Tag Archives: Somalia

Somali Intelligence Chief accuses Qatar of links with Al-Shahbaab: Saudi Influence?

19 May

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

From Hiiraan Online

Abdullahi Mohamed Ali (Sanbalolshe), former director of the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA)

Abdullahi Mohamed Ali (Sanbalolshe), former director of the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), according to Somali Affairs, has accused Qatar of maintaining active links with the Somali extremist group, Al-Shahbaab.

Ex-Somali Intelligence Chief was commenting on the role played by Doha in the recent release of the abducted Italian aid worker Aisha Romano (formerly Silvia Romano), who was held captive the militant group Al-Shabaab for years. Here is a link to the story that appeared in Somali Affairs quoting the Somali Intelligence Chief.

Somali Affairs reports that in an interview with the Saudi-owned, Arabic Al-Arabia TV, Sanbalolshe, Ex-Somali Intelligence Chief, said Qatar has kept alive its contacts with Al-Shabaab for years, and that the Gulf country has been instrumental to the terror group in its drive to generate income from ransom payments.

Qatari Intelligence or Turkish Intelligence? 

However the appearance of this interview, by ex-Somali Intelligence Chief, on Saudi-owned Al-Arabia raises questions about the credibility of Sanbalolshe’s claims since relations between Doha and Riyadh are tense and a narrative war is continuing for past several years.

Sanbalolshe’s – ex-Somali Intelligence Chief – claims are also problematic because most of the Italian and Turkish sources have given credit to Turkish Intelligence, Italian and Somali government agencies for mediating this release.

In Italy the furore is rather focused on Silvia Romano’s claims that she has become a Muslim after carefully reading Quran and her new name is Aisha. She claims and explains to Italian prosecutors that there was never any pressure upon her and she was not physically abused by her captors. Aisha is the most popular Muslim name – coming from early days of Islam when the youngest wife of Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (PBUH) was Aisha or Ayesha.

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2020 Global conflict & disorder patterns: “reactivated groups cause for heightened risk of mass violence in Ethiopia…”

21 Feb

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Editor’s Note:  Separately on Ethiopia since 2019, pls consult ACLED’s: [Ethiopia] At risk of increased fragmentation despite a popular leader)


by Clionadh Raleigh, ACLED Executive Director

Paper presented at the 2020 Munich Security Conference

There is a great range in how states and citizens experience security: in places like Mexico and Burundi, active and latent groups dominate the security environment, while in Iran, Turkey and Ukraine, the level of per capita civilian killing is low, but perpetrated by the same small range of state, and state-associated groups. In countries like Ethiopia and Pakistan, the possibility of high numbers of ‘re-activated’ groups mean that civilians are at a heightened risk of mass violence, should the political environment change suddenly.

In the past 10 years, the world has witnessed a decline in global cooperation and security. This downturn is manifest through multiple internationalized wars and massive humanitarian crises, rising nationalism from global powers, transnational terror organizations using sophisticated recruitment techniques, cyber-attacks orchestrated by marginalized states, sustained levels of violence in nominally ‘post-conflict’ countries, and a drastic rise in the number of non-state violent agents. An intensification of violence and risk has accompanied these notable shifts. Drawing on the ACLED dataset of almost a million political violence and protest events across over 100 countries, we can discern four broad patterns that summarize the current conflict landscape and indicate how disorder is likely to evolve in the future:

(1) Political violence is rising and manifesting as disorder in multiple forms. It is persistent and dynamic, consistently adapting to changing political circumstances and opportunities, rather than dissipating. For these reasons, it is best to understand political violence not as a failure of states, but as a volatile and flexible feature of political systems.

(2) Political violence is rising most quickly in developed states: Russia, Mexico and Turkey are key examples of how specific forms of political violence find an outlet in relatively wealthier states. Continued conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Afghanistan demonstrate the intractable nature of wars in states with inconsistent government control and capacity across territory. Conflict is most persistent in poorer states, but even in these environments, it is a tool of the powerful, rather than the poor and aggrieved.

(3) The fallout from many externally imposed peace-building and stabilization efforts, forced elections, and corruption is unprecedented levels of militia and gang violence. Rather than a descent into chaos, this trend is tied directly to the domestic politics of states and the economic benefits of conflict. The form and intensity of such conflict adapts to political competition within states. As a result, we should expect a continued rise in militias, gangs and violence across most states.

(4) Finally, demonstrations are increasing drastically — but most peaceful protests have no effect on political structures and elite politics. State security forces continue to intervene violently in protests, and mobs — often hired by politicians — are responsible for a significant and deadly increase of rioting in South Asia and beyond.

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Abiy’s appointment of Workineh Gebeyehu as IGAD exec feared to foster ill will in the Horn of Africa

27 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Former Ethiopia Foreign Affairs Minister Workeneh Gebeyehu has been appointed as the new IGAD Executive Secretary.

