20 April – Source : Daily Nation – 324 Words
The head of the United States Africa Command (Africom) has indicated that Pentagon will not step up the US combat role in Somalia.Marine Corps General Thomas Waldhauser told reporters in a conference that the dozens of additional American soldiers being sent to Somalia are “logisticians” rather than infantry troops.This “long-scheduled deployment” is primarily intended to help to train Somali forces to become more effective in fighting Al-Shabaab, said Gen Waldhauser. He also disputed media reports that the [Donald] Trump administration has “loosened rules for authority to strike” Al-Shabaab targets.
He said the US command has been given “a little more authority to strike” in order to assist the African Union Mission in Somalia and Somali forces in missions that they are unable to carry out on their own, said the officer.Any US strikes are carried out in conjunction with the Somali Government, he emphasised, adding that Africom is “going to great lengths to ensure” that civilian casualties do not occur when it does launch attacks.
- General: US Not At War In Somalia (Daily Nation)
- Commercial Flights Must Get Permits To Land In Ayn Region says Puntland VP (Garowe Online)
- South Korea To Send Anti-piracy Forces To Somalia (Shabelle News)
- Government Committed To Delivering Aid Despite Al-Shabaab Blockade (Dhacdo.com)
- Drought-Hit Somalia Moves Closer to Famine Says Aid Group (Associated Press)
- Somalia’s Ambassador To Kenya Hands Over Office (NEP Journal)
- ‘We’ve Never Seen This Drought This Disease’: Somali Families Bury Their Dead(The Guardian)
Commercial Flights Must Get Permits To Land In Ayn Region, says Puntland VP
20 April – Source : Garowe Online – 251 Words
The Vice President of semi-autonomous region of Puntland, has issued an order demanding commercial flights to get permits to land in Buhodle town in Ayn region. Vice President,Abdihakim Abdulahi Haji Omar “Aamy” stated that Ayn region falls under the control of Puntland administration and commercial flights must register with Puntland Civil Aviation Ministry to operate in the region.Yesterday a plane destined to Buhodle town was directed to land in Garowe Airport following the order of the VP.The flight was carrying 7 U.S. citizens and an Australian citizen who were part of a humanitarian team aiming to assess and help drought-victims in Ayn region. The plane later was allowed to fly to Buhodle town.
Speaking to the media, Aamy said the motive behind the order was to strengthen security and monitor flights landing in the region are not breaching the law and engaging in illegal activities.Asked about whether Puntland is politicizing the humanitarian programs in the region that is contested with neighboring Somaliland, VP said; “ we have to separate the politics and insecurity, the country is beset with insecurity, and we want to protect the people and the region, so it’s our responsibility to monitor the people arriving there.”
The order comes as recently several cargo flights carrying food supplies and medicine have landed in Buhodole town following the outbreak of cholera cases that killed several people in the region.Sool, Sanag and Ayn regions are contested areas between neighboring Somaliland and Puntland administrations.
South Korea To Send Anti-piracy Forces To Somalia
20 April- Source:Shabelle News- 142 Words
According to the Yonhap news agency, the one-day drill will involve the 4,500-tonne destroyer Daejoyoung, a 17,000-tonne commercial vessel and 350 sailors.In May, the Daejoyoung is expected to join the South Korean naval group in the Gulf of Aden deployed there since 2009 as part of global anti-piracy fight off the Somalia coast.
Somalia has been plagued by civil war since 1991. Years of lawlessness and corruption have provided pirates with ample opportunities to hijack international ships for ransom with relative impunity.In 2008, the European Union, along with a number of non-EU members states, launched the anti-piracy operation “Atalanta.” The ships of the participating countries have been patrolling shipping routes off the shores of the Horn of Africa since December 2008.In November, the Council of the European Union extended the mandate of the operation until December 2018.
Government Committed To Delivering Aid Despite Al-Shabaab Blockade
20 April – Source : Dhacdo.com – 117 Words
With Al-Shabaab blockading several towns in southern Somalia making it difficult for aid to reach the area, the Somali government has vowed that it will not be stopped from delivering much needed aid to the people.The Minister for Information, Abdirahman Osman has said that the government is committed to deliver the aid to the affected communities. He said the government has given a priority to save the lives of its people while Al-Shabaab is giving a priority to blocking the aid that is needed by the people. He said following yesterday’s incident which targeted the UAE convoy, the UAE government has said it will be not deterred from responding to the needs of the drought victims.
