Sunday 19 November 2017
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, condemned in the strongest terms the attack that killed on Sunday scores of innocent civilians and wounded many more in Mogadishu The Chairperson of the Commission expressed the AU’s heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wished speedy recovery to the injured, the Chairperson said in statement on Sunday. He conveyed the AU’s solidarity with the government and people of Somalia, at this particularly challenging situation. The Chairperson of the Commission called on Somalia's leadership to show renewed unity at this critical time and overcome divisions, to rebuild cohesion at all levels of the federal institutions. Such cohesion is a prerequisite for fulfilling...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(AFP (eng) 10/15/17)
The death toll from Saturday's truck bombing in a shopping district in the Somali capital Mogadishu surged to at least 137 with 300 people injured, police said on Sunday. "We are getting different numbers in terms of the casualty from the medical centres, but we have confirmed so far 137 (dead), most of them burned beyond recognition, police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP. "The death toll could be higher because there are more than 300 wounded, some of them seriously." The blast struck on Saturday afternoon at a busy road junction, reducing buildings to heaps of rubble and leaving vehicles in flames.
(AFP (eng) 10/14/17)
A truck bomb exploded outside a hotel at a busy junction in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday causing widespread devastation that left at least 20 dead, with the toll likely to rise. "Initial reports from emergency departments indicate more than 20 bodies picked up off the street and many more are under the wreckage of buildings destroyed by the blast", said Ibrahim Mohamed, a senior police officer. Government security official Mohamed Aden said that bombing took place in a busy part of the city. "There was a huge blast caused by a truck loaded with explosives. It went off at the entrance of a hotel alongside the K5 intersection," he said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Somalia's defence minister and army chief have both resigned, without explaining why, in a potential blow to the government's fight against Shabaab Islamist militants. The resignations come as Somali security forces struggle to contain attacks by the al-Qaeda-linked group. Defence Minister Abdirashid Abdullahi confirmed his resignation to AFP on Friday, but would not be drawn on the reasons behind his decision. The prime minister's office announced the resignation of Abdullahi and army chief Ahmed Mohamed Jimale Irfid on Thursday. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, widely known by his nickname Farmajo, appointed Irfid in April as he declared a fresh war on the Shabaab. The militants emerged out of a bitter insurgency fighting Ethiopia, whose troops entered Somalia in a US-backed...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
MOGADISHU (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In Somalia’s Raqayle village, life under al Shabaab Islamists can be brutal, with public beheadings, and bizarre - with edicts about wearing socks - but locals feel safer than when the government controlled the area and violently ousted them. More than 70 villagers fled to nearby Afgoye town in 2014 when a dozen government soldiers and policemen forced them off a 128-acre farm, which was claimed by an exile returning from Britain. “They were just terrorizing us,” said one villager, Hodan, describing how the man from the diaspora sped in with cars full of armed men who smashed in doors with their rifles, looted water pumps and filled a well with sand and debris. “My...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
A Somali man who tortured dozens of his compatriots and other migrants in a Libyan camp was sentenced to life in prison by an Italian court on Tuesday. Osman Matammud, 22, was convicted of murder and multiple counts of torture on the basis of testimony from migrants after he was recognised by chance outside a migrant centre in Milan. Matammud, who tried to pass himself off as a regular asylum seeker, was arrested in September 2016 after being reported to authorities for using torture to extort money from migrants in a transit camp in Bani Walid, a town in the Libyan desert. Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa often spend time in such camps while waiting for their families to pay more...
(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...

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