March 1, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia’s New Leader Declares Drought A National Disaster

28 February -Source: Belfast Telegraph – 308 Words

Somalia’s new president has declared a national disaster over a drought that threatens millions of people and is creating fears of a full-blown famine.The statement from the office of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said he has appealed for help from the international community and Somalia’s diaspora of two million.
Combating the drought is a priority for Mr Mohamed, who was elected this month to lead the fragile Horn of Africa nation, which is also coping with attacks by Islamic extremist group Al-Shabaab.The United Nations humanitarian office estimates that five million people in Somalia, or nearly half the country’s population, need aid.

About 363,000 acutely malnourished children “need urgent treatment and nutrition support, including 71,000 who are severely malnourished”, said the US Agency for International Development’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network.Thousands have been streaming into Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in search of food aid, overwhelming local and international aid agencies.More than 7,000 internally displaced people checked into one feeding centre recently.Because of a lack of clean water in many areas, there is the additional threat of cholera and other diseases, UN experts say.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia’s New Leader Declares Drought A National Disaster  (Belfast Telegraph)
  • Elders Officials Met To End Crisis Of Mutinous Puntland Soldiers (Goobjoog News)
  • Puntland President Gaas In Trouble As MPs Set For A Vote Of No Confidence Motion (Radio Dalsan)
  • Aisha Abokor Appointed As Presidential Advisor For Social Affairs (Goobjoog News)
  • Over $4m Losses In Khalifa Mall As Traders Come To Terms With Bakaara Market Blaze (Goobjoog News)
  • Miraa Export Resumes After Tax Dispute Is Resolved (Daily Nation)
  • Somalia Is Looking Forward Confidently (Hiiraan Online)


Elders, Officials Met To End Crisis Of Mutinous Puntland Soldiers

28 February – Source : Goobjoog News – 257 Words

A meeting that brought together Nugal region elders, politicians and government officials in the state capital of Garowe on tuesday was aimed to resolve the complaint of mutinous Puntland soldiers. On Sunday, mutinous state soldiers demanding their overdue salaries have seized control of the state Parliament building in Garowe, raising fears of new instability in northeastern region of Somalia.

Sources said the meeting was attended by state parliamentarians, parliament leadership, senior government officials and military officers to listen to the demands of mutineers. During the meeting, senior military officers noted that Puntland government has neglected the troops and didn’t provide any military support, medical care or salaries for over a year.However, close sources said an agreement wasn’t reached but the parliament leadership has demanded the officers to present their demands officially to the Parliament for further deliberation. Puntland Parliament leadership is accused of abandoning their responsibility towards their constituencies and disregarded accountability of the government, which led to vast troubles in the region.

On the other hand, during a private interview with local media yesterday, Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has claimed that the region has witnessed a significant development under his current administration, a statement many pundits have rejected for not reflecting the real situation in the region amid  insecurity, drought, economic crisis and continuous protests from civil servants and security forces who demanded their unpaid salaries of over 8 months. Puntland administration led by Ali is facing growing opposition from the public and state politicians attributed to failed policies since his election in January 2014.

Puntland President Gaas In Trouble As MPs Set For A Vote Of No Confidence Motion

28 February – Source:Radio Dalsan – 181 Words

Puntland MPs are pushing to have a vote of no confidence on President Abdiweli Mohamed Gaas  on grounds that he had failed to administer the region.
The MPs point  out recent incidents of insecurity  caused by  militant group Al-Shabaab and pro ISIS grouped based in the region.The cities of Bossaso, Galkayo and the headquarters Garowe have experienced a spate of attacks recently .President Gaas however told the media at a press conference  that he will remain in power despite protests from MPs.He alleged the MPs  allied  to former President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole for the campaign to have him impeached.He accused the MPs of intending to destabilize the region for their own political gains.

Puntland  and its  president are facing tough times and  last Sunday  a group of soldiers staged a mutiny  in the capital Garowe and seized a section of Parliament protesting non payment of salary and poor welfare.Last September soldiers took control of the  Central Bank over unpaid salaries.Ministry of Finance on Tuesday denied the  non payment of salaries  alleging the matter had been politicized.

Aisha Abokor Appointed As Presidential Advisor For Social Affairs

28 February – Source : Goobjoog News – 98 Words

President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has appointed Aisha Abokar Qaasim as his advisor on social affairs. The statement issued from the office of the president reads, In order to use the experience, social influence of intellectual in the light of provision of article 87, clause 1, C of Somalia’s provisional Constitution, president named Qaasim for the post. Qaasim who is new to Somalia’s political arena is said to have been living in United State for many years, according to sources. Farmaajo who holds dual Somali-US citizenship took office following a handover ceremony held at Villa Somalia mid this month.

