11 March – Source: CTGN – 258 Words
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on Saturday urged foreign countries and investors to follow legal procedures for investment in his country, in an apparent response to a dispute over a port deal in the breakaway region of Somaliland. “I am warning companies and countries not to cross the line and put to question the sovereignty of Somalia,” he told the opening session of parliament. “Somalia is open for business and international partnerships, but those who want to invest here must get the approval of the respective state institutions,” he said. Farmajo said any trade agreements must be made within the dictates of the law, warning against infringing on the country’s sovereignty and unity.
His remarks come amid what is escalating into a diplomatic tiff between Somalia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the March 1 deal. In the agreement, UAE-controlled DP World and Somaliland announced they would cede part ownership of the port management to allow landlocked Ethiopia to get a 19 percent holding. Somaliland parliament approved the Berbera Port concession in August 2016, granting DP World 65 percent stake in the 30-year concession.
Mogadishu has rejected the deal and declared it null and void. Farmajo did not mention the issue of Berbera but his comments, coming one day after the Arab League called for respect of territorial integrity, added voice to his government’s concerns over the concession. Somalia submitted a petition to the Arab League on Friday seeking intervention over the port issue. Somaliland has maintained it will proceed with the concession despite objections from Mogadishu.
- Somalia President Warns Against Breach Of Sovereignty (CTGN)
- Somaliland Retaliates Top-level Domain Take-over Bans DotSo Extensions (Goobjoog News)
- Farmaajo: Major Changes To Judicial System (Hiiraan Online)
- At Least 4 Killed In IED Attack In Mogadishu (Xinhuanet)
- Turkish Aid Agency To Rebuild Somali Parliament (Anadolu Agency)
- Defeating Al-Shabaab First Step For Somalia’s Stability: AMISOM Chief (Xinhuanet)
Somaliland Retaliates Top-level Domain Take-over, Bans DotSo Extensions
11 March – Source: Goobjoog News – 223 Words
Entities with dotSo domain extensions in Somaliland have until April 12 to transfer to other extensions failure to which they will be shut, Somaliland government has said barely two days after Mogadishu took full control of the country top-level domain .so. In a statement Sunday, Somaliland’s Ministry of Communication and Technology warned institutions and individuals using the extension to vacate it terming its use an infringement of its ‘independence and sovereignty’. “It is forbidden to use the top-level domain dotso,” the ministry said. “All universities, companies, banks, NGOs and international organisations registered in Somaliland must cease the use of the extension.”
The newly established National Communications Authority last week took control of the domain extension which had hitherto been managed by local companies, Somali National Information Centre (SONIC) and Cloudy Registry. “All web hosting companies must transfer .so websites within 30 days starting March 11, 2018 to other independent domains failure to which those websites will be closed,” the ministry said.
The statement adds to a growing spat between Mogadishu and Hargeisa which started last week following the unveiling of the Berbera Port deal granting Ethiopia 19% stake in the DP World managed concession. Somaliland Foreign Minister said that planned talks with the Federal Government would be postponed for a month noting ‘the circumstances at the moment do not allow talks to happen’.
Farmaajo: Major Changes To Judicial System
11 March – Source: Hiiraan Online – 239 Words
President Mohamed Abdullahi said his government is committed to establishing an independent judiciary system which will serve the Somali public across the nation. Somalia has been lacking proper investigation and prosecutorial mechanisms since the fall of the central government in 1990, making it difficult to deal with criminal cases in the country.
During his speech, President Farmajo noted the need for consolidating a judicial system that protects the rights of the citizens to enjoy justice. “I have concluded a long-term study on the judicial system of the country. Now it is time to fix it and soon there will change to our justice system,” said President Farmajo. Civic societies have long campaigned for changes to the justice system, which they say suffers from corruption and low public trust.
