July 28, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

South West State Endorses House Vote On Contested Seats As Electoral Impasse holds

27 July – Source: Goobjoog News – 408 Words

The South West State administration has thrown its weight behind Parliament’s decision to ‘set aside’ the High Court verdict in May which annulled the election of eight MPs adding a new paradigm to the debate as the stalemate between the legislature and the judiciary persists. In a statement,  the Shariff Sheikh Hassan administration said it fully supported the May 22 House majority vote which declared the list of names submitted by the Federal Indirect Electoral Team (FIEIT) as final. “South West State fully supports the final result which lists 275 members of the Lower House and 54 for the Upper House as announced by the electoral team in December 2016,” the statement read.

The state also said it regretted the decision by the High Court to annul the election of eight members of parliament noting the verdict ran counter to the process developed and agreed through political negotiation in 2016. “Special committees were formed to oversee the electoral process and the High Court was not one of them. The outcome of the process was based on an agreement between the federal and regional governments,” the statement read. Parliament passed a majority vote last week which it sought to declare null and void the High Court decision setting a supremacy discourse between the two institutions. In its resolution, the House said the High Court did not raise sufficient ground to dismiss the vote citing circumstances under which a lawmaker can lose a seat.

The entry of regional administrations into the fray is likely to generate more debate even as the Senate signaled it was intervening on the matter. Senate first deputy speaker Abshir Bukhari told reporters last week the differences between the House and the High Court were a political question which called for a political solution. “The two disputing bodies are each distinct and independent. The government is made up of three arms-the executive, legislature and the judiciary. What we have here is a political problem which requires a political solution,” said Bukhari. Constitutional Affairs Minister Abdirahman Hosh Jibril dismissed the Lower House vote Saturday in a tweet. “Somali parliament is out to lunch. Parliament cannot overturn the verdict of the highest court of the land.” The House did not take this lightly and summoned him to appear before it this Sunday. The South West administration called on government institutions to find an amicable solution to avoid political instability in the country.

Key Headlines

  • South West State Endorses House Vote On Contested Seats As Electoral Impasse holds (Goobjoog News)
  • Puntland Parliament Endorses DP World Agreement (Garowe Online)
  • Somalia Prime Minister leads Cleanup campaign in Mogadishu (Horn Observer)
  • New Bank Notes Set To Counter Currency Crisis (Anadolu Agency)
  • Minister Of Hajj And Umrah Meets Somalia Minister Of Endowments And Religious Affairs (Riyadh Daily)
  • In Drought-stricken Somaliland Age-old Challenges Meet WhatsApp (Christian Science Monitor)


Puntland Parliament Endorses DP World Agreement

27 July – Source: Garowe Online – 121 Words

Lawmakers of Somalia’s northeastern region of Puntland have endorsed the recent agreement signed between Puntland government and Dubai-based firm, DP World last April, according to reports. The $336 Million joint venture to develop and manage Bossaso Port was passed in favor by majority of the state MPs who were present at the session held on Thursday.  Prior to the voting session, Minister of Ports and Marine Transportation, Saed Mohamed Rage, was called before the Parliament to highlight about the deal and obstacles that could rise from the agreement with DP World.  However, Rage indicated to the state lawmakers that the region will greatly benefit from the development of infrastructure, which will generate employment and open trade opportunities for the region.

Somalia Prime Minister Leads Cleanup Campaign In Mogadishu

27 July – Source: Horn Observer – 120 Words

Prime minister of Somalia Hassan Ali Khaire, his deputy and the mayor of Mogadishu, among other Somali officials led a cleanup campaign on Thursday in a gesture to show the importance of living inside a clean environment. Prime minister Khaire previously marked  the cleanup campaign the last Thursday of every month.  Photographs show the prime minister driving caterpillar during the cleanup operation which started inside several government institutions. “Today is the the day we marked for the cleaning to take place all over the country” Prime minister Khaire said urging all government officials to take part the campaign. The campaign is part of larger government effort that encourages the Somali citizens to take part in rebuilding and reshaping the country.


New Bank Notes Set To Counter Currency Crisis

27 July – Source: Anadolu Agency – 153 Words

Somalia’s government is set to print modern banknotes for the first time in more than 25 years to end the currency crisis in the Horn of African nation, authorities said Thursday Bashir isse Ali, Somalia’s Central Bank governor, told a news conference in Mogadishu that the bank will print new notes which incorporate modern financial security features.  “The Central Bank and related agencies are now in the process of coming up with new notes this year which will not be vulnerable to counterfeiting,” he added.

