01 August – Source: Reuters – 255 Words
A car bomb explosion in the southern Somali town of Kismayo wounded at least 10 people on Tuesday, police and residents said. The blast occurred on a busy road in the port city once prized by warlords and the Islamist militant group al Shabaab for its money-spinning charcoal trade, said Mohamud, a police officer who gave his first name only. “We believe it was a car bomb parked here in this busy street. So far we know 10 civilians were injured,” he told Reuters.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Al Shabaab, which has been frequently carrying out attacks in the country, was not immediately reachable for comment. Residents gave a larger number of casualties, saying up to double the amount claimed by police may have been injured in the explosion. “I could see about 20 people being transported into ambulances and pickup trucks as I ran away,” said Mohamed Isak, a resident of the city.
The blast is a rare attack in the lucrative port city once tightly controlled by al Shabaab. The group often targets the capital Mogadishu and bases operated by government and African Union (AU) soldiers in remote outposts. Al Shabaab is waging an insurgency to overthrow the western-backed government and drive out the AU peacekeepers supporting it in a bid to take over the Horn of Africa country and impose its strict interpretation of Islam. The insurgents ruled over large parts of the nation until 2011, when they were driven out of Mogadishu by the peacekeepers and Somali troops.
- Car Bomb In Somali Port City Of Kismayo Wounds At Least 10 (Reuters)
- House To Decide Fate Of Constitutional Affairs Minister Jibril Wednesday (Goobjoog News)
- Somalia’s Anti-Corruption Measures Are Winning Says Deputy PM (Somali Update)
- Prime Minister Appoints Ex-Permanent Secretary As An Advisor (Garowe Online)
- Somalia Signs Pact On Convicts (The Hindu)
- Somaliland Secures Record $442m Foreign Investment Deal (CNN)
House To Decide Fate Of Constitutional Affairs Minister Jibril Wednesday
01 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 262 Words
The Lower House will tomorrow deliberate on the removal of Constitutional Affairs Minister Abdirahman Hosh Jibril as lawmakers because of what they termed as the minister’s efforts to undermine the House. Speaking to reports the chairman of Public Works Committee in the Lower House Abdifatah Ismail Tahir said, the House tomorrow convene to decide if Jibril will continue serving as minister. He noted the minister is already informed to attend the proceedings and the parliamentarians are ready to debate on his fate whether he avails himself or not. The minister had asked the House to allow him to appear before August 11.
The House had summoned the minister last week following his remarks on social media questioning the decision by the lawmakers to vote against a High Court which declared the election of eight MPs null. In his reaction, Jibril said the House did not have the mandate to overrule the court. “Somali parliament is out to lunch. Parliament can not overturn the verdict of the highest court of the land,” the minister said in a tweet. Article 69 (c) of the Provisional Constitution gives the Lower House powers to summon the cabinet including the Prime Minister on any matter relating to their function.
The articles which reads: To summon the Prime Minister, members of the Council of Ministers and the Chairmen of the Independent Commissions and Offices, the House of the People of the Federal Parliament has the authority to review the duties of any official who does not respond when summoned by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
Somalia’s Anti-Corruption Measures Are Winning, Says Deputy PM
01 August – Source: Somali Update – 245 Words
Measures taken by Somali officials to eradicate the widespread corruption within government institutions are making progress, said the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled. “The government under the leadership of the Prime Minister have put plans to fight corruption behavior into effect.” he told the national news agency SONNA on Monday. Mr. Mahdi who praised the efforts to make government’s delivery more useful, also warned government officials who mismanage the taxes and government resources. “Any official within the government who engages corruption shall face the law. There nobody is above the law.” he added.
Following his election victory on 8th February this year, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo vowed to eradicate corruption and widespread theft of government resources which also scared the international community and donors against direct financial support to government institutions. President Farmajo again made a pledge to end corruption and injustices as he celebrated his 100 Days in Office in June.
“Corruption is the main cause of terrorism. While people cannot find their rights, when they are marginalized, they are forced to seek alternatives to get their rights” he said admitting that rampant corruption within government institutions that made the rise of terrorist groups in Somalia. But the country is among the world’s most corrupt countries where bribery is commonplace across all sectors, both public and private. In its 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index report, the Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption, ranks Somalia on 176 list out of 176 countries worldwide.
Prime Minister Appoints Ex-Permanent Secretary As An Advisor
01 August – Source: Garowe Online – 284 Words
The Prime Minister of Somali Federal government was reported to have appointed ex-Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry as an advisor. Yahye Ali Ibrahim who was recently sacked from his previous post at the Interior Ministry by the Minister, Abdi Farah Saed “Juha”, was appointed as special advisor on the Interior Affairs and reconciliation at the Prime Minister’s office. At the previous post, Ibrahim was accused of defying his superiors, power abuse, lack of cooperation and sabotaging the Ministry’s day to day activities, and was replaced by new Permanent Secretary Abdullahi Mohamoud Hassan.
