An intelligence and information sharing conference aimed at enhancing collaboration among various security actors in Somalia concluded today, in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
The conference, the fifth of its kind to be held in the country, which was organized by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), with the support of the United Kingdom Mission Support Team (UK MST), discussed the dynamics in intelligence gathering and how it impacts on Somalia’s security.
Lt. Gen. Nakibus Lakara, AMISOM’s Deputy Force Commander in-charge of Operations and Plans noted that the presence of ISIS in the Horn of Africa, called for improvement in intelligence gathering methods and heightened vigilance.
The top military official urged stakeholders to forge closer working ties, to defeat the armed insurgency in Somalia.
“Most often than not, situations where stakeholders or entities keep information to themselves, creates gaps,” he noted. “If you look at all the cases where there has been failure to stall or mitigate terrorist threats, it is because one entity kept information to themselves,” he added.
AMISOM’s Military Intelligence Officers from all sectors, representatives of the Somali National Security Forces and other key stakeholders attended the conference – the first to be held this year.
“It is necessary to create networks amongst key stakeholders in the intelligence community through liaison; through a common understanding of the security; of the threat environment, including the human terrain,” observed the Deputy AMISOM Force Commander, while urging AMISOM and the Somali security forces to work closely together, to achieve desired goals.
AMISOM’s Chief Military Intelligence Officer, Col. David Obonyo, called for efficient intelligence sharing mechanisms.
“It will be important going forward to consistently liaise with NISA (Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency) and other security institutions within the country, to be able to get factual information,” Col. Obonyo noted.
He emphasized the importance of systematic sharing of intelligence, in defeating Al-Shabaab and other armed groups.
“To do that, to degrade the enemy, the information or intelligence that we share must be timely, accurate and actionable,” said the Chief of Intelligence.