Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 02.27.24

Aerial strike against al-Shabab in Somalia. (Image: Screen grab SNTV)

Somali National TV Airs Drone Strikes Against al-Shabab

State-owned Somali National Television announced that it will broadcast aerial strikes targeting al-Shabab hideouts and positions. 

The footage captured during these operations includes scenes of militants killed while fleeing on foot or by boat. 

The video series comes from the operations conducted by Somali security forces and international partner forces.  

Somali government forces and allied militias have been conducting security operations against al-Shabab to push them off towns and villages under its control. 

Al-Shabab Oppose Somalia-Turkey Maritime Defense Pact 

The Somali militant group al-Shabab has voiced opposition to the maritime defense pact between Somalia and Turkey. 

Al-Shabab spokesperson Ali Mohamed Rageh, also known as Ali Dheere, stated that the agreement was illegal and that the Somali government has no right to cede the country’s land, sea, or airspace.

“We, al-Shabab, oppose any agreement that gives away our sea, land, and airspace,” Ali Dheere said.

Last week, the Somali parliament approved a 10-year maritime defense deal with Ankara. 

Leaders who support the agreement argue that Turkey will train and equip Somalia’s navy force, thus preventing piracy, illegal fishing, terrorism, and foreign threats in Somali waters.

Somali Court Jails 3 al-Shabab Members

A military court has handed down 15-year jail sentences to three men for their involvement with the terror group al-Shabab.

The three Abdi Yare Mohamed, Ali Abdullahi Ali, and Omar Osman Ibrahim, were found guilty of being members of al-Shabab. They were recruited in the Bakool and Bay regions of Somalia.

According to state-owned Radio Mogadishu, the three al-Shabab members were sent to the Hiiraan region to fight against government forces and clan militias, where they were injured.

Al-Shabab Exploiting Somalia-Ethiopia Tension- UN Representative   

United Nations’ Special Representative for Somalia, warns that al-Shabab is exploiting the tension between Somalia and Ethiopia to conduct recruitment drives in the country.

Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the breakaway region of Somaliland, granting access to the sea. However, this deal has been vehemently opposed by the Somali government in Mogadishu, which accuses Ethiopia of attempting to annex part of its territory.

The escalating tension between Ethiopia and Somalia has raised concerns among regional leaders, fearing it could lead to increased instability in the Horn of Africa and undermine the progress made in combating al-Shabab.

“The full details of the MOU are not available, but public pronouncements have generated strong hostile public reactions in Somalia. It is also worrying to see Al-Shabaab exploiting this situation as a tool for recruitment,” Catriona Liang, United Nations’ Special Representative for Somalia said. “We recognise that the strong feelings in Somalia are putting pressure on the Government to respond, and we encourage the President to remain measured in his response.” 

Al-Shabab has opposed the deal, which grants Ethiopia access to Somali waters, vowing to fight it.

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