Geeska Afrika Online

Djibouti: Regional Security News Briefing

Djibouti (HAN) Regional  Security Briefing Weekly .
  • Al-Shabaab militant Gunmen assassinated a Justice Ministry official in Mogadishu on September 29. The militants shot Mohamed Aden Qordheere as he left a mosque in the Waberi district of Mogadishu.
  • Internal Reports: a significant portion of the Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) contingent may have returned to Ethiopia to stem widespread protests, according to unverified reports.
  • The Somali Federal Government submitted a formal request for the United States to explain a September 28 airstrike near Galkayo in the Galguduud region. The Pentagon says the airstrike killed nine Al-Shabaab militants. The regional State of Galmudug Administration confirmed that,  the airstrike killed 22 Galmudug security forces.
2- Ethiopia: Eight security forces killed in Benishangul Gumuz region
Eight security forces have reportedly been killed in Benishangul Gumuz region, western Ethiopia, following clashes with the local people.
3- US to spend millions on “most important military project in Africa” in impoverished Niger
The United States says it will invest $50m in building a military air base in the city of Agadez in the southern Saharan state of Niger. A spokesperson for the Pentagon told the BBC that the US had agreed to pay for a runway and “associated pavements, facilities and infrastructure”.
4- Why China and Saudi Arabia Are Building Bases in Djibouti
China and Saudi Arabia are building military bases next door to US AFRICOM in Djibout
5- Humaniterian Issues: UN relief chief to visit Djibouti, Yemen
The UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Stephen O’Brien, is expected to visit Djibouti and Yemen on Oct. 1-4, 2016.
6- Regional Security Impact: Yemen
Al Houthi-Saleh forces unveiled a new missile they claimed was developed and built in Yemen. The missile, dubbed the “Sumud” or “Steadfastness,” has a 300 kilogram warhead and an effective range of 38 kilometers. Al Houthi-Saleh forces unveiled another purportedly Yemen-made ballistic missile, the “Borkan-1,” on September 2
7- Russian-born Swedish Official Prompts ‘Security Risk’ Worries. Did Russian ‘threat’ lead to Swedish troops on Gotland?
A Russian-born political secretary in Sweden’s anti-immigration party has caused a national sensation due to his access to state information.
Meanwhile, Sweden amps up security in Baltic Sea. This is based on a holistic perspective of our security situation, which has worsened, Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish daily 
8- International Treaty: Greek anger at Turkey border treaty remarks
Greece has reacted angrily after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to question a treaty that set borders between the two countries.

