January 9, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somaliland Forces Take Control Of Town From Puntland In Northern Region

08 January – Source: Xinhuanet – 192 Words

Military forces from the breakaway region of  Somaliland Monday took control of a town under the region of Puntland following a fierce fight. Residents of Tukaraq town in Sool region said Somaliland and Puntland forces clashed Monday as Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo made his maiden visit to Puntland “There was an intense fight between Puntland and Somaliland forces early Monday causing fear among residents.

Somaliland forces are now in control,” a witness told Xinhua. Puntland Defense Forces and Somaliland soldiers clashed with heavy weapons against each other in Takaraq town, about 90 km from Garowe which is an administrative capital of Puntland. No casualties were reported during the heavy clash between the two warring sides at the border town.

The clash came as President Farmajo visited Puntland region Sunday for a weeklong tour, the first since he was elected to office February last year. Both Puntland and Somaliland have been in contest over Sool and Sanag regions with each side claiming control. Puntland parliament threatened force in November against Somaliland if elections took place in Sool during the presidential poll. The polls however went on uninterrupted in most areas of Sool.

Key Headlines

  • Somaliland Forces Take Control Of Town From Puntland In Northern Region (Xinhuanet)
  • Puntland Accuses Somaliland Of Attacking Its Territory To Disrupt Farmajo’s Visit (Shabelle News)
  • Somalia Government To Regulate Hajj Travels (Radio Dalsan)
  • Somaliland Journalists Jailed ‘For Publishing Propaganda’ (The East African)
  • Somaliland Passes First Law Against Rape (BBC)
  • Somalia Through the Eyes of My Parents (Hiiraan Online)


Puntland Accuses Somaliland Of Attacking Its Territory To Disrupt Farmajo’s Visit

08 January – Source: Shabelle News – 135 Words

Puntland has on Monday accused Somaliland of launching an attack on its territory to disrupt President Farmajo’s historic visit to the region. In the statement released by Puntland Presidency condemned the assault on Tukaraq as “an aggression move” that could create an unprecedented danger to the peace and stability of the region. The attack according to Puntland  also encourages the terrorist organizations that Puntland is battling in the mountainous Galgala.

Meanwhile, Puntland has vowed to respond appropriately and proportionately to this attack on Tukaraq, a small town near Las Anod in Sool region, located 60 Km west of Garowe. Earlier Monday, Somaliland forces launched an offensive against Puntland forces, allowing it to capture the town on the disputed border

Somalia Government To Regulate Hajj Travels

08 January – Source: Radio Dalsan – 124 Words

Somalia´s Ministry of Religious Affairs has issued regulations on annual Hajj and Umrah following a public outcry last pilgrimage that agents were overcharging pilgrims headed for the annual religious rite. In a statement released by the Ministry, all agencies are now required to register with the ministry and the Hajj fees regulated. All travel agencies are required to register between 7th and 20th of January.

The Ministry states that it intends to protect the rights of the pilgrims after the public complained of unregulated Hajj fees. “The ministry together with the Federal Government will review hajj expenses on the Somali pilgrim.” Hajj visa process is expected to be more accessible to Somalis upon opening up of a bureau at the Saudi Embassy in Mogadishu.


Somaliland Journalists Jailed ‘For Publishing Propaganda’

08 January – Source: The East African – 150 Words

A court in the breakaway republic of Somaliland has sentenced two journalists to two years in prison each for “publishing propaganda”, a local rights group says. Mohamed Abdullahi Dabshid of London-based Kalsan TV and Ahmed Diriye, a manager at the Somali Broadcasting Corporation, were accused of publishing “subversive and anti-national propaganda”, the Somaliland-based Human Rights Centre (HRC) said. The charges against the journalists are linked to a story claiming Ethiopian militiamen were being trained in Somaliland. HRC’S head, Guleid Ahmed Jama, condemned the sentencing of the journalists, adding that “journalism is not a crime”.

A lawyer for the journalists said he will appeal against the convictions. Somaliland possesses a vibrant and diverse range of news media, but human rights organisations say its media laws are restrictive. Somaliland declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 but it has yet to achieve any formal international recognition as a sovereign state.

Somaliland Passes First Law Against Rape

08 January – Source: BBC – 160 Words

For the first time in its history, the self-declared republic of Somaliland has passed a law against rape. In the past, a victim’s family could force them to marry their rapist to avoid being shamed. Rapists now stand to face at least 30 years in prison. Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991 but is not internationally recognised as a country. There is still no law against rape in Somalia.

Somaliland’s speaker of parliament, Bashe Mohamed Farah, told the BBC that rape cases have risen and he hoped the new law would help stop that trend. “Nowadays we have seen even people carrying out gang rapes,” he said. “The main emphasis of the new act is to completely stop rape.” The new law has come in after years of lobbying by children and women’s rights advocates. Faisa Ali Yusuf of the Women’s Agenda Forum told the BBC they have been waiting for such legislation for a very long time.


“However my father did not like dwelling on the negative images the media threw at us constantly and the brutal narratives they wrote about Somalia and the Somali people. This was my mother’s department, after returning home twice she no longer saw the Somalia she left behind,”

Somalia Through the Eyes of My Parents

07 January – Source: Hiiraan Online – 782 Words

It was during those summer holiday nights that my mother would put a mattress in our balcony. She would tell us to all put on our PJs and come sit on the mattress, while she sat in front of us and started telling us stories. She was great at storytelling, some stories were based on true events while others were tales told to her when she was young and growing up in Jowhar. One of the stories I remember clearly was when she was told to take food to someone, you see this time she brought Farhan (her cousin) as back up.

Previously while making the same journey a monkey attacked her and took the food, it attacked her as she was on her own. My father also used to tell us about his interactions with the local monkey who caused chaos in the streets of Beledweyne. Although my father did not like to tell us everything he got up to, he did tell us the odd story about his friends and how they all got their weird nicknames.

Another famous tale was one of this woman who ate young kids in the area. She would tell us how local children would go missing and that her and her siblings feared going out after dark. After hearing this story it would take me sometime to fall asleep, I was never a fan of horror or scary films and stories. I did however love hearing these stories especially the ones based on their own experiences, I would imagine my parents’ lives back then. At times I wished they had videos to share with us, so we could watch them growing up.

We have very few photographs let alone videos, even my parents wedding video was lost due to the war.  I knew my country had its problems and that we had a long way to go before becoming stable. However 50% of the Somalia I pictured in my mind was the one my parents painted using their own memories of growing up there. While the other 50% was the harsh realities as I saw images of Somali people distressed and living in terrible conditions all over TV.

I was thirteen when my mother decided that enough time had passed, she wanted to see her parents she wanted to return home. Despite raising us to love our motherland, you could tell that my parents were anxious of this trip. Not only because only half of our then seven-member family was actually going, but because we were going to a place of conflict. The main reason for going was to meet our grandparents and extended family for the first time.

Although it was a nice experience meeting them all, it did leave me with a sense of sadness. Had there been no civil war, me and my siblings would have grown up with our grandparents and extended family. My parents would not have fled to a foreign land leaving all their everything they knew behind. The war did not only strip them of their identity but it also scattered their remaining family members around the world.


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