November 2, 2017 | Morning Headlines

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1 Dead As Bossaso Protest Turns Violent

01 November – Source: Garowe Online – 338 Words

A violent protest in Bossaso, the commercial city of Somalia’s northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland has left at least 1 dead and three wounded on Wednesday. The demonstrators, including traders, have blocked the city’s main streets and clashed with the security forces as they were protesting against the shutting of Bossaso port, which continues more than a week. Some of the protesters who spoke to the local media said that the standoff at the seaport has severely affected their daily life. The port services have been temporarily suspended following a protest by truck drivers.

The port authorities were accused of increasing charges on the trucks transporting export goods, a blame that was denied by Puntland’s Minister of Ports & Marine Transport,  Said Mohamed Rage. Speaking at a press conference in Bosaso city on Monday, Rage said the deadlock began after they have charged fees on export and import good for a new quality control service introduced at the port recently. “I have no money and no food in my house. My children are starving. It’s unacceptable the port to remain shut. We call for an immediate solution,” said Mohamed Bile, one of the protesters.

Another demonstrator, who asked not to be named said: “the port serves for the people of Somalia, it can’t be shut by special persons. It should be quickly reopened. Only the civilians are suffering.” The situation was reported to be calm following today’s protest that turned violent. Puntland government has deployed additional forces to the areas near the port and dispersed the protesters. On the other hand, local business people have held an emergency meeting with elders in Bosaso city to discuss the situation and called on Puntland government to deal with the crises in Bari regional capital. So far, Puntland officials are yet to release their own statement concerning the deadlock at Bosaso port which comes as the state President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” is in Mogadishu for talks.

Key Headlines

  • 1 Dead As Bossaso Protest Turns Violent (Garowe Online)
  • Somali Forces Carry Out Massive Security Swoop In Mogadishu (Shabelle News)
  • Al-Shabaab Militants Killed In Own Explosion (Radio Dalsan)
  • Finance Minister Beyle Tables Public Finance Management Bill In Parliament (Goobjoog News)
  • US Funds For Somalia Could Be Diverted To Shabaab Watchdog Warns (Daily Nation)
  • Can Your Blood Not Be Moved For Somalia? (Macleans)


Somali Forces Carry Out Massive Security Swoop In Mogadishu

01 November – Source: Shabelle News – 104 Words

Somali forces have carried out a massive security swoop in Mogadishu days after Al-Shabaab launched a deadly siege at Naasa Hablod 2 hotel in the capital that left 27 dead. The government troops searched villages in Wardhigley, Bondhere and Yaqshid districts in Benadir region during the night, and detained at least 20 people linked to Al-Shabaab.

Police officials said the suspects are now being held in government custody in Mogadishu, where they are undergoing interrogation over the recent attacks in the city. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for several car bombings and assassinations in Mogadishu, targeting high-profile buildings, including Naasa Hablod Two, 29th Oct 2017.

Al-Shabaab Militants Killed In Own Explosion

01 November – Source: Radio Dalsan – 87 Words

At least eight Al-Shabaab militants died in an IED explosion in north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, Radio Dalsan reports. The eight were part of a Mogadishu based Al-Shabaab cell that were planning to execute an attack in the capital, a NISA official told Radio Dalsan. The incident occurred in Danida village where they were reportedly planting the bomb, the IED exploded as they  tried to  plant it in the road. Mogadishu has this year experienced a surge in IED explosions and assassinations by the insurgent Islamist group.

Finance Minister Beyle Tables Public Finance Management Bill In Parliament

01 November – Source: Goobjoog News – 187 Words

Finance Minister Abdirahman Beyle today tabled the Public Finance Management Bill in Parliament marking a major milestone in management of public finance in Somalia. The Bill which was approved by the cabinet in August seeks to streamline management of public finance, entrench fiscal discipline and seal loopholes for pilferage and embezzlement of funds. “this bill will provide guidance on how public finance is managed in our country. It will strengthen the existing finance laws,” said Beyle.

The bill, the minister said also stipulates the powers and roles of those who work in managing public finance such as parliament and different government departments. The Public Finance Management Bill is part of milestones set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) aimed at laying the foundation for achieving debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. The HIPC sets out steps through which countries seeking debt forgiveness must follow before their debts can be cancelled. The lender said July it had approved a new SMP covering the period May 2017–April 2018. Parliament is expected to debate the bill in the coming days.


