30 November – Source: Reuters – 355 Words
The U.S. military did not kill any civilians when it accompanied Somali forces on a deadly raid in August, U.S. Africa command said late on Wednesday, the first public statement on the findings from an investigation into the raid. The two-paragraph statement referred to a joint raid by U.S. and Somali troops on the village of Bariire. Eyewitnesses told Reuters that 10 civilians were killed and the military had been drawn into a local clan conflict. The survivors and relatives of the dead said they wanted blood money and an apology.
The U.S. military denied that any civilians were killed, although it did not offer any details on the investigation. It described the dead as “enemy combatants” but stopped short of saying they were members of al Shabaab, the al-Qaeda linked insurgency. “After a thorough assessment of the Somali National Army-led operation near Bariire, Somalia, on Aug. 25, 2017 and the associated allegations of civilian casualties, U.S. Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAF) has concluded that the only casualties were those of armed enemy combatants,” the two paragraph statement read. “Before conducting operations with partner forces, SOCAF conducts detailed planning and coordination to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties and to ensure compliance with the Law of Armed Conflict. U.S. Africa Command and the Department of Defense take allegations of civilian casualties very seriously.”
Despite promising a public investigation, the embattled Somali government has made no public statement on the raid, and some Somali security officials said privately that it would not, for fear of alienating the powerful clan whose members were killed. The United States has stepped up operations in Somalia this year after President Donald Trump loosened restrictions on the military in March. A Navy SEAL was killed there in May, the first U.S. combat casualty there since a Blackhawk helicopter was shot down in 1993. The United States has also ramped up its use of airstrikes, conducting twice as many strikes this year as last year. Somalia has been riven by civil war since 1991. It now has a weak, internationally-backed government, supported by African peacekeepers.
- U.S. Military Says No Civilians Killed In August Somalia Raid (Reuters)
- 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence in Somalia (Somali Update)
- Somalia: Puntland Presidential guards wounded in Bosaso blast (Garowe Online)
- Focus On Somalia To Penetrate African Markets (Tribune Express)
- UN Lauds Somaliland Elections Urges inclusive Politics (Xinhuanet)
16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence in Somalia
29 November – Source: Somali Update – 360 Words
The British Embassy has this week hosted an event to mark the 16 days, bringing together activists, government representatives, NGOs and members of the international community in Somali capital. In a roundtable discussion on the DFID funded CHANGES project, participants heard about the current state of play on Gender Based Violence (GBV) issues in Somalia, particularly early marriage, FGM and intimate partner violence. Those present committed to continuing to work together to tackle harmful social norms that underpin such violence.
Speaking during the subsequent reception, UK Ambassador to Somalia, David Concar, reflected on why tackling gender based violence matters, and what the UK is doing to support Somalia’s women and girls. “Women and girls have the right to live free from violence and discrimination and achieve their full potential. It’s time for everyone to stand up for that right. Not just for 16 days – but for as long as it takes to get the job done.” he said. Ambassador Concar noted UK’s supporting on a wide range of practical initiatives aimed at ending gender-based violence in conflict, training judges and prosecutors to deal with sexual offenses, supporting Somali civil society to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and increasing political participation of women.
“I hope all those responsible for running parliamentary and other decision making committees in Somalia, will look up and see the world is changing. It’s no longer credible or effective to run committees that exclude half of the population.” the Ambassador adds. The Minister for Women and Human Rights, Deqa Yasin also attended the event, where she reiterated the Federal Government of Somalia’s commitment to ending gender based violence. “This year’s theme resonates well with my Ministry, whose mandate is to create an enabling legal, policy and institutional framework for the protection and promotion of gender equality and human rights, where elimination of all forms of GBV remain a priority”, the minister explained. The 16 days of activism have taken place every year since 1991, presenting an annual focal point for global efforts to tackle violence against women and girls. The UK is committed to ending violence against women and girls, in Somalia, and around the world.
Somalia: Puntland Presidential Guards Wounded In Bosaso Blast
30 November – Source: Garowe Online – 189 Words
At least six Puntland Presidential guards were wounded in a bomb blast in Bosaso, the state’s northeastern port and commercial city on Thursday morning, Garowe Online reports. A witness has confirmed to GO that the explosion has resulted from grenade bomb hurled at a battlewagon belonging to Puntland Presidency, while passing at Nedco area, close to the city’s seaport. A medical official at Bosaso General hospital told GO that they have received six soldiers injured in the blast, including 3 in critical condition, and are currently being operated at the Intensive Care Unit.
There were several other civilians injured by the grenade bomb. Police immediately cordoned off the scene near the site of the explosion and launched an investigation into the incident. No group has yet claimed responsibility for Today’s bomb attack in Bosaso. The blast comes as the businesses in the city remained closed for the second day due increase of the service charges on the commercial goods imported at Bosaso seaport. Meanwhile, Puntland government has deployed additional security forces into the city to avert possible demonstration by local business people in protest of the raised import tax.
30 November – Source: Tribune Express – 121 Words
Somalia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Khadija Mohamed Almakhzoumi said on Wednesday that Pakistan should focus on Somalia to penetrate Africa’s growing market. Interacting with the business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), she said that Pakistan can capture a market share in Somalia by exporting quality products at affordable prices. She said that both countries should focus on specific areas to improve bilateral trade.
