11 February – Source: The East African – 224 Words
Switzerland is ready to host talks between the Federal Government of Somalia and the breakaway Somaliland. Somaliland Foreign minister Sa’aad Ali Shire told the media in Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway state on Saturday, that the talks would be held soon, without giving specific dates. “The talks between the two sides will restart in Switzerland soon,” he said.
However, Dr Shire stated that a preliminary meeting between presidents Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of Somalia and Muse Bihi Abdi of Somaliland, would be held in neighbouring Djibouti. “The two sides will set the agenda of the talks in Switzerland during the preliminary discussions in Djibouti,” said Dr Shire. A London conference on Somalia in May 2013 welcomed the dialogue between the Federal Government and Somaliland in Ankara, Turkey in the preceding month, to clarify their future relationship. Conference participants encouraged further talks between the two sides.
While Mogadishu insists on the unity of Somalia as paramount, the leaders of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland want to secure secession it declared in May 1991. Somaliland is the authority that governs the territory formerly known as British Somaliland Protectorate, which joined with the former Italian-ruled Somalia, to form the Republic of Somalia on July 1, 1960. Although Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia, the region remains unrecognised by the international community.
- Switzerland To Host Somali Unity Talks (The East African)
- Somalia’s Political Leaders Reach Deal On Natural Resources Sharing (Shabelle News)
- Banadir Business Community Raises Their Concerns Over Huge City Port Tax (Goobjoog News)
- Bosaso Merchant Listed In U.S. Sanctions For Supporting ISIS (Hiiraan Online)
- Somali Forces Foil Al-Shabaab Attack Near Capital (Xinhuanet)
- Can Somalia’s Fishing Industry Keep Pirates Out Of Business? (PBS News Hour)
- IGAD Launches National Consultations On Free Movement Of Persons In Mogadishu (AMISOM)
Somalia’s Political Leaders Reach Deal On Natural Resources Sharing
11 February – Source: Shabelle News – 104 Words
The leaders of the Federal member states and the central government have concluded their 4-day conference in Mogadishu on Sunday and finally released a joint communique. According to the statement obtained by Radio Shabelle, the leaders inked an agreement on sharing of the revenue from the foreign fishing companies in Somalia’s territorial waters.
The new pact allows the country’s regional administrations to govern fishing licenses within 24 nautical miles while the Fed government manages beyond that. On the other hand, the leaders discussed on the national security, the upcoming one person, one vote elections in 2020 and the integration and training of the troops.
Banadir Business Community Raises Their Concerns Over Huge City Port Tax
11 February – Source: Goobjoog News – 237 Words
Somali business community in Banadir region voiced their concerns over what they perceive to be huge import tax imposed upon them in Mogadishu Port facility by the federal Finance Ministry. The business body produced a 5 article statement on the negative effects the enormous tax is having on their business operations. Initially they stated the enormous duty led to experiencing loss in their sales on goods imported through the port.
“The port of Mogadishu has expensive taxation system than other ports in Somalia which results the Mogadishu business people to undergo losses, since they cannot compete with goods from other ports with less tax” read the statement. They also forwarded a reminder to the top leaders of the country, and the Banadir business community are “the most taxpayers in the country and hence their responsibility to take part in the reconstruction of the country especially the infrastructure and giving humanitarian assistance to the less fortunate people affected by the drought.”
They requested the federal Finance Ministry to make a review on the extreme taxation imposed upon Banadir traders The business community appealed to the federal Finance Ministry “to apply uniform taxation on the entire Somali business people and refrain from exerting specific intense duty pressure on them.” In their conclusion remarks, the statement expressed their request directed at the Somali Executive to come into their rescue by interfering in the matter that is burdening the Banadir merchants.
