President Farmajo Opens The 6th National Security Council Meeting
06 February – Source: Hiiraan Online – 159 Words
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has formally opened the 6th National Security Council Meeting in Mogadishu on Tuesday. The high-level forum brings together the Presidents of the Federal Member States and representatives from the Benadir Regional Administration to hold talks with the highest levels of the federal government in matters of national security.
The agenda for this session is restructuring the Somali National Army, in accordance with the National Security Architecture as well as the transition plan for AMISOM. Regional state leaders have been arriving since the weekend to attend the two-day event.
Somalia has promised to make security sector reform a priority since the political agreements reached in the National Security Architecture in April 2017, and the Security Pact at the London Conference on Somalia in May 2017. The leaders are expected to stay and partake in events that celebrate President Farmaajo’s first year in office on February 8th. A communique is expected to be released after the meeting.
- President Farmajo Opens The 6th National Security Council Meeting (Hiiraan Online)
- Somalia Arrests 2 Tanzanians & 1 Kenyan Al-Shabaab On Mission (Radio Dalsan)
- Djibouti To Assist Rebuild Mogadishu Infrastructure Ambassador Aden Says (Radio Dalsan)
- 2 Killed In Central Somalia After Clashes (Hiiraan Online)
- Officers Praised For ‘Subduing’ Shabaab (The Star)
- Justice Eludes Rape Victims In Somalia’s Puntland – Campaigners (Reuters)
- The Fight Against FGM: How An Imam Is Speaking Out (Care International)
Somalia Arrests 2 Tanzanians & 1 Kenyan Al-Shabaab On Mission
06 February – Source: Radio Dalsan – 108 Words
Jubbaland State security agents on Tuesday arrested three suspected foreign Al-Shabaab militants’ in Dhobley who were crossing the border into Kenya. Two of the men were identified as Tanzanian nationals and a third a Kenyan. A security source in Dhobley confirmed to Radio Dalsan that the three young men were arrested at the border crossing to the Kenya side.
The suspects confessed that they were on a mission to Kenya with directions from the Al-Shabaab headquarters in Jilib. One of the suspects said he first came into Somalia in 2014 to undergo religious studies but was later recruited into the Al-qaeda linked Somali militant group Al-Shabaab.
Djibouti To Assist Rebuild Mogadishu Infrastructure Ambassador Aden Says
06 February – Source: Radio Dalsan – 343 Words
Djibouti is set to assist in the rebuilding of the capital city Mogadishu’s infrastructure as part of a cooperation between the two Horn of Africa countries. On Tuesday, Djibouti Ambassador to Somalia, Dr. Aden Hassan Aden Beleloo, met the new Governor of Banadir Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow) where they discussed cooperation between the regional administration and Djibouti.
“Our meeting was to discuss how we can help our brothers here in Mogadishu to rebuild the capital. It was also an opportunity to be acquainted with the new Governor Osman,” Dr. Aden told reporters in an interview. “Governor Osman is capable and understanding, and I believe we can exchange our experiences for the benefit of Djibouti, Mogadishu and Somalia at large,” Dr. Aden said after the meeting that was held at the Banaadir Administration headquarters.
“Together with the new Governor, Djibouti will assist to rebuild the roads and other infrastructure of the capital Mogadishu,” Dr. Aden added. Plans are underway to link the cities of Djibouti and Mogadishu to be development partners. Mogadishu infrastructure was mostly destroyed in the more then two-decade civil war and is currently experiencing a boom.
“The Governor has offered an invitation of Djibouti Mayor to visit Mogadishu that will enable us to discuss more possible assistance and partnership in the future,” the envoy said. Dr. Aden has had a vast knowledge of the Somalia peace process and regional affairs. In the October 14 bombing where more than 500 people killed Dr. Aden on behalf of the people of Djibouti offered USD 1M towards the victim beside sending a team of medical doctors to treat the injured.
Djibouti has been pivotal in the Somali peace process. The first attempt at Somali national reconciliation conference was held in Djibouti, in June 1991. “President Ismael Omar Guelleh and the people of Djibouti have in the past helped and will continue to help the people of Somalia,” Dr. Aden concluded. 27 years later, the country is still contributing to the peace process and is part of the 22,000 strong African Union Peacekeeping forces.
2 Killed In Central Somalia After Clashes
06 February – Source: Hiiraan Online – 129 Words
Two people are reported killed on Tuesday after a firefight between the Somali National Army (SNA) and Al-Shabaab militants in Central Somalia. The SNA Soldier and civilians were killed during clashes between the two parties in Jalalaqsi town in Hiiraan region, officials said.
Jalalaqsi District Commissioner Mohamed Abdule Fidow said fighting erupted after the Al-Shabaab militants attacked a police station. “Terrorist militants attacked police station in the town and our forces resisted and pushed them back,” he said. “One soldier and a civilian were killed during the attack.” “They (militants) fled with their casualties. The situation is normal now,” Fidow said. Al-Shabaab militants continue to hold large swathes of land in the south and central Somalia where they continue to launch hit and run attacks against the Somalia government.
