Politics: On July 26, 2023, several significant developments occurred in Somalia. A committee of 45 members from the self-proclaimed SSC-Khaatumo administration was sworn into office in Las Anod. Their objective is to govern the Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn (SSC) regions and liberate them from Somaliland forces. Dr Aden Abdullahi Aw Hassan, an expert in agricultural economics, serves as the interim chairman. In Gedo, a long-standing political dispute was resolved, and a newly appointed administration received endorsement from former regional officials. Puntland faced opposition as politicians threatened a unilateral election if President Said Deni extended his term without conducting scheduled regional elections. Tensions escalated in the Galmudug Federal State due to an alleged plan by the Somali government to assert control and install a new leader. Prime Minister Hamze Abdi Barre highlighted the government’s dedication to improving education at a summit in Tanzania. CARE Somalia warned about the potential impact of the dissolution of a grain deal between Russia and Ukraine on food security in Somalia. The Somali Ambassador to China attended a meeting to strengthen bilateral ties, focusing on railway infrastructure. Somalia and Italy signed an agreement to enhance emergency services. General Mahad Abdirahman Aden addressed imprisonment injustices, and the Minister of Information met with the UN Special Representative. The proposal to increase the number of parliament members in Puntland was rejected by the Constitutional Court. Russia announced the write-off of Somalia’s debt, and members of parliament sought answers regarding a military academy bombing. The Banadir Regional Education Directorate announced changes for the upcoming school year. Lastly, a politician criticised amendments to the Puntland constitution.
- A committee comprising 45 members of the self-proclaimed SSC-Khaatumo administration was sworn into office on July 26, 2023, in Las Anod. Their mandate is to govern the regions of Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn (SSC) and to liberate these regions from the control of Somaliland forces. The committee was selected by regional Garaads and Sultans and will be responsible for governing various state affairs. Dr Aden Abdullahi Aw Hassan, an agricultural economy specialist, is the interim chairman of the committee.
- The political dispute in the Gedo region, which persisted for nearly four years, has been officially resolved. The Deputy President of Jubaland, Mohamud Sayid Adan, announced on July 26, 2023, that the newly appointed Jubaland administration in Gedo received endorsement from former regional officials who previously held differing views. The agreement was reached among regional administrative officials, security forces, the public, and intellectuals. The newly appointed administration will now assume regular operations in the region.
- Opposition politicians in Puntland threatened to hold a unilateral election if President Said Deni tries to extend his term and fails to conduct the scheduled regional elections. The Parliament’s actions, accused of being influenced by bribes, violated regional state law. Concerns were raised over President Deni’s quest for control, causing opposition both within Puntland and with federal government leaders on the matter of regional presidential elections.
- Tensions escalated in the Galmudug Federal State of Somalia due to an alleged plan orchestrated by the Somali government. The plan aims to assert control over the region and install Mahad Mohamed Salad, the Head of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), as the leader of Galmudug. Regional officials expressed concerns over President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s planned relocation to Dhusamareb, suspecting a larger plan to consolidate power within the region.
- Prime Minister Hamze Abdi Barre emphasized the government’s dedication to improving education at the African Human Capital Heads of State Summit in Tanzania. The government has invested substantially in education, including the recruitment of 3000 new teachers. The summit served as a platform for African leaders to exchange best practices and explore innovative approaches to tackle education challenges.
- CARE Somalia issued a warning about the potential impact of the dissolution of the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain deal between Russia and Ukraine. Somalia heavily relies on imported grain from Ukraine and Russia, and the termination of the deal could worsen the food security situation in the country. CARE Somalia called upon international leaders to ensure an uninterrupted supply of grain to prevent worsened hunger in Somalia.
- Somalia’s Ambassador to China, Mr. Awale Ali Kullane, attended a meeting organised by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate stronger bilateral ties. Railway infrastructure was a particular focus, and the ambassador visited China Railway Group Limited (CREC) to gain insights into China’s advancements in this sector. Discussions explored strengthening bilateral relations encompassing trade, investment, and education.
- The Chinese embassy hosted a farewell ceremony for the Somali athlete delegation participating in the Summer World University Games in Chengdu, China. The ceremony highlighted the strong friendship between China and Somalia and expressed hopes for strengthened sports and youth exchanges between the two countries.
- Somalia and Italy signed an agreement aimed at improving emergency services in Somalia. The agreement seeks to enhance the effectiveness and responsiveness of emergency services, ensuring the well-being and safety of Somali citizens. This marks a significant stride in the relationship between the two nations, reflecting their strong bond of friendship and cooperation.
