Around the Horn: Al-Shabaab showcase looted weapons from Jubaland raid and more

Somalia: On 9 September, al-Shabaab released photos of supplies it looted during its 3 September attack on Buulo Gaduud, just outside Kismayo. It claimed to have killed over two dozen Somali troops in the raid. The group appeared to capture vehicles, RPG rounds and launchers, AK-47s, ammunition and other goods. The group has used captured materials in the past for deadly mass raids against AMISOM and Somali forces.

 

Other articles of note:

  • The Somali government was accused of betraying its national sovereignty in order to appease Ethiopia after it transferred an official from a Somali-Ethiopian opposition group — the ONLF — to the Ethiopian government. Observers noted the Somali government rarely has spoken out against violence by Ethiopian paramilitary forces in Somalia, even as it adopted the narratives of the Ethiopian government in labeling the ONLF official a “terrorist” who was “connected” to al-Shabaab.
  • U.S. AFRICOM carried out two more strikes against al-Shabaab, stating it killed two militants in Bay region and one militant near Barawe. AFRICOM did not name any of the targets. Notably, al-Shabaab and local civilians have provided photographic evidence that U.S. airstrikes and joint ground operations with Somali forces have killed 17 civilians since last month — raising the importance for AFRICOM to name those it has targeted, admit fatal errors, and compensate victims. Inadvertent fighting between a Habar Gidir clan militia and a U.S.-Somali joint force during a raid against an al-Shabaab target in August resulted in the deaths of children and other civilians, and risked inflaming clan tensions in Lower Shabelle, similar to how an errant U.S. airstrike in September 2016 exacerbated clan conflict in central Somalia.

Kenya: Both the government and opposition have lost some faith in the credibility of the election commission following the Supreme Court’s nullification of the presidential vote due to irregularities. Opposition leader Raila Odinga has threatened to boycott the re-scheduled polls on 17 October unless several officials who organized the last run are let go. President Kenyatta has called for a cessation of infighting among election commission officials, who have bickered over how it should handle the repeat election. This all raises doubts about whether the upcoming poll can be conducted more transparently and credibly than the first.

Tanzania: The Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Tanzania on Friday, September 8, called for swift action following the shooting that wounded opposition chief whip Tundu Lissu. Between 28 and 32 bullets were sprayed at his car and five bullets hit him, according to Speaker of the National Assembly, Job Ndugai.



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