Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 11.28.23

Hashi Garaad Ali sentenced to 10 years in prison by a military court in Mogadishu, Somalia. He was convicted of collecting extortion money on behalf of al-Shabab in central regions.

Al-Shabab Tax Collector Sentenced to 10 Years

A military court in Mogadishu, Somalia, sentenced Hashi Garaad Ali to 10 years in prison for actively collecting extortion money on behalf of al-Shabab in central regions.

Ali was arrested in Baadweyn in the Mudug region by government forces in July after they liberated the town from al-Shabab control.

His arrest occurred in the Barak Isse area of the Mudug region on July 7th of this year. Ali, along with a fellow conspirator, was found carrying two AK47 guns and riding a motorcycle. The encounter with the military resulted in the death of the accomplice and Ali sustained injuries.

Ali became a member of al-Shabab in 2013, taking charge of tax collection in Mudug and Galgaduud regions, particularly in Harardere, Jowle Aad, and Baadweyn towns. Ali received a monthly salary ranging from $150 to $200 as an al-Shabab tax collector.

Somali President: UN to Lift Arms Embargo

The Somali president said Saturday the arms embargo imposed against his country will be lifted in December.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud addressing the parliament Saturday the United Nations Security Council will lift the arms embargo.

“We had five national targets this year including liberating the country from al-Shabaab, removal of the arms embargo, admission to the East Africa Community (EAC) and debt relief and the arms embargo will be lifted earlier next month,” Mahamud told legislators.

The UN imposed an arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 after the collapse of the central government and the country disintegrated into clan conflict.

Somalia is among six African countries, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, South Sudan and Sudan, under a UN arms embargo.

HirShabelle Officials Met Elders to Ease Clan Tensions

Hirshabelle federal state authorities and clan elders convened in Burka-darmed village to discuss ways to strengthen security and ease clan tensions in the region.

Abdi-hamid Mohamed Ali, Minister of State for Disarmament in Hirshabelle, emphasised the importance of reconciliation and resolving the clan dispute.

Ali urged clan elders to work with the security forces to resolve clan disputes and conflict peacefully.

Somali Commandos Destroy al-Shabab Hideouts, Clear Explosives

Somali government commandos Gorgor, supported by the clan militias, said they destroyed al-Shabab bases and cleared explosives in several villages in the Middle Shabelle region.

The operation was part of the ongoing government offensive against al-Shabab aimed at liberating the central region from the group.

Al-Shabab Claims Capturing Soldiers

Somali militant group al-Shabab said it captured four government soldiers in Sabid village near the town of Afgoye, 50km from the capital Mogadishu.

According to Radio Andalus, the group captured the soldiers in an operation conducted by the group’s fighters. The insurgent group said they also seized weapons from the soldiers.

The Somali government’s offensive against al-Shabab has slowed in the past few weeks due to ongoing rains, which have flooded roads, farms, and people’s homes.

Al-Shabab Delivers Aid to Flood Hit Jamame Residents

According to al-Shabab-affiliated radio station Radio Andalus, 300 households displaced by floods in Lower Juba received aid and cash donated by the insurgent group al-Shabab.

The group delivered medicines and cash to Jamame area inhabitants who had been displaced after the River Juba burst its banks, flooding crops and homes.

Somali Security Forces Arrests Dozens in Mogadishu

Somali government forces arrested several people accused of causing insecurity and working with al-Shabab in several districts in the capital, Mogadishu.

The security operation that lasted for several hours targeted several neighborhoods in Mogadishu, which are associated with violent crimes, and al-Shabab enjoys a presence that it uses to carry out attacks against security forces and the residents.