October 2, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

AU Police officers Undergo Training on Managing Vehicle Checkpoints

01 October – Source: AMISOM – 325 Words

About one-hundred police officers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), have concluded a short course on managing vehicle checkpoints. The objective of the training, which ended yesterday, was to mitigate potential terrorist threats at checkpoints, through the employment of swift responsive mechanisms. The officers will in turn impart the knowledge and skills learnt, to their Somali counterparts.

“There are many checkpoints in Mogadishu and the Al-Shabaab know where they are, so they are able to dodge them,” explained Jacques de Wet, an IED mentor with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)’s contractor – Dynasafe Minetech Limited. De Wet said the training focused on the processes and steps taken to set up of vehicle checkpoints, during a specified time. “If you have 5 teams, up to 20 different locations will be covered,” de Wet noted.

The six-day training was the second phase of the vehicle checkpoint course, targeting the Formed Police Units in the capital of Mogadishu and the regional states: “We also carried out various practicals; we set up checkpoints and collapsed and set up more checkpoints; and we know the right procedures that we have to take and how to do proper vehicle checkpoints,” said Sergeant Walter Orji, one of the participants.

The Acting AMISOM Police Commissioner, Ms. Christine Alalo officiated the closing ceremony of the workshop. She challenged participants to apply the knowledge gained, to improve the security in Mogadishu and the regional cities: “This knowledge is given to you so that you are able to transfer it to the people that you co-locate with – the Somali Police. You are supposed to transfer that knowledge to prepare them for the transition, so they would be ready to take up this kind of responsibility,” she emphasized.


Key Headlines

  • AU Police officers Undergo Training on Managing Vehicle Checkpoints (AMISOM)
  • Al-Shabab Militants Killed In A Heavy Battle In Southern Region (Shabelle Media)
  • Journalist In Galmudug Freed A Day After He Was Slapped With 6 Months In Jail (Halbeeg News)
  • Three Die After Somalia Car Bomb Strikes EU Convoy – Police (Reuters)
  • Mogadishu’s Alleged Role In Palace Coups (The East African)


Al-Shabab Militants Killed In A Heavy Battle In Southern Region

01 October – Source: Shabelle Media – 176 Words

Somali National Army (SNA) on Sunday killed five Al-Shabaab militants and injured several others during a fierce fighting between the soldiers and insurgents in the southern part of the Horn of Africa nation. SNA Army Commander in the area, Yusuf Hussein Osman, said the army and Jubbaland forces also liberated several areas during the operation, which took place in regions about 70 kilometers north of Kismayo, the administrative capital of Jubbaland.

“Our forces are making military progress in an ongoing operation in the region, we killed five Al-Shabaab militants and several others were injured while two of our soldiers sustained injuries,” Osman told journalists. He said Al-Shabaab militants strongly resisted by dropping mortar shells towards the army but were overpowered.

Among the areas liberated included Bangini, Mana-mufo and Koban — all in Jamame, the strategic and major Al-Shabaab stronghold town in Lower Jubba region. Osman vowed to carry on with operations to liberate several regions still under the militants’ control. Al-Shabaab militants did not comment on the latest military operations in Lower Jubba region. .

Journalist In Galmudug Freed A Day After He Was Slapped With 6 Months In Jail

01 October – Source: Halbeeg News – 166 Words

A Somali journalist in Galmudug state has been freed a day after a court in the state sentenced him to six months in jail for what it termed “false news”. Sheikh Hassan Geerte, Chief of the first level court in Galmudug on Sunday sentenced Mohamed Abdiwali Tohow to six months in jail despite reports there was no defense lawyer and an independent witness at the time of the court’s verdict.

According to reports, Mr. Tohow who was detained on September 22nd, was released late Sunday following pressure from the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) trade union and elders. The arrest and the sentence of the journalist followed a report broadcast on 23rd September for the Mogadishu-based Radio Kulmiye alleging the militant group Al-Shabaab was regrouping in parts of the State.

Galmudug’s Ministry for Justice and NUSOJ condemned the sentence saying the proceedings of the trials had not been fair. Mohamed contributes to several stations, including the London-based broadcaster Universal TV.


Three Die After Somalia Car Bomb Strikes EU Convoy – Police

01 October – Source: Reuters – 243 Words

Three people were killed in a suicide car bombing by Islamist group al Shabaab which hit a European Union armoured convoy in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Monday, police and an emergency service worker said. The blast struck the convoy around 12:10 PM local time on Industrial Road, a major thoroughfare in the heart of the city.

“We carried two dead locals and four others injured,” Abdikadir Abdirahman of AMIN Ambulance Services told Reuters. Police said the bomber had also died in the blast. A Reuters witness saw men towing their damaged vehicle after the explosion hit its rear end. The armoured vehicles had Italian and EU flags on them.

The al Shabaab group, which frequently carries out attacks in the Horn of Africa country, claimed responsibility. The Italian military said a convoy of five vehicles returning from a training activity had been attacked but that no one was wounded or killed. “The vehicle, with four soldiers on board, was slightly damaged and able to return to the base,” it said. Al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab wants to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government and impose its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.

The European Union is one of the major sources of funding for the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM which helps defend Somalia’s central government against the Islamists. Somalia has been engulfed by violence and lawlessness since the early 1990s after the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.


“But of more concern is that the wrangles will reverse the gains made by the African Union Mission in Somalia, which has driven Al Shabaab from all the major towns into rural enclaves, despite unpredictable funding and sufficient levels of troops levels and equipment.”

Mogadishu’s Alleged Role In Palace Coups

01 October – Source: The East African – 560 Words

The political impasse between Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’ and regional federal leaders is being attributed to suspicions that Mogadishu is sponsoring candidates to depose the regional presidents in the forthcoming regional elections. Experts say this is one of the factors that led the latter to announce a severance of links with Mogadishu on September 8, a move that could derail efforts to liberate areas still held by Al Shabaab.

The regions are supposed to hold presidential elections progressively from November till the end of 2019. The South West State will go to the polls in November, followed by Puntland and Hirshabelle. Abdilatif Maalim, a strategic communications specialist based in Mogadishu, told The EastAfrican that with elections coming up in most of the federal states, the incumbent leaders are facing stiff competition from candidates said to be sponsored by Villa Somalia.
But Mr Maalim added that besides fear of the outcomes of the upcoming elections, another bone of contention is that since President Farmajo took office in February last year, his government has paid little attention to the grievances of the federal states. He has instead planted cronies across the states who have made life difficult for the incumbents.

All the five regional leaders boycotted a National Security Council meeting that was called by President Farmajo on September 17, demanding a third party mediate talks between them and Mogadishu. Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre, however, rejected the demands, saying Somalia has gone beyond third-party mediation and that all differences can be solved through compromise by Somalis themselves.

The regional leaders, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas (Puntland), Ahmed Duale Gelle (Galmudug), Mohamed Abdi Ware (Hirshabelle), Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden (South West State) and Sheikh Ahmed Madobe of Jubaland accuse the president of interfering in their internal affairs, failing to defeat Al Shabaab and falling behind in the legislation process.

The Upper House (Senate), which represents the interests of the federal states, has formed a committee to mediate between the centre and the regions, but this effort faces the challenge of perception that the Senate is pro-regions. Somalia charge de affairs to Kenya, Ali Mohamed Sheikh, told The East African that the government is talking to the leaders individually before convening a meeting with all of them.


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.