November 30, 2017 | Morning Headlines

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AMISOM Police Commissioner Ends Tour Of Duty In Somalia

29 November – Source: AMISOM – 428 Words

Brigadier General Anand Pillay, the Police Commissioner with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has left the Mission, after the end his tour of duty.   Brig. Gen. Pillay who joined the AU Mission in 2014, is credited with championing and operationalizing key reforms in the Somali police sector, in the federal government and regional states. Under his leadership, AMISOM Police rolled out an elaborate capacity building plan for the Somali Police Force, which included screening, recruiting, training and mentoring Somali police officers. Also, under his tenure, AMISOM Police extended its services to newly recovered areas; and expanded its operations to the state capitals, in Baidoa in South West state, Jowhar in HirShabelle state, Dhobley and Kismayo in Lower Jubba region and Beletweyne in Hiiraan region. “I can say categorically, that he (Pillay) has served with merit, with strategic leadership and the achievements are there, for everybody to see,” Mr. Alex Dundun, the AMISOM Police Chief of Staff said, during a send off ceremony for the outgoing Police Commissioner.

These sentiments were shared by the AMISOM Deputy Police Commissioner Ms. Christine Alalo. “You were the first person to implement the new policing model, we have seen you successfully securing the elections, you have been successful in trying to push, so that we go to the recovered areas, despite the challenges that are there,” Ms. Alalo noted.  Brig. Gen. Pillay ensured the training and skilling of over 3,500 Somali police officers and the establishment of systems and processes, including the introduction of a biometric database for the police force within the Somali Police Force.  “On behalf of the SRCC and the whole of AMISOM, I wish you best in your future endeavors,” Major General (Rtd) Fidza Dludlu, the AMISOM Head of Mission Support told Pillay. He commended Pillay for spearheading the construction and rehabilitation of various police stations across south central Somalia, in a bid to ensure law and order, especially in newly recovered areas.

The outgoing Police Commissioner advised AMISOM Police to focus on efforts that will ensure the Somali Police Force is self-reliant, adequately trained and equipped to preside over policing responsibilities in all of Somalia. “What have we done to develop their capacity; of getting their own trainers, capacitating them, mentoring them, and ensuring that they can train their own people?”, he posed the question.  “You need to start to do that, identify groups of Police officers from the Somalis, and train them to a level where they can go and do what you are doing,” Brig. Gen. Pillay said, in his parting shot.

Key Headlines

  • AMISOM Police Commissioner Ends Tour Of Duty In Somalia (AMISOM)
  • Somalia: HirShabelle President Names New cabinet (Garowe Online)
  • Ex Al-Shabaab Leader Roobow Returns Home (Radio Dalsan)
  • United States Conducts Airstrike In Support Of The Federal Government Of Somalia (Africa News Room)
  • Somalia: Failed Rains Threaten Nomad Way Of life (ICRC)


Somalia: HirShabelle President Names New cabinet

29 November – Source: Garowe Online – 130 Words

HirShabelle State President Mohamed Abdi Waare has on Wednesday unveiled a 20-member cabinet, with a similar number of deputies, Garowe Online reports. The new cabinet which has to be approved by the state assembly becomes the first cabinet of President Waare who was elected in September following the sacking of former president Ali Abdullahi Osoble in August. The line-up comprising of 57 members include 17 state ministers and ministers who served in the Osoble’s administration, according to a statement released by state Presidency and obtained by GO.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ismail Mohamed Ulosow, who was appointed as the State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications has immediately resigned from the post, saying he was not consulted on the appointment. The announcement of the new cabinet comes after weeks of a squabble between the regional state leader and the MPs over the selection process of the ministers, a deadlock that delayed the deadline. President Waare was elected on 16 September after his predecessor, Ali Abdullahi Osoble, was impeached by the state’s regional assembly and kicked him out of office in a no-confidence motion.

Ex Al-Shabaab Leader Roobow Returns Home

29 November – Source: Radio Dalsan – 119 Words

Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader Mr. Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansour, on Wednesday flew back to his home town Hudur four months after surrendering to the Somali government. Mr. Abu Mansour was accompanied by former Defense Minister Abdirashid Abdullahi. Mr. Abu Mansoor controls a sizeable number of militia who defected from Al-Shabaab after the leader fell ways, with his former group.

