February 27, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Galmudug President Abdikarim Guled Resigns, Cites Health Reasons

26 February – Source : Goobjoog News – 285 Words

Galmudug President Abdikarim Hussein Guled has resigned citing advisory opinion from his doctors as he undergoes treatment in India.In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, Guled who has been president of the central Somalia state since its inception in 2014 said he had decided to leave office noting  that his state of health could not allow him to effectively execute function of the office of state president.Guled who was former Federal Interior Minister before his election as president in July 4, 2015 has been battling growing pressure from state assembly lawmakers who have been aiming at his ouster.

Galmudug state assembly voted to impeach him on January 10 this year but he and the House Speaker declared the vote unconstitutional. The international community called the political developments destabilizing urging amicable solutions between the president, speaker and the legislators.Guled who has been undergoing treatment in India has had to fend off criticism from lawmakers at the state assembly and the perennial conflicts in the border town of Galkayo which has been a point of contention since Galmudug’s establishment in 2015.

Relations with his neighbor, President Abdiweli Ali Gaas who for long objected to formation of Galmudug following hiving off of southern Mudug to form Galmudug remained sour for a better part of his presidency. Reconciliation talks involving the federal government and the international community have however toned down rivalry.Resistance from the moderate Islamist group Alhusuna waal Jamaa forced Guled to station his administration in Adado despite Dhuusamarreb having been set out as the state capital. Alhusuna controls Dhuusamarreb to date.Former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud strongly campaigned for his election as president in 2015 following a lengthy and politically charged state formation process.

Key Headlines

  • Galmudug President Abdikarim Guled Resigns Cites Health Reasons (Goobjoog News)
  • Former  MP Shot Dead In Mogadishu An Elder Wounded (Garowe Online)
  • President Farmajo Promises Regular Pay For Custodial Corps (Goobjoog News)
  • Puntland Troops Stage Short Mutiny ‘over unpaid salaries’ (BBC News)
  • Pentagon Seeks To Expand Fight Against Extremists In Somalia (Associated Press)
  • The Illusion Of Hope (Hiiraan Online)


Former  MP Shot Dead In Mogadishu, An Elder Wounded

26 February – Source : Garowe Online – 187 Words

Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a former Somali lawmaker in Mogadishu on Sunday morning. Abdulkadir Qasim Mursal, who was former MP during past Transitional Federal government was shot at close range near his house in El Dheer village in Dharkenley district by two men armed with pistols. Sources say the man also worked for the office of the current Somali Parliament Speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari in Mogadishu. He was killed while on his way to work.

The gunmen managed to flee the scene after carrying out the assassination before the arrival of the security forces who made no arrests in connection with the murder.  Separately, unknown assailants have wounded Osman Kheyre, an electoral delegate who participated in electoral process to select the new MPs of the Federal  Parliament. No group has yet claimed responsibility for both attacks, however, Al-Shabaab has recently vowed to assassinate elders who involved in the recent election process.  The Somali capital of Mogadishu witnessed spike in the assassinations against civilian targets and government officials in the past weeks. Somali Federal government has not released a statement in regards to the recent attacks.

President Farmajo Promises Regular Pay For Custodial Corps

26 February – Source : Goobjoog News – 100 Words

Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi farmaajo has said his government will make sure the custodial corps to get their salaries regularly. The President visited on Sunday Central jail in Mogadishu where hundreds of convicted criminals are incarcerated. “My government will work on the process to give the custodial corps regular payment, equipment and all the necessary mechanism to operate for the custodial corps interest,” said president Farmaajo. He commended the management of prison for the various training opportunities provided the prisoners. The president also promised that his government will building more jails which will significantly reduce current overcrowding in Mogadishu’s jails.


Puntland Troops Stage Short Mutiny ‘over unpaid salaries’

26 February – Source : BBC News -151 Words

Troops in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland have briefly staged a mutiny. Dozens of soldiers seized the parliament compound in the administrative capital Garowe and blocked nearby streets. However one of the region’s most respected clan elders, Islan Issa Islan Mohamed, told them to return to their barracks.He told the BBC that the “drama” was now over.

