- Communiqué on Somalia Mini-Summit
- 700 students benefit from Turkey educational grant
- UN reports some gains in fight against Somalia’s famine; food aid has reached half of Somalis
- Somali national management disaster agency disprove corruption blames
- Rebel fighters arrive in large numbers as tension prevails in Beledweyne Hiiraan region
- “Somaliland is part of Somalia”: PM Abdiweli Gas
- Warring parts in Galka’yo city Puntland reach peaceful agreement
- Tens of thousands at risk in Somalia: ICRC
Communiqué on Somalia Mini-Summit
23 Sept – Source: UN News – 1,527 words
the following communiqué was issued after the mini-summit on Somalia, held in New York, 23 September: The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, convened a high-level meeting on Somalia in New York on 23 September 2011. Participants included representatives of Burundi, China, Denmark, Djibouti, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Norway, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uganda, African Union, European Union, League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and Jean Ping, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, gave an update on recent political and security developments in Somalia, as well as the humanitarian situation.
Participants reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia. They noted that recent political and security developments created an opportunity to further peace and reconciliation in Somalia, and stressed the importance of establishing broad-based and representative institutions through an inclusive political process. Participants welcomed the Kampala Accord and reiterated their support for the Djibouti Peace Agreement and the Somalia Transitional Federal Charter, which collectively constitute the political framework for a sustainable solution in Somalia.
Participants expressed appreciation for the international community’s humanitarian relief efforts in Somalia, including from African countries, Arab countries and other non-traditional donors, and urged them to continue these efforts. They underlined the need to address the root causes of famine and to reconstruct Somalia’s infrastructure and public institutions, including hospitals and schools. They also called for additional efforts in the provision of aid in south-central Somalia, “Galmudug”, “Puntland” and “Somaliland”.
Participants welcomed the recent adoption by Somali leaders of the Roadmap for ending the Somali transitional period by August 2012, consistent with the Djibouti Peace Agreement and the Somali Transitional Federal Charter. Participants welcomed the guiding principles of the Roadmap, namely, Somali ownership and inclusiveness; political outreach to all major Somali stakeholders, including the regional entities and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a; full engagement of civil society; efficient use of resources; and adherence to monitoring and compliance mechanisms.
Participants urged Somali leaders to fully implement the Roadmap and to complete the tasks it contains within the agreed time frame in the following priority areas: security, including the adoption of effective maritime security and counter-piracy policy and legislation; completion of the constitution-making process, reform of Parliament and holding of elections, including for the posts of President and Speaker of the Parliament; national reconciliation; and good governance. Recognizing that the primary responsibility for the achievement of peace in Somalia rests with the Somali leadership, participants stressed the critical importance of compliance with the commitments undertaken in the Roadmap as a key requirement to ensure the continued international support to the Transitional Federal Institutions.
Participants welcomed the growing cooperation among the United Nations, African Union, and Intergovernmental Authority on Development, League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in promoting and facilitating discussions on the implementation of the Roadmap involving the Transitional Federal Institutions, Somali civil society, local and regional administrations, as well as regional and international partners. Participants also welcomed the expeditious formation of the Technical Committee for the implementation of the Roadmap. They committed to mobilizing international support for the implementation of the Roadmap, in line with a Resource Mobilization Plan to be agreed by the Transitional Federal Government and the international community.
Participants stressed the importance of conducting popular consultations on the draft constitution and the reform of Parliament to enable adoption of a new constitution by a representative body without delay. They called on the Transitional Federal Government to build on recent efforts in Garowe and Galkayo, notably the implementation of the cooperation framework with Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a, and to bring other groups that renounce violence to join the peace process. They also welcomed the commitments made by the “Galmudug” and “Puntland” administrations to stop the fighting in and around Gaalkacyo and to increase cooperation between the two regions. Participants invited the regional entities to engage constructively with the Transitional Federal Institutions for the stabilization of Somalia.
700 students benefit from Turkey educational grant
27 Sept – Source: Radio Mogadishu, Risala, Sonna – 175 words
Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has urged students who benefited from the Turkish educational program to utilize the golden opportunity and expand their knowledge. The students were advised to improve their skills in Turkey and later come back to benefit the Somali community.
“The youth are the backbone of the country and I look forward to seeing this group returning back to better the Somali society in various fields” President Sharif said. Sharif thanked Turkey for all the assistance it has accorded to Somalia as well as to all those that made possible the lifetime journey for the Somali students. The Head of state also expressed his full satisfaction in the manner in which the Somali Ministry of Higher Education conducted examinations that saw close to seven hundred youths fly to Turkey.
