August 4, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

U.S Africom Commander In Kismayo, Fresh Offensive On Al-Shabaab Discussed

03 August – Source: Somali update – 281 Words

The commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) General David J. Furness has visited Somalia’s southern port town and met regional authorities on Thursday as fresh offensive on Al-Shabaab controlled towns signaled. General Furness together with commander of the U.S naval force for the Somalia coast and African Union in Somalia Force Commander met with Jubbaland President Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madobe).

According to a statement to the newsrooms, Mr. Madobe and the U.S. AFRICOM commander stressed the need for air and intelligence support for the regional troops on the onset of the upcoming operation which is aimed to liberate areas in Middle and Lower Jubba provinces currently under Al-Shabaab control. “The discussion focused on a soon-to-begin counter terror operation in Middle Jubba and parts of Lower Jubba.” The statement from Madobe’s office added.
The visit by General Furness comes amid ongoing preparations by local security forces in Jubbaland to carry fresh land offensive on Al-Shabaab strongholds. Last week, President Madobe toured newly trained forces in Kismayo barracks.

The U.S Africa Command currently supports Somalia’s war on the al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab. In early April, U.S defense ministry and the Pentagon announced that dozens of Special Forces and counter-terror advisers were deployed into Somalia to train Somalia National Army and carry out assaults on terror group Al-Shabaab. The U.S Special Forces and their Somali counterparts Danab have recently carried numerous covert operations against Al-Shabaab bases in the southern regions in Somalia.

Key Headlines

  • U.S Africom Commander In Kismayo Fresh Offensive On Al-Shabaab Discussed (Somali Update)
  • President Farmajo Aims To Drop Motion Against Constitutional Affairs Minister  (Garowe Online)
  • Federal Government Cancels All Agreement With Private Companies (Garowe Online)
  • Somalia’s First Female Pilot Returns Home And Pledges Support To The Country’s Women And Youth (UNSOM)
  • Somalia Extremists Kill Kenyan Police Officer In Attack (Associated Press)
  • Visiting The Villages Being Saved By Aid In East Africa While Others Wait In Vain For Drought Relief  (I News)


President Farmajo Aims To Drop Motion Against Constitutional Affairs Minister

03 August – Source: Garowe Online – 272 Words

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, has swiftly intervened to drop a motion against the country’s Constitutional Affairs Minister Abdirahman Hosh Jibril. Sources at the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, revealed to Garowe Online that President Farmajo on Wednesday night held a meeting with Federal lawmakers who filed the motion against Minister Jibril. During the talks, the President asked the MPs not to continue with the motion aimed to unseat Jibril for opposing a parliamentary decision that overruled the Supreme Court’s order nullifying 8 seats from the Lower House chamber.

The sources added that the legislators rejected President’s mediation in the growing standoff, and said they will remain determined to continue their motion to question the Federal Minister of Constitution. The stalemate worsened after Somali Parliament dismissed last Sunday a request by the Minister to postpone hearing before the Parliament over health reason and traveled to Kenya. In July 22, over 184 lawmakers have overturned the Supreme Court ruling on disputed seats, calling for re-election, sparking legal dispute between the country’s Judicial and the legislative institutions.

The MPs tabled the motion after Jibril made remarks on his Twitter account against Parliament’s decision, saying that the legislative body had no legal authority to overturn the court ruling. On Wednesday, the Parliament failed to hold their session for lack of quorum, despite the presence of the Minister in the house to answer questions, after cutting short his trip to Kenya. Article 60 of the Somali Federal Provisional Constitution, allows the Parliament to summon the Prime Minister, cabinet members and independent bodies to appear before the House of the People for questioning, if needed.

Federal Government Cancels All Agreement With Private Companies

03 August – Source: Garowe Online – 193 words

The Somali Federal government has announced the withdrawal from all agreements and contracts with 17 private companies, according to reports.  In a statement released by the Minister of Finance, Abdirahman Duale Beyle, the decision to nullify all agreements was scheduled to take place from 31 July. Minister Beyle indicated that the office of Land Tax Revenue will be responsible from onward to collect taxes and service fees, which those companies use to do on behalf of the Federal government.  However, the reason behind the sudden withdrawal from all agreements was not revealed by the Minister in the statement, but he noted it came in line with Federal Cabinet Ministers’ decision in last June.

This is not the first time a new Federal government has nullified agreements with private companies that made deals with past governments. New Somali government officials are frequently accused of cancelling contracts of local companies to put in place other companies believed to be connected to them. However, the move is expected not to affect Turkish companies managing Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport and sea Port, which considered the largest revenue sources for the Federal government based in the capital.


Somalia’s First Female Pilot Returns Home And Pledges Support To The Country’s Women And Youth

03 August – Source: UNSOM – 609 Words

Asli Hassan Abade holds a special place among Somalia’s trailblazing pioneers. She is the country’s first and only female pilot. Ms. Abade visited Somalia in July 2017 for the second time in six years. In 2011 she flew into Mogadishu to deliver medical supplies to the Forlanini (Lazaretto) Children’s Hospital as the country was grappling with its worst famine in many years.

