30 July – Source: New York Times – 240 Words
A car bomb exploded near a police station in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on Sunday, killing at least six people and wounding at least 13 others, according to a police captain. Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the explosion, near Waberi police station along the busy Maka Almukarramah road, might have been the work of a suicide bomber. Abdifitah Omar Halane, an official in the Banadir region, where the blast occurred, said at least four people had been killed and six others wounded, but local media reports and witnesses put the death toll much higher.
Most of the victims were civilians, the police said, but the exact target of the blast was not immediately clear. Abdi Ali Shire, a Somali media trainer who was about 100 meters, or 328 feet, away from the explosion, said the bomb went off in front of the Midnimo Supermarket among dozens of vehicles that were lined up, and some cars driving on the road. He was not hurt in the blast.
He said that he saw about four people burning alive, and that more than a dozen might have been killed in the attack. The blast sent thick smoke and flames into the sky, and set several cars on fire, he added. Mogadishu has been relatively calm in recent days, after the government of Somalia began a security operation in the city. But episodes of violence have erupted. On Wednesday, at least six government soldiers were killed.
- Car Bomb Kills At Least 6 And Injures 13 Others In Mogadishu (New York Times)
- NISA Detains A Somali Photographer In Mogadishu (Horn Observer)
- Kenyan Jets Strike Al-Shabaab Bases In Southern Somalia (Garowe Online)
- Qatar Charity Implements 290 Projects In Somalia Till June (The Peninsula)
- Joint AMISOM-Somali Federal Government Meeting Makes Recommendations For Effective Transition Of Security (AMISOM)
- Somalia The Land Of Forgotten Dreams: Victims Reveal The Horror And Anguish Of War (SDE)
NISA Detains A Somali Photographer In Mogadishu
29 July – Source: Horn Observer – 147 Words
The National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) arrested a renowned photographer Mukhtar Nuur who is spending three days in a detention center manned by NISA, the media watchdog said. The arrest of the photographer was ordered by Abdalla Abdalla, the deputy chief of NISA, according to Media Association for Puntland (MAP) who called for the immediate release of the journalist.
It is not yet known the reason behind the arrest and the security agencies did not publicly comment on the arrest. Mukhtar Nuur is a photographer known for submitting the beauty of the country through photography. He previously worked at the UAE embassy in Mogadishu as a photographer, translator and video shooter. The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) a media organization based in Garowe, the capital of the semi-autonomous regions of Puntland is seeking answers from the Federal government of Somalia on the arrest of the photographer.
Kenyan Jets Strike Al-Shabaab Bases In Southern Somalia
29 July – Source: Garowe Online – 164 Words
Kenyan military jets have launched an airstrike on Al-Shabaab held-areas in Gedo region in southern Somalia on Friday night. Residents said Kenyan warplanes dropped bombs in Al-Shabaab camp at Kulbis, located about 20 Kilometers north of Garbaharey district. Reports said the base is used to train new recruits of the group. Kenyan forces launched the attack after receiving intelligence information revealing that the militants are planning to carry out attacks against KDF bases in Somalia.
Kenyan military officials said they will announce the mission outcomes after completing the assessment, whereas Al-Shabaab group has yet to comment on the airstrikes against its bases. Last week, Kenya jets carried out similar attack in Kulbis where senior Al-Shabaab figures were holding meeting. Somali military officials said the airstrike resulted in the death of 40 Al-Shabaab members including 3 foreigners. Kenyan forces serving with African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have intensified attacks after allegedly encountering huge losses in El Adde and Kulbiyow following Al-Shabaab ambush attacks.
30 July – Source: The Peninsula – 285 Words
Qatar Charity (QC) has implemented 290 development projects in the Somali Republic with support from the Qatari people during the first half of this year at a cost of QR35m. The projects included drilling wells, building educational and health facilities, multi-service centres, income-generating projects and social sponsorships, as well as emergency relief projects, Qatar Charity said in a press release yesterday. It said that the cost of projects executed during the first six months of this year amounted to about QR35m, while its office in Mogadishu is pursuing implementation of 610 projects in the second half of this year at a cost of QR24m.
QC said that it was one of the first humanitarian organizations dedicated to promoting development in the country and contributing to the creation of radical solutions to the problems of drought and meeting urgent needs in areas hit by successive humanitarian disasters from drought, desertification and malnutrition. QC work in Somalia dates back to the 1990s, when it launched a project to care for children without parents, widows and students, through the opening of a representative office in Mogadishu in late 2007 and a field office since 2010.
