13 May – Source: AMISOM – 576 Words
Somalia launched the constitutional review process at a national convention held in Mogadishu on Sunday and attended by Members of Parliament, religious leaders, civil society and international partners. Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who led the nation in launching the process, pledged financial and political support to the process to ensure the country gets a new Constitution by the end of next year.
Mr. Khaire said there was need to finalize the constitutional process to unify the country, promote economic growth and above all deliver a new document for posterity. “I hereby confirm that my government has pledged $3million for the constitution process to be finalized. However, this pledge should produce a Somalia-owned document, Somali thinking, Somali economy, Somali advice and new Somali unity that rebuilds the Somali nation we lost,” Prime Minister added.
Somalia is currently governed by a Provisional Constitution, adopted on August 1, 2012, after years of conflict. The federal and state governments plan to have a new document ready ahead of the one-person one-vote elections scheduled for 2020. Mr. Khaire said Somalia needs a new Constitution to accomplish the movement towards one-person one-vote to give the population an opportunity to pick leaders of their choice. The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) and head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Ambassador Francisco Madeira, commended the efforts of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and the Prime Minister Hassan for prioritizing the constitutional review process in accordance with Somalia’s Political Roadmap.
- Somalia Launches Constitutional Review Process Ahead Of 2020 Elections (AMISOM)
- Council of Inter-state Cooperation Due To Meet In Baidoa (Halbeeg News)
- PM Khaire Rallies Somalis To Voice Their Views On Constitution (Goobjoog News)
- Somalia Says Ready To Take Over Security Tasks From AU Troops (Xinhua)
- Mandera Leaders Want Government To Open Kenya-Somalia Border For Trade (Daily Nation)
- Somalia’s Illicit Charcoal Trade Threatens Security The Environment And Livelihoods (Deutsche Welle)
Council of Inter-state Cooperation Due To Meet In Baidoa
13 May – Source: Halbeeg News – 136 Words
The security of Baidoa town has been tightened ahead of the opening of a conference which brings together leaders of Galmudug, Southwest, Jubbaland, Hirshabelle and Puntland states.
State leaders are expected to arrive in Baidoa town in the forthcoming hours. According to sources privy to the forum, the Council of Inter-State Cooperation will discuss the political situation of the country, the humanitarian crisis as well the achievements of the federal government.
The leaders will also focus on relations between Somalia and the United Arab Emirates. The ties between Somalia and United Arab Emirates have soured following what Somalia termed as blatant infringement of Somalia sovereignty by Emirati authorities after they inked backdoor deals with Somaliland and Puntland states.
PM Khaire Rallies Somalis To Voice Their Views On Constitution
13 May – Source: Goobjoog News – 399 Words
Prime Minister, Hassan Khaire has called on Somalis to actively take part in the constitutional review process noting the completion of the exercise was instrumental in handing power to the citizenry to decide their destiny. Speaking during the launch of the National Constitutional Convention in Mogadishu, the PM said the journey towards the completion of the review process has been long running characterized by push and pull but noted the process was nearing its end.
“We came here after a long running tug of war. Many things remain addressed but the most important one now is the constitutional review process,” the Prime Minister told hundreds of Somalis drawn from various sectors including representatives from the international community:”We must complete this process to pave the way for one person one vote in 2020. This will give the citizens the power to choose their own leaders; power in their hands.”
The three-day conference, which brings together about 300 participants, will provide a forum for participants to air their views on various sections of the Provisional Constitution especially on the contentious articles. Khaire singled out power sharing between the levels of government, resources sharing, governance structures and design of the judiciary, as some of the outstanding issues which call for in-depth consultation.
Speaking during the same function, AMISOM head Francisco Madeira termed the event historic, noting it was in tandem with the aspirations of the founders of the African Union: “Today’s historic event resonates well with the Constitutive Act of the African Union that expresses the AU’s determination to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights, consolidate democratic institutions and culture and ensure good governance and the rule of law.”
