Tension High in Mogadishu Amid Disarmament Operation
30 May – Source – Somali Update – 268 words
Tension is high in Wadajir District in the capital after newly formed Mogadishu stabilization unit commenced disarmament operation that targets armed militia in the capital according to reports. The tension follows heavy gunfire between the security forces and the gunmen who resisted to be disarmed on Tuesday morning resulting to a standstill situation in the main market in Wadajir and surrounding residential areas. At least two security forces are confirmed injured during the firefight that ensued the disagreed disarmament order. The situation remained standoff between armed militia and the security force until mid-day when district officials and clan elders intervened to ease the tension. According to a security official, despite the fierce firefight on Tuesday, the security forces managed to disarm several gunmen in the area.
“The goal is to make sure that no illegal arms remain within the city.” The security official said in anonymity condition due to the sensitivity of the matter. The government estimates thousands of illegal firearms are being used in Mogadishu alone posing big threat to the city’s stability. But the official says the disarmament operation announced by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire now faces the opposition of some of the militia groups hailing from major dominant clans in Mogadishu due to the timing and the target of the operation. In a recent interview, former Wadajir District Commissioner Ahmed Daci warned the disarmament operation alleging the government’s inability to provide security to the whole citizens and the existence of the threats posed by Al-Shabab. “Until the government is able to protect the people, it is awkward to force them to disarmament.” He said.
- Tension High in Mogadishu Amid Disarmament Operation (Somali Update)
- There Is No Need For Motion Against The Government Says President Farmajo (Kismaayo News)
- Somali Security Forces Receive Italian Rafts (Shephard Media)
- UAE Base In Somaliland Soon To Launch Military Operations (Alaraby.com)
- European Union Launches A €12 Million Reintegration Programme For Internally Displaced Persons In Benadir Region (UNSOM)
- Somaliland Wants To Make One Thing Clear: It Is NOT Somalia (NPR)
There Is No Need For Motion Against The Government, Says President Farmajo
29 May – Source: Kismaayo News – 147 Words
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ has for the first time spoken about an alleged motion against his administration being prepared by a section of the Federal MPs. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Galmudug leader, President Farmaajo said there is no need to table motion against the new government and asked the MPs to give the nascent administration time to serve its people. “Even two or four years is not enough time for a government to deliver appropriately,” he said.
He promised to work with the regional administration and asked the newly inaugurated president of Galmudug to work in reconciliation and fulfill the promises he made during the election campaign. He spoke about his recent visit to Saudi Arabia which he described as successful, saying that the Saudi government promised to support his administration with substantial financial support, promising the regional administrations their share of the international aid.
30 May – Source – Shephard Media – 121 words
Somali security forces have taken delivery of four ex-Italian Navy rafts from the Italian Ministry of Defence. The vessels, which can carry up to 15 people, will be used for patrolling Somali ports and coastline. The vessels have been delivered as part of a wider government effort to reconstruct and stabilize Somalia, within the framework of the European EUTM Somalia mission and Regional Maritime Capacity Building in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. The waters around Somalia remain a security risk to transiting vessels. The area is still patrolled by a number of national and international naval assets, including assets from counter-piracy operation Eunavfor Atalanta, and the European Union mission which, since March, includes Italian Navy frigate Espero.
31 May – Source – Alaraby.com – 402 words
The UAE’s controversial military base in Somaliland could become operational within the very near future, the autonomous region’s foreign minister said on Friday. The base is still being constructed in Berbera, located 100km north east of the capital, Hargeisa, but UAE ships have already started docking at its deep-water port. “We don’t believe the use of the facility will add to the uncertainty and the conflict in the region,” Saad Ali Shire told Voice of America. “UAE has already a base in Assab, Eritrea, which is operational, and the use of the base in Berbera is not going to add anything new to the conflict.”
Shire was previously extremely vocal in his opposition to the UAE base in Berbera and once threatened to resign over the issue. Neighbouring countries, Ethiopia and Djibouti were also opposed to the plan when it was first tabled, but appear to have changed their policies. Ethiopia will reportedly also be allowed to use the port once it is fully constructed. The minister said he had changed his mind for “economic reasons”. “The agreement is [for] UAE to use Berbera airport and port as a military facility, and in exchange, the UAE will be building roads, a new airport, and funding health, education and water [and] energy,” he said.
The UAE has opened a number of military bases in the region in order to assist in its conflict in Yemen. The New Arab revealed the extent of the UAE’s involvement on the Yemeni island of Socotra earlier this month. Shire said the military base would be used for “training, surveillance and military operations.” The port will be managed over a thirty-year contract by UAE’s international ports operator, DP World. Turkey has also recently opened a military base in Somalia, in the southern capital, Mogadishu, which it is using to train troops in the fight against Al-shabaab.
