08 August – Source: Xinhuanet – 165 Words
The African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) said its forces Tuesday conducted joint security operation with Somalia National Army (SNA) where they liberated Caalfodheere settlement in southern Somalia. AMISOM said the joint operation which took place about 20km outside Mahaday district in Middle Shabelle was aimed at securing the Mahaday-Ceelbaraf supply route for safe passage of civilian transport.
Al-Shabaab militants were reported to have attacked a military convoy belonging to AU forces near the southern town of Mahaday on Monday. The attack began with a land mine explosion and reportedly struck AMISOM convoy, then a shootout between the militants and AU soldiers erupted outside the town. The security forces have been opening main supply routes blocked by the insurgents and creating a free and secure environment for the Somali people to thrive.
Aid agencies say the poor state of main supply routes in south-central Somalia have provided conditions for Al-Shabaab to continue laying ambushes and use explosive devices against AMISOM convoys and Somali national security forces.
- AU Forces Liberate Region In Southern Somalia (Xinhuanet)
- Massive Fire Broke Out At Bakara Market In Mogadishu (Garowe Online)
- MP Arrested As Brawl Erupts At Somaliland Parliament (Garowe Online)
- Federal Goverment And Member States Discuss Management Of Air Traffic Control (RBC Radio)
- Suspected Al-Shabaab Hijack Two Cars Ferrying Mandera Voters (The Star)
- Somalia To Hold National Consultations On The Constitution Review (AMISOM)
- US Soldiers Deployed To Somalia Are Teaching Partners How To Drive Trucks (VOA)
Massive Fire Broke Out At Bakara Market In Mogadishu
08 August – Source: Garowe Online – 188 Words
A huge fire broke out in Bakara, Mogadishu’s largest market on Monday night, destroying properties in several business buildings. The overnight inferno started at the shoe store late overnight and winds spread it rapidly through the parts of market, razing large buildings, shops and stores, said a witness who spoke to Garowe Online via phone.
Conflicting reports are emerging about the cause of the fire which still remains unclear, however, market traders blamed an electrical fault at a small shoe store. A huge loss of properties was reported, as result of the late-night fire, which sent plumes of smoke into the air. Firefighters battled the flames and had eventually put out the fire before the daybreak. The exact cost of the damage caused by the fire is not yet known. Thabit Abdi Mohamed, the Mayor of Mogadishu visited the site of the fire and vowed that he would lobby for assistance from the government on behalf of the businessmen. Bakara, the economic hub of Mogadishu has had several fires break out in its history and merchants and traders are sure to feel the impact of this latest blaze.
MP Arrested As Brawl Erupts At Somaliland Parliament
08 August – Source: Garowe Online – 295 Words
A fist fight broke out inside the parliament of the northern self-declared state of Somaliland, as MPs are in deadlock over the election of a new speaker. The newly speaker of house representative Bashe Mohamed Farah, and a lawmaker were reported to have sustained slight wounds during the mass brawl erupted inside the Somaliland Parliament. Reports indicated that multiple gunshots were heard in the hall, as security guards of some MPs fired into the air, before security forces entered into the building, and intervened the standoff situation.
Subsequently, the troops have arrested several MPs, including Saleeban Ali Koor for engaging fist fight with the speaker, according to Somaliland’s Minister of Interior Yasin Hajji Mohamud Hiir (Faraton). The Scuffles started, after Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Talyanle), a parliamentarian from WADDANI, opposition party has announced that he is the winner of the election of speaker in Sunday, 6th August.
Mohamud boycotted the election of Bashe Mohamed Farah who is a member of the ruling KULMIYE party as the new speaker of house of representative, saying the vote has been unfair and rigged. Farah – former first deputy speaker won in a narrow victory of 39 votes against his contender, Talyanale who secured 38 votes. The election was held after the resignation of former speaker Abdirahman “Irro”.
In September, 2015, the newly elected speaker Farah and his predecessor Irro have engaged in brawl during an argument over a vote by the Parliament on the privatization of Berbera Oil terminal. Irro who is still a member of Parliament has left office after nearly 12 years in power, to run for presidency in the upcoming election due to be held next November 13 as he is the flag bearer of his WADDANI party, facing stiff contest from KULMIYE and UCID parties candidates.
Federal Government And Member States Discuss Management Of Air Traffic Control
08 August – Source: RBC Radio – 223 Words
Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire on Tuesday chaired a consultative meeting between officials of the Federal Government and those from the Member States to discuss the management of the country’s air traffic system, after being officially transferred back to the country. Somalia plans to take over its airspace control management system at the end of this year as planned. The government now says installation of information technology system and training of employees is underway to make sure the country has human and technical resources before the air traffic control relocates back to Mogadishu from Nairobi.
