Letter dated 2 November 2017 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea addressed to the President of the Security Council
On behalf of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea, and in accordance with paragraph 40 of Security Council resolution 2317 (2016), I have the honour to transmit herewith the report on Somalia of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.
In this connection, the Committee would appreciate it if the present letter and the report were brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council and issued as a document of the Council.
Letter dated 2 November 2017 from the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea addressed to the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea
In accordance with paragraph 40 of Security Council resolution 2317 (2016), we have the honour to transmit herewith the report on Somalia of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.
(Signed) James Smith
Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea
(Signed) Jay Bahadur
Armed groups expert
(Signed) Charles Cater
Natural resources expert
(Signed) Déirdre Clancy
(Signed) Tapani Holopainen
(Signed) Nazanine Moshiri
(Signed) Richard Zabot
|II. Acts that threaten the peace, security and stability of Somalia||9|
|A. Harakaat al-Shabaab al-Mujaahidiin…………………………………….||9|
|B. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant faction in Somalia………………………..||14|
|C. Intercommunal conflict……………………………………………..||16|
|D. Public financial management………………………………………….||18|
|E. Resource governance……………………………………………….||24|
|F. Resurgence of piracy||27|
|G. Electoral misconduct||28|
|III. Arms embargo……………………………………………………….||29|
|A. Illicit flow of weapons into Somalia||29|
|B. Federal Government compliance with obligations under the partial lifting of the arms embargo||32|
|C. Other Somali security sector institutions: compliance with the arms embargo||35|
|D. Establishment of a United Arab Emirates military base in Berbera||36|
|E. Military equipment captured during offensive operations by the African Union Mission in Somalia and Federal Government security forces||37|
|F. Security sector reform……………………………………………….||37|
|IV. Obstruction of humanitarian assistance………………………………………||38|
|B. Bureaucratic obstacles………………………………………………||39|
|C. Major supply routes||40|
|D. Diversion of humanitarian aid…………………………………………||41|
|E. Attacks on humanitarian workers……………………………………….||41|
|F. Manipulation of aid to exclude marginalized communities and fuel conflict…………..||42|
|V. Violations of international humanitarian law involving targeting of civilians||42|
|A. Al-Shabaab and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant………………………||43|
|B. Federal and regional forces, clan militias and other criminal elements||43|
|C. African Union Mission in Somalia and international forces||44|
|D. Child recruitment and use||46|
|VI. Violations of the charcoal ban……………………………………………..||46|
|A. Production, transport and stockpiles||46|
|B. Illicit export of charcoal……………………………………………..||47|
|C. Paperwork and criminal networks……………………………………….||47|
|D. Implementation of the charcoal ban||48|
|VII. Correction to the previous report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea pursuant to Security Council resolution 2244 (2015) (S/2016/919)||49|
|VIII. State and non-State cooperation with the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea||49|
|IX. Implementation of targeted sanctions………………………………………..||50|
|A. Threats to peace and security………………………………………….||50|
|B. Arms embargo……………………………………………………||51|
|C. International humanitarian law||51|
|D. Charcoal ban…………………………………………………….||51|
|E. Sanctions list……………………………………………………..||51|
* The annexes are being circulated in the language of submission only and without formal editing.
|1.1: Al-Shabaab procurement of weapons following attacks on AMISOM||53|
|1.2: Al-Shabaab use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*||56|
|1.3: 2 January 2017 VBIED attack in Mogadishu…………………………………..||57|
|1.4: Puntland IED seizures…………………………………………………..||60|
|1.5: Al-Shabaab financing in Bay and Bakool regions………………………………..||62|
|2.1: ISIL occupation of Qandala………………………………………………||65|
|2.2: Leadership of the ISIL faction…………………………………………….||69|
|2.3: Mobile phone analysis of Abbas Mahamoud Yusuf and the ISIL faction (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*…………………………………………………….||71|
|2.4: ISIL attack on International Village Hotel||72|
|2.5: May 2017 ISIL suicide bombing in Bosaso (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*||73|
|3.1: Galkayo conflict: 7 October to 18 November 2016……………………………….||74|
|4.1: Currency management………………………………………………….||85|
|4.2: Abdullahi Mohamed Nor………………………………………………..||88|
|4.2.1: CADG Engineering Pte. (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*…………………….||93|
|5.1: Berbera port payoffs||94|
|5.2: Fishing governance…………………………………………………….||96|
|5.3: Oil governance……………………………………………………….||98|
|5.4: Strategic Natural Resource Management & Consultants Inc…………………………||102|
|6.1: The Abdikarim Salah Mohamed a.k.a. Aw Koombe network and the hijacking of the Aris 13 (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*……………………………………………||104|
|7.1: Puntland arms smuggling networks………………………………………….||105|
|7.1.1: Puntland interdiction of arms from Yemen……………………………….||118|
|7.2: Maritime seizure of arms in March 2016 by FSProvence||119|
|7.2.1: Belarus sights (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*||124|
|8.1: Halane Central Armoury inspections, 26 April and 29 August 2017||125|
|8.2: Registration and distribution procedures at Halane……………………………….||128|
|8.3: Review of paperwork related to ammunition distribution from Halane (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*…………………………………………………….||132|
|8.4: Review of paperwork related to a shipment of weapons and ammunition from Djibouti (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*||133|
|9.1: Establishment of a United Arab Emirates military base in Berbera||136|
|10.1: Marginalized communities and humanitarian access||137|
|10.2: Involvement of a Lower Shabelle NGO in inter-clan conflict (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*….||144|
|11.1: Destruction of Shiidle villages near Balad, Middle Shabelle||145|
|11.2: Child recruitment and use||150|
|11.3: Update: Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur — obstruction of humanitarian assistance and targeting of civilians||156|
|11.3.1: Update: Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*…………..||162|
|11.4: ACLED statistics………………………………………………………||163|
|12.1: Charcoal stockpiles…………………………………………………….||166|
|12.2.1: Selected cases of sanctions implementation — Bahrain (November 2016)………..||167|
|12.2.2: Selected cases of sanctions implementation — United Arab Emirates and Djibouti (November 2016–March 2017)……………………………………||169|
|12.2.3: Selected cases of sanctions implementation — Kuwait (April 2017–May 2017)…….||173|
|12.2.4: Selected cases of sanctions implementation — United Arab Emirates (June 2017–August 2017)||176|
|12.2.5: Charcoal dhows at Port Al Hamriya anchorage, Dubai, UAE (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*…………………………………………….||179|
|After a prolonged and problematic electoral process, a new president of the Federal Government of Somalia, Abdullahi Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmaajo”, was selected by Members of Parliament in Mogadishu on 8 February 2017. A new Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khaire, and cabinet were appointed by late March. Throughout its first six months in office, the administration has faced multiple challenges.|
|Relations between the Federal Government and the country’s regional administrations have been strained by the Government’s apparent backtracking on commitments to devolve power to the regions under a new national security architecture and by a continuing lack of consensus regarding aspects of resource governance. Meanwhile, regional administrations have continued negotiating unilaterally with foreign entities regarding ports, military installations and natural resources.|
|These strains were exacerbated by growing tensions among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. As various Member States in the region were compelled to take sides in the Gulf crisis of June 2017, the Farmaajo administration has found itself increasingly isolated by its decision to remain neutral. Regional administrations, numerous Members of Parliament and parts of the influential Mogadishu business community have openly opposed this stance.|
|Meanwhile, the militant group Harakaat al-Shabaab al-Mujaahidiin (Al‑Shabaab) continues to pose the most immediate threat to peace and security in Somalia. Over the course of the mandate, little if any progress has been made to mitigate that threat. Al-Shabaab maintains control over a large proportion of rural territory, and remains in control of certain urban centres in southern and central Somalia. On 2 January 2017, in Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab detonated what was likely the largest improvised explosive device in the group’s history. Laboratory analysis of the blast revealed traces of potassium nitrate, suggesting that Al-Shabaab may have begun to manufacture home-made explosives.|
|Al-Shabaab’s presence in Puntland, in north-east Somalia, has expanded, exacerbating the challenges faced by authorities in the region. Concurrently, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction, largely confined to Bari region in north-east Puntland, has grown in numbers and is attracting an increasingly broad range of recruits. The ISIL faction briefly took control of the town of Qandala, on the north coast of Puntland, and carried out its first suicide attack, in Bosaso. While its capacity has remained limited, an influx of foreign fighters fleeing military pressure in Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic and elsewhere could present a significant threat to the region.|
|The Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea remains concerned by the continuing flow of illicit weapons into Somalia, particularly by way of the north coast of Puntland. Limited access inhibits the Group’s ability to verify the frequency and volume of deliveries, but evidence collected suggests a rate of approximately one shipment of weapons a month into Puntland alone, arriving predominantly from Yemen.|
|Meanwhile, the Federal Government called repeatedly for the complete lifting of the arms embargo despite its inability to fully comply with its current obligations under the partial lift. There have been multiple non-notified or partially notified consignments of weapons supplied to both the Federal Government and the regional administrations over the past two years. Despite modest improvements, flaws in weapons and ammunition management on the part of the Federal Government remain, particularly with respect to the distribution and tracking of materiel. Given the vulnerability of the system to diversion, and the threat this poses to peace and security, particularly amid ongoing tensions between the centre and periphery, the Monitoring Group recommends no further easing of the arms embargo.|
|Despite limited improvements in public financial management, federal institutions remain incapable of addressing pervasive corruption. Mechanisms established to review Government contracts have continued to be circumvented, and the lack of transparency regarding company ownership leaves all Government contracts open to concerns of nepotism. Government ministries continue to bypass the Treasury Single Account at the Central Bank of Somalia, avoiding oversight of their revenues by the Federal Government’s fiscal authorities. The misappropriation and misuse of public land in Mogadishu is ongoing, despite pledges from the previous administration to address the problem. The printing of counterfeit Somali currency in Puntland continues to undermine economic stability and has prompted outbreaks of civil unrest.|
|Al-Shabaab was responsible for the greatest number of civilian causalities during the mandate, as a result of large-scale attacks on civilian targets and the imposition of violent punishments on individuals and communities. Intercommunal conflict, often exacerbated by the involvement of national and regional forces and Al-Shabaab, caused significant civilian harm. Long-running tensions in Galkayo and Lower Shabelle escalated into open armed conflict, resulting in the displacement of more than 180,000 civilians. In June, Al-Shabaab also began an aggressive campaign of child recruitment, forcing hundreds of children into the group’s madrasa system.|
|Following the declaration of a pre-famine alert in February, Al-Shabaab’s continued ban on humanitarian operations and violent blockades of Government-held areas resulted in the displacement of more than 800,000 civilians. As the drought response scaled up, extortion at illegal checkpoints on major supply routes, often manned by national and/or regional administration forces, added to the overall costs of aid delivery. Local humanitarian workers also faced increased danger of abduction and the destruction and looting of supplies by Al-Shabaab. Efforts by both international humanitarian partners and Somali community organizations prevented Somalia from slipping into another famine.|
|Finally, the overall magnitude of illicit exports of charcoal from southern Somalia remains similar to previous levels. In contrast to much of 2015 and 2016, when Al-Shabaab intermittently banned the charcoal trade in areas under its control, the group has resumed systematic taxation of charcoal at checkpoints between stockpiles and the ports at Buur Gaabo and Kismayo. A conservative estimate suggests that Al-Shabaab receives at least $10 million each year from the illicit charcoal trade. Dubai, United Arab Emirates, continues to be the primary export destination as well as a hub for criminal networks that violate the charcoal ban with near impunity. With the notable exception of Kuwait, implementation of the charcoal ban has been poor, particularly by the Interim Jubba Administration and the African Union Mission in Somalia, and the United Arab Emirates among importing countries. A lack of commitment with regard to the consistent implementation of sanctions, and in some cases a conspicuously deliberate failure to comply with the charcoal ban, facilitates Al‑Shabaab financing and undermines counter-terrorism efforts in Somalia.|
- The mandate of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, as set out in paragraph 13 of Security Council resolution 2060 (2012), and added to in paragraph 41 of resolution 2093 (2013) and paragraph 15 of resolution 2182 (2014), was renewed in paragraph 38 of resolution 2317 (2016).
- Pursuant to paragraph 40 of resolution 2317 (2016) and paragraph 13 (l) of resolution 2060 (2012), the Monitoring Group provided the Security Council, through the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea, with a midterm update on 21 April 2017. The Group also submitted monthly progress updates to the Committee throughout its mandate.
- In the course of their investigations, members of the Monitoring Group travelled to Bahrain, Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, France, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kuwait, Qatar, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.
- The Monitoring Group was based in Nairobi and comprised the following experts: James Smith (Coordinator), Jay Bahadur (armed groups), Charles Cater (natural resources), Déirdre Clancy (humanitarian), Tapani Holopainen (finance), Nazanine Moshiri (arms) and Richard Zabot (arms).
- The evidentiary standards and verification processes outlined in the previous reports of the Monitoring Group apply to work conducted during the mandate under review. The Group reaffirmed its methodology pursuant to its previous reports. The methodology used for the present report is as follows:
(a) Collecting information on events and topics from multiple sources, where possible;
(b) Collecting information from sources with first-hand knowledge of events, where possible;
(c) Identifying consistency in patterns of information and comparing existing knowledge with new information and emerging trends;
(d) Continuously factoring in the expertise and judgment of the relevant expert of the Monitoring Group and the collective assessment of the Group with regard to the credibility of information and the reliability of sources;
(e) Obtaining physical, photographic, audio, video and/or documentary evidence in support of the information collected;
(f) Analysing satellite imagery where applicable.
- The Monitoring Group made a deliberate and systematic effort to gain access to those involved in violations of the sanctions measures by way of individuals who had direct knowledge or who knew people who had direct knowledge about details of violations. On some occasions, the Group itself witnessed active violations.
- The Monitoring Group interviewed a wide range of sources with relevant information, including government officials and representatives of diplomatic missions, civil society organizations and aid agencies. Members of the Group also met or communicated with officials from the Puntland, Somaliland and interim regional administrations, representatives of political and armed groups, defectors and members of business communities and Somali civil society.
- In accordance with the Secretary-General’s bulletin on information sensitivity, classification and handling (ST/SGB/2007/6), the Monitoring Group has submitted to the Committee, together with the present report, several strictly confidential annexes containing information whose disclosure may be detrimental to the proper functioning of the United Nations or to the welfare and safety of its staff or third parties or may violate the Organization’s legal obligations. Those annexes will not be issued as a document of the Security Council.
- Acts that threaten the peace, security and stability of Somalia
- Harakaat al-Shabaab al-Mujaahidiin
- The militant group Harakaat al-Shabaab al-Mujaahidiin (Al-Shabaab) remains the most immediate threat to the peace, security and stability of Somalia. Major offensive operations by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army against Al-Shabaab have stalled since July 2015, which marked the last phase of Operation Juba Corridor. Consequently, the group remains in control of much of the Juba Valley, including the towns of Jilib, Jamame and Bu’ale, allowing the group to maintain taxation on farms in the area, a major source of its revenue. Even around urban centres throughout southern and central Somalia occupied by national or regional security forces and/or AMISOM, Al-Shabaab continues to maintain control over the countryside and major supply routes, enabling the group to cut off provisions to large segments of the population.
- In March 2017, the United States issued a directive classifying large swathes of southern Somalia as a war zone, allowing the expansion of ground and air combat operations. Between June and mid-September, the United States carried out 9 publicly acknowledged aerial strikes in Somalia, compared with 13 throughout the entirety of 2016. The strikes resulted in the confirmed deaths of at least three mid‑ to high-level Al-Shabaab commanders. However, as noted in previous Monitoring Group reports (see S/2016/919, para. 11), the erosion of Al-Shabaab’s leadership has historically has had little effect on the group’s ability to carry out both asymmetric and conventional attacks within Somalia. The principal targets of its operations remain AMISOM peacekeepers and officials belonging to the Federal Government of Somalia or regional administrations, whom Al-Shabaab considers to be apostates.
Domestic and regional operations
- Al-Shabaab continues to carry out regular complex attacks in Mogadishu, typically by deploying a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device followed by an assault by four to five so-called suicide gunmen, against hotels and restaurants frequented by Federal Government officials and members of the security forces. Since the beginning of the current mandate, the group has carried out three such attacks in Mogadishu: on Dayah Hotel on 25 January 2017, at Café Italian on 8 May and on Posh Hotel and the adjacent Pizza House restaurant on 14 June. At least 77 people were killed.
- In addition, on 2 January 2017, Al-Shabaab detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device at a National Intelligence and Security Agency checkpoint at the Medina Gate of the Adan Abdulle International Airport complex in Mogadishu. Estimated at as much as 1,200 kg TNT equivalence, it was likely the largest explosive device by weight ever employed by the group (see annex 1.3).
- Al-Shabaab also continues to present an occasional conventional military threat to AMISOM and national/regional security forces. On 27 January, Al-Shabaab fighters stormed a Kenyan Defence Forces base at Kulbiyow, which straddles the border between Kenya and the Lower Juba region in Somalia, resulting in the deaths of at least 67 Kenyan Defence Forces soldiers. It was the first large-scale conventional assault against an AMISOM troop-contributing country base since a failed attack on an Ethiopian National Defence Forces contingent at Halgan, Hiran region, on 9 June 2016 (see S/2016/919, para. 23).
- Conversely, Al-Shabaab’s transborder terror operations remained at an ebb, with the group failing to carry out a significant attack outside of Somalia. However, the Al-Shabaab-linked Jaysh Ayman insurgency remains active in the Boni forest of Kenya, and continues to carry out frequent attacks within Lamu County, Kenya, targeting the Kenyan military, police and civilians. In May 2017, Kenyan officials announced that police had arrested at least 33 members of Al-Shabaab within Kenya, foiling two major planned terror attacks, since the beginning of the counter-terrorism operation Linda Boni in December 2016.
Al-Shabaab North-East in Puntland
- The Monitoring Group has reported extensively on the Al-Shabaab North-East insurgency against the Puntland authorities in the Golis mountains, noting its concern that Puntland served as a potential haven for Al-Shabaab militants fleeing military pressure in southern and central Somalia, as well as a conduit between Al‑Shabaab and Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (see, e.g., S/2016/919,
paras. 30–32 and annex 1.3). In its 2016 report, the Monitoring Group reported the strength of the insurgency to be between 70 and 100 fighters (see S/2016/919, para. 31). However, indications are that the group has grown significantly in numbers during 2017, perhaps in response to the growing presence of the rival Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction in Puntland’s Bari region.
Attack on Afurur and Puntland’s “catch-and-release” policy
- At dawn on 8 June 2017, Al-Shabaab launched its deadliest conventional military attack ever in Puntland, overrunning the Afurur military base and killing approximately 60 Darawish (Puntland regular forces) soldiers. The incident marked the first major armed clash between Puntland forces and the Al-Shabaab North-East insurgency in the Golis mountains since Puntland’s major offensive of October 2014, which captured Galgala from the militants. Afurur, situated approximately 30 km south-west of the town of Galgala, had once served as a key waypoint along Al‑Shabaab’s southern supply route into the Golis mountains, but had been occupied by Puntland forces since June 2015.
- One of the leaders of the Afurur operation was Abdullahi Abdi Haji, also known as Mursal Madobe, a member of Al-Shabaab since 2006 (see S/2016/919, annex 1.5 (strictly confidential)). As detailed in the Monitoring Group’s report of 2016, Puntland authorities had arrested Haji in August 2015, but subsequently released him as part of a general amnesty granted to outwardly repentant Al‑Shabaab members by President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gass” (ibid.). Haji’s release was an example of the Puntland administration’s policy of “catch-and-release” with regard to Al-Shabaab suspects, which has been documented by the Monitoring Group since 2014 (see S/2014/726, annex 1.4, and S/2016/919, annex 1.5 (strictly confidential)).
- On 26 July, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced the capture of Abdirisak Hussein Tahlil and four other Al-Shabaab militants in a joint security operation with Somali forces near Galkayo, accusing Tahlil of “facilitating the use of improvised explosive devices in Somalia”. According to mainstream United States media, Tahlil was a lawful resident of the United States between 2006 and 2009. Tahlil had been previously apprehended by the Puntland Intelligence Agency in Garowe in November 2012 with explosive materials in his vehicle, and subsequently sentenced to death. However, he was released on 18 December 2013 on the orders of Puntland President Gass, along with Tahlil’s associate Mohamed Nur Aden, who had been arrested in connection with the same plot.
Al-Shabaab procurement of weapons following attacks on the African Union Mission in Somalia
- In 2015 and 2016, the Monitoring Group reported its concerns about the vulnerability of AMISOM and Somali National Army forward operating bases to Al‑Shabaab attack (see S/2016/919, para. 14, and S/2015/801, para. 91). Major attacks on AMISOM forces occurred in El Adde, in Gedo region, on 15 January 2016; Leego, in Bay region, on 26 June 2015; and Janale, in Lower Shabelle region, on 1 September 2015.
- Since October 2016, there have been more than a dozen attacks of varying intensity on AMISOM bases. The most significant assault during the present mandate took place on 27 January 2017 against a Kenyan Defence Forces forward operating base at Kulbiyow, on the Kenya-Somalia border. Still images and video footage from Al-Shabaab’s media arm, Al-Kataib, as well as from Kenyan media sources, appear to confirm that militants captured weapons, ammunition and vehicles. Among the items of significance seized by Al-Shabaab were an OTO‑Melara Mod 56 105 mm howitzer, a WZ-551 armoured personnel carrier, at least one 81 mm mortar launcher and a M240B heavy machine gun.
- One of the consequences of such attacks is Al-Shabaab’s ability to capture mortars for use in its frequent attacks on the Federal Government and AMISOM. Since 2009, Al-Shabaab has largely employed 82 mm and 60 mm mortars. However, the Monitoring Group has obtained evidence of at least one attack by Al-Shabaab employing heavier 120 mm mortars, on 23 April 2017 against a joint Ugandan-Somali National Army base at Baledogle, representing a new and significant threat to peace and security in Somalia. The mortar had likely been captured during the Al‑Shabaab attack on the AMISOM Burundian contingent at Leego.
- In September 2016, the Interim South-West Administration and AMISOM forces in Gofgadud Burey, Bay region, captured a DZT-02 40 mm thermobaric rocket-propelled grenade launcher from Al-Shabaab, which had likely also been obtained by the group during its assault on Leego.
- See annex 1.1 for more information on Al-Shabaab procurement of weapons following attacks on AMISOM.
Al-Shabaab use of improvised explosive devices
- During the present mandate, Al-Shabaab has introduced at least one new method of improvised explosive device construction. The payload of the explosives employed has also increased; for instance, as noted above, on 2 January 2017 the militant group detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices with a TNT equivalence of as much as 1,200 kg.
- In 2016, the Monitoring Group reported on the unconfirmed use of home-made explosives in improvised explosive devices by Al-Shabaab (see S/2016/919, annex 7.1). In June 2017, the Monitoring Group received laboratory analyses from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center on improvised explosive device attacks in Somalia between 2 February 2016 and 2 January 2017. Six of the reports confirmed the presence of the oxidizer potassium nitrate, commonly used as a fertilizer in some countries, in at least six major vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks or improvised explosive device seizures since 2016. At least three improvised explosive devices also contained traces of sodium chlorate and potassium chlorate, used to enhance the effectiveness of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.
- The presence of these compounds represents a possible diversification of Al‑Shabaab’s traditional use of military-grade explosives harvested from remnants of war munitions, or, more recently, captured munitions from AMISOM bases, for improvised explosive device construction. The potential use of home-made explosives by Al-Shabaab would allow the group to rely less on the process of harvesting explosives from munitions, which is slow and laborious. Al-Shabaab is therefore likely to continue attempts to procure oxidizers through fertilizers and/or other common industrial products, which would allow the militant group to increase the frequency and explosive weight of its improvised explosive devices.
- The Monitoring Group also investigated two seizures of improvised explosive device components by security forces in Puntland on 26 April and 30 May 2017. Among the key components of the improvised explosive devices reaching Puntland and other parts of Somalia were electric detonators. Many of these detonators were manufactured by a commercial company, C-DET Explosive Industries, based in India. See annex 1.2 (strictly confidential) for more information on Al-Shabaab’s sourcing of improvised explosive device components, and evolving technologies.
- Over the course of the present mandate, Al-Shabaab continued to impose taxation on the business community in Somalia (see also S/2016/919, annex 1.6, and S/2015/801, para. 92). Interviews conducted by the Monitoring Group indicate that, in Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab monthly taxation varied from $10 paid by market traders to as much as $70,000 paid by major companies. Federal Government security agencies issued a letter on 23 July 2017 warning the business community against supporting Al-Shabaab financially. Given the limited capacity of Federal Government and security agencies to monitor payments to Al-Shabaab, however, the warning is unlikely to have a significant impact on Al-Shabaab’s ability to collect taxation from the business community.
- During the previous mandate, the Monitoring Group noted Al-Shabaab’s increasing reliance on financing from the taxation of agricultural production, livestock and trade (see S/2016/919, para. 83 and annex 1.8). Annex 1.5 presents an assessment of Al-Shabaab taxation on livestock and agricultural markets in the Bay and Bakool regions.
- Al-Shabaab also continues to tax goods at checkpoints along major supply routes, particularly imports and exports along routes to major ports, including goods destined for Kenya. Large trucks are usually taxed $1,000, with receipts issued by Al‑Shabaab to prevent double taxation at subsequent checkpoints.
- Al-Shabaab justifies taxation of agricultural production and livestock as zakat, a customary religious tax on wealth and property typically collected on an annual basis. The group’s efforts to collect zakat have become increasingly aggressive in terms of the quantity of goods confiscated, the frequency of collection and the coercive methods employed.
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant faction in Somalia
- The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction loyal to Sheikh Abdulqader Mu’min, estimated in the Monitoring Group’s report of 2016 to number not more than a few dozen (see S/2016/919, para. 28), has grown significantly in strength, and may, at the time of writing, consist of as many as 200 fighters.
- In October 2016, the ISIL faction captured the town of Qandala in Puntland’s Bari region, declaring it the seat of the so-called Islamic Caliphate in Somalia. In late November, a combination of Puntland ground and sea forces, supported by United States military advisers, mounted an offensive that succeeded in retaking the town on 7 December after several armed engagements. However, the ISIL presence remains prevalent in the surrounding countryside: mobile phone location data of ISIL members indicates frequent activity around the mobile phone tower at Afbashaashin, approximately 50 km south-east of Qandala.
- While the ISIL faction has not engaged in any large-scale conventional confrontations with Puntland forces since the recapture of Qandala, it routinely carries out asymmetric attacks. The group showed signs of increasing tactical capabilities during its first attack targeting a hotel, when two gunmen stormed the International Village Hotel in Bosaso, the economic capital of Puntland, at dawn on 8 February 2017 (see annex 2.4). On 23 May, the group carried out its first suicide attack, detonating a person-borne improvised explosive device at a police checkpoint near Juba Hotel in Bosaso, killing 5 people and wounding at least 12 others (see annex 2.5 (strictly confidential)). According to Puntland authorities, ISIL leader Abdirahman Fahiye Isse Mohamud (Darod/Harti/Deshishe), also known as Ahmed Adan, Khalid, Yaquub, and Burane, was the primary coordinator of the attack.
- While the threat of ISIL to the Puntland administration is not currently existential, the administration’s weak control over Bari region renders it a potential haven for foreign ISIL fighters. An influx of experienced foreign fighters would risk overwhelming Puntland’s infrequently paid and demoralized security forces.
Connections to the wider organization
- While the Monitoring Group has yet to find strong evidence to suggest that Mu’min’s faction has operational links to the broader ISIL network, records for a confirmed phone number previously used by Mu’min demonstrated repeated contact with a Yemeni phone number selector in April and May 2016 (see S/2016/919, annex 1.2). A regional intelligence source identified the user of the selector as Khalil Dheere, a former member of Al-Shabaab who left the group and relocated to Yemen in 2013. Dheere’s reported current role is as an intermediary between Mu’min and senior ISIL leaders in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, though the exact nature of this contact is unclear.
- Former members of the ISIL faction who defected from the group in December 2016 reported that the leaders of the group received orders, as well as financing through hawala money transfers, from Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic. One former member stated that he had witnessed leaders of the group, including Abdulqader Mu’min and Ahmed Adan, use the encryption software TrueCrypt to communicate with ISIL leadership in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic using voice recordings. However, the Monitoring Group was not able to independently verify these claims.
- The ISIL faction has demonstrated increasingly sophisticated recruitment methods, largely targeted at disaffected members of Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia. For instance, two former ISIL fighters interviewed by the Monitoring Group reported that they had received airplane tickets from Mogadishu to Galkayo, which enabled them to avoid the numerous armed checkpoints that road travel from southern Somalia to Puntland would have entailed. As a result of more proactive recruitment, the ISIL faction has moved beyond a movement dominated by the Darod/Majeerteen/Ali Saleeban sub-clan, and its fighters now represent a cross-section of clans from across Somalia.
- ISIL, as a globalist caliphate movement, presents more natural appeal to foreign terrorist fighters than Al-Shabaab, whose immediate aims are limited to the expulsion of non-Muslims from Somalia and the establishment of a State governed by Islamic law. However, the ISIL faction in Bari region has hitherto attracted a limited number of foreign fighters. Among these is a Sudanese national sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury, Suhayl Salim Abd El-Rahman, also known as Abu Faris. In July 2012, Abd El-Rahman was put on the Specially Designated National and Blocked Persons List by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of the Treasury for his role in facilitating the entry of foreign fighters into Somalia on behalf of Al-Shabaab. One former ISIL fighter interviewed by the Monitoring Group, who had defected from the faction in December 2016, identified Abd El-Rahman as his immediate superior in the group. Two additional former militants reported the presence of an Arabic-speaking Sudanese foreign fighter, though they recalled him using the name “Bilal”.
- In addition, one former fighter interviewed by the Monitoring Group claimed to be a Kenyan national, although the Group was unable to examine his identity documents, while another militant, aged 17, claimed to have been born in Kuwait. Two interviewees also reported the presence in the group of a Djiboutian national known only as “Abtidoon”, who died in the fighting with Puntland forces during the recapture of Qandala.
- Monitoring Group interviews with former ISIL fighters revealed the salaries paid to members of the group to be extremely modest or even non-existent. Former fighters reported that unmarried ISIL militants received no salary at all, while married militants received $50 per month plus an additional $10-$20 for each child, depending on the child’s age. These salary payments would result in an estimated ISIL payroll of between $3,000 and $9,000 each month, or $36,000 to $108,000 annually. Such a low payroll enables the ISIL leadership to fund its insurgency on a limited budget, likely without having to rely on external financial support. However, the lack of salaries for low-ranking fighters also renders it probable that the ISIL factions will face frequent defections, a problem similarly affecting Al‑Shabaab.
- Additional information on the ISIL faction, including a detailed description of the group’s leadership, is provided in annex 2.2.
- Intercommunal conflict
- During the past two mandates, the complexity of two long-running intercommunal conflicts, in Lower Shabelle and in Galkayo, has increased as broader regional, federal and/or international dynamics have evolved. Both conflicts, in which Al-Shabaab has become increasingly embedded, continue to represent a threat to broader peace and security and the long-term stability of Somalia.
- Since 2014, the Monitoring Group has documented how entrenched intercommunal conflict in Lower Shabelle, particularly among the Haber Gedir, Biimaal and Digil clans, was complicated by the comparative dominance of the Haber Gedir clan in local and federal political and security structures, and increasingly by the involvement of Al-Shabaab. Under President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the extension of State power in Lower Shabelle, and by extension international support, was allied with Haber Gedir networks. Not only did elements of the Hawiye-dominated Somali National Army participate in large-scale attacks on Biimaal and Digil communities in Lower Shabelle but, on some occasions, it did so in joint operations with Al-Shabaab (see S/2016/919, annex 6.1). At the same time, Al‑Shabaab was also building alliances with local communities in opposition to the Government, presenting itself as a protector from an illegitimate and predatory State.
- By late 2016, Al-Shabaab’s allegiances in the region were more firmly established. Spurred by Al-Shabaab’s temporary takeover of Marka in February 2016, supported to various degrees by Haber Gedir militia and elements of the Somali National Army, the Biimaal switched their allegiance to AMISOM and anti‑Al-Shabaab forces (see S/2016/919, annex 7.5). Haber Gedir networks in the region turned to Al‑Shabaab and consolidated their alliance. By October 2016, Al‑Shabaab had commenced large-scale burning and looting of Biimaal villages, escalating its attacks in May 2017. In August, open conflict erupted between Biimaal and Haber Gedir militias and Al-Shabaab over control of Marka (see also annex 10.2 (strictly confidential)).
- The root of the conflict in Galkayo is the long-running tension between rival clans, primarily Darod/Majeerteen and Hawiye/Haber Gedir, which was tempered for more than 20 years by an agreement brokered in 1993. The culmination of the federalization process in 2015, however, introduced new actors to the dynamic, and raised the stakes: “former clan-dominated areas evolved into clan-based states that now compete no longer just for access to pasture, water and other local resources, but also for claims to territory, political legitimacy and the control of national assets”.
- The two phases of open conflict in Galkayo in 2015 and 2016 saw heavily militarized administrations, the Interim Galmudug Administration and Puntland, facing off against each other alongside allied clan militias and elements of national security forces. The failure of repeated negotiations between the two sides enabled Al-Shabaab to insert itself as an active spoiler, further exacerbating mistrust between the parties and contributing directly to the violence. Al-Shabaab benefitted from its engagement, increasing its presence and influence in Puntland and Galmudug and consolidating control of elements of regional political and military structures. Meanwhile the leadership of the Interim Galmudug Administration and Puntland, which had twice entered into the conflict in one year, suffered no censure.
- Annex 3.1 describes the origins and drivers of the Galkayo conflict, its impact on civilians and the steps under way to mitigate further violence.
Other intercommunal tensions
- Since the creation of Puntland, and later the emergence in 2012 of the self-declared Khatumo State, rival claims over control of Sool and Sanaag and parts of Togdheer (often referred to as Cayn) have given rise to frequent but low-level armed conflict between Puntland, Somaliland and Khatumo forces and contributed to the underdevelopment of the region. Despite armed clashes and political manoeuvring, including an agreement in June 2017 between a faction of Khatumo and Somaliland that was rejected by Khatumo elders, open conflict was avoided. In mid-August 2017, however, with the Somaliland election preparations under way, Puntland moved its troops into Sool region, and Dhulbahante militias launched attacks on election-related targets. Meanwhile, the Monitoring Group received reports of Al‑Shabaab’s increasing presence in parts of Sool, particularly in Las Anod, and Sanaag, escalating in the wake of Al-Shabaab’s attack on Afurur.
- In Herale district, Galgadud region, in July 2017, at least 27 people were killed and more than 13,800 displaced when Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a dispatched troops to Herale town prior to a planned visit by Interim Galmudug Administration President Ahmed Duale Gelle “Haaf” to the area. By late August the conflict had intensified with battles taking place in the outskirts of Dhusamareb between Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a and Interim Galmudug Administration forces, reportedly exacerbated by elements of Somali National Army sector 21 and National Intelligence and Security Agency forces based in Adado.
