Somalia: monthly report June 2024

In the context of the war in Sudan, General Hemedti’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have tightened their grip on El-Fasher. As capital of Western Darfur, this city holds significant strategic and symbolic importance in the ongoing conflict. Strategically, ElFasher represents the last stronghold in the region still under the control of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). Its capture would grant Hemedti’s paramilitary forces control over the entire region, potentially allowing them to establish an autonomous geopolitical entity. According to some sources, seizing the region would also strengthen the RSF’s logistics chain, securing supply lines from eastern Libya and Chad. Symbolically, El-Fasher was the epicenter of the Darfur genocide, and the international community fears that its recapture could lead to renewed ethnic cleansing. The RSF’s tactics in their bid to take the city leave little doubt in this regard. Bombardments of healthcare facilities have become constant, and the suffering of the civilian population has prompted the UN Security Council to pass a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire amid the offensive. Despite the dire news from El-Fasher, the regular armed forces do not appear to be focusing their efforts on retaking Darfur at the moment. Instead, the SAF continues to mobilize the bulk of its men and equipment towards the city of Omdurman, the main route to recapturing the capital, Khartoum. Al-Burhan’s plans hinge on this move to ensure the total recognition of the Sovereign Council as the only legitimate government of the country. In this context, the regular forces aim to capitalize on the Russian arms supplies expected to arrive at Port Sudan in the coming weeks, following an agreement with Moscow for the use of a port on the Red Sea. Meanwhile, the UN has officially recognized Sudan as an area affected by a major food crisis. June also saw significant protests in Kenya. After weeks of demonstrations against the government of William Ruto, the toll includes more than 200 arrests, 24 deaths, and dozens of injuries. The protests, led by Kenyan Gen Z, called for the cancellation of the financial bill proposed by Ruto’s government, which included substantial tax increases, including those on fuel and digital transactions. The demonstrations culminated in an assault on the Kenyan parliament on June 25, when protesters broke through police security and occupied parts of the building for several hours before being evicted. The protests were met with widespread violence by law enforcement, who in some cases opened fire on the crowd, drawing harsh condemnation from the international community. In this context, the Kenyan judiciary has taken a stand against the use of force by the police, opening several investigations into the security forces. In response to the protests, Ruto initially sought to calm the situation by acknowledging the reasons behind the demonstrations and expressing his willingness to work with his opponents. However, he later described the protesters as wealthy, bored youths or even criminals. The president then deployed the army to defend key state buildings, while the international community, led by the USA, pressured the government to stop the violent repression of the protests and listen to the people’s grievances. Ruto eventually withdrew the financial bill, leaving the public finance dilemma unresolved. Given the current state of Kenya’s finances, the government will need to find additional liquidity for the treasury, a crucial prerequisite for unlocking International Monetary Fund aid. Meanwhile, the mobilization continues, with protesters, emboldened by the withdrawal of the budget bill, now calling for the president’s resignation.

Download the June 2024 report

The vulnerabilities of the Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb strategic straits

From Iran’s assertiveness to tensions between actors in the Horn of Africa, via piracy and terrorism: the role of the strategic straits in the new instability of the Gulf-Red Sea quadrant.

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Interview with Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Video

Here the full video of the interview with H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, which took place on Tuesday 30 January in Rome at Med-Or Foundation.


Med-Or hosts Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Republic of Somalia

Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh speaks at the Med-Or Foundation in Rome, on the sidelines of the Italy-Africa Conference.

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