February 9, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Al-Shabaab ‘Training Village Elders To Fight’

08 February – Source: The East Africa – 283 Words

Al-Shabaab militants have been training clan elders in southern Somalia on how to use guns to shoot accurately, in the latest attempt by the jihadists to win the hearts of residents, media outlets affiliated by the group have reported. A radio station and a website operated by the al-Qaeda-affiliated militants have broadcast and published pictures of elderly men holding guns in what appears to be a shooting range, as a huge crowd looks on.

Radio Andalus said about 40 elders from different clans took part in the shooting competition which involved men between the ages of 60 and 80 in Jilib, Middle Jubba Region, southern Somalia. “Each elder was given three bullets to fire to a target placed 60 steps away,” a reporter with Radio Andalus said.

“Every elder was carrying an AK47 rifle… the elders had practised shooting before the contest.” Somalimemo website posted photos showing several elders holding rifles with masked men – supposedly al-Shabaab fighters – coaching them on how to shoot.  In one of the photographs, three men are seen lying on the ground aiming at targets, while some, standing, appear to be coaching.

Key Headlines

  • Al-Shabaab ‘Training Village Elders To Fight’ (The East Africa)
  • Mogadishu Residents Benefit From Free Medical Camp Set To Mark Farmaajo Anniversary (Radio Dalsan)
  • Somali Government Appoints National Theatre Director (Jowhar.com)
  • Rival Clans Sign Peace Deal In Galgadud  Region (Halbeeg News)
  • KDF Strategies In Fighting Al-Shabaab Have Worked – Uhuru (Daily Nation)
  • President Farmaajo’s First Year In Office (Hiiraan Online)


Mogadishu Residents Benefit From Free Medical Camp Set To Mark Farmaajo Anniversary

08 February – Source: Radio Dalsan – 131 Words

Hundreds of residents of Mogadishu received free medical care at a medical camp organized by the Villa Somalia in the Somali capital Mogadishu. The medical camp was opened to the public on Wednesday morning attracting long queues of people with different ailments in need of medical assistance. Most of the beneficiaries of the free medical clinic were the internally displaced peoples from the IDP camps in Mogadishu.

Meanwhile, Somalia National Army soldiers were gifted with goats at military bases outside the city to mark Farmaajo’s one year in office. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed took over office in 2017 after winning the election unseating incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The president was widely voted for his championing of the welfare of the SNA and enjoyed public approval at the time he took office.

Somali Government Appoints National Theatre Director

08 February – Source: Jowhar.com – 211 Words

Mr. Osman Gure the director of Radio Kulmiye has been appointed the Director National Theatre, the Information Ministry announced on Wednesday. Information Minister Abdrahman Yonis also announced that the name of the theatre had been changed to the National Theatre and Arts Culture Awareness Center.

The theater closed down after the start of the civil war in 1991 with the fall of the Siad Barre government until in  2013, when  the Somali and Chinese governments signed an official cooperation agreement that was to see  the reconstruction of several major infrastructural landmarks in Mogadishu including the National Theatre

Mr. Gure is charged with the task of overseeing the Theatre which today has been turned into a military base. The National Theatre was opened in 1967 and served as an important cultural landmark in the capital Mogadishu. The building of the National Theatre of Somalia was built by Chinese engineers as a present from the Communist leadership in China in the 1960s. The building was finished and opened in 1967.

After Siad Barre came to power, the National Theatre became an important institution within the socialist vision of a new Somalia. Todays move by the Ministry of Information is seen as a step towards reclaiming the lost glory of this landmark in Mogadishu that entertained the nation.

Rival Clans Sign Peace Deal In Galgaduud  Region

08 February – Source: Halbeeg News – 185 Words

Traditional elders from two warring clans in Somalia’s Galgaduud region signed a peace deal in Balanbale town, raising hopes of an end to the recurrent violence which ravaged the region. Over thirty elders were selected from each clan to sign an agreement to end the clashes without conditions. They further agreed to forget what happened in the past and to work towards peace and stability.

The peace deal was signed by traditional elders from the two clans at ceremony attended by Galmudug officials including the state’s chief minister, Sheikh Mohamed Shakir among other officials  and other tribal leaders. Shakir who spoke at the ceremony has welcomed the move saying the elders from the sides had came up with a historic decision to end hostilities.

He urged the warring clans to respect the peace accord noting that development in the region could only be achieved when there is peace. The clans have been fighting for years over water and pasture. The clashes displaced hundreds of families and destroyed properties. Galmudug administration has been carrying out efforts to reconcile hostile clans in both Galgaduud and Mudug regions.


KDF Strategies In Fighting Al-Shabaab Have Worked – Uhuru

08 February – Source: Daily Nation –  521 Words

President Uhuru Kenyatta has praised the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) for their strategies in fighting Al-Shabaab, saying they have borne fruit after the terror group failed to carry out any major attack in the country over the last two years.

He said the troops in Somalia and those deployed to Boni Forest in Lamu County had been able neutralise the terrorist group’s plans in Kenya and in the region. Speaking during the passing-out parade at the military Recruits Training School in Eldoret, the President said KDF’s presence in the two places has made the country safer. “Our engagements have indeed degraded Al-Shabaab’s ability to attack in Kenya and elsewhere,” he said.

He said he is keen on protecting Kenya from any aggression by the group. “Part of my duty as the commander-in-chief is protection of Kenyans and preservation of Kenya’s integrity under the Constitution that is why I continue to laud the efforts of the Kenya Defence Forces in their fight against terrorism in Somalia and closer to home as part of the multi-agency force currently in Boni Forest,” he added.


During his tour to Somalia’s central and northern regions in last month, President Farmajo oversaw the historic power-sharing deal inked by Galmudug and ASWJ which culminated in the flag of Galmudug being hoisted in Dhusamareeb town for the first time since the inception of Galmudug state.

President Farmaajo’s First Year In Office

08 February – Source: Hiiraan Online  – 990 Words

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo was elected February 8 last year to become Somalia’s 9th President following a hotly contested poll pitting among others incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and former President Ahmed Sheikh Sharif. His win was greeted with jubilation and hope as Mogadishu residents burst into song and dance. Similar acts of excitement were reported in neighbouring Somali communities in Kenya, Ethiopia; and around the world. Somalis genuinely had high hopes for the new leadership in Somalia.

The president immediately vowed to crack down on the rampant corruption and declared war on Al-Shabaab militants, signalling a new way of doing things. The slogan for this new way of doing things would be ‘Nabad iyo Nalool”, or “Peace and Life”.

“This is the beginning of unity for the Somali nation, the beginning of the fight against and corruption,” said Farmajo as he prepared to take over office from his predecessor Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. One year down the line, President Farmajo has achieved several positive goals while also running into roadblocks that damaged the image and confidence of his administration.

Somalia owes nearly $5.3 billion USD, most of it in interests and penalties on over three decades old loans accrued at a time the country was without a functioning central government. President Farmaajo’s administration has spearheaded the process towards debt relief which includes meeting several conditions set out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Ahmed Abdi Hadi, a political analyst in Mogadishu says Somalia is steadily moving towards debt forgiveness by winning the confidence of the IMF. “The country did not make amortization payment since the fall of Somali central government. Now the president and his prime minister have increased the local revenue income and carried out initiatives to relief the burden by negotiating IMF,” Hadi said.


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