Two Killed, Several Hurt In Bomb Blast Near Mogadishu
04 September – Source: Garowe – 220 Words
At least two civilians were killed, several others wounded, some seriously in a deadly bomb explosion that occurred in the outskirts of Somali capital, Mogadishu on Monday. Confirming the incident to Garowe Online, Elasha Biyaha settlement chief, Abdisalam Mohamed, said the blast was detonated through a remote-controlled landmine targeted Somali Military convoy heading to the capital. “Today, two civilians died and several others injured in a roadside bomb which struck a convoy ferrying Somali forces from Balli Doogle and heading to Mogadishu at Elasha Biyaha,” said Mohamed.
He gave no further details about the casualties of the government troops, as a result of Monday’s blast, but local residents reported seeing wounded Somali soldiers being evacuated from the site of the attack. In the aftermath of the incident, local security forces cordoned off the scene, and carried out an operation, however, no suspect was arrested for the bombing which claimed the lives of the civilians. Today’s attack was the latest in string of landmine blasts against Somali and African Union forces (AMISOM) on the main highway linking Mogadishu to Afgoye district in Lower Shabelle region. Despite being driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, the Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group Al-Shabaab still capable of carrying out ambush attacks in the capital, and elsewhere in the country, in a bid to show their presence.
- Two Killed Several Hurt In Bomb Blast Near Mogadishu (Garowe Online)
- Lawmakers’ Views Differ on Extradition of ONLF Officer to Ethiopia (Somali Update)
- President Silanyo Returns Home After Medical Trip Abroad (Garowe Online)
- Military Disputes Casualty Figures In Bula Gadud Attack (Goobjoog News)
- Somalia Seeks US Help Over ‘Al-Shabaab Uranium Mining (The East African)
- Focus on Federalism: 641 MPs $6m Annual ‘Pay’ And A Struggle To Keep Afloat (Goobjoog News)
Lawmakers’ Views Differ on Extradition of ONLF Officer to Ethiopia
04 September – Source: Somali Update – 350 Words
Members of Somali Parliament have differed views towards the extradition of Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) official Abdikarim Sheikh Muse who was captured and then extradited to Ethiopia by Somali government last week. Ethiopian government last week confirmed Somali government transferred Sheikh Muse popularly known as “Qalbi Dhagah” under a security partnership agreement between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu. The transfer of Sheikh Muse drew public outrage as most of politicians and members of the public described the act a breach of the Provisional Constitution.
Lawmaker Dahir Amin Jesow believes Somali government has the right to hand over any rebel member fighting neighboring countries under Somalia’s national interest agenda. “I want to be clear. ONLF is not fighting for the interest of Somalia and we are not ONLF.” the outspoken MP said. He noted that Ethiopia has the right to hunt members of the armed groups if they try to sneak into Somalia, but through the assistance of Somali government. “If they are fighting against Ethiopia then let Ethiopia look for those people. We, as a recovering nation, can not back any individual trying to destabilize our neighbors.” he added.
Sources claim that Abdikarim Sheikh Muse had double Somali-Ethiopian nationality, his wife Khadra Mohamed Abdi, in a local radio interview said he never had Ethiopian passport. Ethiopian government considers ONLF, an ethnic Somali separatist rebels fighting for self-determination of the Somali-Ethiopian region, as terror group. MP Jesow’s comments were rubbished by lawmaker Mohamed Abukaate who insisted the extradition was abuse of power and breach of the Constitution. “This was a tragic incident against our constitution. The government has violated the laws of this land.” he said referring the transfer of Sheikh Muse to Ethiopian hands. “Handing over a fellow Somali to a country known to harm and torture its opponents is unacceptable and we must act on that.” the lawmaker added calling a parliamentary action on the matter. It is not yet clear if the members of the Federal Parliament will table a motion regarding the extradition case, which is first in its kind in Somalia in the known history.
President Silanyo Returns Home After Medical Trip Abroad
04 September – Source: Garowe Online – 196 Words
Somaliland President, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud “Silanyo” and a delegation he was leading has returned to the state capital, Hargeisa after a two-week long medical trip in UAE. President Silanyo was warmly welcomed by several government officials, ministers, and members of the Parliament upon arriving at Egal International Airport as he walked from his plane, along with the first lady.
Speaking to the media, Hussein Adan Ige (Deyr), a spokesman for the Presidency said Silanyo had undergone surgery for an unspecified type of disease at a hospital in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. “Somaliland President has returned home from a trip in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and he underwent a successful minor surgery in Abu Dhabi. He is healthy and back to Hargeisa,” he added. Silanyo left Somaliland for UAE in August 18, 2017.
