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Somali Government Officials Survive Bomb Attack

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The commander of the Somali Custodial Corps, Gen Mahad Abdirahman Adan, has survived a bomb attack targetting his convoy in Mogadishu, the East African nation’s capital.

Adan and other senior government officials who were travelling with him escaped unhurt but two soldiers reportedly died in the incident.

The attack comes just days after Sadiq Adan Ali Dodishe, the spokesperson for the Somali Police, escaped unhurt in a bomb attack incident in Waberi District of Banadir region near Mogadishu.

Somalia holds its Presidential elections on Monday, 8 February 2021 and death tolls from attacks like this have become increasingly secretive in the East African country. However, it is believed many were severely injured.

In the Dodishe’s incident, a land mine buried in the side of the road was said to have exploded. The police spokesperson was not in his vehicle at the time of the attack.

Only one woman, who was at the scene, was reportedly wounded.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for either explosion, but the jihadist group al-Shabab are suspected of being behind both attacks.

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Kenya Asks South Sudan to Hasten Implementation of 2018 Peace Pact

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Kenya has urged South Sudan to speed up the implementation of the remaining aspects of the peace pact signed in Khartoum, Sudan in 2018.

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, singled out the establishment of the legislative assembly and reforms in the security sector as some of the pending areas that require attention as the country returns to stability after years of conflict.

He said the country would leverage on its UN Security Council membership to assist her young neighbor and the region to achieve more stability.

Key signatories to the 2018 peace agreement were expected to complete key tasks such as the establishment of local governments, unification of forces and reconstitution of public institutions before the formation of a coalition government in February 2020.

However, the process has been hampered by disagreements between the former foes and lack of resources to fund the training and graduation of the joint unified force of 83,000 personnel.

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AU Calls for Dialogue Over Kenya-Somalia Border Tension

Fighting broke out between Somalia National Forces and regional Jubbaland fighters, which Somalia claims were trained in Kenya.

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The African Union (AU) has expressed concern over the rising tensions at the common border between Kenya and Somalia, where there was sporadic violence in Bula-Hawo. It called for dialogue to deescalate tension.

Fighting broke out between Somalia National Forces and regional Jubbaland fighters, which Somalia says were trained in Kenya.

On the Somali side where the battle occurred on Monday morning, at least nine people, including civilians, were killed.

The AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has called on the two sides to stop the fighting and use multilateral channels to air their grievances.

“I’m following the tensions on the Kenya-Somalia border with concern, and urge the two neighbours to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue in conformity with the Igad-led process.

“Peace on the Kenya-Somalia border is vital to regional stability.”

Faki’s comments came as Mogadishu insisted it had confirmed weapons from Kenya had been used in the fight, although no evidence was immediately provided for the claims which Kenya rejected.

Kenya wrote to the African Union, on Monday, expressing security concerns, after federal and regional forces from Somalia renewed fighting at Bula-Hawo in Gedo near Mandera County.

Kenya said the fighting most likely will create a security crisis especially as the two countries no longer have diplomatic relations.

“Kenya’s primary concern is that the renewed fighting engenders large scale displacement of civilians inside Somalia and increasingly generate large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers to Kenya, therefore aggravating the already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia and in the refugee camps in Kenya,” said a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Kenya is concerned that if the fighting continues unabated, the situation could further destabilise the region, complicate the security situation and reverse the gains made in the fight against terrorism.”

On the Kenyan side in Mandera, the fighting has disrupted normal business and other activities as schools and shops have been shut for fear of violence. Ali Roba, the governor of Mandera, said some Kenyans were injured in the incident.

The battle between both forces, the SNA and Jubbaland fighters, began at about 1am Monday with the fight going on all through the day.

After taking out the Jubbaland forces loyal to the Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur alias Abdirashid Janan, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) soldiers have been camping at Bula-Hawo town since March last year.

Abdirashid Janan, a Jubbaland minister for security, is wanted by Mogadishu.

Janan and his army crossed into Kenya and hid in Mandera town, after they were overpowered in March last year.

The tensions between Somalia and Kenya saw Mogadishu cut diplomatic ties with Nairobi in December last year. But Kenya has since rejected claims that it interfered with Somalia’s internal affairs.

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Somali Government Intercept Smuggled Weapons, Ammunitions

The ministry did not, however, identify the entities and quantity of ammunition intercepted nor did he provide any proof to back up the report either.

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The Somali government has commenced investigations into the source and origin of certain sophisticated weapons and ammunition which it intercepted while they were being smuggled into the country.

The country’s minister of information said there had been an attempt by Somali and foreign entities, to illegally import high caliber weapons and ammunition into the country without government knowledge and permission.

In a statement issued in the capita Mogadishu, the minister said “the federal government of Somali has a robust system in the supply chain of weapons and ammunition from the point of procurement to post distribution, and it is these existing frameworks that have enabled the government to respond timely and block the deliveries.”

The ministry did not, however, identify the entities and quantity of ammunition intercepted nor did he provide any proof to back up the report either.

The ministry said the Somali government takes very seriously, violations of territorial sovereignty and integrity as well as any actions that can have potential destabilizing effects.

“The government is investigating the origin and motives of the weapons and ammunition it has blocked intended for Somalia,” the report said.

Shortly after Somali plunged into civil war 25 years ago, The United Nations imposed a blanket arms embargo on the nation.

The statement followed hours of fighting in the southern town of Beled Hawo between the security forces of Jubaland and and government forces as the two sides battled to take control of the strategic town which is a key entry of the Gedo region.

The Somali government did however say its forces managed to repel the militia group, and managed to recover illegally imported arms and ammunition, also flushing out Jubaland security forces.

Bothe sides have reportedly suffered casualties, even though the local authorities have not established the number involved.

This is not the first time that The Somali government and Jubaland forces will battle over that land. In March 2020, both forces were engaged in a similar battle to take control of the town.

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