27 July – Source: The Star – 671 Words
Al-Shabaab militants burnt many homes during raids on villages in Lower Shabelle, Somalia in May 2017, Human Rights Watch has said. “The militia abducted civilians, stole livestock, and committed arson in attacks that caused more than 15,000 people to flee their homes,” HRW said in a statement on Thursday. Based on witness accounts and satellite imagery analysis, HRW said at the start of May, Al-Shabaab forces raided villages in the Merka and Afgooye districts of Lower Shabelle.
Senior Africa researcher Laetitia Bader said there was no justification for Al-Shaabab to abduct civilians and cause the mayhem in the region. “The militia is responsible for causing mass flight, but the government needs to address communal tensions and hold those most responsible for abuses to account,” she said. In mid-May, Bader said fighting intensified around the Biyomaal stronghold in Afgooye district known as KM-50 and was followed by Al-Shabaab raids. “They attacked villages after several months of calling on their residents to leave their homes, ” she said.
Residents said Al-Shabaab stole large numbers of cows, goats and camels – critical for survival in the face of ongoing drought. Local elders said hundreds of livestock were stolen, many died, and only a fraction have been returned to the community. A man identified as Abdi told the Watch that he fled his village, Ceel Waregow after Al-Shabaab accused them of being murtads (infidels). “They accused us of joining the government. Some of our elders have talked to Al-Shabaab and told them that those without guns should be spared,” he said.
Abdi said the Al-Shabaab initially used to tax them and take livestock and money from them, “but now they are burning our homes.” A woman from Bullo Mudey, whose father was killed and home burned in an attack said: “How can you stay in a place where there are constant attacks and where children are burned in the houses?” Bader said those who commit war crimes in Somalia should eventually be brought to justice. “However, the government and its backers need to immediately assist the people who escaped the violence,” she said.
- Al-Shabaab Burn Houses Abduct And Steal Livestock In Somalia Attacks (The Star)
- President Farmaajo Appoints Committee To Investigate Wednesday’s Deadly Shootout Between Security Forces (Jowhar.com)
- Intel Chief Sanbaloolshe Reads Riot Act To Government Officials Over Criticism (Goobjoog News)
- Independent Electoral Commission Paves Way For 2021 Elections (Somali Update)
- Constitutional Affairs Minister Under Fire Over Comments Against Parliamentary Decision (Horn Observer)
- KMTC To Admit First Batch Of 50 Somali Students In September (The Star)
- Telecom Heroics In Somalia (Dyn)
President Farmaajo Appoints Committee To Investigate Wednesday’s Deadly Shootout Between Security Forces
27 July – Source: Jowhar.com – 311 Words
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has appointed a high-level committee to investigate yesterday’s deadly shootout incident in Mogadishu involving government soldiers. President Farmaajo announced the committee formation in an emergency meeting he convened for security agencies. The meeting was attended by security minister, deputy minister of defense, justice minister, finance minister, Police and National Intelligence Agency bosses, deputy military commander and Mogadishu governor.
President Farmaajo assigned Police Commissioner General Abdihakin Dahir Saa’id to lead the investigations into the deadly infighting between the armed forces at a checkpoint near the presidential palace. After the end of the meeting, General Saa’id accompanied by security minister, NISA boss, security minister and Mogadishu mayor visited the scene. NISA boss Abdullahi Sanbalolshe said that soldiers involved in the shootout were arrested and are presently under interrogation, promising that the investigation results will be immediately implemented. He said the incident won’t affect the Mogadishu stabilization exercise but instead promised to reinforce them saying their operations will be expanded to areas not previously covered.
Mogadishu Mayor Thabit Abdi Mohamed commended the Mogadishu stabilization forces, pledging his administration’s continued support for them. He called on social media users to delete the photos of the dead soldiers being circulated online.Security Minister Mohamed Islow Duale said that the Mogadishu stabilization forces will continue to carry out their work as normal, calling on the public not to be disappointed by yesterday’s incident. He said they are upset of what happened and vowed to bring soldiers before the court. Similar sentiments were shared by General Saaid who described the shootout unfortunate saying that many people have been arrested for the case and the police were leading the ongoing investigations. The incident has disrupted the security of the city. Security agencies, however, promised that it won’t affect the security operations underway in the city aimed at ensuring security and safety of the public.
