22 February – Source: Washington Post – 135 Words
The United States military for the second straight day is announcing a drone strike that killed Al-Shabaab extremists in Somalia. The U.S. Africa Command says the strike on Wednesdaykilled four “terrorists” near Jamaame in Lower Juba region in the south. The statement says the U.S. assesses no civilians were killed.
The U.S. on Wednesday said a drone strike killed three al-Shabab extremists near Jilib town in Middle Juba region earlier this week. This latest U.S. drone strike is the fifth this year in Somalia. The U.S. carried out more than 30 drone strikes last year in the Horn of Africa nation after President Donald Trump approved expanded military efforts against Al-Shabaab. The extremist group is blamed for the October truck bombing in the capital, Mogadishu, that killed 512 people.
- US Military Says Drone Strike In Somalia Kills 4 Extremists (Washington Post)
- Once Again Global Report Lists Somalia As World’s Most Corrupt Country (Hiiraan Online)
- Turkish Deputy PM Arrives In Somalia Capital (Shabelle News)
- Air Freight Costs To Somalia Drop 15pc After Direct Flights
- Somali Refugees In Kenya ‘Go And See’ Their Old Home In Baidoa (Radio Ergo)
- No Reprieve For Farmaajo As Somalia Fails To Exit ‘Most Corrupt Club’ (Goobjoog News)
Once Again, Global Report Lists Somalia As World’s Most Corrupt Country
22 February – Source: Hiiraan Online – 244 Words
Somalia has the dubious distinction of being recognized as the world’s most corrupt country in 2018, a label Somali has retained for eleven consecutive years. Somalia scored below South Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen. The 25th annual Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index report ranks 180 countries on a level of 0 (most corrupt) and 100 (least corrupt) on their corruption level in the public sector. Somalia scored 9 points, the lowest of all sovereign nations and down from 10 points in 2016.
This year, New Zealand and Denmark rank highest with scores of 89 and 88 respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively. The best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66. The worst performing regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34).
This year’s analysis looked at the relationship between corruption and freedom of the press, association and expression, using statistics collected by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters without Borders, the Varieties of Democracy Project and the World Justice Project. The report found that in the last six years, more than 9 out of 10 journalists were killed in countries that score 45 or less on the Corruption Perceptions Index. One in five of those journalists were killed covering a story about corruption.
Turkish Deputy PM Arrives In Somalia Capital
22 February – Source: Shabelle News – 88 Words
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Hakan Çavuşoğlu arrived in Mogadishu on Thursday on an official visit to Somalia. Somali Deputy Prime Minister, Mahdi Mohamed Guled, Foreign Affairs Minister, Ahmed Awad, and a group of Members of Parliament welcomed the Turkish delegation at Aden Abdulle International Airport.
Upon arrival, Turkish deputy PM visited the newly inaugurated Turkish Military base at Jazeera, south of Mogadishu under tight security. Çavuşoğlu is scheduled to meet with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre during his stay in Mogadishu.
22 February – Source: Business Daily – 223 Words
Air freight cost has dropped by at least 15 per cent between Mogadishu and Nairobi following the resumption of direct flights to Somalia last year. Airline operators say they have had to lower the charges of hauling cargo in bid to pass the benefit of direct flights to shippers. Astral Aviation has, for instance, slashed the cost from $2.20 (Sh223.8) previously to $1.95 (Sh161.75) per kilogramme. “We have cut our cost by 15 per cent to enable our customers to benefit from the government directive on direct flights between Mogadishu and Nairobi,” said Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO Astral Aviation.
Kenya in 2006 introduced a stopover in Wajir for all flights coming to Nairobi from Mogadishu. However, President Uhuru Kenyatta last year said the Wajir layover would be eliminated. Kenya Civil Aviation Authority lifted the Notice to the Airmen (NOTAM), which mandated all flights from Mogadishu to make a stopover in Wajir for security screening, allowing for direct flights.
Nairobi has long argued that the security stopover in Wajir acts as a buffer against security threats posed by the Al Shabaab terror group in Somalia. Kenya in 2015 exported Sh15 billion goods to Somalia, mostly perishable products such as meat and horticulture. On the other hand, Somalia’s exports to Kenya were not high enough to be registered in the 2016 Economic Survey.
22 February – Source: Radio Ergo – 866 Words
Somali refugee leaders from the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya have been taken by the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, on a ‘Go and See’ visit to Mogadishu and Baidoa in southern Somalia. UNHCR says the initiative is intended to inform refugees about the situation on the ground in Somalia to enable them to make informed decisions about whether to return home.
Nearly 40 refugee leaders from the Dadaab camp complex took part in the trip by UN plane. The leaders will report back to the rest of the refugee community in Dadaab by various means. There are around 230,000 Somali refugees currently living in Dadaab. Around 18,000 of them have registered for the UNHCR-led voluntary repatriation scheme. Mursal Mohamed Abdulle, one of the leaders, left Baidoa 12 years ago. He spoke by phone from Hagadera camp in Dadaab, where he lives, to Radio Ergo’s Mohamed Hassan about his impressions after the visit to his former home.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up.”
22 February – Source: Goobjoog News – 768 Words
Despite riding on an anti-graft platform and pledging radical surgery to rid the public sector of corruption, President Mohamed Farmaajo’s administration has not managed to pull Somalia from the bottom of the list in the league of the most corrupt countries in the world. Transparency International, for the 11th year running placed the Horn of Africa country in yet the same spot it has been- in company of South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria. The global anti-corruption watchdog even had a stinging criticism for those who rode into power with ‘great expectations’. “Some countries that perform poorly on the index are led by African leaders that run for office on an anti-corruption ticket, but never live up to their pledges to deliver corruption-free services to their citizens.”
Both President Farmaajo and Prime Minister Hassan Khaire made ambitious pledges to the public as they came to office last year with even the President remarking, ‘Somalia should be competing with Denmark’ in matters of anti-graft. Denmark scored an impressive Corruption Perception Index of 88 to emerge the second least corrupt country in the world according to the just released report.
“Transparency International has released [in their report] that we are the most corrupt country in the world for the 10th year, and the first country in the index is Denmark, why can’t we compete with Denmark? Why are we the worst people in the world?” Farmaajo told lawmakers as he pitched for election. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you elect me, corruption is my first target. I will fight it, I will fight it in a very brutal way. Anyone who misuses public funds, we will shame him before the people and send him to long jail term.”
PM Khaire pledged a wealth declaration exercise by all cabinet ministers adding, a wealth audit will be done when a minister exits office. None of this has happened publicly and so far six ministers have left office. A pledge to fast-track the passage of the anti-corruption bill to pave way for the formation of the anti-corruption authority is yet to come into reality one year down the line.
Transparency International notes however fighting corruption in countries undergoing conflict and lacking stable governments is no mean feat. “The lowest-scoring countries on the index are often those where there is conflict or war. Reducing corruption in these contexts is particularly challenging. The fragile nature of governments in these situations presents a real challenge to making meaningful changes.”
The report also draws correlation between corruption and media freedom and civil society space. In countries scoring lowest in the score, TI says, repression of the civil society and killings of journalists is a common feature. The analysis, which incorporates data from the Committee to Protect Journalists, shows that in the last six years, more than 9 out of 10 journalists were killed in countries that score 45 or less on the Corruption Perceptions Index, TI says. It called for opening up of media and civil society space as one of the measures to fight corruption.