26 December – Source: The East Africa – 261 Words
Rebels loyal to Yemeni Huthis have threatened to attack the self-declared Republic of Somaliland for supporting their enemies. The rebels, in a social media video message read by hooded fighters, say they were aware of Somaliland intending to provide a military base to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “If Somaliland goes ahead with its plan to allow the UAE to use Berbera port as a military base to carry out bombardments on Huthi rebels, it will be a wrong decision,” said the rebels. “If Somaliland does not heed the warning then we will fire ballistic missiles to Somaliland,” they said further.
The breakaway Somaliland has also offered UAE the administration of the Berbera port, the main harbour facing the Gulf of Aden. The rebel group fighting the internationally recognised government of Yemen has been facing stiff opposition from a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which includes UAE. Somaliland government announced in April its readiness to provide a military base to the Emirates at Berbera, just about 200km south of Yemen across the Gulf of Aden.
The Huthi rebels have twice targeted Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles, allegedly supplied by Iran. The social media video threat appears to have frightened the residents of Berbera, posing a serious challenge to the government of Somaliland, whose main source of revenue is the port. Somaliland declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, following the collapse of the central government of Somalia led by the late dictator General Mohamed Siad Barre. It has since struggled for international recognition with little success.
- Yemeni Huthis Threaten To Hit Somaliland (The East African)
- Banadir Court Of Appeal Order Reopening Of Politician Abdishakur’s Treason Case (Radio Dalsan)
- Four Political Parties Warn Government Not To Use Security Forces And Judicial Agency Against Opposition Politicians (Radio Dalsan)
- Turkish Aid Agency Supports Drought-hit Somalis (Anadolu Agency )
- 17000 Refugees In Dadaab Willing To Go Back To Somalia – UNHCR (Daily Nation)
- Somalia Aim To Play At Home After 30 Years (BBC)
- Peace Memorial Garden For The Victims Of The Terror Attack At The Zope Street Junction (Hiiraan Online)
Banadir Court Of Appeal Order Reopening Of Politician Abdishakur’s Treason Case
26 December – Source: Radio Dalsan – 119 Words
The Banadir Court of Appeal has ordered the reopening of a treason case against opposition politician Abdirahman Abdishakur after the Public Prosecutor’s office has taken an appeal against a previous ruling by Banadir law court that has closed the case and set the politician free on 21st of this month, saying that the government could not provide enough evidence to support its claim.
The court of appeal has issued a written letter calling Abdishakur to attend a hearing of his case which is scheduled on Wednesday 27th of December 2017. Abdishakur’s lawyers Mr Ahmed Tahlil Haji, Mr Abdikarim Mohamed Ahmed and Mrs Amino Haji Ahmed were also notified to attend the court session tomorrow on behalf of their client.
Four Political Parties Warn Government Not To Use Security Forces And Judicial Agency Against Opposition Politicians
26 December – Source: Radio Dalsan – 199 Words
Four Political parties met in Mogadishu to discuss the country’s current politics. Madasha Horu-socod, Daljir, Wadajir and Kulan parties held a press briefing to condemn last week’s raid on politician Abdirahman Abdishakur’s home in Mogadishu and his subsequent arrest. The chairman of Wadajir party Mr Kamal Gutale read the parties proposed decision for the media saying that the leaders of the government especially the President and the Prime Minister should not use the security forces and the judicial agency against opposition politicians who hold different opinions from those of the government leaders as doing so will kill people’s hope in government agencies.
“We warn the President and the Prime Minister against using the armed forces to punish and terrorize politicians who differ with them in opinion as that is not different from Al-shabaab’s principles. We also warn them against the use of the judicial agency, public prosecutor’s office and religious scholars in political issues to revenge opposing ideas,” said Mr Gutale. MP Abdullahi Mohamed Nur also said that it’s unfortunate that Villa Somalia punishes and arrests those who differ with them in opinion and added that politicians and the people of Somalia will not tolerate the bad political move.
26 December – Source: Anadolu Agency – 121 Words
Turkey’s IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation has fed around 9,000 people who fled to Somalia’s capital Mogadishu to escape drought, the aid agency said on Tuesday. Water wells dug by the foundation were providing drinking water to 20,000 people a day, it added in a statement. People have been fleeing to the city since the start of the year from drought-hit rural areas.
Somalia is one of four countries facing famine due to severe drought, according to the UN. In August, malnutrition reached emergency levels in southern and central Somalia, including 388,000 acutely malnourished children. “The drought disaster that began affecting in the beginning of 2017 turned into a refugee crisis in December,” IHH’s east Africa coordinator Ismail Songur said.
