South West State Electoral Committee Releases Presidential Election Schedule
13 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 160 Words
The South West presidential election committee released the election schedule ahead before the election date on 19th December 2018. According to the election schedule released by the committee, the committee will discuss the process of the election on the 15th of December. The presidential candidates debate will be held 16 and 17th of December according to the schedule set.
On 18th of December, the committee will conduct a general training for all election supervisors. In the statement, the electoral commission chairman, Mr. Shacir Omar Beylei, said that the commission will conduct the Southwest presidential election on the 19th December, 2018.
The government today arrested Mukhtar Robow, who is one of the candidates in the South West presidential elections. The former Al-Shabaab deputy leader had not denounced terrorism and still ‘remains a threat to the Somali people’. Meanwhile, the South West elections committee said on Thursday that the elections would proceed and be held on December 19th, as announced earlier.
- South West State Electoral Committee Releases Presidential Election Schedule (Goobjoog News)
- Banadir Regional Administration Held Weekly Meeting With District Commissioners (Mareeg)
- Robow ‘Still Dangerous’ Government Says As It Pulls Him Out Of Polls Race (Goobjoog News)
- Somali Ex-militant Running For Regional Presidency Arrested Beaten – Spokesman (Reuters)
- AMISOM Starts The Process Of Handing Over Military Academy To The Somali National Army (AMISOM)
Banadir Regional Administration Held Weekly Meeting With District Commissioners
13 December – Source: Mareeg News – 166 Words
The weekly meeting was held to discuss the Development Plan in 2019 for BRA. The Mayor of Mogadishu Abdirahman Omar Osman was chairing the weekly meeting and discussed about the drainage master-plan activities in the capital and the security issues.
The meeting was held in the Local Government Center in Warta Nabada District. 17 District Commissioners of Banadir Region displayed their activities in 2018 including social activities, anti-corruption, and broadening the basic services. The mayor thanked the district for working with the local community, police and security agencies, as this had reduced terrorism activities from Al-Shabaab.
This meeting also focused on drainage and sewerage system of the capital city how to repair it before the rainy season. Banadir Regional Administration made a study and assessed the sewage system of the capital city of Somalia. The mayor praised the people of Mogadishu of participating in the Is-Xilqaan (Self-voluntarily) program, as volunteers are rebuilding the theatre, the museum, Mogadishu stadium and the national library that is currently ongoing.
Robow ‘Still Dangerous’, Government Says As It Pulls Him Out Of Polls Race
13 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 223 Words
The federal government arrest Mukhtar Robow, who is one of the candidates in the South West state presidential elections, noting that former Al-Shabaab had not denounced terrorism and, still ‘remains a threat to Somali people’. In a statement following Mr. Robow’s arrival in Mogadishu on Thursday afternoon, the Ministry of Internal Security said, Mr. Robow had on several occasions failed to heed the government’s call to quit the presidential race, on grounds that was impose on him by the U.S sanctions back in 2008. “The Ministry of Internal Security sent warnings to Mr. Robow against contesting in the South West presidential elections and today, the federal government arrested him,” the statement.
The government has also accused Mr. Robow of ‘delivering weapons to militants in Baidoa’ adding the former Al-Shabaab leader who defected to government August 13, 2017 ‘has not quit his radical ideology. Mr. Robow’s arrest now clears the way for the government’s choice for the South West presidency following months of disputes over the matter which saw former president Sharif Sheikh Adan resigned and pull out of the race under pressure from Mogadishu.
Former Labour Minister Abdiaziz Mohamed has been fronted by the Federal Government for the South West presidency. Meanwhile the South West elections committee said on Thursday the elections will continue to proceed on slated for 19th of December.
13 December – Source: Reuters – 439 Words
A former Islamist militant in Somalia now running for a regional presidency has been arrested and beaten, precipitating clashes between supporters and security forces, his spokesman and witnesses said on Thursday. South West will be the first of Somalia’s seven semi-autonomous regions to hold presidential elections in the coming months, a critical juncture in a growing power struggle between the U.S.-backed central government and regions where militants retain a presence following a long civil war.
