13 November- Source: Daily Mail – 385 Words
Residents of the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland voted Monday in its third presidential poll, hoping to prove its democratic credentials and strengthen the case for independence from troubled Somalia. The northern territory, which is more tribally homogenous and stable than the rest of Somalia, broke away in 1991 and has been striving to attain international recognition ever since. Three candidates are running for the state’s top office, seasoned politicians Muse Bihi of the ruling Kulmiye party and opposition candidates Abdirahman Iro and Faysal Ali Warabe, who was defeated in previous elections in 2010. “The procedure started peacefully this morning and we are confident that this election is going to be a milestone for the entire region,” said Iro as he voted.
Elections are meant to be held every five years, however the poll was delayed for two years due to drought and other technical issues. Incumbent Ahmed Mohamud Silaanyo is not seeking re-election. Somaliland’s history of peaceful, credible elections and democratic transition sets it apart from anarchic southern Somalia, and indeed much of east Africa. Somalia’s election earlier this year saw a president chosen via a limited electoral process that saw handpicked clan elders choosing delegates who were allowed to vote.
Ahead of the Somaliland election, the three main candidates held a televised debate to present their political agendas, focusing on the economy, jobs and international recognition. “This is a very critical election … for the youth, they need a leader who can develop the economy and bring jobs so that everybody can stay their country to enjoy their lives,” said university student Ismail Mohamed. The vote is set to be the most sophisticated yet with some 700,000 voters registered using biometric eye scanners which will identify them before they cast their ballots. A decision by authorities to shut all social media when polling stations close at 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) was criticised by Human Rights Watch last week.
- Breakaway Somaliland Votes For New President (Daily Mail)
- Somaliland: Voting in Las Anod Sool Region Despite Puntland Threats (Goobjoog News)
- Somalia: Militants Arrested Near Kenyan Over Bomb Plot (Garowe Online)
- Galmudug Minister Says Dispute Between Leaders Has Been Resolved (Radio Mustaqbal)
- US Increases Drone Strikes Against Islamic Extremists In Somalia: Report (The Hill)
- Why Somaliland Is East Africa’s Strongest Democracy? (The Economist)
Somaliland: Voting in Las Anod, Sool Region Despite Puntland Threats
13 November – Source: Goobjoog News – 183 Words
Polling centres in Las Anod, Sool region opened on Monday morning and voting is underway despite threats by Puntland government to stop the elections claiming control of the region alongside Sanaag. Goobjoog reporter Mr. Farah Dubad in the town said, the elections stations opened at 7am, as voters lined up to cast their votes in all of the 32 polling centres. “Voting is already underway in all centres. There are no cases of disruption”, said Dubad.
Puntland had earlier vowed to stop the elections with some lawmakers on Monday morning insisting the elections will not continue. Internal Affairs Committee Deputy Chairman Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim (MP) said, the state will not allow voting to take place in the two regions. “We shall not permit for elections to take place in Sool and Sanaag. Our people are not ready for divisions of the Somali people,” Mr. Ibrahim told Goobjoog News. They [Somaliland] want to transport people by bus into these regions to make it appear that the election is taking place, but we can’t accept that. The security departments have been given their orders.
Somalia: Militants Arrested Near Border Over Bomb Plot
13 November – Source: Garowe Online – 167 Words
Somali official in Gedo region said on Sunday that government security forces have detained two Al-Shabaab members over suspected bomb attack in Luuq town, Garowe Online reports. The Officer who spoke to GO over the phone on condition of anonymity said the suspects were carrying ‘explosive materials’ and accused them of planning attacks against military personnel. “The Somali security forces have managed to capture Mr. Ali Abdi Mursal and Mr. Mohamed Abdi Salah with the explosives, that they wanted to use to attack Luuq town during an operation after a tip-off from local residents,” he said.
Both arrested men have confessed being members of Al-Shabaab dispatched to carry out a terror attack on military bases in the border town, according to the police sources. No further details have been given of possible targets. Despite being driven out of key areas in the South and Central Somalia, the Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab still launches sporadic deadly attacks on the region, and poses a security threat to the neighbouring countries.
Galmudug Minister Says Dispute Between Leaders Has Been Resolved
13 November – Source: Radio Mustaqbal – 114 Words
The Minister for Interior of Galmudug State of Somalia, Mohamed Hayir Noor has confirmed that the leaders of Galmudug State have resolved their differences. The Minister said the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has successfully intervened in the matter leading to a resolution of the dispute.
The Minister said the disputes has been resolved and thanked the President for intervening in the matter. He said the remaining part is to resolve the dispute between the President and the MPs who said they have ousted him. Some of the MPs in the Galmudug assembly who spoke to Radio Mustaqbal said the ouster of President, Ahmed Dualle Gelle (Haaf) was legitimate.
