September 1, 2014 | Morning Headlines.

Main Story

Islamist rebels attack intelligence site in Somalia, 12 killed

31 Aug – Source: Reuters/Global Post/VOA/Washington Post/ABC News – 126 words

Islamist rebels blew up a car bomb and gunmen attacked a national intelligence site in Somalia’s capital where suspected militants are held, in an assault on Sunday that left at least 12 people dead. Three soldiers and two civilians were killed along with seven militants, including the suicide bomber who detonated the vehicle packed with explosives, government officials said. After the initial blast, gunmen stormed the compound but did not reach the underground cells where suspected militants were being detained, Security Ministry spokesman Mohamed Yusuf told reporters at the site. One intelligence officer, who identified himself only as Nur, told Reuters the gunmen had entered one building, forcing security personnel to fight room-to-room to clear them out. “All the attackers perished in the end,” Nur said.

Key Headlines

  • Government and AMISOM forces seize new territories in Hiran region (Radio Mogadishu/Bar-kulan)
  • Godka Jiliow prison in Mogadishu comes under fierce attack (Radio Bar-kulan)
  • Al Shabaab in car bomb gun attack on Somalia intelligence headquarters in Mogadishu (Daily Nation/Africa Review)
  • Al Shabab spokesman says today’s attack on Intelligence HQ aimed to release prisoners (Radio RBC)
  • Military court issue warnings to individuals criticizing court’s verdict (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Militants throw grenades at Mandera Central AP camp police repulse them (Standard Media)
  • Somalia Launches Offensive Against Extremists (AP)
  • Somaliland President Directs Opposition Shortlist Names Of Election Commissioners (Somaliland Informer)

PRESS STATEMENT

Minister of Information: “Somali Forces Halt Terrorist Attack on Security Complex in Mogadishu”

31 Aug – Source: Ministry of Information – 255 words

H.E. Mustafa Duhulow, the Minister of Information today praised security forces’ bravery in halting an attack on the Godka Jilicow detention centre in Mogadishu. “Around 11:40 am today terrorists attempted to force their way into a government detention centre in Mogadishu.

7 al-Shabaab members (5 wearing stolen security forces uniforms) approached the centre in two vehicles and immediately started their attack. All 7 al Shabaab were killed within 45 minutes of the attack beginning.

“The terrorists aimed to force their way in the centre and free their comrades who were being held in the centre. Regrettably, three members of the security forces as well as two innocent passersby were also killed in the incident. The Federal Government of Somalia sends sincere condolences to their families.” The Minister said.

The Minister of Information concluded his remarks, saying “The Federal Government of Somalia praises the bravery of security forces at the detention centre that foiled the attack from al Shabaab and killed all 7 attackers.

These terrorists groups are against the security improvements we are currently experiencing here in Mogadishu and all they want is for the world to believe that Mogadishu is not safe. However, loudly we say to them that these foiled attacks strengthen our forces and prove their bravery to the people of Somalia.

People can now see who is against the peace and stability in Somalia. These attacks will not stop us improving security in the country nor will it divert us from our aim of bringing peace and stability to the country.“


AMISOM welcomes the progress made in Jubbaland reconciliation efforts

31 Aug – Source: AMISOM – 322 words

Persistent joint effort by the Interim Jubba Administration, AMISOM, IGAD and the International community to resolve the protracted political and security tension in Jubbaland paid off on 30th August 2014 after former opposition leader Col. Barre Hirale and nearly a hundred of his militia surrendered to AMISOM to bring to end the nearly one year of certainty in Jubbaland.

Col. Barre Hirale and his men finally handed themselves after discussions with respected traditional  clan elders and Somali federal Government delegations led by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Farah Abdikadir and Minister of Finance Hon. Hussein Halane who hails from Jubba land.

AMISOM forces from Kenyan contingent went to pick Mr. Barre Hirale from his location in the town of Gobweyn village, 18Kilometres North-east of Kismayo  and escorted him to Kismayo where he met and shook hands his former political rival Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madobe) leader of Interim Jubba Administration.

The Acting Head of AMISOM, Honourable Lydia Wanyoto Mutende, welcomed the move by Col. Barre Hirale and urged the people of Jubba land to now work with the Interim Jubba Administration and all security forces to defeat al- Shabaab and usher in new era of peace and development in of Somalia.

“African Union Mission in Somalia wants to thank Col. Barre Hirale and his militia men for choosing peace and to lay down their arms and join the rest of Somalis in building their country.” said Hon. Wayoto.

After the capture of the strategic southern port city of Kismayo  by Somali forces supported by AMISOM peace keepers, The Jubbaland Administration was formed by clan representatives, who later on elected Ahmed Mohamed Islan as the Jubbaland Administration leader, Barre Hirale and four other candidates disputed the election of Ahmed Madobe as Jubbaland leader and later fought with Jubbaland in Kismayo.

When news broke out that Barre Hirale has surrendered, locals received the news with jubilation and hope that the move nearly of one year of political tensions and uncertainty will end.


Joint statement by the UN, IGAD and EU Envoys to Somalia International partners welcome reconciliation progress in Kismayo

31 Aug – Source: UNSOM – 141 words

The United Nations, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and European Union (EU) welcomed the agreement by Col Barre Adan Shire (Barre Hiiraale) to participate in a reconciliation process and for his irregular military forces to present themselves for screening and potential integration into the Somali National Army (SNA) with the support of the Federal Government of Somalia.

“We welcome this agreement between Col Barre Hiiraale and the Interim Jubba Administration brokered by the Federal Government of Somalia. It is an important step forward in the path towards peace- and state-building for all Somalis.

We stand ready to support a reconciliation conference in the coming weeks and urge all parties to engage in constructive consultation and reconciliation involving all stakeholders, ensuring that the interests of all communities are protected. Somalia’s international partners remain committed to supporting the nation’s peace and state-building agenda”.


Somali National Army and AMISOM Forces liberate Bulo Marer in Lower Shabelle

30 Aug – Source: AMISOM – 257 words

Somali National Army and the African Union Mission in Somalia today liberated the strategic town of Bulo Barer in Lower Shabelle region. The forces also captured two other small towns of Goolweyn and Jerlio as they advanced towards Bulo Marer.

During the early morning operation in the latest attack dubbed Operation Indian Ocean which is aimed at liberating more towns from the militants group, al Shabaab militant mounted resistance against Somali Forces supported by AMISOM but they were overrun. The forces are currently consolidating the town.

