August 24, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Turkey Set To Open Military Training Camp In Somalia

23 August – Source: Hiiraan Online – 166 Words

Turkey is expected to launch its largest overseas military training facility in Somalia’s capital in September. The Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, Olgan Bekar arrived in Mogadishu on Wednesday with members of the Turkish Armed Forces who are involved in the opening of the military facility.

According to Turkish media,  the military base will be located in the Jazeera district on the outskirts of Mogadishu. 200 Turkish troops will train up to 10,000 soldiers at a time whom will be housed in any one of three military schools. Construction on the 400-hectare military base began in March 2015 and costs close to $50 million.

Turkey has been active in Somalia since 2011 when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a surprise visit to the East African nation. Since then, Turkey has spent almost $1 billion in aid and assistance to Somalia, according to the Mehmet Şimşek, Turkey’s deputy prime minister. Last week, a Turkish Airlines plane carried more than 60 tons of food aid to Mogadishu.

Key Headlines

  • Turkey Set To Open Military Training Camp In Somalia (Hiiraan Online)
  • Somali PM Tells Foreign Ambassador To Support The Country On The Economy And Job Creation (Goobjoog News)
  • Puntland Faces Worst Currency And Inflation Crisis In Its history (Garowe Online)
  • Somalia Pledges To Promote Freedom Of Expression (Xinhuanet )
  • Somalia In Fresh Bid To Stop Illegal Fishing (The East African)
  • The ‘Gatekeepers’ To Providing Aid In Somalia (Devex)


Somali PM Tells Foreign Ambassador To Support The Country On The Economy And Job Creation

23 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 187 Words

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre has urged foreign ambassadors in the country to support Somalia on economic growth and job creation. In a meeting with envoys in Mogadishu, the PM called for strengthening of cooperation and support in creating jobs especially for young people. State Minister in the office of the Prime Minister Abdullahi Hamud spoke on the agreed points in the meeting between the federal government and the foreign ambassadors.

“It was an exchange session of what was achieved in the past 3 months and what we need from the international countries. What was discussed included  economic creation needed in the country, review on the constitution, job creation where the PM spoke in depth about it and how to unify the economy of Somalia” said State Minister Hamud.

Present in the meeting were Ambassadors from United nations, Qatar, Turkey, European Union among other Ambassadors. On the other hand,  United Nations envoy  to Somalia Michael Keating cited his support to Somalia on many sides particularly the economy, security and the elections of 2020.

Puntland Faces Worst Currency And Inflation Crisis In Its history

23 August – Source: Garowe Online – 357 Words

Traders in administrative capital of Somalia’s northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland shut down their business premises on Wednesday, August 23. The closure of city’s main businesses has sparked by an order from the local government, compelling the traders to use a counterfeit Somali Shilling banknotes printed by the current Puntland administration. Some of the traders, who spoke to Garowe Online on condition of anonymity, said they have decided to close their businesses, as they are losing money due  to  false currency, which the government is coercing them to use at gunpoint.

The financial crisis in Puntland emerged when the administration led by President Abdiweli Mohamed h printed Somali shilling, after failing to pay for security forces, and the civil servants.   President Ali’s government has been accused of mismanaging the state’s revenues and the international donations, subsequently it printed the fake notes which is currently affecting the entire Puntland regions.

The business owners in major parts of Puntland declared they will only accept U.S. Dollar banknotes instead of the Somali Shillings, a move which cause hyper-inflation of goods in the markets. The fake Somali Shilling banknotes is also being printed in some areas in northern and central Somalia, and brought into Puntland markets, causing rise in value of the U.S. dollar against Somali Shillings. At the present, One hundred US dollars is being exchanged $2,800,000 up to 3 million Somali Shillings in Puntland, the highest price ever when compared to the other parts of the horn of Africa country. There has been an increase in the standard of living as traders raised prices of commodities due to the fake currency circulating in the markets, which has affected the whole public, especially poor families.

Meanwhile, President Ali, has not yet made any decision to solve the financial crisis in Puntland as his five-year tenure is ending in less than two years. District officials and Garowe Security officials have been dealing with the issue by threatening and intimidating the local traders in the markets to use the forged money. The chief of Puntland’s counter-terrorism Police, General Muhiyadin Ahmed Muse has issued a stern warning against the merchants.


Somalia Pledges To Promote Freedom Of Expression

23 August – Source: Xinhuanet – 124 Words

The Somali government on Tuesday pledged to enhance freedom of expression as well as plans to develop media. Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman expressed confidence that Somalia will become the champion of press freedom in Africa once the country stabilizes. “It is our priority to promote the freedom of expression and press freedom as enshrined in article 18 of the Somali provisional constitution,”

Osman said during a meeting with visiting Jens Kiesheyer, program coordinator for Africa of Free Press Unlimited in Mogadishu. “I have no doubt that Somalia will become the champion of press freedom in Africa once the country gets peace and stable, as Somali journalists are brave, dedicated, dynamic that want to excel their professionalism on a daily basis,” the minister said.

