Gorfayn Weekly Briefs, Thursday 22 June 2023

SNA Commander
General Guled Ibrahim Sheikh Muxiyadiin, the new Commander of the National Army | Photo: Villa Somalia Facebook page

Executive Summary:

This week in Somali politics has been rife with complexity. Key events include President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre’s meetings to advance the constitutional review process. President Mohamud also visited the United States to address Somalia’s security situation and call for a lift on the country’s arms embargo. Internal political tensions heightened as Jubaland’s president dismissed opposition claims of underrepresentation, and Puntland’s president accused the Federal Government of oppression in the Gedo region. A key development was the acceptance of a proposal to establish two new districts in Galmudug, while a parliament committee is set to investigate recent clashes in Baraawe. A provocative move by Puntland’s government stopped students from taking Somaliland-administered exams in contested regions. Notably, Hiiraan Governor Ali Jeyte declared independence from Hirshabelle following his dismissal. The security situation saw the appointment of new military commanders and the preparation of 20,000 soldiers for a security takeover. The US State Department added a senior al-Shabaab figure to its most wanted list, and Uganda plans to procure drones for troops in Somalia after a deadly base attack.

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POLITICS

Highlights of the week:

  1. The President and the Prime Minister meet committee to advance the completion of the constitution

FGS President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre held separate meetings in Mogadishu with the Monitoring Committee concerning the review and the finalisation of the Provisional Constitution. Committee members reportedly briefed HSM on the ongoing review of the constitution, emphasising involvement of legal experts and Somali community groups. The committee said they would finalise the process as quickly as possible to submit it for parliament’s approval.

  1. Somalia’s president in US for second visit in months

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud travelled to the United States for the second time since re-election. Mohamud will attend a UN meeting on Somalia’s security situation, where he will speak about the country’s fight against al-Shabaab insurgents. He is also expected to urge the United Nations to lift a decades-long arms embargo on the country.

  1. Jubaland president dismisses Gedo opposition claims

Jubaland’s President Ahmed Islam (Madoobe) has dismissed claims by Gedo opposition groups that the region is underrepresented after they rejected Madoobe’s recent appointments. Interior Minister Mohamed Oogle also said the Gedo region was adequately represented at the state and federal levels. He said those opposing the state government were allies of former President Mohamed Farmaajo and pursuing personal interests. Oogle’s comment comes after an incident where an aircraft carrying Madoobe’s newly appointed governor, Abdullahi Abdi Jama, was barred from landing in the Gedo-controlled town of Gerbaharey.

  1. Puntland leader accuses the Federal Government of ‘oppressing’ people in Gedo

Puntland’s President Said Abdullahi Deni has accused the Federal Government of oppressing residents in the southern region of Gedo. In a speech to Puntland’s regional parliament on Thursday 15 June, Deni said he was concerned about renewed tensions. Tensions have increased since Jubaland President Ahmed Madoobe formed a parallel administration for Gedo, prompting a rebuke from officials in control of the region. “It is unfortunate that the federal government is oppressing people in Gedo region,” Deni said.

  1. Galmudug Council of Ministers approves Godinlabe and Gadoon as districts

Somalia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs proposal to establish two new districts, Gadoon and Godinlabe in Galmudug has been accepted by the Federal Member State’s authorities. 

  1. Parliamentary Committee to investigate recent Baraawe clashes

The federal parliament has appointed a committee to investigate the recent deadly clashes in Baraawe between the Somali National Army and South West State Darwiish forces. House of the People Speaker Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur (Madoobe) announced the appointment of the 10-member investigative committee on Saturday 17 June.

  1. Puntland prohibits Somaliland-administered exams in contested regions

Puntland’s government has reportedly issued a directive to authorities in the contested regions of Sanaag and Haylaan, instructing them to stop students from sitting upcoming examinations administered by Somaliland. This comes as tensions continue between the two, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict in Las Anod. In a letter from Puntland’s Ministry of Education, governors of Sanaag and Haylaan were directed to stop any exams, noting that all students in Puntland territories had already completed their exams. Somaliland’s National Examination Board had previously announced exams would begin on 17 June, but Puntland’s directive may now complicate their plans in the contested regions.

