July 29, 2014 | Morning Headlines.

Main Story

AMISOM captures al Shabaab weapons

28 Jul – Source: Somali Current – 478 words

AMISOM troops together with the Somali National Army have captured an assortment of weapons and ammunition from al Shabaab suspects in the capital Mogadishu. These were seized at the Asuman Atto Garage in Mogadishu town during a cordon and search operation conducted this morning. The weapons recovered include 151 tortoise grenades, 238 Multi- Grenade Launchers, 43 boxes of 82 millimeter motor fuses, rocket propel grenade pipes as well as RPG shells and guns. Also recovered were sipper riffles with attached telescopes, anti-tanker bombs and various types of guns and ammunition. The AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa says such operations are part of the wider effort to improve security in Mogadishu and Somalia in general.

Key Headlines

  • Somalis in major towns fill up open grounds for Eidul-Fitr prayers (Radio Mogadishu/Bar-kulan/Kulmiye)
  • Somali finance minister hails PFM progress (Public Finance International)
  • Somalis in major towns fill up open grounds for Eidul-Fitr prayers (Radio Dalsan)
  • AMISOM captures al Shabaab weapons (Somali Current)
  • UPDF clarifies on Somalia salaries (New Vision)
  • Some of the Roadblocks in Lower Jubba Removed (Radio Dalsan)
  • Baidoa council of elders local administration vow to work with AMISOM to fight al Shabaab (Baidoa News)
  • Al Shabaab changes tack to directly take on KDF in Lamu (The East African)
  • Mogadishu mayor survives attempt on his life (World Bulletin)
  • Somali security forces conduct security operations in Hodan district (Radio Bar-kulan)

PRESS STATEMENT

Message of the acting Special Representative for Somalia on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr

28 Jul – Source: AMISOM – 99 words

The acting Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Hon Lydia Wanyoto Mutende, has extended her greetings to the people of Somalia as they celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr.

“As the Muslims around the world mark the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr, I congratulate all the people of Somalia for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast. The month of Ramadan is a month of rekindled love and affection for mankind. Therefore, as the Somalis celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr to mark the end of the holy month, I wish them a peaceful and joyous Eid-ul-Fitr,” she said.


UN Special Representative for Somalia on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

28 Jul – Source: UNSOM – 80 words

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, extended his heartfelt greetings to all Somali people as they celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.

“As Somalia celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr I wish all Somalis and their families Eid Mubarak. Today is a time to celebrate the completion of the holy month of Ramadan and to remember those that are less fortunate than ourselves. I hope this spirit of reconciliation and harmony can contribute to peace across Somalia. Ciid Wanaagsan!” SRSG Kay said.


Weekly Press Conference on the Progress of the Government

26 Jul – Source: Ministry of Information – 2494 words

H.E. Mustafa Duhulow addressed the media in Mogadishu providing an update on the progress of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) over the last week. The Minister provided details on various issues such as: Scholarships to Somali students, Federal Government’s proactive efforts to reconcile communities in Hiiraan Region, Parliament’s recess, the agreement between telecom companies, successes of Military operations, the progress on the judicial reform, the progress on public finance management, the public execution to terrorists and Ramadan & Eid Appeal.

Minister of Information began by informing on how students could obtain scholarships: “Ministry of Higher Education published this week the process in awarding scholarships abroad to Somali students. An Independent committee composed of civil society groups and in particular experts on education was set up to award students according to their academic achievements.

All interested students will have to take an exam and those with highest marks will be awarded to scholarships. The Federal Government is committed that the process be perceived and seen as transparent and accountable. Our allies and friends grant scholarships to Somali students, such as Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, China, India and Russia and we would like to thank them and ask others to follow suit, as education is very important to the peace-building of the country.”

Minister of Information followed by highlighting the on-going government’s efforts to reconcile communities in Hiiraan region: “Deputy Ministries of Interior H.E. Abdirahman Bankah and Commerce H.E. Abdirahman Abdi Aden have been visiting Beledweyne for the past week in order to reconcile communities and to stop conflicts in the area. Ministers had meetings with key stakeholders in Hiiraan Region including traditional elders and other segments of the society in order to convey government policy and plans on reconciliation.

Government’s policy to end conflicts is to reconcile communities and provide opportunities to find genuine reconciliation through peaceful means. The delegation also visited military camps in the area including AMISOM and Somali National Army camps, and commended the important role of military not only in the operations but also providing basic services to the people in the area.”

Minister of Information confirmed the Parliament is now in recess: “22nd of July 2014 the parliament had its last session and H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of Somalia made speech at the parliament. The President praised the bravery of parliamentarians and their valuable work during the 4th session and the last two years. The President asked parliamentarians to redouble their efforts when they return to work in order to ensure that we hold elections by 2016. The parliament is the mother institution in Somalia and it plays very important as part of this country’s peace-building process. During the last two years parliament worked very hard and earned the confidence of the people. ”

Minister of Information applauded the telecom companies’ agreement: “Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications has been conducting consultation process with telecom companies in order to provide quality services to the people. As a result of this, telecom companies made historic agreement to work partnership and to allow networks to call each other. This will hugely help poor people as most of the people cannot afford to buy and use three phones. This agreement will help people to call all networks from one phone (which is not the case at the moment). This agreement will help companies to work together which in turn will bring healthy competition and will provide affordable and quality services to the people.”

