PM Receives Former Somali President In Mogadishu
20 November – Source: Sahal News – 124 Words
Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire on Monday received former Somalia President, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in his office at the Villa Somalia compound. The former president reportedly visited the Prime Minister shortly after his arrival from abroad, both officials shook hands before they held private discussions in Mogadishu. Sources close to palace said that former president has previously met with the President, Farmaajo and parliament speaker.
Somalia’s Security Minister Abukar Islow Du’alle was accompanying the former president as government continues to obtain advices from ex-officials including former President Shariif Hassan. The country is planning to re-establish its national army as AMISOM begins to withdraw from the horn of Africa nation that is battling Al-Shabaab militant group.
- PM Receives Former Somalia President In Mogadishu (Sahal News)
- Somalia: Former NISA chief to respond to House allegation (Garowe Online)
- Galmudug Appeals For Humanitarian Aid After Severe Drought (Radio Shabelle)
- Mohamed bin Zayed Receives Somali President Discuss Relations Fighting Terrorism (Emirates News Agency)
- Scarred by Terrorism Civil War Somalia Is Failing to Feed 6.7mln Citizens (Fars News)
Somalia: Former NISA Chief To Respond To House Allegation
20 November – Source: Garowe Online – 230 Words
After the House released a report over Qalbi Dhagah’s extradition this week, top government officials began talks with former NISA chief Abdullahi Mohamed Ali “Sanbalolshe”, Garowe Online reports. The talks are aimed to silence Mr. Sanbalolshe after a parliamentary inquiry from the house accused the former Intelligence Agency NISA of misleading Qalbi Dhagah extradition after an investigation. Mr. Abdikarim Sheikh Muse Qalbi Dhagah, who is a senior Ogaden National Liberation Front [ONLF] was detained in Central Somalia in August, and extradited to Ethiopia by the end of the same month. Days after the extradition, Somali Cabinet had defended the rendition labeling the ONLF outlawed terrorist group. The quick handover has sparked public outrage which led the Lower House chamber of the Somali Parliament to form an inquiry team made up of 15 MPs who launched a two-month probe into the case.
On Saturday, November 18, the team submitted their final findings to the house and directed the blame at the National Intelligence Agency (NISA) over the controversial extradition of ONLF leader. The report was endorsed by over 152 MPs during the session. “After having seen all constitutions that Somalia had since 1960, and the country’s rules over the extradition of the suspects and criminals, the inquiry body found out that the handover of Qalbi Dhagah was not done legally and the judiciary was not consulted,” reads part of the report.
Galmudug Appeals For Humanitarian Aid After Severe Drought
20 November – Source: Radio Shabelle – 109 words
Somalia’s central Federal Member State of Galmudug has appealed for international aid for thousands of people who have been hit by a severe drought early this year. Mr. Sa’eed Mohamed Elmi, the administrator Af-gaduudle district, told Radio Shabelle that nomads living on the outskirts of the port town of Hobyo are facing water shortages. Mr. Elmi has asked international relief agencies to rush aid to the areas stricken by the recent drought which claimed the lives of thousands of herders and displaced missions in Somalia. Galmudug regions are the worst hit and some people fled to remote areas in search of food and water after losing their livestock to the drought.
20 November- Source: Emirates News Agency – 343 Words
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received today at Al Shai Palace, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who is currently on a visit to the UAE. Sheikh Mohamed welcomed the Somali President and his accompanying delegation and discussed fraternal relations and ways to enhance them in the best interest of the two fraternal countries.
Sheikh Mohamed and the President of Somalia reviewed issues of joint interest, especially development issues, development, humanitarian and charitable projects , and reconstruction projects implemented by the UAE to carry out the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support the fraternal Somali people. They discussed cooperation and coordinating efforts to fight terrorism, violence, armed groups and joint work to preserve security and stability in the Somali territories.
Meanwhile, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi was briefed by the Somali President on the latest developments in Somalia, the government’s efforts to implement development programmes and efforts in combating terrorism, extremism, violence, terrorist groups and terrorist organisations. While speaking with the Somali President, Sheikh Mohamed emphasised that the UAE continues its approach aimed at supporting the Somali people to build its national institutions and preserve its security and stability. Sheikh Mohamed wished progress and development, cooperation and solidarity for the people of Somalia to continue building and reconstruction as well as achieve aspirations, security and stability. The Somali President extended thanks and appreciation to the UAE stances and continued support for Somalia, which notably contributed to restoring normalcy, stability and development to life of the Somalis in a number of areas. They also tackled a number of regional and international developments, as well as issues of mutual concern.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Apart from Somalia’s two main rainy seasons – ‘Gu’ from April to June and ‘Deyr’ from October to the end of November – the country experiences relatively little precipitation. When these rainy seasons fail, as is the case so far in 2017, both agriculture and pastoral industries collapse as inflation precludes the vast majority of the population from buying food.”