Located 115 kilometers Southwest of Mogadishu, Bulo Marer has been under al Shabaab for years. The town is a getaway to the port city of Baraawe and was used as an al Shabaab recruitment center. The group also used the town as a Tax collection.

The Acting Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Honorable Lydia Wanyoto Mutende welcomed the capture of the town saying this serves as major victory for the SNA, AMISOM forces and the Somali population.

“The capture of the towns by our heroic forces provides a major boost to our efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia,” said Lydia Wanyotto adding that the new offensive will facilitate for the extension of the Somali government control over its territory and enable people to leave freely from al Shabaab tyranny.

Honorable Wanyotto said that the capture of Bulo Marer is also critical for operations to liberate the port city of Baraawe, one of the remaining sources of illicit revenue for extremist group.


Weekly Press Conference on the Progress of the Government

30 Aug – Source: Ministry of Information – 1507 words

HE the Minister of Information, Mustafa Duhulow, today addressed the media in Mogadishu, providing an update on the progress of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) over the last week. The Minister discussed various issues including: the Military Court’s conviction of two members of al Shabaab; Talks between the FGS and the Jubba Administration; the formation of the Technical Committee on Central State Formation; the Minister of Transport’s visit to Beledweyn; the graduation ceremony at University of Somalia; the draft law on Education; foreign training for new recruits to the military; Somali media sector development; Women Rights; and the looming drought in the country.

The Minister of Information began with the Military Court’s conviction of two members of Al-Shabaab: “The Military Court on 25th August 2014 sentenced two al Shabaab members to death for the killing of a journalist Mohamed Mohamud Tima-Adde, who worked with Universal TV, and Awil Hassan Mohamud, a security officer. Abdullahi Musse Keyse, the Spokesman of the Military Court said that the court had investigated the matter thoroughly and both men freely confessed to the killings.

Therefore, after the due process of the law, the Military Court sentenced them to death. The Federal Government has zero tolerance when it comes to terrorism related offenses and recently initiated stop and search operations which have resulted in the bringing to justice of many more of those responsible for terrorists offences. As a result of this tough stance, Mogadishu is now considerably safer than before and this is no small way because of the cooperation of public.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the talks between the FGS and Jubba Administraion: “On 25th August the Minister of Interior & Federalism and the Minister of Finance visited Kismayo in order to consult with the Jubba Administration with a view to implementing the Addis Ababa Agreement of August 2013. The Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs joined the delegation in Kismayo on 26th August.

The delegation convinced the Jubba Authority to initiate dialogue with Barre Hirale and his militia. On 27th August the Ministers of the Interior, Finance & Justice all visited Goobweyn area (30 km north of Kismayo). IGAD representatives and AMISOM were also present at Gobweyn to convince Barre Hirale to accept talks and reconciliation with Jubba Administration. Both sides agreed to begin reconciliation discussions and to attend the subsequent reconciliation conference on 21 September in Kismayo.

It was also agreed that Barre Hirale militias should integrate into Somali National Army forces in Kismayo as part of Addis Ababa Agreement. The FGS is committed to implementing the Addis Ababa Agreement and the upcoming reconciliation conference will lead the way to assist all stakeholders in the area in finding a long lasting solution with a view to ultimately forming Jubba State as part of the federalism process in Somalia.”

The Minister of Information emphasized the importance of the role of the Technical Committee to Form the Central Regions State: “The Ministry of the Interior & Federalism published names of the 27 members of the Technical Committee in order to prepare for the upcoming conference in the Central Regions with a view to form the Central Regions State.

The FGS has been conducting talks and dialogue with all stakeholders in the region that has led to the formation of a Technical Committee that will work with the government for the formation of a Federalism Unit in central regions of Somalia. The Federal Government is committed to that process and the formation of the federal unit which has to be in line with the provisional constitution and to ensuring that the process is inclusive to all stakeholders in the region.”

The Minister of Information stressed the importance of political outreach: “The Minister of Air & Land Transport, H.E. Said Jama (Qorshel) visited Beledweyne on 26th August in order to assess the rehabilitation of the airport and the offices of the Ministry of Transport in Hiran Region.

The delegation visited the airport, a centre for the issuing of driving licenses and car number plating and Lama Galay Military Camp. The Governor of Hiran Region, Abdifatah Hassan Afrah thanked the Minister for his visit to the area and noted the Minister’s visit to the airport and offices and hoped that these facilities would be fully functional soon.

Minister Qorshel praised the progress of the area and promised that the Ministry of Transport will rehabilitate the airport and all facilities for the ministry in order to further advance development and progress in the area. The Minister of Transport also noted that ministry staff will soon go to Mogadishu to undertake the necessary training to control the airspace, civil aviation and the management of the airport. The Minister concluded by promising that the ministry ensures that all staff can work in fully functioning offices.”

The Minister of Information highlighted the importance of Education: “The Acting President & Speaker of the Parliament, H.E. Mohamed Sheikh Osman (Jawaari) on 27th August 2014 attended the graduation ceremony at the University of Somalia.

Over 574 students graduated from the faculties of Medicine, Education, Social Science, Business, Management, Engineering, and Computer Science from the University of Somalia, one of a number of private universities in Mogadishu. Attendees at the ceremony included ministers, the Medical Association Board, intellectuals, the management of the university, students and parents.

The Minister of Higher Education, H.E. Duale Adan Mohamed stated the importance of these graduates finding suitable jobs within society. The Acting President Jawaari appealed to all recent graduates of universities to support the rebuilding of the nation, while sympathizing with the difficulties of the period during which they have studied and congratulating them on their achievement in spite of those challenges.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the draft legislation on Education: “The Council of Ministers on 28th August 2014 unanimously approved the Education bill presented by the Minister of Education. The Education Bill will be soon forwarded to parliament for discussion and approval. This law will hugely help streamline the strategies and policies on education throughout the country. The FGS always places a high priority on education, which is the key to knowledge and prosperity.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the reform of military: “50 recent university graduates and 100 recent High School graduates travelled to Sudan on 24 August to participate in military training as part of the reform of Somali National Army (SNA). After they complete their training they will become part of the Somali military. The aim of these courses is to enhance the professionalism of SNA, which in turn would boost the reform of the security apparatus in the country.

The FGS will continue the reform of the security forces so that Somali forces can regain the trust of the people and ultimately be able to take sole responsibility of the security of the nation.” The Minister of Information spoke on Media Sector Development: “On 24th August 2014 around 30 journalists received training to develop their skills in Mogadishu.

The Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Mohamed Ibrahim (Pakistan) and representatives from Finland’s Journalists Development Institution were present throughout the 3 days of training.

This is part of the Ministry of Information’s plan to provide the necessary training to enhance the knowledge and the skills of journalists in the country. In order to develop the Somali media sector it is imperative that journalists receive on-going training to develop their skills and knowledge so that they can become professionals in their chosen field.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the importance of Women’s Rights: “The Minister of Women & Human Rights met the Deputy SRSG & Resident Coordinator of UN Agencies in Somalia on 26 August 2014 and discussed the importance of women’s rights as well as the need for cooperation between the Ministry of Women & Human Rights and UN agencies in Somalia.

Philip Lazarini and HE Khadija Mohamed Dirie agreed to hold a conference in Mogadishu to highlight the importance of women’s rights. They also agreed to work together to advance the women’s rights agenda and the need to develop partnership between the Ministry of Women & Human Rights and the relevant UN agencies.”

The Minister of Information concluded by making an urgent humanitarian appeal: “The Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Abdi Ahmed Baafo, who is the Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee on Humanitarian Needs, updated the media on 28 August and said that the committee had visited Hudur District in Bakol Region and Dolow District in Gedo Region to assess the humanitarian situation in the area.

The Humanitarian situation in both areas is appalling and both areas are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The committee successfully provided 300 tons of food aid to remote areas, escorted by the Somali National Army.

The Committee also thanked the President of Djibouti, H.E. Ismail Omar Gelle, who provided humanitarian assistance in Buulo Burte district in Hiiraan Region. The FGS would like to appeal to Somalis everywhere around the world as well as to international community to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to those people affected by the severe drought in Somalia.”

SOMALI MEDIA

Government and AMISOM forces seize new territories in Hiran region

31 Aug – Source: Radio Mogadishu/Bar-kulan – 105 words

Somali government forces supported by the African Union troops in Somalia have seized new territories in Hiran region including villages of Jimbiley and Fidow near Jalalaqsi district according to officials. The commissioner of Jalalaqsi town, Mohamed Wehliye Ahmed confirmed the capture of the two villages near Jalalaqsi district to Bar-kulan. The commissioner said the allied forces are advancing towards Jalalaqsi town following the departure of al Shabaab militant fighters from their positions in the region late last week. He vowed the operations against the militant group will continue until the entire region comes under the control of the government forces and their African Union allies.


Godka Jiliow prison in Mogadishu comes under fierce attack

31 Aug – Source: Radio Bar-kulan/Dalsan/Risaala/Kulmiye/VOA Somali Service – 127 words

Massive explosions and fierce gunfire was reported from Godka Jiliow prison in the Somali capital, Mogadishu run by Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency. Suspected al Shabaab fighters attacked Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency headquarters in Mogadishu where a number of fighters from the militant group are being held. Witnesses told Bar-kulan that heavy gun battles and massive explosions was heard from the heavily fortified National Intelligence and Security Agency run prison. National Intelligence and Security Agency forces engaged in fierce gunfire with the militant group fighters.


Ten killed in Somali Intelligence headquarters attack

31 Aug – Source: Somali Current – 124 words

Al Shabaab militant group has said it carried out an attack targeted at Somali intelligence headquarters in Mogadishu today. According to officials car bomb explosion followed by a fierce exchange of gunfire has killed at least ten people including seven al Shabaab fighters and security forces. A spokesperson of the armed group has confirmed that its fighters were involved in the attack and that they had entered the building. It was the latest in a series of attacks in Mogadishu in recent months, including a July raid on the presidential compound as well as other deadly attack on Somali parliament building. The attack comes as the Somali forces and African union troops are battling the group in the newly launched offensive dubbed Indian Ocean operation.


Al Shabab spokesman says today’s attack on Intelligence HQ aimed to release prisoners

31 Aug – Source: Radio RBC/Furqaan/Andalus – 124 words

A spokesman for the al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab took the credit of Sunday’s attack on the National Intelligence and Security Agency [NISA] which killed at least 10 people including eight of the attackers. The group’s spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Mus’ab said the attack was aimed to release prisoners detained inside the NISA headquarters in Mogadishu’s Bondhere district. “We have targeted this centre and our aim was to release the prisoners detained there,” Abu Mus’ab said in a press conference. According to witnesses, eight al Shabaab members using a car loaded with explosives attacked the front gate of the Benadir Regional Department of the NISA base which is also the detention centre used to hold al Shabaab suspects arrested by the security forces.


Military court issue warnings to individuals criticizing court’s verdict

31 Aug- Source: Radio Goobjoog – 111 words

Somali military court issued warnings to those  who criticize and protest against the verdict of the court. The chairman of the Somali military court Abdirahman Mohamed Turyare stated that the court has sentenced to death penalties after getting full evidence of individuals accused of being al Shabaab members and carried out planned assassinations in Mogadishu. The chairman said that the court’s judgments are fair and free of injustice adding that anyone who is not satisfied with the verdict is allowed to file complain than organizing unlawful protest against the court. He added that there are individuals who try  to create lawlessness and derail the justice adding that they will be dealt with in accordance to law.


Somaliland President Directs Opposition Shortlist Names Of Election Commissioners

31 Aug – Source: Somaliland Informer – 120 words

Somaliland president Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud (Silanyo) has requested the two opposition parties (Wadani) and (UCID)  to forward  the names of their candidates of commissioners to represent them in the National Election Commission (NEC). The current commissioners term of office has expired .A well placed source speaking on condition of anonymity revealed to the Horn Newspaper that the president on Wednesdaysent formal letters to both the National Party (Wadani) and the Party of Justice and Development (UCID) to come up with names of their new commissioners as the seven former commissioners been reprieved of their duties immediate effect. The president also asked the House of Elders Senate or (GUURTI) to select their appointees of commissioners.


Ugas Mohamed Hanshi: Hundreds of families that fled from Sah-Der are in desperate conditions

31 Aug – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 121 words

The Traditional Elders who attended the inauguration ceremony of Katumo president Ali Khalif Galeyr called on the Federal government of Somalia and international aid agencies to deliver emergency support to the families who fled their houses during the fight between Somaliland and Katumo forces in Sah-Der. Holding press conference in Mogadishu the elders  said that the displaced people are in desperate humanitarian conditions and are in need  of immediate help. Ugas Mohamed Hanshi, one of the elders said the fight between the two forces in Sah-Der locality has affected hundreds of families mostly women and children, adding that the Federal government should take immediate action to end the hostilities in the region so as to spare the lives of the residents.


