September 2, 2014 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

Al Shabaab leader’s fate unclear after suspected U.S. drone strike

02 Sept- Source: CNN-386 Words

A suspected U.S. drone strike targeted senior leaders of al Shabaab in southern Somalia, but it’s not clear if the leader of the Islamic militant group was wounded or killed, a Somali official said Tuesday. The Pentagon would only say it carried out an operation in Somalia, but didn’t offer additional details.

The strike Monday hit a village between Dhaab Tubaako and Haaway in an area controlled by al Shabaab, said Abdikadir Mohamed Nur Sidii, governor of Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region. “I never heard such a huge and deafening blast as the result of the airstrike,” Sidii said. “It jolted the entire region.”

Top al Shabaab commanders had been meeting in the area on how to stave off a joint offensive by Somali and African Union troops aimed at dislodging them from their nearby strongholds, the governor said. He said those commanders included leader Ahmed Abdi Godane and his deputy Abu Abdalla. “We can’t confirm how many leaders were killed in the attack,” he said. “We will confirm later.”

Key Headlines

  • Suspected US drone strikes al Shabaab convoy (Somali Current/Radio Dalsan/BBC Somali Service/Radio Bar-kulan)
  • General Abdirizak Elmi: Joint forces will keep up pressure to end al Shabaab (Radio RBC/BBC Somali Service)
  • New Som-Air launched in Mogadishu (Radio Mogadishu/SNTV/Somali Current)
  • Top al Shabaab leaders killed in Shaw airstrike military source (Radio Goobjoog)
  • AU Somali troops advance to Jalalaqsi in Hiiraan region (Hiiraan Online/VOA Somali Service)
  • Nairobi conference to discuss al Shabaab and Boko Haram (Radio Dalsan)
  • Somalia asks AU to train its soldiers (Daily Monitor)
  • No money to repatriate Somali refugees says UN official (Standard Media)
  • Security forces move in on al Shabaab (Al Jazeera English)
  • U.S. military conducts operation in Somalia Pentagon says (CNN/Washington Post/CNN/Reuters/VOA/BBC/CTV News/US Today)
  • Al Shabaab leader’s fate unclear after suspected U.S. drone strike (CNN)
  • Somali Governor says al Shabaab leader targeted in U.S. raid (Bloomberg)
  • Bill to ease money transfers to East Africa (Minnesota Daily)
  • Over one million people in Somalia face acute food insecurity as food crisis worsens (Trust/FAO)


Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini Statement to the Media: “Sustained response crucial to prevent a free fall”

02 Sept- Source: UNOCHA-320 Words

I am deeply concerned by the serious deterioration in the food security situation in Somalia. The new assessment findings by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network reflect a significant decline, owing to a lethal mix of drought, surging food prices and conflict.

Over 1 million people in Somalia face acute food insecurity today, up by 20 per cent from 857,000 six months ago. This brings the total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance or livelihood support to over 3 million. After gradual rebuilding of livelihoods since the 2011 famine that cost over a quarter of a million lives in excess mortality, fragile gains are now being eroded and malnutrition rates are again on the rise. Coping capacities are severely stretched and vulnerable families risk being pushed further into destitution.

As many as 218,000 acutely malnourished children under the age of 5 require emergency nutrition supplement, access to clean water, and better hygiene; 43,800 children are so severely malnourished that they will die if they do not receive medical treatment and therapeutic food. In response to the unfolding crisis, owing to contributions of donors, humanitarian partners have been able to step up efforts to urgently address the most critical needs across the country.

Aid organizations began using air cargo flights to areas with no road access. However, it is simply not sufficient to deliver the volume of humanitarian assistance required. Securing road access for commercial and humanitarian supplies in addition to having more resources is tantamount to the sustained delivery.

Concerted efforts are urgently required to save lives and prevent a free fall. As we enter the last third of the year, more than half a billion US dollars are still required for life-saving activities. Decisive measures will be required to ensure that we do not jeopardize the people of Somalia’s chance to enjoy a more safe, stable and prosperous outlook.


