First Federal Cabinet Ministers Meeting Held Outside Mogadishu
13 July – Source: Garowe Online – 169 Words
The Cabinet Ministers of Somalia’s Federal government led by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre have arrived in Kismayo on Wednesday. The Minister of Information for Somalia, Abdirahman Omar Osman Yarisow, said the Cabinet is holding its weekly meeting in the town of Kismayo, the capital of Jubaland state. Eng Yarisow said, Thursday’s meeting in Kismayo becomes the first ever held outside of Mogadishu city, and is aimed at strengthening the relationship between Somali Federal Government, and the regional administrations, according to the Minister for Information.
After the Cabinet meeting, PM Kheyre and his council of ministers are scheduled to hold meetings with Jubbaland officials, including President Ahmed Madobe, state ministers and civil society members. Puntland and Jubbaland have welcomed the move, describing it a historic step of reaching out the government across the country and enhance its close cooperation with Federal member states. Somali Prime Minister said that the weekly cabinet meetings will take place in the capitals of regional administrations, starting from Kismayo for an attempt to create an interaction and cooperation.
- First Federal Cabinet Ministers Meeting Held Outside Mogadishu (Garowe Online)
- Business Community in Fear After Al-Shabab Imposed New ‘Zakat’ (Somali Update)
- Special Forces And US Troops Destroy Al-Shabaab Base in Kuunyo Barow (Jowhar.com)
- Truck Bomb Blast Kills 5 Outside Somali Capital (Middle East Monitor)
- Residents Flee Homes As Forces Prepare To Flush Out Al- Shabaab (Daily Nation)
- Expanding Opportunities For Somalia’s Youth As The Somali National University Gets Back Its Main Campus (Reliefweb)
Business Community in Fear After Al-Shabab Imposed New ‘Zakat’ Rates
13 July – Source: Somali Update – 456 Words
Members of Somali business community in Mogadishu are facing fresh Al-Shabaab threats after the militant group imposed payment of new Zakat money. Al-Shabaab uses the Zakat meaning alms as a means to extort money from local business people. Four businessmen, three of them Mogadishu residents and one in Bosasso, Puntland who spoke to Somali Update Online, said they have received warnings from Al-Shabaab members in Mogadishu and in Lower Shabelle region. “I was called by someone claiming to be member of Al-Shabaab’s Zakat office and informed me to come for a meeting in Awdhegle town two weeks ago. I told him that I cannot attend and then he informed me to pay new Zakat imposed by Al-Shabaab. I could not resist as I am fearing for my life.” said one businessman who trades in Bakara market, the largest business centre in Somalia, and requested anonymity due to his safety.
Another businessman in Suq Ba’ad, north of Mogadishu said his company received warning last week after he failed to pay the Zakat money. He said the notice from the militant came last month. “The Al-Shabab member warned me and my company workers if we fail to pay the money in this month July” said the businessman, who also sought anonymity for security reasons. A third business man said his import and export firm already compiled with Al-Shabaab orders by paying $8,000 (eight thousands US dollars). “The money imposed is different according to the kind of the business and we were ordered to pay $8,000, which we did” said the worried businessman in Mogadishu. “I have no other option. If I do not pay they would probably kill me or harm my business.”
Telecommunication and remittance companies are also those affected by the new Al-Shabaab Zakat rates. The business people demanded protection from the government security agencies as they face threats against their businesses and their lives. “We are in an extreme fear. The government cannot protect us as Al-Shabaab demands huge sums of cash which we cannot afford.” said another businessman in Bosasso. The money imposed on the business communities by Al-Shabaab ranges from one hundred dollar to thousands of dollars depending on the type of business. On Wednesday, Benadir Police Commissioner General Ahmed Hassan Malin admitted that he received complaints from the business community regarding the new Zakat rates imposed by Al-Shabaab. “We have heard about this new development. I want to make it clear that Al-Shabaab has no power to go to Bakara market or Suq Ba’ad to extort money from the business, but they can only threaten through phone calls.” said the General. Further, the General Malin called upon all concerned businesses to report to the police stations to get security protection.
Special Forces And US Troops Destroy Al-Shabaab Base in Kuunyo Barow
13 July – Source: Jowhar.com – 129 Words
Somalia’s special forces known as Danab backed by US troops last night raided an Al-Shabaab bases in Kuunyo Barowe in Lower Shabelle region. The district commissioner of Baraawe, Hussein Bare has revealed the special forces supported by US troops landed near Kuunyo Barow and carried out a heavy assault on Al-Shabaab base in the area. “The special forces of Danab and US troops landed in Kuunyo Barow and destroyed an Al-Shabaab base in the area,” said the Commissioner.
