State Leaders Call For A United Front Against Al-Shabaab
31 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 316 Words
State leaders have called for unity to defeat extremist groups in the country noting political disputes and differences weighed against attempts to stabilize the country. The leaders who are meeting in Mogadishu with President Farmaajo said the war against Al-Shabaab can only be won if Somalis put their minds and resources towards eliminating extremist group. Puntland leader Abdiweli Gaas said time for conveying condolences and waiting for another attack was over. Gaas stated Al-Shabaab managed to propagate its seductive ideology across the land yet ‘they are scattered in groups of five people in bush. “We must foster an opposite ideology. Where are our Sheikhs and scholars, Why are they not propagating the right religion? Where are our traditional leaders,” said Gaas.
On his part, Galmudug leader Ahmed Haaf called for an end to political squabbling in the country and focus on uniting the people and stabilising the country. “Every Somali leader must bury the hatchet and stand for the defense of the country. If we don’t come up with a united front, I don’t think we will survive for long,” said Haaf. Haaf called for forgiveness to save the country. “Somalis stand up for the country. Somalia is going down the cliff. Let us forgive each other; let us unite today.”
South West leader Sharif Sheikh Adan said it was unfortunate leaders had to use choppers every time they have to travel from one part of the country to another because the land was not safe. “We seem to control the airspace as extremists control the land. We fly but not use the roads because the land is not safe. We must redeem our land as well,” said Adan. Jubbaland’s Ahmed Madobe said Somalis must wrest control of their country and take the war to Al-Shabaab. “We are fighting with men who claim a religious cause. Let us fight them since they took the wrong ideology.”
- State Leaders Call For A United Front Against Al-Shabaab (Goobjoog News)
- Unidentified Gunmen Kill A Civilian Man In Somali Capital (Shabelle News)
- Mogadishu’s Free Ambulance Service: A Godsend To Victims Of Violence (UNSOM)
- Deadly Somalia Bombings Highlight Failed Bid to Quash Al-Shabaab (Bloomberg)
- Historic Milestone For Somali Football (CAF)
- In Somalia Slain Journalists’ Deaths Go Unpunished (Huffington Post)
Unidentified Gunmen Kill A Civilian Man In Somali Capital
31 October – Source: Shabelle News – 145 Words
Unidentified gunmen thought to be Al-Shabaab assassins have shot and killed a civilian in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, witnesses said. The man whose named has only been identified as Adawe has been gunned down by men armed with pistols at Tarabunka junction in Mogadishu’s Hodan district. The slain civilian was reported to a driver for a driving school operating in the capital, according to a witness, speaking to Radio Shabelle on condition of anonymity.
The killers have immediately escaped from the crime scene before the arrival of Somali security forces, who later conducted a manhunt, but no arrest was made in connection with the murder. The motive behind the killing of the civilian is yet unclear, and no group has claimed responsibility for the execution. Mogadishu has been marred by attacks, including deadly car bombings and targeted assassinations against security force members and civil servants.
31 October – Source: UNSOM – 628 Words
While most people run away from the site of a bomb explosion, the dedicated staff members of the Aamin Ambulance company rush to the scene to offer first aid to victims and ferry the injured to hospitals. For the past ten years the rescuers have remained true to their calling, offering emergency medical aid to those in need.
Dr. Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adan, the founder of the 24-hour free ambulance service in Mogadishu, says he was motivated to start the voluntary service by the deplorable state of health services in the city. “When I came back to the country, there was a war going on and people were using wheelbarrows to get patients to hospitals. It led to deaths on the way to hospitals, the persons carrying the patient would be tired. That motivated me to respond and set up Aamin Ambulance services. It has helped to stop deaths,” Dr. Adan observes.
In a general climate of apprehension, Dr. Adan and his colleagues had to think seriously about the name they would use for the service to win the trust of the people. “The word Aamin, if I put ‘I’ before it, it becomes ‘Trust Me’. We chose this name because people in Somalia are not used to having volunteers. So, I wanted them to trust my voluntary service. I chose the name because I wanted their trust,”Dr. Adan explains.
