December 20, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Roadside Bomb Targets Puntland Forces Near Bosaso

19 December – Source: Garowe Online – 210 Words

A roadside bomb has ripped through an army convoy in Somalia’s northeastern Puntland region. A security official within Puntland forces, who requested anonymity, told Garowe Online that several state soldiers were wounded when their pick-up truck from Bosaso port town was hit by an improvised explosive device explosion. The troops were heading to the mountains of Galgala in Bari region, about 40km southwest of Bossaso at the time of the attack, he said.

The soldiers who sustained injuries in the landmine blast have been transported to Bossaso hospital to receive medical treatment, according to the official. The al-Qaeda-linked group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for today’s attack through statement broadcasted by its mouthpiece Radio Andalus, saying it killed all soldiers on board the vehicle.

Puntland authorities are yet to comment on the incident, which happened on the outskirts of the region’s port city of Bossaso. On Monday, two customs officials were shot dead by Al-Shabaab gunmen in the city. The armed militant group has been actively operating in Galgala hills of Puntland since 2010 and has carried out numerous bombings, gun attacks,
and assassinations against the state forces in the 7 years. Al-Shabaab also wants to drive out of African Union peacekeeping force that helps defend the country’s UN-backed Federal government in Mogadishu.

Key Headlines

  • Roadside Bomb Targets Puntland Forces Near Bosaso (Garowe Online)
  • Revenue Consolidation Meeting Held In Kismayo (Radio Dalsan)
  • National Conference For Somali Youths Winds Up In Mogadishu With Clear Cut Outcomes (Goobjoog News)
  • South West State’s Administration Dismisses High Court Judge  (Radio Dalsan)
  • New UPDF Contingent Commander Arrives In Somalia (AMISOM)
  • Survivors Of The Mogadishu Market bomb: ‘Our Life Is Destroyed. There Is No More To Say’ (The Guardian)


Revenue Consolidation Meeting Held In Kismayo

19 December – Source: Radio Dalsan – 136 Words

Finance Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia Dr Abdirahman Duale Beyle chaired a revenue consolidation meeting that was held today in Kismayo, the capital of Jubbaland regional administration. The meeting was attended by officials from the Somali Finance Ministry, finance ministers of regional states and other invited guests.

The objective of the meeting was to come up with a plan where revenues collected by the regional states and those of the federal governments are brought together to make the country have one strong revenue base that can solve its financial needs hence stop relying on foreign aids.

The Somali government is working towards economic development, promotion of good governance and enforcement of law and order in the country. Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has commended the government for its achievements in the mentioned areas.

National Conference For Somali Youths Winds Up In Mogadishu With Clear Cut Outcomes

19 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 402 Words

The national political conference for the Somali youths has been  concluded  today in Mogadishu following 2 days of extensive deliberations with clear cut issues on youth political participation, constitution and education matters among others. Articles agreed upon include participation jointly in the implementation of the national youth policy, engaging the interim National Constituent Assembly, to create a forum that will establish them as leaders, to learn good leadership and to advocate the interests of Somali youth among others.

Other articles also touched on how to create job opportunities for young people, conducting regular meetings to strengthen youth awareness and to get the youth ready for the development of the country and receiving basic services such as quality education and health. Islamic scholars also factored in the political participation of the youth where it is proposed “to play an important role in the mental health of young people and raising awareness about radicalization.”

Giving jobs to foreigners was seen among the negative aspects that discourage young people in the country and “priority should be given to young people who were educated in the country to fill in the opportunities available to foreigners” said the article. On the constitutional level, the articles stressed on the need to have clear perspective on the rights of the Somali youth and must include this particular aspect in the constitutional review process to provide significant roles for them in the different political and different sectors of the government. On the economic side , the article noted the extension of  support and encouragement to young people who depend working in the resources of the country like farming, fishing and livestock sectors and to establish a connection between business people and the youth and to create country development fund. Also to involve the young people through consultation in financial and investment issues.

Acquiring knowledge also featured in on teaching them past history, nationalism and the value of the country and to work together to develop the country where everyone will shoulder the responsibility of ensuring the security of the country and to support governance in order to achieve peace and sustainable development. Young people are expected to learn too about the history of the Somali people in order to acquire knowledge to avoid committing past mistakes and entertaining radical ideologies and to create centres for youths to meet and share their thoughts and maintaining the quality of education curriculum via consultation.

South West State’s Administration Dismisses High Court Judge

19 December – Source: Radio Dalsan – 67 Words

The judicial service commission of South West State regional administration in Somalia has dismissed the region’s high court judge Sheikh Ahmed Abdullahi Fanah for being uncooperative with the administration. A dismissal letter dated 18th December from the judicial body was signed by the state’s president Sharif Hassan Sheikh. South West State spokesman Mr Nurudin Yussuf read a press release from the president’s office that confirms the dismissal.


