December 7, 2017 | Morning Headlines.

Main Story

Air Strike Reported Near Somalia’s Capital, Official Says Shabaab Targeted

06 December – Source: Reuters – 295 Words

An air strike hit a village south of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Wednesday and a local official said the attack targeted Islamist al Shabaab militants fighting to topple the country’s central government.  It was not immediately clear who had carried out the air strike but the United States frequently conducts such attacks to bolster Somalia’s army in its fight against al Shabaab.

A local government official told Reuters the strike occurred in Ilimey village, about 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Mogadishu.  The area is mostly controlled by al Shabaab.  The target, he said, was a car used by the militants to transport supplies to a squad preparing bombs.  “The strike hit the car … but we do not know details of casualties,” Ali Nur, deputy governor of Somalia’s lower Shabelle region told Reuters.

But Mohamed Abu Usama, al Shabaab’s governor for the same region, denied that al Shabaab personnel had been attacked and instead said the strike had killed civilians.  “The strike hit a makeshift tea shop and thus killed 7 civilians and injured three others,” he said.  Somalia has been trapped in chaos and lawlessness since 1991 when dictator Siad Barre was toppled.  Al Shabaab wants to topple the Western-backed central government and establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.

Key Headlines

  • Air Strike Reported Near Somalia’s Capital Official Says Shabaab Targeted (Reuters)
  • Car Bomb Kills Senior Security Official In Galkayo (Garowe Online)
  • Ministry Of Water Launches $11m Rural Water Access Project  (Goobjoog News)
  • PM Kheyre Hails Development Agreement With The U.S. (Allbanaadir.com)
  • Uganda begins Somalia troop withdrawal (BBC.com)
  • Crowd Farming Is Being Used To Bring Somalia’s Livestock Market Into The Digital Economy (Quartz)

NATIONAL  MEDIA

Car Bomb Kills Senior Security Official In Galkayo

06 December – Source: Garowe Online – 234 Words

An enormous car bomb exploded in a street in central Galkayo city, the regional capital of Mudug province during rush hourS on Wednesday, killing a member of Puntland Security forces. Witnesses and security sources confirmed to Garowe Online that Ali Ibrahim Ali [Ali Magafe], a senior State Police official dead after a bomb fitted into his vehicle went off near the city’s administrative headquarters.

The late Ali was the head of Police department in Galkayo market. He sustained serious wounds in the blast resulted from an explosive device concealed under his car’s seat, but, he was pronounced dead moments later on the spot. Puntland forces sealed off the scene near the explosion site, and launched an investigation into the incident, but no arrest was reported. Ali was on his way to the workplace at the time of the explosion.  There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the car bombing; however, government officials often blame Al Shabaab for such attacks in Galkayo, targeting security personnel and state officials.

Local authorities are yet to comment on Wednesday’s blast which occurred at a time of heightened tension between rival clan militiamen from Puntland and Galmudug in the conflict-riddled city. The incident is the latest in series of assassinations against government officials of Somalia’s northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland in Galkayo. A member of state Parliament member was killed in a similar car bomb in this year.


Ministry Of Water Launches $11m Rural Water Access Project

06 December – Source: Goobjoog News – 169 Words

The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources today launched an $11 million rural water development programme funded by the African Development Bank. Speaking during the launch of the three year project, Federal minister for Energy and Water Resources Salim Aliyow said the project will expand access to clean water to several rural areas in the country. “This program we are launching today is aimed at facilitating and improving the access of water by the communities living in rural areas under the sponsorship of the African Development Bank (ADB),” said Aliyow.

The Minister said the project is part of socio-economic support from the ADB adding his ministry prioritized the water programme. The project to be implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will involve the renovation of 20 boreholes and well and piping of water from areas which have access to rivers. It will utilize solar energy to purify water for consumption. The event was attended by several officials from the ministry and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).


PM Kheyre Hails Development Agreement With The U.S.

06 December – Source: Allbanaadir.com – 111 Words

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre praised the U.S. government’s support and development projects in Somalia following his administration’s signature of a landmark development agreement with USAID. PM Kheyre termed the agreement as a positive step forward in rebuilding and the recovery of Somalia, praising the U.S. government for its commitment and unwavering support for the Somali people.

