29 June – Source : Reuters – 399 Words
Lack of access to hungry parts of Somalia controlled by Islamist militants is threatening the lives of tens of thousands of malnourished children, a charity said on Thursday, as the war-torn nation risks falling back into famine. Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), often fatal without medical care, has “skyrocketed” to more than three times the emergency threshold of two percent in Hiraan region’s Mataban District, a survey by Save the Children found. “Scaling up to provide services to everyone affected is a challenge because we have around two million people living in al Shabaab controlled areas,” said Hassan Noor Saadi, Save the Children’s Somalia country director. “Getting aid to them is not easy.”
Al-Shabaab militants ruled most of south-central Somalia until 2011, when they were driven out of the capital Mogadishu by African Union troops, and still carry out major attacks. In 2011, some 260,000 Somalis died of famine caused by drought, conflict and lack of access to humanitarian aid. Somali’s erratic spring rains were not good enough to guarantee crop growth, while livestock continue to die, leaving families with little to feed their children, Saadi said.
- Militants Blocking Aid To Starving Children In Somalia Charity Says (Reuters)
- Al-Shabaab Plans To Assassinate Its Former Spokesman (Sahal News)
- PM Chairs Maritime Security Committee Meeting (Jowhar.com)
- At Least 20000 Children At Risk Of Dying In Dying In Drought-Stricken Somalia (Save The Children)
- Somalia Hosts Symposium For Diaspora Returnees And Local Communities (AMISOM)
- Somalia Caught Between Qatar And Saudis (Global Post)
Al-Shabaab Plans To Assassinate Its Former Spokesman
28 June – Source : Sahal News – 128 Words
Authorities in southern Somalia said that Al-Shabaab is planning to kill its former deputy leader Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur who was recently removed from the US’s wanted watch list. Southwest’s Hudur CommissioneR, Mohamed Moalin has said that administration is fully aware military movements by Al-Shabaab to kill its leader. “We heard about the news, but we don’t have reports on any attack on his camps in Bakool,” Mr Moalin has told reporters in Baidoa. Asked whether the State will defend the defector he said that steps would be revealed when Al-Shabaab attack him. The group has recently released the pictures of its late leader Ahmed Godane who was killed in a drone attack in 2015. The video also reveals detailed information on their war in Somalia.
PM Chairs Maritime Security Committee Meeting
28 June – Source:Jowhar.com – 110 Words
The Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Kheyre chaired a meeting of the committee of maritime security which discussed a number of maritime issues. The committee has been established in order to have consultations with other government departments working on maritime issues. The meeting was attended by the ministries of foreign affairs, fisheries , justice and officials from the attorney-general’s office. They had a very long discussion on how to undertake maritime security in Somalia. The Minister for Security, Mohamed Abukar Islow(Duale) has explained in detail the best way to ensure Somalia’s maritime security. He expressed the importance of coastal guard which is been planned to transferred to his ministry.
29 June – Source : Save the Children – 383 Words
More than 20,000 children across nine districts in Somalia risk starving to death in a few months unless the international community continues to provide life-saving aid to the drought-stricken country, Save the Children is warning. New survey results released by the aid organisation and conducted in partnership with Concern Worldwide and Action Against Hunger, show the number of severe acute malnutrition cases the most dangerous form of hunger have skyrocketed in nearly half of the nine districts assessed. In the district of Mataban alone, 9.5% of children under five are now severely malnourished.
A series of indicators tied to malnutrition, food supplies and mortality rates must be met for a famine to be declared. The survey results show the nutrition indicator is pointing to famine-like conditions in some areas of the country. Hassan Noor Saadi, Save the Children’s Country Director in Somalia, said: “The lack of food and rising numbers of severely malnourished children are distressing, to say the least. “The most recent rains have been erratic and have not performed well enough to guarantee crop growth, and families continue to lose what little remains of their livelihoods and livestock, leaving them with few options to provide for their children, indicating a clear risk of famine.”
