Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 01.23.24

Somalia acting foreign affairs minister Ali Bal'ad (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Ethiopia Poses More Threat to Somalia than al-Shabab- Somali Minister

Somalia says Ethiopia’s access to its sea and land poses a serious threat more than al-Shabab.

Speaking on State-owned television SNTV, the acting foreign affairs minister Ali Bal’ad said the memorandum of understanding between Ethiopia and the breakaway region of Somaliland threatens the peace and stability of the country more than terror group al-Shabab.

“Al-Shabab threatens our security and way of life, not our sovereignty. However, this agreement threatens our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.

The agreement signed in Ethiopia on January 1 has angered Somalia and strained relations between Mogadishu and Addis Ababa.

Some Ethiopian officials said they will recognize Somaliland, which Somalia considers part of its territory.

Somali Forces Destroy Al-Shabab Extortion Sites

Somali armed forces said it destroyed several al-Shabab recruitment centers and checkpoints at which the insurgent group used to extort money from the public in the Bay region.

The operation was led by Second Lieutenant Ahmed Mohamed Noor (Ahmed Dhagey), Commander of Battalion 47, Regiment 8, Division 60 of the Somali National Army.

The military offensive took place in the areas of Misgale Warta, Kormar, Durow, Mintana, Qurunlow Asharaf, Gololow, Goof Golol, and Harera Jifa, located to the east and southwest of the Goof-gaduud Burey Haraw area in the Bay region.

Al-Shabab Claims Killing 2 Kenyan Police Officers 

The Somali militant group al-Shabab said that two Kenyan police officers were killed and two others wounded in an explosion in the border town of Mandera.

The group claims its fighters targeted the officers at the Mandera-Bula Hawa border crossing point.

Al-Shabab’s claims come a day after one officer was killed and three were injured after an explosive device attached to a donkey detonated in Mandera County, bordering Somalia.

According to Kenyan police reports, the donkey, transporting goods from Somalia, triggered the remotely-controlled improvised explosive device around 10 a.m.

Al-Shabab continues to conduct attacks against Kenyan security forces and the border population.

Somali Clan Send Fighters to Al-Shabab, 100 Camels  

A Somali clan in the Bay region has supported al-Shabab with 160 fighters and 100 camels.

According to the al-Shabab-controlled media Radio Andalus, the clan handed the fighters in the outskirts of Baidoa.

The militant group displayed the camels and said it received them from the Geeladle clan, which is part of the Rahanweyn and resides in the Bay and Bakool regions.

Al-Shabab said it also received weapons meant to support the Jihad in East Africa and defend the Somali Sea against Ethiopia.

Ethiopia signed an agreement with Somaliland, which gives it access to the sea, a deal that has angered the Somali government, citizens, and al-Shabab.

Somali Spy Agency Kills Seven Al-Shabab Members 

At least seven Al-Shabaab militants were killed in a planned operation by the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) with the help of international partners.

The spy agency conducted the operation in the area of Fidow under Mahaday district in the Middle Shabelle region.

Among the men killed in this operation were three leaders:

Abdirahman Dheere, the leader of Al-Shabaab, is in charge of ambushes in the Middle Shabelle region. Another member killed Muad was working under Dheere in the region.

Chief Abdirisaq Musa Khalif was the deputy chief of collecting extortion, which they called “Sakawad.”

The other four killed in the operation were militiamen led by these leaders. 

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