December 14, 2018 | Daily Monitoring Report

Main Story

Supporters Of Somali Former Militant Clash With Police In Baidoa, 11 Dead

14 December – Source: Reuters – 277 Words

At least 11 people were killed in Somalia’s city of Baidoa in clashes between security forces and supporters of a former al Shabaab leader who is seeking election as a regional president, a military officer and an elder said on Friday. Authorities arrested Mukhtar Robow on Thursday, accusing him of bringing Islamist militants and weapons back to Baidoa, the capital of South West region where he is running for president.

Robow supporters angered by his arrest clashed with police backed by Ethiopian peacekeeping forces in Baidoa, said Hussein Aden, a military officer in the city.  Baidoa elder Saleh Isak accused the authorities of seeking to install its own candidate as president of South West, the first of Somalia’s seven semi-autonomous regions to hold presidential elections in the coming months.

“Yesterday, 10 people died and today they killed a lawmaker,” Isak told Reuters by telephone.  The elections are a critical juncture in a growing power struggle between the U.S.-backed central government and regions where al Shabaab militants retain a presence following a long civil war.  Aden gave a lower death toll of at least six killed, among them lawmaker Abdishakur Bule.

He died in cross fire between armed protesters and police this morning. Tension is high and we do not know what to do,” Aden told Reuters.  Robow was a prominent al Shabaab leader and group spokesman before he publicly renounced violence and recognized federal authority in August 2017.  His spokesman said he was beaten by Ethiopian troops, part of an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, in the course of his arrest. Officials in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa were not immediately reachable for comment.

Key Headlines

  • Supporters Of Somali Former Militant Clash With Police In Baidoa 11 Dead (Reuters)
  • Southwest Federal MPs Demand Release Of Robow Want Polls Postponed (Radio Dalsan)
  • Two Somalia Government  Officials Arrested In Mandera Kenya (Goobjoog News)
  • Qatar Somalia Sign Pacts To Strengthen Bilateral Ties (Gulf Times)
  • Somaliland: The Little Country That Could (Som Tribune)


Southwest Federal MPs Demand Release Of Robow, Want Polls Postponed

14 December – Source: Radio Dalsan – 190 Words

Federal MPs representing the Southwest constituents in the Somalia Federal Parliament, have condemned the arrest of regional presidential candidate and former  Al-Shabaab deputy Mukhtar Robow on Thursday. “The  kidnapping Sheikh Mukhtar Robow is regrettable. He is a Southwest presidential candidate who fulfilled the requirements” a statement released by the MPs read partially.

“We request from the Federal Government to release him so that he can participate in the  election” it added. The MPs want the poll’s date to be pushed back to enable Mr. Robow to participate. “All SW responsible authorities, request that the election to be postponed until the current political crisis is stabilized” the statement read. “It’s regrettable that the Ethiopian soldiers, specially those  in Southwest region have become mixed in Somalia’s internal political affairs to support FGS desires surrounding SW elections”  MPs said.

Mr. Robow was arrested by Ethiopian troops following gunfight with his militia after attending a consultative meeting for the presidential candidates held in Presidential Palace Baidoa. He is been held at the NISA headquarters in the capital Mogadishu. The Southwest election commission has confirmed that the December 19 elections will go on as scheduled.

Two Somalia Government  Officials Arrested In Mandera, Kenya

13 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 130 Words

Kenya security forces in Mandera County yesterday arrested two Somalia government officials. Ibrahim Guled the District Commissioner of Elwak in Gedo region and Colonel Warfare Sheikh Adan Faroole of Somalia National Army, were arrested in Mandera as they were travelling to Nairobi Kenya to visit.

Sahal Maalim Adan the Deputy District Commissioner of Elwak has confirmed the arrest of two officials to reporters and called the Kenya security forces in Mandera, to respect the rights of the two officials and release them from the custody. “The two officials were found guilty of having an invalid Somali passport and Kenyan identification cards,” said Mr. Adan. It is still unclear why the Kenya security forces have arrested the two officials and they still remain in Kenyan security forces custody in Mandera town.


Qatar, Somalia Sign Pacts To Strengthen Bilateral Ties

14 December – Source: Gulf Times – 264 Words

The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and the Prime Minister of Somalia Hassan Ali Khayre witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the governments of Qatar and Somalia at the Amiri Diwan yesterday.

They witnessed the signing of several agreements and MoUs. The signing ceremonies were attended by a number of ministers, and on the Somali side by members of the official delegation accompanying the prime minister.  Earlier yesterday, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre held a session of official talks at the Amiri Diwan.