Stormy rains destroy properties in Baki district, Awdal region

30 Aug – Source: Bar-kulan – 90 words

Local administration officials in Baki district of Awdal region have stated that heavy stormy rains have destroyed several buildings in the area. The chairman of local the council of Baki district Mohamed Aw-Ahmed Ateye who spoke to Bar-kulan said that the stormy rains have destroyed several residential buildings and offices in the area. Ateye added that heavy stormy rains have caused damage to properties in several locations in Awdal region including schools, residential houses and offices. The stormy rains did not cause any loss of life according to the officials.


Somali, AU troops seize Bulo Marer

30 Aug – Source: Radio Mogadishu/Goobjoog/Garowe Online/VOA Somali Service – 67 words

Somali Government Forces aided by African Union peacekeepers have taken control of strategic town in southern Somalia after heavy battle according to army commanders on Saturday, Garowe Online reports. Gen. Abdirizak Khalif Elmi, armed forces commander-in-chief on the frontline confirmed the seizure of Bulo Marer to state-run station, Radio Mogadishu. Witnesses say the battle lasted for hours as Al Shabaab posed stiff resistance to allied forces onslaught.

REGIONAL MEDIA

Al Shabaab in car bomb, gun attack on Somalia intelligence headquarters in Mogadishu

31 Aug – Source: Daily Nation/Africa Review – 124 words

Somalia’s al Shabaab rebels carried out a major car bomb and gun attack against an intelligence headquarters and detention facility in central Mogadishu on Sunday, which police said left at least seven militants dead. The assault came a day after Somalia’s national army and African Union forces said they had captured an al Shabaab stronghold as part of a joint offensive aimed at capturing key ports from the Islamist fighters and cutting off a key source of revenue for the rebels. In Sunday’s attack, police and witnesses said a car bomb was detonated outside the National Intelligence Centre and was followed by a raid by gunmen disguised in national army uniforms — a style of attack bearing all the hallmarks of the al Qaeda-linked Islamist al Shabaab militia.


Militants throw grenades at Mandera Central AP camp, police repulse them

31 Aug – Source: Standard Media – 111 words

Militants attacked a police post in Mandera County Sunday morning and destroyed a building before they were repulsed. Police say no injury was reported in the 4 am attack on Mandera Central Administration Police Camp. Police say they engaged the attackers who were about 40 when they threw RPGs to the compound near the Somalia-Kenya border. Residents say they heard heavy gunfire and RPGs were used in the fighting between the militants and police for about 40 minutes. “They escaped after the officers at the camp overpowered them and chased them away. No injury was reported but there has been few destruction of property,” said a senior officer in the area.

INTERNATIONAL  MEDIA

Islamist rebels attack intelligence site in Somalia, 12 killed

31 Aug – Source: Reuters/Global Post/VOA/Washington Post/ABC News – 126 words

Islamist rebels blew up a car bomb and gunmen attacked a national intelligence site in Somalia’s capital where suspected militants are held, in an assault on Sunday that left at least 12 people dead. Three soldiers and two civilians were killed along with seven militants, including the suicide bomber who detonated the vehicle packed with explosives, government officials said. After the initial blast, gunmen stormed the compound but did not reach the underground cells where suspected militants were being detained, Security Ministry spokesman Mohamed Yusuf told reporters at the site. One intelligence officer, who identified himself only as Nur, told Reuters the gunmen had entered one building, forcing security personnel to fight room-to-room to clear them out. “All the attackers perished in the end,” Nur said.


Somalia Launches Offensive Against Extremists

30 Aug – Source: AP – 100 words

Military officials say the Somali army, backed by African Union forces, has launched a long-awaited operation against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab fighters in southern Somalia. Abdiqadir Mohamed Nor, the governor of Lower Shabelle region, where the offensive began, said Saturday that troops are advancing toward the militant-held town of Bulomarer, about 110 kilometers (70 miles) south of Mogadishu. The offensive aims to oust the feared terrorist group from its last major strongholds, from where officials believe they orchestrate deadly attacks in and outside Somalia. Losing Bulomarer would leave the group’s current key base of the coastal town of Barawe vulnerable to attacks.


Top world diplomats call for calm in northern Somalia

30 Aug – Source: Xinhua – 121 words

Senior International Representatives to Somalia on Friday called on warring sides in the north of country to withdraw their forces from the disputed town of Saaxdheer and resolve differences through peaceful means. In a joint statement issued in Mogadishu, the U.S. Special Representative for Somalia, James McAnulty, UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay and European Union Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso expressed concern over conflict in northern Somalia between forces of the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland and those of the newly-formed regional state of Khaatumo. Residents in the southern regions of Somaliland elected Ali Khalif Galeyr, a Somali MP as the head of the newly-formed Khaatumo State of Somalia which includes Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions in north of the country.

SOCIAL MEDIA

CULTURE / OPINION / EDITORIAL / ANALYSIS / BLOGS/ DISCUSSION BOARDS

“AU and government forces attempt to strangle al Shabaab’s access to money and weapons with new operation on coastline.”


Somalia: cutting through the sinews of war

31 Aug – Source: Al Jazeera – 406 words

The codename is ‘Operation Indian Ocean’. The mission is to strangle al Shabaab finances by capturing seaside towns under its control, such as Barawe. Authorities say the al Qaeda-linked group uses the towns to imports weapons and trade. Al Shabaab is nothing without them, says the Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohammed. But this mission was never going to be a surprise dawn attack by Somali government forces and their African Union allies. If anything, it has been purposefully signposted: “We are coming, leave.” Indeed, the army has been moving towards rebel-held towns in the Lower and Middle Shabelle provinces for weeks – enough time for al Shabaab to relocate their fighters and weapons. I have been with AU troops for several days in Jowhar, the capital of Middle Shabelle and a few kilometres from al Shabaab lines. We have, so far, seen more dust storms than battles. Soldiers tell me al Shabaab are fighting with everything – the group recently broke the banks of the Shabelle river to flood the roads and render them impassable for the AU force’s armoured vehicles. This war will not be settled with a hammer blow. The winners will perhaps be those who can keep the money flowing, and al-Shabab knows this also. The group has blockaded most of the towns its fighters lost earlier this year, cutting off supply routes for anyone left behind.


“Surely, we have stepped out of that pitch darkness of the civil war period and entered the dawn of a new era: at least we are now plodding towards laying the foundations of a new Somali State. But, it might be a long dawn; and, alas, we may have to wait for many more years before the sun shines on our country again.”


