July 27, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

At Least 5 Somali Security Officers Killed During Infighting

27 July – Source: Xinhua – 223 Words

At least five Somali government forces including a senior security officer were killed and two others injured when infighting broke out among the security officers in Mogadishu on Wednesday. The fighting broke out between the military and National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) at a military checkpoint near the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

Minister of Defense of Somalia, Abdirashid Abdulahi Mohamed confirmed the incident, saying the government has launched investigation to establish the cause of the deadly gunfire that also resulted in the death of an intelligence officer. “I can confirm that five NISA and SNA (military) soldiers died and two others injured in an incident here in Mogadishu today due to suspicion between the two sides. A senior security officer is among those killed in Mogadishu,” Mohamed told journalists.

He said that the government has set up a committee which will investigate how the incident happened. Sources said the fighting erupted after the military soldiers denied access to a convoy carrying former Benadir Intelligence chief Isse Jiljile to the main street for unknown reasons. The dispute later sparked a deadly gunfight that left the senior intelligence officer and some of his bodyguards dead. The latest incident comes barely three months after Somali Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction, Abbas Abdulahi Siraji was shot down by Somali government soldiers at the same scene.

Key Headlines

  • At Least 5 Somali Security Officers Killed During Infighting (Xinhua)
  • Jubbaland Minister Slams Murder Of Four Inmates In Beled-Hawo (Garowe Online)
  • Probe Opens Into Cause Of Deadly Inter-government Forces Fighting In Mogadishu (Somali Update)
  • New Permanent Representative of Somalia Presents Credentials (United Nations)
  • UN Targets 4.2 Million Somali Children In Measles Drive (Xinhua)
  • UN Mission Seeks Views On Traditional justice For Women In Somalia (Xinhua)
  • Somali Officials Visit Rwanda On Anti-corruption Campaign (The New Times)
  • IOM: Drought Conflict Displace 800000 in Somalia (VOA News)
  • QRCS And Katara Distribute 200 Tonnes Of Aid In Somalia (Qatar Tribune)
  • An Interview With Ali M. Ahad (Wardheer News)


Jubbaland Minister Slams Murder Of Four Inmates In Beled-Hawo

26 July – Source: Garowe Online – 194 Words

Jubbaland Minister for Security Mohamed Abdi Kaliil has strongly condemned the extrajudicial killing of four detainees in Beled-Hawo town of Gedo region on Sunday. The official said authorities have arrested those behind the execution, including Beled-Hawo district commissioner, his deputy on social affairs, soldiers and the region’s head of Intelligence for the murder.

“It’s unfortunate and shocking! We condemn it and will hold accountable the officials who are involved or ordered the execution of the alleged Al-Shabaab prisoners without court prosecution,” said Kaliil. The arrested officials were reported to have been transferred to a prison in the town of Doolow, which borders with Kenya on Tuesdaynight, and expected to stand trial, and face murder charges.

There has been a brewing tension in the town which has dramatically changed in the last two days over the murder of four suspects who were taken out of prison late on Sunday night, and shot dead without court orders. The murder prompted fears among the residents, with reports that some families fled the town, to escape possible clashes resulting from the growing tension. The killing of the inmates is said to be related to previous clan atrocities.

Probe Opens Into Cause Of Deadly Inter-government Forces Fighting In Mogadishu

26 July – Source: Somali Update – 366 Words

Somali security officials have opened a probe into a deadly inter-government forces clashes on Wednesday which left five soldiers and mid-rank intelligence officer killed, National Intelligence and Security Agency Commander Abdullahi Mohamed Ali Sanbalolshe said. In a press conference later on Wednesday, NISA top commander described the armed clashes as an unfortunate incident. “We have opened an investigation into the cause of the fight. Anyone found involved should face the full force of the law,” he said. The first gunfight erupted at El-gaab junction, few metres outside the Villa Somalia after the soldiers guarding the Presidential Compound blocked the key road for President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s convoy moving out the Palace and consequently denied a NISA vehicle to access the road prompting the gunfight between the two forces which resulted the death of NISA officer Colonel Isse Jiijiile who once led the operations office of the NISA Benadir unit.

A second gunfight broke out after overpowered NISA soldiers called for reinforcement and attacked the Presidential Guards where two officers killed resulting Presidential Guards to deploy more soldiers at nearby roads as the tension rose high. However, Mr. Sanbalolshe attributed the incident near the Presidential Palace for previous intelligence tip-off mentioning that Al-Shabaab fighters dressed as NISA soldiers could infiltrate the area which alerted the Presidential Guards. “The Presidential Guards are tasked to protect the head of the state and so they have been given fake alert which forced them to deny access to the nearby roads and thus causing to clash with NISA soldiers returning from an operation.” NISA commander added.

