May 9, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia Explosion: Car bomb Rocks Mogadishu, At least 8 Killed Outside Cafe

08 May- Source:Fox News-273 Words

At least eight people — including a Somali general — were killed Monday when a car bomb exploded at a cafe in Mogadishu, the nation’s capital, officials said. Al-Shabab, Somalia’s homegrown Islamic extremist rebels who are linked to Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack.”We are behind the blast,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters. “The targets were police, intelligence, military officials and immigration workers.”

Capt. Mohamed Hussein told the Associated Press the car bomb parked outside Bar Italia was detonated near people sitting outside the cafe, which is close to Somalia’s immigration department.Government officials told VOA News that General Abdi Bashir Aden was among those killed, while 10 others were injured. Reuters reported that eight people were killed in the blast.A separate witness to the explosion told Reuters there was gunfire after the explosion, and huge clouds of smoke could be seen from the area.


Key Headlines

  • Somalia Explosion: Car bomb Rocks Mogadishu At least 8 Killed Outside Cafe (Fox News)
  • Somali Forces Seize IEDs in Mogadishu Sweep (Shabelle News)
  • Somaliland Will Not Participate In London Conference On Somalia Minister Shire Says (Somali-Update)
  • Landmine Kills 3 Soldiers in Somalia (Anadolu Agency)
  • UN Has To Do More For Somalia’s Stability Uhuru Says In Talks With UNGA Boss (The Star Kenya)
  • UN Agency Returns 62372 Somali Refugees From Kenya (Xinhua)
  • Analysts Sceptical Of Impact In Somalia Of Kenya Arms Purchases (The Daily Nation)


Somali Forces Seize IEDs In Mogadishu Sweep

08 May – Source: Shabeele News – 116 words

Somali Police and Intelligence forces have carried out a security operation in the capital Mogadishu on Sundaynight, to reinforce the city’s overall peace and security. The joint forces searched several houses in Mogadishu’s Bondheere district, and seized large cage of weapons, including explosive materials believed to be belonging Al shabaab fighters.The security officials said they carried out the operations following a tip-off from local residents which led to the seizures of the explosives at a house near Security Ministry Headquarters in Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab has stepped up attacks in the capital over the past few months, as a new federal government is now in place, and promising to prioritizing the security of the city.

Somaliland Will Not Participate In London Conference On Somalia, Minister Shire Says

08 May -Source:Somali Update – 325 Words

Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland has declared that its officials will not take part in the proposed UK-Hosted London Conference on Somalia later this week. The Foreign Affairs Minister of Somaliland, Sa’ad Ali Shire said the upcoming conference will deal with the problems in Somalia only, and that Somaliland is not part of the problems of Somalia.”Somaliland is not part of Somalia states and therefore we would like to clarify our position on the London Conference is that we are an independent from Somalia.” Mr. Sa’ad Ali Shire said in a press conference in Hargeisa.

United Kingdom Deputy Ambassador to Somalia visited Somaliland a week ago as sources in Hargeisa told Somali-Update site that the authorities in Hargeisa rebuffed an official invitation to attend the May 11 Conference on Somalia to be held in London.”We regard Somalia as neighboring nation and we wish the Conference on Somalia to accomplish the best for Somalia.” The Minister further added.Somaliland declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in 1992 following the collapse of Somali military rule in Mogadishu, but have not yet received international recognition, while politicians from Somaliland hold parliament and ministerial positions of the Somali Federal Government.

The upcoming London Conference on Somalia, the third of its kind since 2012, will be co-chaired by Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, elected in February 8th, and the UK Prime Minister Theresa May. It will also convene Heads of State and Government from across East Africa and other key partners, along with senior figures from international organisations.According to official statement from UK’s Foreign Office, the conference will address the international support for Somalia in a number of key issues among them security, political reform and governance, economic development and new partnership agreement between Somalia’s government institutions and the international community. It will also try to coordinate the international assistance to Somalia’s weak government as UK government seems to be taking a more leading role.


Landmine Kills 3 Soldiers In Somalia

08 May – Source: Anadolu  Agency: 139 words

Three soldiers were killed and five others wounded when a bomb blast targeted an army checkpoint on the outskirts of Shalaanbod district in Somalia’s lower Shabelle region on Monday. According to a military official, Ismail Adan, a third battalion officer from the lower Shabelle region, told Anadolu Agency over the phone a landmine hidden near a tree had struck the checkpoint in Kabtan Nas Village.

The wounded were rushed to the capital Mogadishu for treatment, Adan added.  Shalaanbod is a small agricultural town located 86 kilometers (53 miles) south of Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. On Sunday, the government said it killed a suspected al-Shabaab leader in lower Shabelle region where anti-terror operations continue. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Monday visited lower Shabelle region under tight security for the first time since he took office in February.

