02 March – Source: Associated Press – 124 Words
The African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia says at least 57 members of the Al-Shabaab extremist group have been killed after AU and Somali forces attacked one of its camps.The multinational force said on Twitter that vehicles and equipment were destroyed Thursday morning and “a large cache of weapons” was captured.The statement says helicopter gunships supported the assault on the Al-Shabaab camp outside Afmadhow.
A separate statement on the assault by Kenya’s defense ministry says an unknown number of extremists were injured. There was no immediate word of casualties among the AU or Somali forces.The al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabaab has lost ground in Somalia in recent years under pressure from such assaults but continues to carry out deadly attacks in the capital, Mogadishu.
- At least 57 Al-Shabaab Extremists Killed In Somalia Assault (Associated Press)
- Omar Abdirashid Hands Over The Keys To The Office Of The PM In Power Transfer Ceremony (Hiiraan Online)
- Moderate Islamist Group Signals Relations With New Somalia Government (Goobjoog News)
- AU Pledges To Work With New PM To Stabilize Somalia (Xinhua)
- Rehabilitation Centre For Former Al-Shabaab Fighters Opens In Kismayo (UNSOM)
- Go inside ‘Little Mogadishu’ The Somali Capital Of America (Star Tribune)
Omar Abdirashid Hands Over The Keys To The Office Of The PM In Power Transfer Ceremony
02 March – Source : Hiiraan Online – 161 Words
A power transfer ceremony was held in Parliament on Thursday saw Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire formally take over the reins of office from his predecessor. During the ceremony, former PM Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke thanked members of his cabinet for their cooperation and service during the past few years. Adding that the new PM should focus on expanding the capabilities of the Somali government so that it services could be accessible at a village or district level.
PM Khaire announced that the ministers appointed by Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke will continue working their post until he names his cabinet. “I would especially like to thank my brother, Omar Abdirashid for his work while serving as Prime Minister, I will continue to work to form a responsible government.” Prime Minister Khaire specifically addressed the humanitarian crisis going on in Somalia and called on citizens to assist their countrymen affected by drought, emphasizing that his number one priority is to support the people.
Moderate Islamist Group Signals Relations With New Somalia Government
02 March – Source : Goobjoog News – 533 Words
The moderate Islamist group Ahlusuna wal Jamaa has indicated its willingness to work with the Federal Government but maintained unwillingness to cede ground for established Federal States in central Somalia. In an exclusive interview with Goobjoog News, Mohamed Shakir Hassan the group’s leader for the so called Central Regions territory said they were ready to work with President Mohamed Farmaajo’s administration but on condition they are regarded like any other regional administration. “We do not have any problem with the current administration. Our issue was with former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who brought an administration which had nothing to do with the people of Galmudug. He came with his supporter and violated the constitution by allowing the formation of a state from one and half regions,” said Hassan.
Galmudug state formed in 2015 is made up of Galgadud region and the southern part of Mudug. The Provisional constitution notes two or more regions can join to form a state. Ahlusuna walked of the state formation conference in April 2015 and has since occupied the Dhuusamareeb, the supposed administrative capital for Galmudug state. The 43 year Hassan who says is now pursuing a PhD in political science from Ahqaf University in Yemen claims Ahlusuna’s territory straddles the central regions to cover Mudug, Hiran and Galmudug. Ahlusuna is however primarily based in Dhuusamareeb.
Asked how possible it is that a small group made up of two communities could claim stake of three regions, Hassan dismisses it as fabrication of the media. “That is how the media makes people believe. As you can see even the man who organized the interview for you is an MP in my administration but comes from a different clan outside Dhuusamareeb.” Ahlusuna wal Jamaa fought alongside Somali forces in driving out Al-Shabaab from parts of central Somalia but fell out with the government over what it termed as exclusion despite efforts at pacifying the region.
Hassan is not open to the idea of discussing his troop numbers but says ‘they are enough to control the three regions and were strong enough to finish Al-Shabaab’. As to the sources of funding for the group, Hassan states “We get money from supporters of the Ahlusuna liberation and our administration is supported by all in Galmudug, Ahlu Suna, Himin and Heeb and consists of Mudug, Galgadud and Hiiraan.”
During his meeting with President Farmaajo, Hassan says they did not discuss the Galmudug issue but instead focused on efforts to fight Al-Shabaab. The leader who could not see eye to eye with former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud attended President Farmaajo’s inauguration in what was seen as a sign of better relations with the new administration. But Hassan is categorical that Ahlusuna fighters will not surrender their weapons to the government. “We will not give out our weapons. Ahlusuna is just like any other region and the government must deal with us as a regional state,” said Hassan. He assured humanitarian agencies however of free movement noting they restricted movement in the past because of the bad relations with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s administration. On his group’s relations with Ethiopia, Hassan observes, “we enjoy good relationship with Ethiopia just like we do with the new government.”
