June 30, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Norway To Assist Somalia In A New Approach

29 June – Source : Goobjoog News – 206 Words

The Foreign Minister of Norway, Børge Brende arrived today in Mogadishu and had a meeting in Villa Somalia with the Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who was accompanied by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre. The two Somali leaders discussed with the Norwegian Foreign Minister on how Norway could extend support to the Somali government. “Today we had a visit from Norwegian Foreign Minister with his entourage on the purpose of assessing the situation of the county and how we can work together.The Norwegian government cited the optimistic status and big opportunities for Somalia and are ready to help in a different way than before by working directly with the government in the sectors of economy, government expenditure, rebuilding of the country and peace” said Prime Minister Kheyre.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister pledged to take diverse steps to assist Somalia since now the country is ripe for attention. This is a response to the request of the Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre on backing his government. The major obstacle to this new cooperation will be if Somalia is not ready to benefit from these pledges according to the Somali Premier. To realize these goals, the Norwegian government will also be working closely with the Somali government.

Key Headlines

  • Norway To Assist Somalia In A New Approach (Goobjoog News)
  • Landmine Blast Near Mogadishu Wounds Two Civilians (Garowe Online)
  • Somali National Army Recapture Towns In Gedo Region (Garowe Online)
  • Somalia Seeks To Unite Diaspora Returnees And Locals (Xinhua)
  • Gulf Crisis Is Leading To Difficult Choices In the Horn of Africa (Chatham House)


Landmine Blast Near Mogadishu Wounds Two Civilians

29 June – Source : Garowe Online – 123 Words

A powerful landmine explosion was reported to have hit a military vehicle traveling outside Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. Two pedestrians have been wounded in the Improvised Explosive Device(IED) blast, targeting a convoy ferrying government forces at Taredishe area, 13 Km west of Mogadishu, according to witnesses. Military sources said a number of soldiers were also injured in the bomb blast, and transferred to a hospital in the capital for medical treatment. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the latest in series of IED incidents on the main highway that links Mogadishu to Afgoye district. The Al Qaida-linked Al-Shabaab fighters often carry out such attacks against Somali and AU forces in the country, in a bid to topple the UN-backed Federal government.

Somali National Army Recapture Towns In Gedo Region

29 June – Source : Garowe Online – 156 Words

The Somali government forces have retaken control of areas from militant group Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia on Thursday. Following fierce fighting between the two sides, government forces have overpowered the militants to recapture areas in Gedo region. The fighting resulted in losses for both sides, but casualties were not yet confirmed.  Senior military officers have confirmed to the local media the fall of many villages and seizure of military supplies from the Al-Shabaab fighters. Residents said clashes occurred in area located about 30 kilometers away from Bardhere district in Gedo region.

The commander of the military forces that launched the offensive on Saturday, Farah Mohamed Turba, said the forces conducted night raid successfully and inflicted heavy losses on Al-Shabaab group. So far no statement was released from the militant group regarding the attacks. This comes amid plans by the Somali Federal government to flash out Al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabaab group from large areas in southern and central Somalia.


Somalia Seeks To Unite Diaspora Returnees And Locals

29 June – Source : Xinhua- 289 Words

The Somali government on Thursday kicked off a two-day reconciliation conference aimed at forging closer relations between the diaspora and the local Somalis. The meeting, which is being attended by officials from the federal government and the regional states, academics, local Somalis and diaspora returnees saw participants urge Somalis to pursue peace and reconciliation to help stabilize the country.In his opening remarks, Mohamed Abdi Abdillahi, HirShabelle Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and Diaspora Relations, emphasized the need to resolve the differences between the diaspora returnees and the locals to stabilize the country.

According to a statement from the AU mission, Abdillahi urged the two groups to abandon false perceptions that cause discord and instead unite in building the country.
Unity and reconciliation of Somalis is one of the key issues President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo promised to pursue after being inaugurated early this year.According to some participants, individuals born and raised in the country perceive themselves as having more rights than the diaspora returnees, while the latter believe they are better placed to contribute to the peace and stability due to their superior education, experience and exposure.The locals have also accused the diaspora returnees of taking up most of the plum jobs in government, living them marginalized.Though acknowledging the differences that exist between the two groups, participants were confident that Somalia will overcome the challenges. Former deputy mayor of Mogadishu Iman Nur Ikar, who lived abroad before returning to Somalia, urged diaspora returnees and the locals to work together to help the country regain its past glory.”We will restore the glory of our country by reconciling the diaspora returnees and the locals so that they can learn and benefit from one another,” Ikar said.


“In Somalia, there is growing competition between Muslim countries for political influence. Turkey has been one of the most prominent diplomatic, development, trade and security actors in the country since 2011, opening its largest overseas embassy and military base in Mogadishu. Qatar has given development and budgetary support to the Federal Government of Somalia since 2012, which it recently reaffirmed,”

Gulf Crisis Is Leading To Difficult Choices In the Horn of Africa

29 June – Source : Chatham House – 1320 Words

The Horn of Africa is already feeling increased stress on regional relations, and faces the potential for heightened instability, as a result of the diplomatic, transport and trade blockade imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. Difficult political choices may be unavoidable. The Horn of Africa and the Gulf share close geographical, historical, cultural and political links. Increasing layers of engagement and the formalization of security, governance, trade and development ties between the two regions, particularly visible in the last two years since the war in Yemen began, mean that the longer the Gulf dispute goes on, the greater the ramifications will be for countries in the Horn of Africa. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have formed a strong alliance over issues of mutual importance. While Riyadh’s primary concern is opposing Iranian influence in the region, most visible through the Saudi-led coalition’s actions in Yemen, Abu Dhabi has worked to counteract political Islam, which it believes threatens security in the Gulf and for its Middle East allies. Both priorities are being pursued through the narrative of counterterrorism.

Over the last two decades, Qatar has carved out a significant regional and international role by positioning itself as an active moderator and mediator – building relations with states whose governments are often negatively portrayed, while supporting Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the Arab spring. Turkey, a key ally which has defended Doha, is very influential in the Horn of Africa and is setting up military bases in both Qatar and Somalia.These opposing objectives have been playing out through Saudi, Emirati and Qatari engagements in the Horn of Africa.

The Saudi and Emirati monarchies are attempting to bring gas-rich Qatar’s unilateral foreign policy objectives into line with their own and strengthen the Sunni-Arab alliance. They have accused Qatari leaders of supporting terrorism and backing Iranian interests in the Middle East, claims Qatar strongly denies. The dispute is ultimately one of differing political ideologies and visions of how the Middle East and Muslim world should be governed – and is already spilling over into the Horn of Africa. How countries in the Horn of Africa respond now will have consequences for future relations with the Gulf, depending on how long it takes to resolve the crisis and the outcome. The governments of Somalia and Sudan, both Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation members, as well as Ethiopia, have offered to support mediation efforts between the Gulf countries, hoping to maintain relations on all sides.

The Eritrean government’s statements have remained cautious, even though the country allows the UAE access to a base at Assab for its military operations in Yemen. Djibouti and the self-declared Republic of Somaliland have affirmed support for the Saudi-UAE stance, downgrading ties with Qatar based on strategic and economic calculations around investments in ports and military bases. Those governments which are trying to remain neutral – Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia – will want a quick resolution so that there is minimal damage done to their relations with either Saudi Arabia and the UAE or Qatar. Those who have backed the Saudi-UAE position – Djibouti and Somaliland – will hope that any associated investments pay dividends in the medium-to-long term to offset the harm done to relations with Qatar.


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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.