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Gulf of Aden Security Review - January 23, 2013

Critical Threats
Wednesday January 23, 2013

Horn of Africa: Eritrean soldiers stage coup at the Ministry of Information in Asmara, Eritrea; al Shabaab is forcing elders in Galgudud region to recruit young fighters; al Shabaab detains elders in the Galgudud region; Somali military court sentences one person to death, another three to prison; delegation to form a Jubaland state will meet in Kismayo; European Union fighting contingent to stay in Somalia for two more years; Somali prime minister meets with United Nations ambassador in Mogadishu; Raskamboni brigade imposes silence on journalists in Kismayo

Horn of Africa Security Brief

• Two hundred soldiers from the Eritrean Army stormed the Ministry of Information in Asmara, Eritrea on January 21. The soldiers forced broadcasters from the state-run news shows to read a statement calling for the Eritrean government to free political prisoners. Also in the statement, the soldiers announced that they were going to change the constitution. The government regained control of the ministry but there are conflicting reports about how the coup ended. Some reports say the mutinying soldiers were most likely imprisoned after government troops surrounded the ministry, other reports say the soldiers left the building and drove back to their base.[10]
• Al Shabaab has reportedly been forcing elders in districts in Galgudud region to recruit 200 to 300 new young fighters to join al Shabaab’s cause, as well as provide food and money. Al Shabaab militants gave the elders three days to provide the men and materials.[11]
• Al Shabaab arrested elders in Elbur district, Galgudud region on January 23 after they refused al Shabaab’s demand to provide the terrorist organization with 300 young fighters and 100 million Somali shillings. The number of detained elders is not known.[12]
• A Somali military court sentenced one soldier to death on a murder charge and sentenced three other soldiers to prison for five to 20 years in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on January 22.[13]
• The interim leader of Kismayo and leader of the Ras Kamboni brigade, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Islam, also known as Ahmed Madobe, announced that delegates from the Jubba region are gathering in Kismayo to try and form a new Jubaland state government.[14]
• The European Union fighting contingent in Somalia will stay there for another two years according to the Council of the European Union. The contingent is under Irish command and is currently stationed in Uganda but is preparing to move into Mogadishu in the coming weeks.[15]
• Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon met with United Nations Ambassador to Somalia Augustine P. Mahiga in Mogadishu on January 22. The two men talked about how to stop the widespread rape of Somali women and other crimes against humanity occurring in the country.[16]
• The spokesman for the Ras Kamboni bigades's forces, Abdinasir Serar, has warned journalists in Kismayo not to report any news without consent from the brigade, according to reports on January 23.[17]    

[10] “Coup Attempt by Rebel Soldiers is Said to fail in Eritrea,” NYTimes, January 21, 2013. Available:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/world/africa/coup-attempt-fails-in-eritrea.html?_r=0
“Dissident Eritrean Troops Seize Ministry,” Reuters, January 21, 2013. Available:http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/21/us-eritrea-siege-idUSBRE90K0J320130121
“Soldiers Temporarily Seize Eritrean Information Ministry,” Al Shahid, January 22, 2013. Available:http://english.alshahid.net/archives/34672
[11] “Al Shabaab Compels Elders to Conscript Young Potential Fighters,” Bar Kulan, January 23, 2013. Available:http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/23/al-shabaab-compels-elders-to-conscript-young-potential-fighters/
“Al Shabaab Accused of Detaining Elders,” Bar Kulan, January 23, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/23/al-shabaab-accused-of-detaining-elders/
[12] “Al Shabaab Accused of Detaining Elders,” Bar Kulan, January 23, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/01/23/al-shabaab-accused-of-detaining-elders/
[13] “Somali Army Court Sentences Soldier to Death, Another to 20 Years in Jail,” Jowhar Online, January 22, 2013. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/january-23-2013-morning-headlines/
[14] “Somalia: Jubaland Formation Process Underway Says Kismayo Leader,” Garowe, January 22, 2013. Available:http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Jubaland_formation_process_underway_says_Kismayo_leader.shtml
[15] “Irish-led EU Military to Stay in Somalia,” Raxanreeb, January 23, 2013. Available:http://www.raxanreeb.com/2013/01/irish-led-eu-military-to-stay-in-somalia/
[16] “UN and the Somali Government Talks About Issues Including Women and Rape Effects,” Kulmiye News, January 22, 2013. Available: http://www.kulmiyenews.com/?nid=11844
[17] “Militia group gags Somali journalists in Kismayo,” Shabelle Media Network, January 23, 2013. Available:http://shabelle.net/somali-militia-group-gags-somali-journalists-in-kismayo/


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