05 April – Source : Reuters – 176 Words
A car bomb rammed into a cafe in the Somali capital Mogadishu near compounds housing government ministries on Wednesday, killing seven people, officials and ambulance services said. Reuters witnesses said the blast destroyed the cafe and damaged another one. Three cars destroyed and blood stained the floor. Smoke billowed from the scene. “So far we have carried seven dead people from the blast. Casualties may rise,” Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Amin ambulances, told Reuters.
Police said the blast took place near the compounds housing the security and sports ministries. The incident occurred after the new security minister, Mohamed Abuukar Islow, took office and promised he would come up with a plan to tighten security. Police had earlier put the number of dead at three.”We have confirmed seven civilians were killed in the blast by al Shabaab,” Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for Mogadishu’s mayor, told reporters at the scene.
Al Shabaab were not immediately reachable for comment. In the past, have taken responsibility for blasts and gun attacks in the capital and elsewhere in Somalia.
- Car Bomb Rams Cafe In Somalia’s Capital Killing Seven: Officials (Reuters)
- New Security Minister Tours Parts Of Mogadishu To Assess Security Situation (Jowhar.com)
- 24 Hours Rains Quench Thirst Of Residents In Some Areas In Harardhere (Goobjoog News)
- Parliament To Debate A Motion About UAE-Somaliland Military Base Deal (Jowhar.com )
- Puntland To Enroll New SNA Recruits To Be Trained in Mogadishu (Jowhar.com )
- Diarrhoea Outbreak Response Hampered By Administrative Dispute In Northern Somalia (Radio Ergo)
- Union Hails Uganda For Its Contribution In Stabilizing Somalia (AMISOM)
- Multi-million Dollar Deal For Somaliland’s Historic Port Sparks Land Rush (Reuters)
New Security Minister Tours Parts Of Mogadishu To Assess Security Situation
05 April – Source : Jowhar.com – 117 Words
Somalia’s new security minister, Mohamed Abukar Islow, on Tuesday night visited parts of Mogadishu to assess security situation barely hours after he assumed office. Dressed in a military fatigue, Islow toured security checkpoints in and outside the capital where he met with security personnel keeping vigil. Senior government security officials briefed him on the general security situation in the city and their night patrols aimed at bolstering security situation in the capital.
He praised government troops for their efforts in securing the city and urged them to continue serving the nation in restoring law and order in the country. The new minister promised to put in place new measures in dealing with insecurity in the capital.
24 Hours Rains Quench Thirst Of Residents In Some Areas In Harardhere
05 April – Source : Goobjoog News – 111 Words
Rains hit most parts of Harardhere district of Somalia’s Mudug region following a prolonged dry spell that has left thousands of people facing drought.Several areas in under Harardhere district have received hours of downpour which relieved water shortages that hit the areas.The areas include some of the worst hit areas by water shortages and have been surviving on water trucking, which was very expensive exercise.Locals said that they are now fetching water from ponds and shallow places in the area.“Residents now felt relieved after the area received torrential rains. People who used track water long distance have stopped it” said one of the residents in Dumaye village.
Parliament To Debate A Motion About UAE-Somaliland Military Base Deal
05 April – Source : Jowhar.com – 157 Words
Federal MPs will today debate a motion against the recent deal between Somaliland and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to establish a military base in Berbera. This comes after a motion submitted to the parliament’s leadership was included in the agenda of Wednesday’s parliamentary sitting.
Dozens of MPs have voiced their opposition against the agreement and began filing a motion days after the deal was signed. This move would apparently raise political tension between Somalia and UAE.
Parliament leadership confirmed that the agenda of today’s sitting includes a motion against the military base, and it is anticipated that legislators will have a heated debate about it before the vote is conducted.Somali Government has strongly opposed the Berbera agreement describing it as ‘dangerous to the country’s unity’.During his February visit to Saudi Arabia, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo sought the support of the Saudi government to convince UAE to quash the naval base deal endorsed by Somaliland parliament.
Puntland To Enroll New SNA Recruits To Be Trained in Mogadishu
05 April – Source : Jowhar.com – 100 Words
Puntland has embarked on an ambitious project that will see the enrollment of new SNA recruits to be trained in Mogadishu. Reports say the 3000-strong men will take military trainings at the newly Turkish-established military training facility in Mogadishu.A senior SNA official is said to have recently arrived in Garowe who told the press that his visit was related to overseeing the registration process of the recruits to join SNA. The unnamed official said that similar exercises will be conducted in other regional states to build a strong SNA that can take over security from the African Union Troops.
04 April – Source : Radio Ergo – 703 Words
Administrative weaknesses in disputed districts of northern Somalia may be hampering the response to outbreaks of watery diarrhoea, according to local reports from Taleh and Buhodle in drought-stricken Togdheer and Sool regions. Puntland and Somaliland both claim control over Taleh and Buhodle, where the effects of the drought are intensifying and there have been an unconfirmed number of deaths from diarrhoea.
