06 April – Source : Associated Press – 258 Words
A roadside bomb exploded and killed at least 20 people in a minibus in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region Thursday evening, the region’s governor said, blaming the extremist group Al-Shabaab. Most of the victims were women, Ibrahim Aden Ali said. He called the blast a “national disaster.” Six other people were injured, regional security official Nur Abdullahi told The Associated Press. The massive bomb buried beside the road struck the vehicle near Golweyn village and largely destroyed it, Abdullahi said. “It’s a horrible incident. Bodies are lying in a pool of blood, and some of them were burnt beyond recognition,” he said. Isaq Haji, a nurse at a hospital in Marka town 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of the capital, Mogadishu, said they had received four victims with “horrific” wounds.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The Somalia-based al-Shabab claims control over parts of the largely coastal Lower Shabelle region, which has been a focus of efforts to counter the group by a 22,000-strong multinational African Union force. The area where the bomb exploded is a contested one. Roadside bombs are commonly used by the al-Qaida-linked Al-ShabAab.
Civilians often have been casualties in this long-chaotic Horn of Africa country. Now hundreds of thousands of Somalis are on the move as a drought threatens roughly half of the country’s population of 12 million. New Somali-American President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who was elected in February, has promised to make security a priority as the weak central government tries to assert itself beyond the capital and some other urban areas.
- Somalia Roadside Blast Kills At Least 19 bus passengers (Associated Press)
- Pirates Reportedly Hijack Another Boat Off Somali Coast (Hiiraan Online)
- Bosaso Port Deal To Be Struck Today In Abu Dhabi (Jowhar.com)
- Somalia Leader Declares Country A War zone Replaces Chiefs (Associated )
- Dubai’s P&O Ports Wins $336 mln Port Concession In Somalia’s Puntland (Reuters Africa)
- As Somali Bombings Spike An Unlikely Saviour Steps Forward (Gulf Times)
Pirates Reportedly Hijack Another Boat Off Somali Coast
06 April- Source : Hiiraan Online – 178 Words
Somali pirates have reportedly hijacked Pakistani boat, Salama 1, off the coast of Somalia on Tuesday and are holding an unknown number of crew members hostage. The vessel, which was carrying food was hijacked off the coast of Central Somalia. It is also the second boat to be hijacked by pirates in less than 48 hours after an Indian-owned vessel, MSV Al Kausar was hijacked earlier this week with 11 crew members on board.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.
The mayor of Hobyo, Abdullahi Ahmed Ali told reporters that he believes the Pakistani vessel is being taken to El Hur where it will join the Indian ship.The EU Naval Force confirmed that they can confirm the exact location of the Indian dhow and are attempting to reestablish communication.After a lull in piracy that lasted years, the Salama 1 is the fourth piracy attack in just three works.
Bosaso Port Deal To Be Struck Today In Abu Dhabi
06 April – Source : Jowhar.com – 143 Words
Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas is today expected to sign an agreement in Abu Dhabi with DP World of the United Arab Emirates that will see the handing over of operations of Bosaso port management to DP World. The accord will be the second of its kind DP World enters with a regional administration in Somalia. On late 2016, it signed a similar pact with Somaliland that saw the handover of Berbera Port. It is not yet revealed the terms and conditions of the Bosaso port deal. President Gaas, who left for UAE on Tuesday said that his trip was related to finalizing the agreement, stressing that it was for the benefit of the people and region.DP World is trying to take over the management of some of the strategic ports in Somalia despite opposition from the federal government in Mogadishu.
06 April – Source : Associated Press – 461 Words
Somalia’s new president on Thursday declared the country a war zone and replaced its military and intelligence chiefs while instructing the army to prepare a new offensive against al-Shabab extremists. The shakeup is an attempt to improve the worsening security situation as the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab steps up deadly bombings in the capital since President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was elected in February. A car bomb blast on Wednesday at a Mogadishu restaurant killed at least seven people.
The Somali-American president wore a military uniform as he declared the new offensive and offered young extremists a chance to surrender.”We tell the young, brainwashed al-Shabab fighters that they have a 60-days deadline to lay down the arms with which they use to kill their people and come to us,” Mohamed said. “We shall welcome them with open arms.” He said the government will focus on the security of the capital first, then the rest of the country.The changes come roughly a week after the Trump administration approved greater U.S. military authority to pursue al-Shabab in Somalia, including more aggressive airstrikes as parts of southern Somalia will be considered areas of active hostilities.