THE SOMALI FEDERATION: CROSSING THE INITIAL HURDLES

29 Aug – Source: Wardheernews – 514 words

The civil war in Somalia has not been without consequences.   On the contrary, it has been cataclysmic in that it created long-lasting, if not permanent, fissures along clan lines, which to this day have not been healed.  Though Siad Barre is blamed for promoting a Daarod hegemony while targeting the Hawiye and Isaaq, these latter forged, in turn, an anti-Daarod alliance and established their respective ‘liberation’ fronts – the USC and SNM.  Furthermore, both fronts declined to join the Majerten SSDF, which predated them, because they could not trust a Daarod front, even though it was committed to and was actually fighting the Barre regime well before them. Unlike the Ethiopian fronts, which were united under the umbrella of the EPRDF, the Somali fronts never even tried to open talks among themselves as to how they could merge and come up with a plan to heal the rifts between the clans and govern a united country post-Barre.  Clan prejudice benumbed their minds, and as they shed more and more blood the national interest became more and more submerged in a welter of blinding hate.  In the upshot, they went their own separate ways: the USC imploded and was sinking in a blood bath in what the International Community called later “The Triangle of Death”, the SNM secured the Isaaq-land, it being purely an Isaaq front, and the SSDF captured its own Majerten-land.

September 1, 2014 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

Somali warlord agrees to talks, boosts government peace efforts

01 Sept- Source: Reuters-539 Words

A Somali clan leader who fought for years to retake a strategic southern port city he once controlled has laid down arms and joined talks, bolstering government efforts to show it can restore order to a chaotic nation. The fate of the city of Kismayu and the surrounding region of Jubbaland is seen as a test of Mogadishu’s skill in building a federal system of government and pacifying a nation fought over for more than two decades by warlords and Islamist rebels.

Dozens of people were killed in clashes last year when Barre Hirale’s forces battled to regain control of Kismayu from the Ras Kamboni militia loyal to Ahmed Madobe, who had been chosen in May by a regional assembly to preside over Jubbaland.

Hirale and Madobe have for years fought to control the port, which generates valuable revenues from taxes, charcoal exports and levies on arms and other illegal imports. The African Union force AMISOM, which has been involved in reconciliation efforts, said Hirale and nearly 100 members of his militia gave up their weapons on Saturday after discussions with clan elders and Somali federal government delegations.

Key Headlines

  • Governor Sidii: the joint forces are advancing to Sablale and Barawe (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Somali president condemns al Shabaab attack on Jiliow prison (Radio Bar-kulan)
  • Al Shabaab fighters who attacked intelligence prison used stolen security forces uniforms- Minister(Radio Mogadishu/SNTV/RBC)
  • Somali soldier kills two fellow soldiers in Beled-hawa town (Radio Bar-kulan/Radio Star)
  • Middle Shebelle administration prepares to deliver support to liberated areas (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Allied forces seize several villages in Middle Shabelle region (Radio Bar-kulan/Dalsan)
  • Parliament Speaker delegation in Baidoa for talks (Radio Goobjoog/UniversalTV/Jowhar/Hiiraan Online)
  • Somaliland: Wind Brings Light to the Highlands of Sheik (SomalilandPress)
  • Joint forces seize Kunturwaarey town (Radio Mogadishu/Goobjoog/Kulmiye/Risaala/Dalsan)
  • AMISOM captures key town in major operation (Daily Monitor)
  • Somali warlord agrees to talks boosts government peace efforts(Reuters)
  • UN govt. issue fresh drought warnings in Somalia (Press TV)

PRESS RELEASE

HE President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Strongly Condemns Attack on NISA Facility in Mogadishu

01 Sept – Source: Office of the President of Somalia – 432 words

Speaking in Ankara, Turkey, while attending the inauguration of the President of Turkey, HE the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud strongly condemned today’s attack by al Shabaab on the NISA Facility in Mogadishu.

“Just before midday today, 31 August 2014, 7 members of al Shabaab attacked the National Intelligence & Security Agency (NISA) Godka Jilicow facility in central Mogadishu, breaching the wall of the prison with explosives and then forcing their way into the complex using small arms.

Due to the prompt actions of the personnel on duty in the complex at the time of the incident and their rapid reinforcement by other elements of the Somali security forces, (supported by AMISOM troops), the attack was quickly halted and all the al Shabaab members killed.

It is with regret that I note that 3 members of the security forces and 2 civilians were also killed during the incident. I send my sincere condolences to the families of those who died and offer our deepest gratitude to the members of the security forces who gave up their lives.

“As a result of the recent security surge in Mogadishu and the continuing success of Operation Indian Ocean, al Shabaab are now desperately short of men. We can only presume that this prompted such a desperate attempt to free some of their imprisoned personnel.

At the same time, al Shabaab knows the conventional fight over territory is nearly over for them so it seeks instead to distract from its losses of men and ground by trying to grab media headlines through attention-seeking but consistently unsuccessful attacks such as this one.

“I have ordered a full, public enquiry into the incident. We will learn the lessons of this attack, further improving our procedures as required in order to limit the opportunities for the terrorists. At the same time, stop and search operations in Mogadishu and Operation Indian Ocean will continue unabated.

“It gives me no pleasure to say it, but al Shabaab will attempt more attacks of this nature. They have no other options left. But the security forces, with the assistance of AMISOM and the support of the international community, are continually developing their capacity to defeat and even pre-empt these attacks.

“I end by reminding you, the citizens of Somalia, that you too have a role to play in securing the nation. Report criminal activities and any suspicious activity to the security forces, even if it is your son or your brother. It is your duty as a Somali and it is only with your help that we will rid ourselves of al Shabaab.”

SOMALI MEDIA

Governor Sidii: the joint forces are advancing to Sablale and Barawe

01 Sept- Source: Radio Goobjoog-102 Words

The governor of Lower Shabelle region Mohamed Noor Sidii stated that the joint forces have pushed al Shabaab out of many areas in the region. Mr. sidii reiterated that the forces are now heading to Sablale and Baraawe districts, stronghold bases of al Shabaab in the region.

The governor underlined that government forces and AMISOM troops have taken over most areas from al Shabaab without resistance. The governor finally said that the forces will not rest until al Shabaab will be pushed out of the region. Federal government forces and African union peacekeeping troops have captured Bulo-Marer and Kurtunwaarey districts in Lower Shabelle region.