Meanwhile, a third gunfire occurred at Wadajir neighborhood where the newly forced stabilization forces conducted search operation targeting residential houses near a military camp in Kawo-godey area. Three soldiers were killed during the second gun-fight which ended after senior officials intervened.
Since the fall of Somalia’s central government, armed clashes within government forces in major towns have been common occurrences and resulted deaths of both soldiers and civilians. In a bid to minimize the inter-forces clashes, the commanders of the security forces in March this year issued instructions for the all armed forces of non-police and intelligence units to vacate camps in the capital.


New Permanent Representative of Somalia Presents Credentials

26 July – Source: United Nations – 264 Words

The new Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations, Abukar Dahir Osman, presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General António Guterres today. Before his latest appointment, Mr. Osman was Chief of Staff in the Office of the President of Somalia from 2014 to 2017.  He served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior and National Security from 2012 to 2014, and as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government from 2010 to 2011.

Mr. Osman spent time in Ohio, in the United States, where he was a supervisor at the Adult Medicaid Unit of the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services from 2007 to 2012.  He served that Department in various other capacities, including social programme specialist between 2005 and 2007, and case manager from 1999 to 2005.  Also during that period, he founded Beacon Educational Services and served as a consultant from 2007 to 2010.  He was Deputy Director of the International Academy of Columbus from 2002 to 2006. Between 1996 and 1998, Mr. Osman was a documentation specialist at the United Nations Centre for Human Rights in Tirana, Albania, and from 1987 to 1988, he was the Director at the Somali National Documentation Centre in Somalia’s Ministry of National Planning.  He began his civil service career as a clerk in his country’s Ministry of National Planning.

Mr. Osman graduated from Illinois State University in 1986, earning a Master of Business Administration degree from Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio, in 2009, and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin in 1990.

UN Targets 4.2 Million Somali Children In Measles Drive

26 July – Source: Xinhua – 287 Words

UN agencies said Wednesday they will launch a measles campaign in November, targeting 4.2 million children aged from six months to 10 years in Somalia. The drive to be conducted by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF aims to control the outbreak and reduce the number of death among children. “Investing in the health of Somalia’s children is critical, and is an investment in the future of Somalia. WHO, UNICEF and health partners are working closely to curb the spread of measles in the country,” WHO Representative in Somalia Ghulam Popal said in a statement released in Mogadishu.

According to WHO, about 14,000 suspected cases of measles have been reported this year alone as of July 23 compared to between 5,000 to 10,000 total cases per year since 2014. More than 80 percent of all those affected by the current outbreak are children below the age of 10 years. The drive will require 14 million U.S. dollars of which the UN health agency requires 7 million dollars. “This strong partnership provides continuous support to national health authorities to increase vaccination coverage for vulnerable children across the country. But we can only succeed in reaching every child if we have enough funding,” Popal said.

In early 2017, WHO, UNICEF and partners vaccinated 596,328 children aged six months to five years for measles across select hotspots. According to the agencies, although the campaigns helped delay immediate transmission, measles cases are on the rise due to mass displacement and overcrowding in temporary settlements as a result of drought and conflict, combined with the overall low vaccination coverage prior to the current crises and low population immunity due to high prevalence of malnutrition.

UN Mission Seeks Views On Traditional Justice For Women In Somalia

26 July – Source: Xinhua – 379 Words

The United Nations mission in Somalia has kicked off a series of consultative meetings across Somalia to seek views on the traditional justice system and how it hinders women’s access to justice. The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) said in a statement on Wednesday that the meetings which started in the southern Somalia brought together local women leaders, government officials and civil society representatives focusing on the challenges women face in accessing justice and also addressed proposals for reforms.

“The idea was to give women space to express how they feel about the traditional justice system and whether it protects women’s rights or not,” said Virginie Blanchard, a Judicial Affairs Officer from the UNSOM Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group (ROLSIG) which convened the meetings. “They identified practices that they don’t want to accept any more. Like, for example, the fact that in the traditional justice system, a young girl will be given as compensation to another clan in case of murder,” Blanchard added.

The UN official said the two meetings held in Baidoa and Kismayo identified concrete steps that women can take to achieve better representation within the country’s formal and traditional judicial systems. Speaking at the forum in Kismayo, Abshira Qamis Ismail, the Chairperson of the Kismaayo Women’s Cooperation organization, attributed the obstacles facing women to a lack of female representation in the formal and traditional justice sectors. She added that these challenges had been compounded by ignorance about the law. “We don’t have women to whom we can report our cases. We don’t have female elders to whom we can tell our private issues. We don’t have women to address the problems we face,” Abshira said.