An estimated $1.5 billion is needed to help aid agencies working on the ground save lives, of which only $550 million has been funded to date. Save the Children is urgently calling on the international community to follow the UK Government’s example and continue funding the drought response in Somalia.
29 June -Source: AMISOM-598 Words
Somalia is hosting a two-day conference aimed at enhancing relations between local Somalis and their counterparts in the diaspora. The reconciliation conference is organized by the Department of Diaspora in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Global Somali Organization (GSD) and the Save Somali Youth Organization (SASOYO) with support from African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The meeting is being attended by officials from the federal government and the regional states, academics, local Somalis and diaspora returnees. Unity and reconciliation of Somalis is one of the key issues Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo promised to pursue after being inaugurated as the ninth President of Somalia early this year. During the London Conference, representatives of the international community urged Somalis to strongly pursue peace and reconciliation to help stabilize the country.
Speaking at the opening of the conference Mohamed Abdi Abdillahi, the HirShabelle Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and Diaspora Relations, emphasized the need to resolve the differences between the diaspora returnees and the locals to stability the country. “The word diaspora has been used to mean people coming to Mogadishu but I want them (diaspora returnees) to also go to the regions because that is where the real need is. The issue of diaspora or locals is not important. To me there is no difference between a citizen in the country and out of the country,” Mr. Abdillahi observed.
Mr Abdillahi urged the two groups to abandon false perceptions that cause discord and instead unite in building the country.According to some participants individuals born and raised in the country perceive themselves as having more rights than the diaspora returnees, while the latter believe they are better placed to contribute to the peace and stability because of their superior education, experience and exposure. The locals have also accused the diaspora returnees of taking up most of the plum jobs in government, living them marginalized.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The stance of the Somali government is currently keeping both sides of the blockade in a kind of stasis. Only time will tell how this could all potentially affect the wellbeing of Somalia both throughout the blockade and after it’s resolved,”
28 June – Source : Global Post – 872 Words
The rift in the Gulf has unleashed growing display of power that neither side seems to give up. A clear divide in the Gulf demonstrates those who are with the Saudi/UAE-led alliance and those who have decided to support Qatar. Yet out of the countries that have claimed a neutral stance, the most unlikely and the one with a potential to affect the blockade is Somalia. Not only does Somalia supply both air and naval access to the Saudis and Emiratis to conduct their siege in Yemen, it also now allows Qatar to use its airspace after the air restriction placed on Doha by other Arab states. With Somalia’s 2,000 miles of coastline on the line, Arab states participating in the siege are determined to access it for their own gain.
A potential alliance with Qatar was arguably the most realistic. With Qatar allegedly buying off presidential candidates before the election, and funding current President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s campaign through the former Aljazeera Arabia correspondent, and now newly appointed chief of staff, Faahad Yasin. The Gulf states’ clear display of interest in the area is unsurprising. Since Saudis backed the previous government, it is interesting to see how this could force Somalia to play into Qatar’s hand and alter the relationship with its ally, Turkey, if it all goes wrong.
In the past year, Turkey has provided Somalia with an immense amount of humanitarian aid. Their influence ranges from building new hospitals and tarmacking roads to providing the scholarship for Somali youth. Through its programs and aid, Turkey is winning the support of the Somali people but more importantly gaining access to their land and sea services. Turkish influence in the area is something that other Gulf states aim to replicate.
With Turkey supporting Qatar in the blockade, a neutral Somalia would benefit them the most. Outside influencers such as Saudi Arabia and UAE can establish stronger bases in the country and shape the way its affairs are conducted; leaving not only Qatar to be affected by the blockade but now also Turkey.
@HarunMaruf: BREAKING: Militias loyal to Abu Mansour “on the brink of fighting” w/ Al-Shabab fighters who’re edging closer to their camp: security source
@HarunMaruf: Abu Mansour’s men are camped in a mountainous area near Abal village, Al-Shabab massing militias; govt and AU troops r 18km away in Huddur.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Kheyre chairs the maritime security committee meeting in Mogadishu.
Photo: Radio Muqdisho