31 October – Source: Bloomberg – 649 Words
Three deadly bomb attacks in Somalia’s capital this month have highlighted the failings of a decade-long international effort to quash an al-Qaeda-linked insurgency in one of the world’s poorest countries. While African Union troops helped the federal government drive the Islamist group known as al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu in 2011, the group has continued to stage assaults in the city. The U.S. blamed it for the country’s deadliest-ever attack — an Oct. 14 truck-bombing that left more than 300 people dead — while two weeks later al-Shabaab set off two car bombs that killed 26 people, including two former lawmakers.
The attacks are a predictable consequence of the government and African Union scaling back their fight against the militants, mainly because of limited funding, according to Christian Ani, an Ethiopia-based analyst with the Institute for Security Studies. The forces haven’t engaged in any major offensives since 2015, he said. “Al-Shabaab continues to be a strong force in Somalia,” he said by phone. “It has a heavy presence around the Juba Valley and the outskirts of Mogadishu.
31 October – Source: CAF – 318 Words
Football is helping to bring a level of happiness to the citizens of Somalia in a country that has long been ravaged by upheaval. Last Saturday marked a historic moment with the laying of a foundation stone for the Somali Football Federation’s (SFF) new premises, with the national association having operated in rented offices for over half a century.
Located on the Horn of Africa, Somalia has a long association with football dating all the way back to 1951, but never before has the governing body had premises to call its own. A new home, the new headquarters is being built on a portion of land that was recently donated to the SFF by the Ministry for Youth and Sport, as announced by the Minister Hon Khadija Mohamed Diriye. The association has indicated their plan to apply for funding from FIFA’s Forward Development Programme for the new base which is expected to be completed next year.
“The construction of this new headquarters will end more than half a century that Somali Football Federation has been serving in rented offices,” said SFF president Abdiqani Said Arab. “This will be the first building owned by the federation in its whole history. It is being built as the SFF is benefiting from the new development initiatives created by the president of FIFA, Mr. Gianni Infantino. “The headquarters will be the home of the entire football family of Somalia. Having more space to work will help the development of football in the country.”
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Radio journalist Abdiaziz Ali was reportedly gunned down while walking through Mogadishu last September. He covered the civilian toll of Somalia’s conflict between government forces and al-Shabab militants for the Shabelle Media Network, an employer of at least eight slain journalists over the past decade,”
31 October – Source: Huffington Post -1212 Words
For the third year in a row, Somalia has ranked as the world’s leading country where slain journalists’ deaths go unpunished. Over the past decade, all 26 assassinations of journalists in the East African nation have gone unsolved, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which released its annual impunity index, titled “Getting Away With Murder,” on Tuesday. The New York-based non-profit gathers data on news workers killed in retaliation for their journalism, excluding those who die in crossfire while reporting in dangerous areas such as combat zones (but are not directly targeted). CPJ, which seeks to underscore international barriers to media freedom, publishes its findings every year to document patterns of impunity, such as those consistently seen in Somalia.
According to the United Nations, at least 930 journalists were assassinated worldwide in the decade leading up to 2017. During that period, just one in 10 reported cases led to a conviction. More than 60 media workers have been killed this year. Somalia is gripped by a decades-long civil war and brutal insurgency being waged by the extremist al-Shabab, an Islamist militant group. Since the country’s civil war erupted in 1991, at least 64 journalists in the country have been killed as a result of their work, including 39 political reporters and 29 war reporters. CPJ, which began keeping track of worldwide journalist deaths in 1992, has confirmed the motives behind their killings, and reports that the vast majority of known perpetrators have been members of political groups.
Mohamed Ibrahim, now the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists, has covered politics and other news beats in the capital city of Mogadishu for 15 years, reporting for outlets including the BBC and Reuters. Throughout his career, Ibrahim says he has been threatened, harassed and assaulted several times, mostly by al-Shabab militants and senior officials of the Somali government. Illustrative of the broader dangers of his job, he also narrowly survived al-Shabab attacks while working at a Somali parliament building in 2010 and at Lido beach in Mogadishu last year.
Ibrahim still finds himself looking over his shoulder when he leaves home, fearful of a targeted strike by someone who is unhappy with his reporting or advocacy for press freedom. “Journalists are often targeted and I advocate for their rights and protections, so I know it is a high risk environment,” he told HuffPost from Mogadishu. “So many journalists like me have risked their lives to serve their people and [distribute] the information they have the right to hear.”