April 19, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia’s Prime Minister Meets With SNA, AMISOM Officials In Mogadishu

18 April – Source : Garowe Online – 173 Words

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre held meeting with senior military commanders from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) in the capital Mogadishu. Sources at villa Somalia said PM Khayre and the army chiefs convened to review the current military operations, the effectiveness of ground troops and the strategy in the war against Al-Shabaab group.

The meeting has focused on ways to enable SNA and AMISOM forces to conduct an offensive aimed at recapturing the remaining territories under the control of Al-Shabaab militant. “This morning I had a productive meeting with SNA and AMISOM, and agreed all illegal checkpoints must be cleared to allow humanitarian access to the drought-hit areas,” said Somali PM in Twitter post.

The PM has called on African Union forces to help SNA to root out al-Shabaab from the country. This comes after the Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo recent public declaration, that the country is at war and urged citizens to support the national forces and their allied AMISOM confronting the extremists.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia’s Prime Minister Meets With SNA AMISOM Officials In Mogadishu (Garowe Online)
  • Mortar Attack Kills At Least 5 Injures 7 In Mogadishu (Shabelle News)
  • Jubbaland Soldier Kills Civilian In Kismayo City (Shabelle News)
  • UN Backs Somalia’s Efforts To Tackle Drought Insecurity (Xinhua)
  • New African Soccer Boss Open To Somalia Hosting Games Again (Washington Post)
  • Why Somali Piracy Is Staging A Comeback (The Economist)


Mortar Attack Kills At Least 5, Injures 7 In Mogadishu

18 April – Source : Shabelle News – 141 Words

At least five people were reported to have been killed, and seven others wounded in mortar shells fired into homes in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, Witnesses said. An Eyewitness, speaking to Radio Shabelle via phone said between 2-3 mortars struck a School in Howlwadaag district, killing at least five civilians, including four children. A mortar struck Hassan Al Qaridi primary school, killing four students and injuring seven others, according to Abdullahi Barre, the school principal who spoke to Radio Shabelle.

The wounded people have been rushed to hospital by the local ambulances. Reports said there have been more mortars fired at the country’s President Palace in Mogadishu. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the mortar fire in Mogadishu, which was the latest in series of attacks in the seaside capital since the election of President Farmajo in February.

Jubbaland Soldier Kills Civilian In Kismayo City

18 April – Source : Shabelle News – 91 Words

A soldier serving with Jubbaland state forces has shot and killed a civilian in the southern port city of Kismayo following an argument, witnesses said. The eyewitness said the soldier has opened fire at a luxury car in the heart of the city, killing the driver on the spot after undisclosed dispute. The soldier has fled the scene following the shooting of the innocent civilian. Jubbaland officials did not comment on the civilian shooting, which becomes the latest in a string of killings in Kismayo, about 500Km south of Mogadishu.


UN Backs Somalia’s Efforts To Tackle Drought, Insecurity

18 April – Source : Xinhua – 344 Words

The United Nations and international community have backed Somalia’s government and the federal member states for agreeing to jointly fight insecurity, drought and corruption. In a joint statement released on Mondaynight in Mogadishu, the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, the AMISOM, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and other partners lauded the political process the leaders achieved during their consultations in Mogadishu.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia Michael Keating welcomed in particular the agreement reached on the key points of Somali national security architecture. “This agreement marks a major milestone for Somalia. It is a cornerstone of the federal state building process and is a basis upon which strengthened security can be built,” Keating said. He said the National Security Council chaired by the president, whose members include regional leaders, will now have a critical role in driving progress.

Keating said the international community is committed to supporting the government’s priorities including drought response and recovery, increasing revenues and fighting corruption, and a comprehensive approach to security. During two-day consultations which ended in Mogadishu on Sunday, led by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and other senior officials, the political leaders agreed to aid Somalia avert a potential famine.

New African Soccer Boss Open To Somalia Hosting Games Again

18 April – Source : Washington Post – 357 Words

Somalia could host international games again for the first time in nearly 30 years after the new head of African soccer said on Tuesday he’s open to the idea. Confederation of African Football president Ahmad invited Somalia to start by organizing friendly games against neighbor Djibouti in the Somali capital Mogadishu. Mogadishu last hosted a senior international games in 1988. Somalia has been wracked by violence and chaos since the early 1990s, first because of a civil war and now deadly attacks by homegrown Islamist extremist group al-Shabab.

But the situation has improved. Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed used Ahmad’s visit to request his country be allowed to host international soccer again. Ahmad, who beat longtime African soccer boss Issa Hayatou in an election last month, made a two-day visit to Somalia on Monday and Tuesday, his first official trip as CAF president. “Holding friendly matches in Mogadishu will help a lot to encourage sports and help Somalia regain its sports glory and I have asked Djibouti and Somalia to start playing the first friendly matches,” Ahmad said.

Ahmad also promised to lobby Somali officials so that Mogadishu’s biggest stadium can be used for soccer again. The 33,000-seat stadium currently acts as a base for African Union troops, who are in the country to help fight al-Shabab. Sports authorities in Somalia have tried a number of times to get the stadium back. “I have met Somali leaders and they agreed to have the stadium handed over so that sports can be played there again,” Ahmad said. “And I shall push this further with relevant authorities.”


“Galmudug currently has no president and the regional government is stuck in an existential battle against Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a, a local Islamist militia. Puntland’s government is more capable but has problems paying its security forces. Islamic State has been making inroads. And both, like the rest of Somalia, are suffering from a devastating drought.”

Why Somali Piracy Is Staging A Comeback

18 April – Source : The Economist – 492 Words

The waters off the coast of Somalia were the most treacherous shipping lanes in the world. More than 700 attacks on vessels took place in this period. In early 2011, 758 seafarers were being held hostage by pirates. Hijackings cost the shipping industry and governments as much as $7bn in 2012. But then, quite suddenly, the banditry stopped. The last hijacking of a merchant vessel occurred in May 2012. Until now. There have been five confirmed incidents of piracy on the Gulf of Aden in the past month, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew of the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom).

After a five-year hiatus, piracy seems to have returned to the Horn of Africa. Why? Attacks had slumped in large part thanks to beefed-up security measures. Rocketing insurance premiums meant shipping companies were forced to invest in armed guards, and to chart longer, safer routes far from the Somali coast. Since armed guards first started crewing ships as protection against Somali pirates, none of their charges have been successfully hijacked. But smaller vessels keen to cut costs have grown complacent in recent months. The Comoros-flagged Aris 13 was sailing close to the shore, and slow enough to attract attention. There were no armed guards on board. There were also fewer international naval patrols in the area than there had been.

But as when the first wave of piracy struck these waters back in the early 2000s, conditions on shore matter most. Somalia remains under-governed and mired in conflict. Puntland and Galmudug, the two federal states nearest the most recent hijackings, are particularly troubled even by Somali standards. Galmudug currently has no president and the regional government is stuck in an existential battle against Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a, a local Islamist militia. Puntland’s government is more capable but has problems paying its security forces.


The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.