Sunday 21 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
Turkey inaugurated on Saturday the largest foreign-run military training centre in Somalia, where local troops are due to take over the protection of a nation threatened by Shabaab Islamist attacks. Somalia's fragile government and institutions, including its national army, are backed by the African Union's 22,000-strong AMISOM force and powers like the United States. But the gradual withdrawal of the AMISOM troops is due to start in October 2018 and doubts persist over the readiness of Somali forces to confront the Qaeda-aligned Shabaab. In the meantime, training of the Somali army is handled primarily by foreign powers...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
MOGADISHU/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey opened its biggest overseas military base on Saturday in Somalia’s capital, cementing its ties with the volatile but strategic Muslim nation and building a presence in East Africa. More than 10,000 Somali soldiers will be trained by Turkish officers at the base, a senior Turkish official said ahead of a ceremony in Mogadishu attended by Turkish military chief of staff Hulusi Akar. The opening of the $50 million base signals ever-closer ties between Turkey and Somalia. Turkey’s relations with the Horn of Africa date back to the Ottoman Empire, but President Tayyip Erdogan’s government has become a close ally of the Somali government in recent years. At the opening ceremony on Saturday, Somali Prime Minister Hassan...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
EDMONTON, Alberta (Reuters) - A Somali refugee who had been on a watch list over extremist views faced five counts of attempted murder and terror charges on Sunday after Canadian police said he stabbed a police officer and ran down four pedestrians with a car in Edmonton, Alberta. The suspect, a 30-year-old man whom police did not identify, had been investigated two years ago for promoting extremist ideology but was not deemed a threat, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said. RCMP Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand said an “exhaustive investigation” into the man in 2015 did not uncover sufficient evidence to pursue charges.
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Shabaab jihadists attacked a Somali army base early Friday in the southern town of Barire, killing at least eight soldiers and stealing equipment, officials and witnesses said. The assault on the Somali National Army military camp in Barire, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of the capital Mogadishu, began with two suicide attackers detonating their car bombs before gunmen overran the base. "There was heavy fighting this morning," said Mohamed Haji Ali, a Somali military commander, confirming the attack to local media without providing details of casualties. Residents said the attack left bodies of government soldiers scattered on the ground while Shabaab fighters looted the base stealing vehicles and weapons.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/17)
Al Shabaab fighters killed at least 15 soldiers in an attack on a military base near Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, the militant group and Somali officials said on Friday. The militants used guns and car bombs to take control of the base and a nearby town, Barire, 50 km (30 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, in an early-morning attack. The fighters also took 11 pickup trucks mounted with machine guns, known as “technicals”, said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman. “The other soldiers ran helter-skelter into the woods. We now control the base and the village,” he said. A Somali military officer put the number of dead at 15; al Shabaab said 21 were killed. The government and al Shabaab...
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab on early Friday stormed a Somali military base some 50 km southwest of the capital, a government official said. The militants launched two massive bomb attacks at the Barire military base before making entry, and they claimed to have killed 17 soldiers in the attack. A government official who asked to be anonymous as he is not authorized to speak on the matter told Xinhua that the attackers ambushed the base in the early hours of Friday. "Two huge blasts could be heard from the military base in the early hours of Friday. We don't have any further information about casualties," the official said. Residents told Xinhua that the explosions were massive and they caused...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/17)
At least seven people were killed and several others wounded after a car bomb exploded near a marketplace in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Thursday, a city official said. The blast occurred alongside a densely populated road near Hamarweyne market, an area where bombings claimed by the Islamist Shabaab insurgency have previously occurred. "The blast was caused by a luxurious car loaded with explosives, which was detonated at a civilian, densely-populated area, and seven people were killed and several others wounded," city administration spokesman...
