why Al-Shabaab Won’t Be Going Away Anytime Soon

06 July – Source: Washington Post – 1000 words

On June 14, the terrorist group Al-Shabaab — an Al-Qaeda affiliate — attacked a pizza restaurant in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, by detonating a car bomb and sending in assailants. More than 30 people were killed. Earlier in June, Al-Shabaab overran a military base in the semi-autonomous area of Puntland, killing dozens. The group recently surpassed Boko Haram as the deadliest terrorist organization in Africa.

But it’s not the violence that’s attracting followers. My recent field research in Kenya and Somalia, the two East African countries where Al-Shabaab is most active, suggests that al-Shabab is thriving because it’s still offering a comparatively attractive alternative to the Somali government. It capitalizes on grievances, keeps areas secure and settles disputes, with relatively little corruption. That’s especially attractive in undeveloped or remote areas that the fledgling government has neglected. As a result, Al-Shabaab is becoming a shadow government, positioning itself as Somalia’s champion of disenfranchised and marginalized clans. The United States has been increasing its military presence and expanding its rules of engagement in Somalia to counter Al-Shabaab. On June 11, the United States conducted its first strike under these new rules, destroying an Al-Shabaab training and command center, and then conducted a second strike on July 2, with still a third one on July 4. In March, at the urging of the Defense Department, the Trump administration designated Somalia as an “area of active hostilities,” which allows the United States to conduct offensive strikes that do not require interagency vetting.

To some, Al-Shabab looks weakened. It no longer controls major cities or ports. Nor does it have the capacity to militarily recapture them. With those losses went ways to get resources. In addition, international action has reduced Al-Shabaab’s profit from commodities such as charcoal. Once flush with fighters from all over the world, Al-Shabaab now recruits foreign fighters primarily from the region; foreign fighters no longer figure in the group’s senior ranks. Al-Shabab has not launched a major terrorist attack outside Somalia since 2015. Though looking to relinquish responsibility to Somali security forces, African Union forces (known as the African Union Mission in Somalia, or AMISOM) are there to support Somalia’s new government, which won a national election in February. But Al-Shabaab has shown an impressive ability to adapt — and is positioned to not only survive, but to thrive. It has been territorially constrained by AMISOM — but it has overrun AMISOM forward operating bases (FOB), killing and injuring scores of troops and seizing arms, military vehicles and heavy weaponry. The group’s forces are highly decentralized, but it can mass various units to launch an attack.

Further, Al-Shabaab’s intelligence apparatus, the Amniyat, has been disrupting life in the Somali capital with bombings, assassinations and targeted attacks. How common is such violence? So common that one person I interviewed in Mogadishu shrugged off a bombing earlier that day as “Somali music.” What about the group’s presence in Kenya? It’s true that Al-Shabab has not carried out an attack in Kenya as large as its attacks on the Westgate mall or Garissa University since 2015. But in the past month, the group has launched IED attacks in Kenya’s northeast and coastal areas. It’s trying to stoke insecurity and widen communal fissures just weeks before the Kenyan elections, a time when tensions are high and there are heightened concerns about potential election-related violence.


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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.