Lawmakers Reject Supreme Court Ruling On Nullified Seats
22 July – Source: Garowe Online – 216 Words
Lawmakers of Somalia’s Federal Parliament have overwhelmingly voted against the Supreme Court ruling to nullify results of elected MPs on Saturday. The Parliament Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawaari, announced that 180 MPs out of 184 MPs who attended the session rejected the Court’s nullification of 8 members of the House, while 4 abstained from voting. The lawmakers defended the 8 seats that were ordered to be re-elected in May by the court after the Independent Electoral Disputes body dismissed the voting results over alleged fraud and bribery.
The nullified elected MPs are Abdullahi Mohamed Aden “Shacir”, Mohamed Sa’eed Abdullahi, Mohamed Ahmed Abdtidoon, Nadiifa Aden Isack, Muna Khalif Sheikh, Abdiaziz Salah Arman, Sharmarke Garaad Saleebaan Buraale and Samra Ibrahim Omar. A total of 11 seats were nullified from Jubbaland, Galmudug, Puntland, Hirshabelle and Southwest for failing to adhere to the rules of the electoral process, but only three of them have been re-contested. Today’s Parliament decision against the Supreme Court is a clear indication of a new quarrel between the legislative body and the judiciary system of the country, as the legality of the vote raises questions. On the other hand, the Parliament leadership has declared 5-point procedures that a lawmaker can lose his or her seat in the national assembly, which awaits the final approval of the House.
- Lawmakers Reject Supreme Court Ruling On Nullified Seats (Garowe Online)
- Somalia Warns Telcos And Remittance Companies Against Aiding Terror Financing (Goobjoog News)
- Suspension of Permanent Secretary of Somalia’s Interior Ministry Sparks Conflict in the Ministry (Horn Observer)
- Rival Militia Clash In Central Somalia Leaving 20 Dead (The East Africa)
- IMF Management Completes The Second Review Under The Staff–Monitored Programme For Somalia (CPI Financial)
Somalia Warns Telcos And Remittance Companies Against Aiding Terror Financing
23 July – Source: Goobjoog News – 399 Words
Somalia has warned telecommunication and remittance companies against facilitating financial transactions by groups or individuals affiliated to the militant group Al-Shabaab as the new administration tightens the noose on terror financing. Telecommunication companies and remittance companies locally known as hawalas are now forbidden to hold accounts, transfer money or provide any aid to individuals or groups associated to Al-Shabaab and that any suspect transactions must be made known to the government, security chiefs announced Saturday. “We want to send the telecommunication companies the decision reached by the Cabinet, which is forbidden to facilitate or transfer money for Al-Shabab through such means as EVC+, Saad Service, E-maal and others. Banks and money remittance companies fall under this category and shall not extend financial service to them,” Security Minister Mohamed Abukar Islow said.
The minister said the government was monitoring money transfers which could be heading to terror groups noting that legal action would be taken on money transfer and telecommunication companies which facilitate such transfers. The Hormud which controls the largest telecommunication market share operates the Electronic Virtual Cash (EVC) which enables users to not only transfer money but also conduct financial transactions easing the burden of inconvenience use of Somali shilling. EVC uses the US dollar. “We know and we are going after people who invest in business with money laundered or taken illegally from the citizens by Al-Shabaab and the culprits will be dealt with by the law,” the minister said.
In a resolution following the meeting Saturday evening, the security chiefs also warned traders against paying levies to Al-Shabaab noting that the government would not entertain any excuses for paying any fines to the group. Al-Shabaab is known to demand fines from traders particularly in the capital Mogadishu in the name of alms (zakat). Anyone who recognises the authority of Al-Shabaab will be penalized in accordance with the law, the decree also reads. Intelligence boss Abdullahi Mohamed Ali warned traders and those financing terror groups will be pursued by our agency. “We all know what amounts are imposed as fine and we have evidence related to this issue. We are telling all the Somali traders that paying any fine is illegal. We know them one by one,” said Ali. The decree by the security chiefs follows the endorsement of the Telecommunications Bill by the cabinet last week which seeks to regulate the telecommunications sector in the country.
Suspension of Permanent Secretary of Somalia’s Interior Ministry Sparks Conflict in the Ministry
22 July – Source: Horn Observe – 227 Words
The Interior ministry of Somalia on Saturday said that it has replaced its Permanent secretary over lack of cooperation in a letter signed by the minister, an act which sparked conflict within the ministry. The Minister of Interior of Somalia Abdi Farah Juha officially suspended from duty the permanent secretary Yahye Ali Ibrahim and appointed Abdullahi Mohamoud Hassan as the new boss for the position, the ministry said in a document obtained by Horn Observer. The Ministry accused the former permanent secretary for lack of cooperation and sabotaging the ministry’s day to day activities and other issues, the document read. However, the State Minister of the Ministry of Interior Abdullahi Farah Wehliye opposed the minister’s decision to fire the Permanent Secretary calling it “Unlawful”.