The AMISOM chief added that the forum was crucial in providing a platform for Somalis to express their views on the supreme law before it is put to a vote through a referendum. “This is happening in accordance to an already approved Somali political roadmap and in a timely manner to address key lingering issues in a wide consultative engagement whose outcome must aim at facilitating a fair and inclusive process in Somalia.”
Distribution of powers and responsibilities between national and sub-national authorities, resources and revenue sharing remain unresolved and are expected to form the core of the consultations. Others include power sharing between the President and Prime Minister, citizenship and the status of Mogadishu.
13 May – Source: Xinhua – 543 Words
The Somali government has assured the African Union (AU) and the United Nations of its commitment to take over security responsibilities from the AU troops in the country as stipulated in the transition plan. National Security Advisor of the government, Abdisaid Musse Ali, told a joint team from the AU and the UN reviewing the Mission that there was political will from the presidency and the government that was ready to handle the country’s security. “The transition plan represents a significant change in the planning and delivery of security in Somalia. It’s not business as usual,” he said in a statement issued on Sunday from AMISOM.
“For many years, Somalia has been grateful for the strong support of our international partners which has allowed the country to make progress,” he added during a high-level of AU-UN joint review team and international partners held in Mogadishu. Ali asked the team not to judge Somalia by its past but what it is today and what it will be in future, noting that the transition plan is aimed at securing Somalia, through the implementation of the security architecture developed and adopted by the government in 2017.
The AU-UN joint review team is in Somalia meeting various stakeholders and will present its report to the UN Security Council ahead of a meeting to decide on the extension of AMISOM’s mandate which expires on May 31. Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia said the peacekeeping force had always had an exit strategy.
13 May – Source: Daily Nation – Video: 1:10 Minutes
Mandera leaders, led by Mandera governor Ali Roba and his counterpart Mandera East MP Omar Maalim Mohamed has called upon the government to open its border with Somalia to allow resumption of legitimate cross-border trade, saying that the Mandera county economy depends on Bulla Hawa Somalia. Speaking during closing ceremony of a Quran recitation competition in Mandera town, the leaders said the border closure is not serving its purpose when goods from Bulla Hawa, Somalia are still making their way to Mandera without being taxed and inspected for quality.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“So if you want to find an adequate solution, you have to look at the root causes, one of which is poverty, addressing poverty, addressing livelihood. Investment opportunity for business will also be something to look into.”
12 May – Source: Deutsche Welle – 520 Words
Somalia is losing trees at an alarming rate to an illicit charcoal trade that partly bankrolls its Islamist insurgency. Charcoal producers and traders who violate a UN ban say their livelihoods are at stake. Stockpiles of charcoal cast long shadows that shield motorists from the scorching sun on the road that links the southern port of Buur Gaabo to the capital Mogadishu in the north.
Charcoal producers and traders can be seen packing their trucks near Mogadishu.
Some two million trees are felled every year in the trade worth 120 million dollars (€100 million), a UN estimate shows. It names the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman as the key buyers. Of those 120 million dollars, at least 10 million are siphoned off by al-Shabab, the Islamist militant group fighting the government. Somalia and UN consider the problem
Representatives from the UN and the Somali government came together in Mogadishu this month to consider the main aspects of the problem – the security situation and the impact of the trade on the lives of people and the environment. Trader Hassan Omar told DW al-Shabab fighters arrive “from time to time” to collect payments from traders who operate in areas under its control.
But the charcoal trade is his livelihood in the war-torn country, Omar said. “We cut trees because of the problems we face. It is next to impossible to get employed. There is no river. If we had farms and water, we could have planted and earned a living. But in such an arid area, how can you survive? The only way is to cut the trees, they are our cash crop,” Omar explained.
Concern is growing that Somalia is slowly turning into a desert due to the loss of an estimated 8.2 million trees between 2011 and 2017 alone. It experiences periodic drought and flooding due to climate change. Aden Guro once traded in charcoal but is now firmly behind the ban. “Without environment there is no life. I urge the government to take action and stop this smuggling of our charcoal to Arab lands. If there is no way to sell this charcoal, al-Shabab will obviously stop,” Guro told DW. Biggest market in the Gulf