Thursday 21 September 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(AFP (eng) 08/26/17)
Somali officials said Friday they had killed eight jihadist fighters during an overnight operation, denying claims from local elders that they had shot civilians dead, two of them children. Somali community leaders accused the troops, accompanied by US military advisors, of having killing the nine civilians in the overnight operations. An initial government statement said its troops had come under fire from jihadists while on patrol, insisting that no civilians had been killed. A later statement acknowledged that there had been civilian casualties, in what the government seemed to suggest was a separate incident.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/26/17)
Somali forces supported by U.S. troops shot dead 10 Somalis, including three children, in a village near the capital Mogadishu on Friday, a witness and local officials told Reuters. The involvement of U.S. troops was confirmed by U.S. Africa Command, which said it was investigating reports of civilian casualties. The Somali army initially said no civilians were killed and all the dead were members of the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militia, which is fighting to overthrow the weak U.N.-backed government and impose strict Islamic law. It later issued a second statement saying some civilian casualties had been reported. “We also understand that there are civilian casualties in which the Federal Government is investigating to find out the truth about this...
(Xinhuanet 08/25/17)
The UN has promised to support progress in Somalia in addressing the country's challenges including severe drought and security. The UN Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, who visited Somalia on Thursday and held a series of meetings with senior government officials, also said the world body will support Somalia in realizing free and fair elections in 2020 as well as in ensuring the successful completion of the Constitutional Review Process. "I am here to reinforce and to demonstrate the support that the UN has for the people and the government of Somalia as the country addresses a number of challenges ranging from the drought to security, to the political agenda going forward," Feltman said. In a statement from...
(Quartz 08/25/17)
If you visit any major city or town in Somalia, chances are that you will come across the colorful artworks that dot the walls of both private and public establishments. These painted signs are the work of skillful artists, who in broad brushstrokes, advertise the goods and services offered at different business outlets. These include the availability of electronic appliances, vehicle spare parts, beauty products, foodstuff and beverages, and the sometimes graphically-drawn dental, medical, or circumcision services. Other illustrations warn visitors not to carry guns, pistols, or knives into premises like hospitals, restaurants, and government offices. The hand-drawn signs gained popularity in Somalia after the collapse of the central government in 1991. Artists who couldn’t sell their paintings after the...
(Xinhuanet 08/24/17)
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Wednesday it has kicked off a ten-day counterinsurgency training course for the Somali Police Force (SPF) officers to improve their expertise in fighting terrorism. AMISOM Police Trainer Christopher Kashita said the UN-backed training is also aimed at strengthening the capacity of the police officers to improve service delivery and enhance public safety. "The basic counterinsurgency course is aimed at equipping the participants with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to effectively conduct counterinsurgency activities in their areas of operation and Somalia at large," Kahita said. He said in a statement issued in Mogadishu that the objective of the women
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/23/17)
People suffering in Somalia's latest drought have fared better when donors deftly shift funding to emergency projects that help residents save money and stockpile food, a charity said on Tuesday. Severe drought in the Horn of Africa nation is expected to deepen until the October rainy season, and humanitarians are racing to avoid a repeat of the 2011 famine when more than 250,000 people died of starvation. Funding from major donors, including the United States, Britain and the European Union has been used effectively in Somalia for community warehousing of food and for savings and loans programs, the rights group Refugees International said in a report. Flexible use of that funding allowed agencies in Somalia to switch to emergency preparedness...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(The Associated Press 08/22/17)
The Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab is confirming that one of its top commanders was killed by a U.S. airstrike in July. The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist groups, says al-Shabab issued a statement Monday confirming the killing of Ali Muhammad Hussein, also known as Ali Jabal. A statement from the U.S. Africa Command in early August said the strike on July 30 killed Jabal. It said Jabal was "responsible for leading al-Shabab forces operating in the Mogadishu and Banadiir regions in planning and executing attacks against the capital of Mogadishu." The strike reportedly hit an al-Shabab stronghold in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia. Al-Shabab often carries out deadly attacks on high-profile targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere...
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and design, better use of existing...
(Xinhuanet 08/21/17)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said that Egypt is ready to provide Somalia with all possible support to help it build its state institutions. Sisi's comments came during his meeting in Cairo with visiting Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, state-run MENA news agency reported. Talks between the two presidents focused on ways to boost bilateral relations in all fields, as well as the latest security developments in Somalia. Egypt is keen on activating all aspects of cooperation with Somalia, particularly in the economic and trading fields, Sisi said. Mohamed, for his part, praised the historic role played by Egypt in support of Somalia in the past. He also urged Sisi to give a push to trade and economic ties between the...
