November 17, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

19 Al-Shabaab Suspects Arrested In Afgooye, Government

16 November – Source: Goobjoog News – 203 Words

Nineteen Al-Shabaab suspects among them explosives experts, were arrested in a military operation in the past week in Lower Shabelle region, the government said on Thursday. Briefing the media on Thursday, following a Cabinet meeting, Information Minister Abdirahman Yarisow said, the suspects are in custody and will soon be arraigned in court. Among them, the minister said were; Mr. Aweis Kadar Ahmed, the unit leader of operations in Afgooye, Mr. Abdullahi Mohamed Muktar aka Iley, a bombs expert and, secretary Mr. Aweis Abdiweli Abdi Iidar, who killed a tax police officer was also among those arrested, according to the minister.

The Minister did not indicate timelines of the operation but, indicated it took place in Afgooye adding the government was sure they were Al-Shabaab militants. Meanwhile the government said, it will host a national Islamic scholars conference in December to explore the role of religious leaders, in fighting terrorism and dissemination of information on good government. The Cabinet meeting on Thursday also received reports from the Constitutional Affairs Ministry on accelerating the constitutional review process, federalism and the 2020 elections. A policy paper on urban planning and land development was also tabled during the meeting and will be deliberated on the next meeting.

Key Headlines

  • 19 Al-Shabaab Suspects Arrested In Afgooye Government (Goobjoog News)
  • Somaliland’s Main Opposition Party Cuts Off Cooperation With Poll Agency (Hiiraan Online)
  • Aamin Ambulance To Offer Medical Emergency Training In Schools In Mogadishu (Goobjoog News)
  • Somalia Begins Child Rights Bill Drafting Process (Xinhuanet)
  • How The British Army Are Helping To Restore Peace In Somalia (Force Network)


Somaliland’s Main Opposition Party Cuts Off Cooperation With Poll Agency

16 November – Source: Hiiraan Online – 261 Words

The main opposition party of Somaliland has cut off cooperation with the Somaliland’s National Electoral Commision (NEC), citing irregularities during elections last Monday. The leaders of  Wadani party said, on Thursday that there were fake ballot papers used during the election, claims dismissed by Somaliland’s National Electoral Commision. Mr. Mohamed Yasin, Osman Afgaab, and Hussein Ahmed Aideed, who are Wadani chief, deputy chief and alternate chief agents respectively, have displayed several fake ballot votes during a press conference in Hargeisa. Mr. Yasin told the media that the party stopped its cooperation with NEC. “After the electoral commission failed to respond to our concerns over these fake votes, the Party decided to stop cooperating with the commission,” said Yasin.

On Wednesday, in a meeting with international observers, the opposition raised concerns over several irregularities, that the party believes to have taken place during the presidential elections on Monday. Meanwhile, Somaliland election body has dismissed the opposition claims that election were marred by irregularities saying the polls were free and fair. “We have received verbal complain about election irregularities from Wadani Party but, as far we are concerned, the elections were free and fair,” said NEC chairman Mr. Abdikadir Oman. On Tuesday, international observers in the breakaway Somaliland expressed concern over electoral malpractice including underage voting saying. “On election day, we are pleased to have observed a poll that seems to have preserved the integrity of the election process, while we are aware of some key concerns, those do not seem to be substantive and systematic enough to have undermine the election itself.”

Aamin Ambulance To Offer Medical Emergency Training In Schools In Mogadishu

16 November – Source: Goobjoog News – 447 Words

The Ministry of Education and Mogadishu based medical emergency service provider Aamin Ambulance Services, have initiated a joint collaboration on first aid and emergency response training, in schools and universities in Banadir region. Applauding the medical service provider for its efforts, in providing evacuation and first aid support to victims of the October 14 terror attack in Mogadishu, the Education Minister Abdirahman Dahir Osman said, it was imperative for students to get basic knowledge to effectively respond during emergency situations. Mr. Osman requested the ambulance service organization to carry out first aid awareness campaign,  and train students in schools and universities in Banadir region, to prepare them for any outcome that requires medical emergencies.  “As we know, Aamin Ambulance service did a lot of work on emergency rescue on the 14th October, where many people were saved thanks to their efforts and with the grace of God.

On behalf of the government and my ministry in particular I extend our big gratitude to them for their effort,” the minister said. Mr. Osman noted schools must implement emergency rescue programmes to mitigate harm during emergency cases, especially because of the security challenges in the country. We need a close collaboration with Aamin Ambulance, the minister noted. According to the minister, emergency rescue and first aid programmes have been incorporated into the national syllabus. “As a ministry, this issue [emergency rescue] is among our top priority to raise awareness, and we have included in the curriculum on how the teachers and the students can respond to emergency cases.” On his part, Dr. Abdirahman Abdikadir, the chairperson and founder of Aamin ambulance service confirmed the agreement between his organization and the Ministry of Education on Training  of students on first aid program. Educational institutions will provide the phone contacts of the ambulance provider for easy communication any time their service is needed. “Most of our financial supporters are teachers and students especially those in the tertiary level.

