December 6, 2017 | Daily Monitoring Report

Main Story

Somalia Discusses Security Transition Plan

05 December – Source: New Vision – 728 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,” a communique issued by the Federal Minister of Information, Abdirahman Omar Osman said 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”.

Information availed stated that 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. 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.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia Discusses Security Transition Plan (New Vision)
  • President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo Heads To Egypt For Summit (Garowe Online)
  • President Farmaajo: We Are Committed To Guarding Federalism (Goobjoog News)
  • Mayor Thabit Calls For Establishment Of Banaadir Special Force (Radio Dalsan)
  • Somalia’s Puntland Region Declares State Of Emergency Over Drought (Reuters)
  • Somalia Partnership Forum Stresses Job Creation And Poverty Reduction To Promote Stability (UN.org)
  • Could Somaliland Eradicate FGM? (ITV.com)

NATIONAL MEDIA

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo Heads To Egypt For Summit

06 December – Source: Garowe Online – 235 Words

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is expected to travel to Egypt this week for African Business Summit. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will host five African Heads of State and various high-level dignitaries for the Africa 2017 Forum that will take place in the beach resort city of Sharm El Sheikh.

President Farmajo is among the African presidents invited to the meeting, including Cote d’Ivoire’s Alassane Ouattara, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Guinea’s Alpha Conde, and Comoros’ Azali Assoumani. Also Nigerian vice president Yemi Osinbajo, Mozambican Premier Carlos Agostinho do Rosário, Ethiopian deputy PM Demeke Mekonnen Hassen and other officials 
are expected to participate in the upcoming conference.  This business and investment Forum, whose theme is “Driving investment for inclusive growth’, has been convened to increase intra-African investments and cross-border collaboration.

This is the second trip by Somali President to Egypt since August and he is expected to meet with Al-Sisi on the sidelines of the conference on business and Investment. The two leaders will discuss on a range of issues, including the bilateral relations between Somalia and Egypt and strengthening the cooperation, sources said. In the past few months, Al-Sisi has been making efforts to fix the frosty relations between Somalia on one side, and Saudi Arabia, the UAE after Villa Somalia took a neutral decision on the Gulf Crises. Egypt is one of the Saudi-led Arab countries which cut ties with Qatar on 5th June.


President Farmaajo: We Are Committed To Guarding Federalism

06 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 226 Words

President Mohamed Farmaajo has reiterated his government’s commitment to protecting and promoting federalism noting that the Federal Member States were instrumental in ensuring representative governance. Addressing the Somalia Partnership Forum in Mogadishu Tuesday, the President said the Federal Government is keen on promoting a mutual relationship with the member states distancing his administration from earlier accusations by regional presidents of his intent to frustrate federalism.

“We will seek to enhance the effective communication and coordination between federal states and the federal government,” the President said. “For the sake of clarity, let me reiterate that we are committed to federalism.” President Farmaajo noted the Federal Government remained pivotal in addressing issues both at national and federal level citing the talks between Galmudug and Alhusuna waal Jamaa. “A case in point is the role played by the federal government as an honest peace broker between Ahlusuna waal Jamaa and Galmudug.”

Federal Member States under the newly formed Council of Intergovernmental Cooperation have in  the past few months accused the Federal Government of derailing federalism citing what they termed as interference during the political crisis in Galmudug in August. But the President said on tuesday that he was also committed to upholding the rights of the Federal Government. “However we are equally committed to upholding the rights and jurisdictions of the Federal Government as stipulated by the Provisional Constitution.”


Mayor Thabit Calls For Establishment Of Banaadir Special Force

05 December – Source: Radio Dalsan – 138 Words

The Governor of Banadir who is also Mayor of Mogadishu, Mr. Thabit Mohamed has called for the establishment of a security force dedicated specifically to secure the region. Speaking at the National Security forum in the capital Mogadishu, Mr. Mohamed pointed out that Banaadir had suffered most from recent terror attacks including the recent killing of 512 people in the Zoobe bombing.

The call to establish a security force for the Banadir may be seen as the latest move in the efforts towards recognition of a fully operational regional state. Mayor Thabit Mohamed said, there was need for his administration to be part of concerted effort to coordinate a command force for a safer region. We want to improve the security of Mogadishu and Banadir region and by extension Somalia” he said at the end of the meeting.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Somalia’s Puntland Region Declares State Of Emergency Over Drought

05 December – Source: Reuters – 215 Words

Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland declared a state of emergency on Tuesday and appealed for food and water because of shortages triggered by a severe drought  Drought has gripped large parts of the Horn of Africa country this year and the United Nations says children face acute malnutrition.

The crisis is compounded by al Shabaab’s Islamist insurgency that seeks to topple the central government that is backed by African Union peacekeepers and the West.  Al Shabaab militants carry out bombings in the capital Mogadishu and other regions. Militants killed more than 500 people in the capital in an attack last month.

Puntland’s government said 34,000 households across the region are affected by the drought due to the failure of successive rainy seasons.  Puntland “launched a wide-ranging humanitarian appeal to secure food, water and other resources for the affected region,” a government statement said. It said 70 percent of the area faced extreme drought and was unlikely to receive rain for five months.

Militant attacks in Puntland are rare compared to the rest of Somalia mainly because its security forces are relatively regularly paid and receive substantial U.S. assistance.  But this year there has been an upsurge in violence as al Shabaab and a splinter group linked to Islamic State have attacked government troops.


