Sunday 21 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 10/27/17)
A Frankfurt court sentenced a Somali-born German national to two years and ten months in jail Friday, for joining the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab group and fighting alongside the Islamists in his native country. The suspect, identified only as 29-year-old Abshir A, was found guilty of membership of a foreign terrorist group. The court said the accused, who was born in Mogadishu, left Germany for Somalia in 2012 after becoming radicalised and was active for the militant group until early 2014. He spent around four months undergoing combat training upon arrival, during which time Shabaab militia taught him how to handle weapons and employ...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/24/17)
BOSSASO, SOMALIA S (Reuters) - A wheelbarrow exploded outside a police station in Bossaso, a port city in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, on Tuesday, killing the lone man pushing it, a police officer told Reuters. Mohammed Abdi, a police officer, told Reuters security personnel had stopped a man outside a police station’s checkpoint and then “suddenly his wheelbarrow exploded. Only the wheelbarrow man died.” A Reuters witness saw the debris of the wooden wheelbarrow and the dead porter. Abdi said police did not know what type of bomb had been used or who was behind the attack.
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
At least eight people were killed and six others wounded on Sunday when a bus they were travelling in struck a land mine on a road in southern Somalia. The incident occurred about 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu. "A civilian minibus ran over a land mine between Lower and Middle Shabelle regions. Eight civilians were killed in the blast and six others wounded," said Ibrahim Abdulle, a district security official. Local residents said the road, which passes through territory controlled by Somalia's al Qaeda aligned Shabaab group, was rarely used because of security fears.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
Somalia's deadliest ever attack, a truck bomb in the capital Mogadishu, has now killed 358 people with 228 more injured, the government said late Friday, a major jump in the fatality toll. A truck packed with explosives blew up in Hodan on October 14, destroying some 20 buildings in the bustling commercial district, leaving scores of victims burned beyond recognition. Several experts told AFP the truck was probably carrying at least 500 kilos (1,100 pounds) of explosives. "The latest number of casualties 642 (358 dead, 228 injured, 56 missing). 122 injured ppl flown to Turkey, Sudan & Kenya," Somali Minister of Information Abdirahman Osman tweeted. The figures mark a sharp increase in the toll, which earlier this week was put...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Thousands of Somalis prayed in Mogadishu on Friday at a symbolic funeral for more than 300 people killed by the country’s deadliest truck bombing. The truck detonated next to a fuel tanker on Saturday, creating a huge fireball that incinerated multi-story buildings. Around half the dead were burned beyond recognition, said authorities. The government conducted mass burials soon after the blast, in keeping with the Muslim practice of interring the dead as quickly as possible. Religious leader Abdi Hayi said mourners had decided to conduct a symbolic funeral six days on, as it had not been possible to give so many of the victims a proper send-off with prayers at a mosque. “Since we have not seen...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
NAIROBI/MOGADISHU (Reuters) - The size and methods of the latest truck bombing in Mogadishu show how international and Somali government efforts to stop the killings are failing, partly because intelligence gathering to counter such attacks is so disjointed, security sources say. More than 300 people were killed in the bombing in the heart of the capital on Saturday, the deadliest attack in the history of the Horn of Africa nation. The Islamist insurgency al Shabaab was blamed for the blasts, which happened when a car bomb and a truck bomb headed for the airport detonated prematurely. Somali security services and the donor nations working with them are both to blame for disorganization in the divisions...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed vowed Wednesday to step up the war against Al-Shabaab, as he addressed thousands at a rally in Mogadishu for the victims of the city's worst-ever bombing. Protesters wearing red bands around their heads marched through the scene of the truck bombing, a once bustling district, before gathering at a stadium where they chanted: "We are ready to fight". Residents of the Somali capital, while wearily accustomed to regular bombs and attacks by the Islamist militants, have been outraged by the strike on Saturday which....
