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Gulf of Aden Security Review - January 14, 2013

Critical Threats
Monday, January 14, 2013

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Horn of Africa: French forces attempt a failed rescue mission in Bulo Mareer, Lower Shabelle region; roadside bomb targets Somali MP in Mogadishu; two blasts go off in Hodan district, Mogadishu; bombs go off in Marka, Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab militants kill two in Jilib, Lower Jubba; unknown gunmen attack bus traveling between Nairobi and Garissa, Kenya; three prisoners are injured during attempted escape from a prison in Galkayo, Mudug region; Somali President and Somali PM fly to the United States; representatives from the Somali government and the Somaliland government resume talks; AMISOM officials welcome increased access for humanitarian agencies in Somalia.

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Fifty French forces attempted a failed rescue mission of French captive Denis Allex in Bulo Mareer in Lower Shabelle region on January 11. Denis Allex was a French intelligence operator who was captured by al Shabaab over three years ago. Two French soldiers died and 17 al Shabaab militants were killed during the battle. French authorities believe Allex was killed during the incident but an al Shabaab spokesman said Allex is still alive. U.S. President Barack Obama said American troops provided “limited technical support…but took no direct part in the assault.”[13]

A roadside bomb targeted Somali Member of Parliament, Mohamed Abdulahi, in the Wadajir District of Mogadishu on January 12. The MP escaped with minor injuries but one of his bodyguards is in critical condition.[14]

Two bombs went off in the Hodan district of Mogadishu on January 12. Two civilians were killed and another 5 were wounded in the explosion.[15]

Bombs went off in Marka, Lower Shabelle region on January 12. Exact casualty figure were not reported. The attacks were targeting businesspeople who were selling items to Somali troops and came a day after al Shabaab warned people against such transactions.[16]

Al Shabaab militants killed two civilians in Jilib, Lower Jubba on January 12, 2013. The al Shabaab fighters claimed the two civilians were spies for the Somali government.[17]

Unknown gunmen attacked a bus traveling between Nairobi and Garissa, Kenya on January 11. Two people were killed and another three were injured in the attack.[18]

Three prisoners attempted a jailbreak in Galkayo, Mudug region on January 13, 2013. The three prisoners were injured while their guards were subduing and re-arresting them.[19]

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Somali Foreign Minister Fowzia Yusuf Haji Aden flew to the United States on January 13. President Mohamud said the purpose of the trip was to increase relations in security and humanitarian matters.[20]

Representatives from the Somali government and the secessionist government of Somaliland will resume talks. The two sides met last in June 2012 in the United Arab Emirates, focusing on international support, counter-terrorism, and counter-piracy. The Somaliland government has maintained its position throughout the talks that the Somali government must recognize its independent status.[21]

AMISOM officials issued a press release highlighting reports indicating that humanitarian workers have greater access and are safer in Somalia following the recent advances against al Shabaab.[22]   


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