February 28, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Blast Near Mogadishu Hours After Al-Shabaab Vows Attack

27 February- Source:Al-Jazeera-  167 Words

A car laden with explosives has blown up near an army checkpoint outside Mogadishu, wounding at least four soldiers, according to a Somali  security officer.Soldiers reportedly chased the driver before he detonated the explosives.”We received information of the car bomb and we pursued it, but he blew up while we were chasing him,” the security officer said.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the explosion.In the past, Al-Shabaab has taken responsibility for blasts and gun attacks in the capital.The armed group has said that it would launch deadly attacks against Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed,  Somalia’s new president, also known as Farmajo.Al-Shabab earlier this week denounced Mohamed’s election, calling him an apostate.The new president, who was inaugurated on Wednesday , has promised to make security a priority.On Sunday, a car bomb in the capital killed at least 39 people .Fighters affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) have also emerged in Somalia.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia’s New President Inherits A Country On The Brink Of Disaster And Famine
  • Blast Near Mogadishu Hours After Al-Shabaab Vows Attack  (Al Jazeera English)
  • A Senior Puntland Official Injured In Galkayo Town (Shabeele News)
  • WHO Appeals For $10million For Emergency Health Response (Hiiraan Online)
  • Somali Gov’t And AMISOM To Combat Use Of Child Soldiers (New Vision Uganda)
  • East African Bloc To Hold Special Summit On Somali Refugees (Xinhua Online)
  • Somalia’s New President Inherits A Country On The Brink Of Disaster And Famine (Vice News)


A Senior Puntland Official Injured In Galkayo Town

27 February – Source : Shabelle News – Words

Reports reaching us from Galkayo, in central Somalia indicate that unknown gunman has shot and wounded a top Puntland official in the northern site of the city on Monday evening. A witness, confirmed to Radio Shabelle that Abdirahman Kilwe, who is the chairman of Mudug regional court under Puntland state was slightly injured at a restaurant in Galkayo city. Kilwe has been rushed to hospital in Galkayo, where he is being operated from the gunshot wounds sustained in the attack. The unidentified gunman fled the scene before police arrived. It is not yet unclear the motive behind the assassination attempt of Puntland’s Mudug regional court chairman Abdirahman Kilwe, but police said the are investigating into the incident.

WHO Appeals For $10million For Emergency Health Response

27 February – Source : Hiiraan Online – 288 Words

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it needs $10 million to provide emergency relief for 1.5 million Somalis on the brink of famine as severe drought conditions are pushing many rural residents into cities and towns to seek relief.  The funds are part of a broader UN appeal for $4.4 billion for more than 20 million people facing starvation in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria,  and Yemen. “We need $4.4 billion by the end of March to avert a catastrophe,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

So far, the UN has raised just $90m: “Somalia is now at a critical point as a result of this drought and environmental hazards and lack of basic services,” WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Mahmoud Fikri said in a statement issued in Mogadishu. Fikri said less than half of the population in Somalia has access to basic health services and WHO is providing support to face the ongoing drought.

Somalia is at risk of facing its third famine in 25 years with half of the population in Somalia – 6.2 million – in dire need of humanitarian aid and a further 3 million facing urgent food insecurity. Failed rains in many parts of Somalia have reduced the availability of clean water sources. As a result close to 5.5 million people are at risk of contracting waterborne diseases.



Somali Gov’t And AMISOM To Combat Use Of Child Soldiers

27 February- Source:New Vision, Uganda- 523 Words

The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are strengthening their capacities to curb the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Somalia.Last week, 24 officials from the FGS and AMISOM concluded a 10 day Training of Trainers (TOT) course in Nairobi supported by the British Embassy Mogadishu in conjunction with British Peace Support Team-East Africa (BPST-EA) and the Dallaire Initiative (DI).

The officials were equipped with the skills and expertise needed to plan, organize and train others on preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Somalia, a country with disturbing statistics on the vice, which activists say denies children their right to be raised as children and to achieve their potential.Speaking at the training, the British Ambassador to Somalia David Concar, said there is need to combat the vice so as to stifle the disturbing practice in the country, of turning children into combatants.”The goal of the course is to train trainers, individuals who can teach their colleagues back in Somalia how to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
Turning children into combatants is a gross violation of their human rights and the UK is committed to continuing to support the Somali Government and AMISOM in ensuring this practice is stamped out,” Concar said.The recruitment and use of child soldiers in armed conflict remains a major security challenge and a human rights concern.Somalia has gone through a prolonged war lasting over two decades which has affected Somali children in numerous ways.