UN Has To Do More For Somalia’s Stability, Uhuru Says In Talks With UNGA Boss

08 May-Source: The Star, Kenya – 205 words

Uhuru Kenyatta discussed the UN’s need to increase funding for efforts to stabilise Somalia in his meeting with UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson on Monday. President Uhuru said the United Nations should do more to support the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). He noted this will enable the force to play a bigger role in supporting the country’s government and neutralise threats by terrorists.The President said the UN also needs to give more funds to the government of Somalia so it can do more to ensure the safety of its people. “The EU has worked hard and its work is appreciated but ultimately the UN has a responsibility to support the mission,” he said.

Uhuru’s remarks come ahead of the third London Conference on Somalia, which he is scheduled to attend on May 11. The President also told Thomson that the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) needs to be reorganised. “The mission should be realigned to meet its responsibility effectively, he said. “This should be done as soon possible to set the pace for the process of stabilising South Sudan.” The meeting took place in Gigiri, Nairobi, on the sidelines of the 26th Session of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat.

UN Agency Returns 62,372 Somali Refugees From Kenya

08 May – Source: Xinhua – 371

The UN refugee agency said Monday it had repatriated some 62,372 Somali refugees from Dadaab camp in northeast Kenya since the return exercise begun in December 2014. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in its bi-weekly update that some 707 refugees were supported to return to their home in Somalia voluntarily in the past ten days.According to the UNHCR, some 23,058 refugees out of 62,372 returned in 2017 as the UN refugee agency steps up returns to the Horn of Africa nation.

The UN agency said road convoys to Somalia remained suspended due to the heavy rains in some parts of the Horn of Africa nation. UNHCR Somalia and its partners are closely monitoring the accessibility of roads in the 12 designated return areas. However, flights to Mogadishu and Kismayo currently facilitate the voluntary return of those willing to travel by air.Kenya has been collaborating with the UNHCR to ensure a smooth and voluntary repatriation of over 245,000 refugees living in five camps at the Dadaab refugee camp. The UN agency has said it expects the majority of the remaining refugee population to return to Somalia throughout 2017 and possibly into early 2018. “The cumulative total number of persons repatriated from Kenya to Somalia currently stands at 63,491,” said the UNHCR.The UNHCR said there has been reduction in the number of people repatriated for the last four weeks under review. This reduction, the UN agency said, could be attributed to the ongoing drought, the cholera outbreak and the recent heavy rains in Somalia.”Assistance to voluntary return is ongoing in all Dadaab camps to ensure that the remaining active 21,213 refugees registered for voluntary repatriation are assisted in the most effective way,” it said.

More than 2 million Somalis have been displaced in one of the world’s most protracted humanitarian crises that have now entered its third decade. An estimated 1.1 million people are internally displaced within Somalia and nearly 900,000 are refugees in the region. Experts say continuing political and security stabilization progress in Somalia, along with growing pressures in hosting countries, makes this a critical moment to renew efforts to find durable solutions for Somali refugees.


“Enhanced aerial firepower will not in itself be decisive in efforts to subdue Al-Shabaab, said Abdullahi Boru, a Horn of Africa security analyst.“A fully functioning Somali National Army, the state’s capacity to provide services” and other factors are also vital for the campaign against the Islamist militants, Mr Boru said,”

Analysts Sceptical Of Impact In Somalia Of Kenya Arms Purchases

08 May-Source:Daily Nation -547 Words

Military analysts are raising questions about the potential strategic impact of two weapons systems Kenya has been cleared to purchase in the US for the use against Al-Shabaab in Somalia. The Kenyan government could spend up to $671 million (K.Sh67.1 billion) in a pair of pending deals involving a dozen attack helicopters and the same number of weaponised agricultural aircraft. “Although Kenya has acknowledged a lack of airstrike capacity, we do not know what the immediate impact of these planes will be,” said Dr Nan Tian, an arms researcher with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

Both deals include temporary provision to Kenya of specialists from the respective US contractors who would assist with training and technical matters. But it remains to be seen whether Kenyan pilots will be trained sufficiently to fly the MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters and Air Tractor AT-802L aircraft, Dr Tian said. Dr Tian said the effectiveness of the weapons systems in combat conditions in Somalia also remained unclear. The light-attack helicopters and converted crop dusters could prove “vulnerable to Shabaab countermeasures,” commented Dr. Stig Jarle Hansen, author of a book (On the History and Ideology of Al-Shabaab). “These weapons systems are slow-moving and only lightly (if any) armoured. They are vulnerable to small-arms fire”, wrote by Dr. Hansen in an email to the Sunday Nation.

Al-Shabaab is also reportedly equipped with anti-aircraft weapons and man-portable air defence systems (Manpads) that are capable of hitting targets flying at high altitudes.Somali militants used rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) to shoot down two US helicopters in Mogadishu in 1993. And in 2002, attackers affiliated with Al-Qaeda — to which Al-Shabaab pledges allegiance — fired two Manpad rockets at an Israeli passenger jet taking off from Moi International Airport in Mombasa. The shooters missed their target. The arms packages that the US has permitted Kenya to order from New York – based L3 Technologies and Arizona-based MD Helicopters may not be deployed in the coming years.


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