A brief ceremony was held in Mogadishu on Friday, October 14, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attack that killed more than 600 people and injured 1,000 in 2017. Today, remembrance and mourning are mingled with a call to maintain the unity and determination that have enabled the consolidation of a better security environment in the capital, although still not immune to violence (https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20221014-somalia-marks-5th-anniversary-of-deadliest-terror-bombing-in-its-history/).

The focus is now mainly on regaining areas lost to the Al-Shabaab terrorist insurgency, by supporting ongoing operations in the Hiran. These are now concentrated in the outskirts of Bulo Burti; 20 militants were killed in a failed assault on villages held by Government Forces (https://www.agenzianova.com/a/634a60fd50a9e6.75360838/4098539/2022-10-12/somalia-violenti-combattimenti-tra-esercito-e-miliziani-di-al-shabaab-in-corso-nella-regione-di-hiran).

Negotiations between clans are ongoing to avoid new head-on clashes.

These developments and support in the fight against terrorism were discussed at a meeting in Mogadishu between President Mohamud and his Ugandan counterpart Museveni. Uganda’s contingent is now the largest within the African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS). Good relations also extend to support for a review of the arms embargo. The demand has regained momentum although the hypothesis has not yet convinced UN Security Council members, who are the only ones who can review the embargo.

On the other hand, PM Barre went to Addis Ababa to take part in the Security Forum organised in Bahir Dar on ‘Managing Security Threats’ and ‘Building Resilience for the Africa We Want’ (https://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2022/Oct/188242/pm_hamza_arrives_in_ethiopia_for_annual_security_forum.aspx). This is yet another distancing signal towards Ethiopia, which is not to be taken for granted.


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