Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 11.07.23

Somali military court jails nine government employees for spying for al-Shabab. (Screen grab- SNA Radio)

11 Suspected al-Shabab Spies Appear in Mogadishu Court

Eleven suspects, including three women, appeared in court Sunday in Mogadishu, facing allegations of being informants for the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

Some of the suspects are reported to be working in the local government offices, and they are accused of passing workers’ information to the militant group al-Shabab.

According to court proceedings, the militants used this information to identify workers for targeted killings and explosions.

The accused have refuted the accusations, denying any affiliation or collaboration with al-Shabab.

Somalia’s al-Shabab Issues Flood Safety Warning

Somali militant group al-Shabab urged people living along the river banks to move to higher grounds as the country experiences heavy rains.

The group call comes as the United Nations said 14 people died and tens of thousands were displaced due to flash floods.

Somalia’s deputy prime minister Salam Ahmed Jamaa said at least 10 people died as the rain pounds several regions across the country.

According to reports from pro-jihad media Radio Andalus, the group advised communities to move far away from the river and called others to give those displaced shelter and food supplies.

The group urged the local population to keep children away from the river and flooded areas, cautioned against drinking contaminated water and avoiding contact with electric wires.

A Soldier, Civilian Killed in Clashes Between Government and Regional Forces

A soldier and a civilian were killed after Somali government forces and regional forces from HirShabelle clashed in Jowhar Friday.

According to the privately-owned Jowhar news website, the civilian was killed by a stray bullet during the clash.

Sporadic exchanges of gunfire between Somali forces occasionally happen at checkpoints and government buildings. Sometimes, fighting evolves around controlling these areas where they can make money.

Somali Commanders Deployed to Adale to Quell Clan Conflict

Somali commanders have been deployed in villages around Adale town, Middle Shabelle, to calm the clan conflict.

In the past few weeks, two rival clans clashed around Adale town over pasture and land ownership.

According to the state media, Somali National Television, the government sent some senior commanders to facilitate mediation and restore peace.

The officers aim to quell revenge-driven killings that have significantly contributed to the ongoing conflict in central regions.

The clan conflict in the Middle Shabelle region comes as the government forces and local militias are carrying out an offensive against al-Shabab to liberate villages and towns from the terror group.

Critics say the government is focused on liberating more territories from al-Shabab but lacks an effective strategy to address emerging clan rivalries in the areas that have been liberated.

ATMIS Officers Completes IED Training

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) says 13 have completed training on detecting and neutralizing improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The five-day training, which took place in Jowhar town, some 90 kilometers from the capital, Mogadishu, was facilitated by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), educated officers on how to use modern technology, share intelligence and information, and neutralize IEDs.

“IEDs are prevalent here. The training empowers us not just to safeguard ourselves but to also impart vital knowledge to our Somali counterparts,” said James Maada, ATMIS Individual Police Officer based in Jowhar.

According to the AU mission, the IED training addressed the challenges of explosives during vehicle inspection operations along the main roads.

The militant group al-Shabab has been utilizing the Jowhar-Mogadishu Road to transport explosives intended for use against security forces and civilians in Mogadishu.

The militants plant roadside bombs on major roads, impeding the free movement of goods and also endangering the lives of the motorists.

Al-Shabab employs explosives as part of its warfare strategy, conducting hit-and-run attacks against both AU and government forces.

Somali Police Force Foil Bomb Attack

The Somali Police Force thwarted an Improvised Explosive Device that was hidden in a hotpot, placed near an army center in Deynile district of Mogadishu by Al-Shabaab.

A specialized unit known as the “Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit” safely handled the explosive, preventing harm to innocent civilians as intended by the group.

Somali Forces Target al-Shabab Hideouts in Lower Juba

Somali forces conducted security operations in five villages in the Lower Juba region, targeting al-Shabab hideouts.

The Battalion One Hundred Sixteen Regiment Sixteen, Danab Commandos of the Somali National Army, carried out a planned operation in villages used by the extremist group Al-Shabaab as hiding spots and checkpoints to extort money from passing trucks in the region.

The commander of Battalion 116, Major Arab Dheg Ahmed, confirmed to Somali National Television that the military successfully destroyed all the militia’s bases in these villages.