Wednesday 25 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/27/18)
Drone strikes by the United States military are "wiping out" Shabaab militants in Somalia, the head of the African Union mission in the country told AFP in an interview Friday. The US has stepped up its operations in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation, targeting the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab, which has fought for the last decade to topple Somalia's internationally backed government, and a separate self-proclaimed branch of the Islamic State. "These drone attacks and others are wiping out al-Shabaab in good numbers. And that is good to finish with the terrorism," said Francisco Madeira, the chief of the 22,000-strong African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on the sidelines of the AU's summit in the Ethiopian capital. In recent months,...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in Thursday's edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor...
(Xinhuanet 01/24/18)
Somali security forces backed by Africa Union troops on Wednesday killed three Al-Shabaab militants and injured several others during a heavy fighting in Bula-burte town in Hiiraan region, central Somalia, Somali authorities said. Bula-burte District Commissioner Abdi Dahir Gure told reporters that the allied forces preempted militants' plot to carry out attack in the town. "There are no casualties on both the joint forces and civilians so far. The situation is calm now," Gure said. Residents in the town said that the fighting began after the militants fired mortar shells early Wednesday. "Al-Shabaab fighters attacked army base here with mortar shells, then heavy fighting erupted which lasted several hours," a residents said. Al-Shabaab militants did not comment on the latest...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
Four Somali men charged over an explosion at a coffee shop at Nairobi's international airport in 2014 were acquitted Monday due to lack of evidence. The men had denied they were members of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab Islamist group and had carried out the attack, which came four months after militants struck the capital's Westgate mall, killing at least 67 people. There were no casualties in the blast at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which police initially blamed on a "loose light bulb" falling into a waste paper basket. After a bullet-ridden car containing a dead body and explosives was found the following morning...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
Somalia's president fired the mayor of the capital Mogadishu on Sunday, in an apparent bid to defuse moves towards greater autonomy for the city. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed named current information minister Abdirahman Omar Osman to the post of Mogadishu mayor and governor of the Banadir administration, the region that includes the city, according to a statement from his office. Osman replaces Thabit Abdi Mohamed who has served just nine months in office. Immediately after the mayor's firing, government security forces were deployed across Mogadishu to forestall any potential protest against the move. Earlier, Mohamed's supporters in the city council had nominated him to head an autonomous Banadir administration...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through sport, organizers said. The countries represented included Nigeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Some of the people taking part had come to Europe as asylum seekers while others were born on the continent. “We are all human, we have...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US forces in Somalia said Friday that four Al-Shabaab militants were killed in an airstrike as part of the ongoing offensive against the jihadist rebels. The US Africa Command said the strike took place on Thursday in southern Somalia, around 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of the port city of Kismayo. Africa Command did not provide details on the attack, which it said was undertaken "in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia." But it said no civilians were killed. "US forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect US citizens and to disable terrorist threats," US Africa Command said in a statement. It was the second strike by US forces so far this year against...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/18)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali authorities said troops stormed a school run by al Shabaab on Thursday night and rescued 32 children who had been taken as recruits by the Islamist militant group. “The 32 children are safe and the government is looking after them. It is unfortunate that terrorists are recruiting children to their twisted ideology,” Abdirahman Omar Osman, information minister for the Somali federal government, told Reuters on Friday. “It showed how desperate the terrorists are, as they are losing the war and people are rejecting terror.” Al Shabaab said government forces, accompanied by drones, had attacked the school in Middle Shabelle region. It said four children and a teacher were killed. The Somali government said no children were...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador did not offer an apology during the closed-door meeting, but she did express regret. Haley told the meeting that "she was not there at the White House, she is not sure what was said, but she regretted all this situation...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/18)
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The Somali government responded to widespread criticism by aid agencies on Wednesday, promising to investigate reports that thousands of families fleeing drought and conflict were forcefully evicted from more than 20 informal camps. The United Nations and groups such as the Somalia NGO Consortium say more than 4,000 families, or about 20,000 people, had their homes bulldozed last month inside settlements on the outskirts of the capital of Mogadishu. The demolitions on private land were unannounced, they said, and pleas by the community - largely women and children...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/18)
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - About 6.2 million people in Somalia - half the population - need emergency aid, such as food, water and shelter, due to unprecedented drought and ongoing conflict, the United Nations said on Wednesday, appealing for $1.6 billion. The drought - spanning four consecutive poor rainy seasons - has forced millions from their homes and left hundreds of thousands of children malnourished. One in four people in the Horn of Africa nation faces the risk of hunger. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said donors raised enough funds in 2017 to avert famine and stave off an outbreak of cholera, but the situation was set to worsen this year without sufficient aid...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments. "When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities," she said. Fatima, another hawker, said: "Many...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali al Shabaab Islamist militants, who have carried out frequent bombings in the capital, Mogadishu, said a former leader who defected to the government side was an apostate who could be killed. Al Shabaab fell out with its former spokesman and deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, in 2013. He defected to the U.N.-backed government in August last year. Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to try to topple Somalia’s central government and rule the Horn of Africa country according to its own interpretation of Islamic law. “If Mukhtar Robow thinks he can destroy Islamic sharia and the mujahedeen, he is deluded. Allah will protect Islam and Jihad will not stop just because of you and...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents are increasingly threatening civilians to force them to hand over young children for "indoctrination and military training", Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Monday. The rights watchdog said an aggressive campaign to recruit children had begun in mid-2017, with the jihadists taking reprisals against communities who refuse to cooperate. Hundreds of children have fled their homes to avoid this fate, often alone, it said in a statement. "Al-Shabaab's ruthless recruitment campaign is taking rural children from their parents so they can serve this militant armed group...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country, and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to people briefed...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Lawmakers in the breakaway state of Somaliland have for the first time adopted a law criminalising rape, in what has been hailed as a "victory for women" in the conservative Muslim region. "This law is the most useful ever passed in Somaliland and it will help eradicate violations against women, specifically, rape and other sexual offences," MP Ibrahim Mahdi Buba told AFP late Tuesday. After seven years of debate, the law was finally adopted on Monday in Hargeisa, the capital of the semi-autonomous region which declared independence from troubled Somalia in 1991. Forty-six of the 51 MPs present in the lower house approved the law, which must now go through the upper house before being signed by the president. "Local...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Somalia's prime minister, Hassan Ali Khaire, fired three key ministers on Thursday after weeks of political conflict with opposition and clan leaders. Foreign Minister Yusuf Garad Omar, Trade Mminister Khadra Ahmed Duale and Interior Minister Abdi Farah Said all lost their jobs. No reason was given for the reshuffle, but it came amid criticism the government had failed to consult clan elders on their decisions. They were replaced with men from their respective clans, on which much of Somalia's political loyalties are based. Ahmed Ise Awad was named as new foreign minister, Abdi Mohamed Sabriye as the interior minster and Mohamed Abdi Hayr as trade minister. The government faces regular attacks from Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab ...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/04/18)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalian Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire has sacked his ministers for foreign affairs, the interior and commerce, replacing them with newcomers, the government said on Thursday, as it battles an Islamist insurgency. Khaire, a former oil and gas executive, was appointed to the post by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed last February. His government has been criticized for failing to stem attacks by al Shabaab militants. Foreign affairs minister Yusuf Garaad Omar, interior minister Abdi Farah Said Juha and the commerce and labor minister Khadra Ahmed Duale had been relieved of their duties, the information ministry said in a statement. They were replaced with Ahmed Ise Awad, Mohamed Abdi Sabriye and Mohamed Abdi Hayir, in the foreign affairs,...

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