Turkey has assisted all sectors of the Somali economy ranging from humanitarian aid, medical as well as education in accordance with the directive of H.E Recep Tayip Erdorgan who, alongside his family, visited Mogadishu in August to witness the effects of the devastating drought.
“Somaliland is part of Somalia”: PM Abdiweli Gas
27 Sept – Source: BBC Somali Service – 153 words
Somalia’s interim Prime Minister Prof. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gas has told the BBC Somali Service that the separatist region of Somaliland is “part of Somalia,” asserting political words that are sure to ignite a tough response from Somaliland’s ruling administration.
Prime Minister Gas said that the international community “recognizes Somalia as one country” and commented that a “time shall come when Somali stakeholders including Somaliland will discuss how to strengthen the unity of Somalia.” The Somali Prime Minister, who was appointed in June, is on a visiting trip to Denmark, days after he addressed the UN General Assembly in New York.
Somaliland, located in north-western Somalia, unilaterally declared independence in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally. Prime Minister Gas said the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia “recognizes Somaliland as a state similar to Puntland,” adding: “what is important is to discuss areas of mutual cooperation and to agree on national interests.”
Puntland president makes cabinet, police changes
27 Sept – Source: Garowe Online – 199 words
The president of Somalia’s Puntland state has made minor changes in cabinet and the state’s police command, Garowe reports. Two presidential decrees signed by Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole this week featured new police commanders and replacements for two deputy ministers. Former Deputy Minister of Women’s Development, Ms. Seynab Ugas Yasin, was appointed to become Puntland’s new Deputy Minister for Health.
The former Deputy Health Minister, another woman politician named Maymun Abdi Duale, was appointed to become the Deputy Minister for Women’s Development. Thirdly, a new Director-General was appointed for the Puntland Ministry of Aviation and Airports. Ms. Saido Hussein Ali takes over after former Director-General of Aviation and Airports, Ms. Faduma Abdi Madobe, was fired.
Separately, another presidential decree appointed nine new police commanders. New changes include: deputy commander of police logistics, deputy Puntland police commander, Bari regional police chief and his deputy, deputy commanders for airport and port police in Bossaso, deputy commander of Birmadka mobile police unit and Nugal regional deputy police commander.
The police reforms come at a time when security institutions in Puntland are under increasing public scrutiny. Puntland, located in northeastern Somalia, has its own state government, security forces and policies and supports the formation of a federal government in Somalia.
Somali National Management Disaster Agency rejects corruption claims
28 Sept – Source: Mareeg Online – 111 words
The President of the Somali National Management Disaster Agency, Abdulahi Mohamed Shirwa’ has on Wednesday completely rejected the existence of aid corruption made by his agency, reports said. Mr. Shirwa’ said that his agency did not corrupt aid food sent for internally displaced people in Mogadishu and welcomed any investigation about their task. President of Somali National Management Disaster Agency, Abdulahi Mohamed Shirwa’ said he heard corruption had been made but did not see clear documents identifying individuals involved. He urged local journalists to release factual stories and expressed concern that fake charges could potentially stop aid streaming to Somalia from the international community.
Warring parts in Galka’yo city, Puntland reach peaceful agreement
28 Sept – Source: Radio Kulmiye, Shabelle and Bar-Kulan – 289 words
Reports from Galka’yo city of Mudug region say that warring sides reached an initial peace agreement as the second phase would be completed in Garowe of Puntland headquarter. Somali MP, Ali Isma’il Ali-giir who was part of the committee sent there to mediate with local elders in order to persuade the Leyl-kase tribe and Puntland to reach peace.
Mediation talks between Somalia’s breakaway region of Puntland and a local clan who recently clashed in central Somalia city of Galkayo has been winded up, with the warring sides agreeing to end their differences, elders say.
Local traditional elders and legislators from the Mogadishu-based federal parliament of Somalia facilitated the Galkayo talks, bringing together the rival sides on the negotiation table. Suldan Ali Suldan Mohamed, one of the mediators, told the media that they strengthened the ten point plan that was earlier adopted in permanently ending hostilities between the two warring sides.
Speaking at the conclusion of the mediation talks, Puntland’s Security Minister Khalif Isse Mudan urged the warring sides to implement the outcome of the talks, including ending the hostilities in the city. In early September, at least 15 people were killed and over forty others wounded following a deadly clash between Puntland forces and local armed clan militias in northern of the city.
