24 August – Source: Anadolu Agency – 138 Words
Somali President H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo Friday attended the passing out ceremony of the first batch of national army troops who received training from Turkey’s military academy in the capital Mogadishu. Farmajo thanked the Turkish government for its support in enhancing and rebuilding the Somali National Army. “We have a lot of gratitude for your appreciated support to us, and our foreign policy is based on cooperation which is open to everyone,” the president said.
He called on the cadets to use what they have learned during their training in the country’s fight against terrorism, namely against the al-Shabaab terror group. Al-Shabaab has publicly boasted of its alliance with al-Qaeda and has been fighting Somalia’s internationally recognized government for control of the country since the militant group was ousted from Mogadishu in 2011 by African Union-led forces.
- Somali Cadets Graduate From Turkish Military Academy (Anadolu Agency)
- Senator Faroole Accuses The Lower House Council And Federal Constitutional Ministry Over Law Review (Goobjoog News)
- Fresh Clan Battle Erupts In Somalia’s Hiiraan Region (Sahan News)
- Slow Repatriation Drags Back Dadaab Shutdown Plans (Daily Nation)
- Somali Refugees Face Ration Cuts In Ethiopia Camps (The Gulf Today )
- How Al-Qaeda Chief Osama Bin Laden Sowed Seed Of Somalia’s Woes (Daily Nation)
Senator Faroole Accuses The Lower House Council And Federal Constitutional Ministry Over Law Review
24 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 337 Words
Federal constitutional ministry and the council of the Lower House have been accused of meddling in the implementation of constitutional review in Somalia by Senator Abdirahman Mohamud Faroole who is a member of the Upper House. Speaking to the media today in Garowe, Senator Faroole pointed out challenges to the constitutional review is led out by some authorities in the government. “This existing challenge for the federal system is a fight instigated by some members in the government. For example, the council of the lower house who appointed an incompetent federal constitutional minister who earlier manipulated the national meeting on the draft constitution in August 1, 2012 that was ratified in Mogadishu” said Senator Faroole.
He also mentioned the positive contribution Puntland brought to the realization of federalism in Somalia. “Many things have been tried to establish a government since the 1990s. Puntland has taken a big role up to where the current central government is passing in terms of erecting, hosting and completing its final stages by making finalizing the member states, a federal president elected, the two houses established, then another a challenge is emerging” added Senator Faroole.
According to Senator Farole, he distanced the minister for constitutional affairs Abdirahman Hosh Jibril of having to do with the ongoing constitutional process as stipulated in the Articles 133 and 134 which he stressed to be pointing out the termination of the involvement of the federal government following the formation and management of the federal member states and upper house and further added to keep their hands off the matter. In early October PM Hassan Ali Kheire held talks with the parliamentary constitutional Oversight Committee following the fall out over the cancelled Constitutional Convention which the latter agreed to deal with the disputes they had with the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and develop a common framework on the review process.
Fresh Clan Battle Erupts In Somalia’s Hiiraan Region
24 December – Source: Sahan News – 136 Words
At least four people have been wounded in clashes between two armed militia in Somalia’s Hiiraan region, residents and officials said. Hiiraan’s deputy security commissioner Dualle Aadan Abdi has said that clashes broke out near Matabaan district after both sides exchanged fire over land dispute. He said that clashes have escalated to Ethiopia’s border along Somalia as both clans received military enforcements which had extended the loses.
“We are calling the Federal Gov’t to intervene on the matter and call for dialogue between the two sides yo end the matter peacefully” Abdi has said. He said women and children could be affected if the fighting spreads into new stable regions in Somalia Galgaduud and Hiiraan regions. Since the collapse of former Gov’t , clan disputes have left over dozens as the result of the country’s ongoing chaos.
23 December – Source: Daily Nation – 589 Words
More than 34,000 Somali refugees have voluntarily returned to their country this year, bringing the total number of those who have gone back since 2014 to nearly 75,000.The figure is way below Kenya’s 2014 targets to repatriate and shut Dadaab – the world’s largest refugee camp – which currently hosts a total of 238,617 refugees, a majority of them Somalis. In all, Kenya currently hosts about 285,705 Somali refugees with a few of them in Kakuma in Turkana, and the others in the capital Nairobi. There were a total of 34,983 repatriations of Somali refugees in 2017 as at last week.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the process was “completely voluntary” but warned that it might take longer to conclude. “We are satisfied with the process, that it is voluntary. Those that leave make the decision to leave, nobody is imposing on them to leave,” Mr Filippo Grandi, the UNHCR head, told journalists at a press conference in Nairobi on Thursday. The Kenyan government had in 2014 announced its intention to close the 26-year-old refugee camp due to alleged security threats. In all, Kenya hosts a total of 489,071 refugees as at November 30, 2017.