Somalia Partnership Forum Stresses Job Creation And Poverty Reduction To Promote Stability

05 December – Source: UN.org – 561 Words

A gathering of senior representatives of the Somali Government, the United Nations and the international community concluded in Mogadishu today with a call for greater investment in the country’s economic development to create more job opportunities, rehabilitate essential infrastructure, and improve the living conditions of the Somali people.

For the second consecutive day, the Federal and state-level leaders of the country met with senior representatives of the international community in the so-called Somalia Partnership Forum to assess the various challenges facing Somalia, with today’s high-level conference focusing on humanitarian and development issues.

Participants commended the Government of Federal President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” for its leadership in the country’s drought response effort that averted a devastating famine in 2017. But several speakers also warned that the threat of a major humanitarian disaster still loomed over millions of Somalis, and continued support from international partners would be needed for the foreseeable future.

OPINION, ANALYSIS & CULTURE

“When I asked why she continued to perform FGM despite the experience of her daughter, she said she would stop if she could find an alternative way to make a living. One of the clearest signs of this sea change in attitudes in Somaliland is the fact that many religious leaders are now themselves beginning to preach against FGM.”

Could Somaliland Eradicate FGM?

05 December – Source: ITV – 584 Words

Somaliland is a country which doesn’t officially exist. It broke away from the rest of Somalia after a bitter civil war in 1991, a conflict which plunged the rest of Somalia into violent conflict and instability and a war with the extremist al-Shabaab terrorist organisation. Although it has not been officially recognised as independent in those 26 years, Somaliland, a former British protectorate, has de facto diplomatic links and support from regional and international powers. What is more, it has remained peaceful and without any violent conflicts. It’s also held four multiparty Presidential elections all resulting in a peaceful transfer of power.   Yet despite these political achievements, Somaliland faces huge and debilitating problems and obstacles.

One of the most severe is that of Female Genital Mutilation, FGM. It’s a dangerous and painful procedure and the UN says 98% of women in Somaliland have undergone it. Many have had what is known as type three FGM the most extreme where a young girl’s labia is cut, and her vagina sealed, leaving only a small opening for menstruation and urination. Even though Somaliland is a country that very people have heard of, many activists believe it is on the verge of becoming the first country in Africa to commit to ending the practice of FGM.

Just before the recent Presidential election of November 13th, the candidates from the each of the three rival parties pledged that if they won, they would commit their administrations to ending FGM in the country. Getting that political commitment was due to the drive and passion of Nimco Ali, a British campaigner against FGM who was born in Somaliland. She worked with British politicians from all sides to get the law on FGM changed in the UK and she has returned to Somaliland to try to do the same there.

She is convinced that there has been a profound change within Somaliland’s society that has created a movement to try to stop a practice which has seen so many women’s health and lives destroyed. Other campaigners have worked to the same end for decades, especially Edna Adan, a health pioneer in Somaliland and a former foreign minister. She built a maternity hospital which bears her name in 1982. Since that time she has helped 22,000 women and she told me that 97% had been “cut” – a word used to describe FGM which graphically captures what actually happens to a woman’s vagina.

Imet Asha, is a “cutter”, a woman who performs FGM. She was taught it by her mother, and she told me that her own daughter had undergone the procedure and suffered painful consequences as a result. When I asked why she continued to perform FGM despite the experience of her daughter, she said she would stop if she could find an alternative way to make a living. One of the clearest signs of this sea change in attitudes in Somaliland is the fact that many religious leaders are now themselves beginning to preach against FGM.

In August, 180 Islamic clerics attended a UNICEF conference in the capital Hargeisa, where they were taught in great detail what happens to a woman’s genitalia as a result of FGM. They also heard from senior Muslim clerics from Al Azhar University in Cairo, a renowned seat of Islamic learning, that there was absolutely no religious obligation to perform FGM. Completely eradicating FGM will not happen overnight in Somaliland. But if this political commitment is followed through, it will make history.

TOP TWEETS

@Goobjoognews: PRESIDENT FARMAAJO: We are committed to guarding federalism –

@AbdifatahOsmn: Somalia at risk of humanitarian crisis or disaster globally in 2018 due to possible poor harvest; according inform: http://inform-index.org/Portals/0/Info 

@UNSomalia#Somalia Partnership Forum commits to predictable and sustainable support for country. Read more here —> http://bit.ly/2jZwXN5

@MoradNews: A #Puntland police officer identified as Ali Magaffe, killed in #Galkacyo town after bomb planted inside his car exploded. #AlShabaab claimed responsibility. #Somalia

@HarunMaruf:Kenya security forces say they can’t guarantee safety of people travelling between Mandera and Wajir due to possible Al-Shabab attacks, resulting hundreds of travellers to be stranded in Mandera http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/mandera/Hundreds-stranded-in-Mandera-County/1183298-4214992-view-asAMP-78pw5f/index.html …

@HarunMaruf: Somalia’s Puntland Region Declares State of Emergency Over Drought https://www.voanews.com/amp/somalia-puntland-state-emergency-drought/4150542.html …

@engyarisow:  Watch today’s historic agreement between#Somalia & US Govt in order to implement projects worth $300M via #USAID

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

Image of the dayPresident, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo poses for a group photo with senior diplomats during the Somalia Partnership Forum held in Mogadishu, on December 5, 2017.

PHOTO: UN

 

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