08 October – Source: Xinhua – 361 Words
Britain has cautioned against premature withdrawal of African Union troops from Somalia, saying such a move could be detrimental to the stability of the Horn of African nation. Harriett Baldwin, visiting British minister for Africa, instead called for a conditions-based, gradual withdrawal of the troops, based on the strength of the Somali security forces.
“As you know, the UK has been consistent in saying that in terms of transition to both the Somali National Army and the Somali Police; that this needs to be done on a condition basis, rather than on an artificial time table,” Baldwin said. according to a statement issued by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Sunday.
The British minister, who arrived in Mogadishu on Saturday, praised troops-contributing countries for the work that they do within AMISOM. She said Britain will continue rallying the wider international community to provide consistent funding to AMISOM. The AU mission has developed a conditions-based transition plan to transfer the national security responsibility from the AU troops to the Somali security forces, guided by the rule of law and respect for human rights.
In 2017, the United Nations Security Council authorized a gradual troops reduction amid transition of security responsibility to Somali National Security Forces. The AU mission says it has already withdrawn 1,000 troops and more withdrawals are expected in 2019. According to the AU mission, talks between Baldwin and Francisco Madeira, special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, focused on current developments on the security front, the transition and the prevailing political situation in Somalia.
The visit came after Britain announced additional funding to the AU Mission in Somalia to combat terrorism. According to the AMISOM statement, Madeira expressed gratitude at the support the AMISOM has received from the British government, “not only in terms of training; in terms of military support; particularly in the ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance).” Baldwin’s visit to Somalia came after a three-nation tour of Africa by British Prime Minister Theresa May last August, when she announced a new package of funding to AMISOM worth 7 million pounds (about 9.19 million U.S. dollars) to fight terrorism.
- Britain Cautions Against Hasty Exit Of AU Troops From Somalia (Xinhua)
- HirShabelle Lawmakers Drop The Motion Against Ware (Goobjoog News)
- Somali Militants Warn Education Organizations Over Somalia’s New Curriculum (Hiiraan Online)
- AMISOM Police Hands Over Refurbished Police Station To Somali Police Authorities (AMISOM)
- Islamic State A Threat Seven Years After We Went To Somalia (Daily Nation)
HirShabelle Lawmakers Drop The Motion Against Ware
08 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 130 Words
The lawmakers of HirShabelle regional state in Somalia have dropped their impeachment motion against president Mohamed Abdi Ware on Sunday. The federal government who was in support to end the row between the lawmakers and president, urged the lawmakers to drop the motion and focus on developing HirShabelle state.
The motion against President Ware was tabled last week after his administration have failed to improve security in the region. Osman Bare Mohamed, Speaker of Parliament of Hirshabelle said, the motion of the lawmakers was just to warn the president to improve and focus on the progress in the region.
President Ware dropped his anti-government stance late month after a week-long meeting in Mogadishu, distancing himself from the decision by his fellow state leaders to cease cooperation with the federal government.
Somali Militants Warn Education Organizations Over Somalia’s New Curriculum
08 October – Source: Hiiraan Online – 329 Words
Al-Shabaab warned the Somalia’s independent education umbrellas, against direct collaboration with the government, who is struggling to shake up the country’s education system wrecked by decades of conflict, to introduce a new curriculum. With one of the world’s lowest enrolment rates of primary school-aged children in the world, Somalia’s education system, lacking a unified approach is expected to have a single system; four years in lower-primary school, four years in upper-primary and four years in secondary. As parts of a new educational restructuring policy issued by the government this year, according to the education ministry.
However, Al-Shabaab, the Al-Qaeda linked armed group fighting the Somali government and AMISOM, opposed the new educational policy, and issued a new warning to the education organizations, not to introduce it in schools under their umbrellas, saying that the new curriculum is contrary to the teachings of the Islamic sharia.
“We shall take a strong action against anyone or umbrellas that ignores this warning.” said Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, the group’s spokesman, who also accused the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of propagating an ‘incorrect’ educational curriculum, which he alleged opposes the Islamic religion. His warning comes on the backdrops of efforts by the Somali government in its aims to give a free elementary school education to at least 3 million children.
According to the government, structuring term times, textbooks and even the language of teaching, have all been changed, in order to bring a “Somali-owned system”. In an effort to bring changes made to the education system that is ravaged by civil war, wherein 3 million children are out of school and 70% of the population are under 30. But possibly the biggest change faced by millions of Somali children is the language used to teach them. Until now, schools affected by the conflict and shortages of supplies have used whatever text books they can get – from many countries. This led to English and Arabic being the major teaching languages.
07 October – Source: AMISOM – 331 Words
Residents of Dayniile district in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu, can now enjoy better policing services closer to their homes, following the renovation of a hitherto derelict district police headquarters. The fully refurbished police building, rehabilitated with the support of the Japanese government, through AMISOM Police and the Civil Affairs Unit, was formally handed over to the Somali police authorities today.
