04 December – Source: AMISOM – 725 Words
A high-level security conference on Somalia has agreed to an “urgent development of realistic, conditions-based transition plan”, to transfer the national security responsibility from the AU Mission in Somalia, to the Somali security forces. “This plan must be guided by the rule of law, respect for human rights and should include countering violent extremism, stabilization and governance,” the communique issued by the Federal Minister of Information Mr. Abdirahman Omar Osman, reads in part.
The conference held in the capital Mogadishu, also agreed to the development of a plan for the process of the transition by December 31, 2017, “with a view of completing a draft transition plan, before a Joint Review of AMISOM in 2018”. “This will need close cooperation and partnership between the FGS (Federal Government of Somalia) and FMS (Federal Member States), and between the Somali government and AMISOM, in order to ensure clear outcomes”.
Under the transition plan, a strategy will be put in place, to set out conditions for the transition. It will among other things provide for “affordable, accountable and acceptable forces”, capable of providing security across Somalia. “AMISOM will continue to support the transition, through priority tasks, set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2372”, the communique adds.
The tasks which will be undertaken through joint efforts between AMISOM and SNA, include securing of Main Supply Routes, securing of key population centres; as well as mentoring the Somali security forces in the military and Police. Participants agreed to an immediate implementation of the National Security Architecture, which is central to achieving sustainable security reform, and a transition of primary responsibility of security from AMISOM to the Somali security forces. The AU Special Representative for Somalia Ambassador Francisco Caetano emphasized unity of Somali leaders, as a key prerequisite for achieving lasting peace. He said security reforms in Somalia cannot be effectively implemented in the absence of unity.
“Extreme poverty, insurgence, intolerance, entrenched community grievances, ideological competition, violent extremism and terrorism are some of the important factors influencing the recurrent volatile political and security environment in the country. The unity of the Somali leadership is needed for these challenges to be tackled and addressed comprehensively, concurrently and with renewed determination,” he noted. Ambassador Madeira stressed urgent provision of resources from the international community to enable AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces successfully execute their respective mandates.
- Somalia Holds High-Level Security Conference To Deliberate On A Security Transition Plan (AMISOM)
- Somalia Appeals For Increased Security Sector Financing (Goobjoog News)
- Mogadishu Mayor Opens Service Center & Launches First Automated Payment (Radio Dalsan)
- Somalia’s House of Representatives Approve Ms. Mumino Sheikh Omar as Member of Independent Commission for Constitutional Review (SONNA)
- UAE Ambassador Somali Leader Discuss Various Cooperation Efforts (Emirates News Agency)
- Somaliland After The Elections: Old Traps New Challenges (The Conversation)
Somalia Appeals For Increased Security Sector Financing
04 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 356 Words
President Mohamed Farmaajo has appealed for increased international donor support to strengthen the capacity of the country’s security forces in preparation for the take-over from African Union forces and secure the gains made so far. President Farmaajo said, Somalia had made significant progress in implementing the Security Pact agreed during the London Conference in May but, noted the economic capacity of the country could not enable it effectively support the security reform process. “The current security requirement far exceeds our economic means, and we urgently request the international community to increase its diverse and generous support if we are to protect the gains we have made thus far,” the President said.
Noting that his government had put in efforts to bolster domestic revenue generation which could soon be sufficient to run the government, the president said financing the security sector presented a major challenge. “Financing the security sector presents a significant challenge for which we have to find sustainable solution with the commitment and support of our international partners. We must address the critical security gaps before transitioning security operations and responsibilities to a fully trained, equipped and supported Somali security forces.” President Farmaajo said.
Addressing the Security Conference which opened yesterday in Mogadishu as follow-up to the May London Conference, President Farmaajo noted his government had instituted a series of reforms in accordance with the provisions of the National Architecture endorsed during the May conference. In particular, the president cited restructuring of the Somali National Army to ensure a more effective and professionally run force. “We agreed the role of Commander of the Defence Forces (CDF) to reorganise and reintegrate Somalia National Army and appoint the best and the brightest sector commanders.”
On the war against extremist, the president said his government was determined to win the war against terrorism “We as a government are absolutely determined to win the war against Al-Shabaab and ISIS with the strong commitment and support of our valued international partners. I am confident that together we will disrupt, dismantle and defeat the terrorists. We will return full control of all Somali territories to the legitimate state and its people.
Mogadishu Mayor Opens Service Center & Launches First Automated Payment
04 December – Source: Radio Dalsan – 136 Words
The residents of Banadir region will now have quick access to public services from the regional authority with the opening of a service center. The Department of Social services was officially opened on Sunday by Banaadir Mayor of Mogadishu Mr. Thabit Mohamed.
