10 September – Source: Al Jazeera English – 244 Words
At least six people died after an Al-Shabaab suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant just outside a senior official’s office in the central Somali city of Beledweyne. The deadly blast took place outside the office of the governor of the Hiran region, where he was holding a meeting, police and residents said on Sunday. “At least six people died and several others were wounded. A suicide bomber blew up himself in a restaurant,” Major Hussein Osman, a police officer, told Reuters news agency from Beledweyne.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group said it was behind the attack. “We are behind the attack at the Hiran governor’s headquarters. There are casualties. We targeted the workers of the Hiran administration,” said Abdiasis Abu Musab, an Al-Shabaab spokesman. The town is about 340km north of the capital Mogadishu. Residents said clan elders were among the dead. “The suicide bomber who had an explosive jacket stood inside the restaurant and blew up himself. We were heading to a meeting in the governor’s office when it happened,” said Farah Ali, a local elder. Somalia has been at war since 1991 when clan-based warlords overthrew long-time leader Siad Barre and then turned on each other.
- Suicide Bomber Kills 6 In Central Somalia (Al Jazeera English)
- Arms Embargo A Major Setback To Security Of The Country-President Farmaajo (Goobjoog News)
- Somali Security Forces Carry Out Swoop In Mogadishu (Shabelle News)
- US General World Summit Hint On KDF Time Frame In Somalia (The East African )
- Somali President Visits UAE Training Centre In Mogadishu Stresses Country’s Contribution to Army’s Advancement (Emirates News Agency)
- In Somalia’s ‘City of Danger’ Hope Takes Shape of Nighttime Soccer Game (VOA)
Arms Embargo A Major Setback To Security Of The Country-President Farmaajo
10 September – Source: Goobjoog News – 461 Words
ongoing UN arms embargo remains a major impediment to Somalia’s efforts in dealing with insecurity and ensuring the stability of the country, President Mohamed Farmaajo has said. President Farmaajo however said his government was determined to ensuring the national army is sufficiently equipped to deal with the security challenges facing the country. His remarks follows his government’s push for the lifting of the arms embargo during the May London Conference in which the government presented the National Security Architecture for donor funding.
Speaking during a visit to Gordon Military Training camp in Mogadishu Saturday, the President also noted his government was committed to providing all the necessary support to the military to enable it secure the country especially in the face of expected Amisom exit adding the lack of enough weapons was a result of economic challenges and the existing UN arms embargo.Donors will be meeting next month to review the remaining issues in the National Security Architecture and subsequently make commitments for funding. The London Conference had asked the Somali government to iron out pending issues including comprehensive negotiations between the Federal Government and regional administration regarding the security architecture.
On the other hand, there is tacit fear western countries have against rearming Somalia fearing that the weapons falling into the wrong hands especially Al-Shabaab fighters.The US Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz told Goobjoog News in June that the international community was still keen on ensuring a robust system of accountability before lifting the over 25 year embargo. “Lifting the arms embargo is a very good goal for Somalia and to do that Somalia is going to need to have very strong systems in place to account for the weapons it has. Those systems are not yet in place but we and others are working closely with Somali National Army and the Ministry of Defense to be able to put those in place. Right now the embargo is just a limited one.”
Humanitarian agencies have also in the past maintained the need for the embargo noting there were no sufficient instruments in place to ensure the weapons do not fall into the hands of criminal networks and terror groups subjecting the population to security threats. UK Minister for Africa Rory Stewart said in an interview with Goobjoog News last month the embargo question still remained tricky. “This is a difficult question that we have to discuss. On the one hand of course Somalia and Somali nation needs to defend itself. On other hand we need to be very careful with Amisom.” The UN imposed the embargo in 1992 following the collapse of the government a year before. It has however revised it in the subsequent years to allow limited import of weapons to support the national army.
Somali Security Forces Carry Out Swoop In Mogadishu
10 September – Source: Shabelle News – 75 Words
Somali government forces have launched Sunday morning a massive crackdown in several districts in Banadir region after separate killings in Mogadishu by unknown gunmen. Somali security forces conducted the operation, targeting Yaqshid, Hiliwaa, Boondheere, Hamar Jajab and Hodan districts in Banadir region. Witnesses told Shabelle radio that a number of people were arrested during the operation, in connection with the assassinations in Mogadishu. The government officials have not yet released any statement, regarding the operations.
