Friday 22 September 2017
(Business Standard 08/14/17)
The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Sunday it had not recorded any case of polio disease in Somalia in the last three years, declaring the country polio free. The WHO said the country recorded the last case of polio in 2014 in the central part of the country but has since then remained free of the paralyzing disease. The UN health agency, however, warned Somalia remained vulnerable, calling for continued vaccination campaign, Xinhua reported. The head of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean, which covers Somalia, Mohamed Fiqi said that massive vaccination campaigns and commitment from government and international actors had ensured the polio virus did not recur in the Horn of Africa country. "As the world edges closer to...
(Garowe online 08/14/17)
A huge explosion was heard around the heavily fortified Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport vicinity on Monday morning, the latest in a series of assaults in the seaside capital, Garowe Online reports. A witness, who asked not to be named, has confirmed to GO that the blast took place near a security checkpoint a few metres from the main entrance of Jazeera Palace hotel and followed by a heavy gunfire. Reports said the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) fitted into a Taxi, which exploded close to eastern side gate of the hotel, while driving on the road to Mogadishu's airport, killing the driver. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though Al shabaab has launched a...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
U.S. forces conducted two strikes on al-Qaeda-linked fighters in southern Somalia that the Horn of Africa nation’s government said killed a senior militant. The attacks took place Thursday near the Benadir region, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement, without giving further details. Somalia’s government said President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed authorized a “coordinated operation with international partners.” The man killed was a “high-level” leader of the al-Shabaab militant group responsible for bombings and assassinations in the capital, Mogadishu, the Information Ministry said in an emailed statement. The U.S., which already supported Somalia’s battle against al-Shabaab with drone strikes
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
A suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a mosque in the centre of Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Friday, killing a soldier, police said, and Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. Police spokesman Major Mohamed Hussein told Reuters the bomber had wanted to target a commander of Somalia's prisons department who was praying inside the mosque. A soldier intercepted the attacker before he entered the mosque and as he tried to push him back, the bomb exploded, killing the bomber and the soldier, Hussein said. "The suicide bomber had a prison police uniform and an explosive jacket on top," Hussein said. Al Shabaab carries out frequent bombings in Mogadishu and other towns aimed at toppling the...
(Xinhuanet 08/11/17)
The U.S. military has confirmed it conducted two new airstrikes against Al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia which Mogadishu authorities said killed a senior militant leader. The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement that the airstrikes were carried out Thursday near the Banadir region in southern Somalia. "We will continue to assess the results of the operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operational security," it said in a statement issued on Thursday night. The statement came after Somalia's President in a separate statement said that a senior Al-Shabaab leader who had been part of a network responsible for planning and...
(Xinhuanet 08/10/17)
At least 20 people were killed in fierce fighting between Al-Shabaab fighters and loyalists of the former group's leader Mukhtar Robow in Somalia's southwestern region of Bakool Wednesday, authorities have said. The fighting which started midday lasted into the evening with reports of casualties emerging from both sides even as the SouthWest state administration said it was readying to extend its support to the former Al-Shabaab leader. SouthWest state (which encompasses the Bakool region) acting president Mohamed Hassan Fiqi told reporters
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
More than 20 million people are at risk from famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and the northeast of Nigeria, the United Nations warned on Wednesday. The Security Council officially declared for the first time that the threat was directly linked to the armed conflicts raging in the afflicted areas. "The Security Council notes the devastating impact on civilians of ongoing armed conflict and violence," the 15-member UN body said. The declaration added that the council "also emphasizes with deep concern that ongoing conflicts and violence have devastating humanitarian
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
Somalia's parliament on Wednesday approved the National Communications Act to regulate the country's telecommunication sector. Abdi Ashur Hassan, minister for posts, telecoms and technology said the bill, finally endorsed by 158 votes to 1, was submitted to parliament in early July after consultations with all stakeholders in the last few months. The telecommunications bill calls for the creation of telecoms regulatory authority, development of the country with telecommunications technology, protecting corporate and consumer rights and more participation by private sectors in developing the sector. Drafting of this bill started as early as 2004 and has been sitting in front of 7th, 8th and 9th federal parliaments. Hassan said the Bill had been allowed to remain idle for years, while technology...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
Somalia government is to launch national consultations on the constitution review following public awareness and sensitization process, officials said. Minister of Constitutional Affairs Abdurahman Hosh Jibril said the process will engage all Somalis to ensure their views are represented in the new constitution. "The next two years are very crucial because that is the timeline we have to complete the review of the constitution," the minister said in a statement from the AU mission in Somalia issued on Tuesday night. "In order for that document to have the requisite legitimacy, we need to take it to the public for consultations and conduct civic education," Abdurahman said. He said the national conference bringing on board all stakeholders will be held in...