In a letter seen by The Brief and signed by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, who is also the Intergovernmental Authority on Development chairman, Gebeyehu’s appointment is effective November 1, 2019.

“In my capacity as the chairman of the Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government, and pursuant to the decision of the latter during the October 10, 2019 consultations on the margins of the inauguration of Unity Park in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, I am pleased to confirm your appointment as the IGAD Executive Secretary,” the letter dated October 22, 2019 reads in part.

The position, which is currently held by Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, a Kenyan, was reportedly desperately wanted by Somalia.

Maalim took over from Dr Attalla Bashir of Sudan, who had served two four-year terms between 2000 and 2008.

However, VOA News reporter Harun Maruf reported controversy over the appointment, saying, “Multiple diplomats are now suggesting the appointment of Workeneh Gebeyehu as IGAD Executive Secretary was a “unilateral decision” by Ethiopia.”


Quoting a diplomatic source, Maruf said the signing of the letter appointing Workeneh was u-procedural as it should have been preceded by the Summit in which a communique as to which country becomes the new chair and as to who becomes the new IGAD Executive Secretary of is agreed on.

On March 8 this year, Gebeyehu was appointed as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi to succeed Hanna Tetteh of Ghana who was appointed as Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union.



Why I disagree with UNSG Guterres’ appointment of ‘Gen. Gabre’ UNISFA Force commander, the walking terror tainted by human rights crimes & corruption in the Horn!

11 Apr

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

PART One of two

Maj-Gen. Gabre, as they refer to him in Somalia, possibly picked from his twitter handle

The purpose of this article is to express the writer’s disappointment at and opposition to the April 4, 2018 appointment by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres of Maj-Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu as commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
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How an Ethiopia-backed port is changing power dynamics in the Horn of Africa

20 Mar

Editor’s Note:

    In Early 1990s, TPLF berated all Ethiopian nationalists for raising huge concerns about the TPLF reducing the country into becoming landlocked. Today, Djibouti, like Somalia has found out friendship with the TPLF means constantly watching for once’s back.

    In those early days, the TPLF lectured Ethiopians port is just mere commodity. When it found out in office is is more than a commodity, the TPLF went into its usual cunning and hoodwinking Somaliland, the cat in its armpit, into surrendering 19 percent of the port.

    As I tried to show in recent article, the TPLF has gone even into exploiting its presence in Somalia to keep that country in permanent state of internal division, conflicts and Al-Shabaab an ever present threat! What has always amazed me is US trust of the notorious TPLF loansharks!

    A point of disagreement with the authors of the article this page has about their claim relates to: “But one aspect will not be in question: Ethiopia’s rising power and influence over the entire region.” They may be unaware the TPLF, rejected by the Ethiopian people, is on its last leg, I may say, to the cold grave — because of its human rights crimes and corruption!

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US Africa Commander Waldhauser orders new probe into Somalia raid

14 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Lolita C. Baldor, Stars & Stripes
WASHINGTON — The head of U.S. Africa Command has asked for an additional investigation into whether civilians were killed during a deadly August raid in Somalia involving American and Somali forces.

Army Col. Mark Cheadle, a spokesman for Africa Command, said Wednesday that Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser has asked the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to look into the details of the raid in Bariire village by Somali troops supported by U.S. special operations forces. The decision comes just two weeks after Africa Command released a statement discounting reports that several civilians, including children, were killed in the attack.
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Delayed parliamentary committee report establishes TPLF forcibly-legitimised extradition by Somalia of Qalbi-Dhagah to Ethiopia illegal! TPLF succeeds brewing trouble to 10-month old Somalia gov’t

19 Nov

Hiiran Online picture of Abdulkerim Sheik Musa, known in Somalia as Qalbi Dhagax, TPLF describes as ONLF commander, while a victim of TPLF kidnapping last August, assuming he is Ethiopian. He is claimed to be a citizen of Somalia, a Col in Siad Barre army and veteran of the 1977 Ogaden war Somalia opened against Ethiopia. TPLF put the back of the newly-elected Somalia government against the wall to force a post facto pronouncement to describe kidnapping as extradition of a terrorist, exactly 20 days after his kidnapping by Gen. Gabre, a man shamefully with so many duplicitous titles, some of which include Ethiopian diplomat, Supreme Ethiopian Force Commander in Somalia and Political Advisor at IGAD

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AMISOM says 1,000 troops to leave Somalia; TPLF seizes the opportunity & dispatches force

7 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
MOGADISHU — African Union peacekeeping troops will start withdrawing from Somalia next month, says the head of the AU mission in the country.

Francisco Madeira told a news conference in Mogadishu that 1,000 soldiers from the five troop-contributing countries — Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti — will depart.
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