13 April – Source: Daily Monitor – 525 Words
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General David Muhoozi, has called for united training of Somali National Army (SNA) so that it is empowered to handle its security woes. While responding to journalists’ questions on why Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have failed to capacitate SNA in the 11 years they have spent in war-trodden country, Gen Muhoozi said the problem was due to lack of cohesion between the different countries offering training to Somali forces. “Uganda, Kenya, Turkey and many others all train different groups which have failed to come together.
I think we need a united training for Somali forces if we are to empower them to handle their security matters,” he said. General Muhoozi also flagged off 1,822 UPDF soldiers under the 24th battle group heading to Somalia for one year to carry out Amisom duties. The soldiers are replacing the 23rd battle group that will be withdrawn next week. UPDF has been in Somalia since 2007.
- General Muhoozi Calls For Joint Training Of Somali Army (Daily Monitor)
- Al-Shabaab Defector Awarded $15000 (Hiiraan Online)
- President Farmaajo Condemns Barawe Football Pitch Blast (Hiiraan Online)
- Turkish Aid Agency Puts Smile On Faces Of Somali Children Widows (Daily Sabah)
- A Storm Over A Port; Emiratis Plough Millions Into A Country That No One Recognises: Somaliland (The Economist)
Al-Shabaab Defector Awarded $15,000
13 April – Source: Hiiraan Online – 144 Words
It is the first time ever that an Al-Shabaab defector was officially awarded after South West administration paid $15,000 to Mr. Mohamed Hassan Aden (Sandheere), a former Al-Shabab member. The ceremony was held at the Ministry of Security of South West of Baidoa and the money was handed over to former Al-Shabaab commander by the state’s Minister of Security Hassan Hussein Mohamed Eelay.
Mr. Mohamed Sandheere worked in the transport and logistics section of Al-Shabaab in Bay and Bakol regions and defected with a technical. He stated that he had been a long time member of Al-Shabaab and that he hails from Jubba region. Mr. Mohamed Sandheere spoke with the media and said he left Al-Shabaab after he realized that Al-Shabaab was unjustly killing civilians. In the past recent days, the numbers of Al-Shabaab members surrendering to South West administration has been increasing.
President Farmaajo Condemns Barawe Football Pitch Blast
13 April – Source: Hiiraan Online – 141 Words
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ has strongly condemned yesterday’s explosion at a football pitch in the coastal town of Barawe in Lower Shabelle. The remotely controlled IED exploded during a local football match killing at least four people and injuring 13 others.
President Farmaajo lambasted the militant group Al-Shabaab, which claimed credit for the attack, as the most dangerous enemy of the Somali public. He called for unity and cooperation between the government and the public in a bid to intensify the fight against the Al-Qaeda-linked group. “As you may know Al-Shabaab detonated a football pitch where innocent young people were playing football. Al-Shabaab is the biggest enemy we currently have, so we have to unite in the fight against them,” he said. He sent condolences to the families and relatives of the dead victims and wished the injured quick recovery.
13 April – Source: Daily Sabah – 762 Words
Support for Somalia from the Turkish government and nongovernmental organizations continue without a respite. The latest humanitarian project was recently launched by aid agency the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH). It rushed to the need of hundreds of children, who had lost their fathers, earlier this week as it distributed dairy goats, food, school materials and toys as well as sewing machines as part of the annual Orphan Solidarity Days, as Somalia continues to reel under a famine threat and drought.
Held in the capital city of Mogadishu, the program was kicked off with the distribution of five dairy goats each to 12 orphan families. Aimed at helping orphan families generate income, the dairy goats will be monitored by the humanitarian aid agency throughout the year. Later on, 120 goats were sacrificed, which were distributed to the families of children. Food aid given to each family, in which children had lost their fathers, is estimated to be reaching out to at least five people. In this respect, at least 600 people received meat as part of the Orphan Solidarity Days.
