April 16, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

AU Senior Commanders Agree To Pacify Somalia Amid Transition Plan

15 April – Source: Xinhua – 427 Words

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) senior commanders have resolved to place emphasis on tasks that will enable the force to achieve its agenda of complete pacification of Somalia with transition plan in force. The AU mission said in a statement issued on Sunday at the end of the meeting in Mogadishu that commanders agreed to re-examine and assess the progress made with the transition plan so far, to enable it to plan more effectively.

“The AMISOM’s new mandate, requires it to facilitate a conditions based, gradual hand over of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces, without compromising gains already realized,” said Charles Tai Gituai, the Deputy Force Commander in-charge of Operations and Planning. “Our mandate is very clear, that we are here to eradicate Al-Shabaab, to help the Somali people to be able to live in peace; the communities to be able to start their economic activities and that is our focus,” Gituai emphasized.

During the meeting, the AU mission commanders evaluated the status of the implementation of the plan, which includes launching operations to flush out Al-Shabaab remnants. They also resolved to build the capacity of the Somali security forces, to enable them to take over the security of the country, as stipulated in the country’s National Security Architecture, agreed to by political leaders in April 2017. “There is need to continually discuss in details how ready AMISOM is, in terms of manpower and logistics, in executing these tasks (training and operations), in the sectors, putting into consideration the operational readiness and the strength of Somali security forces to support the above tasks,” said AMISOM Force Commander Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire.

Key Headlines

  • AU Senior Commanders Agree To Pacify Somalia Amid Transition Plan (Xinhua)
  • Ministry Of Constitutional Affairs Underlines Its Commitment To Hold Consultations On Constitutional Review (Halbeeg News)
  • Somaliland Court Hands Poet 3 Year Jail Term For ‘Anti-national Activity’ (Goobjoog News)
  • UAE Plane Blocked From Leaving Somalia’s Puntland Region (Al-Jazeera)
  • Senior Al-Shabaab Commander Defects To Somali Government (Xinhua)
  • Turkish Military Base In Somalia Helps Restore Security (Daily Sabah)


Ministry Of Constitutional Affairs Underlines Its Commitment To Hold Consultations On Constitutional Review

15 April – Source: Halbeeg News – 187 Words

Somali Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Abdirahman Hosh Jibril said his ministry is committed to engage in national consultations on the constitution review. Speaking to the media, Hosh noted that the process of the constitutional to engage all citizens as to ensure their views are represented in the new constitution have so far yielded fruit. “We are committed to complete the constitution through transparency and that could be done only when civil society groups play their role therefore we need you to contribute your views on ways to complete the constitution,” he said.

Delegates comprising the constitutional Review Committee and officials from the ministry headed by Mr. Hosh are holding discussions with the civil society organizations in Kismayo town to create public awareness and sensitization on the constitutional review process. The ministry seeks to review and complete the constitution which was adopted on August 1, 2012 by the National Constitutional Assembly. It provides the legal foundation for the existence of the Federal Republic and is the source of the country’s legal authority, which sets out the rights and duties of its citizens, and defines the structure of government.

Somaliland Court Hands Poet 3 Years Jail Term For ‘Anti-national Activity’

15 April – Source: Goobjoog News – 213 Words

Activist and poet Naima Ahmed Qorane has been slapped with a three year jail term by a regional court in the break-away region of Somaliland for publishing material deemed to ‘undermining and bringing the state into contempt’. The court which delivered its verdict following charges levelled against her by Somaliland Attorney General found Naema guilty of two counts following Facebook posts which she is accused of ‘bringing into disrepute the state and championing the unification of Somalia.’

Goobjoog News correspondent in Hargeisa said Naima’s lawyers will appeal the verdict noting the charges against her were not anchored on Somaliland law. In a sworn affidavit on Sunday, lawyers for defendant, Jamaal Hussein Ahmed, Mubarak Abdi Ismail and Jama Ismail Ali said Naima who has been in police custody since January 27 was subjected to abuse and threats of rape by the National Intelligence Agency in Hargeisa.

