November 9, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Islamic State’s Footprint Spreading In Northern Somalia: U.N.

08 November – Source: Reuters – 484 Words

A militant faction loyal to Islamic State (IS) has increased its following in northern Somalia from a few dozen last year to up to 200 this year, a U.N. report said, days after the group came under U.S. air attack for the first time. The increase in strength of the IS spin-off group has attracted attention because some security officials fear it could offer a safe haven for Islamic State militants fleeing military defeat in Syria or Iraq.  “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction loyal to Sheikh Abdulqader Mumin – estimated…in 2016 to number not more than a few dozen…, has growing significantly in strength, and (now) consists of as many as 200 fighters,” said the report by a panel of U.N. experts obtained by Reuters.

“Even a few hundred armed fighters could destabilize the whole region,” said a regional diplomatic security source. “It (airstrikes) is a recognition from the U.S. that the situation in terms of the (Islamic State) faction in Puntland is becoming increasingly critical.”

Somalia has been riven by civil war and Islamist militancy, though more in the south than in the north where the Puntland region is located, since 1991 when clan warlords overthrew a dictator before turning on each other. Friday’s air strikes failed to kill Mumin, the security source said. But Abdirizak Ise Hussein, director of semi-autonomous Puntland’s spy service, said the strikes killed about 20 militants, including a Sudanese fighter and two Arabs.  Almost all Mumin’s fighters are Somali, the U.N. report said, though the group is believed to include a Sudanese man sanctioned by the United States. The group also has contacts in Yemen. It was unclear if the Sudanese man under U.S. sanctions was the same one reported killed in the air strike.

Key Headlines

  • Islamic State’s Footprint Spreading In Northern Somalia: U.N. (Reuters)
  • AMISOM Appeals For Urgent Support To Somali Forces Ahead Of Draw-down (Goobjoog News)
  • Somali Government To Donate $1 Million US Dollar To The Victims Of Zoobe Explosion (Hiiraan Online)
  • US Increased Air Attacks In Somalia And Potential of Misleading Intelligence (Goobjoog News)
  • Global Experts Underscore Investments In Energy Sector In Somalia (Xinhuanet)
  • Trade Politics Religion Draw Turkey to Sub-Saharan Africa (Voice of America)


AMISOM Appeals For Urgent Support To Somali Forces Ahead Of Draw-down

08 November – Source: Goobjoog News – 363 Words

Amisom has called for increased reinforcement of Somali security forces to enable them effectively position themselves for takeover ahead of phased exit by the African Union troops who have been in the country for a decade. Amisom Chief Francisco Madeira underscored the urgency with which the support of Somali forces is needed noting ‘that timely and well-coordinated support is necessary to consolidate the gains already made in the country and enable SNSF assume full responsibility for the country’s security, once the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) exits.’

“We must reiterate, however, the urgency for timely support for the Somali National Security Forces,” Madeira said. “The forces urgently need to be equipped with necessary weapons, key logistical support including timely payment of stipends, provision of quality medical care, establishment of key infrastructure including barracks and training centers among others.” He noted that AMISOM will reduce its troops by 1000 before the end of the year, adding that realignment and redeployment of troops in all the sectors is ongoing.

Addressing the media a day after the Mission said it had launched operations to flush out Al-Shabaab in Lower Shabelle, Madeira stated the recent realignment of the troops was aimed at positioning the troops strategically to effectively deal with the security situation. “It is about re-arranging ourselves in manner that we remain effective despite the reduction of numbers.” Regarding the entry of Ethiopian troops into Somalia last week, Madeira said the troops were not new but were just replacing the existing troops.

Madeira said any troops increase in Amisom must be approved by the African Union and the UN. “The numbers are fixed and No increase of troops can take place without a clear agreement with the African union and without the UN.” Madeira called on Somalis to cooperate with the security forces to defeat Al-Shabaab. “Every citizen has a role to play in this effort to ensure that Somalia is pacified and freed from all elements of terror. It is important to note that security forces cannot uproot Al-Shabaab from the communities if the residents do not play their part by sharing the necessary information with the relevant security organs,” Ambassador Madeira observed.

Somali Government To Donate $1 Million US Dollar To The Victims Of Zoobe Explosion

08 November – Source: Hiiraan Online – 109 Words

The Prime Minister,  Hassan Ali Kheyre who attended an event held at the headquarters of the Benadir Regional Administration last night said that his government will donate $1 million US dollars to the victims of the recent bombing at Zoobe on 14 October. The Prime Minister said Thursday tomorrow will directly be deposited the money into the account of emergency national response committee.The regional governments have also  donated funds to the victims of Zoobe bombing. The Prime Minister said that the blast at Zoobe was committed by Somalis whose aim was eradicate civilians and said that both government and Somali people need to work together to prevent such attacks.