Furthermore, the mothers of some 50 children were given sewing machines to help them raise their income by working on their own, namely without needing anybody else. On the third day of the program on Wednesday, hundreds of children gathered at a park in central Mogadishu. They were given school materials, toys and T-shirts. In fact, the humanitarian aid delivered to the children was funded by a secondary school and a high school in Istanbul, Turkey.
OPINION, ANALYSIS & CULTURE
“The bickering does not help the cause of a unified Somalia. The government in Mogadishu has little to offer the country’s regions. That allows countries like the UAE to swoop in and fill the gaps. Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, continues to mount successful attacks.”
12 April – Source: The Economist – 725 Words
THE ancient port town of Berbera in Somaliland, a breakaway state in northern Somalia, is generally a sleepy place. The heat, which can reach 50 degrees Celsius in the summer, stifles even the dogs. Yet visitors will find it buzzing at the moment. Near the edge of town, sand and rubble fill the space where, until recently, there were 19th-century Ottoman traders’ houses. New buildings are springing up. A little out to sea, as half a dozen ships idle in the sun, a barge from Dubai hauls a colossal crane towards the shore.
All of this activity relates to a new port being built by DP World, a company mostly owned by the government of Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). At the moment, Berbera’s port is small—used mostly for the export of livestock to the Persian Gulf, and the import of goods to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. However, over the next decade or so, thanks to DP World, it could turn into one of east Africa’s biggest. The port and another Emirati project, to build a military base in Berbera, are powerful reminders of how money from the Gulf is changing the Horn of Africa. It also risks exacerbating the struggle between Somalia’s weak, but internationally recognised federal government in Mogadishu and its restive, secessionist regions.
The Berbera port, which will cost some $450m, is by far the biggest investment in Somaliland since the province declared independence from Somalia in 1991 (in practical, but not legal, terms it is a separate country). It has taken on a new significance since February, when DP World was thrown out of neighbouring Djibouti, where it had operated the main port since 2009. Djibouti currently handles over 90% of Ethiopia’s sea trade, and also hosts French, American and Chinese naval bases. Somaliland officials probably hope to steal some of that traffic. In March Ethiopia announced it had bought a 19% stake in the Berbera port.
The project annoys politicians in Mogadishu, who fear losing more of their already meagre authority. So they have kicked back at the UAE. Last month parliament passed a law banning DP World from all of Somalia (something it cannot enforce). On April 8th the authorities in Mogadishu temporarily seized an Emirati plane carrying some $9.6m in cash, apparently intended for soldiers in Puntland, another autonomous state, being trained by the UAE. On April 11th the defence minister announced that Somalia would end a similar programme in which the UAE paid and trained soldiers in the national army, who will henceforth be paid by the (penniless) federal government.
@US2SOMALIA: @US2SOMALIA strongly condemns the deliberate and cowardly attack targeted on soccer fans in the#Somali port town of #Barawe on Thursday. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. #Somalia
@TC_Mogadishu: Today we celebrated the 58th birthday of Somali National Army. Turkey will continue supporting rebuilding the SNA. Strong Somali National Army means Strong Somalia.
@DalsanFM: PHOTOS: Mogadishu hosts 7th International Sufi Conference. Sufi sect leaders, scholars and representatives from Somalia, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Britain, Sudan, Djibouti, Jordan, Senegal attending the 2 day conference.
@i_dossier: BREAKING: Former Al-Shabab militant who defected from the group in January awarded $15,000. Mohamed Hassan Aden (Sandhere) defected along with a technical vehicle and a heavy machine gun mounted atop. He received the financial award in Baidoa last night from regional Minister.
@AbdulBillowAli: “UAE is trying to destabilize Somalia as revenge for Mogadishu’s refusal to cut ties with Qatar and its agreement with Ankara to allow a Turkish military base in the country”. #Somalia
@HarunMaruf: Mogadishu hosts the 7th international Sufi conference. Representatives from Somalia, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Britain, Sudan, Djibouti, Jordan, Senegal and others are attending the two-day conference.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo inspect a guard of honor during celebrations to mark 58th anniversary since the formation of Somali National Army.