10 September – Source: The East African – 761 Words
Almost six years since Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) moved to Somalia, debate still rages on whether the combat mission is tenable. General Thomas Waldhauser of the United States Marines, a key ally of Kenya’s involvement in Somalia, says that ultimately Kenya will withdraw from Somalia, but it is not yet time. He recommends a tactical withdrawal. This should happen when the Somalia National Army is well equipped and big enough in terms of personnel to take on Al-Shabaab terrorist group on its own.
Speaking at US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, he said: “In Amisom, there has been discussion on departure and, at some point, it is going to be inevitable.”After the London conference, one of the things that came out is that you can’t simply walk away, or fall out. “There needs to be a type of transition. Troop-contributing countries can’t stay there forever. “President Farmajo needs to make sure that the Somalia national army is ready for that.”
The London conference, which General Waldhauser referred to, was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta in May. The conference by world leaders discussed accelerated progress on security sector reform, humanitarian crisis in Somalia and “international partnerships needed to keep Somalia on course for increased peace and prosperity by 2020”.That is the year the Kenya Defence Forces are supposed to pull out of Somalia after the end of the Amisom mandate. This is one of the challenges General Waldhauser, and by extension Kenya, is facing in Somalia. He said: “Nobody expects Amisom to stay there forever. Somalia National Defence Forces are expected to pick the ball and make it as seamless as possible. “President Farmajo said he has challenges. He is well aware and obviously he’s training and equipping the Somalia army.”
Somali President Visits UAE Training Centre In Mogadishu, Stresses Country’s Contribution to Army’s Advancement
10 September – Source: Emirates News Agency – 195 Words
The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo”, visited the UAE Military Training Centre in Mogadishu, where he was received by Mohammed Ahmed Al Othman, the UAE Ambassador to Somalia.The Somali President toured the centre and viewed its facilities, which were built and supported by the UAE to train the Somali National Armed Forces. He also met with the Emirati team and the military personnel responsible for the training of soldiers.In a speech to the trainee soldiers, he stressed that the UAE plays a prominent role in rebuilding the Somalia armed forces.
He further expressed his gratitude to the UAE for its continuous efforts in supporting the security and stability of Somalia, equipping the national army, and rebuilding the nation.The Somali President was accompanied, during the visit to the UAE Training Centre in Mogadishu by a number of senior civilian and military officials. At the end of the visit, Ambassador Al Othman thanked the Somali President for visiting the UAE Training Centre in Mogadishu and for his efforts in strengthening relations between the two countries. He highlighted that the UAE continues to support security, stability and the development of Somalia.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Thousands of Somalis from the diaspora have been returning to Mogadishu over the past three years, opening new, Western-style restaurants along the beach. The buildings that have been destroyed by the bullets and mortars are now being rebuilt,”
09 September – Source: VOA News – 644 Words
For the first time in more than 30 years, thousands of residents and fans watched a nighttime soccer match in Mogadishu, often described as the world’s most dangerous capital. Thousands of fans enjoyed the event at Konis Stadium, which the international soccer organization FIFA recently renovated.
Although the match, the final of a citywide club tournament for 16- to 18-year-olds, took place under tight security, it was historic for the city, which has dealt with terrorist suicide bombings and anarchy.
After the match, in which Waberi beat Hodan 3-0, Mogadishu Mayor Tabit Abdi Mohamed said the city’s residents deserve security — and more than a nighttime soccer game. “Tonight is clearly a historic night that our people, the people of this city, waited for for more than 30 years. I reaffirm that Mogadishu is secure and people deserve more than this,” Mohamed said. “You deserve every kind of entertainment and sports that people in other world capital cities get.”
Hassan Wish, the chairman of Mogadishu’s sports activities who organized the tournament, said they decided to hold the nighttime game to send a message that Mogadishu is on the road to betterment.”To publicize and make it a significant signal to the city’s returning security, the match was held at a nighttime. It was broadcast live on several local television channels,” Wish said. “The city is back on its way to good old days.”
The Somali Football Federation said the Friday night game in Mogadishu took the country back to 1988, when night games were played at the city’s main Mogadishu stadium. The stadium has been and remains a military base for African Union peacekeepers, which drove Al-Shabaab militants out of the city in 2011. “We hope this will be the first of similar peaceful matches in our city. It is not the first for Mogadishu, but for me, I have never seen in my life a soccer game being played at night in Mogadishu,” said Dahir Osman, a 20-year-old resident. “I was born in a lawless capital and grew up all these years without witnessing such a hope-reviving event.”