(Voice of America 08/09/17)
When dozens of American soldiers deployed to Mogadishu back in April, their presence marked the first American military forces in Somalia, except for a small unit of counterterrorism advisers, since March 1994. VOA broke the story of their arrival, and now, VOA has learned more about their train-and-equip mission in Mogadishu. Soldiers sent to Somalia with the 101st Airborne are primarily training truck drivers for the Somali military, Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, the commander of U.S. Army Africa, told VOA in an exclusive interview. “They are training Somalis how to drive to keep their logistics going,” Harrington said. The general was able to see the training-and-equipping course first-hand when he visited Somalia in June. He said the Army was pleased...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
A senior police commander was shot dead on Wednesday in the Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Police said the police chief was gunned down by armed men in the center of Bosaso town in Bari region. "Armed men gunned down deputy police commander Abdi Dhere and drove off. We are already investigating and all those behind the murder will face justice," police officer Abdisalam Ahmed told Xinhua. Residents also reported the incident. "We were sitting near a restaurant and we heard some shooting. People were saying a police officer was killed," Jamal Elmi told Xinhua No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but Al-Shabaab has conducted similar attacks in Somalia, most of which were in the capital Mogadishu.
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/05/17)
An explosives-laden car blew up in the center of Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least one person and injuring another, police said. The vehicle was parked next to a hospital in a busy road that is flanked by several hotels. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though the Islamist militant group Al Shabaab has launched frequent attacks in the city. "So far, I have seen one dead civilian. She was a woman. One man was also injured," Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters. Al Shabaab is waging an insurgency to overthrow the Western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeepers in a bid to take over the country and impose its strict interpretation of Islam. The...
(Xinhuanet 08/04/17)
The United States on Friday confirmed that Al-Shabaab senior terrorist Ali Mohamed Hussein alias Ali Jabal was killed in drone strikes by American and Somalia security forces in southern region on July 31. The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said the United States conducted this operation in coordination with its regional partners as a direct response to Al-Shabaab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces. "There were no civilian casualties from this strike," Africom said in a statement following a coordinated operation with international partners near Torotoroow in southern Somalia. The military said the strike was conducted within the parameters of the proposal approved by President Donald
(Reuters (Eng) 08/04/17)
Somalia's militant Islamist group al Shabaab seized a town in the south of the country early on Friday after it was abandoned by the military and African Union-mandated (AMISOM) peacekeepers, residents said. The town of Leego, which lies about 130 km (80 miles) to the northwest of the capital Mogadishu, is in Somalia's lower Shabelle region where al Shabaab last week killed at least 12 peacekeepers in one of the deadliest attacks on AMISOM. Farah Ahmed, a resident of Leego, told Reuters AMISOM and Somali military forces had pulled out of the town early on Friday. "That same minute al Shabaab entered to control the town... The town is now calm and al Shabaab fighters are in every part of...
(IRIN 08/04/17)
Ahmed Hussein’s perfectly white teeth seem too big for his mouth; his upper arms look like they belong to a little boy, not a 23-year-old man. Propped up on an iron bed, Hussein laughs and says he always was slim. But he is clearly malnourished. Hussein arrived at Mogadishu’s Bandir Hospital a day earlier with his mother and two sisters, all suffering from acute watery diarrhoea: a tell-tale sign of cholera. A nurse at the hospital told IRIN she believed the whole family got sick from the same water source. This is Somalia’s worst cholera outbreak in five years. So far, 71,663 cases have been counted, including more than 1,098 deaths, according to Doctor Ghulam Popal, the World Health Organization...
(New Vision 08/04/17)
In a press release, the Council expressed their sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Uganda, and wished the injured a speedy recovery. The UN Security Council has condemned the recent Al Shabaab terrorist attack against the Ugandan contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which left 12 soldiers dead and seven injured. In a press release, the Council expressed their sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Uganda, and wished the injured a speedy recovery. “The members of the Security Council honored the sacrifice and dedication of AMISOM troops to combating terrorism in Somalia and...

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