August 3, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Protest In Bosaso Turns Violent Ahead Of President Ali’s Visit

02 August – Source: Garowe Online – 291 Words

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Bosaso city, the commercial hub of Puntland state on Wednesday to demonstrate against inflation and stopping the use of the Somali Shilling banknotes by local traders. The demonstration turned violent when protesters blocked roads and attempted to break business shops to complain about the circulation of fake Somali Shilling banknotes in the market. Recently, business owners and traders have declared they will only accept U.S. Dollar banknotes instead of the local currency, a move which caused hyper-inflation of goods in the local market.

Labors at Bosaso Port and private drivers were reported also to go on strike, protesting against business owners’ decision to refuse accepting the local currency, saying “we have money but we can’t buy goods with it.” Additionally, an exchange of gunfire was heard at the center of the city, as reports indicated a clash has sparked between the Police forces and Maritime Police forces.  The clash has resulted in the injury of the commander of forces at Bosaso Port, Mohamed Ali Hashi and two other soldiers. The injured were subsequently transferred to the hospital to receive medical treatment. Garowe Online reporter in Bosaso city said Hashi sustained minor injuries from the clash.

On the other hand, Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” is expected to reach Bosaso in the coming days, amid ongoing demonstration against inflation and circulation of fake Somali Shilling currency. President Ali is scheduled to meet P&O Ports officials in Bosaso, the company that signed an agreement with Puntland government to modernize Bosaso Port. The agreement was endorsed by the state parliament last week. The violent protest comes following state-wide celebration for the 19th anniversary of establishment of Puntland state on 1st August 1998.

Key Headlines

  • Protest In Bosaso Turns Violent Ahead Of President Ali’s Visit (Garowe Online)
  • Somali Embassy In South Sudan Regains Freedom For Somali Prisoners (Goobjoog News )
  • President Farmajo Appoints Former Mayor As His New Political Adviser (Garowe Online)
  • 15 Somali Pirates Found Guilty (Times of India)
  • Somalia To Open First Journalism School In 26 Years (VOA)
  • Somalia And The Saudi Battleship That Saw Siad Barre’s Demise (Opride )


Somali Embassy In South Sudan Regains Freedom For Somali Prisoners

02 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 196 Words

Somali Embassy in South Sudan said it has succeeded securing the release of Somali people who were imprisoned in that country. The inmates were four (4) Somali youths who are running petroleum business and were allegedly arrested due to fluctuation of market prices where their selling price was regarded to be a bit higher than the market price.

Speaking to Goobjoog News, Somali Ambassador Hussein Haji Ahmed explained explicitly the role his Embassy played. “I met this morning with the South Sudan Minister for Home Affairs and I discussed with him several issues among them prior meetings and the executions of earlier demands and small cases relating to the Somali business community in the country” said Ambassador Ahmed. The talks mainly touched on fuel companies run by Somalis and the human trafficking that made South Sudan a heaven transit and a gateway to Europe.

South Sudan Ministry of Home Affairs expressed their appreciation for the Somali community for their investment in the sector of business which gives them rights to be in the country. Late last month 114 Somali prisoners released from Ethiopian jails were flown to Mogadishu.  The release followed talks between Somalia and Ethiopia.

President Farmajo Appoints Former Mayor As His New Political Adviser

02 August – Source: Garowe Online – 177 Words

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has appointed former Mogadishu Mayor and Presidential candidate Mohamud Ahmed Nur aka “Tarzan” as his new political adviser. In a presidential decree released by the Presidency on Wednesday, it was announced the appointment of Tarzan as a senior advisor on political affairs for the office of the Somali President.

The new adviser has served as the Mayor of Mogadishu for several years during the past governments and he ran for the presidency in February 8 election, in which  Federal lawmakers have elected Farmajo as the 9th Somali President. On Tuesday, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre has also appointed ex-Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Yahye Ali Ibrahim as a special advisor on the Interior Affairs and reconciliation. Garowe Online has learnt that Ibrahim’s appointment was not yet announced to the public according to sources at the Prime Minister’s office. Last month, Ibrahim was sacked from his previous post by the Minister of Interior and Federal affairs Abdi Farah Saed “Juha”, over power abuse, lack of cooperation and obstructing the tasks of the Ministry.


15 Somali Pirates Found Guilty

02 August – Source: Times of India – 195 Words

A special court on Tuesday convicted 15 Somali pirates, nabbed in 2011, and sentenced them to seven years in jail. The accused who have spent six and a half years in jail will be deported to their home country. They have been found guilty on charges of attempt to murder and kidnapping. This is one among the four cases being conducted by special public prosecutor Ranjeet Sangle. The accused sought leniency and wanted to be deported back to Somali. The verdict against 103 accused in the other cases is likely to be pronounced by next week.