- Public financial management
Overview of developments
- Over the course of the present mandate, modest progress has been made in public financial management at the federal level.
- On 10 August, the Public Financial Management Bill was approved by the Federal Government Cabinet and was, at the time of writing, awaiting parliamentary approval. On 21 August, the National Communications Act was approved by the upper house of Parliament. The above-mentioned policies remain, however, either
un- or underimplemented, or simply unenforceable in the current political and economic climate.
- The mandate of the Financial Governance Committee, an oversight body first established in mid-2014 with representation from various international institutions, was extended by the Federal Government on 15 June 2017 until June 2018.
- The Somali Financial Management Information System, established in late 2015 to facilitate the automation and integration of public financial management processes, is used for the Treasury Single Account, but remains un- or underused by most individual ministries, departments and agencies and the Benadir Regional Administration. As such, while information on Treasury Single Account transactions is relatively detailed, information on ministry, department and agency transactions and Benadir Regional Administration transactions, mostly still made in cash, remains extremely limited.
- Revenue collection remains a key challenge facing the Federal Government, which remains dependent on meagre resources primarily generated in Mogadishu. Private companies tasked with collecting taxation on behalf of the Federal Government in 2016 operated with mixed results (see the discussion on Smart General Services, Ltd., below) until their contracts were cancelled in a letter signed by the Ministry of Finance on 29 July 2017.
- The Monitoring Group reported its concerns regarding the unregulated printing of the Somali shilling in its previous report (see S/2016/919, annex 4.1). Over the course of the present mandate, the Group has continued to document the unregulated printing of 1,000 Somali shilling notes by the State Bank of Puntland in Bosaso, with the involvement of the Puntland authorities. During the current mandate, the distribution of counterfeit currency and the corresponding inflation and civil unrest intensified and spread from Puntland into Hiran region and Somaliland. The local authorities in Puntland have both denied printing currency and blamed Al-Shabaab for the consequences. The countermeasures taken by the local authorities include the introduction of fixed exchange rates and mass detentions of currency brokers.
- See annex 4.1 for further information on the impact of the unregulated printing of Somali currency.
Public contracts and concessions
- Over the course of the mandate, the Monitoring Group has continued to seek information on various public contracts and concessions. In response to correspondence seeking information on several Federal Government contracts and the ownership of various companies, the Federal Government stated on 5 September 2017 that it was apparent that it had inherited contracts from the previous administration that were opaque in terms of how contracts were issued and lacked data on the ownership of companies, and included other issues such as a lack of effectiveness or value for money.
- At the federal level, the Monitoring Group relayed its particular concerns to the Federal Government regarding contracts and agreements with two companies, as described below.
Bukhari Logistics East Africa
- According to reports received by the Monitoring Group, Bukhari Logistics East Africa was contracted by the Federal Government to provide rations to its Custodial Corps. The contract was awarded without review by the Financial Governance Committee or Interim National Procurement Board. According to the Central Bank of Somalia Treasury Single Account records, between November 2016 and January 2017, approximately $740,000 was transferred to an account at Salaam Somali Bank held by Bukhari Logistics East Africa, indicating an annual transfer of approximately $3 million.
- The Monitoring Group sought information regarding Bukhari Logistics East Africa, including details of the contract and ownership of the company, from the current Federal Government on 31 July 2017. In its response, dated 18 August, the Federal Government informed the Group that the Ministry of Finance was not aware of any contracts with Bukhari Logistics East Africa, and would appreciate further information from the Group in order to enable the Ministry to look into the issue further.
- The Monitoring Group shared available information with the Federal Government through correspondence on 23 August. At the time of writing, the Group had not received any further information on the company’s ownership or its contract with the Federal Government.
Smart General Services, Ltd.
- In September 2015, the Ministry of Finance contracted Smart General Services, Ltd., to collect road taxes and vehicle registration fees on behalf of the Federal Government. Despite a standing Government directive that all State revenue be routed to the Treasury Single Account at the Central Bank of Somalia, the taxes and fees generated by Smart General Services were deposited into a private account at Salaam Somali Bank in Mogadishu. As such, Smart General Services provides an example of a parallel revenue collection system, using private bank accounts, or unofficial accounts within the Central Bank of Somalia, in order to circumvent the oversight of the Ministry of Finance.
- In accordance with the terms of the original agreement between the Ministry of Finance and Smart General Services, 60 per cent of all revenues generated by the company were to accrue to the Federal Government. The net revenue, once the company had deducted its 40 per cent share, was intended to be transferred from Salaam Somali Bank to the Treasury Single Account every 15 days. However, financial statements from the company’s account at Salaam Somali Bank, obtained by the Monitoring Group, demonstrate that only $62,648 (4.2 per cent) of the $1,481,695 generated by Smart General Services from August 2016 to May 2017 was ever transferred to the Treasury Single Account. Moreover, revenue was transferred inconsistently and with irregularities.
- The Monitoring Group observed further irregularities in the accounting, including a $275,000 withdrawal on 19 October 2016 that was itemized simply as maal galin (“investment”). In addition, over 40 per cent of the revenue of Smart General Services ($600,187) was paid directly to Kulmiye General Services, a Mogadishu-based construction company managed by Abdulkadir Abukar Omar “Adaani”, the son and business associate of former World Food Programme contractor Abukar Omar “Adaani”, whose role in destabilizing Somalia has been documented in numerous Group reports. These funds were ostensibly in payment for the construction of roads in Mogadishu by Kulmiye General Services pursuant to a contract with the Benadir Regional Administration, which had been awarded without due process.
- The Monitoring Group sought clarification on the ownership of both Smart General Services and Kulmiye General Services from the Federal Government but received insufficient details to determine the true ownership of either company. The Monitoring Group also requested confirmation of the roads constructed by Kulmiye General Services but did not receive a response to this request.
- On 29 July 2017, the Ministry of Finance cancelled the contract held by Smart General Services through a decree forbidding private companies from collecting revenue on behalf of the Federal Government.
Misappropriation of public land in and around the Mogadishu airport complex
- The Monitoring Group has continued to investigate the appropriation of public land in Mogadishu since it reported on the issue in 2016 (see S/2016/919,
paras. 79–80 and annex 4.6). On 31 July 2017, the Group sent official correspondence to the Federal Government requesting copies of lease agreements between the Government and 22 companies operating within the greater airport compound in Mogadishu. In a reply dated 18 August, the Federal Government stated that only two of these companies, SKA International Group and RA International FZE, currently pay rent to the Central Bank of Somalia. The Federal Government acknowledged that public lands are being contracted out by “localized entities” without due process, further arguing that the practice may become a threat to peace, security and stability.
- During the present mandate, the Monitoring Group has identified two cases of the potential misuse of public land involving Abdullahi Mohamed Nor, the former Federal Government State Minister for Finance and a current Member of Parliament. In February 2013, Nor secured access to 344 hectares of seaside public land adjacent to the airport complex for the construction of a private luxury hotel. Pursuant to a request by the Prime Minister on 10 August 2017, the Benadir Regional Administration requested Nor to cease construction and produce documentation demonstrating his rights to the plot. The Federal Government told the Group that Nor refused to cooperate. According to multiple Federal Government officials, Nor has mobilized elements of the Somali National Army, particularly a senior commander who is a close relative, to forcibly defend his claim to the plot. Nor denied using Somali National Army soldiers to assert his rights to the land, and has accused the Benadir Regional Administration of attempting to unlawfully use police and National Intelligence and Security Agency officers to effect a takeover of the plot.
- In addition, in 2016, Nor’s company, East Africa Brothers Company, solicited payoffs totalling at least $250,000 from the Singapore-based CADG Engineering Pte., Ltd., in exchange for gaining that company access to a plot of land within the airport complex. At the time of writing, rent on the plot continues to be paid directly to the Federal Government’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, circumventing the oversight of Federal Government fiscal authorities.
- These two case studies are presented in their entirety in annex 4.2.
- In its letter of 18 August, the Federal Government stated that the Public Properties Commission, established by former Prime Minister Omar Sharmarke in July 2016 to collect data on unlawfully appropriated public land, had not convened since 2016 and furthermore had “not been effective”. However, the Federal Government has also affirmed that it considers the management of public lands to be a “priority”, and expressed its willingness to cooperate with the Monitoring Group and other international bodies, including the Financial Governance Committee, to clarify the status of land within the airport complex.
Security sector financial reform and continuing misappropriation
- Over the past two mandates, the Monitoring Group has reported its concerns regarding misappropriation within the Somali National Army (see S/2015/801, annex 3.1 (strictly confidential), and S/2016/919, annex 2). Over the course of the current mandate, international attention to financial reform within the security sector has grown, with constructive engagement from the World Bank, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom and the Norway-based company Abyrint, particularly with regard to the Army’s payroll. Progress within the Army, however, was limited, and Army officials continued to obstruct reform efforts.
- In the six-month period between September 2016 and March 2017, a total of $14,249,591 was withdrawn, in cash, from two separate accounts held by the Somali National Army at the Central Bank of Somalia. The Monitoring Group requested documentation demonstrating the use of these funds through formal correspondence on 31 July and again on 22 August but, at the time of writing, had not received a comprehensive response on the matter.
- In April 2017, President Farmaajo appointed General Mohamed Hussein Garabey to replace Brigadier General Abdullahi Moalim Nur as the Head of Logistics. According to an internal Somali National Army report dated 11 May 2017, based on the findings of a newly established Army financial commission, and reviewed by the Monitoring Group, Abdullahi Moalim Nur and Colonel Mohamed Hussein Nur, his deputy, were found to have illegally taken funds allocated to the Army. The report stated that the mismanagement of Army funds, particularly funds allocated to rations, had been occurring for an extended period.
- The Monitoring Group continues to have concerns regarding payments to private companies for the provision of rations. In October 2016, bids for a tender to supply rations to the Somali National Army were reviewed by an evaluation committee appointed by the Ministry of Finance, with Mohamed Hussein Nur serving as chair. The previously contracted company, Agetco General Trading and Clearance, Ltd., won the tender, having offered the lowest bid. The involvement of Mohamed Hussein Nur as chair of the tender process, given his previously documented involvement with Agetco General Trading and Clearance and the recent findings of the Somali National Army financial commission, calls the legitimacy of the process into question.
- In May 2017, the Somali National Army cancelled the rations contract with Agetco General Trading and Clearance and awarded it to Kasram Trading Company, LLC, an entity one-third owned by former State Minister for Finance, and current Member of Parliament, Abdullahi Mohamed Nor (see paras. 69 and 70 above). The tendering process for the contract was highly irregular, involving four companies, three of which were owned in part by Nor. At the time of writing, it was unclear whether Kasram Trading Company had already assumed responsibility for the provision of rations. The Federal Government informed the Monitoring Group that the tender had been annulled and the matter referred to the Attorney General.
- See annex 4.2 for additional details on Kasram Trading Company.
- Resource governance
- The Monitoring Group remains concerned that ongoing disputes among the Federal Government, federal states and interim administrations, including a lack of agreement regarding fundamental aspects of resource governance such as political authority and resource sharing, continue to pose a threat to peace and security in Somalia.
- Ports have long represented the primary source of government revenue in Somalia. The Minister for Ports and Marine Transport, Mariam Aweis, has asserted that all seaports in Somalia are public assets owned by the Federal Republic of Somalia and that all concession agreements for ports are subject to the review, approval and endorsement of the Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport under the authority of the Federal Government. When regional governments, without prior consultation with the Federal Government, conclude agreements with foreign partners for joint ventures to develop and manage ports, their actions demonstrate a conflicting interpretation of political authority.
- On 9 August 2016, the lower house of the Somaliland Parliament approved the granting of a 30-year concession to develop and manage the port of Berbera to Dubai Ports World FZE (DP World); and on 12 February 2017, both houses of the Somaliland Parliament also approved the construction of a United Arab Emirates military base at Berbera. In addition to the implications for the arms embargo (see below), these two votes have raised concerns regarding corruption and the potential misappropriation of public financial resources (see annex 5.1).
- The Monitoring Group remains concerned that disputes between the Federal Government and the regions over the control of ports and their associated revenue could further undermine stability in Somalia.
- As with the management of ports, natural resource governance can be at least partly understood within the context of an incomplete federal State formation process in Somalia. Disagreements between the Federal Government and regional governments, particularly with regard to who has the power to authorize commercial operations and determine how natural resource revenue should be shared, remain common within both the fishing sector and the oil and gas sector. The potential consequences of weak natural resource governance are substantial, and include the misappropriation of public resources, the hindering of political and economic development and armed conflict.
- Weak governance of the fishing sector and the prevalence of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing continue to pose a threat to peace and security in Somalia. At a macro level, weak fishing governance and widespread illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing entail a substantial loss of State revenue, which could have otherwise been generated from licensing fees and taxes. There are also preliminary indications that financing links may exist between illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and piracy networks in Puntland. In addition, weak governance of the fishing sector and a lack of institutional capacity for more effective maritime security, including the monitoring of perhaps more than 200 Iranian and Yemeni fishing dhows operating off the coast of Puntland, exacerbates the risk of fishing dhows being used for illicit purposes, including small arms trafficking.
- Weak governance includes the inconsistent implementation of agreements and enforcement of laws. In late February 2017, Puntland licensed seven Thai-owned, Djibouti-flagged trawlers to operate off the coast of Puntland for three months, collecting $700,000 in licensing fees. This violated the Somali Fisheries Law (2014), which created a protection zone for coastal fisherman within 24 nautical miles of the coast and prohibits trawling within the waters of the Federal Republic of Somalia. According to monitoring by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the trawlers also did not adhere to an exclusion zone that prohibited fishing within six nautical miles of the shoreline that had been agreed upon with Puntland. In a letter dated 9 March to the Puntland Ministry of Fisheries, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources of the Federal Government objected to the licensing and operation of the trawlers (see annex 5.2). On 4 May, in a letter to the Department of Fisheries of Thailand, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources requested that Thailand deny port entry to MV Chotchainavee35 for unloading, as it had engaged in illegal unreported, and unregulated fishing in Somali waters (ibid.). For reasons that remain unclear to the Monitoring Group, in a second letter to Thailand dispatched shortly thereafter, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources retracted its request.
- Meanwhile, from 5 to 7 May 2017, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, an intergovernmental organization established under the auspices of FAO for the purpose of managing tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas, hosted negotiations in Victoria among representatives of the Federal Government and five regional administrations regarding tuna licensing within the exclusive economic zone of Somalia. On 7 May, it appeared that an agreement had been reached as the representatives of five regional administrations signed the Interim Agreement on Issuance of Licenses for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the Somali EEZ. However, the representatives of the Federal Government, the Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources and the Deputy Minister for Finance, failed to sign (ibid.). This apparently came as a surprise to the signatories as well as to observers from the international community, as the main contentious issues during the negotiations either had been resolved in favour of the Federal Government — for example, depositing licensing revenue in the Central Bank of Somalia — or had been deferred — for example, creating a formula for the sharing of revenue from tuna fishing licenses. The failure of the Federal Government to sign the agreement represents a lost opportunity to generate revenue while also regulating tuna fishing in the range of 50 to 200 nautical miles from the country’s shoreline.
- The Monitoring Group remains concerned that weak governance of the extractive industries continues to pose a threat to peace and security in Somalia, particularly within a context of ongoing armed conflict, substantial corruption and the absence of an adequate legal framework and sufficient institutional capacity. Border areas with overlapping concessions, such as between Puntland and Somaliland, pose a risk to stability (see S/2014/726, annex 6.7). In the absence of increased fiscal transparency and greater financial accountability, the extractives industries would also likely exacerbate the misappropriation of public resources in Somalia (see annex 5.4).
- The Monitoring Group continues to monitor the country’s legal framework and institutional capacity with respect to the extractive industries, particularly the oil and gas sector (see annex 5.3). Positive developments include the drafting of a model production-sharing agreement with the assistance of the African Legal Support Facility hosted by the African Development Bank and the revision by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources of the model production-sharing agreement to incorporate Financial Governance Committee recommendations; and, with the assistance of two World Bank consultants, the revision of the Petroleum Law (2008) to be submitted for consideration by Parliament in 2017 as a new law. However, while an interim petroleum-sharing agreement was bilaterally negotiated with two interim administrations in 2016, there has been little progress towards an overall resource-sharing agreement among the Federal Government and the regional governments. Likewise, the central registry of oil concessions that the Ministry has committed to compiling remains incomplete, and at the time of writing it was not clear whether the Financial Governance Committee’s recommendations regarding natural resource revenue management would be incorporated into the Public Financial Management Bill. Lastly, the technical capacity of the Ministry does not appear to have improved despite substantial personnel needs having been identified under the previous Minister, while a functioning Somali Petroleum Authority and Somali National Oil Company, which are required under the Petroleum Law (2008), have yet to be established.
- Meanwhile, although there have not yet been any confirmed new oil deals under the current administration, the available evidence suggests that the Federal Government prioritizes renewing negotiations with companies. The annual work plan for 2017 of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources includes: $377,000 for a hydrocarbon “road show”, bid rounds and the awarding of contracts based on the offshore seismic data collected by Spectrum ASA (see S/2016/919, para. 85 and annex 5.1); and $300,000 for negotiations with Royal Dutch Shell PLC, ExxonMobil, Soma Oil & Gas and PetroQuest (Liberty); with another $100,000 allocated for executing awarding ceremonies. In a letter to the Monitoring Group dated 18 August 2017, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources confirmed its intent to hold direct negotiations with Royal Dutch Shell PLC, ExxonMobil, Soma Oil & Gas and PetroQuest (Liberty), as well as plans to open some offshore blocks for bidding during 2018. The Group remains concerned that the Federal Government lacks the regulatory framework and institutional capacity to effectively govern the extractive industries and mitigate the risk of conflict.
- Resurgence of piracy
- On 13 March 2017, Aris 13, a United Arab Emirates-owned vessel fuel tanker en route from Djibouti to Mogadishu, was hijacked by pirates in the gap between Socotra and the Somalia mainland, the first hijacking of an international merchant vessel off the coast of Somalia since 2012. Following a firefight on 16 March between the pirates and the Puntland Maritime Police Force, negotiations were held among the pirates, local elders and Puntland authorities, resulting in the release of the tanker.
- On 1 April, Al Kausar, an Indian-owned, Indian-flagged dhow en route from Dubai to Kismayo, was hijacked, also in the Socotra gap. The 10 Indian crew members on board Al Kausar were taken hostage and subsequently freed by Somali security forces on 12 April. On 3 April, Salama 1, a Pakistani-owned cargo vessel, was hijacked off the coast of central Somalia and an unknown number of crew members were taken hostage.
- On 8 April, pirates hijacked the OS 35, a Lebanese-owned, Tuvalu-flagged cargo vessel. The vessel was rescued by international naval forces from China and India the following day. During the rescue operation, Chinese forces took captive three pirates, including Abdikarim Salah Mohamed, also known as Aw Koombe, the leader of the hijackers. Mohamed, based out of the littoral town of Alula, was also the leader of the pirate gang that had hijacked the Aris 13. The Chinese Navy subsequently transferred Mohamed to Puntland authorities, and he is currently being held at Bosaso Central Prison.
Network of Abdikarim Salah Mohamed, also known as Aw Koombe, and the hijacking of theAris 13
- The pirate leader Abdikarim Salah Mohamed, also known as Aw Koombe, and two previously unknown associates, Mohamoud Mahad Yusuf and Sadam Abdullahi Mohamed Yusuf, were captured by the Chinese Navy during the rescue of the cargo vessel OS 35 on 9 April 2017 and turned over to Puntland authorities. Mohamed had also led the pirate group responsible for hijacking the fuel tanker Aris 13 on 13 March. Both pirate gangs operated from around the town of Alula, located on the north-east tip of Puntland; since the recapture of Qandala from ISIL by Puntland forces in December 2016, the Alula area has emerged as a natural hub for pirate operations, as Alula is the only major settlement between Qandala and Bargal, both of which are garrisoned by Puntland troops.
- In addition to Aw Koombe and his two associates, call records from the satellite phone on-board the Aris 13 reveal communications with two Puntland-based mobile phones following the hijacking of the vessel on 13 March, which the Monitoring Group believes belong to members of Aw Koombe’s network.
- Annex 6.1 (strictly confidential) provides additional information on the Aris 13 hijacking and a link analysis of the Aw Koombe pirate network.
- Electoral misconduct
- The Monitoring Group received numerous reports of electoral malpractice throughout the electoral process, beginning with the parliamentary selection process and continuing until the presidential elections in February 2017.
- The electoral process demonstrated the continuing drive among the elite to capture or maintain control over State resources in Somalia at the expense of peace and security. A report prepared by the European Union Election Expert Mission described the transition as “a political negotiation led by the [National Leadership Forum] who designed the process, appointed the ad hoc bodies for its implementation, equipped them with no tools to enforce the rules agreed upon, and overruled their decisions”.
Parliamentary electoral process
- The Monitoring Group documented multiple instances of attempts to manipulate the outcome of the parliamentary electoral process, including:
(a) The gatekeeping of regional electoral processes by State Indirect Election Implementation Teams;
(b) Fraudulent alterations to lists of electoral colleges;
(c) The bribery of clan elders and members of electoral colleges;
(d) The threat and use of violence aimed at candidates, clan elders and members of electoral colleges.
- The Independent Electoral Dispute Resolution Mechanism, established in late September 2016 following pressure from the international community, received 98 formal complaints. An internal report of the Mechanism, compiled on 21 November, summarized 39 specific cases. It subsequently annulled the outcomes for 11 seats on 14 December. On 27 December, however, the National Leadership Forum overruled the Mechanism, ordering re-elections in just five of these cases, in which all suspended candidates were permitted to enter and subsequently emerged victorious for a second time.
- The Monitoring Group received reports from multiple independent sources regarding the exchange of large sums of money between certain presidential candidates and Members of Parliament in the period immediately preceding the presidential elections of 8 February 2017.
- Several of the presidential candidates, including the incumbent President and Prime Minister at the time, were alleged to have offered up to $50,000 to various Members of Parliament to vote in their favour.
- Certain Member States also actively attempted to influence the outcome of the presidential election. Of these, the United Arab Emirates was the most overt, frequently summoning leaders of regional administrations to attend meetings where they were given cash to persuade their regional Members of Parliament to vote for that country’s preferred candidate.
III. Arms embargo
- Illicit flow of weapons into Somalia
Puntland arms smuggling networks
- The region of Puntland remained the primary entry point for illicit flows of weapons into Somalia. Over the past two mandates, the Monitoring Group has identified two channels of arms smuggling into Puntland: larger shipments transported by medium-size ocean-going dhows, originating from the Makran coast of the Islamic Republic of Iran; and smaller, more frequent shipments sourced from Yemen and typically delivered by skiffs capable of making the journey in a single day.
- While the Monitoring Group received evidence of arms arriving along the Puntland coast from Qandala to Alula at a rate of approximately one shipment a month, lack of access and security conditions have precluded the Group from corroborating many of these cases. However, the Monitoring Group was able to gather evidence of three shipments into Puntland, one originating in the Islamic Republic of Iran and two in Yemen, including a shipment destined for ISIL in Puntland’s Bari region.
Fatah Al Khayr and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant arms procurement
- On 30 April 2017, Puntland port police discovered 16 pistols and 2,030 rounds of 7.62×25 mm pistol ammunition on-board the Somali-registered general cargo dhow Fatah Al Khayr while docked at Bosaso. On 28 April, while en route from Mukalla, Yemen, to Bosaso, the Fatah Al Khayr had been interdicted and searched by the United States naval vessel USS Hué City during a routine flag verification boarding, but no contraband was discovered.
- A subsequent Monitoring Group investigation into the incident revealed that the network of arms smugglers that had delivered the consignment of pistols to the FatahAl Khayr subsequently transported a shipment of heavier small arms to the north-east coast of Puntland, destined for the ISIL faction in north-east Puntland. The ISIL shipment, as well as the pistols, had been sourced from Shabwa in Yemen by two Yemen-based dealers, and transported by Puntland arms smugglers known to the Group, principally Mahad Isse Aden, also known as Laboballe; Abdi Mohamed Omar, also known as Dhofaye; and Buruj Mohamed Ali Farah.
- The Fatah Al Khayr case study is presented in full in annex 7.1.
Dhofaye-Laboballe-Buruj Farah partnership
- The Monitoring Group has also confirmed a second small arms shipment imported from Yemen by the triad of Dhofaye, Laboballe and Buruj Farah, which arrived on 9 May 2017 at Marero, a human smuggling hub approximately 15 km east of Bosaso. Financial records obtained by the Group show that Dhofaye transferred nearly $260,000 to three arms dealers in Yemen between October 2016 and July 2017, suggesting that the Dhofaye-Laboballe-Buruj Farah partnership was likely involved with a number of illicit arms shipments during the mandate in addition to the two documented by the Group.
- On 22 September 2017, the Monitoring Group received information from the European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR Atalanta) international naval mission that a skiff carrying arms from Yemen to Somalia had been sighted by a maritime patrol aircraft. The information was subsequently shared with the Puntland Maritime Police Force, who interdicted the vessel and seized the arms shipment on the morning of 23 September near Bosaso. The Police Force identified two individuals on-board the skiff as Dhofaye and Buruj Farah, but stated that they had evaded capture by Puntland forces. The seizure marked the first instance of real-time coordination between Puntland and international naval forces to interdict an arms shipment.
- At the time of writing, the Monitoring Group was liaising with Puntland authorities to arrange for the inspection of the seizure; however, preliminary photos of the arms and skiff are presented in annex 7.1.1.
Shipment of weapons to Alula by dhows originating from the Islamic Republic of Iran
- Since Puntland forces recaptured the town of Qandala from the ISIL faction in December 2016, the locus of arms smuggling appears to have shifted eastward, from Qandala to the area around the littoral towns of Alula and Habo, on the north-eastern tip of Puntland.
- From 8 to 9 March 2017, three dhows likely originating from the Islamic Republic of Iran delivered shipments of arms to the Alula area, facilitated by Somali national Mohamed Abdi Muse. Muse had been previously named by the Monitoring Group as a member of the Qandala-Hafun arms smuggling network (see S/2016/919, annex 8.10). The Group subsequently obtained photographs of the shipment on a beach proximate to Alula, still in its packaging, but was unable to determine the exact contents.
- Mohamed Abdi Muse’s role in brokering the shipment was corroborated by mobile phone records, which show that Muse made a total of 16 calls to three satellite phones between 3 and 9 March. In 2015, Muse had previously been in contact with satellite devices operated by arms smugglers on-board the Iranian-registered dhow Nasir, which was interdicted by the Australian naval vessel HMAS Melbourne on 24 September 2015 while carrying a cargo primarily comprising 75 anti-tank missiles (ibid.). The Nasir had originated in Chabahar, Islamic Republic of Iran, and the crew reported the dhow’s destination as Hurdiyo, Puntland.
- See annex 7.1 for a link chart of Mohamed Abdi Muse’s phone activity in March 2017.
Update on the FS Provence seizure of March 2016
- The Monitoring Group obtained further information on the consignment of weapons seized on 20 March 2016 by the French frigate FS Provence from a dhow headed towards Puntland (see S/2016/919, annex 8.4). Following a mission to France in March 2017, which included an inspection of the seized weapons, the Group established that the 2,000 assault rifles seized in the operation had characteristics consistent with Iranian-manufactured KLS-7.62 AK-pattern assault rifles, and that the 64 sniper rifles seized had characteristics consistent with Iranian-manufactured SVD sniper rifles.
- During a Monitoring Group mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran from 18 to 21 September, Iranian authorities strongly denied any State involvement in the shipment of weapons to Somalia, and indicated that certain actors were seeking to attribute the shipment to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- The Monitoring Group also received confirmation from a Member State that optical sights discovered in the same seizure had previously been exported to an Iranian company on the condition that they would not be used for military purposes, nor sold or transferred to third parties for use for military purposes. Iranian authorities assured the Group they would investigate the company in question.
- A full analysis of the arms seized by the FS Provence is presented in annex 7.2.
Ekol blank-firing pistols
- On 23 January 2017, the Interim Jubba Administration and AMISOM contingents discovered a container holding approximately 25,000 Ekol blank-firing pistols on-board the vessel SJ African docked in the port of Kismayo. According to documentation accompanying the container, the container had been intended to be offloaded in Massawa, Eritrea, in December 2015.
- With the support of the Interim Jubba Administration, the Monitoring Group inspected samples of the weapons at the port on 14 February 2017. At the time, the Administration relayed its intention to destroy the pistols in Kismayo; however, official correspondence to the Interim Jubba Administration dated 17 August 2017 requesting clarification on the fate of the confiscated pistols did not receive a response. Owing to the ease of converting these blank-firing pistols to fire live rounds, the Group considers the consignment to constitute materiel prohibited under the arms embargo on Somalia.
- A full account of the seizure of the Ekol blank-firing pistols is provided in paragraphs 14 to 17 and annex 1 of the report on Eritrea of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (S/2017/925).
- Federal Government compliance with obligations under the partial lifting of the arms embargo
- In 2013, the Security Council authorized the Federal Government to import unlimited amounts of weaponry and ammunition, up to a certain calibre and type, as well as other military equipment. Following the partial lifting of the arms embargo, the Federal Government was required to inform the Committee in advance of all support received for its security forces, and to advise of the delivery and distribution of all weapons and ammunition; report every six months to the Council on the structure and composition of its forces; and develop effective procedures for weapons and ammunition management.
- The Committee received seven advance delivery notifications for consignments of military materiel to the Federal Government during the mandate; six were submitted by the Federal Government. The Monitoring Group confirmed the arrival of four of these consignments of weapons, ammunition and other military materiel intended for the Federal Government security forces during the mandate. Of these, only one was supplied in full compliance with both advance and post-delivery notification requirements. Advance delivery notification was not provided to the Committee in two cases. The Committee was informed about these consignments only after their delivery, and after inquiries by the Group. Although the Committee did receive Federal Government advance and post-delivery notification for the fourth consignment, there were discrepancies in the information provided.
- Compliance by the Federal Government with its post-delivery notification obligations was hampered by poor information flow, including between Member States and the Federal Government, as well as internally within Government structures.
- In August 2017, the Monitoring Group received information that a large consignment of military equipment had arrived at Villa Baidoa from China for which there had been no advance notification to the Committee. The Group engaged with the Federal Government and, as a result, on 21 August the Federal Government wrote to the Committee to confirm the delivery of military materiel without details of types and quantity of military equipment delivered. The Group inspected a portion of the shipment at Halane Central Armoury on 29 August. In response to the Group’s query, China informed the Group on 22 September that the military equipment, weapons and ammunition were delivered to the Federal Government in July 2017 and that the associated paperwork had been provided to the Federal Government.
- A further example of the confusion surrounding notification responsibilities arose when the United States informed the Federal Government of its intention to deliver a consignment of weapons and ammunition on 29 August 2017 to support the Somali National Army. The Federal Government took the view that an advance notification had already been made in respect of the materiel and did not make any additional communication to the Committee. The shipment that arrived on 29 August, however, contained a different inventory from that found in the advance notification referenced by the Federal Government.
Federal Government reporting to the Security Council on the security forces
- Since the submission of the previous report, the Security Council has received two reports from the Federal Government, in accordance with the requirements detailed in paragraph 9 of its resolution 2182 (2014) and most recently renewed in paragraph 7 of its resolution 2317 (2016).
- In its report of October 2016, in addition to flow diagrams illustrating the leadership structures of the Somali National Army, the Somali Police Force, the National Intelligence and Security Agency and the Custodial Corps, the Federal Government provided a table indicating the number of troops in each brigade of the Somali National Army. However, the troop strength indicated in the table did not correspond with various other assessments of Somali National Army troop strength — including internal Federal Government/Somali National Army assessments reviewed by the Monitoring Group — and did not include details of approximate battalion strength, battalion and brigade locations or battalion and brigade commanders. No further details were provided for the Somali Police Force, the National Intelligence and Security Agency or the Custodial Corps.
- The report of March 2017 was submitted during the transition period to the current administration of the Federal Government. It included further details on the regional Somali security forces, with estimates of troop strength provided for Puntland, Interim Galmudug Administration, and Interim South-West Administration regional forces. The report indicated that the Interim Jubba Administration did not share details with the Federal Government on its troop strength, and that the newly established HirShabelle Interim Administration did not command any forces at the time of submission.
- Despite some minor improvements, Federal Government reporting on its security forces remains incomplete and insufficiently detailed. These insufficiencies can be explained in part by weak relations between the Federal Government and regional administrations. It is, however, also likely due to the unwillingness or incapacity of security sector officials to provide appropriate or sufficient information.
Weapons and ammunition management
- Owing to increased access to weapons storage facilities during the mandate, the Monitoring Group has noted improvement in the management and logging of imported materiel at Halane Central Armoury, and in the distribution and tracking of weapons. The Group received support from the Joint Verification Team and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research in conducting its analysis. The Group was encouraged by the willingness of the new Federal Government to continue strengthening procedures. Nevertheless, the systems in place at the time of writing remain weak and vulnerable to manipulation.
Weapons and ammunition registration and marking procedures
- The Monitoring Group was granted access to Halane Central Armoury in Mogadishu on three occasions, and requested access on an additional five occasions. On 26 April and 29 August 2017, the Group conducted two separate audits of weapons and ammunition present in Halane Central Armoury.
- For details of the Monitoring Group’s inspection of Halane Central Armoury, see annex 8.1.
- The Monitoring Group noted that the registration and marking procedure had been followed for weapons received in two deliveries during the mandate, even though some discrepancies were identified. At the same time, the process relating to ammunition registration required improvement.
- See annex 8.2 for a description of the current weapons management procedures at Halane Central Armoury.
- At the time of writing, seven of eight weapons-marking machines were operational, with three at Halane Central Armoury, three at the Federal Government’s Ministry of Internal Security, and two mobile machines in operation for marking in the field. According to the Federal Government, a total of 8,800 weapons had been marked as at 30 March 2017.
Weapons and ammunition distribution
- During its visit to Halane Central Armoury on 26 April 2017, the Monitoring Group was provided with copies of ammunition distribution approval forms dating back to December 2015. The Group also reviewed corresponding logbooks that detailed the distribution of a total of 1,366,970 rounds of ammunition to Somali security forces between December 2015 and March 2017.
- While the Monitoring Group found improvement in ammunition distribution management at Halane Central Armoury, there remained some areas of concern. For example, there was no standardized procedure for recording the intended destination of the materiel: in some instances, only the city or sector was listed, without any indication of the specific unit. On 31 July 2017, the Group requested further information from the Federal Government regarding the recipients of this ammunition. In its response dated 18 August, the Federal Government recognized that documentation supporting post-distribution information on some consignments had not been provided in accordance with paragraphs 6 and 7 of Security Council resolution 2142 (2014). The Group was therefore unable to verify whether the ammunition reached the intended recipients.
