Wednesday 18 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(AFP (eng) 10/05/17)
Somali refugees are fleeing war, cholera and hunger in Yemen, the United Nations said Thursday, with 10,000 expected to return home to a country they escaped over conflict and poverty. Somalis make up 91 percent of refugees and asylum seekers in Yemen, with the United Nations reporting some 256,000 Somalis based in camps in the war-torn country. Thousands have headed to Yemen since the start of 2017, despite a conflict in the Arabian Peninsula country that has killed thousands and a cholera outbreak threatening nearly one million people. But up to 10,000 Somali refugees are now trying to flee Yemen, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said. Two boats chartered by UNHCR and the UN migration agency IOM have already left...
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Wednesday arrived in Sudan's capital Khartoum for a two-day visit to discuss bilateral issues. "This visit comes as affirmation of the deep and strong ties between Sudan and Somalia," said Hamid Mumtaz, Sudan's state minister for foreign affairs. He further reiterated Sudan's commitment to work for achieving peace and stability in Somalia. The Somali president is expected to hold talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and First Vice-President and Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh. The Somali president's will also visit some Sudanese industrial and educational institutions. The two sides are scheduled to sign joint agreements, and the two presidents will hold a joint press conference at the conclusion of the visit on Thursday. President...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/04/17)
EDMONTON, Alberta (Reuters) - The Somali immigrant charged with attempted murder in connection with a weekend vehicle and knife attack in Edmonton, Alberta, was detained in the United States pending deportation before claiming refugee status in Canada, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, is accused of running down a police officer with his car on Saturday night and then stabbing him repeatedly. Police said he fled before driving a U-Haul truck into four pedestrians during an attempt to evade capture. Sharif was in custody in the United States for about four months in the summer and autumn of 2011, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokeswoman Lauren Mack said in a statement. He was ordered deported to...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia has received $50 million in new aid from Saudi Arabia but the gesture does not change the central government’s decision to remain neutral in Riyadh’s dispute with fellow Gulf state Qatar, a senior Somali official said on Tuesday. The money follows a visit to Riyadh last week by Somalia’s president and a string of declarations of support for the Saudi side in the Gulf crisis from Somalia’s semi-autonomous regions, into which Riyadh and its Gulf Arab allies have poured money. Somali Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman, announcing the $50 million in Saudi aid...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
Turkey inaugurated on Saturday the largest foreign-run military training centre in Somalia, where local troops are due to take over the protection of a nation threatened by Shabaab Islamist attacks. Somalia's fragile government and institutions, including its national army, are backed by the African Union's 22,000-strong AMISOM force and powers like the United States. But the gradual withdrawal of the AMISOM troops is due to start in October 2018 and doubts persist over the readiness of Somali forces to confront the Qaeda-aligned Shabaab. In the meantime, training of the Somali army is handled primarily by foreign powers...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
MOGADISHU/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey opened its biggest overseas military base on Saturday in Somalia’s capital, cementing its ties with the volatile but strategic Muslim nation and building a presence in East Africa. More than 10,000 Somali soldiers will be trained by Turkish officers at the base, a senior Turkish official said ahead of a ceremony in Mogadishu attended by Turkish military chief of staff Hulusi Akar. The opening of the $50 million base signals ever-closer ties between Turkey and Somalia. Turkey’s relations with the Horn of Africa date back to the Ottoman Empire, but President Tayyip Erdogan’s government has become a close ally of the Somali government in recent years. At the opening ceremony on Saturday, Somali Prime Minister Hassan...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
EDMONTON, Alberta (Reuters) - A Somali refugee who had been on a watch list over extremist views faced five counts of attempted murder and terror charges on Sunday after Canadian police said he stabbed a police officer and ran down four pedestrians with a car in Edmonton, Alberta. The suspect, a 30-year-old man whom police did not identify, had been investigated two years ago for promoting extremist ideology but was not deemed a threat, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said. RCMP Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand said an “exhaustive investigation” into the man in 2015 did not uncover sufficient evidence to pursue charges.