Somali president condemns al Shabaab attack on Jiliow prison

01 Sept- Source: Radio Bar-Kulan-223 Words

Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has strongly condemned yesterday’s attack on Godka Jiliow prison run by Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency in Mogadishu. 7 al Shabaab fighters attacked the National Intelligence & Security Agency’s Godka Jiliow facility in central Mogadishu, breaching the wall of the prison with explosives and then forcing their way into the complex using small arms.

The president praised the swift action of the security forces and the rapid reinforcement by other security elements including Somali national army and the African Union forces in Somalia. “Due to the prompt actions of the personnel on duty in the complex at the time of the incident and their rapid reinforcement by other elements of the Somali security forces, (supported by AMISOM troops), the attack was quickly halted and all the al Shabaab members killed, the president said.

He noted the loss of three security forces and two civilians to yesterday’s attack and sent his condolences to the family and friends of those who died on the attack. “It is with regret that I note that 3 members of the security forces and 2 civilians were also killed during the incident. I send my sincere condolences to the families of those who died and offer our deepest gratitude to the members of the security forces who gave up their lives,” he said.


Al Shabaab fighters who attacked intelligence prison used stolen security forces uniforms- Minister

01 Sept – Source: Radio Mogadishu/SNTV/RBC – 171 words

The Minister of Information praised security forces’ bravery in halting an attack on the Godka Jilicow detention centre in Mogadishu. The minister said in a press conference that on Sunday around 11:40 am [local time] terrorists attempted to force their way into a government detention centre in Mogadishu.

Seven al Shabaab members (5 wearing stolen security forces uniforms) approached the centre in two vehicles and immediately started their attack. All seven al Shabaab were killed within 45 minutes of the attack beginning.

“The terrorists aimed to force their way in the centre and free their comrades who were being held in the centre. Regrettably, three members of the security forces as well as two innocent passersby were also killed in the incident. The Federal Government of Somalia sends sincere condolences to their families.” The Minister said.

The Minister of Information concluded his remarks, saying “The Federal Government of Somalia praises the bravery of security forces at the detention centre that foiled the attack from al Shabaab and killed all 7 attackers.


Somali soldier kills two fellow soldiers in Beled-hawa town

01 Sept- Source: Radio Bar-kulan/Radio Star- 119 words

Two soldiers from Somali government forces in Beled-hawa town, Gedo region have died after they were shot dead by a fellow Somali soldier according security officials in the town. Chief security officer of Beled-hawa town, Ismail Kofi told Bar-kulan that the assailant escaped from the scene after killing the two soldiers adding that the motives behind the shooting are unknown.

He added that the government forces in the area have launched a manhunt operation to bring the perpetrator to justice. Beled-hawa town which borders Kenya and Somalia has witnessed similar cases in recent times, the last one being a month ago when a soldier killed two civilians in the town.


Middle Shebelle administration prepares to deliver support to liberated areas

01 Sept- Source: Radio Goobjoog-119 Words

The administration of middle Shabelle region is preparing to deliver emergency support the areas captured by the allied forces in the region. The spokesman of middle Shabelle region Daud Haji Iro said that the government forces have maintained the overall security of the captured areas.

Mr. Daud stated that the forces will advance to the remaining areas under the control of al Shabaab in middle Shabelle region so as to support the families affected by the conflicts and drought. The administration sent appeal to aid agencies to deliver emergency assistance to middle Shabelle residents

Since Indian operation started in Southern Somalia over four areas were liberated from al Shabaab, many families who fled from their houses are in desperate humanitarian conditions.


Allied forces seize several villages in Middle Shabelle region

01 Sept-Source: Radio Bar-kulan/Dalsan- 184 words

Somali government forces backed by African Union troops in Somalia Sunday seized new territories in Middle Shabelle region as the operation against al Shabaab militant group widens to many fronts.

Ali Jiliow, a senior military officer from Somali government forces in Middle Shabelle region told Bar-kulan that the allied forces seized Dhin-garas and several other villages north of Jowhar, the provincial capital of Middle Shabelle region.

The military officer added that the allied forces also shelled Kiliga Shinaha village which was one of al Shabaab strongholds in Middle Shabelle region. He vowed that the military operation against al Shabaab militant group will continue until the militants are driven out of the region.

The capture of Dhin-garas and other villages in Middle Shabelle region is part of a military offensive dubbed Operation Indian Ocean jointly carried out by Somali government and AMISOM forces which is aimed at driving al Shabaab militant group out of the country.

The operation has so far proven successful after the allied forces seized several villages and small towns from the militant group in Middle Shabelle, Hiran and Lower Shabelle regions.


Parliament Speaker, delegation en route to Baidoa for talks

01 Sept- Source: Radio Goobjoog/UniversalTV/Jowhar/Hiiraan Online-160 Words

The security of Baidoa, the headquarters of Bay region was tightened as delegation led by federal parliament speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari is en route to the town. Government forces and Ethiopian troops are patrolling the major streets of Baidoa and the airport.

Mr. Jawari is accompanied by members of federal parliament and the former speaker of transitional federal parliament Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan. The officials are expected to mediate the tensions between the administrations of South West Somalia- six and three regions and establish a unified administration of three regions.

Last week at least one person died and dozens wounded after government forces opened life bullets on crowds of protestors against the visit of Prime minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, later PM’s trip to the town was delayed. The federal government of Somalia has recognized South West Somalia administration comprising of three regions and formed a technical committee to facilitate the establishment of the regional state.


Somaliland: Wind Brings Light to the Highlands of Sheik

01 Sept- Source: SomalilandPress-467 Words

The Minister of Energy and Minerals Honorable Hussein Abdi Dualeh today inaugurated yet another wind farm which will now provide 24 hours electricity power to residents of Sheik as part of the current government to shift from the fossil based sources of energy to clean and renewable energy-based microgrid system in all Somaliland׳s urban centers.

The $800,000 Dollar state of the art wind farm is a privately venture owned by Beder local electricity this as the company decided to move away from the ever increasing and continuously unpredictable fluctuating diesel prices to more cheap supply alternative energy solutions such as wind power which will have higher returns for consumers and providers than using diesel would.

Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh added, “I feel honored to be among the good people of Sheik here today as you’re aware, I was among those privileged students who had the opportunity to had being educated in Sheik secondary School and that’s why I feel happy to see Sheik progress; I also laud Beder electricity company for investing in the future of this town and I hope such investment will pave way for cheaper electricity power for our citizens.

“We have already introduced 8 similar projects across the country, all which will be based on alternative energy solutions such as wind power for increased and improved clean and cheap energy supply for sustainable economic development such as this wind,” he said.