Minister of Information praised the military for their successful operations: “Somali National Army and AMISOM forces made significant gains in parts of South and Central Somalia during last couple of weeks, such as Buule Burte district in Hiiraan region, Bardale district in Bay region and parts of Bakol region. Security forces captured new territories as well as defended well from al Shabaab attacks and as a result killed a number of militias from terrorists group.

SNA and AMISOM’s plans have always been to ensure that terrorists will not recapture territories, which they have successfully managed preventing their return to liberated areas. There have been continues attempts from al Shabaab to re-launch offensives without success or gaining an inch of liberated areas. The government is committed to continue military offenses against terrorists as well as ensuring to stabilize in liberated areas in order to stop threats from terrorists, which in turn could lead us to peace and prosperity in the country.”

Minister of Information spoke the progress of the Judicial Reform: “Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs briefed the cabinet on 24 July 2014 on the progress of the Judicial Reform and the need to appoint the Attorney General. The cabinet unanimously approved the appointment of Mr Ahmed Ali Dahir as the new Attorney General while dismissing the former Attorney General.

The new Attorney General has a wealthy of knowledge and experience on justice and Somali judicial system. This is a huge step towards the implementation of the judicial reform in the country following the parliament’s approval of the Judicial Service Commission’s legislation. The Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs is in the process of implementing judicial review and reform as part of the new beginning of Somalia.”

Minister of Information applauded the progress towards public finance management: “On 23rd July 2014 H.E. Hussein Abdi Halane, Minister of Finance highlighted significant steps taken to improve management of Somalia’s public finances. Procurement Amendment Bill and Audit Bill, both bills have been endorsed by the Council of Ministers and have been submitted to Parliament for approval.

Financial statements have been prepared by the Central Bank of Somalia and the Ministry of Finance, which demonstrate transparency and a basis for good governance of the institutions. The Financial Governance Committee oversees implementation of the Financial Governance Program (FGP). The FGP is designed to strengthen public finance and central bank management and provide independent advice in key areas related to financial governance. The FGP thereby complements and strengthens efforts to build robust public finance management systems.

The program addresses the creation of a well-governed, functional Central Bank, the establishment of sound public revenue and expenditure management, the establishment of orderly public procurement and concession processes, and the effective and transparent repatriation of national assets. This progress report is now available at: http://www.mof.gov.so/publication-documents.

“The Financial Governance Committee (FGC) meets regularly in Mogadishu to monitor the overall progress of Somalia’s Financial Governance Program and advise the government on critical issues and areas of financial governance. The Committee is comprised of five members and one observer (from the IMF). Members include the Minister of Finance (Chair), H.E. Hussein Halane; the new Governor of the Central Bank, H.E. Bashir Issa; the President’s Senior Policy Adviser, Awes Hagi; the World Bank’s designated representative, Nigel Roberts; the African Development Bank’s designated representative, Ellias Ngalande; and the IMF’s designated observer, Ake Lonnberg.”

Minister of Information explained the justice process leading to the public executions of terrorists: “24th July 2014 the military court publicly executed four members of Al-Shabaab after the court sentenced them to death. On 15th July 2014 the court also publicly executed 2 members of the terrorists group in Mogadishu. It is the government’s policy to have zero tolerance on those who kill innocent people and terrorists.

To execute court’s decision is part of government’s policy to bring peace and stability in the country. However, it is very sad to learn that terrorists continue to terrorize people and to recruit child soldiers into their ranks. On 23 July the terrorists without due process publicly killed 13 year old girl and then cut her throat in public, which is clearly against the Islam. Islam doesn’t allow children to be harmed in anyway. This is their pure propaganda to terrorize people and their lack of respect to citizens.”

Minister of Information finally spoke of community support as we reach the end of Ramadan and Eid festivals: “Once again I would like to appeal to all that we need to support those who cannot afford to buy Eid clothing and food during Eid festival which is in the next couple of days.

As we are in final days of Ramadan lets us please support each other out, so that all of us including our children can celebrate during Eid festivals with pride and dignity. As we are in our final days of Ramadan, let us reflect the last 4 weeks and let us pray Allah for forgiveness and to bring our unity of purpose back. Let us all work together towards peace-building in the country. Somalia is for Somalis.”

SOMALI MEDIA

Somalis in major towns fill up open grounds for Eidul-Fitr prayers

28 Jul – Source: Radio Mogadishu/Bar-kulan/Kulmiye – 142 words

Millions of Muslims in Somalia started joyous celebrations and feasting on Monday morning to mark the end of holy month of Ramadan. Somalia’s Deputy Minister for Religion Affairs and Endowment Yusuf Hayle announced on Sunday night the sighting of the crescent in various regions of Somalia. In Mogadishu thousands of Muslims started streaming into open fields as early as 7am to await the 9am congregational prayers marking Eid-ul-Fitri. Similar gatherings for prayers were held in other major towns in Somalia including Hargeisa, Garowe, Kismayo, Bosaso, Beledweyne, Dhusamareb, Galkayo, Burao, Baidoa and many others. While announcing the sighting of the moon, the deputy minister sent a special message of goodwill to all Muslims as they celebrate Eid-ul-Fitri. Somalis join their fellow muslims around the world in celebrations after the end of Ramadan.


