25 July – Source: AMISOM – 564 Words
A joint meeting of senior officials from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) opened in Mogadishu today, to lay groundwork for the transitioning of Somalia’s security from AMISOM to the country’s security forces. The four-day meeting was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister H.E Mahdi Mohamed Guled and the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira.“The question is, how we as AMISOM, how we as SNA, how we as Somali National Security Forces are going to fit into these decisions and recommendations; and what we need to do to implement these decisions and attain the final result,” SRCC Madeira said in his opening remarks.
In April, Somalia’s leaders made a security pact that resulted in the establishment of a National Security Architecture, in which they commit to taking a lead in providing security in the country, including securing recovered areas. The Somali-led security forces would also open Main Supply Routes and provide security for the 2021 elections. During the May 2017 London Somali Conference, recommendations encouraged an effective transitional role by AMISOM, on a conditions based transition. “Which is the effective empowerment of the SNSF for them to be able to effectively take the lead in the security effort of the country as AMISOM and partners to play the supporting role,” Amb. Madeira explained. The meeting is being jointly steered by the Somali Federal Minister of Defence Mr. Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed and the AMISOM Force Commander Lt. General Osman Noor Soubagleh. In attendance are AMISOM and SNA’s senior military commanders, Somali and AU Police and key partners.
- AMISOM And Somali Government Hold Joint Meeting On Transitioning Security To Somali Security Forces (AMISOM)
- Somaliland Appoints Former Diplomat Edna Aden Special Envoy To Talks With Somalia (Goobjoog News)
- Al-Shabaab Commander Of Operations In Galkayo Arrested (Jowhar.com)
- House Opens Up Budget Process As It Holds First Public Outreach Session (Goobjoog News)
- Al-Shabaab Frees 7 Aid Workers In Somalia (Anadolu Agency)
- President Farmaajo’s Delicate Balancing Act (Hiiraan Online)
Somaliland Appoints Former Diplomat Edna Aden Special Envoy To Talks With Somalia
25 July – Source: Goobjoog News – 248 Words
Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo has appointed former diplomat Edna Aden Ismail Special Envoy to negotiations with Somalia, which collapsed in March 2015. President Silanyo announced in a decree Tuesdaythe appointment of Enda who served as foreign affairs minister in the breakaway region between 2003 and 2006 signaling a return to talks which failed to kick off in Turkey March 2015 following differences between the two factions over the venue. The appointment of Eda considered one of the foremost actors in the Somaliland political process having served as minister and spouse to the region’s first president Haji Ibrahim Egal is critical in jumpstarting a process which has stalled over the years. Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 following the collapse of government but is yet to gain international recognition.
Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation will closely work with the envoy in her official duties, the decree read. Edna was born on September 8, 1937 in Hargeisa and took her tertiary education in London South Bank University where she is said to be ‘the first Somali girl’ to study in Britain. Talks between Somaliland and Somalia started in 2012 following the election of President Silanyo. The London Conference in February, 23 2012 was attended by the Transitional Federal Parliament and Somaliland. Subsequent meetings were held in Dubai, Djibouti and Turkey. Somaliland Foreign Affairs Minister Said Ali Shire told House of Elders early last year his government would return to the negotiating table soon.
Al-Shabaab Commander Of Operations In Galkayo Arrested
25 July – Source: Jowhar.com – 119 Words
A successful operation jointly carried by Puntland and Galmudug security forces saw the arrest of the highly sought-after Al-Shabaab commander of operations in Galkayo.Reports say the well-coordinated operation saw the arrest of Abdirsak Hussein Tahlil also known as “Alol Geel” and four others. The apprehended militant was well-known to security forces, who have been looking for him for a long time. Both Puntland and Galmudug authorities have not yet commented on his arrest.
It was last year when Puntland Intelligence Unit and Somali commando arrested a Sudanese national, who was a member of Al-Shabaab in a joint operation in Galkayo. The town of Galkayo has seen targeted assassinations and explosions often claimed by the militant group Al-Shabaab.
House Opens Up Budget Process As It Holds First Public Outreach Session
25 July – Source: Goobjoog News – 210 Words
The Lower House Finance Committee held its first public outreach meeting in Mogadishu yesterday where it sought to educate the public on the budget making process and collect public views on the national expenditure. The Finance committee secretary Abdullahi Mohamed Noor said parliament was opening up the budget process to allow public input and create awareness among Somalis in a process which has over the years been a preserve for only government and parliament. This exercise will be continuous and we will always encourage the public to participate in the budget making process, Noor said. The lawmaker took attendants through the budget making process noting it was imperative the public participate in such an important exercise.
