Critical ThreatsHorn of Africa: Al Shabaab Twitter account suspended after group threatens to kill Kenyan hostages; Somali government forces clash with al Shabaab near Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency denies reports of taking bribes for release of prisoners; Kismayo interim administration denies censoring journalists; Kenyan voters undereducated on local candidates in March 4 election; Kenyan ambassador to the United Nations asks for reimbursement for Somalia campaign
Friday, January 25, 2013
Horn of Africa Security Brief
• Al Shabaab’s Twitter account was suspended on January 25, after the group used the account to threaten to kill Kenyan hostages on January 23, and to announce the capture of French intelligence officer Dennis Allex on January 17. An al Shabaab spokesman blamed the action on al Shabaab’s “Christian enemies.”
• Somali government forces raided a village near Jowhar, Middle Shabelle Region on January 24, detaining an unknown number of al Shabaab militants. The raid comes after an al Shabaab attack on Jowhar the night before, in which government forces and al Shabaab militants exchanged fire, killing an unknown number of individuals.
• The Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency denied reports that suspects in its custody are released after paying bribes in an interview published on January 25. It also refuted allegations that it had recruited former al Shabaab militants.
• The interim administration in Kismayo denied that it had been censoring media in an interview on January 25, in response to a January 23 report by Shabelle Media Network.
• Kenyan voters are undereducated about local, county, or legislative candidates in the run-up to the March 4 election, according to a report published on January 25. This comes in light of post-2010 reforms, in which Kenya’s historical eight provinces will be replaced with 47 county administrations which act as the second tier of government under the federal level.
• Kenyan Ambassador to the UN Macharia Kamau urged the UN Security Council to pay all funding that was promised in support of the AMISOM campaign in Somalia during a council debate on January 21.
 “Al Shabaab Says Enemies Closed its Twitter Account,” Reuters, January 25, 2013. Available:http://news.yahoo.com/somalia-militants-twitter-account-down-hostage-threat-094612564.html
 “Somalia: Govt Forces Raid Village Near Jowhar After Al Shabaab Attack,” Garowe Online, January 24, 2013. Available:http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Govt_forces_raid_village_near_Jowhar_after_Al_Shabaab_attack.shtml
 “National Security Agency Refutes Alleged Underhand Deals to Free Suspects,” Bar-Kulan, January 25, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/25/national-security-agency-refutes-alleged-underhand-deals-to-free-suspects/
 “Kismayo’s Interim Admin Rubbishes Alleged Media Censorship,” Bar-Kulan, January 25, 2013. Available:http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/25/kismayos-interim-admin-rubbishes-alleged-media-censorship/
 “Kenyan Voters Lack Information on Candidates for Local Posts,” Sabahi, January 24, 2013. Available:http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/features/2013/01/24/feature-01
 Kevin J. Kelley, “Kenya demands UN to make full refund over Amisom role,” Daily Monitor, January 23, 2013. Available: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/World/Kenya-demands-UN-to-make-full-refund-over-Amisom-role/-/688340/1673038/-/ftk65t/-/index.html