  1. Former Somaliland Parliament speaker arrives in Garowe

Puntland’s President Said Abdullahi Deni and Vice President Ahmed Elmi Osman welcomed former Somaliland House of Representative Speaker Abdirizak Khalif to Garowe on Thursday 15 June. Khalif had previously resigned from his role as speaker over the conflict in Las Anod. During the meeting, they reportedly discussed the current situation and how to ensure humanitarian aid reaches displaced people on the town’s outskirts. Deni has previously admitted Puntland forces are present in the contested area.

  1. Hirshabelle president dismisses governor who led the fight against al-Shabaab

Hirshabelle President Ali Abdullahi Hussein sacked the Hiiraan Governor Ali Jeyte Osman on Sunday 18 June. Abdullahi Ahmed Malin was appointed to replace Jeyte, in a move Hussein claimed was intended to boost public services and reunite the region’s communities. A leading figure in the clan mobilisations against al-Shabaab insurgents in the central region, Jeyte had recently criticised the state government over the move to request deployment of thousands of troops from Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya to participate in an anticipated second offensive against al-Shabaab. It is not immediately clear whether the dismissal is directly related to Jeyte’s comments, with ongoing tensions between regional officials in past months.

  1. Governor Ali Jeyte declares Hiiraan region no longer part of Hirshabelle administration

Troops loyal to Governor Ali Jeyte have reportedly taken control of certain areas of Beledweyne, capital of Hiiraan region. This seizure and declaration of independence followed the removal of the governor from his post by Hirshabelle President Ali Abdullahi Hussein. The governor responded by holding a press conference stating that Hiiraan region would secede from Hirshabelle’s administration. The situation in Beledweyne is reportedly extremely tense, with fears that further quarrel could escalate to full-scale conflict.

SECURITY

Highlight of the Week:

  1. The President appoints new army commanders

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has appointed a new Commander of the National Army, General Guled Ibrahim Sheikh Muxiyadiin, and a Commander of the Land Forces, General Ahmed Aadan Ali. At the inauguration, HSM emphasised that every citizen, the public, and the military have a responsibility for ensuring the country’s stability. HSM urged the new commander to take immediate action in the ongoing fight against al-Shabaab.

  1. US adds senior al-Shabaab figure to most wanted list

The US State Department has added Abdullahi Osman Mohamed, also known as Engineer Ismail, to its most wanted list. A senior explosives expert for al-Shabaab, he reportedly holds key positions within the organisation, including running its al-Kataib media wing and serving as advisor to al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Diriye.

  1. Somali Armed Forces General and AFRICOM General discuss counterinsurgency efforts

Chief of Somali Armed Forces General Odawaa Yussuf Rage has met with General Michael Langley of the US Africa Command, reportingly discussing al-Shabaab-related security and military matters. The generals reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening cooperation in intelligence sharing and joint efforts against the militant group.

  1. Somalia prepares 20,000 soldiers for security takeover ahead of ATMIS exit

Somalia is reportedly preparing 20,000 soldiers for the security handover ahead of the planned exit of some African Union Transition Mission in Somalia forces at the end of June. The Somali Transition Plan will drawdown 2,000 ATMIS soldiers from Somalia before more significant withdrawals conclude ATMIS force presence by the end of December 2024. Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre claimed that Somalia had prepared over 20,000 soldiers to take over security responsibilities from ATMIS, and that they had been adequately trained. The majority of these soldiers were trained in Eritrea, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

  1. Uganda to buy drones for troops in Somalia after base attack

Ugandan President Museveni has said that he plans to buy drones for Ugandan People’s Democratic Front forces in Somalia if they cannot secure support from partners. Museveni said they wanted air support from Turkey and the United States, but had not received it. Museveni has also accused US forces operating in Somalia of not responding to the 26 May al-Shabaab attack on the Ugandan army base in Buulo Marer, Lower Shabelle region. Museveni met virtually with Ugandan military commanders in Somalia who are part of ATMIS over the need for drones to support ATMIS forces. At least 54 Ugandan soldiers were killed in the Buulo Marer attack, one of the deadliest raids on ATMIS forces.


With our keen focus on accurate, insightful, and comprehensive coverage, Gorfayn Weekly Briefs aims to keep you well-informed on the shifting dynamics of power, policy reform, security measures, and peacekeeping efforts, delivering a clear-eyed understanding of the complexities shaping the nation’s progress.

Rights

Copyright: Gorfayn (2023). This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this publication.

The Gorfayn Team
The Gorfayn Teamhttp://gorfayn.org
Gorfayn is your home for fact-based analysis on Somali politics, public policy, and security.

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