12 May – Source: Military Times – 529 words
The Trump administration would consider deploying additional U.S. troops to Somalia should the troubled African nation request greater military aid to combat Al-Qaida loyalists there, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis indicated Thursday. “That’s a decision we’ll take if it’s broached to us, and we’ll decide yes or no,” Mattis told reporters after attending a London security conference focused on the Somali government’s relentless struggle with the extremist group Al-Shabaab. No such request has been made by the Somali government and it was not discussed in London, Mattis said. But his openness to entertaining such a possibility highlights the Pentagon’s evolving perspective on how aggressively it should support indigenous forces willing to fight mutual adversaries.
U.S. military officials won’t say precisely how many troops are in Somalia now, though the number is believed to be a few hundred at most. The Pentagon’s strategy there, as with other regions where a lack of governance has allowed terror groups to take root, centers on training and advising — or “working by, with and through our allies,” as officials now routinely characterize it. That includes dozens of soldiers from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division who arrived in early April to help the Somali army improve its logistical capabilities. That strategy also entails direct counter-terror assistance, a more-dangerous mission led by elite special operations forces. On May 5 it resulted in the first American combat death in Somalia since the early 1990s. Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, 38, was killed and two other U.S. commandos were wounded during a clash with Al-Shabaab fighters about 40 miles west of the capital, Mogadishu. U.S. officials have offered few details about the incident, though it appears the intended targets included at least some of the group’s leadership as well as a radio station used to broadcast propaganda.
- The Pentagon Would Consider Sending More US Troops To Somalia (Military Times)
- A Prominent Elder Killed in Mogadishu (Garoweonline)
- Judicial Service Council Fires Officials For Corruption (Shabellenews)
- Government Asked to Bring Former NISA Chief Before Court (Shabellenews)
- Last Minute Effort to Avert Famine: An International Conference on Somalia in London (Africanews Room)
- Turkey Pledges More Support For Somalia At London Summit (Daily Sabah)
- Did Somalia Lose A Future President? (Al-Ahram)
A Prominent Elder Killed in Mogadishu
12 May – Source: Garoweonline – 188 words
Unknown assailants was reported to have killed a prominent elder in the capital city of Mogadishu on Thursday, the latest in string of assassinations. Sources said three men armed with pistols have shot dead Sayd Ali Osman Abtidoon in Baraka neighborhood in Hodan district yesterday evening. However, the assailants escaped the scene before the arrival of the police authorities. Late Abtidoon was among the electoral college who elected members of the current Somalia’s Federal Parliament from the regional administration of Galmudug state back in December 2016.
After the shooting, Somali security officers have reached the scene, and cordoned it off for investigation, but no suspect was arrested for the murder, according to an eyewitness. No group has claimed responsibility for the murder of the elder, but the militant group Al-Shabaab has threatened earlier electoral delegates who participated in the electoral process that they will be targeted by their fighters. This comes after Somalia’s council of ministers have today announced plan to form joint task forces to stabilize the capital in the coming months. The joint forces will be drawn from the police forces, the army and intelligence agency.
Judicial Service Council Fires Officials For Corruption
12 May – Source: Shabellenews – 139 words
The Judicial Service Commission has kicked out members of Somalia’s justice sector, including the appeals court chairman and the Attorney General after being accused of corruption, power abuse. Luul Mohamed Thaabit, a member of the Commission told Radio Shabelle that they have sacked high court chief, the appeals court chairman, Attorney General and Benadir regional court head. She added that the legal officials have been removed from offices by Somalia’s Judicial Service Commission after receiving public complaints over widespread injustices and corruption. Thaabit highlighted that the Judicial Service Commission has sent the dismissal memo of the above mentioned public servants to the office of Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo for approval. Dr Mukhtar Nur Abukar, who worked for Somalia’s judiciary division said Judicial Service Commission is legally permitted to sack such officials, if found guilty or violate the law.