Intel Chief Sanbaloolshe Reads Riot Act To Government Officials Over Criticism
27 July – Source: Goobjoog News – 173 Words
Intelligence boss Abdullahi Mohamed Sanbaloolshe has warned government officials against criticizing the government noting their immunity to prosecution was limited to responsible expression. The intelligence chief said some individuals in government were bent on spreading negative messages against the government and ‘even wondering why nothing was happening when there were no attacks in the city’.
“There are some government officials in this city who are concerned when an explosion does not happen. They are quick to point out problems,” said Sanbaloolshe. Speaking Wednesday evening following a shoot-out between forces attached to the presidential guard and intelligence officials which led to death of about four officers, the intelligence head said there were people in government who do not see anything good and are working in the interest of foreign governments. Sanbaloolshe did not make specific reference to individuals. The warning by the government to telecommunications and remittance companies last week against facilitating transfers of money which end up in the hands of terror groups elicited responses with some lawmakers challenging the government provide evidence.
Independent Electoral Commission Paves Way For 2021 Elections
27 July – Source: Somali Update – 243 Words
Somali Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission have appeared before the Somali Lower House following the report on the commission’s plan on 2021 election process submitted to the House earlier. The chair-lady of the commission, Halima Ibrahim Ismail on Wednesday briefed the House about the process aimed to pave the way for a one-man one-vote election scheduled to take place 2021 in Somalia.
“The commission works day and night to complete the process, therefore we need your support to make our efforts fruitful,” said Mrs. Ismail during her speech before the parliament on Wednesday. Early this year, the horn of African nation held an election which participated over 14000 electoral clan delegates following failure to hold one-man one-vote poll due to the attacks by the militants operation in Somalia. Somali stakeholders in 2012 agreed to steer the country towards general election but the move was aborted following several challenges faced by the government led by the then president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Ismail’s commission was formed last year to prepare to election process for a country that has not seen stability over three decades. Following his election victory on 8th February this year, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo made a pledge to hold a countrywide one-person one-vote in 2021. Since its inception 1960, Somalia held two inclusive polls which culminated the victories of Adan Abdulle Osman as the nation’s first democratic elected president and Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Osman’s successor who was later assassinated in Las-Anod town.
Constitutional Affairs Minister Under Fire Over Comments Against Parliamentary Decision
27 July – Source: Horn Observer – 197 Words
Members of the Federal Parliament have filed a motion against the Minister of Constitutional Affairs to appear before the Upper House over his recent comments against the Parliamentary overturning the Supreme Court’s verdict to nullify the 8 contested seats. The Speaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawaari on Wednesdayformally informed the Constitutional Minister, Abdi Hosh to appear before the parliament on Sunday, after lawmakers demanded.
One of the lawmakers who filed the motion against Minister Abdi Jibril Hosh said that, the Parliament wants to question Abdi Hosh over remarks he made on his twitter against the recent decision saying that the “parliament had no legal authority to overturn the high court decision.” Last week, Somali Parliament overturned in a majority vote (with 184 lawmakers voting in favor) against the Supreme Court’s ruling on the 8 seats calling for re-election which sparked legal dispute between the country’s highest branches, the judiciary and the parliament. It is not the first time, the Minister of Constitution makes such comments. In late May, Mr. Hosh made harsh comments against the country’s judiciary calling them, “corrupt” after the Attorney General summoned an individual cited in the media as his close friend.
27 July – Source: The Star – 391 Words
The first batch of 50 Somali students will be admitted to the Mandera Medical Training College as from September 2017. The lot forms part of the 200 agreed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in March. This was revealed during a meeting between Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed and Somalia’s Yusuf-Garaad Omar in Nairobi on Wednesday. The leaders converged for a midterm review of the 1st Session of the Kenya-Somalia Joint Commission for Cooperation. “In this regard, the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia has been requested to submit the names of the 50 students who meet the Nursing Council of Kenya requirements,” a communique from the meeting states.
The leaders agreed that the second batch of 50 students will be admitted in March 2018, and the third batch of 100 students will be admitted in September 2018. The meeting also resolved that Kenya will offer training of Foreign Service Officers and Protocol Department Officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia. Amina and Yusuf-Garaad at the same time hailed the progress made in entrenching bilateral relations between the two countries adding that the gains will boost trade and investments in the two states.