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Wednesday vowed to decisively respond to the Saturday terror attack warning the militant group it would pay heavily for the attack. Addressing thousands of Somalis who gathered at a stadium in the country's capital Mogadishu, the president, widely known as Farmajo, said he will take the war to Al-Shabaab, adding Saturday's attack signified insufficient response in the past. "This attack reminds us we did not act boldly enough in the past. I want to tell you that this time we will respond decisively," Farmajo told a cheering crowd. Thousands of Mogadishu residents turned up at Banadir stadium to mark the end of the three days mourning announced by Farmajo. Earlier in the day, thousands...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
The Somali capital of Mogadishu is still coming to terms with the Saturday bomb attack which has so far claimed over 300 lives as rescue and recovery teams continue moving the rubble to find trapped victims. As the families bury the dead and at least three countries airlift the injured for further treatment, questions still abound, with little answers coming through. Residents have taken to the streets condemning the attack which the government has blamed on the Al- while the terror group has strangely not claimed responsibility. The group which has claimed credit for several attacks in the past has not said a word even though all indications point to its involvement. No known group in Somalia could carry out...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/18/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Thousands of Somalis demonstrated on Wednesday against those behind bombings that killed more than 300 people, defying police who opened fire to keep them away from the site where their loved-ones were killed. The twin blasts in the heart of Mogadishu on Saturday also injured more than 400 in what were the country’s deadliest truck bombings. Police initially opened fire to prevent people from accessing the rubble-strewn scene of the attack, injuring at least two people, the emergency response service said. But, overwhelmed by the number of people, they eventually let thousands of protesters gather at the site. Residents said they had never seen such a big protest in the city. “We are demonstrating against the terrorists...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed his sorrow over the worst bombing in Somalia's history, a deadly truck attack that left at least 276 people dead in Mogadishu at the weekend. "I pray for the conversion of the violent and send my encouragement to all those who, in the face of enormous difficulties, work for peace in this martyred country," Francis said at his weekly audience in St Peter's square. No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which was widely seen as likely being the work of the Shabaab, an insurgent Islamist group aligned with Al-Qaeda. The pope had earlier told delegates to an interfaith conference at the Vatican that "those who engage in acts of violence, or try to justify...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Somalia's allies sent planes carrying medical supplies and doctors Tuesday, while the diaspora rallied to donate blood to help the country cope with the crushing aftermath of its worst ever bombing. At least 276 people were killed and 300 injured on Saturday when a truck packed with explosives blew up in a busy commercial district, according to the government, however medical sources suggest the death toll could be over 300. The disaster quickly overwhelmed the fragile health system of a country which has experienced nearly three decades of civil war and anarchy and is heavily dependent on foreign aid.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - When Somalia’s deadliest truck bomb exploded on Saturday, Abdi Ali Ibrahim raced to the smoking crater just meters from where his beloved sister Asha had a small business selling fuel. The truck had detonated next to a fuel tanker causing a huge fireball and the road was strewn with body parts. Hopeful that Asha, a pregnant mother-of-two, may have been injured and taken away by ambulance, Ibrahim embarked on a frantic round of Mogadishu’s hospitals, starting with the biggest, Madina. “I found many dead bodies, injured ones, body parts and burned bodies that were horribly shrunken. She was not there,” he told Reuters as he sat hunched on a bench. For two days Ibrahim clung to the...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday sent condolences to his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, over the deadly truck bombing in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. In a message of condolences, Xi said he was shocked to learn the bombing that had caused heavy casualties. On behalf of the Chinese government and people as well as in his own name, Xi mourned the dead, extended heartfelt sympathy to the injured and the bereaved families and wished the injured a quick recovery. At least 276 people were killed and more than 300 others injured in the bombing that happened on Saturday in a shopping area of Mogadishu, making it the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history.
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Somalia on Monday appealed to the international community to provide assistance to enable the government to respond to the crisis following bomb attack in Mogadishu on Saturday, which has so far claimed more than 276 lives. The ministry of humanitarian affairs and disaster management said the government has appointed a team of ministers to coordinate and oversee the overall response to the national crisis. The ministry said a government-led National Emergency Operations Center has also been activated in line with the national disaster management policy to help respond to the crisis.

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