July 5, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

14 Al-Shabaab Militants Killed In Somalia

04 July – Source: Global Times – 152 Words

At least 14 Al-Shabaab militants were on Monday killed and 17 others injured in a fight with Somali National Army backed by African Union forces in southern Somalia, an official said. Somali Government Army Commander Mohamed Abdow Ali said that they also lost three soldiers in the fight. “We attacked Al-Shabaab militants base about 20 km from Garbaharey town today. Then fighting erupted bringing casualties on both sides, we killed 14 terrorist militants and injured 17 others during the deadly battle,” Ali said.

The commander said they are in control of the battle zone at the moment, adding they would continue such operations against the militants. Al-Shabaab did not comment on the latest confrontation in Gedo region in southern Somalia. Journalists in the region confirmed to Xinhua that the fighting took several hours. Somalia and AU forces have stepped up their military operations in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions in the country.

Key Headlines

  • 14 Al-Shabaab Militants Killed In Somalia (Global Times)
  • People Might Die Soon Says Galmudug Drought Response Committee (Goobjoog News)
  • Air Arabia Starts Commercial Flights To Hargeisa In Somaliland (Garowe Online)
  • Policeman Detained In Probe Over Alleged Extremism (Associated Press)
  • 2 Soldiers Killed In Mortar Attack Near Somalia’s Presidential Palace (Xinhuanet)
  • Strategic Communication Vital In the 1000+ Days Remaining (Hiiraan Online)


People Might Die Soon Says Galmudug Drought Response Committee

04 July – Source: Goobjoog News – 148 words

Many people are on the brink of death in Galmudug region due to the drought according to the local drought response committee. A committee member Mohamed Hassan Hussein described the dire situation of the local people affected by the drought and appealed for quick support from the humanitarian agencies in order to save lives.

“We toured many areas in Galmudug region for the second time and we saw extensive ordeal of the drought where 147,000 families were displaced. I hereby propose a specific appeal to the National Drought Response Committee to have a special consideration to the plight of Galmudug people who have not experienced any rainfall since the start of the year” said Mohamed. Widespread drought in Somalia for the last two years resulted livestock belonging to the pastoralists to perish and subsequent outbreak of cholera disease complicated life existence for the majority of the population.

Air Arabia Starts Commercial Flights To Hargeisa In Somaliland

04 July – Source: Garowe Online – 184 words

Sharjah-based carrier Air Arabia has launched its first flight services to Hargeisa city, the administrative capital of northwestern region of Somaliland on Tuesday.  Air Arabia inaugural flight to Hargeisa was welcomed in a special ceremony participated by top Somaliland officials including Vice President, cabinet ministers, Somaliland representative to U.A.E. and Air Arabia officials.

This will be the second U.A.E. based carrier to launch flight services to Hargeisa as Flydubai carrier started services in 2015 and was hailed by residents in the region and people all over Somalia.  However, the start of Air Arabia commercial flights comes following recent agreement between Somaliland administration and U.A.E to construct road connecting Berbera port city to Ethiopia and build new international Airport in Berbera.  Somaliland’s relation with Arab coalition has strengthened in the past weeks following decision to side with Saudi-bloc to cut relation with Qatar over supporting extremist groups. Somaliland is a former British protectorate and declared its own independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, however, it has not been recognized by any country in the world to date.


Policeman Detained In Probe Over Alleged Extremism

03 July – Source: Star Tribune – 125 Words

A Kenyan court has ordered a police officer detained for 30 days while he is investigated for Facebook posts that are alleged to support Islamic extremism.Magistrate Miriam Mugure on Monday allowed the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit to hold Waiss Abdulaziz Mohammed. The officer, who is based in Nairobi and attached to the National Disaster Management Unit, allegedly posted on June 5 that he was going to face death soon. On June 20 he allegedly posted that he was bound to die and kill people. The Anti-Terrorism Police Unit claims that he posted that he had several opportunities with the Al-Shabaab extremist group in neighboring Somalia. Kenya has experienced dozens of attacks by Al-Shabaab, which has vowed to avenge the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia.

2 Soldiers Killed In Mortar Attack Near Somalia’s Presidential Palace

04 June – Source : Xinhuanet – 129 Words

At least two soldiers were killed on Tuesday in a mortar round attack by suspected Al-Shabaab members near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, officials said. Officials who refused to be identified told Xinhua by phone that the one of the mortar shells landed near Villa Somalia, killing the two soldiers. Eyewitness said that several mortar shells fell in an area near the presidential palace, and one of them exploded, causing the casualties.

Al-Shabaab militants are suspected to be behind the mortar attacks as the group carry out frequent attacks targeting the Somali government, African Union bases and public sites including hotels and restaurants in Mogadishu. The attack came a day before the Somali government officials and regional leaders will have a meeting on national security, according to the officials.


“The Somali people are the most important stakeholders in the Somali Government’s reform agenda as they are the intended and rightful primary beneficiaries. The Somali Government exists to serve its deserving and resilient people. Therefore, for any policy to be truly successful and gain wider public support necessary, the relevant line Minister’s must share their ideas and policy’s content with the Somali people,”

Strategic Communication Vital In the 1000+ Days Remaining

04 July – Source: Hiiraan Online – 1490 Words

The Government of President Farmaajo has clearly understood the importance of communication as a means of reaching out to and engaging with the Somali people. From the frantic and regular visits of the PM to key Government offices, the President’s personal visits to the regional member states and some individual Minister’s briefings to the media in their areas of primary responsibility, it is easy to see that public engagement and its communication has been prioritised by both the President and Prime Minister. More impressively, a multiplatform communication strategy is employed by the two principals which includes broadcast, social media and direct public interactions.  It is hard to forget the images of President Farmaajo enjoying a cup of tea in a café with locals or PM Hassan Khaire visiting Liido and speaking to traders and beachgoers. However, as successful as the media strategy has been thus far, especially, from the President and PM’s Office, there is still a long way to go to create a national narrative informed and led by the Government’s key priorities.

The enabling national narrative is one which unifies Government policies and strategies and is disseminated through multiple platforms to the Somali people for the purposes of education, information and gaining their full support throughout the policy making process. Both President Farmaajo and PM Khaire are truly ambitious in their proposed policy actions to transform Somalia. The two principals have made clear that anti-corruption, economic development, security and public services are their key priorities. To this end, much legislations, including an Anti-Corruption Bill, Public Financial Management Law and many more are scheduled to go before Parliament once it reconvenes in mid-July. Alongside the drafting of laws and policies, many of the relevant line Ministries and their officials are working hard behind the scenes to discuss and negotiate the proposed laws with key stakeholders, including Parliamentarians and the international community.

More importantly, all proposed laws are now correctly channelled through the Ministry of Justice for review and analysis before they can be forwarded to Cabinet and, eventually, Parliament. From all this, it is clear that in under 4 months, this Government is making swift progress towards realising its key policy goals, at least through proposed legislations, whilst at the same time empowering the line Ministries by allowing them to take the lead. So, it is easy to conclude that the most appropriate message from all these actions is that the Government has clear priorities which are driven by the relevant institutions. Cross Government working, delegated responsibilities and agreed priorities? Great news. But just one issue: where is the stakeholder input and outreach?


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.