30 August – Source: The East African – 532 Words
Kenya will have to wait to reduce the number of refugees it hosts as its voluntary repatriation and closure of camps plan has run into challenges. Lack of resources, insecurity in Somalia and opposition by human rights groups have forced Kenya to hold its horses. In July, for example, only 3,248 refugees out of 241,355 took advantage of the voluntary repatriation programme. A total of 28,924 refugees have returned to Somalia this year.
The programme, which was launched in December 2014, is the result of the tripartite agreement between the governments of Somalia, Kenya and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The cumulative number of persons repatriated from Kenya to Somalia stands at 70,057. Currently there are 18,598 refugees willing to return to Somalia. Before the voluntary repatriation programme, there were more than 270,000 refugees in Dadaab a camp that was established in 1991.
Some refugees, who had voluntarily returned to Somalia, slipped back to Dadaab due to insecurity and lack of facilities in their home regions in Somalia. These refugees had joined the programme believing the Kenya government would arbitrarily return them to Somalia without taking into account where they came from. The Kenya government is also facing pressure from Western countries, especially the UK and Germany, to allow refugees to seek jobs and businesses to reduce the high numbers resorting to dangerous trips through the Mediterranean Sea in search of jobs in Europe.
- Efforts To Lower Refugee Numbers Run Into Challenges (The East African)
- Twenty Five People Wounded In Car Accident Near Jowhar Town (Shabelle News)
- Galmudug Supports Decision To Disband National Chamber Of Commerce (Hiiraan Online)
- PM Says Positions Of Director-Generals Will Soon Be Advertised (Jowhar.com)
- Ethiopian PM Calls On Regional Leaders To Ensure Stability In Somalia (Xinhua Net)
- Outrage As Somalia Transfers Citizen To Ethiopia In Breach Of National Laws (Africa News)
- Horn Of Africa Increasingly Strategic For Gulf Crisis Countries (African Independent)
Twenty Five People Wounded In Car Accident Near Jowhar Town
31 August – Source: Shabelle News – 96 Words
At least twenty five people were injured in a traffic accident near Jowhar, the provincial capital of southern Middle Shabelle region, an official said on Thursday. The fatal accident took place at an area, about 10Km away from Jowhar when a passenger bus and lorry collided on the main Road, according to the local officials.
The bus was headed for Mogadishu from Jowhar while the lorry was moving on the opposite direction with animals when the accident happened. The regional authorities said the injured had been rushed to Mogadishu Hospitals and admitted there with multiple injuries.
Galmudug Supports Decision To Disband National Chamber Of Commerce
30 August – Source: Hiiraan Online – 86 Words
The Galmudug Minister for Trade and Industrialization, Abdilatif Abdullahi Warsame says he supports the decision by the Federal Minister for Trade, Khadra Dualeh to disband the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In a press briefing, The Minister said the National Chamber of Commerce has for long been in the hands of individuals saying the government is also supposed to have representatives in the organization. He added that he supports a hundred percent the decision arguing that the chamber was in the first place illegally constituted.
PM Says Positions Of Director-Generals Will Soon Be Advertised
31 August – Source: Jowhar.com – 105 Words
The Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Kheyre says the positions of Director Generals within government ministries will soon be advertised. The Prime Minister who took part in one of it’s kind media roundtable said: “We will advertise the position for the 26 directors in the government ministries the government will name a committee composed of ministers that will vet the candidates and suitable candidates will be hired,” Most of the director-generals in government ministries have been in office for a very long time and even appear to be more powerful than the ministers. Meanwhile, the President has dismissed plans to do a Cabinet reshuffle.
30 August – Source: Xinhuanet – Words
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has called on regional leaders to work together to bring lasting peace and security in Somalia and the region. The prime minister made the remarks during his discussion with General David Muhoozi, Special Envoy of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Wednesday.
Desalegn and Muhoozi have also discussed on various issues that focused on regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism, the Office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister said in a statement. Desalegn warned that insufficient support from the international community is creating huge burden on the peacekeeping mission in Somalia, which neighbors Somalia. According to Desalegn, Ethiopia has the responsibility to voice its concern to the international community concerning the security situations in the region and the continent.