Thursday’s announcement is seen as an attempt by Mohamed to consolidate power in this long-chaotic horn of Africa nation. He also replaced the country’s police chief and Mogadishu’s mayor.Al-Shabab has denounced the new president as an “apostate” and warned Somalis against supporting him. The group has been pushed out of the capital and other major urban areas in Somalia by national and African Union multinational forces, but it continues to carry out deadly bombings and attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere. Targets have included hotels, military checkpoints and the presidential palace.
06 April – Source : Reuters Africa – 216 Words
Dubai’s government-owned P&O Ports has won a 30-year concession worth $336 million to expand and manage Bossaso port in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region, the government said on Thursday.The project will involve dredging, building a quay and a 5 hectare back-up area. It will also include investment in an information technology and operating system, mobile harbour cranes and container handling equipment. “This investment is a huge undertaking in Puntland and will greatly contribute to the infrastructure development in Somalia, particularly the Puntland state of Somalia,” Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said in a statement.
The first phase of the project will cost $136 million, the statement said.”It fits ideally into P&O Port’s mandate to invest in multi-purpose ports in emerging markets, employing local people and developing skills,” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the chairman of Dubai’s Ports, Customs & Freezone Corporation, said. The Puntland government cancelled a previous contract given to Divers Marine Contracting L.L.C, of United Arab Emirates that had been tasked with upgrading the capacity of the Bossaso port for failing to meet its obligations.Somalia has been mired in conflict since 1991, but Puntland has been spared most of the fighting although it has a dispute with neighbouring semi-autonomous region of Galmudug that has in the past resulted in fighting.
OPINION, ANALYSIS, AND CULTURE
“Somalia has been mired in conflict since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator and then turned on each other. Now Al Qaeda-linked Islamists are detonating increasingly large bombs as they battle to overthrow the weak UN-backed government. At least 723 people were killed and 1,116 wounded in bomb attacks in Somalia last year, according to Nairobi-based think-tank Sahan Research, up from 193 dead and 442 wounded in 2015.”
06 April – Source : Gulf Times – 756 Words
Somali dentist Abdikadir Adem spent all his savings on a battered van to rescue wounded people after he watched neighbours hit by bomb blasts bleed to death in wheelbarrows on a desperate 5km dash to hospital. Ten years later, his single van has grown into a fleet of second-hand ambulances whose red, hand-stencilled Aamin Ambulance logo and nasal sirens are instantly recognised on the battle-scarred streets of Mogadishu. Adem’s initiative, funded by dollars cajoled out of his medical students and donations wheedled from businessmen, highlights how private citizens in Somalia, Syria and Pakistan can provide lifesaving social services in countries abandoned by their governments and devastated by violence. “It was so hard to watch people dying, we had to do something,” said the slim 40-year-old, whose elder brother was killed in a bombing in 2010. “Where people need me, there I go.”
Somalia has been mired in conflict since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator and then turned on each other. Now Al Qaeda-linked Islamists are detonating increasingly large bombs as they battle to overthrow the weak UN-backed government. At least 723 people were killed and 1,116 wounded in bomb attacks in Somalia last year, according to Nairobi-based think-tank Sahan Research, up from 193 dead and 442 wounded in 2015.
There could be many more dead if it were not for Aamin, Somalia’s only free ambulance service. Ambulance staff sometimes end up treating their own families. Adem’s other brother and his 10-year-old nephew were badly hurt in a double bombing at the Ambassador hotel in June. “He called me and told me he was injured and I raced there,” Adem said. “We are always the first on the scene.” It’s dangerous work. In 2008, Ethiopian troops battling the Islamists obliterated an Aamin Ambulance, its driver and a patient with a tank shell.
This February, ambulance crews narrowly escaped a secondary blast that erupted moments after they took the patients from the first blast to hospital. Once a graduation ceremony for medical students was bombed. Panicking victims, clothes afire, swamped the ambulances. “We had to get them all out and put the fires out,” said an ambulance driver who has worked for Adem for years but asked that his name be withheld. “There were so many we took them to the hospital, 14 at a time.”