07 October – Source: AMISOM – 333 Words
Weeks after announcing additional funding to the AU Mission in Somalia to combat terrorism, the United Kingdom has reiterated its commitment to aiding AMISOM through its transition. At a meeting with the AU Special Representative for Somalia on Saturday, visiting UK Minister for Africa Rt. Hon. Harriet Baldwin cautioned, that a premature withdrawal of troops from the Horn of Africa country could be detrimental to the country’s security. She 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,” said the minister. Discussions between Minister Baldwin and Ambassador Madeira centred on current developments on the security front, the transition and the prevailing political situation in Somalia.
Amb. Madeira expressed gratitude at the outstanding support accorded to AMISOM by the UK government. “Let me effectively thank your government through you, for the immense support we have been receiving from her Majesty’s government. Not only in terms of training; in terms of military support; particularly in the ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance),” Madeira stated. He highlighted critical areas of support by the UK government, including troops’ training on countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The indiscriminate use of the explosives by anti-government elements, remain the deadliest threat to civilian populations in Somalia.
Minister’s Baldwin’s visit to Somalia follows a three-nation tour of Africa by British Prime Minister Mrs. Theresa May last August. While in Kenya, Mrs. May announced a new package of funding to AMISOM worth 7-million pounds, to fight terrorism. “We are leading international efforts to ensure that AMISOM has the funding it needs to support its vital battle against terror,” noted Mrs. May in Nairobi. In Somalia, Minister Baldwin said the UK will continue rallying the wider international community, to provide consistent funding to AMISOM.
- UK Minister For Africa Holds Talks With The Head Of AMISOM (AMISOM)
- NISA Chief Meets Robow Days After He Was Barred From Vying For Public Office (Halbeeg News)
- Somalia’s Planning Minister Wins By-Election For Parliamentary Seat (Shabelle Media)
- Somali Capital Bans Auto Rickshaw Imports Amid Traffic Congestion (Hiiraan Online)
- 17 Somali Migrants Return Home From Tanzania (The Citizen)
- Somalia Stalemate Likely To Go On Despite Hirshabelle Relenting (The East African)
NISA Chief Meets Robow Days After He Was Barred From Vying For Public Office
07 October – Source: Halbeeg News 218 Words
The director of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), Hussein Osman Hussein has held talks with former Al-Shabaab leader, Mukhtar Robow, whose bid to contest for the presidency of the Southwest State was rejected by the Somali government. The meeting which took place in Baidoa, the administrative capital of Southwest State and focused on the directive of the ministry in regards to Robow’s ineligible to run for the leadership.
No official statement detailing the outcome of the meeting has been issued, although sources privy to the meeting hinted, possibility of holding further talks in Mogadishu. Last Thursday, Mr. Robow while addressing hundreds of his supporters in Baidoa, announced his bid to become president of Southwest state. “After receiving requests from the people of this region and their intellectuals, I have decided to run for the president of this state in the coming election,” Robow said. “I have accepted the requests and God willing, we will win and peace will prevail.”
Mr. Robow was the subject of a $5 million bounty from the United States for his role with the Al-Qaeda linked Islamist group, before he was removed from U.S. terror list last year. He defected to the federal government late last year after his split with the former Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane five years ago.
Somalia’s Planning Minister Wins By-Election For Parliamentary Seat
07 October – Source: Shabelle Media – 153 Words
Somalia’s Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development Gamal Mohamed Hassan, has won the by-election of a Parliamentary seat, vacated by Dhahar Ali Farah. Mr. Farah has been appointed as the Somali Consul to Djibouti, following his resignation as a member of the country’s parliament. Mr. Hassan has defeated his main rival candidate Mohamud Abdullahi, in the by-election for the House of the People vacant seat, which was held in Garowe on Sunday.
The Minister joined the Federal Ministers holding a seat in the Lower House Chamber of parliament, with reports that 74% of the cabinet are lawmakers. The country has relied on a clan-based formula in which the lawmakers were selected by the clan delegates, and then the legislators elect the president. The electoral college system was instituted in 2016, whereby over 135 clan elders chose 14,025 delegates who then voted for each of the 275 seats in the lower house.