Firing of the Permanent Secretary requires approval from the Council of Ministers. The conflicting documents from the Interior Ministry tests the level of cooperation that exists inside the ministry. Many analysts believe that issue of conflicting directives within the Ministry in the public domain shows the weaknesses in leadership. Unconfirmed reports stated that the current government plans to replace all the former Director Generals or the Permanent Secretaries of the previous government, in an attempt to expand their influence to the various branches of the government by nominating loyalists. Recently, the Ministry of Information has replaced its Director General over allegations of corruptions.
23 July – Source: The East Africa – 185 Words
At least 20 people are reported to have been killed in a two-day fierce gun-battle between Galmudug forces and Ahlu Sunna wal-Jamea, a Sufi militia, in central Somalia. More than 40 others are said to have been injured as the two sides fight for control of Herale town in the Galgadud region. Local media reported relative calm in the area on Saturday after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo called for immediate ceasefire Friday. “An ugly war has taken place at Herale over the last several days,” said President Farmajo. “It is intolerable and must be stopped immediately,” he added.
Tensions, however, remain high as the two sides are said to have been sending fighters into Herale. According to reports, residents began fleeing the town last week. President Farmajo said he will dispatch a fact-finding mission into the area. Herale is located about 600km north of the Somali capital Mogadishu. The Ahlu Sunna controls large parts of Galgadud, an administrative region in Galmudug State. The Sufi militia does not recognise the Federal government-backed Galmudug administration and peace talks to resolve the dispute collapsed in April in Mogadishu.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
23 July – Source: CPI Financial – 582 Words
On June 21, the management of the IMF completed the second and final review under the first Staff–Monitored Program (SMP) with Somalia, and the Managing Director of the IMF approved a new SMP covering the period May 2017–April 2018. Somalia’s 2016 electoral cycle was completed on February 8, with the election of Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed as President. The new government has renewed its commitment to continue with strong policies and reforms to rebuild economic institutions, and to lay the foundations for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.The international community and key donors of Somalia have welcomed the new government’s commitment, reaffirming their support to Somalia at a roundtable held last April in Washington, D.C. and at the Somalia Conference in London in May. Somalia is a fragile state and the country’s post-war economic situation continues to be very difficult, with poverty remaining widespread. The authorities are lacking the resources and capacity, as well as the policy instruments, such as social safety net programmes, to respond to their challenging development needs, including meeting the humanitarian needs resulting from the ongoing drought. The drought is weakening economic activities and pushing up food prices.
The government’s budgetary expenditures in 2017 will be largely consumed by wages and salaries, as well as goods and services. On the revenue side, donor grants are projected to finance about 40 per cent of the 2017 budget. Somalia is still facing a large trade deficit, which will be covered by grants, remittances, and foreign direct investment from the Somali diaspora. Programme implementation through end-December 2016 and end-March 2017 was broadly satisfactory. In view of this performance and the remedial measures by the authorities to address shortcomings in performance under the first SMP, IMF management agreed to the completion of the second and final review of the programme. In view of the major challenges Somalia faces, the authorities requested a new 12-month SMP covering the period May 2017–April 2018, which the Managing Director of the IMF has now approved. The new programme will help the authorities maintain macroeconomic stability; rebuild institutions and capacity for macroeconomic management and governance; and to implement the necessary measures to lay the foundation for achieving debt relief in the future under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
The new SMP is founded on three pillars: fiscal policy and reforms, monetary and financial sector policies and reforms, and governance and capacity development. Fiscal policy will focus on improving budget execution and avoiding accumulation of domestic arrears; broadening the tax base; and improving public financial management. The monetary and financial sector agenda will include further steps toward currency reform, financial sector development, and establishment of effective regulations for money-transfer businesses. The latter includes improvements to the legal and operational framework in connection with issues related to money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism, which will help to facilitate the inflows of remittances to support economic activity and poverty reduction. Capacity development and reforms to improve governance will be central to the programme. These efforts will be supported strongly by technical assistance from the IMF which will continue to be financed from a donors’ Trust Fund. Risks to the programme and the outlook are high, including the fragile security situation, weak institutional capacity, and major refugee and humanitarian crises. However, the authorities’ continued commitment to the programme and sustained and coordinated international support should help mitigate these risks. Improved ownership of the programme by the authorities will also be essential to its success.