02 March – Source:Xinhua – 211 Words
The African Union top envoy for Somalia vowed Thursday to work closely with the newly appointed Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation.The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Francisco Madeira said he has full confidence in Khaire who was sworn in on Wednesday in Mogadishu and immediately promised to enhance the fight against insecurity and corruption.”The African Union and AMISOM in particular have full confidence in the new Prime Minister’s ability to deliver for the people of Somalia,” Madeira said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
He said Khaire’s vast experience in humanitarian work and business will be a key asset for the new government.Madeira reaffirmed AMISOM’s commitment to working closely with the new government as it embarks on the task of making Somalia a stable country with the capacity to provide for its people.
The AU envoy also commended the members of the Federal Parliament of Somalia for demonstrating their confidence in Khaire and thereby ensuring a speedy confirmation process.The new PM who holds a dual Somali-Norwegian citizenship has now 30 days to form his new cabinet that will be tasked with transforming the Horn of Africa nation amid security, drought and corruption challenges.
01 March – Source : UNSOM – 424 Words
A rehabilitation centre for former Al-Shabaab combatants was officially opened today in Kismayo, the interim administrative capital of Jubbaland state. The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) centre is the fourth facility to be established in Somalia as part of the federal government’s National Programme for the Treatment and Handling of Disengaged Combatants. The construction of the centre was funded by the German Government with support from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the Federal Government of Somalia, Jubbaland state government and development partners.
The inauguration of the facility was attended by the Deputy German Ambassador to Somalia, Markus Bollmohr, the Director of the UNSOM Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group, Staffan Tillander, Jubbaland Deputy President Mohamud Sayid Aden, and senior officials from the Federal Government of Somalia. The German diplomat noted that the opening of the centre was part of a comprehensive approach to security focusing not only on hard security measures such as a strong police and military force but also on the reconciliatory and rehabilitation aspects of security. “This is the second (transition centre) that is supported by the German Government and is part of our contribution to stabilizing and pacifying Somalia on a long-term basis,” said Mr. Bollmohr.
Jubbaland State Minister of Security Abdirashid Hassan Abdinoor welcomed the establishment of the transition centre, noting that the facility will greatly benefit the region by offering vocational training courses to former combatants to help them adjust to civilian life. The sentiments were echoed by Hassan Sharif Osman, an official from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Federal Government who appealed to the youth to take advantage of the centre to help transform their lives and their communities.
OPINION, CULTURE & ANALYSIS
“Back in Somalia, tea houses were the social halls. That scene has been replicated at the Somali Starbucks, which draws visitors from all over the Twin Cities. People come to get their fix for caffeine and community news, explained Hassan, a former Minnesota Senate candidate who also helped to resettle the first wave of Somali refugees in America in the early 1990s,”
02 March- Source:Star Tribune- 1321 Words
In her makeup studio in the heart of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, Sumaya Keynan painted a metallic shade onto a customer’s eyelids on a recent Saturday evening.Keynan could have set up shop anywhere. But like so many Minnesota Somalis, she felt the pull of Cedar-Riverside — or “Little Mogadishu,” as the locals call it.“We have so much history here,” she said. “We were raised in this neighborhood.”
The Somalis aren’t the first to feel that way about the half-square-mile area. In the mid-1800s, immigrants from Germany and Scandinavia were the first settlers, and for a time, the neighborhood had the highest concentration of Swedes in the state, according to the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. In fact, Cedar Avenue was nicknamed “Snoose Boulevard” — a reference to the moist powder tobacco many Swedes used.Separated from the rest of Minneapolis by the Mississippi River and two freeways, the neighborhood operates like a self-sustaining village. “That’s allowed it to develop on its own and retain its character,” said Michael Tolan, of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.
Today, the Cedar-Riverside area is home to 8,000 residents — including a large Somali population. Even for those who don’t live there, the place has become a symbol for the Minnesota Somali community, the nation’s largest Somali diaspora.“It has become the place where people congregate,” said Mohamud Noor, who lives next door to the iconic Riverside Plaza towers. “You get a sense of belonging. You don’t feel as if you’re an outsider. Everything that connects to the community happens here.”There are many people and places that give it a distinctive vibe. We visited a few.
Keynan, a University of Minnesota business major, is working at her grandmother’s clothing store on Cedar Avenue S., and has begun to give the place a makeover.She’s filled the display window with elaborate wedding gowns and has set up a makeup studio in the back of the store, where she creates custom looks for brides and others seeking a glamorous look.Sumaya Keynan created a wedding shop with traditional and modern dresses in her grandmother’s Cedar-Riverside store.