October 2, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Turkey Opens Its Largest Overseas Military Training Center In Somalia

30 September – Source: Daily Sabah – 308 Words

Turkey inaugurated its largest overseas military training center Saturday in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu to train Somali troops in fight against al-Shabaab terrorists. The newly-constructed facility, where 200 Turkish military officers will train 10,000 Somali soldiers, was inaugurated by the Turkish chief of staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire. During the opening ceremony, Akar said the Turkish government would “continue to support our Somali brothers until their country becomes stronger militarily”.

Khaire thanked the Turkish government for opening the training school, and said it would help the government “reconstruct” its national force “not based on clans…not from a particular place, but well-trained forces that represent the Somali people.” Located south of the capital, the training facility had been under construction for the last two years. The facility is spread over four square kilometers (1.54 square miles) and has the capacity to train more than 1,500 troops at a time, according to the Somali government. Turkey’s vast aid effort at the height of the 2011 famine endeared it to many Somali people, and it has continued to pour in aid, both from private companies and government-run aid agencies. It has built schools, hospitals and infrastructure and provided scholarships for Somalis to study in Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has visited Mogadishu twice, and when he made his first trip there in 2011 he became the first non-African leader to visit the war-ravaged nation in 20 years. Rapidly growing trade between the two nations has followed. In 2010, Turkish exports to Somalia totaled just $5.1 million. By last year, they had ballooned to $123 million. In the space of six years Turkey has gone from Somalia’s 20th-largest source of imports to its fifth-largest. “Turkey really has won the hearts and minds of the Somali people,” Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman said previously.

Key Headlines

  • Turkey Opens Its Largest Overseas Military Training Center In Somalia (Daily Sabah)
  • Police And Intelligence Heads Sacked Over Somali National Women’s Organisation  Officials Killing In Hamarweyne (Goobjoog News)
  • President Haaf Declares 3 Months State Of Emergency In Galmudug As Political Crisis Hold (Goobjoog News)
  • Somalia Polls Could Impede Amison Exit Plan (The East African)
  • Bahrain Condemns Terrorist Attack In Somalia (Emirates News Agency)
  • Support for Somalia’s Neutrality In The Gulf Diplomatic Stalemate (Hiiraan Online)


Police And Intelligence Heads Sacked Over Somali National Women’s Organisation  Officials Killing In Hamarweyne

01 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 120 Words

Hamarweyne Police Commander and his Intelligence counterpart have been relieved of their duties following President Mohamed Farmaajo’s ultimatum seeking answers regarding to the killing of two officials from the Somali National Women Organisation (SNWO) last Wednesday.

Goobjoog News correspondent in Hamarweyne reported that the two officials were shown the door after it was established they absconded duty the day armed men killed Ahmed Jamac Hirsi the son of Somali National Women’s Organisation (SNWO) Chairlady, Battulo Sheikh Ahmed, and the organisation’s Secretary General Anab Abdullahi Hashi. Twelve other police officers who were also missing on the fateful day have also been arrested, the correspondent says. President Farmaajo issued a stern warning to the police Saturday demanding answers over the killings.

President Haaf Declares 3 Months State Of Emergency In Galmudug As Political Crisis Hold

01 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 273 Words

Galmudug state will remain in a state of emergency until the end of 2017. Under siege, the Galmudug President Ahmed Haaf has declared a state of emergency in the state which Saturday night saw a faction allied to him announce it had hounded out state assembly speaker and deputy president. Following a cabinet meeting Sunday, Haaf who was voted out by a section of the state assembly last week declared the central Somali state will now be under a state of emergency starting October 1, 2017. The emergency situation grants the state government extra power to enable it maintain security and stability within Galmudug state, a decree from President Haaf noted. The president ordered all the security forces in the state to take full charge of security of the state.

The decree by Haaf marks a major shift in the political crisis in Galmudug four days after collapse of mediation talks for which the mediators blamed on interference from the Federal Government. With statements and declarations flying from hotels in opposite ends of Adado town, state legislators traded barbs and political threats characterized by firings, travel restrictions and no confidence motions. Citing a set of provisions in the state constitution, Haaf said the state of emergency was imperative to ensure peace and stability in the state. Clan militias had late last week gathered in Adado but Federal Parliament legislators said they had managed to convince them move out of the town. Senators Abdi Qeybdiid and Mahat Salad told the media the militias had left the town by Sunday morning. The terms of the emergency are not yet clear but the move toned-down political gatherings.


Bahrain Condemns Terrorist Attack In Somalia

01 October – Source: Emirates News Agency – 120 Words

The Kingdom of Bahrain has condemned the terrorist attack that took place in the Somali city of Mogadishu, killing several people and injuring others. Bahrain News Agency quoted a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as affirming “the kingdom’s solidarity with the Federal Republic of Somalia in its efforts to eliminate all terrorist organisations and bring peace and security.”

