May 15, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somali President Discusses Implementation Of Development Projects With Qatar Emir

14 May – Source: Halbeeg News – 291 Words

The government of Qatar will soon start implementation of development projects in Somalia following fruitful talks between President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani on Monday. The two leaders held discussions on the common interests of the two countries including trade, health and investment. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Somalia’s Minister for Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Jamal Mohamed Hassan who has accompanied the President to Qatar, said the two leaders discussed several issues: “President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani discussed a wide range issues including health, education, infrastructure, trade and investment. The meeting of the leaders ended successfully,” said Hassan.

The Minister said the Government of Qatar pledged to implement all the development projects it signed with Somalia: “All the discussed issues have been agreed upon and will soon be implemented. Last year, Somalia signed deals including road construction, job creation and other projects with Qatar. All these are underway,” he explained. Meanwhile, Somali Minister for Health, Fowziyo Abikar Noor, has inked another agreement with her Qatari counterpart, Hanan Muhamed Al-kuwari. The ministries will cooperate in health-promotion, research and medical training.

In November 2017, Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) signed a partnership agreement with the Somali government aimed at strengthening its efforts in the area of stability and economic development. QFFD pledged to support the Somali economy with a $200m package of projects in the areas of infrastructure, education, economic empowerment and the re-establishment of state offices and institutions. The agreement provided the implementation of several development projects, including the construction of the 90 km Mogadishu-Jawhar road and the 30 km Mogadishu-Afgoye road in addition to the rehabilitation of Somali government’s headquarters, rehabilitation of the building of Somalia’s Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development.

Key Headlines

  • Somali President Discusses Implementation Of Development Projects With Qatar Emir (Halbeeg News)
  • Regional Leaders Convene Summit In Baidoa (Garowe Online)
  • Clashes Between Local Militias And Al-Shabaab Claim Over 15 In Hiiraan (Halbeeg News)
  • Somalia Regions Maintain UAE As Ally Amid Diplomatic Row Over Port Deals (The East African)
  • China Donates 1.5 Million USD To Help Flood-hit Somalis (Xinhua)
  • Qatar And Somalia…Common Interests And Aspirations (Gulf Times)


Regional Leaders Convene Summit In Baidoa

14 May – Source: Garowe Online – 179 Words

Presidents of Somalia’s Federal Member States convened a high-level conference in Baidoa city, the interim seat of Southwest State on Monday. The forum which was attended by all leaders of the five regional states, namely Puntland, Galmudug, HirShabelle, Galmudug, Jubbaland and Southwest focused on key issues, including the fight against Al-Shabab and the recent spate of floods.

The political developments in the country, security, sharing of resources and the humanitarian crisis were top the agenda. This is the 2nd summit since the Council of Inter-state cooperation was formed in 2017 in Kismayo city. According to the sources in Baidoa, the meeting will dominate the impact of the Gulf crisis on Somalia, where the Federal States showed their opposition to the government’s foreign policy decisions on UAE.

The relations between Somalia and the UAE has been ‘at an all-time low point’ since the start of the Gulf crisis pitying a United Arab Emirates-Saudi-led alliance against Qatar in June 2017. The regional leaders have repeatedly blamed the Mogadishu-based Federal Government of Somalia for taking sides in a deeply divisive Arab question by discarding its neutrality.

Clashes Between Local Militias And Al-Shabaab Claim Over 15 In Hiiraan

14 May – Source: Halbeeg News – 192 Words

At least twenty-seven people have been killed and dozens of others wounded in heavy clashes between Al-Shabab and local militiamen in Hiiraan region. The fighting which entered its third day flared up after organized militia took up arms against Al-Shabaab’s extortion in the region. Local residents say the battle initially started near Bula-burde town before it advanced towards Moqokori town. “The fighting entered its 3rd day, the sides amassed reinforcement in the areas between Moqokori and Bula-burde towns,” said a local resident who declined to be named. Somali military officials say reinforcement has been sent to support the local militiamen.

The fighting claimed the lives of 17 Al-Shabaab fighters and 10 militiamen according to security officials in the region. Al-Shabab has not commented on the latest clashes between its fighters and local militias in the Hiiraan region. Similar confrontations happened in central Somalia in November last year after locals declined to pay taxes (Zakawat) imposed by Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab, which once controlled a large swath of land in central and South Somalia, is accused of recruiting underage children as child soldiers and imposing heavy tax on the pastoralist communities, according to Human Right Watch and United Nations reports.


