The assault on the Tawakal hotel in Kismayo (Jubaland, in the south) left 11 dead and 47 injured ( A car loaded with explosives and driven by an Al-Shabaab suicide terrorist detonated at the entrance of the building, which was then attacked by three other militiamen. A prolonged firefight ensued with hotel security men, who finally ended the siege.

The terrorist group claimed the action, the second major one in October, stating that the intended target were local Puntland administrators gathered in the building. The geographical scope of the jihadist offensive in response to military operations aimed at eradicating the threat is thus widening ( Jubaland has long been one of the strongholds of terrorism and this gives rise to fears of a resurgence of violence, even though the cadence of major attacks nationwide is confirmed to be about two a month.

The actions of the Army and the African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) continue in Hiran and Middle Shabelle, also with US forces’ support ( On the contrary, the Somali government is calling for broader support, with a change in US forces’ rules of engagement; this raises some concerns (

As far as domestic policy is concerned, the session of the National Advisory Council is worth mentioning, where President Mohamud and PM Barre met regional Presidents ( to discuss military operations, support for those affected by the drought and also the recent agreement on offshore oil exploration, signed with a US company. Criticism on this dossier shows that the relationship with regional leaders is still on shaky ground.

On the international level, instead, the telephone conversation with the Emir of Qatar, Tamin ( is to be noted, and was useful to reaffirm the substance of the bilateral relationship, in a phase of greater interlocution between Somalia and the United Arab Emirates. Participation in the Arab League Summit in Algiers is also imminent. In this case as well, Somali leaders must choose whether to maintain good relations with all their neighbours in the region, or whether to yield to the flattery coming from Egypt, to loosen collaboration with Ethiopia.


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