Government Asked to Bring Former NISA Chief Before Court
12 May – Source: Shabellenews – 208 words
Somali government has been urged to bring former head of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) General Abdullahi Gaafow Mohamud before court for shielding his driver who killed a public servant. The driver shot dead Mr. Mursal Omar, who was a an employee of Somalia’s high court in Mogadishu last week. After killing, he escaped to Gaafow to avoid arrest and be brought justice, according to the victim’s relatives. Hussein Mohamed Hassan Dhiqle, one of the relatives of late Mr. Mursal Omar, who was an employee of Somalia’s high court have called on government leaders to bring justice. Dhiqle accused former NISA General for trying to defending the killer to be brought to justice. The relatives of the Mursal Omar took to the streets in Mogadishu, demanding justice from the government and the arrest of former General Gafow’s driver who killed their loved one. Meanwhile, Ali Ahmed Ciyow (also known as Ali Hiiraan), a senior NISA officer, blamed General Gaafow for embezzling of two Million US dollar during his tenure as NISA head. He pointed out the NISA soldiers over 9 months have not received salaries under the leadership of General Gaafow. The officer has called on the Federal Government to bring Gaafow before court for fraud.
12 May – Source: Africa Newsroom – 363
Some 40 countries and international organisations convened in London on Thursday, 11 May to discuss aid for Somalia. In addition to combating the current threat of famine, the aim of long‑term stabilisation of the country was also discussed. Foreign Minister Gabriel represented Germany at the conference. The international community must prevent the food crisis The urgent appeal by UN Secretary General António Guterres has been heard, Foreign Minister Gabriel said at the start of the conference: “We have meanwhile collected 55% of the funds that are needed to combat the food crisis in Somalia and the Horn of Africa ..However, this also means we are still missing 45%,” he then added.
These funds are urgently needed for the last‑minute effort to stave off famine in the country. Foreign Minister Gabriel represented Germany at the conference. Only recently, Foreign Minister Gabriel travelled to Mogadishu and Baidoa to get a first‑hand impression of developments there. The situation in the country is dramatic, Gabriel said. The people are suffering from the effects of war and civil war. The continuing drought is making the crisis even worse for many. In 2017, Germany has already doubled its humanitarian aid for Somalia, to 140 million euros. Now, it is also up to the international community to join the aid effort: “We hope, of course, that others will follow our example,” Gabriel said in London. That is why, under the co‑chairmanship of the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the Somali Government, the international community met today to discuss further support for Somalia. The conference did not, however, focus exclusively on addressing the current severe humanitarian crisis. It also looked at ways to stabilise the country in the long term. Top priorities in this respect are improving national security, strengthening state structures and promoting the country’s economic development. Rebuilding the country is still being hampered by terrorism and violence. Nevertheless, significant progress has been achieved since the last conference on Somalia in London five years ago. In the margins of the conference, Foreign Minister Gabriel met with, among others, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, to whom he reiterated his support for the work of the United Nations with regard to Somalia.
12 May – Source: Daily Sabah – 474 Words
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım joined his British counterpart Theresa May, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutierres, representatives of the United States, European Union and African countries for a London conference in Somalia yesterday. The meeting seeks to coordinate and improve efforts for the African nation, which is grappling with poverty, drought, terrorism and corruption according to Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. The conference, focused on national security, political infrastructure, economic recovery and combating drought is being co-chaired by Mohamed, Guterres and May.
Turkey was at the forefront of an endeavor to deliver humanitarian aid to the country six years ago and since then has helped rebuild the country devastated by a past civil war, ongoing terror threats and chronic poverty. Under Mohamed, who was elected to office just this year, Somalia seeks to strike a new deal with international donors for security reforms as well as development aid. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said at the meeting that Turkey would continue providing “strong support” to Somalia and will take part in international efforts for the country. He said Somalia needed a regular military in its fight against terrorism, reminding that a military training center built by Turkey will be operative in Mogadishu in September. Yıldırım said Somalia suffered from “an image problem” and the international community should work to prevent “Somalia from being remembered with negative headlines.” He also called upon a review of the U.N. arms embargo and a deal on gradual drawdown of an international military contingent deployed in the country. The prime minister said aid alone would not help Somalia and sustainable economic development, national security and stability were key factors for the country’s future. He also said they were confident that the new Mogadishu administration would use the resources allocated to them efficiently.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Siraji is from a renowned religious family, which benefited his political career in a conservative country where the families of clerics hold a special place. Nonetheless, Siraji was not known to have Islamist tendencies.According to Hussein, Siraji’s victory revealed the exasperation of Somali people with the political old guard, especially those who participated in the civil war,”
12 May – Source: Al Ahram Weekly -1046 Words
Although Somali authorities have yet to announce the outcome of the investigation into the death of young Minister of Public Works Abbas Abdullah Siraji, 31, the experiences of the past dominate questions about the future in a country that is still healing from a quarter century of civil war.Siraji, the youngest member of the Somali cabinet, was killed by the bodyguards of Auditor General Nour Farah close to a checkpoint by the presidential palace on 3 May. Farah’s bodyguards ordered Siraji’s car to stop and when it did not respond, they opened fire, according to Abdel-Fattah Omar, spokesman for the mayor of Mogadishu. Siraji was seriously injured and transferred to a hospital where he died, while another minister in the car survived, according to Major Mohamed Hussein, an official in the Somali police force. Hussein told a German news agency that several of Siraji’s bodyguards were injured during the gun battle with Farah’s bodyguards, two of whom were arrested for their “involvement in the shooting at the car of the public works minister”.Farah said his protection detail made a mistake when identifying Siraji’s car, and were worried it was a booby-trapped car that would carry out a terrorist attack.