(Voice of America 08/21/17)
African Union and Somali government forces have captured the town of Bariire, a strategic militant base in the south of the country, officials and witnesses said Saturday. Commanders said the Islamist al-Shabab group fled following heavy fighting outside the town in which the joint troops approached from three directions. Bariire was one of al-Shabab's strongholds in the south and only 45 kilometers (27 miles) from Mogadishu, the country's capital. "The joint troops attacked the town from three directions, forced the militants to flee and secured its control," Abdinasir Alim Ibrahim, a district commissioner in nearby Afgoye, told VOA's Somali service. "Hopefully, the next target will be Toratorow, and then we will proceed to other towns and cities controlled by the...
(Voice of America 08/21/17)
Despite being seven months pregnant, Mesno Taha left her home in Harerge, Ethiopia to find peace and a better future. She trekked to the Somali zone of Ethiopia, crossed the border into Somalia and paid to board a boat bound for Yemen. After traveling 18 hours at sea, she ended up near the shore of the war-torn country. Taha said that she and over 100 other migrants aboard were told that they had arrived at their destination, despite still being at sea. Armed smugglers forced Taha to jump off the boat into the choppy water while its engine continued to run. "They were beating us. They were pulling the women by their hair and pushing them around. We were holding...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(AfricaNews 08/18/17)
Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ethiopian Prime Minister has identified poverty as the main underlying factor of instability in the Horn of Africa region. He added that economic integration was a sure means to secure the region. The 52-year-old Premier who just ended a three-day official visit to Sudan was addressing Khartoum-based diplomatic community and Sudanese intellectuals. His research paper titled: ‘Horn of Africa: Possibilities of an Economic Community,’ stressed the need for the region despite its security challenges to build global competitiveness via economic integration. The time is now for Africans to play their role by filling the market gap observed at the global level. “The time is now for Africans to play their role by filling the market gap observed...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/18/17)
Suspected members of Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group beheaded at least three men overnight in an attack on a Kenyan village, authorities said on Friday, a month after nine were killed in a similar way nearby. "They were slaughtered. Their heads were cut off from the rest of their bodies," said a police source, asking not to be named. Police said four bodies had been found at Maleli village in Kenya's coastal county of Lamu. Area county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said he was aware of three deaths. "A group of armed suspects raided and killed three locals. All the three were men," Kitiyo told Reuters by phone, adding the suspects set houses ablaze before disappearing into a nearby forest. "We...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
The U.S. military said it conducted airstrikes that killed at least seven al-Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia as it increases its involvement in the war-torn Horn of Africa country. Three “precision airstrikes” on Wednesday and Thursday targeted a location in Jilib, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, U.S. African Command said on its website. The operation against the al-Shabaab militants was coordinated with Somali forces, it said, without giving further details. The U.S., which already supported Somalia’s battle against al-Shabaab with drone strikes, has stepped up its involvement this year, in May announcing the first death of a U.S. service member in combat there since 1993. Al-Shabaab has been waging an insurgency in Somalia since 2006 in...
(Xinhuanet 08/16/17)
The United States on Wednesday called on the Somali government to facilitate ways in which fighters of Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab can reject terrorism and join efforts in reconstruction of the country. The U.S. embassy in Somalia also lauded the efforts of the government to facilitate the defections of former and current Al-Shabaab members. "The U.S. encourages the Somali government to continue to create pathways for Al-Shabaab members to reject terrorism and join efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous country for all Somalis," the embassy said in a statement issued in Mogadishu. The statement comes after former deputy leader of the militant group Al-Shabaab Mukhtar Robow surrendered to the government on Sunday. Robow, also known as Abu Mansur, officially...
(Xinhuanet 08/14/17)
Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader Mukhtar Robow defected to the Somalia security forces following a bitter fight with militants in Abal location. Officials said Robow who is from the large Rahanweyn clan, which dominates many of Somalia's most fertile areas, arrived in government controlled town of Hudur town in Somalia' southwest State forces on Sunday. Minister of Internal Security for Southwest State, Hassan Hussein Mohamed confirmed to Xinhua that the group's former leader, Robow is with them at moment. "Al-Shabaab militants wanted to kill Robow but we gave him military help and repulsed

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