18 May – Source: Xinhua – 120 words
Kenyan police on Thursday announced the arrest of at least 33 Al-Shabaab militants between December-March in the ongoing operation Linda Boni in the coastal town of Lamu. Deputy County Commissioner Michael Kioni said 20 militants were arrested along the Lamu-Malindi route while 13 were arrested between Garrisa-Lamu road by Kenya security agents.
Kioni said the suspects were enroute from Somalia to carry out attacks targeting Lamu and parts of northeastern region when they were intercepted by security agents working on intelligence reports. “We managed to arrest the suspects and thwarted their plans to stage attacks in the country. Majority were Somali nationals and few Kenyans from various parts of the country,” Kioni said in Lamu. Last year, 36 suspected Al-Shabaab militants were arrested in Operation Boni that was launched in September 2015. The operation targeted the Jeysh Ayman, a 300-member Al-Shabaab cell that operated in the forest.
The vast Boni forest area, along the Kenya Somalia border extends into Somalia to become Lacta Belt that was infiltrated by Al-Shabaab operatives. Head of security operations in the Boni Forest, James ole Serian said the suspects were handed to agencies including the anti-terrorism police unit (ATPU) for profiling and possible prosecution.
- 33 Al-Shabaab Militants Nabbed In Kenya’s Coast In 4 Months (Xinhua)
- Government Forces Seize Defense Minister HQ Over Unpaid Salaries (Garowe Online)
- Interior Minister Meets IOM Officials In Mogadishu (Garowe Online)
- Somalia’s Al-Shabaab Cuts Off Hands Of Two Men Convicted By Sharia Court (Reuters)
- Abu Dhabi Police Commander-In-Chief Meets Somali Police Force Commissioner (Emirates News Agency)
- Turkey To Deliver 15000 Tons Of Aid To Somalia In Ramadan (Anadolu Agency)
- Somalia Is On The Brink Of Famine And Time Is Running Out (Huffington Post)
Government Forces Seize Defense Ministry HQ Over Unpaid Salaries
18 May – Source: Garowe Online – 123 words
Somali government forces have staged mutiny and seized the Defense Ministry headquarters in the capital Mogadishu on Thursday Morning. Dozens of soldiers in battle wagons were reported to have blocked nearby streets before seizing the headquarters of Defense Ministry, according to military sources.
The disgruntled soldiers were protesting over unpaid salaries as well as poor working conditions. Last March, military forces blocked main roads in Mogadishu, in protest over lack of payment for over 15 months mostly during the past Federal government led by former President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud. But the new Somali government led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has promised the security forces regular payment of salaries and improving their working conditions to boost morale to defeat al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab terror group
Interior Minister Meets IOM Officials In Mogadishu
18 May – Source: Garowe Online – 160 words
The Interior Minister of Somalia’s Federal government, Abdi Farah Saed “Juha” has met representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the capital Mogadishu on Thursday. Minister Juha and IOM officials have discussed about wide range of issues, mainly the repatriation of Somali refugees from neighboring countries and ways to put an end to illegal migration in the region.
During the meeting, Minister Juha asked IOM to support the Federal government to implement programs that will encourage Somali youth to stay in their country and also raise awareness among them regarding the risky journey to Europe. The meeting also highlighted the need to create jobs for the youth and repatriated citizens to improve their livelihood and reduce unemployment rate in the country. On their side, IOM pledged to assist the Somali government to tackle migration challenges that discussed in the meeting. The meeting came a week after the U.S. has deported 67 Somalis back to the capital Mogadishu.
18 May – Source: Reuters – 120 words
Somalia’s al Shabaab publicly cut off the right hands of two men on Thursday after a sharia court convicted them of breaking into a shop and stealing about $500, the al Qaeda-linked group said. The two men had confessed to the theft in Tiyeglow district of the southern Bakool region and were ordered to refund the money, Moalim Gedow, al Shabaab’s Bakool governor told Reuters.
An al Shabaab ambulance then took the men to hospital, Abdullahi Madey, a Tiyeglow resident told Reuters. Al Shabaab, which has been fighting for years to topple the central government and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law, carries out executions, floggings and amputations after summary trials in cases ranging from espionage to theft.