“The Federal Ministry sends a notice letter to all the concerned government organs to send their needs or suggestions within a limited period. These responses will pass it to the Finance Ministry e.g. budget section, head of departments and then the Minister,” said Noor. Along the process, heads of government organs will meet the Federal Finance Minister before the budget is forwarded to the Cabinet Ministers. After they approve, the budget will be tabled in the Lower House of Parliament. Noor said the 2018 national budget will be consultative to ensure public participation.
25 July – Source: Anadolu Agency – 126 Words
Seven Somali humanitarian workers were released by the al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgent group al-Shabaab after eight days in captivity on Monday, authorities said. The aid workers were abducted on July 16 near the city of Baidoa 250 kilometers (155 miles) southwest of the capital Mogadishu.
Mohamed Isak Ibrahim, National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) director in Baidoa, told Anadolu Agency by phone that seven aid workers had been released by al-Shabaab on Monday. “Seven local humanitarian workers were freed on Monday and they came in Baidoa city safely. There are two women and five men” Isak said. The hostages were released after the kidnappers received weapons as a ransom, a police officer told Anadolu Agency speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on taking to the media.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“During the past decade, Al-Shabab operatives have mainly financed their terrorist operations and supported their networks by borrowing a page from the Mafia-style shakedowns of local businesses that pay monthly “zakat” donations for protection.”
24 July – Source: Hiiraan Online – 1,785 Words
President Farmaajo came to office scarcely five months ago. His election was a transformational moment for Somalia has rarely appeared more united than when he was elected as a president. He campaigned to eradicate corruption from the ranks of government and more importantly to either bring the Al-Shabaab terrorists into the fold or wipe them out. Yet he had many more challenges awaiting him, inheriting a country in disarray, politically deadlocked and financially strained, not to mention a dismal state of insecurity. The biggest single problem for the president, however, has been the fight against corruption as a broader strategy against terrorism. Nonetheless, his recent declaration of waging war against the Al-Shabaab terrorists while dressed in military fatigues and the subsequent flawed disarmament of the capital’s remnant warlords from illegal arms were a bit misplaced and rather naïve.
The real culprit sustaining the intransigent Al-Shabaab terrorists in the country is the shadowy and unregulated finance methods based on mobile money-transfer system that they use to finance their deadly attacks. Unless the government goes after the illegal resources funding these terrorists, their efforts will be futile. The fight against corruption as a first-order national security priority must be able to follow the trail of the money. The government has to find a way to completely take control of the flow of money inside the country and that will mean reining in the elusive mobile money-transfer system, while revitalizing the traditional formal banking system. Categorically, mobile payment system has become the bank of choice for the terrorists, which is firmly controlled by rogue businessmen who neither care about country nor freedom, but President Farmaajo’s government should strive to reverse this risky finance system.
If President Farmaajo wishes to be more pragmatic than his predecessors in prioritizing the security and financial transparency of the country, then he needs to be very careful not to get caught up in a trap of his predecessors’ making by succumbing to the country’s Big Business entrapments. Though, a government like Somalia with a fledgling economy is bound to find itself at the mercy of local Big Businesses for loans and financial support. But also at the same time to come hard against their butter and bread that’s a delicate balancing act. In fact, how President Farmaajo handles that very balancing act may determine the future success or failure of his government. In other words, fighting terrorism and corruption without alienating Big Businesses is a very tricky balance. Most experts on terrorism agree that long gone are the days of trying to defeat terrorists by waging a war, but disrupting their supply of finance should be the most critical target. On the other hand, those arguing how the services provided by the telecom industry and Big Businesses’ economic contribution to the development of the country in general to outweigh the security of the country are merely hardened capitalists who care nothing about peace and the safety of generations to come.
@wakiilorg: Financial committee engages in a public hearing event over gov’t proposed budget aimed to have ordinary citizens involve & contribute.
@HarunMaruf: Ina Alool Geel was captured in Galkayo Mondayin a joint operation by Galmudug and Puntland, he was well-known to security forces: source
@Garadadde: Somalia dismisses terror finance allegations against top business tycoons http://www.alleastafrica.com/
@davidsim: I love these murals by Shik Shik, seen on more than 100 shops in Mogadishu: http://ibt.uk/A6qV6
@radiogarowe: Puntland security forces capture the head of Amniyat operatives of #AlShabaab Abdirizak Hussein Tahlil (Ina Aloolgeel) in#Galkayo July 23. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/
IMAGE OF THE DAY
Ambassador Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia addresses participants during the opening of a Joint AMISOM and Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) conference in Mogadishu, Somalia, on July 24, 2017.