US Increased Air Attacks In Somalia And Potential of Misleading Intelligence

08 November – Source: Goobjoog News – 167 Words

This month US air attacks in Somalia is part of the Pentagon’s new anti-terrorism policy which comes amid concerns of civilian casualty. The United States is said to have carried out more than 20 attacks inside Somalia this year alone as well as ground attacks, while in 2015 the number of such attacks were less than six. Although in 2013, Obama was stern of reducing the air attacks targeting areas where civilian populations live however, this year in March,Trump administration approved such targets.

There are concerns about how such measures can be taken advantage of by misleading the  intelligence agents to target specific groups or communities. The Bariire incident is said to have revealed that the US intelligence was not well informed about the situation in Somalia, thereby killings civilians belonging to one clan. This was not the first time in September last year 22 people in Galmudug were killed, the incident was also misguided thereby using the US forces to avenge for others.


Global Experts Underscore Investments In Energy Sector In Somalia

08 November – Source: Xinhuanet – 378 Words

International energy experts are meeting in Mogadishu on Wednesday to discuss investment opportunities in Somalia’s sustainable energy sector. Minister of Energy and Water Resources Salim Aliyow Ibrow, who opened the meeting late Tuesday, said the government was in the process of drafting regulations to govern investment in the energy sector.

Ibrow noted that the pressing need for the country to move in the direction of renewable energy sources, according to a statement from the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) released on Wednesday. “The country needs investment to harvest energy from the sun, water and wind. The investment will develop industries and hence create employment,” the minister added.

The two-day conference organized by the government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) brings together government officials, donors, private sector investors and practitioners and international sustainable energy experts. The UN expert on renewable energy, Andrew Morton, observed that the energy sector in Somalia is in the hands of the country’s private sector, which has been receiving grants from the international community. “But to really grow, it needs to bring in financing, it needs to bring credit. And to get that happening, we need to set up the right environment. We need to have interesting projects and interesting businesses in which companies can invest,” Morton added.


“With a new military base just south of the Somali capital, Turkey will train thousands of Somali soldiers ahead of a planned withdrawal of AMISOM, the international peacekeeping force. That could have a significant effect on the fight against Al-Shabaab, the extremist group most experts consider to be behind last month’s attack.”

Trade, Politics, Religion Draw Turkey To Sub-Saharan Africa

07 November – Source: Voice of America – 722 Words
With more than three dozen embassies and billions of dollars in trade, Turkey has quietly built strong ties across Africa over the past decade. In September, the opening of a base in Somalia expanded that presence to include military power. Turkey already had a long history of engagement with north African countries, said David Shinn, an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. In 2016, Turkey conducted more than $10 billion in trade with Egypt, Algeria and Morocco.

What’s new is the country’s expansion into sub-Saharan Africa. Turkish Airlines now flies to more than 50 cities across the continent, and construction firm Yapi Merkezi is building a multibillion-dollar railway line across Ethiopia and Tanzania. Turkey’s connections to Africa focus mainly on economics, said Shinn, who believes Turkey is looking to expand its exports and increase direct investment through private companies. Politics also figure prominently in the relationship. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made Africa a centerpiece of his foreign policy.

In an opinion piece published by Al-Jazeera last year, Erdogan said, “Many people in the world associate the African continent with extreme poverty, violent conflict and a general state of hopelessness. The people of Turkey have a different view. We believe Africa deserves better.” Shinn said that the new military base in Somalia —Turkey’s first in Africa and the largest outside Turkish borders shows an interest in projecting power and deepening strategic alliances.

Turkey’s presence in Somalia dates back to the Ottoman Empire, when Turkish enclaves dotted the Somali coast. Economics aren’t driving Turkey’s present interest — it’s engaged in very little trade with the Horn of Africa nation, which has struggled with years of conflict, drought and food insecurity. Instead, Somalia’s proximity and overwhelmingly Muslim population make it an appealing partner, Shinn said. And Erdogan believes he can make a difference in Somalia.

On October 14, Somalia suffered the worst terrorist attack since at least 1997 when a truck bomb exploded in Mogadishu, the capital. More than 350 people were killed. Turkey responded with immediate support and solidarity, condemning the bombing and airlifting injured survivors to a hospital in its capital, Ankara. Days later, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire flew to Ankara to meet his counterpart, Binali Yildirim, and visit the victims. “Turkey’s help and support will be written in our history books, and we will never forget that,” Khaire said at a press conference.

Turkey’s recent presence in Somalia dates to 2011, when it became involved in various humanitarian and development programs in the midst of one of the country’s worst droughts. With a new military base just south of the Somali capital, Turkey will train thousands of Somali soldiers ahead of a planned withdrawal of AMISOM, the international peacekeeping force. That could have a significant effect on the fight against Al-Shabaab, the extremist group most experts consider to be behind last month’s attack.


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.