| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 02/07/17)
Somalia is to hold its presidential election on Wednesday after numerous delays, with ongoing security concerns and warnings of famine topping the agenda for the new administration. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is seeking re-election against 22 other candidates. The troubled Horn of Africa nation, which has not had an effective central government in three decades, had been promised a one-person, one-vote election in 2016. However political infighting and insecurity, mainly due to Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab militants who control swathes of countryside and strike at will in Mogadishu, saw the plan ditched for a limited vote running months behind schedule. The presidential election had been due to take place in August, four years after the previous vote in which just 135...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/07/17)
Al Shabaab militants in Somalia publicly beheaded four men accused of spying for the country's Western-backed government, the United States and neighboring Kenya, residents in the south of the Horn of Africa country said. The al Qaeda-linked group confirmed the executions, which took place on Sunday after the men were found guilty by an al Shabaab court in Jamame district of lower Jubba region, some 70 km (43 miles) north of Kismayu. "The court ruled on their cases and four of the men were executed publicly in Jamame District according to the Sharia this (Sunday) afternoon," Mohamed Abu Abdalla, al Shabaab’s governor for the Jubba region, told Reuters, without elaborating on the method of execution. "The four men admitted they...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/06/17)
Al Shabaab militants in Somalia publicly beheaded four men accused of spying for the country's Western-backed government, the United States and neighboring Kenya, residents in the south of the Horn of Africa country said. The al Qaeda-linked group confirmed the executions, which took place on Sunday after the men were found guilty by an al Shabaab court in Jamame district of lower Jubba region, some 70 km (43 miles) north of Kismayu. "The court ruled on their cases and four of the men were executed publicly in Jamame District according to the Sharia this (Sunday) afternoon," Mohamed Abu Abdalla, al Shabaab’s governor for the Jubba region, told Reuters, without elaborating on the method of execution. "The four men admitted they...
(The Associated Press 02/06/17)
About 140 Somali refugees whose resettlement in the United States this week was stopped by President Donald Trump's executive order have been sent back to their refugee camp instead, one of the refugees said Saturday. It was not clear why they were returned a day after a U.S. court order blocked Trump's ban on travelers and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Somalia. Officials with the International Organization for Migration, which runs the transit center in Nairobi where the refugees had been waiting for their flights to the U.S., could not be reached for comment. "How would you feel? One day you are telling friends bye, wishing them well, and the next you are back where you started," 28-year-old...
(Xinhuanet 02/06/17)
Somali police said they on Saturday defused a bomb planted on a road used by Somali and African Union forces in Beletweyne in central Somalia. Beletweyne police commissioner Isaaq Ali Abdulle told the media that his officers safely dismantled the bomb and were still inspecting the roads for any other bombs. "We managed to pull out and dismantled a bomb on the road which the Somali and AU forces travel on regularly. We believe Al-Shabaab planted them to target the forces," said Abdulle. The militant group Al-Shabaab commonly rigged bombs along roads used by the allied forces and in some cases caused fatalities. The police chief called on locals to cooperate with the police and report any suspicious items on...
(Shabelle News 02/06/17)
The United Nations is warning that Somalia could soon be facing a famine without urgent international action, raising concerns about a repeat of 2011's famine which killed more than a quarter of a million people. The country is in a severe drought after two seasons of weak rainfall, the U.N. said in a statement. "In the worst affected areas, inadequate rainfall and lack of water has wiped out crops and killed livestock, while communities are being forced to sell their assets, and borrow food and money to survive," the U.N. says. "If we do not scale up the drought response immediately, it will cost lives, further destroy livelihoods, and could undermine the pursuit of key State-building and peacebuilding initiatives," said...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Voice of America 02/04/17)
Incumbent Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed to focus on establishing security and political stability if parliament gives him another term in next week's crucial election in Mogadishu. In an exclusive interview with VOA, Mohamud said his primary priorities will be to work on the security of the country. Mohamud said he wants to “complete the unfinished business.” “Security was our first priority and it still remains our first priority,” he told VOA Somali on Friday evening. “We will end the threat coming from anti-peace elements and we will lay foundations for reliable security agencies in the country.” Asked why he failed to stop al-Shabab attacks on key government installations in Mogadishu, Mohamud said the group has now resorted...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
The UN's highest court Thursday agreed to hear a case by Somalia against neighbouring Kenya in a bitter maritime border spat which may determine the fate of potentially lucrative Indian Ocean oil and gas reserves. Nairobi has argued that the International Court of Justice, which rules in disputes between countries, does not have jurisdiction over the case, brought by Somalia in 2014. "The court finds that Kenya's preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the case must be rejected," ICJ president Ronny Abraham said. "In the light of the foregoing, the court finds that (Kenya's) preliminary objection to the admissibility of Somalia's application