The lawyers told the court that, security officers threatened her with death and rape. The sentencing of Naema follows a similar verdict against another activist and journalist Abdimalik Muse Coldoon who was arrested last February on accusations he was campaigning for President Mohamed Farmaajo ahead of February 8, 2017 elections. He was handed a two year jail term but released a month later after sentencing in May 2017.


UAE Plane Blocked From Leaving Somalia’s Puntland Region

15 April – Source: Al-Jazeera – 444 Words

Somali officials are said to have stopped a plane from the United Arab Emirates from leaving the country after Emirati military trainers on board refused to hand over their luggage to be scanned and searched. The local news website Mareeg reported on Saturday that Somali officials at Bosaso airport insisted that the “heavy bags” on the flight be checked, resulting in an hours-long standoff.

It added that talks were underway between Somali’s semi-autonomous Puntland region and the UAE to end the dispute. The UAE foreign ministry has not commented on the matter. The news comes just days after Somalia’s government seized several bags of money carrying almost $10m from a plane that arrived at Mogadishu airport from Abu Dhabi. The money was found in three unmarked bags on a Royal Jet plane, the Somali interior ministry said, adding it was investigating where it came from, where it was going and the individuals involved.

Senior Al-Shabaab Commander Defects To Somali Government

14 April – Source: Xinhua – 156 Words

A senior Al-Shabaab commander on Saturday surrendered to Somali security forces in Bula-hawo town in Gedo region, southern Somalia, officials said. Ali Hassan Abdi, Somali security official in the region told media that they would welcome any one of the group fighters or commanders who decides to defect and accept amnesty offered by the government. “Al-Shabaab senior commander for collecting taxes defected from the group and surrendered to us here in this town today, we welcomed him well and we will also welcome others leaving the terrorist network,” Abdi said.

The defector, Abdihakim Hussein Yusuf lauded the security forces for welcoming him, adding that there were more Al-Shabaab fighters who are planning to defect. The defection comes after another Al-Shabaab defector who surrendered to Southwest State in Somalia was awarded 15,000 U.S. dollars in Baidoa town on Thursday. There was no immediate comment from the militant group on the latest defections from its group.


“In a decades-long, failed state where most developed countries shy away from opening embassies or posting diplomats, the Turkish state has unveiled its biggest and most notable embassy two years ago in Mogadishu, and last year the Turkish military training base was inaugurated.”

Turkish Military Base In Somalia Helps Restore Security

13 April – Source: Daily Sabah – 1483 Words

“I came here to make a difference,” Ismail, 19, said in fairly good Turkish. He has been trained and educated at the Turkish military training base in the Somali capital of Mogadishu for the past couple of months. Mogadishu is indeed a capital where people tend to make a difference in their military ability rather than education since one is simply compelled to make a choice to take up arms or not as a teenager.

In the 1970s, the city was indisputably a fierce competitor along with European capitals in the race for beauty, tourism and architecture. Agriculture was flourishing, the city was drawing visitors from all over the world and the most importantly, a state existed. Somalia drastically took a turn for the worse in the early 1990s. Mohamed Siad Barre had been sitting in the drivers seat in Somalia since 1969, but 1991 marked his forceful exit. Few had predicted at the time that his departure would drag Somalia into decades of uncertainty, calamity and lead to the collapse of the state.

The United Nations swiftly embarked on a peace-seeking operation to wrap up the inter-clan wars following Barre’s ouster, which failed. Furthermore, the country served as a scene for the United States as the administration of U.S. President George H. W. Bush jumped into an overseas military adventure. A couple weeks after the deployment of U.S. troops to Somalia, Bill Clinton took office as president. U.S. soldiers returned to the United States a couple years later following a deplorable mission.

That was it. The people of Somalia were knee-deep in a civil war. In fact, nobody today dares assume that it is over. The country is reeling under deadly bombings and the fear of al-Shabaab, a notorious terrorist group. In such an environment where the country has a de-facto non-existent state with a military whose authority is little if any, the training base set up by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in the Somali capital sends a bold message.

Commander of the Turkish Military Training Base, Staff Col. Mehmet Yasin Kalın, believes then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Somalia in 2011 set a precedent. The Turkish government has been mobilizing all state and non-state institutions to pour in humanitarian aid and development projects for the country. Kalın said the military training base is only complementary to Turkey’s humanitarian work in Somalia.


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