October 5, 2018 | Morning Headlines

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US And Its Partners Seek To Mediate Political Rifts In Somalia

04 October – Source: Mareeg News – 249 Words

The United States of America and its partners have offered to mediate in the rift between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Federal Member States (FMS) after regional leaders resolved last month to suspend ties with the central government.

The US, Swedish and German ambassadors to Somalia held talks with the leader of Jubaland state, Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Ahmed Madobe) in Nairobi, Kenya. The two sides discussed on the current security situation in Somalia amid rising attacks by Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group in the country.

Last month, during a conference in Kismayo, leaders of Jubaland, Puntland, Southwest, Galmudug and Hirshabelle regions officially resolved to severe links with the Federal Government “until all the previous agreements are implemented”. The Federal Government was also accused of “interfering with affairs of regional states” and for “failing to handle the security situation in the country”. The move by the regional leaders is a potential political setback, amid ongoing efforts to make the war-ravaged country safe and peaceful.

“We have suspended all cooperation with the federal government over lack of political progress, failure to build national security architecture, politicisation of National Intelligence functions and failure to share national income and international aid with the regions”, the regional ;leaders said in a press release. During a similar gathering held in May in Baidoa town, the regional leaders claimed they were not getting a share of international aid and called on international donors to allocate their funding separately to the FGS and FMS.

Key Headlines

  • US And Its Partners Seek To Mediate Political Rifts In Somalia (Mareeg News)
  • CIC Hails Senate For Mediation Efforts Over Row With FGS (Goobjoog News)
  • Road Construction Brings Jobs And Infrastructure To Baidoa (Radio Ergo)
  • Al-Shabab Founder To Contest Elections In Somalia (The Star)
  • Trial Of 189 Islamist Suspects Begins In Mozambique (Daily Nation)
  • As Somalia Marks Horrific Attack A book Explores Al-Shabaab (Daily Mail)


CIC Hails Senate For Mediation Efforts Over Row With FGS

04 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 282 Words

Federal states, operating under the umbrella of the Council for Intergovernmental Cooperation (CIC), have lauded efforts by the Senate in mediating the conflict between the Federal Government and regional states. In a statement on Thursday, CIC said it supported the efforts of the Senate in finding a lasting solution to the political dispute, following the regional states resolution last month to cut off links ties with Mogadishu.

“The CIC is ready to support the Upper House to fulfill its mandate, especially the strengthening of the state representation, which is the constitutional responsibility of the Upper House,” CIC said. The Council also applauded the Senate for the visits to the federal states where senators engaged state government leadership, civil society and members of the public in late September.

The Senate raised the red flag on Tuesday over the ongoing political row in Galmudug, which had caused a split in the state leadership. One faction is allied to the state President Ahmed Haaf while the other faction is allied to ate assembly Speaker Ali Asir. There were reports that both sides were issuing letters of dismissal to state government employees.

“The actions taken by both parties to the political conflict is unacceptable because it is destroying the institutions of the state (Parliament and Executive). This is happening as the Senate is mediating to find a lasting solution between the Federal Government and Federal Member States,” the Senate Committee said.
The CIC on Thursday reiterated its call on the Federal Government to cease interference with the federal states and in particular Galmudug, which has been saddled in vicious political battles since its decision last July to back the Saudi-UAE axis in the ongoing Gulf Crisis.

Road Construction Brings Jobs And Infrastructure To Baidoa

04 October – Source: Radio Ergo – 394 Words

Hassan Mohamed Dhabar, 27, was glad to join the team of workers hired to build a new road in Baidoa, southern Somalia, after staying unemployed in one of the IDP camps for several months: “I didn’t have a stable job to provide a living for my family, so we just lived off handouts from people. Now in a day I earn between 300,000 to 400,000 shillings ($13-18). It’s more than what we need to spend every day so I will make savings for the family,” Hassan said.

He is one of 437 people hired on a six-month road building project implemented by the South-West state government, funded by Nordic International Support Foundation. Those employed include young men and women from poor families, IDPs, returned refugees, and members of local labour associations. Hassan has been trained on various skills and techniques involved in road construction that he hopes will help him get other jobs in future.

He was displaced from Deynunay in Bay region after Al-Shabaab banned the making and selling of charcoal that was his livelihood. He decided to migrate with his family of five children to camps in Baidoa to find food and other support. Saynab Mohamed Adan is one of around 200 women working on the project. She collects gravel after the men have broken down rocks. She said it is physically demanding and she has never done such work before, but it is better than staying at the camp with nothing to do.

She manages to save $15 of the $20 she earns a day. When the project ends she hopes to open a small grocery stall with her savings. Saynab and her husband and two children were displaced from Qansax-dheere in 2017 after their herd of 45 goats died in the drought. They now live in Hanaano IDP camp in Baidoa. As they depended on livestock, Saynab is the first member of the family to get work in the city.

