15 March – Source: The Courier – 270 Words
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has arrived in Somalia on a surprise visit for talks with the country’s new president. Mr Johnson was meeting Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who was elected last month, at the airport. Britain has appealed for aid to help deal with Somalia’s drought, which has been declared a national disaster amid warnings of a full-blown famine.
The drought, which the United Nations said threatens about half of Somalia’s population or roughly six million people, is part of a four-nation humanitarian crisis that the UN has called the largest since the world body was formed in 1945. Britain announced on Wednesday that it would match “pound for pound” the first £5 million donated by the public to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s new East Africa Crisis Appeal. The committee is a collection of 13 British aid agencies.
After his own recent visit to Somalia, UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said 2.9 million people in Somalia are at risk of famine and require immediate help “to save or sustain their lives”. He has warned that close to one million children under the age of five will be “acutely malnourished” this year. The humanitarian chief said current indicators mirror “the tragic picture of 2011 when Somalia last suffered a famine.” But he said the UN’s humanitarian partners have a larger footprint, better controls on resources and a stronger partnership with the new government. “To be clear, we can avert a famine,” Mr O’Brien has said. “But we need those huge funds now.”
- Boris Johnson In Somalia For Surprise Visit Amid Drought And Famine Warning (The Courier)
- Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a Leader Hopeful New Government Will Work With Them (Hiiraan Online)
- Puntland To Send Forces To Free Hijacked Vessel As Fears Of Piracy Return Abound (Goobjoog News)
- Pirates Demand Ransom For Tanker Seized Off Somalia – EU Naval Force (Reuters)
- Arab League Secretary-General Calls For Urgent Arab Action To Aid Somalia (Emirates News Agency)
- Promoting Entrepreneurship In Post-conflict Somalia (The Star)
Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a Leader Hopeful New Government Will Work With Them
15 March – Source: Hiiraan Online – 145 Words
The moderate Islamist group Ahlu Sunna Wal-jama’a controlling parts of the central region of Somalia has said it held fruitful meetings with leaders of the new Federal Government of Somalia. The group’s head Sheikh Mohamed Shakir, who claims to be the president of central regions made the remarks upon his return to Dhusamarreeb after his visit to Mogadishu that took several weeks.
Sheikh Shakir said he met with top government officials agreeing on a number of issues including improving relations between ASWJ and the Federal Government. “Previous Federal Governments entered agreements with Ahlu Sunna, but they never implemented it. We’re hopeful the Farmajo-led administration will fulfill agreements made with us. I had deep discussions with the newly elected leaders on the general situation of the country and particularly central regions. We talked about the urgent need to rebuild the Somali National Army in order to defeat the terrorist group Al-Shabaab,” said Sheikh Shakir.
Sheikh Shakir was among officials invited to attend the inauguration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on February signaling emerging understanding between the Federal Government and ASWJ. However the ASWJ administration is still unwilling to recognize the existence and legitimacy of Galmudug State, a move that had resulted in total collapse of ties between the Hassan Sheikh-led administration and the moderate islamist group during the past four years.
Puntland To Send Forces To Free Hijacked Vessel As Fears Of Piracy Return Abound
15 March – Source: Goobjoog News – 245 Words
Puntland State of Somalia has announced that it will deploy forces to coastal areas to free a ship hijacked Monday. Armed men on Monday hijacked an oil tanker from Djibouti heading to Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. According Puntland marine police, the forces will raid Alula town to rescue the ship and its crew.
Hared Ahmed Mohamud, a local elder told Goobjoog News that young fishermen including former pirates have hijacked the ship. “These young men are desperate after resource of the ocean was depleted by foreign ships, they have been sailing through the ocean in search for a foreign ship to hijack for days before they found this ship and boarded it,” Mohamud said. It is yet unclear the amount of ransom to demanded by the pirates.
Reports say Comoros-flagged tanker Aris 13 manned by eight Sri Lankan crew. Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said in a statement it was in touch with shipping agents and officials abroad for more information to help ensure the crew’s safety and welfare. A UN shipping database shows the Aris 13 is owned by a company called Armi Shipping SA, whose address is listed as care of Aurora Ship Management FZE, a company based in Fujairah. The incident involving the Aris 13 becomes the first commercial pirate attack off Somalia since 2012. Piracy off Somalia’s coast was once a serious threat to the global shipping industry.
