Abducted ICRC Nurse Moved To Mudug Region
14 June – Source: Jowhar.com – 112 Words
Reports coming from Mudug region say the kidnapped International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) German nurse, who was abducted in Mogadishu on early May, was moved to an area near the coastal town of Hobyo. Confirming the report, local residents said gunmen numbering around ten are holding the woman hostage at an area 5 km west of Hobyo.
One of the area elders, Ali Aadan, told a local radio station in Mogadishu, that Sonja Nientiet is held hostage at a thick bush in the area. “They arrived at the area several days ago with two vehicles and then pitched tents.” Security forces who had left Galkayo are reportedly pursuing the kidnappers.
- Abducted ICRC Nurse Moved To Mudug Region (Jowhar.com)
- Somali Families Moving Back Into Flooded Homes In Beledweyne Amid Fears Of Disease Outbreaks (Radio Ergo)
- Galmudug Parliament Endorses Three Bills (Halbeeg News)
- Somali Communities To Play Bigger Role In The Implementation Of Quick Impact Projects (AMISOM)
- AMISOM Fetes 68 Senior Military Officers (AMISOM)
- SOMALIA: A Tipping-Point Talk In London (The Africa Report)
Somali Families Moving Back Into Flooded Homes In Beledweyne Amid Fears Of Disease Outbreaks
14 June – Source: Radio Ergo – 420 Words
Abdullahi Ali, 39 and his family of 12, are camping out amid the debris of their house, that was wrecked by the recent floods in Beledweyne. Mr. Ali, a mechanic by trade, is determined that their new house will be more robust. He is digging foundations two metres down into the wet soil and hopes that he can get the house ready as soon as possible. When the floods hit them, they moved to stay with relatives in Hawl-wadaag district. They were offered a small room where they all slept together. “I preferred to return here, than to be a scrounger on other people,” Mr. Ali said. “I am now working on the house, so that I can get proper shelter for the children and give them somewhere to sleep.”They came back on 31 May.
Since then, he has been prioritizing to construct a temporary pit latrine as a toilet and fixing water pipes that were damaged. He cannot raise the $1,500 it would cost to reconstruct the whole house. Mr. Ali makes a living repairing tuk-tuk taxis, but he has not been able to make any money at all since the floods. The family is down from their previous expectation of three meals to just one day.
Abdillahi Abdi Magan, head of Save the Children office in Hiiraan region, said it would not be possible to make an overview of the extent of the damage, until the flood water subsides. He said they do not advise people to return immediately to their houses, which needs to be disinfected to prevent the spread of disease. Toilets also urgently need to be repaired. Sewage has overflowed into the flood water and contaminated most properties.
Sheikh Hussein Osman, the head of social affairs for Hiiraan region, estimated that 40,000 families were displaced from the region and are slowly returning back. “People don’t have houses in the areas they migrated to and so they are being forced to return to their houses, regardless of how damaged they are,” Sheikh Hussein told Radio Ergo.
A major challenge is that the floods have made it difficult to identify the boundaries of people’s plots of land. The walls of some houses were found washed few metres away from their previous positions, making it hard to tell where a piece of land started or ended. This may bring conflict amongst neighbours. Hiiraan administration said an unknown number of people have returned to Bundaweyn, Koshin and Hawl-wadaag. Residents of Hawo-Tako are yet to return back.
Galmudug Parliament Endorses Three Bills
14 June – Source: Halbeeg News – 207 Words
The lawmakers of Galmudug regional parliament held meeting at Dhusa-mareeb district on Thursday and approved bills submitted by the Ministry of Finance. In today’s parliament meeting, chaired by the first Deputy Speaker of Galmudug regional assembly Hareed Ali Hareed and attended by 128 MPs, after long discussions on the bills, the lawmakers voted for the bills and endorsed unanimously.
Announcing the results of the voting, the first deputy speaker of the parliament said that, 126 MPs voted in favour of the bills, while 2 MPs declined. “This bills submitted by the ministry of finance was approved by 126 MPs, two abstained therefore it will be a law” said the deputy speaker.
The approved bills during the meeting are; income collection, public finance and the budget of Galmudug state. The Finance Minister of Galmudug state, Said Siyad Shirwa, thanked the parliament for their commitment to approve the bills prepared by his ministry. He assured that the endorsed bills will take big role in the development of Galmudug state.
The state is spearheading new developments in the region. Galmudug state leaders Ahmed Dualle Gelle Haaf laid the foundation stone of new institutions including the building of information minister, that will be a base of the new Galmudug TV.