(Reuters (Eng) 02/03/17)
The United Nations' highest court ruled on Thursday it has the authority to adjudicate in a maritime boundary dispute between Kenya and Somalia over stretches of the Indian Ocean potentially rich in oil and gas. Somalia asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to rule on the maritime boundaries between the two coastal nations in 2014 after negotiations over the 100,000 square kilometer stretch of sea floor broke down. The ruling means Somalia's boundary demarcation claim against Kenya can proceed, potentially affecting hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation rights Kenya has already granted in the roughly triangular area of contested ocean. Companies that have been awarded Indian Ocean exploration blocks by Kenya include Tullow, Erin Energy, FAR and Dominion,...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
A boy who was injured when suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists attacked a police camp in Kenya's border region of Mandera early Thursday has succumbed to injuries. Osman Abdi Abdille, 15, passed away at Mandera hospital on Thursday night, succumbing to head injuries inflicted by what area police said was a stray bullet. A local civic leader, Abdullahi Abdirahman has confirmed the death on Friday, saying plans are underway to bury the deceased. "We are making plans to have the boy buried now after we failed to secure a flight to refer him to a better hospital in Nairobi," said Abdirahman. The police said on Thursday that security has been beefed up along the border with Somalia after Al-Shabaab militants raided a...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/17)
With very little rain in the last weeks and none expected for two months, more than 17 million people face hunger in the Horn of Africa, the UN food agency warned Sunday. Severe drought since the failure of October-December rains is ravaging Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said in a statement. "The time to act is now,", said Maria Helena Semedo, a FAO deputy director-general. "The drought situation in the region is extremely worrying, primarily in almost all of Somalia but also across southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. "As a consequence, with the next rains at least eight weeks away and the next main harvest not until...
(Xinhuanet 01/30/17)
Kenya's military said its soldiers have intensified both air and ground operations targeting Al-Shabaab camps in southern Somalia after the militants raided its camp in Kulbiyow on Friday, killing nine of its personnel. Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Col. Paul Njuguna said on Saturday night that the troops operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) will relentlessly pursue the terrorists to ensure peace and stability of the region as well as support AMISOM in stabilizing Somalia. "Since Friday, offensive ground and air operations have been intensified targeting Al-Shabaab camps and pacification of the area has been undertaken," Njuguna said in a statement issued in Nairobi on Saturday night. Njuguna confirmed that the bodies of the dead soldiers had...
(Bloomberg 01/30/17)
An Al-Shabaab attack on a Kenyan army base on Friday claimed the lives of nine soldiers, the East African nation said, disputing the total provided by the Somali militant group. Two were officers and seven were servicemen with the Kenya Defense Forces, spokesman Paul Njuguna said in an e-mailed statement. Another 15 soldiers were injured. Al Shabaab said Friday that at least 51 soldiers died in the assault. Njuguna said more than 70 people with Al-Shabaab were also killed in the attack. In January 2016, the al-Qaeda-linked insurgents attacked a Kenyan camp near the border at El Adde and claimed 100 Kenyan soldiers were killed. The Kenyan government acknowledged fatalities, without giving its own toll. Eric Ombok
(Reuters (Eng) 01/28/17)
Al Shabaab said its fighters killed dozens of Kenyan troops when the Islamist group attacked a remote military base in Somalia on Friday, while Kenya's army said nine soldiers died and 70 militants were killed. Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Paul Njuguna said that al Shabaab's fighters had attempted to attack their base in the southern town of Kulbiyow, near the Kenyan border, but were repulsed. A spokesman for al Shabaab, which often launches attacks on troops of the African Union's AMISOM force, said its fighters killed at least 66 Kenyans at the base. The group had said earlier it lost fighters but did not give numbers. Njuguna said the attack was launched around dawn on Friday, when...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
Kenya's military confirmed Friday that nine of its personnel were killed and 15 others were injured in the dawn Al-Shabaab attack in southern Somalia town of Kolbiyow. Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Col. Paul Njuguna said over 70 Al-Shabaab militants were killed and scores were wounded in the attack which was repulsed by the soldiers operating under Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Njuguna said KDF soldiers successfully defended the military camp located in Kolbiyow, Lower Juba, following an attempted attack by Al-Shabaab terrorists. "During this engagement KDF lost two officers and seven servicemen. Fifteen KDF soldiers who were injured during the engagement have been evacuated to Defence Forces Memorial Hospital for further medical attention," he said in a statement...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...

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