European Union Launches A €12 Million Reintegration Programme For Internally Displaced Persons In Benadir Region
29 May – Source : UNSOM – 485 Words
The European Union, in partnership with the United Nations and the Benadir Regional Administration, has launched a €12 million ($13.4 million) project to protect and support the reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benadir region. The project, called “RE-INTEG,” also aims to improve the living conditions of IDPs and returnees through the establishment of governance systems that will regulate their rights to housing, land and property, as well as social and political inclusion.
Project implementation will be led by the Benadir Regional Administration along with UN agencies, namely the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UN-Habitat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and non-governmental organisations such as the Somali Women Development Centre (SWDC), Somali Innovation Development Organisation (SIDO) and Cooperazione e Sviluppo (CESVI). RE-INTEG is funded by the European Union’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and will be implemented over a three-year period in Benadir region, which encompasses Mogadishu.
The Deputy Governor of Benadir Region, Mr Salah Sheikh Mohamed, noted that the project will help ameliorate the living conditions of IDPs, especially in Mogadishu, which has the highest concentration of temporary settlements and offered recruitment grounds for radical groups. “At this time, the situation of IDPs is extremely volatile. It is way out of our control and our limited resources will not allow us to tackle this problem by ourselves. I am sure that with all the help we can get, we will use it,” Mr. Salah Sheikh Mohamed said at the launch of the Reinteg programme.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Foreign Minister Shire says lack of recognition is impeding what has already been a slow international response to the food crisis in Somaliland. Aid from international agencies is being coordinated and routed through war-ravaged Mogadishu the Somali capital 900 miles to the south. “It is affecting us in many ways,”
31 May – Source : NPR – 878 words
Somaliland’s Foreign Minister Saad Ali Shire is clearly frustrated. Somaliland is being hit by a regional food crisis that the U.N. has described as one of the largest humanitarian emergencies since 1945. More than a million of Somaliland’s four million people are at risk of starvation yet relief has been slow to come. “We are being treated unfairly,” Shire says seated in a conference room of a consulting firm in downtown Washington, D.C. He’s in town lobbying American lawmakers for what has become his perpetual cause official recognition of Somaliland as a nation. “You know by lumping Somalia and Somaliland together, it is slowing down the delivery of assistance.” Somaliland declared its independence from the failed state of Somalia in 1991, but the world … for the most part … has ignored the declaration. The similar names are rooted in colonial history: Somaliland became known as British Somaliland in the 19th century, while the southern region was Italian Somaliland. “We have a functioning democracy. We have our own army. We have our own police. We have our own coast guard. You know, we have our own border police. We have fulfilled all the conditions of a sovereign state,” Shire says as he ticks through why Somaliland is its own nation. And there’s more. Somaliland has its own currency. It regularly holds elections. “The only thing that’s missing is the sovereign recognition,” he says.
Bronwyn Bruton, the director of programs and studies at the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, says the international community has been uninterested in recognizing Somaliland as a new nation for several reasons. Quite frankly, she says, the first is apathy. Somaliland doesn’t have oil or other resources to make other players on the international stage care about it. Second, she explains, is the belief that recognizing Somaliland would undermine international efforts to get a functioning government in Mogadishu, which Somaliland broke away from. “The international community led by the United States and Britain has put a lot of time and effort into trying to build a government in Mogadishu,” Bruton says. “And it’s perceived that if Somaliland were to be granted its separation it would reflect poorly on that nascent government.”
Finally the African Union doesn’t want to encourage independence movements in other restive regions around the continent. Foreign Minister Shire says lack of recognition is impeding what has already been a slow international response to the food crisis in Somaliland. Aid from international agencies is being coordinated and routed through war-ravaged Mogadishu the Somali capital 900 miles to the south. “It is affecting us in many ways,” Shire says. “We are not present in the forums in which these [aid efforts] are discussed. We cannot access bilateral aid. We cannot get loans. We cannot attract international investors.” Because it’s not officially a country Somaliland isn’t eligible for loans that the World Bank makes to poor nations.
It can’t get in on other assistance programs that are traditionally delivered to governments. Somaliland broke away from Somalia to keep from getting sucked down as Somalia disintegrated i to a failed state in the 1990’s. It lacked any central government from 1991 to 2006. Pirates took to terrorizing ships in its waterway. Islamist militants set up shop. Somalia is still one of the world’s most dangerous countries for international aid groups to work in. And Somaliland continues to be tarnished by its former partner’s woes.