He added that the Kuunyo Barow area is one of the places that Al-Shabaab has been planning to carry out attacks in the region and as such two drone strikes hit the area last week. There has been no official communication regarding the raid by the Somali National Army (SNA).
13 July – Source: Middle East Monitor – 115 Words
At least five people were killed, all civilians, and more than eight wounded when a truck bomb attack targeted a security checkpoint on the outskirts of the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday afternoon, officials said. The attack took place in Sinka-Dheer, a small village on the outskirts of the capital, police Sgt. Ismail Adan told Anadolu Agency over the telephone he said.
More than eight others, including women and children were wounded, and were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment, he added. Ahmed Sid Arab, Internal Security Ministry spokesman, confirmed the attack to reporters. Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attack. Wednesday’s attack comes only hours after two people were killed in Mogadishu by gunmen.
13 July – Source: Daily Nation – 562 Words
Residents of nine villages bordering Boni Forest in Lamu County are leaving their homes, following plans of a major security operation to weed out Al-Shabaab. This follows an order by Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa for the residents to pave way for the operation. On Wednesday, residents of Pandanguo, Maleli, Sendemke, Chumburu, Maisha Masha, Kakathe, Jima and Poromoko were fleeing their homes, with some camping at Witu AIC Church, Witu Catholic Church, Katsaka Kairu Centre and Moa town.
On Monday, Mr Marwa announced the government had increased airstrikes against Al-Shabaab terrorists believed to be hiding in the forest and called on locals to move. The number of residents who had taken refuge at Witu AIC Church had increased from 35 people to more than 100, with many more expected. Kenya Red Cross Society county coordinator Kauthar Alwy said 32 families, mostly from Jima and Poromoko villages in Lamu West were at the church. “We are coordinating with the national government in ensuring those seeking refuge are comfortable wherever they will be. So far we have 32 households at Witu AIC Church.
The number might increase as days go by. That’s why we are holding an urgent meeting today to discuss a way forward,” said Mrs Alwy. Villagers from Pandanguo sought refuge in Witu town. Some transferred their children from Pandanguo Primary School to Witu Primary. “I have moved to Witu with my family. We will be staying here until the government assures us of our security,” said Mr Sharuti Ali. At Katsaka Kairu Centre in Witu Division, another camp was also established on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Agano Party Senatorial candidate Waihiga Mwaure has called on the government to allocate guns to all adults in the area.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The handover ceremony, attended by senior government officials, UN and AMISOM representatives, was officiated by the Federal Minister for Higher Education, Abdirahman Dahir Osman, who said education was the anchor for sustainable development,”
Expanding Opportunities For Somalia’s Youth As The Somali National University Gets Back Its Main Campus
13 July – Source: Reliefweb – 407 Words
UNICEF has welcomed the handover of the Somali National University’s main campus to the Federal Government as an important step forward in expanding opportunities for youth in Somalia. The campus had been used by different militaries, and secured by the Burundi contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as a battalion headquarters for more than ten years. The troops are now being relocated to Middle Shabelle. The campus’ buildings and grounds were renovated before the handover. “This is a very positive move and sends a strong message on the importance of making sure all qualified Somali youth have the opportunity to continue their education after primary and secondary school to become the leaders of the future,” said Vincent Lelei, the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, who attended the handover ceremony.
The Somali National University (SNU), which was the first university in Somalia when it was set up in 1954, reopened in 2014 after being closed for more than two decades during the conflict. Since then students have used its other campuses to study education, law, medicine, and engineering among various subjects. The re-opening of the SNU was aimed at ensuring the provision of an affordable and high quality education which would expand access to higher education to those who did not have the means to attend one of the many private universities that have proliferated across the country. Somalia has one of the lowest enrolment rates for primary school education with only a third of children in school and the prolonged drought has led to many thousands dropping out of school. Since the start of the year UNICEF and partners have supported over 104,000 children to remain in or return to school.
@HarunMaruf: Somalia is building, equipping new air traffic control to transfer management of its airspace from UN run office in Nairobi to Mogadishu.
@HarunMaruf: The troops reportedly dropped from helicopters, reached a target in Al-Shabaab controlled town of Kunyo Barrow, then withdrew, sources say.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
PM, Hassan Ali Kheyre presides over the weekly Cabinet meeting held in Kismaayo.
Photo: Radio Muqdisho