Somali Government Reduces the Number of Somalia’s Foreign Embassies

28 Jul – Source: Radio Dalsan – 96 words

After a cabinet meeting, the ministers decided to reduce the number of Somalia’s foreign embassies yesterday. The Somali foreign minister, Abdirahman Dualeh Beyle said the purpose of the meeting was solely to discuss how the number of the embassies abroad should be reduced. He said currently they are over 37 in number. He also said their number will be reduced to 31 with each embassy having three diplomats only and entire number of staff in all embassies being 93 only. Since the transitional period ended, this is the first time the government decided such a move.


AMISOM captures al Shabaab weapons

28 Jul – Source: Somali Current – 478 words

AMISOM troops together with the Somali National Army have captured an assortment of weapons and ammunition from al Shabaab suspects in the capital Mogadishu. These were seized at the Asuman Atto Garage in Mogadishu town during a cordon and search operation conducted this morning. The weapons recovered include 151 tortoise grenades, 238 Multi- Grenade Launchers, 43 boxes of 82 millimeter motor fuses, rocket propel grenade pipes as well as RPG shells and guns. Also recovered were sipper riffles with attached telescopes, anti-tanker bombs and various types of guns and ammunition. The AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa says such operations are part of the wider effort to improve security in Mogadishu and Somalia in general.


Some of the Roadblocks in Lower Jubba Removed

28 Jul – Source: Radio Dalsan – 66 words

The Deputy Commissioner for Social Affairs for Lower Shabelle, Omar Mohamud Elmi told Radio Dalsan that some of the roadblocks in that region were removed. He said the authorities were successful in removing many roadblocks from the roads between Afgoye and Walaweyn towns. He said those roadblocks were posing a threat to the movement of vehicles. Some roadblocks that were removed have reappeared in the past.


Baidoa council of elders, local administration vow to work with AMISOM to fight al Shabaab

26 Jul – Source: Baidoa News /Ayaamo News – 204 words

In a meeting held at the former presidential palace in Baidoa, the regional and provincial administration, and the council of elders pledged to face and fight al Shabaab in a manner which is very different from the way AMISOM used to fight with adding that they will fully cooperate with AMISOM and provide information that will lead to ultimate eradication of al Shabaab from the region. The local administration lead by Hoosow and the council of elders promised to give valuable intelligence that can help in the fight against al Shabaab both in major towns and in villages. Present at the meeting was Brig.Gen. Garemedhin Fikadu, AMISOM Sector 3 commander which covers Bay, Bakool and Gedo region and other officials from AMISOM.


Somali security forces conduct security operations in Hodan district

27 Jul – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 139 words

Somali security forces backed by AMISOM troops in Somalia were on Sunday seen carrying out security operations in Hodan district of Banadir region. Several people have been arrested and a number of weapons seized in the security operations according to government forces spokesman Qassim Ahmed Roble who spoke to Bar-kulan. Roble said the forces targeted specific hotspots in the area. He added those arrested during the security operations are being investigated by relevant authorities. He said some of the weapons seized in Sunday’s operations were owned by one Mogadishu’s former warlords. Roble added the security operations were spearheaded by Minister for National Security and the newly appointed police chiefs.


Police in Jowhar town took over Radio Jowhar premises

26 Jul – Source: Radio RBC/Radio Bar-kulan – 82 words

Police forces led by Jowhar police commissioner on Friday took over Radio Jowhar premises in Jowhar town, the provincial capital of Middle Shabelle region according to Radio Jowhar officials. Radio Jowhar Director Mohamed Abukar Asayr said in interview with Bar-kulan police arrived at the building ordering the management to hand the keys over to the police and the staff to leave the premises. He said the move shows the lack of respect towards press freedom in the region. The director added that the police arrived at the radio station with a warrant from the governor’s office before the expiry of a previous 24-hour deadline issued from the same office.

REGIONAL MEDIA

UPDF clarifies on Somalia salaries

26 Jul – Source: New Vision – 151 words

The Uganda army has come out and clarified on a media report on a “scam” regarding payment of salaries of UPDF soldiers serving in Somalia on peacekeeping missions. The details of the story were published inSaturday Vision of July 26, 2004 titled: “Salary scam hits UPDF in Somalia”. In response, UPDF spokesman, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, said in a press statement nn Saturday that the report is “unfounded and maliciously designed to taint the good image of the UPDF”. According the report, several Ugandan soldiers serving on peace-keeping missions in Somalia are crying foul for being sent back home before the end of their mission, and their money swindled.


Al Shabaab changes tack to directly take on KDF in Lamu

26 Jul – Source: The East African – 968 words

Three months after Western countries warned of possible terrorist attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and other Coastal towns, the politicisation of Kenya’s security has intensified long-standing sectarian divisions among the Coastal people to a potentially explosive level. Reports from the Kenya Coast show ethnically motivated violence could be on the rise, which analysts say points to the changing nature of al Shabaab’s tactics.  In a departure from their modus operandi of isolated bombings, the militant group is now operating like an insurgency, directly engaging the Kenya Defence Forces in Boni Forest, northeast of Lamu. Last Sunday’s attack in the Soweto slum in Mombasa, in which four people were shot dead in “revenge attacks” for the Mpeketoni killings, is giving credence to the government’s claim of a rising militia threat in the region.

