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Gulf of Aden Security Review - January 2, 2013

Critical Threats
Thursday, January 03, 2013

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Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab leaders flee Bardhere, Gedo region; Ethiopian court convicts ten al Shabaab militants; Puntland forces carry out security operations in Galkayo, Mudug region; Puntland forces carry out security operations in Garowe, Nugaal region; man wearing suicide vest arrested in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; nighttime curfew imposed in Beled Hawo, Gedo region; election protestors killed in Hargeisa, Wooqooyi Galbeed region; al Shabaab responds to IGAD proposal on Twitter; al Shabaab leader in Middle Shabelle says al Shabaab will retake the region; Somali Parliament passes the 2013 budget; Garissa official blames recent terror attacks on TFG defectors; Arab League to give money to education development in Somalia; Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud travels to Sudan; Somali Minister of State Farah Sheikh Mohamed travels to Saudi Arabia; Somali refugees are leaving Kenya and returning home; UN Special Representative Augustine P. Mahiga congratulates Somalia on its development in 2012

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab leaders have fled the town of Bardhere, Gedo region on December 31. Al Shabaab militants remain in the town and are preparing for an assault by the Somali and AMISOM troops. Somali and AMISOM forces are closing in on the town and are planning a final assault.[14]

An Ethiopian court convicted ten people on January 2, of conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks on members of the Ethiopian government. Nine Ethiopian men and one Kenyan man were convicted of plotting attacks and setting up al Shabaab training camps in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Three of the people convicted were teachers and assert that they are innocent and were beaten by police in order to illicit a confession.[15]

Unknown gunmen shot and killed a traditional elder in Galkayo, Mudug region on December 28. Gabobe Aden Dalab was killed in a restaurant by several men carrying pistols. Puntland security forces conducted security operations in response to the shooting on December 30. Over twenty people were apprehended during the operation, several of whom are being held as suspects for the murder.[16]

Puntland authorities conducted security operations in Garowe, Nugaal region on January 2. The searches were aimed at finding drug traffickers and suspects linked to murders in the town. The number of people detained during the operation is not known.[17]

A man wearing a suicide vest was arrested in Kismayo on December 29. The suspected al Shabaab militant passed through a Somali Army area where security operations were being conducted. He was frisked and found to be wearing the vest filled with explosives. The man was arrested and the vest was secured.[18]
Somali troops in the town of Beled Hawo, Gedo region imposed a nighttime curfew on the people there on January 2. Any person found outside after 9:00pm will be arrested and considered a security threat. The curfew is meant to increase security and safety in the town.[19]

Election protestors stormed the car of the Vice President of Somaliland Abdirahman Sayla’i in the Borama district of Hargeisa, Wooqoyi Galbeed region on December 31. The protestors, who believed the Somaliland administration interfered with newly elected officials in a neighboring district, clashed with the Vice President’s body guards. One person was killed and four others were injured in the skirmish.[20]

Al Shabaab posted ten messages to its Twitter page, rejecting the Intergovernmental Authority for Development’s plan for Somalia. Al Shabaab said that it was a way for Kenya and Ethiopia to undermine Somalia’s sovereignty, and was trying to deprive Muslims of their way of life.[21]

Al Shabaab’s leader in Middle Shabelle region, Sheikh Yussuf Isse, said on December 31, that al Shabaab will regain control of the region. He asked those people living in the region to help support al Shabaab militants so that the terrorist organization can retake Middle Shabelle.[22]

The Somali Parliament approved the 2013 government budget on December 30. Of the 177 lawmakers present, 176 voted in favor of the new budget. This proposal differed from the budget rejected last week because it lowered pay for the ministries and increased Somali soldiers pay. Funding for development and security was also increased.[23]

The Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a leadership finished four days of meetings in Dhusamareb, Galgaudud region on December 30. The meetings were held in order to security in the region. The militia said they are going to work closely with the Somali government and work to put an end to clan violence in the region.[24]

The recent terror attacks that have taken place in Garissa, Kenya have been blamed on soldiers who defected from the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG). County Commissioner of Garissa Mohammed Maallim said TFG troops deserted the Somali army and began working with al Shabaab. Maalim also added that Somali refugees are the ones responsible for acts of terror committed in both Garissa and Nairobi.[25]