- General Mahad Abdirahman Aden, the Somali Custodial Corps Commander, addressed the injustice prevailing in the country’s prisons, particularly in Mogadishu. He emphasised the need for justice to prevail and proposed a thorough evaluation of detention facilities to assess the reasons behind prolonged detentions and unjust treatment of prisoners.
- The Minister of Somalia’s Ministry of Information, Daud Aweis, met with the United Nations (UN) Special Representative, Catriona Laing. During the meeting, Catriona Laing reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to supporting Somalia on its journey towards peace, prosperity, and development.
- The proposal to increase the number of members of parliament in Puntland was rejected by the Constitutional Court, as it violated the Constitution’s requirement for a census before augmenting parliamentary seats.
- Russia announced the write-off of Somalia’s $684 million debt during a bilateral meeting, strengthening the relationship between the two countries. This took place shortly before the Russia-Africa Summit.
- Members of the lower house of parliament moved to summon the Defence Minister and Armed Forces Commanders to address questions regarding the Jaalle Siyaad Military Academy bombing, which was claimed by the al-Shabab terrorist group. Sheikh Adan Madobe expressed suspicions of possible facilitators within the military ranks.
- The Banadir Regional Education Directorate announced changes for the upcoming school year, implementing the academic year from September 2023 through June 2024 and scheduling classes six days a week from Saturday to Thursday to ensure curriculum completion.
- Guled Salah Barre, a Puntland politician and presidential candidate, criticised amendments made by the Puntland Parliament to specific articles of the PL constitution, alleging they were designed to serve President Said Deni’s political interests. The changes include a potential extension of the presidential term and enabling a unilateral re-election.
Security: On July 26, 2023, Somalia experienced several significant events. Firstly, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast occurred in Jowhar, targeting the Burundian contingent under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces. The blast resulted in the death of one person and injured three others. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. In another incident, an armed rebellion was reported in the Sanaag Region of Somaliland, where the Garhajis Clan announced their presence. Additionally, in Mogadishu, a fatal shooting took place when an undercover agent of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) refused to show his identity documents to security forces, prompting them to open fire and resulting in his death. Furthermore, a convoy of NISA vehicles and soldiers departed from Mogadishu to Dhusomareb, in advance of the Director of NISA, Mahad Salad, expected arrival as part of the President’s delegation. The Somali National Army also conducted joint operations with residents in the Bay region, resulting in the death of over 60 Al-Shabaab militants through targeted bombings. Lastly, Somali government troops successfully recaptured Goofgaduud Burey, a district strategically important for protecting Baidoa, without encountering militant resistance. These events highlight the ongoing security challenges and efforts in Somalia to combat terrorism and establish peace and stability in the region.
- IED Blast in Jowhar: An improvised explosive device (IED) blast took place in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region. The attack specifically targeted the Burundian contingent under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces. At least one person was killed, and three others were wounded in the blast. The extremist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Armed Rebellion in Sanaag Region: An armed rebellion was reported in the Sanaag Region of Somaliland. A militia known as the Garhajis Clan was declared in the Gacan Libah area, situated between Berbera and Hargeisa.
- Fatal Shooting of Undercover Agent in Mogadishu: In the Yaqshid District of Mogadishu, an agent from Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) was fatally shot by security forces. The incident occurred when the undercover officer, dressed in plain clothes, refused to provide his identity documents to the security personnel. In response, the officer drew a pistol, leading the security forces to open fire, resulting in his death.
- NISA Convoy Departure to Dhusomareb: A convoy consisting of 18 NISA vehicles and 190 soldiers left Mogadishu, heading towards Dhusomareb in the Galgaduud region. The Director of NISA, Mahad Salad, is expected to arrive in Dhusomareb on Saturday as part of the President’s delegation.
- Joint Operations against Al-Shabaab: The Somali National Army conducted joint operations with local residents in the El-Dhun Adegow area of the Bay region. Over 60 militants belonging to the terrorist group Al-Shabaab were reported dead during the ongoing operations, which involved targeted bombings. The objective of the collaborative effort is to combat terrorism in Southwest Somalia and establish peace and security in the region.
- Recapture of Goofgaduud Burey: Somali government troops successfully recaptured the district of Goofgaduud Burey, located 30km west of Baidoa. The district had briefly fallen under the control of Al-Shabaab following the withdrawal of Somali troops. However, the recapture was achieved without encountering any militant resistance. Goofgaduud Burey holds strategic importance as it serves as a defensive position protecting Baidoa, the interim capital of the South-West Regional State of Somalia.