September 25, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia Seeks Easing Of Arms Embargo In Effort To Defeat Al-Shabaab

23 September – Source: Shabelle News – 490 Words

The Somali government has repeated its plea to the world leaders to lift an international arms embargo, as the aid-dependent Horn of Africa nation continues to struggle with security threats from Al-Shabaab terrorist group. Delivering his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre praised his country’s political and security developments with the help of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, known as AMISOM. “In Somalia, we have made significant strides, in which we have weakened the capability of Al-Shabaab,” Kheyre said.

The Prime Minister said his country needs a longstanding weapons embargo fully lifted so the national army can obtain heavy weapons to defeat Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda affiliated Islamist militant group. Al-Shabaab is behind suicide bombings and attacks on hotels and restaurants as well as military bases of African Union troops and the Somali National Army. “To ensure the sustainability of such gains, we focused on strengthening the military capability of our national security forces, however, the arms embargo imposed against Somalia is a severe limitation towards this objective,” Kheyre told the U.N. assembly.

He said his government is prepared to work with the world community and its partners toward “a roadmap” on lifting the arms embargo. Kheyre urged global leaders to “spare no effort” to neutralize the growth and influence of international terrorist groups. The Prime Minister also said his country needs debt relief to improve initiatives for gender empowerment, respect for human rights and education. Such a move will help Somalia recover after living without a properly functioning central government for more than a quarter century.

In his address to the U.N. body, Kheyre also underscored the need to ensure continuous and predictable funding for the AMISOM, which is supporting his country by helping to keep Al-Shabaab militants at bay. Among the international issues Kheyre raised in his speech was mitigating the impact of global climate change and the need for reforms at the United Nations. The Somali government appeal for the lifting of its arms embargo comes nearly two weeks after the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in the country, known as UNSOM, called for practical support and political encouragement to the Somali leadership.

Briefing the U.N. Security Council Sept. 13, Michael Keating, the special representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia, said Mogadishu was safer, but the larger security situation was volatile because Al-Shabaab terrorist groups remain a potent threat. Somalia came under the U.N. arms embargo shortly after the nation plunged into civil war in 1992. The aim was to cut the flow of weapons to feuding clan warlords, who a year earlier had ousted military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. In 2013, the U.N. Security Council partially lifted the embargo for one year, allowing the weak Somali government, endangered by armed extremists, to buy light weapons to strengthen its security forces and assert its control beyond Mogadishu.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia Seeks Easing Of Arms Embargo In Effort To Defeat Al-Shabaab (Shabelle News)
  • Executive And Parliament To Unveil New Constitutional Review Road-map In 10 Days (Goobjoog News)
  • Six Killed In Inter-clan Fighting In Mudug Region (Garowe Online)
  • Somalia Captures Weapons-laden Boat From Yemen (Middle East Monitor)
  • We Are Not UN Employees Museveni Tells AMISOM (Daily Monitor)
  • My Journey To America (Hiiraan Online)


Executive And Parliament To Unveil New Constitutional Review Road-map In 10 Days

23 September – Source: Goobjoog News – 231 Words

Parliament and the executive in the next ten days will come up with a constitutional review road map, defining roles and the input of the various national stakeholders involved in the review process. Following a meeting bringing together the leadership of both houses, President Mohamed Farmaajo on Saturday and the leaders resolved to develop a joint framework to ensure a coherent mechanism in driving the review process. Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Guled told the media, the leaders also zeroed in on key articles of the Provisional Constitutional which requires significant input and wider consultations.

“The meeting identified crucial issues on the constitutional review among them, enhancing federal system, setting limits on the powers between the federal government and the federal member states, harmonising the federal and state constitutions, federal police and judiciary system, one person one vote election, completion of the conditions for possible free election like the laws of political party system, immigration laws, and the law on registration of citizens and political parties,” said Guled. It was also agreed to create working procedures between the Constitutional Affairs Ministry, Constitutional Review Commission, Oversight Committee and the involvement of the offices of the President and the Prime Minister, the Deputy PM added.

Six Killed In Inter-clan Fighting In Mudug Region

23 September – Source: Garowe Online – 157 Words

At least six people were reported to have been killed, and several others wounded when two rival militias clashed near Galkayo city on Saturday, Garowe Online reports. The deadly inter-clan fighting broke out in the morning in a remote village called Godad area, located in the outskirts of Galkayo, the regional capital of Mudug province, according to the locals.

Saturday’s clash is believed to flare-up over the killings of 3 civilians, including father and his son who died in a bus attack in between Godad and Gacmafale areas in eastern Mudug region last week. Residents in Galkayo said they heard heavy exchanges of gunfire between the warring sides shortly before dawn. The combat has left at least six people dead, while a number of others were injured. The authorities in the area did comment on the incident but, mediation efforts were reported underway to stop the conflict between the two clans hailing from Galmudug and Puntland regions.


Somalia Captures Weapons-laden Boat From Yemen

24 September – Source: Middle East Monitor – 239 Words

Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland seized a boat loaded with weapons from Yemen in Saturday’searly hours, the regional maritime police chief said. Puntland authorities displayed dozens of anti-aircraft guns, machine guns, AK-47 rifles and dozens boxes of ammunition seized from the boat after it was stopped in the coastal waters off the Horn of Africa region. The journey of the small vessel, known as Al Faruq, was tracked from Yemen by European maritime forces patrolling sea lanes off Somalia, Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the director general of Puntland maritime police force, told Reuters.

