Hundred thirty-sixth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: January 2009)

Voice stations | Morse stations | Various modes
Military stations | Utlility round-up
Intelligence profile : Somalia | Logs
Index | NS NL Home


Intelligence profile - Somalia

Background

Somalia , situated in the Horn of Africa, lies along the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It is bounded by Djibouti in the northwest, Ethiopia in the west, and Kenya in the southwest.

Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 to allow its protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland and form the new nation of Somalia. In 1969, a coup headed by Mohamed SIAD Barre ushered in an authoritarian socialist rule that managed to impose a degree of stability in the country for a couple of decades. After the regime's collapse early in 1991, Somalia descended into turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy. In May 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes the administrative regions of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence and continues efforts to establish a constitutional democracy. The regions of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug comprise a neighboring self-declared autonomous state of Puntland, which has been self-governing since 1998 but does not aim at independence. A two-year peace process concluded in October 2004 with the election of Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed as President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia. While its institutions remain weak, the TFG works towards national elections in 2009. In June 2006, the Council of Islamic Courts (CIC) defeated powerful Mogadishu warlords and took control of the capital. The Courts continued to expand militarily throughout much of southern Somalia and threatened to overthrow the TFG in Baidoa. Ethiopian and TFG forces, concerned over links between some CIC factions and the al-Qaida East Africa network intervened in late December 2006, resulting in the collapse of the CIC. The current situation is deteriorating rapidly. Violence is now being perpetrated by clan militias, warlord militias, and remnants of the CIC, particularly the Shabbab Militia.

General

Long name : Jamhuuriyada Demuqraadiga Soomaaliyeed (Somali Democratic Republic)
Short name : Soomaaliya (Somalia)
Capital : Mogadishu
Administrative divisions : 18 regions (gobolka);
Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellaha Hoose, Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed

Northern Somalia is now (Jan 2009) divided up among the quasi-independent states of Puntland, Somaliland, Galmudug and Maakhir. The south is controlled by the Transitional Federal Government, although it is in fact controlled by Islamic groups outside Baidoa and Mogadishu. There are now 27 regions.

Military & state security services

Military branches:

Security:

Siad Barre regime

Under the Siad Barre regime, several police and intelligence organizations were responsible for maintaining public order, controlling crime, and protecting the government against domestic threats. These included the Somali Police Force (SPF), the People's Militia "Guulwadayal", the National Security Service (NSS), and a number of other intelligence gathering agencies.

Other notorious security agencies remained in force, including the "Hangash" a branch of the military police; the "Guulwadayal"; the Red Berets; the "Dhabar Jabinta" a branch of the military police.

Transitional federal government

National Security Agency (NSA)

The Somali NSA was formed in 1991 and is responsible for intelligence and counter-terrorism activities. It is subordinate to the TFG Presidency agency and is accused of unlawfully imprisoning and torturing hundreds of citizens. A number of foreign governments are reportedly involved in training the NSA. The agency officially does not have a military role but in the absence of a military intelligence agency the NSA also gathers military information.

On June 6, 2007 the Somali Minister of Information signed a decree to close down Radio HornAfrik, Radio Shabele and Radio Iqra in Mogadishu. The Qatar- based Al-Jazeera satellite television network was also forced to stop broadcasting. TFG/NSA intelligence personnel have further imprisoned several journalists and the directors of Radio Somaliweyn and Radio Shabelle. A reporter from Radio Somaliweyn was jailed in 2008, for covering an opposition meeting in Asmara.

Somaliland

The Somaliland security forces include the Somaliland armed forces consisting of an army and a small coast guard unit, police and intelligence services.

The Somaliland Police Force include the Police itself, the Custodial Corps and a Special Protection Unit.

Somaliland National Intelligence Agency (SNIA) The SNIA is the intelligence and counter-terrorism agency of the Somaliland authorities, and contains the Immigration Department. It reports directly to the Transitional Federal Government Presidency. Note that the latter may be different because of the ever changing situation in Somalia.

Puntland

Like Somaliland, Puntland also has its own Police Force including a Special Protection Unit.

The Puntland military consist of the Darawiish paramilitary force and a small coast guard unit.

Puntland's Intelligence Service is the principal intelligence and counter- terrorism agency. It reports directly to the Transitional Federal Government Presidency. Note that the latter may be different because of the ever changing situation in Somalia.

Sources / advised reading

Voice stations | Morse stations | Various modes
Military stations | Utlility round-up
Intelligence profile : Somalia | Logs
Index | NS NL Home

---