20 April – Source : Associated Press – 268 Words
Life-threatening child malnutrition rates are rising to alarming levels in drought-hit Somalia, the international aid group Save the Children said Thursday.A new survey found “very critical” levels of severe malnutrition in two of six districts assessed in some of the worst affected parts of Somalia.“We are on the brink of a massive catastrophe in Somalia with the death of three quarters of the country’s livestock, a rapid increase of children suffering severe malnutrition and the depletion of water stores in dozens of communities,” said Hassan Saadi Noor, Save the Children’s Somalia country director, who said he fears seeing “children dying in significant numbers.”
Less than 10 percent of children in Somalia are currently registered in a nutrition program according to the study, which warns that children could start dying “in the near future” unless immediate action is taken such as a major and rapid scaling up of feeding schemes.“Donors have stepped up in recent months, however such is the scale of this crisis that even more funding is needed to address malnutrition directly, including improving access to food and water,” said Noor. “Children must be treated for malnutrition now … Famine is a distinct possibility for Somalia. It is an absolute travesty that this is even conceivable when just six years ago this same region was hit by a famine that killed over 250,000 people.”
19 April – Source : Nep Journal – 192 Words
Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya Jamal Mohamed Hassan who was appointed as the Minister for planning and international cooperation last month handed over office temporarily to Ali Mohamed Sheikh alias Ali Bagadi on Wednesday in Kenya’s Nairobi City. Hassan handed over the office documents and other properties of the embassy to his temporary successor Ali Mohamed in the presence of the deputy consular Abdirahman Adan Osman. Source privy to the embassy reported to Nep journal that Abdirahman Adan is yet granted a work permit by the Kenyan government. However, Abdirahman Adan who is the deputy consular will take office from Ali immediately he is granted the permit.
Speaking at the ceremony Ali Mohamed commended Hassan for his tireless work and the commitments he dedicated during his tenure. Somalia’s Nairobi embassy is one of the busiest embassies of the horn of Africa nation since the Kenyan capital is a regional hub that is home to many UN agencies and other international organizations and embassies that have presence in Somalia. Hassan assumed office at the busy Nairobi embassy in August 2015 after his predecessor Mohamed Nur Americo stepped down to concentrate on his presidential bid.
OPINION, ANALYSIS, AND CULTURE
“The situation in Somalia is just one link in a chain of crisis that stretches thousands of miles from north-eastern Nigeria, through South Sudan and eventually to Yemen. In all, more than 20 million people are threatened with famine. UN officials say the crisis is the largest since the organisation was founded in 1945,”
20 April – Source : The Guardian, UK – 1366 Words
There is no road to the hundred or so tin-roofed shacks scattered among scrubby trees that make up the village of Erdon, only a dusty track tracing a narrow path for 10 miles through the bush from the central Somalian town of Baidoa.One morning last week, Iman Adam attended lessons given by a local cleric under a large tree. Afterwards the seven-year-old played and helped her mother with household chores. As dusk approached, Iman began to vomit. Then came diarrhoea. Within hours, she was fading fast. Neighbours told her mother, Sadiye Ibrahim, of a new clinic in Baidoa that might save the child’s life. She strapped her now unconscious eldest to her back with a shawl and ran through the gathering night.
A fit, healthy adult could cover the distance to the town in two or three hours. Sadiye, weakened by weeks of living on a few handfuls of sorghum and a few litres of filthy water each day and carrying a sick child in the dark, took much longer. She arrived at the clinic close to midnight. Her daughter died a few hours later.“We don’t know this disease. We have never seen this,” she said shortly after Iman’s funeral.
Hunger threatens Somalia again. With death comes disease, and with disease comes death. Sadiye’s child was killed by cholera or a related bacterial infection, contracted because of poor sanitation. She suffered massive fluid loss leading to shock and organ failure. Cholera can kill a malnourished and dehydrated child in hours. It is easily treated, but only if the sick can get medical help fast. Endemic in Somali, cholera and other diseases are now spreading faster and further than anyone has seen for many years.
The drought too is the most severe in living memory. Aid agencies believe more than 6 million people in Somalia need assistance, of whom about half are threatened with famine. Two years have gone by without rain. Cattle are dead, wells dry and fields empty.Earlier preparation and a generous response to appeals for funds mean the terrible scenes of the last famine in Somalia six years ago, which is thought to have killed 250,000 people, may yet be averted. But no one is certain. Some aid workers use studies of the 2011 famine to predict that at least 60,000 people are likely to die this year in a “best-case” scenario.