Politics: On July 29, 2023, significant developments took place in Somalia. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee to discuss progress in disrupting the financial networks of Al-Shabaab terrorists. Efforts by the committee have raised awareness among Somalis and undermined the terrorists’ ability to extort and loot from local businesses. President Mohamud stressed the importance of a comprehensive strategy involving economic, ideological, and military measures to fully liberate the country from the grip of Al-Shabaab. Additionally, the Hiiraan community in the UK expressed support for the establishment of Hiiraan State in Somalia, with Ali Jeyti playing a vital role in its liberation from Al-Shabaab. In a separate meeting, President Said Abdullahi Deni of Puntland and British Ambassador Mike Nithavrianakis discussed security and political concerns, focusing on finding solutions for peace and reconciliation in Las Anod. Finally, Somali health authorities and the WHO renewed their commitment to combat viral hepatitis in the country, aiming to eliminate it by 2030 by improving access to testing, treatment, and vaccines.
- President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held a meeting with the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC) to discuss progress in disrupting the financial networks of Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia. The NAMLC reported raising awareness among the Somali people, undermining the terrorists’ capacity to extort and loot from local businesses.
- President Mohamud emphasized a multifaceted approach in the fight against Al-Shabaab, highlighting the need to address it on three fronts: economic, ideological, and military. Victory on all fronts is crucial for liberating the country from the grip of the terrorists.
- The Hiiraan community in the United Kingdom convened in London to express support for the establishment of a new federal member state called Hiiraan State in Somalia. The interim leader, Ali Jeyti, played a pivotal role in liberating Hiiraan from Al-Shabaab and laying the groundwork for its transformation into a stable and sovereign entity.
- President Said Abdullahi Deni of the Puntland State of Somalia and British Ambassador Mike Nithavrianakis held a meeting in Garowe to discuss security and political concerns. They emphasized collaboration between Somalia and the United Kingdom in addressing security challenges and promoting political stability. The situation in Las Anod, the administrative capital of the Sool region, was a major topic of discussion, with a commitment to finding lasting solutions for peace and reconciliation.
- Somali health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) renewed their commitment to tackling viral hepatitis in Somalia. They aim to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030, providing support for testing, treatment, and vaccines. Viral hepatitis poses a significant threat, and efforts are underway to scale up testing and treatment. Challenges include limited data availability, limited resources, insufficient healthcare infrastructure, and low awareness. Collection of data beyond blood donors and prevention of mother-to-child transmission are key priorities. An estimated 2.5 million people in Somalia live with chronic hepatitis B and C.
Security: On July 29, 2023, several significant events took place in Somalia and Somaliland. The Somali Government conducted a military offensive against Al-Shabaab, causing losses but leaving their financial and operational capabilities intact. Clashes occurred in the Ga’an-Libah mountains, reflecting a disagreement over election prioritization in Somaliland. Additionally, battles erupted near Godawayn and Lasanod, exacerbating instability in both regions. Meanwhile, a plane carrying donated medicine arrived in Lasanod from the Italian government to aid conflict victims. The President of Somalia visited the National Intelligence and Security Agency, emphasizing the need for accountability. The Deputy Minister of Defence reported on an explosion at a military training camp, and the Ministry of Transport released a preliminary report on an aircraft accident caused by wind shear in Mogadishu.
- The Somali Government is conducting a military offensive against Al-Shabaab involving airstrikes and ground operations. While Al-Shabaab suffered losses, its financial and operational capabilities remain intact, with an estimated fighting force of 7,000 to 12,000 individuals and an annual revenue of $100 million.
- Clashes were ongoing in the Ga’an-Libah mountains between loyalists of political parties and forces representing Somaliland. The dispute revolves around the prioritization of elections, with the Presidential Election scheduled for November 13, 2024, and the Association Elections set for December 28, 2023.
- A battle occurred near the village of Godawayn between the ‘Dulmi-diid’ militia and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of Somaliland. The conflict arose from the temporary kidnapping of officials by the militia. This adds to the instability in the northern Somali region of Somaliland, where protests and conflict have previously occurred.
- Heavy artillery clashes took place between the SSC-Khatumo and Somaliland forces on the outskirts of Lasanod, highlighting a longstanding territorial dispute. The use of heavy weapons and proximity to populated areas raises concerns for civilian safety.
- A plane carrying donated medicine from the Italian government arrived at Ganbadhe airport in response to the needs of victims affected by the fighting in Lasanod.
- The President of Somalia visited the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) headquarters for sensitive discussions. The meeting involved high-ranking officials, including the Director of NISA, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Internal Security, focusing on recent security incidents and the need for accountability.
- The Deputy Minister of Defence reported to the Parliament regarding an explosion at a military training camp in Mogadishu. Fourteen officers, including the camp commander, were arrested, and investigations were ongoing to determine their involvement.
- The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation released a preliminary report on an aircraft accident in Mogadishu. The accident was attributed to wind shear, resulting in the pilot losing control of the plane during landing. The ministry emphasized conducting a thorough investigation, and a final report would be issued within one year.