“Candidate Sheikh Mukhtar (Robow) was just beaten and arrested by Ethiopian (peacekeeping) forces in Baidoa now,” said Muawiya Mudeey, a spokesman for Robow. “First he was called in by the interim president of South West state and when he reached that office, Ethiopian forces beat him terribly and they arrested him. And now there is fighting between residents and government forces in Baidoa.”
Baidoa residents said that fighters allied to Robow had clashed with Ethiopian and central government forces at a checkpoint, while phone links with the city had become patchy. “There are casualties. We see Ethiopian tanks being moved into the town. Now there is sporadic gunfire. Tension is very high now and all shops are closed,” Ahmed Abdullahi, a Baidoa shopkeeper, told Reuters. Mohamed Aden, a local elder, said Ethiopian and local Somali security forces participated in Robow’s arrest. “We do not know the reason but we think it is because of politics,” Aden said.
“…Anything can happen. I mean, war can start anytime.” Regional officials in Baidoa, the state capital of South West, could not immediately be reached for comment. There was also no immediate comment from Ethiopian officials. Robow, a former prominent al Shabaab insurgent and group spokesman, lay low for several years before publicly renouncing violence and recognising the authority of the federal government in the capital Mogadishu in August 2017.
The Mogadishu government tried to bar his presidential candidacy in South West because of remaining U.S. sanctions against him. But the state electoral commission last month dismissed Mogadishu’s demands and accepted his candidacy. However, on Dec. 1 the commission postponed South West’s vote for the third time, saying it was not sufficiently prepared amid lingering tensions with Mogadishu.
Somalia has been trying to claw its way out of the embers of the civil war that engulfed it in 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator and then turned on each other. Al Shabaab has sought for over a decade to topple the weak central government in Mogadishu and implement its strict version of Islamic law. It was driven out of the capital in 2011 but retains a strong presence in some areas including South West.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“We value the spirit of brotherhood from AMISOM and appreciate the rare sacrifices you have made to bring peace to Somalia,”
13 December 2018 – Source: AMISOM – 414 Words
A cadet training school occupied by African Union troops for the last eleven years, will soon be handed over to the Somali National Army (SNA). Jaalle Siyaad Military Academy in the Somali capital Mogadishu, served as a key operations base for the African Union troops at the height of the war against Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab militants and a Forward Operating Base from which the troops waged a fierce war against the militants, leading to the liberation of Mogadishu in 2011.
The handover process of the institution is being undertaken within the framework of the Somalia Transition Plan and the United Nations Security Council Resolutions, which call for a gradual and conditions-based transfer of Somalia’s security responsibilities to the Somali security forces.
The African Union’s Special Representative for Somalia, who is also the Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira did an inspection tour of the academy today, to assess rehabilitation works currently underway at the military institution.
“We thank the Somali government for allowing us to occupy this place at a time when the war against Al-Shabaab was at its peak,” Ambassador Madeira said. “At that moment, we needed to liberate Mogadishu from the occupation of the Al-Shabaab,” added the AU Special Representative, who was accompanied on the assessment tour by senior Somali National Army and AMISOM officials. “The handing over of the (Mogadishu) Stadium and of the Academy is the second step forward,” stated Madeira, referring to the sixty-thousand capacity Mogadishu National Stadium, which was vacated by AMISOM troops and handed over to the Federal Government in August 2018.
The United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) is spearheading refurbishment works at the military academy ahead of its handover to the government. At least forty-eight (48) prefabricated buildings, a hospital, water treatment and power plants will be fully restored before the formal handover in 2019. “We value the spirit of brotherhood from AMISOM and appreciate the rare sacrifices you have made to bring peace to Somalia,” Brig. Gen. Mohamed Sheikh Madobe, the Somali National Army (SNA) Head of Operations told the delegation from AMISOM.
Burundian troops currently occupying the institution are due to relocate to a Forward Operating Base in the outskirts of Mogadishu. This will be the third key institution handed over to the Somali government by the AU Mission since 2017. In July 2017 the Mission relinquished control of the Somali National University, which it had used as a military base for ten years, and handed it back to the Government.