September 7, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Cabinet Defends Transfer Of ONLF Officer To Ethiopia, Links To Al-Shabaab

06 September – Source: Somali Update – 357 Words

Somali Cabinet Ministers on Wednesday defended the transfer of Somali-Ethiopian rebel commander to Ethiopia last week which brought public outrage.  In a statement released by the Office of Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire following an extraordinary meeting, the Cabinet justified the hand over of Abdikarim Sheikh Muse based on “previous joint agreements between the Ethiopian and Somali Federal Government” which recognizes armed groups such as Al-Qaeda affiliate militant group Al-Shabaab and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) as terrorist organizations.

According to the statement, the Cabinet presented two agreements with Ethiopia – June 7th, 2015 and the May 2nd, 2016. “The agreements recognized that the two armed groups Al-Shabaab and ONLF are threat to the national security of the two countries [Ethiopia and Somalia], and that the two governments maintain joint collaboration and deal against the two groups” the statement added. The Cabinet alleged Abdikarim Sheikh Muse as a rebel figure who had links with Al-Shabaab in Somalia.  Abdikarim Sheikh Muse has organized acts against the national security and carried out such acts inside the country and had links with Al-Shabaab” the statement read.

Ethiopian government considers ONLF, an ethnic Somali separatist rebels fighting for self-determination for the Somali-Ethiopian region, as a terror group. Somalia has never listed the group as a terrorist entity. The statement is the first one from Somali government since the ONLF officer was transferred to Ethiopia on August 27th after he was arrested by the National Security Agents in Galkayo on August 23. On Tuesday, Former Somali Internal Security Minister of Interior Abdikarim Hussein Guled has rejected the existence of any known extradition agreements between Somalia and the Ethiopian government’s. Mr. Guled was reacting to Somali-Ethiopian regional state president Abdi Mohamud Omar comments who said the transfer of the ONLF officer was in line with agreements with Somalia in 2015 when Mr. Guled was the Somalia’s Internal Security Minister. “The agreement the Somali-Ethiopian president Mr. Abdi Mohamud Omar referred was neither about extradition of prisoners nor was it national level. It was a truce-like agreement between the two regional states [Somalia’s Galmudug and Ethiopia’s Somali state] following violence at the border.” Mr. Guled emphasized.

Key Headlines

  • Cabinet Defends Transfer Of ONLF Officer To Ethiopia Links To Al-Shabaab (Somali Update)
  • Two Somali Soldiers Killed In IED Blast In Afgoye Town (Shabelle News)
  • Galmudug And Puntland Hold Direct Peace Talks In Galkayo (Shabelle News)
  • U.S. Airstrike Kills Three Al-Shabaab Fighters in Somalia (Daily Monitor)
  • Al-Qaeda Affiliated Al-Shabaab Claims Beheading of Christians in Northern Kenya (News Week)
  • Somalia Remains Volatile Problematic (New Vision)


Two Somali Soldiers Killed In IED Blast In Afgoye Town

06 September – Source: Shabelle News – 131 Words

At least two Somali government soldiers were reported to have been killed, and several others wounded in a deadly roadside bomb explosion in Afgoye, about 30Km northwest of Mogadishu on Wednesday. Witnesses said a landmine blast struck a convoy carrying Somali forces driving  to an orphanage camp in the heart of the town, killing three  soldiers on the spot, while injuring several who were taken to hospital.

In the aftermath of the attack, police cordoned off the scene near the site of the explosion, and carried out an operation, however, no arrest was reported so far. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bomb attack, but local security officials blamed Al-Shabaab for the incident, that was the latest in series of landmine assaults on Somali troops in the region.

Galmudug And Puntland Hold Direct Peace Talks In Galkayo

06 September – Source: Shabelle News – 82 Words

Mudug peace talks between Puntland and Galmudug Tuesday kicked off in Galkayo town of Mudug region. Puntland Vice President, Abdihakim Omar Amey and Galmudug Vice President, Mohamed Abdi Hashi attended in the talks aimed at ending the conflict in Mudug region. Forces from Puntland and Galmudug battled in Galkayo in late 2016, which saw the deaths of many people and the displacement of families. According to sources, the two sides will issue a statement after the talks, that will last for  up to three days.


U.S. Airstrike Kills Three Al-Shabaab Fighters in Somalia

06 September – Source: Daily Monitor – 193 Words

American forces have conducted airstrikes against al shabaab in Somalia, killing three insurgents. A statement issued by US. Africa command on Wednesday said the operation was carried out on Tuesday in Bay Region, about 75Kms west of the Somali capital Mogadishu. “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, the Department of Defense conducted a precision airstrike in central Somalia against al-Shabaab militants on Tues., Sept. 5 at approximately 9:50 a.m. local Somalia time, killing three terrorists,” the statement reads.

