Mogadishu Weekly Sitrep 

Threat Level Analysis and Comment

Following the recent lull in al Shabaab activity in Mogadishu, a resurgence following the retraction of the additional security measures instituted around the Presidential elections and inauguration ceremony is assessed as likely. The heightened international attention on the political situation within the country will be particularly focused around the inauguration of President-elect Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, scheduled for Wednesday, 22nd February. Consequently, militants’ attention will equally be focused on the inauguration day, which offer them a high-profile platform for their attacks. The inauguration ceremony at Villa Somalia is less likely to be targeted directly due to the anticipated heavy presence of security forces in the area. However, hotels housing government officials or clan elders, as well as other facilities associated with the Federal Government, remain likely targets.

While assassinations targeting politicians, clan leaders and other officials will likely continue, they are assessed to pose a low risk for most foreign nationals. However, high-profile individuals staying and travelling within the city may still be targeted by al Shabaab operatives. Foreign nationals staying in the city for an extended period of time or who are visiting on a regular basis are at an increased risk of detection by the militants and criminal elements alike.

Threat Forecast

The anticipated increase in al Shabaab activity in the aftermath of the Presidential elections did not materialise, with only one minor grenade attack recorded in the city over the reporting period. However, while immediate security measures – such as the curfew enforced around election day – were lifted following the conclusion of the election, security forces remain in a heightened state of alert. This is illustrated by the announced ban on all flights to and from MIA put in place on 22nd February during the inauguration ceremony. For al Shabaab, the inauguration ceremony poses a major national and international stage for potential attacks against targets within the city and a prime opportunity to demonstrate their continued resolve as well as the government’s inability to protect the capital. Thus, the overall threat level for the following days remains highly elevated. While a direct attack on the inauguration ceremony at Villa Somalia is unlikely, as security forces will be out in force in the vicinity of the building, attacks against high-profile hotels or installations representing the Federal Government are assessed to be likely.

The complete report is available for download at the following link:  Mogadishu Weekly Sitrep – 16 Feb 17

This report is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this report. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information within the report but Salama Fikira can take no responsibility for inaccuracies of fact or deduction. All images are subject to copyright.