Powerful Blast Hits Busy Restaurant In Kismayo Town
07 September – Source: Shabelle News – 123 Words
A powerful explosion was reported to rip through a busy restaurant in the southern Somali port town of Kismayo, about 500Km south of Mogadishu on Thursday. Witness said they heard a loud blast which was caused by a landmine bomb planted inside the cafe, frequented by local officials and high-profile people.
Reports from the seaside city indicate that the details of the casualties remained unclear, as the security forces of Jubbaland administration are investigating the incident. The restaurant is said to belong to a member of Jubbaland Parliament according to a source. Radio Shabelle however, could not independently verify the information. The city has been relatively calm following routine security operations by Jubbaland troops, backed by Kenyan military for the past few months, according to the Police.
- Powerful Blast Hits Busy Restaurant In Kismayo Town (Shabelle News)
- Backlash As Former Minister Dismisses Pact On ONLF As A Clan Conflict Issue (Goobjoog News)
- ONLF Apologizes Accusations Against Somali Officials (Shabelle News)
- International Community Slams Efforts To Create New Federal State In Somalia (Xinhua Net)
- Somali Students Receive Scholarships To Enhance Education In China
- Who Is Really In Control In Mogadishu? (Huffington Post)
Backlash As Former Minister Dismisses Pact On ONLF As A Clan Conflict Issue
07 September – Goobjoog News – 437 Words
A former minister and a former regional president who signed agreements which the government tabled on Wednesday as grounds to declare ONLF senior leader Abdikarin Muse Qalbi Dhagah and his group a terrorist network similar to Al-Shabaab, dismissed the agreements saying it is not officially sanctioned at state level. Mahad Salad who signed the June 7, 2015 agreement in his capacity as Minister in the Office of the President and former Galmudug President Abdikarin Guled whose signature appears in the May 2, 2016, both said the agreements was between local communities in Somalia and Ethiopia and not a bilateral pacts between two countries.
“The agreement the government is referring to was aimed at ending conflicts between residents of that area (border areas of Somalia) and the government of the Somali region (in Ethiopia). It’s embarrassing for the government to refer to clan conflicts in making such rulings,” said Salad. The former minister also noted Mr. Qalbi Dhagah was not a terrorist but a Somali citizen ‘who was given to a foreign country unlawfully’. The world, Salad said knows ONLF is not a terrorist organisation, adding that the Somali government violated the constitution and other laws in extraditing Mr. Qalbi Dhagah and declaring him a terrorist.
Former Galmudug president Abdikarin Guled who co-signed the May 2, 2016 agreement alongside with the then Posts and Telecommunication minister Mohamed Jama Mursal and Ethiopia’s directorate of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Shamsuddin Ahmed Rooble also lashed out at the government affirming Salad’s view that the pact was between two communities. “I want to make it clear that there is no agreement that I made with Ethiopia while representing this government. We spoke with the government of the Somali region in Ethiopia about some issues. We don’t know ONLF as a terrorist organisation but we know them as people fighting for their rights,” said Guled.
The Cabinet issued a statement on Wednesday following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Hassan Khaire in defense of its decision to hand over Mr. Qalbi Dhagah to Ethiopia classifying him as a terrorist with links to Al-Shabaab. It cited the two agreements as ground to prosecute its case after a sustained public outrage questioning the legality and intent of extraditing Mr. Qalbi Dhagah. The Ethiopian government confirmed receipt of Mr. Qalbi Dhagah adding he had travelled on an Ethiopian passport. The Cabinet on Wednesday did not however address the question of Mr. Qalbi Dhagah’s citizenship. His family have since rubbished claims that the embattled ONLF leader held an Ethiopian passport. The 2015 and 2016 documents signed by Guled and Salad refer Al-Shabaab and UBBO (reference to ONLF) as common enemies of both countries.
ONLF Apologizes Accusations Against Somali Officials
07 September – Source: Shabelle News – 132 Words
The spokesman of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Abdulkadir Sheikh Hassan Hagoog (Adani), has apologized about accusations against several Somali government officials. Speaking to Radio Shabelle, Hagoog announced his apology to Somali MP, Mustaf Dhuhulow and Bashir Goobe, who he accused this week of involving the extradition of Abdikarim Qalbi Dhagah to Ethiopia.
“On behalf of ONLF, I offer my sincere apology to Mustaf Dhuhulow and Bashiir Goobe over my previous allegations of handing Qalbi Dhagah to Ethiopia,” said Hagoog during the interview with Radio Shabelle.
On Wednesday, Somali Federal government declared that it has extradited Qalbi Dhagah to Ethiopia for plotting terror attacks in the country, in line with an agreement between the two nations.
