August 18, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Former Hirshabelle Leader Alleges PM Khaire Of Interference

17 August – Source: Somali Update – 206 Words

Former Hirshabelle President Ali Abdullahi Osoble has alleged Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire of interfering Hirshabelle administration and funded the motion that led to Mr. Osoble’s ousting this week.   He made the gross allegations in a press conference in Jowhar on Thursday. “Prime Minister is the one who is behind the attempts to illegally sack me as President of Hirshabelle State.” Mr. Osoble said. Members of Hirshabelle State Assembly voted a motion of no confidence against Osoble on Monday August 14th, followed by the approval of the Speaker Sheikh Osman Barre who also called for Hirshabelle State leadership election within 30 days.

Mr. Osoble, who only led the two-regions state of Hiran and Middle Shabelle for 10 months, rejected the voting on Monday saying that it was held illegally. He said the Prime Minister blocked funds for the Hirshabelle state by the Federal Government in the past four months to create a state of confrontation within Hirshabelle. “We have been honest and did not know, but Khaire has been working against us. He blocked funds from us and financed opponents within Hirshabelle.” he said without showing any evidence. The Office of the Prime Minister did not respond to our queries seeking response on Mr. Osoble’s allegation.

Key Headlines

  • Former Hirshabelle Leader Alleges PM Khaire Of Interference (Somali Update)
  • Puntland President Heads To Saudi Arabia (Garowe Online)
  • Thirty Five Somali Migrants Arrested En Route Libya Stranded In Embassy In S.Sudan (Goobjoog News)
  • Federal Government Can’t Be Neutral On The Gulf Crisis Says HirShabelle State (Garowe Online)
  • US Says Airstrikes Kill 7 Al-Shabab Fighters (VOA)
  • “Neutral” Somalia Finds Itself Engulfed In Saudi Arabia-Qatar Dispute (African Arguments)


Puntland President Heads To Saudi Arabia

17 August – Source: Garowe Online – 178 Words

The President of Somalia’s northeastern region of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas”, has arrived in Bossaso town, the provincial capital of Bari region on Thursday. Close sources tell Garowe Online that President Ali, who is accompanied by officials from the presidency is expected to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah. The visit followed after Puntland has announced that it is siding with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates on the Gulf crisis and called for the Federal Government of Somalia to reconsider its position.

A statement released by Presidency on Wednesday, the Semi-autonomous government of Puntland has thanked Saudi and UAE governments for carrying out various development projects in Somalia and the security support. It urged the federal government, to review its neutral stance it took on Gulf crises, due to the country’s good and historical relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE, warning a division among the Somali people. President Ali’s trip to Saudi Arabia comes as his tenure is set end in one and a half year.

Thirty Five Somali Migrants Arrested En Route Libya Stranded In Embassy In S.Sudan

17 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 216 Words

Thirty five Somalis arrested by South Sudan authorities en route to Libya are stranded in the Somali embassy in South Sudan as plans for their return home remains unclear. The migrants-25 men and 10 women were arrested this past week in the border between Sudan and South Sudan and later moved to the capital Juba. Somali Ambassador to South Sudan, Hussein Haji Ahmed told Goobjoog News that Somali traders contributed money to cater for the transport of the migrants from the point of arrest to Juba. “The South Sudanese authorities asked for $100 for each of the 35 to be transported to Juba. Somali traders contributed the amounts and they have now been transported to the embassy.” Ambassador Ahmed said.

The next step was to find ways to bring the migrants home but noted it was not clear yet how it would be done. “Either the government steps in to cater for their transport or the families contribute,” the ambassador added.

Meanwhile at least 100 other Somali migrants are still being held by smugglers in various places along the border where the 35 were arrested, ambassador Hussein said even as it emerged that four of the traffickers who were deported by the South Sudan government and handed over to authorities in Mogadishu were released without charges.

