26 September – Source: Reuters – 345 Words
The World Bank has approved $80 million in grants to Somalia to fund public finance reforms, marking the first disbursement to the government of the conflict-ridden country in 30 years, the bank said. The Washington-based lender, which suspended ties with the country when war broke out in 1991, resumed support for Somalia in 2003, at the time saying it would focus on HIV/AIDS and livestock programs with other organizations, but it has not approved any direct lending to the government to date.
It reopened direct ties with Somalia’s federal government in early 2013. Its board had approved financing of $60 million for the Recurrent Cost and Reform Financing Project and $20 million for the Domestic Revenue and Public Financial Management Capacity Strengthening Project, it said in a statement late on Tuesday: “They represent a milestone in Somalia’s development and reconstruction,” the bank said.
The bank said it would also work with the government in Mogadishu to improve services like education and healthcare, access to clean water, energy and finance for its citizens – under a program called Country Partnership Framework. Somalia’s economy was forecast to grow by an average of between 3.5 and 4.5 percent annually in 2019-2022, when the partnership on social services will run, the bank said.
“While agriculture is key to the economy, it remains vulnerable to shocks. As such, services will continue to be a main driver of growth, especially in the financial, transport and communication and trade sectors,” the lender said. Hit by decades of conflict at the hands of clan militias, Somalia has over the past several years also been pummeled by an insurgency by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, famines and maritime piracy.
- World Bank Approves First Grants To Somalia In 30 Years (Reuters)
- Gaas Apologises To Southwest State Over Al-Shabaab Remarks (Goobjoog News)
- Somalia To Raise Revenue Collection To Expand Social Protection For Its Citizens (Halbeeg News)
- Outcry After Reporter ‘Beaten By Police’ In Somalia (Morning Star)
- When A Road is Not Just A Road: Restoring Relations Through Dialogue In Somalia (Somaliland Standard)
Gaas Apologises To Southwest State Over Al-Shabaab Remarks
26 September – Source: Goobjoog News – 160 Words
Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas has tendered an apology to the people of Southwest state following last week’s remarks in which he linked residents of the state to the militant group Al-Shabaab.
“The Puntland Government declares to the people of southwestern Somalia that Puntland and Southwest state are united in the fight against their enemies Al-Shabaab. The President’s statement was targeted at the common enemy of Puntland and Southwestern Somalia,” explained the Puntland presidency. .
“The government of Puntland is fully apologetic to the government and the people of the Southwest state of Somalia,” the statement added. Speaking last week in Badhan, Sanaag Region, President Ali Gaas said, “It’s impossible for a boy from Hudur, Diinsoor and Buurhakaba to control us in our regions.” he said in reference to regions under Southwest state. The Puntland Government added that it was time for the Somali people to focus on the unity of the people of Somalia.
Somalia To Raise Revenue Collection To Expand Social Protection For Its Citizens
26 September – Source: Halbeeg – 231 Words
The Somali government is seeking to increase inland revenue, a move aimed at creating jobs for infrastructural development, and expansion of social protection for its citizens. The Finance Minister, Abdirahman Beileh, said the government was seeking to be self-sufficient, a key step toward accessing about $4.6 billion in international debt relief.
“We must work together to rebuild every corner of our country for the benefit of each and every citizen in Somalia,” said Beileh. Somalia has not made a service or amortization payment since civil war broke out more than 25 years ago. Since last year, Somalia has been struggling to win the confidence of the International Community to secure lucrative benefits such as debt relief worth $4.6 billion owed to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others.
This year, the government launched a tax collection campaign as part of efforts to secure millions of dollars in domestic revenues to subsidise its donor-supported budget. According to the Ministry, the domestic revenue was $141 million in 2017, up from $110 million in 2016. The tax agreements have been reached with airlines and telecom companies, and an income tax exemption for parliamentarians was reversed last year, giving the government more revenue.
26 September – Source: Morning Star – 190 Words
Journalists’ unions condemned this weekend’s “abominable attack on a journalist’s life” by police officers in Somalia yesterday after Mohamed Ali Siad arrived at the station for a pre-arranged interview.
Mr. Siad was allegedly assaulted after he attempted to interview Galkayo city police chief Colonel Mohamed Ali Awale following a security operation that took place earlier in the day.
Mr Awale refused to answer questions and asked the journalist to come to his office where he was beaten by security guards who slammed his head against a wall, injuring him before throwing him back on the street.
National Union of Somali Journalists general secretary Awil Mohamud Abdi said: “This is abominable attack on journalist’s life. The beating and torture of Mohamed Ali Siad serves only one purpose — to scare journalists from covering sensitive issues like security; “People have the right to know what happened in their neighbourhoods. Beating or killing a journalist isn’t feasible and will not make Galkayo a safe town.”
International Federation of Journalists general secretary Anthony Bellanger urged Somali authorities to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice. “We demand authorities protect journalists, not beat them up,” he said.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The re-opening of the road is about more than a transport link. It has revived Herale and opened up possibilities to transport goods, services and to establish development programmes in the area. But more than that, taking time to talk led to a concrete outcome for peace.”
24 September – Source: Somaliland Standard – 822 Words
Galgadud state in Somalia has a reputation as a flashpoint for inter-clan conflict, and it has been the scene of some of the longest running clan disputes. As conflict and isolation between communities have persisted, opportunities to use traditional systems of reconciliation also faded. For communities from the Marehan and Dir clans, it reached the point where nearly every family had lost something or someone. “Both sides knew they were losing,” says Adan Kabelo, the Country Manager for the Life & Peace Institute (LPI) in Somalia. “But it also sparked a new impetus for peace, pushing people to question: How many more?”
The town of Herale, primarily home to members of the Dir clan in Galgadud state, is a well-situated rest stop for travellers, halfway between Balanbale and Abudwak. But disputes between Marehan and Dir clans over pastoral land, borders and water had contributed to years of violence, leading to mutual fear and suspicion between the two communities. This meant the smallest of individual slights was often interpreted as a group transgression requiring revenge. The formation of clan militias expanded the conflict into attacks on settlements, which ensured more and more families were drawn into the cycle of animosity.
In 2003, the road through Herale became impassable because of inter-clan violence. It remained closed for 14 years. Zamzam Foundation (ZZF) is a well-known local NGO that had been doing humanitarian work in the area and had a reputation for providing much-needed assistance for communities, while LPI, a peacebuilding organisation with a head office in Uppsala in Sweden, had over 35 years of experience supporting conflict transformation programmes in a variety of countries. In August 2012, with funding from the European Commission and co-funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), LPI and ZZF came together to canvass communities on their experiences and perceptions of the violence and their ideas for peace.
Ten years after the road closed, the two partners decided to explore the possibilities of bringing the communities back together through dialogue with clan elders and community groups, in particular women, young men and women, and more marginalised clans. They conducted a baseline study and found that, although there was no contact between them, the two clans were both feeling the pain of being divided and the road through Herale was a tangible symbol of that separation. This was an opportunity. ZZF and LPI set to work. Residents like Ahmed, a local taxi driver, knew the importance of working on reconciliation: “Most of my mother’s family is in Herale, but we hadn’t met for the past 14 years. Imagine, these were the people I grew up with and who took care of me.”
ADDITIONAL SOMALIA NEWS WILL APPEAR IN THE AFTERNOON REPORT
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.
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