Of the 74,873 that have returned to Somalia since 2014; 48,624 landed in Kismayu, 13,281 in the capital Mogadishu, with the others in Baidoa, Luuq, Afmadow and Afgoye provinces. Currently, the UN agency said, the repatriation had slowed down due to the weather. “We are only taking them back now using air because of the weather, and when it gets back to normal, we will re-introduce convoys,” Mr Grandi said. Earlier, Mr Grandi had held a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta at his Harambee House office where the Head of State said the interests of local communities in areas hosting refugee camps should not be overlooked as the global refugee body caters for the needs of the refugees.“As we carry out the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees, we must not ignore the interests of the local communities,” President Kenyatta said in the meeting.
Mr Grandi was accompanied in the Harambee House meeting by Mr Ahmed Hussen, the Canadian immigration, refugees and citizenship minister. Mr Hussen also said Canada will announce an additional Sh618 million ($ 6 million) grant to help people affected by drought to normalise life, particularly in areas hosting refugees. This will add to the $4 million that Canada contributes to the World Food Programme to help 500,000 refugees in Kenya, as well as three million Kenyans.Canada is also donating $5 million to help the UNHCR in Kenya.
24 December – Source: The Gulf Today – 389 Words
Some walked for days to escape the threat of Africa’s deadliest extremist group and the desperation of drought. But the problems for more than 200,000 Somali refugees are far from over. Now huddled in five sprawling camps in Ethiopia, the refugees face ration cuts in the coming months unless more international support arrives.
Their plight is often overlooked in a region where hunger and conflict in Somalia and South Sudan put millions at risk. “The projection we have is that our already reduced aid handout for these Somali refugees is sustainable only up to March 2018,” Edward Moyo with the World Food Program told The Associated Press during a visit to one of the camps. “How are we going to explain to a pregnant mother who has a number of other children that we are going to cut her ration beyond what she’s already going through?”
In nutrition centres across the camp that is home to nearly 40,000 refugees, health workers say they are seeing a growing number of Somali children with malnutrition. And yet the number of new arrivals from Somalia continues to grow, at a rate of as high as 1,000 a day.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Within 10 years, the Islamic Courts Union exerted control over much of southern Somalia. The US awoke to the ‘dangers’ the courts could present and gave its tacit approval to Ethiopia to invade. And Al-Shabaab, as the court’s offshoot, emerged.”
23 December – Source: Daily Nation – 1145 Words
On the second day of my visit to Mogadishu within a couple of days of the truck bombing, I visited the site of the explosion in the company of Prof Abdullahi Shirwa, the chairman of the National Emergency Operation Centre. At some point, a man explaining things to me glanced nervously around, and bent down to pick up “something”. He said to me, “Here,” and offered me whatever it was that he had picked up from under a piece of wood.
I did not like his bothered look and I asked: “What is it?” He replied: “These are pieces of human flesh.” Shocked, I averted my eyes, unready to accept the man’s extended hand and was relieved when Prof Shirwa assured me that these were fragments of charred metal thrown out by the massive explosion. Of the numerous assaults and the bomb attacks that will haunt every Somali’s mind, none has been dastardlier than the one on October 14. A heinous act of incomparable devastation, nearly 400 lost their lives and an equal number of people suffered serious injuries, many needing major surgeries, with many others either unaccounted for or missing.
Al-Shabaab served notice on everyone that the terrorist organisation is still capable of striking panic into the nation’s heart, despite its territorial loss.
As we mourned the dead, we sought answers to the question we have been asking for the past decade. Now we ask now if this would be the watershed event that would drive African Union Mission in Somalia and the national army towards the decisive final push to rid the country of Al-Shabaab once and for all. Neither did Al-Shabaab, masters in dark arts of stonewalling, claim responsibility for the attack, fearing a popular backlash. It is worth remembering that the terrorists did not own up to the December 4, 2009, Hotel Shamo blast in which a male suicide bomber disguised as a hijab-wearing woman detonated a device, killing three government ministers, two professors of medicine and nine students at a medical school graduation ceremony.
Even so, nearly everyone suspected them of being the perpetrators of the atrocity. A Somali proverb has it that lies have short legs and that sooner or later the truth will catch up with them.And so it is something of a relief when the truth has caught up with Al-Shabaab’s taciturnity. The Somali Internal Security minister released the names of the six men behind the truck bombing a month after the deadly incident and two weeks following the Hotel Naasa Hablood assault, in which 17 people died and 23 were wounded and which Al-Shabaab claimed to have carried out.
The minister, Mohamed Abukar Islow, identified Osman Hajji, aka Maadey, as the suicide bomber and driver of the truck. He also named five other individuals, who are now in custody, accused of having a hand in the bombing: Hassan Adan Isack, the driver of the second car; Ali Yussuf Wacays, aka Duaale, thought to be the second suicide bomber; Abdiweli Ahmed Dirie, aka Fanax, the group’s head of explosive experts in Mogadishu; Mukhtar Mohamed, also known as Gardhuub, a senior leader of the team; and Abdullahi Abdi Warsame.