In Taleh, the district commissioner of the administration for Puntland State, Mohamud Ali Warsame, told Radio Ergo there had been more than 50 deaths from diarrhoea over the past two months. Mohamud said 20 people died in Taleh town,while 30 died in Halin and Arro-weyn villages to the south-east of the district. He said the latest six adult deaths occurred this week Taleh. However, medical staff at the only clinic in Taleh district confirmed that diarrhoea was a growing problem but gave different statistics.
Weak governance in the area due to the dispute between Puntland and Somaliland has affected local access to services and the delivery of assistance, which is crucial at this time of drought and possible famine in Somalia. Amina Mohamed Ali Guntan, the head of the mother and child healthcare centre in Taleh, said diarrhoea had spread in the past 10 days. She said the centre recorded eight deaths and 28 other cases of infection. A child under five and an adult died in the health centre, whilst three people died in the town and three others died in Gebidher, Dhumay, and Halin villages respectively.
05 April – Source : AMISOM – 533 Words
The African Union (AU) has hailed the Government of Uganda for its active role in restoring peace and stability in Somalia.The remarks were made by the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, at a colourful medal award ceremony held in Mogadishu, Tuesday, for Ugandan soldiers.
The medals were awarded to Battle Group 18 of the Uganda People’s Defence Force serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) whose tour of duty in Somalia has some to an end.Ambassador Madeira thanked the Government of President Museveni for showing the true spirit of Pan Africanism by ensuring peace and stability is restored in Somalia.“Let me take this opportunity to thank your country and thank all your colleagues from Uganda who started this Mission by sacrificing their lives. Let me thank President Museveni for his vision of a statesman, a vision of somebody who has acquired experience in the struggle, in trying to unite his country, in stabilizing his own country, in getting rid of dictators, exploiters and giving direction, leadership and vision to his country,” Ambassador Madeira who is also the Head of Mission stated.
The medals parade, the first of its kind, was attended by the AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh; AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in Charge of Operations and Planning, Maj. Gen. Abreha Tesfaye; Uganda Contingent Commander Brig. Kayanja Muhanga; AMISOM Sector Commanders; senior AMISOM officials and the outgoing Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Lydia Wanyoto.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The government has now embarked on the creation of a National Land Policy which aims to bring clarity to the country’s overlapping systems of tenure, while clearing out corruption in local land administration.But for many Berbera residents, the most pressing concern is jobs,”
05 April – Source : Reuters – 983 Words
The land along the road into Berbera is barren and empty. Somaliland’s small, rusty Gulf of Aden port which for centuries made the town prosperous rises suddenly out of the ground as the road hits the coast.The crumbling town has languished for decades, but its fortunes look set to change following a multi-million dollar deal to revamp the port which has triggered a rush to buy land.Berbera, along the coast from Djibouti, has been a backwater since 1991 when Somaliland broke away from Somalia following a bloody civil war.The town’s buildings, some dating back to the Ottoman era, stand neglected. Unemployment is rampant, exacerbated by a devastating drought that has decimated livestock, a backbone of the export economy.
But last September Somaliland’s government signed its largest-ever investment deal which could allow Berbera to become a major trading hub for goods to and from the Horn of Africa.The development will be carried out by DP World, a multinational port operator from the United Arab Emirates, which has valued the project at more than $400 million. The deal was followed by another with the UAE, signed in March, for a military base a few kilometers down the road.
Locals and investors believe Berbera is on the brink of an economic boom that will make the town wealthy once more.Adan Abokor, a researcher at the Rift Valley Institute in the capital Hargeisa, says the project has sparked a “land rush”, as diaspora Somalilanders and wealthy businessmen from nearby regions flock to buy a piece of the town.Though the surrounding land appears deserted, brick foundations enclose recently demarcated plots from the airport to the coast. Freshly built walls sprout into the distance. “There has been more building in the last two years than in the whole period from 1991,” said Jimale Abdulahi, a local government official.
But not all residents are happy.Land has long caused trouble throughout Somaliland, and is behind the majority of violent incidents recorded in towns and cities, the Hargeisa-based Academy for Peace and Development (APD) reported in 2010.Clan disputes have for years been drivers of conflict, aggravated by the destruction or loss of legal documentation during the civil war, leading to competing title claims.Despite the existence of a national land law since 2001, clan ownership is still seen as the dominant, if unofficial property ownership system throughout most of the country.
In Berbera, the Ise Musa clan has dominated local politics since the late 1990s, and some fear the arrival of outsiders will threaten this. Sayeed “Sonny” Sayeed, a young resident, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that many in the town are suspicious of the port deal, suspecting the plans will alter Berbera’s clan composition.”People from other regions want to take over,” he said. “If they move here then new people will be born in this place, so that they can vote here.”His friend, Ahmed Nazal, said returning members of the diaspora were welcome, but only if they originally hailed from the area.”If not, they should go and invest in their own regions,” he said.Others who spoke to the Thomson Reuters Foundation disagreed, saying diaspora investment would be good for the town.”These lands were empty, no one was investing here,” said Salelan Adel, a young unemployed man. “It will give locals the chance to finally develop the lands that we own.”
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IMAGE OF THE DAY
SRCC, Francisco Madeira awards a certificate to a member of AMISOM troops in Somalia.