June 14, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia’s Military Commander Visits Sanguuni Military Base Outside Kismayo

13 June – Source: Halbeeg News – 226 Words

Somalia’s army chief, general Abdiweli Jama’a Gorod and other military officials have on Wednesday reached Kismayo, the interim capital of Jubbaland state. The visit of the commander is aimed to facilitate the security operations against Al-Shabaab fighters in Jubbaland regions. General Gorod and his delegation paid visit Sanguuni military base in the outskirts of Kismayo where the government forces and US Special Forces have vacated recently.

The commander stated that the government forces have killed over 120 Al-shabab fighters in an intensive security operations conducted at Bay, Bakool, Hiran, Jubba and Shabelle regions. He praised the operations as successful and promised that it will continue until all the areas under Al-Shabaab are liberated. Hours after the withdrawal of the allied troops, Jubbaland president Ahmed Mohamed Islam, visited Baar Sanguuni village to assess the situation on the ground.

Madoobe held talks with the local authorities and elders in the area and directed the forces to go back to the military base. Allied forces vacated their military base in Sanguuni on Sunday after two consecutive deadly attacks by Al-Shabaab. The militant group have on Friday attacked the base from different directions leading to clashes between the troops at the base and Al-Shabaab fighters. According to statements by both Al-Shabaab and U.S. military, the fighting caused the death of one U.S soldier and injuries of four others.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia’s Military Commander Visits Sanguuni Military Base Outside Kismayo (Halbeeg News)
  • Puntland President Sacks Intelligence And Security Chiefs (Hiiraan Online)
  • Islamists Burns Vehicle Ferrying Miraa In Somalia (Mareeg News)
  • PM Khaire Comments On The Closure Of Roads In Mogadishu (Radio Dalsan)
  • Pre-trial Conference For Somali Terror Suspects Kicks Off (The Independent)
  • Nearly Impossible To Close Dadaab (Norwegian Refugee Council)


Puntland President Sacks Intelligence And Security Chiefs

13 June – Source: Hiiraan Online – 272 Words

President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas dismissed both the Security and Intelligence chiefs just hours after the state issued a security alert, over possible attacks in Garowe. In a presidential decree, both the directors of Puntland Intelligence Agency (PIA), Abdirisak Ise Hussein, and the Security forces of Puntland, Abdullahi Adam Mohamed have been relieved of their duties.

The decree dated 13th June stated that the sacking of the officials will immediately take into effect. The official document did not provide specific reasons for the dismissal of the two officials. The Police Chief, Farah Abdirahman Warsame, issued a security alert on Wednesday morning, following intelligence reports of planned Al-Shabaab attacks in Garowe.

“We have information that Al-Shabaab plans to stage terror attacks. We also have information that the group plans to use Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) in their attack,” said Warsame. The official urged the public to be vigilant and to work with the law enforcement agencies to thwart off any attack. “We are therefore urging members of the public to remain on high alert and be on extra vigilant,” he noted.

Al-Shabaab has increased its attacks against the Somali government and its member states. Last week, the militants attacked a Puntland military base in Bali-Khadar village, the fierce firefight caused the death of dozens of combatants from both sides. In a statement posted on its affiliate media, Al-Shabaab claimed to have over 20 Puntland soldiers. Puntland on its side displayed over 15 bodies of suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists killed in the attack. The militant group also carried over ten deadly attacks on SNA bases across the country since the beginning of Ramadan.

Islamists Burns Vehicle Ferrying Miraa In Somalia

13 June – Source: Mareeg News – 104 Words

The Al Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab fighters have launched an ambush attack on vehicle carrying sacks of Miraa near Golweyn town, some 95 kilometers of Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu. The group’s fighters intercepted the vehicle ferrying Miraa near the town after the militants opened gunfire on the vehicle, killing at least 4 people, according to Jama Hassan Gelle, a policeman.

Mr. Gelle says the militants had intercepted the minibus near Golweyn and burnt down  all sacks of Miraa and the vehicle. The minibus was heading to Janale town, according to policeman. The rebel group Al-Shabaab have banned the consumption of Miraa in areas controlled by them.

PM Khaire Comments On The Closure Of Roads In Mogadishu

13 June – Source: Radio Dalsan – 158 Words

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire has commented on the increased roadblocks and heightened security measures in Mogadishu, which have turned several key roads in the capital impassable for public transport. Prime Minister Khaire justified the heightened security measures during the month of Ramadan saying they are aimed at bolstering security in the capital. He called on the public to show tolerance and work with the security forces in preventing Al-Shabaab attacks.