The clash erupted after Puntland forces raided a compound in Garsor neighborhood, north of the city, where armed men were allegedly hiding, and prompting two days of fierce fighting. Puntland claimed that it was fighting al Shabaab terrorist group and vowed to purge them from the area. But local elders rubbished the claims, saying that it was local clan militias fighting the area administration. Puntland president Abdirahman Farole immediately called for a ceasefire and the removal of what he branded terrorist militias from the area.
Rebel fighters arrive in large numbers as tension prevails in Beledweyne, Hiiraan region
28 Sept – Source: Radio Bar-Kulan – 221 words
Several armed al Shabaab militias from pockets of Hiiran region have been trickling in Beledweyne since Tuesday afternoon following reports that government troops in the region were heading towards the city for an assault against the militia group. Tension between the rebel group and government troops backed by allied militias has been reported in the area, raising trepidation among the locals.
Reports say government forces have moved closer to the city and established bases in several villages around the town, a move that has seen the militia panicking. Locals say the militia is now building up troops inside the town as several of its fighters have been trickling in the city for the last 24 hours.
Col. Issack Ali Ahmed, a pro-government militia commander told Bar-kulan that they are aware of al Shabaab’s military maneuvers in the area and promised a full scale assault on the militia in the next few hours. In middle of last month, a two-day deadly clash between government troops and al Shabaab militia in in Ba’aad village, 18 KM from Beledweyne town, claimed the lives of three people while several others were wounded.
Since then, the anti-al Shabaab alliance comprising of government forces and its allied local militias have been advancing towards the city in efforts to drive away the militia from one of its stronghold in southern Somalia.
Saudi deputy foreign minister highlights kingdom’s help to Somalia
26 Sept – Source: Saudi Press Agency – 145 words
Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Foreign Minister has affirmed has affirmed that Saudi Arabia will continue to support and assist every effort designed to help the Somali people.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz said, ‘The international community must work to develop clear plans and programs not only to contain the problem, but to seek to address its causes and roots.’ He stressed that the Kingdom is one of the major contributing countries to helping Somalia out of its ordeal.
He said, ‘The Kingdom has allocated an amount of $50 million to buy food for Somali refugees to be provided by the World Food Program, and the amount of $10 million for the delivery of drugs and vaccines, in addition to launching a public campaign for contributions from Saudi citizens who feel the suffering of their neighbors and their brothers in Somalia and whose total amount reached $50 million.’
Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz stressed the readiness of Saudi Arabia to play its role fully for this important humanitarian cause.
President Kibaki back from UN summit
27 Sept – Source: Daily Nation – 429 words
President Kibaki is back in the country from New York where he attended the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly. In his address to the Mini-Summit on Somalia, President Kibaki called on the United Nations Security Council to help boost the mandate of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
He lauded major milestones achieved in the Somalia conflict, but confirmed that the war ravaged country still faced significant challenges especially in securing areas previously occupied by the Al-Shabaab militia. President Kibaki called on the international community to urgently make available resources and goodwill to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and AMISOM to help them extend their control beyond Mogadishu.
On global warming, President Kibaki noted that the complex challenge posed by the climate change continues to manifest itself in the Horn of Africa resulting to the current drought, the worst in 60 years.
Calling for enhanced regional capacity for early warning systems and adequate response arrangements, the Head of State said the drought had resulted in a severe crisis affecting over 12 million people.
UN reports some gains in fight against Somalia’s famine; food aid has reached half of Somalis
28 Sept – Source: The Washington Post / AP – 160 words
The U.N. is reporting some positive developments in the fight against Somalia’s famine. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Wednesday that food assistance is estimated to have reached about 1.85 million Somalis, nearly half of the people in need in the Horn of Africa nation.
The World Health Organization, meanwhile, reports that cases of diarrhea and cholera are down, though October rains could pose a high risk of transmission of waterborne diseases in highly populated camps for those displaced by the famine.
The U.N. still says 750,000 Somalis are at risk of death from famine in the next four months. Tens of thousands have already died. Six areas in southern Somalia have been declared famine zones.
Somalia: Work together to achieve recovery, agency urges
28 Sept – Source: IRIN – 625 words
Non-traditional humanitarian actors must work with the UN and other relief agencies for Somalia to move from relief to recovery, urged officials of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“Somalia has been moving from relief to relief without much progress; consequently, we have created a large relief-dependent population in the country,” Atta al Manane, the OIC assistant secretary-general and head of humanitarian affairs, told a conference on Somalia’s recovery process.
