Somaliland Picks Ruling Party’s Candidate As New President
21 November- Source: Reuters – 319 Words
Musa Bihi Abdi of the ruling Kulmiye party was declared the winner of Somaliland’s presidential election on Tuesday, by the election commission of the breakaway region. Situated at the northern tip of east Africa on the Gulf of Aden – one of the busiest trade routes in the world – Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has been relatively peaceful since. The region of 4 million people has not been internationally recognized but it has recently drawn in sizeable investments from the Gulf.
In the election, Abdi won just over 55 percent of the vote, while opposition leader Abdirahman Iro took nearly 41 percent, election commission chairman Iman Warsame said. Turnout was 80 percent. In a debate before last week’s vote, Abdi pledged to boost women’s participation in politics and introduce compulsory national service for high school and university graduates.
There was no immediate comment from Iro, whose opposition party Waddani had accused Kulmiye of vote-rigging although it has not given evidence. A U.K. government-funded international observer mission said the poll “preserved the integrity of the electoral process” and concluded irregularities were limited and did not undermine the vote. The former British protectorate broke away from Somalia in 1991 following a bloody civil war. The poll had originally been scheduled for 2015 but was delayed by political spats and severe drought.
- Somaliland Picks Ruling Party’s Candidate As New President (Reuters)
- Burao Residents Protest Against Electricity Price Hikes (Hiiraan Online)
- First Police Station Established In Buula-Burde Village (Sahala News)
- US Airstrike In Somalia Kills More Than 100 Al-Shabaab Militants (CNN.com)
- Partnering With Somalia’s Police To Build Counterterrorism Capacity (Voice of America)
Burao Residents Protest Against Electricity Price Hikes
21 November- Source: Hiiraan Online – 211 Words
Hundreds of protesters took to the thoroughfare of Burao town in the breakaway Somaliland to protest steep electricity price increase. Power supply companies have this week announced that they will ramp up the prices. The protesters started demonstrating on Monday, chanting slogans denouncing the private companies in the city. The electricity prices have hit two times higher, piling pressure on households, already grappling with rising food costs. Mr. Mohamed Omar Beyle, a local resident said the price hike sparked widespread anger and resentment among locals. “The price shoot up by 200% which is unprecedented hikes, we call upon the administration to intervene with this matter,” Mr. Beyle said.
The demonstrators who were dispersed by the law enforcement agencies, complained about police harassment but vowed to continue with protest till the situation is intervened. The move comes less than a week after residents raised concerns over poor wiring following death of two men who were electrocuted. The two died when a billboard they were erecting hit high-tension naked electricity cable. The power companies which is privately owned were accused of employing incompetent technicians. Recently the town was rocked by massive protests against fake ballot papers allegations. Over five were killed and several others sustained injuries in clashes between police and angry youths.
First Police Station Established In Buula-Burde Village
21 November – Source: Sahal News- 177 Words
The first functioning police station has been established in Somalia’s Buula-Burde town following decades of unrest and insurgency in the town. The town has been under harsh military occupations by the Islamist militants of Al-Shabaab which severally executed residents it linked with spy. The town’s new police chief, Shuriye Maow Halane said that former police officers and volunteers have willingly begun to establish the police post. “Police officers include retired generals and police experts who have not obtained any chance to be re assigned for their lost jobs” Mo’aw has said over the phone.
In an opening ceremony held for the new station is attended by Hiiraan regional administration officials and members representing the society.“More than 25 years we did not have any police station in here and people were seeking justice outside the town “ the police chief has said. He asked Federal Government of Somalia(FGS) to equip the police officers who can face Al-Shabaab’s hit and run grenade attacks. Somali Federal troops along AMISOM forces have liberated the town from Al-Shabaab hands last month.
21 November – Source: CNN.com – 582 Words
More than 100 al-Shabaab militants were killed Tuesday in a US airstrike in Somalia, the Pentagon announced, the latest in a series of strikes against the al Qaeda affiliated group and ISIS fighters in the war-torn country. The strike occurred 125 miles northwest of the capital of Mogadishu. The Defense Department now has 500 personnel in Somalia including military, civilians and contractors, more than double the 200 personnel that had been reported to be in Somalia in March 2017, according to US Africa Command which oversees US forces on the continent. The personnel are part of the effort to support African forces fighting al-Shabaab as well as ISIS forces there. While estimates have fluctuated over time, the US now estimates there are between 3,000 and 6,000 al-Shabaab fighters and less than 250 ISIS operatives in Somalia.
US troops have primarily operated in Somalia to provide training and assistance for local forces. But US special operations forces also continue to rotate in and out of Somalia, conducting counter terrorism operations according to defense officials. Early November saw a decided uptick in US airstrikes in Somalia. Africa Command and the Pentagon insist the series of airstrikes are simply due to the ability to identify targets and not as a direct result of a number of recent massive deadly suicide attacks in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, including a double truck bomb attack in October that killed hundreds. “We’ve always stressed the importance of putting pressure on the network,” said Samantha Reho, an Africa Command spokesperson. “The opportunities presented themselves with the right conditions and are purely coincidence.”
The increase in strikes in Somalia as well as Libya and Yemen, is driven by the intelligence that is gathered, according to officials: “I think as we constantly assess the battlespace, when targets present themselves that are actionable and within the law of armed conflict, we’re going to strike those targets,” Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff told reporters. There have been 29 strikes acknowledged by the Pentagon so far this year. Seven of those strikes took place between November 9 and 14.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The United States is proud to have had a hand in the formation of these police units, and we will continue to support their efforts to further build critical counterterrorism capabilities. We stand with the people and government of Somalia in their commitment to defeating terrorism, ensuring the security of their people, and rebuilding their country. We look forward to continuing our cooperation on these and other issues,”
22 November- Source: Voice of America – 373 Words
For too long, Somalis have suffered an unceasing campaign of terrorist violence. Since the beginning of the year, terrorists have perpetrated over 40 acts of terrorism using armed suicide assaults, truck bombs, and remotely detonated improvised explosive devices in Mogadishu alone. And then, in mid-October, the most devastating attack in Somali history took place.
On October 14th, the streets of Mogadishu’s Hodan district were jam-packed with traffic and bystanders, when a truck loaded with explosives detonated, killing at least 400 people and wounding hundreds of others. Shortly thereafter, a second, smaller explosion, believed to have been part of a coordinated plot with the first attack, took place across town. The attack was “our 9/11” said General Bashir Abdi Mohamed, the Deputy Commissioner of the Somali Police Force. “No Somali was untouched.” The Somali public, outraged by the brazen attack on innocent civilians, have voiced their demand for peace and justice in their country.
One element working to turn the tide in Somalia’s fight against terrorism is its Joint Investigative Teams, elite Somali police force units that investigate terrorist attacks and gather evidence to identify the perpetrators and prosecute them. Set up with the help of the U.S. Department of State in 2014, they have responded to over 250 major incidents, systematically collecting and analyzing evidence that has been used to identify terrorist perpetrators, their networks, and bring them to justice. Through their hard work and dedication, the Joint Investigative Teams are changing the public’s perception of the police.The Joint Investigative Teams are poised to take on one of Somalia’s most pressing problems; that is, effectively preventing terrorist attacks. This means that the next step, said Deputy Police Commissioner Bashir Abdi Mohamed, is to become increasingly proactive, with a police force that is capable of detecting and disrupting plots before they are executed.