05 – August – Source: Reuters – 249 Words
At least three Somali soldiers were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afgoye district, a town 30 km to the north west of the capital Mogadishu, police and militants said. The attack was claimed by Islamist militants al Shabaab. Somali soldiers were deployed in Afgoye this week in efforts to tighten security in the town ahead of an expected visit by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.
“Police and military fired at a speeding suicide car bomb today and it exploded in Afgoye district. So far we know three soldiers died,” Captain Nur Ali, a police officer, told Reuters by phone from Afgoye. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, citing a higher death toll than the police.
“A suicide car bomb targeted Somali forces who were deployed ahead of president Farmaajo’s visit in Afgoye. We killed 11 soldiers,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, told Reuters on Sunday. In a separate incident, Somali forces killed two militants after fighting erupted briefly at a checkpoint in Mogadishu early Sunday, police said.
“Somalia’s military killed two armed militants at Benadir checkpoint. Two soldiers were slightly injured in the exchange of fire,” Major Mohamed Abdullahi, a police officer, told Reuters.Somalia has been convulsed by lawlessness and violence since 1991 when dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled. Al Shabaab is fighting to dislodge the western-backed central government and African Union-mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM, which defends it, and install its own government based on its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
- Suicide Bomb Attack Kills At Least Three Somali Soldiers Outside Mogadishu (Reuters)
- Somali Prime Minister Appoints New Ministers To Complete His Cabinet (Halbeeg News)
- A Huge Car Bomb Explosion Heard In Somalia’s Capital (Shabelle Media)
- Mogadishu Youth Protest Failing Security Demand Action From Government (Goobjoog News)
- US Airstrike On Al-Shabaab In Somalia Kills 4 Militants Africom Says (Defence Post)
- Refusing To Be Cowed Somali Opens Country’s First Dairy (Daily Mail)
Somali Prime Minister Appoints New Ministers To Complete His Cabinet
05 August – Source: Halbeeg News – 103 Words
Somali Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khaire has appointed new ministers to complete his cabinet. Four ministers, one state minister and one deputy minister were appointed with an official decree from the office of Somali Prime Minister.
The names of the new ministers and deputy ministers are as follows: Abdullahi Godah Barre – Minister of Education, Sheikh Noor Mohamed Hassan – Minister of Religious affairs, Hussein Sheikh Mohamud Hussein – Minister of Livestock, Abdullahi Badhan Warsame – Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources; Abdikadir Sheikh Ali – State Minister for President, Shawaqar Ibrahim Abdalla – Deputy Minister of Labour. The new ministers were advised to take over their offices immediately.
A Huge Car Bomb Explosion Heard In Somalia’s Capital
05 August – Source: Shabelle Media – 85 Words
A large explosion followed by gunfire was heard on Sunday evening on the main Maka-al Mukarama road in Somalia’s capital, with police saying it happened in the midst of traffic jam. The deafening blast was heard at a security checkpoint near Cinema Somalia, where cars are being searched by Police in the past few months.
It was not immediately clear the exact number of the casualties. The Somalia based Al Shabaab extremist group, an offshoot of Al Qaida, often targets high-profile places in the capital.
Mogadishu Youth Protest Failing Security, Demand Action From Government
05 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 154 Words
Dozens of youth in Mogadishu took to the streets on Sunday, demanding security from the government, amid rising cases of killings young people. The demonstrations took place at Kilometer 5 area, after the killing of Mohamed Sheikh Ali – a youth activist on Thursday in Mogadishu. An online campaign demonstrations #WeAreNotSafe has been trending on social media since last week. “We want to know why our youth are being killed, why they target our intellectuals and progressive youth,” one of the demonstrators, who did not want to be named for security reasons told Goobjoog News.
There is no words from the police yet, regarding the cold blood murder of Ali. Ali was a founder of start-up Mogadishu Grind, a promising young man, who moved from abroad to build his country only to have his life cut short. Mogadishu has recently experienced several targeted killings and most of the cases go silent just like their victims.
04 August – Source: Defence Post – 228 Words
U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Somalia on August 2, killing four militants associated with the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command said. “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab militants approximately 74 miles northwest of Mogadishu, Somalia, on August 2, killing four (4) terrorists,” Africom said in a Friday, August 3 release. “We currently assess no civilians were killed in this airstrike.”
The U.N. Security Council reauthorized the African Union Mission in Somalia on May 15. It was first launched in 2007 to defend the internationally-backed government against al-Shabaab, and more than 22,000 personnel are deployed on the mission. AFRICOM works with AMISOM on both advise-and-assist missions as well as air support missions to target al-Shabaab’s forces, but has drawn controversy from strikes that have killed civilians.
On May 11, AFRICOM launched a review on a raid after locals near Bulcida claimed civilians had been shot dead in an operation involving two military helicopters and special forces. Prior to that, an AFRICOM airstrike took out a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device near Jana Cabdalle, although in a statement Africom said no militants or civilians were killed in the process. The strikes are the latest in an increasing number of U.S. airstrikes against al-Shabaab and Abnaa ul-Calipha, Islamic State’s affiliate in Somalia, in recent months.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The factory’s owners have on several occasions considered throwing in the towel, especially because of the high cost of electricity. However, this problem was solved when the company received a donation of a solar energy system under a US-funded project to encourage entrepreneurship.”
05 August – Source: Daily Mail – 737 Words
Starting a dairy in Mogadishu was not an obvious choice: Islamist bombs go off with startling regularity, electricity is patchy and expensive and most Somalis don’t even drink fresh cow’s milk. But Abdulkadir Mohamed Salad, 40, who spent most of his life as a refugee in Britain where he worked for a dairy, is convinced the business can work in his home country, where cattle abound yet tonnes of powdered milk are imported every year.
“It is very difficult to invest in a hostile environment like Somalia in the first place and secondly, people here know very little about the dairy business,” Salad told AFP at his small factory, where a stainless steel machine pumped milk into blue sachets. As a result of unsanitary handling of milk in the past, many in the country believe that cow’s milk is dangerous for their health and prefer to drink camel milk or powdered milk.
Salad left his country shortly after the fall of president Siad Barre’s military regime in 1991 which plunged Somalia into civil war and anarchy, destroying state institutions and the economy. He worked as a taxi driver before getting a job at a dairy in Leicester. His wife and three children remained behind in the United Kingdom as he returned to try and start a business in his home country.
Surprised by the amount of cattle in the country, and the fact that aside from a few farmers selling raw, untreated milk, there was no proper factory treating the product, he and two colleagues decided to set up their own, called Irman Dairy, in 2017. “Livestock is one of the economic resources of Somalia … but tonnes of powdered milk are imported every year while our resources are wasted here, and few are benefiting,” said Salad.
Located in southern Mogadishu, Irman has to contend with the constant security challenges in the capital, which affects both production and distribution. The city is hit by regular car and suicide bombings by the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab Islamist group which has been fighting to overthrow the government for over a decade. Sometimes their small distribution van, brightly painted with a giant cow on the side, returns without having delivered anything, due to road closures when there is an attack or security concerns.
“There are days when we don’t start the factory because of the security situation in town, this affects our business since we have staff and need to pay their salaries and other administration costs,” said Salad. “The production capacity of our factory is 10,000 litres per day, but we can only produce 2,000 litres a day currently because of constraints, including the lack of a market,” he said.