“For effective change, we must begin with the Somali youth, who currently have no future at all; we have a generation of 18 to 25-year-olds who think Somalia’s future is in the hands of those with arms and that to live you have to kill.
“Somalia has been forgotten for a long time; when you talk about Somalia, people say: ‘Somalis don’t need assistance, they need only peace!’. But now [with the famine] there is a new trend, a lot of money is being poured into the country, we must use this opportunity to bring about change,” Manane said. “The current situation demands that we work in such a way as to bring real change by initiating development projects that can change people’s lives.
“After 20 years of pouring money into Somalia we find ourselves confronted by famine. Can we speak about development while there is a war? Humanitarians can provide the answer.” He said Muslim organizations were doing a huge job in Somalia but they needed more capacity, funding and training.
Hany el Banna, chairman of the Humanitarian Forum, which hosted the 26-27 September conference with the OIC, said recovery in Somalia was now a “compulsory duty” for humanitarian actors, who should spend significant amounts of their funding on building capacity in local Somali organizations. “We should focus on activity that will empower the youth and find ways of accommodating this growing population,” Banna said. “We are here to engage in finding the roadmap to Somalia’s recovery.”
Officials representing 70 humanitarian organizations – ranging from UN agencies, the Red Cross/Crescent movement, Islamic and western international NGOs as well as Somali NGOs – attended the conference. Hilal Bouh, an administrator at Al-Hayatt Medical centre in Borama, Somaliland, said: “Any plan [of action] should put Somali women at the forefront. Today in Somali society, women have assumed far greater responsibility than they ever had. They are the breadwinners, care-givers, in addition to their duties as mothers.”
Tens of thousands at risk in Somalia: ICRC
28 Sept – Source: Daily Star, AFP – 266 words
The humanitarian situation in Somalia remains “highly critical,” as the war-torn nation struggles from drought and famine, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned Wednesday.
“The situation in Somalia remains highly critical. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis are still displaced from their homes in search of security and food,” the ICRC said in a statement. “Although humanitarian aid has started to reach the drought- and conflict-affected people, many are still struggling to survive.” The ICRC said that that “much of the livestock has been decimated and there is no hope for an improvement in the situation until the next harvest in December.”
The short rainy season is due in October, but even in good years this period accounts for just 30 percent of the annual harvest, “not enough to meet the immense needs,” it added. Four million Somalis are in crisis, with some 750,000 at risk of dying in the next four months, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Wednesday. It is also feared that the rains will also raise the risk of diseases, it added.
“The onset of rains anticipated in October could fuel the spread of cholera, measles and malaria, thereby leading to more deaths in a population already weakened by conflict and famine,” OCHA said. Food deliveries have reached some 1.85 million people as of last week, almost half of those in need, OCHA added.
Drought, high food prices and fighting in Somalia have increased the number of those in need of humanitarian assistance across the Horn of Africa to 13.3 million, according to the UN.
Young Somali-Canadians approach end of trek to Ottawa
28 Sept – Source: CTV (Canada) – 133 words
an eight-day trek from Toronto to Ottawa by some young Somali-Canadians is nearly over. The 19 walkers set out from Toronto’s city hall to raise $1 million for victims of the famine in Africa but so far have managed only a fraction of that.
They’ve been walking up to 12 hours a day and have so far passed through about 20 towns and cities. Shadya Yasin organized the 400-kilometre walk to raise awareness about the crisis in East Africa. Some four million Somalis are affected by food and water shortages. The UN estimates 750,000 could die over the next few months unless there’s more aid for East Africa’s worst drought in 60 years.
CULTURE, BLOGS & EDITORIALS
Somalia famine getting worse
27 Sept – Source: Washington Post – 156 words
Seven hundred and fifty thousand Somalis may die of starvation this year. That’s equivalent to wiping out every single person in Washington, plus 150,000 more. The scale of the disaster in the Horn of Africa is something difficult to wrap your head around. Consider some of the other numbers:
The rate of malnutrition in Somalia is now 50 percent, meaning half of its people are at risk of malnutrition, starvation or death. Some 12 million people across the region need food aid, a number equivalent to the entire population of Illinois.
The amount of money needed to stop the disaster in Somalia is $2.4 billion, the same amount of money Warren Buffett made today alone on paper. The United Nations is $1.1 billion short of that goal, the same cost as the initial estimated cost of the damage of Hurricane Irene. And aid agencies say Somalia’s drought and famine may only worsen in the coming months.