- For a review of Federal Government weapons and ammunition distribution documentation, see annex 8.3 (strictly confidential).
- On 29 August 2017, the Monitoring Group conducted a detailed review of the documentation relating to the delivery, registration and onward shipment of weapons that had arrived in June 2017 from Djibouti. Although a large volume of paperwork had been produced, it was not possible to track each piece of equipment to its intended destination. Logbook entries could not, in some cases, be matched with corresponding distribution orders and post-distribution notification documents.
- For details of this case study see annex 8.4 (strictly confidential).
- For details of Federal Government marked weapons seized during security operations by the Federal Government or documented in arms markets, see annex 8.5.
- Other Somali security sector institutions: compliance with the arms embargo
- If approved by the Committee, other Somali security sector institutions may receive support and materiel which would otherwise be prohibited under the arms embargo. As described in 2016, Member States have continued to provide significant support for non-Federal Government forces during this mandate (see S/2016/919, annex 8.3). Nevertheless, the Committee received only one notification for its consideration during the period, for a delivery to the Somaliland Police Force.
Non-notified consignments of weapons to Kismayo and Baidoa
- Over the course of the mandate, the Monitoring Group sought clarification from the Government of Ethiopia regarding reports of deliveries of weapons to regional security forces in Kismayo and Baidoa. In August 2017, a representative of the Government of Ethiopia shared two end user certificates for weapons delivered to the Office of the President of the Interim South-West Administration, dated 18 February and 23 September 2016, and a purchase order from the Office of the President of the Interim Jubba Administration dated 20 July 2016. The purchase order from the Office of the President of the Interim Jubba Administration indicated a request to purchase various materiel, including the following:
(a) 1,000 AK-47 assault rifles;
(b) 20 PKM machine guns;
(c) 50 RPG-7 launchers;
(d) 30 DShK machine guns;
(e) 5 14.5 mm machine guns.
- At the time of writing, despite requests, specific information on these deliveries to the Interim South-West Administration and the Interim Jubba Administration remained unclear.
- Establishment of a United Arab Emirates military base in Berbera
- In late 2016, the Monitoring Group received reports of plans to establish a United Arab Emirates military base in Berbera, Somaliland. On 18 January 2017, the Group sent correspondence to the United Arab Emirates and Somaliland seeking clarification on their agreement regarding the military base, and offering advice on arms embargo compliance. On 12 February, before the Group received a response to either correspondence, the Somaliland Parliament approved the decision to host the military base.
- During a May 2017 mission to Somaliland, a senior Cabinet Member told the Monitoring Group that the Somaliland administration had granted permission to the United Arab Emirates to refurbish and use existing airport facilities in Berbera to serve as a military base, which was to be used solely by the United Arab Emirates Air Force for a period of 25 years. The official further informed the Group that the base would be used primarily for maritime patrols to combat piracy, and would not be used for airstrikes. In contrast, a second high-ranking official announced publicly that the base would be used by the United Arab Emirates for training, surveillance and military operations in Yemen.
- Satellite imagery acquired between December 2016 and September 2017 indicated that the construction of new permanent facilities, including a new berth on the coastline, approximately 2 km north of the Berbera airport runway, was under way. See annex 9 for satellite imagery of the construction site.
- The establishment of a foreign military base in Berbera, involving the transfer of military materiel to the territory, would constitute a violation of the arms embargo on Somalia. The information available to the Monitoring Group on the function of the base is such that it is unlikely that any of the current standing exemptions to the arms embargo would apply. Furthermore, any assistance that also had the effect of constituting support to Somali security sector institutions in Somaliland would require the notification of and approval by the Committee, pursuant to paragraph 11 (a) of Security Council resolution 2111 (2013).
- Finally, the decision to engage unilaterally with the Somaliland administration on a venture of this nature and scale serves to further undermine relations between the Federal Government and the Somaliland administration and, thereby, the long-term stability of Somalia.
- Military equipment captured during offensive operations by the African Union Mission in Somalia and Federal Government security forces
- In paragraph 6 of its resolution 2182 (2014), the Security Council requested that the Somali National Army and AMISOM document and register all military equipment captured as part of offensive operations and facilitate inspection by the Monitoring Group. In paragraph 12 of resolution 2317 (2016), the Council urged increased cooperation by AMISOM in fulfilling this obligation.
- During the mandate, AMISOM leadership disseminated procedures and directives on the management of captured weapons, but implementation at the sector level remained problematic. Despite increased engagement and expressions of willingness to cooperate, AMISOM provided only limited information to the Monitoring Group on seven captured weapons during the period.
- The Monitoring Group also requested that the Federal Government provide access to weapons captured during offensive operations on several occasions during the mandate but the Federal Government was unable to facilitate the visits.
- Security sector reform
- As the withdrawal of AMISOM troops from southern and central Somalia over the next two to five years appears increasingly likely, concerns regarding the ability of Somali forces to sustain and strengthen security gains made over past decade have grown.
- The Somali security sector received prominent attention in the lead-up to and during the London Conference on Somalia held on 11 May 2017, resulting in the signing of a Security Pact by representatives of the Federal Government and the international community at the conference. The Security Pact set out a political agreement between the Federal Government and regional administrations on a new national architecture for Somali forces, a plan for staged Somali security sector reform and commitments from international partners to support this process.
- Opposition to the plans have been voiced by a variety of actors, including senior representatives of the Federal Government and the Somali National Army, particularly with regard to the decentralization of command from Mogadishu and the increase of the authority of regional administrations.
- Primarily due to a lack of political will, most efforts since 2015 to integrate regional security forces, including 3,000 Puntland Darawish soldiers, into the Somali National Army have stalled (see S/2016/919, para. 52). Whether the new Federal Government and current regional administrations will be willing to collectively and systematically implement the new security architecture is yet to be seen. At the time of writing, however, benchmarks set at the London Conference on Somalia for October 2017, when a follow-up conference is scheduled, are unlikely to be met.
- The Monitoring Group is concerned that attempting to impose a new security architecture on unwilling yet influential actors will give rise to spoilers of the process, and a potentially rapid deterioration of security throughout southern and central Somalia.
- Obstruction of humanitarian assistance
- The issue by the United Nations of a pre-famine alert on 2 February 2017 triggered a major escalation in humanitarian activity in Somalia. While local non‑governmental organizations and communities shouldered the burden and risk of delivering essential inputs, new conflict cycles, intensified anti-Al-Shabaab operations and impassable supply routes hampered access. Al-Shabaab was adept at disrupting and manipulating humanitarian activity both within and outside its recognized areas of control.
- In 2011, Al-Shabaab’s denial of humanitarian access contributed significantly to the 260,000 deaths that resulted from the famine in Somalia. In contrast, during the current mandate, Al-Shabaab mounted a well-publicized drought response, setting up regional drought committees and activating its Al-Xhasan humanitarian wing. In March 2017, the group conducted a series of high-profile food and water distributions in the regions of Bay, Bakool, Galgadud, Hiran, Lower Shabelle and Mudug. At the same time, however, Al-Shabaab’s other policies exacerbated the situations of populations in need, both within and outside their areas of control. These included:
(a) A continued ban in most areas on the formal humanitarian sector, aggressively enforced by the seizure and destruction of food aid and the punishment of those who accepted humanitarian aid;
(b) The increased taxation of community assets, harvest yield and humanitarian aid (including cash based-transfers), often extracted with violence;
(c) A surge in arrests and abductions of humanitarian workers and of elders attempting to negotiate humanitarian access;
(d) A rise in checkpoint fees and continued blockades of transport of commercial and humanitarian goods to areas under government control.
- There were exceptions to Al-Shabaab’s rejection of external humanitarian assistance. In February 2017, the group requested that local non-governmental organizations provide responses to a cholera outbreak in a number of locations. In early March, Al-Shabaab permitted one sub-clan in Middle Juba to raise funds in the diaspora and purchase food aid for their community, albeit with all aid subject to taxation.
- Al-Shabaab allowed limited freedom of movement to those who sought to leave their strongholds to access aid. Return home, however, was not always guaranteed. The Monitoring Group documented how displaced families in Lower Shabelle paid taxes through mobile money transfers to maintain their land titles. In some places in Bay region, $15 and a portion of the harvest was the price of returning home to cultivate after the arrival of the Gu rains.
- Bureaucratic obstacles
- On 28 February 2017, federal and regional authorities pledged to remove “all impediments to the delivery of assistance, including on imports and exports of foodstuffs and critical supplies, as well as on remittances; [and] the temporary suspension of new bureaucratic requirements at the sub-federal level on aid providers”. Despite some modest gestures, the commitment was not honoured.Between January and August 2017, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat recorded 62 instances of bureaucratic impediment to humanitarian operations. In the absence of a clear framework regulating humanitarian action, obstructive practices, designed to hinder and divert humanitarian assistance, continued, including:
(a) The taxation of humanitarian supplies;
(b) The imposition of irregular registration, project monitoring, contract review and staff-vetting procedures and fees;
(c) Demands to render and be paid for “security assistance” and the withdrawal of security assistance in order to force negotiations;
(d) The intermittent prohibition by Puntland on humanitarian access by land from Somaliland.
- Federal and regional authorities also impeded humanitarian work by expelling national and international humanitarian workers from their areas of control. In at least three cases examined by the Monitoring Group during the mandate, the expulsion masked an intent to impede the organizations’ lawful activities, extort resources or facilitate the settling of a private score.
- Finally, the closure of the Kenyan and Ethiopian borders at various times hindered the movement of humanitarian aid, which left access possible only through the contravention of official processes.
- Major supply routes
- Illegal checkpoints controlled by federal and regional forces, clan militias and Al-Shabaab impeded the passage of aid and drove up the cost of commercial goods. This in turn affected the value of humanitarian assistance: over 80 per cent of food aid for the drought response was in the form of cash or vouchers.
- An assessment of main transit routes in central and southern Somalia by one humanitarian organization in August 2017 identified 82 fee-paying checkpoints, 20 of which were controlled by Al-Shabaab. The majority of the rest were controlled by the Somali National Army, in addition to five others where the Army shared revenue with Interim South-West Administration forces.
- Local authorities and armed actors took advantage of the drought response by tripling checkpoint fees in some areas. In April 2017, 60 trucks were blockaded at Wanlaweyne, Lower Shabelle region, when Federal Government security forces attempted to force commercial trucker to pay “arrears” for the times they had used the alternative Al-Shabaab-controlled route to Baidoa. Transporters in many places preferred Al-Shabaab routes where payments were honoured, receipts were issued and the violence associated with the security forces was avoided.
- Efforts by AMISOM, the Interim Galmudug Administration and the Federal Government in the second quarter of 2017 to secure supply routes were moderately successful, although in some cases the problem was simply displaced, as mobile checkpoints replaced static checkpoints.
- Diversion of humanitarian aid
- Building on lessons learned from the famine in 2011/12, the humanitarian community scaled up its response to the drought with a greater consciousness of the risks, supported by a new set of risk management and monitoring mechanisms. Nevertheless, the Monitoring Group received credible allegations and acknowledgement of humanitarian diversion from government officials, the staff of non-governmental organizations and the United Nations, and beneficiaries, relating to:
(a) The theft of aid funds by members of drought committees;
(b) The extortion by gatekeepers and “land-owners” of camps for internally displaced persons, who were sometimes government officials;
(c) Orchestrated humanitarian distributions involving the payment of “appearance fees” to beneficiaries who were then forced to leave behind the aid they had received;
(d) The control of SIM cards and connivance with money vendors and traders to divert cash-based aid and circumvent monitoring mechanisms;
(e) Collusion between host communities and gatekeepers to establish “rice tents” (i.e., fake camp dwellings for internally displaced persons) to register for assistance;
(f) The abuse of State security and administrative power to extort humanitarian operations.
- Al-Shabaab also exerted control in places ostensibly under Federal Government jurisdiction, taxing humanitarian organizations and beneficiaries, demanding that access be negotiated and, in some cases, interfering in organization management.
- Attacks on humanitarian workers
- Since 2016, there has been a sharp increase in attacks on and the coercion of humanitarian workers, and greater violence during humanitarian aid distributions.
- As the need for humanitarian assistance accelerated, humanitarian workers took new risks, expanding engagements in areas controlled by Al-Shabaab. Al‑Shabaab used the opportunity to arrest and fine humanitarian workers in situations where there was any variation in agreed activities, extorting money, vehicles and sometimes weapons from their affiliated clans. By 15 September, 27 humanitarian workers had been abducted by Al-Shabaab during 2017, with 6 still captive as of the time of writing.
- Al-Shabaab arrested and tortured humanitarian workers when it recaptured territory. The expected escalation in the anti-Al-Shabaab offensive also created new threats for the humanitarian community: in May 2017, the United States requested information on deconfliction from humanitarian agencies, triggering concerns about the impact of aerial operations.
- More than 70 people were killed or injured in the violence that broke out during humanitarian aid distributions in 2017, whether such violence was due to the desperation of those receiving support, inexperienced management or perceived bias in the selection of beneficiaries. Civilians also bore the brunt of attacks on humanitarian operations: on 16 April, Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack on a humanitarian convoy travelling through the Weedow internally displaced persons settlement in Mogadishu, which killed one child and injured two others.
- Manipulation of aid to exclude marginalized communities and fuel conflict
- During the famine of 2011/12, marginalized communities in southern Somalia, including many under the control of Al-Shabaab, were systematically excluded from access to assistance. Although these patterns of exclusion were repeated during the current mandate, there was evidence that the humanitarian community was beginning to tackle the issue. Annex 10.1 documents instances of denial of access and efforts to challenge the systematic exclusion of these communities.
- The development of the humanitarian business model in Somalia, coupled with its scale and role in the economy, has created fertile conditions for the misuse of aid to further clan and business interests, including by fuelling conflict (see S/2015/801, annex 5.3). The Monitoring Group’s investigation into a Lower Shabelle-based non‑governmental organization is presented in annex 10.2 (strictly confidential).
- There is a need for more effective risk management by the humanitarian community that takes into account situational and conflict analyses beyond those related to Al-Shabaab, insists on better information-sharing and early warning on accountability issues, particularly among United Nations agencies, and attempts to tackle some of the deeply entrenched power centres within the humanitarian community itself.
- Violations of international humanitarian law involving targeting of civilians
- Although absolute levels of violence against civilians have remained generally constant since 2013, the proliferation of armed actors and the deployment of more destructive methods of warfare increased the lethality (i.e., the number of fatalities per event) of attacks against civilians during the mandate. Annex 11.4 contains a series of graphs developed for the Monitoring Group which describe these trends.
- Al-Shabaab and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
- Al-Shabaab continued to be responsible for the highest number of incidents involving attacks on civilians, and civilian casualties, including during a campaign of complex attacks on hotels and civic offices in urban areas, which escalated between November 2016 and January 2017.
- Al-Shabaab intensified its use of violence to collectively coerce or punish communities in areas under its control. As pressure on resources rose during the drought, the group burned villages and abducted and beheaded elders to enforce taxation demands. In June 2017, Al-Shabaab also began a campaign of abduction of children, elders and teachers to compel communities to provide children for its ranks (see annex 11.2).
- The role of Al-Shabaab in interclan and interstate violence became more overt. In Lower Shabelle, both Al-Shabaab and anti-Al-Shabaab forces strengthened their alliances with the opposing sides in the long-running conflict over resources and control of territory between Haber Gedir and Biimaal (and Digil) clans. In a series of attacks beginning in October 2016 and escalating again in May and August 2017, Al-Shabaab burned villages and killed and abducted civilians from Biimaal and Digil communities (ibid.).
- Possibly in response to the growing prominence of ISIL, Al-Shabaab imposed more violent punishments, including amputations, beheading and stoning, on those found guilty of spying, desertion or breaches of sharia law.
- Generally focused on military targets since its inception, the Somalia ISIL faction changed course during the mandate: beheading civilians and causing the displacement of more than 22,000 people during the takeover of Qandala in late October 2016; and conducting assassinations, burning homes and looting livestock (see annexes 2.1 and 11.4).
- Federal and regional forces, clan militias and other criminal elements
- In a continuation of the positive trend noted by the Monitoring Group in 2016, Federal Government forces did not engage in large-scale attacks on civilians. Nevertheless, between 1 January and 30 June 2017, the United Nations identified the Somali National Army as responsible for 129 civilian casualties, including 76 deaths: 42 of these casualties related to illegal checkpoint and extortion operations.
- Regional forces were responsible, however, for the majority of the conflict-related civilian casualties investigated by the Monitoring Group. In October 2016 in Galkayo, the city experienced another period of fighting, primarily among Puntland, Interim Galmudug Administration and local militia forces, with use of heavy weaponry on all sides. More than 90,000 people were forced to flee, and at least 45 were killed and 162 injured.
- The drought sparked violent contests between clan groups over access to water and grazing. Between 1 May and 22 August 2017 alone, clan conflict caused at least 175 civilian casualties. Assessment of the impact of clan militia violence was complicated by the fact that militias often operated as elements of federal or regional forces, and vice versa, or in some cases fought alongside Al-Shabaab.
- Despite the commitment by the Federal Government to a moratorium dating back to 2011, use of the death penalty by federal and regional authorities rose sharply during the mandate, particularly in Puntland. In some cases, the procedures leading to convictions lacked fundamental due process guarantees, including in situations where the accused was unable to rely on clan protection. The Monitoring Group received credible allegations of the use of torture to attain confessions, in breach of international law.
- While the overall number of incidents involving improvised explosive devices, whether deployed by Al-Shabaab or others, has been on a slight upward trend since 2014, between 1 January 2016 and mid-August 2017 the United Nations assessed that 533 improvised explosive device incidents had caused 1,432 civilian casualties, including 931 deaths.
- The assassination of individuals with connections to the 2016/17 electoral process emerged as a new pattern of violence after 8 February 2017, particularly in Mogadishu. The varying methods used, and the fact that Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for only 8 of 90 killings in the first three months of 2017, suggested motivations more personal than political, although not necessarily unrelated to the elections.
- The Monitoring Group continued to collect compelling evidence and allegations relating to the responsibility of Abdirahshid Hassan Abdinur, the Interim Jubba Administration Minister for Security, for acts of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, unlawful detention and unlawful rendition of individuals (see S/2016/919, annexes 7.8 and 7.8.1 (strictly confidential), and annex 11.3 of the present report).
- African Union Mission in Somalia and international forces
- On multiple occasions during the mandate, international forces withdrew with little warning from areas in Bakool, Galgadud, Hiran and Lower Shabelle. Al‑Shabaab immediately returned, subjecting local communities to killing, torture, abductions, the destruction of humanitarian aid and forced recruitment. The aftermath of these withdrawals, and the cyclical loss and recapture of key locations, also undermined the willingness of communities to support the anti-Al-Shabaab coalition.
- By 31 August 2017, the Monitoring Group had received reports relating to 32 airstrikes conducted by Kenya, the United States and unidentified forces in 2017. There was evidence of enhanced targeting: community representatives from the Juba Valley informed the Group that the impact of airstrikes on civilians had reduced since 2016.
- Eighty-eight civilian deaths were attributed to AMISOM by the United Nations between January 2016 and June 2017. Although AMISOM was responsible for only 4 per cent of all incidents involving civilian harm in 2016, frustration with the lack of communication on investigations and an opaque process for paying amends contributed to the perception that international forces were responsible for greater levels of violence. This undermined the mission of AMISOM and its strategic partners.
- By the end of July 2017, the United Nations had recorded more than 859,000 drought-related displacements since 1 November 2016. Between January and July 2017, 87,000 people were displaced from Lower Shabelle region because of conflict and insecurity.
- Forced evictions of internally displaced persons continued during 2017, with more than 90,000 cases recorded by the end of July, the majority in Mogadishu. Evictions were conducted both by private actors — triggered by disputes between gatekeepers and residents regarding the sharing of humanitarian aid — and further to Federal Government and regional government policy.
- On 16 November 2016, the Government of Kenya announced that it had postponed the closure of Dadaab camp from the end of November 2016 to 31 May 2017. The revised deadline passed with no effort to forcibly return refugees en masse, although cases of individual refoulement were recorded by the United Nations.
- Child recruitment and use
- Although the last three months of 2016 saw the number of recorded incidents of child recruitment and use drop by 50 per cent, the recruitment of children by Al‑Shabaab escalated sharply in late June 2017, particularly in Galgadud, Hiran and Mudug regions. Al-Shabaab’s campaign was reinforced by the abduction of elders, teachers and family members, causing families to flee or send their children out of the area to safety.
- See annex 11.2 for an overview of child recruitment and use during the mandate.
- Violations of the charcoal ban
- The overall magnitude of illegal exports of charcoal from Somalia remains similar to the previous mandate, but there have been some new trends worth noting. Al-Shabaab, in contrast to much of 2015 and 2016, when it had intermittently banned the charcoal trade in areas under its control (see S/2016/919, para. 129), has resumed the systematic taxation of charcoal at checkpoints en route to the stockpiles near the ports at Buur Gaabo and Kismayo. A conservative estimate would be that Al-Shabaab currently earns at least $10 million a year from the illicit charcoal trade.
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and particularly Port Al Hamriya, continues to be the primary export destination, although there have been some attempts by charcoal traffickers to diversify to other ports in the region, including Bahrain, Kuwait and possibly Oman. The most prevalent type of false paperwork used to conceal the Somali origin of charcoal cargoes during the current mandate has been Djibouti certificates of origin. Meanwhile, transnational criminal networks, based primarily in Dubai and Kismayo, seem to be working towards a more formal structure for collaboration.
- With the notable exceptions of the efforts made by the Combined Maritime Forces and Kuwait, implementation of the charcoal ban has been poor, particularly by the Interim Jubba Administration and the Kenyan Defence Forces contingent of AMISOM in Somalia, and the United Arab Emirates among the importing countries. A lack of commitment to consistent sanctions implementation, and in some cases a conspicuously deliberate failure to comply with the charcoal ban, enables Al‑Shabaab financing and undermines counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts in Somalia.
- Production, transport and stockpiles
- Charcoal production in Somalia, including for illicit export, has continued at a high rate. According to analysis of satellite imagery by FAO, there were approximately 26,000 total sites of charcoal production from 2011 to 2017, with approximately 4,000 sites identified during 2017. In 2017, the primary area of charcoal production has been south of Badhadhe, Lower Juba, in the south-east corner of Somalia, while the secondary area of charcoal production has been near Bu’ale, Middle Juba. Both have been Al-Shabaab-occupied territory.
- The Monitoring Group has received information that, in contrast to tactics observed during the previous mandate, Al-Shabaab has resumed the systematic taxation of charcoal at checkpoints along routes from charcoal production areas to ports. The rate of taxation is $2.50 per bag of charcoal, or about $750 for a truck loaded with charcoal bags. The charcoal produced south of Badhadhe is transported by way of small roads to the Buur Gaabo stockpile, while the charcoal produced near Bu’ale would be transported along the road through Jilib and onward to the stockpiles at Kismayo.
- The stockpiles at Kismayo and Buur Gaabo remain the main sources of exports of charcoal, while the stockpile at Barawe may also pose a threat to peace and security. On 11 and 12 June 2017, members of the Monitoring Group observed the two charcoal stockpiles located near the Port of Kismayo. The Group also subsequently obtained photos of the third Kismayo charcoal stockpile located in the north of the city. Between 11 and 14 June, members of the Group observed the stockpiles located near the Port of Kismayo and at Buur Gaabo (see satellite imagery of the stockpiles in annex 12.1). Finally, the Group remains concerned that the charcoal stockpile at Barawe constitutes a threat to peace and security, as it could be a target for an Al-Shabaab offensive or prompt conflict among charcoal traffickers (see S/2016/919, para. 131). On 3 March 2017, in a meeting with the President of the Interim South-West Administration, the Group reiterated that the Interim South-West Administration, in consultation with the Federal Government, should seek the Committee’s guidance regarding the Barawe charcoal stockpile.
- Illicit export of charcoal
- The available evidence suggests that the scale of illicit charcoal exports from Somalia has not substantially changed from the Monitoring Group’s previous mandate. The Group conservatively estimates that, other than during the monsoon season from August to October, approximately 15 dhows per month, or about 135 dhows per year, depart from Kismayo and Buur Gaabo with cargoes of charcoal. With cargoes averaging a volume of 30,000 bags, each weighing 25 kg, that would equal 750,000 kg of charcoal per dhow or more than 100,000 metric tons of charcoal exported per year. At an estimated value of $30 per bag wholesale in export markets (see S/2016/919, annex 9.2), approximately four million bags per year of charcoal exports would be worth $120 million.
- The United Arab Emirates, particularly Port Al Hamriya in Dubai, continues to be the principal destination for illegal exports of charcoal from Somalia. The Monitoring Group has also received information during the current mandate regarding Somali charcoal being imported through the Port of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, although the quantities have not yet been verified. Other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, have also been confirmed as destinations for Somali charcoal (see annex 12.2). The Group has also received reports regarding charcoal dhows bound for ports in Oman, but these have not been verified.
- Paperwork and criminal networks
- The utilization of falsified customs documentation, such as certificates of origin, continues to be the primary method for facilitating the illicit import of Somali charcoal. During the previous mandate, the main types of false charcoal paperwork were certificates of origin from the Comoros, Ghana and Pakistan (see S/2016/919, para. 138 and annex 9.7). During the current mandate, the most prevalent type of false charcoal paperwork has been Djibouti certificates of origin, with this paperwork having circulated at Port Al Hamriya in the United Arab Emirates, as well as being submitted at the Port of Doha, Kuwait. Investigations by the Monitoring Group indicate that the primary source of the false Djibouti charcoal paperwork is Basheer Khalif Moosa, a national of Djibouti currently residing in Dubai (see annex 12.2.2). False Ghana certificates of origin have also been submitted at Port Al Hamriya and the Port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates during the current mandate. Other types of possibly false charcoal paperwork still under investigation by the Group include Côte d’Ivoire and United Republic of Tanzania certificates of origin. The Group has also discovered the use of falsified Sri Lankan ship registration documents by charcoal traffickers (see annex 12.2.3).
- The patterns of the illicit charcoal trade observed by the Monitoring Group have indicated transnational criminal networks operating in Somalia and the United Arab Emirates (see S/2016/919, annex 9.6). During the current mandate, these transnational criminal networks may have assumed a more formal structure. The Group has obtained information regarding the All Star Group, also known as the All Star General Trading Company, which comprises the main illicit charcoal suppliers, traffickers and investors in Kismayo and Dubai. The Group has not been able to confirm multiple reports that the All Star Group has an exclusive agreement with the President of the Interim Jubba Administration, Ahmed Madobe, for the export of charcoal from Somalia. Likewise, the Group has not been able to confirm claims regarding a revenue sharing agreement between the All Star Group and Al-Shabaab. This would, however, be consistent with information that Ali Ahmed Naaji, a former Al-Shabaab tax collector, current All Star Group member and long-time associate of Madobe (see S/2016/919, para. 133), had received death threats from the Amniyat demanding a resumption of charcoal revenue sharing.
- Implementation of the charcoal ban
- Although the Security Council reiterated in paragraph 22 of its resolution 2317 (2016) that Somali authorities should take necessary measures to prevent the export of charcoal from Somalia, in practice the Federal Government does not control the ports at either Kismayo or Buur Gaabo. The Interim Jubba Administration, which continues to be dependent on taxing illicit charcoal exports to finance its operations, has systematically failed to implement the charcoal ban since it was imposed in February 2012. AMISOM, whose Kenyan Defence Forces contingents remain deployed at the ports of Kismayo and Buur Gaabo, has neither assisted the Somali authorities in implementing the charcoal ban nor facilitated Monitoring Group access to charcoal exporting ports, as stipulated in paragraph 23 of resolution 2317 (2016). On 14 June 2017, after having arrived at Buur Gaabo by way of a United Nations helicopter from Kismayo, three members of the Group were not permitted to leave a Kenyan Defence Forces AMISOM base to inspect the nearby charcoal stockpile.
- The implementation of the charcoal ban by other Member States has been uneven. The United Arab Emirates, despite progress during the previous mandate, including the confiscation of several cargoes of illicit charcoal, has regressed in terms of consistency and effectiveness (see annexes 12.2.2 and 12.2.4). Djibouti, in particular the Ambassador of Djibouti to the United Arab Emirates, Osman Moussa Darar, bears substantial responsibility for undermining the implementation of the charcoal ban through repeatedly attesting that the false certificates of origin were legal (see annex 12.2.2). Kuwait has exhibited a high standard of proactive commitment towards the ban’s implementation and has cooperated extensively with the Monitoring Group (see annex 12.2.3). Bahrain should also be noted for its cooperation with the Group, leading to the partial seizure of one cargo shipment (see annex 12.2.1).
- The Monitoring Group would like to note cooperation by the Combined Maritime Forces, particularly Combined Task Force 152, in implementing the charcoal ban. This included the prompt sharing of information and facilitating the Group’s contact with Kuwaiti authorities during April and May, enabling the confiscation of charcoal from two dhows (see annex 12.2.3). In July and August, the Combined Maritime Forces undertook aerial reconnaissance of five dhows en route from Somalia to Port Al Hamriya anchorage that had been identified by the Group. The Combined Maritime Forces then shared dhow descriptions, location data and photos with the United Arab Emirates authorities, who have the jurisdiction to board and inspect the dhows within that country’s territorial waters. At the time of writing, the outcome remains pending (see annex 12.2.4).
- In a footnote to paragraph 77 of the previous report of the Monitoring Group (S/2016/919), the Group reported that Hormuud Telecom had been sanctioned in 2012 by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control. The Group would like to clarify herewith that Hormuud has never been sanctioned under that Office.
VIII. State and non-State cooperation with the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea
- Engagement with the Federal Government of Somalia was complicated by the political transition following the elections held in February 2017. The Monitoring Group would like to note the cooperation by the new administration in response to most official correspondence towards the end of its mandate. The Central Bank of Somalia was also particularly helpful with the Group’s investigations.
- The Monitoring Group would like to acknowledge the Puntland authorities for their cooperation, particularly related to investigations into ISIL.
- The Monitoring Group would like to acknowledge the Islamic Republic of Iran for building on cooperation initiated during the previous mandate by welcoming the Group to the Islamic Republic of Iran for a second time, in September 2017.
- The Monitoring Group would like to acknowledge the cooperation of Kuwait on the implementation of the charcoal ban, France for facilitating an inspection of arms seized by the naval vessel FS Provence and Turkey for its assistance with an investigation on blank-firing pistols.
- The Monitoring Group would like to acknowledge the Combined Maritime Forces for cooperation regarding the charcoal ban and the European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR Atalanta) for cooperation with investigations on arms trafficking and piracy.
- C4ADS, a non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C., assisted with multiple Monitoring Group investigations; and Arquebus Solutions, a consultant group based in the United Kingdom, provided the Group with useful analysis regarding blank-firing pistols and other weapons.
- The Monitoring Group would like to note the ongoing lack of information-sharing from Thuraya, a telecommunications company, particularly in relation to investigations regarding arms smuggling.
- Implementation of targeted sanctions
- Fares Mohammed Mana’a (SOi.008), was added to the 1844 sanctions list on 12 April 2010 for violating paragraph 8 of Security Council resolution 1844 (2008), which includes criteria regarding violations of the arms embargo. Under additional information, the narrative summary of the reasons for listing states that Mana’a is a known arms trafficker. Mana’a is subject to both a travel ban and an asset freeze under the Somalia sanctions regime.
- Mana’a has been charged in a criminal case in Brazil related to the diversion of arms from Djibouti to Yemen. The prosecutors also allege that Mana’a travelled to Brazil in January 2015 to visit a factory owned by the weapons manufacturer Forjas Taurus SA. According to the Panel of Experts on Yemen, Mana’a travelled to Brazil, Czechia, Egypt and France in January 2015 using a Yemeni diplomatic passport. Mana’a may have also travelled to two African countries in October and November 2016 (see S/2017/81, para. 117 and figure VII). The Panel of Experts on Yemen, with which the Monitoring Group continues to cooperate, has investigated Mana’a for violations of the arms embargo on Yemen (ibid., para. 80 and annex 41), including with respect to transactions which may also constitute a lack of compliance with the asset freeze.
- Threats to peace and security
- The Monitoring Group recommends that the Security Council:
(a) Determine that the listing criteria on the misappropriation of financial resources (see Security Council resolution 2060 (2012), para. 2 (c)) applies to misappropriation within federal member states and regional administrations;
(b) Encourage the Federal Government of Somalia, federal member states and regional administrations to conclude a resource-sharing agreement delineating the distribution of resources as well as clarifying their rights and obligations within a federal system.
- Arms embargo
- The Monitoring Group recommends that the Security Council:
(a) Call on Member States, the Somali authorities and the private sector to cooperate with investigations by the Monitoring Group, including providing customs and shipping documentation, related to the export to Somalia of chemicals that may be used as oxidizers in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices, such as the precursors ammonium nitrate, potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate and sodium chlorate;
(b) Call on the Federal Government of Somalia, federal member states and regional administrations to provide the Monitoring Group with full access to all imported weapons and ammunition prior to their distribution;
(c) Call on the Federal Government of Somalia, federal member states and regional administrations to establish standard operating procedures for weapons and ammunition management, including an issue and receipt system to track all weapons post-distribution.
- The Monitoring Group recommends that the Committee Chair:
(a) Write on behalf of the Committee to the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, regional administrations and federal member states, and relevant international partners, reminding them of their obligations under the arms embargo, in particular paragraph 11 (a) of Security Council resolution 2111 (2013), and attaching Implementation Assistance Notice No. 2 for their reference.
- International humanitarian law
- The Monitoring Group recommends that the Security Council:
(a) Request that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) undertake a mapping exercise of serious violations of international humanitarian law and grave violations of human rights law in Somalia, drawing on the precedent of the mapping exercises by OHCHR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2008 and in the Central African Republic in 2017.
- Charcoal ban
- The Monitoring Group recommends that the Security Council:
(a) Authorize Member States to seize, in accordance with their national legislation and within their territorial waters and seaports, vessels proved to have violated the embargo on the export of charcoal from Somalia, and to subsequently dispose of the vessel through a public auction, with the Member State of the crew members’ nationality being responsible for their repatriation.
- Sanctions list
- The Monitoring Group recommends that the Committee:
(a) Consider the utilization of all available listing criteria, including new listings other than those that are related to Al-Shabaab or ISIL.
- The Monitoring Group recommends that the Security Council:
(a) Consider disassociating the Eritrea and Somalia sanctions regimes.
Attack on UPDF base in Baledogle, Lower Shabelle with 120 mm mortar
- On 23 April 2017, Al-Shabaab attacked a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) base in Baledogle, Lower Shabelle region. Photographic evidence from the scene shows the remnants of the tail of a 120 mm mortar round.
Figures 1 and 2: Round tail of a 120 mm mortar found in a crater at the scene of the attack on the UPDF base in Baledogle.
