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OIL EXECUTIVE KIDNAPPED IN NIGERIA AND AL-SHABAAB TARGETING SOMALI GOVERNMENT OFFICERS

November 24-30, 2022 | Issue 25 - AFRICOM

Nancy Lattimer, Meaghan Mackey, AFRICOM Team

Rohan Rajesh, Editor; Valentina Topatigh, Senior Editor


Oil Production in the Niger Delta[1]


Date: November 24, 2022

Location: Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Parties involved: Nigeria; Nigerian federal government; Nigeria Police Force (NPF); Nigerian oil industry; oil company IGPES Group; IGPES Group executive officer; unknown gunmen

The event: Unknown gunmen kidnapped an oil executive in Port Harcourt on Thursday, killing the three police officers assigned to protect him. Port Harcourt is located within the oil-rich Niger Delta region, where attacks often target the lucrative oil industry.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The unknown gunmen very likely targeted the oil executive because of his wealth and will almost certainly demand a large ransom for his release. The IGPES Group will very likely pay the ransom, very likely encouraging armed groups to attempt future abductions for ransom. The kidnapping is very unlikely to deter oil extraction in the region but will very likely reduce oil companies’ profits due to the increased insurance, ransom, and physical security costs.

  • The Nigerian federal government will likely seek to protect the oil industry from future attacks, likely requesting increased security for industry operations across the region. The government directive will likely lead the NPF to increase the number of officers assigned to protect oil executives and infrastructures, almost certainly diverting NPF officers from other law enforcement responsibilities in Rivers State. There is a roughly even chance the increased police presence will reduce kidnappings and armed assaults against oil workers in the Niger Delta, but armed groups will likely attempt to bribe NPF officers to facilitate future attacks.


Date: November 27, 2022

Location: Mogadishu, Somalia

Parties involved: Somalia; Somali government officials; Somali Environment Minister Adam Aw Hirsi; Somali Internal Security Minister Mohamed Ahmed Sheikh Ali; Somali military; African Union forces; United States (US); al-Shabaab; al-Shabaab militants

The event: An unknown number of al-Shabaab militants stormed the Villa Rose Hotel, which is popular among Somali government officials. Adam and Mohamed[3] were reportedly at the hotel during the attack.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Al-Shabaab will very likely continue to target public facilities known to host Somali government officials. The group will likely seek to take officials hostage, very likely destabilizing the Somali government. These attacks will likely be successful, likely as the organization will continue to effectively recruit and train fighters.

  • The Somali military, African Union forces, and US military assistance will very likely retaliate against al-Shabaab, likely through drone strikes and ground force attacks. These will very likely disable al-Shabaab’s recruiting capabilities and take out key leadership personnel, likely leaving the group to reorganize. These retaliatory operations will likely prevent al-Shabaab from conducting large-scale attacks for the next couple of weeks but are unlikely to prevent the terror organization's ability to continue to plan and carry out similar ones in the long term.

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[1]Burning Gas Flare Nembe Creek, Nigeria” by

[2] Gunmen Disguised as Nigerian Military Kill Three Policemen and Abduct Oil Executive, Voice of America News, November 2022, https://www.voanews.com/a/gunmen-disguised-as-nigerian-military-kill-three-policemen-and-abduct-oil-executive/6850366.html

[3] Somalia uses patronymics

[4] Somalia: Key hotel in Mogadishu stormed by al-Shabab militants, BBC, November 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-63773425

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