Suspected US drone strikes al Shabaab convoy

02 Sept – Source: Somali Current/Radio Dalsan/BBC Somali Service/Radio Bar-kulan – 132 words

Suspected US drone has fired at least 4 missiles on al Shabaab militant convoy. Somali intelligence agency has confirmed the attack saying it was targeted at al Shabaab senior officials’ convoy. US drones and Kenyan fighter jets have regularly targeted al Shabaab bases inside Somalia. In November last year A US drone strike in Somalia has killed two senior members of the Islamist militant group al Shabaab, including Ibrahim Ali the groups top explosives expert.

Al Shabaab is under pressure from from Somali forces and AMISOM troops which have launched operation dubbed Indian Ocean to cut off it supply lines along the Somali coast. Reports say the group has started withdrawing from main stronghold city of Barawe as the Somali troops and African union peacekeeping forces are advancing to the stronghold port city.

General Abdirizak Elmi: Joint forces will keep up pressure to end al Shabaab

02 Sept- Source: Radio RBC/BBC Somali Service- 325 words

As part of the ongoing joint military efforts dubbed Operation Indian Ocean aimed at defeating al Shabaab terrorists, Somalia National Army (SNA) and Burundian peacekeepers have in the past few days liberated several important towns in Middle Shabelle and Hiiran regions as they continue to jointly advance towards the main target of strategic town of Jalalaqsi.

On 30th August 2014 the joint forces liberated several location including a crossroad along Dangaras which connects several towns in Middle Shabelle region and Kiliga Shiinaha and went ahead to liberate the town of Fidow in Hiraan region.

The Somali National Army supported by AMISOM forces have faced little resistance from their advancement as al Shabaab simply melted away when they heard the aligned forces are approaching. Somalia Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Abdirizak Elmi said the forces will relentlessly keep up the pressure on al Shabaab and the forces will employ all the means at their disposal to end their reign of terror.

AMISOM Sector 5 commander Colonel Ndayambaje Reverien said the main target for the aligned forces is the strategic town of Jalalaqsi in Hiiran region which the militants have used as a base to launch attacks on SNA and AMISOM bases.

“We are happy to help the Somali Government regain more territory and help their people who have been suffering under the brutal leadership of al Shabaab, who have held the population hostage. Local populations welcomed the joint forces during the operation and continue to work with the forces in a bid to liberate them from the terrorists,” the AMISOM commander from Burundi said.

The Somali National Army and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops yesterday evening also liberated the town of Kurtunwaarey in Lower Shabelle. The operation Indian Ocean is aimed at liberating more towns to help the Somalia government expand its control and help ease humanitarian suffering of the population.

New Som-Air launched in Mogadishu

02 Sept – Source: Radio Mogadishu/SNTV/Somali Current -173 words

A ceremony to welcome a new airline named Som-air into the growing airline market in Somalia has been held in Mogadishu. Som-air which is owned by Somali businessmen will officially start its local and international flights on Thursday 4th September.

According to the Ahmed Shukri, one of the managers of the Som-air, the airline which has established offices in all regions in Somalia is meant to offer affordable and comfortable means of transport to the members of public.

Som-air is also expected to create competition in the growing international market while set to fly to some countries in Europe and other east African regional countries. Somali Information Minister Mustaf Ali Duhulo who was present at the launching ceremony has praised what he termed as the creativity and investment of Somali citizens.

“This is something to be proud off and as the government we encourage such initiatives.” He said. Since stability has returned to Somalia particularly in the capital Mogadishu there has been growing number of direct international flights to and from Somalia.