- This is the first time the SEMG has established that Al-Shabaab has used a 120 mm mortar. Although Al-Shabaab has used 60 mm and 80 mm mortars since 2009, 120 mm mortars have the potential to cause much higher civilian casualties. The SEMG has received multiple reports that Al-Shabaab acquired several 120 mm mortar launchers and projectiles from its attacks on 26 June and 1 September 2015 on Burundian and Ugandan AMISOM contingents based at Leego and Janale, respectively (see S/2015/801, para. 91).
Attack on KDF base in Kulbiyow on the Somalia/Kenya border
- On 27 January 2017, Al-Shabaab detonated a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) at the perimeter of a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) camp at Kulbiyow, a base straddling Kenya and Somalia’s Lower Juba region. The VBIED was followed by an armed attack of Al-Shabaab fighters armed with AK-pattern rifles and RPG launchers. According to an Al-Shabaab spokesperson, at least 67 KDF soldiers were killed and a number of others were taken prisoner. Among the significant items seized by Al-Shabaab were one OTO-Melara Mod 56, one105 mm Howitzer, and one WZ-551 armoured personnel carrier. In addition, Al-Shabaab also captured an 81 mm mortar launcher, as well as an M240B heavy machine gun.
Figure 3: Still from Al-Kataib media wing of Al-Shabaab suggests a 105 mm L5 Pack Howitzer may have been captured at Kulbiyow.
- The SEMG has been unable to find evidence of Al-Shabaab’s use of the 105 mm artillery. The group may not have access to the required ammunition or may not possess the necessary technical knowledge to operate this type of weapon.
Figure 4: Armoured Personnel Carrier WZ-551 captured at Kulbiyow.
Figure 5: 81 mm mortar launcher captured by Al-Shabaab at Kulbiyow.
Figure 6: M240B machine gun captured by Al-Shabaab at Kulbiyow.
- On 2 January 2017, two large vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) exploded near the perimetre of the Adan Adde International Airport complex. The first VBIED, which was smaller in explosive size was detonated around noon, next to a checkpoint on the Jaale Siyaad road. The first explosion cleared the path for a large truck laden with explosives to pass through the checkpoint and detonate a few minutes later adjacent to the Peace Hotel. Estimates of the net explosive quantity (NEQ), or TNT equivalence, of the second explosion range from 200 kg to as much as 1,200 kg (see below).
Figure 1: Google Earth satellite imagery of the blast site.
Figures 2 and 3: Images of the vehicle carrying the VBIED and of the blast.
Assessments by explosives experts
- The SEMG has reviewed assessments by several independent explosives experts, some of whom were among the first at the scene following the VBIED explosion. These experts concluded that the NEQ of the blast was in the range of 800 kg, based on the dimensions of the crater and damage to the surrounding buildings.
- An independent explosives engineer consulted by the SEMG used a range of explosive engineering formulae and tools to estimate the explosive mass of the VBIED. This analysis was based on crater dimensions obtained by the SEMG, and data derived from witness reports and the available imagery. This specialist concluded that the NEQ of the blast was approximately 1,200 kg (TNT equivalent), as shown in Table 1, below.
Table 1: Summary of NEQ estimations
|Methodology||NEQ (kg) estimate||Remarks|
|1||US Homeland Security Table (Glazing Damage)||1,042||Based on damage to glazing at 480 m.|
|2||UK Building Damage Predictive Equations||1,255||Based on damage to buildings at 27 m and 54 m.|
|3||Italian Cratering Predictive Equations for Blast Loading of Concrete Paving Slabs||1,315||Based on the assumption that the distance between the road and the base of the truck was 0.45 m.|
|4||Mean of 1, 2, and 3||1,204|
Figure 4: Blast crater.
- Experts at UNMAS reported to the SEMG their assessment that NEQ of the VBIED was between 200 kg and 500 kg. By the time UNMAS personnel accessed the scene, the crater dimensions and characteristics could not be properly assessed as the crater had been partially filled in. UNMAS stated that the damage to buildings close to the blast site required additional analysis, as it was not clear whether the damage was caused by the primary explosion or large pieces of fragmentation projected through the walls. UNMAS experts also suggested that a more detailed analysis of the damage to Peace Hotel is required, taking into account the original construction of the hotel.
Figure 5: Damage to adjacent buildings.
- During this mandate, Puntland has witnessed an increased IED threat from Al-Shabaab, possibly as a response to the group’s rivalry with the expanding ISIL faction in Bari region.
- On 26 April 2017, five suspected members of Al-Shabaab were arrested on the outskirts of Bosaso with IED components hidden inside containers loaded on a Suzuki vehicle. The components included explosives, detonator cords, and a 12-volt vehicle battery alarm, to be used as a source of power for the IED. There was also a remote-control device, as well as electric detonators manufactured in India (see “C-DET electric detonators”, in annex 1.2 (strictly confidential)). The three cylinders captured in the seizure are commonly used by Al-Shabaab in the construction of roadside IEDs (see figure 3, below).
Figure 1: IED components seized by Puntland security forces on 26 April 2017.
- On 6 June 2017, the SEMG conducted interviews with the five suspects at Bosaso Central Prison. Four of the men admitted to being members of Al-Shabaab.
- The SEMG noted that four of the suspects were from Baidoa, the capital of Bay region, the surrounding area of which is an Al-Shabaab stronghold. They had been instructed to travel to Puntland’s Galgala region between three and seven months prior to their arrest. During that time, they were based in different locations in the Golis Mountains. According to the suspects, they met for the first time by the roadside along the highway to Bosaso on 26 April, and according to one of the prisoners, they were given their instructions by an Al-Shabaab leader named Abdullahi Mohamed. None of the prisoners admitted receiving IED training. They claimed that they had not seen the IED materials before they were loaded onto the vehicle.
- The items discovered in the seizure suggest that the plot was at an advanced stage, and all the necessary components for an IED attack were present. On 30 June, the five IED suspects were executed by Puntland authorities.
Figure 2: Seizure of IED components near Bosaso, Puntland on 30 May 2017.
- In a second incident, on 30 May 2017, Puntland security forces arrested two people and seized explosives as well as other materials hidden in a truck carrying vegetables, at a checkpoint near Bosaso. They discovered explosive materials in cylindrical containers, computer drives, at least 16 radio aerials, military fatigues, and vehicle number plates from Somalia and Somaliland. According to Puntland security forces, the seized vehicle originated from Belet Weyne in Hiran region.
- The presence of radio aerials suggests that they were to be used as a means of communicating internally within the cell, during the planning and execution of attacks. Alternatively, the radio aerials could also have been intended for use components in a radio-controlled IED attack.
Figure 3: Cylinders seized by Puntland security forces on 26 April 2017.
- The following annex provides a snapshot of Al-Shabaab financing in Bay and Bakool regions, largely based on the testimony of a former Al-Shabaab senior finance officer, and partially corroborated by regional intelligence officials.
- Al-Shabaab remains in control of considerable territory in Bay and Bakool regions. In addition, Al-Shabaab is currently running at least three training camps in the region. Al-Shabaab covers the costs of its regional operations in Bay — which includes paying salaries for soldiers, Amniyat operatives, and financial officers — through taxation at local markets and checkpoints. Zakat is also collected, once or twice a year. However, protection money paid by companies and NGOs is also transferred directly to the national-level Al-Shabaab Treasurer, Hassan Afgooye.
- Al-Shabaab has divided Bay and Bakool into five administrative regions: Baidoa, Berdale, Dinsor, Qansah Dere, and Burhakaba. Formerly, each administrative region had an autonomous financial officer, but significant defections during 2017 have prompted the centralization of Al-Shabaab’s regional governance. Based on information from interviews conducted with Somali authorities and Al-Shabaab defectors, the financial structure of Al-Shabaab in Bay and Bakool is mapped in figure 1, as follows:
Figure 1: Regional financial structure for Al-Shabaab in Bay and Bakool.
- Al-Shabaab derives significant revenue from taxation at local markets and checkpoints within Bay and Bakool regions. This includes revenue from livestock markets, agricultural exports, and checkpoint taxation of imported goods. For example, the checkpoint at Leego generates $4,700 to $5,000 per day taxing trucks arriving with goods from Mogadishu at a rate of $800 each. The livestock market at Safarnooley generates an estimated $30,000 to $33,000 per week for Al-Shabaab, and the livestock market at Wajid generates an estimated $17,000 per week for Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab also taxes trucks departing the agricultural market at Ufurow that are transporting local produce, such as maize and peanuts, for markets in Mogadishu.
Figure 2: Map indicating regional markets and checkpoints under discussion.
- Major companies operating in Bay and Bakool are another source of revenue for Al-Shabaab. The Monitoring Group has received information regarding three companies, which pay Al-Shabaab a monthly sum of between $25,000 and $70,000 in exchange for the safety of their employees and security of their infrastructure.
- Al-Shabaab also extorts payments from NGOs operating in the region, and is increasingly generating revenue through kidnappings of NGO workers. On 8 August 2017, for example, four local staff members of a NGO were kidnapped in Burhakaba, Bay region. One was subsequently released while the other three were transported by the leader of the operation, Isaq Daliil, to Bulo Fulay, in Bay region. At the time of writing clan elders had started negotiations with Al-Shabaab on the release of the hostages. Al-Shabaab also conducted a number of abductions of local NGO staff during the mandate in Bay region, including where NGOs were fined for violating access agreements. Payments to secure the staff members’ release have subsequently been negotiated between clan elders and Al-Shabaab.
- Revenues collected from local communities are primarily spent on the salaries of Al-Shabaab members working within the region. Tax collectors receive a salary of $100 each month; soldiers receive a salary of between $20 and $150 each month; and Amniyat operators receive a salary of $500 per month. A former Al-Shabaab operative whose responsibility was to distribute the salaries of Al-Shabaab forces within the region told the Monitoring Group that for local forces he distributed cash, and for troops further in the field he made payments using Taaj, a Somalia-based mobile money transfer service.
- On 6 March 2017, the SEMG conducted a day mission to Qandala by sea, facilitated by the Puntland President’s Office and the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF). From October to December 2016, Qandala had been the seat of the ISIL faction — and the first settlement in Somalia captured by the group — until it was retaken by Puntland forces in early December.
- On 26 October 2016, between 80-90 ISIL militants swept into Qandala from the surrounding mountainside, declaring it the seat of the Islamic Caliphate in Somalia. According to local clan elders, a spokesman for the group urged residents to remain in the town and join the ISIL faction; one clan elder recalled the spokesmen boasting to the crowd that “we will capture Asia, Africa, and the whole world”. However, representatives of the local inhabitants refused to assist the militants, telling them that they would vacate Qandala if ISIL remained. In response, the militants began ransacking the town, looting the police station, school, and the medical clinic, and torching residences. Prior to vacating Qandala in advance of approaching Puntland forces in December, the militants damaged the town’s water reservoir with gunfire.
- Residents of Qandala left the town during the ISIL occupation, and according to town elders many families remained displaced at the time of the SEMG’s visit. Residents of Khooriga, a village just east of Qandala and a former arms smuggling hub, recounted that members of the group had threatened to kill anyone who did not agree with their interpretation of Islamic law, and reported a similar displacement of local inhabitants by ISIL militants.
- Residents of Qandala reported witnessing English-speaking foreign fighters among the group, including “whites”, but the SEMG has so far been able to confirm the presence of only a limited number of foreigners serving within the group. Identification of the militants was complicated by the fact that they covered their faces in turbans while in the town.
Figure 1: Arabic graffiti left by ISIL militants on the wall of the police station in Qandala, reading “The Islamic Caliphate on the path of the Prophet”.
Figure 2: Residence used as a billet by ISIL fighters in Qandala, which they torched before leaving.
Isse Mohamoud Yusuf “Yullux”
- At the time of the SEMG’s visit to Qandala, the bulk of the Darawish (Puntland regular forces) garrisoning the town — roughly 200 troops — were comprised of the militia of the former pirate and arms smuggler Isse Mohamoud Yusuf “Yullux”, a member of the dominant Ali Salebaan sub-clan and cousin of ISIL leader Abdulqader Mu’min. Prior to the offensive to retake Qandala, the Puntland administration had reached an agreement with “Yullux”, whereby his militia would be integrated into the Darawish; his forces subsequently participated on the frontlines of the offensive. However, the agreement later fell apart primarily due to a disagreement over pay, and “Yullux” retreated with his militia to his home town of Timirshe, where he has resumed his material assistance to the ISIL faction, including through the provision of arms and ammunition.
Figure 3: Undated photograph of Isse Mohamoud Yusuf “Yullux”.
- By the time of the SEMG mission to Qandala on 6 March 2017, the weapons and ammunition captured from ISIL by Puntland security forces had already been redistributed. However, a local data collector from the UK-based organization Conflict Armament Research had previously photographed and documented six weapons and 161 rounds of ammunition captured from ISIL fighters in Qandala (see figures 4-7, below). Most of the weapons appear to be older legacy arms, which are difficult to trace. The bulk of the seized ammunition consisted of 12.7×108 mm rounds, likely intended for use with DShK heavy machine guns. According to intelligence sources in Puntland, as well as ISIL defectors interviewed by the SEMG, the majority of arms supplied to the ISIL faction originate in Yemen.
Figures 4: Several AK-pattern assault rifles, PK machine guns, 12.7×108 mm ammunition, and 7.62×39 mm ammunition. A rocket propelled grenade, and RPG munition.
Figure 5: An RPG manufactured in Bulgaria (serial number ИH-17-56).
Figure 6: 12.7×108 mm ammunition; factory markings on the metal packaging indicate they were manufactured in the Russian Federation.
Figure 7: Norinco branded NP-34 pistol, a tracing request was sent to the relevant Member State on 3 July 2017 (S/AC.29/2017/SEMG/OC.81).
- Since its 2016 report (S/2016/920, annex 1.2), the SEMG has further developed its understanding of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction’s membership and leadership structure, primarily through interviews with former members of the group facilitated by the Puntland administration. While the SEMG was able to confirm the names or noms de guerre of 14 ISIL leaders, their exact roles in the group are less clear; preliminary indications are that the ISIL leadership structure is less hierarchical and more fluid than that of Al-Shabaab, with individuals lacking rigid titles or functions.
- Abdulqader Mu’min (Darod/Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan): Emir of the ISIL faction, former spiritual head of Al-Shabaab North-East (ASNE) in the Golis Mountains. Designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the U.S. Department of State in August 2016.
- Abdirahman Fahiye Isse Mohamud a.k.a. Ahmed Aden; Khalid; Yaqub; Burane (Darod/Harti/Deshishe): Deputy to Mu’min, second in command of the ISIL faction. Born in 1985 in Bosaso; former member of ASNE in the Golis Mountains. Identified by Puntland authorities as being the coordinator of the 23 May 2017 suicide bombing in Bosaso (see annex 2.5, strictly confidential).
- Mahad Moalim (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan): cousin of Abdulqader Mu’min; previously reported to be Mu’min’s deputy; current role may relate to preaching (dawa). Former member of ASNE in the Golis Mountains.
- Abdihakim Dhuqub (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan/Ismail Ali): Senior leader, aged 50-55 years; involved in the creation in 2004 of the first Bosaso cell of Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI), an ideological predecessor to Al-Shabaab. Former member of ASNE in the Golis Mountains.
- Abdiqani “Luqmaan” (Darod/Leelkase): Aged 25-30 years; lead commander in charge of military operations; former member of ASNE in the Golis Mountains.
- “Abu Hafsa” (Hawiye/Galjaal): Deputy of “Luqmaan”, aged approximately 30 years. Former member of Al-Shabaab from Hiran region; possible recruiter of fighters from southern Somalia in conjunction with an individual known as “Jabal”.
- Hamza Farey (Darod/Majeerteen): head of preaching (dawa) and orientation. Former member of ASNE in the Golis Mountains.
- Abdibasid a.k.a. Mukhtar (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan): aged approximately 30 years, but younger looking; possible role involves intelligence gathering and/or the procurement of weapons.
- Other significant figures in the organization, identified through interviews with intelligence and security sources, as well as phone network analysis, include: Abdiweli Mohamed Aw-Yusuf “Walah” (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan/Ismail Ali); Abshir Mahamoud Mire Mahamoud a.k.a. Abshir Gardhere; Jama Ismail Said Salah a.k.a Jama Dhere; Ahmed Omar Ali “Beerdhagax” (a suspected arms supplier); Abdirahman Yusuf Mahamud Adan; and Mohamed Bile Gash Yusuf (see annex 2.3, strictly confidential, for a mobile phone network analysis of the ISIL leadership).
- As noted in the SEMG’s 2016 report (S/2016/919, para. 28), the arms dealer and former pirate, Isse Mohamoud Yusuf, or “Yullux” (Darod/Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan), continues to provide material support, including arms and ammunition, to the ISIL faction. “Yullux” had briefly integrated his 200-strong militia into the Puntland security forces, where they participated in the recapture of Qandala in November and December 2016. However, a dispute over pay with the Puntland administration led to “Yullux” to abrogate the agreement and withdraw his forces to his home area of Timirshe in May 2017, where he reignited his ties with ISIL leadership, including his cousin Abdulqader Mu’min.
Phone network analysis of ISIL leadership
- In contrast with the arms trafficking networks the SEMG has tracked in Puntland, phone network analysis of the ISIL faction presents a far greater challenge, inasmuch as ISIL leaders routinely change SIM cards to avoid detection and potential targeted kinetic action by local forces and Member States. Consequently, the SEMG’s analysis of ISIL phone records by necessity involves a more disjointed analysis across discrete, limited timeframes.
Abbas Mahamoud Yusuf
- One such snapshot occurred between 10 November and 13 December 2016, during the ISIL faction’s occupation of Qandala. Abbas Mahamoud Yusuf, a local resident of the Qandala area, was forcibly recruited by the ISIL faction on 10 November, and tasked with supplying food, water, and other goods to the group. He reported his direct superior to be Abdiqani “Abu Sufiyan”, originally from Galkayo, and that “Abu Sufiyan” would regularly call him on his mobile phone, as did two other ISIL commanders. On 13 December, Yusuf was captured by Puntland forces in Qandala, and accordingly his phone activity ceased. Yusuf’s phone records, therefore, provide a useful window into ISIL mobile phone activity during the one month he worked for the group.
- On 8 February 2017, two ISIL-affiliated gunmen stormed the International Village Hotel in Bosaso, in the first attack of its kind by the militant group. The likely target was the former governor of Bari region, Abdisamad Gallan, whose militia had joined with Puntland forces during the offensive to retake Qandala in November and December 2016. While the operation was poorly planned, it nonetheless demonstrated the group’s ability and determination to carry out attacks in Puntland’s economic capital.
Narrative of the attack
- At 05:30 UTC +3 on 8 February, the two ISIL gunmen arrived at the main gate of International Village Hotel. According to a senior police official, one of the attackers was known to a hotel guard, which accounted for the guard’s willingness to open the gate. Once the gate was open the attackers gunned down two hotel guards and entered the compound, proceeding along different routes towards Gallan’s villa in a flanking manoeuvre.
- Gallan was protected by four bodyguards stationed outside his villa; presumably unknown to the attackers, a delegation of businessmen from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was staying in a neighbouring villa, guarded by a detachment of six port police officers. The first attacker, who was in the courtyard without any cover, was killed by Gallan’s bodyguards. Two of the bodyguards were also killed, and the remaining two were wounded. The surviving attacker then circled around the rear of Gallan’s villa and was quickly shot and killed by the detachment of port police guarding the UAE villa. Additional Puntland police arrived at the hotel approximately 15 minutes after the assault had begun.
Analysis of the attack
- While the attack demonstrated a higher degree of sophistication in intelligence-gathering than previously displayed by the ISIL faction, it lacked critical elements of planning. The attackers had obtained accurate intelligence on the villa at which Gallan was staying, and knew the identity of the guard on duty at the main gate. However, the planners committed a fatal tactical error in failing to account for the contingent of port police at the hotel, who, when combined with Gallan’s bodyguards, meant the ISIL gunmen were outnumbered five to one while on a mission to penetrate a fortified compound.
- Most critically, however, the attack demonstrated the ISIL faction’s possession of a valuable resource: adherents willing to face a high or near certain risk of death while carrying out the group’s objectives. A further demonstration of this asset occurred on 23 May 2017, when the ISIL faction conducted its first suicide attack in Somalia (see annex 2.5, strictly confidential).
- In S/2016/919, the SEMG documented the outbreak of conflict between the Interim Galmudug Administration (IGA), the Puntland administration, and their allied militia in late 2016, and its impact on civilians. The most recent phase of the Galkayo conflict commenced on 7 October 2016.
- The city of Galkayo has long been the site of tensions between the majority inhabitants of the north of the city — primarily Majeerteen/Omar Mohamud and Leelkase clans — and the south — Haber Gedir/Sa’ad. Further to large scale conflict in 1991, the Mudug Agreement of June 1993 held relatively steadily for 22 years. The formation of the IGA in 2015, however, prompted renewed contestation for territories and resources. The conflict which erupted between the IGA, Puntland and their allied militia in November/December 2015 exacted a significant toll on the city’s inhabitants, with 30 to 40 people killed, over 100 injured and the bulk of the population displaced.
- The December 2015 agreement intended to prevent the reoccurrence of the conflict was poorly implemented. As noted by the SEMG in 2016, by August 2016 a series of assassinations and attacks attributed to Al-Shabaab based in south Galkayo had reignited mistrust between the parties, with Puntland officials accusing actors in Galkayo of providing cover for the attacks. In the wake of a double vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack on 21 August 2016 — which destroyed government offices and part of the hospital in north Galkayo — anger reached a crescendo. Some in north Galkayo alleged direct collaboration between the south Galkayo administration and Al-Shabaab. Others asserted that the south Galkayo administration did not have the capacity to challenge Al-Shabaab and arrest the perpetrators of the attacks.
- Puntland and the north Galkayo administration’s response to the increasing insecurity was to impose severe restrictions on vehicle movements from south Galkayo, causing major disruptions to both commercial and humanitarian traffic. The IGA responded with its own restrictions. Tensions deepened when 13 IGA-affiliated forces were killed in a US airstrike on 27/28 September 2016 at Jeehdin. The IGA-appointed Governor for Mudug accused Puntland authorities of complicity in the attack, calling for the Galmudug security agencies to “adopt measures to respond to the blatant aggression staged by Puntland militia who misled US forces with clan-motivated intelligence and logistical support”.
- Open conflict broke out in Galkayo on 7 October 2016. Once again it was a controversial construction project on the boundary in Garsoor neighborhood, this time a livestock holding area, which prompted the renewal of the conflict. The fighting was subsequently concentrated in south Garsoor and Wadajir neighborhoods, with Horumar and Israac neighborhoods also affected. While local militia were the first to engage, state-aligned regional forces joined the fray the following day, and the conflict continued sporadically for approximately one month.
- Both sides deployed heavy weaponry in the conflict, including:
- Zu-23 anti-aircraft artillery;
- Field artillery (85 mm);
- DShK and RPGs;
- B-10 recoilless rifles;
- Puntland authorities also deployed Type T24 tanks.
- Although Puntland allegedly had a BM-21 “Grad” truck-mounted multiple rocket launcher deployed in Galkayo at the time, the SEMG does not assess it was used in the conflict.
- The SEMG received a credible but unverified report that 300 AK-pattern rifles were distributed to Omar Mahmoud militia operating in South Garsoor directly from the Office of the President of Puntland.
- For the IGA and south Galkayo, the military was led by Abdelaziz Abdullahi Abdi “Qooje Dagaari”. Colonel Hassan Farah Karshe was also in command. The main political actors supporting the engagement were the IGA Minister of Security, Cismaan Ciise Nuur, “Taar Dhuleed” and the IGA Minister of Ports, Burhan Warsame Igaal (Haber Gedir/ Sa’ad/Abdalle).
- In north Galkayo, the main fighting forces consisted of Mudug-based units of the Puntland Darawish (regular forces) under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Abdirashid Mohamud Ashkir “Qodhob”. A contingent of Garowe-based Darawish, under the command of Colonel Jimcale Jaamac Takar, and the Qardho-based commander Cabdiqaadir Cabdi Ciise “Caagadeyste”, were also deployed to provide further support. General Said Mohamed Hersi a.k.a. “Sayeed Dheere”, Chief of the Puntland Defence Forces, was largely absent during the conflict, with lower-ranking officers on the ground reportedly by-passing his command.
- South Galkayo authorities claimed that they had retrieved a Puntland Security Force (PSF) ID from the body of a dead combatant. The SEMG was unable to verify this information and received no other information relating to the participation of the PSF, who have a base in Galkayo.
- The Minister of Environment, Tourism and Wildlife, Ali Abdullahi Warsame (Majeerteen/ Omar Mohamud, and a Norwegian citizen) and the then Minister of Public Works, Housing and Transportation, Abdirashid Mohamed Hirsi (Lelkase), now Minister of Fishery and Marine Resources, were the main political actors driving the conflict on the Puntland side, appointing elders to muster the local community and mobilize clan militia and managing the financing of the war effort. The Minister of Commerce Abdiweli Hersi Abdulle (Indhaguran) and Abdiqani Gelle Mohamed, the Minister of
State for Aviation and Airports were also on the ground, although the former actively engaged in the peace negotiations.
Allegations of involvement of federal forces
- During the 2015 phase of the conflict, Puntland had alleged that the FGS had provided weapons in support of IGA forces. During the 2016 conflict, Puntland claimed that a unit of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) forces, based in Adado, participated in support of Galmudug. On 12 October Minister Ali Abdullahi Warsame presented two defected soldiers at a press conference in north Galkayo. The defectors claimed to be NISA personnel, who had fought against Puntland under the command of NISA’s Ali Dhere.
- In comparison with the 2015 phase of the conflict, the Galkayo business community was more actively involved in the fighting in 2016. While in 2015 the community had largely played a conciliatory role between the two sides, during the hostilities in 2016 key figures provided logistical support — including food and fuel — to the combatants. Certain clan elders also energetically mobilized to prolong the conflict, including on social media.
- The historically rooted origins of the conflict and the upheaval caused by the creation of the IGA which sharpened clan divisions, have been described above. There were three additional interlinked factors: the role of the media; the role of Al-Shabaab and its relationship with the parties to the conflict; and the conflict economy.
- Both parties to the conflict deployed media outlets to leverage fears. Local media — particularly radio — were used to fuel tensions, circulate misinformation, and generate support for the prosecution of the conflict more broadly. These broadcasts contributed both to the virulence and length of the hostilities, and incentivized fundraising in support of the conflict. This was recognized in the 1 November 2016 agreement which halted the conflict: one of the five key provisions was an undertaking to “refrain from anything exchanged through the media that can create conflict”.
- Social media, including chat groups, was also exploited. The SEMG documented how particular elders and others in diaspora fuelled the fighting — and later opposed peace efforts — using the tool. In the context of the Puntland Vice President’s arrival in Galkayo for the September 2017 peace conference, for example, one elder told his community that the Vice President’s intention was to give their land to Galmudug and that they should be prepared to confront him. Evidence indicates that his words sparked mobilization of militia in north Galkayo. Social media was also used, including by individuals in diaspora, to incite attacks to impede the peace negotiations.
- Al-Shabaab operations and influence were strengthened by the outbreaks of conflict in Galkayo in 2015 and 2016. The 2015 hostilities created space for the group’s expansion into Puntland during 2016; the second phase enabled consolidation of those gains.
- As in many parts of Somalia, Al-Shabaab in Galkayo cultivated a presence in all strata of society, from traditional elders and clan militia, to businessmen, to military and government officials. Al-Shabaab thus became a party to, and resource used by parties to, the conflict. For example, the businessman Abdirisak Hussein Tahlil (Alol Geel) was one of those who prominently assisted the troops on the Galumdug side with logistic support during the conflict. In late July 2017, he was arrested by Puntland and US forces and accused of involvement in Al-Shabaab operations.
- Al-Shabaab in turn leveraged its influence and ability to intimidate within clan, business, military and political structures on both sides, in order to prolong the conflict. In addition to contributing to conflict operations, Al-Shabaab actively attempted to prevent resolution efforts: one individual with knowledge of the peace negotiations told the SEMG that in Galkayo throughout 2017 Al-Shabaab regularly called certain elders and directed them to sabotage the effort. Payments were also made to induce collaboration.
- In previous inter-clan conflicts the SEMG documented how social media was used to raise money in the diaspora, not only for humanitarian support, but also to purchase logistics and weapons to support and prolong the fighting. In Galkayo, diaspora funding facilitated the payment of medical treatment for fighters, and the procurement of fuel, weapons and ammunition. A recording of a conversation between an IGA commander and an individual in diaspora during the conflict, for example, includes expressions of thanks to those outside the country for their willingness to support the fighting. The SEMG received information on one instance in which military leaders in north Galkayo specifically sought funds from both the local population and the diaspora to “defend the community” and subsequently bought more heavy weaponry.
- Credible allegations emerged late in the SEMG’s investigation, however, of an additional dimension: that certain individuals among the military, political and clan leadership deliberately created opportunities to profit from and prolong the conflict. Through a variety of social media platforms — including the messaging apps WhatsApp and Telegram — these actors warned of imminent threats against their communities, and the need for funds to counter them. Some of this money was simply diverted. In one instance documented by the SEMG, a group of elders requested funds to help mobilize a sub-clan which had not yet joined the conflict: funds were sent and subsequently appropriated for private gain.
- The conflict was also funded from regional budgets: in Puntland it was claimed by one SEMG source that five per cent of revenue from Bosaso port — estimated at approximately $20,000 per week — was allocated to the conflict during some of the period. There were credible but unverified allegations that some of these funds were embezzled by government officials.
Impact of the conflict on the civilian population
- In contrast with the 2015 phase of the conflict, in 2016 the fighting was largely concentrated away from the centre of the town. Nevertheless the 2016 conflict had severe consequences for civilians in Galkayo. Over 90,000 people were displaced — many for the second time since 2015, including all internally displaced persons in south Galkayo. When the most violent phase of the conflict came to an end in early November 2016, the UN assessed that 45 people had been killed and 162 injured. Other casualty estimates were much higher:one NGO calculated that 100 people were killed and over 200 injured between early October and late December 2016.
- Significant civilian harm was caused by indiscriminate and disproportionate fire. The UN assessed, for example, that at least88 civilian casualties were the result of indiscriminate shelling between Puntland and IGA forces. Residential compounds in southern Garsoor, mostly deserted by civilians, were also damaged in the fighting. At the height of the conflict the hospital in south Galkayo was forced to move its patients to a location seven kilometres outside the town when a mortar shell landed 150 metres from the facility. Officials in south Galkayo told the SEMG that 5 Star Hotel, the University of Galkayo and numerous civilian homes were damaged by shelling by Puntland forces.
- There were reports of other violations against civilians, including an increase in incidents of sexual and gender-based violence in the wake of rounds of combat, and abductions of civilians.
- The conflict dangerously undermined community reserves in a time of drought with families forced to rent vehicles to flee and to forgo income-generating activities. Early in the conflict, for example, food aid was required for an estimated 60,000 people displaced from the north of the city. Even when the conflict ended, many families were unable to send their children back to school due to the collapse of their livelihoods.
- Beyond the community in Galkayo, the blocking of the Bosaso-Galkayo corridor — the main supply route for World Food Programme (WFP) supplies to Mudug, Galgadud and Hiran regions — significantly increased the cost of delivery to beneficiaries in those areas. It also had an adverse impact on the cost of transporting commercial goods, further undermining drought resilience.
- Due to the location, direction and intensity of the fighting, most of those killed or injured were combatants: the scale of these causalities was the most difficult to assess. One estimate provided to the SEMG by a humanitarian worker present during the conflict was that at least 80 fighters were killed on the Puntland side and likely more on the Galmudug side. A hospital in south Galkayo recorded 71 causalities on one day during the fighting in October — mostly combatants — of whom 10 died.
Responsibility for international crimes
- Almost all those who offered suggestions for a resolution in Galkayo cited the need for action to be taken against those who commit international crimes. As noted above, with widespread use of indiscriminate and disproportionate fire, targeting of civilian areas, and large-scale forced displacement, there was credible evidence that international crimes were committed on both sides during both phases of the conflict.
- In a joint statement in the midst of the 2015 Galkayo conflict, key members of the international community came together declared that they would “not tolerate impunity and the continued needless killing of innocent civilians”. They added that “[t]hose found to be responsible […] of the killing and displacement of civilians must be held accountable” and that “[a]ny deliberate shelling of civilian areas of Gaalkacyo may constitute crimes against humanity that must be fully investigated and vigorously prosecuted”.
- No prosecutions ever took place. Further, when conflict did break out again in October 2016, despite multiple statements by UNSOM and international partners on the crisis in 2016, the issue of accountability was not addressed. Nevertheless, all the same factors, actors and elements of civilian harm were present.
Ceasefire and aftermath of the conflict
- On 1 November, the parties announced that an agreement had been reached in Abu Dhabi. Both sides would enforce a ceasefire, refrain from inflammatory media statements, and appoint a joint committee to work on finding a lasting solution, with a meeting in Kismayo scheduled for 20 November 2016 for further discussions. The November meeting never occurred. A ceasefire came into effect on 18 November with the creation of a 2 km long buffer-zone between both sides, and the establishment of an 18-member Joint Ceasefire Committee (JCC). Two key elements of the agreement — the complete withdrawal of forces to their original bases and the removal of roadblocks — were slow to materialize.
- On 30 November, there was further exchange of fire between the parties, resulting in injury to civilians, and damage to a school and a community centre in north Galkayo and south Galkayo, respectively. Sporadic fighting continued during December 2016 including one incident in which a shell landed in a UN compound.
- On 1 January 2017, the parties once again renewed their commitment to resolving the conflict with the signing of a new agreement in Mogadishu, including an undertaking to allow movement of vehicles and population between the two regions.
- Despite continued assassinations of government and security officials in north Galkayo during February and March 2017, Puntland finally agreed to remove checkpoints on the boundary on 30 March. The IGA reopened the road to Hobyo but did not clear its most controversial roadblock on the road to Adado.
- Assassinations in Galkayo in April and May continued to stoke tensions. On 22 April 2017, for example, Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the killing of a member of the Puntland Presidential Guard in Issrac neighbourhood. Encounters between Sa’ad and Omar Mohamud clan militia and civilians in rural areas continued periodically with an attack by one clan prompting reprisal by the other.
- The inauguration of a new IGA president, Ahmed Duale Gelle “Haaf”, on 29 May 2017 provided an occasion for renewed commitments to easing the conflict, including an undertaking by the IGA to open the Adado road. Although inter-clan violence continued, negotiations between the administrations and local authorities finally culminated in a new agreement between the IGA and Puntland administration on 22 June 2017. The agreement stipulated a new set of mechanisms and arrangements intended to deescalate the conflict, enhance security cooperation, and build inter-communal trust. These included the establishment of a joint police unit to conduct monitoring of boundary areas and collaborate against terrorism; a guarantee of access to grazing areas for both communities; and the launching of awareness campaigns to restore community confidence. The agreement was negotiated by a 23-member joint ad hoc committee, consisting of a range of local and regional elements from both sides.