Somali Capital Bans Auto Rickshaw Imports Amid Traffic Congestion
07 October – Source: Hiiraan Online – 186 Words
Mogadishu’s local government has decided to ban the importation of auto-rickshaw vehicles (tuk-tuk), in an attempt to scale down congestion and improve the city’s traffic. The three-wheeler auto-rickshaws are one of the main modes of public transport in Mogadishu, which has seen a spike in traffic accidents and congestions in recent years. They are identified as a major cause of traffic accidents.
The ban announced by the mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman on Saturday imposes an indefinite ban on imports of auto rickshaws in the city, saying that rickshaws accounts for a large shares of deadly accidents. Besides the traffic congestions in Mogadishu, experts blamed a lack of infrastructure for the city’s problems. According to Mr. Osman, the ban will ease the challenges of the increasing jams.
With an over 2 million population, Mogadishu has also seen a rapid expansion of its middle class, that has increased the demands for more cars and rickshaws. The ban, parts of series of new reforms aimed at restoring law and order of the country, which is recovering from decades of war has also recently banned on imports of right-hand vehicles.
07 October – Source: The Citizen – 346 Words
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, assisted 17 Somali migrants in returning voluntarily from Tanzania, where they had been detained as they embarked on an unsuccessful journey to South Africa. IOM’s intervention was made under the Tanzania auspices of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (also known as the ‘Joint Initiative’) with funding from the EU Trust Fund for Africa. The latest return will bring the number of Somalis assisted by IOM under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative to 82 since March 2017.
This assistance was provided in close coordination with the governments of Somalia and Tanzania and will enable the Somali returnees to build a future back home. It includes medical check-ups, housing, group and psychosocial counselling, along with longer-term support towards developing job skills and starting up small businesses to have gainful employment and decent livelihoods.
The Joint Initiative aims to assist at least 1000 Somali returnees before March 2020. Gerald Kihinga, representing Tanzania’s Commissioner General of Immigration (CGI), thanked IOM for its continuing support in managing migration, and welcomed the collaboration and coordination between the governments of Tanzania and Somalia in attending to the increasing numbers of Somali migrants entering Tanzania irregularly.
The EU-IOM Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The project covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.
Southern Africa is still a preferred destination for migrants from East and the Horn of Africa. However, the southern route – largely to South Africa – also has its share of hazards, including the risk of arrest for those without the requisite documentation, or for those who overstay their welcome in the transit countries. Others opt for Europe and the Middle East using what have come to be known as the northern and eastern routes: perilous journeys through areas impacted by conflict, to the north of Africa, the western part of the continent as well as the Horn of Africa.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“All five leaders boycotted a National Security Council meeting that was called by President Farmajo on September 17, demanding a third party intermediary between the federal states and the centre. The political stalemate means that there will be a slowing down of the fight against Al Shabaab, the preparations for the one-person-one vote in 2020 and the constitutional review process.”
06 October – Source: The East African – 491 Words
The political stalemate in Somalia is likely to continue despite the state of Hirshabelle announcing that it will cooperate with the central government. Puntland, Galmudug, Southwest State and Jubbaland remain defiant. The President of Hirshabelle, Mohamed Abdi Ware, announced the move, which analysts say was forced, because, apart from the push for a no-confidence motion against him, he is not in control of the state.
However, experts say the litmus test will come in November when the Southwest State, led by Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, goes to the elections. The outcome will determine whether the remaining four federal states will maintain their non-cooperation stance with the centre as per their September 8 resolution or cave in. “The four regions have now developed a wait-and-see approach. If Mr Aden wins, then it is likely to undermine the authority of the centre, but if he loses, it is likely to jolt them into co-operation because they could face the same fate,” said Abdilatif Maalim, a strategic communication specialist based in Mogadishu.
Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas (Puntland), Ahmed Duale Gelle (Galmudug) and Sheikh Ahmed Madobe of Jubaland are waiting to see if President Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” deploys his machinery to ensure that they are not re-elected. The Southwest State elections are a major test because President Farmajo will be trying to oust a veteran politician and a powerful former speaker of the National Assembly.
Mr Aden influenced the ousting of the immediate former president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and was also a major opponent of former president Sheikh Shariff Ahmed. Mr Aden joined politics in 2004 when he was elected Speaker of parliament at a reconciliation conference held in Nairobi. He held the post until 2007. After the Hirshabelle elections next month, Puntland will follow in January 2019, then Jubbaland and Galmudug.