During a visit to Nairobi earlier this month, the Minister for Justice, Hassan Hussein Haji said his ministry is collaborating with its partners in different countries to rebuild the judicial systems. “As we rebuild our systems, we remain indebted to the Kenyan Government for the role it has played in the past and continues to play today as we rebuild our country. As a government, we have so far been able to achieve a significant sense of security, political and economic stability in our country. We are now focusing on developing our judicial systems and look to learn from Kenya which has a strong system built over the years,” Haji stated.
11 March – Source: Xinhuanet – 139 Words
At least four members of the Somali security force were killed and another injured in a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) attack on the outskirts of Mogadishu on Saturday, police said. The attack, which happened Saturday evening, targeted security personnel in Weydow village, a few kilometers outside Mogadishu. “Four soldiers died in the IED attack as they were traveling along Weydow area,” a police officer who demanded anonymity told Xinhua.
Locals said they heard a blast followed by gunfire. “We heard a huge blast coming from an area Somali forces were passing. I also saw ambulance vehicle heading to the scene,” Fos Ahmed, a resident, told Xinhua. No group had claimed responsibility but al-Shabab has increased such attacks on government forces in the past few weeks. The attacks came amid military offensives against the militant group in southern Somalia.
10 March – Source: Anadolu Agency – 192 Words
Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) on Saturday signed a deal with the Somali parliament to go ahead with the construction of a modern National Assembly building in capital Mogadishu. Prof. Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, speaker of the parliament, who spoke to the media after the signing ceremony said TIKA will first build a temporary facility within the next five months where assembly sessions will be held.
In the next phase, it will rebuild the current National Assembly into a seven-storey modern structure. “Special thanks goes to the our brothers in the Turkish government for the facilitation and funding of this project that is expected to commence as soon as possible,” he said.
The parliament building has suffered damage because of civil war in the eastern African country. Also present at the ceremony were Olgan Bekar, Turkey’s ambassador to Somalia, and Galip Yilmaz, TIKA’s Mogadishu program coordinator. Bekar said building the parliament is one of the most prominent projects that TIKA will realize this year. The new assembly building will comprise of an assembly hall for the sessions, and 329 offices for each of the members in the lower and upper houses.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“We will continue to fight alongside Somalia troops to eradicate terrorism in the country,”
11 March – Source: Xinhuanet – 375 Words
The international community should rally behind efforts to revitalize the war against Al-Shabaab militants in order to hasten Somalia’s reconstruction, a senior AU official has said. Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, told Xinhua Friday that a mixture of diplomatic, military and economic tools is required to boost the war against terrorism in the Horn of African state. “Liberating Somalia from the crippling influence of Al-Shabaab and violence is the first step to stabilize the country,” Madeira said during an interview in Nairobi.
The veteran Mozambican diplomat who is also the head of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) noted that military assault against Al-Shabaab fighters has paid dividends but warned the Al-Qaida-linked terror network remained a huge threat to peace and stability in the greater Horn of Africa region. “It is the responsibility of Somalia government and armed forces, neighbors and other partners far afield to root out terrorism and insecurity,” said Madeira.
The AU envoy noted that targeted airstrikes and enhanced intelligence gathering has dealt a huge blow to Al-Shabaab as evidenced by deaths and defections of senior commanders. At the same time, Madeira said enhanced collaboration between African Union troops and Somali armed forces has dislodged Al-Shabaab in key strongholds. “Our anti-terrorism strategies are yielding results and there has been destabilization within Al-Shabaab. The day this armed group denounced violence, it will create a conducive environment to work for peace in Somalia,” Madeira told Xinhua.
He stressed that enhanced coordination coupled with empowering Somalia’s disciplined forces is key to salvaging the country from the grip of terror and civil strife ahead of exit of AU troops that is expected to end next year. He said military interventions to root out terrorism in Somalia have ushered in some levels of stability in the country hence attracting foreign direct investments. Madeira noted that the AU troops in collaboration with Somalia National Army have managed to bring stability in regions that were terrorism havens.