New UPDF Contingent Commander Arrives In Somalia

19 December – Source: AMISOM – 349 Words

The incoming Contingent Commander of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Brig Paul Lokech, took over office today at a ceremony held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Brigadier Lokech succeeds Brig Kayanja Muhanga, who has completed his tour of duty, having served as Contingent Commander for the past one year.

The handover ceremony was witnessed by Maj Gen. Peter Elwelu, the UPDF Commander of Land Forces. This will be Brig Lokech’s second tour of duty in Somalia having served in the same capacity in 2011/2012 period. Speaking at the function attended by senior UPDF officers, Maj. Gen. Elwelu hailed Brig. Muhanga and his team for a job well done and urged the incoming contingent commander to focus on building the capacity of the Somali National Security Forces, ahead of AMISOM’s exit. “You need to focus on the Somali National Security Forces. It is only the Somalis who can bring everlasting peace and stability to this country. Nobody else can achieve that no matter how powerful you may be,” Maj. Gen. Elwelu stated.

He added; “As UPDF we have made our contribution. We have made extraordinary sacrifices and we have accomplished our mission of creating an enabling environment for the Somalis to liberate their own country.” Maj. Gen. Elwelu said it was time to help Somalis take the lead in the stabilization process. The process of handing over security responsibility to Somalia’s security forces has commenced following a resolution by the United Nations Security Council to downsize uniformed personnel serving under AMISOM to a maximum of 21,626 by the end of this year.


“At the blast scene, construction workers labour to rebuild shattered buildings. A new road surface has been laid. A tea stall stands where the 48-room Safari hotel once stood. “This is part of the resilience we Somalis have,” says construction contractor Ahmed Ashur,”

Survivors Of The Mogadishu Market bomb: ‘Our Life Is Destroyed. There Is No More To Say’

20 December – Source: The Guardian – 874 Words

Mogadishu is a famously resilient city. Once known across Africa and beyond as tranquil, relatively prosperous, cultured and cosmopolitan, successive waves of violence over decades have repeatedly reduced much of the city to rubble. It has been rebuilt, destroyed again and rebuilt. Six years ago, the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab withdrew from the city after fierce fighting. The rebuilding started once more. Now, at weekends, the beaches and restaurants of the Lido are packed with men and women, young and old. Returnees from the diaspora bring capital and skills. The stalls where women serve strong, spiced tea to garrulous elderly men in brightly checked traditional sarongs are busy.

The famous Bakara bazaar is boisterous and lively. So, too, are local markets, full of local vegetables, fruit, cheap Chinese clothes and DVDs. One of these markets had grown up around K5, or Zoobe, Junction. On 14 October a massive truck bomb detonated among its shoppers, stalls, tailors, mechanics, computer stores, clothes shops and restaurants. Powerful enough to rip the front off buildings hundreds of metres away, the explosion killed more than 500 people and injured many more. It was the worst such attack in Somali history and one of the most lethal single terrorist acts since 9/11.

The scars are still very raw; the consequences still to be fully understood. Idil Abdulle Yussuf, 32, lost her husband in the attack. A street vendor selling drinks just a few metres from where the bomb went off, his death is like “death to all the family”. “Our life is destroyed. There is no more to say. Hassan was everything to us. In the evening, when he returned home, he brought food, drinks and sweets for the children. We could pay the rent of the house. My kids went to school. Now there is nothing,” she says.

The family, evicted from their home, now live in a rudimentary camp for the destitute and displaced, on the outskirts of the city: “I do not know what to do. I do not know what the future of my children will be without their father. Those who killed my husband also killed us. They have sentenced us to death.”

Others, even if they survived the blast, lost their livelihoods. Mohamed Abshir Omey, a 35-year-old taxi driver, had his right leg amputated. “I was only discharged from the hospital two weeks ago and now I cannot drive. Even my name has changed because people call me Jeeri [Lame]”, he says. “I was planning to marry, so I used to keep some savings. All that money is gone now. My car was burnt. Nothing remains for me. October 14 is the day of the disaster which ruined my future.”

Then there are the psychological effects on a city that, though it has long suffered violence, had never seen anything like the carnage of October. “People are more scared, compared with previous attacks,” says Abdirahman Hassan Omar, a lawyer and social activist who now tries to limit the time he spends moving around the city. “You never know when or where a bombing will happen. It is better to stay to home unless you have a very important job to do outside.”


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.