Top al Shabaab leaders killed in Shaw airstrike, military source

02 Sept- Source: Radio Goobjoog- 89 words

According to reports Radio Goobjoog is getting from Hiiraan region, senior al Shabaab members were killed in airstrike carried out by US warplanes in Shaw locality under Jalaqsi district. Abdullahi Barre Elmi, Hiran military spokesman told Radio Goobjoog the fighter jets attacked key al Shabaab bases in Hiiraan region adding the warplanes killed unspecified number of al Shabaab top leaders. The local residents in the areas where the airstrike occurred report that they heard the sounds of the missiles fired by the warplanes.

AU, Somali troops advance to Jalalaqsi in Hiiraan region

02 Sept – Source: Hiiraan Online/VOA Somali Service – 164 words

Somali troops alongside AMISOM are on the brink of retaking the town of Jalalaqsi in Hiiraan region in central Somalia, army commander said. General Mohamud Mohammed Hassan ” Qaafoow” said AU and Somali troops are in final push of retaking the town which is controlled by Islamist militant, al Shabaab.

General Qaafoow, the commander of the 12th April battalion of the Somali national army which is part of the operation ” Indian ocean” told the VOA Somali service that AMISOM and Somali troops were on the brink of the town and its fall was imminent in the coming hours.

“Our troops and equipments are well-prepared and cannot be defeated, our soldiers are well trained and familiar with the environment ,” he said. Since the operation dubbed ” Indian ocean” began , al Shabaab lost four towns and areas to AU and Somali troops.

According to general Qaafow, the al Shabaab fighters from the liberated areas fled towards the north but he didn’t mention the name of the places they fled to.

Nairobi conference to discuss al Shabaab and Boko Haram

02 Sept- Source: Radio Daslan- 150 words

Several African presidents including President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and other high profile dignities as well as top security officials from African countries are attending a security conference in Nairobi on how best to tackle terror groups in the continent especially Boko Haram and al Shabaab.

This comes after al Shabaab and Boko Haram increased their activities in Somalia and in Nigeria as well as Nigeria’s neighbors and Somalia’s Neighbors. analysts say there is need to increase the initiatives aiming at the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia. at the same time, analysts say it is necessary to enhance intelligence activities to monitor well the activities of al Shabaab.

On the other hand, in the US African Leaders Summit of last month, the US president Barack Obama pledged assistance for African governments in the fight against terror groups. The US government currently supports AMISOM in the fight against al Shabaab.

Somaliland: Burao Journalist Arrested

01 Sept – Source: Somaliland Sun – 89 words

The Togdheer regional stringer for Geeska newspaper and Star TV Mahad Farah is currently a guest of the state at Burao. The Journalist who was arrested while on duty through orders of the Deputy Mayor of Burao is reportedly unaware of reasons behind his current status and neither has the civic leader been forthcoming despite several attempts to elicit reasons. Due the almost daily arrest of one reporter in one town or another the tribulations of journalists is almost waning in import while they scribes, are slowly becoming immune.


Somalia asks AU to train its soldiers

02 Sept- Source: Daily Monitor-170 Words

The Somali government has asked donors to recruit and train 40,000 troops that will consolidate peace and stability in the nation once peacekeepers finally quit. Forces from Uganda, Kenya and Burundi under the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) have helped the transitional government liberate the capital Mogadishu from al Shabaab militants. AMISOM has also captured several towns, the latest being on Saturdaywhen they took Bulo Barer, a strategic town, in an offensive targeting al Shabaab-held ports.

The attack code named “Operation Indian Ocean”, launched last week, also led to the capture of Goolweyn and Jerlio town. “We appeal to AU and donors to help train at least 40,000 Somali nationals with at least more 10,000 AU troops to back our troops,” Somalia deputy minister of Information Abdullahi Oled Roble told Daily Monitor yesterday. He was speaking at the opening of an awareness raising workshop on gender issues for Somalia media in Kampala yesterday.

No money to repatriate Somali refugees, says UN official

02 Sept- Source: Standard Media-221 Words

The Government is facing challenges in raising Sh8.8 billion needed to fund the voluntary repatriation of refugees from Somalia back to their home country. Kenya, Somalia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have been seeking the money from the international community for the repatriation of more than half a million Somali refugees living in Kenya following decades of conflict in the horn of Africa country.