INTERNATIONAL  MEDIA

Somali finance minister hails PFM progress

28 Jul – Source: Public Finance International – 464 words

Public financial management in Somalia has made significant steps forward, according to finance minister Hussein Abdi Halane. His comments follow on from the country’s second Financial Governance Committee progress report, which was made publicly available on July 25. Established earlier this year, the FGC is part of an effort by the central Somali authorities to build a more transparent PFM system in order to attract additional budget assistance.  It has seen key Somali officials enter into discussions with World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank representatives, who have all helped to oversee the implementation of the recently launched Financial Governance Programme.  The programme is designed to strengthen public revenue and expenditure management, create a well-governed, functional central bank and establish an orderly public procurement and concession process. Halane said: ‘The financial governance plan allows the government and donor partners to focus on solving some of the most important issues facing Somalia, helping us to build a prosperous future.


Mogadishu mayor survives attempt on his life

28 Jul – Source: World Bulletin – 281 words

Mogadishu Mayor, Hassan Mohamed Muungab, had by chance escaped an attempt on his life when an explosive device, planted in his car earlier, went off in the Somali capital. The device went off a very short time before Muungab got into the car on Saturday, totally destroying it, according to a Somali government official. “The mayor himself was unhurt in the explosion,” government spokesman, Ridwaan Abdiweli, told Anadolu Agency.


Al Shabaab declares war on Jews

28 Jul – Source: i24news -176 words

Spokesman: ‘The Jews are spread out throughout the world, and the Jews’ properties are spread everywhere’ .  spokesman of the Somali jihadist group al Shaabab gave a sermon in a Barawa mosque on Sunday calling on Muslims to attack Jewish targets everywhere in the word, according to a report provided exclusively to the Jerusalem Post by the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute). Al-Shabab spokesman Ali Dhere said that the “nations of unbelief” are pressing “aggression against Gaza,” specifically the “Americans who stood by the Jews.” Ali Dhere also blamed Egypt for closing its border crossing to Gaza, the Jerusalem Post reported.

SOCIAL MEDIA

CULTURE / OPINION / EDITORIAL / ANALYSIS / BLOGS/ DISCUSSION BOARDS

“Now, without proper funding, 2.9 million lives are at risk of dying, displacement and catching infectious diseases. The United Nations cannot idly stand by and allow another humanitarian catastrophe to occur as they wait for the criteria for famine to met. They must swiftly respond to the urgent call of the fifty-two aid workers. Somali children should not have to measure their lives by the number of famines they’ve survived.”


Warning signs of another famine, lessons to be learned from the past

28 Jul – Source: Huffington Post – 464 words

Three years ago, on July 20, the United Nations declared a famine in Somalia. The devastating famine took the lives of a quarter of million Somalis, half of them children under the age of five. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called it “the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world today — and the worst East Africa has seen in decades.” Without urgent aid the future of those who’ve survived remains bleak. Recently, in a joint NGO statement, including Oxfam and International Rescue Committee, it was reported that out of the required $933 million, only 12 percent of Somalia’s annual humanitarian needs had been funded. The current figures are staggering: 50,000 children are severely malnourished; Only 30 percent of the population has access to clean water; 1.1 million people are displaced in their own country; There is a risk of outbreak and spread of Polio; Women in Somalia face the second-highest risk of maternal death in the world, and babies are at the highest risk of dying on the day of their birth. In the statement, aid agencies warn, again, that signs of drought are reemerging in Southern-Somalia regions.


“The newly emerging federal states need to be inclusive and ensure they provide acceptable representation for the different clans in their region.  Integration of militias into the national army and the Federal Government’s authority over external relations are also key matters that need to be addressed. Security and the need to keep a close eye on “spoilers” also remain issues that cannot be neglected.”


Somalia’s federal state making: progress amid challenges

26 Jul – Source: The Reporter Ethiopia – 1486 words

The advent of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in August 2012 and the enactment of a provisional constitution provide the basis for federalism as a system of governance in Somalia. However, the experiment, and it is an experiment for Somalia, faces a host of challenges, not least the fact that the 2016 deadline for the revision of the federal constitution and the creation of regional states and elections is fast approaching. The fact that the Parliament has yet to legalize the specific details of state formation and no single federal state has yet been formally recognized by the FGS makes it easy to take a bleak view of the situation in Somalia. Nonetheless, despite the fact that Somalia’s problems as a whole have proved intractable for so long, it is worth taking a careful study of what is happening in the country, analyzing the real changes and taking a balanced view of the current processes and the results achieved so far. This article aims to offer a brief sketch of the challenges that continue to entangle the federal experiment; it also evaluates the evidence of the steady progress that has been made over the last two years. The main challenges to the federal experiment emanate from three inter-related categories of problem: the absence of functional institutions, the problems of security and continuing and conflicting different clan interests.

July 25, 2014 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

AMISOM captures key al Shabaab camp in Somalia

25 Jul- Source: Daily Nation-139 Words

Forces belonging to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) on Thursday captured a camp used by al Shabaab to train militants in the Gedo area of Somalia. In a statement, AMISOM said its forces also destroyed another camp in Kismayo.