14 June – Source: AMISOM – 478 Words
A three-day workshop to evaluate Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) implemented by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has recommended increased involvement of local Somali communities in the selection and execution of community projects. The meeting which concluded in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Wednesdayemphasized the importance of promoting local ownership of the projects.
“We can only do this if we ensure at the beginning that we include the community in the selection process because this is the stage where they can be able to implement and accept the projects after handover,” Dr. Opiyo Ododa, the AMISOM Senior Civil Affairs Officer, told participants at the workshop, which brought together resource persons from AMISOM, the African Union Commission headquartered in Addis Ababa and other stakeholders.
Dr. Ododa highlighted the need for greater inclusion of Somalis in the execution of QIPs, so as to better facilitate the transition of responsibilities from AMISOM to local communities. QIPs are small scale, low cost programmes that are planned and implemented within a short period of time and have a rapid positive impact on targeted communities. In Somalia’s case, AMISOM implements QIPs through its Civil Affairs Unit.
14 June – Source: AMISOM – 153 Words
A total of 68 senior military officers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), have received medals and certificates for their efforts to restore peace and stability in Somalia. The officers from the Troop and Police Contributing Countries to AMISOM, are drawn from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Zambia and Sierra Leone. “You have done a commendable job and I want thank you for a job well done,” AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire who decorated the officers on Wednesday said.
The Force Commander noted that the officers had made an enormous contribution in enabling the Mission achieve its mandate. “Some of the officers had their tour of duty extended because of their distinguished service to the Mission,” Gen. Owoyesigire noted. AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in-charge Operations and Plans, Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai and the military Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Kitila Bulti Tadesse, attended the medal parade ceremony.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Now, there is talk of the day when 10-year-old AMISOM, the AU peacekeeping force, will be replaced by Somali troops. But recent withdrawals by Ethiopian troops from Somali towns show the fragility of the situation. Al-Shabaab fighters have sauntered back in within hours, slaughtering civilians they accuse of spying for the ‘infidels’.”
14 June – Source: The Africa Report – 859 Words
The government of President Mohamed got a dose of support at an international conference in May, but diplomats worry about its ability to defeat Al-Shabaab. The talk was of a tipping point when some kingpins of African diplomacy descended on Lancaster House in central London to deliberate on Somalia on 11 May. The unanswered question after a day of discussion was: tipping into what?
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May opened proceedings with some upbeat claims on Somalia: “Look how far we have come in the last five years.” Piracy had been dealt with, and the Islamist rebels of Al-Shabaab had been “driven out of many of the areas they once controlled” and no longer “pose an existential threat.” United Nations secretary general António Guterres was listening in the front row of attendees, as were AU Commission chair Mahamat Moussa Faki, the presidents of Kenya and Uganda Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni, and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
It is true that Al-Shabaab has lost full control of many towns. Crucially, it was pushed out of Kismayo, Merca and Brava ports, which had been used to finance much of its operations. President Mohamed ‘Farmajo’ Abdullahi Mohamed was elected by a small group of officials last year and made hefty promises at the conference, not least the defeat of Al-Shabaab within two years (see interview). Because of the logistical and other challenges in organising a national election, few Somalis were involved in the selection of the new president. But after a relatively successful stint as prime minister, he is a popular figure.
But Mohamed’s promises have been made before. After a decade of fighting, Al-Shabaab has proved resilient and adaptable. It still controls vast swathes of Somalia and can attack Mogadishu and many big towns at will. It remains a threat to neighbouring states, especially Kenya. A splinter group linked to the Middle East-based Islamic State rebels operates in Somalia’s north-eastern Puntland state.
Somalia’s new foreign minister, Yusuf Garaad Omar, a former head of the BBC Somali Service, says the government has a realistic plan to defeat Al-Shabaab. It includes beefed-up military tactics, offers of amnesty to defectors and a national security plan to reform the security forces. The government knows that to stop people joining Al-Shabaab it has to offer better alternatives.
It plans to boost the army to 18,000 soldiers, properly paid and trained. And it wants to reform relations between the centre and the new federal states. That plan is risky. Some of the new states trust neither the government in Mogadishu nor the federal troops. They have their own security forces and want to maintain command and control. Resource-sharing between the centre and the regions is yet to be agreed, and Somalia has still not finalised its constitution.
The conference agreed a new security pact that aims to coordinate foreign military assistance far better. A fully coordinated system may not be possible. The UAE, for example, has recently agreed a deal with the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in the north-west to build a military base in the port city of Berbera. Turkey is constructing a vast military facility on the coast south of Mogadishu.