20 November – Source: Fars New – 994 Words
At the start of 2017, Somalia required $1.5 billion to reach 5.5 million people at risk of famine. The total number of people in Somalia in need of humanitarian assistance rose by 500,000 between 2016 and 2017, from 6.2 million to 6.7 million, according to figures from the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, RT reported. At present, 3.2 million people face “Crisis and Emergency” levels of food insecurity as a result of drought, internal displacement through conflict, and a sustained bombing campaign by Al-Shabab militants. On a global scale, one in every 110 people is currently displaced by violence, famine, or persecution, the worst such displacement in human history, including both World Wars.
In addition, Somalia is also facing its worst outbreak of cholera in five years as a direct result of the forced movement of people and a subsequent lack of adequate hygiene and water facilities. So far in 2017, there have been 38,000 cases and approximately 683 deaths from cholera. Somalia is also facing a measles outbreak which has affected over 7,000 people this year, 65 percent of whom are under the age of five. These figures were expected to be compounded by the rainy season and projected flooding in several regions of the country. However, thus far, the rains have underperformed, compared with neighbors Ethiopia and Sudan, who have both experienced flooding.
One million people have already fled to neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and even Yemen, which is facing its own famine crisis, Oxfam reports. Persistent and recurring cycles of violence have prevented Somalia from establishing and maintaining any kind of coherent and functioning transport, agricultural, and sanitation infrastructure. Al-Shabab militants have carried out 71 attacks that have claimed the lives of 784 people so far in 2017. The deadliest twin attacks took place on October 14 and claimed over 300 lives marking the worst terrorist bomb attack in Somali history. For context, there were a total of 395 IED attacks in Somalia throughout 2016 which killed 723 and wounded over 1,100, which marked a 110 percent increase from 2015.
While the number of attacks decreased, the overall intensity of the explosives used and the destructive consequences greatly increased, further destabilizing an already precarious security situation and exacerbating the country’s multiple humanitarian crises. Somalia never really stabilized for any great period of time following the unification of Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland in to form the Somali Republic on July 1, 1960. Immediately after the assassination of former President Shermarke on October 15, 1969, Mohamed Siad Barre led a military coup which seized power. Siad Barre was viewed as a dictator by many and ruled with an iron fist while declaring Somalia a “Scientific Socialist” state. “When I came to Mogadishu…[t]here was one road built by the Italians. If you try to force me to stand down, I will leave the city as I found it. I came to power with a gun; only the gun can make me go,” Siad Barre said, as quoted by Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi in his book, “Culture and customs of Somalia.”
Barre ruled Somalia from 1969 to 1991 but was overthrown and exiled by militias. The power vacuum left by the collapse of the military junta shortly thereafter has led to an ongoing system of tribalism, with North Somalia, or Somaliland, cutting ties with the South and the Puntland region following suit. The fractured clan politics within the country, combined with a dearth of natural resources, led to increased competition for power and resources, allowing extremists to take hold as just another faction vying for control. “Clans form the bedrock of Somali society and identity, but political exploitation of their rivalries has blocked every attempt at peace since Somalia collapsed into war in 1991,” Reuters reported in 2011.
Since 1991, Somalia has experienced at least seven periods of famine resulting from droughts. Concurrently, Somalia has been in a state of civil war between rival factions, clans, and insurgents since the collapse of the Siad Barre government in January 1991. Apart from Somalia’s two main rainy seasons – ‘Gu’ from April to June and ‘Deyr’ from October to the end of November – the country experiences relatively little precipitation. When these rainy seasons fail, as is the case so far in 2017, both agriculture and pastoral industries collapse as inflation precludes the vast majority of the population from buying food.
Already this year, the ‘Gu’ rains failed to meet expectations, leading to a low harvest in one of the main bread baskets in the country’s south, the vast majority of which is under the control of militant group Al-Shabab. “Because of the increase in food prices, [the famine] has been a boon for al-Shabab’s recruitment campaign because when you don’t have purchasing power to buy the food, you will be encouraged to be recruited because then you will be saved, and you can use that salary or you could be given food,” Bruno Geddo of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Somalia said of the 2011 famine that killed an estimated 260,000 people. Little has changed in the interim.
As persistent drought and governmental failure compound the suffering of the people, ordinary citizens are forced to either flee or cooperate with the extremists in order to survive. Al-Shabab, acutely aware of the predicament facing the general population, provides its own infrastructure programs in order to boost recruitment and increase its hold over the Southern and Eastern spheres of influence. In addition, in 2011, Al-Shabaab expelled foreign NGOs from its territory. “We want our people to be free of NGOs and foreign hands. We want them to depend on each other and to stand free of outsiders,” Sheikh Abu Abdullah, the Al-Shabab governor of Lower Shabelle province, told Al Jazeera previously. Given the extent of global conflict and displacement, the situation in Somalia is likely to remain extremely precarious for years to come.