Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 12.12.23

(Credit: OPM)

Somalia to Construct an Airbase

Somalia National Television (SNTV) reported Sunday the government in Mogadishu has started constructing a military airbase in the Middle Shabelle region.

The plan to construct the base follows the recent decision by the United Nations Security Council to lift a more than 30-year-long arms embargo.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is in Washington to meet several foreign government representatives aimed at focusing on security, military reconstruction, and the ongoing military offensive against al-Shabab.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is in Washington, planning to meet various foreign government representatives to address key issues such as security, military reconstruction, and the continued military offensive against al-Shabab.

Somalia President: The Lifting of the Arms Embargo to help Improve Security

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed to improve security and liberate areas under the control of al-Shabab after the United Nations Security Council lifted the arms ban that has been in place since 1992.

President Mohamud and other top government officials attended a ceremony to celebrate the lifting of the arms embargo.

Somali leaders said the decision that allows the government to purchase weapons of their choice will help with the ongoing military offensive al-Shabab in the country.

Officials say the United Nations Security Council resolution passed on December 1 will help build the Somali forces’ military capacity.

Somali Clans Continue to Feud over Pasture, Land in Adale District

Clan feud and tension continue in the district of Adle in the Middle Shabelle region despite the presence of government forces and traditional elders to end the clashes.

The two rival clans are fighting over pasture and landownership after the government forces liberated the area from the terror group al-Shabab.

Last month, the government sent top government officials and commanders to mediate between the two clans, but the threat of renewed clashes has not decreased.

Al-Shabab Claims to Attack Several Military Bases in Somalia

Al-Shabab says its militants attacked Somali government forces and African Union troops bases in Bay and Lower Shabelle.

According to the Calamada news website, the group claims to have targeted government forces and militias with explosive attacks, resulting in injuries to two troops at the camp in Bay region.

The militants also allege an assault on Uganda’s military base, sparking intense clashes in the southern region of the country.

Al-Shabab said it also attacked another base run by the Ugandan forces in the Bula-Marer district in the Lower Shabelle region.

In May, al-Shabab stormed the Bula-Marer military base, killing at least 50 Ugandan troops; the attack was one of the deadliest for the African Union forces since the launch of a military offensive against al-Shabab in August 2022.

Four Somali Soldiers Killed in an al-Shabab Ambush

Somali militant group al-Shabab says its fighters killed government soldiers in an attack in Howdley village, Galgudud region.

According to Radio Andalus, one of the pro-al-Shabab media said the militants attacked the forces at a checkpoint connecting Galgudud and the Middle Shabelle region.

Somalimemo, another pro-jihadist news website published photos purported to show the men killed at the checkpoint.

Despite the ongoing military offensive against al-Shabab in central regions, the al-Qaida-affiliated insurgent group continues to conduct hit-and-run attacks against government forces.