06 September – Source: Xinhuanet – 270 Words
The international community on Wednesday expressed concern over reported efforts to create a new federal member state in southern Somalia. Foreign envoys from the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the United States said they were closely following developments in HirShabelle state following the announcement by the State Assembly that it had impeached state president Ali Abdullahi Osoble on Aug. 14.
The envoys urged all parties to continue the efforts to address this important matter through the established constitutional and legal means and to refrain from any actions that could undermine the consolidation of the state building process. “Unilateral steps that have no legal basis and which are detrimental to the ongoing state formation and stabilization efforts are not helpful and are a cause for concern,” the envoys said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.
The foreign envoys expressed concern about the reported attempts to form a separate federal member state in the Hiiraan region, considering the substantial political and material investment made in the state formation process and the ongoing capacity building efforts. “International partners call upon all parties to adhere to the applicable legal framework, the HirShabelle Constitution, and the established parliamentary processes,” the envoys said.
07 September – Source: China Daily – 238 Words
Forty-two Somali students drawn from different parts of the country were Wednesday awarded scholarships to study in various universities in China. Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qin Jian said the students who completed their secondary education in Somalia will pursue both undergraduate and graduate studies in China and will be expected to come back and deploy their skills in building the country.
Qin said the award of scholarship was in line with China’s commitment in supporting the Horn of Africa nation’s recovery process and deepening diplomatic ties between the two countries. “We have selected students from all Somali regions notably Somaliland, Puntland, Galmudug, South West, HirShabelle and Mogadishu. I am confident this scholarship programme will be of so much help to the students and the country at large,” said Qin.
Somalia’s Minister for Higher Education Abdirahman Dahir Osman hailed the scholarship offer as a major milestone in China’s continued support to his country, adding that this was instrumental in affirming established relations between the two countries. “Our relations with China have always remained very strong.
This assistance is not new. China has extended support to us on many occasions over the years,” said Osman. Ahmed Hassan, one of the beneficiaries, expressed joy upon receiving the scholarship award letter. “I thank the Chinese government for this scholarship award. I am very happy to have qualified for this scholarship,” said Hassan, who will be studying for a master’s degree in China.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“For many years too, Somalis have had to live with the humiliation of Somalia being an international punchline, a byword for failure. After years of struggle to build their nation once again, this episode raises fundamental questions. To have a Somali citizen snatched from Somali soil – with the apparent complicity and even involvement of the Somali government – makes many wonder if their homeland is still nowhere near being an independent and functioning state.”
06 September – Source: Huffington Post – 662 Words
The presidency of Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo is only eight months old but already his administration faces its first crisis – and it is one of their own making. For a country that has experienced years of civil war, division and instability, one would imagine that the greatest challenges facing Somalia’s new administration would be internal. But nothing is ever straightforward in Somalia. So it is that the first real test for President Farmaajo has been sparked by the announcement made last week by the foreign minister of neighbouring Ethiopia that Somali authorities had “played a facilitation role” in the capture of Abdikarin Sheikh Muse.
Muse is a member of a liberation movement in the Ogaden region, an almost entirely ethnically Somali area ceded to Ethiopia in the colonial era, and ever since the source of near constant tension and numerous wars in the region.
The long history of animosity between the two countries makes the involvement of Somalia in the apprehension of a man wanted by Ethiopia notable; but the details have made it an outrage in Somalia. Muse has long been a resident in Mogadishu and, though heavily involved in the Ogaden liberation movement, is thought to have been born in Somalia. The country’s constitution expressly forbids the extradition of Somali citizen to foreign countries.
To add to the potential illegality of Somalia’s involvement in the arrest, one has to consider the platform on which candidate Farmaajo ran his campaign. The leader of a party founded as recently as 2012, Farmaajo’s background was modest compared to many of his rivals. Without the establishment credentials, his popularity was instead based on his strong nationalism, and in particular a frostiness, not to say hostility, to Ethiopia. This provided Farmaajo a unique selling point when compared to incumbent president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s perceived cosiness with the government in Addis Ababa.
Farmaajo’s strong national and security-based rhetoric have led to many questions about just what role his administration had in the arrest of arrest, even abduction, of Muse. Was this a case of extraordinary rendition? What did the president know and when did he know it? Did he give the go ahead or, perhaps more worryingly, was this done behind his back?
.@SagalBihi: The 2015/16 docs signed by Guled & Salad refer AlShabab & UBBO(reference to ONLF)as common enemies of both countries.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qin Jian speaks at the Farewell Ceremony held for Somali Students Awarded Scholarship to study in China
Photo: China Daily