12 November – Source: The Hill – 213 Words
The U.S. carried out three drone strikes over a span of 24 hours in Somalia, according to a report from The Associated Press. The first strike occurred 250 miles southwest of the capital city of Mogadishu on Saturdayafternoon, killing a militant from the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab. The second strike, which took place 40 miles west of the capitol at 3 a.m. on Saturday, also targeted Al-Shabab.
The third strike took aim at the Islamic State group at 9 a.m. on Sunday, marking the second U.S. strike against the Islamic State in that country. The U.S. announced last Thursday it had killed “several militants” in a strike targeting al-Shabab 100 miles west of Mogadishu. The strikes demonstrates the Trump administration’s intensifying its fight against extremist groups in the nation. President Trump announced in March he would be giving the Pentagon more authority to carry out airstrikes in Somalia. The Pentagon was previously only allowed to carry out strikes in defense of partnered forces. Somalia was also not considered an active war zone prior to Trump’s directive, and proposed strikes needed high-level, interagency vetting. The military also needed to prove the target posed a threat to Americans and that there was a near-certainty that no civilians would die.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Somaliland’s democracy is by no means spotless. Corruption is endemic, and the media are seldom critical. The influence of the clans has been muted but not eradicated. And elections are repeatedly delayed. The vote on November 13th was overdue by more than two years, and all branches of government have now outlived their mandates,”
13 November- Source: The Economist – 632 Words
DROP a pin on a map of eastern Africa and chances are it will not land on a healthy democracy. Somalia and South Sudan are failed states. Sudan is a dictatorship, as are the police states of Eritrea, Rwanda and Ethiopia. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has ruled uninterrupted since 1986, and plans to remove a constitutional age limit so he can cling on longer. Elections in Tanzania have never ousted the Party of the Revolution (and its predecessor), which has governed since independence in 1961. Even Kenya, once the region’s most vibrant and competitive democracy, is struggling. Last month Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected president with 98% of a preposterously flawed vote. In this context tiny Somaliland stands out.
On November 13th citizens of this internationally unrecognised state will elect a president in what is expected to be its sixth peaceful, competitive and relatively clean vote since 2001. This unparalleled record makes it the strongest democracy in the region. How has this happened? A peculiar history helps. Somaliland was a British protectorate, before it merged with Italian Somalia in 1960 to form a unified Somalia. It broke away in 1991, and now has a strong sense of national identity. It was one of the few entities carved up by European colonists that actually made some sense. Somaliland is more socially homogeneous than Somalia or indeed most other African states (and greater homogeneity tends to mean higher levels of trust between citizens). A decade of war against the regime of Siad Barre in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, reduced Somaliland’s two largest cities to rubble, yet produced a flinty patriotic spirit. And the Somali National Movement (SNM), which led the fighting, cultivated an internal culture of democracy. Its leadership changed five times in nine years, and transferred power to a civilian administration within two years of victory.
But it is the absence of international recognition that may matter most. Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, the president of Somaliland from 1993 to 2002, argued in 1999 that recognition would be dependent on the country’s pursuit of democracy. He proceeded to devise a constitution that was put to a popular referendum in 2001. For fear of encouraging other separatist movements in the region, the international community, following the African Union, has never obliged. But rather than stunting democracy in Somaliland, this response ensured that democratisation moved from the bottom up. Donors often impose democratic reforms on African countries as a condition of financial aid. Since unrecognised Somaliland is cut off from most external assistance, the social contract between government and citizens has become unusually strong. Democracy evolved out of a series of mass public consultations—clan conferences—which endowed it with an unusual degree of legitimacy. The system’s most striking feature is the upper house of clan elders, known as the “Guurti”, which ensures broadly representative government and underpins much of the country’s consensual political culture.
.@MoPIED_Somalia: @MoPIED_Somalia is conducting an induction training for the newly recruited staffs of the Ministry. Total of 28 staffs has been recruited.
.@HarunMaruf: Who are the 3 candidates? Somaliland will have a new pres because the incumbent is not seeking 2nd term. The candidates are: Muse Bihi, a former rebel cmdr and interior minister; Abdirahman Irro, ex-speaker of Parliament and Faysal Ali Warabe, veteran politician. #Somaillandvotes
@Libandxb: Connie Newman Former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs on #Somaliland Election@Abukar_Arman @mfa_russia@DutchMFA @AdelAljubeir@LithuaniaMFA @MFAestonia @SpainMFA@presidentaz@realDonaldTrump @JustinTrudeau@Ilyasdawaleh@MofaJapan_en @MOFAkr_eng@MBA_AlThani_
IMAGE OF THE DAY
Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Saylici with others standing in line waiting to vote.