Robow’s militia backed by South West State army and Ethiopian army, have continued to wage war on Al-Shabaab. He has been in Mogadishu since August this year, making appearance and discussed much about the October 14 bombing condemning the attack, and donate blood to victims. It is not clear however what deal Mr. Abu Mansour strike with the Somali government.


United States Conducts Airstrike In Support Of The Federal Government Of Somalia

29 November – Source: Africa Newsroom – 114 Words

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against ISIS, in northeastern Somalia on Nov. 27, killing one terrorist. The strike occurred at approximately 3 p.m. local Somalia time. U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats.

This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) in combined counterterrorism operations and targeting terrorists, their training camps, and their safe havens throughout Somalia and the region. Our political and security goals in Somalia are the same: a reconstituted Somali state at peace internally and able to address all threats within its territory.


“During our stay in Hiran region, clan conflicts broke out as a result of fighting over grazing land,” says 35-year-old Farhiyo Mohamed, who is also a pastoralist living in a displacement camp on the outskirts of Guriel town, 10km from Abdullahi’s area. She remained in the camp with her nine children while her husband took off for the north of Somalia with the animals in an attempt to keep the remaining few alive.”

Somalia: Failed Rains Threaten Nomad Way Of life

29 November – Source: ICRC – 624 Words

The words rob raac in Somali translate to rain follower. It is a term commonly used in pastoralist circles that refers to the lifestyle of moving from one place to another with one’s livestock in search of pasture and water. This lifestyle is shared by many pastoralists, who make up 60 percent of Somalia’s population. Failed consecutive rains in the country, though, have prolonged a debilitating dry spell, grinding to a halt a way of life for many nomads who roam the lands. “We follow the rain to every corner of the country,” says Abdullahi Abdirahman, a pastoralist who now lives in a temporary shelter in Hirsi Hade village, in Somalia’s Galmuduug region. His dusty shoes are visibly worn out by years of trekking across the arid lands with his 500 animals – goats, cattle and sheep. The drought has brought the 70-year-old’s lifestyle to a stop. “I have walked over 200km in the past months in search of rain, food and pasture for my family and the remaining goats, sheep and camels,” says Abdullahi. “I’m now left with 50 frail livestock that can’t produce milk or meat.” Many like him have made the long, arduous journey but end up poorly rewarded for their efforts. “Those who originally had 300 goats now could be left with 30, all of whom are very weak,” he says. “Many died along the way due to hunger and disease before reaching the grazing grounds”

Pastoralists have long been accustomed to the harsh environment in Somalia, but the prolonged drought has brought many to the edge of starvation. Sun-bleached carcasses of livestock dot the area, remains of what were once high-value assets that offered meat, milk and income for families. The animals are also a means of currency when making dowry payments or settling disputes, making the skeletons a particularly sad but not uncommon sight here. Beaten down by loss and little to show for their struggle, many pastoralists including Abdullahi end up settling in temporary shelters in unfamiliar towns with nothing to live on but humanitarian assistance.

Unfortunately for these pastoralist communities, long dry spells are not their only problem. “During our stay in Hiran region, clan conflicts broke out as a result of fighting over grazing land,” says 35-year-old Farhiyo Mohamed, who is also a pastoralist living in a displacement camp on the outskirts of Guriel town, 10km from Abdullahi’s area. She remained in the camp with her nine children while her husband took off for the north of Somalia with the animals in an attempt to keep the remaining few alive. “We have to find a way to help each other and share whatever food we have,” says a hopeful Farhiyo. “If I cook some food we have to share, and that’s how we survive.”

In November, Abdullahi’s and Farhiyo’s families were part of 15,000 households in Galgaduud region that received bags of rice, cooking oil, beans and porridge that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) distributed to help them cope. The food is expected to see the families through to the end of the year. Displaced families received additional items including sleeping mats, kitchen utensils, tarpaulins and hygiene parcels. The ICRC has also concluded a massive livestock treatment campaign of over a million animals in November to help boost recovery efforts of pastoralists across the country.

Despite the persistence of the dry conditions, some light showers have been observed in parts of Somalia since October, signaling the start of the end-year rainy season (deyr). Abdullahi has given up on the nomadic lifestyle altogether but Farhiyo expects to leave the camp once her husband returns. If the rains hold, her family will set off and rob raac wherever the rains may lead them.


The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.