September 22, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia Rebukes Its States For Breaking With Qatar

21 September – Source: Reuters – 343 Words

Somalia’s government rebuked its three semi-autonomous regions on Thursday for cutting ties with Qatar, saying it was determined to stay neutral in the Gulf nation’s dispute with other Arab states.The region of Galmudug issued a statement on Wednesday saying it stood with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the regional row, followed similar declarations last month by the regions of Puntland and Hirshabelle.

Somalia’s federal government responded by saying only it had the authority to speak on foreign affairs. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut political and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism and their arch-foe Iran – charges that Doha denies. The spat about it in volatile but strategically located Somalia illustrated how far the political ripples from Qatar’s dispute have spread. Somalia’s open stance is important for Qatar – Somalia’s airspace remains open for Qatar Airways, a critical lifeline amid the blockade. Gulf Arab States have meanwhile been pouring resources into the semi-autonomous regions. “(The Arab states) are trying to give more energy and emphasize more their relations with these regional governments, trying to pressure them to go against the federal government,” said Nairobi-based Somalia expert Ahmed Roble.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia Rebukes Its States For Breaking With Qatar (Reuters)
  • HirShabelle State Rejects Federal Government’s Embargo on Miraa Flights in Jowhar (Somali Update)
  • Museveni Calls On Germany To Boost Somali Forces’ Capabilities (Shabelle News)
  • 200 Somali Refugees Arrested In Yemen (Middle East Monitor)
  • Somalia Asserts Neutral Stand In Gulf Feud Cites Past Record (Goobjoog News)


HirShabelle State Rejects Federal Government’s Embargo on Miraa Flights in Jowhar

21 September – Source: Somali Update – 196 Words

HirShabelle State on Wednesday rejected last month’s orders from the Federal Government’s Ministry of Commerce and Civil Aviation Authority (SCAMA), which warned the Khat (miraa) flights landing in Jowhar airstrip to stop, or their landing permit revoked.  In a response letter, HirShabelle’s Minister of Commerce Sabriye Osman Tohobow nullified the orders as unconstitutional. He said the “warning letter” sent to the flight operator companies dealing in Khat importation on August 26th, 2017, “ridiculed the issuing authority and the Ministry of Commerce of the Federal Government’s protocol”. “Jowhar is the HirShabelle administrative capital, and is not part of Mogadishu administration.” the minister explained.

Khat flights have started to operate in Jowhar airstrip in April this year following tax increase in Mogadishu Airport, but the SCAMA and the Mogadishu-based Ministry of Commerce, imposed embargo, and only to resume operation within weeks, forcing SCAMA and the ministry to re-issue “last warning”. Jowhar is about 90km north of Mogadishu and khat importers and traders said they are able to bring the green leaves used as stimulant to Mogadishu through vehicles. The Federal Government says tr flights have shifted to Jowhar to evade paying taxes due while landing at Mogadishu Airport.

Museveni Calls On Germany To Boost Somali Forces’ Capabilities

21 September – Source: Shabelle News – 272 Words

President Museveni has called upon the international community to take more interest in the situation in Somalia, saying although the regional security forces were doing a good job, there was need to develop and strengthen local security forces such as the police and army and for the international community to get involved to put an end to the instability there. “Uganda is mainly characterized by Christians and Christians believe in the holy trinity. If there was some kind of trinity in the security situation of Somalia; internal, regional and international forces, the situation would be contained,” he said.

The President also said that countries like Somalia need to stop talking about politics of identity and promote their people’s interests that would make their countries prosperous. The President who is in New York to attend the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly made the remarks during a follow up meeting with the German Foreign Minister Mr. Sigmar Gabriel about the security situation in South Sudan, Burundi and Somalia. The country continues to suffer routine bombings orchestrated by Al-Shabaab militants.

Mr. Sigmar said the Germany and the European Union are committed to the security situation in Africa. Targeted attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, particularly by the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab, with suicide bombings and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), continue to have a devastating impact. In South Sudan millions have fled the conflict causing an unprecedented refugee crisis in the world. Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable Sam Kutesa and the Permanent Representative to the United Nations Adonia Ayebare attended the meeting, which was held at Uganda Permanent Mission Offices in New York.


200 Somali Refugees Arrested In Yemen

21 September – Source: Middle East Monitor – 102 Words

Two-hundred Somali refugees were arrested and detained in Yemen, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday. Undocumented Somali refugees were arrested by Hadramaut police while travelling towards the Brom Mayfa district. “The refugees, including a number of women and children, reached Yemen by sea,” Hadramaut police said.

The refugees have been transferred to the nearby Shabwa province, south of Yemen, in a camp for African refugees. Some 133 Somali refugees have since returned to Somalia voluntarily, according to the International Organisations for Migration. Refugees from Somalia and Ethiopia travel to Yemen in the hope of crossing the northern Yemen border to reach Saudi Arabia.


“The Federal Government noted it is strongly of the view that the Gulf feud which is now entering its the fourth month, can only be resolved peacefully through diplomacy channels. It also asserted the sole authority and responsibility over foreign affairs in addition to monetary policy, citizenship and immigration and defense as stated in article 54 of the Provisional Constitution.”

Somalia Asserts Neutral Stand In Gulf Feud, Cites Past Record

21 September – Source: Goobjoog News – 500 Words

Somalia has stood its ground on remaining neutral in the ongoing Gulf Crisis asserting its position is informed by its history of non-alignment in conflict, even as regional administrations move in the opposite direction declaring their support for Saudi Arabia and UAE. The Federal Government released a statement on Thursday affirming the country’s June 6 position a day after Galmudug, one of the states in the country joined the three others, in siding with the Saudis. By claiming that the failure was mainly due to President Mohamed Farmaajo announcement following a July meeting which South West and Galmudug states noted that the President requested for more time to respond on the matter.

“Somalia’s role has always been not to side with any faction but to work in the unity of Arab, African and Islamic countries. Somalia’s position on Camp David Agreement in the late 70s was neutral; Somalia refused to cut ties with Egypt at that time. After Arab countries solved their disagreements, our stance on the matter was praised and appreciated,” a statement from the Ministry of Information read in part. “Likewise, the decision of the cabinet on the Gulf Crisis has reinforced our position and it has been greatly welcomed and appreciated by both Somali people and international community as well,” the government added following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Accords September 17, 1978 ending the state of war between the two countries dating back to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The signing of the agreement by Egypt’s Anwar El Sadat and Israeli PM Menachem Begin drew sharp reaction from the Arab League leading to the transfer of the League’s headquarters from Cairo to Tunis, but was later reverted following resumption of ties in 1989. The Federal Government noted it is strongly of the view that the Gulf feud which is now entering its the fourth month, can only be resolved peacefully through diplomacy channels. It also asserted the sole authority and responsibility over foreign affairs in addition to monetary policy, citizenship and immigration and defense as stated in article 54 of the Provisional Constitution.

The Government’s response follows the decision by Galmudug, Puntland, South West states and Somaliland to declare their support for Saudi Arabia. Somaliland which is seeking independence from Somalia announced from the onset of the crisis its support for Saudi Arabia. Puntland followed in August citing security and economic challenges. South West and Galmudug argued Somalia and Saudi Arabia and UAE enjoyed historical, cultural and religious ties but also noted the President had dragged his feet following a promise to respond after the July meeting. “Because of the time elapsed, and the Federal Government’s uncompromising position on this matter, South West State of Somalia have no choice but to stand with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, for their noble pursuit to fight extremism in any form, and their firm stance on the relations to this issue,” South West said. Jubbaland and HirShabelle states are yet to declare their positions on the matter.


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