The director of the South-West ministry of public works, reconstruction and housing, Mohamed Sufi Adan, told Radio Ergo that this $700,000 road project has dual benefits for the people in Baidoa, by providing employment and improving roads and access in the city. He said he hoped this model of providing jobs to ease the unemployment problem would be used for further infrastructural development projects in the city.


Al-Shabab Founder To Contest Elections In Somalia

04 October – Source: The Star – 163 Words

A former commander of militant Islamist group al-Shabab has announced that he is running for public office in Somalia. Mukhtar Robow left the group in 2012, and surrendered to the government in August last year. He says he will be contesting the presidency of South-West state in next month’s regional elections following requests from people in the area.

Mr Robow has expressed his willingness, if he wins, to forge a strong relationship with the federal government, which has been feuding with some state administrations. A founder of al-Shabab, he is the highest ranking militant to defect from the group. In 2000 he trained with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

He quit al-Shabab because of what he called ideological differences, and then led his own militant group, which fought against al-Shabab. In June last year, following reports that Robow was in talks with the Somali government, the US State Department removed him from its terror list and scrapped a £5m (£3.85m) reward for his capture.

Trial Of 189 Islamist Suspects Begins In Mozambique

04 October – Source: Daily Nation – 346 Words

The trial of 189 suspected Islamist militants began in Mozambique on Wednesday, with the accused allegedly involved in attacks against police and civilians in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

The trial opened in a tent serving as an improvised courthouse inside a jail in Pemba, the provincial capital, with Mozambicans, Tanzanians, Congolese, Somalis and Burundians among the defendants, of whom 42 are women.

Over the last year, more than 50 people have been killed in gun, grenade and knife assaults in the growing jihadist insurgency, with the militants reportedly seeking to impose Sharia law in the Muslim-majority province. On the first day of the trial, prosecutors read indictments against the accused.

They are charged with crimes including homicide, use of prohibited weapons, crimes against State security and public disorder. According to the charge sheet, in October last year the defendants carried out a coordinated attack against police near the town of Mocimboa da Praia, and later on the district police command.

Two police officers were killed and five others seriously injured.. A court spokesman told AFP that the case had been adjourned until next week, with the trial set to last until the start of next year. Last week, President Filipe Nyusi told a rally in Cabo Delgado that he directed the police not to kill the insurgents as they were youths exploited by foreign groups determined to fuel instability in Mozambique.

The trial is the first since the attacks began a year ago. As the insurgency has spread through the province, several hundred Muslims have been arrested and several mosques forced to close. In the latest major violence, 12 villagers were killed and 14 wounded two weeks ago. An anti-terrorism law was passed in April allowing for heavier sentences.

Locals and authorities call the assailants Al-Shabaab, although the group has no known link to the Somali Islamists of that name, nor has it issued any claim of responsibility or demands. The attacks have shaken plans to exploit vast natural gas discovered off the shores of Cabo Delgado, which borders on Tanzania to the north.


“They are part of the society, a cancerous part, they reappear in wherever you clean them from,” one Somali army colonel says in “Inside al-Shabaab.” ”If we don’t get a trained, strong Somali army it will be difficult to defeat them.”

As Somalia Marks Horrific Attack, A book Explores Al-Shabaab

04 October – Source: Daily Mail – 787 Words

The deadliest terror attack in Africa’s history began with a loaded truck barreling down a busy street in Somalia’s capital, seemingly bound for the international airport and the embassies sheltering there.

The truck instead detonated in Mogadishu traffic, killing well over 500 people. Somalis who had witnessed decades of chaos were horrified. In a rare protest, they marched by the thousands to defy the Islamic extremist group that is now the deadliest in sub-Saharan Africa, the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab.

On Oct. 14, Somalia marks the anniversary of the bombing. Many around the world barely took note of the attack, though it was easily one of the worst since 9/11. Anyone with interest in the spread of extremism, however, should read the new book “Inside al-Shabaab: The Secret History of al-Qaeda’s Most Powerful Ally.”

Imagine, it says, a Washington where the U.S. government controls the White House, a few adjacent buildings and the highway to the airport while insurgents hold the rest. “Every so often, the insurgents fire mortar shells toward the White House.” This has been Mogadishu over the years as the extremists, some of them raised in the United States, surge and retreat.

The authors, Voice of America journalists Harun Maruf and Dan Joseph, interviewed al-Shabab members, defectors and others to tell a fluid tale of how an Islamic nation once known for its moderation, not unlike the Afghanistan of a certain age, slid into the hands of young men trained in Osama bin Laden’s camps abroad.

“This was the start of the battle between al-Qaeda and America,” one al-Shabab leader later said of the battle for Mogadishu in the early 1990s as bin Laden-backed local fighters attacked U.S. troops who tried to restore order after the fall of dictator Siad Barre. The “Black Hawk Down” attack in 1993 that saw U.S. soldiers dragged through the streets led the U.S. military to leave Somalia alone for two decades.


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