She said Pakistani investors should explore Somalia for joint ventures and investment as Somalia was looking for foreign investment in various sectors including energy, infrastructure development, environment, construction, healthcare and others. ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said bilateral trade between the two countries was quite nominal which needed serious efforts from both sides for improvement.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Continued support to AMISOM is one of the important multinational efforts in place today. AMISOM has achieved significant territorial gains against Al-Shabaab and has partnered with SNSF to improve their operational capabilities. The resulting improvement in the security situation has led to greater opportunities for progress in good governance and improved economic conditions for all Somalis. “We have made some measureable progress in Somalia, but there is certainly more work to be done,” said Waldhauser.”
29 November – Source: Africom.mill – 1684 Words
Somalia collapsed as a state, beginning in the late 1980s, and the Somali people have suffered some 30 years of war, displacement, and famine ever since. The Somali conflict has crossed borders, primarily into Kenya, where large-scale and high profile terrorist attacks have killed hundreds of innocent civilians, including college students in their dormitories and shoppers in a Nairobi mall. There were also attacks against civilians in Kampala, Uganda. The election of the current government, led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who is widely known by his nickname, “Farmaajo,” has given Somalia its best chance for a just and lasting peace in over a generation. The U.S. Africa Command and U.S. military, in close collaboration with the U.S. Mission to Somalia and U.S. Agency for International Development, are working with his administration across the “3 Ds”: development, diplomacy and defense. The U.S. response to the challenges in Somalia has been to work with the Federal Government and the Federal Member state administrations, in coordination with the African Union, the United Nations, and other partners working toward a common goal: to support Somali-led efforts to stabilize and rebuild their country along democratic and federal lines.
For our part, U.S. Africa Command and the U.S. military are committed to serving as the security component of the broader political-diplomatic efforts of the U.S. Mission to Somalia, whether it is in protecting U.S. personnel and facilities, or in supporting Somali forces through train and equip, as well as advise and assist missions. AFRICOM efforts are in conjunction with Somali National Security Forces, and are providing direct support to the five primary troop contributing countries in the African Union Mission in Somalia, also known as AMISOM: Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Djibouti and Ethiopia. We work with the United Nations, the European Union, and a range of traditional and non-traditional partners including the United Kingdom, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Our military actions, to include strikes against the Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabaab terrorist group and – more recently – against a new Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-aligned group, are done in support and with the concurrence of the Federal Government of Somalia. Our policy is to support Somalia-led efforts to encourage members of the Al-Shabaab and ISIS to defect and pledge support to the Somali Government. When that is not possible, our military policy to target these groups is in accordance with the laws of armed conflict and in support of our broader stabilization goals. Our work in Africa reflects the reality that those who are at greatest risk there from violent extremist organizations are the Africans themselves. Groups such as Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have killed tens of thousands of their fellow Africans, indeed tens of thousands of their fellow Muslims. Our work also reflects the local, regional and global threats posed by Al-Shabaab and ISIS-Somalia, threats that can be best addressed over the long term by inclusive and effective Somali governance, including security forces able to exert control over territory. A safe, stable, secure and prosperous Africa is an enduring United States interest and a key component of our U.S. foreign policy.
In support of this policy, AFRICOM, in concert with other U.S. Government agencies and partners, conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military sponsored activities and training, and other military operations to promote stability and security in Africa. AMISOM troop contributors have been indispensable partners, working together to deter and defeat terrorist threats in Somalia, establishing and expanding security in the country to allow for the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member State administrations to bring unity and representative governance to the whole nation. The people of Somalia have considerable work ahead to complete their transition to a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous nation. Nevertheless, we should take notice of the progress the Somali people have made toward emerging from decades of conflict. Somalis are resilient and determined to defeat the terrorists and forces of instability. The men and women of AFRICOM stand committed to help foster the conditions for prosperity and security and help the FGS deliver the future that the people of Somalia deserve. In Somalia, just as it does across the continent, the U.S. military works with African partners to deter and defeat extremist organizations. AFRICOM works by, with and through African and other partners to address these threats. “By, with and through” refers to a strategic approach designed to achieve U.S. strategic objectives in Africa by enabling the security forces of partnered nations who have compatible strategic objectives.
@Goobjoognews: IN A new twist, US declares Bariire casualties were terrorists –
@DalsanFM: AMISOM Police Commissioner Ends Tour Of Duty In Somalia – http://radiodalsan.com/en/
@SRSGKeating: w Minister of Women & Human Rights Deeqa Yasin at discussion on Nat’l Action Plan on ending sexual violence in conflict. Important 2 raise awareness of problem & challenge taboos that prevent proper reporting and remedial action
@HarunMaruf: With 500+ military personnel in Somalia, U.S. says aim is to support Somalia-led efforts to encourage members of Al-Shabab and ISIS to defect and pledge support to Govt, and to target when that is not possible in accordance with the laws of armed conflict http://www.africom.mil/media-
@LibanObsiye: As Africa-EU Summit begins today in Abidjan, a new agreement on a common principle of mutually beneficial development needs to be agreed &advanced. EU valuable partner in Somalia @MofaSomalia @AfricaSweMFA@Awalekullane @VLorenzoEU @DutchMFA @FedericaMog@JunckerEU @eric_herring
@engyarisow: I thanked Moalim Nur Foundation & Aden Abdulle Hospital for providing free medical surgery treatment to 430 patients
@Goobjoognews: UK AMBASSADOR to Somalia appeals for unity against gender based violence –
IMAGE OF THE DAY
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo at the African-EU Summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.