In the Thursday operation, the troops captured the al Shabaab camp located in the Gedo region, 60 kilometres southwest of the Bulahawa area, along the Kenya-Somalia border. The joint forces said the camp was al Shabaab’s strategic militant training and planning base.

“Al Shabaab used the camp as a drawback position to plan and launch attacks on AMISOM and Somalia National forces,” AMISOM said. In the Kismayo raid conducted Wednesday, the joint forces destroyed al Shabaab’s logistical base at Jilib town and injured several militants.

Key Headlines

  • AMISOM destroys al Shabaab camps in Middle Juba and Gedo regions (AMISOM)
  • Somali leaders call for unity during the national funeral for slain MP (Somali Current)
  • Government calls for immediate end to hostilities in Abud-wak (Radio Bar-kulan)
  • Radio Jowhar Given 24 Hour Ultimatum to Vacate its Premises (Radio Dalsan/Bar-kulan/Raxanreeb/NUSOJ)
  • AMISOM captures key al Shabaab camp in Somalia (Daily Nation)
  • ‘Al Shabaab’ remark sparks anger (Daily Nation)
  • Canadian ‘terror tourist’ Mohamed gets 10 years in jail for planning to join Islamic jihadist group in Somalia (National Post)
  • Somali activist singer remembered in Minnesota for her bravery (Star Tribute)

PRESS STATEMENT

AMISOM destroys al Shabaab camps in Middle Juba and Gedo regions

25 Jul- Source: AMISOM-221 Words

In the latest war against al Shabaab terrorists, AMISOM forces on Thursday captured a strategic militant training and planning camp in the village of Khadija Haji in Gedo region located 60 km southwest of BulaHawa along the Kenya-Somalia border. Al Shabaab used the camp as a drawback position to plan and launch attacks on AMISOM and Somalia National forces.

In yet another offensive against al Shabaab terrorists, AMISOM forces in sector Kismayu on Wednesdayconducted an offensive operation in Jilib town within Middle Juba region destroying Al-Shabaab logistical base. Several militant were injured during the operation.

Last week two senior al Shabaab commanders, Issa Mohamed Dhoore the liaison officer with foreign elements and translator of Hiraan region and a close confidant of the group’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed together with Sharif Ameey also a top leader during an operation by AMISOM and SNA forces in Inimeey village located 10 kilometers from Bulla Burde. The joint forces were carrying out cordon and search operations around Bulla Burde and its periphery when they got information of al Shabaab meeting happening in the location.

The past week has been instrumental in the fight against terrorism in Somalia. Somali National army supported by AMISOM continue to liberate more areas and root out al Shabaab from their strongholds in a bid to protect the hard won security gains.


Second Financial Governance Committee Progress Report

25 Jul – Source: Office of the Prime Minister – 524 words

His Excellency, Hussein Abdi Halane, Minister of Finance of the Federal Government of Somalia commented today on the second Financial Governance Committee (FGC) progress report released on 15 June 2014 highlighting significant steps taken to improve management of Somalia’s public finances. This progress report is now available at:http://www.mof.gov.so/publication-documents/.

“The Financial Governance Plan allows the government and donor partners to focus on solving some of the most important issues facing Somalia, helping us to build a prosperous future,” said Minister of Finance, H.E. Hussein Abdi Halane. “We are making good progress against the Financial Governance Plan, although prompt support from donors is vital if we are to maintain momentum.”

Major achievements highlighted in the report include:

• Procurement Amendment Bill and Audit Bill: both bills have been endorsed by the Council of Ministers and have been submitted to Parliament for approval. When passed into law, these bills will provide critical foundations for honest financial governance that is in the interests of Somalia’s citizens.

• Financial statements: financial statements have been prepared by the Central Bank of Somalia and the Ministry of Finance, which demonstrate transparency and a basis for good governance of the institutions.

• Concession contracts: the FGC has now reviewed a total of six concession contracts, which provides the FGS with an understanding of weaknesses in current contracts and highlights risks that should be avoiding in the creation of future contracts.

Speaking on the report, the World Bank appointee to the FGC said, “While there is still a long way to go, progress against the Financial Governance Plan demonstrates that the Financial Governance Committee is able help drive important reforms forward.

I hope that all donors with an interest in good governance in Somalia will accelerate their efforts to provide the capacity support that is both essential, and in some cases, delayed.”
The Financial Governance Committee brings together key Government officials and appointees of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) who oversee implementation of the recently launched Financial Governance Program (FGP).

The FGP is designed to strengthen public finance and central bank management and provide independent advice in key areas related to financial governance. The FGP thereby complements and strengthens government and donor efforts to build robust public finance management systems.

The program addresses the following areas of particular urgency and/or concern in Somali public financial management: the creation of a well-governed, functional Central Bank, the establishment of sound public revenue and expenditure management, the establishment of orderly public procurement and concession processes, and the effective and transparent repatriation of national assets.

The Financial Governance Committee (FGC) meets regularly in Mogadishu to monitor the overall progress of Somalia’s Financial Governance Program and advise the government on critical issues and areas of financial governance. The Committee is comprised of five members and one observer (from the IMF).

