11 April – Source: Reuters – 402 Words
Somalia has disbanded a United Arab Emirates programme to train some of its troops in a fresh sign that a dispute in the Gulf involving Qatar is spilling into the volatile country in the Horn of Africa. The government will take over paying and training the soldiers in the programme, Defence Minister Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman told Somalia’s state news agency SONNA on Wednesday.
The UAE has trained hundreds of troops since 2014 as part of an effort boosted by an African Union military mission to defeat an Islamist insurgency and secure the country for the government, which is backed by Western nations, Turkey and the United Nations. Analysts say Somalia’s relations with UAE are strained by a dispute between Qatar and Saudi because Mogadishu has refused to take sides. Arab states have strong trading links with and influence in Somalia, but that is offset by the sway of Qatar and its ally Turkey, one of Somalia’s biggest foreign investors.
“Somalia will fully take over (its troops) trained by the UAE … Those forces will be added to the various battalions of the Somalia National Army,” Abdirahman said, adding that the troops would be integrated into other units on Thursday. There was no immediate comment from the UAE government. Somali security staff seized $9.6 million at Mogadishu airport on Sunday from a plane that had landed from the UAE.
- Somalia Disbands UAE Programme To Pay And Train Hundreds Of Soldiers (Reuters)
- Jubbaland Discloses The Number Of HIV Patients In Kismayo (Halbeeg News)
- Heavy Rains In Mogadishu Spark Fear Among IDPs (Hiiraan Online)
- Kuwait Made Big Achievements In Delivery Of Aid To Somalia (Shabelle News)
- The Woman Who Braves Bullets And Bombs To Uphold Her Father’s Legacy In Somalia (The Guardian)
- Somalia To Hold First Ever Technology Fair Amid Bomb Threats (Face to Face Africa)
- Somaliland’s Drought Threatens Progress In Protecting Females From Sexual Violence (Reliefweb)
Jubbaland Discloses The Number Of HIV Patients In Kismayo
11 April – Source: Halbeeg News – 188 Words
Jubbaland state has for the first time revealed the number HIV patients in the administrative capital, Kismayo. Ali Abdullahi, head of HIV department of Jubbaland’s Ministry of Health said, the department has registered forty five people who are living with HIV/Aids in Kismayo. He pointed out that the ministry had information about several other people living with the disease in Gedo lower and Middle Jubba regions.
“Though the number could be higher, so far we have registered 45 patients in Kismayo town, there are also other people, who are carriers and live in other regions of Jubbaland state,” said Mr. Abdullahi. The official called on the residents of Jubbaland state to know their status and abstain from all the things that might transmitted, or spread the disease.
The exact number of the people living with HIV/AIDS in Somalia is unknown. Many hospital in Somalia do not offer free treatment to HIV positive patients. Despite the efforts by government and local organizations to create awareness, Somali people associate HIV/AIDS with promiscuity. The country’s health system has been weak since 1990s when the civil war broke out.
Heavy Rains In Mogadishu Spark Fear Among IDPs
11 April – Source: Hiiraan.com – 80 Words
Heavy rains in Mogadishu last night have affected people and traffic movement, as the heavy downpours affected the main roads. Last night’s rains have also affected the internally displaced people in Mogadishu after their makeshift houses were damaged by the rains. The downpours lasted for about hours in the midnight. The IDPs expressed concern over possible outbreak of disease amid the onset of the rainy Gu’ season in the country. The rains came amid extreme hot conditions in the country.
Kuwait Made Big Achievements In Delivery Of Aid To Somalia
11 April – Source: Shabelle News – 296 Words
The Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) had chalked up big accomplishments in 2017, thanks to the support of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the political leadership that contributed to the delivery of aid to needy people everywhere in the world. The KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer made the statement to KUNA on Tuesday following the society’s general assembly regular meeting. He added that the society has carried out several achievements and humanitarian projects in several countries witnessing disasters and conflicts.
He noted that the KRCS is coordinating with a host of international partners in order to enhance partnerships with the International Committee of Red Cross as well as UN humanitarian and relief societies and agencies, and others. Al-Sayer pointed out that the society has provided urgent relief to Yemeni people to help them overcome difficult humanitarian conditions in that Arab country. He went to say that the KRCS has been aiding displaced Syrian families currently hosted by neighbouring countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, for the 7th year in a row.
