09 May – Source: Voice of America – 123 Words
Somali officials say a suicide bomber has killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 15 others in a market in the Lower Shabelle region, about 90 kilometers southwest of the capital Mogadishu. The deputy governor of the region on security affairs Abdifitah Hajji Abdulle said the attacker targeted a busy Khat market in the town of Wanlaweyn around 4:00 pm local time, its busiest shopping time.
“A suspected Al-Shabaab suicide bomber targeted khat kiosks, blew himself up and claimed the lives of at least 14 people and wounded more than 15 others,” he told VOA. The town has a military airbase known as Baledogle Airfield and now hosts a Somali Special military unit and its U.S trainers and advisers.
- Suicide Blast Kills 14 In Somalia’s Lower Shabelle Region (Voice of America)
- Somali Education Ministry Raises Alarm Over Fake Exam Papers (Halbeeg News)
- The Senate Has Not Added Value To Us Puntland’s Gaas Says (Goobjoog News)
- First Phase Of Hobyo Port Construction Commences (Halbeeg News)
- Somali Woman ‘With 11 Husbands’ Stoned To Death By Al-Shabaab (BBC)
- Qatar Condemns Attacks In Somalia And Kabul (Gulf Times)
- Beyond Security: The Bliss That UPDF Brings To Somalia (The Independent)
Somali Education Ministry Raises Alarm Over Fake Exam Papers
09 May – Source: Halbeeg News – 297 Words
The Somali Ministry of Education has warned students and parents against “fake leaked exams” circulating on social media. The exam papers are purported to be leaked examination papers. Somalia’s Education minister, Abdirahman Dahir Osman, said the security features of the authentic exam papers meet the set standards and cautioned Somali people against being conned.
Osman noted that his ministry heard of some people hoodwinking students with fake exam papers. “We are aware of some people who are collecting money from students in exchange for the fake papers. The conmen are claiming to have the genuine papers but we can tell you sure that these are fake papers. So we want to caution them against being conned,” said Osman.
While confirming the postponement of national examinations in flood hit areas in Hiran region, the minister expressed concern over the learning situation in Beledweyne town. Over 27,000 secondary school students in Somalia will sit for their national examinations from May 19th, this year. The examinations will be taking place for the fourth consecutive year in Banadir region, Jubbaland, Southwest, Galmudug and Hirshabelle states.
The number of students has increased by 17 percent compared to last year. The number of students examined in the unified national examinations has grown steadily over the last three years, from 20,000 students in 2016, 23,000 in 2017 to 27,000 this year. Somalia first administered centralized national examinations to over 7,000 high school students in 2015 for the first time in 25 years. The Horn of Africa nation seeks to revive its education system, which collapsed after the fall Somalia’s central government in early 1991.
The Senate Has Not Added Value To Us, Puntland’s Gaas Says
09 May – Source: Goobjoog News – 225 Words
Puntland leader Abdiweli Gaas has lambasted the Senate over what he termed as failure to positively contribute towards the country’s progress. Speaking during a constitutional review consultation meeting in Garowe Tuesday, Gaas said senators have not lived up to their expectations despite ‘Puntland’s efforts to establish the Senate’ during the constitutional making process in 2011. “The Upper House has mistreated Puntland. In 2011 when we were making the Constitution, Puntland was the only state which wanted the Upper House. Galmudug which was not yet fully established said they wanted regional autonomy,” said Gaas. “We formed the Upper House but we are not getting anything out of it.”
Puntland was the only established state in 2011 while the rest of the regional administrations, safe for Somaliland, were formed much later. Gaas added that Puntland fought to have 11 senators when the rest except Somaliland were given 8 slots but claimed the senators were nowhere to be seen now. “Do you know where they are now?” Gaas posed noting some of the senators even voted against Puntland during the UAE dispute with the Federal Government over the Berbera port case. Both the Senate and the Lower House voted to cancel the Berbera port concession with UAE’s Dubai World terming the deal unconstitutional. The senators, Gaas noted will come back for re-election later but have no record to show for their presence.