“On behalf of the military commanders, I thank the public for their patience. I understand the negative effect caused by the increased security searches at the roadblocks. The security searches will continue until better security mechanisms are put in place, and, therefore, the public should remain patient and work with the security forces,” he said. In recent days, residents in the capital have been complaining about the closure of the roads. A recent directive from President Farmaajo to reopen the roads is yet to be enforced.


Pre-trial Conference For Somali Terror Suspects Kicks Off

13 June – Source: The Independent – 332 Words

The Pre-trial Conference of eight Somali Nationals accused of terrorism kicked off in Kampala with parties marking exhibits in the trial. The suspects include Mohamed Abdul Kadil alias Hirsi alias Mohamed Abdul Aziz Adam, Abdi Abdullahi Bootan, Hassan Abdul Wa’i Muhamoud, Mohamed Ahmed Gele, Yasmin Abdullahi Aden, Hodan Ahmed Dahir, Yusuf Osman Hussein and Abdi Mohamed. They are jointly accused of aiding and abetting terrorism and Conspiracy to commit a felony.

They were arrested in 2015, from the areas of Kisenyi, Mengo and Bukesa, all suburbs of Kampala with suicide vests that were to be used in a series of terrorist attacks in Uganda. Police Intelligence indicated that the group had been in constant contact with Adam Garar alias Muhammad, a member of the Al-Shabaab. The prosecution alleges that that between September 2010 and 2014, the accused persons in various countries including Uganda, Kenya and Somalia, rendered support to the Al-Shabaab militia knowing that the support would be used in the commission of Acts of Terrorism.

However, the process of their trial, which started in April 2015, had stalled due to the absence of a Somali interpreter, the lack of legal representation and failure by the suspects to disclose evidence. The prosecution presented jackets which were reportedly carrying explosives, pictures taken by police officers during arrest and police statements that were recorded by the accused persons, as part of the exhibits to be used in the trial.


“Over 75,000 Somali refugees have returned to Somalia through the voluntary return programme in the past three years. Around 33,000 returned in 2016 and a further 33,000 in 2017. Most of the Somalis who return are the people who arrived after the 2011 drought.”

Nearly Impossible To Close Dadaab

13 June – Source: Norwegian Refugee Council – 693 Words

It has proven nearly impossible for the Kenyan government to quickly close the third largest refugee camp in the world. Meanwhile, fewer people have chosen to return to Somalia so far in 2018, compounding the issue. “Many of the inhabitants fled Somalia because of political instability in the ’90s and have settled in Dadaab’s camps after decades in Kenya,” explains Neil Turner, our country director in Kenya and Tanzania. Some of Dabaab’s inhabitants were born in Kenya and have never set foot in the country their parents or grandparents fled.

In 2011, when a devastating drought and famine hit Somalia, 100,000 additional refugees arrived. Supplementary camps were set up to accommodate them. At that time, the Dadaab population soared to around 480,000 as it became the world’s largest refugee camp. Today, the Dadaab refugee complex consists of four refugee camps. The population is mostly Somalian, with a small number of refugees from Ethiopia, South Sudan and The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2016, the Kenyan government announced in that it would close Dadaab. A year later, the high court in Kenya ruled that a closure would violate the country’s constitution. Turner explains that it was not necessarily the Kenyan government’s intention to close Dadaab, but to send a message “that the status quo from the Kenyan government’s perspective was not acceptable and that the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), in particular, should do more.” But the announcement still spread uncertainty among people in the camps.

The Kenyan government and UNHCR run a voluntary return programme for Somali refugees in Kenya. The number of refugees returning to Somalia through this programme increased through both 2016 and 2017. “The number of refugees returning to Somalia increased because of the government’s signals that Dadaab would be closed, and the uncertainty this caused among refugees,” Turner says.

Two years later, life goes on in the four remaining refugee camps. It is unlikely that Dadaab, one of the world’s largest refugee camps, will close any time soon. “Practically, how does that happen”, Turner asks. Over 75,000 Somalian refugees have returned to Somalia through the voluntary return programme in the past three years. Around 33,000 returned in 2016 and a further 33,000 in 2017.

Most of the Somalis who return are the people who arrived after the 2011 drought. “They have more recent links to Somalia, while the people who arrived three decades ago are less likely to return as they have settled in Dadaab,” Turner says. Compared to previous years, the number of people returning to Somalia in the first four months of this year has decreased. “Our assumption is that those people who, for whatever reason, might join the voluntary return programme have already done that,” Turner explains.



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