The move targets better services to the physically challenged members of the society and curb corruption.“We opened HQ service center that will expand to all 17 districts” Mohamed said. “We automated our services no more cash handling of this office to serve persons with disabilities” he said adding that this will ensure zero corruption. ” We are committed to serving the public with better and legal services, while giving priority to people with special needs” Mayor Mohamed said. He urged on all regional states and private agencies to consider special needs for the disabled.
Somalia’s House of Representatives Approve Ms. Mumino Sheikh Omar as Member of Independent Commission for Constitutional Review
04 December – Source: Somali National News Agency (SONNA) – 184 Words
Somalia is preparing to hold one man one vote presidential election in 2020 for the first time since independence in 1960. Consultative meetings over review and completion of provisional draft constitution is under-way throughout the country, which is the backbone of holding general elections in the country. This work plan is led by the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs in co-operation with International Partners, Somali Civil Society and Federal Member States,in order to collect advice and ideas on the constitutional review process.
Alongside, there is an independent commission for constitutional review and implementation, which is supposed to participate to finalize the constitution and present it to the people of Somalia for approval. The House of Representatives have today on Monday approved Ex-Parliamentarian Ms. Mumina Sheikh Omar as member of independent commission for constitutional review and implementation. Ms. Mumina Sheikh Omar is send to the upper house for approval, after that she will be full member of the commission. The country has recently had a new upper house for the first time ever, and there is dynamic cooperation between two houses working as single parliament.
04 December – Source: Emirates News Agency – 113 Words
The UAE Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ghazi Al Mehri, met with the President of the South West State Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan and his accompanying delegation at his office in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The two sides discussed the brotherly relations between the countries and means of enhancing them to serve their common interests. They also reviewed existing areas of cooperation in various fields, especially the UAE’s ongoing charity and developmental projects in Somalia.
They also discussed Somalia’s efforts to combat terrorism, particularly tackling the youth terrorist movement in the country. The Somali official praised the UAE for helping the Somali people in their time of need and for their ongoing humanitarian efforts.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Cementing regional trade links and pursuing talks with Somalia will no doubt keep the new president busy. But these elections have revealed the desperate need to look inward, heal the nation and foster national cohesion.”
04 December – Source: The Conversation – 897 Words
The Republic of Somaliland is recognised as an autonomous region in Somalia’s northwestern region. Since it broke away from Somalia in 1991, it has held five successful elections. Such an electoral record, despite extensions and delays in almost every case, is enviable by regional standards. And as a result, Somaliland has garnered significant donor support. The November 13 polls followed the same script. Although they were twice delayed, only minor irregularities were reported by the international observer mission. These included vote buying and lack of secrecy during voting.
Unlike previous elections, however, the 2017 presidential contest marked the highest stakes yet, that revealed deep cracks in the country’s revered consensus politics. Election day itself proceeded peacefully. 78.85% of the 704,089 registered voters who had collected their cards participated in the election. And for the first time elections were held in parts of Sool and Togdheer. These are the insecure border regions that are disputed between Somaliland and Puntland (now a member state of the Federal Government of Somalia).
Yet, the process was marred by incendiary party rhetoric and violent protests before and after the elections. The protests were largely youth-led, with a number of casualties reported. Both parties seemed unable to contain their supporters, or instil popular confidence in the process. Voters were deeply divided along clan and party lines. The electoral commission’s four-day social media ban and delay in releasing provisional results (nearly a week after the polls) provided ample room for rumour mongering and confusion. By election night both the main opposition party – Waddani – and the ruling Kulmiye party were celebrating a win. False results circulated on Whatsapp the next day suggesting a win for Kulmiye. Waddani reacted quickly by challenging the impartiality of the process.
Seemingly emboldened by the Kenya example, the opposition party claimed that Kulmiye had circulated fake ballot papers. It threatened to suspend cooperation with the election commission. No formal complaint was filed at the Supreme Court but Waddani had succeeded in bringing opposition supporters to the streets in unprecedented numbers. The final announcement of results on November 21 confirmed that Kulmiye’s Muse Bihi Abdi had won by a margin of nearly 80,000 votes. Back in 2003, the incumbent Ahmed ‘Silanyo’ Mohamoud had conceded defeat to a much smaller margin of 83 votes. As such, it looked like Waddani’s hands were tied. Behind-the-scenes, former statesmen and other impartial stakeholders stepped in to calm the storm and convince Waddani to concede defeat quietly.
The concession speech came on November 22, a day after the announcement of results. Opposition candidate Abdirahman Cirro called for national unity, but Somaliland’s fragile political fabric had already been put through the wringer. Heightened election tensions were made worse by the political inexperience of the two presidential candidates who both employed deeply polarising rhetoric. This was an unprecedented and risky combination for the country’s conservative political system. The personal attacks between Kulmiye’s Muse Bihi Abdi and Waddani’s Abdirahman Cirro hinged both campaigns on their personalities, Somaliland’s civil war grievances, and clan divisions.