The Federal Government of Somalia, FGS, has converted a maximum security prison into a training facility as part of reforming its national intelligence apparatus.
The news was relayed by Director of Communications at the office of the president, Abdinur Mohamed. He said the conversion of the Godka Jilacow Prison was part of genuine reforms on the part of government.
His Twitter post making the announcement said officials of the National Intelligence and Security Agency, NISA, were to be trained at the facility with human rights being a core aspect of the training.
The Godka Jilacow prison, located in the capital, Mogadishu, has before the current move, served as an interrogation center for NISA, which had its offices close to it. It is believed to be where many suspected militants are being held.
Terrorists have in the past staged attacks on the facility aiming to break in and free detainees. One such attack was in 2014 even though the authorities managed to stave off the heavy incursion, killing all militants involved according to a report.
The Horn of Africa country has over the past few decades suffered varying degrees of deadly attacks by al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab insurgents in different parts of the country.
The militants are said to be aiming at establishing a country run by strict intepretation of Islamic law – Shariah, they are aiming to topple the federal government by their activities.
With a largely underfunded military force, the African Union’s Mission, AMISOM, has been a key player in the security operations in parts of the country. The United States has routinely also carried out air strikes against the group.
Al-Shabaab holds some territory in the country where they are the established and recognized government by the people.