09 March – Source: Anadolu Agency – 120 Words
Turkey has provided Somalia with humanitarian aid worth 456 million Turkish liras ($121.9 million) since 2011, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said Thursday. AFAD contributed 255 million liras ($68.1 million) worth of aid while the Turkish Red Crescent provided 176 million liras ($47 million) and the Religious Affairs Directorate gave 25 million liras ($6.7 million).
The aid was made up of 43,946 tons of food, 10,320 tons of clothes, 48 prefabricated homes, 12,400 blankets and 649 tons of medical supplies. Mogadishu airport, water projects, hospitals, schools and mosques benefited from the aid, AFAD added. According to the annual Global Humanitarian Assistance report, Turkey was the second-largest donor of humanitarian assistance last year.
- Somalia Receives More Than $121 Million In Turkish Aid (Anadolu Agency)
- US Int’l Partners “Disappointed” At Somaliland Electoral Delays (Hiiraan Online)
- Ethiopia Appoints New Envoy To Somalia (Radio Dalsan)
- Gabeyre Re-elected Chairperson Of Somali Chamber Of Commerce (Goobjoog News)
- Somaliland Pleads To Be Removed From Trump’s Extreme Vetting List (Washington Post)
- Organization Of Islamic Cooperation Warns Of Growing Famine In Somalia (Arab News)
- Why Somalia Wants To Print Its Own Banknotes Again After 26 Years (News Week)
US, Int’l Partners “Disappointed” At Somaliland Electoral Delays
09 March – Source: Hiiraan Online – 247 Words
The United States and several international countries are “disappointed by Somaliland electoral delays”, according to a press release issued by the US Mission to Somalia. “Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and the United States are deeply disappointed by the Guurti’s decision to delay further Somaliland’s electoral cycle, unilaterally extending the government’s term beyond even the dates requested by government.”
The press release comes on the heels of a controversial decision by the Guurti to further postpone the presidential elections to November 2017, and the parliamentary elections until 2019. Political parties in Somaliland agreed in January to delay the presidential elections for six months to better focus on the crippling drought in there territory. The changes alarmed many of Somaliland’s donors who expressed their concern about the Guurti’s respect for democracy.
“These delays undermine democratic progress in Somaliland and have caused serious concern among international partners about the government’s credibility and respect for democratic norms. We note that Parliamentarians will have been in office 14 years without an election under this plan, more than twice the constitutional limit,” read part of the statement. The press release warns Somaliland that donors will not cover the costs that delays will incur to Somaliland’s election. The Guurti is the Upper House of Elders in Somaliland’s hybrid governance system that combines traditional authority with modern democratic governance. In May 2015, the Guurti unilaterally announced the first two-year extension to the current administration’s term.
Ethiopia Appoints New Envoy To Somalia
09 March – Source: Radio Dalsan – 74 Words
Jamaldin Mustafa Omar has been appointed the new ambassador of Ethiopia to Somalia, Ethiopia government announced through the state news agency ENA. Omar replaces Abdiaziz Aden who served as the Ethiopian ambassador during President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s administration. Omar served as the Deputy Ambassador under Aden.
He is expected to present his credential to President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo. Ethiopia enjoyed closer ties with the previous Mohamud administration and had reportedly backed his presidential bid.
Gabeyre Re-elected Chairperson Of Somali Chamber Of Commerce
09 March – Source: Goobjoog News – 119 Words
Mahmoud Abdikarin Gabeyre has been re-elected Somali Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairperson for another four years in elections which took place in Mogadishu Thursday. Gabeyre who has the chairman for the last four year trounced his opponents Ibrahim Bashir and Mohamed Abukar to emerge winner with 54 votes out of the possible 62.
Delegates from all the regional chamber of commerce in the country participated in the elections which also endorsed new code for the Chambers. Gabeyre pledged to continue in building the Chamber in a bid to promote trade in the country and build closer relations with the business community. The chamber was re-activated in 2012 after over twenty years following the collapse of government in 1991.
09 March – Source: Washington Post – 360 Words
Somaliland pleaded with the administration on Thursday to carve the territory out of President Trump’s new extreme vetting policy, but stopped short of agreeing to the kinds of changes that helped get Iraq off the target list. The territory is a breakaway part of Somalia that has proclaimed its independence for more than two decades. Saad Ali Shire, the territory’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, said he was pleased with the revisions Mr. Trump made to allow legal permanent residents of the U.S. to enter without problems. That accommodation was not part of the original Jan. 27 executive order. But Mr. Shire said he’ll use the 90-day pause in other visas that Mr. Trump imposed to argue Somaliland shouldn’t be part of the restrictions, which were placed on Somalia as well as Libya, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
“As Somaliland and the United States seek to advance shared security and economic interests, immigration policies directed at Somalia must not be applied to citizens of our country,” the minister said.
