Sunday 22 April 2018
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Voting kicked off at 7 a.m. in the breakaway region of Somaliland on Monday as over 700,000 voters lined up in queues to vast their ballot to elect their fifth president. Queues started forming in a number of the stations as voters lined up to vote in 1,642 polling centers. "I am very happy to vote and I will give my vote to the most suitable candidate," Sagal Mohamed told Xinhua. Muse Bihi Abdi will be defending the ruling party seat while former House Speaker Abdirahman Irro is vying in Wadani ticket. Faisal Ali Warabe is running under Justice and Development Party (UCID). This is the first poll in Somaliland to use a new voter registration system, which itself marks...
(The Associated Press 11/14/17)
Polls have closed and the counting of votes has begun in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Somaliland which is electing their fifth president Monday as the ruling party faces a strong challenge from opposition candidates. Results are expected by Friday. The Somaliland government will block access to social media during the vote-counting period to try to prevent the spread of rumors about election results. More than 700,000 voters registered to cast their votes at more than 1,600 polling stations across Somaliland amid tight security in the peaceful enclave. This election was be the first in Africa one to use iris-scan biometric technology to prevent anyone from voting more than once, said Somaliland’s electoral officials. Three candidates are running for president following...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Somalia on Tuesday vowed to intensify military operations against Islamist State (IS) and Al-Shabaab militants to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation. Information Minister Abdurahman Omar Osman said the government will use all available resources, including foreign military support from international partners, to flush out terrorists from Somalia. "The government will continue the military operations, including the use of airstrikes, against Al-Shabaab in response to the cowardly attacks against civilians, as well as on Somali security forces and AMISOM," Osman said in a statement issued in Mogadishu. AMISOM stands for African Union Mission in Somalia, a peacekeeping mission operated by the AU with the approval of the United Nations Security Council. Osman's statement came after a series of airstrikes by...
(BBC News Africa 11/14/17)
Polls have opened in the self-declared republic of Somaliland in the presidential election. The election will use an iris-based biometric voting system - a world first, according to the election spokesman. Just over 700,000 voters are eligible to take part in the election which is being contested by three candidates. One of the observers, Susan Mwape from Zambia, told the BBC that they will be monitoring all aspects of the election including the "technical competence of electoral commission staff." Rashid Abdi, from the International Crisis Group, told the BBC's Newsday programme if Somaliland "pulls off another credible election" it will improve its push for independence. Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-africa-41967141?ns_mchannel=social&ns...
(The Associated Press 11/14/17)
U.S. forces say they have carried out three drone strikes within 24 hours in Somalia, stepping up their campaign against the Islamic extremist rebels of al-Shabab and the Islamic State group. The strikes by unmanned drones killed several extremist fighters, a spokeswoman for the U.S. military command in Africa told The Associated Press Sunday. With these three attacks, the U.S. has now carried out 26 attacks in Somalia against extremist targets in 2017, she said. The latest U.S. strikes were carried out in coordination with Somalia’s government, she said. The first strike happened Saturday at approximately 4:30 p.m. local Somalia time and it killed one fighter for the extremists group, al-Shabab, said a U.S. Africa command statement. The strike occurred...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full. At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the...
(The Associated Press 11/14/17)
The Islamic State group’s growing presence in Somalia could become a “significant threat” if it attracts fighters fleeing collapsing strongholds in Syria and Iraq, experts say, and already it seems to be influencing local al-Shabab extremists to adopt tactics like beheadings. The U.S. military this month carried out its first drone strikes against IS fighters in Somalia, raising questions about the strength of the group that emerged just two years ago. A second strike targeted the fighters on Sunday, with the U.S. saying “some terrorists” were killed. The Islamic State group burst into public view in Somalia late last year as dozens of armed men seized the port town of Qandala in the northern Puntland region, calling it the seat...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Residents of the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland voted Monday in its third presidential poll, hoping to prove its democratic credentials and strengthen the case for independence from troubled Somalia. The northern territory, which is more tribally homogenous and stable than the rest of Somalia, broke away in 1991 and has been striving to attain international recognition ever since. Three candidates are running for the state's top office, seasoned politicians Muse Bihi of the ruling Kulmiye party and opposition candidates Abdirahman Iro and Faysal Ali Warabe, who was defeated in previous elections in 2010. "The procedure started peacefully this morning and we are confident that this election is going to be a milestone...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
An Islamic State faction in Somalia has grown significantly over the past year, carrying out attacks in Puntland and receiving some funding from Syria and Iraq, a report by UN sanctions monitors said Friday. The faction loyal to Sheikh Abdulqader Mumin was targeted by US drone strikes last week in the first US operation targeting IS in the Horn of Africa, US Africa Command said. In the report, the UN monitoring group for Somalia said the IS faction, which was estimated in 2016 "to number not more than a few dozen, has grown significantly in strength" and may "consist of as many as 200 fighters." Phone records from Mumin showed he was in contact with an IS operative in Yemen...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
