April 5, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somali Piracy Resurges

04 April – Source : VOA – 619 Words

Observers warn piracy is making a comeback along the coast of Somalia, after gunmen hijacked two ships in 48 hours and took them to an area known as a pirate haven. On Monday, pirates hijacked a Pakistani boat, Salama 1, soon after seizing an Indian-owned boat, MSV Al Kausar.  The mayor of Hobyo, a town on the central Somali coast, tells VOA Somali the Al Kausar, with 11 crew members, is now anchored off the nearby village of El Hur. The Salama 1 was reportedly headed to the same area with an unknown number of crew. Hobyo was a central base for Somali pirates who hijacked dozens of ships for ransom earlier this decade.

Mayor Abdillahi Ahmed Ali says his town has “rested” from piracy but now fears the hijackers have re-emerged to cause more problems. “Piracy is back,” said Ali. “Things can’t be the same; we need to have consultations on how to confront it.” The Salama 1 hijacking was the fourth piracy attack in three weeks. On March 13 pirates hijacked the Sri Lankan-flagged oil tanker Aris 13. It was taken to the coast of Alula town in Puntland but released three days later, after regional Somali forces threatened force. No ransom was paid although local officials said the pirates were given immunity from prosecution.

Then, on March 24, pirates seized the MV Casayr, a Somali fishing boat, to use as a “mother ship” to attack other ships at sea. Ten Yemeni crew aboard the boat were reportedly dumped on shore. The former director of intelligence in Somalia’s Puntland region, Abdi Hassan Hussein, agrees piracy is re-emerging in the region. He says there are organized groups in advanced preparations to conduct attacks. “There are more than eight groups who are want to engage piracy activities, some of them already went into the sea, some are in preparation and some have already carried out attacks,” Hussein told VOA Somali.

Key Headlines

  • Somali Piracy Resurges (VOA)
  • Clan Clashes Claim Two Lives In Middle Shabelle (Goobjoog News)
  • Global Online Campaign Delivers 60 Tonnes Of Aid To Somalia As Plane Lands In Mogadishu (Goobjoog News)
  • Somali Military Officers Injured In Mogadishu Attack (Shabelle News)
  • Summit Scuttles Kenya’s Plan To Repatriate Refugees (The East African)
  • Seized Indian Vessel Moved To Undisclosed Location Over Ransom Demands: Pirate Leader (Reuters)
  • Income Tax Shoots Up As Finance Minister Ups Domestic Borrowing (Goobjoog News)


Clan Clashes Claim Two Lives In Middle Shabelle

04 April – Source : Goobjoog News – 118 Words

At least two people were killed and several others wounded on Tuesday in deadly clashes in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region, witness said.Rival clan militias engaged in battle in Jame’a Misra village in the outskirts of Bal’ad town.Most of those wounded are said to be among the combatants who disputed over land. The violence erupted as members of one clan-based faction tried to march into territory controlled by another, provoking battle between the fighters using automatic weapons, heavy machine guns and Rocket-propelled grenades.Locals say the sides torched houses during the fighting which broke out.

Global Online Campaign Delivers 60 Tonnes Of Aid To Somalia As Plane Lands In Mogadishu

04 April – Source : Goobjoog News – 111 Words

The Turkish Airlines cargo plane carrying 60 tonnes of food aid as part of the global campaign initiative led by the French social media superstar Jerome Jarre landed in Mogadishu Monday. The plane emblazoned with the campaign’s twitter hashtag #LoveArmyForSomalia was donated by the Turkish Airlines to transport food aid to Somalia which had been collected through crowd funding initiatives globally. The initiative surpassed its $2 million target in 17 days raising $2.5 million. Jarre is also in Somalia to bolster the initiative. The initiative through the gofundme platform said the Turkish Airlines had also agreed to ship food containers on their commercial flight to Somalia until the drought ends.

Somali Military Officers Injured In Mogadishu Attack

04 April- Source: Shabelle News – 106 Words

A police officer says four Somali military officers were injured in a drive-by shooting by gunmen thought to be Al-Shabaab assassins in Mogadishu on Tuesday morning.The attack occurred at El Tusbahle area after an armed men opened fire from a car at a van carrying senior Somali military commanders heading for the country’s defense ministry HQ.Those wounded in the drive-by shooting include General Mustaf who is said to be the head of the army training. The attackers sped off in a minivan after the attack, according to Police.No group has yet claimed credit for the shooting of the military commanders in the capital.


