30 October – Source: The Guardian – 622 Words
Somalia’s government has fired two of the country’s most senior security officials in the wake of an attack by Islamist militants which killed at least 23 people and wounded more than 30 others at a hotel in the centre of Mogadishu, the capital. A statement from the prime minister’s office on Sunday said Abdullahi Mohamed Ali, the director general of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency, and Gen Abdihakim Said, the head of police, were sacked following a cabinet vote.
The move is aimed at restoring public confidence after a string of attacks including a truck bombing two weeks ago which killed more than 350 people on a busy Mogadishu street in one of the single most lethal terrorist strikes in recent years anywhere in the world. Somali investigators have said al-Shabab was behind that bombing, though the group did not claim responsibility.
Despite the reshuffle, the attack this weekend will raise further questions about the ability of the Somali government to protect civilians in the capital. The extremists stormed the Nasa-Hablod hotel, known as a favoured haunt of government officials, on Saturday afternoon after a suicide car bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the entrance gate.
Somali special forces finally secured the building on Sunday morning. Three gunmen were killed and two captured, officials said. The bodies of a woman and three children, including a baby, were found in the ruins of the hotel. Al-Shabab, which is Africa’s deadliest Islamist extremist group, quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Somalia Fires Security Officials After Bomb Attack (The Guardian)
- We Will Not Be Deterred President Farmaajo Says Condoles Bomb Attack Families (Goobjoog News)
- Somali President Convenes High-Level Meeting In Mogadishu (Shabelle News)
- AU Trains New Police Officers To Help Stabilize Somalia (Xinhuanet)
- Drought In Somalia Drives Children From School (Al-Fanar Media)
- Warlord City: The Business of Fear In Boomtown Mogadishu (Spiegel Online)
We Will Not Be deterred, President Farmaajo Says, Condoles Bomb Attack Families
29 October – Source: Goobjoog News- 170 Words
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo underlined his strong stand against Al-Shabaab noting last night’s attack on innocent Somali people will not deter his administration’s efforts to avert their activities. He also sent his condolences to the families of the Somali citizens who died in the attack on Naasa Hablood hotel yesterday evening in Hamarweyne district, Mogadishu. “I pray to Allah to grant His paradise to the innocent dead Somali people killed in this attack. I wish quick recovery to those injured.”
President Farmaajo described the attack as a mission where Al-Shabaab is aiming to create fear on the public who realized the true colour of their operations and fostered unity to help one another following the horrendous truck bomb in Zoope junction in the middle of this month. “They are terrified because of the unity created by our people during the hard time [truck bomb] with determination to participate in the awareness to find peace in the country” said President Farmaajo. At least 23 people were killed among them government officials.
Somali President Convenes High-Level Meeting In Mogadishu
29 October – Source: Shabelle News – 119 Words
Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has today opened a key meeting in Mogadishu, with the aim to craft plan to wipe out Al Shabaab from the entire country. The high-level forum focuses on security, the war on Al Shabaab, the political situation in the country and cooperation between the government and Federal member states.
The leaders of HirShabelle, Jubbaland, Puntland, Galmudug and Southwest are participating in the conference which opens in the wake of a deadly siege on a Nasa Hablod hotel two in Mogadishu that left at least 27 people dead. Somali Federal Government is planning a military offensive against Al Shabaab, to restore law and order in the country beset by more than two decades of conflict.
28 October – Source: Xinhuanet – 264 Words
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Saturday concluded a nine-day training program for 13 Individual Police Officers from Nigeria and Sierra Leone to help stabilize the Horn of Africa nation. AMISOM Deputy Police Commissioner, Christine Alalo, said the newly deployed individual police officers will also help mentor and train their Somali police officers on best practices in policing. “What we are supposed to be doing right now is ensure that we train them, but even then, as we train and mentor them, we should let them take the front role,” Alalo said in a statement released in Mogadishu.
The induction course was meant to acquaint the AU police officers with the Mission’s mandate and standard operating procedures as they began their one year tour of duty in Somalia. Nigeria and Sierra Leone are part of the six Police Contributing Countries (PCCs), others being Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia. During the training, the officers were taken through a number of topics which included, among others, the mandate and task of AMISOM, principles of peacekeeping operations, human rights in peacekeeping operations, Somali culture and human rights.
