Djibouti (HAN) April 16. 2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. Looking Ahead. The Villa Somalia National Security Office (NSO) is the principal forum used by the President of the Federal Government of Somalia
1- Djibouti: The OIC Deplored Iran’s “Regional interference, supporting terror” The OIC resolution of two day long summit in Istanbul Alerts Iran of regional interference and supporting terror groups in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.
The final resolution of two-day long OIC summit in Istanbul stressed the need for the cooperative relations between Islamic States and Iran “to be based on the principle of good-neighborliness, non-interference in their domestic affairs, respect for their independence and territorial sovereignty, resolving differences by peaceful means in accordance with the OIC and the UN charters and the principles of international law, and refraining from the use or threat of force.”
The OIC’s final summit communique deplored Iran’s “interference” in the regional countries and some of the body’s members including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia and what it said was its continued “support for terrorism.”
“The conference deplored Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of the States of the region and other member states including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, and its continued support for terrorism,” the OIC said.
2- The Munich Security Conference (MCS) opened in Addis Ababa
Chief Operating Officer Dr. Benedikt Franke said that giving particular focus on Eastern Africa, this core group meeting series would discuss current security challenges and is also excepted to come up with new ideas or means of conflict resolutions.
Somali participation: According to the member of SIRAD institute delegate, a number of high level decision makers from Africa, Europe and USA met to have open dialogues on security risks posed by epidemics and climate change, among others.
3- Somalia: Donor fatigue is rising, But FGS is moving in the right direction Somalia is still fragile, but fragile is progress, according to new defense and security report published by SIRAD institute in Mogadishu
4- Djibouti: Italy pushes closer European security cooperation to a co-chair WG5
The idea behind an Italian proposal for closer European security cooperation to protect Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean maritime issues has emerged. Sources (Maritime Security ESA – IO Region): Italian diplomats in Djibouti are proposing to a co-chair WG5. Following the attacks at main gates of Arabian sea and maritime issues in Africa, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for Europe to work toward a common strategy for security and defense.
5- Ethiopian Civilian Border Clash: Armed men massacre 140 civilians in Ethiopia cross-border raid
Armed men from South Sudan have killed around 140 people and kidnapped a number of others in a cross-border raid into Ethiopia, the Ethiopian government said on Sunday. Ethnic Murle gunmen “attacked near Gambella and killed close to 140 people. They also abducted some of them,” Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Tewolde Muluteg told HAN.
Update: The Ethiopian region of Gambella, some 30 miles (50km) from the South Sudan border, is home to the Nuer, one of the two main ethnic groups in the country, and also about 272,000 South Sudanese refugees who have fled the civil war that erupted in their country in December 2013
6- Ethiopia: Tana Security Conference – Africa has begun to tackle challenges and they look forward to securing participation of all Africans to face the existing threats
The chairman of the fifth Tana High-Level Forum and former Nigerian President Obasanjo underscored the importance of the forum to support and promote cooperation among African nations to resolve the challenges facing the continent.
Attended by, including FGS president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Ethiopian PM Hailemriam, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and UN Chief Kofi Annan, policy makers, academics and distinguished guests.
The forum seeks to achieve the adequate solutions for the African problems, expressing hope that the Darfur referendum represents a step forward to achieving peace, development and stability in the troubled region.
Good News: Obasanjo added that the participation of the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir in the forum underlines his keenness to resolve the Sudanese and African problems. He further pointed to the role that should be played by the African leaders, saying if they have strong will they can resolve the problems facing the continent.
7- Future Africa and the its role of the UN Security Council:
In Addis Ababa, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan said building a strong national security force is an important input for Africa to assert its role in the global security agenda.
The former Secretary General further stated that Africa must have a strong and consistent voice in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Munich Security Conference (MSC) Chairman, Wolfgang Ischinger, said Africa has a legitimate right to expect a permanent seat or two at the UNSC.
8- Washington: Aid invaluable to national security, Bono tells US Congress. Rock star Bono told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday it is imperative that foreign aid be seen as a vital “bulwark” against extremism and growing humanitarian crises.
“Aid can no longer be seen as charity,“ the U2 front man said during testimony before a Senate subcommittee.
“When it is structured properly, with a focus on fighting poverty and improving governance to qualify for that aid, it could just be the best bulwark we have against the violent extremism that is gaining traction in the Levant and in the Sahel.”
9- EU Approves Anti-Terror Plan to Collect Air Passenger Info
European Union lawmakers approved a plan to share airline passenger information. Nations hope to use the information to track foreign fighters traveling to and from conflict areas and those who might pose a danger in Europe. The move ends years of debate over how to balance security needs and privacy rights. The so-called Passenger Name Record law was approved at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, by 461 votes to 179, with nine abstentions. Under the scheme, law enforcement agencies in all 28 nations would have access to traveler details gathered by airlines, including names, travel dates, itineraries, and credit card details. The data will be collected on any flights entering or leaving the EU and on flights between member countries. The information will be kept for five years, but identifying details like name, address, and contact details will be masked out after six months to protect people’s identities. Critics say that many of those linked to the attacks were already known to the authorities, and that the scheme will needlessly collect private information about ordinary citizens, as well as be costly and cumbersome to operate.