Summit Scuttles Kenya’s Plan To Repatriate Refugees

04 April – Source : The East African – 332 Words

The recent summit on Somalia refugees held in Nairobi has further complicated plans by Kenya to close the Dadaab camp by the end of May.  The resolutions of the summit held on March 25, require countries hosting Somali refugees to not only align their laws and policies to the 1951 Refugee Convention that does not allow forced repatriation, but to provide education, training and skills development for refugees to reduce their dependence on humanitarian assistance.

These resolutions by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) Special Summit on protection and durable solutions for Somali refugees and reintegration of returnees in Somalia, goes against the Kenyan government policy to encourage voluntary repatriation and eventually close the over 26-year old Dadaab camp. The camp, which was started in 1991 and is currently home to over 260,000 Somali refugees, was due to be closed last November but Kenya announced a six-month delay on “humanitarian grounds.”

The Kenya government said there is credible evidence that Dadaab has been a recruitment ground for Al Shabaab militants.  Human-rights agencies have opposed the closure, citing the country’s international obligation under the 1951 Refugee Convention to protect people fleeing from danger in their countries and seeking safety from harm and persecution. This was a second setback to the Kenya government following a court ruling in February that quashed the government’s decision to close the Dadaab refugee camp on grounds that it was  “discriminatory, excessive, arbitrary and disproportionate.”

Seized Indian Vessel Moved To Undisclosed Location Over Ransom Demands: Pirate Leader

04 April – Source : Reuters – 413 Words

Pirates who hijacked an Indian cargo dhow with 11 crew on board have moved the vessel to an undisclosed location within Galmudug waters off the Somali coast until their ransom demands are met, a pirate leader told Reuters on Tuesday. The vessel, Al Kausar, was initially taken to El Hur, near the port of Hobyo in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Galmudug state but was then moved to avoid approaching security personnel, pirates said.Pirate leader Aw Kombe said negotiations were ongoing with businessmen in Kismayu over the release of Al Kausar, which was seized on Saturday.”The traders want the dhow released without (any) ransom (being paid) but my friends say they (will) not release it without (getting) at least some cash,” he added. “They are still discussing.”

The Al Kausar was commandeered in the vicinity of Socotra Island while en route from Dubai to Puntland’s port of Bosasso, according to United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which coordinates shipping in the Gulf of Aden area.A pirate who only gave his name as Aden told Reuters by phone from Harardhere: “The pirate leader on board heard Galmudug forces advancing to attack it. The dhow has now gone far into the ocean but is still in Galmudug waters.”Harardhere was also a major pirate base at the height of the hijackings in 2011.

Ship owners have become less wary of piracy after a long period of calm off the Horn of Africa, experts say, and some have started using a riskier route known as the Socotra Gap, between Somalia and Socotra Island, to save time and costs.An oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board was hijacked last month but was released within a few days after a clash with Puntland’s marine force.That was the first such seizure of a vessel since 2012.


Income Tax Shoots Up As Finance Minister Ups Domestic Borrowing

04 April – Source : Goobjoog News – 533 Words

Local and foreign employees earning a monthly income of more than $200 will be subjected to an income tax ranging between six and 12% while hotel owners in Mogadishu will be slapped with a five percent sales tax in a domestic market raid by the finance minister to finance the nearly $270 million budget. Newly appointed Finance Minister Abdirahman Beyle sought an inward approach in financing the country’s budget at a time donor fatigue is taking its toll on the country which is yet to be declared creditworthy in the international financial market. The $267,544,364 budget will see the domestic market cough up 60% while international donors are expected to meet the deficit.

Somalia does not qualify for credit in the international markets over its unpaid debts which stands at $5.3 million or 93% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. IMF resident representative for Somalia Samba Thiam signaled February of debt relief in unspecified time for Somalia to enable the country access much needed credit for recovery.

Pay as you earn: While presenting the April-June budget in Parliament Sunday, Beyle announced a six percent income tax on those who earn between $201 and $800 and a 10% tax for income earners of between $801 and $1,500. Both local and foreign income earners including humanitarian workers earning a monthly income of $1,501 and above will have to give the taxman $12% of their income. This shall also include all allowances, the minister said. Prior to the new rule, income between $201 and $800 attracted a $5.1% payee. Employers will be expected to remit the tax within the last ten days of the month, the minister said while hotel owners will submit theirs within the first ten days of the month. Cigarette and khat consumers were also dealt a blow by Beyle. Importers of the leafy stimulant khat which is mainly from Kenya will have to pay $3 per kilogram import duty while importers of the various brands of tobacco will also pay an increased import duty of between $6 and $24.


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