Previously, Ibrahim refused the decision of the Interior Minister, but following mounting political pressure, he accepted the decision. Sources said Ibrahim refusal to the decision comes in relation to the clan association he shares with the Prime Minister Hasan Ali Khayre. Appointing Ibrahim to the new post caused rift between the Prime Minister’s office and Minister of Interior, added the source. “The new appointment is similar to transferring the duties of the Interior Ministry to the Prime Minister’s office,” said an official within the Ministry to Garowe Online.
It is not clear the reason for the PM Khayre to appoint Ibrahim for the post, but reliable sources indicated that relation between PM and Minister Juha got worsen following his visit to Puntland. “This comes due to PM Khayre’s fears towards Minister Juha’s view on Federalism, national reconciliation and election,” said the source. Another source revealed that Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo”, has opposed Prime Minister’s proposal to do minor reshuffle on his cabinet ministers. Prime Minister’s decision to reshuffle his cabinet is believed to be aimed to persuade Federal lawmakers against tabling a motion to withdraw confidence from his government.
01 August – Source: The Hindu – Words
Opening a new front for collaboration in anti-piracy operation in Eastern Africa, India and Somalia on Tuesday signed an agreement for transfer of sentenced convicts. A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said the agreement was the highlight of the ongoing visit of the Foreign Minister of Somalia.
Transfer of prisoners: “During the visit, the Somali Minister held meetings with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar. The entire gamut of India-Somalia bilateral relations, including the issue of piracy and maritime security, were discussed between the two sides during the meetings. Further, discussions on regional issues pertaining to developments in the Gulf region and India’s neighbourhood were held. An agreement for transfer of sentenced persons between India and Somalia was also signed during the visit,” said the statement from the MEA after Ms. Swaraj sealed the document with her Somali counterpart Yusuf-Garaad Omar.
The collaboration between two sides will be significant due to the incidents of piracy that have affected Indian interests in the Indian Ocean region near the Horn of Africa. India has in recent years extended development assistance to Somalia which has included mini buses to the war-battered country. Diplomatic contacts between India and Somalia have been infrequent, however, Somalia had participated in the 2015 India-Africa Forum Summit.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The location also offers opportunities to landlocked Ethiopia, which is heavily reliant on neighboring Djibouti, with 90% of trade passing through the tiny state. Ethiopia currently imports limited quantities of food through Berbera, but the imminent development will allow it to vastly scale up traffic through the port. The Somaliland government claims it has an agreement for Ethiopia to take a 19% share of the port, which should deliver mutual benefits.”
01 August – Source: CNN – 573 Words
The unrecognized nation of Somaliland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia, has secured its largest ever foreign investment deal. Dubai-based development firm DP World will pump $442 million into transforming the country’s Berbera Port on the Gulf of Aden, with the ambition of creating a regional trade hub. DP World has committed to managing the port for 30 years. The company plans to develop an ambitious new shipyard, quay, and free trade zone on the site. The Somaliland government hopes the development will enable it to rival neighboring Djibouti as a point of entry for East African trade, and the project could also prove a much-needed economic boost.
Somaliland declared independence in 1991, breaking away from war-torn Somalia.But despite maintaining relative stability and holding free elections, not a single country has recognized its statehood. The international community has prioritized the development of Somalia as a united country. The deal with DP World represents a major coup for Somaliland as it demonstrates the country’s clout on the world stage. The investment is timely. Somaliland is blighted by youth unemployment of over 60%, and its worst drought in years has affected 1.5 million people – over 30% of the population. The development divides opinion among the local population.
Jama Jusse Jama, the director of the Red Sea Cultural Association in Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa, believes the project will create opportunities. “Berbera Port is extremely fundamental for Somaliland,” he told CNN. “(This investment) will boost the connection with the rest of Africa, especially Ethiopia. It’s too early to say it’s all positive, but I am confident it’s a step forward.” But there are fears that land around the site will be bought up by wealthy businessmen at the expense of the wider population.
“The makeup of Berbera will definitely change,” Mohamed Aden Hassan, head of local news channel StarTV, told Reuters. “It is already showing signs of becoming an increasingly exclusive club.” DP World’s interest in this little-known fishing town is largely explained by its location, sitting conveniently at the apex of trade routes in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and East Africa.
“The Horn of Africa is a fast growing region with some of the fastest growing economies in the world,” says DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem. “DP World Berbera builds on growth in the region where we are enabling trade.” The location also offers opportunities to landlocked Ethiopia, which is heavily reliant on neighboring Djibouti, with 90% of trade passing through the tiny state. Ethiopia currently imports limited quantities of food through Berbera, but the imminent development will allow it to vastly scale up traffic through the port.