Somalia National Army still struggling

Over half of Somalia’s 22,000 National Army soldiers belong to only three Hawiye sub-clans!

Somali soldiers attend a training session during the opening ceremony of a Turkish military base in Mogadishu, Somalia, September 30, 2017.


Somalia National Army still struggling to be operational

According to a confidential report, tribalism is undermining the cohesion of the national army

September 06, 2019 (ION) – Mogadishu is still hoping to turn its army, the Somalia National Army, into a force capable of dispensing with the services of AMISOM (the African Union mission in Somalia) in its battle against Al-Shabaab. However, in addition to problems with training and equipment, the SNA is suffering from a severe lack of cohesion among its constituent parts. Tribal affiliations are taking precedence and the army resembles a motley collection of former clan-based militia.

According to a secret report drafted by a country with influence in Somalia and seen by the Indian Ocean Newsletter, over half of its approximately 22,000 soldiers belong to the three main Hawiye sub-clans (Abgal, Haber Guedir and Murusade). The Ministry of Defence has sought to recruit from other ethnic groups, but in vain. The only exception is in Baidoa, where the Mirifle/Rahanweyn are the dominant component of the SNA.

Beyond this tribal fragmentation, the report also reveals that SNA ranks have been infiltrated by Islamist groups. The complicity of SNA elements has resulted in more lethal attacks and the absence of a military police has aggravated the problem of infiltrations by militia affiliated to Al-Qaeda. The document concludes that in the absence of AMISOM, the SNA would not be in position to defend state institutions in the capital.

It also highlights corruption, which is having an impact on soldiers’ pay. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo is a regular visitor to Doha, where he has to make up the shortfall due to misappropriation in order to pay his soldiers and prevent them from defecting to Al-Shabaab.

According to confidential reports, the US and the European Union have demanded that soldiers be paid by bank transfer, resulting in the names of 10,000 non-existent soldiers being eradicated. However, disputes between donor countries are not contributing to the cohesion of the army, whose current state is symptomatic of the balkanisation of the country.

Description of source: Since 1981, the Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION) investigates within the power spheres of the Eastern coast of Africa, from Karthoum to Cape Town and the islands. Country of origin: France
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ISIS fighters in Somalia


Will Somalia become a “terrorist mecca”?

August 23, 2019 (112.UA, Ukraine) – On August 19, 2019, the federal government of Somalia sent a group of 200 young recruits to Eritrea from Aden Ade International Airport in Mogadishu. This was the last group of 600 youths who had been gathered in the last days at the recruitment center in Shirbow.

The government’s plan is that these young people, after having been trained in the Eritrean camps, will return to their homeland and take part in the creation of a new intelligence service that will operate on the territory of Mogadishu and its metropolitan area.

The new intelligence service should replace the units of Gaashaan iyo Waran (Shield and Spear Forces, GWS). These units are used to carry out complex covert operations against terrorists from the Al-Shabab extremist organization.

The new recruits will be immediately involved in counter-terrorism activities. Eritreans are believed to have the best specialists in East Africa in planning sabotage operations and guerrilla warfare. Consequently, they are training “iron warriors” who are highly capable in the field.

The government’s decision to secretly recruit new recruits is due to the fact that a large number of agents and terrorists have been infiltrated into the ranks of the modern intelligence service, which make its effective functioning impossible.

Following a suicide attack in Mogadishu on 24 July, the mayor of the capital, Abdirahman Omar Osman, was injured and died in a Qatari hospital on August 1, 2019. Six other people were also killed. Prior to that, on 13 July, terrorists attacked the town of Kismaayo, killing 26 people, including the well-known Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Naleeye.

On July 22, a metropolitan hotel was attacked near the airport – 17 people were killed. However, the swift replacement of the entire GWS apparatus can have disastrous consequences for the security of the country, since controllability over the capital may be lost, and former officers dismissed or removed from their posts will go over to the side of the terrorists.

On August 22, President Mohammad Farmaajo of Somalia undertook a major reshuffle of personnel throughout the country’s security bloc. Former journalist Fahad Yasin heads the National Security and Intelligence Agency (NISA). Before that, Fahad Yasin had been on the post of Acting Head of Intelligence for 10 months. The General Staff of Somalia was led by General Adua Yusuf Rage, and the police force was Abdi Hassan Mohammad Hajar.

Also, one of the reasons for the renewed security apparatus is the preparation of Somalia for the withdrawal of the AMISOM peacekeeping contingent (African Union Mission in Somalia), whose mandate expires on May 31, 2020. The number of peacekeeping forces is 21,600.

AMISOM Military contingent


At the same time, more than 4,000 peacekeepers have died in battles with terrorists. At the same time, peacekeepers have lost significant amounts of weapons in the hands of Al-Shabaab. Somalia is considered a country without a real statehood and, accordingly, does not have its own combat-ready army.

If AMISOM leaves the territory of the republic, then it will come under the control of terrorists – a situation that ISIS and Al Qaeda can also take advantage of.

Thus, it is Somalia that is the likely the “new mecca” for extremists from all over the world.

By Alexander Mishin

Description of source: Online news agency offering news on Ukrainian politics, economics, crime and emergency reports. Country of origin: Ukraine

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