27 February – Source: Associated Press – 147 Words
The U.S. military says it has killed two extremists and wounded another in an airstrike against al-Shabab fighters in Somalia. A statement from U.S. Africa Command on Tuesday said the airstrike was carried out Monday near Jilib in Middle Juba region. The U.S. has carried out a growing number of drone strikes in the Horn of Africa nation in coordination with Somalia’s government. Most are against al-Shabab but a small number have targeted Islamic State group-affiliated fighters in the Puntland region in the north. Monday’s strike is the sixth air attack against Islamic extremist fighters so far this year. The U.S. military reported two strikes last week. The U.S. carried out more than 30 drone strikes last year in Somalia after President Donald Trump approved expanded military efforts.
- US Says 2 Extremists Killed In Latest Somalia Airstrike (Associated Press)
- Somali Defense Ministry Directed To Draft Military Pay Regulations (Hiiraan Online)
- You Have No Powers To Appoint Security Chiefs HirShabelle Lawmakers Tell Ware (Goobjoog News)
- AMISOM And The Somali Government Reiterate Their Commitment To Eliminate Al-Shabaab ( AMISOM)
- Somalia Closer To Establishing First Telecoms Regulator (IT Web Africa)
- Escaping Back To War: Somali Refugees Return From Yemen (Deutsche Welle)
Somali Defense Ministry Directed To Draft Military Pay Regulations
27 February – Source: Hiiraan Online- 259 Words
The Ministry of Defence has been directed to draft military pay and allowances regulations following a Tuesday meeting with the Parliamentary Defence Committee. Since the establishment of the Transitional Federal Government in 2004, the country’s armed forces have consistently struggled with paying its soldiers on time. The Defence Committee on Monday asked the ministry to bring a well-drafted army payment bill before the house.
Dahir Amin Jesow, one of the committee members said the body aims to end the payment challenges soldiers are facing. He pledged that his committee will put pressure on the ministry to complete the regulations in time. While campaigning for the presidency last year, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo had pledged to consistently pay salaries and to pay all arrears.
Barely a month after President Farmajo was elected, hundreds of soldiers went on strike in the Somali capital, blocking roads and forcing businesses to close to remind him of his promise. Fiscal mismanagement and the misappropriation of funds has plagued Somalia’s military which has routinely been accused of graft by the U.N. and international donors. The corruption accusations have damaged the confidence of donors.
In mid-December, the U.S. government suspended its food, fuel and stipend aid for most of Somalia’s armed forces over corruption concerns. Many analysts say that the non-payment of soldiers leads to low troop morale within the SNA and directly threatens the war against Al-Shabaab. The Defence Ministry has announced that they will introduce a biometric database to weed out “ghost-soldiers” and make cash payments directly to soldiers to deter theft.
You Have No Powers To Appoint Security Chiefs, HirShabelle Lawmakers Tell Ware
27 February – Source: Goobjoog News – 138 Words
Lawmakers in HirShabelle state have termed the move by state president Mohamed Ware to nominate senior security chiefs as unconstitutional. The MPs said Ware gave himself powers and authority not within the constitution. Ware announced this week the nomination of senior officers in the military and police sparking rage from the lawmakers.
State assembly MP Nur Hashi Warsame told Goobjoog News the president was in contravention of the constitution noting the authority to appoint security chiefs is vested in the president of the land and head of the military “We sit here for accountability and to ensure the President does not act outside the constitution like in the case of the president appointing security chiefs,” said Warsame. He said the state president has also indicated he will be appointing members of independent commissioners such as constitutional review process.
27 February – Source: AMISOM – 465 Words
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali government have pledged to complement each other in the fight against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. The announcement comes four days after a twin bomb attack in the capital, Mogadishu, killed at least 50 people and a subsequent shootout, between AMISOM soldiers and the National Intelligence Service Agency (NISA) officers, left one officer dead.
The pledge was made by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, and the Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, Abdi Mohamed Sabriye, at a joint press briefing in Mogadishu today. “I wanted, as I’m surrounded by my Force Commander, my Police Commissioner and my colleagues who deal with issues of security and policy, to reaffirm that AMISOM and the Somali national security forces represented by NISA, Somali National Army (SNA) and all other forces by the ministry of defense, ministry of interior and AMISOM are one. All are united in a common purpose (which is) defeating Al-Shabaab,” Ambassador Madeira said.
27 February – Source: IT Web Africa – 260 Words
The government of Somalia has partnered with various stakeholders, including telecoms operators and the World Bank, to roll out a phased project towards establishing the country’s first telecoms sector regulator. ITWeb Africa recently reported that Abdi Sheik Ahmed has been appointed to head the regulator. The country’s telecoms sector comprises several players including Dalkom, Golis Telecom, Hormuud Telecom, Nationlink, Somafone, Somtel, Telcom Somalia and Telesom.
According to the World Bank, once in full operation, the Somali National Communications Authority will boost market development and increase the contribution of the telecoms sector to 11% of the country’s national GDP. The regulator is expected to stabilise and develop the sector, help attract foreign investment, effectively manage spectrum license allocation and interconnection between networks to secure the benefit of high-speed mobile broadband technologies In October 2017 the government signed into law the National Communications Act, providing the legal framework for the emergence of the regulator. The Act covers the development of telecommunications technology, protection of corporate and consumer rights and more private sector participation.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“I worry very much when my husband is working somewhere,” she says,” On the other hand, the children get hungry and ask me for food all the time. My husband doesn’t really have a choice. He has to trust in God and look for work.”
27 February – Source: Deutsche Welle – 493 Words
When civil war broke out in Somalia, Ali Hassan Suufi and his wife fled to Yemen. But after the Yemeni Civil War began they returned to their home country, which had been ravaged by terror and poverty. On mornings like these, when there is nothing left to eat in the house, Ali Hassan Suufi worries about how he will find the money to send his children to school. Suufi misses his life in the Yemeni refugee camp, where he lived with his family for 20 years. “We had a good life, we were content,” he says, “We had enough to eat every day, even vegetables and milk for the children. I managed to save about 20 dollars a day from the income from my own restaurant. We lived well, as is only possible in times of peace.”
Sadly, those times are long gone. Civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991 and Suufi and his wife Farhiya Abdirahman Mohamed fled to Yemen three years later. Their children were born there and went to school at the refugee camp run by the United Nations. Suufi was eventually elected to be the spokesman for the camp’s 20,000 refugees. But in January 2015, shortly before the outbreak of the Yemeni Civil War, he decided to go home. Not because he expected life to be better there. But he was concerned about the constant bombardments, cholera epidemics and other horrors which come with war. The UN has consistently described the conditions in Yemen as horrendous for civilians.
Strangers in a familiar place; And so Suufi and his wife Farhiya took a boat back to Somali’s capital Mogadishu. But Farhiya says returning home has been a struggle. “I feel like a refugee, not like someone who returned home,” she told DW, “We used to have a house here, which my husband sold to pay for our flight to Yemen. We just thought about surviving the war. Nobody was thinking about the future. Now I feel homeless.”
Terror attacks pose everyday risk; Suufi goes out everyday looking for work. Sometimes he is hired just for the day and brings home 10 dollars. He may end up with 50 dollars for the whole month. But even the most ordinary jobs can be extremely dangerous, as extremist groups like Al-shabaab carry out frequent attacks in and around Mogadishu. “It is dangerous to work as a cook in Mogadishu,” he says, “Twice there were terrorist attacks on the hotels where I worked that day. I was lucky to survive.” Hotels and restaurants are al-shabab’s preferred targets in the city center. Although Farhiya worries about the safety of her husband, she knows that they have little choice.