The president’s spokesman clarified that Silanyo will soon resume his constitutional duties, including organizing a peaceful Presidential election as he already approved the elections to be held by the November deadline. Somaliland, located in northwestern Somalia declared its independence from the rest of the country as a de facto sovereign state in 1991 but it has not been recognized internationally yet.
Military Disputes Casualty Figures In Bula Gadud Attack
04 September- Source: Goobjoog News – 178 Words
The military has dismissed reports that its troops suffered major casualty toll in the Bula Gadud military base attack Sunday by the militant group Al-Shabaab. Defense Force’s Ismail Sahardid said Monday Somali forces repulsed the attackers inflicting on them heavy losses with up to 20 militants being neutralized. “At around 5:10 am they carried an attack on the camp through bomb explosion which was repulsed by by the military personnel from reaching its target. Heavy fighting took place. Casualties are there from both sides. Now the location is under the control of the Somali National Army.”
Almost 20 Al-Shabaab fighters perished in the fight and we are still pursuing them” said General Sahardid. Al-Shabaab said Sunday it had killed 26 soldiers in the dawn raid which is reported to have lasted a couple of hours. The army chief added the soldiers managed to take control of the camp and the area which is located 30 kilometres outside the capital Kismayu. The military camp is home both to 43rd battalion of the Somali National Defense and Jubbaland army.
04 September – Source: The East African – 193 Words
Somalia’s government has made a startling request for “immediate military assistance” to prevent Islamist militants Al-Shabaab from supplying uranium to Iran. In a letter, Foreign Minister Yusuf Garaad says the militants have captured a region with uranium deposits and have been strip mining the components. Somalia is said to have the potential for uranium, according to past findings by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but this has not been developed. The claim, which has not been independently verified, has not revealed how this artisanal mining of uranium works and what evidence it has to prove that Al-Shabaab is working on it or plans to send the deposits to Iran.
The letter also described Al-Shabaab as being linked with the so-called Islamic State, when in fact it has been long associated with al-Qaeda. It also says that the current problem is too big even for the African Union forces based in Somalia.The State Department has not responded to the letter but according to US media has confirmed it did receive it.Analysts suggest this letter is intended to attract a larger US military presence to Somalia where Al-Shabaab is waging a violent campaign.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Most of the state governments depend on foreign governments for funding especially to support its salary payments for civil servants and security forces. Puntland government last year printed new currency notes to offset salaries for security forces who had on several occasions mutinied over pay,”
04 September – Source: Goobjoog News – 612 Words
State governments spend at least $6 million annually to pay legislators across the five state assemblies and the breakaway region of Somaliland against an annual budget of $10.9 million allocation from the Federal Government which excludes Somaliland. All state assemblies combined and Somaliland which has a bicameral House are made up of 641 lawmakers with Somaliland making up the most-164 followed by South West state with 149 members of state assembly. Puntland has 99 MPs while the southern coastal state assembly of Jubbaland is made up of 75 legislators and Galmudug in central Somalia has 89. Newly formed HirShabelle state elected 98 legislators to the state assembly after its formation last October.
The Federal Government endorsed a vote of $10,970,000 for state governments absent Somaliland in the 2017 national budget. Puntland got the most-$4,675,000, followed by Jubbaland with $2,695,000, South West-$1,425,000 with Galmudug getting a similar amount. HirShabelle got the least-$750,000.
From the Federal budget vote, it’s clear state governments operate almost entirely recurrent expenditure costs confining development projects and public services provision to miscellaneous items list. A survey by Goobjoog News however paints a picture of legislators running on intermittent pay vouchers while others claim they have had to send the state president home in the hope they could get a regular pay from a new leader.
Lawmakers in Puntland are entitled to a monthly salary of $1,500 while those from Jubbaland earn $1,000 similar to Galmudug and HirShabelle legislators. South West state assembly members are supposed to earn $700 per month. State legislators however say these figures are only in book as they have to go several months without pay forcing many of them to find others means of living while still in office. “What we get is basically an allowance. This is not a salary. For example for the last seven months, we have only been paid twice,” an MP from South West state assembly who did not want to be named told Goobjoog News. Omar Mohamed Omar a lawmaker from HirShabelle said they opted to oust the embattled formed leader Abdullahi Ali Osoble in the hope they could get their pay with a new president. “We had not had any salary since we came to office. This is why MPs decided to fire the former president. We hope things will change.”