18 May – Source: Emirates News Agency – 96 words
Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Commander-In-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police met on Thursday with Somali Police Force Commissioner, Brig. Gen. Abdihakim Dahir. During the meeting held at the Abu Dhabi Police Headquarters, they discussed issues of common interest and ways to strengthen cooperation in various police fields.
The meeting was attended by Abdulkadir Sheikhey Al-Hatimi, Somali Ambassador to the UAE, and a number of senior police officials. After the meeting, the Somali officials visited the Criminal Investigation Department, where he was briefed on the latest technologies and performance indexes in areas of policing and security.
May 18 – Source: Anadola Agency – 201 words
Turkey is planning to deliver 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Somalia during the holy month of Ramadan, Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz said Thursday. Somalia is one of several African states facing famine due to drought. “The hunger threat has repeated in sub-Saharan Africa, notably in the Horn of Africa, was caused by a new drought,” Yildiz said at the opening of an event sponsored by Turkey, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN Development Program.
“We, as Turkey, have started a national donation campaign for hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa and Yemen led by our president, similar to the one we did in 2011.“We are planning to deliver 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid materials to various areas of Somalia during Ramadan.” The drought has hit 11 of Somalia’s 18 regions, including the worst-affected Bay region. The deputy minister added that Turkey’s annual humanitarian aid budget had risen from around $85 million a decade ago to $6 billion last year. “According to 2015 data, our country became the most generous donor country in the world when the ratio of official humanitarian aid is considered according to national income,” he said.
“Drought used to come once a decade and only in parts of Somalia. Now, the conditions are more regular ― about every other year. The current dry spell is affecting the whole country, with experts fearing it could be more deadly than the last, so deadly it could lead to total collapse. And climate change is wearing down Somalia’s ability to cope. A state of emergency has been declared. More than 6 million people ― over half of Somalia’s population ― are in need of aid.”
18 May – Source: Huffington Post – 1,337 words
When Nunay Abdi’s last goat died and her small piece of land dried up, she set out for the city with her six children in search of food and water. By the time she reached the southwestern town of Baidoa, some 60 miles from her village on foot, the 45-year-old single mother realized that two of her children were missing. In a state of delirium from hunger and thirst, she couldn’t tell if she had forgotten them somewhere along the way, or worse, lost them to dehydration and starvation. The worried mother waited in a camp for displaced Somalis for two weeks for news of her children, aged 4 to 16 years old.
She eventually reconnected with them, but the youngest passed away soon after from severe malnutrition. Abdi’s story isn’t unique ― there are many more like her here in Somalia, where conflict and climate change have wreaked havoc and brought the country to the brink of famine. And if things continue in this fashion, life for those like Abdi will get worse before it gets better. Somalia is no stranger to the dangers of climate change. Rainfall has been erratic here for the past three years. And the current drought comes on the heels of a famine in 2011 that killed over 250,000, most of whom were women and children.
Back then, we responded too late. Death came for many before famine was even declared. The lives lost were a tragic price to pay for our collective inaction. Today, the warning signs are here again. This country could soon face its third famine in a quarter of a century. Drought used to come once a decade and only in parts of Somalia. Now, the conditions are more regular ― about every other year. The current dry spell is affecting the whole country, with experts fearing it could be more deadly than the last, so deadly it could lead to total collapse. And climate change is wearing down Somalia’s ability to cope. A state of emergency has been declared. More than 6 million people ― over half of Somalia’s population ― are in need of aid.
As their farms dry up and their cattle die, it’s impossible for people, many of whom are herders who rely on water, to escape the harsh environmental reality each day. They leave their homes, walking miles on the parched dirt in search of help. Carcasses dot the deserted landscape in their wake. To make matters worse, it’s not only drought driving people from their homes but conflict too. Many are robbed along the way, and some women have reported sexual abuse. Somalia hasn’t had an effective government in two decades, creating a vacuum for militant groups and making it one of the most dangerous places to work in. In 2016, it was named the most fragile state in the world on the Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index. And violence and terrorism mean gaining access to the growing refugee population is a constant challenge for humanitarian workers like us.