Prime Minister Appoints New Public Works Minister
22 August – Source: Garowe Online – 145 Words
The Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, Hassan Ali Khaire has appointed Engineer Sadiq Abdullahi Abdi as the new minister for Public Works and Reconstruction on Tuesday. A statement released by the office of the Prime Minister of the Somali Federal government has announced the appointment of the new Public Works Minister, who is a political novice.
Engineer Abdi is set to replace the late Abbas Abdullahi Sheikh Siraji, who was shot dead by one of the bodyguards of the former Auditor General Nur Farah Jimale near the Presidential palace in Mogadishu in May 3, 2017. The new Minister was urged to promptly takeover the office, according to the statement. Meanwhile, Ahmed Abdullahi Abdi, the Somali soldier who shot dead the country’s youngest-ever Cabinet minister has been sentenced to death by the military court in June, and awaiting to face the firing squad.
- Prime Minister Appoints New Public Works Minister (Garowe Online)
- Hajj Costs Based On International Agreement-Religious Affairs Minister (Goobjoog News)
- Military Court Sentences Militants To Death For Elder’s killing (Garowe Online)
- UNSOM Holds Training On Sexual And Gender-Based Violence For South West State Police Officers (UNSOM)
- Flexibility Long-Term Planning Reduce Somali Famine Threat Report Says ( Thomson Reuters Foundation News)
Hajj Costs Based On International Agreement-Religious Affairs Minister
22 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 341 Words
The government may not be in a position to directly intervene on the fees charged by travel agencies for Hajj pilgrimage since it’s based on international agreement, state minister for religious affair Abdikarim Hassan Abshir has said. The minister told Goobjoog News Somalia had to obey the agreements as a gesture of good relations but noted his ministry will engage the Saudi ministry to ensure the pilgrimage goes on without any obstacles. “The agreement that allows Somali pilgrims to go to Hajj was one in place before my tenure and generally the incumbent administration and signed by the previous one. Out of courtesy, we are compelled to respect international relationship and general agreements done inside our country especially the ones signed at the start of this year and we took office in March 2017,” said Abshir.
The minister’s remarks come a day after the Senate accused travel agencies of ripping off the public by charging exorbitant rates and went ahead to summon the minister to provide a government position on the matter. The Senators questioned the rationale travel agencies applied to arrive at the fees which they said were far beyond normal costs. Pilgrims are charged up to $3,800, the Senators said noting the agencies were setting their own figures to make a kill out of the season.
The minister has however noted the government cannot make any sudden changes regarding the fees. “We could not change much quickly but mostly we expect to lessen Hajj challenges and not to burden travel agencies but we shall negotiate with our counterpart Saudi ministry to deal with the obstacles.”
The minister also noted the ongoing drought has impacted negatively on the number of Somalis expected to travel for the Hajj. The much the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs knows is 9,300 slots allocated to us [by Saudi Arabia] but due to several problems prominently among them the long drought that hit our country this year and the economic state, the number of those going will reduce to around 7,500.”
Military Court Sentences Militants To Death For Elder’s killing
22 August – Source: Garowe Online -220 Words
A Somali military court has on Tuesday sentenced two alleged Al-Shabaab militants to death for killing a prominent traditional elder in Mogadishu. Judge Hassan Abdirahman Aden (Wabiyow), has announced the court ruling on the two men- Hassan Ali Hassan (Kerow), 23, and Abdirahman Isse Ali (Fidow), 20, saying both men were found guilty of murder during the investigation by the Somali Police. Hassan and Ali have been convicted of killing late Helowle Hefow Hussein, an electoral delegate, who elected Somali Federal lawmakers from Southwest administration in Mogadishu in November 2, 2016.
The two Al-Shabaab assassins were detained by Somali security forces shortly after shooting dead late Hussein in the capital’s Wadajir district, with two pistols and a grenade bomb, according to the court. The judge, while handing down the death penalty for defendants, said full hearing procedures were carried out by the court of Somali armed Forces on Monday, August 21, before issuing the final verdict.
“Any defendant who is unhappy with the verdict made by the first degree court, has the right to appeal his case to the appellate court within 30 days, otherwise the sentence will be carried out,” he added. Despite growing condemnations from the International human rights organizations, Somali military court continues to hand down death sentences against Al-Shabaab members and government soldiers accused of killings.
21 August – Source: UNSOM – 359 Words
United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) is holding a three-day workshop on sexual and gender-based violence and conflict-related sexual violence for police officers to help tackle the vice in South West state. The workshop, organized in conjunction with the state’s Ministry of Women and Human Rights, is aimed at raising awareness among security officers on the dangers of sexual and gender–based violence (SGBV) and conflict-related sexual violence to peace and security.
The 54 officers attending the workshop will also receive training on human rights and how to protect the civil liberties of vulnerable populations. Nadifo Armey Abdullahi, the Minister of Women and Human Rights Affairs of South West state emphasized that the training will equip the officers with useful skills to deal with security challenges, while being mindful of the rights of the residents. “The training focuses on human rights and the way in which law enforcement officers should treat the victims, whether it is sexual based violence against girls or the street children” noted the Minister.
Charles Muwunga Mwebe, UNSOM Human Rights Team Leader in Baidoa, said the workshop aims at strengthening the capacity of the South West police in dealing with crime, while at the same time protecting individual rights. “Police have a duty to promote and protect human rights, but when it comes to issues of women, we feel that they have a duty to protect the women regardless of where they are.” Mr. Mwebe said. Aden Musdaf Adan, a participant, echoed Nadifo’s remarks, saying the workshop will help improve the standards of policing in the state.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“More than 6 million Somalis — about half the country’s population — are in need of emergency aid, the United Nations says. Another sign of progress since the 2011 famine is that the government’s national development plan and the U.N.’s humanitarian appeal included long-term resilience projects, Refugees International said.”
22 August – Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation News – 366 Words
People suffering in Somalia’s latest drought have fared better when donors deftly shift funding to emergency projects that help residents save money and stockpile food, a charity said on Tuesday. Severe drought in the Horn of Africa nation is expected to deepen until the October rainy season, and humanitarians are racing to avoid a repeat of the 2011 famine when more than 250,000 people died of starvation.
Funding from major donors, including the United States, Britain and the European Union has been used effectively in Somalia for community warehousing of food and for savings and loans programs, the rights group Refugees International said in a report. Flexible use of that funding allowed agencies in Somalia to switch to emergency preparedness projects once it became clear in June 2016 that the drought would be prolonged, it said.
It was easier for donors to send funds to agencies in Somalia because they already had contracts in place, it said. “By acting early to heed pre-famine warnings, the humanitarian community in Somalia and donors were able to stabilise what could have been a catastrophic situation,” it said. “Many of the target communities were better able to maintain food security, preserve their assets, and avoid having to flee to other areas during the drought.”
More than 6 million Somalis — about half the country’s population — are in need of emergency aid, the United Nations says. Another sign of progress since the 2011 famine is that the government’s national development plan and the U.N.’s humanitarian appeal included long-term resilience projects, Refugees International said.
Along with a shift to longer-term planning, Somalia needs a stronger government and peace to end its recurrent hunger crises, Mark Yarnell, a senior advocate with Refugees International told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “The unfortunate reality is can never occur at a scale that will be able to fend off this inevitable rolling tide of climate change,” he said. Southern Somalia is receiving less rainfall than historic averages, which has hit poor farmers, the report said.