15 March – Source: Reuters – 333 Words
Armed pirates off the coast of Somalia who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board are demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel, the EU Naval Force said. The pirates seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 tanker on Monday, the first such hijacking in the region since 2012. “The EU Naval Force … has received positive confirmation from the master of … Aris 13, that his ship and crew are currently being held captive by a number of suspected armed pirates in an anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, close to Alula,” the force said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Puntland State of Somalia. Alula is a port town there where pirates have taken the tanker. EU Navfor said as soon as it received an alert on the ship’s seizure, it sent patrol aircraft from its Djibouti base to try to make radio contact with the ship, and only late on Tuesday did its headquarters in London reach the vessel’s master by phone.
“The master confirmed that armed men were on board his ship and they were demanding a ransom for the ship’s release. The EU Naval Force has now passed the information regarding the incident to the ship’s owners,” EU Navfor said. The 1,800 deadweight tonne Aris 13 is owned by Panama company Armi Shipping and managed by Aurora Ship Management in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Equasis shipping data website, managed by the French transport ministry.
In their prime in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks off Somalia’s coast, data from the International Maritime Bureau showed, and held hundreds of hostages. That year, aid group Oceans Beyond Piracy estimated the global cost of piracy at about $7 billion. The shipping industry bore roughly 80 percent of those costs, the group’s analysis showed. However attacks fell off sharply after ship owners tightened security and vessels stayed farther away from the Somali coast.
15 March – Source: Emirates News Agency – 189 Words
Ahmed Abul-Gheit, Arab League Secretary-General, has called for an urgent Arab action to aid Somalia and for the mobilisation of financial and relief assistance required to address the grave humanitarian consequences resulting from the drought plaguing the country. In a statement yesterday, Mr. Abul-Gheit called on Arab States to maintain solidarity with Somalia and to provide the necessary support through the United Nations system, directly or through coordination with the Arab League, to help meet the urgent needs of more than six million Somali citizens, estimated by the UN at US$25 million to cover the next six months.
The Secretary-General also called on foreign ministers of a number of Arab states to continue providing material and technical support through charity and official institutions to the federal government of Somalia to address the serious consequences of this crisis. He explained that this action comes in the context of the efforts carried out by the Arab League to mobilise Arab, Islamic and international support for the relief of the Somali people, and to contribute to meeting their emergency needs.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The major setbacks for the SMEs development in the country is the lack of basic business skills by the entrepreneurs in areas like business planning, bookkeeping, technology applications, funding opportunities or access to finance and marketing skills. This lack of technical skills in business applies to both men and women, but women suffer more because of cultural backlash.”
14 March – Source: The Star – 744 Words
The euphoric reception that the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo elicited on February 8 is confirmation that the Somali people have faith that he has abilities to lead the change that the war-torn country faces. His election was received with gunshots by members of the security in celebrations as an indication that he is the savior the country has been waiting for in the last 25 years since the collapse of the Siad Barre’s regime.
The nationalistic fervour was expressed for the first time in 25 years and the confidence of the people in government was reborn. Many hail it as the first step towards Somalia’s stability. President Farmajo’s in-tray was already full the moment he walked out of the Mogadishu airport hangar, the venue of his election. In his inauguration speech, the new president promised to rebuild Somalia based on three principles: security, fighting graft and poverty. These pillars will contribute to the achievement of the economic development if implemented well. Farmajo’s immediate task will be to battle with the current drought that affects more than 6 million people nationwide.
The new president comes into office at a time when Somalia’s per capita income is $435, ranking it as the world’s fifth-poorest nation, according to the World Bank. The country depends on agriculture as the key economic activity that accounts for 40 percent of national production. The main export is camels to the Middle East. The IMF estimates that the economic growth may slow to 2.5 percent in 2017 from 3.7 percent last year. The economy is sustained by $2.3 billion a year by diaspora’s remittances.
Developing the small and medium enterprises (SME) in Somalia is vital for reconstruction strategy of post-conflict Somalia. The SMEs have contributed and sustained Somalia’s populations for more than 25 years without (proper) government policies and regulations in place. SMEs have also been responsible for employment opportunities for the budgeoning mass of youth as well as generating revenues for the government.
The sectoral policies should be introduced to regulate the business environment. The development of the infrastructure and rebuilding the government institutions is key to the initial growth of SMEs. The economic development is very crucial for the stability of Somalia especially jobs for the youth that are currently estimated to be 70% of the populations. The creation of jobs is regarded as the first route to stability.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrives in Mogadishu to discuss droughts and solidarity with new Somali president and PM.