Somali Officials Visit Rwanda On Anti-corruption Campaign

27 July – Source: The New Times – 391 Words

Officials from the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Puntland State of Somalia, yesterday, said they are “considering Rwanda as a model country in fighting corruption” and intend to emulate the country’s strategies, particularly those implemented by Rwanda National Police (RNP). They made the remarks during their visit to the RNP General Headquarters, aimed at learning from the force’s strategies in prevention and fighting graft. At RNP, they were received by Commissioner for Community Policing, Assistant Commissioner of Police Celestin Twahirwa, who briefed them on the Force’s strategies and partnership with other institutions in fighting graft.

The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Commissioner for Public Relations and Media, Chief Supt. Lynder Nkuranga, and several Police officers attached to the anti-corruption unit. Speaking at the meeting, the Director General of Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in the Puntland State of Somalia, Abdirahman Ali Gureye, recognised that Rwanda is well known for its zero tolerance to corruption, facilitated by strong measures. “We appreciate what Rwanda is doing and that’s why we have to pick lessons from it. What we have learnt from Rwanda Police has exceeded our expectations,” said Gureye. We chose Rwanda as a model in fighting corruption because the country has realistic measures. RNP’s strategies are worth emulating and we intend to frequently come back and learn more,” he added.

“We are impressed that the Force conducts frequent checks on its officers and with its practical partnership with other institutions and the citizens; this makes Rwanda our model country.” Twahirwa explained that corruption is considered a high impact crime in Rwanda adding that combatting it is a “concerted effort from both state and non-state actors, and members of the public.” “We have an inter-state agency coordination mechanism where information about graft is exchanged without compromising each other’s core functions,” Twahirwa said. He said that, through this complimentary role, that’s spearheaded by top leadership and political will, Rwanda has been able to curtail corruption to the lowest level possible. Rwanda is ranked as one of the least corrupt countries globally.

IOM: Drought, Conflict Displace 800,000 in Somalia

26 July – Source: VOA News – 645 Words

Somalia is suffering from a renewed displacement crisis as people flee drought and conflict, particularly in the country’s southern region. Gerard Waite, chief of mission for the International Organization for Migration Somalia, told VOA that about 800,000 people have fled their homes in response to the drought over the past seven months. That is in addition to the 1.1 million people who were previously displaced in the country. “We have a displacement crisis on top of a drought crisis,” Waite said. “The 800,000 new IDPs [internally displaced persons] that have resulted from the drought have put incredible pressure on the existing camps. The formation of new camps has developed, [and] these camps are, by and large, not very well managed. They are normally on private land in very cramped conditions. They do not have the basic services in these camps.”

A side effect of this displacement is people living in squalid conditions and being forced to drink unclean water. This has resulted in over 71,000 cases of cholera or acute watery diarrhea in 2017, resulting in nearly 1,100 deaths. “The acute water shortages have meant that people are drinking higher-risk water, taking water which they know to be contaminated but they drink it anyway,” Waite said. Climatologists report that the “Gu” rainy season, which lasts from April to June, was well below average this year. The next rainy season is not expected until October, and analysts are warning about significant crop losses. Worse still, climate models forecast a 45 percent chance of an El Nino weather event late in 2017, which could have a further negative effect on rain patterns. Waite said about 6.7 million people in Somalia are either in a situation of food crisis or on the edge of crisis.

IOM and other organizations have learned lessons from Somalia’s 2011 drought, he said, which resulted in over 200,000 deaths. “The need to deliver health systems to these places is extremely pressing, but, at the same time, we are managing and trying to manage the situation and working with the government to establish spaces that are more controlled or more managed,” he said. “We also do this with a view to looking at the post-crisis period because, if we can manage the displacement, then we also have a better opportunity to manage the post-crisis period and to manage the return,” Waite said. In a May interview with VOA, Somalia’s finance minister, Abdirahman Duale Beyle, said the droughts are frustratingly cyclical in Somalia, and it’s time for a change. “Other countries, they have addressed the issues of water management, of human and livestock management, resettlements, settlements of people and building schools and infrastructures for them. We have been busy doing something else,” he said.

QRCS And Katara Distribute 200 Tonnes Of Aid In Somalia

27 July – Source: Qatar Tribune – 133 Words

THE Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has distributed large quantities of food and non-food assistance to drought-affected people in the northern provinces of Somalia recently. This is part of a campaign launched in collaboration with the General Foundation of Cultural Village (Katara). In a statement on Tuesday, the QRCS said that its mission in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, has distributed over 200 tonnes of aid collected within the framework of the campaign, which is set to benefit over 16,000 needy families in Berbera city and its affiliated villages.

