Federal Parliament Speaker Addresses South West Regional Assembly
09 July – Source: Halbeeg News – 273 Words
The fifth session of the regional assembly of South West state officially opened in Baidoa on Monday. The Speaker of the Lower House, Mohamed Mursal Sheikh Abdirahman, officially opened the session. The Speaker’s keynote speech at the event focused on federalism, security and development. He urged the lawmakers to collaborate with state government in order to implement programs of the state government. He promised to live up to the promises he made during his campaign for the Speaker’s seat on strengthening the cooperation and collaboration between the Federal Parliament and the regional assemblies.
On his side, the President of South West state, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who attended the session, also encouraged the lawmakers to approve the important bills submitted by the state government so as to speed up the services to the public. Separately, the security of Baidoa has been beefed up, as regional security force and AMISOM peacekeeping troops were deployed on the main roads and areas near the presidential palace.
The regional assembly of South West state will resume session after one month recess. During the vacation, the lawmakers attended six days workshop at Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The training focused on parliamentary functions, the separation of powers in a democracy, the powers of parliamentary committees and their role in making these functions impactful in their state, the legislative process and leadership skills for parliamentarians among others. Speaking during the closing ceremony of the workshop, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, asked the members of the regional assembly to put into practice the knowledge gained.
- Federal Parliament Speaker Addresses South West Regional Assembly (Halbeeg News)
- Rape And Armed Attacks On Women On The Rise In Baidoa IDP Camps (Radio Ergo)
- Electoral Delegate Shot Dead In Howlwadag District Mogadishu (Dhacdo.com)
- Somali Minister Sacked After 2 Months In Office (Xinhua)
- China Pledges Support To Somalia’s Official News Agency (Xinhua)
- Eco-Friendly Terrorism in Somalia (Action Institute)
Rape And Armed Attacks On Women On The Rise In Baidoa IDP Camps
09 July – Source: Radio Ergo – 403 Words
Safiyo, 26, lies in a hospital bed in the southern Somali town of Baidoa, recovering from multiple stab wounds after a brutal attack on 22 June. Safiyo – whose real name we have concealed to protect her – told Radio Ergo a man sneaked into her house in Tawakal 2 Diinsoor camp on the outskirts of Baidoa, and locked the door. Her husband was away at the time, having returned to their home in Daynunay, 30 km away, to see if it was possible to return to their farm. Her sister was also out. Safiyo was alone with her three children. She was badly injured in an attempted rape that left her with three deep knife wounds, one of which is on her left breast. As she is on a ventilator now, and talking is difficult, her sister took up the story with Radio Ergo’s local reporter.
“The man attempted to rape her, and when she tried to defend herself he attacked her and stabbed her and stole some of her belongings. As he was leaving she started to scream for help, but he came back and attacked her again,” Safiyo’s sister said. Safiyo is living in fear of another attack, as the camp has no security.
According to the director of the South-West state’s Relief and Disaster Management Ministry, Liban Sheikh Shuaib, 120 women are reported to have suffered violent attacks in Baidoa’s numerous IDP camps since January. He said the insecurity is due to the fact that the camps are located in the outskirts of the town where there are no police stations.
Radio Ergo spoke to another displaced woman, Amina – again not her real name – from drought-hit Buush-Madina village, in Buurhaka. She said a man broke into her house on 1 June armed with a knife and raped her. She was unable to protect herself. Her screams finally brought help from her neighbours, who prevented the attacker from injuring her further.
Amina is a single mother of seven children living in Buula-Gomor camp. She asked for assistance from human rights groups or anyone else who can help her. Most women, she said, fear to share their stories of rape because of the stigma it attracts. Amina said she came forward and chose to share her story to try to raise awareness of the need to improve security in the camps to prevent the many attacks that take place.
Electoral Delegate Shot Dead In Howlwadag District, Mogadishu
09 July – Source: Dhacdo.com – 105 Words
Gunmen believed to be Al-Shabaab assassins last night gunned down an electoral delegate in Howlwadag district, Mogadishu. Witnesses told Dhacdo.com that they heard gunshots and then saw an elder man lying on the ground with gunshot wounds in the upper body. Local residents say the slain man, Hassan Omar Mayow, was in his shop selling sculpture items when he was accosted.
He was among the delegates who elected lawmakers of the South West state in Baidoa. Al Shabaab has previously threatened to target all those who have participated in the 2016- 17 elections in the country and have so far killed many delegates in Mogadishu.
09 July – Source: Xinhua – 90 Words
Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire on Monday sacked the country’s religious affairs and endowment minister Hassan Moalim Hussein, who had been in office for less than two months.
Khaire in a decree issued in Mogadishu said the dismissal took immediate effect and that Hussein’s deputy will take over until the appointment of the new minister.
The prime minister did not give reasons for the drastic action on Hussein who is also a Member of Parliament. Sources linked Hussein’s sacking to failure to implement a government policy on religion matters.
09 July – Source: Xinhua – 127 Words
China on Monday promised assistance amounting to some 22,600 U.S. dollars to the Somali News Agency (SONNA) to modernize operations at its Mogadishu office. Qin Jian, Chinese Ambassador to Somalia, told Xinhua that the money, which will be used to buy office equipment, is part of China’s assistance to Somalia.
He also hailed SONNA for playing an important role in promoting relations between the two countries: “We have already facilitated a media delegation from your beautiful country full of potential to visit China this year,” he said, adding that China supports Somalia’s peace and reconstruction process. Abdulahi Sheikh Abdirahman, Director of SONNA, hailed the Chinese Embassy for the support, saying that the financial assistance will go towards buying of office equipment like cameras and computers.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Al-Shabaab’s claim that the ban is out of concern for the “well-being of humans” seems even more unconvincing in light of the group’s attack on Somalia’s interior ministry on June 7”.
09 July – Source: Action Institute – 475 Words
An East African terrorist group has banned plastic bags out of concern for the health of the environment, a bizarre irony that demonstrates the importance of honoring human dignity. Al Shabaab is a terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaeda that currently occupies regions of Somalia and is apparently very worried about the environmental impact of plastic bags on livestock. Who knew terrorists could be so conscientious?
This, of course, is the same Al-Shabaab that has carried out horrific attacks throughout East Africa that have killed thousands. The absurdity of the announcement attracted immediate attention, with various internet users mocking Al-Shabaab for the decision. Music, movies, certain television channels, satellite dishes, and cooperation with humanitarian organizations have also been banned by the group.
Plastic bags, according to messages posted on a Twitter account affiliated with Al Shabaab, “pose a serious threat to the well-being of humans and animals alike.” As a terrorist organization, they do not exactly have authority to do this, but their habit of causing wanton harm and destruction gives them a de facto authority.
Al-Shabaab’s claims that this ban is out of concern for the well-being of humans seems contrived at best. The UK Independent says that al-Qaeda and other allied groups have “long been vocal about environmental issues.” Despite their apparent consistency in message, there is still a serious moral discrepancy in caring for the environment while simultaneously scorning human life.
If Al-Shabaab wants to do something for the well-being of people in Somalia, they might consider allowing humanitarian efforts. As one medical student in Mogadishu told the New York Times, “I see [the plastic bag ban] as a good decision, but they must ask themselves: Why do they also ban humanitarian workers from operating in Shabab-controlled areas?”