The U.S. conducted the operation in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) forces that were operating in the area. Last month, the al shabaab insurgents ambushed and killed 12 Ugandan soldiers in Somalia last months. Uganda has over 6000 soldiers deployed to support the government of Somalia which faces threats from the insurgents. “U.S. forces will continue to use all authorised and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF); targeting terrorists, their training camps and safe havens throughout Somalia, the region and around the world,” the statement said

Al-Qaeda Affiliated Al-Shabaab Claims Beheading of Christians in Northern Kenya

06 September – Source: Newsweek – 300 Words

Somali Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for two attacks in Lamu County in which it claims to have beheaded five Christians. Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo told Reuters that the attack took place near the northern coastal town of Lamu on Wednesday, one in Silini-Mashambani, killing three, and another in Bobo village, killing one.  In a statement published by jihadi monitoring site Jihadoscope, Al-Shabaab said that its fighters had “managed to temporarily control Hindi town in Kenya’s Lamu coastal province, killing five occupiers who are Kenyan Christians.”

It is not clear whether four or five people have been killed.  Describing the attack, Kitiyo said: “They were dressed in military gear and had AK-47 rifles. They beheaded four men before fleeing into the forest. All the victims are men. Police have already arrived at the scene and taken the bodies to the mortuary.” The men surrounded the victims’ houses before attacking, he said, in a group that numbered around 30 and were heavily armed.

Al-Shabab originated in Somalia but in recent years has begun conducting attacks on Kenyan soil because of the country’s involvement in the African Union force attempting to defeat the group. It is responsible for some of the worst extremist attacks in recent history in Kenya, including the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi where Al-Shabaab gunmen killed and the 2015 Garissa University College attack that left 148 people dead. In July, the Somali militant group, which splintered from the Islamic Courts Union in 2006 and pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda in 2012, beheaded nine men in an overnight assault on the villages of Jima and Pandanguo in Lamu. A week before the attack, militants killed three police officers in Lamu. The province remains under a three-month state of emergency imposed by the Interior Ministry after the attack.


“Helping the leadership in Somalia to conduct peaceful elections, the capture of Mogadishu city and other towns such as Marka, Afogoye and Barawe and the relocation of all partners, including United Nations agencies from Nairobi to Mogadishu, are some of the achievements that Muhanga singled out.”

Somalia Remains Volatile, Problematic

06 September – Source: New Vision – 446 Words

The commander of Uganda’s contingent deployed under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Brig. Kayanja Muhanga, has said Somalia remains a volatile state with a number of challenges for citizens and the peacekeepers. In a brief to Simon Mulongo, the newly appointed deputy special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Muhanga also said lack of air capacity by AMISOM troops, expanded area of operation, poor conditions of infantry fighting vehicle and the poor road network are some of the major challenges that have complicated peacekeeping in Somalia.

A statement issued by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) notes that Muhanga said: “Somalia still has a lot of problems that need to be addressed. Among the outstanding problems he highlighted the persistent Clan rivalries in the sector, land ownership for agriculture and economic rivalries especially in Marka port”. “These conflicts have made the situation more volatile as Al-Shabaab has for many times used them to launch attacks on own forces,” he added. Muhanga was addressing Mulongo at the headquarters of the Uganda contingent in Somalia. Threats of improvised explosive devices usage by terrorists and inadequate defense stores to fortify the defensive positions of troops, Muhanga said, are the other challenges that the troops must be supported to overcome.

Helping the leadership in Somalia to conduct peaceful elections, the capture of Mogadishu city and other towns such as Marka, Afogoye and Barawe and the relocation of all partners, including United Nations agencies from Nairobi to Mogadishu, are some of the achievements that Muhanga singled out. According to Mulongo, the presence of Ugandan troops in Somalia is a sign of the Pan-Africanism spirit shaped by the need to stabilise and restore peace to the conflict-torn country. He has also urged the Ugandan troops to always stay focused on the mission and the strategic objective of their deployment so that they can ably implement their mandate. Mulongo has also called for troop contributing countries to draw an exit strategy.

“Troop Contributing Countries and partners must sit and review the exit plan very well so that we don’t see another Somalia failed State only two days after our exit,” he said. Mulongo , a former MP replaced Lydia Wanyoto, the current National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairperson of the women league, after her contract expired in March.


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.