Members include the Minister of Finance (Chair), H.E. Hussein Halane; the new Governor of the Central Bank, H.E. Bashir Issa; the President’s Senior Policy Adviser, Awes Hagi; the World Bank’s designated representative, Nigel Roberts; the African Development Bank’s designated representative, Ellias Ngalande; and the IMF’s designated observer, Ake Lonnberg.

SOMALI MEDIA

Somali leaders call for unity during the national funeral for slain MP

25 Jul – Source: Somali Current – 176 words

Somali leaders have called upon Somali nationals to unit and closely work with the security agencies to improve the security of the country.

Speaking during the national burial ceremony of the late popular singer and member of national assembly Sado Ali who was shot dead by gun men on Wednesday,Prime minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed has sent his condolences to the members of parliament,family and friends of the deceased while calling upon Somali people to unit and collaborate with security agencies by reporting criminals whom he said are target the leaders of the country.

The three principles President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, PM Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed and the Speaker of the national assembly professor Mohamed Osman Jawari attended national funeral ceremony of the late female member of parliament who was buried in Mogadishu.

First deputy Somali National Assembly Speaker Jeylani Nur Ikar who spoke to the media after the burial has said that the targeting of the national assembly members by the Al Shabaab militant group will not halt the operation of the house.

Government calls for immediate end to hostilities in Abud-wak

25 Jul- Source: Radio Bar-kulan-127 Words

Somali federal government called on the warring clan militia in Abudwak district of Galgadud region to immediately bring an end to the conflict which claimed the lives of several people.

Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed described the inter-clan wars in the region as an unfortunate. The prime minister called on the sides to heed and accept peace initiatives spearheaded by the federal government to find lasting solution to the clashes in the region.

He said the federal government is ready to play its part in the mediation efforts to end the conflicts between the two warring sides in Abud-wak district. Around 10 people have been killed and scores injured so far in clashes believed to be triggered by blood feud between two clan militias in Abud-wak district.


Radio Jowhar Given 24 Hour Ultimatum to Vacate its Premises

25 Jul- Source: Radio Dalsan/Bar-kulan/Raxanreeb/NUSOJ-464 Words

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is deeply concerned about the decision of the Middle Shabelle Governor to evict Radio Jowhar from its premises within24 hours, a decision deemed as unfair, leaving the only radio station in the region to close and calls for the decision to be reversed and urged the Somali Ministry of Information of the Federal government of Somalia to make an urgent intervention into the matter.

The administration in the Middle Shabelle region based in the town of Jowhar, issued a degree signed by the Governor of Middle Shabelle region, Eng. Abdi Jiinow Alasow, on Wednesday 23 July, 2014, that ordered Radio Jowhar to evacuate the premises, formerly owned by the Ministry of Livestock, within 24 hours, following the request from the Ministry ofLivestock of the Federal government of Somalia. The Decree orders “Radio Jowhar is ordered to evacuate within 24 hours, starting from the date the letter signed.”

“We are really shocked by the decision of the governor to vacate the premises within 24 hours.” Mohamed Abukar Caseyr said, “This leaves us no choice but only to shutdown the radio station.”

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is deeply concerned by the decision that provided Radio Jowhar an ultimatum of 24 hours, in the town of Jowhar, the regional capital of Lower Shabelle region and calls for the governor of Middle Shabelle region and the ministry of livestock to reserve their decision which could leave the communities in the region without information.

“We are concerned by the hasty decision ordering the radio station to vacate the premises within 24 hours” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General, “We call for the Middle Shabelle administration and the Federal Government of Somalia to reverse their decision and provide enough time the radio station to look for another location or provide alternative location. The radio station is the only source of information for the communities in the region as informed communities are the integral part of building democratic societies.” Mr.Ibrahim added.

Radio Jowhar is community radio founded in 2003 by volunteer journalists from the region and continued to serve the communities in the region by providing timely and accurate information, social platforms, peace and reconciliation talk shows among others. In 2007, the radio station lost two prominent journalist in the line of duty.

According to the Radio Jowhar Director, 12 male and 8 female volunteer journalists who dedicated their time only to let community better informed, are currently working at the radio station. NUSOJ also calls for the Somalia Ministry of Information and the international partners willing to support the Somali media to provide urgent support to Radio Jowhar to establish its own premises to maintain its volunteer work for making the communities aware of what’s happening in and around their region.


Marines in charge of the territorial waters of Somaliland- Head of Marines

24 Jul – Source: Somaliland Informer – 177 words

Somaliland’s Head of Marines Mr. Ahmed Osman Abdi has refuted reports claiming that the country’s coasts became hub for exporting illegal wild animals.

The report accused the government’s failure to assure the security of her coasts and deter threats from piracy and terrorism which are rife in the bordering country of Somalia which is plagued by insecurity for over the past years once Somalia’s central government was overthrown.

Mr. Ahmed assured that the country’s marines are fully in charge of the territorial waters of Somaliland. He stated that despite meager resources and capabilities that the marines have been increase to have the robust mechanism to prevent any threat in the shores of the county.

Mr. Ahmed said that no single act of piracy was conducted in Somaliland’s territorial water and that proves that marines are in charge of the country.

The commander of marines has urged the Somali Federal President to shun the claim that well trained marines from Somalia will be deployed to all Somalia coasts including Somaliland which is an act of clear aggression.