Over the past year, there were attacks on the headquarters of several political (the presidential palace) and security (Ministry of Defence) headquarters, and hotels where foreign journalists, MPs and public figures live, using car bombs that the terrorist group Shebab Al-Mujahideen claimed responsibility for.Mohamed Ahmed Jamali, commander of the Somali army, survived a bombing in early April targeting his motorcade near an army command south of the capital. In February, the minister of transportation and two members of parliament were killed and the deputy prime minister injured in an attack on Hotel Central. As in dozens of other attacks, Shebab Al-Mujahideen claimed responsibility. The group controls large swathes of the country. President Mohamed Abdullah Farmajo cut short a visit to Ethiopia upon hearing of Siraji’s assassination, and ordered an investigation “into the tragedy and ensuring those responsible are brought to justice”. Minister of information and cabinet spokesman Abdul-Rahman Othman described Siraji as “a rising political star who was committed to serving his country”. He was indeed a rising political star, who managed a major upset win in parliamentary elections in the city of Kismayo last year.
Siraji fled with his family to Kenya in 1992, two years after the overthrow of Siad Barre (1968-1990), when he was seven years old. They lived in Dadaab refugee camp, one of the largest in the world, home to hundreds of thousands of refugees. Siraji attended school at the camp until secondary school, then moved to the Kenyan capital Nairobi to earn a university degree in business administration. Siraji then returned to the southern port city of Kismayo in Somalia where he became involved in politics only last year, winning a seat in the last parliamentary elections and leading the local government until Farmajo picked him for a cabinet position. Before taking up politics, Siraji worked for the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and the private sector. Siraji was “polite and elegant”, tweeted Somali journalist Abdi Zaher, and “was very popular among youth” tweeted another journalist, Abdel-Razek Hussein.Siraji is from a renowned religious family, which benefited his political career in a conservative country where the families of clerics hold a special place. Nonetheless, Siraji was not known to have Islamist tendencies.According to Hussein, Siraji’s victory revealed the exasperation of Somali people with the political old guard, especially those who participated in the civil war. But did Somalia lose a future president with the death of the young MP and minister? We will never know. The political and parliamentary scene indicates it may be true because of the late minister’s personal distinction, but Siraji was part of a broader trend that may in time reach the summit of the Somali regime.
@jackserle: “Advise and assist is sometimes from a distance and sometimes not” – acting US deputy secretary of state. http://www.newsweek.com/us-troops-frontline-against-al-shabab-somalia-offic#Somalia
@HaseebIqbal2: #InternationalNursesDay Slaute to @muslimhandsuk #Nursing Staff in #Somalia for doing such a amazing work. More at: https://muslimhands.org.uk/latest/2015/06/transforming-maternal-health-in-mogadishu …
@AhmedDHussen: Met with President @M_Farmaajo I highlighted Canada’s ongoing support to Somalia & the potential to deepen our relationship. #LondonSomaliaConferencehttps://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_ljmkuXcAEWSB2.jpg
@TheVillaSomalia: “Today we have endorsed a Somali-led and Somali-owned Security Pact with our partners-based on an agreed vision of Somali-led institutions”
IMAGE OF THE DAY
President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson and UN Secretary General address the press after the conclusion of the London- Somalia conference yesterday.
Photo: Radio Muqdisho