January 26, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Puntland Gets New Police Chief Amid Worsening Security

25 January – Source: Garowe Online-330 Words

Puntland on Thursday installed a Brigadier General as its new Police chief at a time when the State faces a rising threat from Al-Shabab and pro-ISIL militants, Garowe Online reports. In a degree, President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” has appointed Brig. Gen. Abdullahi Shire Dhool as the new Puntland Police boss following a long absence of command for the state’s law enforcement department. Meanwhile, Colonel Bile Farah Ali was appointed as his first deputy commander while Colonel Osman Hassan was appointed as the second deputy commander, according to the Presidential decree obtained by GO.

This appointment comes amid deteriorating security situation in the region, mainly Bosaso, the commercial city of Puntland due to weak government policy to counter terrorism and lack of salary payments to the security forces. In the past few months, the terrorist groups in Bari region have stepped up attacks on Puntland forces and assassinations against security officials in the provincial capital, Bosaso. The chief of Bosaso port security Mohamed Ali Hashi has this week survived an assassination attempt by suspected Al-Shabab assassin’s armed with pistols in Dahabshil headquarters in the seaside city.

The gunman fled after an exchange of fire with the Hashi’s bodyguards. Prior to the attack, a traffic Police officer was killed and several were injured in grenade attack in the same city that was claimed by Al-Shabab. “There is a growing fear in the city, people can’t go out of their houses afternoon [12:00 p.m. local] due to the insecurity,” a local businessman in the city told GO via phone on condition of anonymity.

Since the election of President Ali in January 2014, Puntland witnessed worsening security situation, economic downfall and his government cut funds for the security agencies fighting terrorist groups, which took advantage of the current administration’s failure. On 8th January, Somaliland forces launched an unexpected offensive against Puntland forces and captured the Tukaraq, a small town in Sool region, about 60 KM north of Garowe, the state capital.

Key Headlines

  • Puntland gets new Police Chief amid worsening Security (Garowe Online)
  • Somaliland: High Court Swears In 31 Cabinet Ministers (Goobjoog News)
  • Somali & Kenyan Khat Cartels Want To Kill Me Awale Says Demands Government Protection (Radio Dalsan)
  • KCAA Cracks Down On Passenger Planes Illegally Carrying Miraa (Daily Nation)
  • Thousands Of People Forcibly Removed (Reliefweb)


Somaliland: High Court Swears In 31 Cabinet Ministers

25 January – Source: Goobjoog News – 140 Words

The High Court of the self breakaway region of Somaliland today has sworn in 31 ministers in Hargeisa, the capital. The chairperson of the High Court Adan Haji Ali Ahmed presided over the swearing event of the new ministers who will serve under the administration of Muse Bihi. This is the second swearing event after Somaliland parliament approved 9 ministers and 2 assistant ministers on mid January, in a session that was attended by 61 members.

Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi who ran on Kulmiye Party ticket, the party in power was declared winner of the November 13 presidential poll in Somaliland effectively extending the party’s in power since 2010. He replaced former president Ahmed Silanyo who has been in office since 2010, whose term was to come to an end in 2015 but the polls were delayed severally times.

Somali & Kenyan Khat Cartels Want To Kill Me, Awale Says, Demands Government Protection

25 January – Source: Radio Dalsan – 254 Words

British-Somali anti-Khat activist Mr. Abukar Awale on Thursday demanded protection from the Federal Somali Government, saying his life is in  danger after he  received death threats from Kenyan and Somali khat cartels, Radio Dalsan reports. Mr. Awale who is now based in Mogadishu, after returning from the UK placed billboards ads, depicting negative effects of khat to people especially the Somali youth, within the city.

On Wednesday night, the billboards were destroyed and death threats were issued to him. “Khat dealers in Kenya and their people here last night destroyed anti khat billboards, and at the same time threatened to shoot me dead in Mogadishu in the coming days”, said Awale said on his Facebook account. “Allah can kill me but to threaten me for saying what is prohibited, while I’m in my country and in my city is wrong” he added. Mr Awale says the Somali government has neglected his previous calls to protect him. “It’s my will for the Somali people to know that in case my day comes and I’m killed in Mogadishu, it’s the federal government of Somalia that neglected me”, said the activist.

The activist spearheaded a campaign that led to the banning of Khat in the UK in 2014. The chewing of the stimulant twigs grown in the Meru highlands of Kenya.  Khat is a popular pastime for a significant number of Somalis. In 2017, Somalia became the third biggest buyer of Kenyan goods 90% of the import being Khat, according to the Kenya National Bureau Of Statistics.


KCAA Cracks Down On Passenger Planes Illegally Carrying Miraa

25 January – Source: Daily Nation – 461 Words

Several tonnes of miraa cargo destined for Somalia are grounded in Nairobi as the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) cracks down on passenger aircraft operating as cargo planes. Speaking to Nation, Nyambene Miraa Traders Association (Nyamita) chairman Kimathi Munjuri said traders risk losing millions of shillings in the standoff. Mr Munjuri said more than 30 tonnes of miraa that was delivered at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Wednesday evening was yet to be cleared for export by Thursday morning.