He also referred to humanitarian assistance offered by the KRCS to brothers and sisters in Palestine, Libya, Somalia, Tanzania and refugee Rohingya people in Bangladesh as well as Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and other needy people in affected countries. The KRCS chief mentioned that the society has spared no efforts to provide healthcare to the needy and affected people by conflicts.
He indicated that the society carried out some rehabilitation and training programs for donors and other staff at some bodies in Kuwait. Other humanitarian campaigns and projects related to charities in several fields have been executed by the society as well, he made clear. He finally commended partners who contributed to the success of implementing charitable projects for needy people.
11 April – Source: The Guardian – Audio: 22:00 Minutes
Warmly remembered as the Somali father of peace, Elman Ali Ahmed had a celebrated slogan ‘Drop the gun, pick up the pen’ – that still adorns the war-ravaged walls of Mogadishu. In 1996, his mission to disarm child soldiers and end conflict in the country he loved cost him his life when he was assassinated. Now his daughter, Ilwad, inspired by the legacy of a man she describes as ‘an incredible force’ and roused by the similarly indomitable spirit of her mother is continuing his work. She talks to Lucy Lamble about her reasons for following in the footsteps of her parents and the challenges of working for peace in a country where women are expected to stay at home and raise families rather than fight for social justice.
10 April – Source: Face to Face Africa – 200 Words
Somalis are braving the storm to host social events despite threats by Islamist militant group Al- Shabaab which is perpetrating brutal bombing of civilians and security officials on a daily basis. A week after some more than 500 youth participated in the country’s first mini-marathon in 20 years amid tight security, the Puntland Technology Development Agency is organising the first ever Somali Technology Fair on Friday.
The fair is intended to showcase Somalia’s technology and innovation, and provide funds, networking and mentoring opportunities for tech startups in the country, the organisers stated. Over 500 people including government officials and entrepreneurs will grace the event which will be held in Puntland State University in Garowe on April 15 and 16. Somali have showed interest in technology over the years with the increased access to smartphones and the internet.
Last year, a group of young men launched the country’s first community-based tech innovation hub in the capital Mogadishu. The iRise Hub offers Somali entrepreneurs, innovators, developers, investors, techies and startups the working space to share ideas, connect and collaborate with each other. As the fight against Al-Shabaab continues, Somalia is touted to be a rising digital and tech entrepreneurship hub in the coming years.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“I was 14 years old when I got married. My father wanted it. I could not say no to him. He had nothing, his livestock died. My husband then came up to my father and said I want your daughter.” Although the prevalence of child marriage is decreasing globally, by 15% over the last decade, the rates of decline are lower in Africa than elsewhere in the world.”
11 April – Source: Reliefweb – 748 Words
The devastating drought in the Horn of Africa is threatening progress made towards stamping out some of the worst forms of abuse against women and girls, Save the Children is warning. After an unprecedented four consecutive failed rains in Somaliland, and despite a global decline in child marriage, the aid organisation is deeply concerned by encountering repeated cases of forced child marriage as a result of the drought.
New research by Save the Children found that 51 teenage girls (out of 1,104 households) had been married off because of the way in which the drought was impacting their families. Moderate to severe hunger was also evident in most of the eleven districts included in the assessment, while 10% of families interviewed reported that one of their girls has been sexually assaulted.
This comes as Somaliland’s first ever so-called ‘Anti-Rape’ law was given a further seal of approval in the parliament’s Upper House, which voted for the bill with a majority on Saturday (7 April 2018). Save the Children and partners such as the Women’s Rights network, NAGAAD have campaigned to bring the Sexual Offences Bill to parliament, where it received an initial endorsement in December 2017.
Timothy Bishop, Save the Children’s Somaliland / Somalia Country Director, said: “A third of women globally experience some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. As if that wasn’t shock-ing enough, many of these crimes are being perpetrated against girls that should be in primary school – yet are married off the men old enough to be their fathers or even grandfathers. “Save the Children fully supports the Sexual Offences Bill and the progress being made by the Ministry of Employment, Family and Social Affairs of Somaliland to protect women and girls from all forms of sexual violence, whether perpetrated by a stranger or a relative. The more funding made available for medical and psychological support for survivors, the more likely they will be to report crimes and seek justice. With the worst drought in living memory and the ongoing conflict driving cracks through the economy and the fabric of society, never has this legislation been more important.”