DAILY SITUATION UPDATE Somalia, July 22, 2023

Situation Overview

Politics: Tensions between Somalia and Kenya persist as the Somali government rejects recent claims by Kenyan President William Ruto about ongoing talks concerning a maritime dispute. The dispute involves establishing a sea boundary in a region rich in oil and gas reserves, with Somalia being favoured in a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2021. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud plans to attend the Russia-Africa Summit amid tension between Russia and the West, seeking support in combating Islamist insurgents. Cabinet reshuffles in the South-West and political conflicts in other regions, such as Hiiraan and Puntland, contribute to Somalia’s ongoing challenges. Efforts to combat al-Shabaab continue, with South-West Regional State announcing its forthcoming operation following the lifting of a blockade imposed by the militant group on Baidoa.

  1. Maritime dispute between Somalia and Kenya, with Somalia rejecting claims of ongoing talks. Involvement of Djibouti’s President in the dispute, raising diplomatic questions.
  2. Somali President’s plan to attend the Russia-Africa Summit and discuss bilateral relations with the Russian President.
  3. Significant cabinet reshuffle in Southwest Somalia due to pressure from Al-Shabaab.
  4. Jubaland Vice President’s visits to Dolow and Luuq amid efforts to establish administration in the region.
  5. Training program for journalists organised by the Federal Government of Somalia to combat fake news and improve reporting.
  6. Conflict between former Hiiraan region governor and Hirshabelle State President over anti-al Shabab operations and tax collection centralisation.
  7. South-West Regional State announces forthcoming anti-al Shabab operation to break a blockade in Baidoa.
  8. Political turmoil in Puntland over constitutional amendments and holding elections.
  9. Election for the Speakership position in the Somaliland House of Representatives.
  10. Finance Minister’s address at the Hargeisa International Book Fair, emphasising resilience and cultural exchange with Morocco.

Security: A landmine explosion occurred at the livestock market in Jowhar, resulting in the tragic death of local government official Dahir Mohamed Kaanti and injuring several regional government soldiers. The incident took place shortly after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s visit to Jowhar, where he held a meeting with regional state leaders. Investigations are underway, but no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. On the same day, ongoing counter-terrorism operations were reported across the country, with no further details provided.

  1. Dahir Mohamed Kaanti, a local government official from Jowhar district, passed away on July 22, 2023. He sustained injuries in a landmine explosion at the livestock market in Jowhar.

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