26 December – Source: Daily Nation – 316 Words
About 17,000 more refugees have said they are willing to voluntarily go back to Somalia. Kenya, Somalia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) signed a tripartite agreement on November 10, 2013 for the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees living in Kenya. Speaking at his Dadaab sub-office, UNHCR’s senior protection coordinator Denis Alma Kuindje said more than 75,000 refugees have been gone back to Somalia under the programme.
Mr Kuindje said UNHCR is only assisting refugees who are willing to go back home and not promoting the repatriation.”Since the process started, the number of refugees in the camps has been going down due to spontaneous return of refugees to Somalia. It’s important to note that UNHCR is only facilitating safe return to areas considered safe,” he said. Mr Kuindje said return to Baidoa has been suspended due to severe drought and cholera. Refugees are returning to their hometowns of Mogadishu, Dinsor and Kismayo.
The official acknowledged that some refugees have returned to the refugee camps after being facilitated to go back to Somalia. He said they are not taking the matter lightly and would like to find out why they came back. “We collect information from those who come back to the camps and even the new arrivals; there are areas that still have security concerns and lack of social amenities,” he said.
26 December – Source: BBC – 272 Words
The president of Somali Football Federation (SFF), Abdqiani Said Arab, has said that Somalia is planning to once again play international matches on home soil in 2018. Due to the insecurity in the country, according to the SFF the country has not hosted any kind of international match since 1988, while the under-23 side hosted Mauritius in an Olympic qualifiers two years later.
Their last competitive match at home for the senior team was in 1986 against Uganda in the second leg of a 1988 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. That tie ended goalless in Mogadishu after Uganda had won the first leg 5-0. “The situation in the country is changing and we are moving from the long-standing lawlessness to peace and stability,” Arab said. “Due to the betterment of the security situation in Somalia we have decided to stage our home games at home.
“Somali people have the right to watch their national team play at home and we have to make that happen now that the country is going ahead. “2018 will be a year of a big change for Somalia as we plan to invite national teams from some east African countries for friendly matches.” Arab is already looking beyond hosting friendly matches. “The staging of friendly matches at home will pave the way for the organization of Cecafa tournaments in Somalia. This will re-write an age-old history,” the president said
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“One positive outcome of the tragedy is that the terror group Al-Shabaab is falling apart. Hundreds of misguided young people are leaving the group having realised that Al Shabaab is a murderous cult with distorted ideology and has no place in modern Somalia. Indeed, among other factors, the Zope massacre will be remembered as a prelude to the inevitable collapse of the nihilist cult because its barbaric action has united the Somali people against this criminal group.”
25 December – Source: Hiiraan Online – 635 Words
There are occasions when words cannot express emotional feelings. The car bomb attack at the Zope street junction in Mogadishu on 14 October 2017, which killed over 500 innocent people and wounded many hundreds is definitely one of them. After two months, emotions are still running high inside and outside Somalia. Some people are left frightened, confused, sad and helpless; others are very upset and angry. Mogadishu residents are still asking why this happened to their city just when it has started to recover from years of warfare and destruction.
Anyone who had been following the news as the attack unfolded would have seen eyewitness description of the ugliness of the massacre. Mutilated bodies were dumped on the ground by the power of the blast, their heads, guts, legs and arms scattered all over the place. Some bodies were burned beyond recognition. Some eyewitnesses could not tell whether some bodies were male or female. One witness described a body he had seen just like a burnt stick.
However, besides human cruelty, human bravery, compassion and empathy for the victims were abundant. Rescue workers bravely risked their lives to rescue the injured and transport them to hospitals given acute shortage of medical facilities and rescue equipment in Mogadishu. Government officials and ordinary people donated blood due to shortage of blood in hospitals. Government officials did what they could to coordinate the rescue efforts.
A classic example was to see Thabit, the young mayor of Mogadishu, struggling to hold back his tears as he was giving a press conference. He was obviously shaken by the carnage he had seen. I felt sorry for this young man who was brought in from North America to lead Mogadishu residents only to find himself in such terrible tragedy where hundreds of his fellow residents had been murdered or maimed by a mindless criminal. However, it was also heart-warming to watch the bravery and defiance of the young and their spontaneous demonstrations against the terror attack.
The young, wearing red bands as a sign of anger, made a protective circle around the mayor, lifted him up and made him to lead the demonstration, marching through Mogadishu streets. It was a rare moment of solidarity between the mayor and his people. I salute the youth, the mayor, government officials and ordinary people for their bravery and kindness amidst the carnage. Understandably, families of the victims cannot comprehend why their loved ones had to meet violent death at the hands of a murderous terrorist cell.
Whole families, including children and their parents, had been wiped out in this awful massacre for no reason other than minding their business at the Zope junction. My condolence goes out to the families of the victims, as I pray for the injured speedy recovery. Mogadishu residents had been through many challenges before and proved to be resilient and brave. I am sure they will survive and come out of this tragedy stronger and united.