29 October – Source: Al-Fanar Media – 837 Words
In this remote town on the Horn of Africa, about 270 miles south of the capital city of Mogadishu, schoolchildren loiter in the streets in search of food. “I can’t go to school. I’m feeling hungry,” said 13-year-old Mohamed Azim, who was busy looking for water and food distributed by the United Nations. “I have not eaten anything for days. Our school has stopped giving us meals. I have been forced to leave school and save my life.”
Azim and many other Somali children have dropped out of school because of a continuing drought. “We cannot keep students in schools because we have no food and water to give them,” said Farah Hassan, a teacher at Bursar Primary School in the El Wak district of the Gedo region. “Many have been forced to leave school in search of water and food. Others have gone to urban centers to escape drought.”
The scale of the crisis is alarming, said Gabriella Waaijman, regional director of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “On average, a staggering 3,500 people per day have fled their homes this year searching for food and water to stay alive,” Waaijman said in a statement. “We are witnessing a mass exodus from rural villages not seen since the deadly 2011–2012 famine that killed 260,000 people.”
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, is a city with little functioning infrastructure and a relentless cascade of violence. But some inhabitants of the city have been able to take advantage of the ongoing civil war to make themselves rich, and their business is feeding the horror,”
27 October – Source: Spiegel Online – 3422 Words
The first courses had just been served when the war came to the country club in Mogadishu. Fifty guests, including businesspeople and government officials, were sitting at long tables laden with bowls of camel stew, goat meat, lobster and swordfish. When a van filled with explosives detonated in front of the gate, the resulting explosion demolished part of the protective wall, blew the second floor right off the villa and destroyed the building’s entire front.
Four attackers then fired at the country club’s security staff with assault rifles and, when they returned fired, stormed a nearby restaurant. By the time the last fighter was finally shot dead 12 hours later, three gunmen and 16 guests had been killed. Six weeks later, no traces of the attack remain. It is a Monday morning, and Manar Moalin is waiting for her guests. Standing on a turret by the entrance, the 33-year-old with red lipstick and golden eyeshadow watches as an armored vehicle drives around the concrete barriers while the heavily armed security guards in front of her country club relax in the shade and chew khat.
A wall of sand and cement 2.5 meters (8 feet) thick now protects the club while the villa is once again resplendent in fresh white. Coconut palms and rubber trees hem in two open-walled huts covered in palm fronds. Mogadishu’s country club is a cross between a palace, a fortress and a wooden shack, but above all else it is a refuge for high-ranking government officials, businesspeople and the city’s wealthy. It is perhaps the weirdest place in Mogadishu, capital of the most failed of states. For 27 years, the country has made due without a government able to exert its control across all parts of the country – and it has been at war for three decades.
Warlords and dubious businessmen are in power here, in addition to al-Shabaab, the al-Qaida allies who are responsible for the deaths of 4,200 people in the past year alone. The recent attack in mid-October, in which over 300 people died, has also been attributed to the terror group. And yet Mogadishu is booming. The city is a metropolis of fear, its business model is chaos.
Manar Moalin leaves her lookout point and perches on a kind of wooden throne in the garden. A pair of dwarf antelopes tremble in the wind, a giant tortoise inches past. Moalin has tied a blue headscarf around her head like a pirate and is wearing a cobalt-blue shirt under a black vest, tight jeans, a gold nose-ring. The dry sound of a machine-gun salvo drifts past. “This is how things go here,” she said, and points to the most recent traces of destruction.
Moalin’s voice sounds young, raw, like London’s West End. She grew up in Italy, studied economics in London, and went on to run a luxury spa in Dubai. It was a good life, but then her mother was drawn back to Mogadishu, and Moalin also began to feel like it was time to return to the city of her birth. She came for an initial visit, then came for weekend parties, then back forever. Almost three years ago, in December of 2014, she opened her club.
In the first year, she came close to a breakdown. In Mogadishu, everyone needs allies, but Moalin didn’t have any. Her competitors had her club stormed by the intelligence service, a couple of clan leaders from the neighborhood had a private army march out front, she was threatened, denounced and robbed. She has had a gun pointed at her forehead more than once. It took her 12 months to learn the rules. “I have lost my freedom, my peace and my health,” she says. “I cannot wear what I want, I cannot go where I want. I live in a fortress that I barely leave.” But she still has no intention of moving away.