Since the collapse of Somalia’s central government, the air traffic management was based in Nairobi, Kenya under the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). “The management of our air traffic control to be handled by young Somalis is a great achievement to our nation. We are proud about it.” said Prime Minister Khaire during the Tuesday’s meeting. Officials from Puntland, South West, Galmudug, Hirshabelle and Jubbaland all attended the meeting which was organized by the Federal Government’s Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Minister of Civil Aviation Mohamed Abdullahi highlighted the progress so far made by Somalia in terms of being responsible to manage its own air traffic control and updated the officials on how the new system in Mogadishu will work within the next three months.
08 August – Source: The Star – Words
Suspected al Shabaab militants hijacked two cars between Omar Jillo and Lafey in Mandera on Tuesday as voters were being transported to polling stations. North Eastern regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh identified the vehicles as a Probox and Land Cruiser. Nobody was injured or kidnapped during the incident at about 6am, Saleh told The star on phone. “They were only interested in the vehicles. Reports that they also hijacked a bus full of voters are not true. Kenyans, especially those on social media, should stop posting untrue information because they may end up causing a lot of tension.”
It is said one of the vehicles had a South Sudan number place. Al Shabaab has not claimed responsibility for this and a few other attacks in some parts of the country. But the terror group has carried out many ambushes and left police and civilians dead or injured. The commissioner said he will stay in touch with top election officials and security chiefs to ensure voting goes on smoothly. “All polling stations, including those at the borders in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa, have opened and the exercise is going on smoothly. We don’t expect any hiccups.”
08 August – Source: AMISOM – 410 Words
Following public awareness and sensitization on the planned constitutional review process, the Federal Government of Somalia is set to launch national consultations on the constitution review. The Federal Minister of Constitutional Affairs Mr. Abdurahman Hosh Jibril says the process will engage all citizens, to ensure their views are represented in the new constitution. “The next two years are very crucial because that is the timeline we have to complete the review of the constitution,” explained the minister. “In order for that document to have the requisite legitimacy, we need to take it to the public for consultations and conduct civic education,” Minister Abdurahman stated.
He was speaking shortly after a meeting with the Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC), for Somalia Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, at AMISOM Mission Headquarters in Mogadishu, today. The minister said the Federal Government was seeking the assistance of the AU Mission to deliver the new constitution. “AMISOM is already an important partner in the stabilization of Somalia, and we are very grateful for that.
The AU is presently paying a heavy price in the stabilization of Somalia; but since the African Union is involved on the military sphere, we also believe that it is very important that they engage with us on the political front, because those should go hand in hand,” explained the minister. “The military option alone will not solve the problems we have.” Discussions between Mr. Abdurahman and Ambassador Madeira focused on AMISOM’s support to the Federal Government, to enable it successfully hold the planned nationwide consultations.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“There is some bad history going back years in Africa [in] that they were afraid of their own soldiers,” Harrington explained. Working with them on a regular basis and watching the evolution since a lot of those things happened years ago, it’s very encouraging to see where those armies have come.”
08 August – Source: VOA – 411 Words
When dozens of American soldiers deployed to Mogadishu back in April, their presence marked the first American military forces in Somalia, except for a small unit of counterterrorism advisers, since March 1994. VOA broke the story of their arrival, and now, VOA has learned more about their train-and-equip mission in Mogadishu. Soldiers sent to Somalia with the 101st Airborne are primarily training truck drivers for the Somali military, Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, the commander of U.S. Army Africa, told VOA in an exclusive interview. “They are training Somalis how to drive to keep their logistics going,” Harrington said.
The general was able to see the training-and-equipping course first-hand when he visited Somalia in June. He said the Army was pleased with the results so far, adding that he would “absolutely” continue the training throughout his tenure as commander. When asked whether the training would be expanded to include other goals in the future, Harrington said he was sending people to Somalia to assess the needs there, in order to better understand how to help the Somali national army effectively secures its population.
U.S. Army Africa works closely with the U.S. State Department to improve African partners’ military professionalism as part of an overall strategy to strengthen African governments so they can better serve their citizens. “There is some bad history going back years in Africa [in] that they were afraid of their own soldiers,” Harrington explained. Working with them on a regular basis and watching the evolution since a lot of those things happened years ago, it’s very encouraging to see where those armies have come.”Harrington said his soldiers conduct about 300 activities and exercises with African partners in anywhere from 40 to 45 countries each year. Troops from the 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, arrived in Mogadishu on April 2 at the request of the Somali government.
The team is the first significant U.S. military presence in the country, aside from a small counterterrorism cell, since March 1994, when the U.S. pulled out of the U.N. intervention operation in the war-torn state. Five months earlier, in October 1993, 18 U.S. special forces personnel were killed in a battle with Somali militiamen that inspired the movie Black Hawk Down. The goal of the current operation in Somalia is to build partner capacity while helping to improve the logistics of local forces battling the extremist military group al-Shabab, official have told VOA.