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Shabaab jihadists attacked a Somali army base early Friday in the southern town of Barire, killing at least eight soldiers and stealing equipment, officials and witnesses said. The assault on the Somali National Army military camp in Barire, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of the capital Mogadishu, began with two suicide attackers detonating their car bombs before gunmen overran the base. "There was heavy fighting this morning," said Mohamed Haji Ali, a Somali military commander, confirming the attack to local media without providing details of casualties. Residents said the attack left bodies of government soldiers scattered on the ground while Shabaab fighters looted the base stealing vehicles and weapons.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/17)
Al Shabaab fighters killed at least 15 soldiers in an attack on a military base near Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, the militant group and Somali officials said on Friday. The militants used guns and car bombs to take control of the base and a nearby town, Barire, 50 km (30 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, in an early-morning attack. The fighters also took 11 pickup trucks mounted with machine guns, known as “technicals”, said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman. “The other soldiers ran helter-skelter into the woods. We now control the base and the village,” he said. A Somali military officer put the number of dead at 15; al Shabaab said 21 were killed. The government and al Shabaab...
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab on early Friday stormed a Somali military base some 50 km southwest of the capital, a government official said. The militants launched two massive bomb attacks at the Barire military base before making entry, and they claimed to have killed 17 soldiers in the attack. A government official who asked to be anonymous as he is not authorized to speak on the matter told Xinhua that the attackers ambushed the base in the early hours of Friday. "Two huge blasts could be heard from the military base in the early hours of Friday. We don't have any further information about casualties," the official said. Residents told Xinhua that the explosions were massive and they caused...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/17)
At least seven people were killed and several others wounded after a car bomb exploded near a marketplace in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Thursday, a city official said. The blast occurred alongside a densely populated road near Hamarweyne market, an area where bombings claimed by the Islamist Shabaab insurgency have previously occurred. "The blast was caused by a luxurious car loaded with explosives, which was detonated at a civilian, densely-populated area, and seven people were killed and several others wounded," city administration spokesman...
(Xinhuanet 09/28/17)
Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qian Jian on Wednesday said China will strongly support the Horn of Africa nation's peace and reconstruction process as part of the bilateral pact between the two countries. Qian said Beijing had made positive contribution to Somalia in various fields including economic and social development to assist the country in acquiring political stability. "The Chinese government has built over 80 infrastructural projects like hospitals, stadiums and roads to ease the burden of the Somali people. We have dispatched a medical team of more than 400 members in 13 batches to the country since 1991," the envoy said in Nairobi during celebrations to mark the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Qian...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/28/17)
More than 800,000 children risk death by starvation in East Africa and aid agencies have just weeks - months at most - to save them, World Vision charity said on Wednesday. Conflict in South Sudan and Somalia, and prolonged drought across the region have left more than 15 million children in need of food, water, healthcare, education or protection, said the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF. Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya have witnessed a spike in hunger levels among children in recent weeks, with several areas reporting that more than a third of their children have health problems as a result, World Vision said in a statement. “We are still in the danger zone. More than 800,000 children remain severely malnourished...
(Voice of America 09/27/17)
Al-Shabab militants have launched what appears to be a forced recruitment campaign in Somalia's southwestern regions of Bay and Bakool, according to Somali officials. The group, which controls large parts of both regions, is pressuring leaders of local villages to make sure teenagers join its ranks, according to the governor of Bay region, Ali Wardhere Doyow. "They have been holding meetings for clan elders and told them to meet specific numbers of recruits they want collected from clans," Doyow told VOA's Somali Service. Doyow said many families and their children have fled their villages to larger towns in the Bay region
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
A Lufthansa passenger plane hijacked in 1977 whilst flying from Mallorca to Frankfurt has been returned to Germany, Japan Times has reported. The plane was hijacked by The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who sought the release of its members within the Red Army Faction who they were working with, and landed in Somalia. German Special Forces rescued 86 passengers and killed three of the hijackers during the raid. The plane has since been at Brazil’s Fortaleza Airport. It will be taken to the Dornier Museum where it will be put on public display.

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