“Flights to destinations in Somalia and Somaliland including Mogadishu, Jowhar, Galkayo, Lasaanod, Garowe are grounded at JKIA awaiting seniors to give instructions on the way forward. “If KCAA is sincere in enforcing safety and compliance, they would have done their inspection before the miraa was brought. “The operators should have been notified of any inadequacies with their aircraft to avoid exposing miraa exporters and farmers to such levels of uncertainty and losses,” Mr Munjuri said in a statement.

The move comes after KCAA officials led by Director General Gilbert Kibe, last week made an impromptu visit to the airport following reports that passenger aircraft are used to ferry miraa. However, no aircraft was found to be non-compliant during the inspection at Wilson Airport. “A whistleblower alleged that there are [people] operating cargo flights using passenger aircraft. We have done investigations and found that this is possibly true. The search will continue by doing more inspections to find those operating irregularly,” Mr Kibe said. The director general said operators found non-compliant will have their licenses and certificates withdrawn.

“We are also investigating KCAA officials alleged to be complacent in allowing the non-compliant operators,” he said.But Mr Munjuri faulted KCAA saying it had failed in approving aircraft before they are put into cargo business. “KCAA is involved and must certify an aircraft and its operator at every step of [its] acquisition. They also must be involved and certify every operation of an aircraft daily. So where is this knee-jerk decision emanating from?” Mr Munjuri posed. He claimed there were traders and operators out to monopolise the miraa route. Mr Munjuri noted that the delay may deal a big blow to the industry which is already reeling from shortage and farm gate high prices.

The Nyamita chairman said the miraa market has been hit hard by the ‘whistleblower phenomenon’ in the past. “Whistle blowers cost us the Europe market due to unending propaganda, innuendo and falsehoods against miraa to authorities there. Similar whistle blowers have cost us markets such as Lusaka, Lubumbashi, Maputo, Johannesburg, Germany, and Norway among others. Anonymous callers allege that the miraa cargo has drugs leading to delays in shipment,” he said. Traders have urged KCAA and operators to move with speed to avert loss of the perishable twigs



“Since the father of her children died several years ago, she has been the sole breadwinner in her family. To make a living, she sells sweets and other homemade snacks around the city. Noor is among 550 internally displaced people and poorer residents who have been granted land tenure through the district authority and our programme’s support.”

Thousands Of People Forcibly Removed

25 January – Source: Reliefweb – 642 Words

In Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu, land disputes cause internally displaced people to be evicted from their settlements. On 29 and 30 December 2017, the worst single mass eviction incident of 2017 occurred in Mogadishu. After a dispute between local landlords about land ownership, close to 35,000 people living in 38 settlements for internally displaced people were forcefully evicted “We were awakened early in the morning by the sound of a bulldozer as several groups of uniformed men were ordering us to leave. Though I am glad that my children and I escaped, we had to witness our belongings, shelters, shops and schools being destroyed,” says one of those evicted in Mogadishu’s Kaxda district.

Following the eviction, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has provided 3,000 people with unconditional cash assistance through funding support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation, known as ECHO. This support and collaboration with ECHO will keep people safe and help them get back on their feet. Forced displacement is a long standing problem in Somalia. Issues of violence, and the degraded security and physical environment have caused Somalis to have been displaced within their own country for decades. In the current era, as they escape the grip of al-Shabab ruled towns or flee from places affected by drought, internally displaced people are yet again faced with being forcibly removed and evicted from the place they call home. “Forced evictions continue to affect people in Mogadishu and this is the largest single mass eviction we have seen this year,” Abdirisak Ahmed, NRC’s head of information, counselling and legal activities’ in south central Somalia reports.

Forced evictions like these interrupt and undermine the work and services being provided by humanitarian organisations that seek to reintegrate internally displaced people into host communities. “On average, about 11,000 people are evicted per month, and in 2017, more than 150,000 people were evicted in Mogadishu alone,” Ahmed adds. Out of the 38 settlements affected by the recent evictions and unrest, 25 were completely destroyed. This has left many people without a roof over their head. In addition, a great number of people have lost their livelihood and assets during the eviction process. In two days, 25 learning facilities were destroyed. This has disrupted the academic school year and left many children without access to education.

Families need a permanent solution as evictions continue to bring them back to square one. When the armed group al-Shabaab came to her village in Gosha, Hawa Noor, a 50-year-old single mother of seven, fled from her home and sought safety in Kismayo, a town 500 km south-west of Mogadishu. Since the father of her children died several years ago, she has been the sole breadwinner in her family. To make a living, she sells sweets and other homemade snacks around the city. Noor is among 550 internally displaced people and poorer residents who have been granted land tenure through the district authority and our programme’s support. “I have documentation now that proves I own this land, and things are much easier,” Noor says. “I no longer have to worry about evictions.”

Land titling and permanent shelter ensure that families are protected, and they dramatically decrease the chance of eviction. We have also helped over 2,000 families to secure their land rights in Baidoa, a city 400 km north of Kismayo, and we continue our work to prevent further evictions in Kismayo.“This has made a part of my life better because we have a permanent roof on top of our head,” says Noor. Kismayo and Baidoa serve as a model for the rest of Somalia for the resolution of housing, land and property rights issues for displaced people. There are many lessons to be learned from our programme successes in these two cities, as we foresee evictions to continue throughout 2018.


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