“Today is another historic and meaningful day for our future and I extend my appreciation to Somalia’s partners who help the Somali people,” Prime Minister noted. He also noted that the government will ensure transparency in managing the developmental projects and ensuring that all regions across the country take advantage of them.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Uganda begins Somalia troop withdrawal

06 December – Source: BBC – 234 Words

Uganda’s military says it has begun the withdrawal of 281 troops serving in the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.  This is part of a UN plan that will see African Union (AU) soldiers’ numbers reduced by 1,000 by the end of this year. At the moment there are more than 20,000 soldiers serving in the AU mission (Amisom).

Uganda, which first sent troops to the country in 2007, is the biggest contributor with more than 6,000 soldiers in the force. Kenya, Burundi, Djibouti and Ethiopia are also expected to reduce their numbers by 31 December. Pulling out 1,000 soldiers will not be immediately significant but it shows the international backers of Amisom want to see a handover of security to Somali soldiers and police.

African countries have been praised for bringing increased stability to Somalia but there is frustration about corruption among their forces and the failure to secure an adequate victory. Efforts to develop Somalia’s national army are gaining ground.  The US has already increased its troop numbers in the country to more than 500 and stepped up airstrikes – boosting its co-operation with the Somali military.

But defeating the militant Islamist al-Shabab group will not be easy. A massive bomb attack blamed on the al-Qaeda-affiliated militants killed more than 500 people in the capital, Mogadishu, two months ago – the deadliest in its campaign against various UN-backed governments.

OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE

“So far, about 10% of Ari.Farm’s transactions are traded through bitcoin, and the company hopes to integrate Blockchain technology for a trading platform in the future. Part of that might come as Ari.Farm looks to close seed funding of up to 2 million Swedish Krona ($237,000) in the coming months.”

Crowd Farming Is Being Used To Bring Somalia’s Livestock Market Into The Digital Economy

06 December – Source: Quartz – 510 Words

Somalia is a global leader in the export of goats and sheep, and livestock trade generates about 40% of the country’s gross domestic product. Yet almost every other year, recurring droughts and water scarcity take a toll on local pastoralists’ ability to keep their animals live and healthy. In 2017 alone, livestock loss has ranged from 20%-40% in the southern regions and 40%-60% in the north, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. This threatens the livelihood of the animal farmers and hinders their ability to regularly trade in markets.

But a Sweden-based startup wants to change this by creating a tech-powered livestock market that is open all year round. The goal of Ari.Farm (“Ari” means “goat” in Somali) is to get investors to purchase livestock from locals, injecting much-needed cash into the market and potentially making a profit.

Once a purchase is made, an investor is able to name his animals, follow their progress online, and even gift or donate them. Ari.Farm takes care of the animals in two farms, one located outside Galkayo town in south-central Somalia and the other outside the capital Mogadishu. As the number of animals one owns grow from breeding, they can decide to sell them at the local market price. That amount could then be used to re-invest in more livestock or be withdrawn by the financier.

Ari.Farm founder Mohamed Jimale says since beginning operations in 2016, people from 26 countries across the world have bought almost 1,000 goats, sheep, and camels through Ari.Farm. “The Somali livestock owners are not poor, they have wealth,” Jimale told Quartz. But if they are to survive “they need to find a market for their livestock.”

Across Africa, Ari.Farm is hardly the only start-up committed to crowd farming as an avenue for investment, tackling unemployment, increasing social impact, and unlocking multi-million-dollar markets. Livestock Wealth in South Africa, Mifugo Trade in Kenya, and Ani Track in Ghana are but some of the applications bringing livestock trade into the digital economy. In Nigeria, agro-tech start-ups like Farm Crowdy and Thrive Agric have also enabled middle-class Nigerians to fund existing farms for between $200 and $750 for a harvest cycle.

Ari.Farm has now gone a step further and introduced cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Jimale says this was necessitated because customers and financial institutions kept asking about the risks of investing in Somalia. For decades, Somalia has had a freewheeling economy with the majority of the currency in circulation considered fake. But as the price gain for Bitcoin surges past $11,000 and also gains ground in the developing world, Jimale says it allows them to attract more customers and sidestep some of the conventional central banking requirements.

 

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.