February 22, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Mogadishu On Lockdown Ahead of President Farmaajo’s Inauguration

21 February – Source : Garowe Online – 199 Words

Somali capital Mogadishu is under security lockdown on Tuesday, with roads closed ahead of the inauguration ceremony of the new President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on Wednesday. The curfew was announced on Monday by the Benadir regional administration officials who said the drastic security measure is in place to prevent any possible attacks from Al-Shabaab during the inauguration event.

On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of Somali government soldiers, officers, and other security personnel have been deployed to patrol the main streets and enforce the 24-hour curfew imposed on the capital. Authorities are also shutting down local air traffic ahead of the inauguration. Somalia’s Civil Aviation Ministry announced last week that all flights to Aden Adde International Airport would be suspended.

The Somali government has assured that the flights would resume on Thursday, February 23. Fears are high that the Al-Qaida linked Al-Shabaab group will seek to disrupt the inauguration by carrying out an attack on the capital. A deadly car bomb at a crowded market left at least 40 dead on Sunday. Leaders and dignitaries from several East African countries are expected to attend the inauguration of the 9th Somali President, who was elected by lawmakers in Mogadishu in February 8.

Key Headlines

  • Mogadishu On Lockdown Ahead of President Farmaajo’s Inauguration (Garowe Online)
  • Coastal City Of Kismayu Hosts Inaugural Book Fair  (Goobjoog News)
  • MP Opposes Appointment Of HirShabelle Cabinet (Shabelle News)
  • UN Expresses Concern Over Lasting Drought In Somalia (Xinhua)
  • AU Trains Military Officers On Gender Human Rights In Somalia (Xinhua)
  • Somalia Faces Unprecedented Drought (VOA)


Coastal City Of Kismayu Hosts Inaugural Book Fair

21 February – Source : Goobjoog News – 304 Words

Book lovers and enthusiasts are today gathering at the coastal city of Kismayu for the inaugural Kismayu Book Fair. Organisers of the event have told Goobjoog News the two day event will feature 400 titles including cultural exhibitions aimed at promoting a passion for books and Somali culture. “We have 400 titles and close to 2000 books in total. We endeavour to promote a reading culture among our people and also Somali culture. We successfully organized the Garowe Book Fair last year and we are also bringing one here,” said Mohamed Hassan the founder of Scansom Publishing Company which is the main organizer of the event.

The organisers also noted they fixed the date to coincide with the international mother tongue day celebrated globally today with the aim of encouraging more writers to pen books in the local language. Author and organizer Mohamud Dirie said the book fair does  not only encompass books but also artifacts and traditional works of art aimed at inspiring book writing, reading and interest in the Somali culture especially among young people. “We have different titles in display and also traditional works of art to not only promote interest in books but also the passion for our culture.

Having worked at the National Museums in Mogadishu years back, I feel it is important that we include the component of traditional works of art in such a fair,” said Dirie. And to Somalis abroad, Dirie notes the Book Fair should inspire them and create understanding that Somalia is not ridden with conflict as is reported but that many good things including flourishing culture of reading, writing and book trade happen. Other organizers of the event include the Kismayu Writers club and the ministry of education of the Jubbaland state. Jubbaland ministers and deputy president Mohamud Sayid Adan grace the occasion.

MP Opposes Appointment Of HirShabelle Cabinet

21 February – Source : Shabelle News – 115 Words

Several Hir-Shabelle parliament members have opposed the appointment of the cabinet ministers of the regional administration by President Ali Abdullahi Osoble on Monday. Speaking with Radio Shabelle, MP Abdiweli Sheikh Ali has accused President Osoble of appointing a cabinet, without proper consultations with the stakeholders and respective clan elders. “Mr Osoble has abused his power and legitimacy. He has unveiled a cabinet ministers, many of them been his cronies,” said Ali during a phone interview with Radio Shabelle. The regional MP said HirShabelle President Ali Abdullah Osoble has abandoned his responsibilities as a president of Hirshabelle advocating to be appointed as Somalia’s next Prime Minister who is set to be appointed by President Farmajo soon.


UN Expresses Concern Over Lasting Drought In Somalia

21 February – Source : Xinhua – 195 Words

Drought has displaced more than 135,000 people inside Somalia since last November, and there have been reports of at least 38 deaths due to drought-linked reasons in just the Bakool region of south central Somalia, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday. A UNHCR spokesperson told a press briefing that more people are leaving their homes because of the drought, rising food prices, dry weather forecasts, and ongoing insecurity and are heading for urban areas.”Swift and substantial action and adequate funding are becoming urgently needed to avoid famine and a repeat of 2011, when some 250,000 people died, more than half of them aged below five,” the spokesperson noted.

