March 9, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somaliland President Bihi Rubbishes Somalia Claim Over Berbera Port

08 March – Source: Radio Dalsan – 289  Words

Somaliland’s President,  Musa Bihi Abdi has broken his silence over the diplomatic row that followed the signing of a $1Bn deal to lease Berbera Port to a UAE company and Ethiopia. Bihi warned Somalia that any interference on Somaliland matters would be taken as a declaration of war. Speaking at an international women’s day ceremony in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa, Mr. Bihi dismissed Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire’s recent remarks that the deal is illegal. “What you have shown and announced today saying that you control Somaliland. That you make decisions in Berbera and there can be no agreement without you” Bihi said. “The son has really lied” Bihi added referring to Kheire.

Bihi referred to Somalia’s history to back his argument over the strategic port city of Berbera.
Aden Adde said, if you the people of northern regions have come to us, the city belongs to us, the Prime Minister belongs to us, the two commanders of the army belongs to us, the Speaker of the parliament belongs to us and we will share the two Ministers with you” Bihi said referring to Somalia’s first President Aden Abdulle Adde. In an emotional speech Bihi related alleged persecution of the people of Somaliland by Somalia during the internal conflict that lasted from 1988 to 1991.

The women present at the occasion broke down as they were overcome by emotion. Somalia on Thursday sent a protest letter to the Arab League and African Union seeking intervention. DP World issued a statement saying it recognises Somaliland as an independent country. The deal has seen Ethiopia get a 19% stake in the port. Somaliland broke away from Somalia at the advent of the civil war in 1991 but has remained unrecognised by the international community.

Key Headlines

  • Somaliland President Bihi Rubbishes Somalia Claim Over Berbera Port (Radio Dalsan)
  • Bula Burde Administration Rescues Two Children From Al-Shabaab (Hiiraan Online)
  • Somalia Seeks To Benefit From Jordan’s Security Expertise (Shabelle News)
  • Government of Germany Contributes €50 Million Towards Strengthening Resilience In southern Somalia (Africa News)
  • How Al-Shabaab Prey On Starving Somali Villages For Food Cash And Children (The Star Kenya)


Bula Burde Administration Rescues Two Children From Al-Shabaab

08 March – Source: Hiiraan online – 236 Words

A local administration in central Somalia has said they rescued two children who escaped from Al-Shabaab militants. The kids who were reportedly kidnapped by the militant group ran away from a school manned by Al-Shabaab. Bula Burde district commissioner, Osman Dahir Gure said his administration dispatched a team to rescue the kids who escaped from Al-Shabaab camp in Luqdhurwa village. “Initially, the children ran away from an Al-Shabaab school located at Luqdhurwa village between Beledweyne and Bula Burde towns, immediately we got their information, we sent vehicles to transport them to here,” Gure said.

He accused the militants of carrying out raids against the locals, to abduct children. “About one hundred children kidnapped by the militants are currently undergoing indoctrination and military training in the camp,” the commissioner added. The commissioner vowed to accelerate operations to clear the militants from areas near Bula Burde district. The move comes just a month after the Somali government rescued over 30 children from Al-Shabaab during an operation by Somali forces.

The rescue operation which was conducted in January took place at Jilyale village lies about 110 km southwest of Somali capital. “Somali National Security forces rescued 35 children from Al-Shabaab indoctrination centre on 19th January. The government is committed to providing all basic services to these children, as the necessity in rehabilitation these children is indeed critical to their long-term physiological and mental well-being,” Somali government said in a statement.

Somalia Seeks To Benefit From Jordan’s Security Expertise

08 March – Source: Shabelle News – 167 Words

Interior Minister Samir Mubaidain, late Tuesday, discussed with his Somali counterpart Mohamed Abubakar Islow bilateral relations and means to benefit from Jordan’s security and policy expertise. Discussions were held on the sidelines of the Jordanian delegation’s visit to Algeria, to take part in the 35th session of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers scheduled to start on Wednesday.

The two ministers also tackled establishing new security programs to support the African nation addressing the security challenges. Mubaidain expressed Jordan’s readiness to provide all forms of support to bring about security and stability to the African nation.“The 35th session of the Arab Interior Ministers’ meeting is a significant event that would contribute in enhancing joint Arab security cooperation to overcome the challenges in the region, especially in light of the political, economic and social disturbances in some Arab countries, the minister said.”  The Somali minister praised Jordan’s security expertise, expressing his country’s interest in benefiting from it mainly in the fields of security, police training and rehabilitation.


Government of Germany Contributes €50 Million Towards Strengthening Resilience In southern Somalia

08 March – Source: Africa News – 513 Words

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has committed €50 million for a joint United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF programme to tackle women and children’s nutrition in nine districts in Banadir and six districts in Gedo region in the south of Somalia. Over a million children in Somalia are expected to be acutely malnourished in the next 12 months, including 232,000 who will be severely malnourished and in need of life-saving assistance.

The ongoing drought and other shocks have left communities with little to no resources to fall back on- hence the importance of investing in resilience. The three-year grant (€24.5 million for UNICEF and €25.5 million for WFP) will be managed by the German Development Bank (KfW).  This will help put families and communities in a better position to cope with shocks and crises that often hit Somalia.

UNICEF and WFP will work closely with the Government at Local, State and Federal levels. Key Ministries include the Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. Coordination and oversight of this programme will be conducted by the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development (MOPIED). We must look to long-term community solutions to break the cycle of persistent droughts and humanitarian crisis in Somalia.


“According to Beledweyne area chief, the terrorists also manipulate rivalries between clans by instigating allegations against each other. The draconian punishment, seizures, taxes, and abductions run counter to the strategic guidance issued by al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. He has called for affiliates of the veteran group to build consensus and support among local communities.”

How Al-Shabaab Prey On Starving Somali Villages For Food, Cash And Children

08 March – Source: The Star, Kenya – 845 Words

Reports have emerged of how al Shabaab militants in Somalia are extorting huge sums from starving communities. The militants are also forcibly recruiting hundreds of children as soldiers and suicide bombers. This comes as the terror group endures financial pressures, a decrease in numbers and an apparent crisis of morale. Intelligence documents, transcripts of interrogations from recent defectors, and interviews conducted on returnees by security agents confirm the situation. “Worse is that they lurk in the villages waiting for us to receive any food or medical aid from the AMISOM troops or humanitarian organisations and then they forcibly come for them,” Omar from Gedo region said in an interview. “They even confiscate painkillers from mothers who have just delivered.”

After decades of causing havoc in the south and central Somalia as well as in Mogadishu, al Shabaab was forced to retreat to rural areas following an intervention by AMISOM troops. With the current drought in Somalia and the continuing bombardment from the Somalia National Army, AMISOM, and its international partners, it now appears that the militants are not only suffering operational defeat but are also suffering a crisis of morale and financial pressure. This has prompted the drive to squeeze revenue out of poor rural communities.

A recent defector from central Somalia told government interrogators that the group forces “Muslims to pay for pretty much everything except entering the mosque.” In another interview, a former mid-ranking commander, who defected four months ago, described how he oversaw the taxation of every aspect of people lives. For instance, he says wells were taxed at Sh200,000 per month and a fee of Sh35,000 levied at water holes for every camel drinking there.

In Bay province, Southern Somalia residents are forced to pay an annual collective tax of a thousand camels, each worth Sh50,000, and several thousand goats. In addition, trucks using roads in al Shabaab controlled territory pay Sh180,000 for each trip. Five per cent of all land sales is taken as tax, and arbitrary levies of up to Sh1,0000,000 imposed on communities for “educational purposes”.


The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.