Somali army re-establishes Mogadishu Joint Operations Centre


The Somali National Army (SNA) has re-established the Mogadishu Joint Operations Centre (JOC) to coordinate operations and act as an intelligence fusion cell for the country’s security arms.

The centre, which ceased to exist as Somalia disintegrated into clan fiefdoms after the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, was reopened with help from the African Union (AU) AMISOM force which is providing security in Mogadishu and battling the Al Shabaab insurgency in the central and southern parts of the country.

In a statement posted on the AMISOM website, the spokesman of the force Colonel Ali Houmed said the revival of the JOC in Mogadishu will enable security agencies to closely monitor terrorist activity and respond timely to security threats throughout the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere across the country.
“The joint security operations coordination office has been re-established to help in sharing information and coordinating joint security operations by Somali Security Forces and AMISOM,” Colonel Hamid said.

The centre will coordinate intelligence gathering, plan and implement inter-agency security operations to complement the activities of a special anti-terror force of 1 000 men which has so far failed to protect Mogadishu since their deployment last year.

Colonel Houmed said the AU force is also supporting the Somali Police Force (SPF) in conducting the on-going security and stabilisation operations which are done by the police day and night around Mogadishu to flush out criminal elements “who sometimes hide among the Somali population”.

The SNA spokesman said they value joint security and intelligence operations with AU forces because it has already started yielding battlefields results such as the capture last week of the town of Rabdure in the Bakool region by Somali military units backed by AMISOM forces.

Meanwhile the Military Court of Somalia has executed three SNA soldiers after they were convicted of the murder of an undisclosed number of fellow soldiers and a journalist in Mogadishu last year. The three, who were handcuffed, were executed by an army firing squad at the Somali Police Academy in the Hamarjajab neighborhood of Mogadishu on Tuesday.

Military Court chief Liban Ali Yarow told Somali media that one of the three soldiers was convicted and sentenced to death for the assassination of Somali journalist Mustaf Hussein Qanyare on the outskirts of Mogadishu in September last year.

Thirty journalists have been killed in Somalia in the past few years, making it one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work. This week, a hit list containing the names of seven journalists, some politicians and some business people were reportedly found on a suspected al Shabaab hit-man who was captured by the army.