October 9, 2018 | Daily Monitoring Report

Main Story

Somali PM Flies To Saudi Arabia Amid Strain In Ties

09 October – Source: Garowe Online – 201 Words

A high-level delegation led by the Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Khaire left Mogadishu for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, as the two nations try to mend their frayed ties. “Today I left the country for Saudi Arabia on an official visit at the invitation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and I will meet with officials there for bilateral talks to enhance relations between the two brotherly countries,” Khaire tweeted.

The visit follows Somalia’s reiteration of its neutral stands last year in the ongoing Gulf crisis,  in which Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates [UAE], cut diplomatic relations with Qatar on June 5. Riyadh expressed dismay over Mogadishu neutrality and subsequently, halted financial assistance to Somali government  accused of siding with Qatar by some leaders of the Somali Federal states.

Doha maintains close links with senior influential officials in Somalia, including the Deputy Intelligence Agency Chief Fahad Yasin, who prior to this post served as the Chief of Staff, at Villa Somalia. Since he came to power in February 2017, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo paid several trips to Saudi Arabia and met, with Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz but made no tangible progress on normalization of the soaring relations.

Key Headlines

  • Somali PM Flies To Saudi Arabia Amid Strain In Ties (Garowe Online)
  • Government Breaks Promises With Robow Says Former Defense Minister (Jowhar News)
  • Evicted Families In Burao Face Bleak Conditions On Land With No Facilities (Radio Ergo)
  • Small Actions Lead To Big Changes Says Social Media Influencer Jerome Jarre (Hurriyet Daily News)
  • Somalia: Chasing The Impossible Dream (Strategy Page)


Government Breaks Promises With Robow, Says Former Defense Minister

09 October  – Source: Jowhar News  – 183 Words

Somalia’s former defence minister Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed criticised the Federal Government for failing to fulfil promises with former Al-Shabaab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, who is now contesting for the upcoming Southwest Presidential poll. Abdirashid, who was among the first ministers to resign the Hassan Khaire-led administration, said he was surprised by the government’s decision to ban Robow from contesting in the Southwest Presidential elections, which he termed as a politically motivated motive.

He further said Robow’s candidacy was a known fact to the government and called on the government to reconsider its decision. Meanwhile, he accused the government of failing to fulfil most of the promises agreed between it and Robow that had paved for his defection, such as facilitating his personal issues.

The former minister, who also hails from the Southwest region, credited Robow for initiating the discussions over his defection with the former government and urged the current government to respect the jointly agreed points. He also argued that Robow left Al-Shabaab six years ago and as a reformed citizen, he has the right to vie for a political office.

Evicted Families In Burao Face Bleak Conditions On Land With No Facilities

09 October – Source: Radio Ergo – 456 Words

Amina Yusuf Abdi and her seven children are living in a flimsy hut she wove together from pieces of cloth, paper bags and twigs on open land after being evicted from the house in Burao, Somaliland, where they had lived in for 20 years They are among around 100 families who had to move in a hurry when the local authority told them the land they were living on had reverted to its original status as a military base. The municipal council transported them to a bleak place called Dhamka-Sii-Bakhti, nine km on the eastern outskirts of town.

There are no facilities or services in this area, not even the most basic. “You can see we don’t even have toilets,” Amina told Radio Ergo’s local reporter. “Our children go into the open for the toilet. The council that evicted us has not got back to us since then so we don’t have anyone to complain to, and we don’t have anything at all here.” Amina has already had to construct a second shelter after the last hut was destroyed in heavy rains last week. Her stocks of dry food, including flour, rice and sorghum, were ruined. Their bedding was soaked. She used to earn a living from a small stall she ran in the previous camp, but here she relies on occasional food handouts from her relatives in town.

“The rains started to pour and soaked everything. Our small shelters couldn’t withstand the heavy rain, they were destroyed from top to bottom, but we have rebuilt them again,” said Amina. The families feel they have been abandoned. There are no health facilities in Dhamka-Sii-Bakhti and no schools nearby. The nearest facilities are in Burao.

Sado Saleban Ige has nine children. Six of her children who previously attended school have not been out for a month since their enforced move. Her 19-year-old son was in the final year of secondary school. “All my children were born in our previous location, where the school was close to us.  My first born son who started education there was just about to finish this year. A round-trip to Burao by bus is $2 and I cannot afford that,” said Saado.

The director of social welfare in Burao, Khadar Nuh Said, told Radio Ergo they are planning to build 100 iron-sheet houses to house these people but the plans have not yet advanced. Dahir Jama Muse is one of 10 members of the committee set up to represent the evicted families. He said they are working on getting housing and toilets from the municipal government. They want to be housed nearer the urban area so that they can get closer to the market for work and get education for their children.


Small Actions Lead To Big Changes, Says Social Media Influencer Jerome Jarre

08 October – Source: Hurriyet Daily News – 471 Words

French social media influencer Jerome Jarre, who raises humanitarian aid through crowdfunding campaigns, says small individual actions can lead to big changes. With millions of followers on Vine and Snapchat, Jarre was recognized as Communicator of the Year by the TRT World Citizen initiative for his Love Army movement, which connects people across the world using digital tools.