Commissioner for the Department of Refugees Affairs (DRA) Harun Komen said that the response to requests for donor funding have been below expectations. “It appears that the attention of international donors is currently focused on conflicts in other parts of the world such as Iraq and Syria, where humanitarian needs are at the highest. But we hope the plight of refugees in Kenya is not forgotten,” he said yesterday.

Last week, UNHCR convened a regional meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to refocus donor attention to the need for funding for Somali refugees in Kenya and their repatriation back home. The DRA official said some 5,000 refugees from Somalia who are ready to return home will be assisted to repatriate once their final dates are agreed upon by the Somali government and UNHCR.

Security forces move in on al Shabaab

02 Sept- Source: Al Jazeera English-02:54mins

Somalia’s army and African Union troops are continuing a major offensive against al Shabaab fighters. In the North… security forces say they’ve captured districts in the Hiran region, without a single shot being fired. South of Mogadishu, the focus is on capturing the seaside port of Barawe, al Shabaab’s official headquarters. Correspondent Mohammed Adow has more from Fidow in this Al Jazeera exclusive report.

Somali parents take on fight against extremist ideology at home

01 Sept – Source: Sabahi Online – 169 words

Somali parents are taking a more active role in dissuading their children against adopting extremist ideology after the government started cranking up convictions and executions of al Shabaab members. The Somali military court has carried out at least nine executions of convicted al Shabaab members in the past two months, and handed down death and life sentences to many others. The court also warned parents against wilfully turning a blind eye to their children’s involvement with the terrorist group, and asked them to take a more central role in fighting the spread of al-Shabaab’s ideology.

“The biggest fear we have is for our children to accept extremist ideology at a time when the nation’s judicial agencies are scaling up the sentences they are issuing against al Shabaab,” said Asha Mohamed, a 51-year-old mother of eight and resident of Mogadishu’s Hamar Jajab district. “Every morning before I send the children to school, I tell them to beware of anyone whom they suspect is supportive of the flawed ideology of al Shabaab,” she told Sabahi.

Fighting al Shabaab: A major achievement for AMISOM forces in Somalia

01 Sept- Source: KTN Kenya-02:01mins

The Somali national army and African union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops have captured the town of Kurtunwaarey in southern Somalia; the takeover was rather peaceful with residents seemingly welcoming the soldiers. The town was a key al Shabaab hideout.


U.S. military conducts operation in Somalia, Pentagon says

02 Sept – Source: CNN/Washington Post/CNN/Reuters/VOA/BBC/CTV News/US Today – 165 words

U.S. military forces conducted an operation Monday against the al Shabaab network in Somalia, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said. “We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate,” he said.

No other information was immediately available. The Pentagon did not say who was targeted, where in Somalia the operation took place nor why the operation was happening now. The United States designated al Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked militant group, as a foreign terrorist organization in March 2008. It has targeted al Shabaab leaders in Somalia at least twice in the past year.

Also Monday, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) announced that military forces had liberated several important towns from the terrorists’ grip, in the Middle Shabelle and Hiiraan regions. “The Somali National Army supported by AMISOM forces have faced little resistance from their advancement as al Shabaab simply melted away when they heard the aligned forces are approaching,” the mission said in a written statement.

Al Shabaab leader’s fate unclear after suspected U.S. drone strike

02 Sept- Source: CNN-386 Words

A suspected U.S. drone strike targeted senior leaders of al Shabaab in southern Somalia, but it’s not clear if the leader of the Islamic militant group was wounded or killed, a Somali official said Tuesday. The Pentagon would only say it carried out an operation in Somalia, but didn’t offer additional details.
The strike Monday hit a village between Dhaab Tubaako and Haaway in an area controlled by al Shabaab, said Abdikadir Mohamed Nur Sidii, governor of Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region. “I never heard such a huge and deafening blast as the result of the airstrike,” Sidii said. “It jolted the entire region.”
Top al Shabaab commanders had been meeting in the area on how to stave off a joint offensive by Somali and African Union troops aimed at dislodging them from their nearby strongholds, the governor said. He said those commanders included leader Ahmed Abdi Godane and his deputy Abu Abdalla. “We can’t confirm how many leaders were killed in the attack,” he said. “We will confirm later.”