- After protracted and fragile negotiations, the joint police unit was established in mid-July 2017. The graduation ceremony for 100 members of the unit was celebrated on 8 August, and a new joint base for the force declared. If successful, the joint patrol mechanism could serve as a model for tackling conflicts in other areas in Somalia. At the time of writing, however, there remained many threats to its success, ranging from deliberate sabotage by spoilers, to the risk of further insecurity prompting the withdrawal of forces by both sides, to the failure to find a sustainable funding instrument.
- In early September a new peace conference, led by the IGA and Puntland Vice Presidents, was convened. The Communique adopted by the parties contained important new elements, for the first time directly addressing two key areas: accountability for violence and challenging spoilers to peace. The new elements included: holding of a reconciliation conference within 90 days; decision making on accountability for incidents since the Balibusle killings, and the drafting by the Peace Committee of a law to contain the criminal incidents. Finally, the agreement also provided that the parties would recognize spoilers and “jointly face” those “against the implementation of the peace and reconciliation between the brethren people of Galmudug and Puntland”.
- The Monitoring Group investigated unregulated currency printing in Puntland during its previous mandate, concluding that counterfeit currency printed in the State Bank of Puntland without any regulation or approval from the Central Bank of Somalia had caused inflation and civil unrest on multiple occasions. In resolution 2317 (2016) the Security Council expressed “concern at the generation and distribution of counterfeit Somali currency”. The investigations conducted by the Monitoring Group during the current mandate indicate that counterfeit currency is still being distributed in Puntland, and the impact on peace and security has been significant. Puntland businessmen refer to the newly printed 1,000 shilling notes — which are often found in neat, plastic wrapped bundles and display sequential serial number — “Puntland money”.
Figure 1: “Puntland money” at currency market in Bosaso in March 2017.
- On 10 January 2017, the Inji market in Garowe was shut down after a protest against fluctuations in the Somali shilling turned violent. A non-violent protest occurred on the following day at the Parliament building of Puntland. On 26 January, another demonstration in Inji market ended up with police dispersing the crowd by firing at it.
- On 6 February, Puntland Presidential Guards protested over unpaid salaries in Garowe. The cashier assigned to process the guards’ salaries was abducted, but he was released later the same day. Another protest was held in Garowe on 26 February by the Darawish (Puntland regular forces). The protests ceased on 27 January at the same time as significant quantities of counterfeit Somali shillings appeared to the money exchange market in Garowe, strongly indicating that the Puntland forces had been paid in freshly printed money. Open source and confidential security reports from April and May 2017
indicate that the security forces of Puntland were again on the brink of mutiny because of unpaid salaries.
- The unrest fuelled by “Puntland money” spread to Hiran region at the beginning of July. On 1 July, the members of the local business community in Belet Weyne refused to accept Somali shillings as a method of cash payment, insisting on US dollars. Demonstrations turned violent on 6 July, when a mob angered by the inflation started looting stores and hawalas. The market remained closed despite the efforts of the local authorities, who tried to enforce the validity of the Somali shilling. Dollar-based mobile payment services were shut down as well. The cabinet of Puntland issued a statement on 6 July accusing Al-Shabaab of banning the use of the Somali shilling, and demanding people not comply. A representative of the Puntland administration later told the SEMG that the crisis had been caused by “Al-Shabaab, and no one else”.
- Riots fuelled by the introduction of “Puntland Money” spread to Galkayo on 20 July. On 2 August, at least 15 people were injured when hundreds of violent protestors took to the streets of Bosaso, blocking the roads and looting stores. The demonstrations continued on the following day and the market remained closed. On 5 August, local businessmen were arrested for not accepting the Somali shilling, and on 6 August the governor of Bari region and the Minister of Finance of Puntland held a press conference declaring a fixed rate for the Somali shilling, and threatening anyone who would not comply, or who would not accept “old and new currency”, with arrest.
- Also in July, businessmen in Khatumo region gradually abandoned the Somali shilling and eventually only accepted US dollars and occasionally Somaliland shillings. The final decision to stop using the Somali shilling was made in a meeting of businessmen headed by the Somaliland governor of Sool region, Abdi Khayre Dirir, on 13 July. The representatives of the Khatumo business community informed the Monitoring Group that a vast shipment of counterfeit 1,000 Somali shilling notes had arrived from Garowe by road, and that the Somaliland troops manning the checkpoint at the border had let it pass uncontested. As a result, the Somali shilling became practically worthless and the markets and shops in Las Anod closed. By mid-September, the civil unrest had spread to other parts of Sool as well as Sanaag in Somaliland, and violent protests fuelled by the countermeasures taken by the local authorities — including mass detentions of currency traders refusing to comply with the fixed exchange rates introduced by the Minister of Finance of Puntland on 3 August — continued in Puntland.
- Though the President of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gass”, denied the existence of “Puntland Money” in a Parliament session held on 6 August, the Monitoring Group concludes the Puntland authorities continue to pay the salaries of the security forces by printing counterfeit money with a printing machine located in the State Bank of Puntland, Bosaso. Both unregulated currency printing and the countermeasures taken by the Puntland administration against inflation not only endanger the peace and security in Somalia, but also promote the dollarization of the economy and complicate the goal of achieving an independent monetary policy in Somalia. The direct effect is most severe on the poorest consumers, who do not have access to US dollars.
Jazeera Properties and the construction of a seaside hotel
- Abdullahi Mohamed Nor’s preferential access to public land dates back to 2013, one year prior to his obtaining the position of State Minister of Finance within the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS). In February 2013, Nor and his business partner obtained usage rights from the then-FGS Ministry of Public Works, Ports, and Transport for an 860 m x 400 m, or 3.44 km2 (344 hectares) plot of prime seaside land in Mogadishu, adjacent to Aden Abdulle International Airport (see figure 1, below, for a demarcation of the plot). At the time of writing, Nor was proceeding with the construction of a 100-room hotel on the land.
Figure 1: Demarcation of the Jazeera land plot.
- A 10 February 2013 agreement from the Ministry granted Nor’s company, East Africa Brothers Company (EABCO), and Xalane Company — which is owned by former warlord and current Member of Parliament, Cumar Maxamed Maxamuud a.k.a. Omar “Finnish” — use of the land from 8 February 2013 to 10 February 2017 (see figure 4, below, for a copy of this agreement). The terms of the agreement required EABCO and Xalane to pay an unspecified amount of annual tax on the land. A tax receipt dated 23 November 2013 attests that for that year EABCO paid $10,320 in taxes on the land, or just $0.03 per square metre (see figure 2), which Nor claimed was in accordance with Somali tax law, adjusted according to the 1980s exchange rate of the Somali shilling to
US dollar. While Nor claimed that he had paid taxes on the plot for the years after 2013, he was unable to produce the documentation, informing the SEMG that it had been lost during an office relocation.
Figure 2: Receipt for tax paid by EABCO on the Jazeera land plot, 23 November 2013.
- The agreement did not obligate EABCO or Xalane to pay rents to the FGS, which, according to Nor, is a standard arrangement for businesses of this kind. However, during his tenure as State Minister of Finance, Nor routinely sought to collect rents on public properties leased to private companies within the Adan Adde International Airport complex (see annex 4.2.1, strictly confidential).
- Even though EABCO’s contractual access to the plot expired on 10 February 2017, Nor told the SEMG that since the company had begun construction on the land prior to that date, it maintained rights to use the land in perpetuity. However, this interpretation appears to contrast with the terms of the contract, which states in Article 7 that the duration of the patent can only be extended by authorization of the Ministry.
- On 20 April 2017, Nor and Omar “Finnish” incorporated Jazeera Properties — a holding company for the construction of their forthcoming hotel — taking a 70 per cent and 30 per cent stake, respectively (see figure 3 for the Articles of Association of Jazeera Properties).
- Despite not paying rent on the land himself, Nor has attempted to lease out a portion of the Jazeera plot to a third party, in contravention of article 8 of the 10 February 2013 contract with the Ministry of Public Works. The SEMG has reviewed August 2017
correspondence between Nor and the owner of an international private security contractor in Mogadishu, in which Nor offers for rent 24,000 square metres of the Jazeera plot adjacent to the UN Guard Unit.
Figure 3: Articles of Association for Jazeera Properties.
Figure 4: 10 February 2013 agreement between EABCO and the then-Ministry of Public Works, Ports, and Transport granting access to an 860 m x 400 m plot of public land.
Conflict with the Benadir Regional Administration
- In a letter to the SEMG dated 18 August 2017, the FGS wrote:
On l0 August the Prime Minister requested relevant ministries to provide information on the plot of land adjacent to Halane airport that is purportedly in the name of the former Minister of State for Finance Hon Abdullahi Mohamed Nur. The Mayor of Mogadishu has asked MP Abdullahi Mohamed Nur for the agreement and to cease construction. The MP has refused to cooperate and the Mayor has referred the matter to legal authorities.
- Multiple officials within the Benadir Regional Administration (BRA) have told the SEMG that Nor has refused to produce documentation asserting his rights to the land. Furthermore, they have asserted that Nor has mobilized Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers personally loyal to his family to defy the Government’s order. The SNA forces included those of Nor’s brother, who commands troops in Jazeera district.
- Nor, for his part, has told the SEMG that the FGS has not supplied any legal justification for requesting him to cease construction on the Jazeera plot. He has furthermore alleged that the BRA has attempted to use police and National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) personnel to unlawfully occupy the plot, albeit unsuccessfully. Nor denied mobilizing SNA soldiers to enforce his claims to the land.
Kasram Trading Company Ltd.
- On 24 May 2017, Kasram Trading Company Ltd. signed an agreement with the FGS to supply rations to the SNA, a contract worth approximately $10 million annually (see figure 7, below). The contract was countersigned by Liban Abdi Mohamud on behalf of Kasram.
- The Articles of Association of Kasram indicate that Abdullahi Mohamed Nor owns a one-third stake in the company (see figure 5, below). However, when contacted by the SEMG, Nor claimed that he had no relationship with Kasram and that he was not interested in “such kind of business”. In a meeting with the SEMG in Nairobi on 14 September 2017, Nor again denied ownership in Kasram and claimed to be unfamiliar with Liban Mohamud. He criticized the procurement process for the SNA rations contract as “uncompetitive” and stated that the Parliamentary Committee of Financial Oversight of Public Institutions — which Nor chairs — had found serious fault with the process.
- The bidding process for the SNA rations contract had indeed been fixed, in favour of Nor. Four companies took part in the bidding process for the SNA rations contract: Kasram, Sahal Enterprise Ltd., Fulcrum Company, and Wadajir Company (see figure 6, below, for the bidding document). The SEMG has determined, through examination of company documentation and correspondence, that both Sahal and Fulcrum, in addition to Kasram, are also part-owned by Nor. As of this writing the SEMG had been unable to determine the ownership of Wadajir Company.
Figure 5: Articles of Association for Kasram Trading Company Ltd.
Figure 6: Bidding results for SNA rations contract, dated 21 May 2017.
Figure 7: FGS contract with Kasram Trading Company Ltd. to supply SNA rations.
- On 9 May 2016, representatives of Somaliland and the Emirate of Dubai signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the port of Berbera, Somaliland. According to the contract, Dubai Ports World FZE (DP World) would develop a free zone in Berbera, invest and develop the port, and support the Somaliland authorities in building a road from Berbera to the Ethiopian border. A preliminary document defining the shareholders’ agreement indicates that DP World would have a 65 per cent share and the Berbera Port Authority would have a 35 per cent share of the joint venture, while five out of seven members of the board would be appointed by DP World, thus giving the company effective control over decision-making within the joint venture. Another preliminary document regarding the concession agreement stipulates that DP World will be required to pay a $15 million concession fee to Somaliland.
- On 9 August 2016, the House of Representatives of Somaliland convened in Hargeisa. Seventy-three members were present, while nine members were absent for the session. The Chair informed the MPs that DP World had been chosen by the president of Somaliland to develop and manage the Port of Berbera. The MPs were also informed that DP World had already paid $5 million as the first instalment of the $15 million concession fee, routed through the Somaliland ambassador to the UAE, Basha Awil Omar, who is also the nephew of the president, to the Somaliland minister of finance, Zamzam Abdi Adan. It was further announced that all MPs supporting the joint venture would be paid $15,000 each. In the ensuing vote, the motion was approved, with 69 votes in favour and four votes against. The members of Waddani, an opposition party, told the SEMG that they received their payoffs from Bashe Mohamed Farah, deputy speaker of the house of representatives of Somaliland.
Figure 1: Minister of finance of Somaliland, Zamzam Abdi Adan in the Bank of Somaliland with the $5 million payment from DP World, 2 January 2017.
- On 12 February 2017, the house of representatives and the Guurti (upper house), were assembled to discuss a UAE military based planned to be built in Berbera. The Chair of the Guurti, Suleiman Mahmud Adan, presided over the session. He informed the MPs present that the president of Somaliland was requesting their approval for the UAE military base. Prior to the vote, eight members of Waddani who had objected to the deal were physically removed from the parliament building by security guards. The ensuing vote was cast 144 in favour and two against. The MPs who voted in favour of the military base were paid $10,000 each. Bashe Mohamed Farah again distributed payments to members of Waddani party.
Figure 1: Letter from the MFMR to Puntland.
Figure 2: Letter from the MFMR to Thailand.
Figure 3: Puntland license for the fishing vessel Chotchainavee 35.
Figure 4: Interim Agreement on Tuna Licensing, dated 7 May 2017.
Resource sharing agreement
- As noted by the SEMG in its previous report (S/2016/919, para. 148), a resource sharing agreement among the FGS and federal member states should be implemented before any further oil contracts. In 2016, then Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke signed an “Interim Petroleum Sharing Agreement” with the president of the Interim Galmudug Administration (IGA) and with the president of the Interim Southwest Administration (ISWA), but not with Puntland and the other interim administrations. Even though the terms of these agreements are identical, the risk of conflict over natural resources would be lower if resource sharing was negotiated collectively among the FGS and the regions rather than bi-laterally. Furthermore, any sector-specific resource sharing agreement among the FGS and federal member states should be made explicitly on an interim basis, subject to compatibility with an overall resource sharing framework derived through the constitutional review process. Important issues for the constitutional review process to clarify are not only the distribution of revenue among the FGS and federal member states, but also control over the resources (i.e. who has authority to agree contracts with companies). This currently remains subject to dispute as the FGS cites authority under the 2008 Petroleum Law, while Puntland and certain interim administrations cite authority under the 2012 Provisional Constitution.
Model Production Sharing Agreement
- A production sharing agreement (PSA), rather than a joint venture, has become the most common structure for contracts with oil companies. In a press release dated 28 December 2015, the MPMR announced that the law firm IMMMA Advocates, a member of the DLA Piper Africa Group based in Dar es Salam, Tanzania, had been engaged through the African Legal Support Facility of the African Development Bank to develop a model PSA. Mohamed Mukhtar Ibrahim, then Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, stated, “It is only after finalizing this model along with other ongoing political and legal issues that Somalia will be able to enter into PSA agreements”. An initial draft of the model PSA was sent to the Financial Governance Committee (FGC) for confidential review, and the FGC’s recommendations have been incorporated by the MPMR into a revised model PSA. The FGC further recommended that the model PSA should be the basis for any specific PSAs, which should then also be approved by the Interim National Procurement Board and the Cabinet. However, it remains unclear when the model PSA itself will be formally approved.
- The MPMR, with the assistance of two World Bank consultants, has revised and updated the 2008 Petroleum Law in the form of a draft 2017 Petroleum Law to be submitted to Parliament. The draft states that income from petroleum will be distributed
in accordance with the Federal Constitution of Somalia (Article 4), although the constitution has yet to be adopted. The text articulates the role of MPMR and establishes and outlines the functions of the Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA) (Articles 11-13). The draft 2017 Petroleum Law defers establishment of the Somali National Oil Company (SONOC) to another subsequent law (Article 14). It establishes a Petroleum Registry, including a provision allowing for public access to information (Article 16). The draft 2017 Petroleum Law further includes transparency-related content regarding public access to SPA information and obligations to disclose and publish payments, including those made by SONOC (Articles 38-39). The proposed legislation also stipulates that contracts with the Somali Democratic Republic up to 30 December 1990 can be converted into PSAs within a timeframe of one year from the law coming into force (Article 44). At the time of writing, it remains unclear when the draft 2017 Petroleum Law will be submitted to the Parliament for consideration.
Registry of concessions
- The MPMR does not have complete, comprehensive information regarding existing concessions. Compiling a central registry of concessions has been a priority of the MPMR, but little progress has been made (S/2016/919, para. 84). The MPMR dispatched letters to oil companies during the previous mandate, with an uneven response rate. According to a letter from the MPMR to the SEMG dated 18 August 2017, some companies have terminated their force majeure claims, while others have not replied to the MPMR. One obstacle remains incomplete MPMR records regarding the pre-1991 force majeure claims. Another obstacle is a lack of transparency and MPMR access to information regarding oil contracts that have been agreed by Somaliland and Puntland. According to the MPMR, there are seven oil companies operating in Somaliland and Puntland without the consent of the FGS. Meanwhile, there remains a need for a central registry of concessions, as stipulated in Article 16 of the draft 2017 Petroleum Bill. Among other functions, this could help mitigate against situations arising where there are conflicting claims made by different oil companies — backed by different political entities — which pose a risk of armed conflict.
Public Financial Management
- Ineffective management of natural resource revenue would increase the risk of misappropriation of public finances and impede much needed economic development. The FGC has recommended that a section on natural resource revenue management be included in the Public Financial Management Bill. Among other points, this section could include: creating dedicated sub-accounts under the Treasury Single Account at the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) for each type of natural resource; a requirement for the FGS and federal member states to reach agreement on natural resource revenue sharing; transparency for the dedicated sub-accounts, including annual reporting by the Minister of Finance; drawdowns from the dedicated sub-accounts requiring inclusion in the Federal Budget and parliamentary appropriation; with the agreement with federal member states, fiscal rules establishing an annual proportion of natural resource revenue that must be saved; and federal member state approval for how natural resource revenue
savings would be subsequently invested and expended. In a 16 June 2017 letter to the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the Minister of Finance, Abdirahman Duale Beileh, and the Governor of the CBS, Bashir Issa Ali, committed to including within the Public Financial Management bill a clause establishing principles for natural resource revenue management.
Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
- Both the 2008 Petroleum Law and the draft 2017 Petroleum Law correctly differentiate the policymaking functions of the MPMR from the operational functions of the Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA), which include responsibility for granting and regulating concessions. In the absence of an established and functional SPA, the MPMR has gone beyond its role as a political entity tasked with establishing Government policy to also the de facto technical role of negotiating and implementing agreements. However, by its own admission, the MPMR is ill-equipped for the task of negotiating oil contracts. In response to a letter from the SEMG received 26 August 2016, the MPMR acknowledged the need for further technical capacity to engage in negotiations, including a petroleum economist, contract negotiator, and an accountant. To the knowledge of the SEMG, these gaps in the MPMR’s technical capacity have not yet been addressed. Furthermore, in May 2017 the MPMR declined to renew the contracts of two World Bank consultants, who had been instrumental to updating the 2008 Petroleum Law and revising the model PSA.
Somali Petroleum Authority
- Although the 2008 Petroleum Law provides for the establishment of a Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA), in practice this regulatory body for the oil industry does not yet exist. The draft 2017 Petroleum Law proposes an SPA comprised of nine members, with three members appointed by the FGS and the other six appointed by federal member states (Article 13). However, until passage of the 2017 Petroleum Law and “when the Federal Government of Somalia determines that the SPA has the capacity to carry out its mandate”, the MPMR will continue to assume the responsibilities and powers of the SPA. The MPMR’s gaps in capacity for negotiation of oil contracts raise reasonable questions regarding its capacity for implementation of oil contracts, which would require meeting an even higher technical threshold for tasks that are more appropriately assumed by a regulatory authority. Moreover, the assumption of regulatory functions by a political institution, the MPMR, increases the risk of conflicts of interest and associated contention within the oil sector.
Somali National Oil Company
- Technically, the 2008 Petroleum Law established a national oil company, referred to as Somali Petroleum Corporation, but for all practical purposes it has existed in name only. The draft 2017 Petroleum Law, intended to supersede the 2008 Petroleum Law, defers establishment of the Somali National Oil Company (SONOC) as a commercial
entity owned by the Federal Republic of Somalia to participate in oil operations (Article 14). SONOC would be entitled to participate in PSAs up to a 20 per cent share, while federal member state-owned contractors would be entitled to participate in PSAs up to a 10 per cent share (Article 29). However, Somalia would be unable to fully realize the economic benefits of commercial participation within the country’s oil sector should the MPMR conclude new oil deals prior to the establishment of a functional national oil company.
- On 8 August 2017, the Monitoring Group wrote to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), including the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MPMR), requesting clarification regarding certain withdrawals by the MPMR from the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS). The CBS accounts reflect withdrawals by the MPMR of $135,000 on 6 September 2016, $135,000 on 28 September 2016, $90,000 on 26 December 2016, and $30,000 on 13 February 2017, with the descriptions listed as either “Strategic Natural Resource Management” or “Strategic Natural Resource”. The SEMG specifically requested information regarding which individual at the MPMR was responsible for the withdrawal of a total of $390,000 from the CBS and for what purpose these funds had been applied.
- The FGS replied with a letter from the MPMR dated 16 August 2017, stating that the expenditure of $390,000 had been authorized by the previous Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mohamed Mukhtar Ibrahim, for a study of the Somalia oil sector by Strategic Natural Resource Management & Consultants Inc. (SNRM). However, the attachments regarding the agreement between the MPMR and SNRM and the withdrawals from the CBS were missing. In a letter dated 23 August 2017, the SEMG requested a copy of the agreement between the MPMR and SNRM, a copy of the report produced by SNRM, and clarification regarding which individual was responsible for the withdrawals from the CBS. On 5 September 2017, the FGS replied, transmitting a copy of the report by SRNM, invoices from SNRM (see figure 1), and payment authorizations by the MPMR (see figure 2), but stating that the MPMR was not able to locate a copy of the agreement with SNRM.
- The Monitoring Group is unaware of any public tendering process having been conducted by the MPMR for the award of a contract for $390,000 to SNRM, and as such the SEMG remains unable to determine the basis on which SNRM was selected. To put the contract in perspective, it represents an expenditure equivalent to more than half of the annual budget of the MPMR. The SEMG has been unable to verify the identity of Abdirahman Hussein, who is named within the report and on a payment authorization from the MPMR as the Director of SNRM. Likewise, the SEMG remains unable to confirm any details regarding SNRM. Raising further doubts regarding the author of the report, the back cover indicates a different name, Somali Centre for Natural Resource Management, which also does not have an online presence and is similarly unknown to experts on the Somalia oil sector. At the time of writing, a request from the SEMG to Trust African Bank in Mogadishu regarding identification of the individual beneficiary of SNRM’s account remained pending.
- In addition to the qualifications of the report’s author and the process of its production remaining ambiguous, the quality of the report does not correlate with the MPMR’s high expenditure. According to a former World Bank consultant, the report represents an “unnecessary and voluminous re-hash of previously existing data sources that draws no new, precise or useful conclusions, and comes at a seemingly high cost to a tightly constrained Ministry budget”.
Figure 1: invoice from Strategic Natural Resource Management & Consultants Inc.
Figure 2: authorization for payment by Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
- In its 2016 report (S/2016/919, annex 8.10) the Monitoring Group detailed a network of Puntland-based arms smugglers and illegal fishing agents, many of whom belong to what the Group has referred to as the Qandala-Hafun network. During the present mandate, the SEMG has confirmed that many of these individuals remain active; a list of these individuals is presented below.
- Active members of the Qandala-Hafun network referred to in S/2016/919:
- Mahad Isse Aden “Laboballe” (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan)
- Said Gul Ismail (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan)
- Isse Mohamoud Yusuf “Yullux” (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan)
- Mohamed Mire Ali Yusuf “Soodareeri” (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan)
- Abdirisak Ali Said Hussein “Shahdon” a.k.a. Shahdon Ali Yare (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan)
- Mohamed Abdi Muse (Majeerteen/Osman Mohamud)
- Abdimalik Mohamed Abdi Muse
- Abdilatif Yusuf Barre (Deshishe)
- Abdifatah Hayir (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan)
- Hussein Said Yusuf
- Liban Yusuf Mohamed a.k.a. Liban Dheere (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan)
- Mohamed Hussein Said Yusuf
- Faiso Said Hasan Ismail
- Individuals identified during the current mandate:
- Abdi Mohamed Omar “Dhofaye”: Associate of Mahad Isse Aden “Laboballe” and a known arms supplier to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction in Puntland’s Bari region;
- Buruj Mohamed Ali Farah (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan/Ismail Ali): skiff operator, associate of Abdi Mohamed Omar “Dhofaye” and Mahad Isse Aden “Laboballe” and known ISIL arms supplier;
- Mohamud Mohamed Ali a.k.a. “Gaagale” (Majeerteen/Isse Mohamud): a police officer and arms broker based in Garowe; owner of Gaagale Company;
- Abshir Mohamed Barre (Darod/Jambeel): arms supplier on for the Puntland administration; affiliated with Bosaso-based auto parts dealer Bahaya Spare Parts;
- Ahmed Isse Yusuf Mahamud (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan): son of Isse Mohamoud Yusuf “Yullux”.
Figure 1: Phone network analysis of Puntland arms smugglers, October 2016-June 2017.
Figure 2: Said Gul Ismail in Qandala, 6 March 2017.
Abshir Mohamed Barre and Bahaya Spare Parts
- The SEMG is aware of multiple small arms shipments from Yemen brokered by Abshir Mohamed Barre in October and November 2016 on behalf of the Puntland administration, in partnership with Ahmed Yasin Salah, the former Puntland Deputy Minister of Finance. The reason for the surge of arms shipments at that time was to replenish stocks depleted during the fighting between Puntland and Galmudug forces in Galkayo, which reached its highest intensity from 7 October to 1 November 2016 (see annex 3.1). One of these shipments took place on 25 October, and Barre met with senior Puntland officials in Bosaso to organize delivery and receive payment.
- On the night of 29 November — when members of the SEMG were on mission in Bosaso — Barre was arrested in Marero, an illicit smuggling point roughly 15 km east of Bosaso, in connection with a small shipment of ammunition and PKMs that had arrived the same night. However, Puntland authorities released Barre shortly thereafter, apparently because they discovered that shipment was destined for the Puntland government. An SEMG request to Bosaso port police to inspect the seized weapons shipment was denied on the grounds that the investigation was ongoing.
- Barre’s mobile phone activity corroborates his involvement in arms smuggling over this period. Between late October and mid-November 2016, Barre exchanged 179 calls with a phone number belonging to a Yemeni arms dealer, who is also an associate of prominent Puntland arms smuggler Abdi Mohamed Omar “Dhofaye” (see “Case study: the Fatah Al Khayr and ISIL arms procurement”, below).
Bahaya Spare Parts
- Barre is affiliated with the company Bahaya Spare Parts, a major supplier of automotive spare parts in Puntland, with at least three locations in Bosaso and additional branches in Garowe and Galkayo (see figure 4, below, for a photograph of the flagship store in Bosaso). Bahaya is owned by a parent company based in Dubai, Bahaya General Trading Co. LLC, of which Barre’s father and brother, Ahmed Mohamed Barre and Mahamoud Mohamed Barre, are part owners (see figure 5).
- Figure 3, below, displays the mobile phone activity for Abshir Mohamed Barre from December 2016 to June 2017. Over that period, Barre had numerous contacts with his arms trafficking partner, Ahmed Yasin Salah, the former Puntland deputy minister of finance. Barre’s link chart also shows contacts with other known arms smugglers, including Buruj Mohamed Ali Farah and Said Yusuf Timowayne Mohamed a.k.a. Said Atto (see “Case study: the Fatah Al Khayr and ISIL arms procurement”, below), as well as another reputed arms dealer, Mohamed Bayre (Darod/Harti/Deshishe). Barre also shows contacts with three members of the Qandala-Hafun arms smuggling network: Abdilatif Yusuf Barre, Said Gul Ismail, and Abdifatah Hayir (see S/2016/919, annex 8.10).
Figure 3: Phone network analysis of Abshir Mohamed Barre, December 2016-June 2017.
Figure 4: Bahaya Spare Parts flagship store in Bosaso, 8 March 2017.
Figure 5: Ownership of Bahaya General Trading, Dubai, the parent company of Bahaya Spare Parts.
Case study: the Fatah Al Khayr and ISIL arms procurement
- On 28 April 2017, the Somali-registered general cargo dhow Fatah Al Khayr arrived at Bosaso port from Mukalla, Yemen, carrying a cargo of illicit pistols. Prior to arriving at port, the vessel had been interdicted at position 11 26N, 049 32E — approximately 1 km from the Somali coast — by the USS Hué City, which subsequently conducted a routine flag verification boarding. However, no contraband was discovered (see figure 8, below).
- On 30 April, the intended recipient of the arms shipment, Abdi Hassan Ali, arrived to collect it, leading the Puntland port police to initiate a full search of the vessel. Police subsequently discovered 16 illicit pistols and 2,030 rounds of 7.62×25 mm pistol ammunition concealed in cartons of dates and bags of rice.
- A subsequent investigation by the SEMG found that the material discovered at Bosaso port was only one part of a larger arms shipment that had been loaded by skiffs in Shabwa Governorate, Yemen, and subsequently transported to the towns of Mudiye and Habo on Puntland’s north-east coast. A component of that shipment — which included AK-pattern rifles and PK machine guns — was subsequently delivered to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction near the town of Unuun in Bari region sometime between 1 and 3 May 2017.
- The arms shipment was supplied by Yemeni national Khaled Ahmed Ahmed Al-Sand (see figure 6, below, for Ahmed’s passport image) and his partner Farah Ismail Ali, a Somali national living in Yemen. On the Somalia side, the shipment was brokered by known arms dealers belonging to the Qandala-Hafun network: Abdi Mohamed Omar “Dhofaye” (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan/Ismail Ali) and Mahad Isse Aden “Laboballe” (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan). Buruj Mohamed Ali Farah (Majeerteen/Ali Salebaan/Ismail Ali), a subordinate of “Dhofaye”, subsequently transported the shipment by skiff from Mukalla to the Puntland coast.
Figure 1: Certificate of registration for the dhow Fatah Al Khayr.
Approximate timeline of the Fatah Al Khayr shipment
1-7 April: The Fatah Al Khayr arrives in Mukalla port, Yemen. It offloads a cargo of livestock and takes on foodstuffs for the return journey to Somalia.
7-9 April: A skiff piloted by Buruj Mohamed Ali Farah travels from Shabwa governorate at Mukalla with a cargo of pistols supplied by Yemen-based Somali arms dealer Farah Ismail Ali. Buruj Farah subsequently rendezvouses with the Fatah Al Khayr and transfers the pistols. Farah then returns to Yemen to load heavier weapons, including AK-pattern rifles and PKMs, destined for the ISIL faction, along with a second skiff piloted by an unknown individual.
21 April: The skiff piloted by Buruj Farah arrives in Mudiye, while the second skiff arrives at Habo.
28 April: The Fatah Al Khayr is boarded and searched by the USS Hué City while en route from Yemen to Somalia, but no contraband is discovered. The same day, the Fatah Al Khayr docks in Bosaso port with a legitimate cargo of foodstuffs plus 16 illicit pistols and 2,030 rounds of pistol ammunition destined for sale on the Bosaso black market.
30 April: Abdi Hassan Ali attempts to retrieve the consignment of pistols from the Fatah Al Khayr but is arrested by Puntland port police and subsequently transferred to Bosaso Central Prison.
1-3 May: From Mudiye, the bulk of the arms consignment is transported inland to the village of Unuun (11°10’40”, 50°25’58”), approximately 50 km south, where it is received by ISIL militants.
- The Fatah Al Khayr presents an illustrative case study of the modalities of a typical arms smuggling operation from Yemen to northern Somalia, which tend to involve small shipments but occur frequently, perhaps as often as several times per month. Phone record analysis of the relevant subjects indicate that the two components of the shipment — the 16 pistols seized at Bosaso port and the ISIL consignment — were brokered by distinct smuggling networks; consequently, the two cases are treated as distinct below.
The Bosaso pistol shipment
- When the SEMG requested to inspect the captured weaponry on 6 June 2017 in Bosaso, the port police informed the Group that the material had been transferred to Garowe and was therefore unavailable.
- Abdi Hassan Ali, who was arrested attempting to retrieve the shipment, claimed to represent a consortium of livestock traders who had agreed to exchange their livestock transported aboard the Fatah Al Khayr (at a value of approximately $22,000) for pistols in Yemen. According to Ali, the pistols were intended to be sold at an illicit market in Bosaso operated by Said Yusuf Timowayne Mohamed a.k.a. Said Atto, a claim corroborated by an analysis of phone records (see figure 7, below). Bosaso port police reported that they had captured 16 pistols; however, Ali told the SEMG that the consignment had originally consisted of 22 pistols. Ali’s account is consistent with the $22,000 he claimed the consortium had paid for the pistols.
- The Fatah Al Khayr is owned by Bosaso-based businessman Dahir Mohamed Hassan and captained by Mohamed Hassan Isaq Osman. Dahir Hassan claimed to have had no knowledge of the smuggling activities of his vessel or captain. However, phone records show that preceding and during the smuggling run Hassan was in frequent contact with Abdi Mohamed Omar “Dhofaye”, one of two brokers of the ISIL component of the Fatah Al Khayr arms shipment. Notwithstanding, the SEMG does not currently assess that Hassan was directly involved in procuring the ISIL shipment.
Figure 2: Pistols, packaged in plastic, seized by Puntland port police from the Fatah Al Khayr on 30 April 2017.
- The pistol seizure consisted of what appear to be 14 NP-42 pistols, as well as two Type 59 copies of the Russian-model Makarov pistols, which can be identified by their brown handgrips. The NP-42s sell for approximately $1,400 in the illicit arms markets in Bosaso; the Makarovs copies, between $1,200 and $1,300. On 3 July 2017, the SEMG sent a tracing request to the relevant Member State for one of the Type 59 pistols seized from the Fatah Al Khayr (serial number D07741), but did not receive a reply.
- Bosaso port police also claimed they seized 29 cardboard boxes of pistol ammunition, containing a total of 2,030 rounds of 7.62×25 mm ammunition. The Monitoring Group identified the markings on the ammunition boxes as Pobjeda Gorazde ammunition plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslavia, produced in 1957.
Figure 3: 1 of the 29 ammunition boxes seized off the Fatah Al Khayr by Bosaso port police on 30 April 2017.
Figure 4: 7.62×25 mm round manufactured at Kilmovsk – 711 factory in the former Soviet Union.
Figure 5: 7.62×25 mm round manufactured at Kouskovo – 304 factory in the former Soviet Union.
