Friday 23 February 2018
(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,...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
US forces in Somalia have conducted a strike against a bomb-laden vehicle that was going to be used against civilians in Mogadishu, the US military's Africa Command said Wednesday. The strike against Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab militants occurred early January 2 about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of the capital. It killed "two terrorists and (destroyed) one vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, preventing it from being used against the people in Mogadishu," AFRICOM said in a statement. "We assess no civilians were killed in this strike," the statement read.
(The Associated Press 01/03/18)
The U.S. military says it has carried out a drone strike in Somalia that killed two al-Shabab extremists and destroyed a vehicle carrying explosives, “preventing it from being used against the people in Mogadishu.” The U.S. Africa Command statement says the airstrike occurred early Tuesday about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of the capital. It says no civilians were killed. Mogadishu is frequently targeted by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab. The extremist group was blamed for the October truck bombing that killed 512 people in the capital. The U.S. military carried out more than 30 drone strikes last year against al-Shabab and fighters linked to the Islamic State group after the Trump administration approved expanded operations in the Horn of Africa nation...
(The Associated Press 01/03/18)
The Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group says it has executed five men accused of spying for the Kenyan, Ethiopian and Somali governments. Al-Shabab announced the killings on its Andalus radio station, saying they were carried out in a public square in Kuntuwarey town in Lower Shabelle region late Tuesday. Witnesses say the men were tied to poles and shot dead by masked gunmen after a self-proclaimed judge read out their verdict in front of a crowd at the execution ground. Al-Shabab, al-Qaida’s East African affiliate, has fought for years to impose a strict version of Islam in the Horn of Africa nation. Despite losing territory in recent years, the group continues to carry out lethal attacks in many parts of the...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest. Holot, an open facility in Israel's desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
The United States carried out an air strike on Christmas Eve against the Shabaab Islamist group that left 13 dead, according to a statement released Wednesday. "In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants on the morning of Dec. 24, 2017, in southern Somalia, killing 13 terrorists," read the statement from the US Africa Command (AFRICOM). The United States has stepped up its operations in Somalia in recent weeks, with frequent strikes against Shabaab and a separate self-proclaimed branch of the Islamic State in the Horn of Africa nation. Three weeks ago the US said it had killed eight Shabaab militants, while an air strike in November reportedly left more than 100...
(The Associated Press 12/20/17)
Ninety-two Somalis sat bound and shackled on an airplane for nearly two days, some urinating on themselves, during a botched U.S. deportation attempt, a class-action lawsuit filed in the United States says. U.S. immigration agents “kicked, struck, choked and dragged detainees” during the journey that began Dec. 7, the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Miami says. Some of the Somalis were put in straitjackets. The flight to Somalia from Louisiana reached Dakar, Senegal before sitting on the runway for 23 hours and returning to the U.S. because the relief crew was not rested enough, the lawsuit says.
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
A suicide bomber from Somalia's Shabaab insurgents killed 18 police officers and wounded 15 others on Thursday when he blew himself up inside the country's main police academy, the force's chief said. Witnesses said the police were gathered in a square ahead of their early morning parade when the bomber attacked in the capital Mogadishu. "Eighteen members from the police were killed, and 15 others were wounded, after a suicide bomber blew himself inside the academy," acting police chief General Muktar Hussein Afrah told reporters. The attacker disguised himself in a police uniform to access the camp, Afrah said. "Some of the police were already in lines, and others were gathering, when the man in police uniform entered and blew...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
A suicide bomber blew himself up inside the main police academy in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Thursday with several people feared dead, police said. Witnesses said the police were gathering for their early morning parade, and were crowded in an open square when the bomber attacked. "A man wearing an explosive vest entered the camp disguised as a policeman, and blew himself up," police officer Mohamed Abdulle said. "There are casualties, and many injuries." Abdulle did not immediately have a toll for the number killed but said he feared there could be several dead. "Medical rescuers are still working on evacuating the casualties," Abdulle said. The police camp is Somalia's biggest police academy. "Some of the police were already in...
(Xinhuanet 12/14/17)
The death toll in the early Thursday suicide bombing attack at General Kahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu has risen to 13 while 15 others were injured. Aamin Ambulance Director Abdukadir Abdirahman told Xinhua they had ferried 13 bodies to the city's Medina Hospital. "A total of 13 bodies from the attack are now in Medina Hospital. Another 15 were injured and receiving medical treatment," he said. Police said the suicide bomber strapped with a bomb vest blew up during rehearsals in preparation for the Dec. 20 Police Day celebrations in Somalia. The attack took place at 7:30 a.m. Female police officers were among those killed in the attack in which Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility. The insurgents said they...

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