Somali Governor says al Shabaab leader targeted in U.S. raid

02 Sept- Source: Bloomberg- 219 words

U.S. drones attacked a meeting of al Qaeda-linked militants in southern Somalia that was being led by the group’s leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, the governor of the Lower Shabelle region said. An unspecified number of people died in the raid that was carried out late yesterday, Governor Abdikadir Mohamed Nur said by phone.

The Pentagon said that it carried out an operation against al Shabaab, without providing any further details. U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec declined to comment when asked for further information. Other high-ranking militants were attending the meeting when the attack took place, Mohamed Nur said. An assessment is being carried out to determine who died in the raid, he said.

African leaders meet to discuss ways of combating insurgencies

02 Sept- Source: Bloomberg-457 Words

African leaders meet in Kenya Tuesday to discuss ways of boosting domestic efforts and international support to combat insurgencies that have killed thousands of people across the continent this year. At least six heads of state, including the presidents of Nigeria, Somalia and Chad, the prime minister of Algeria and ministerial delegations from Libya, South Africa and Ethiopia, are attending the summit in the capital, Nairobi. The meeting is expected to see leaders agree on “concrete steps” to enhance existing measures to “effectively address the threat of terrorism,” the African Union said in a statement yesterday.

Boko Haram Islamist militants in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, killed more than 2,000 people so far this year in their campaign to impose Islamic rule, according to Human Rights Watch. On the other side of the continent, at least 179 people have died in “terrorist incidents” in Kenya, Bath-based risk consultancy Maplecroft said, while in Libya, Islamists are battling for control of the capital, Tripoli.

Bill to ease money transfers to East Africa

02 Sept- Source: Minnesota Daily-527 Words

To Mohamud Abdi, sending money to family and friends is routine.“I don’t think I know a single Somali family who doesn’t send money back home,” the sociology sophomore said, adding that his family has done so ever since immigrating to the United States in 2003. Transferring money overseas, and especially to Somalia, has proven difficult for many years due to federal regulations, but a bill signed by President Barack Obama early last month could make it easier. Still, some in the money-wiring business say there’s much more to be done.

Money transfer operators, known as hawalas, are used by many recent immigrants who live and work in the U.S. and wire a portion of their income back to support loved ones abroad. But due to stricter federal anti-money laundering laws enacted after 9/11, hawalas have had trouble partnering with banks that wire money to East Africa.

Over one million people in Somalia face acute food insecurity as food crisis worsens

02 Sept- Source: Trust/FAO-680 Words

The gradual recovery and gains made since the end of the famine in 2012 are being lost as poor rains, conflict, trade disruptions and reduced humanitarian assistance led to a worsening of the food security situation across Somalia. Acute malnutrition increased in many parts of the country, particularly among children. The situation is likely to continue deteriorating further until the start of the Deyr rains in October.

The latest findings from a joint assessment by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU), a project managed by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other partners, indicate that an estimated 1,025,000 people will be in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4).

Somali leader on preventing radicalization of young Minnesotans

02 Sept- Source: KEYC/FOX-01:13mins

New fears are emerging about homegrown terrorism after an ISIS recruitment video surfaces on YouTube. Already, dozens of young men are following in that path, particularly in Minnesota. Peaceful Muslim leaders, like Somali community leader Abdi Bihi are now stepping in to reverse that trend.

“We need to engage young people into productive and positive activities. For example, if you look at all the young people radicalized and brainwashed, most of them were not engaged in any activities. So, we need to compete. The leaders are here. They are in every other community – not just Minnesota. We need to compete with them for the hearts and the mind of the young people,” Bihi explained.