“During the upcoming 90-day review period established by the revised Executive Order, our government will clarify to U.S. officials its impact on our citizens and advocate for further measures that spare Somaliland from future directives,” he said. “In so doing, Somaliland will also reaffirm our desire for strengthened bilateral relations and official U.S. recognition of Somaliland’s independent sovereign status.”
Iraq had been on the original list of countries targeted, but it was dropped from the new order Monday. Homeland Security officials said that was because Iraq agreed to do better at sharing information on its citizens, and agreed to take back illegal immigrants — including criminals — that the U.S. is trying to deport. Somalia is one of the worst offenders on that score, having refused to take back some 442 illegal immigrants the U.S. was trying to deport between 2013 and 2016. That’s about three times as bad as Iraq’s record during the same time. As of earlier this year, Somalia was still listed as an “uncooperative” country by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because of its refusal to work on deportations.
10 March – Source: Arab News – 302 Words
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said the group is viewing the spread of famine in Somalia with deep concern. The OIC reports that signs of a famine has started to show in Somalia and the Horn of Africa region after a severe drought and shortage of rainfall. The organization stated that the famine is threatening the lives of more than 17 million people in the Horn of Africa. A drought is starting to affect Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
Half of Somali’s population — about 6 million people — is in need of urgent humanitarian aid. About 110 people died in Somalia in the past two days from cholera and famine caused by the ongoing drought, said Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali in a statement on March 4. The OIC’s office for Coordination of Humanitarian and Development Action in Somalia estimates that 50,000 people left Somali villages for the capital Mogadishu since last month. The OIC General Secretariat said it shares with other humanitarian partners deep concern about the level of international response to the eventuality of famine in Somalia.
The country suffered from famine between 2010 and 2012, which led to the deaths of 260,000 people.
The OIC General Secretariat warned about the consequences of the slow humanitarian intervention and highlighted the need for swift intervention, “before it is too late.” The OIC General Secretariat appealed for help to the international community. The UN secretary general recently said that the UN agencies are in urgent need of $4.4 billion by the end of March. The UN announced that 1.4 million children are on the verge of imminent death because of famine in four countries: Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, where 20 million people face catastrophic conditions.
OPINION, ANALYSIS, AND CULTURE
“Around 60 percent of Somalia’s population live in rural areas with poor access to U.S. dollars or mobile money. This means that Somalia urgently needs to print its own national currency to serve the entire population, the central bank’s governor Bashir Issa Ali told Voice of America (VOA).”
09 March – Source: News Week – 695 Words
Somalia is planning to print its first official banknotes for the first time in a quarter-century. Since civil war broke out in the country in 1991, Somalia has not printed any official currency. Resourceful Somalis have turned to mobile money and foreign currencies, particularly the U.S. dollar, to fill the shortage, but counterfeit Somali shilling notes have also multiplied.
But with lawmakers peacefully electing a new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, in February, change is in the air in Somalia. Newsweek explains the current currency situation and the hurdles to be overcome for Somalia to rebuild its economy. What happened to Somalia’s currency? Following the 1991 overthrow of former Somali ruler Mohamed Siad Barre and the outbreak of war between rival clans, many of Somalia’s state institutions ceased functioning. This continued throughout the early 2000s, as an Islamist insurgency by the militant group al-Shabab further destabilized the fragile state. Affected institutions included the Central Bank of Somalia, which was only reopened in 2009 and still lacks control over the country’s monetary policy.
Prior to the conflict, the official currency of Somalia was the Somali shilling. In the ensuing years, many variant currencies were introduced by rival powers—such as the Somaliland shilling, which is still the national currency of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, but is unrecognized by the international community—and the counterfeiting of Somali currency skyrocketed. The representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Somalia, Samba Thiam, recently told Bloomberg that about 98 percent of the currency in circulation in Somalia is fake, with the remaining 2 percent being tattered Somali shillings printed in or prior to 1991.
How have people been spending money in the past 25 years? In the absence of a trustworthy national currency, U.S. dollars have become the primary banknotes in circulation in Somalia. According to the Central Bank of Somalia, most medium and large-scale transactions are undertaken in U.S. dollars, but the Somali shilling remains useful for small-value transactions. Somalia has also become a pioneer in mobile money transactions (done in U.S. dollars), which have proved a convenient alternative to carrying around wheelbarrows full of near-worthless notes. In 2014, 37 percent of the population had mobile money accounts, compared to just 8 percent with bank accounts at traditional financial institutions, according to the World Bank.