President Farmaajo Pays Tribute To Fallen Journalists, Pledges Freer Environment
05 March – Source: Goobjoog News – 259 Words
President Abdullahi Farmaajo has pledged his government’s support to journalists while acknowledging the very crucial role they have played in Somalia’s reconstruction process despite risks. Speaking during a meeting with journalists in his office Sunday, President Farmaajo called on journalists to remain steadfast in their work in pursuing the truth and holding government accountable. Noting that journalists worked under difficult circumstances, Farmaajo paid tribute to journalists who have died at the course of duty and their families.
“It is actually true that you have gone through difficulties to deliver the truth to the public. You have obligations and responsibilities the same way the government has responsibilities therefore we shall cooperate to stabilize our country,” said President Farmaajo. Media watchdogs rank Somalia among the most dangerous places for journalists in the world with 26 of them having been killed since 2012. Most of the perpetrators have almost always walked scot-free.
In a letter to the president mid last month, the Committee to Protect Journalists called on President Farmaajo to ensure justice for journalists killed over the years. “We look forward to working with your administration to improve the climate for the media in Somalia, and in particular to ensure that those who murder journalists are brought to swift and fair justice,” the letter read in part.
- President Farmaajo Pays Tribute To Fallen Journalists Pledges Freer Environment (Goobjoog News)
- UAE Ambassador To Somalia Recalled To Abu Dhabi (Hiiraan Online)
- UN Envoy Meets Somali Premier In Mogadishu (Garowe Online)
- UAE Praised Of Continued Training For Somali Troops (Shabelle News)
- 110 Die Of Hunger In Two Days In One Region Of Somalia (UPI)
- Erdogan Calls To Help Drought-hit East Africa (Anadolu Agency)
- US Military Sets Sights On Al-Shabaab In Somalia (Al Jazeera)
UAE Ambassador To Somalia Recalled To Abu Dhabi
05 March – Source: Hiiraan Online – 153 Words
The UAE Ambassador to Somalia has been recalled to Abu Dhabi partly in protest of Mogadishu’s demand that the base deal that was signed with Somaliland be halted. Various reports indicate that Ambassador Mohammed Al Hammadi arrived in Dubai on Saturday after receiving instructions to do so by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Last week, Somali President visited Saudi Arabia on his first official state visit and the UAE-Somaliland base deal was one of the items on the agenda. President Farmajo lobbied the Saudi’s to persuade the UAE not to go forward with the deal. On February 12th, the Somaliland Parliament voted to allow the construction of a base in Berbera. Somalia objected almost immediately terming the conditions of the deal illegal and corrupt. Somaliland is a self-declared state that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.
UN Envoy Meets Somali Premier In Mogadishu
05 March – Source: Garowe Online – 194 Words
The United Nations Special envoy of the Secretary General for Somalia Michael Keating has met the new Somali Premier Hassan Ali Khayre in the capital Mogadishu on Sunday. UN envoy Keating was reportedly held a meeting with Khayre at his office in Villa Somalia, and discussed about country’s challenges including drought response and nomination of the upcoming cabinet ministers. UN envoy’s meeting with Prime Minister has also focused on the coordination of the local and international efforts to deliver an urgent humanitarian assistance to drought-hit communities in Somalia.
The meeting comes a day after Khayre has announced the first drought death toll since the new Somali President Mohamed Abdulahi Farmarjo has declared a national disaster last week. Khayre said at a press conference on Saturday that about 110 people have died out of hunger and acute diarrhea in the past 48 hours in some parts of Somalia, particularly in Bay and Bakol regions . The UN estimates that 6.2 million of Somali people are at risk of starvation, and called for urgent international assistance to avert a possible famine crisis in the country.
UAE Praised Of Continued Training For Somali Troops
05 March – Source: Shabelle News – 180 Words
United Arab Emirates (UAE) was praised for giving a high level military training to Somali National Army (SNA), in a bid to assist Somalia re-establish its armed forces after 25 years. Speaking with Radio Shabelle, Mohamud Abdi Omar a retired army colonel said UAE is committed to helping Somalia in different sectors, including the training of the armed forces. “The SNA soldiers trained by UAE are more discipline and professional than those trained by other countries in and abroad,” said Col Mohamed Abdi Omar during the interview.