According to a January 2017 United Nations Security Council Report on Children and Armed Conflict in Somalia, a total of 5,933 boys and 230 girls were recruited as child soldiers between April and July, 2016.Statistics showed an improvement between 2012 and 2014, but the figures rose sharply in the first half of 2016, with 1,092 children used as child soldiers. Available statistics also show that 70% of the children in armed conflict in Somalia are recruited by Al-Shabaab.

East African Bloc To Hold Special Summit On Somali Refugees

27 February – Source : Xinhua – 219 Words

A regional special summit will be held in Nairobi in March to help find durable solutions for Somalia refugees, the bloc said on Monday. The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which comprises Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and South Sudan said the summit to be held on March 25will renew efforts to find durable and sustainable solutions for the crisis facing Somalia refugees.” The Summit in Nairobi will seek to galvanize recent developments at national, regional and global levels — supported by international solidarity and responsibility sharing — to reinforce asylum and protection in the region for the thousands of Somali refugees who still require it, while also renewing efforts to find durable and sustainable solutions,” it said in a statement. During the 28th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Mogadishu on September 13, 2016, the regional leaders decided to convene the special summit.

More than two million Somalis have been displaced in one of the world’s worst displacement crises that has now entered its third decade. An estimated 1.1 million people are currently internally displaced (IDPs) within Somalia, while nearly 900,000 — mostly third generation — are refugees in the region, including in Kenya (324,000), Ethiopia (241,000), Yemen (255,000), Uganda (39,500), and Djibouti (13,000).


“Analysts say a strong drought response could be an opportunity for the new government to bring more moderate al-Shabaab fighters back into the fold, by coordinating with them on food aid efforts.Far from the political and security considerations of politicians in Mogadishu, Puntland’s Minister of Environment Ali Abduhalli hopes the new government and the international community will hear his plea for “immediate action.”

Somalia’s New President Inherits A Country On The Brink Of Disaster And Famine

27 February-Source: Vice News – 1386 Words

In the weeks after a historic transfer of power, there is hope in the streets of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu as the new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, begins his term. Civil servants say they expect to be paid for the first time in a year. Residents hope the city can be rebuilt. And foreign troops here from across East Africa fighting al-Shabaab terrorists hope their mandate will finally come to an end.“The election has been a big confidence boost for Somalis,” says Michael Keating, Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General (SRSG). “Somalis have just done something truly remarkable.

But Farmajo’s first week has been trying. Al-Shabaab, at war with the Somali government for the last decade, has ramped up attacks on the new government, launching a deadly mortar attack aimed at the presidential palace and taking credit for a car bomb that killed 39 people.“I have seen many other droughts. This is the worst.”Adapting to Al-Shabaab’s shifting strategies will be a long-term challenge for the new administration, but the real test will be whether the new government can prevent a looming crisis: the starvation of its people.Somalia is on the edge of famine, as severe drought threatens the entire country. Humanitarians say if nothing is done, it will be worse than the 2011 famine that killed a quarter-million people.About 600 miles from Mogadishu, in Somalia’s Puntland region, every room in Garowe Hospital’s Stabilization Center is full of children under 5, most suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Fadumo Adam is 18 months old but the size of a newborn. Her parents brought her into the center five days ago, unconscious and barely alive. Now, she lies on her side, mouth open, and tries to cry. She stretches her arm out toward a water bottle on the bed. Her father, 70-year-old Adam Farrah, says she is doing much better as he lifts her up to pour some water into her mouth. A nurse explained she’s too weak to even sit up on her own.
On the bed near the window, Layla Mohammed holds her 15-month-old son, Issa. Covered in rashes, the child’s skin is shriveled and peeling off due to high fever. Issa also suffers from diarrhea and vomiting, brought on from drinking saltwater — the only thing available from the borehole, Layla says.And these patients are the lucky ones, the staff insists.“The ones here are the ones with means. We can’t reach everyone,” says Said Ahmed Yassin, 24, a nutritionist who oversees the stabilization center.

Three of Fadumo’s cousins have died of malnutrition in the past month, according to her father. All of them were younger than 10 years old. All of their camels died in the drought. Now, traveling to seek medical help is difficult and expensive.Livestock herders like Adam Farrah are accustomed to lean times and cyclical drought. But he and other elderly herders across Puntland, now taking shelter in camps for the internally displaced, say the current challenges are different.“I have seen many other droughts. This is the worst. Every few years we go through challenging times. But nothing like this, never,” Farrah says.


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