The self-proclaimed state of Somaliland will vote for a new president on Monday, hoping to continue a series of democratic transitions of power that sets it apart from its troubled neighbour Somalia. The northern territory, which is more tribally homogenous and stable than the rest of Somalia, broke away in 1991 and has been striving to attain international recognition ever since. Three candidates are running for the state's top office, seasoned politicians Muse Bihi of the ruling Kulmiye party and opposition candidates Abdirahman Iro and Faysal Ali Warabe, who was defeated in previous elections in 2010. Elections are meant to be held every five years, however the poll was delayed for two years due to drought and other technical issues...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
The US military announced Thursday it had killed "several militants" in an airstrike against Al-Shabaab jihadists in Somalia. The attack took place early Thursday in the Bay region in the center of the country, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Mogadishu. The strike was carried out "in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia," the US Africa Command said in a statement. "Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world," it said. Al-Shabaab was blamed for the October 14 truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed 358 people, and an attack on a hotel on October 29 that left 27 dead. On Saturday the US mission to Somalia urged...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
The African Union's mission in Somalia has said it will withdraw 1,000 troops fighting jihadists in the country this year, as part of plans to pull out all soldiers by December 2020. In a statement released Tuesday, the AU's special representative for Somalia Francisco Madeira called for urgent support to enable the national army to take over responsibility for the country's security. "Troop movements have started in different parts of the country and will continue for the coming weeks," Madeira said. "This is a process of realignment to effect the reduction in numbers and also begin the handover process of national security responsibility to the Somali National Security Forces."
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - A militant faction loyal to Islamic State (IS) has increased its following in northern Somalia from a few dozen last year to up to 200 this year, a U.N. report said, days after the group came under U.S. air attack for the first time. The increase in strength of the IS spin-off group has attracted attention because some security officials fear it could offer a safe haven for Islamic State militants fleeing military defeat in Syria or Iraq. “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction loyal to Sheikh Abdulqader Mumin - estimated...in 2016 to number not more than a few dozen..., has growing significantly in strength, and (now) consists of as many as 200...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have all the kit they need to put theory into practice, thanks to a mobile science lab that tours selected state schools. "It's an exciting experience. We were being taught only the theoretical aspect of science subjects," Amadu, who wants to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think that given the right regulatory environment, the growth could be even better,” Justin Spratt, head of business development for the sub-Saharan region, told Reuters. “Africa’s growth thus far has been faster than America and a large part of that is...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
The US mission to Somalia on Saturday urged all of its non-essential staff to leave Mogadishu immediately following a specific threat against them at the capital's international airport. The warning came just hours after US forces confirmed carrying out their first-ever drone strikes targeting Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the Horn of Africa nation. "Due to specific threat information against US personnel on the Mogadishu International Airport, the US Mission to Somalia has directed its non-essential US citizen employees to depart Mogadishu until further notice," a statement posted on its website said. It reiterated warnings that the situation in Somalia was "extremely unstable", saying the threat level against US citizens remained "critical". In a statement released in Washington late on...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
(Reuters) - Somalia’s Islamist al Shabaab insurgency shot four men accused of spying on Monday in a public execution which underscored the insurgents’ control of swathes of the country’s southern region even as the government girds up for an offensive against them. “The four men were captured weeks ago. They were publicly executed today after the court ruling and after admitting espionage,” Mohamed Abu Abdalla, al Shabaab’s governor for the Jubba regions said by phone. “Two of them were spying for the Ethiopian government and the other two were spying for Somali government intelligence.” The men were shot in Buale, the capital of Middle Jubba, he said, a region mostly controlled by al Shabaab that lies south of the capital...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum. “But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
The US conducted a pair of drone strikes against Islamic State fighters in Somalia on Friday, the first time America has hit the jihadists in the Horn of Africa nation, officials said. The strikes occurred in northeastern Somalia and killed "several terrorists," the US military's Africa Command said in a statement. According to Voice of America, which cited the chairman of the town of Qandala in the semiautonomous region of Puntland, six missiles hit an IS base in Buqa village, 60 kilometers (35 miles) away. "Local residents and pastoralists were shocked and fled from the area," Jama Mohamed Qurshe told VOA. AFRICOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander Anthony Falvo...

Pages