The FBI has been investigating Minnesota’s large Somali community since 2007 when members of that community were recruited to fight for the al Shabaab terror organization in Somalia. In recent years, many of those radicalized young men have been recruited to travel to Syria.

AU, Somalia troops battle al Shabaab

01 Sept- Source: CCTV Africa-01:47mins

At least 15 people have been killed in Somalia when al Shabaab bombed the intelligence headquarters in Mogadishu, and clashed with security forces. That comes after African Union peacekeepers and Somali troops recaptured a southern town from the militant group. CCTV’s Clementine Logan reports.



“In Somali communities throughout the diaspora, Autism is referred to as the ‘Western disease’; many Somalis argue that Autism did not exist in Somalia. Due to a constellation of factors including limited English skills, cultural miscommunication between professionals and families, and a lack of knowledge about Autism and services out there, a diagnosis of Autism for Somali parents can be quite an isolating, and terrifying experience.”

The ‘Western’ disease: A call to action to assist families in the Somali diaspora impacted by Autism

02 Sept- Source: Wardheernews-968 Words

Talk to a Somali-American anywhere in the US. Chances are high that they know of a child and/or children who are on the Autism Spectrum. Many Somali mothers have been impacted by a diagnosis, which is unfamiliar to many in the community, and have struggled in accessing resources, in large part due to linguistic and cultural barriers. How can we better support Somali parents in their care for their children with Autism?

In the last few years, there have been several news reports concerning elevated levels of Somali children with Autism, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2008, Idil Abdul, a mother of a child with Autism, expressed her concerns at increased rates of Autism amongst Somali children in Minnesota. This set off a chain of reports looking into prevalence rates of Autism amongst Somali children in Minnesota, which culminated with a 2013 report which found that 1 in 32 Somali children aged 7-9 years in 2010 were identified as having Autism in Minneapolis.

The study also found that the average age of diagnosis was age 5, and that Somali children were more likely to have an intellectual disability, than children from other ethnic groups (Hewitt et al., 2013). Increased numbers of Somali children with Autism have also been reported in Sweden (see Barnevik-Olsen, Gillburg, & Fernell, 2008).

“Colin Freeman profiles Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of the al Shabaab Islamist movement believed to be targeted by US air strikes on Tuesday

Ahmed Abdi Godane: the al Shabaab leader targeted by air strikes

02 Sept- Source: The Telegraph-655 Words

With his background in accountancy and enthusiasm for poetry, Sheikh Ahmed Abdi Godane is an unlikely candidate to be Africa’s most feared militant leader. But with the Nairobi shopping mall atrocity in September 2013, the bookish 37-year-old leader of Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist movement has achieved a long-running ambition to join the very top tier of global terrorism.

On Tuesday a senior Somali intelligence official said a US drone targeted Godane as he left a meeting of the group’s top leaders. The Somali official said intelligence indicated Godane “might have been killed along with other militants.” The official said the attack took place in a forest near Sablale district, 105 miles south of Mogadishu, where al Shabaab trains its fighters.

If the reports of his death proved to be true, it would be a bitter blow for the Somali terrorists, for whom Godane has been their long-term leader. His name, however, rose to worldwide prominence with the Kenyan attacks. With the launch of the attack, Godane promised more violence if Kenya refused to withdraw its forces from neighbouring Somalia, where they have been fighting al Shabaab in its southern heartlands.

Top tweets

@AJELive Al Jazeera Exclusive: US forces target al-Shabab in#Somalia @Moadow

@Payitforward87 Newly built Sahan Sweet Shop in Mogadishu.#Somalia

@amisomsomalia VIDEO: Liberation of Kurtunwaarey town in Lower Shabelle

@UNLazzarini Food security findings for #Somalia will be released tomorrow @faoinsomalia @FEWSNET. Press conference in #Mogadishu & #Nairobi

@UNDPSomalia Empowering female entrepreneurs in #Somalia!

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