August 28, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia Launches Network Center To Offer Free Internet For Federal Institutions

27 August – Source: Xinhuanet – 254 Words

The Somali government has opened network operations center (NOC), the first of its kind for the Horn of Africa nation to provide free internet for federal institutions. Abdi Ashur Hassan, Minister for Posts, Telecom and Technology who officially opened the centre late on Saturday, said the service would help the ministry reclaim its role as technology services provider for government institutions. “We acknowledge that Internet service we offer does not cover the needs of the federal institutions in terms of both the number of those covered and the bandwidth speeds each site is allocated for,” Hassan said. “However, we will work with our partners in expanding the service in the near future,” he added.

Deputy Prime Minister, Mahdi Guled said the centre is aimed at providing free Internet services to 26 federal government agencies in different parts of the capital Mogadishu. “Supported by the World Bank, the NOC provides secure and reliable connection to the Internet and a dedicated service, which will offer 24/7 support, monitoring, and troubleshooting for government entities,” Guled said.

The inauguration comes after Somalia’s both Houses have approved the National Communications Act to regulate the country’s telecommunication sector. The telecommunications bill calls for the creation of telecoms regulatory authority, development of the country with telecommunications technology, protecting corporate and consumer rights and more participation by private sectors in developing the sector. The Minister of education Abdirahman Dahir Osman Dr Osman Guled, said the free Internet services are helping the ministries and other institutions to improve productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia Launches Network Center To Offer Free Internet For Federal Institutions (Xinhuanet)
  • Puntland Police Chief Suspended Over Incompetence (Garowe Online)
  • PM Orders Ministers To Seek Clearance On Public Communication (Goobjoog News)
  • Free Health Services By Qatar Charity In Somalia (The Peninsula)
  • AMISOM Honours Sierra Leonean Police Officers For Contributing To Peace In Somalia (AMISOM)
  • Somalia’s Lost Tapes Revive Musical Memories (BBC)


Puntland Police Chief Suspended Over Incompetence

27 August – Source: Garowe Online – 187 Words

The Vice President of Somalia’s northeastern region of Puntland, Abdihakim Omar Amay has suspended the State’s Police chief, Abdulkadir Farah Shire (Ereg) on Sunday. In the decree, the Vice President said that Shire was fired for being incompetent and failure to fulfill his responsibilities to handle the police activities, but doing his private interests.

Garowe Online has received reports indicating that the Police Commander-in-Chief has been removed from office after he had covertly released many inmates held on various charges from Puntland jails in the past. The freed prisoners did not include individuals convicted of terrorism. The suspension came following previous complaints against Shire that was repeatedly submitted to Puntland state officials.

The move comes as the state President, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali is in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Ali defended Shire from charges about corruption in the Police. Shire was appointed as the Commissioner of Puntland Police Forces last year, after former boss, Abdirizak Mohamud Yusuf (Af Gadud) was sacked on May 15, 2016 for Bossaso shootout. So far, there is no comments from the commander on his dismissal.

PM Orders Ministers To Seek Clearance On Public Communication

27 August – Source – Goobjoog News – 311 Words

Prime Minister Hassan Khaire has issued a gag order on all ministers against direct communication with the media without clearance from his office following the Barire killings communication fiasco which left government ministers reading from different scripts. In a memo signed by Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Ahmed Guled which Goobjoog News has established as authentic, the PM read the riot act to the ministers in what appears to be a move aimed at coherent public messaging. “All Cabinet ministers whom this document is directed to are informed to solicit a prior permission from the office of the Prime Minister when utilizing the social media, radio, televisions and everything that relates to news broadcasting by sharing the topic that relate to the government,” the memo read. The PM also warned ministers against using the social media ‘to comment on sensitive political matters at this moment’.

The memo comes two days after the government was forced to pull down statements in the social media and issue corrections following the military operation in Barire, Lower Shabelle which the government has now acknowledged civilians were killed. In his first statement Friday afternoon, Information Minister Abdirahman Osman Yarisow said those killed in the operation were Al-Shabaab elements. He later issued another statement noting the government had established civilians could have been killed. Defense minister Abdullahi Mohamed later told the media security forces confronted armed men who refused to surrender their weapons leading to exchange of fire and subsequent killings.

Foreign Affairs minister Yusuf Garad posted a statement on his Facebook page from Mozambique claiming there were two operations in which civilians could have been in one. Constitutional Affairs minister Abdi Hosh survived a no confidence in motion in parliament last month following Twitter post in which he questioned a parliamentary vote which sought to annul a court verdict on contested seats in the 2016/17 elections.


Free Health Services By Qatar Charity In Somalia

27 August – Source: The Peninsula – 218 Words

Qatar Charity (QC) continues to provide free health services for those affected in Somalia by the drought in rural areas. In a press release, QC said that the number of sick and affected people who have been provided with health services since March till August this year exceeded 35,000 people. Qatar Charity said that its office in Somalia has been operating mobile medical convoys since the beginning of the drought crisis this year in the most affected areas, where people suffer from various problems and diseases caused by this crisis.