In this case, in January 2011, in a joint operation, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard intercepted a vessel being used by Somali pirates 200 miles off Kochi in the Arabian Sea. They rescued 20 fishermen hailing from Thailand and Myanmar being held hostage on board the vessel. They also rescued the 15 pirates who jumped into the sea during the operation and took them into custody. The vessel, named ‘Prantalay’, originally belonged to Thai fishermen. It was hijacked by the Somali pirates in April 2010. They were using it as the mother vessel for piracy since then.

Somalia To Open First Journalism School In 26 Years

02 August – Source: VOA – 565 Words

Being a journalist in Somalia carries both risk and reward. The risk comes from al-Shabab militants and other armed groups who have killed at least 26 reporters in the last five years, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The reward is having a job with one of the many independent media outlets that have sprung up despite chronic violence and the absence of any journalism schools in Somalia. Somalia’s National University is trying to fill the education void by reopening its journalism school for the first time in 26 years. The Faculty of Journalism and Communication Science could begin classes as early as next month, instructing up to 60 students.

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire addressed — and challenged — prospective students at a relaunch ceremony Tuesday in Mogadishu. “The first students who will have the opportunity to attend this faculty will get the chance to be part of the Somali history,” Khaire said. “You will have to write a new history for the Somali people, and be part of the rebuilding of the country.” Khaire said he hopes graduates will provide “healthy reporting” about Somalia. He said journalists are required to be truthful and to base their work on facts, even if their reporting is not beneficial to the country. Facing death, restrictions

Somali journalists face a uniquely challenging environment. Covering the frequent ambushes, bombings and suicide attacks by al-Shabab exposes them to danger, especially in Mogadishu. The Committee to Protect Journalists has recorded the killing of 62 journalists since 1992. On top of that, parliament passed a media law that requires working reporters to have a journalism degree — a difficult document to obtain in a country without journalism schools.


“Despite the mounting pressure, Farmaajo’s approach towards the Saudis is a clear break from the practice of his predecessors. Somalia’s third President, Siad Barre, who led Somalia from 1969 till his ouster in 1991, also faced bullying and intimidation from Saudi Arabia to protect the kingdom’s regional interests. Barre, was coerced into launching a large-scale military invasion of Ethiopia although as diplomatic cables would later reveal the Somali leader had second thoughts on the necessity of that war.”

Somalia And The Saudi Battleship That Saw Siad Barre’s Demise

01 August – Source: Opride – 3131 Words

The diplomatic row between Qatar and its Gulf Arab neighbors has now become a protracted stalemate. Despite its diplomatic connections and petrodollar soaked influence, Saudi Arabia, the key conspirator in the regional posturing game, has so far gained precious little for their monumental decision to impose a debilitating economic blockade on Qatar. So far even Egypt and U.S. President Donald Trump’s outspoken support has proven insufficient to convince the international community that Qatar ought to be isolated and rendered a pariah or is a den for terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.

It has been a tough month for Riyadh. The response from the Horn of Africa has been notably mixed. The Saudis appear particularly blindsided by Somalia’s decision to maintain its neutrality in the ongoing diplomatic crisis. Mogadishu has refused to take sides, urging Gulf states to back Kuwaiti mediation efforts.

Somalia’s bold stance appears to be an unexpected setback for the Saudis. For one, since his election last February, Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo has made two state visits to Riyadh. And he even appeared to have forged a warm relationship with Saudi leaders. Second, Mogadishu has previously backed the Saudi Arabia-led, anti-Houthi coalition in Yemen. This may have led the Saudis to assume that they had Somalia’s total obedience.

But apparently even an offer of $80 million couldn’t woo Farmaajo into siding with the Saudis and publicly denouncing Qatar. Qatar and Somalia enjoy a long fraternal relations and Mogadishu clearly values those ties. Somalia has even allowed Qatar to increase use of its airspace as a result of Saudi Arabia cutting off land and sea access to them. Farmaajo’s refusal to budge also underscores the Saudi government’s poor planning of its diplomatic siege on Qatar.

Riyadh’s infamous demands, submitted to Doha as a precondition for negotiations, including the closure of Al Jazeera media network, has made the oil-rich Kingdom the subject of much ridicule online. Qatar has adjusted to the initial shock of the sudden halt in imports and air traffic from Saudi Arabia, in part thanks to the import goods from Turkey, among other places. Doha has thus far proved that it is not a fragile island that is on the brink of collapse. All in all, Saudi Arabia’s predictions have mostly turned out to be wrong.

Vengeful Saudi Arabia seeking to shake the Farmaajo leadership’s foundations. Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly miffed by the actions of Farmaajo’s government. In fact, Saudi Arabia is allegedly plotting punitive measures against the Somali government. A recent (covert Saudi-backed) attempt to pass a motion in parliament seeking Farmaajo’s impeachment fell flat, according to Somali Update. The motion was tabled by a number of politicians including Somalia’s former Prime Minister and opposition MP Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.

Sharmarke’s links to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has cut ties with Qatar and banned imports as part of the Saudi-led blockade, are well known. Saudi Arabia apparently tried to exploit this link to the Somali parliament in a vain effort to bring down the Farmaajo government for refusing to cut ties with Qatar.


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