The distribution of this aid comes in conjunction with the severe drought that is affecting northern Somalia, causing the displacement of thousands of families. The QRCS has already implemented development projects in the region in the areas of healthcare, food security and local capacity-building.


An Interview With Ali M. Ahad

27 July – Source: Wardheer News – 4,500 Words

Ali Mumin Ahad is a Somali scholar with multifaceted interests and a personal life story that brought him from Somalia to Italy, and now to Australia. Ali obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics at the Somali National University, and then moved to Italy where he earned his master’s degree in agribusiness at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Milan. His doctorate was awarded by La Trobe University in Australia, while he now holds a position as Honorary Research Fellow at Melbourne University, Faculty of Arts. In his works, Ali focuses on Somali history, including colonialism, on literature, and on questions of migration and integration.

He is the author of the book “Somali Oral Poetry and the Failed She-Camel Nation State: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Deelley Poetry Debate (1979-1980)”, published in 2015. Ali is also an eminent voice of Italian post-colonial studies: his “I peccati storici del colonialismo” is a must-read for those interested in understanding the legacy of Italian colonialism in Somalia. Marco Zoppi has conducted this interview for WardheerNews.com, and wishes to thank Ali M. Ahad for his
kind availability

Marco Zoppi: Thanks for accepting our invitation, Ali M. Ahad. To kick off this interview, I would like to ask you a comment about the political situation in Somalia: the establishment of the Federal Government; the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed; the attempt to rebuild a national army. What is your impression over the current developments in the Somali political context?

Ali M. Ahad: First of all it must be said that post-colonial State in Somalia was born with major flaws and in circumstances which have constrained its functioning. Some of these flaws are the inconsistency between the institutional model (derived from the modern nation State) and a society with an archaic social structure; the inadequacy and lack of preparation of a bureaucracy capable not only to administer the State, but also, and above all, loyal only to the State; the unpreparedness of a political class able to transform the tribal political culture into a culture of citizenship of the modern State; the low level of schooling of Somalis who have been practically denied education during the Italian colonial period, with all the imaginable consequences that ensued it; last but not least, the economic, financial and political circumstances in which the new Italy (admittedly anti-fascist) assumed the Trusteeship Administration in the former Italian colony and without providing a real change of the administrative staff of the previous colonial period. Therefore, the post-colonial State is born with these defects that, taken together, have scuppered the first post-colonial Republic. Not only had that, but they then justified the rise to power of the military with the coup of 1969, since the tribal politics had prevailed over the State, transforming the multiparty system in sheer farce.

The next two decades saw the Somali military taking control of the State. Sometimes with laudable goals like transforming the Somali tribal society into a more civil society, according to the dictates of the modern State. The increase in schooling was one of the major achievements during the military regime. This and other accomplishments in the social and health sectors have elevated the image of Somalia in the world. However, the economic policy approach of nationalization of the economy and the pro-Soviet ideological address, drove the military regime toward dictatorship and a single party system. The dissatisfaction of the population towards the military regime began to manifest itself through a return to tribalism. Tribal politics, the same main factor that was one of the cause of the fall of the first parliamentary system, would also be the first cause of the fall of the military regime in 1991 and the civil war in Somalia.

Having made this long circumstantial preamble over the birth and the collapse of the post-colonial State institutions, I now turn to federalism and the present state of affairs in Somalia. After the civil war, the main political ideology in Somalia is that of the tribal system for which the subject clan assumes overt political agency. In fact, Somali society, in the absence of a political culture based on nationality and citizenship, has self-managed its affairs according to rules and institutions of its colonial past (institutionalization of the tribal system) and pre-colonial past (traditional tribal norms and agreements, xeer). This absence of a political culture of citizenship, produced an understanding of federalism as that of tribal entities in which clans function as political parties. Despite this, the institutional framework must be reconstituted on new basis, albeit the current constitutive base of the Federal Parliament Assembly, in which the tribal system works as the main institutional component. The problem, however, remains that of reconciliation between, on the one hand, an institutional model based on nationality and on political party and, on the other hand, a social institutional model founded on membership of blood (fictional or not). Just think of the power sharing 4.5 criterion, which embodies the ideology of the tribal system, and for which social justice becomes mere aspiration (the civil and political consequences of that power-sharing criterion, I had already made it clear in 2000).


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The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.