Bosaso Merchant Listed In U.S. Sanctions For Supporting ISIS
10 February – Source: Hiiraan Online – 224 Words
In a bid to cut off the flow of funds to ISIS, the United States has announced fresh sanctions against three individuals and three companies, including a Somali national, for allegedly providing material support to the militant group. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in a statement, said that it has imposed sanctions on Mohamed Mire Ali Yusuf and his companies Liibaan Trading and Al Mutafaq Commercial Company for his part in the global financial network. Yusuf and his companies have been listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
“Mohamed Mire Ali Yusuf (Mire Ali) was designated for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, ISIS,” the statement reads.
The U.S. Treasury alleges that Mire Ali is an ISIS-aligned financial operative who provided funds to Abdulqadir Mumin (Mumin), the leader of the Islamic State in Somalia through his livestock trading business which served as a front for ISIS in the Bari region. Mumin has been under U.S. sanctions for his role in the Islamic State since August 2016. The sanctions prohibit U.S citizens and companies from engaging in transactions with them. The U.S. says that the decision is to disrupt or stop the flow of funds to the militant group.
11 February – Source: Xinhuanet – Words
Somali forces repelled an attack by the al-Shabaab militant group near the capital city of Mogadishu Saturdaynight, local authorities said Sunday. The al-Qaida-linked militants attacked Afgooye town, about 30 km southwest of Mogadishu, Afgooye police chief Abdulkadir Osman said. “They attacked the town and our forces responded. The fighting lasted a while before our forces defeated them,” Osman told reporters, adding that “we are now in full control of Afgooye.”
The officer said the militants suffered injuries but did not indicate any casualties on his forces. “Three civilians were also injured in the attack,” he added. Local residents said the fighting caused panic in the town. Bashir Mayow who lived in Afgooye told Xinhua that the clash was deadly. “Al-Shabaab attacked us last night and the whole town was gripped by fear as Somali forces fought hard to push away the militants,” said Mayow. The al-Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
10 February – Source: PBS News Hour – Video – 8:36 Minutes
From 2010 to 2012, pirates ruled Somali waters, costing commercial ships billions of dollars in ransoms. Over the last few years, increased naval patrolling and security improved the situation drastically and many former pirates turned to fishing to earn an honest living. However, NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Jane Ferguson reports that domestic conditions could reverse this trend.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The African Union believes in the freedom of movement of persons across the continent and is working with, and indeed encouraging regional economic communities and regional mechanisms to speedily come up with arrangements, policies and mechanisms that will guarantee the free movement of persons across the continent,”
11 February – Source: AMISOM – 563 Words
The eight-member state Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is taking concrete steps towards making the free movement of persons a reality in the 5.2 million square kilometer-trade bloc. The Authority today launched a four-day national consultations workshop on free movement of persons in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, to gather views from local stakeholders and experts on the benefits and barriers of free movement of persons.
Similar consultations are also being held in other member states and once finalized the views gathered will be used in formulating the IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, aimed at boosting trade and security in the region. The trade bloc, which was established in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD), brings together Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.
“We believe that the free movement of persons and goods is important to all the countries given that it will spur development. We all know how the European Union started and how people can now move by only using their identity cards,” the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ali Mohamed Ali, said during the launch of the consultations.
Mr. Ali noted that once formulated, IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons will benefit Somalia and reiterated the governments support and commitment to the initiative. The meeting in Mogadishu is being attended by senior federal government of Somalia officials, representatives of the federal members states, civil society organizations, academia and members of the international community.
In his remarks, Jamaludin Mustafa Omar, the Chairman of the IGAD Council of Ambassadors, spoke of the numerous benefits that free movement of persons will bring to Somalia, and appealed to the delegates to take the four-day workshop seriously and generate positive outcomes. “This free movement of persons will help reduce poverty, and where people can move freely, there are opportunities which increase the potential for people to send back home remittances and change the lives of the people they left behind,” Ambassador Omar explained.
The sentiments were echoed by Dr. Ahmed Hassan Ahmed, the IGAD Representative, who noted that free movement of persons, will not only enhance regional integration but also boost economies and sharing of information. Speaking at the workshop, the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, emphasized African Union’s commitment to achieving the free movement of persons on the continent.