Federal Government Can’t Be Neutral On The Gulf Crisis, Says HirShabelle State

17 August – Source: Garowe Online – 181 Words

The youngest Federal member state in Somalia, HirShabelle has on Thursday released a statement discussing the Gulf diplomatic crisis as countries cut ties with Qatar. President of the semi-autonomous region, Ali Abdullahi Osoble, who was fired by the state MPs on Monday in a no confidence motion, said the Federal government can’t be neutral on the Gulf crisis. Osoble said the state of HirShabelle calls on the Somali government to review its neutral position due to the good and historical relations it has with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

With respect to the interest of the people of HirShabelle, the state has announced that it has sided with the Saudi-led bloc against Qatar, read the Statement released by the sacked President. It further said, HirShabelle state of Somalia said it condemns all state and non state actors that support terrorism in the horn of Africa, Somalia and elsewhere in the Globe. On Wednesday, Somalia’s northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland has issues a similar statement severing ties with Qatar, and called for the Federal Government to reconsider its position.


US Says Airstrikes Kill 7 Al-Shabab Fighters

17 August – Source: VOA News- 210 Words

The U.S. military says seven Al-Shabaab militants have been killed in a series of airstrikes in southern Somalia. The military’s Africa Command says U.S. forces conducted three precision airstrikes Wednesday and Thursday in Jilib, a town about 200 kilometers south of Mogadishu. It says the strikes were conducted in coordination with Somali forces and killed seven Al-Shabaab fighters.The statement Thursday said the U.S. would not disclose the units and assets involved in the attacks to ensure operational security. Earlier, the Somali government said President Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo authorized the coordinated operation. It said one of the militants killed was “a senior al-Shabab leader responsible for multiple bombings in Mogadishu.” Witnesses in Jilib told VOA’s Somali Service they heard the sound of bombings overnight.

U.S. airstrikes in Somalia have killed many Al-Shabaab leaders over the past decade, including the group’s former emir, Ahmed Abdi Godane. The al-Qaida-linked group has fought since 2006 to overthrow the Somali government and turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state. The group is also responsible for attacks in Uganda and Kenya. The Africa Command statement said, “We continue to work in coordination with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle al-Shabab and help achieve stability and security throughout the region.”


“The greatest pressure for Somalia to change its stance, however, probably comes from Saudi Arabia and the UAE themselves. Their financial support is crucial to the country, especially with the resources of the European Union, Somalia’s largest donor, strained by other global crises,”

“Neutral” Somalia Finds Itself Engulfed In Saudi Arabia-Qatar Dispute

16 August – Source: African Arguments- 1159 Words

Six months since President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed took office, Somalia is at the centre of an international and domestic political storm. This June, the president known as “Farmaajo” was under pressure to cut ties with Qatar in solidarity with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. Those four countries – along with a few others that followed suit – had suddenly severed relations with Qatar, accusing it of backing Islamist militants. Somalia was encouraged to join this boycott, but to the surprise of some, Farmaajo decided instead to maintain a neutral stance. His administration called on “all the brotherly countries involved to settle the differences through dialogue”.

This was seen as a particular blow to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, two highly influential powers in the Middle East and in Somalia specifically. It also lessened the pressure on Qatar. For example, by continuing to allow the country’s planes to fly through Somali airspace, the impact of an air blockade was weakened, irritating Qatar’s opponents.

Saudi Arabia is Somalia’s biggest trading partner and, following his election this February, President Farmajo’s first foreign trip was to Riyadh. With such close links, Mogadishu tends to align with the Kingdom. In January 2016, for instance, Somalia severed ties with Saudi Arabia’s nemesis Iran as the regional powers’ rivalry heated up; on the same day, Mogadishu received a $50 million aid pledge from Riyadh. In Yemen’s civil war, Mogadishu backs the Saudi-UAE coalition against the Iran-supported Houthis. And in 2015, the government even sided with Saudi Arabia against Sweden after the major European donor criticised the Middle Eastern country’s human rights record.

This time though, Somalia decided not to offer unwavering support for the Kingdom, despite reportedly being offered $80 million to do so. This may be for a number of reasons. One could be Farmaajo’s close relations with Doha via his newly-appointed chief-of-staff and former Aljazeera Arabic journalist Fahad Yasin. Qatar reportedly backed former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s election in 2012, before opting to support and finance Farmaajo campaign in 2016/17.

Somalia’s approach to the Qatari crisis may also derive from its displeasure with the UAE, which has recently deepened relations with the two autonomous regions of Somaliland and Puntland. Mogadishu has accused the UAE of undermining Somali national integrity and of bypassing central government by agreeing to take over the ports in Berbera and Bossaso. Farmaajo raised his frustrations with leaders in both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh earlier this year, but seemingly to little avail.


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