(Xinhuanet 09/28/17)
Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qian Jian on Wednesday said China will strongly support the Horn of Africa nation's peace and reconstruction process as part of the bilateral pact between the two countries. Qian said Beijing had made positive contribution to Somalia in various fields including economic and social development to assist the country in acquiring political stability. "The Chinese government has built over 80 infrastructural projects like hospitals, stadiums and roads to ease the burden of the Somali people. We have dispatched a medical team of more than 400 members in 13 batches to the country since 1991," the envoy said in Nairobi during celebrations to mark the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Qian...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/28/17)
More than 800,000 children risk death by starvation in East Africa and aid agencies have just weeks - months at most - to save them, World Vision charity said on Wednesday. Conflict in South Sudan and Somalia, and prolonged drought across the region have left more than 15 million children in need of food, water, healthcare, education or protection, said the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF. Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya have witnessed a spike in hunger levels among children in recent weeks, with several areas reporting that more than a third of their children have health problems as a result, World Vision said in a statement. “We are still in the danger zone. More than 800,000 children remain severely malnourished...
(Voice of America 09/27/17)
Al-Shabab militants have launched what appears to be a forced recruitment campaign in Somalia's southwestern regions of Bay and Bakool, according to Somali officials. The group, which controls large parts of both regions, is pressuring leaders of local villages to make sure teenagers join its ranks, according to the governor of Bay region, Ali Wardhere Doyow. "They have been holding meetings for clan elders and told them to meet specific numbers of recruits they want collected from clans," Doyow told VOA's Somali Service. Doyow said many families and their children have fled their villages to larger towns in the Bay region
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
A Lufthansa passenger plane hijacked in 1977 whilst flying from Mallorca to Frankfurt has been returned to Germany, Japan Times has reported. The plane was hijacked by The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who sought the release of its members within the Red Army Faction who they were working with, and landed in Somalia. German Special Forces rescued 86 passengers and killed three of the hijackers during the raid. The plane has since been at Brazil’s Fortaleza Airport. It will be taken to the Dornier Museum where it will be put on public display.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Xinhuanet 09/25/17)
Armed gunmen on Sunday night killed a senior ministry of defence official and his bodyguard as they were walking home from a mosque in the restive Mogadishu, police confirmed on Monday. A police officer said Abdullahi Mohamed Sheikh, a senior officer at the army command control headquarters in Mogadishu, and his bodyguard were shot dead by gunmen armed with pistols. "Gen Mohamed and his bodyguard were shot dead by armed gunmen from behind. The two were walking home from a mosque after evening prayers," said the police officer who declined to be identified. The military official once served as deputy commander of logistics for the Somali army. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the killing.
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Xinhuanet 09/22/17)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire on Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, pledging China's support for Somalia's development. China and Somalia enjoy a long history of friendship, Wang said, adding that China was one of the countries that first recognized Somalia's independence and Somalia was the first country in East Africa to establish diplomatic relations with China. China has always supported Somalia in preserving its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and supports peace and reconstruction in the country, he said. With authorization of related UN resolutions, China has deployed its navy fleet to carry out escort missions in the waters
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
Somalia’s government rebuked its three semi-autonomous regions on Thursday for cutting ties with Qatar, saying it was determined to stay neutral in the Gulf nation’s dispute with other Arab states. The region of Galmudug issued a statement on Wednesday saying it stood with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the regional row, followed similar declarations last month by the regions of Puntland and Hirshabelle. Somalia’s federal government responded by saying only it had the authority to speak on foreign affairs. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut political and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism and their arch-foe Iran - charges that Doha denies. The spat about it in volatile but...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Xinhuanet 09/21/17)
Somalia reiterated on Thursday its neutrality in the Gulf diplomatic crisis between Qatar and six Arab nations. A statement issued after the Council of Ministers meeting in Mogadishu said the Horn of Africa nation will take a neutral approach with a view to solving the crisis in some of the Gulf States through diplomacy and brotherlyhood manner. The government said it has successfully implemented an excellent working relationship with federal member states that are part of the Federal Government of Somalia. "Somali president has chaired two leaders' forum within the last six months to discuss key issues such as security and the unity of the nation," the ministry of information said in a statement. The statement comes after Somalia's regional...

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