First Phase Of Hobyo Port Construction Commences
09 May – Source: Halbeeg News – 207 Words
Galmudug Minister for Ports, Abdikaqadir Qalab-hor on Wednesday said the state had commenced the first phase of the construction of Hobyo Port in Mudug region. The construction of the port in the ancient town of Hobyo was started late last year when Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, visited the region. Qalab-hor said the government had dispatched experts to assess the structural harbour of the port which serve the region. “The first phase of the construction is underway. The assessment of the port is going on. Without knowing and having knowledge about the offshore of Hobyo port, nothing could be done,” said Qalab-hor.
The foundation stone for the construction of the port was laid on 23rd of January by President Farmaajo during his visit to the region. Somalia’s deputy minister for Ports Osman Mohamed Abdi, leading government and Chinese officials, visited the construction site for a major expansion project that has been ongoing at the port of Hobyo town since February. The facility is expected to serve a wide area of Northern Somalia and neighbouring Ethiopia, which is landlocked.
09 May – Source: BBC – 266 Words
A woman has been stoned to death in Somalia after a court run by Al-Shabaab convicted her of having several husbands, the militant group says. Shukri Abdullahi Warsame was accused of marrying 11 times, without divorcing her previous husbands.
She was buried neck-deep and pelted to death with stones by Al-Shabaab fighters, say residents of the southern Sablale town. Al-Shabaab practises a strict interpretation of Sharia law. The militant group controls large swathes of Somalia and often conducts raids and attacks in its attempt to overthrow the central government based in the capital, Mogadishu.
Mohamed Abu Usama, Al-Shabaab’s governor for the Lower Shabelle region, told Reuters: “Shukri Abdullahi and nine husbands, including her legal husband, were brought at the court, each saying she was his wife.” According to Islamic law, polyandry – a woman having more than one husband – is illegal but men are allowed to marry up to four wives.
Divorce is allowed for both partners but while men can separate from their wives, the woman has to seek the husband’s’ consent. If denied, she can go to religious court to get the approval. A news site run by the militants said Ms Abdullahi was in “perfect” health, and pleaded guilty to the charges, when she appeared in court in Sablale, 200km (125 miles) south-west of Mogadishu
10 May – Source: Gulf Times – 90 Words
Qatar has strongly condemned the bombing of a market in southern Somalia, causing deaths and injuries. Qatar also voiced its strong condemnation of the attacks that targeted two police stations in the Afghan capital of Kabul, leaving a number of people killed and injured. In statements yesterday, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs reiterated Qatar’s firm position rejecting violence and terrorism regardless of motives or reasons. The statements expressed Qatar’s condolences to the families of the victims, the governments and people of Somalia and Afghanistan, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“In the absence of schools, these playgrounds have become a relief to youths for play soccer morning and evening. Soccer has also unified youths from different clans who were once adversaries.,”
09 May – Source: The Independent – 559 Words
A market for women, a football playground for youth, food supplies and health services, are some of the projects that Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) contingent under the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has started for folks in Somalia. It’s these projects that have aided the friendship between UPDF soldiers and communities in a country ruined by war and anarchy. The Ugandan troops have served for 11 years.
With a force of about 5,700 soldiers in Somalia, Uganda is in charge of Banadir region which covers Mogadishu city and Lower Shabelle regions. The lower Shabelle region covers part of Somalia’s Indian Ocean coastline. Uganda has three Battle Grounds in Somalia. The first is situated in Afgooye District, 30 kilometres from Mogadishu; the second in Ceelijaale, 125 kilometres from Mogadishu, and the third, in Barawe – south-west of lower Shabelle, 240 kilometres from Mogadishu.
From Ceelijaale, Our reporter observes that the interior of Somalia is poverty stricken. People have no access to basic needs such as health, water, food among others. Malnourished children, depressed and idle men and women living in fear of insecurity are what make living in the interior of Somalia quite depressing.
A glance at a sedentary old woman from a distance presents a striking resemblance of children who may also be indistinguishable from their parents. The people’s miseries are compounded by lack government visibility in the areas where they dwell. In such a situation, UPDF soldiers are largely the source of basic needs for Somalis living in their operation zones.
Muhumuza Wilberforce Fred, a UPDF medic at Ceeljaale Battle Group headquarters says they attend to between 40 to 70 patients every day with ailments such as diarrhoea, tuberculosis, respiratory infections and diabetes, which is common among elderly men and women. Muhumuza says they have not come across HIV and AIDS-related conditions. What is common, he explains is malnutrition-related ailments.