Sunday 22 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali authorities imposed a daytime ban on Monday on the movement of large trucks and road tankers inside the capital Mogadishu in an attempt to improve security following a wave of devastating attacks by militants. The move followed twin truck bombings on Oct. 15 that killed more than 350 people in the city, in the deadliest attack in the history of the Horn of Africa nation. Though the Islamist militant group al Shabaab did not claim responsibility for that attack, the method is one it has often used. “Trucks and tankers cannot pass ... from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. This is to ensure security and (to offer) a solution to the complaints of the public,” Tabid...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - An Islamist attack on a hotel in Mogadishu ended on Sunday after 29 people were killed during a siege lasting nearly 12 hours, police said, prompting the government to sack two top security officials over their failure to stop repeated attacks. The attack proved once again that insurgents can carry out deadly assaults in the heart of the Somali capital. Twin bombings in Mogadishu two weeks ago killed more than 350 people, the worst such attacks in the country’s history. More than 50 people are still missing. Islamist militants al Shabaab claimed responsibility for this weekend’s attack, which took place ahead of a planned meeting to try to defuse tensions between the federal government and regional states...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a good harvest and recovery in oil output in Nigeria would contribute more than half of the growth in the region this year while an uptick in mining and a better harvest in South Africa as well as a rebound in...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
The death toll from a deadly attack on a hotel in Mogadishu rose to 27 on Sunday, prompting the Somali government to sack its police and intelligence chiefs. The move came after Al-Qaeda aligned Shabaab gunmen staged coordinated bomb attacks Saturday outside the Nasa Hablod Hotel 2 before storming the building. Two weeks ago, Mogadishu was hit by a massive truck bombing that killed 358 people in the troubled country's worst-ever attack. Saturday's carnage was unleashed when a car bomb exploded outside the hotel entrance followed by a minibus loaded with explosives going off at a nearby intersection. The gunmen then rushed into the popular hotel, launching a siege that lasted several hours.
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Somalia's security ministry said Sunday that forces had killed two gunmen and captured three after a siege at a Mogadishu hotel following a twin car bombing that left at least 14 dead. Spokesman Abdiasiz Ali Ibrahim said a number of people had been rescued from Shabaab gunmen at the Nasa Hablod Hotel 2. The attack began when a car bomb exploded outside the hotel entrance, followed by a minibus loaded with explosives going off at a nearby intersection. "Five gunmen stormed the building, two of them were killed and the rest captured alive. The security forces are still working on retrieving the casualties, we don't have exact number of the casualties so far," the spokesman told reporters. Another security official...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
A weekend attack claimed by the Al-Qaeda aligned Shabaab on a hotel in Mogadishu has killed at least 27 people, just two weeks after the deadliest attack in Somalia's history killed 358 people in the capital. It is just the latest in a string of attacks in recent years, the worst of which are described below. - 2017 - October 28: A car bomb explodes outside the entrance of the Nasa Hablod Hotel 2 in the north of the capital, followed by a minibus loaded with explosives going off at a nearby intersection. Five gunmen then rush into the hotel where security services kill two of the attackers and three others are captured. At least 27 people are killed in...
(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...

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