- However, the fact that this the ammunition contained in the boxes did not match the packaging, as well as the considerable age of the ammunition, make these munitions particularly difficult to trace.
The ISIL arms shipment
- Following the delivery of pistols to the Fatah Al Khayr, Buruj Farah returned to Shabwa with his skiff and loaded additional arms, predominantly consisting of AK-pattern rifles and PKMs supplied by Yemeni national Khaled Ahmed Ahmed Al-Sand (see figure 6, below, for a redacted copy of Ahmed’s passport) and his Somali partner Farah Ismail Ali. On 21 April, Farah arrived with the shipment at Mudiye on Puntland’s north-east coast; a second skiff, piloted by an unknown individual, proceeded to Habo with an additional consignment of arms. From 1-3 May, part of the consignment was transported inland from Mudiye to the village of Unuun, where ISIL militants took possession. The remainder of the consignment was brought to Bosaso, to the storehouse of Mahad Isse Aden “Laboballe” a prominent Bosaso-based arms dealer who was named in the SEMG’s 2016 report as one of two brokers responsible for a shipment into the Qandala area on 2 May 2016 (see S/2016/919, annex 8.10).
- Phone network analysis and cell tower location data corroborate the involvement of the triad of “Laboballe”, Abdi Mohamed Omar “Dhofaye” and Buruj Farah in the shipment. For instance, cell phone activity for Buruj Farah ceases from 9 to 14 April and again from 16 to 30 April, consistent with him being at sea for prolonged periods during the month.
Figure 6: Redacted passport image of Khaled Ahmed Ahmed Al-Sand, the Shabwa-based supplier of the arms delivered to the ISIL faction.
- It is not known what amount, if any, the ISIL faction paid for the shipment. One possibility is that the ISIL leadership demanded a percentage of the shipment in exchange for allowing it free passage. This scenario would be consistent with the Monitoring Group’s assessment that the recapture of Qandala by Puntland forces in December 2016 has pushed the arms trade further east, necessitating that arms smugglers conduct their trade through territory controlled, at least partially, by the ISIL faction.
- Figure 7, below, presents a network chart of the mobile phone activity in April 2017 for the key individuals involved in the Fatah Al Khayr arms smuggling operation. Over this period, Abdi Hassan Ali was in frequent contact with Said Yusuf Timowayne Mohamed a.k.a. Said Atto, supporting Ali’s claim that Said Atto was the intended reseller of the pistols smuggled into Bosaso on board the Fatah Al Khayr. Said Atto is also shown to be in contact with Ahmed Omar Ali, who has been identified as an arms dealer potentially affiliated with the ISIL faction.
- Abdi Mohamed Omar “Dhofaye” is also shown to be in frequent phone contact with both Buruj Mohamed Ali Farah and Mahad Isse Aden “Laboballe” in April, corroborating their central role in importing the arms shipment.
Figure 7: Phone network chart of the key individuals in the Fatah Al Khayr arms smuggling operation, April 2017.
Figure 8: Storyboard of the flag verification boarding of the Fatah Al Khayr by the USS Hué City on 28 April 2017.
March 2017 Alula arms shipment
- Figure 1, below, displays Mohamed Abdi Muse’s relevant mobile phone activity from 3 to 9 March 2017, the time leading up to the Alula shipment. During this window, Muse made a total of 16 calls to three distinct Thuraya satellite devices, which the SEMG believes were on board the three dhows of Iranian origin delivering the shipment. Muse also shows phone contacts with a member of the Qandala-Hafun arms smuggling network, Abdimalik Mohamed Abdi Muse. Abdimalik Muse, like Mohamed Abdi Muse, had previously been in telephone contact with arms smugglers on board the Iran-registered dhow Nasir, which was interdicted en route to Somalia by the Australian naval vessel HMAS Melbourne on 24 September 2015 while carrying a cargo primarily comprised of 75 anti-tank missiles (see S/2016/919, annex 8.10). The above strongly suggests that Abdimalik Muse remains part of a network based in the Alula/Habo area with connections to arms smugglers in Iran.
Figure 1: Mohamed Abdi Muse’s relevant mobile phone communications, 3-9 March 2017.
Figure 1: Skiff carrying arms en route from Yemen to Somalia, 22 September 2017, navigated by Buruj Mohamed Ali Farah.
Figure 2: Position of the skiff at 15:30 UTC +3 on 22 September 2017.
Figure 3: Arms seized by Puntland forces near Bosaso, 23 September 2017.
- On 20 March 2016, the French naval vessel La Provence, operating as part of the Combined Task Force 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces, stopped and boarded a stateless dhow (tilly plate: 4/3972) approximately 150 km north-east of Alula, Puntland, which was heading toward Somalia. The dhow bore the markings of the shipping company “Al Mansoor CO SA”, and of “Konarak Iran” as home port. The captain was identified as “Sajed Arjamand” (see figure 1, below). A subsequent search of the vessel revealed a cargo of assault and sniper rifles, machine guns and anti-tank missiles.
- Between 7 and 9 March 2017, the SEMG was granted access to weapons storages in France in order to conduct a thorough inspection. The SEMG has established the following facts with respect to this arms seizure:
- The 2,000 assault rifles had characteristics consistent with Iranian-produced KLS 7.62 mm assault rifles, though no factory markings were observed. Their appearance suggested that they were newly manufactured. Many serial numbers among the 2,000 appear in sequential order, which raises the possibility that the rifles originated from state weapon storage (see figure 2, below).
- The 64 sniper rifles documented in the seizure had characteristics consistent with Iranian-produced SVD sniper rifles (Hoshdar-M), though no factory markings were observed. Their appearance suggested that they were newly manufactured. Most of the serial numbers appear in sequential order, which raises the possibility that the originated from state weapon storage (see figure 3, below).
Anti-tank guided missiles
- The nine anti-tank guided missiles documented in the seizure had characteristics consistent with Russian-produced 9M133-1 Kornets, manufactured in 2008 and assembled by the Konstruktorskoe Buro Priborostroeniya (KBP Instrument Design Bureau) in Tula, Russian Federation (see figure 4, below). On 1 June 2017, the SEMG sent a letter to the Russian Federation seeking additional information about the missiles, including copies of end user certificates. The SEMG’s letter included box, missile, and assembled box serial numbers for each of the nine missiles, as well as 16 photographs of missile components. On 30 August 2017, the SEMG received a response indicating that “the information and documents provided by the SEMG do not unfortunately allow to identify the aforementioned missiles and answer the questions”.
- The six light machine guns have characteristics consistent with Type 73 light machine guns designed and manufactured in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
(DPRK). According to a defence analysis publication, the Islamic Republic of Iran appears as the only country to have an army equipped with the Type 73, apart from the DPRK. According to the intelligence consultancy Armament Research Services (ARES), “Iran received the Type 73 GPMG [general purpose machine gun] from North Korea, likely during the late 1970s to mid-1980s, and employed these weapons during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. Iran has continued to employ the Type 73 GPMG in a reserve role in recent years”.
- On 3 May 2017, the SEMG sent a letter to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to obtain information about the possible export of Type 73 machine guns. No response had been received as of this writing.
- For photographs of the Type 73 machine guns, see figure 5, below.
- The optical sights discovered in the same seizure were intended to be used with the SVD sniper rifles. The SEMG has obtained evidence that they were manufactured between 2014 and 2015 and were subsequently exported to an Iran-based company (see annex 7.2.1 (strictly confidential)).
- During an SEMG mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran from 18-21 September, Iranian authorities assured the Group that they would investigate the case.
SEMG mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran
- During an SEMG mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran from 18-21 September, Iranian authorities strongly denied any state involvement in the shipment of weapons to Somalia,adding that Iran had no strategic interests in Somalia. The authorities informed the Group that the owner of the company associated with the dhow that was boarded, Al Mansoor CO SA, had previously fled Iran owing approximately $750,000 in unpaid taxes. They added that most Al Mansoor manufactured dhows had been resold to private individuals, with many sold to Pakistani nationals.
- Iranian authorities also questioned the Group’s assessment that the assault rifles seized were Iranian-manufactured KLS-7.62 mm rifles, and asked whether a Member State would make the mistake of including weapons with sequential serial numbers if it were involved in the smuggling of such weapons. They indicated that certain Member States were seeking to attribute the shipment to Iran.
- Finally, the Iranian authorities assured the Monitoring Group that it would investigate the Iran-based company associated with the optical sights seized from the dhow.
Figure 1: Redacted copy of identity document belonging to Captain Sajed Arjamand of the stateless dhow boarded by La Provence on 20 March 2016.
Figures 2: KLS 7 assault rifles seized by La Provence.
Figure 3: SVD sniper rifles (Hoshdar-M) seized by La Provence.
Figure 4: Photographs of anti-tank guided missiles (9M133-1 Kornet) seized by La Provence.
Figure 5: General-purpose machine guns (Type-73) seized by La Provence.
Annex 7.2.1: Belarus sights (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*
26 April 2017 inspection
- On 26 April 2017, the SEMG was given access to the Halane Central Armoury (Halane) located within the greater airport complex in Mogadishu. The SEMG surveyed all weapons and ammunition in the facility, as well as other non-lethal military equipment stored at the site.
- The SEMG identified the following weapons and ammunition from a delivery of military equipment from the Arab Republic of Egypt in July 2016:
· 6 Tokarev 9 mm pistols;
· 58 AK-47-type assault rifles;
· 3 M91 sniper rifles;
· 4 signal pistols (with 320 red and white 26.5 mm flares);
· 3 RPD machine guns;
· 7.62×54 mm ammunition;
· 7,200 rounds of 7.62×39 mm ammunition.
- Most of the weapons notified to the Committee had been recorded as marked and registered in the logbooks by the SNA. Nevertheless, the SEMG noted several discrepancies:
- First, although 61 AK-47s had been notified as due for delivery, only 58 had been registered at Halane. Second, the shipment had been notified to the Committee as including 113,200 rounds of 7.62×39 mm ammunition. There was, however, no registration of ammunition from the shipment in the logbooks. The SEMG conducted its own count of this calibre of ammunition in the facility and noted 7,200 rounds. It was unclear therefore what quantity of ammunition had arrived at the facility, or had been distributed.
- In addition to the materiel from the July 2016 Egypt shipment, the SEMG identified other materiel from previous consignments notified to the Committee:
· 9 mm ammunition identified as part of a previous notified shipment;
· 7.62×25 mm ammunition for Tokarev pistols;
- 62×54 mm ammunition;
· 23 optical sights for Type 77 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine guns;
- The SEMG also identified some obsolete material and ammunition already documented by the Group in 2011 and 2012 as materiel received from AMISOM and the former Transitional Federal Government (TFG):
· 25 obsolete 60 mm mortar launchers;
· 29 obsolete RPG-7 launchers manufactured in 2010;
· 25 obsolete RPG-2 launchers;
· Obsolete 81 mm mortar launchers;
· Obsolete B-10 recoilless rifles;
· 14.5×114 mm ammunition; and
- 7×108 mm ammunition.
29 August 2017 inspection
- The SEMG accessed Halane again on 29 August 2017 and conducted a second limited survey of weapons and ammunition, as well as non-lethal military equipment, stored on site.
- The last notified shipment of military equipment recorded in the Halane weapons and ammunition logbooks was from Djibouti, which had arrived in June. By the time of the SEMG’s visit, most of the consignment had already been distributed. The SEMG documented approximately 30 boxes of AK-47 ammunition in white wheat bags, which were still in Halane.
- The majority of the weapons and ammunition in Halane observed during the visit were from a consignment — according to correspondence sent by the FGS to the Committee — from the People’s Republic of China, which had arrived in Mogadishu on 7 August 2017. Officials at Halane informed the SEMG that they were in the process of marking and registering the weapons from the shipment. While the Group was unable to undertake a full inventory of the items due to time constraints, and the fact that the boxes were sealed, it was able to document and photograph the following items:
- DShK / Type 85 12.7 mm anti-aircraft weapons, including mounts;
- Type 67-2 heavy machine guns;
- AK-47s pattern assault rifles;
- 38 mm automatic anti-riot grenade launchers;
- 38 mm tear gas cartridges;
- 62×39 mm ammunition;
- 7 mm ammunition;
- Type 69 40 mm HEAT projectiles (rocket-propelled grenades); and
- a large quantity of PKM machine gun ammunition rounds.
- The SEMG noted with concern that, on the day of the visit, there was only one officer engaged in marking the materiel which had arrived from China. General Ahmed Ibrahim Mohamed explained that the marking team had been reduced from 12 to five personnel which had affected the pace of the marking and registration process.
- Distribution of weapons and ammunition is authorized by the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) of the Somali National Army (SNA). If the CDF is not available, the second in command may authorize distribution. The key documents generated during the process are:
- Distribution order: the CDF issues a signed distribution order that includes the type, quantity, purpose, and receiving unit of the weapons and ammunition to be distributed. A copy of the distribution order must be kept at Office the CDF, another at Halane armoury, and a third with the Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA).
- Distribution voucher: vouchers are issued and signed by the Commander of Halane armoury or his deputy, based on receipt of a distribution order. A copy is kept at Halane, one is sent to the CDF, and a third to the receiving unit.
- Logbook: the logbook template was designed by the Joint Verification Team (JVT) to allow for entry and exit of an item to be recorded on the same line for ease of tracking. There are two separate logbooks for weapons and ammunition, which are signed by the officer-in-charge.
Figure 1: Logbook template designed by the Joint Verification Team (JVT).
Ammunition distribution procedures
- During its visit to Halane on 26 April 2017, the SEMG observed that the correct procedure was generally being implemented with respect to distribution of ammunition. An example of a correctly implemented distribution procedure is provided below, though the distribution order lacked specification to the unit level.
Figure 2: Distribution order dated 14 August 2016, authorizing Halane to deliver 8,640 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 4,000 rounds of PKM ammunition and 640 rounds of DShK ammunition to SNA Sector 12.
Figure 3: Completed distribution voucher signed by the Halane commander.
Figure 4: Logbook updated accordingly.
- The SEMG identified two areas where the procedure could be improved:
- Indication of the precise amount of ammunition required: Many distribution orders noted only the number of boxes (sanduuq in Somali) instead of the exact number of rounds (xabo in Somali) distributed. To better monitor the distribution of ammunition, the exact amount of ammunition should be indicated on the distribution documents.
- Accurate completion of the logbook: In some cases, distributed ammunition was not indicated on the same line of the logbook that had recorded its receipt.
Figure 5: Weapon logbook with inadequately completed fields for distribution of PKM ammunition.
Weapons distribution procedures
- The Group was given access to the weapons logbooks which included records of the receipt of weapons supplied by the Arab Republic of Egypt in August 2016. The logbooks showed accurate registration of all six 9 mm Tokarev pistols and 58 AK-47s received in the shipment. However, three AK-47s listed in the advance delivery notification not been registered in the logbook.
- The SEMG also reviewed a logbook dedicated to RPG-7s, containing only two entries. Key fields had been left unfilled in the two entries, such as the date of arrival, the shipment of origin, the CDF distribution order reference, the original serial number, and the SNA marking numbers.
Figure 6: RPG logbook entries.
- In paragraph 8 of resolution 2182 (2014), the Security Council prohibited the sale, transfer or use of weapons sold or supplied for the development of the security forces of the FGS to or by any individual or entity not in the service of the FGS security forces. Since the partial lifting of the arms embargo, the Monitoring Group has documented diversion of weapons and ammunition from Government stockpiles, in its 2014 and 2015 reports.
- During the current mandate, the SEMG again documented cases of weapons from FGS stockpiles found in possession of individuals or illicit arms dealers in Mogadishu.
FGS weapons in the possession of arms dealers in Mogadishu
- The SEMG documented seven weapons found in possession of arms dealers in Bakara market and near KM5 roundabout, both in Mogadishu, between November 2015 and April 2017 (see sample images below). The weapons — assault rifles and pistols — bore the markings of the Somali Police Force (SPF), the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), private security companies (PSC) and Government officials.
- The SEMG requested information from the FGS on the initial distribution of these weapons, including logbook extracts demonstrating the origin of each weapon, and to which individuals and security agency — and where appropriate, brigade and battalion — or private security company to which the weapons were assigned, as well as the dates of distribution. A first informal request was made on 11 July 2017 to the Office of the FGS National Security Advisor. On 7 August 2017, the SEMG received a reply stating that the Ministry of Internal Security (MoIS) had in turn requested the information from PSC, SPF and NISA. On 22 August 2017, the SEMG sent official correspondence to the FGS, but had not received a reply as of this writing.
Figure 1: AKM-PM md. 63, 7.62×39 mm with FGS marking SOPSC16/6385 seized during FGS stabilization operations in June 2017.
Figure 2: Type 56-1, 7.62×39 mm with FGS marking SOPSC16/7529 seized during FGS stabilization operations in June 2017.
FGS weapons captured during Mogadishu stabilization operation
- The SEMG documented seven other FGS-issued weapons during its visit to the SNA headquarters at Villa Gashandiga on 11 July 2017 to investigate weapons seized during the Mogadishu stabilization operations led by joint Somali security forces (see sample images below). Seven assault rifles among the 45 total weapons seized bore the markings of the FGS: five with PSC markings, and two with SPF markings. The SEMG was informed that these rifles had been seized from individuals in Mogadishu, without further explanation.
- The SEMG noted positively that most of the captured weapons had been registered in a dedicated logbook. The SNA subsequently proceeded to distribute 16 weapons to SNA units, however, without marking. The SEMG also found discrepancies between the logbook and the weapons the SEMG inspected. Four of the 45 captured weapons had not been registered in the logbook, while another weapon which had been registered — with SNA markings — was not among the weapons on site. The FGS explained these discrepancies by the fact that the Gashandiga armoury team had yet to receive any training on the logging procedures, with training pending.
Figure 3: Type 56, 7.62×39 mm with FGS marking SONISA0178 found in possession of an arms dealer near Bakara Market, Mogadishu, in February 2016.
Figure 4: AKM, PM md. 63, 7.62×39 mm with FGS marking SO-CBS-0510-16 found in possession of an arms dealer near KM5, Mogadishu, in May 2016.
Figure 1: Satellite imagery of coast north of Berbera Airport, 23 December 2016.
Figure 2: Satellite imagery of coast north of Berbera Airport, 21 September 2017.
Annex 10.1: Marginalized communities and humanitarian access
- As a result of social, political and economic exclusion, marginalized communities were less able to cope with the impact of the famine in 2011-2012. Their status affected ability to access external lifelines, such as diaspora remittances, but also humanitarian assistance. As beneficiary populations, marginalized groups often have little power to negotiate effectively for their needs. Members of marginalized groups are also generally missing from the architecture of humanitarian response, including control and staffing of UN humanitarian entities and international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
- It is too early to assess the humanitarian response to the 2016-2017 drought and its impact on marginalized communities and exclusion. In the interim, the SEMG compiled snapshots of three marginalized communities. Each experience of humanitarian obstruction reflects a different facet of marginalization in Somalia, and a different approach to challenging it.
Displaced Shiidle communities in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle
- The Shiidle, who farm in the riverine areas around Jowhar and Balad, are a Jareer clan indigenous to the region. Their rivals for power are the primarily pastoralist Abgaal who have traditionally held sway in government and security positions, both at the district and regional level. In terms of control of humanitarian operations, in 2017, for example, the position of humanitarian coordinator was moved from under the authority of the District Commissioner — usually Shiidle — to the Regional Governor — Abgaal — reaffirming the dominant interest. Almost all the humanitarian entities operating in the area, whether local or international, are staffed at senior level on the ground by Abgaal, although there are some exceptions. The Abgaal are also the dominant clan in the Somali National Army (SNA) contingents based around Jowhar and Balad, monopolizing the instruments of Government force.
- The struggle for control of land and power between the Shiidle and the Abgaal has frequently spilled over into armed conflict. As reported by the SEMG in S/2014/726, annex 8.2 (strictly confidential), in November 2013 over 5,000 members of Shiidle/Walamoy communities from 20 villages north-east of Jowhar were displaced by attacks by the SNA — primarily comprised of Abgaal personnel — and Abgaal militia forces. Most of those who found their way to Jowhar for safety were still displaced during the current mandate, afraid to go home in the absence of any final resolution of the dispute over farmland which had sparked the attacks. Again, in April 2017, over 5,000 Jareer/Shiidle/Bare were displaced from three villages near Balad further to Abgaal militia attacks, supported by elements of the SNA.
- In 2013, assistance to the displaced persons was initially provided by AMISOM and the humanitarian community, but by 2015, the local authorities began to actively prevent provision of assistance to the group settled at Bula Rahma near the AMISOM camp. In April 2015, for example, one NGO assessed community needs and prepared nutrition supplies for delivery; ultimately, however, the organization was informed by the local administration that they could not return to Jowhar to provide the assistance. As a result of this obstruction, until mid-2017 the camp did not receive support from the formal humanitarian sector, surviving with the assistance of the diaspora and the host Shiidle community, even as its population grew: as of July 2017, there were 2,733 Shiidle families at the camp, hosting not just the original group, but Shiidle displaced from the drought and the April 2017 attacks.
- In May, an internal UN report seen by the SEMG noted that AMISOM was concerned that 16,600 people at its forward operating base at Bula Rahma — also sometimes called Towfiq — were in desperate need of protection and assistance as the local administration had been actively blocking anyone who tried to assist them. The change of governorship of the HirShabelle Interim Administration (HIA) in February 2017 facilitated some relaxation of the de facto ban on assistance: in mid 2017, for example, the community reported that a humanitarian agency had registered 700 families for a cash input and remitted one payment of $200 to 300 families in July 2017.
- More broadly, due to their lack of representation in the humanitarian structures, the Shiidle were generally less able to negotiate with humanitarian agencies to ensure that aid reached the ground, and to challenge diversion. Nevertheless, in mid-2017, elders in four Shiidle villages refused to participate in a cash for work scheme, as the organization involved was offering only $1.5 per metre of water channel dug as opposed to the $3 which was paid to other communities.
Dir/Surre/Fiqi Mohamed and Jareer/Gabaweyne communities in Bohol Garas and Qoney, Gedo 
- In S/2016/919, annexes 7.8 and 7.8.1 (strictly confidential), the SEMG documented how the Interim Jubba Administration (IJA) minister for security, Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur (Darod/Marehan) controlled humanitarian operations in Dolow, Gedo region. Operating directly, and through proxies, he diverted and manipulated the direction of humanitarian assistance in the district, and to a lesser extent in Belet Hawo and parts of Luq. One outcome documented during this mandate was consistent attempts to deny humanitarian access to non-Marehan communities on the east bank of the Juba river, comprising parts of Dolow and Luq districts.
- Among the historically marginalized communities living on the east side of Dolow across the river are the Dir/Surre/Fiqi Mohamed and Jareer/Gabaweyne. The Surre are a minority due to geography, as they are a Dir sub-clan in a Darod/Marehan dominated area. The Gabaweyne are marginalized due to their exclusion from the lineages of the four dominant clans. The Surre have had some access to external support through diaspora and business ties, but the Gabaweyne have few links to power and resources. The latter have also been the continuous target of land-grabbing and displacement since the 1990s from the riverine areas where they once formed the majority population.
- The local administration and NGOs with an interest in denying or manipulating humanitarian inputs, restricted access to the area through a variety of means: denial of travel permission on security grounds; arrest of humanitarian workers who sought to present proposals relating to provision to the area; classification of sub-villages — resided in by the minority but dominant clan — as the main village, in order to attract services and support; and control of NGOs to manipulate humanitarian access and restrict monitoring. At the same time, where access was permitted, local communities found themselves in a weak negotiating position, unable to demand effective project delivery and prevent diversion.
- During early 2017, local efforts to negotiate access to the flows of aid coming to Gedo under the drought response got underway, supported by international partners. External humanitarian experts provided support to local Members of Parliament (MPs) to
develop proposals to break the impasse around humanitarian access. The MPs later met with the IJA minister of security Abdinur and other representatives of the regional and local administration in Dolow, but no specific undertakings were made.
- Meanwhile, in early September 2017 the UN reported that General Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates during June/July for both riverine and pastoralist communities in northern Gedo were between 15.7 and 17.5; rates of above 15 are considered critical.
SEMG assessment of humanitarian inputs
- The SEMG conducted a brief assessment of the main humanitarian inputs received by communities living in, and in villages surrounding, the towns of Bohol-Garas and Qooney — approximately 7,000 households — between late 2015 and July 2017. Information was gathered from local communities on the projects purportedly run by five different organizations in order to better understand the forms of denial of access and diversion faced.
- NGOs without connections to the IJA/Dolow administration: Where permitted to operate, this category of NGO was only able to conduct modest activities, such as distribution of water, sanitation and hygiene supply (WASH) kits, vaccines, acute watery diarrhea (AWD) treatment, provision of primary health care in two facilities, or engagement in hygiene promotion.
- NGOs connected with the IJA/Dolow administration: These organizations were permitted to seek and receive funding from external partners, including the UN, for potentially significant infrastructure and other projects in the area. Their activities generally had minimal impact, with scant implementation on the ground, indicating likely diversion of funds. Even following the implementation of a water and sanitation project in Bohol Garas in 2016, for example, the community still relied on water donkeys in 2017, with those who could not afford the service forced to fetch water from the river or shallow wells. In Qooney, an NGO was also funded to implement water and sanitation infrastructure improvements: water services were still not functioning in July 2017. During the 2017 drought response, however, a second administration-proxy NGO did manage to distribute child nutrition supplies sporadically to approximately 90 children from at least January to July 2017.
- International NGOs or internationally supported local NGOs: During the mandate, some international entities began to more effectively challenge obstruction from the local administration, including in partnership with local NGOs. Despite sometimes serious consequences for staff, these efforts did have modest success. One local community reported, for example, that a cash for work project in 2017 reached over 300 beneficiaries, albeit with half the salary amount promised. Another direct food relief input — pulses, starches and oil — in mid-2017 was accessed by over 1,000 beneficiaries. Finally, a food voucher
program supported over 489 families, with relatively small rates of diversion compared to those usually experienced in the area.
The Madiban community in Galkayo
- The Madiban community is one of Somalia’s minority clans. They are found throughout Somalia, but particularly in the north, and suffer severe discrimination on grounds of caste exclusion. There are no statistics available on the population of Madiban in Somalia: in Galkayo and its surrounding villages, Madiban claim that they make up as many as 35 per cent of the area’s residents.
- With most humanitarian entities are controlled by dominant clans in Galkayo — almost exclusively Darod/Majeerteen in north Galkayo — the community had always found itself both sidelined from access to humanitarian assistance, and discriminated against in the main camps. As the drought created pressure on all communities in late 2016 Madiban IDPs arriving into the town began to be simply turned away by those in control of the settlements. With the support of a few members in diaspora, the Madihan host community in Galkayo organized and managed to purchase a plot of land on which to settle the arriving IDPs. Danwadaag camp was founded in October 2016, and by August 2017, over 700 families were living there. The camp had one hand-dug well with no pump, no medical facilities and rudimentary shelter with dwellings constructed of branches, cardboard, rags and plastic bags. Of all the Galkayo IDP camps, however, Danwadaag camp residents were the only ones who held a lease to their land.
- Although no agency conducted formal nutrition assessments, the level of need, however, was assumed to be very high.: in June/July 2017 GAM rates in Galkayo IDP camps were assessed at 21.6 — critical — although Danwadaag camp was not included in the data set. Local elders told that SEMG that 19 children and five adults from the Madiban IDP community died from malnutrition related causes in Danwadaag camp between January and July 2017, but this could not be confirmed.
- By early September 2017, the camp had managed to secure aid from three humanitarian NGOs which provided weekly child malnutrition support, basic medical
supplies, and cash inputs for three months for around 250 families. These inputs were shared out between the whole community.
- The SEMG also documented how critical nutrition inputs in Galkayo — plumpy nut provided by the World Food Program and intended for malnourished children, and grains/pulses, oil, etc. — were being sold openly in the market (see figures 1 and 2).
Figure 1: Plumpy nut (child malnutrition supply) being sold in the market in Galkayo, photograph taken on 10 September 2017 on behalf of the SEMG.
Figure 2: Grains, oil and dried food being sold in the market in Galkayo. Photograph taken on 10 September on behalf of the SEMG.
Measures to challenge exclusion
- In comparison to the 2011/2012 famine, during the mandate, donors and humanitarian organizations demonstrated a greater awareness of the challenge of access to marginalized communities, including achieving small successes, as noted in the cases above. Devising strategies to effectively tackle the deep roots of the phenomenon was difficult. In early 2017, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) commissioned the Centre for Humanitarian Change to work with its humanitarian partners to infuse awareness of exclusion of marginalized populations in programming during the drought. The project included pilot activities where advisors worked with partners and local communities to challenge specific experiences of exclusion. Within the UN, the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator made the issue a theme of his initiatives and the SRSG convened a round table discussion on exclusion which is intended to lead to a permanent discussion forum. More broadly, the FGS convened discussion around the development of a National Inclusion Action Plan and the setting up of a National Council for the Development of Somalia Minorities, but these initiatives are in their early stages.
- At the programme level, however, there is a need for greater awareness of the specific experience of marginalized communities to be explicitly integrated in project design and monitoring. Risk assessments might include an analysis of clan and other potential markers of exclusion, both with respect to the identity and perception of the organization providing the inputs, and the beneficiary community. As a condition of funding, organizations could potentially be asked about the specific strategies which would mitigate these risks.
- In terms of challenging the balance of power within the humanitarian community itself, the UN Country Team could consider how to encourage marginalized communities to participate in the formal structures of humanitarian response, including with respect to UN staffing. Another option is the operation of small grants schemes targeted at assisting new organizations to build capacity to join the system.
Annex 11.1: Destruction of Shiidle villages near Balad, Middle Shabelle
- On 4 April 2017, and for three days after, the villages of Jameeco-Misra, Kulmis-Yarrow and Maqdas were the site of armed conflict between Hawyie/Abgaal/Wacbudan/Eli and Jareer/Shiidle/Bare militia, augmented by elements of the Somali National Army (SNA). The battle resulted in the displacement of almost all the inhabitants of the villages and the burning of homes and assets. As of 10 September, most of the community were still displaced.
- This case study highlights three challenges: the continued use of SNA power, personnel and assets to progress clan business; the need for genuine inter-clan reconciliation and power sharing at regional and district levels; and the importance of reform of the security sector to remove individuals committing repeated abuses and to build a force more reflective of the population.
Background to the conflict
- The conflict was triggered when cattle belonging to the Abgaal/Eli community entered onto Shiidle/Bare community farms and the Bare demanded compensation for the damage done their crops. Further to return of the livestock, Eli militia returned to the land at the centre of the dispute and killed two of the owners. Although the movement of cattle onto the farming land was the overt cause of the conflict, the SEMG identified additional exacerbating factors including an interest in taking control of the cannabis crop which Shiidle sub-clans in some areas had increasingly begun to farm.
- Shiidle/Bare militia and Abgaal/Eli militia were the main participants in the fighting. Most of those claimed, however, that alongside the Abgaal/Eli militia, Abgaal elements of the SNA, and SNA assets were deployed in support of the attack. In particular, they pointed to the presence of the SNA Captain Saney Abdulle Nur (Abgaal/Owbakar Gabane). A number of people stated that they had recognized two vehicles being used during the attack as belonging to Captain Saney. An internal UN report seen by the SEMG noted “the active participation of security forces in the attacks”.
- Some of those interviewed also claimed that at least one new technical and weapons had been “sent from Mogadishu” by Hassan Mohamed Hussein “Mungab” (Abgaal/Eli) the former Mayor of Mogadishu and Governor of Benadir region, to assist with the takeover. The SEMG could not confirm this report. They also claimed that the
Middle Shabelle Governor Ahmed Meyre Makaran bore responsibility for supporting the military elements which augmented local militia.
- As testified by women displaced from the attack to Jowhar, also joining the Abgaal attacking force was Jelani Mohamud Sheikh “Jelani”. Jelani is a Shiidle/Bare militia leader who frequently operates with Captain Saney. Prior to the conflict in the three villages, Jelani participated in an attack launched by Captain Saney on the village of Towfiq, another Shiidle village. Heavy weaponry was used in an attack against the family home of General Mohamud Haji Ahmed Ali “Shegow” (Jareer/Rer Shabelle).
- The attack came as part of a longer running dispute between the two men. The tensions related to the General’s role in an SNA military campaign to disrupt illegal checkpoints run by rogue SNA units in Lower Shabelle in 2015, including those run by Saney. In January 2017, in Middle Shabelle, Captain Saney and his men had erected an illegal checkpoint on the Mogadishu Jowhar road at Khalimow village near Balad for two weeks until the FGS ordered him to withdraw. It is not clear whether General Shegow was part of the operation to disrupt the latter checkpoint but Captain Saney’s attack on the village of Towfiq occurred shortly afterwards. Eventually General Shegow had to request AMISOM to evacuate him from his position as he was unable to rely on support of the Abgaal-dominated SNA in Middle Shabelle to safely withdraw from the area.
- The Abgaal force was heavily armed including with RPGs and DShKs, supported by technicals. Witnesses alleged that some of the attackers wore military uniform while others were in civilian dress. Grenades were used to set on fire homes and other structures. The Shiidle were mostly armed with AK-pattern rifles.
Impact of the conflict
- The centre of the villages of Jameeco-Misra, Kulmis-Yarrow and Maqdas were almost completely destroyed by fire.One humanitarian worker who interviewed those displaced to Jowhar described how she was told that wells and water pumps were targeted for destruction and looting and that “an ice factory” in one village had been vandalized.
- A report provided to the SEMG by Shiidle elders in the diaspora claimed that 10 civilians from the Shiidle community had been killed during the fighting, including a 10-
year-old boy. In an interview with the SEMG, an elder from Jameeco displaced to Mogadishu also described how Eli militia “burned the houses and killed the children”.There were no reports, however, of female casualties, indicating that the fighting occurred primarily between armed actors: between militia, SNA personnel and those defending their homes. The SEMG was unable to confirm the deaths of civilians beyond the two farmers whose killing sparked the attacks, and the young boy.
- Most of the inhabitants of the three villages fled the area. A humanitarian worker told the SEMG that approximately 1,200 households were displaced from Jameco-Misra; 280 from Maqdas; and 272 from Kulmis-Yarrow. Some sought safety in the surrounding villages of Baqdaad, Basra, Mukidheere, Maandhere, Bacaadley, Boodaale, Xawaadley, Shamlo, and Dhagaxow. The AMISOM Sector 5 camp at Balad received many of those displaced: between 700 families or 5,700 individuals. A smaller number fled to Jowhar. A Bantu Member of Parliament approached AMISOM shortly afterwards requesting support for 5,400 IDPs camped around Balad, reporting that 753 homes had been destroyed by fire.