31 August – Source: Africa News – 303 Words
There is outrage in Somalia following the reported transfer of a citizen to neighbouring Ethiopia. The detention and subsequent transfer of Mr. Abdikarim Sheikh Muse of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has been labeled as a breach of national and international laws. Reports of his transfer to Ethiopia started early this week but was confirmed by ONLF in a statement issued on Thursday. The statement directly accused Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo,’ of complicity in the said transfer.
It also listed as accomplices, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre, National Security Advisor Gen. Bashir Mohamed Jamac-Goobe and head of the state intelligence agency Abdullahi Mohamed Ali. Whiles accusing Mogadishu of breaching national and international laws, the ONLF averred that “the Somali government has forcefully transferred a political refugee to Ethiopia which is known to torture and humiliate its opponents. “It has been intimated that Mr. Abdikarim was sacrificed in order ti get political support from the Ethiopian regime. The Ethiopian ambassador to Somalia who is a close relative of the Prime Minister and in-law to the Somali president played a key role in brokering the deal,” the statement said.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Somalia receives the most aid from Saudi Arabia, while the UAE was responsible for training the country’s military and this year launched a high-profile aid appeal for the Horn of Africa country. However, after Riyadh, and its allies, launched limited sanctions against Qatar, Somalia allowed Qatar to use its airspace,”
31 August – Source: African Independent – 599 Words
Despite East Africa being far from the Gulf, the continuing crisis between Qatar on one side, and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain on the other, the area is becoming increasingly strategic as the protagonists battle for influence there. In pursuance of this influence the oil and gas-rich Gulf nations, including Qatar, have been making their presence in the Horn of Africa felt by establishing military bases, managing ports and supporting allies there with foreign aid.
This proxy power rivalry could either negatively or positively impact the Horn of Africa countries involved, depending on who they are aligned with. For Saudi Arabia, and its allies involved in the Yemen War, East Africa has enormous strategic value. “The Horn’s shoreline comes as close as 30 kilometres to Yemen at the Bab Al Mandeb strait, a crucial chokepoint at sea for oil tankers heading from the Gulf to Europe,” the Voice of America (VOA) reported on Wednesday. Smugglers have long used East Africa as a point of departure for reaching Yemen and securing the area became a priority in March 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition launched its war against Shiite rebels and their allies who hold Yemen’s capital.
Following the outbreak of the war the UAE established a military base in Assab in Eritrea and the country plans to build another one in Somalia’s breakaway northern territory of Somaliland. Somalia is of particular importance to both sides of the Gulf rift. Mogadishu now has a civilian government which is battling Al Qaeda-linked jihadists Al Shabaab. “You couldn’t find any place more strategic for the Arab powers than Somalia,” said Rashid Abdi, the Horn of Africa project director for the International Crisis Group. “That explains the intensity of these powers’ interest in Somalia.”
Somalia receives the most aid from Saudi Arabia, while the UAE was responsible for training the country’s military and this year launched a high-profile aid appeal for the Horn of Africa country. However, after Riyadh, and its allies, launched limited sanctions against Qatar, Somalia allowed Qatar to use its airspace. Saudi Arabia is also considering building a tiny base in Djibouti, where a Chinese military base is currently under construction, and where drone missions over Somalia and Yemen from a US military base there are launched.
It is believed that the Gulf military installations will become permanent fixtures in East Africa. For Eritrea which hosts the UAE military base at Assab and is siding with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, Gulf ambitions in the region could prove positive. Ruled by an autocratic and repressive president, Eritrea has seen tens of thousands of its citizens flee mandatory national conscription that can last over a decade, something rights groups say amounts to slavery. The former Italian colony routinely ranks last among nations in personal and press freedom, reported VOA.
@HarunMaruf: Somali PM rubbishes rumours he is planning to reshuffle his cabinet ministers.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
Somali Prime minister Hassan Ali Khayre last night hosted an open media engagement session with somali media and flanked by several key ministers in his administration.
Photo: Hiiraan Online