Joint forces seize Kunturwaarey town

31 Aug – Source: Radio Mogadishu/Goobjoog/Kulmiye/Risaala/Dalsan- 81 words

Federal government forces and African union peacekeeping troops have taken over Kunturwaarey town in Lower Shabelle region. There was no confrontation as al Shabaab left Kunturwaarey before the joint forces reached the town.

The forces have launched operations to maintain the security of the town, a witness who spoke on a condition of anonymity told the media that forces have started demining operations within the town. Kunturwaarey town is located 20 Kilometres West of Bula Marer district which was captured yesterday.


Somali Football Federation elects new leadership

31 Aug- Source: Radio Bar-kulan-203 Words

Former Secretary General of Somali Football Federation Mr. Abdikani Said Arab has been unanimously elected to lead the Somali Football Federation for the next four years. Mr Arab and the former president Ali Said Guled Roble were the two candidates running for the federation’s leadership, but before voting began the former president told the congress he resigned from his candidacy and then the stakeholders voted for the only running candidate.

The electoral committee announced the result as Mr Arab was voted by all stakeholders including 25 clubs, the referees’ association, the coaches’ association and the players’ association. Ali Abdi Mohamed has been elected as senior vice president after all stakeholders unanimously elected him, while Abdullahi Sheik who got 23 votes became the 2nd vice president after defeating former vice president Abdullahi Abow Hussein who got only 4 votes.

The congress then started to vote for the executive committee members where seven candidates were competing for six available posts. Below are the six elected executive committee members.
1 Yahye Mohamed Abokar
2 Abdirashid Hussein Addow
3 Osman Jama Dira’
4 Mustaf Elmi Afrah
5 Hassan Moalim Yusuf
6 Hirey Ahmed Rooble
The new leadership will run the football federation in the next four years.


Somaliland: NEC speaks about decision of the president to disband the commission

31 Aug – Source: Somaliland Informer – 138 words

The Chairman of country’s National Electoral Commission Mr. Ahmed Hirsi Gele has spoken of the decision made by President Silanyo in which he disbanded the commission which its time has expired.

The chairman has reiterated that it is not appropriate for the current government not to disband the commission once the country is preparing for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections which are slated to take place in the country in mid 2015 which is drawing nearer.

He revealed that they will continue to serve until a new commission is formed that will replace them.
NEC has been in office for five years and according to the country’s national constitution that the president reserves the right to appoint three, the elders appoint two and the other two are named by the two oppositional political parties.


Situation is Calm in Bulamareer Despite Clashes

31 Aug- Source: Radio Dalsan- 146 words

The situation of Bulamareer where clashes between government forces backed by AMISOM and al Shabaab took place is calm. On Saturday, AMISOM and the government troops attacked Bulamareer and Golweyn and ran over them. This morning, the allied forces started investigations in those areas especially in Bulamareer town. The allied forces are in search of any al Shabaab militants who remained in the town together with illegally possessed firearms.

As many people fled the town because of the clashes of yesterday, the allied forces are asking those remained many questions so that they can confirm they are not members of al Shabaab. Even though the government army officials didn’t speak about the impact of the clashes, witnesses say there were many negative impacts of the fighting which can be felt. Some 20 civilians were wounded in the crossfire. Some of them were brought to Mogadishu for treatment.

REGIONAL MEDIA

AMISOM captures key town in major operation

01 Sept – Source: Daily Monitor – 138 words

African Union forces from the Ugandan contingent and Somali National Army on Saturday captured Bulo Barer, a strategic town, in a major offensive targeting al Shabaab held ports and towns, African Union has said.

The attack codenamed “Operation Indian Ocean”, launched last week, also led to the capture of other two small towns of Goolweyn and Jerlio. The operation intends to deny the insurgents access to the sea which they have been using to ship in guns.

“During the early morning operation, al Shabaab militants mounted resistance against Somali Forces supported by AMISOM but they were overrun. The forces are currently consolidating the town,” a statement by AMISOM reads.

Located 115 km southwest of Mogadishu, Bulo Marer has been under the militants and is a getaway to the port city of Baraawe and was used as a tax collection centre.


Al Shabaab attacks Somalia’s intelligence HQ

31 Aug – Source: Al Jazeera/Al Arabiya – 171 words

The Somali armed group al Shabaab has launched an attack on the country’s intelligence headquarters in central Mogadishu, setting off a bomb and opening fire on the complex, police and witnesses said. The car bomb explosion, was followed by a fierce exchange of gunfire killing at least seven rebel fighters, officials saidon Sunday.

There were no details on casualties among the security forces. A spokesperson of the armed group confirmed with Al Jazeera that its fighters were involved in the attack and that they had entered the building. Ahmed Hussein, a senior police officer, confirmed the attack, and added that the facility included underground cells.

“It seems their target was to cause a mess here and thus free their militant colleagues held in the underground cells, but that will not happen,” Nur told Reuters news agency. That compound is near the national intelligence site, and it was also attacked using what has become a familiar tactic: a vehicle tries to blast its way through perimeter security and gunmen charge in afterwards.


African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) captures Bulo-Mareer town Al Shabaab militants

31 Aug- Source: KTN Kenya-01:39mins

The Somali national army together with the African union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have captured Bulo-Mareer town which served as a major route for the al Shabaab group south of Somalia capital Mogadishu. Speaking after the operation brigadier. Gen. Dick Olum, from the AMISOM said the town provided steady income for the al Shabaab group through extortion and forceful taxation of residents and travelers. Al Shabaab are said to have resisted by firing back to the AMISOM led troops before burning tyres in the town. With the capture of Bulo-Mareer town, the Somali national army and the AMISOM troop are now targeting Barawe town. The operation launched by the SNA and AMISOM troops seeks to liberate more territory from the al Shabaab insurgents.


Somalia famine: ‘We only have days to live’

30 Aug- Source: Al Jazeera English-1030 Words

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has no doubt about who is to blame for the suffering from the latest drought to hit the Horn of Africa country.

“Al Shabaab have restricted the movement of goods and people so people are isolated and cannot receive aid or even the normal trade,” President Mohamud told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview. “The routes are blocked. So that created [the conditions] for people to go hungry.

“But that is not going to stop us. The interior ministry today sent a food convoy to the Gedo and Bakool regions of the country – with a security escort. The issue of drought is a very serious one.”