- Others fled to Mogadishu. On 24 April, an internal UN report noted that an NGO had visited two IDP camps — Alcadaa and Gunspre — and identified 95 households newly arrived from Jameeco-Misra, displaced by clan conflict”. Shiidle elders informed the SEMG that up to 550 households had been displaced from the three villages to Burako/Mashala in Mogadishu, although it is not clear if all had arrived further to the attacks.
- With the authority of the HirShabelle Interim Administration (HIA) still in formation at district level and unable to project power to resolve the crisis, the conflict continued sporadically, primarily between militia defending their positions on the ground around the villages. On 29 April, for example, there were clashes at Jameco-Misra when Shiidle/Bare militia attacked the Abgaal/Eli militia who were occupying the area. Somali media reported that three fighters had died in an encounter that involved the use of “automatic weapons, heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades”: NGO reports received by the SEMG, however, indicated one dead and two wounded.
- Civilians were also attacked due to the unresolved conflict:
- On 7 June, a group of five Shiidle men — including both Isse and Bare sub-clans — were executed near Hawadley village, taken from a vehicle in which they were transporting vegetables to Mogadishu and shot. Two accounts collected by the SEMG from local journalists attributed the killings to Gaaljal militia, as revenge for the killing of a Gaaljal man. Shiidle elders claimed, however, that Abgaal militia were behind the murders and that it related to the April conflict: UN sources also received similar information. There was no investigation by the local administration into the incident. The SEMG was unable to make a determination.
- On 19 July, a Shiidle/Bare man was shot and killed by an Abgaal militiaman near Xawaadley village. Displaced to Mogadishu by the 4 April conflict, he had returned home to check on his land.
- The April attacks occurred against the background of long-running tensions between Abgaal and Shiidle communities in Middle Shabelle which have regularly erupted into violence. These have been characterized by the use of Government forces and assets in support of Abgaal objectives.In 2014, for example, the SEMG investigated a series of attacks in November 2013 on 20 villages inhabited by the Shiidle/Wallamoy community north-east of Jowhar town during which at least 60 civilians were killed, homes burned, and assets looted. Most of the inhabitants of the villages were forced to flee. The attacks were launched by Abgaal/Mohamed Muse militia, bolstered by federal forces— 1st Brigade with the assistance of the 3rd Brigade (60th Battalion).
- The involvement of state forces on these occasions complicated the response to the conflict, including as the local administration was perceived as being unable to act as an honest broker in inter-clan dialogue. The Governor of Middle Shabelle, Ahmed Meyere Makaran and the Vice President of the HIA — and former Governor — Ali Gudlawe Hussein, for example, were considered complicit as their respective sub-clans participated in, or supported, the attacks. In May 2017, a delegation led by the State Minister of Internal Affairs and Reconciliation, together with regional officials, travelled to the three villages and met with local elders promising support for reconciliation. In early August, a new Balad district administration was appointed which included greater representation of local communities. Bolstered by their new legitimacy on the ground, officials immediately called together the Bare and Eli elders and warned that if even “one bullet” flew in further conflict, all would be arrested. Although the situation has since remained calm, by 1 September talks about the return of the community to their homes and the question of compensation, had not yet commenced.
Figure 1: Photograph of Jameeco-Misra village after the attacks taken by an SEMG source four days after the fighting.
Figure 2: Photograph of Kulmis-Yarrow after the attacks taken by an SEMG source four days after the fighting.
Figure 3: Photograph of Maqdas village after the attacks taken by an SEMG source four days after the fighting — note the presence of a Shiidle militiaman.
Harakaat al-Shabaab al-Mujaahidiin
- In its final report on Somalia of 2016 (S/2016/919, annex 7.2), the SEMG recorded a spike in Al-Shabaab recruitment — in particular of young children — a few months prior to major operations by the militant group in Puntland in March 2016. Nevertheless, during the mandate, despite an increase in anti-Al-Shabaab operations, overall reported instances of child recruitment fell between September 2016 and June 2017.
- In the Juba Valley, for example, preparations for Operation Safari Hunter got underway in earnest towards the end of 2016. Although in late 2016 Al-Shabaab continued to target children in rural areas, by the first half of 2017 there was a significant fall-off in efforts to recruit. An Al-Shabaab-affiliated source assessed that child recruitment in early 2017 had reduced to as little as a third of previous levels.
- The fact that military operations by anti-Al-Shabaab forces had restricted the movement of fighters, coupled with the desire not to antagonize local community relations as a major confrontation approached, likely affected the recruitment campaign. Further, large numbers of children were already embedded in Al-Shabaab’s madrasa system, a ready-made recruitment channel for the group (see below). The greater emphasis placed in 2017 in Middle Juba on the training of East African foreign fighters may also have impacted the pattern of local recruitment.
- By July 2017, however, the trend was reversing. In June 2017, in Hiran, Galgadud and Mudug regions, Al-Shabaab began a new round of aggressive child recruitment, accompanied by a campaign of threats and violence against local communities. On 7 August, the District Commissioner of Adale in Middle Shabelle region announced that over 500 children had arrived into the town having fled forced recruitment in Galgadud, Hiran, and Middle Shabelle. It was too early to assess in September 2017 whether these large-scale recruitment efforts were being undertaken by Al-Shabaab in anticipation of planned anti-Al-Shabaab offensives in the Juba valley: it is possible that Al-Shabaab
intended to avoid alienating families on whom it relied for support during operations, and reduce desertion, by planning to deploy children from other areas in those encounters.
Impact of the drought
- The arrival of the drought in 2016 created a fertile environment for child recruitment in Al-Shabaab areas. In districts around Hudur, for example, local officials described how families were forced to leave children behind when they fled to government-held areas for humanitarian assistance. When supplies dwindled, children were turned to Al-Shabaab for help: in Tiyeglow district, for example, several boys who had defected from Al-Shabaab in early 2017 were forced to re-join the group.
- As an inducement to recruitment, Al-Shabaab in parts of Bay region promised children that they would receive food, clothes, education — including IT training and driving skills — and health services. For older boys, Al-Shabaab undertook to pay dowry when the time came for them to marry. In some cases, boys were told that they would not have to fight.
- Pressure was also brought to bear collectively on communities. In three locations in Al-Shabaab’s Bay heartland — Rama Cadeey, Bulo Fulay and Bush Madine — the group called a meeting at the height of the drought and demanded that 300 children be sent to its madrasa. Families who initially refused were fined $50 per child when they were eventually forced to attend.
Education as a recruitment strategy
- Building on trends observed by the SEMG since 2015, in 2017 Al-Shabaab intensified its involvement in education — both for children and adults — as a strategy for early indoctrination and training, and for encouraging allegiance by specific sub-clans in areas of oscillating influence.
- In April 2017, Al-Shabaab announced that it had developed a new school curriculum which it would launch in July 2017. Over the following months, the group rolled out a series of activities — many constituting violations of international law — intended to ensure that schools both within and beyond its areas of control were prepared to implement its edict. These involved:
- forced closure of schools to facilitate re-training of teachers;
- prevention of teachers’ freedom of movement;
- summoning teachers living in government-controlled areas to travel to Al-Shabaab strongholds and be schooled in the new curriculum;
- occupation of schools; and,
- abduction of children who participated in FGS approved government examinations.
- These measures were part of an increasingly aggressive strategy to force children into Al-Shabaab-controlled madrasas (see below).
- In areas where Al-Shabaab came under direct military pressure, recruitment efforts waned, as did emphasis on control of the education sector. In July 2017, in one rural village in Middle Juba, for example, the community was permitted — for a fee of $1,200 — to open its own school and follow its own curriculum, including the teaching of English.
- In Bakool, Lower Shabelle, and Middle Juba regions, Al-Shabaab reinforced its child recruitment education strategy by providing clan elders with specialized religious and ideological training. Reflecting Al-Shabaab’s increasing use of clan as a vehicle for tracking and ensuring allegiance, in Awdheegle in July, Al-Shabaab issued identity cards with a clan marker to elders who had received training. Elders were subsequently instructed to ensure each community obeyed the group’s stipulations on recruitment: one to three boys, proportional to the number of children in each family — although guns could be provided in lieu.
Al-Shabaab’s madrasa system
- Since 2015, Al-Shabaab has been instituting a long-term strategy to build a cadre of deeply ideologically committed fighters, in which the madrasa system is a key component.One of the first acts of Al-Shabaab, for example, when it retook control of Tiyeglow, Bakool region, was to call elders and parents and order attendance of all boys and girls at the two new madrasas that they had opened.
- The madrasa system in Middle Juba, Al-Shabaab’s core stronghold, provides an example of the scale of the effort. During the mandate seven madrasas operated in Jilib, each with approximately 600 students between the age of 15 and 20 years old attending the facilities. In Sakow there were six madrasas, with the same number of students per facility, with many under the age of 15.
- Attached to the madrasa was a second level of elite facilities to which children demonstrating potential were transferred for more intense, specialized training.  individuals identified for grooming as suicide operatives, for example, received special treatment to reinforce their commitment.
Forced recruitment of children
- As noted above, since 2014 the SEMG has reported on the use by Al-Shabaab of detention, physical violence and threats of death of family members to force child recruitment. A new phenomenon which emerged during the current mandate, however, was the use of violence to collectively punish members of a community resisting child recruitment, either by refusing to hand over children or sending them out of the area.
- A series of incidents in El Bur in Galgadud in June and July provide a snapshot of the intense nature of these practices. El Bur has been highly contested between Al-Shabaab and anti-Al-Shabaab forces: Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) withdrew in March 2017. In May, it was reported that 70 families had fled the area to protect their children from forced recruitment. On 21 June, Al-Shabaab ordered local elders to prepare 150 children between 9 and 17 years old to be handed over to the group for training after Ramadan. When the children were not delivered as demanded, 45 elders were rounded up by Al-Shabaab. They were later released on condition that the community provide 150 children for the group. Between 26 and 30 July, Al-Shabaab abducted 300 children between 6 and 17 years- old from Elqoxle, Hamarjadid, Gondey, Goni and Hindhere villages and took them to the Ali’Jimale centre madrasa.
- Alongside this new phenomenon of abductions of community and family members, the rate of direct abduction of children by armed actors in Somalia more than tripled. Al-Shabaab alone accounted for 364 such cases recorded by UN protection monitors in the second quarter of 2017. As reported in 2016, many of these abductions took place in schools.
Training of children under 15 in Bay and Bakool
- In S/2016/919, annex 7.2, the SEMG documented a shift in focus by Al-Shabaab towards the recruitment of young children: this trend was consolidated during 2017,
including through the group’s aggressive madrasa campaign described above. During the mandate the SEMG received information on the specialized training programs put in place for this population.
- In September 2016 Al-Shabaab made a concerted effort to recruit 300 children under 15 — including 50 girls — for a specialized round of training. According to a 14-year old former Al-Shabaab trainee interviewed by the SEMG,the children were initially taken to the Kunyabarrow training camp, Lower Shabelle region, and then to Bulo Fulay, Bay region. He described how he received religious training in the morning and military training — including “explosions training” — in the afternoon.
- In Bakool the training program for boys under 15 was similar, with religious and ideological schooling in the morning and military training in the afternoon. In Sigle — one of the principal child training facilities in Bakool — military training comprised weapons handling and repair, defence and offense tactics, the assembly of IEDs and information gathering.
- Girls at Bulo Fulay and Sigle were housed and taught separately and only received religious and ideological training.
Role of girls in Al-Shabaab
- The role of women and girls in Al-Shabaab became an increasing focus of international actors during the mandate. A study conducted on behalf of UN Women identified that “women’s recruitment and self-radicalising levels [we]re increasing” with young women from the Horn of Africa attracted into becoming ‘Jihadi brides’ in Somalia. At the same time the practice of forced marriage of local Somali women and girls continued, with one source in Bakool describing how Al-Shabaab viewed its madrasa system as a channel for identifying wives for its fighters.
- There was also an evolution of the role of women in Al-Shabaab towards more operational tasks. Security sources in Mogadishu and Baidoa, for example, noted that women — and occasionally girls — frequently transported weapons in and out of operation areas. In Bay and Bakool informants were adamant, however, that girls were not given weapons training but were instructed in security and intelligence gathering, including target surveillance.
- The SEMG was unable to verify allegations which emerged in Kenyan and international media in June 2017 that Al-Shabaab engaged in a practice of abducting women and girls from Kenya and taking them to Somalia for purposes of sexual slavery.
Other armed actors
- UN protection monitors did not report any instance of child recruitment by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction in Somalia between September 2016 and June 2017. In April 2017 in Bosaso, the SEMG encountered a 17-year-old boy who had defected from ISIL to the Puntland authorities, and referred their case to the relevant protection body.
- There was a steady, but low, number of incidents of child recruitment and use by the SNA and regional forces verified by UN protection monitors throughout the mandate.In May 2017, the SEMG received information relating to, and photographs of, an eleven-year-old child on duty with the ISWA Darawish in Baidoa town. He was dressed in full army uniform, holding an AK-pattern rifle, and smoking a cigarette. In July two ISWA child soldiers, 16 and 17 years old, were captured and executed by Al-Shabaab in Ideedi village outside of Berdale town.
- Clan militia were also implicated in child recruitment, intensifying during periods where they were deployed to participate in large-scale violence — including alongside federal and regional forces — particularly in Galkayo and Lower Shabelle towards the end of 2016. After Al-Shabaab and the SNA, Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a (ASWJ) was the entity with the highest number of child recruitment and use violations.
- While the SEMG was unable to confirm that the practice had come to an end, UN protection monitors did not record any instances of recruitment and use of children by AMISOM or other international forces between September 2016 and June 2017.
Annex 11.3: Update: Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur — obstruction of humanitarian assistance and targeting of civilians
- In S/2016/919 the SEMG described how Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur, the Interim Jubba Administration (IJA) Minister of Security was responsible for targeting of civilians contrary to international law, as well as conduct constituting obstruction of humanitarian assistance, between 2014 and 2016. During the mandate the SEMG continued to receive and analyse information on additional allegations relating to Abdinur’s conduct between 2013 and 2017.
- The IJA did not respond to the SEMG’s official correspondence in September 2016 seeking information on the steps taken by the IJA authorities to investigate the allegations against Abdinur. The SEMG again wrote to the IJA in September 2017 reiterating its request, including in relation to new allegations received, but had not received a reply as of time of writing.
Obstruction of humanitarian assistance
- Notwithstanding his IJA-wide portfolio as Minister of Security, Abdinur returned from Kismayo to Dolow — a major humanitarian hub — and was almost continuously present during the height of the drought response Directly and through the District Commissioner of Dolow, his former militia commander, Bashir Hassan Abdullahi, Abdinur oversaw the imposition of the same obstructive practices documented in S/2016/919, annex 7.8. These included: harassment, unlawful arrest, and purported expulsion of humanitarian workers; regulation amounting to obstructive interference with humanitarian action; attempts to influence recruitment and amounts of staff salaries, including mandatory registration of all job applicants and representation at job interviews; control of contracting, vendors, and office premises and direct financial extortion of staff; control of surveys and contracting of enumerators, in addition to interference with beneficiary lists.Organizations which refused to accede to demands faced great difficulty in operating and staff were sometimes forced to leave the district.
- Individuals and organizations were actively targeted by the administration to dissuade them from activities in certain areas, choice of project structures, or selection of government or NGO partners. Abdinur continued to control at least three Dolow-based NGOs, notwithstanding their formal board and management structures, and made it difficult for humanitarian agencies to operate with other partners. These activities resulted in denial of humanitarian access, while ensuring that Dolow functioned as a locus for capture of humanitarian assets.
- Notwithstanding the absence of the Somali National Army (SNA) or African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces in Dolow, Abdinur maintained a high level of security in the town, effectively protecting humanitarian operations from external threats. Despite the ostensible ease of access, however, and large humanitarian aid flows, humanitarian indicators in and around Dolow remained extremely poor. In mid 2015, for example, Dolow internally displaced persons (IDP) communities recorded the highest Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate in all Somalia, at 26.4. UN entities and partners at that time identified one of the major contributing factors to the deteriorating nutrition situation as obstruction by Abdinur and the Dolow administration, including of a critical water, sanitation and health project. The situation has little improved. In early September 2017, Dolow IDPs were still classified in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) 4 — the emergency phase — with GAM rates of 17.5. In the context of the scale of humanitarian inputs which have consistently been directed at IDP communities in Dolow and the size of the population, these persistently critical rates of malnutrition, suggest systematic mismanagement or diversion of humanitarian inputs or manipulation of data.
Violations of international law involving targeting of civilians
- During the mandate the SEMG collected additional evidence of Abdinur’s responsibility for violations of international law involving the targeting of civilians between 2014 and 2017, both in relating to allegations received during the 2015-2016 mandate, and new allegations in relation to killings in 2013 and 2017.
- In late 2016, the SEMG conducted interviews with individuals who had been arrested, tortured, detained, and some unlawfully transferred to Ethiopian custody during 2014 and 2015. Some of these individuals had been identified as the subjects of credible allegations relating to violations by Abdinur in S/2016/919 but had been unavailable for interview at the time. Others were only willing to come forward and provide testimony during the current mandate on new allegations relating to conduct in 2014 and 2015.
- Further to detailed interviews with direct victims, and individuals present during the commission of these violations, corroborated by testimony of others working in government and in humanitarian organizations at the time in Dolow, the SEMG identified that on the balance of probabilities Abdinur is responsible for murder, acts of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment — including dragging bound prisoners behind vehicles, on one occasion resulting in death; mock executions and threats of death; mutilation, severe beatings; and binding in stress positions — unlawful detention, and unlawful rendition of individuals out of Somalia during 2014 and 2015, constituting conduct described as a basis for the imposition of measures in paragraph 43 (e) of resolution 2093 (2013).
- Members of Abdinur’s militia were responsible for direct commission of some of these violations, under Abdinur’s command and control. In some cases, Abdinur gave specific directions as to the treatment of detainees by phone or in person.
Incidents involving targeting of civilians during the mandate
- The SEMG continued to monitor violations committed by Abdinur in the context of arrest and detention, including detention without charge, trial or review, and unlawful transfer out of Somalia, on multiple occasions during the mandate.
Killing of four prisoners at Belet Hawo police station, 24 July 2017
- On 24 July, four men in the control of the security forces in Belet Hawo were taken from the Belet Hawo police station and killed, their bodies found outside the town at a place locally known as Ali Dhere mountain. Two had been in custody since March 2017, accused of having attacked the home of a local elder and Al-Shabaab affiliate; one held for seven months on grounds of association with Al-Shabaab; and the fourth had been arrested the previous afternoon. None had been charged or tried for any crime.
- The circumstances of the killing of the four men in Belet Hawo were similar to the killing of four civilians in custody in Dolow police station in July 2015 and investigated by the SEMG in S/2016/919, annexes 7.8 and 7.8.1 (strictly confidential). The cases involved: the same controlling authority; four prisoners accused of association with Al-Shabaab; an absence of judicial process; and killings conducted in a manner which appeared calculated to strike fear into the community. All these factors raised questions about Abdinur’s involvement.
- As was the case after the 2015 killings, Abdinur conducted a radio interview later that day in which he referred to the prisoners as “Al-Shabaab” and justified the killings by saying that he would have wanted then to be killed, though “in principle” through a legal process. When pressed as to how that determination could have been made in the case of Farah Khalif Abdi, who had only been arrested earlier that afternoon, Abdinur’s response was that the evidence was sufficient as they had captured him in possession of explosives. Later Abdinur allegedly stated at a public meeting in Belet Hawo that the killing of Farah was “a mistake”.
- Abdinur arrived in Belet Hawo from Luq on the day of the murders and ordered the arrest of the Belet Hawo District Commissioner, Mohamud Hayd Osman, the Director of Social Services Abdulkadir Hussein Ibrahim Ganey “Dhagajun”, and the IJA-appointed Director of Intelligence Ali Hassan Deer. All three were transferred to custody at Dolow police station.
- On 4 August, the IJA Military Court sitting in Dolow found the three men guilty of the four killings but ordered the payment of diya only to the families of two of the
murdered men. No diya payments were stipulated in respect of the other two murdered men, who had been arrested in connection with a grenade attack on the home of a local elder. All three officials were released. Further to an announcement at a public meeting called by Abdinur in Belet Hawo, the three men returned to their former positions of authority in the town. Abudllahi Somo, the Belet Hawo Police Commissioner, subsequently resigned and moved to a position in the IJA regional forces.
Deteriorating security situation in Gedo
- During the mandate the SEMG received allegations from a variety of security and government sources that Abdinur manipulated the security environment and Gedo armed actors — from local militia to SNA and Al-Shabaab — to further his ability to maintain power in the area, in a manner which impacted the short and long term security situation in the area.
- On 11 September 2017, there was a major attack on Belet Hawo by Al-Shabaab. The attack involved a large number of fighters east of the town using a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) to assault an IJA forces base under the command of Abdinur’s militia leader, Jamal Hassan. The local administration and soldiers fled towards Kenya and Al-Shabaab took over the town, burning administration offices, carrying out a number of assassinations, and releasing prisoners at Belet Hawo police station. The fighting and flight of the forces and administration across the border and the arrival of Al-Shabaab into the town prompted shelling from the Kenyan Defence Forces. At least three civilians were killed and over eight injured as a result of the military activity.
- The circumstances of the attack on Belet Hawo by Al-Shabaab on 11 September 2017 indicated that local support for Al-Shabaab had increased. Members of the local community with whom the SEMG spoke partly attributed this evolution to Abdinur’s treatment of the population under his control, suggesting that Al-Shabaab had exploited this frustration. After the attack on the forces military base on 11 September, for example, local Marehan/Hawrarsame militia — which had been the focus of attacks by Abdinur’s forces in August 2016 — were invited by Al-Shabaab to loot the camp. Eight of the 13 prisoners released from the Belet Hawo police station were Marehan/Ali Dhere, the majority clan in Belet Hawo. One of those who gave a speech to the population during the brief Al-Shabaab takeover, was a man who had previously been detained without charge for a year at Belet Hawo police station, and reportedly tortured. He had been released after protracted negotiations with his family and subsequently re-joined Al-Shabaab.
Figure 1: Satellite imagery of Charcoal stockpiles at Buur Gaabo, 9 July 2017.
Figures 2 and 3: Satellite imagery of northern and southern Kismayo charcoal stockpiles, 24 June 2017.
- On 22 November 2016, two members of the Monitoring Group, who were in Bahrain for meetings with Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), observed trucks departing Khalifa Bin Salman Port with cargoes of what appeared to be green bags of Somali charcoal (see figure 1). This was consistent with information received from an SEMG source that dhows had been unloading cargoes of Somali charcoal onto trucks for transhipment to Saudi Arabia (see figure 2). It also matched information communicated to the Bahrain authorities in letters from the SEMG dated 24 October 2016, 1 November 2016, and 15 November 2016 regarding the impending arrival of three dhows with a total cargo of 76,000 bags of charcoal loaded in Kismayo and another dhow with a cargo of 30,000 bags of charcoal loaded in Buur Gaabo.
- On 23 November, two members of the SEMG met with representatives of the General Directorate of Security and Follow Up, Customs Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, Kingdom of Bahrain. The Monitoring Group shared photos taken the previous day of trucks departing Khalifa Bin Salman Port with cargoes of what appeared to be green bags of Somali charcoal. Customs Affairs agreed to provide the SEMG access to Khalifa Bin Salman Port, where a dhow, Al Hussain, claiming to be Sri Lankan-flagged with registration 91909, was unloading a cargo of 30,000 bags of suspected Somali charcoal.
- Al Hussain had submitted paperwork claiming the port of departure had been Moroni, Comoros, while the available evidence indicated that Al Hussain was most likely an Indian-flagged dhow identified in a 15 November letter from the SEMG, Al Faizul Barkat, MNV 1967, which had loaded its cargo of 30,000 bags of charcoal from Buur Gaabo in mid-October (see figure 4). Customs Affairs stopped the unloading of Al Hussain and confiscated the remaining cargo of 15,000 bags of charcoal (see figure 3). Customs documentation and dockworker testimony confirmed the other three dhows previously identified by the SEMG’s letters to the Bahrain authorities had already docked and unloaded their cargo of Somali charcoal.
Figure 1: Truck departing Khalifa bin Salman Port.
Figure 2: Saudi Arabia charcoal bag onboard Al Hussain.
Figure 3: Crane loading confiscated charcoal cargo.
Figure 4: False Comoros certificate of origin.
- On 29 November 2016, the SEMG wrote to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) regarding a dhow, Naji, which had loaded 27,000 bags of charcoal in Buur Gaabo in early November, recently docked at Port Al Hamriya, and was likely to submit a false Djibouti certificate of origin. The UAE replied on 1 December 2016, noting it had partially confiscated the cargo of Naji, and providing the SEMG with a copy of a Djibouti certificate of origin (see figure 1). The Monitoring Group wrote to the UAE on 16 December 2016, stating that CMF had provided aerial photos of Naji taken near UAE territorial waters on 20 November 2016. The photos matched the description of the dhow and its cargo of distinctive green charcoal bags that had departed Buur Gaabo on 2 November and docked at Port Al Hamriya on 27 November. The SEMG also noted that the consignee, Mohd Ali Shaheen General Trading Co. (L.L.C.), had been previously identified as trafficking in illicit Somali charcoal earlier that year (see S/2016/919, annex 9.4.a).
- The UAE replied on 5 January 2017, stating that it had received a letter from the Embassy of the Republic of Djibouti to the UAE attesting to the authenticity of Naji’s paperwork. The SEMG wrote to the UAE on 20 January, acknowledging it had received confirmation from the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce that it had issued the certificate of origin, but that the Monitoring Group remained concerned that this paperwork had been fraudulently obtained. The UAE replied on 3 February 2017, asserting that in the absence of another letter from the SEMG it would release the remaining cargo of Naji on 14 February 2017.
- The SEMG undertook an official mission to the Republic of Djibouti from 20-24 February 2017. Following meetings with senior representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority, Customs, and the Chamber of Commerce, the Monitoring Group confirmed that Djibouti had not exported any charcoal during 2016 and 2017 (and fewer than 3,000 bags during 2014 and 2015). The Harbour Master at the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority further confirmed that no dhows with charcoal cargoes, including Naji, had arrived at or departed from Djibouti (see figure 2). On 4 November 2016, the Chamber of Commerce had issued to a local company, Abet Enterprise SARL, one certificate of origin for the export of 27,000 bags of charcoal to the UAE (as well as other certificates of origin for the export of charcoal to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). However, following the official mission of the Monitoring Group, the Djiboutian authorities have since concluded that these certificates were fraudulently obtained and have suspended the license of the front company, Abet Enterprise SARL (see figure 3).
- In a letter to the UAE dated 2 March 2017, the SEMG summarized the evidence obtained during its official mission to Djibouti. The SEMG then met with the UAE authorities in Dubai on 23 March 2017, where it presented this evidence proving Djibouti certificates of origin to be false. In response to a request by the SEMG, the UAE authorities provided copies of Djibouti charcoal certificates of origin for 15 dhows that it had already accepted, with a combined cargo of 435,000 bags of charcoal weighing more than 10,000 metric tons. The Djibouti certificates of origin had been attested to by Ambassador Osman M. Darar at the Embassy of the Republic of Djibouti in Abu Dhabi between 4 November 2016 and 7 February 2017, and then submitted to UAE customs for processing. The UAE authorities agreed to cease accepting Djibouti certificates of origin on an interim basis, pending the outcome of their own investigation, including a meeting with Ambassador Darar.
- The previous day, 22 March 2017, the Monitoring Group had met with Ambassador Darar at his office in Abu Dhabi. The SEMG presented evidence collected from Djibouti authorities during the official mission 20-24 February indicating that Djibouti had not exported any bulk cargoes of charcoal going back to at least 2014, and that the Djibouti certificates of origin from the Chamber of Commerce had been fraudulently obtained. When asked why he had attested to false paperwork, how many certificates of origin he had attested to, and who had brought him the false paperwork, Ambassador Darar directed the SEMG to address its queries through official channels. Accordingly, the Monitoring Group sent a letter to Djibouti on 28 March 2017, requesting information regarding attestation of charcoal certificates of origin by its embassy in Abu Dhabi. This included not only 435,500 bags weighing more than 10,000 metric tons from November 2016 to February 2017, but also charcoal cargoes of more than 2 million bags weighing more than 50,000 metric tons during 2014 and 2015. As of this writing, Djibouti had not replied.
- SEMG investigations have identified Basheer Khalif Moosa, a Djiboutian national residing in Dubai, as the most likely source of the false Djibouti charcoal paperwork. Previous reporting by the Monitoring Group in 2013 and 2014 had identified Moosa as the primary source of false Djibouti paperwork for Dubai-based charcoal traffickers. A corporate registration document issued in 2015 by the Djibouti Office of Industrial and Commercial Property links Bashir Khalif Musse (a.k.a. Basheer Khalif Moosa) to Abet – Shir Enteprise SARL (a.k.a. Abet Enterprise SARL), the front company whose license was suspended in February 2017 by the Djibouti Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for fraudulently obtaining certificates of origin from the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce (see figure 4). In letters to the UAE dated 28 March and 2 June 2017, the SEMG requested an update on any investigation by the UAE authorities into the criminal network responsible for false Djibouti certificates of origin. As of this writing, the UAE had not replied to this request.
- In the letter to the UAE dated 2 June, the SEMG also reiterated an observation it had initially made at the meeting with the UAE authorities on 23 March: the consignee for 9 out of the 15 dhows with Djibouti charcoal certificates of origin was listed as “Mohd Ali Shaheen Gen Trdg LLC”. Mohd Ali Shaheen General Trading Co. (L.L.C.) was previously identified as the consignee for a dhow possessing false Comoros paperwork, Raj Milan, whose cargo of Somali charcoal was seized and sold at public auction by the UAE authorities in 2015. Mohd Ali Shaheen General Trading Co. (L.L.C.) was also identified in last year’s report as the consignee for three dhows with false Comoros paperwork for cargoes of Somali charcoal, Al Zuber, Shree Nausad and Yasin. The cargoes of the latter two dhows were also confiscated and sold at public auction in May 2016. However, despite an evident pattern of sanctions violations, the
Monitoring Group remains unaware of any investigation by the UAE authorities into Mohd Ali Shaheen General Trading Co. (L.L.C.).
Figure 1: False Djibouti certificate of origin.
Figure 2: Letter from Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority.
Figure 3: Letter from Djibouti Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Figure 4: Document from Djibouti Office of Industrial and Commercial Property.
- On 29 and 30 April 2017, the CMF contacted the Monitoring Group regarding two dhows with cargoes of charcoal that were being held by the Kuwait Coast Guard in Al Doha Port under suspicion of having violated the Somali charcoal ban. The dhows, Al Sahil and Haruni, possessed paperwork indicating that their charcoal cargo had originated in Djibouti. After reviewing the paperwork, the SEMG advised the CMF and the Kuwait Coast Guard that the certificates of origin were not authentic and that the two dhows were most likely part of a group of twelve dhows that had loaded in Buur Gaabo and Kismayo from late February to early March 2017, and had since been anchored near Port Al Hamriya. This was consistent with information that had been received from a confidential source on 25 April that two dhows with cargoes of Somali charcoal were departing Port Al Hamriya anchorage bound for Kuwait.
- Subsequent investigation by the Monitoring Group has revealed that the dhows’ respective Sri Lankan ship registration documents had also been forged (see figure 1). During an official mission to Sri Lanka, 4-6 May, the Director General of Merchant Shipping for Sri Lanka provided evidence to the Monitoring Group indicating that the Sri Lankan ship registrations for Al Sahil and Haruni are forgeries. Al Sahil and Haruni do not appear within the official Sri Lankan ship registry, nor did their ship registration forms and accompanying stamps match originals provided by the Sri Lanka authorities.
- The SEMG travelled to Kuwait on official mission 22-26 May. The SEMG had several meetings with the Kuwait authorities, including the coast guard and customs, inspected Al Sahil and Haruni and their cargoes of Somali charcoal, and interviewed the captains of the dhows (see figure 2). The Monitoring Group would like to acknowledge the excellent cooperation of the Kuwait authorities as well as the facilitation of information sharing by Combined Task Force 152 at CMF.
- Interviews with the dhows’ captains indicated Al Sahil had been loaded with 28,500 Djibouti-marked bags of charcoal in Buur Gaabo in mid-March 2017 and Haruni had been loaded with 17,350 Djibouti-marked bags of charcoal in Kismayo in early March. Both dhows proceeded to Port Al Hamriya anchorage, where they remained for several weeks until receiving false Djibouti paperwork delivered by a contact person, who also gave instructions for the dhows to proceed to Kuwait, where they arrived at Al Doha Port on 29 and 30 April. The SEMG corroborated the captains’ testimony regarding the course of each dhow through referencing the data on the dhows’ GPS devices. Upon arrival, the Kuwait authorities soon thereafter seized the dhows and their cargo and detained the crews. The loading of Djibouti-marked charcoal bags in Buur Gaabo and Kismayo (see figures 3 and 4) and the provision of false Djibouti paperwork while the dhows were anchored near Dubai suggest a vertically integrated criminal network with accomplices within both Somalia and the UAE.
- On 13 August, at the CMF headquarters in Bahrain, a representative of the Kuwait Coast Guard updated the Monitoring Group. The charcoal cargoes of Al Sahil and Haruni have been confiscated by Customs and stored at a warehouse at the port. The dhows are in the custody of the Kuwait authorities and the captains have been charged and released on bail, pending completion of a criminal prosecution under Kuwaiti domestic law. The Monitoring Group would like to highlight the proactive stance toward sanctions implementation taken by the Kuwait authorities, setting a useful precedent for the region.
Figure 1: False Sri Lanka ship registration.
Figure 2: Al Sahil at Doha Port.
Figure 3: Djibouti charcoal bag from Al Sahil.
Figure 4: Djibouti charcoal bag from Haruni.
- On 27 June 2017, the SEMG contacted the CMF regarding four dhows departing from Kismayo with a total cargo of 101,000 bags that had been loaded in Kismayo on 23 and 24 June. On 30 June, SEMG contacted the CMF regarding a fifth dhow that had loaded 40,0000 bags in Buur Gaabo on 28 June. SEMG estimated the location of the first four dhows to be on the Somalia coastline somewhere between Hobyo and Eyl, with their course set through the Strait of Socotra and onward to Port Al Hamriya. The SEMG also noted that based on a recent official mission to Kismayo and Buur Gaabo, where the charcoal stockpiles had been observed, the dhow cargoes would be comprised of typically green charcoal bags. The CMF was also informed that should there be an opportunity for maritime interdiction, the dhows may possess a false ship registration but likely no paperwork regarding their illicit cargo, as this would be received from charcoal traffickers at Port Al Hamriya anchorage. On 1 July, the CMF informed the SEMG that “contacts of interest” matching the description of the dhows with charcoal cargoes had been identified and were being tracked.
