Al-Shabaab Arrests Locals For Opposing Child Recruitment
07 August – Source: Halbeeg News – 176 Words
Al-Shabaab fighters have reportedly arrested five locals in Harardheer town refusing to allow children to be recruited. Recently, the group has been recruiting more children to fight in their ranks. Al-Shabaab fighters stormed houses of local residents in and outside Harardheer, and five locals are charged with disobeying the orders.
Al-Shabaab recently ordered elders, teachers of religious schools in communities in rural areas of Galgaduud and Mudug region, to provide hundreds of children or face retaliatory attacks. Local journalists in the region said, the five were accused of sending their children away from Al-Shabaab controlled areas.
Five people including two women were arrested in Harardhere town. They were accused of facilitating the escape of their children from areas under Al-Shabaab control. This move comes in less than three days, after locals and Al-Shabaab fighters in Mudug region clashed, when the group started their recruitment campaigns. The clashes claimed lives of over seven people on both sides. Over the past decade, Al-Shabaab leaders have recruited thousands of children who have been indoctrinated and deploy them to various battles.
- Al-Shabaab Arrests Locals For Opposing Child Recruitment (Halbeeg News)
- A New Prison Opened In Mogadishu (Hiiraan Online)
- Health Crises In Wajid District In Bay Region (Goobjoog News)
- UNHCR Aids Return Of Over 2000 Somali Refugees From Yemen (UNHCR.org)
- UK Government to Grapple With Threat Posed by Female Suicide Bombers (Sputnik News)
A New Prison Opened In Mogadishu
07 August – Source: Hiiraan Online – 134 Words
The Somali government has established a modern built prison in Mogadishu to confine criminals and offenders, according to Bashir Mohamed Jama, Commander of the prison guards. The new correctional facility, MBCC at the Ex-control Afgoye neighbourhood in Mogadishu, becomes the second prison in the capital, besides the Central Prison, which currently is the only correctional facility to rehabilitate prisoners. The city’s second prison before the eruption of the civil war was transformed to a health centre known as Keysaney Hospital.
Officials from the Judiciary Sector toured the newly opened prison. Baashe Yusuf Ahmed, Chief Justice, praised the custodial corps, and urged them to double their efforts in enhancing justice and reforming prisoners. Multiple security challenges facing the country such as terrorism means that the capital city, should have enough prisoners for offenders to serve their jail sentences.
Health Crises In Wajid District In Bay Region
07 August – Source: Goobjoog News – 165 Words
Residents in Wajid district of Bay region in Southern Somalia, have expressed their concern over the lack of health services in their district. The community living in Wajid district are facing lack of social services like health centres and other basic facilities to support life.
Abdirashid Mohamed, one of the doctors in Wajid told reporters, “that the need for medical attention in the district is so crucial and highly needed, that several people have died because of insufficient medical assistance.” “Sometimes pregnant women face risk as they have no access to get the medical needs in their area while are giving birth,” said Abdirashid.
Doctor Abdirashid has called on the Somali Federal Government and humanitarian agencies to immediately address the health crises situation in Wajid district, and to facilitate the implementation of these centres. Wajid district is a stronghold of the Al-Shabaab strategic towns in the Bay region and that has led to a lack of resources, including health and education that the community needs.
07 August – Source: UNHCR.org – 486 Words
Yesterday (Monday, 6 August), a boat carrying 116 Somali refugees arrived in the port of Berbera in Somalia after sailing from Aden in Yemen on Sunday. This is the latest assisted spontaneous return facilitated by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in cooperation with IOM and the authorities in Yemen and Somalia. With this group, the number of refugees to have returned to Somalia since the programme started in 2017 has surpassed 2,000. So far this year 1,321 Somalis (including the 116 who left on Sunday) have returned to their places of origin in Somalia.
For the past two months, weather conditions had prevented the boat from sailing. Among the refugees were female heads of households looking forward to joining their extended families, several students who are hoping to resume their educations, and a critically ill patient who travelled with his son, family members and a medic.