Somalia gets new Attorney General

24 Jul- Source: Radio Dalsan/65 Words

The spokesman of the Somali FederalGovernment, Ridwan Haji Abdweli announced that the Somali Attorney General Abdikadir Mohammed Muse has been relieved off his duties and replaced by Ahmed Ali Dahir.

Ridwan said the decision was reached by the Justice Ministry. Abdikadir Mohammed Muse was the AG for a period of 4 years. He was appointed to the post by former Somali president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.


Somaliland’s first female National Deputy Prosecutor

24 Jul – Source: Somaliland Informer – 156 words

Khadra Hussein Mohammad, 28, is Somaliland’s National Deputy Prosecutor – the first woman to hold such a position in Somaliland. As part of an ongoing process to increase the number of officials with formal legal education in Somaliland, like Khadra, UNDP supports long-term legal education and job placement to fill the justice sector with qualified legal professionals.

Across Somaliland, UNDP is supporting a fundamental shift in legal education and professionalism in the justice sector will help build a robust legal system. UNDP’s support has increased the number of professionals with formal legal education.

After graduating the University of Hargeisa Law School – which was established through UNDP support in 2008 – Khadra joined the Somaliland Lawyers Association. This local organization (also supported by UNDP) connected her to an opportunity to join UNDP sponsored legal training. “UNDP was one of the main factors of my success,” she explains. “UNDP facilitated my training and offered her on-job training.”

REGIONAL MEDIA

AMISOM captures key al Shabaab camp in Somalia

25 Jul- Source: Daily Nation-139 Words

Forces belonging to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) on Thursday captured a camp used by al Shabaab to train militants in the Gedo area of Somalia. In a statement, AMISOM said its forces also destroyed another camp in Kismayo.

In the Thursday operation, the troops captured the al Shabaab camp located in the Gedo region, 60 kilometres southwest of the Bulahawa area, along the Kenya-Somalia border. The joint forces said the camp was al Shabaab’s strategic militant training and planning base.

“Al Shabaab used the camp as a drawback position to plan and launch attacks on AMISOM and Somalia National forces,” AMISOM said. In the Kismayo raid conducted Wednesday, the joint forces destroyed al Shabaab’s logistical base at Jilib town and injured several militants.


‘Al Shabaab’ remark sparks anger

25 Jul – Source: Daily Nation – 78 words

The Opposition reacted with fury Thursday evening after Majority Leader Aden Duale accused Cord of “speaking the same language as al Shabaab” in opposing the deployment of the Kenya Defence Forces in Lamu and asking for their withdrawal from Somalia.

Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso appeared to lose control of the House as the House degenerated into near-pandemonium, with MPs from both sides pointing at each other, as Cord representatives demanded the ejection of Mr Duale for making the statements.


Somalis incensed by the murder of singer, lawmaker Saado Ali Warsame

24 Jul- Source: Sabahi Online-912 Words

As the body of slain singer and Somali lawmaker Saado Ali Warsame was laid to rest Thursday (July 24th) at the Madina Hospital graveyard in Mogadishu, Somalis are speaking out about the tragic loss of such a cultural icon at the hands of al-Shabaab gunmen.

“Saado loved and valued the Somali spirit,” Somali lawmaker Mohamed Omer Dalha told Sabahi. “She was a firm pillar for the Somali government and she worked hard to ensure people were educated about governance. That seems to be the reason she was targeted, because she did not cause any problems for people, country or religion.”

Dalha praised Warsame for her role in advancing the messages of peace, freedom and understanding through her music.

“Saado is remembered for her patriotic songs about loving people and the nation that she conveyed to the Somali people through her beautiful voice,” he said. “Even though she was new to parliament, she immediately made many friends.”

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Somali ‘al Shabaab commanders’ killed in African Union offensive: AU

25 Jul- Source: AFP/The News-322 Words

African Union troops in Somalia said Friday they had killed two “senior” commanders of the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents, in the latest push of an offensive against the extremist fighters.

Witnesses reported that fighter jets also pounded the town of Jilib in southern Somalia´s Middle Juba regionon Thursday, part of the offensive by the 22,000-strong UN-backed AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM), who launched in March a fresh bid to wrest remaining towns from the Islamists.

AMISOM confirmed they had attacked an insurgent base near Jilib on Thursday, “destroying an al Shabaab logistical base” and wounding “several militants. “The force, which fights alongside Somali government troops, boasted of capturing “a strategic militant training and planning camp in the village of Khadija Haji in Gedo region” in the far southwest, close to the border with Kenya.


Canadian ‘terror tourist’ Mohamed gets 10 years in jail for planning to join Islamic jihadist group in Somalia

25 Jul – Source: National Post – 125 words

An Ontario judge issued a stern rebuke against “terror tourists” — those leaving Canada to join militant groups abroad — by ordering the maximum sentence against a Somali-Canadian arrested while trying to leave Toronto to join Al-Shabab.

“Terrorists are the worst kinds of cowards because they deliberately target innocent members of the public who are not prepared for combat,” said Ontario Superior Court Justice Deena Baltman in her sentencing decision Thursday in a landmark terrorism cases.

“The message needs to be sent out that anyone who aspires to become part of such evil must pay a heavy price.” Mohamed Hersi, a 28-year-old former security guard, was given 10 years in prison for attempting to join a terrorist group and for counselling another to join him.