At the outset of the session, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani welcomed his Somali counterpart and the accompanying delegation to Qatar, pointing out that the visit will contribute to supporting and developing co-operation between the two countries. The Somali prime minister praised the bilateral relations and stressed his aspiration to strengthen them in various fields.

During the session, the two sides discussed ways to develop and enhance bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields, and reviewed the latest regional and international developments of common concern. The talks session was attended by a number of ministers and on the Somali side by the members of the official delegation accompanying the prime minister.

Following the official talks, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, and the Somali prime minister held a bilateral meeting during which they reviewed a number of topics of mutual interest.


“There is always the option that an independent Somaliland could propose unification at a later date with a Somalia that finally achieves its own peace and unity. At the same time, Somaliland needs to continue to work to improve or solve the problems discussed above, especially the issue of competing claims by Puntland for Sool and Sanaag Regions.”

Somaliland: The Little Country That Could

13 December – Source: Som Tribune – 5186 Words

Somaliland was an independent state for five days in 1960 before it merged with the former Italian Somalia. Since the Somali Democratic Republic became a failed state in 1991, Somaliland is the one part of the former entity that has managed to put in place sustained stability and a constitutional government accepted by most of its inhabitants. There is virtually no visible, armed security presence.

Supported by an unusually talented and active diaspora, the capital of Hargeisa is experiencing a modest economic boom in spite of a continuing Saudi ban on Somaliland livestock exports, which traditionally account for most of its foreign exchange income.

As recently as 1996, the atmosphere in Hargeisa was tense, and the city still reflected the extensive bombing by Siad Barre’s air force and shelling by his artillery. Today, nearly all of the damaged and destroyed buildings have been repaired or replaced. Hargeisa’s population has grown from less than 10,000 in 1991 to more than a half million.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, and most Somalilanders are now preoccupied with the question of international recognition. To date, no country has recognized the Republic of Somaliland. The African Union has instead given Somalia’s seat to the Transitional National Government (TNG) based in North Mogadishu. The TNG also claims to represent Somaliland but has no influence there. It is not surprising, of course, that Somaliland seeks international recognition, as this would open many foreign assistance possibilities that are now largely closed.

In the meantime, there are other steps Somaliland could take that would enhance its chances for recognition. This analysis looks at the background to Somaliland’s declaration of independence, notes the obstacles to recognition, and discusses the current situation in Somaliland based on a recent visit there.

Known as British Somaliland until it achieved independence on June 26, 1960, the new government of Somaliland agreed to join five days later with former Italian Somalia, which became independent on July 1, 1960. The two territories then became the Somali Republic. The idea of unity had been discussed during the year leading up to independence on the basis that Somalis are the same people, speak the same language, and have a common religion. Often called northwest Somalia after unification, Somaliland’s merger was not easy, and problems developed almost immediately.

There was a national referendum in June 1961 to approve a provisional constitution for the Somali Republic in the absence of an act of union. The leading political party in the northwest, the Somali National League, boycotted the referendum. Of the 100,000 votes cast in the northwest, about 60 percent opposed the constitution. An attempted military coup occurred in Somaliland late in 1961. Although it failed, one of its goals was to secede from the Somali Republic and establish an independent government.


@M_Farmaajo: I had very productive discussions with H. E President Isaias Afwerki.  Strengthening our two countries’ bilateral relations is important, it’s necessary for the bright future we want to build together. We are jointly embarking on a new era of regional cooperation on many fronts.

@DalsanFM: Southwest Federal Mps Demand Release Of Robow, Want Polls Postponed …

@AlinorAbdi: Who’s responsible for the deaths and injuries of innocent Somalis and destruction of properties in #Baidoatoday? seems much thought was never put into this and it’s so sad to see to what extent the FGS can go to influence the outcome of SouthWest elections. Utter carelessness!

@HassanIstiila#UPDATE: Qatar airways will launch direct flights to Mogadishu on June 2019. @SomaliPM who is in Doha met with his counterpart and discussed on  cooperation, enhancing relations and development and investments issues. The two countries signed agreements. #Somalia.

@HarunMaruf: BREAKING: Two officials in Baidoa have confirmed to me that Southwest regional lawmaker Abdishakur Yaqub Ibrahim (Abdishakur Bule) has been killed following a shooting this morning. Abdishakur Bule was the head of regional Parliament’s subcommittee on security.

@mdiforg: An unidentified police officer fired at @radiodaljirjournalist in Puntland, Somalia with apparent political motive. Although no one was hurt, the attack sends a chilling message to journalists covering the upcoming presidential election#pressfreedom …

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Image of the daySomali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and Qatar’s Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nassar bin Khalifa al-Thani witnessing the signing of agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) between the two governments Doha, Qatar.

Photo: @SomaliPM

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The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.