“I don’t believe that charities or big humanitarian actions are going to change the world, I believe the world is going to change when each one of us starts doing the small acts because means of small actions will always be bigger than one big action,“ he said in an interview with Anadolu Agency. “So if we want the world in peace we need millions of small steps and we need it to all do it together,“ he added.

Jarre said that he wanted to use his influence on social media in a more productive way to “do good“ rather than profiting for his own benefits, which is why he started the Love Army movement collectively with a group of influencers. “We decided we needed to create this pure, uncorrupted place on social media for the world and that’s what LoveArmy is and stays,“ he said. “We are building this very slowly we are not trying to build this super fast because if we did this we could corrupt it quickly so right now we have a pure seed and we are trying to keep it. It will grow at a natural speed,“ he added.

The Love Army launched a successful campaign last year to raise money to help famine-struck Somalia. Speaking about the campaign in Somalia, he said they changed their strategy after visiting the affected area. “You can give money to the families in Somalia and they will start their own business, they will buy animals, they will buy goats and that is more empowering and the money is in this way injected in the Somali ecosystem – versus if you buy rice in another country or food in another country. It is not helping Somalia that much in the long run,“ he said.


“The defection of Robow meant al Shabaab lost about a quarter of its gunmen. That was when al Shabaab began recruiting more teenagers (who are easier to recruit but aren’t as effective in combat) to replace the older, more experienced men they were losing to combat injuries, desertion and defection.”

Somalia: Chasing The Impossible Dream

08 October – Source: Strategy Page – 2567 Words

Another problem inside Somalia is making the federal state elections work. These are supposed to be held by the end of 2019 and things are not going well. Somalia currently has five federal states; Puntland in the far north, Galmudug just south of Puntland, Hirshabelle (Central State), Southwest State and Jubaland on the Kenya border. Somaliland in the northwest is also considered a federal state of Somalia but refuses to cooperate and continues to consider itself an independent nation. The problem is few other nations, or the UN, will recognize that.

In 2016 the federal government agreed to give the federal states some autonomy and the ability to elect local leaders (especially a state president). But the current de facto leaders don’t trust the national government and believe the central government will interfere with the state elections and otherwise limit the autonomy of the states. The federal form of government is supposed to provide the states with a lot of autonomy. In return the central government would provide muscle to help control bandits and warlords throughout the country.

The central government also controls most of the foreign aid coming in. There was growing acceptance for the federal form of government but many politicians prefer to try and concentrate maximum power in the central government. A powerful central government is unpopular with clans and the clan leaders, who are accustomed to having no government at all ordering them around. For nearly all the last few thousand years the clans answered to no one except for the occasional empire builder.

European colonial powers arrived in the 19th century and established a central government that didn’t really take; nor did similar efforts by previous conquerors. Once all the colonial powers were gone by 1960, the newly established Somali government began to come apart, a process that was complete by 1991. No one has been able to get all the clans to submit to a new central government since. To make matters worse most of the educated Somalis fled in the 1990s and few have come back.


@radiogarowe: Abdikarim Qalbi Dhagah, @ONLFofficialcommander freed from #Eithiopian jail arrives in #Dhusamareb, HQ of #Galmudug as part of his #Somalia tour.

@Goobjoognews: UK MINISTER of State @hbaldwin speaks about her visit to #Somalia and the role of the UK within the Somali context.

@Eye_on_Somalia#Goobjoog Puntland presidential candidates accuse of insecurity in Garowe town https://ift.tt/2C5ofHN  #Somalia

@STNSomali: Members of #Somalia‘s regional Hirshabelle parliament have dropped plans to impeach state president Mohamed Abdi Waare following lengthy negotiations.

@Free_Somaliweyn: Update : Somali Govt troops launch operations to remove landmines on the road connecting the city of Beledweyne and Buula Burde in Hiraan province #Somalia

@HarunMaruf: Al-Shabaab responds to Mukhtar Robow’s candidacy for political office, declared him as an “apostate”. Al-Shabaab compared him to Burhanudin Rabani, Hikmatiyar and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf. Meanwhile, Robow said if elected he’ll fight against Al-Shabaab, “bring a motion” against them.

@Free_Somaliweyn: Breaking : American Special Forces launch a raid overnight targeting the town of Wanlaweyn in Shabellaha Dhexe province #Somalia and killed a prominent Imaam by the name of Sheekh Nur Cismaan Bilaal when they raided his home and shot him dead

@RadioErgo: Deyr season rains affect IDPs living in a camp in Gelinsor town. The displaced families living in squalid camps are vulnerable disease outbreaks that might come in seasonal rain.#Somalia

@radiogarowe: UPDATED: #Somalia PM @HassanAKhaire visits#SaudiArabia in a bid to boost frayed ties. @HarunMaruf,@JustAwHirsi. https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somali-pm-jets-off-to-saudi-arabia-amid-strain-in-ties …

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Image of the dayPrime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, travels to Saudi Arabia following an official invitation from the kingdom where he is set to hold talks.

Photo: @SomaliPM


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