The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 30 December 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 30, 2014

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report

(30DEC14)

 

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 

Security and Governance in Somalia

 

Somalia security forces transport blind-folded suspects detained on their pick-up truck after attackers from the militant group al Shabaab invaded the African Union’s Halane base on the edge of the Mogadishu international airport compound in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, December 26, 2014. Reuters/Feisal Omar

 

This week’s snapshot focuses on recent events affecting security and governance issues in Somalia. Former Ambassador to the US Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke took office as Prime Minister, while the country also suffered a high-profile terrorist attack.

 

News Summary of events during the week of 23DEC-29DEC

  • 24DEC: Parliament endorsed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as prime minister, appointed last week after the war-torn country’s president fell out with the previous premier amid bitter infighting. (AFP)
  • 24DEC: At least 20 people were killed in clashes between clan-based militia groups. (DPA)
  • 24DEC: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon welcomed the parliamentary endorsement of Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as the new Prime Minister. (XIN)
  • 25DEC: Five AU soldiers, one civilian, and eight Al-Shebab attackers were killed in an ambush on a Christmas meal at the African Union peacekeeping base in Mogadishu. (DPA)
  • 26DEC: Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke promised that he will fight corruption. (XIN)
  • 26DEC: The United Nations condemned the attack on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which led to the deaths of a number of AMISOM soldiers and civilian contractors. (XIN)
  • 27DEC: The African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said in a press statement that Djiboutian Colonel Ali Aden Hamud is not their spokesman. (XIN)
  • 27DEC: Al-Shabab militant Zakariya Ahmed Ismail Hersi surrendered to police. (BBC)
  • 28DEC: Somali security agencies in Gedo region said they turned down a request from Kenyan defense forces to hand over the captured Al-Shabaab commander Zakariya Ismail Hersi. (XIN)

 

Sample of Twitter handles regarding security and governance in Somalia

  • @HusseinUCalgary – Hussein Ahmed Warsame, PhD, CGA, Professor at the University of Calgary
  • @mukhtaryare – Mukhtar Ibrahim, Somali-American Journalist
  • @UNSomalia – UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)
  • @SomaliaNewsroom – Cleophus (Tres) Thomas, III., Ph.D. candidate at GMU focusing on the future of federalism in Somalia
  • @Abdi_Guled – Abdi Guled, AP correspondent in Somalia

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding security and governance in Somalia

 

Daud Osman, Senior Researcher and Political Analyst, Heritage Institute for Policy Studies

“Members of the cabinet [incoming Prime Minister Sharmarke] is forming have to be individuals who are qualified for the jobs they are assigned to, and [he must] not engage in nepotism as was the norm in previous administrations.”

–       Great Expectations Await Somalia’s New Prime Minister, Sabahi Online, 20DEC14

 

Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, Somali political analyst, Southlink Consultants

“It is not issue-based, it’s personality-based. ‘Either my way, or the highway’ — that’s what’s going on…. Unless they come together, unless they come back to their senses, unless they have seen and they realize that the country needs a leader who can convert his energy and commitment into results, this will go on.”

–       For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government, Voice of America, 25DEC14

 

Bashir Haji Abdullahi, Security Analyst and Retired Kenyan Army Major

“It is not a coincidence that lately al-Shabaab has taken a more violent approach associated with ISIL and Boko Haram, which include mass kidnappings and executions.”

–       Al-Shabaab Magazine Attempts to Justify Violent Jihad, Sabahi Online, 19DEC14

 

Daud Sheikh Ahmed, Security Analyst and Retired Kenyan Army Colonel

“Al-Shabaab’s calls are likely to fall on deaf ears because the Muslim soldiers in this time of war have no time to even read the magazine.”

–       Al-Shabaab Magazine Attempts to Justify Violent Jihad, Sabahi Online, 19DEC14

 

 

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to security and governance in Somalia

 

 

1. Shabab Fighters Ambush Base of Peacekeepers in Somalia

 

Media: New York Times

Byline: MOHAMMED IBRAHIM

Date: 25 December 2014

 

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A Christmas meal at the African Union peacekeeping base here was ambushed Thursday by Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers, including some dressed as Somali soldiers, turning a festive respite into a bloody battleground.

 

At least three soldiers, one civilian and five attackers were killed, the African Union Mission in Somalia said, and three attackers were captured after the gunfight at the Halane base camp near the airport in Mogadishu, the capital.

 

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2. Wanted Extremist Leader Surrenders in Somalia

 

Media: Associated Press

Byline: ABDI GULED

Date: 27 December 2014

 

A leader with the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, who had a $3 million bounty on his head, surrendered in Somalia, a Somali intelligence official said Saturday.

 

Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi surrendered to Somali police in the Gedo region, said the intelligence officer, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

 

Hersi may have surrendered because he fell out with those loyal to Ahmed Abdi Godane, al-Shabab’s top leader who was killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier this year, the officer said.

 

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3. Somalia’s parliament approves new prime minister

 

Media: Reuters

Byline: Abdirahman Hussein and Abdi Sheikh

Date: 24 December 2014

 

(Reuters) – Somalia’s lawmakers on Wednesday approved the appointment of new Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, who vowed to end the infighting slowing Somalia’s efforts to rebuild after decades of war.

 

Sharmarke, who served as prime minister between 2009-2010, becomes Somalia’s third premier in just over a year. The previous two fell out with the president over the make-up of their cabinets.

 

The ouster of Sharmarke’s predecessor, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, frustrated Western powers that say the political paralysis encouraged Islamist al Shabaab rebels and paralyzed the country’s fragile state institutions.

 

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4. UN Security Council strongly condemns attack on AU base in Somalia

 

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 27 December 2014

 

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) — The UN Security Council on Friday strongly condemned an attack on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which has caused numerous deaths including three AMISOM soldiers and a civilian contractor.

 

The members of the Security Council deplored Al-Shabaab’s actions against a base of AMISOM, which is working alongside the Federal Government of Somalia and the Somali National Army, to protect the Somali people and to assist in the reconstruction and stabilization of Somalia, said a press statement released by the council.

 

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5. Somalia’s new PM takes office

 

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 25 December 2014

 

MOGADISHU, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) — Somalia’s new Prime Minister (PM) Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke took over the office from his predecessor Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed in a ceremony held on Thursday.

 

Ahmed congratulated Sharmarke and requested that the parliament and the president work with Sharmarke in order to achieve his constitutional duties.

 

“I am very pleased that I am handing over the office to the new Prime Minister Sharmarke. I request that the both sides, those that supported me and those that supported the president, to support the new PM and unite for the interest of the country,” said the former PM.

 

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