Now the ministry has sought our help and we are grateful to help them the way we can,” said Dr. Aamin, whose company provides free emergency services in Banaadir. Dr. Abdukadir emphasized the need to invest in ambulance services not just to help during time of explosions but, also in all other medical emergency cases. “Ambulance service is needed by all Somalis, not only to rescue bomb explosion victims, but also for a pregnant mother, children suffering from diarrhea and any others who are sick. Truly my appeal is for every Somali to participate in this matter.” He informed the general public to have an emergency kit in their homes for minor health problems. “It is recommended that every household to have emergency kit” Dr. Abdikadir added.


Somalia Begins Child Rights Bill Drafting Process

16 November – Source: Xinhuanet – 284 Words

Somalia and the UN children’s fund (UNICEF) on Thursday launched the drafting process of its Child Rights Bill as part of its efforts to strengthen the rights of children in the Horn of Africa nation. The Child Rights Bill, once approved, will be the foundation for the promotion and protection of all child rights in the country following the ratification by the country of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in October 2015.

Somalia’s Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, Deqa Yasin Hagi Yusuf, and UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Leila Pakkala who launched the process in Somali capital Mogadishu said the move is a gesture that the ministry strongly believes will guarantee a better future for Somali children. “The launch of the drafting process of this comprehensive children’s law today shows the determination of the government to ensure the Articles in the CRC become a reality in Somalia,” Yusuf said in a statement issued after the launch. “Children here have been seriously affected by armed conflict, drought and many other challenges.

We should now focus on guaranteeing their future by strengthening the legal framework which will enable them to enjoy their rights, including the right to development, education, and protection among others,” she said. The ministry is partnering with UNICEF and Somali civil society organizations in the drafting process and expects wide ranging contributions from Somali society. Pakkala said every child in Somalia is entitled, as are all children worldwide, to fully realize their rights. “We trust that the Child Rights Bill will provide the legal foundation to effectively promote and protect all child rights in Somalia, including those of the most marginalized,” Pakkala added


As larger numbers of troops are trained here it’s expected that more British soldiers will be deployed to Baidoa. For the Somalia Army this UK mission, which is costing millions of pounds, will be a vital step on the road to re-establishing itself as a professional military,”

How The British Army Are Helping To Restore Peace In Somalia

14 November – Source:  Forces Network – 512 Words

To reach the highly strategic town of Baidoa in safety Forces News reporter Simon Newton and camera person Hannah King took to the air because the journey is too dangerous to be undertaken by road. Al-Shabaab controlled the town for three years until they were driven out by Somali and Ethiopian Forces in 2012, but they retain a strong presence in the surrounding countryside.

This is where the camp that British soldiers are training the Somali National Army is, and providing protection are Ethiopian troops. Around 10 British personnel are based in Baidoa, training the SNA in basic military skills. Capt Alex Postles spoke about the sort of training they’re delivering to the Somali Army: “We’re trying to implement a soldier first policy, to give them the skills they need to command their troops on the ground. “The UN are going to come on board next week, to deliver a piece on human rights and gender sexual violence, which is important here in Somalia”.

Private Abdul Rahman is 21 and translates for the British Army. He learned his English in Kenya and one day hopes to become a doctor, but in the meantime wants to help bring peace to Somalia: “The people here are very happy – they are helping us, they’re friendly, they give us whatever we need. I’m really really thankful for them”. The remnants of Italian colonial rule remain in the base but the once ornate villas are now ravaged by time and war and it’s now home to 60 Division of the Somali National Army. Corruption is an underlying problem, and troops are subject to a process called ‘verification’ – a periodic check to make sure that every soldier on the payroll does really exist. In charge of 60 Division is General Yarrow. He commands 4,000 troops and has been fighting Al Shabaab for a decade: “Al Shabaab are weaker than before and what they do is bring misery to our civilians. “They’re not even human, they’re an unbelievable group of people who do whatever they want. And we’ll continue to fight them.”

Before it disintegrated during the civil war of the 1990s, Somalia had one of the largest militaries in Africa, and a fully equipped air force. Studies suggest it now has just 15,000 troops and a UN arms embargo, imposed 25 years ago, means they also lack heavy weaponry. The ban was eased in 2013 but the General says his troops still lack basic equipment. The British approach here differs from other training missions around the world.Not only are they offering mentoring, but UK money is also going into bricks and mortar, and small stipends to try and provide a wider, more encompassing level of support, that will keep this army functioning as it tries to rebuild.


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