US Funds For Somalia Could Be Diverted To Shabaab, Watchdog Warns

01 November – Source: Daily Nation – 305 Words

The State Department’s Africa Bureau is failing to ensure that US funding for the Somali government is not diverted to Al-Shabaab terror group, the department’s watchdog unit warned on Monday. “The bureau had not established policy and procedures for identifying, assessing and mitigating terrorist financing risks for its programmes in countries where terrorist organisations, such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, operate,” the State Department’s Office of Inspector General said. In a 34-page report assessing the bureau’s foreign assistance management, a team of inspectors cited the example of $66 million paid as cash stipends to members of the Somali National Army during the past seven years.

Inadequate oversight of that assistance could enable Al-Shabaab to siphon off some of that money intended for 6,509 Somali government soldiers, the report suggested. In addition, inspectors found that the Africa Bureau continued paying the soldiers’ stipends while failing to comply with a US law that prohibits State Department assistance to foreign military units that have not been screened for human rights violations.

That lapsed compliance with the so-called Leahy Law spanned several months in 2014 and again in a period spanning 2016 and 2017, the report said.“Furnishing security assistance without conducting Leahy vetting raises the risk that funds could be provided to individuals who have committed gross violations of human rights or are otherwise ineligible for assistance,” the report stated. The law in question named for its primary author, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy requires the US State Department and Pentagon to determine whether potential aid recipients carry out extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and rapes.


“We will pray for Somalia, politicians tell us; we will not forget you. But you can not forget those you do not remember. The City of Toronto may light the Toronto sign blue and white, but Mayor John Tory rarely makes commitments to address the violence that lies at the doorsteps of Somali communities,”

Can Your Blood Not Be Moved For Somalia?

31 October – Source: Macleans – 1132 Words

On Oct. 14, I was participating in “Somali Studies in Canada: Resilience and Resistance,” a multidisciplinary colloquium held at Carleton University. It was the first of its kind in Canada, and more than 50 brilliant, bright and eager academics, artists, frontline workers, and grassroots activists from Ontario and Quebec gathered to discuss the Somali diaspora’s resilience and resistance over the past 30 years in Canada. But that was abruptly interrupted as attendees began to hear news of a massive explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia. Two hundred casualties were immediately reported; in just a few hours, more than 300 people were believed to be dead. It is being described as the deadliest attack to take place in the region.

Just two weeks later, on Oct. 28, a car bomb detonated in front of a busy hotel and restaurant as gunmen took hostages inside; later that day, a vehicle carrying government troops triggered a roadside bomb planted by the militant group al-Shabaab. In the end, at least 23 people were declared dead in Mogadishu. For those of us in Canada who arrived in the early 1990s and who left family and people behind, stories of death and violence have become achingly familiar.

Families that have made difficult decisions to leave loved ones and a homeland behind are constantly forced to relive them in the immediate moments after horrific events have taken place. It felt like I had barely been given a moment to breathe before I began to call family members and friends to make sure everyone was accounted for. This in-between place of frantic calls, racing hearts, guilt for the relief that everyone is just fine, frustration, anger and fatigue was eerily familiar.

Since the explosion, the question at the top of the general public’s mind is: “will your community mobilize?” To me, the question isn’t worth asking. Over the summer, thousands in Somalia were displaced and put at risk of starvation due to a rapidly escalating drought. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Somalia is facing a humanitarian crisis and is at risk of a severe famine—all of this coming just six years after the last deadly drought. They note that between November 2016 and May 2017, an estimated 739,000 people were displaced by the drought; more than 480,000 of the displaced, or 65 per cent, are younger than 18.

Shortly after learning this information, a vast majority of the Somalis I knew in Canada mobilized. Elders added extra remittance payments to their monthly spends; young people coordinated events and fundraised money. Even those who could not give money retweeted, shared statuses and ensured the public was aware of the dangerous situation Somalia was in. Young Somalis became #FamineResistors with many in our city doing the work to garner attention, collect donations and forward to the appropriate hands in Somalia.


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