10- Obama Claims ‘Momentum’ in ISIS Fight
President Obama on Wednesday visited CIA headquarters and said that the United State has the upper hand in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Noting that the extremist group was “on the defensive,” Obama urged more momentum and resources. He touted progress made by local ground forces taking territory back from ISIS but also acknowledged the fight remains difficult. He also discussed a series of strikes that have killed some of the group’s top leaders, and noted that the Pentagon had declared the U.S. was in the “second phase” of its fight, which includes driving ISIS out of its strongholds in Mosul and Raqqa. “Every day, ISIL leaders wake up and understand that it could be their last,” said Obama. In addition, Obama discussed possible diplomatic solutions to the civil war in Syria, which has allowed ISIS to fester and grow. The current cease-fire has “saved lives” but it is still tenuous at best. Obama plans to discuss the Syrian conflict during a trip to Saudi Arabia next week, where he’ll meet with leaders of Gulf state allies.
11- Belgian Transport Minister Quits Over Airport Security
Jacqueline Galant, Belgium’s transport minister, resigned on Friday following opposition accusations she lied about an EU report that criticized security at Brussels Airport a year before last month’s Islamic State suicide bombings. Galant previously maintained before parliament that her office was not made aware of a critical report sent in March 2015 by EU officials. However, opposition parties said they had emails proving the contrary. European Commission officials would not comment on the report, but said they carry out regular checks on security at European airports and raise any concerns with national authorities. “A summary of the report had been discussed and sent to the minister’s cabinet in June 2015,” Prime Minister Charles Michel told a news conference after accepting Galant’s resignation.
12- U.S. Government Worse Than All Major Industries on Cyber Security: Report
U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies rank last in cybersecurity compared with 17 major private industries, according to a new report from SecurityScorecard. The study measured the relative security health of government and industries across 10 categories, including vulnerability to malware infections and exposure rates of passwords. Information services, construction, food, and technology finished near the top; educations, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical industries joined the government near the bottom. The government has struggled for years to combat evolving cyber threats, with 35 major breaches occurring in just the last year. NASA was the worst government entity that was analyzed, and was joined by the State Department and the information technology systems used by Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Washington and Maricopa County, Arizona. Government organizations with the strongest security postures included Clark County, Nevada, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the Hennepin County Library in Minnesota.
13- Two-Factor Authentication Bypassed in Simple Attacks
VU University Amsterdam researchers have demonstrated practical attacks against both Android and iOS devices, showing how a man-in-the-browser (MitB) attack can be elevated to bypass two-factor authentication (2FA) mechanisms. The increased usage of smartphones and people’s tendency to keep applications synchronized across multiple devices makes phone-based 2FA useless, according to the researchers. The synchronization of apps means once an attacker can access a user’s computer, the smartphone can be compromised to bypass the security mechanism. Since 2FA relies on the idea of segmentation to protect against attacks and malware, the process of integrating apps among multiple platforms is negating its benefits and exposing users. In addition, because of synchronization, once a victim’s computer has been breached, the attacker can engage in MitB attacks and perform illegal operations 2FA should have prevented. “By exploiting certain 2FA synchronization vulnerabilities, we show that mobile phone 2FA as used by many online services for secure authentication, including financial institutions, can be easily bypassed,” the researchers warn. They demonstrated the attack by leveraging Google Play’s remote app installation feature, which enabled them to install a specifically designed vulnerable app on the victim’s Android devices. The iOS attack was designed around a new OS X feature that enables users to synchronize their short-messaging-services messages between the iPhone and Mac computer.
14- ATM Compromises in US Jumped Six-Fold in 2015
The number of ATMs in the U.S. compromised by criminals rose 546 percent in 2015 over 2014, according to analytic software firm FICO. Criminal activity was highest at non-bank ATMs, such as those in convenience stores, where 10 times as many machines were compromised as in 2014. FICO also reported that ATM compromises were taking place over fewer days. The average duration of an ATM compromise fell from 36 days in 2014 to 14 days in 2015. The average number of cards affected by a compromise was cut in half. TJ Horan, vice president of fraud solutions at FICO, says that non-bank ATMS…are more vulnerable—in 2015, non-bank ATMs accounted for 60 percent of all compromises, up from 39 percent in 2014.”
15- Microsoft Sues Justice Department Over Secret Customer Data Searches
Microsoft sued the Justice Department Thursday claiming that it is unconstitutional for the government to prevent tech companies from telling consumers when their data has been examined by federal agents. The lawsuit raises questions about data privacy and security in the cloud computing era. It also sets the stage for the DOJ’s second high-profile court battle with a large tech company, after its scuffle with Apple concerning the decryption of a terrorist’s iPhone. In the filing, Microsoft claims it received 5,624 federal demands for customer information in the past 18 months, and 2,576 of those requests came with gag orders preventing the company from telling customers. In its complaint, Microsoft acknowledges that the increase in demands for both online data and secrecy “undermine confidence in the privacy of the cloud and have impaired Microsoft’s right to be transparent with its customers.” Moreover, Microsoft’s corporate customers feel “very strongly” about the issue. The outcome of the suit may depend on how courts interpret a legal theory called the third-party doctrine, which holds that people who voluntarily give information to third parties have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
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