February 23, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Al-Shabaab Cannot Match The Will And Power Of 12 Million Somalis: President Farmaajo

22 February – Source : Goobjoog News – 446 Words

President Mohamed Abdullahi has extended an olive branch to adherents of the militant group Al-Shabaab noting their deeds against the Somali people cannot match the resolve of over ten million Somalis. In a strong indication of his government’s will to deal with violent extremism, President Farmaajo expressed his determination to deter more youths from being recruited into militant groups and warned those who are involved in Al-Shabaab activities to defect and join in the nation building process.

Speaking during his inauguration ceremony at the air force hangar inside Aden Adde Airport, the president also pledged to build a strong army and ensure they are duly remunerated and provided with all the necessary support to ensure peace and stability prevails. “We will create job opportunities for our young people so that they are not lured into extremist groups. I will focus on building the capacity of our security forces including providing all the necessary logistics, salaries and fully equipped barracks,” said Farmaajo. “We are telling the young people that if they come back (from extremist groups) we will give them what they need and help them. Those who are allied to al-Qaeda and ISIS, we are telling them time is over,” the president said.

Al-Shabaab killed about 900 people last year and they killed about 40 others this week but they cannot match the will and power of 12 million Somalis, said President Farmaajo. A car bomb explosion Sunday killed about 40 people in Medina area. He also reiterated his commitment to working with the African Union force Amisom in restoring peace in Somalia while also paying tribute for their work over the years. “We have to remember these brothers and sisters from Amisom who have sacrificed their precious lives for the restoration of Somalia,” the President observed.

Meanwhile the African Union affirmed its commitment to closer relations with Somalia and the new president in restoring security in the country. African Union special envoy and head of Amisom Francisco Madeira said the AU will continue its efforts in pacifying the country alongside Somali security forces. He praised the forces for their work in safeguarding the electoral process which went on peacefully without any major incidents. Madeira noted Farmaajo’s efforts during his short stint as Prime Minister in 2010 pushed away Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu adding a closer collaboration is even more critical in securing the rest of the country. “The African Union is with you, Mr. President and will remain by your side as you confront the challenges afflicting your people,” said Madeira. The event was attended by among others Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta, his Djiboutian counterpart Ismael Omar Guelleh, Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn and other international dignitaries.

Key Headlines

  • Al-Shabaab Cannot Match The Will And Power Of 12 Million Somalis: President Farmaajo (Goobjoog News)
  • Somali President Pledges To Create Jobs For The Youth (Goobjoog News)
  • Somalia’s New  Leader Inaugurated Vowing To Restore Dignity (Associated Press)
  • Uhuru Assures New Somalia President Kenya’s Support In Rebuilding Nation (The Star)
  • Somalia’s Diaspora Poets Step Into The Mainstream (CNN)


Somali President Pledges To Create Jobs For The Youth

22 February – Source : Goobjoog News – 329 Words

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo promised that his government will create more jobs for youth and reignite the hope of the people. Speaking at his inauguration ceremony held on Wednesday in Somali capital Mogadishu, Farmaajo said Somalia’s youth unemployment rate was about 80% forcing many young people to pursue dangerous journeys to Europe and the US. “I’m a parent, I feel for the parents who lost their children in the seas or those who have their loved ones in prisons. We will try to create jobs for the youth,” the new president pledged during his speech at his inauguration ceremony.

In the past two decades, Somalia has faced mass immigration across the Mediterranean Sea that claimed lives of many young Somalis seeking better life in Europe. Regarding the ongoing drought which the U.N estimates to have affected about 6.2 million people, the president promised to come up with a strategy to avert more suffering and prevent a possible famine. Farmaajo said that his government will put more efforts on reconciliation, justice and law and rebuilding of the confidence of people in the government. “We will focus on in the restoration of the confidence of people in the government and also pacifying the town of Galkayo,” said the president.

He pledged to restore the dignity of Somalia and called on Somalis to help the government solve the fundamental problems lying ahead of it. Speaking about negotiations with the breakaway Somaliland, the president said he is determined to continue the talks between the sides. Farmaajo added that the achievements of his government will be limited due to the many challenges the country faces. “Multiple challenges are ahead of our government. Therefore, I am telling Somali people that because of the limited resources we have, our achievements will be limited,” said Farmaajo, adding,”For the last 26 years, there were conflicts and droughts, so it will take another 20 years to fix this country. So my government will focus on basic things.”