9- India Claims Army Hits Militants in Pakistan-Held Region as Tensions Rise Between Nuclear Rivals
India’s military claimed it hit suspected militant camps across the border with Pakistan in the disputed Kashmir region, marking a notable rise in tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the “unprovoked and naked aggression of Indian forces,” which led to the death of at least two Pakistani soldiers. A senior Pakistani military official, meanwhile, has contradicted India’s assertion that it carried out a “surgical strike” on militants using possible ground forces, and suggested India had waged cross-border shelling. Evacuations were ordered in some villages on both sides of what is referred to as the Line of Control dividing Kashmir. India and Pakistan, which have fought four wars, have both long laid claim to the disputed Kashmir region, and India has for years accused Pakistan of supporting an armed insurgency in the part of the valley that is under its administration. Tensions have been running particularly high between the two countries after four Pakistani militants attacked an army camp in the Indian border town of Uri on Sept. 18, killing 18 Indian soldiers. India has claimed that Pakistan supported the militants, but Pakistan has denied its involvement.
10- Two American Sisters Found Dead at Resort in Seychelles
Two American sisters were found dead without any signs of injuries while vacationing in Seychelles this month, local authorities said. Resort management discovered Robin Korkki, 42, and her sister, Annie Korkki, 37, “unresponsive” in their villa on September 22, according to Seychelles police spokesman Jean Toussaint. “Preliminary examination done by the police on their bodies did not show any signs of violence,” Toussaint said. Seychelles authorities are in contact with the US Embassy there, he added. Seychelles, off Africa’s east coast, is a popular tourist destination because of its pristine beaches, warm water and coral reefs. The sisters were staying in Mahe, one of 115 islands in the nation. They arrived in Seychelles on September 15, and were due to leave on September 24, two days after they were found dead, Toussaint said.
11- U.S. Believes Russia Steered Hacked Documents to Websites
U.S. officials are increasingly certain that the hacker Guccifer 2.0 is part of a network of individuals and groups kept at arm’s length by Russia to mask its involvement in cyberintrusions, according to people familiar with the matter. The hacker has denied working on behalf of the Russian government, but U.S. officials and independent security experts maintain that the syndicate is one of the most prominent elements of what looks like increasing Russian efforts to target prominent American athletes, party officials, and military leaders. U.S. officials believe that at least two hacking groups with ties to the Russian government, known as Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear, are involved in the escalating data-theft efforts, according to people familiar with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation of the cyberattacks. Guccifer 2.0, in a Twitter direct message, says that wants to, among other things, expose corruption in politics and shine light on how companies influence policy. While the person sending the messages could not be verified, the account is the same one that was used to publish personal information about U.S. Democrats. Democratic Party officials have said they expect more leaks before Election Day.
12- Dutch Inquiry Links Russia to 298 Deaths in Explosion of Jetliner Over Ukraine
A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that the powerful surface-to-air missile system used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine two years ago, killing all 298 on board, was trucked in from Russia at the request of Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night. The report largely confirmed the Russian government’s already widely documented role not only in the deployment of the missile system, but also in the subsequent cover-up, which continues to this day. The report, by a team of prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine, was significant for applying standards of evidence admissible in court while still building a case directly implicating Russia, and it is likely to open a long diplomatic and legal struggle. With meticulous detail, working with cellphone records, social media, witness accounts and other evidence, the prosecutors traced Russia’s role in deploying the missile system into Ukraine and its attempts to cover its tracks afterward. The inquiry did not name individual culprits and stopped short of saying that Russian soldiers were involved. Announcing their findings at a news conference in Nieuwegein, in the Netherlands, the investigators were clear, however, that they planned to identify suspects and to determine who they think gave the orders and what their intentions were, in preparation for bringing criminal indictments.
13- IARPA to Develop Early-Warning System for Cyberattacks
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has launched a multi-year research and development effort to create an early warning system to create new technologies that could provide an early warning system for detecting precursors to cyberattacks. The program will develop software to sense unconventional indicators of cyberattack, and use the data to develop models and machine-learning systems that can create probabilistic warnings. Current early warning systems are focused on traditional cyber indicators such as activity targeted toward IP addresses and domain names, according to IARPA program manager Robert Rahmer. The first stage, lasting 18 months, will examine data outside of the victim network, such as black market sales of exploits that take advantage of particular software bugs. The second and third phases, 12 months each, will examine internal target organization data and look for ways to develop warnings and transfer any tools that emerge from the research from one organization to another, he said. IARPA said the program, known as Cyberattack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment, or CAUSE, has been underway since August, and includes four main research partners: BAE Systems Inc., Charles River Analytics, Leidos, and the University of Southern California.
14- Congress Looks to Narrow Bill Allowing Terror Victims to Sue Foreign Governments
Congressional leaders on Thursday said they were working on ways to mitigate possible unintended consequences of legislation letting Americans sue foreign governments over terrorist attacks, just one day after both the House and Senate soundly overrode President Barack Obama’s veto of the bill. Some lawmakers expressed buyer’s remorse on the legislation, which would enable victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and their families to sue Saudi Arabia, worrying that the bill could spark reciprocal lawsuits and put Americans abroad in the legal crosshairs of foreign governments. The president vetoed the bill, arguing that it did little to deter future terrorist attacks and could endanger U.S. intelligence officials and diplomats abroad by eroding sovereign immunity, the centuries-old legal doctrine that generally protects national governments from being sued against their will. The bill specifically would establish an exception to U.S. laws barring lawsuits against foreign governments, allowing court action by victims of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Lawmakers said Thursday that they would seek to tighten the bill after the November elections in an effort to limit its repercussions. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he hoped to find some way to “protect our service members overseas from any kind of legal ensnarements or retribution” while still allowing Sept. 11 victims and their families to go to court.
15- Hackers Infect Army of Cameras, DVRs for Massive Internet Attacks
Major Internet attacks last week launched through hacked security cameras and video recorders are raising concerns about the vulnerability of millions of smart devices. Security experts caution consumers are not likely to apply security updates to Internet-connected devices that lack screens and are designed to be plugged in and forgotten. Those affected include French web hosting provider OVH and U.S. security researcher Brian Krebs, whose website was disabled temporarily. “We need to address this as a clear and present threat not just to censorship but to critical infrastructure,” Krebs said. “We’re thinking this is the tip of the iceberg,” said Dale Drew, head of security at Level 3 Communications Inc., which runs one of the world’s largest internet backbones, giving it a window into many of the attacks that cross the net. The proliferation of internet-connected devices from televisions to thermostats provide attackers a bigger arsenal of weapons to infiltrate. These devices are “designed to be remote controlled over the internet,” said Andy Ellis, security chief at network operator Akamai Technologies Inc., some of whose clients were affected. “They’re also never going to be updated.” Experts have long warned that machines without their own screens are less likely to receive fixes designed to protect them. Researchers have found flaws in gadgets ranging from “smart” lightbulbs to internet-connected cars. Wi-Fi routers are a growing source of concern as many manufacturers put the onus on consumers to do the updating.




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