Over $4m Losses In Khalifa Mall As Traders Come To Terms With Bakaara Market Blaze

28 February – Source : Goobjoog News – 311 Words

Millions of dollars went up in flames on Monday in a deadly inferno in Mogadishu’s largest market Bakaaro which also claimed three lives and robbed traders of their businesses some of which were still offsetting loans. Goobjoog News and Goobjoog Business investigations have established in one of the malls, Khalifa, traders lost more than 4 million dollars while the owner had his building which housed 85 stalls reduced into ashes. Aasho Sheikh Ibrahim who was one of the stall owners at Khalifa mall selling clothes lost stock worth $18,000. “All my stocked was lost in the fire and I even do not know where to start from now,” Aasho told Goobjoog News.

Another trader Adil Sheikh Doon who was also based at Khalifa mall said his stock of $40,000 was destroyed in the blaze which started at around 5 am local time. Abdi Aato also in the same market lost stock worth $5,000. Some of the traders said they were yet to pay off debts for stock they started the business with. Abdullahi Mohamed, the manager of khalifa Mall told Goobjoog News the least stock in the mall was $5000 while others had stock of over half a million dollars. All of them were destroyed in the blaze which had smoke covering a section of the city. “Khalifa mall was established in 2012, Mohamed said “And we started with a capital of $500,000.” Four major companies-Hodan, Hal-abuur, Al-Xarameyn and Al-ixsaan were running the stalls.

Our investigations only covered Khalifa mall. Several other shops were destroyed as well and the losses could run into more millions of dollars as traders continue counting their loses. The market went up in flames bare a month after a similar case razed down sections of the market. Other incidents of fire in Bakaaro market were in 1996, 2002, 2007 and 2009.


Miraa Export Resumes After Tax Dispute Is Resolved

28 February – Source : Daily Nation  – 297 Words

The export of miraa to Mogadishu resumed on Monday evening after Somalia authorities rescinded their earlier decision to increase taxes on the commodity. Somalia had last week increased the tax from Sh309 ($3) to Sh360.5 ($3.5) per kilo of khat, leading to a four-day boycott by Kenyan miraa exporters. Nyambene Miraa Traders Association (Nyamita) spokesman Kimathi Munjuri said Mogadishu officials and traders agreed on a tax of Sh247 (2.40USD) per kilogramme of the herb after four days of negotiations.

“We are glad that the authorities and Somali importers agreed on a friendly tax (rate). However, we are yet to get official communication on the agreement. We resumed business on Monday evening with 20 tonnes of miraa,” Mr Munjuri said. He noted that Somalia relies heavily on taxes from khat and called for a lasting solution to the current challenges facing the miraa trade. Mr Munjuri said Mogadishu, the largest miraa export market, takes in about 50 tonnes of the commodity daily which is valued at more than Sh100 million.

“The daily tax paid on miraa in Mogadishu amounts to Sh15 million. The herb therefore contributes immensely to the economy of Somalia,” he said. The Nyamita official said they expect more engagements with Somalia government with a view to removing extra levies that have made tax per a kilo of miraa to rise to Sh1,000 (10USD).


“For our country to develop, it needs to build its economy and this can only be done by slaying the dragon of corruption, creating a climate of peace and security, increasing revenue base, and attracting investors locally and internationally. This victory offers an opportunity for Mr. Farmajo to safeguard the sovereignty of Somalia and bring in technocrats to the cabinet to rebuild our broken national institutions.”

Somalia Is Looking Forward Confidently

27 February – Source : Hiiraan Online – 495 Words

With the completion of a gruelling presidential election in my country Somalia, 2017 might be the most defining moment in our history as a country.   After the election process, Mr. Mohamed Farmajo, the US technocrat stunned both friend and foe by capturing the presidency in a dramatic and peaceful victory. Indeed, It is clear that the majority of Somalis have given the clearest signal to our parliamentarians to take back the control of Mogadishu.

As a former Ambassador to Burundi and presidential candidate, I traversed large swathes of Somalia and met with many people across the land during my career and campaign.  I observed very heated debates in the country and appreciated how passionate people felt about the issues they hold so dear in our country. Obviously, there are disappointments felt by those for whom the results did not go the way they had hoped and that is the nature of democratic systems anywhere in the world.

Be that as it may, no one in Somalia can deny that the election of President Farmajo captured the collective mood, ambition and the eternal will of the Somali people, including those in the Diaspora. I believe now more than ever before, that now is the time to move forward together as a nation and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. I am further pleased that these are the exact sentiments that President Farmajo underscored in his victory speech.  He signalled from the onset that his presidency will mark a new turning point for Somalia and reiterated his deep resolve not to tolerate administrative corruption in his new government, a cancer that has ravaged past Somalia administrations.


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.