Mortar Rounds Fired at the Presidential Palace Kill one Civilian – Witness
11 January – Source: Horn Observer – 124 Words
A civilian was killed after Somalia’s militant group, Al-Shabaab, which is affiliated to Al-Qaeda claimed to have fired several rounds of Mortars at the Somali presidential palace on Thursday, witnesses said. Witnesses said that a mother of eight children was killed by the mortar rounds, while preparing to break her fast. The Al-Qaeda affiliated Somali Militant group, Al-Shabaab immediately claimed the responsibility of the attack, saying that five mortar rounds fired by the group hit the presidential palace.
The group has been under intense pressure from the American airstrikes recently, after the US military intensified its air campaign against the Shabab and the ISIS affiliated group based in Puntland, following 14 October terrorist bombing that killed more than 400 people in Mogadishu.
- Mortar Rounds Fired at the Presidential Palace Kill one Civilian – Witness (Horn Observer )
- Wadajir Party To Sue Attackers On Their Headquarters (Goobjoog News)
- Animals Dying Of Disease In ‘Neglected’ Area Of Middle Shabelle (Radio Ergo)
- IFJ Expresses Concerns Over The Escalation Of Attacks On Media Freedom In Somalia (IFJ)
- Time For Businesses To Venture Into Somalia (Kenyan Wall Street)
Wadajir Party To Sue Attackers On Their Headquarters
11 January – Source: Goobjoog News – 578 Words
Wadajir party today announced taking to court those behind the armed attack on their party headquarters on 18th December 2017 in Mogadishu. Speaking to Goobjoog News, the General Secretary of the opposition party Mr. Sayid Ali noted that the attorney general, security commanders of the security soldiers who carried out the deadly attack and any other persons involved in matter will be taken legal action against them. Mr. Ali also pointed out the amazement on why the government has not initiated an investigation into the incident. “This media press confernce is to raise our concerns on the problematic last month incident on our headquarter yet no investigation has been carried out by the government, and solution obtained in the process. As a result, as a party, we decided to open a case in the courts generally on the people we know who carried out this operation especially the security commanders of the soldiers, who attacked the place and, those who facilitated through the law like the attorney general and the communication entity leading the matter from the presidential side” said Secretary Mr. Ali. In his addressing, he raised that his party is not involved in illegal activities. “Our party is not the only in the town and we carry contrary activities from the rest.”
He expressed his hope that the alleged perpetrators will face the law on the hardship they brought upon the people whose members were killed in the crossfire and those who survived. “I hope the perpetrators will be brought to justice and, the pain they inflicted upon the families whose loved ones perished in the attack as well as the survivors” he added. He mentioned the illegality of the high court to hear the case of the beleaguered former presidential contender Mr. Abdirahman Abdishakur on the party ticket. “Our leader has completed his case. One time he was taken to court, another time he went by himself and the first phase is over. In the second part, which was initiated again has no merit because we have the first verdict which stated no appeal can be brought against him” he told Goobjoog News.
Politician Abdirahman Abdishakur was arrested on 18th December 2017 after his house was attacked by government forces and released 3 days later by the Banadir regional court on insufficient evidence by the office of the attorney general. The next day an appeal was instituted by the attorney general and Banadir Regional Appeal Court ordered him to appear before the court on the 27th of the same month but the hearing flopped due to lack of legal representation by the defendant whom he withdraw their services on the same day.
The Appeal Court appointed 3rd January 2018 as the next hearing day but, the defendant did not appear compelling the court to rule in absentia. Thereby, overruling the decision of its Regional Court, the case cannot be appealed against and asserted the right to hear it, giving the green light of the office of the Attorney General to carry out further 60 days investigation on the case, and barring the embattled politician from leaving the country until his case is settled by the court. The court also imposed fines on 8 lawyers who refused to represent the defendant and at the same time ordered 5 of them to halt offering legal services for up to 2 consecutive months while the other remaining 3 were fined each in Somali Shillings an amount equivalent to US$ 2,000.
Animals Dying Of Disease In ‘Neglected’ Area Of Middle Shabelle
11 January- Source: Radio Ergo – 413 Words
Herders in Mahaday district of southern Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region complain that they are losing their goats to an outbreak of disease caused by waterborne parasites. According to the social welfare representative in the district, Salah Fulel Haji, 430 pastoralist families are being affected by the livestock disease in areas where the water has been contaminated after seasonal flooding of the river Shabelle. Veterinary experts say the disease killing the goats is Fascioliasis, an infectious disease caused by Fasciola parasites, which are flatworms referred to as liver flukes. The adult liver flukes get into the bile ducts and liver of infected animals, such as sheep and cattle, and can also infect people. Yusuf Hamud lives in Aw-baale village. He said only seven of his 150 goats had survived this latest outbreak of disease. “The disease started to spread at the end of October and the animals are still dying now – my last goat died on 25th December,” Yusuf said.