The Arab League said they are setting up a fund to help Somalia with development, mainly education development projects. Somali Development Minister Maryam Qasim attended an Arab League meeting, where the participating countries agreed to financially help Somalia.[26]

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud traveled to Sudan on January 1 in order to celebrate Sudan’s independence. President Mohamed was met by Sudanese President Omar Hassan al Bashir.[27]

Somali Minister of State Farah Sheikh Mohamed visited Saudi Arabia on December 31. There he met with Saudi foreign ministers and discussed how the two countries could strengthen their relations.[28]

Somali people living in Kenya’s cities are now returning home after the Kenyan government ordered Somali refugees to move to refugee camps. Nearly 9,000 Somali people have returned to Somalia in the past two weeks. Around 400 Somalis fly into the Mogadishu airport every day, while others use ground transportation to return home.[29]

Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Augustine P. Mahiga, wrote a letter congratulating Somalia for the end of a historic year. Representative Mahiga mentioned the election of Somalia’s first president in 20 years as well as the advances against the designated terrorist organization al Shabaab.[30]

[14] “Al Shabaab Leaders Withdraw from Bardhere Town,” Bar Kulan, December 31, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/12/31/al-shabaab-leaders-withdraw-from-bardhere-town
“Somali National Army Heading to Bardhere,” Radio Mustaqbal, January 2, 2013. Available: http://www.mustaqbalradio.com/somali-national-army-heading-to-baardhere
[15] “Ethiopian Court Finds 10 Guilty of Terror Charges,” Bar Kulan, January 2, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/02/ethiopian-court-finds-10-guilty-of-terror-charges
[16] “Traditional Elder Killed in Galkayo,” Bar Kulan, December 29, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/12/29/traditional-elder-killed-in-galkayo/
“More than 20 Arrested in Galkayo Operations,” Bar Kulan, December 30, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/12/30/more-than-20-arrested-in-galkayo-operation
[17] “Police Conduct Security Operation in Garowe,” Bar Kulan, January 2, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/02/police-conduct-security-operation-in-garowe
[18] “Somali Government Forces Arrest Suspected Militants Wearing Suicide Vest,” Dhacdo Online, December 29, 2012. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/december-31-2012-daily-monitoring-report
[19] “Authorities Impose Curfew on Beled Hawo,” Bar Kulan, January 2, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/02/authorities-impose-curfew-on-beled-hawo
[20] “Deadly Protest in Borama,” Bar Kulan, December 31, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/12/31/deadly-protest-in-borama
[21] “Shabaab Condemns IGAD’s Grand Stabilization Plan for Somalia,” SITE Intelligence Group, December 28, 2012. Available at SITE.
[22] “Al Shabaab Threatens to Restore Their Control as the Government Responds,” Radio Dalsan, December 31, 2012. Available: http://www.dalsanradio.com/index.php?page=news&nid=3625
[23] “Somali Parliament Passes 2013 Budget,” Sabahi, December 31, 2012. Available: http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/newsbriefs/2012/12/31/newsbrief-02
[24] “Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a Conclude Meeting in Dhusamareb,” Bar Kulan, December 30, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/12/30/ahlu-sunna-waljamaa-conclude-meeting-in-dhusamareb/
[25] “Former TFG Fighters Behind Fresh Wave of Attacks in Kenya, Says Official,” Daily Nation, January 2, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Africa_22/Former_TFG_fighters_behind_fresh_wave_of_attacks_in_Kenya_says_official.shtml
[26] “Arab League to Set up Financial Kitty for Somalia,” Bar Kulan, January 1, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/01/arab-league-to-set-up-financial-kitty-for-somalia
[27] “Mohamud attends 57th Anniversary of Sudan’s Independence,” Bar Kulan, January 1, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/01/president-mohamud-attends-57th-anniversary-of-sudans-independence
[28] “Somalia, Saudi Arabia Discusses Bilateral Relations,” Bar Kulan, December 31, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/12/31/somalia-saudi-arabia-discuss-bilateral-relations
[29] “Hundreds of Somali Refugees Return Home,” Sabahi, December 31, 2012. Available: http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/newsbriefs/2012/12/31/newsbrief-04
[30] “Year End Letter from Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Augustine P. Mahiga” UNPOS, December 31, 2012. Available: http://unpos.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=9705&ctl=Details&mid=12667&ItemID=19547&language=en-US


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