According to the UNHCR, drought is also pushing some to flee the country. Since the start of the year, more than 3,770 Somali new arrivals have been recorded at Melkadida in Ethiopia, and acute malnutrition has been reported in around 75 percent of arriving child refugees.UNHCR estimated that in order to help the needy, an urgent funding of 825 million U.S. dollars will be needed before June, but until now only 100 million U.S. dollars has been pledged.

AU Trains Military Officers On Gender, Human Rights In Somalia

21 February – Source : Xinhua – 314 Words

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said on Tuesday that it has kicked off a three-day training of gender focal persons to help bring the soldiers into line with UN laws on human rights and gender equality. AMISOM Gender Officer Major Bupe Chanda said the course was aimed at orienting the new officers on their roles as well as coordinating all gender issues in the sectors.”This is part of capacity building for AMISOM officers and also for the Somali National Army (SNA). We have started with this one, then eventually we will train focal persons for SNA,” Chanda said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The offices from the new battalions that were recently deployed in all the five sectors of Somalia are taking part in the orientation course.Chanda said the officers being trained would be instrumental in preventing sexual exploitation and abuses in the sectors as well as being ambassadors for AMISOM in their respective areas of operation.”The main aim of our training is to acquaint the newly nominated gender focal persons in sectors on gender issues and their roles as focal point persons. All sectors are required to have gender focal point persons,” Chanda said.

AMISOM Deputy Chief of Staff, Col. Charles Byaruhanga who spoke on behalf of the Force Commander Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh said the main aim of this course is to achieve the call of gender equality which is set in the charter of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325(2000) that is one of the primary and enduring responsibilities of the member states.”I assure you that all training of gender will be supported by our office,” said Byaruhanga.The training involves newly deployed officers in the five sectors of the country to train them on mainstreaming gender issues. The officers will act as the link between AMISOM headquarters and the sectors.


“Adequate April rains or not, aid groups are short on funding, both for immediate drought relief and long-term recovery for families like Mohamed’s.The U.N. has appealed for more than $800 million to deal with the drought.Yet Somaliland’s own National Drought Committee has raised less than $7 million.”

Somalia Faces Unprecedented Drought

21 February – Source : VOA- 570 Words

Even the hyenas won’t eat the carcasses of Mohamed Aden Guleid’s sheep, goats and camels, which litter the landscape in Somalia’s northwest Somaliland region.There is too little meat on their bones because of a devastating drought.“I had 550 of these livestock; now only 50 of my livestock remain,” he said. “My family contains 10 members, and I must provide for them.” Herds of animals are dying across Somalia following two failed rainy seasons. Here in Somaliland, at least 40 percent of goats and sheep have perished, amounting to more than 10 million animals.If April’s rains fail again, the people who have depended on these animals for generations may be next. The United Nations warns of famine, and says more than 6 million people need food aid already in all of Somalia. Forty have died so far in Somaliland, according to the National Drought Committee.Those seeking respite from the drought trek for days to towns in hopes of finding food and water.

Aid agencies and the government send water trucks to fill dried out wells, and each morning, dozens of herders with hundreds of thirsty animals flock to the wells but the reach of the trucks is limited. Mohamud Ibrahim Yassin says only a few dozen of his 150 animals made the 20-kilometer walk to one well a few hours east of Burao town. He says the rest were too weak to walk, but too skinny to sell.”If we get rains, they will survive, but if there is no rain, I don’t think they will survive,” he said.Although Yassin has some hope of getting himself through the drought, for others, the rains will
The family of Geelo Ismail Mohamed lost all 100 of their camels over the past seven months, and fled the hinterlands. Now they live on the outskirts of a village in a makeshift hut of wooden poles and scraps of cloth.“We thought that it would get better in two or three months,” said Mohamed, who is in her 70s. “After three months, we realized we couldn’t do anything; we couldn’t move, we couldn’t sell, so we came here.” She says they used to support themselves by selling camel milk, but now, they depend entirely on handouts.“That life [before the drought] will not come back, now we have this life, and this is what Allah has for us,” she said. “I did not ever see a drought like this. This is widespread; this is everywhere.”


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