It had been reported that the soldiers were protesting about a delay in the payment of salaries as well as poor working conditions.Last September soldiers took control of the central bank in Garowe in protest at lack of payments, Garowe Online reported. Puntland, an arid region of north-east Somalia, declared itself an autonomous state in August 1998, in part to avoid the clan warfare engulfing southern Somalia. Unlike its neighbour, breakaway Somaliland, Puntland says it does not seek recognition as an independent entity, wishing instead to be part of a federal Somalia.

Pentagon Seeks To Expand Fight Against Extremists In Somalia

26 February – Source : Associated Press – 832 Words

The Pentagon wants to expand the military’s ability to battle al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia, potentially putting U.S. forces closer to the fight against a stubborn extremist group that has plotted attacks against America, senior U.S. officials said. The recommendations sent to the White House would allow U.S special operations forces to increase assistance to the Somali National Army in the struggle against Al-Shabaab militants in the fragile Horn of Africa nation, the officials said. They said the proposal would give the military greater flexibility to launch airstrikes against extremists that appear to be a threat.

Beefing up the military effort in Somalia fits with President Donald Trump’s broader request for a Pentagon plan to accelerate the U.S.-led battle against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and defeat other extremist groups, including al-Qaida and its affiliates. U.S. concerns about Al-Shabaab escalated in recent years as young Americans from Somali communities traveled to training camps in Somalia, raising fears they might return to the United States and conduct terror attacks.

Somalia was one of the seven predominantly Muslim countries included in Trump’s travel ban last month. The executive order has since been suspended by federal courts.Somalia is “our most perplexing challenge,” Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. Africa Command, said in an interview with The Associated Press.The United States is “trying to take a look at Somalia from a fresh perspective in the way ahead,” he said, describing the need to weaken the decade-old al-Shabab insurgency so that the African nation’s military forces can defeat it.


“At his first brief speech, the President mentioned stamping out corruption and upholding the law of the land as well as improving the national security. Those were exactly the top priorities that everyone is longing for. The majority of public institutions invested with above competences are being established but the crux of the question remains whether they are efficiently resourced to execute their mandates,”

The Illusion Of Hope

25 February – Source : Hiiraan Online – 814 Words

I got the inspiration of writing this article from a piece of visual art named ‘ the illusion of transparency’ exhibited at the National Visual Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. Interestingly, it is made of squared cage behind which there is a sturdy brick wall (see photo). Trying to  interpret the artist’s message is somehow beyond my ability, but I tried to reconfigure it in what it might mean in my own Somali reality. I just visualized the illusion of hope of Somali people.For me this piece of art would represent 3 dimensional realities: the brick wall represents the years of anarchy and upheaval that Somalis had to live for so many years. The cage is the actual status quo or where we are standing now… wearing the label ‘fragile state’ and the 3rd dimension of the outer free space represents the hope that Somalia will be free from the shackles of the past.

It is amazing how little things can make you think and give you the ability to link them with the reality of your own life.The aftermath of the election of the new President of Somalia generated a huge, unsolicited and unpredicted ‘Farmajo-mania’ inside the country and abroad. No one was spared from this new wave of hope as we all wanted changes for the better. The clip ‘Ar-Farmaajo ii geeya’ went viral in few hours and the utter spontaneity of the author translated the ordinary Somali people’s urge to confer with their President and recount their grievances and hopes.

Expectations from ordinary Somalis are overwhelming as a lot of changes need to be introduced and hope is risen  high. For the time being, no one probes whether the President and his Government are able to  turn such hopes into reality. It is just enough that the intention to bring changes is there! The President’s past 8 months of outstanding record as PM resound well in the mind of everyone.In such a healthy and happy mood coupled with this piece of visual art, I myself wondered whether the new President will be bold enough to distance himself from the 4.5  gentlemen’ formula of selecting the PM on the basis of clan affiliation. Would he consider the neglected criterion of selection based on the individual merit rather than looking for the impossible to achieve ‘clan balance’?


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.