06 February – Source: The Star – 324 Words
Northeastern regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh yesterday praised security agents in Mandera for efforts in the war against al Shabaab. He said security officers in the county have made tremendous strides in suppressing the militants. Saleh said the region is largely peaceful apart from a few pockets where attacks have been witnessed.
He spoke to the press on the sidelines of a security meeting in Garissa town. Saleh singled out Arabia in Mandera, saying, “It is volatile, unpredictable and challenging because you don’t know whom you dealing with or where they are coming from.” He said challenges are still there, particularly in Mandera East, Arabia, Lafey and Elwak sub counties that border Somalia.
“Most of the times our gallant officers don’t get the praise they deserve. But truth is you have done a lot of work to suppress al Shabaab activities in the region,” Saleh said. He said al Shabaab operatives use the area to carry out incursions on security vehicles, plant landmines, target security and Safaricom masts before retreating back to Somalia.
06 February – Source: Reuters – 517 Words
Women and girls in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland who accuse police, army and marines of raping them are not receiving justice, campaigners said on Tuesday. Activists from the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development (GECPD) said no one has been charged in three cases of rape which have been reported to the police since December, in which security forces are suspected of involvement.
“We have seen an increase in cases of sexual violence that is sadly being perpetrated by persons suspected to be members of the police force,” said Hawa Aden Mohamed, director of GECPD, which is helping the women and girls involved in the cases. “A law was passed on sexual offences, but it remains on paper, and is not being enforced. Police and investigators are not very aware of it, and even judges continue to ignore it.”
A senior police official in Puntland denied the allegations. “Puntland is against rape. Any soldier who rapes is jailed and tough measures are taken against him,” said Osman Hassan Awke, Puntland’s deputy police commissioner. “We are investigating the rape cases in Galkayo and any civilian or soldier found to be guilty of rape will face severe punishment,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“It was the first time Sheikh Mohammed had ever spoken on this subject – and he did it in public. Not only does FGM have nothing to do with Islamic religious obligations, he said, but due to how harmful it is to women’s physical and mental health, it should in fact be prohibited by Islam altogether.”
06 February – Source: Care International – 601 words
Every Friday, Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf goes to Goof Mosque in the district of Erigavo, Somalia, where he is Imam. After noon prayer, he leads the Friday Khutbah, a sermon for the community. Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf is a well-respected figure, and when he speaks, people listen. One Friday, Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf stood up, took the microphone, and started a conversation about female genital mutilation (FGM) – a subject considered taboo to speak about by most Somali men.
Among girls between 15 and 19 years old in Somalia, 98% have undergone FGM, a deeply rooted traditional practice widely accepted as both physically and psychologically harmful. The majority of girls are cut before they turn 14 years old. Men in the country simply do not talk about FGM in public – and many do not even discuss it with their wives. Yet they expect women to take responsibility for ‘cutting’ their girls before they can get married. To help tackle it, CARE has been organising seminars and workshops for 70 religious leaders, including Islamic scholars, across Somalia and Somaliland.
The aim of these workshops, which are funded by the UK Department for International Development, is to review and analyse religious texts, such as the Qu’ran, and examine their stance towards harmful practices such as FGM and early child marriage or forced marriage. After taking part in one of these seminars, Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf said: To abandon FGM was inconceivable to us because we thought it was a religious obligation.
After several workshops, seminars, and research, we started to change our perception of these customs and accepted that it could be subject to debate. We were cautious. We really wanted to know if female circumcision was a religious obligation. It was then confirmed that FGM was harmful to women’s health and that it was not at all obligatory in Islam. Feeling a deep personal transformation, he decided to instruct his congregation about the terrible impact of FGM on women and girls.
It was the first time Sheikh Mohammed had ever spoken on this subject – and he did it in public. Not only does FGM have nothing to do with Islamic religious obligations, he said, but due to how harmful it is to women’s physical and mental health, it should in fact be prohibited by Islam altogether. While the Imam was talking, most men in the mosque left, leaving just a handful of younger men behind.
At first, Sheikh Mohammed was disappointed. The first Khutbah against FGM hadn’t gone well. Had he done the right thing? But when he left the mosque, he found a large group of women outside, reflecting in silence. They had been listening carefully to his words, and started to thank him and praise him. This made him feel that he was surely headed in the right direction – and inspired him to start an ongoing campaign against FGM. Now, every Friday, he leads weekly awareness-raising sessions in his community on the rights of women in Islam. And people in Erivago are slowly starting to mention FGM in public. This is largely thanks to these workshops – because where respected figures like Sheikh Mohammed lead, the community follows.
Men are now realising that FGM is not a religious obligation but a harmful, unnecessary practice – and they are being supported to make changes in their communities. Sheikh Mohammed said: Talking about FGM is very difficult, because for men it is a taboo to talk about these things. But I will continue to speak up. I feel it is my duty to educate my people about such awful traditional practices against women.