Through its Somalia office, QC has strategic partnerships with international organisations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Medical Corps, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Global One Organization. Qatar Charity confirmed that these partnerships resulted in the implementation of a number of large projects in the period between the beginning of 2009 and mid of this year, where the number of beneficiaries reached more than 200,000 people .
Joint AMISOM-Somali Federal Government Meeting Makes Recommendations For Effective Transition Of Security
29 July – Source: AMISOM – 494 Words
A joint meeting of the AU Mission and the Federal Government of Somalia has ended in the capital Mogadishu with a renewed call for “adequate and predictable” funding to AMISOM, to enable the Mission capacitate the Somali National Security Forces (SNSF), to ready make it for the transitioning of security responsibilities. Additional support would focus on furtherance of training, mentorship and equipping SNSF with the necessary infrastructure and mobility, to enable them conduct their security responsibilities effectively.
In a communique released this evening, at the end of a five-day joint meeting, the two partners affirmed their commitment to the transition, as stipulated in recommendations of the London Conference on Somalia held in May 2017, and in the report of the AU-UN Joint Review of AMISOM. Consequently, the communique signed by the Somali Federal Minister of Defence H.E Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed and Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, reiterated that the transition will take place in a “gradual, conditions-based” manner, to ensure gains made against Al-Shabaab are not reversed.
The communique calls for “critical and urgent” joint operations across south and central Somalia to “further disrupt and degrade” Al-Shabaab. “The SNA sector commanders shared their immediate objectives and priority operations to further degrade Al Shabaab,” the communique reads in part.
The joint operations are aimed at enhancing the protection of civilians, opening of Main Supply Routes blocked by the insurgents and creating a free and secure environment for the Somali people to thrive. “We brainstormed, we tried to see how best we can move forward in terms of strategizing on the best way to implement these decisions and have a more stressed, affirmed impact on the battlefield against Al Shabaab,” Ambassador Madeira said at the end of the five-day meeting.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Many flats away, is Farhia Mohammed, 38 and a mother of nine. The eldest is 20, the youngest, three. She sits on a low traditional Somali stool, tugging at her black hijab as if to conceal her face further. Her dark eyes are filled with sadness and fear, and she hardly looks at me in the face. She was only 13 when the war in Somalia started in 1991.”
30 July – Source: SDE – 1905 Words
Lovely blue skies, warm air, unaffected terrains and the beautiful sounds of playing children. That was what they woke up to every day. Then all hell broke loose, the streets were soon spattered with blood of loved ones, no one smiled anymore and everyone viewed the other with suspicion. Then they had to leave the place they called home and were suddenly thrust into a new world.
The neighbouring country where they finally found some semblance of peace. But they still can’t be as carefree as they would like. The sins of their land pursue them. They are regarded as the face of terrorism and plunder around the world. Khadija Ahmed, 49, wears a careworn face. Her brown skin is etched with lines of worry. She offers the crew her bed, there are no seats in the dimly lit room. An abode in Nairobi’s Eastleigh where she now lives was offered by a Good Samaritan after she left Daadab earlier this year.
Before 2009, she lived in Somalia’s southern port city of Merca with her brother, three nephews and four children. Her eldest daughter had moved out. Life was relatively calm. Until it wasn’t. “Insurgents forced their way into our neighbourhood and started beating us up. I took my youngest daughter and fled.” When the insurgents left, Khadija crept back to salvage whatever she could. “When I entered the house, I found the bodies of my three teenage nephews on the floor. The poor babies had been slaughtered. I couldn’t find my children and husband. So shaken, I took my baby, got my mother and we fled. We made the long trek (500 km) across the Kenyan border to Daadab.”
She pauses to wipe her tears, and despite the anguish in her big brown eyes, you can see the unrelenting strength. The resilience in her slight frame. They weren’t alone in the trek, they were with a thousand others. And in October 2009, they were registered into the camp and received their ration cards. But Khadija’s mother couldn’t handle her new life. “She asked me to take her back home. She wanted to be in her birth country. I wanted her to be happy, but I was scared for her safety.”
Being the dutiful daughter, she heeded her mum’s request, but the ending wasn’t happy. And Khadija now openly sobs, the pain seemingly still raw. “She died on arrival. The journey took its toll.” Some of her neighbours, who had opted to remain in Somalia, took her remaining daughter from her, saying that she was too destitute to take care of her. Khadija eventually returned to Daadab and her little girl, now 14, is still in Somalia, living with another family. Khadija is currently on medication for hypertension and she still doesn’t know the whereabouts of her husband and three sons.