In 2014, Somalia has sent contingents of its armed forces to the United Arab Emirates and undergone high level military training courses during their stay in the United Arab Emirates. Col Omar has advising Somalia’s new federal government led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to honor the UAE for the training responsibility of the country’s army. United Arab Emirates had played a key role in the international anti famine campaign in Somalia in 2011, and launched a continued training activity for the Somali National Army.
05 March – Source: UPI – 210 Words
At least 110 people — mostly women and children — died from hunger over 48 hours in one region of drought-stricken Somalia, the nation’s prime minister said. Hassan Ali Khaire announced the number of fatalities during a drought committee meeting in Mogadishu on Saturday. The region mentioned was in the rural areas in southwestern Somalia, where the drought is the worst in the nation.
“I can confirm that Bay region in the south and other parts of Somalia are deteriorating rapidly,” Khaire said, “and my estimation is that half of the country’s population has felt the impact of this drought.” Four days earlier, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo declared the drought a national disaster.
More than 6.2 million people — half the population of Somalia — are lacking food and clean water because rivers are drying up from little rain, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It put the number at 5 million in September.
“The drought response committee briefed the PM about the humanitarian crises in the country that is threatening the lives of the people and their livestock who are on the brink of dying from hunger and watery diarrhea disease,” Khaire’s office said.
Khaire pleaded for “business people and everyone to contribute to the drought response efforts aimed at saving the lives of the millions of Somalis dying of hunger and lack of water.” UNICEF reports 1.4 million children could die of severe acute malnutrition in four nations: Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.
05 March – Source: Anadolu Agency – 139 Words
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a series of tweets Saturday called to take part in the Turkish Red Crescent aid campaign for East African hit by drought and famine. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday called for urgent action to help over 20 million people facing famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and northeastern Nigeria. Kenya has also bee hit by a drought.
“We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to requests for help from those countries where the drought-related famine has reached critical levels,” wrote Erdogan. “Turkey launches an aid campaign to reach people in East Africa and Yemen who need our urgent assistance.” Erdogan directed his followers to Turkish Red Crescent’s website at kizilay.org to make an online donation to support the campaign.
OPINION, CULTURE & ANALYSIS
“The US already has military bases in Somalia, although it has not publicly acknowledged them. They are often used for drone attacks against Al-Shabaab targets. One of the largest bases is at Baledogle airfield, a former Somali air force base in Lower Shabelle region where US military experts also train Somali forces, according to Somali officials.”
04 March – Source: Al Jazeera – 633 Words
With frequent suicide bombings and assaults on Somalia’s hotels and military targets, the armed group Al-Shabaab continues to threaten stability in the war-ravaged country. The emergence of fighters pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group can only make things worse. After vowing to target “radical Islamic terrorism”, US President Donald Trump’s administration plans to pursue wider military involvement in Somalia as current strategies, including drone attacks, are not enough, security experts say.
Recommendations by the Pentagon sent to the White House would allow US special forces to increase assistance to the Somali National Army and give the US military greater flexibility to launch more pre-emptive air strikes. “The concern in Washington has been mounting for some time now. The Trump administration is simply reiterating what has been policy, with slight variations,” said Rashid Abdi, a Horn of Africa analyst with the International Crisis Group. “US special forces are already on the ground. Drone attacks have been scaled up.”
Currently about 50 US commandos rotate in and out of Somalia to advise and assist local troops. The commandos have accompanied Somali forces in several raids against Al-Shabaab fighters, killing dozens, Somali intelligence officials told The Associated Press, insisting on anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press. Somalia, which has been without an effective central government since the fall of dictator Siad Barre in 1991, was one of the seven predominantly Muslim countries included in Trump’s recent travel ban. That executive order has since been suspended by federal courts.