Somalia In Fresh Bid To Stop Illegal Fishing

23 August – Source: The East African – 387 Words

Somalia officials want the European Union and its allies to invest more resources in supporting the country’s efforts to stop illegal fishing on its territorial waters. According to the officials, ignoring the crime poses as much harm to business on the Indian Ocean as piracy did. The officials spoke at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) meeting on maritime security held in Entebbe recently.

Abdi Ali Raghe, the Maritime Security Co-ordination Committee focal person in the Office of the President said that the lack of a government naval force has led youth in Somalia to form groups to fight illegal fishing vessels on their own. “Allowing such ad hoc groups to operate in a country whose institutions do not function at full potential can be a recipe for instability in Eastern Africa,” he warned.

Following a spike in piracy along the 3,000km Somali coastline in 2008, the EU deployed a navy force with support from members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The EU has given $44.3 million for maritime security in Eastern and Southern Africa under the project co-ordinated by Igad. Somali officials now fear that with piracy less of a problem, the counter effort may dwindle, opening an opportunity for the illegal trolleys to thrive and tiff-off Somalia’s restive youth.

Data from the International Maritime Bureau shows that pirate attacks fell from a peak of 237 in 2011, to no attacks in 2015, but have risen to five in the first half of 2017. Somali officials say that it would help if Nato forces who are still operational in the Indian Ocean, arrested illegal fishing vessels. But according to the maritime safety and security director general of Puntland State Captain Mohamooud Mohamoud, the EU and Nato say it is beyond their mandate.


“Despite the frustrations involved with the gatekeeper structure, there is also recognition in the humanitarian sector of the pivotal services that some of these gatekeepers provide to IDPs. In the absence of government-run camps, gatekeepers provide access to land and sometimes private militias for security.   “Gatekeepers provide a level of service and security that no other actor is able to provide in places like Mogadishu,” said Abdurahman Sharif, director of the Somalia NGO Consortium.”

The ‘Gatekeepers’ To Providing Aid In Somalia

23 August – Source: Devex – 1248 Words

After delivering aid to internally displaced camps on the outskirts of Mogadishu earlier this year, in an area known as KM 13, the government-run Somali National Drought Relief Committee followed up and found that the situation had not improved for the camp’s inhabitants. Starvation and illness persisted at high rates, despite food and medical deliveries. The aid workers then started to see the same food and medical aid they had delivered to residents popping up for sale in the local markets.

The committee soon discovered that intermediaries had intercepted the aid and turned it around for profit, Dr. Hodan Ali, senior medical advisor with the Somali National Drought Committee, told Devex. As more Somalis flee food scarcity and insecurity, humanitarian groups are increasingly concerned about gaining access to the internally displaced. The biggest impediment remains militant group Al-Shabaab, which continues to control swaths of the nation’s territory.  But another, less visible obstacle, centers around “gatekeepers,” self-appointed middlemen who serve as negotiators between IDPs and the humanitarian sector.

Gatekeepers, also referred to as mukulal mathow, or “black cats,” can include landowners, district officials or businessmen who control access to land used by IDPs, creating makeshift camps that they manage, in exchange for some kind of payment, whether it be cash or a portion of the aid received by IDPs. They dilute aid flows, determining who receives it, and can restrict access of entry and departure to the camps. Sometimes, they provide services such as security, latrines and water trucks.

“There has, to a certain extent, been a commodification of displacement,” said Gerard Waite, the International Organization for Migration’s Somalia chief of mission. “It creates an unusual layer of difficulty in ensuring that assistance flows to these camps.” Some gatekeepers go as far as to send trucks into drought-stricken areas to collect desperate people and transport them to their property in urban areas, where they then appeal to the humanitarian sector for aid, said Ali.  “When displaced people are in these surroundings, they are completely at the mercy of these merciless people,” she said. “It’s modern day slavery.”

As the number of IDPs in the country continues to mount, gatekeepers hold enormous sway, at times restricting the ability to provide and effectively monitor humanitarian relief, said Waite. Dealing with gatekeepers has largely become a necessary evil for the humanitarian sector in Somalia, but some actors have developed strategies to deal with the issue. Experts say that the best long-term solution is to empower local governments to take more ownership over the camps, while in the meantime improving the accountability of the gatekeepers.

Complicated relationship; The gatekeeper dilemma is unlikely to go anywhere soon. An estimated 2 million people are now internally displaced within Somalia, including those who fled before the current drought, many of them living in urban areas, mostly Mogadishu and Baidoa, according to the International Organization for Migration.  According to the U.N., Mogadishu has one of the highest IDP concentrations on the African continent. Insecurity in this setting, particularly on the outskirts of the city, means international humanitarian agencies have limited access to IDPs, forcing them to rely on remote service delivery.


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