The presence of Al-Shabaab militants in the Somali capital limited her stay to 24 hours on that occasion, and it was a bittersweet homecoming for the airline captain. “I did not have the liberty to move around Mogadishu like I am doing now, or talk to the media,” recalls the 59-year-old mother of four. “There were several former colleagues, officers and pilots, waiting to receive me at the airport. I cried, and they all got emotional and cried with me. When I stepped out of the plane, I first kissed the ground.” “I could not believe that I was actually in Mogadishu. I looked at the ocean, raised my hands up and inhaled the fresh, natural and unpolluted air. It was a magical moment.”

Ms. Abade’s childhood home was located close to Mogadishu airport where she grew up with her parents and nine siblings.  Watching planes take off and land on a daily basis planted the seeds of her ambition to become an airplane pilot. She left Somalia in the 1970s to train as a pilot in Italy and later moved to the United States. She returned to her native land to join the Somali Air Force and started flying planes in 1976. She attributes her successful career in the country’s Air Force to the support women received from the government in that era.

Somalia Extremists Kill Kenyan Police Officer In Attack

03 August – Source: Associated Press – 226 Words

Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels killed a Kenyan policeman Thursday when they attacked a police station in northern Mandera County, raising security concerns over next week’s national elections. Al-Shabaab, which is allied to al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the attack on Lafey police station near the border with Somalia. The group made the claim through its Shahada News Agency’s blog and social media accounts, according to the SITE monitoring group.

Two vehicles were burned in the early morning attack, according to Kenya’s North Eastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh. The violence comes a day after three people died in a suspected al-Shabab attack in southern Kenya and days before Kenya’s national elections on Tuesday. Al-Shabaab has been threatening since March to disrupt the elections and they repeated the threat last week, according to former U.S. Marine and security analyst Andrew Franklin.

The attacks come at time when Kenyan security agents are stretched to prevent election violence, Franklin said. “Without effective security the credibility of the elections cannot be assured,” Franklin said. Al-Shabaab in recent weeks has stepped up deadly attacks in Kenya’s border counties of Lamu and Mandera. Voting will be affected in those areas, said Franklin. The extremist group has carried out more than 100 attacks inside Kenya, calling it retribution for the East African nation’s deployment of troops to Somalia in 2011 to fight the extremists.


“The group who have been standing around me to share their stories do the same; the tree we’re sheltering underneath, the only one to be seen in this barren landscape, offers a little protection from the sun but not this blasted dust. And as I reach for my sunglasses in a reflex action, my squinting eyes move from my feet to theirs. Everyone here is wearing flip flops. They don’t have much of a choice,”

Visiting The Villages Being Saved By Aid In East Africa While Others Wait In Vain For Drought Relief

02 August – Source: I News – 1667 Words

Even the ground is unwelcoming here. It’s bad enough that the dusty earth, starved of moisture for longer than anyone can remember, spits in your face the moment a breeze picks up. But it’s the black stones scattered about this godforsaken place that seem like the environment’s final insult on the people of Fadhigab. The rocks look as if they have been lobbed out of a volcano by the Devil – and that’s probably how most of the people here feel, too, as they try to survive in the camp during the harshest drought in living memory. I look down at my feet to protect my eyes as the wind whips up and grains of Somaliland bombard us once more.

The group who have been standing around me to share their stories do the same; the tree we’re sheltering underneath, the only one to be seen in this barren landscape, offers a little protection from the sun but not this blasted dust. And as I reach for my sunglasses in a reflex action, my squinting eyes move from my feet to theirs. Everyone here is wearing flipflops. They don’t have much of a choice, of course, but how do they walk around here in flipflops without breaking their ankles?

When the wind stops, Hadija and Sarah show me how it’s done. They lead me from one side of the camp to another, so Hadija can show me the hut where she lives – and the hut next door, where her neighbour lived until she succumbed to malnutrition along with one of her children. Three more of her children were left behind in this life, and Hadija is looking after them as well as her own. “They are not on the list to get food or help from the aid organisations so I share some of mine with them. I cook for them. I keep my children and their children together,” Hadija says.

“I felt powerless and hopeless but I just pray to God for help.” Sarah comes with us. Her manner is of someone who seems lost. Perhaps everyone appears that way in this unforgiving desert, but after losing one of her own children, a daughter, Sarah has more reason than most. I follow unsteadily behind the pair as we wander past the three shiny metal water tanks. There are 500 families here, but only enough supplies for 200 has been arriving.

It is delivered by ActionAid and Oxfam, two of the 13 leading Disasters ­Emergency Committee charities working to combat the unparalleled drought in East Africa. The people here are all nomadic pastoral farmers – or at least they were until their animals died – and they will stay with their animals until the last moment. It took a humanitarian disaster for them to finally abandon their lands and walk the long journey here in the hope of finding water. Originally they were seeking a well; now they can only hope for more tanks like these to arrive. The people in Fadhigab are used to living in huts as they are nomads but the conditions here are shocking (Photo: Rob Hastings) You can help Visit to donate to the DEC’s East Africa Appeal and become an ActionAid donor at Ok, ok. I’ll stop. This is all too bleak, I know.


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