Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 5.21.24

Al-Shabab militants in Somalia. (Photo: Courtesy)

Somali Forces, Clan Militias Destroy Al-Shabab Bases in Central region

Somali government forces and allied militias have destroyed al-Shabab bases in a security operation near Masagawa town, central Galgaduud region.

Somali troops conducted the operation Monday to clear the area from the militant group.

According to the state-owned Somali National TV, government forces reached several villages, including Dhagahley, 18 kilometers west of Masagawa town.

The Somali government has been involved in a military offensive against al-Shabab in the South and Central regions of the country since 2022. 

Somali Security, AU Forces Trained in Battle Field Care 

Medical officers from Somali Security Forces (SSF), United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) have completed a three-day training programme on providing emergency care to battlefield casualties.

The training, organized by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and facilitated by instructors from the Nairobi-based Kenya Red Cross Training Institute, aimed to enhance the capacity of SSF and ATMIS medical personnel to provide robust pre-hospital medical support during joint military operations. The three-day training started from 13-16 May 2024.

“This training is important in reducing the risk of losing our brave soldiers due to improper management of injuries sustained on the frontline,” said the Head of ATMIS, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef during his opening remarks on Monday.

Ambassador Souef further emphasized that the training will not only enhance the quality of emergency treatment for soldiers but also benefit local communities.

“In the event of mass casualty incidents, the local population will also receive improved care from the Somali Security Forces and ATMIS troops. The skills and knowledge gained during this training will enable our medical personnel to provide critical assistance to civilians in need, strengthening the bond between the security forces and the communities they serve,” Ambassador Souef elaborated.

The Head of UNSOS, Assistant Secretary-General, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, said the training was an important contribution to ongoing efforts to enhance the skills and capabilities of SSF and ATMIS personnel in order to facilitate a smooth and sustainable transfer of security responsibilities to Somali Security Forces.

“Capacity building is one of the key cornerstones of ensuring a successful security transition from the African Union mission to the Somali Security Forces. By equipping our medical personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge, we are not only supporting the safety and well-being of our troops but also contributing to the broader goal of enabling Somalia to take its rightful position in maintaining peace and stability within its borders, ” said Dr Kacyira.

The 53 participants expressed their gratitude to UNSOS for organizing the training and pledged to share the acquired knowledge with their counterparts.

“In war, there are both civilian and military casualties. We have acquired critical skills that will save lives on the battlefield,” said Chief Adjutant Melchiade Marisasi, an Anaesthesiologist from the ATMIS Burundi Contingent based in Jowhar.

Osman Abdi Osman, a medic from the Somali National Army (SNA) Hospital in Mogadishu, pledged to apply the newly acquired skills to save more military and civilian lives.

“This training is timely and has enhanced our skills. It will leave a lasting impact on our clinical practice and patient care,” said Dr. Capt. Patrick Otim from the ATMIS Level II Hospital in Mogadishu.

Senior UN and ATMIS officials, including the acting Director of UNSOS, MsCristina Gavazzo, ATMIS Medical Planning Officer, Dr. Komlan Moreira, and UNSOS Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Papa Alioune Fall, attended the closing ceremony.

The comprehensive course covered essential topics such as Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), Basic Life Support (BLS), and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), equipping the participants with a wide range of skills to effectively manage medical emergencies in both military and civilian settings.

Moroccan IS Members to Serve Sentence at Home 

The Moroccan National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) said six Moroccans found guilty of being members of Islamic State will be repatriated and serve their sentences in their country of origin.

According to the human rights agency, President Amina Buayach, Somali authorities have agreed to hand over the nine convicts who were sentenced to death.   

“Thanks to the contribution of the CNDH and other national and international parties, Somalia has agreed to transfer to Morocco these Moroccan citizens sentenced to death by a Somali military court,” Buayach said during an International Exhibition of Publishing and Books event held in Rabat.

The Moroccans Ahmed Hussein Ibrahim, Ahmed Najwi, Khalid Latha, Mohamed Binu Mohamed Ahmed, Mohamed Hassan and Ridwan Abdulkadir Osmany were training with the Islamic State in the Mountains in the northeastern region of Somalia.

The convicts admitted they were members of the Islamic State and requested the military court in Somalia to deport them to Morocco.  

Al-Shabab Hits Ethiopia Army Base With Mortars

Somali militant group al-Shabab says it shelled an Ethiopia military base located in an airstrip in the town of Wajid with mortars. 

According to the group mouthpiece, Radio Alfurqaan, the group targeted the base with mortars on Friday, targeting a plane carrying logistics for the troops.  

The militant group carries out mortar attacks against government and African Union forces, including the presidential palace in Mogadishu. 

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