October 31, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia’s Capital Restricts Movement Of Trucks, Tankers After Attacks

30 October – Source: Reuters – 285 Words

Somali authorities imposed a daytime ban on Monday on the movement of large trucks and road tankers inside the capital Mogadishu in an attempt to improve security following a wave of devastating attacks by militants. The move followed twin truck bombings on Oct. 15 that killed more than 350 people in the city, in the deadliest attack in the history of the Horn of Africa nation. Though the Islamist militant group al Shabaab did not claim responsibility for that attack, the method is one it has often used. “Trucks and tankers cannot pass … from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

This is to ensure security and (to offer) a solution to the complaints of the public,” Tabid Abdi, the capital’s mayor, said in a statement. “Any truck or tanker driver who does not comply will be fined $1,000.”  Further underlining the Somali capital’s security woes, at least 29 people were killed on Sunday during a 12-hour siege at a Mogadishu hotel, in an attack claimed by al Shabaab. The government sacked two top security officials. “They had the uniforms of security forces, even though they did not have ID cards,” Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman told Reuters. Al Shabaab said 40 people had been killed, including three of its fighters who stormed the hotel.

Al Shabaab aims to topple the government in Mogadishu and impose its own strict interpretation of Islam. The country has been at war since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other. Though it has lost large swathes of territory to African Union peacekeepers, the group’s attacks have grown in frequency and size, as a 22,000-strong peacekeeping force prepares to begin withdrawing.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia’s Capital Restricts Movement Of Trucks Tankers After Attacks (Reuters)
  • Security And Conflict Between Federal And State Govts Top Mogadishu Meeting Agenda (Goobjoog News)
  • Somalia Turkey Sign Trade Cooperation Agreement Says PM (Shabelle News)
  • Somali Youth Meet Over Peace-Building Initiatives (Xinhuanet)
  • Mogadishu And Kismaayo Enjoy A Renaissance After Decades Of War (UNSOM)


Security And Conflict Between Federal And State Govts Top Mogadishu Meeting Agenda

30 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 273 Words

Settlement of ongoing political crisis and development of a coordinated strategy to fight extremist groups in the country among others form the basis of deliberations between President Mohamed Farmaajo and state leaders in the ongoing talks in Mogadishu. The agenda seen by Goobjoog News based on six key points highlights underlying issues in the country. The federal government has been at loggerheads with the state leaders especially since the onset of the Gulf Crisis in June as majority of the states broke ranks with the federal government to back Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates as Mogadishu maintained a neutral position.

Subsequently, the state leaders blamed the Federal Government for what they said were deliberate attempts to destabilise the regions and remove their leadership. The leaders will also be deliberating on a joint counter-offensive strategy following the October 14 truck bombing in Mogadishu in addition to the Saturday attack which in total have claimed over 400 lives. President Farmaajo concluded a whirlwind tour of three troops contributing countries last Thursday where he had sought reinforced support for his offensive against Al-Shabaab.

Power and resources sharing is also one of the issues the leaders are discussing. State leaders under the newly formed Council of Intergovernmental Cooperation have accused the federal government of holding on to international aid with a small percentage going to the regions. The leaders will also be finding a way forward for the constitutional review process which has since stalled owing to conflict between the review and implementation bodies and the ministry of constitutional affairs. Others issues on the table are preparation for the 2020 elections and the humanitarian relief process.

Somalia, Turkey Sign Trade Cooperation Agreement, Says PM

30 October- Source: Shabelle News – 126 Words

Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said Sunday that his government has reached a trade cooperation deal with Ankara during his three day visit to Turkey. PM Khaire announced that the Federal Government of Somalia will form two committee tasked with working on the export of the country’s domestic products to Turkey. Continuing, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire added that his government is committed to strengthening the bilateral ties between Somalia and Turkey. The PM’s comments came after paying a three day visit to Turkey following the country’s deadliest ever attack in Mogadishu on Oct 14. Turkey has airlifted dozens of Somalis severely wounded in the truck bombing to Ankara for full medical treatment. Somali PM has visited the wounds at hospitals during his trip.