“We must exit (Somalia), when we have uplifted the Somali Police to a certain level of independence – in terms of capacity building and in terms of infrastructure and logistics,” said AMISOM acting Police Commissioner Ms. Christine Alalo, during the handover ceremony.
She reiterated AMISOM’s commitment to training and equipping the police force with necessary skills, to enable them improve their services across the country. Dayniile Police Station was identified for renovation by Individual Police Officers from AMISOM, who collocate with their Somali counterparts, in various police stations across the capital, to carry out a mentorship programme.
Before its renovation, the station lacked decent sanitary facilities and office space. The refurbishment has created a humane working environment for police officers stationed at the facility. The deputy chief of the Somali Police Force Ms. Zakia Hussein, expressed gratitude to AMISOM for going beyond its primary duty, to help the Somali Police Force. “Thank you our partners AMISOM Police, not only for the help you have accorded to us, but also in every aspect of our policing and the way you are assisting us; and the way we are working together,” said the deputy police chief.
The police station has also been fitted with solar panels to provide electricity. Additionally, Ms. Alalo donated 3,000 notebooks to the police officers to help in keeping records of incidents while in the field. The notebooks will be shared across police stations in the capital. Other than training and mentoring police officers, AMISOM has supported the construction, renovation and upgrade of various police stations across the country, with the aim of enhancing the standards of policing.
OPINION, ANALYSIS & CULTURE
“Islamic State’s recruiters have targeted university students in the high-end technical areas including computer science, engineering, information technology and medicine. They use social media sites to target potential recruits and prioritise them according to their skill sets, knowledge of and devotion to IS’s globalist view of ‘jihad’.”
07 October – Source: Daily Nation – 891 Words
October 2018 marks seven years since the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) crossed the border into Southern Somalia on October 16, 2011 in pursuit of the al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab group, which had kidnapped foreign tourists and aid workers inside Kenya. KDF will most likely be back home by 2020 when the African Mission in Somalia (Amisom) is expected to transfer responsibilities to the Somali military.
However, even before the guns against the Al-Shabaab fall silent, a new asymmetrical threat is looming large. The Islamic State (IS), a Salafi jihadist militant group that rose to global prominence in early 2014, has been making serious inroads into East Africa, potentially eclipsing Al-Shabaab as the face of radical Islamism.
As a recent report by the European Institute of Peace (EIP), The Islamic State in East Africa (September 2018), shows IS has extended its footprints across the region, including in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, DRC, and Mozambique. Despite this, at this point, there is no consensus on the extent of the threat that IS poses to the region.
By June 2018, the Kenyan National Intelligence Service (NIS) reportedly characterised the Islamic State as “a potential rather than an immediate threat to the security of the country”. In June 2016, around 100 men and women may have gone to join the Islamic State in Libya and Syria. By 2018 these fighters are returning home, and swelling the ranks of IS cells. By July 2018, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for 65 attacks in East Africa, at least two of them in Kenya.
On February 18, 2017, Kenya arrested two suspected members of IS, Nasra Hyder Faiz and Salim Mohamed Rashid, who had returned from Syria. Another high profile arrest is that of Ali Hassan Ali in Malindi in March 2017. Ali, a suspected IS militant on the country’s “most wanted list”, had helped send recruits to Libya and Somalia. These events serve as a wake up call that IS maintains a small but steady and dangerous foothold in the region.
As IS attracted large flows of foreign fighters in 2014 and 2015, Kenyan recruits managed to join the caravan by flying to Istanbul, then crossing the Turkish border into Syria. Among those who used this route is Mohammed Atom, an associate of Abdirahim Abdullahi, one of the masterminds of the Al-Shabaab attack on Garissa University in April 2015.
@Halbeeg_News: A police officer jailed 8 years for armed robbery https://en.halbeeg.com/2018/
@sntvnews1: Somali Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Issa Awad on Sunday received copies of the credential of Aline Kuster-Menager, the new ambassador of France to Somalia.
@GuledWiliq: 4 months ago had tough love & honest discussion with #MahadayWayne city Mayor Ahmed Hussein about the lack of infrasturacture investment in this region & failure of FGS & FMS to advocate for Middle Shabelle farmers- happy to see him pick the shuffle to start self-reliant jouney.
@UKinSomalia: The #UK is committed to supporting long-term security in #Somalia , including the delivery of the transition plan; we’re supporting the development of Somalia’s own security services, the Somali National Army & Somalia’s police force including a provision of a training facility
@ShabelleMedia: Britain cautions against hasty exit of AU troops from Somalia http://radioshabelle.com/
@MofaSomalia: Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, H.E. Ahmed Isse Awad, received a copy of the credentials of H.E. Ms. Aline Kuster-Menager, the new Ambassador of the #French Republic to #Somalia. All aspects of relations were discussed. https://www.facebook.com/
IMAGE OF THE DAY
Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire met with the UK Minister for Africa, Honorable Harriet Baldwin, yesterday in his office.