Tuesday 25 July 2017
(Shabelle News 07/13/17)
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has opened the second parliamentary plenary session of the Upper House of the Somali Federal Parliament. In his constitutional address, the president called upon the two houses of parliament to cooperate in the ongoing process of reviewing Somalia’s provisional constitution. “The two chambers of the federal parliament must cooperate in the important duty of the process of reviewing our provisional constitution”. President Farmaajo urged members of the upper house to take the lead in ensuring delivery of services aimed at achieving development goals and plans. “You must ensure in all you do that it should only be in the interest of the nation, and avoid personal, groups or clan interests…” The president in his address underscored...
(Shabelle News 07/13/17)
Here’s a line you probably thought you’d never read: Pirates are helping terrorist groups smuggle weapons and maybe even fighters. Yeah, that’s a thing now. “The United Nations and the United States are investigating at least two pirate kingpins for providing material support to terror groups,” according to a CNN report Monday morning. The terror groups in question, according to CNN, aren’t just a bunch of would-be militants. Instead it’s a pair of battle-hardened and dangerous groups in Somalia, the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab and an ISIS faction there. Those connections come as unwelcome news for US military officials working to defeat ISIS and training the Somali military to beat back al-Shabaab, an Islamist group that has killed hundreds over the...
(Garowe online 07/13/17)
Somali government says it is seeking a compensation for a widespread internet outage after the fibre optic cables are cut by a ship more than two week ago, Garowe Online reports. A commercial ship named MSC Alice has been accused of cutting the undersea cable in the Indian Ocean, however, the firm that owns the vessel demands for clear and reasonable evidence. Somalia’s Attorney General, Ahmed Ali Dahir, has asked the company for pay a compensation for the economic loss that resulted from the Internet outage. It’s yet unclear which country belongs to the Ship. “The country has a law and functioning government. We want a compensation for the ongoing internet outage costing Somalia $10m each day. We need an...
(Xinhuanet 07/13/17)
The UN food agency on Thursday called on countries in the Horn of Africa region to embark on radical overhaul of agricultural policies coupled with targeted investments in climate resilience in order to contain endemic food insecurity. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative in Kenya Gabriel Rugalema said that robust policy frameworks, increased funding and technology adoption were required to enhance food production in the Horn of African region amid harsh climatic conditions. "The Horn of African region is facing the worst food crisis in recent history but the situation can be reversed if countries explore new policies, technologies and innovations to enhance resilience of farming and pastoralism," said Rugalema. He spoke in Nairobi during a forum on...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/17)
Last month, a baby was born in the Somali capital Mogadishu with a terrible eye defect that requires treatment abroad. The infant was cleared for treatment in Turkey but before the paperwork was complete a container ship, believed to be the Panama-flagged MSC Alice, docked outside Mogadishu port, accidentally dragging its anchor through the main fibre optic cable connecting Somalia with the rest of the world. Since that evening of June 24 most of the Horn of Africa nation has been cut off from the web, costing it an estimated $10 million...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has expressed Washington's support towards flushing out Al-Shabaab militants from Somalia. A statement from the Somali presidency said Tillerson made the pledge as he held phone talks with Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. Tillerson has reaffirmed America's commitment to support Somalia's development goals, and cooperate on the efforts to eradicate the threats of terror. "We are ready to support Somalia and cooperate on eradicating the threats of terror," said the U.S. top diplomat. According to the statement, Tillerson gave the assurance that Washington was fully in support of Somalia's peace and stability efforts. "We need to embark on the fight against Al-Shabaab with renewed urgency," Tillerson was quoted as saying in the statement. U.S...
(APA 07/12/17)
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has handed back to the government a university campus its troops have been using as military base for the past ten years. The handing over ceremony took place on Tuesday at the campus of the Somalia National University in the capital Mogadishu. The campus which had been in a state of disrepair for the length of the country’s civil war was an operational base for AMISOM troops battling to defeat the Somalia militant group Al-Shabaab. The handing over ceremony was witnessed by Education minister, Abdirahman Dahir Osman, Italian ambassador, Carlo Campanile, the UN special rep, Michael Keating and the AU rep for Somalia, Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira.
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
African and Arab election experts are in Kenya this week meeting with Somalia's electoral commission to help the country prepare to move to “one person, one vote” elections in 2020. The year 2004 marked the beginning of the end to more than two decades of civil war and anarchy in Somalia. Members of Somalia's interim parliament gathered in Nairobi to vote for a new president. They met in Kenya because Mogadishu was still too dangerous. Somalia has since held three polls. But regular Somalis are yet to cast any ballots. The country has relied on a clan-based formula in which the lawmakers were selected
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
Severe food crises are growing in Kenya and Somalia, as the Horn of Africa continues to receive below-normal rainfall, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. The hunger-tracking group says 2.9 million people in Kenya and 3.2 million in Somalia are experiencing Phase 3 or higher on the network's five-tier warning scale, with Phase 3 being the crisis stage and Phase 5 being a full-fledged famine. The numbers represent a jump of 800,000 in Kenya and 300,000 in Somalia since FEWS NET's last estimates, released in June. The need is urgent Peter Thomas, FEWS NET decision support advisor, says Phase 3 indicates that households are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. “This means that households are unable to meet...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Xinhuanet 07/10/17)
The UN top envoy in Somalia on Sunday called on lawmakers to meet numerous expectations of the Somalis by passing key legislations to strengthen the rule of law and promote democracy. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating, who welcomed the opening of the Somali Parliament said the real sovereignty for Somalia depends upon the country reducing its dependency upon others. "The Somali parliament can make a decisive contribution to progress by passing key legislation, including the electoral law, legislation enabling a constitutional review and revenue generating laws," Keating said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
(Voice of America 07/10/17)
Voice of America's Somali service hosted a town hall Saturday in Minnesota, home to a large Somali-American population, to discuss a recent outbreak of measles in the state, and address rumors in the community surrounding childhood vaccines and autism. The northern U.S. state of Minnesota is struggling with the biggest outbreak of measles in the state since 1990. Seventy-eight people caught the disease, mostly Somali-Americans, and nearly a third were hospitalized. The panel, gathered to address concerns of parents, consisted of four Minnesota health officials, two of whom have children who have been diagnosed with autism. The town hall event, called Vaccine and Autism: Myths and Facts, was broadcast from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. It...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/01/17)
Authorities in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Friday executed seven people it said were Islamist militants who plotted to carry out attacks, including bombings. Awil Ahmed Farah, chairperson of the region's military court, said the accused were members of the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militant group fighting to overthrow the government in Mogadishu. "The court executed seven fighters. They were shot dead today," he told reporters in the port city of Bosasso. "Five of the militants were caught as they transported explosives into Bosasso. The other two militants killed people in Galkayo," Farah said, referring to another city in the region. Al Shabaab's insurgency aims to topple Somalia's Western-backed government and impose its strict version of Islam on the Horn...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Eight people, including four children returning to school after Eid celebrations, were killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb in eastern Kenya near the border with Somalia, police said. "We have eight victims -- four children and four police," a police spokesman told AFP following the explosion between Mararani and Kiunga, just a handful of kilometres (miles) from the border. The blast bore the hallmarks of similar bombings blamed on Shabaab Islamists who have targeted security forces in the past in the region. Seven police officers and ...

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