Somali Youth Meet Over Peace-Building Initiatives

30 October – Source: Xinhuanet – 401 Words

About 30 Somali youth are meeting in Mogadishu on Monday to discuss how to take leadership roles to bring about social transformation and how to promote rebuilding in the Horn of Africa nation. The week-long competitive United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-backed Youth Leadership Program (YLP) will also see young men and women seek ways of spearheading innovative ideas in reducing barriers to employment and economic development in Somalia.

UNDP Somalia Deputy Country Director David Akopyan who opened the meeting said the Horn of Africa nation has progressed quite far in recent years, on a very challenging road to peace and development. “The road is still with many bumps, and at the recent Oct. 14 tragic attack, which devastated many families, we at UNDP lost a dear colleague, and four more people we worked closely with were killed in the blast. But we need to heal and together move forward,” Akopyan said.

“UNDP’s next program will work much closer with youth and for youth. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are there for you to work with to ensure that Somali society moves from exclusion to inclusion and to more participatory political processes and economic development,” he said. The training program which runs until Nov. 5 and selected participants will then go on to the larger regional event in Egypt in December, where they will receive further training, networking opportunities, and meet potential investors for their ideas.


“Government institutions have increased, roads have been built, governance has improved, and different ministries working on their own buildings arose. The day we came here, there was nothing, we created this system and the offices we are working in. The government has done something tangible,”

Mogadishu And Kismaayo Enjoy A Renaissance After Decades Of War

30 October – Source: UNSOM – 737 Words

As World Cities Day is observed on 31 October, two of Somalia’s largest cities are experiencing an impressive renaissance more than 25 years after law and order collapsed across the country. Mayor Thabit Abdi Mohamed of Mogadishu and his Kismaayo counterpart, Ibrahim Mohamed Yussuf, described the rise of the two cities from the ashes of civil war and the hard work that has gone into modernizing them.

The Mogadishu Mayor acknowledges that the capital can currently offer only basic public services to its residents. But he has plans to increase his administration’s revenue and budget through innovative methods. “We have a district-based system that provides the basic services, like education, basic health and emergency interventions. We also have a plan and annual budget.  We hope in the near future that, due to the confidence we have built among residents, tax collection will increase to enable us to deliver better services,” says Mr. Mohamed.

He notes that during the many years when the city lacked a functioning government, key utilities like water and electricity were taken over by the private sector. The Banadir Regional Administration is now moving toward public-private partnerships that can deliver more efficient services that are also affordable to residents. “We need to collaborate on how to improve charges for services and hygiene or controlling prices for services rendered to residents,” the mayor adds.

Mr. Mohamed was appointed by Federal President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo in April of this year, and he describes his position as mayor of a fast-growing city as a challenging job. “I have to meet the demands of more than three million people. It is equivalent to working 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” the mayor adds. Mr. Mohamed wants to bequeath a better and functioning city to his successor. “It is important to have a legacy for the city. My personal ambition is not useful. What is useful is to develop the lives of the residents. What matters is to save lives of the people, to create job opportunities for the youth to become useful citizens,” the Mogadishu mayor concludes.

In the port city of Kismaayo, Mayor Yussuf is presiding over massive growth that has seen the construction of new roads and buildings. “Government institutions have increased, roads have been built, governance has improved, and different ministries working on their own buildings arose. The day we came here, there was nothing, we created this system and the offices we are working in. The government has done something tangible,” says Mr. Yussuf, who credits the private sector with playing an instrumental role in changing Kismaayo’s cityscape.

Kismaayo was liberated from the control of al-Shabaab in 2012, but it is located in a region that harbours one of the largest number of Islamist militants. The mayor says the Jubbaland state government has put its energies into developing a competent police force to enhance the security of residents. “This town initially had no good police force, but we made efforts to train 600 police officers, together with former police officers [of the central government]. The police force is doing a great and commendable job,” he adds.


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