They emphasized on the need to deepen and enhance the excellent cooperation to boost sectors including trade, agriculture, security, refugees, immigration, economic and political affairs among others. The two ministers appreciated the progress made so far in implementing the agreement President Kenyatta and Somalia’s Mohamed reached during their meeting. The actions include the resumption of direct flights between Mogadishu and Nairobi which has already commenced. “The two ministers noted that resumption of direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu has been effected and is operating smoothly,” the communique reads in part.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Presently, Mogadishu is lauded as one of the fastest growing cities in the world and is enjoying a resurgent economy primarily due to the withdrawal of Al-Shabaab but also due to improved telecommunication services, the lifeblood of a modern economy. If it wasn’t for the heroic work of the dedicated telecommunications professionals in Mogadishu in 2013 and 2014, this service could have never been established.”
26 July – Source: Dyn – 825 Words
Internet service in and around Mogadishu, Somalia suffered a crippling blow recently as the East African Submarine System (EASSy) cable, which provides service to the area, was cut by the anchor of a passing ship. The government of Somalia estimated that the impact of the submarine cable cut was US$10 million per day and detained the MSC Alice, the cargo vessel that reportedly caused the damage.The cable was repaired on 17 July. The incident is the latest in a series of recent submarine cable breaks (see Nigeria, Ecuador, Congo-Brazzaville and Vietnam) that remind us how dependent much of the world remains on a limited set of physical connections which maintain connectivity to the global Internet. The story of how high-speed Internet service came to Mogadishu is nothing short of remarkable. It involved Somali telecommunications personnel staring down the threat of a local terrorist group (Al-Shabaab) in order to establish Somalia’s first submarine cable connection. This submarine cable link would be vital if Mogadishu were to have any hope of improving its local economy and ending decades of violence and hunger. However, in January 2014, Al-Shabaab announced a prohibition against ‘mobile Internet service’ and ‘fiber optic cables’ stating,
Any individual or company that is found not following the order will be considered to be working with the enemy and they will be dealt with in accordance with Sharia law. The government of Somalia urged its telecoms not to comply with the Al-Shabaab ban. Then in February 2014, technicians from Somalia’s largest operator Hormuud Telecom were forced at gunpoint by Al-Shabaab militants to disable their mobile Internet service. At that time, Internet service in Mogadishu was entirely reliant on bulk satellite service, which has limited capacity and suffers from high latency when compared to submarine cable or terrestrial fiber-based service. Liquid Telecom’s terrestrial service to Mogadishu wouldn’t become active until December 2014 and the semi-autonomous regions of Somaliland and Puntland in the northern part of the country use terrestrial connections to Djibouti for international access.
Despite the threats from Al-Shabaab, Hormuud Telecom elected to press ahead with its planned activation of new service via submarine cable that would be crucial for development of Mogadishu’s economy. Immediately following the activation, I drafted a blog post (as I had done in the cases of Cuba and Crimea) heralding the EASSy subsea cable activation in Mogadishu as a great milestone for the troubled region. However, at the request of the leadership of WIOCC, the company that owns the EASSy cable, we refrained from publication. The primary concern at the time was the safety of the hostages Al-Shabaab had recently taken when they raided a Hormuud Telecom office in the Jilib district. We agreed not to publish the blog post so as not to draw additional publicity to Hormuud’s defiance of Al-Shabaab, which could have put those Hormuud employees at risk.
@GdnDevelopment: Al-Shabaab militants ban starving Somalis from accessing aid.
@adancabdulle: This is madness: NISA Chief threatens a sitting MP after he criticized conduct of militias loyal to the NISA chief
@MoradNews: #Somalia’s HirShabelle regional state opens sharia court to rival #AlShabaab justice system.http://www.africanews.com/
@HarunMaruf: Somalia: Security Min Mohamed Abukar tells local media that “all those involved” in y’day’s shootout were detained, he didn’t ID any of them
@engyarisow: Somali Govt conducted a successful community dialogue with hundreds of Somali Youth, University Students, Women, Elders & members from IDPS.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and her Somalia counterpart Yusuf Garaad Omar during the midterm review of the 1st Session of the Kenya-Somalia Joint Commission for Cooperation in Nairobi, Wednesday, July 26, 2017.