23 January – Source: Euro Asia Review – 133 Words
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde met with Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre on Tuesday on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The underlying economic conditions in Somalia remain difficult, but the authorities are making strong efforts to rebuild their country. Somalia’s debt relief is a priority for the IMF and every effort is being made to accelerate the process within established procedures.
Lagarde and Prime Minister Khayre discussed the IMF’s support for Somalia, especially through two Staff-Monitored Programs and extensive technical assistance. Somalia is among the largest recipients of IMF technical assistance.Lagarde reiterated the Fund’s continued active engagement with Somalia, including to reach the point that enables it to receive debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative.
- IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Meets Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre (Euro Asia Review)
- President Farmaajo Places The Ground Breaking Stone For Port Facility In Hobyo (Goobjoog News)
- Kenya Frees Somali Diplomat and 3 Others Jailed After Airport Blast (Radio Dalsan)
- Blast Near Mogadishu Kills 4 Including Child (Voice of America)
- Crisis In Somalia: The Last Chapter (Wardheere News)
President Farmaajo Places The Ground Breaking Stone For Port Facility In Hobyo
23 January – Source: Goobjoog News – 167 Words
Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, today laid the foundation stone for the construction of a port facility in Hobyo, a historic coastal town in Galmudug State. President Farmaajo, was accompanied in launching the project by Galmudug State leader President Ahmed Gelle Haaf, top state and federal government officials, who are escorting the federal president in his tour of the region.
Later President Farmaajo addressed the local seaside residents who converged in large numbers to witness the historic visit of a Somali leader, first of its kind for nearly four decades. Earlier in the day the president passed Adaado town, where he has also launched the construction of an airport and declared the town to be the seat of the State Assembly which has been acting as the interim state capital for more than 3 years. President Farmaajo is expected to wind his journey in the coming days following an official visit in Puntland and Galmudug States two weeks ago on a trip he named the ‘reconciliation trip’.
Kenya Frees Somali Diplomat and 3 Others Jailed After Airport Blast
22 January – Source: Radio Dalsan – 144 Words
A Somali diplomat and three others have been released four years after serving in a Kenyan jail for terror related charges. Mr. Ilyas Yusuf Warsame who was the Second Secretary at the Federal Government of Somalia Embassy in Nairobi was acquitted by a Kenya court on Monday for lack of evidence.
Mr. Ilyas Yusuf Warsame, Mr. Hassan Abdi Mohamed, Mr. Mohamed Osman Ali and Mr. Garad Hassan were arrested following a blast that occurred at a Java House restaurant in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on 16 January 2014. A trash can near the entrance of the international departures at the airport was blown up in that explosion. No one was injured. They had denied all 12 charges, which included being members of Al-Shabaab, and possessing explosives materials. Somalia government had upon Yusuf’s arrest requested for the release of the diplomat but Kenya government declined.
23 January – Source: Voice of America – 218 Words
Four people have been killed and six others wounded in a remote-controlled improvised explosive device explosion near the Somali capital on Tuesday, officials and witnesses said. Three government soldiers and a seven-year-old-boy were killed after the explosion hit a military vehicle at K-13, a suburb near Mogadishu, witnesses said. District commissioner Kahda Mohamed Ismail Abdullahi told VOA Somali that the three soldiers were in the vehicle targeted in the explosion. “The child was about seven years old; he was bystander walking on the side of the road,” Abdullahi said.
The injured include soldiers as well as civilians, he said. The explosion occurred just before 2 p.m. local time in one of the suburbs predominantly inhabited by internally displaced people along the Mogadishu-Afgoye corridor. Al-Shabab militants claimed responsibility for the explosion and said it killed an officer. Al-Shabab relies heavily on IEDs, including remote-controlled, magnetic, vehicle-borne and under-vehicle devices, to target government soldiers, African Union troops and civilians.
Abdullahi says authorities don’t have the expertise or equipment to search for explosives every day as vehicular traffic begins and members of the public start going about their business. He said militants infiltrate areas “in the dead of night” to bury IEDs. “We only rely on our eyes. When we spot, we call for explosive expertise to defuse,” he said.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“A functioning northern unionist state where the people there are unwaveringly committed to the unity and territorial integrity of the country with its legitimacy enshrined in constitution and borders safeguarded by statute is perhaps the only way to guarantee its own survival and in the process put right their past mistakes and failures,”
22 January – Source: Wardheere News – 1213 Words
We are approaching the end game in northern Somalia. The clashes in a remote village proved to be the last straw and a final showdown is eminent between the two opposing armies, but whatever happens in the battlefield one thing is abundantly clear, things will never be the same again. The so called northern conundrum can no longer be postponed and a final solution must be found and fast. The looming firefight will cause enormous hardship for all concerned and its effect will be felt far and wide. The two immediate opponents face by far the most serious risks.
For Puntland the dangers of the war could be incalculable for its capital, Garowe, is too close to the theatre of war. Indeed, Somaliland’s recently appointed minister for internal affairs, a veteran guerrilla leader, publicly stated that they will not target women and children in Garowe – a statement probably intended to be a gesture of goodwill but served only to exacerbate Puntland’s insecurities and the vulnerability of their capital.
The main risks for Somaliland on the other hand is to be embroiled in a local trench warfare with a regional authority and local forces rather than negotiating in earnest with Somalia proper for a final status solution. There are even suggestions that the main reason for the assault on Tukaraq checkpoint was not because of its strategic importance but to coincide with the visit of the federal president who was in town when the attack happened. If the conflict drags on there is also no doubt that time and resources will be diverted to the war effort rather than address some of the more pressing issues including acute youth unemployment, runaway inflation and a massive devaluation of the local currency.
But the most serious risk for Somaliland and its new and emboldened policy is the federal government dismissing the whole crisis as nothing more than a little local difficulty and deciding not to get involved in any shape or form other than the occasional appeal for calm, stressing the need for the warring parties to show restraint and resolve their differences through peaceful means. The region known as SSC which stand for Sool, Sanaag and Cayn regions is at the heart of the problem in northern Somalia. These regions were part of what was once British Somaliland Protectorate hence Somaliland’s claim that it’s part of their country. But the community there did not take part in the various guerrilla movements that eventually toppled the defunct military regime led by General Barre precisely because of the tribal configuration of its people vis-à-vis the rest of the northern regions.
They took part in the formation of Puntland state in 1998 but have since became disillusioned as Puntland failed to halt Somaliland’s unrelenting advance. The numerous attempts to go it alone and set up an autonomous self-administration have not so far produced the desired effect although they are still active and waiting for the right moment to achieve their objectives. Somalia despite the problem posed by Islamist insurgency in the south is making steady progress and reasserting its authority, taking control of its airspace, restructuring the national armed forces and building its marine services that is expected at some point in the future to police the whole of its territorial waters. Furthermore, the international monetary institutions are considering the rescheduling of Somali debts which could open up access to grants and loans to help the country embark on a massive programme of national reconstruction.