Somali activist, singer remembered in Minnesota for her bravery

25 Jul – Source: Star Tribune – 183 words

Saado Ali Warsame’s songs and poems urged unity in a country known for its tumult and division. Between the lines, they also reflected a political activism for change that propelled her to become one of the first women in Somalia’s parliament.

Warsame, who for decades was one of the top singing stars in Somalia, bridged the communities of her home country and her adopted home in Minnesota. She lived in Minneapolis and St. Cloud from 2007 to 2012. Somali-Americans here often found it remarkable that they could mingle and chat so easily in local coffee shops and stores with a celebrity of such status.

She had just returned to Somalia for the end of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan when she and her driver were killed Wednesday in a drive-by shooting in the capital, Mogadishu.

The militant group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s shooting outside the Ambassador Hotel. Warsame, who according to a family member was born in 1950, was the fourth member of the Somali parliament killed by Al-Shabab this year and the latest of seven members of parliament to be assassinated.

SOCIAL MEDIA

CULTURE / OPINION / EDITORIAL / ANALYSIS / BLOGS/ DISCUSSION BOARDS

“The physical upgrading of Mogadishu city is evident in the number of building works that are simultaneously operating side by side. Brick by brick, Mogadishu is been rebuilt. However, this would mean nothing if more effort is not directed towards nurturing, developing and supporting Human Capital which the country desperately lacks and needs. Security is a big problem in Mogadishu but if the government can support the public better, inspire loyalty and in return the public respond with their cooperation, as Ministers continuously beg, this hurdle will be overcome.”


Optimism after Mogadishu visit

25 Jul- Source: Hiiraan Online-735 Words

As someone who witnessed the worst part of the beginning of the civil war and who has never seen government in any form in Somalia my expectations of my visit to Mogadishu were quite low. I also read the global headlines and although I lead one of the most innovative and trusted Diaspora organisation and ought to know better than the headlines, I still worried about security and what will await me in Somalia.

To my surprise, the once militarised dormant Mogadishu airport was now a bustling centre of aviation and business. To shock me a little further I was kindly asked by “Somali” security personnel to join the foreign immigration queue as I held a foreign passport. The security at the airport was excellent and the civil servants and security guards were friendly and approachable. Nothing like one would expect from watching Somalia on TV in the Diaspora.

As I explored the city of Mogadishu, met policy makers, civil society activists, academics and young people who were reshaping their nation, I was amazed by the level of human talent that had congregated in the diverse melting pot that is Somalia’s capital. It is always argued and presented as a given fact that Somali’s are tribally divided but in Mogadishu’s public spaces, hotels and government offices Somalis from all over the nation were working together.


“Al Shabaab’s observed activity, demonstrated operational capability and capacity, as well as expanded regional influence over the past year indicate that, contrary to popular belief, the group remains a dynamic threat throughout East Africa.”


Al Shabaab in East Africa

24 Jul- Source: Critical Threats-611 Words

Multiple crises throughout the world—in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, and now Israel—have pulled attention from growing violence in East Africa. Al Qaeda’s group in Somalia, al Shabaab, now has an operational reach that covers all of the Horn of Africa. Even within Somalia, al Shabaab continues to conduct significant attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and in key cities like Kismayo, Baidoa, and Beledweyne.

There exists a popular notion that al Shabaab is in decline due to the efforts of Somali forces and the African Union peacekeepers, a view echoed on June 3, 2014 by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. But al Shabaab’s recent activity in the region belies any such claim. Al Shabaab still controls significant territory in Somalia and in the past year, has been active in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Djibouti.

Al Shabaab voiced its intent and increasingly demonstrates its capability to conduct attacks throughout East Africa. Its first major international attack was in July 2010, when al Shabaab carried out twin suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda. The absence of a second major attack and the start of a major offensive against al Shabaab in fall 2011 led many to dismiss the Kampala bombings as a one-off strike and to assess that al Shabaab had been significantly weakened. The group had lost control of territory and announced that it would focus on asymmetrical attacks, rather than holding land. Its continued threats against the regional troop-contributing countries (TCC) to the peacekeeping mission in Somalia appeared to be aspirational at best.

Top tweets

@UNICEFAfrica “I was a cutter because I inherited the trade from my grandmother.” Former cutter Lynn of Somalia wants to#endFGM http://bit.ly/1rgsl0X

@UNHCRSom We need to ensure that the #IDP return process in #Somalia assumes a holistic & integrated approach, says Alessandra Morelli: @UNHCRSom

@ChelseaClinton Amazing story about how a young woman from Somalia become a @WHO scientist fighting malaria:http://bit.ly/1r7LqCo #NoCeilings

@harunmaruf Exclusive:US to train, equip a 570 Commando Force 4 #Somalia by end of this yr, Army Chief Dahir Aden Elmi tells VOA http://m.voasomali.com/a/1964859.html

@amisomsomalia PHOTOS: #Ramadan with the #Djiboutitroops in Beletweyne pic.twitter.com/2MpPsWLLg6

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Image of the day

Image of the daySomali leaders at the funeral prayer of late Saado Ali Warsame and parliamentary Aide Abdullahi Hussein. Photo: @harunmaruf