The association is providing health services to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mogadishu, Bosaso and Kismayo in coordination with the relevant authorities in the targeted areas and in cooperation with local partners in the field. Qatar Charity noted that the activities of the medical teams include meetings with patients, examination, dispensing of the necessary medicines and giving instructions and health tips, in addition to the collective awareness programmes through lectures on public health and ways to prevent diseases breakouts. Qatar Charity is working with a number of international organisations to serve the health sector in Somalia. QC signed an agreement with the International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities in June 2015 to provide free health services for children and pregnant women in Somalia’s central Shebelle governorate.

AMISOM Honours Sierra Leonean Police Officers For Contributing To Peace In Somalia

27 August – Source: AMISOM – 418 Words

Individual Police Officers (IPOs) from Sierra Leone have been commended by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for their performance in mentoring and advising their Somali counterparts during their deployment in Mogadishu. Speaking on Saturday during a medal award parade for the 10 IPOs who are rotating out after completing their one year tour of duty in Somalia, the AMISOM Police Chief of Staff, Rex Dundun, said the contingent played a major role in  enabling the Mission achieve its mandate. “The management of AMISOM Police component is exceedingly happy with the performance displayed by the contingent. Police Commissioner Brigadier General Anand Pillay has asked me to convey the message of congratulations to the contingent,” the AMISOM Chief of Staff who is also the Acting Police Commissioner said.

Mr. Dundun noted that the Sierra Leonean contingent had also upheld the core principles of the African Union while mentoring the Somali Police Force during the period of deployment. “The contingent have put their best especially in trying to adhere to the core principles of the African Union which are; respect to diversity and teamwork. We have also observed transparency and accountability in your performance; integrity and impartiality; efficiency and professionalism; and information and knowledge sharing,” the AMISOM Police Chief of Staff added.


“The discovery of thousands of lost recordings from Somalia’s golden era of music is a timely reminder of the country’s remarkable hybrid sounds, writes BBC Somali’s Yasmin Ahmed. A newly released compilation, Sweet As Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa, features some of the recovered audio.”

Somalia’s Lost Tapes Revive Musical Memories

27 August – Source: BBC – 870 Words

Over the last few decades, Somalia has become a symbol of poverty and anarchy.  But while recent Hollywood blockbusters Captain Philips and Black Hawk Down have depicted civil war and modern piracy in Somalia, people who lived in the capital, Mogadishu, in the early 1970s will tell you a very different story. Whitewashed coral houses, cafes and restaurants with Moorish arches graced the streets of Mogadishu.

Men sported afros and flared trousers, while women dressed in their colourful baatis (a classic cotton dress) and diracs (loose-fitting dress) with their heads uncovered. Evidence of centuries of cross-cultural trade and migrating nomadic tribes can be seen in the architecture, and this cultural influence also explains the remarkable hybrid sound of Somali music.

Now Somalis around the world can relive these rich memories of Mogadishu through an archive of more than 10,000 tapes discovered last year by Vik Sohonie in Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland. Funk, rock, jazz and Bollywood influences feature in the rich and varied recordings. The tapes take us back to a time of relative economic and political stability in Somalia.

Although the country was under military rule, the arts – particularly music – flourished and the period became known as the golden age. Mogadishu was home to popular hotels Al-Uruba and Jazeera, where young fans would flock to the dancefloor to hear groups like Iftiin and Dur Dur perform. Somalia’s music industry was effectively nationalised under authoritarian leader General Siad Barre, who brought most industries under state control in the hopes of ridding the country of clan-based politics.

During this period, record companies could not release music to the market. The National Theatre was a revered forum where music groups produced remarkable music, but the performers became attractive propaganda tools for General Barre’s message.  Theatre companies known as bands, notably Iftiin Band and Waaberi Band, expressed nationalism in their lyrics and style.  One song, the Waaberi Band’s Oktoobar waa tee, waa tumaa? (What is October, which one is it?) became a hit after the Barre-led military junta came into power on 21 October 1969.
The song recounts various key Somali historical events which have taken place during that month. Schoolchildren across the country recited the anthem, which was also performed on the streets by military marching bands and frequently played on state-run Radio Mogadishu: “When I look back, I sometimes break into tears,” says celebrated singer Maryan Mursal. “I’m welling up right now as I picture what Mogadishu was like in the 70s.”

Before her successful solo career, Mursal won a nationwide talent competition called Tartanka heesaha hirgalay (The Singing Competition) and performed with the Waaberi Band. “We had bars in Mogadishu and five nightclubs. We travelled from city to city and performed in hotels and bars. Those were the golden years.” Mursal, like many other performers in bands like Waaberi band, Shareero and Dur Dur, fled Somalia after decades of war and now lives in the diaspora.

Dhaanto: The Somali reggae  During the 1980s, “dhaanto”, an ancient Somali folk song and dance was revived. Historically, it was played without instruments, with hand-clapping and foot-stamping used as rhythmic accompaniment. Nomadic tribes would take their camels into their ranch at night and venture out to compete with each other. This folk style was enhanced with instruments by the likes of Shareero band and Khadija Qalanjo, the first artist to begin the modernisation of dhaanto. The new sounds bustles with an electrifying synthesis of different musical instruments, and shares rhythms and characteristics with reggae.


The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.