The new notes will boast security features which meet international standards, he added. According to the government, it will need $60 million to print the new currency. A currency crisis is gripping large parts of the country, as the terrorist group Al-Shabaab has banned Somalia’s weak currency, according to the government. Somalia, one of the poorest nations in the world, has been without real currency since 1991.

Minister Of Hajj And Umrah Meets Somalia Minister Of Endowments And Religious Affairs

27 July – Source: Riyad Daily – 117 Words

Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Saleh bin Taher Benten received in Jeddah today the Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs of the Federal Republic of Somalia Dr. Iman Abdullah Ali and the accompanying delegation. During the meeting, Dr. Benten discussed the strong relations between the two countries and topics related to the pilgrims of Somalia, briefing them the great efforts being exerted by the Saudi government to take care of pilgrims and the new services launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah this year. For his part, the Somali Minister praised the efforts being exerted by the Saudi government to provide the best services for pilgrims to perform their rituals in peace and tranquility.


Six months ago, a handful of people in this self-declared republic had a novel idea: create a WhatsApp group to quickly connect donors with relatives’ communities enduring drought. Now other sub-clans are using it as a model”.

In Drought-stricken Somaliland, Age-old Challenges Meet WhatsApp

27 July – Source: Christian Science Monitor – 965 Words

The drought was coming again, and everyone knew it – the latest manifestation of an ancient, recurring problem that has episodically plagued Somali desserts.As livestock began to die six months ago, and the parched earth ran dry, a handful of people in this self-declared republic had a novel idea: create a WhatsApp group called Daryeel, “Caring,” to spread the news of their need. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” smiles Ali Mohamoud Kabadhe, one of the group’s creators. “The drought has long existed in the region, but this way of helping is new.” Little did they know the marriage of a 21st-century social messaging app with a centuries-old problem would transform the fate of their sub-clan. By marshaling the support of fellow clansmen and other donors, the project drew support from as far away as the United States and Britain, providing crucial food and water to nearly 1,000 families.

The Somali clan structure has existed for centuries to keep everyone alive in times of crisis, but the WhatsApp group is a modern version of that time-honored community support. Sitting at his computer in Burco, at the center of Somaliland’s drought, Mr. Kabadhe ticks off the statistics: 600 water trucks have been sent out, and monthly food  packages – rice, sugar, dates, milk, and oil – given to 864 families in 39 different villages. Here in Ununley, a settlement 30 miles to the southeast of Burco, the WhatsApp group helped 10 families with food. Yet the blessings spread much further, as villagers made clear one recent morning when they gathered under the tin awning of a building of white-painted breezeblocks, discussing the effort as some traced designs in the sand with their toes, and others listened appreciatively. “The assistance came when we most needed it – it changed our lives,” says Mohamed Farah, a beneficiary. “We would have died without that assistance, just like our livestock. It’s the most difficult drought we’ve ever seen.”

The local coordinator for “Caring” is Safiya Hassan Ibrahim, a no-nonsense bundle of efficiency with two cellphones who holds her young son, Mubarak, while speaking of the donations. Her herds have been struck as hard as anyone’s: Of more than 500 sheep and goats, just 40 are left; of 32 camels, only four remain. “Almost 100 families did not move, because of the help for 10 families,” says Ms. Ibrahim, noting the ripple effect that the guaranteed support for some had on the wider community, because of sharing and a certainty of supply, no matter how small. “Food was the main thing that kept us here”: food that came as the internet spread news of this sub-clan’s plight. “WhatsApp and [the messaging app] Telegram are revolutionary,” says Jamal Abdi Sarman, the UN Children’s Fund communication officer in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but remains unrecognized. His sub-clan pioneered the project, which has become a model. Cash can be transferred directly to the group, with details sent via WhatsApp. Somalis are already adept at making direct payments for everything from fuel to food to utilities using their cellphones and a recipient number.

“From Australia, from South Africa, from Istanbul, from California, it goes into the same account in Burco,” says Mr. Sarman. “And the speed was what mattered – life-saving depends on speed. It increases the speed of mobilization, and increases the speed of delivery, and that saves lives.” Spread on social media, the “Caring” group’s reach took off as quickly, as the drought began decimating their life-sustaining herds of sheep and goats, and camels.  In the first month, some $20,000 in donations were sent – often direct deposits using smartphone apps – according to the creators of the “Caring” group. The second month $33,000 arrived, and then $50,000. After six months, a total of $255,000 was donated – demonstrating both a new mechanism for harnessing the Somali diaspora to help, and how it is possible for that help to arrive directly, in real time.


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