In its statement, the Bahraini Foreign Ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to all those injured as a result of this terrorist act. The ministry also stressed the need for concerted regional and international efforts that aim to eradicate terrorism in all its forms and drain its sources of funding.

Somalia Polls Could Impede Amison Exit Plan

30 September – Source: The East African – 368 Words

The 2021 Somalia elections could complicate plans by the African Union peacekeepers to withdraw its forces in the next two years.  Military experts say that the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) may have to revise its timetable because the next elections — when the country is expected to hold universal suffrage (the right to vote of all adults) after 52 years — is too important to be conducted without substantial security.  Amisom was supposed to withdraw 1,000 troops in December this year and another 1,000 in May next year, with the final withdrawal set for the end of 2020. Amisom has been training and equipping the Somalia National Army (SNA) with the objective of gradually handing over security duties in liberated areas.  But Amisom spokesperson Col. Wilson Rono, told The EastAfrican that the 2018 timelines could be reviewed to accommodate the elections.  “The UN Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council must review the security situation after every batch of withdrawal and give a go-ahead for the next. Furthermore, the withdrawal timetable is dependent on whether the SNA will meet all the preconditions,” he said.

The pre-conditions include Amisom, with the support of the UN and other donors like the US, training and equipping at least 30,000 SNA troops to take over from the peacekeepers. Amisom has already trained and verified over 10,000 SNA soldiers who are currently engaged in joint operations in Mirtuugo in Middle Shabelle and Abdali Birole, in Lower Jubba. The mission still needs an additional 28,000 troops to free the remaining areas under Al-Shabaab.  Secondly, the Somali government, led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, must meet the requirements of the Security Pact passed at the London Somalia Conference in May. The pact includes securing recovered areas and main supply routes before the 2021 elections with the support of international partners, and a political agreement between the Central government and the five states on how to coordinate security. According to the AU Special Representative to Somalia Francisco Madeira, Amisom is ready to work closely with SNA to realise the country’s security priorities, but the input of local communities will be key in stabilising Somalia.


“However, the Somali Government’s position to remain neutral in the Gulf crisis is brave decision given the huge wealth that the Gulf countries have and how they could use it to cajole or bribe Somalis to side with them. By making that decision Somalia has shown the world that no matter how weak or fragile a country might be, it can, however, assert its political independence. In this case the government’s decision was right because it asserts Somalia’s political independence, neutrality and sovereignty.” 

Support for Somalia’s Neutrality In The Gulf Diplomatic Stalemate

30 September – Source: Hiiraan Online – 1251 Words

The Somali government’s recent decision to re-affirm its neutrality in the current diplomatic stalemate in the Gulf is a courageous decision, considering Somalia’s precarious position in the new situation. The decision comes after leaders of the regional states had criticised the government’s earlier decision, and supported the Saudi coalition against Qatar. It also comes after pressure was asserted by the Arabs on the Somali government to change its neutral position. Indeed, as I was drafting this article President Farmaajo was in Jeddah, discussing the two countries’ bilateral relation with the Saudi King in Jeddah. after the President had been airlifted to the Kingdom by a special Saudi aircraft. Although most talks between heads of states remain secretive, one can assume that Somalia’s neutrality in the diplomatic crisis would have been on the table for discussion.  Maybe the King was cajoling his guest to get him change his government’s decision.

Somalia is emerging from a long civil war, and needs more friends than enemies to help her with its efforts towards political stability and economic recovery. However, it seems Somalia has found itself between two rocks: supporting one side means losing another wealthy partner that could help.  For example, if the government sides with Qatar, Somalia could lose income from its livestock exports to the Saudi Arabia, which significantly contributes to the country’s economy. It could also lose millions of dollars from remittances by Somali workers in Saudi Arabia if they were expelled from the country.   Somalia cannot afford this because a high percentage of its GDP has always come from these two sources. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia could cancel millions of dollars of investment in Somalia that is being discussed by the two governments.

Some analysts have welcomed the decision to remain impartial, which they see as affirmation of Somalia’s political independence and sovereignty particularly as the country is returning to the international community after protracted civil wars. The question is why Somalia has found itself in this dilemma? Here is some background analysis, which could explain the situation. In human history, the world has always had military and political alliances that led to conflicts around the world. Some of the most horrific wars included the First World War, and the Second World War, in which atomic bomb was used to bring Japan to its knees to end the war.

The current political fallout within the Gulf states in which new alliances have been formed reminds us that in the twenty first century the world is still deeply divided along ideological and political lines particularly after President George W. Bush had polarised the world into “either you are with us or against us” when he addressed the Congress in September 2001 to launch the war on terror after the 9/11 attack on America. If the political discourse in the 20th century was about “communism vs. capitalism, Warsaw alliance vs. NATO/Western pact” today’s world political dialogue is seen through a global conflict between Islamist terrorists and Jihadists one hand and the West on the other hand, whatever that means to the warring sides and their supporters.


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.