However, as government and rebel fighters battle over territory and access routes, tonnes of food meant for the tens of thousands of starving people in southern Somalia remains locked in massive warehouses in Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Somali warlord agrees to talks, boosts government peace efforts

01 Sept- Source: Reuters-539 Words

A Somali clan leader who fought for years to retake a strategic southern port city he once controlled has laid down arms and joined talks, bolstering government efforts to show it can restore order to a chaotic nation. The fate of the city of Kismayu and the surrounding region of Jubbaland is seen as a test of Mogadishu’s skill in building a federal system of government and pacifying a nation fought over for more than two decades by warlords and Islamist rebels.

Dozens of people were killed in clashes last year when Barre Hirale’s forces battled to regain control of Kismayu from the Ras Kamboni militia loyal to Ahmed Madobe, who had been chosen in May by a regional assembly to preside over Jubbaland.

Hirale and Madobe have for years fought to control the port, which generates valuable revenues from taxes, charcoal exports and levies on arms and other illegal imports. The African Union force AMISOM, which has been involved in reconciliation efforts, said Hirale and nearly 100 members of his militia gave up their weapons on Saturday after discussions with clan elders and Somali federal government delegations.


UN, GOVT. ISSUE FRESH DROUGHT WARNINGS IN SOMALIA

01 Sept- Source: Press TV-272 Words

The United Nations and the Somali government have issued fresh drought warnings in southern parts of the African state. The southern Somali town of Baidoa is one of the regions in danger and the humanitarian crisis is threatening to cause deaths and displacement.

For the past seven months, hundreds of people have left their homes in the Bakool region of southern Somalia to take shelter at a camp in Baidoa. Most of them walked all the way to the camp from the town of Hudur, which was captured six months ago by Ethiopian troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

“It’s seventh month now since we came to this camp, we have received no help at all; we have no food, no canned water and no proper shelter. Rain and wind continue to affect us here in this camp,” a displaced woman told Press TV.

Farming is the lifeline for people in Bakool, but drought and famine have displaced more than half a million people and claimed the lives of approximately a quarter of a million others. The displaced people at the camp in Baidoa accuse the government and aid agencies of negligence.


Somalia forces foil al Shabaab attack on high security prison

31 Aug – Source: AP – 158 words

Somali security forces said Sunday they had killed at least four al Shabaab militants, ending a coordinated car bomb and gun attack against the national intelligence headquarters and a detention facility in the capital Mogadishu.

“The attack was foiled and all of the attackers are dead. The situation is now under control and I can see the dead bodies of four of the attackers. Two security officials were also wounded in the attack,” Somali police official Mohamed Abudle said.

Godka Jilacow prison, the scene of the Sunday morning attack, is a key interrogation center for Somalia’s intelligence agency and many suspected militants are believed to be held there. Eyewitnesses said soldiers in speeding pick-up cars rushed to the prison and troops took positions around the facility.

SOCIAL MEDIA

CULTURE / OPINION / EDITORIAL / ANALYSIS / BLOGS/ DISCUSSION BOARDS

“In general, the budget is the most important document that illustrates the priority activities of the federal government and the resources allocated for implementing those priorities. Thus, the fiscal budget is an economic, political, and technical document that serves to check the economic and efficient use of public resources for the authorized purposes. It is a tool to account the federal government’s performance, accountability, and transparency.”


Somalia: Fiscal Budget and Federal Government legitimacy

31 Aug- Source: Hiiraan Online-1088 Words

Recently, I came across a document titled “Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) – Appropriation Act for the 2014 Budget,” consisting of Act No 00005 and financial statement. The theme (goals) of the Budget document is “enhancing State capacity for peace, justice, Economic Recovery Program (ERP) and Public financial Management.” Assuming the document is genuine, I’ll summarize below its essential information. In the meantime, it is important to note that the budget, which is based on revenues from Mogadishu Port, Airport, and Bakaraha Market, reflects the curbed legitimacy of the Federal Government.

On August 25, the media reported that the Business Community in Mogadishu Bakaraha Market refused to pay additional exorbitant tax after payment of high custom duty, fees, and other hidden costs at Mogadishu Port and roadblocks. Many Mogadishu residents frequently complain about payments of variety of levies and extortions to operate their businesses or repair damaged buildings.


“AU and government forces attempt to strangle al Shabaab’s access to money and weapons with new operation on coastline.”


Somalia: cutting through the sinews of war

31 Aug – Source: Al Jazeera – 406 words

The codename is ‘Operation Indian Ocean’. The mission is to strangle al Shabaab finances by capturing seaside towns under its control, such as Barawe. Authorities say the al Qaeda-linked group uses the towns to imports weapons and trade. Al Shabaab is nothing without them, says the Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohammed. But this mission was never going to be a surprise dawn attack by Somali government forces and their African Union allies.

If anything, it has been purposefully signposted: “We are coming, leave.” Indeed, the army has been moving towards rebel-held towns in the Lower and Middle Shabelle provinces for weeks – enough time for al Shabaab to relocate their fighters and weapons. I have been with AU troops for several days in Jowhar, the capital of Middle Shabelle and a few kilometres from al Shabaab lines. We have, so far, seen more dust storms than battles.

Soldiers tell me al Shabaab are fighting with everything – the group recently broke the banks of the Shabelle river to flood the roads and render them impassable for the AU force’s armoured vehicles. This war will not be settled with a hammer blow. The winners will perhaps be those who can keep the money flowing, and al-Shabab knows this also. The group has blockaded most of the towns its fighters lost earlier this year, cutting off supply routes for anyone left behind.

Top tweets

@UNLazzarini .@IOM_Somalia opens health post for 2.5k former #IDPs in #Hargeisa.Next step towards new life:http://bit.ly/1AMjdXt pic.twitter.com/D3c17FP6Sp

@UNSomalia .@Somalia111 meets with Federal MPs from#Puntland to discuss resumption of relations with Federal Govt of #Somalia pic.twitter.com/nZktMTbL4M

@evolvingprimate #PHOTOS Somali Security Services secure Banadir Intel HQ during Sunday’s attack by Al Shabab in Mogadishu pic.twitter.com/ls70qWTJx2

‏@harunmaruf Big achievement by the Somali Govt and IGAD as old foes (Madobe and Hirale) shake hands. Photo by@DhanaanMedia pic.twitter.com/MioUrvasMz

@BeilehMofa Our armed forces are strengthening& growing in confidence. We are indebted. @amisomsomalia @Somalia111@UNSomalia

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Image of the day

Image of the dayResidents of Buulomareer meet the Governor of Lower Shabelle, #AMISOM & SNA, one day after the town was liberated. Photo: @amisomsomalia