He said they had seized other boatloads of arms destined for Daesh and Al-Shabaab militants active in Somalia though on this occasion the cargo was believed to be owned by arms smugglers who would have sold them at local retail outlets. Today, we suspect traders own these weapons, but we shall investigate further,” he said. Puntland has been hit by heavy fighting in recent months as al Shabaab and a splinter group linked to Islamic State attacked government troops around the Galagala hills, 30 km southeast of the regional capital Bosaso. In June Al-Shabaab overran a military base in the town of Af Urur in the hills area, killing 38 people, mainly soldiers. Unlike the rest of Somalia, Puntland rarely suffered from militant attacks before the recent surge in violence, mainly because its security forces are relatively regularly paid and receive substantial US assistance.

We Are Not UN Employees, Museveni Tells AMISOM

23 September – Source: Daily Monitor – 391 Words

President Museveni has told countries contributing troops to the peacekeeping mission in Somalia that they are not United Nations (UN) employees but allies offering pan-Africanism services.The President made the remarks at a meeting of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troop contributing countries in New York, US on Thursday. He emphasised that the troops’ role in Somalia is purely for pan-African reasons like stabilising Somalia. “This is a pan-African venture. We are not employees of the United Nations or Somalia,” Mr. Museveni was quoted as saying in a State House statement released yesterday.

Mr. Museveni, who chaired the closed-door meeting, called for review of the situation in Somalia purposely to improve the political and military coordination to ensure that peace and security prevail in Somalia. The meeting was attended by, among other countries, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and host Somalia. According to sources, top priority for Somalia is building a strong national army and taking stock of the political situation.  All parties agreed to follow keenly a review on AMISOM by the UN Secretary General and after all the troop contributing countries would take the necessary steps.

The UN provides logistics, technical and training support to AMISOM and to the Somali National Army. The UN believes that with enhanced support to AMISOM, the African Union Force and predictable funding, along with a coordinated effort to build the Somali National Army and police Forces, Al-Shabaab can be defeated. During the meeting, Uganda was elected as the official spokesperson of the troop contributing countries. The meeting was attended by Somalia’s Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Kheyre, Ethiopia Premier Desalegn Hailemariam, Kenya Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Muhammed, African Union Commissioner Chergui Ismael, Burundi Foreign Affairs Minister Allen Nyamitwe, Djibouti Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf Mahmoud and Somalia’s Defence Minister.

Uganda was represented by Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa, Chief of Defence Forces David Muhoozi, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN Adoniya Ayebare and Uganda’s Military Adviser at the Uganda Mission in New York, Maj Gen Silver Kayemba, among others. In a related development, President Museveni also met the UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the sidelines of the ongoing 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, US. The President briefed the UN chief on the political and security situation in South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and in the region.


“It was imperative for me to find a job prior to the end of the third month of arrival, so I was offered a caseworker job by the IRC for Iraqis and Somali refugees. My primary responsibilities were getting the refugees from the airport, settling them in apartments, orienting cultural diversities, building good neighborly relations and helping them with their job search. I also briefed them about the American system of education and how the parents were expected to play active role in their children’s education.”

My Journey To America

23 September – Source: Hiiraan Online – 1894 Words

In 1969 civilian government was overthrown by military coup. The people welcomed the new military rule with the expectation that there would be democratic rule. However, a colleague of mine from Sudan said to me “your people do not know military rule and soon they will realize how harsh it will be.” The leader of the coup was Mohamed Siad Barre, who three years later would become the country’s autocratic ruler. Siad Barre made an alliance with Russia and introduced an archaic socialist system. The newly adapted government was not compatible with Somali culture nor its predominantly Muslim citizen. Thus, after two decades of dictatorship, the country erupted in an extreme revolt to overthrow the government. Civil war ensued and anarchy prevailed and people began fleeing from Mogadishu to neighboring countries of Kenya and Ethiopia. I refrained from taking risky journey to Kenya or Ethiopia, because my kids were too young. While I was trapped in my house, one of my friends told me there was a ship bound to Aden, Yemen. It was a sigh of relief to hear of such a possible safer route out of Mogadishu, and my family and I hastily left for the port.

The days were long, the rations were short, and there was only one bathroom for six hundred people assigned only for the women. For the men, the Captain made ramshackle boxes on the edge of the dike facing the ocean; however, no one dared face the rumbling ocean full of sharks. In the summer of June of 1991 my family and I came to Egypt, and the late Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. In 1992, The American Embassy began interviewing refugees who had their documents by the United Nations Refugee Center. I quickly went to the Embassy to check my interview date. A week later, an officer from the Immigration Department met me and checked my passport and found that I visited N. Korea. I explained with no apprehension that I was a project manager for an Irrigation Project in which N. Korean engineers were assisting us for building a barrage across Shabelle River.  The officer didn’t show any negative response.

Regarding my education, I told him that I did graduate work in the University of Minnesota which was a plus to my interview. A week later, I was told that I passed the interview and I was given a choice to reside in The United States in either Colorado or Georgia. I wanted to avoid the cooler climates and decided on living in warmer climates of Atlanta, Georgia. Finally, together with my family we arrived in Atlanta and were welcomed by International Rescue Committee Agency. We settled in a three room apartment in a low income neighborhood mostly lived African American people. The Agency chose this area because the cost of the rent was low. What they didn’t take into consideration was that the area had a high crime rate and poor sanitation. The area was far from places where jobs were available. The Agency paid the rent for the first three months and also gave us a complementary check of $40 a week. It was imperative for me to find a job prior to the end of the third month of arrival, so I was offered a caseworker job by the IRC for Iraqis and Somali refugees. My primary responsibilities were getting the refugees from the airport, settling them in apartments, orienting cultural diversities, building good neighborly relation and helping them with their job search. I also briefed them about the American system of education and how the parents were expected to play active role in their children’s education. On the other hand I was searching for a professional job with better pay. One day I attended a meeting sponsored by a lady who ran an agency called Bridging the Gap. The purpose of the meetings was to orient professional people who came as refugees the reality of professional jobs. We were seven men with different qualifications.


The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.