Dahir Mohamed Hassan in Dibir village, 25 km east of Mahaday town, said he had only 29 left of his original 250 goats. His family of six moved to town to stay with relatives, leaving the remaining animals in Dibir under the care of his neighbours.“I was told that four more [goats] have become infected with this disease, so I want to sell off the livestock towards the end of this week,” Dahir told Radio Ergo. Local people claim that up to 4,000 goats have died in the last three months of this particular disease. It is extremely difficult to verify such numbers, although experts say that Fascioliasis alone would most likely not cause such high fatalities. The disease normally appears after river flooding, when stagnant flood water becomes contaminated by livestock faeces. Other factors also decrease the immunity of animals during the flooding season, such as the windy cold climate that causes bronchitis and pneumonia.
Security is poor in this area and access for aid organisations is difficult. Moreover, the pastoralists are nomadic, making veterinary follow up more complicated. Local people complain that they have been ignored by aid agencies and have received no veterinary services recently. Mahaday’s social welfare representative said people were constantly asking for assistance.However, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said it completed a vaccination campaign against Peste des Petits Ruminants and Sheep and Goat Pox (PPR/SGP) last October across Somalia, in addition to two rounds of earlier treatment between March and June 2017.
11 January – Source: IFJ.com – 352 words
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned about the dangerous escalation of attacks on freedom of the media in Somalia after the authorities have tightened the noose on freedom of expression following imprisonment and reckless attacks on journalists during the past week. On 4 January 2018, Ahmed Yusuf Suleman, reporter of Horn Cable Television, survived an attempted murder, after men armed with pistols who are believed to be plainclothes security officials fired four shots towards him, chased and caught him, and pointed a pistol at his head. The police reportedly intervened to release the journalist from the plainclothes officials though Suleman sustained wounds on both hands, legs, shoulders and hips.
On 7 January 2018, journalists Ahmed Dirie Iltire and Mohamed Abdullahi Hussein ofxeegonews.com were accused by Somaliland prosecutors in Borame in the Awdal region and sentenced to 2 years in prison. The prosecutors indicted the two journalists for “spreading propaganda against the nation, degrading the nation, and disgracing national flag and symbol of a foreign country”. “We condemn this brazen assault on journalists in the strongest possible terms”, said IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger. “Gun touting men cannot be allowed to commit violence and cause bodily harm with impunity in Somalia. The Somali Government must demonstrate the required political will and show full commitment in its fight against impunity.”
The IFJ is deeply troubled about the continued imprisonment of journalists in Somaliland for expressing their right to freedom of expression. “The last few months have seen a sharp escalation in attacks by the Somaliland authorities through the judiciary on journalists and the media in general in a bid to silence dissent. This is a chilling setback for freedom of expression in Somaliland,” said Bellanger. The IFJ reiterates its support to its Somalia affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), for its adamant stance to defend media freedom and journalists’ rights in the face of renewed and unwarranted attacks against Somali journalists and their union which is engineered by the Ministry of Information of Somali government. “Somali leaders must not allow perpetrators of these attacks go unpunished,” added Bellanger.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“As war ends ands and normalcy returns, the biggest weapon against youth involving themselves in crime is employment. Investing in Somalia then would be boosting the fight against terror both there and in Kenya.”
11 January – Source: Kenyan Wall Street – 547 Words
As the economy recovers and firms plan for the year, it will be wise to set eyes on venturing into Somalia. Though the country has long been associated with insecurity, recent developments are making it an attractive investment option. In fact in the last year, it was the only neighbouring trade partner that registered strong growth in export volumes. With exports worth over 10 billion shillings, Somalia is now the third largest destination for Kenyan goods.
There are many factors that make business sense to set shop in Somalia. First is the presence of strong political leadership headed by the Federal president Farmajo. His administration came to the office after a peaceful transfer of power a plus for the rule of law and democracy. It’s also noteworthy that almost a quarter of the elected parliament leaders are women.
The government is making strides to ensure that Somalia remains stable. For instance it has joined anti-piracy efforts, held security conferences among other measures. It now controls its airspace which was under UN management since 1992. The African Union is preparing to leave the country as a testament of how far the security situation has improved. There is not much competition in Somalia more so due to decades of violence. Thus businesses would get much more returns in Somalia compared to other mature markets. There already are business distribution lines throughout Somalia established via the Miraa trade. Cargo planes leave Kenya daily to Somalia so logistics should not be too difficult. Kenya traders also have goodwill as we have hosted Somali refugees for more than two decades. Our support for Somalia is known as we have stood with them during difficult times. We have a well developed Islamic financial system which would anchor well for anyone wanting to do business in Somalia.
The border communities between Kenya and Somalia have traded for centuries and border posts with Somalia including Liboi ensure safe and efficient travel in and out of Somalia. Indeed livestock trade has thrived for ages between Kenya and Somalia. A business can also set base in Garissa and other border counties and use that as a launching pad to Somali. The presence of airports, gov’t investments in roads development and county efforts to promote businesses in their areas would be a boon for businesses eyeing Somalia. Though affected by war, Somalia has many universities whose graduates would ensure availability of skilled labour. As Somalis in diaspora return home to rebuild their country, opportunities abound indeed. The federal government in conjunction with the local state leaderships means that services are devolved and you don’t have to go to Mogadishu for every business need. The UN, other international organisations and firms have been in Somali for long and a business would not be venturing into Somalia in isolation. Rather it would have abundance of knowledge and information to tap into for business success. Partnering with locals in joint