Somalia’s New  Leader Inaugurated, Vowing To Restore Dignity

22 February- Source : Associated Press – 410 Words

Somalia’s new leader was inaugurated Wednesday while promising to restore dignity to the troubled Horn of Africa nation but warning it will take another two decades to “fix” the country. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who also holds U.S. citizenship, was elected earlier this month in a step toward Somalia’s first fully functioning central government in a quarter-century. “Multiple challenges are ahead of our government. Therefore, I am telling people that because of the limited resources we have, our achievements will be limited,” said Mohamed, also known as Farmajo. “For the past 26 years, there have conflicts and droughts, so it will take another 20 years to fix this country.”

He said Somalia’s main obstacles are insecurity and humanitarian crises, including a drought that the U.N. has said affects millions of people. The immediate priority is to “avert famine,” the U.N.’s special representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, told the audience that included several regional heads of state.The new president said his government will focus on “reconciliation, justice and law and the restoration of the confidence of people in the government.” He already has promised to tackle graft in a country recently ranked by Transparency International as the world’s most corrupt.

Mohamed also promised payments, equipment and training for the military, which over the next few years will take on more of the responsibility of countering homegrown extremist group al-Shabab as an African Union peacekeeping mission of more than 20,000 plans to withdraw by the end of 2020. Somalia’s new leader has already vowed to make security a priority in a country where al-Shabab still carries out deadly attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and elsewhere. On Sunday, a car bomb in the capital killed at least 34.

Uhuru Assures New Somalia President Kenya’s Support In Rebuilding Nation

22 February – Source : The Star – 203 Words

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said his government will continue supporting the new Somalia President towards rebuilding the war-torn country. While attending the new Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s inauguration in Mogadishu, Uhuru congratulated the people of Somalia for peaceful elections on February 8.”The Somali people have spoken and they have great expectations of the new government in rebuilding and developing the nation,” President Uhuru said.”You, Mr President also assume office as we face an enormous challenge and we are collaborating to restore regional stability as we face transnational and cross-border crimes and I am confident that God will grant you wisdom to deal with such challenges,” the President stated.

He called on regional bodies like IGAD, AU and International community to give necessary support to Somalia.”I hope all regional bodies will help rebuild Somalia and I assure the nation that my administration will remain steadfast towards its contribution to restore peace. We shall continue to work with other AMISOM troops for reconstruction and development of Somalia,” Uhuru stated.

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a former prime minister who has dual Somali-.U.S citizenship, won the presidency after two rounds of voting by members of parliament.He beat incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who conceded.The concession speech sent the new president’s supporters in Somalia and Kenya into the streets singing and dancing, some waving Somalia flags and blowing horns. Motorists stopped and joined the jubilant crowds.


“But right now, something strange is happening. Members of the diaspora generation are starting to reconnect with their roots. They’re starting to talk openly about the effect war and displacement has had on their art and their people’s sense of self. Their work is questioning what it means to be a young Somali in 2016,”

Somalia’s Diaspora Poets Step Into The Mainstream

22 February – Source : CNN- 753 Words

When Beyoncé dropped her album “Lemonade” in April last year, it blew up the Internet and went platinum around the world. But for Somali poets across the diaspora it symbolized the rise of their art into the mainstream. Queen Bey interlaced her album with passages of poetry from Warsan Shire, a former Young Poet Laureate of London. A British-Somali poet now based in Los Angeles, Shire weaves together the frictions and contradictions of diasporic life and the pain of leaving your roots behind.As she puts it in her poem “home”: “No one leaves home unless / home is the mouth of a shark.” She continues: “You only leave home / when home won’t let you stay.”

Driven by a connection to a ravaged homeland and the search for self in unfamiliar surroundings, these sentiments underpin an entire generation of young millennial artists coming of age across the Somali diaspora right now.By using social media, they’re taking back the narrative of their motherland and making it their own. Al-Shabaab headlines are being counterpointed with messages of community and hope.

One quick search on YouTube throws up hundreds of videos of young poets talking about their connection to Somalia in Canadian, Swedish or US vernaculars, among many others. These videos reach tens of thousands of people around the world. Artists such as Canadian Hamda Yusuf use TED Talks to broadcast pithy opinions on modern identity, while teenagers rap on the streets of Minnesota lamenting “a loss of respect for their mothers’ ways.”

British-Somali poet Farah Gabdon is a leading light of this poetry movement, performing for organizations such as the Finnish League for Human Rights and posting to thousands of online fans. In her late 20s, she was raised in England, yet inexorably is linked to her motherland.”The war destroyed a lot of Somali culture,” Gabdon said. “Not just culture, but the expression of it.”I think it was very traumatic. They lost everything.”Back in Somalia, Gabdon’s grandfather was a poet and her dad was a published fiction writer. Then in 1991, the country became engulfed in civil war. More than half the population fled, including Gabdon’s family. Poetry got left behind.


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