- On 6 July, the Monitoring Group wrote to the UAE regarding the impending arrival of five dhows with a total cargo of 141,000 bags of charcoal from Somalia. The SEMG noted that checkpoint taxation in Somalia by Al-Shabaab at a rate of $2.50 per bag likely generated at least $350,000 in income for the armed group. The UAE was informed that the CMF was tracking the five dhows and their anticipated destination was Port Al Hamriya anchorage. The letter further explained that the names and registrations of the dhows would be altered, so the best way to identify them would be through reference to the size of their cargo and the type of charcoal bags coming from Kismayo and Buur Gaabo — a distinctive green colour with possible markings of “Bay and Bakool” or the image of a palm tree (see figure 1). The Monitoring Group also noted that the dhows may attempt to dock with false Côte d’Ivoire paperwork and requested copies of all Côte d’Ivoire certificates of origin submitted since April 2017 — when the UAE stopped taking false Djibouti certificates of origin.
- The CMF subsequently located at Port Al Hamriya anchorage — within the territorial waters of the UAE — the five dhows it had tracked en route from Somalia, through the Strait of Socotra, and along the Yemen and Oman coastlines (see annex 12.2.5, strictly confidential). On more than a dozen distinct occasions between 14 July and 22 August, detailed information was communicated from the CMF to the UAE authorities regarding these dhows in anticipation that they would take sanctions enforcement action. The lines of communication to the UAE authorities included via the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and the US Defence Attaché to the UAE. The UAE authorities that were regularly notified regarding these dhows included the UAE Coast Guard, UAE Navy, UAE Federal Customs Authority, and the Dubai Police. Initially, the information shared included descriptions of the dhows and their cargoes, plus their precise geographic locations; subsequently, this was expanded to sharing more detailed reports, including imagery and analysis.
- Meanwhile, events at Port Al Hamriya anchorage seemed to indicate that the charcoal traffickers had become aware that the UAE authorities had been notified and that the CMF was tracking the dhows, as had been indicated in the SEMG’s confidential letter dated 6 July. On 6 August, the UAE replied to the SEMG’s letter of 6 July, stating the relevant customs authorities had been informed and requesting the registrations of the five dhows, despite the Monitoring Group already having indicated that the charcoal traffickers would utilize fake names and registrations for the dhows. That same day, the CMF aerial surveillance documented dhows which had been tracked from near the Somalia coastline transferring their cargo of charcoal onto other dhows while anchored within UAE territorial waters (see annex 12.2.5, strictly confidential). Despite having received detailed real-time information from the CMF on more than a dozen occasions, the UAE Coast Guard, which had the jurisdiction to take enforcement action, failed to board and inspect the dhows at Port Al Hamriya anchorage.
- On 25 August 2017, the UAE wrote to the Monitoring Group regarding two dhows, Maha (registration SL301240) and Ola (registration 9330112), suspected of violating the Somali charcoal ban. Their respective cargoes consisted of 10,320 bags and 26,470 bags. The UAE provided copies of Ghana certificates of origin, invoices, packing lists, and supporting documents from Ghana authorities in Accra and at the Ghana Consulate General in Dubai (see figure 2). On 29 August, the Monitoring Group replied to the UAE, noting the following points:
- the shipping company identified on the paperwork, “Sea Shore Marine Services Limited”, is not listed on the registry of licensed charcoal exporters from Ghana;
- the consignee, Salim Al Khattal Group Marine Contracting & Trading LLC, has previously traded in illicit Somali charcoal using false Ghana paperwork (see S/2016/919, annex 9.4.b);
- the stamp of the notary public which appears on the certificates of origin and legal declarations is the same stamp previously used on false Ghana paperwork during 2016 (S/2016/919, annex 9.7.c); and
- the SEMG believes that the charcoal aboard Maha and Ola was transported to Port Al Hamriya anchorage aboard one of the dhows identified in its letter of 6 July before being transferred to these dhows in an attempt at sanctions evasion.
- The Monitoring Group recommended that the cargoes of Maha and Ola not be released to the consignee and that the UAE authorities consider confiscation of the total cargo of 36,790 bags of charcoal. At the time of writing, a reply from the UAE remains pending.
Figure 1: Green bags of charcoal with palm tree logo at Kismayo stockpile.
Figure 2: False Ghana certificate of origin.
Annex 12.2.5: Charcoal dhows at Port Al Hamriya anchorage, Dubai, UAE (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)*
 Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Somalia: reported US actions 2017 database. Available from www.thebureauinvestigates.com/drone-war/data/somalia-reported-us-covert-actions-2017 (accessed 19 September 2017).
 Interviews with improvised explosive device experts, Mogadishu, 8 February 2017, as well as an independent explosives engineer who conducted an analysis of the blast scene based on satellite imagery and crater dimensions, taking the mean of values assessed using three separate methodologies. A United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) operations officer in Mogadishu, however, estimated the explosive mass of the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device to be between 200 kg and 500 kg TNT equivalence. Email to the Monitoring Group on 14 September 2017.
 Galgalo Bocha, “Official: police foiled planned Jamhuri Day Shabaab attack”, Daily Nation, 18 May 2017. Available from www.nation.co.ke/counties/tana-river/33-suspected-Shabaab-terrorists-arrested/3444928-3931876-iyplcyz/index.html.
 The Monitoring Group interviewed four members of the Al-Shabaab North-East insurgency movement in Bosaso Central Prison on 6 and 7 June 2017; while these interviews indicated the existence of multiple teams of approximately 30 fighters in the Golis mountains, none of the interview subjects were able to provide an estimate of the size of the movement as a whole.
 Farah Abdi Warsameh (Associated Press), “Suspected Al-Shabab associate captured in U.S.-Somali raid”, CBS News, 26 July 2017. Available from www.cbsnews.com/news/al-shabab-suspected-associate-captured-in-us-somali-raid/.
 The Monitoring Group’s final report of 2013 includes details of Tahlil’s and Nur’s arrests. See S/2013/413, annex 1.7.a.
 Conway Waddington, “The Kulbiyow attack uncovered”, Africa Defence Review, 22 March 2017. Available from www.africandefence.net/analysis-of-competing-claims-about-the-january-2017-al-shabaab-attack-on-the-kdf-base-at-kulbiyow/.
 According to information from a senior security adviser to AMISOM via email on 24 July 2017, there were 12 attacks using mortar shells between January and June 2017 in Mogadishu. According to a Somalia researcher based in Mogadishu, there were approximately 17 mortar attacks carried out by Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu in 2016, which seems to indicate that the total number of mortar attacks in the capital may increase this year. Email from a United Nations security adviser, 20 August 2017.
 The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Centre has emphasized that the presence of oxidizers such as potassium nitrate in the lab analyses does not provide conclusive evidence that Al‑Shabaab manufactured home-made explosives.
 Although pure potassium nitrate is not commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer in Somalia, the Monitoring Group has evidence of at least one company which exports pure potassium nitrate fertilizer in bulk to Yemen. Oxidizers, like potassium nitrate, provide the necessary oxygen which, when combined with fuel, enhances an explosion. It is not yet clear how Al-Shabaab is procuring potassium nitrate. Email from a UNMAS operations officer, 24 August 2017; telephone interview with a Mogadishu-based forensics specialist, 8 August 2017.
 Potassium chlorate can be used in the manufacture of matches and propellants, industries which currently have no presence in Somalia. Sodium chlorate is a common commercial component in the manufacture of herbicides, fireworks, welding supplies and chemical oxygen generators. It is not yet clear how Al-Shabaab is procuring potassium chlorate or sodium chlorate.
 Interview with various improvised explosive device specialists. Mogadishu, June to August 2017. In a telephone interview on 3 September 2017, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist informed the Monitoring Group that 500 kg of munitions must be harvested to yield an explosive content of 100 kg.
 See S/2014/726, annex 6.6, for an earlier case study involving C-DET detonators smuggled by Al-Shabaab into Puntland through Yemen.
 Interviews with a counter-terrorism analyst, Nairobi, 7 March 2017; a business owner, Mogadishu, 4 July 2017; and a law enforcement officer specializing on financing of Al-Shabaab, London, 31 March 2017.
 In para. 21 of its resolution 2317 (2016), the Security Council requested further reporting from the Monitoring Group on this issue.
 Interviews with a former Al-Shabaab financial officer, Baidoa, 30 August 2017; an intelligence officer specializing in Al-Shabaab financing, Baidoa, 2 August 2017; and a consultant, Kismayo, 14 June 2017.
 Interview with a former Al-Shabaab financial officer, Baidoa, 30 August 2017, and a Somali businessman, Mogadishu, 4 July 2017; interviews with elders and community members in Lower Shabelle and Middle Juba regions.
 Based on Monitoring Group interviews with 10 defected and captured ISIL fighters being held at Bosaso Central Prison, as well as with intelligence and security sources familiar with Puntland, April 2017. Most of the fighters interviewed by the Group had left ISIL in December 2016, and therefore the information they provided was current up to that time.
 See United States Department of the Treasury, “Treasury targets regional actors fueling violence and instability in Somalia”, press release, 5 July 2012. Available from www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1630.aspx. Suhayl Salim Abd El-Rahman was an associate of the designated individual Aboud Rogo Mohammed (SOi.011) on the 1844 sanctions list, a radical Kenyan cleric who was gunned down by unknown assailants in Mombasa in August 2012.
 A former Puntland intelligence officer told the Monitoring Group on 7 March 2017 that a Djiboutian foreign fighter in ISIL had died at the hands of Puntland forces. According to the two former fighters interviewed by the Monitoring Group, “Abtidoon” was familiar with the construction and use of improvised explosive devices. Both reported that Puntland security forces had shown them a photograph of Abtidoon’s dead body.
 For further information, see Human Rights Watch, “Somalia: Al-Shabab forces burn villages”, 26 July 2017. Available from www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/26/somalia-al-shabab-forces-burn-villages.
 These are areas primarily inhabited by the Dhulbahante. See also S/2016/919, annex 7.4, para. 38.
 The June 2017 agreement caused stand-offs between militias supporting the Somaliland accord and those supporting the rival Dhulbahante Liberation Front. See “The Guurti of Khatumo State of Somalia’s position on talks with Somaliland, press release, 17 June 2017. Available from www.somalilandsun.com/images/PDF/THE_GUURTI_OF_KHATUMO_STATE_OF_SOMALIAS_POSITION_ON_TALKS_WITH_SOMALILAND.pdf.
 On 12 August, militia forces attacked Halin polling station, injuring three civilians, and a Somaliland solider was killed defending a convoy transporting voter cards in Holhol. Email from United Nations staff member, 14 August 2017.
 Email report from Mudug-based humanitarian worker to Monitoring Group, 7 August 2017. Two days before the clashes Interim Galmudug Administration President Ahmed Duale Gelle “Haaf” had met with Herale elders in Abudwaq and promised to visit the town to discuss development and cooperation support.
 On 11 July 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a press release following the completion of its second review under the Staff-Monitored Program for Somalia, welcoming “the authorities’ continued commitments to policy and reform implementation … [and] continued progress on currency reform and plans to revive the financial sector”. International Monetary Fund, “IMF management completes the second review under the Staff-Monitored Program for Somalia and IMF Managing Director approves a New Staff-Monitored Program”, press release, 11 July 2017. Available from www.imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2017/07/11/Somalia-Second-and-Final-Review-Under-the-Staff-Monitored-Program-and-Request-for-a-New-45065.
 The value of certain measures also remains questionable. Key elements of the National Communications Act, which has been negotiated and ultimately undermined by successive parliamentarians and representatives of the telecommunications sector since 2004, were removed before the Bill was passed. The Public Financial Management Bill in its current form permits the Federal Government to seek international loans of up to $200 million without parliamentary approval.
 Somali Financial Management System records for the Benadir Regional Administration demonstrate the expenditure of $7,905,126.35 in 2016 with the same description, Khidmada Maamulka Gobalka Banaadir $15%, for all transactions ranging from $67,707.35 to $335,140.20.
 Federal Government letter to the Monitoring Group, 5 September 2017. It is also apparent, however, that as of mid-August the Ministry of Finance was not aware of public contracts that had been previously reviewed by the Financial Governance Committee, a body chaired by the Minister for Finance.
 The Smart General Services, Ltd., agreement is summarized in annex 4.3.a of the Monitoring Group’s report of 2016 (S/2016/919), which also provides copies of the first and last pages of the contract.
 For instance, on 8 December 2016, the Salaam Somali Bank account statement indicated that $26,000 had been transferred to the Central Bank of Somalia; however, records show receipt of only $14,000.
 For references to Abukar “Adaani’s” activities, see S/2010/91, para. 239 (diversion of WFP food aid); S/2006/913, paras. 12 and 143 (financing of the Union of Islamic Courts; establishment of training facilities and arms shipments); S/2006/229, para. 136 (fighting over El Ma’an port); S/2005/625, para. 18 and annex I (armed support of opposition and arms purchases); S/2005/153, para. 29 (arms shipments to opposition groups); S/2004/604, paras. 76–77 and 100 (funding armed groups and facilitating conflict).
 Interview with a senior Benadir Regional Administration official, 18 September 2017; a second Benadir Regional Administration official, 6 September 2017; and a former cabinet minister, Nairobi, 25 July 2017.
 According to internal Somali National Army documentation, the Army also manages another private account at Salaam Somali Bank which the Monitoring Group was not previously aware of. Documentation on file with the Secretariat.
 The Monitoring Group reported its concerns regarding the involvement of Abdullahi Moalim Nur and Mohamed Hussein Nur in the Logistics Department in S/2016/919, annexes 2.2 and 2.4.
 The documents allege that Abdullahi Moalim Nur and Mohamed Hussein Nur illegally took $32,574 and $4,043, respectively. Based on evidence gathered over the past three mandates, the Monitoring Group believes that these sums represent a small fraction of the total sums embezzled by these individuals. While the document called for Mohamed Hussein Nur to spend 10 days in a military prison and return the funds, Abdullahi Moalim Nur was only called on to return the funds. Documentation on file with the Secretariat.
 The Monitoring Group reported its concerns regarding the company contracted to provide rations to the Somali National Army in S/2015/801, annex 3.1 (strictly confidential), and S/2016/919, annex 2.4.
 The companies were Kasram Trading Company, Sahal Enterprise, Ltd., Fulcrum and Wadajir Company. Nor is a part-owner of Kasram Trading Company, Sahal Enterprise and Fulcrum. The Monitoring Group has yet to determine the ownership of Wadajir Company.
 On 27 July 2017, the Puntland Parliament approved the granting of a 30-year concession to P&O Ports for the management and development of the port of Bosaso. On 8 June 2017, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, President of the Interim South-West Administration, also announced a new project by First Hectares Capital, based in the United Arab Emirates; the Frontier Services Group, Ltd., based in Hong Kong, China; and the locally based South West Somalia Services Company involving, inter alia, the construction of a free zone and seaport at Barawe.
 The recommendations concern principles for natural resource revenue management, including where funds are held, how they are disbursed and how they are saved. See Financial Governance Committee, “FGC advisory note: strengthening the draft Public Financial Management Bill”, May 2017.
 At a meeting with the Directorate General of Shipping in Mumbai, India, on 2 May 2017, the authorities confirmed that Al Kausarwas the same Indian-flagged dhow previously identified by the Monitoring Group as violating the ban on the export of charcoal from Somalia (see S/2016/919, annex 9.5).
 When the Monitoring Group interviewed Mohamed on 7 June 2017 in Bosaso Central Prison, he denied involvement in theAris 13 hijacking. However, a Group source in Bosaso related that Mohamed had admitted his leadership role in the pirate group responsible, and his involvement was corroborated by mobile phone location data obtained by the Group.
 Following the loss of the natural ports at Qandala(Khooriga) owing to its recapture by Puntland forces, Alula area also appears to have become a hub for arms smuggling in Puntland (see annex 2.1).
 The Monitoring Group reported its concerns regarding the electoral framework in S/2016/919, annex 3.2.
 The National Leadership Forum comprised the President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament of the Federal Government and the presidents of the regional states of Jubaland, South-West, Galmudug and Puntland. The newly selected president of the HirShabelle administration joined the Forum in October 2016.
 European Union, “Somalia 2016-2017 limited election process: EU election expert mission — final report”, 16 February 2017.Available from https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/
eu_eem_somalia_final_report.pdf. This report provides a comprehensive summary of the weaknesses of the electoral process and recommendations.
 Monitoring Group interviews with representatives of the diplomatic community and international institutions, current and former Federal Government officials and presidential candidates, Mogadishu and Nairobi, between December 2016 and April 2017.
 Between September 2015 and March 2016, four ocean-going dhows carrying arms to Somalia from the Makran coast of the Islamic Republic of Iran were intercepted by international naval forces. Smaller-scale arms shipments from Yemen have been documented in multiple past reports of the Monitoring Group, including S/2014/726, annex 6.6.
 See Security Council resolution 2093 (2013), paras. 33–39.
 See Security Council resolution 2142 (2014), paras. 3–7. For an overview of notification requirements relating to support to Federal Government security forces, see Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009), Implementation Assistance Notice No. 2, Summary of arms embargo restrictions in place for Somalia and Eritrea, including exemptions, 14 March 2016, paras. 9–17.
 Although the Federal Government retains the primary obligation to notify the Committee, Member States or the international organization involved in the supply may also make the advance notification “in consultation” with the Federal Government. SeeSecurity Council resolution 2142 (2014), para. 4.
 See S/AC.29/2017/SEMG/OC.122 and annex 8.1.
 See S/2016/919, annex 8.2, for the Monitoring Group’s previous assessment of the reporting of the Federal Government of Somalia.
 Further to the letter dated 3 April 2014 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2014/243) and the statement by the President of the Security Council of 22 May 2014 (S/PRST/2014/9), in accordance with Security Council resolution 2182 (2014), the Federal Government established a Joint Verification Team to conduct routine inspections of government security forces’ stockpiles, inventory records and the supply chain of weapons for the purposes of mitigating the diversion of arms and ammunition.
 Halane Central Armoury serves as the official initial point of storage for all weapons, ammunition and military equipment arriving in Somalia, and is located within the greater Mogadishu airport compound.
 Federal Government report submitted to the Security Council pursuant to para. 9 of its resolution 2182 (2014), 30 March 2017. Some 6,000 weapons had been marked by the Somali National Army, and 2,800 by the Ministry of Internal Security, as weapons belonging to the National Intelligence and Security Agency, the Somali Police Force, civil servants and private security companies. The Monitoring Group was also notified by the Federal Government (see S/AC.29/2017/NOTE.24/Add.1), that an additional 1,600 weapons donated by Djibouti had been marked since then.
 Advance notification to the Committee was made on 26 May 2017 (see S/AC.29/2017/NOTE.24). A post-delivery and post-distribution notification from the Federal Government was made on 17 August 2017, with complementary information provided by the Federal Government on 6 September 2017 (see S/AC.29/2017/NOTE.24/Add.1).
 See Security Council resolution 2111 (2013), para. 11 (a).
 S/AC.29/2017/SEMG/OC.03, 18 January 2017.
 The Government of the United Arab Emirates responded to the Monitoring Group correspondence on 8 August 2017 encouraging the Group to address the concerned authorities in Somalia, should they have any enquiries with regard to activities within its territories (2017/338).
 Monitoring Group interview with a senior Somaliland cabinet official, Hargeisa, 25 May 2017. The Monitoring Group was informed that, in return, the United Arab Emirates agreed to construct a new civilian airport nearby, and rehabilitate the road running from Berbera to the Ethiopian border at Wajaale.
 Abdulaziz Osman, “Somaliland says UAE can launch attacks from new base”, VOA, 26 May 2017. Available from www.voanews.com/a/somaliland-says-united-arab-emirates-launch-attacks-new-air-base/3872972.html.
 Under the new proposed security architecture, equal regional representation in the Somali National Army would likely require redistribution of clan representation. As such, the representation of clans currently dominant in the Army, particularly Abgaal and Haber Gedir (both Hawiye) clans, would likely need to be reduced.
 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Department for International Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Ministry of Defence, “Security pact”, policy paper, 11 May 2017. Available from www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/
 Interviews with international diplomatic staff and consultants working on security sector reform, Nairobi and Mogadishu, May to August 2017. The Monitoring Group has also reviewed internal Somali National Army documentation indicating refusals to requests made by international partners to ensure authorization from regional administrations in the dissemination of assistance.
 Integration of the Darawish into the Somali National Army remains a top priority of the Puntland administration. Interview with the Puntland President’s Chief of Staff, Abdinasir Sofe, Nairobi, 29 August 2017.
 The case studies in this section are based on corroborated interviews conducted with national and international humanitarian workers, regional and district officials, local journalists, community elders and aid beneficiaries in person in Baidoa, Galkayo and Mogadishu between December 2016 and 1 September 2017. The Monitoring Group also conducted remote interviews with former members of Al-Shabaab, local elders and community representatives present in, or displaced from, areas controlled by Al-Shabaab.
 Al-Shabaab widely publicized its own humanitarian activities and critiqued international efforts. See, inter alia, interview with Sheikh Ali Dhere, Al-Shabaab spokesperson, Radio al-Furqan, available from http://radioalfurqaan.com/?p=9523 (text in Somali) (accessed 20 September 2017).
 The humanitarian situation in some Al-Shabaab areas was acute: in June 2017 in Mataban district, severe acute malnutrition rates were assessed at 6 per cent: three times the emergency threshold.
 In March 2017 in Middle Shabelle, Al-Shabaab abducted five elders from the village of Gaaleefto, torching homes and schools three weeks after the local community had refused to pay the increased tax rates sought by the group.
 The Monitoring Group defines bureaucratic obstacles as regulations and practices imposed by recognized authorities which are intended to prevent, or have the effect of preventing, access to humanitarian aid, including its diversion. See S/2016/919, annex 6.1.
 United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, “Communiqué following the high-level roundtable meeting held in Mogadishu on the drought response in Somalia”, 28 February 2017. Available from https://unsom.unmissions.org/communiqué-following-high-level-roundtable-meeting-held-mogadishu-drought-response-somalia.
 The Interim South-West Administration Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation suspended implementation of its bill on non-governmental organizations to facilitate the drought response.
 In its resolution 2317 (2016), the Security Council urged the Federal Government to improve the regulatory environment for aid donors (para. 27). Although a draft federal bill on non‑governmental organizations was developed, without consultation and harmonization at the regional level or integration into a broader legislative framework, the bill would tend to hinder rather than facilitate humanitarian action.
 This summary was compiled on the basis of interviews with local and international humanitarian workers, regional and federal officials, representatives of beneficiary communities and former Al-Shabaab officials.
 According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there were more than 110 violent incidents that affected humanitarian organizations between January and August 2017, resulting in the deaths of four humanitarian workers.
 These graphs were prepared for the Monitoring Group by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED). ACLED collects and analyses data on political violence in developing States. See www.acleddata.com.
 According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, Al-Shabaab engaged in 188 acts of civilian targeting, resulting in 356 recorded fatalities between 1 September 2016 and 1 August 2017. See www.acleddata.com. The United Nations verified Al-Shabaab responsibility for 46 per cent of civilian casualties in 2017 as at 21 June.
 In mid-May 2017, Al-Shabaab publicized the amputation of the hands of two men for theft in Tiyeglow as the first carried out in accordance with sharia law since the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops days before. In August, two young Bantu men who were attempting to desert from
Al-Shabaab and join a defector with whom the Monitoring Group was engaging in Kismayo were discovered and beheaded.
 Public and private statements by the Ethiopian authorities attributed the withdrawals to the inability of Ethiopia to shoulder the “burden” in Somalia indefinitely: other commentators linked them to the ongoing political unrest in Ethiopia.
 In contrast, during the same period in 2016 the Monitoring Group had documented 29 airstrikes. See S/2016/919, annex 7.7.
 The United Nations documented 36 civilian casualties relating to the use of air assets in 58 airstrikes between January 2016 and June 2017. Fear of airstrikes did cause the displacement of civilians in other areas: in Gedo, approximately 1,200 individuals were displaced by airstrikes around Bardera in June 2017.
 The standard operating procedures for AMISOM civilian casualty response were finally adopted in July 2017. They standardize the procedures for processing allegations of civilian harm, determining amends and making referrals for other action. AMISOM told the Monitoring Group that it had been unable to implement the procedures owing to a lack of funding.
 See Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), “Somalia: displacement dashboard — Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN), displacements during July 2017”, 29 August 2017.
 Over 5,000 internally displaced persons were evicted in Baidoa alone in the first week of August. Between May and June 2017, the Somaliland Ministry of Interior ordered the demolition of informal settlements in and around Ainabo in Sool, causing the displacement of 327 households that had fled the impact of the drought.
 This is an extrapolation based on samples of verified cargoes of Somali charcoal augmented by the Monitoring Group’s observation of overall export trends during the previous and current mandates.
 The reason given by the Kenyan Defence Forces sector commander for not providing an escort and for not allowing the three members of the Monitoring Group to leave the AMISOM base was that the Group had not made its request to inspect the Buur Gaabo stockpile through official channels prior to landing at the base. Security was not the main issue, as the area had already been cleared to allow a safe landing for the United Nations helicopter.
 Lisandra Paraguassu, “Exclusive: Brazil’s Taurus sold arms to trafficker for Yemen war, prosecutors allege”, Reuters, 5 September 2016. Available from www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-arms-taurus/exclusive-brazils-taurus-sold-arms-to-trafficker-for-yemen-war-prosecutors-allege-idUSKCN11B1KM.
 See the recommendations of the Monitoring Group’s final report on Eritrea for 2017 (forthcoming). The Group notes that the Federal Government has expressed support for the disassociation of sanctions regimes.
 Photographic evidence from a security advisor to the Somali National Army on 12 July 2017.
 A 120 mm mortar is able to penetrate deeper into a building and can cause more damage than smaller mortars. It can also cause greater fragmentation over a wider area. “Military Systems Ground Mortars”, GlobalSecurity. Available from http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/mortars.htm (accessed 20 July 2017).
Interview with senior AMISOM official in Mogadishu, 26 April 2017.
“Massive blast hits near Mogadishu airport”, Al Jazeera English, 2 January 2017. Available from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/somalia-massive-blast-rocks-mogadishu-airport-170102091229184.html.
 Report from independent explosives experts in Mogadishu received on 16 September 2017.
 These findings were also peer reviewed and agreed by a UK-based qualified blast analysis engineer.
 Email received from UNMAS operations officer on 14 September 2017.
 Information and photographs received via SMS from a journalist in Bosaso, 26 April 2017.
 Interview with explosives expert in Mogadishu, 13 June 2017, and via Skype, 22 August 2017.
 Interview an UNMAS operations officer in Mogadishu, 13 June 2017.
 “Somalia’s Puntland executes 5 Al-Shabaab militants”, Xinhua, 9 April 2017. Available from http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-04/09/c_136194170.htm.
 Interview with an UNMAS operations officer in Mogadishu on 13 June 2017.
 Intelligence report, 29 July 2017, on file with the Secretariat.
 Interview with a defected Al-Shabaab financial officer, Baidoa, 30 August 2017.
 “Several al-Shabaab militants defect to government forces”, Garowe Online, 24 July 2017. Available from http://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-several-al-shabaab-militants-defect-to-government-forces.
 Interview with intelligence officer specializing in Al-Shabaab financing, Baidoa, 2 September 2017.
 Locations and Al-Shabaab revenue estimates provided by a NISA officer specializing in Al-Shabaab financing, interviewed in Baidoa, 2 September 2017; and locations and Al-Shabaab activities confirmed by another source in Baidoa, 4 September 2017.
 This is marginally less than the typical rate of $1,000 per truck at other checkpoints. Interview with intelligence officer specializing in Al-Shabaab financing, Baidoa, 2 August 2017, interview with intelligence officer, Baidoa, 1 September 2017.
 Interview with intelligence officer specializing in Al-Shabaab financing, Baidoa, 2 August 2017; and interview with an Interim South-West Administration official, Baidoa, 1 September 2017.
 Interview with intelligence officer specializing in Al-Shabaab financing, Baidoa, 2 August 2017.
 Interview with a defected Al-Shabaab financial officer, Baidoa, 30 August 2017.
 Interviews with clan elders and other residents of Qandala, 6 March 2017. Residents identified the names of two spokesmen: “Asad” a.k.a. “Omar”, and “Usama” — almost certainly not their real names.
 Interviews with residents of Khooriga, 6 March 2017.
 Interviews with clan elders and other residents of Qandala, 6 March 2017.
 Interviews with an intelligence and a security officer in Bosaso, 8 March and 11 April 2017; interview with a former associate of “Yullux”, Nairobi, 18 April 2017; interview with Abdinasir Sofe, Chief of Staff to the Puntland President, Nairobi, 29 August 2017.
 Images in this annex courtesy of the UK-based organization Conflict Armament Research.
 On 11 and 12 April 2017, the SEMG conducted interviews with 10 defected and captured ISIL fighters being held at Bosaso Central Prison.
 U.S. Department of State, “State Department Terrorist Designation of Abdiqadir Mumin”, press release, 31 August 2016. Available from https://www.state.gjaov/j/ct/rls/other/des/266486.htm.
 According to information provided by a relative of Mohamud, he was born in 1985 in Bosaso, and joined the Al-Shabaab insurgency in the Golis Mountains in 2008 before switching his allegiance to the ISIL faction in October 2015 at the behest of his close associate Abdulqader Mu’min. He is described as 1.75 m in height and 70 kg in weight, light skinned, and bearded.
 Interviews with an intelligence and a security officer in Bosaso, 8 March and 11 April 2017; interview with a former associate of “Yullux”, Nairobi, 18 April 2017; interview with Abdinasir Sofe, Chief of Staff to the Puntland President, Nairobi, 29 August 2017.
 International agency security officer in Bosaso, 4 June 2017. The area around Timirshe remains a stronghold for the ISIL faction.
 Interview with Abbas Mahamoud Yusuf in Bosaso Central Prison, 12 April 2017.
 Ibid. Yusuf described “Abu Sufiyan” as approximately 40 years old, dark-skinned, with a large black beard and a bent little finger on his right hand. He believed “Abu Sufiyan’s” role within the ISIL faction involved preaching (dawa) and orientation for new recruits.
 Abdisamad Gallan had previously launched an armed insurgency against the Puntland administration in June 2016 following his dismissal as governor of Bari region, which the SEMG detailed in annex 8.10 of S/2016/919.
 Interview with senior Puntland police commander in Bosaso, 7 March 2017.
 Interview with Abdisamad Gallan in Bosaso, 8 March 2017.
See Interpeace and Peace and Development Research Centre, Galkacyo Conflict Assessment, December 2016 – March 2017, on file with the Secretariat (Galkayo conflict assessment); see also, Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS), Gaalkacyo Conflict: Drivers, Contributors and Potential Solutions, December 2016; and Zakaria Yusuf & Abdul Khalif, “Galkayo and Somalia’s Dangerous Faultlines”, available from http://blog.crisisgroup.org/africa/somalia/2015/12/10/galkayo-and-somalias-dangerous-faultlines/ (accessed 22 September 2017).
 A Ceasefire Agreement was signed on 2 December 2015 between the Puntland and Galmudug administrations. It provided, inter alia, that displaced people would be facilitated to return home and that both administrations would facilitate humanitarian access.
 The attack killed 27 people and injured over 90. Interview with UN staff member, 2 July 2017, Galkayo; interview with staff of hospital in north Galkayo, 5 July 2017, Galkayo.
The Puntland President issued two decrees setting out the ban and related procedures on 8 September and 16 September 2016. The ban was rescinded on 20 September, generating public outcry and a series of angry public demonstrations in north Galkayo. The Puntland Vice President, Abdihakim Abdullahi Amey, was one of the key drivers of the suspension, and later the construction of the livestock market —to facilitate management of the blockade — which was the trigger of the 2016 fighting.
 Galmudug officials told the SEMG that in addition to the 13 military personnel, seven civilians and livestock were also killed in the strike. They also noted that there had been a ground encounter between Puntland and Galmudug forces prior to the strike. Interview with security and administrative officials, south Galkayo administration, 4 July 2017.
 See “Galmudug State condemns aerial bombardment that killed, soldiers, civilians in central Somalia”, press statement, 30 September 2017, available from http://www.qaranimo.com/news/2016/09/30/galmudug-state-condemns-aerial-bombardment-by-u-s-forces-that-killed-soldiers-civilians-in-central-somalia/.
 The livestock holding area (6°45’19.78” N, 47°24’51.40” E) was intended to ease the impact of the restrictions on cross-boundary movement and the requirement that there be a vehicle change-over for goods and animals coming from the south. Many livestock had died during the early months of the imposition of the ban. Although the contract for the construction was given to a north Galkayo businessman, when he tried to share the contract with a southern partner there was strong pushback from the community.
 SEMG in-person and phone interviews with individuals present during the conflict in Galkayo, April to August 2017; examination of video footage available of the conflict on social media.
 SEMG phone interview with individual with knowledge of the fighting, 10 August 2017. See video of fighting involving militia at Garsoor village in Galkayo, date indeterminate. Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E3DseWi3E4 (accessed 22 September 2017).
 Commander Dagarri was later was dismissed from his position by IGA President Ahmed Duale “Haaf”.
 See video footage of contingent of Puntland forces listing to speech by Colonel Jimale and receiving the welcome of the community at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XX8AFhFAOQ (accessed 22 September 2017). Colonel Jimale assures his troops that they are well prepared and equipped and thanks the Puntland leadership for their support in terms of morale and logistics.
 SEMG interview with security and administrative officials, south Galkayo administration, 4 July 2017.
 Abdirahman Mahmoud Haji Hassan, the Director of the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) was in Galkayo for some of the conflict period, along with some of his forces and vehicles but there were no reports that they actively participated in the conflict.
 Reflecting their antagonistic stance towards the peace negotiations, Warsame and Hersi were ordered by President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gass” to withdraw from Galkayo in June 2017, in order to facilitate the signing of the 22 June accord (see below). Hersi later engaged in the process, however, and was present at the September 2017 peace conference.
 See, for example, “Somalia: Federal Govt delivers arms consignment to Galmudug”, Garowe Online, 27 November 2015, available from http://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/puntland/somalia-federal-govt-delivers-arms-consignment-to-galmudug-report.
 Unofficial translation of statements of Omsan Abdullahi Jama and Abdi Osman Mahmoud, on file with the Secretariat. The two Marehan soldiers identified themselves and described how they were NISA personnel based in Aadado, where they had assisted with the securing the state formation process. Their involvement in Galkayo had begun when they had been told that there were being deployed to deal with clearing a roadblock on the Galinsoor-Galkayo road near Banderadley, but then found themselves taken to the city and ordered to fight. They then defected.
 Some who spoke to the SEMG linked the greater involvement of the business community to Al-Shabaab’s increasing influence and control of the conflict dynamic.
 For an overview of challenges to freedom of expression in Somalia and the role of the media, see UNSOM Human Rights, Report on the right of freedom of expression: striving to widen democratic space in Somali’s political transition, available from http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/SO/UNSOM_FreedomExpressionReport_Aug312016.pdf (accessed 22 September 2017).
The levels of fear and mistrust between populations on either side of the line dividing Galkayo is such that some