The Assisted Spontaneous Returns (ASR) programme was initiated in 2017 in response to demand from refugees for UNHCR help in returning home. Yemen currently hosts over 270,000 refugees, the vast majority of whom (256,363) are Somali. Some 45 per cent are hosted in the south of the country, in Kharaz refugee camp – Yemen’s only refugee camp – and in the Basateen urban settlement in Aden. Others are in various locations in the north of the country.
The ongoing conflict in Yemen has affected not just Yemenis but also refugees living among them. UNHCR and partners face significant challenges in ensuring safe living environments, adequate protection, humanitarian assistance and access to essential, life-saving services. Refugees are vulnerable to early marriage, child labour, detention and to the risks of dangerous onward movement. These circumstances have added to the urgent need for UNHCR to increase humanitarian support, mitigate risks and find lasting solutions for these people.
UNHCR has carried out information campaigns to ensure refugees are able to make voluntary and properly informed decisions about returns, especially given the current context in Yemen. Many of those choosing to return home cite difficulties in subsisting and earning a livelihood. Others, especially those who have completed intermediate or secondary school hope to pursue higher education back in Somalia. Under current conditions, such opportunities in Yemen are minimal.
The journey from the port of Aden to Berbera takes some 15-17 hours. UNHCR provides an assistance package to refugees both in Yemen and Somalia. In Yemen, the package includes a multi-purpose cash grant to procure basic necessities for the journey and consolidate any outstanding debts or financial obligations. In-country and international transport assistance is provided by IOM, as well as medical care.
UNHCR also facilitates exit permits and travel documentation in cooperation with the Yemeni and Somali authorities. On arrival in Somalia, returnees receive a reinstallation cash grant and an allowance. Returnees also receive a package consisting of household items, food assistance through WFP, and an education allowance for primary school children.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The UK is focusing on East Africa as this is where the use of female suicide bombers is more prevalent. In relation to the UK, the Security Service, MI5 and the police’s Counter-Terrorism Units supported by intelligence reports from GCHQ are still focusing on the home front investigating both male and female terrorist suspects.”
07 August – Source: Sputnik News – 850 Words
A new military unit will be dispatched in the coming weeks to war-torn Somalia, where terrorist group Al-Shabaab has continued a campaign of suicide bombings against civilian and US-backed government targets, killing nine in a June attack. UK Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has announced the formation of a specialist military task force, allegedly aimed at helping to combat the use of female suicide bombers by Jihadist groups.
Reportedly, the mission will also focus on neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia, and may later branch out across the continent as far as Nigeria in the West, which is plagued by its own Islamist insurgency, Boko Haram, who are held responsible for the now infamous 2015 mass kidnapping of hundreds of school girls.
Reportedly, the unit will consist of a small contingent of British army personnel — including female officers — who will oversee the process of mentoring native forces on how to deal sensitively with child and female fighters that have been drawn into extremist Islamist groups, some as suicide bombers, in the hope that they can be coaxed out. Reportedly, British forces have long participated in training missions in Africa that seek to highlight the nuanced connection between gender issues and security.
However, some have long voiced concern that focusing such training specifically on gender risks overlooking root causes of terrorist violence, such as extreme interpretations of religious scripture or socio-economic woes. “These are problems that cannot be dealt with by this specialist army unit, it will require a multi-agency approach that includes the private sector investing in building a stronger economy and infrastructure in these states or like the case of Nigeria in the poorer north-eastern states where Boko Haram is the most active,” Dr David Lowe, an expert of and consultant on terrorism, told Sputnik.
Reports that Jihadist groups are resorting to the use of female suicide bombers have become increasingly prevalent, suggesting that the tactic may now be a mainstay of the terrorist attack strategy. In May, three female suicide attackers killed nine people in Niger’s south-eastern city of Diffa, they were believed to have been affiliated with Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram. There were also numerous reports of Daesh deploying suicide vest-wearing females in an effort to deter the liberation of Raqqa, Syria, in late 2017.