Somalia Regions Maintain UAE As Ally Amid Diplomatic Row Over Port Deals

12 May – Source: The East African – 207 Words

Somalia and the United Arab Emirates are still squabbling over the emirates’ engagements with the regional states of Jubbaland and Puntland, with Mogadishu saying it will oppose any lease deals on the ports of Bossasso and Kismayu. The dust has not even settled on the Mogadishu administration’s dispute with the semi-autonomous state of Somaliland over the lease of the port of Berbera to the UAE at $440 million.

Somalia has objected to a UAE company taking over the Berbera port in the region of Somaliland in partnership with the Ethiopian government, which Mogadishu says is an invasion of its territory. And now, Puntland president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” and his Jubbaland counterpart Sheikh Ahmed “Madobe” are on the spot for visiting Dubai last month, further rocking the relations between the two countries.

Somalia’s charge d’affaires in Nairobi Ali Mohamed Sheikh told The EastAfrican that UAE was out to drive a wedge between the federal government and regional states, with the objective of weakening the administration of President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo.” “The leaders of Puntland and Jubbaland are free to make private visits to any country in the world, but the mandate of foreign and bilateral relations remains the obligation of the federal government of Somalia,” he said.

China Donates 1.5 Million USD To Help Flood-hit Somalis

14 May – Source: Xinhua – 251 Words

The Chinese government on Monday donated 1.5 million U.S. dollars to assist Somalis affected by the raging floods that have displaced thousands of people across the Horn of Africa nation. Qin Jian, the Chinese Ambassador to Somalia who handed over the donation in Mogadishu, said such gesture demonstrates the deep friendship and brotherhood of the Chinese people to the Somalis during the difficult times. “The Chinese government has decided to provide 1.5 million dollars in cash to the Somalia government and people for humanitarian assistance to the Somali people affected by the floods,” Qin said.

He said in January Beijing provided some 6 million dollars with 72 containers of assorted goods to the Somali government as part of humanitarian assistance to the country. “We will provide further 1 million dollars worth of police uniform which will arrive in Somalia from China soon,” he added.

Ahmed Isse Awad, Somali Minister of foreign Affairs, who received the cash donation, lauded the Chinese government for providing such important assistance, saying it arrived at very crucial time following an international appeal for assurance by the president. “I thank the People’s Republic of China for providing us this humanitarian assistance that came at the right time, we also thank Chinese Ambassador to Somalia for his active role here, ties between the two countries is deepening and we will expand areas of cooperation,” Awad said. The Chinese assistance comes amid heavy rains pounding several parts of Somalia especially in central parts of the country.


“The talks between the Qatari and Somali sides are expected to discuss ways and means to strengthen these relations to serve the interests of both countries and peoples and their common aspirations for a bright and prosperous future.”

Qatar And Somalia…Common Interests And Aspirations

14 May – Source: Gulf Times – 1149 Words

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani today meets the visiting Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to discuss the distinguished fraternal relations between the two brotherly countries besides Arab and international issues of common concern. This is the Somali president’s second official visit to Qatar within a year.

The meeting between His Highness the Amir and the Somali president is the third in less than a year. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the OIC summit in Istanbul last December. They also met during an official visit to Doha by President Farmajo in May 2017. The visit is particularly important in its timing and the topics to be discussed during the talks between the Qatari and Somali sides.

The visit comes at a time when almost one year has passed since the unjust siege was imposed on Qatar. Developments and events as well as this visit and other visits of many leaders and presidents to the country proved the failure of the siege in isolating Qatar from its regional environment and strategic depth. It further proves the failure of its parties in convincing others to support, join or partake in the siege, which confirms the credibility of the Qatari position, and the success of the wise policy of His Highness the Amir and Qatari diplomacy in refuting the lies and fabrications repeated by the siege countries in various forums.

The visit is also important because of the nature of the topics to be covered by the Qatari-Somali talks, which are expected to address the most important current Arab and international issues in light of the escalating international and regional crises and the economic and security challenges in Somalia, as well as the risks to security and stability in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa.

The visit comes almost a year after the election of President Farmajo as Somalia’s new president in February last year. President Farmajo succeeded in leading his country towards stability, development and rehabilitation of state institutions. In co-operation with the members of his Government, President Farmajo has made major changes as well as many great and unprecedented achievements to restore state’s authority and realise the aspirations of the Somali people in various fields.


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