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Report of the Investigation into the link between Hormuud Telecom and the Al-Shabaab Operations in Somalia

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Saturday November 02, 2019 - 02:57:14 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    Report of the Investigation into the link between Hormuud Telecom and the Al-Shabaab Operations in Somalia

    Reaping the Whirlwind Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Resurgence of Al-Shabaab. October (2019) International Policy Group (IPG) Nairobi Kenya

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Reaping the Whirlwind Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Resurgence of Al-Shabaab. October (2019) International Policy Group (IPG) Nairobi Kenya
Executive Summary
Hormuud, Somalia’s leading Telecommunications company, has been recently embroiled in controversy, which has drawn media attention and scrutiny. The company came to the limelight in late August 2019 when it claimed in a series of statements that the Kenyan contingent of African peace-keepers in Somalia (AMISOM) was directly or indirectly involved in the bombing and destruction of its masts in Gedo region, Southern Somalia. On August 25, 2019, officials of the company enlisted the support of the United States Congress Representative for Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, in its campaign against African peace-keepers in Somalia’s Jubaland State, which it accused of destroying its masts and undermining its business. Ilhan tweeted her support, calling upon the Federal Government of Somalia and the peacekeeping forces to protect Hormuud Telecom company which "provides vital services and contributes to the country’s economic development”.
Following her publicly declared support for Hormuud, Ilhan drew criticism for supporting the wrong side of Somalia (Al-Shabaab terrorists’) and not focusing on the radicalization of Jihadists in her own constituency.1 Ilhan’s support steeped the company into American politics, bringing it into sharp scrutiny and criticism, which centered on a 2018 United Nations Security Council report that sanctioned as the "chief financier of the Al-Shabaab”. Hormuud Telecom sunk deeper into the mire on September 5, 2019 following reports accusing it of sponsoring Al-Shabaab operatives
1 "TV-ga Fox News ee Mareykanka oo Hormuud Telecom ku sifeeyay Shirkad,” Fox News, September 7, 2019; retrieved on September 8, 2019.
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Reaping the Whirlwind
 to destroy 13 base station masts in a site belonging to the Kenya telecommunications giant, Safaricom, at Jabi in Mandera along Kenya-Somalia border in what was perceived as retaliatory attacks.2 The company was also adversely mentioned as having used its office in Nairobi to provide intelligence and logistical support to Al- Shabaab terrorists who attacked the Dusit D2 complex in Nairobi on January 16, 2019. Reaping the Whirlwind: Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Resurgence of Al-Shabaab, a report by the International Policy Group’s (IPG), examines the connection between Hormuud telecom and the Al-Shabaab economic empire in Somalia.
The report traces the radical Islamic roots of Hormuud and its officials and investors. It sheds light on a complex process of ‘corporate capture’ that enabled Hormuud entrepreneurs to use Al-Shabaab protection to make a fortune and monopolize the telecommunication industry. In turn, Al-Shabaab captured Hormuud as diadem in it economic empire providing huge taxes while access to its technology has guaranteed the group’s power, wealth and survival. Hormuud’s finances and technology has spurred Al-Shabaab’s recent resurgence signified by its increasing and bold attacks across the country. But Hormuud has also suffered severe attacks from Al- Shabaab demanding taxes and control of its technology. It has also been caught between a rock and a hard place in the supremacy wars between Al-Shabaab and Islamic State rivals in Somalia. The future of Hormuud depends on decisively severing relations with Al- Shabaab and redirecting its taxes, financial support and technology to the government and Somali society. In realizing this, the report proffers the following five recommendations:
2 "Telecom Destroys 13th Kenya’s Safaricom BTS Mast Site, was Involved in Dusit D2 Terrorist Attack,” Strategic Intelligence, September 6, 2019, Accessed September 9, 2019.
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Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Al-Shabaab Resurgence
 • Step up the Protection of legitimate business from Al-Shabaab taxation and extortion. AMISOM forces should work with the Somali National Army, Federal State governments and local communities to ensure that local businesses in urban and rural areas are not forced to pay taxes or "protection” money to Al-Shabaab. AMISOM, including Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) should fast-track the capacity building and training of the Somali National Army to gain control of security and protect business from Al-Shabaab.
• Halt double taxation of companies by Al-Shabaab and Government.
The Federal Government of Somalia should work with AMISOM, International community, Federal States and local communities to shut down Al-Shabaab’s financial lifeline and redirect taxes to regional and federal governments to finance infrastructure and services. AMISOM forces and the United Nations should enforce the ban on the import and export of charcoal from Somalia and ensure full implementation and impose targeted measures on violators, including companies.
• Expose companies paying Taxes to Al-Shabaab: The International community, including the United States, United Nations, European Union and others should support capacity within Somalia to Monitor and list and sanction companies paying taxes to terrorist groups.
• List Al-Shabaab as a terrorist organization. The international community should list Al-Shabaab as a terrorist organization and impose the necessary sanctions and penalties on companies working with them. Individuals or entities violating the Financing of Terrorism Act should be prosecuted. They
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Reaping the Whirlwind
 should also monitor humanitarian organizations to ensure that assistance is not used to support Al-Shabaab activities and programs.
• Prevent the penetration and capture of telecommunication companies in areas controlled by terrorists. The African Union (AU), Inter- Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the East African Community (EAC) should establish regional collaborative Frameworks for telecommunication giants such as Hormuud to ensure that Al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups do not capture, dominate and misuse them to finance and carry out terrorist activities.
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All Rights Reserved No Part of this publication may be produced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means; mechanical, via photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the International Policy Group (IPG) 
©International Policy Group (IPG) ISBN: 978-9966-130-90-7
 International Policy Group (IPG) is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to sustainable Peace and Justice. Its mission is to generate and share knowledge on peace and justice to positively influence policies and politics. IPG is primarily concerned with the governance, policy and institutional dynamics that impact on Peace and Justice, especially in poor countries worldwide.


 


 


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