07 July – Source: Xinhua – 238 Words
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has strongly condemned Saturday’s twin blasts in the Somali capital Mogadishu that left at least 12 people dead and 17 others injured. The AU mission said in a statement that the attack on the ministry of interior premises shows that Al-Shabaab terrorists have no regard for the stability and progress of the Horn of Africa nation. The first blast took place when a suicide car bomb was detonated outside the building of the interior and security ministry. The second hit near a police checkpoint adjacent to the palace.
The ministry building is located in one of the most strategic areas of the city. A police officer who did not want to be named told Xinhua by phone that four gunmen involved in the attack on the building were overpowered by the security forces. Security sources said two employees from the ministry and four government soldiers are among the dead. The security official said four attackers carried out the attack, three of them were shot dead by security forces inside the ministry building while the other attacker blew himself up.
The latest attack came amid heightened security in the Somali capital following the deployment of more security forces and erection of security roadblocks along key roads. Al-Shabaab terror group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack which comes despite increased military operations against the militant group across the Horn of Africa nation.
- AMISOM Condemns Twin Blasts In Somalia’s Mogadishu (Xinhua)
- Somali PM Visits Injured Blast Victims in Mogadishu (Halbeeg News)
- Federal Parliament Speaker Arrives In Baidoa (Halbeeg News)
- UK To The Rescue But Amisom Troops Still Starved Of Airpower (The East African)
- Turkey Condemns Twin Suicide Blasts In Somalia Capital (Anadolu Agency)
- Arrest And Release Of Somaliland Poet Puts Spotlight On Regional Troubles (The Conversation)
Somali PM Visits Injured Blast Victims in Mogadishu
08 July – Source: Halbeeg News – 233 Words
Somali Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Kheire, has visited victims of the Interior Ministry explosions that injured over 16 people. Two suicide bombers drove two cars laden with explosives into the headquarters of Somalia’s Interior Ministry before gunmen forced their way into the building. The attack, which was executed by Al-Shabaab fighters, was concluded hours later by the security forces. Over 12 people, including senior staff members of the Ministry, were killed in the attack.
The Prime Minister visited Madina Hospital, where he met with several of those who sustained injuries. During the visit, Mr. Kheire pledged the government’s readiness to take victims who need further medication outside the country: “The wounded persons whose conditions cannot be treated within the country will be flown abroad for further treatment.” The Prime Minister Kheire offered his condolences to the bereaved families over deaths of their loved ones. “I condole with the families of those who were killed in the heinous Al-Shabaab attack. We pray that God comforts and strengthens the families and friends of those killed,” he said.
Al-Shabaab has claimed the responsibility for Saturday’s twin blasts. The group, which wants topple Somali government, has been fighting the Somali National Army backed by continental troops since 2007. The Prime Minister condemned the group’s attacks on the government institutions and hotels. Mr. Kheire urged the public to cooperate with the Somali government in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
Federal Parliament Speaker Arrives In Baidoa
08 July – Source: Halbeeg News – 169 Words
A high level parliamentary delegation led by Speaker of the Lower House, Mohamed Mursal, arrived in the interim administrative capital of South West state, Baidoa, on Sunday. Upon arrival at Shati Gaduud airport, Mursal, accompanied by a number of Federal Government lawmakers, received a cordial welcome from the President of South West state, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, the speaker of South West regional assembly, Abdikadir Sharif Shekhuna and other senior officials of the regional state.
The delegation was escorted to the presidential palace where they held discussions with the President and some of his ministers. Their discussions focused on security and other issues of importance. The Speaker also held separate meetings with traditional elders, religious leaders and women groups in the region.
Mr Mursal is expected to officially open the fifth session of South West regional Parliament on Monday. The members of the regional assembly will thereafter resume sitting after a one month recess. This is the Speaker’s first trip to Baidoa since his election on 30th April 2018.
07 July – Source: The East African – 750 Words
The United Kingdom has come to the rescue of African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), donating 49 pieces of heavy equipment worth $7.4 million to help in clearing the main supply routes in the war-torn country. Amisom Force Commander Lt Gen Jim Owoyesigire received the equipment which includes tractor trucks, bulldozers, backhoe and front end loaders, forklifts and module dump tippers, to be used by the contingents from Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.
The machinery will also be deployed in the mission enabling unit, which is based in Mogadishu.
While handing over the equipment, the United Kingdom ambassador to Somalia, David Concar, said his government is committed to supporting Amisom in its efforts to stabilise Somalia. “What we are doing today, transferring 5.6 millions pounds worth of equipment is, we hope, going to make a difference to the ability of Amisom to clear roads and supply routes and to press ahead with stabilising Somalia,” said Mr Concar.
The mission, which is implementing the transition plan to hand over the full security mandate to local security agencies, however, remains starved of equipment to deploy in airborne combat. The Force Commander said the equipment will come in handy as the 21,000 strong Amisom force tries to push Al-Shabaab from the key areas that the Somali terrorist group still occupies.
07 July – Source: Anadolu Agency – 175 Words
Turkey on Saturday condemned the terrorist attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu. At least nine people, including three Al-Shabaab attackers, were killed when twin bomb blasts targeted the Interior Ministry building in Mogadishu on Saturday. “We have learnt with great sorrow that many civilians lost their lives and were injured as a result of terrorist attacks perpetrated in Mogadishu,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “We condemn these heinous terrorist attacks aiming to undermine the security and stability of Somalia, wish God’s mercy upon those who lost their lives, convey our condolences to their families and wish speedy recovery to the wounded,” the statement added.
The ministry also said that Turkey “will continue to stand by the Somali people and its Government in the fight against terrorism and in providing stability”. The attackers were killed by security forces in the gun battle between militants and security forces, according to state media. Local media reported that 17 people — mostly civilians — were also wounded in the attacks. Somali-based insurgent group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“As relations worsen between Somaliland and Somalia, both administrations are becoming less tolerant of ambiguity regarding territorial and national allegiances. This has implications in the immediate term for conflict as well as prospects for more constructive engagement.”
08 July – Source: The Conversation – 808 Words
Poets, writers and bloggers have recently been on the receiving end of political crackdowns in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland. Surges often occur around elections, and most recently due to assertive nationalist rhetoric ramped up by Somaliland and Somalia and regional insecurity.
Somaliland declared itself an independent state in 1991 after the collapse of the Somali following the overthrow of military dictator Siad Barre. The international community regard Somaliland as an autonomous region of Somalia. They don’t recognise it as an official state.
The arrest earlier this year in Somaliland of Naima Qorane (27) highlights the fragility of the situation between Somaliland and Somalia. Although a Somalilander, the poet is a rare outspoken activist for unity between the two regions. Much of her poetry addresses the lost unity of Somalia.
Qorane also holds a Somali passport and lives in Mogadishu. Her arrest in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa, followed reports of death threats due to her “Somalia Unity” cause. Three months later, she was found guilty of bringing the nation or the state into contempt. Qorane was sentenced to three years in prison.
There was an international outcry about her deplorable detention conditions as well as allegations of maltreatment. Following the media coverage, and appeals by her father, she was released on 7 May by presidential pardon.
In both Somaliland and Somalia arrests of dissenters have surged since 2017, as new administrations seek to consolidate authority. In Somalia key opposition figures report assassination attempts in a tense political and security environment. Deteriorating relations; Arrests surge amid deteriorating relations between Somaliland and Somalia. This is due in part to increased bilateral engagement and foreign investment in both countries. Somaliland, with a 3.5-million population, has all the trappings of a state. It has a fully functioning army, government, and foreign investment is coming in.