Saturday 21 October 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/10/17)
At least 20 people were killed in fierce fighting between Al-Shabaab fighters and loyalists of the former group's leader Mukhtar Robow in Somalia's southwestern region of Bakool Wednesday, authorities have said. The fighting which started midday lasted into the evening with reports of casualties emerging from both sides even as the SouthWest state administration said it was readying to extend its support to the former Al-Shabaab leader. SouthWest state (which encompasses the Bakool region) acting president Mohamed Hassan Fiqi told reporters
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
More than 20 million people are at risk from famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and the northeast of Nigeria, the United Nations warned on Wednesday. The Security Council officially declared for the first time that the threat was directly linked to the armed conflicts raging in the afflicted areas. "The Security Council notes the devastating impact on civilians of ongoing armed conflict and violence," the 15-member UN body said. The declaration added that the council "also emphasizes with deep concern that ongoing conflicts and violence have devastating humanitarian
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
Somalia's parliament on Wednesday approved the National Communications Act to regulate the country's telecommunication sector. Abdi Ashur Hassan, minister for posts, telecoms and technology said the bill, finally endorsed by 158 votes to 1, was submitted to parliament in early July after consultations with all stakeholders in the last few months. The telecommunications bill calls for the creation of telecoms regulatory authority, development of the country with telecommunications technology, protecting corporate and consumer rights and more participation by private sectors in developing the sector. Drafting of this bill started as early as 2004 and has been sitting in front of 7th, 8th and 9th federal parliaments. Hassan said the Bill had been allowed to remain idle for years, while technology...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
Somalia government is to launch national consultations on the constitution review following public awareness and sensitization process, officials said. Minister of Constitutional Affairs Abdurahman Hosh Jibril said the process will engage all Somalis to ensure their views are represented in the new constitution. "The next two years are very crucial because that is the timeline we have to complete the review of the constitution," the minister said in a statement from the AU mission in Somalia issued on Tuesday night. "In order for that document to have the requisite legitimacy, we need to take it to the public for consultations and conduct civic education," Abdurahman said. He said the national conference bringing on board all stakeholders will be held in...
(Voice of America 08/09/17)
When dozens of American soldiers deployed to Mogadishu back in April, their presence marked the first American military forces in Somalia, except for a small unit of counterterrorism advisers, since March 1994. VOA broke the story of their arrival, and now, VOA has learned more about their train-and-equip mission in Mogadishu. Soldiers sent to Somalia with the 101st Airborne are primarily training truck drivers for the Somali military, Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, the commander of U.S. Army Africa, told VOA in an exclusive interview. “They are training Somalis how to drive to keep their logistics going,” Harrington said. The general was able to see the training-and-equipping course first-hand when he visited Somalia in June. He said the Army was pleased...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
A senior police commander was shot dead on Wednesday in the Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Police said the police chief was gunned down by armed men in the center of Bosaso town in Bari region. "Armed men gunned down deputy police commander Abdi Dhere and drove off. We are already investigating and all those behind the murder will face justice," police officer Abdisalam Ahmed told Xinhua. Residents also reported the incident. "We were sitting near a restaurant and we heard some shooting. People were saying a police officer was killed," Jamal Elmi told Xinhua No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but Al-Shabaab has conducted similar attacks in Somalia, most of which were in the capital Mogadishu.
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/05/17)
An explosives-laden car blew up in the center of Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least one person and injuring another, police said. The vehicle was parked next to a hospital in a busy road that is flanked by several hotels. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though the Islamist militant group Al Shabaab has launched frequent attacks in the city. "So far, I have seen one dead civilian. She was a woman. One man was also injured," Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters. Al Shabaab is waging an insurgency to overthrow the Western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeepers in a bid to take over the country and impose its strict interpretation of Islam. The...
(Xinhuanet 08/04/17)
The United States on Friday confirmed that Al-Shabaab senior terrorist Ali Mohamed Hussein alias Ali Jabal was killed in drone strikes by American and Somalia security forces in southern region on July 31. The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said the United States conducted this operation in coordination with its regional partners as a direct response to Al-Shabaab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces. "There were no civilian casualties from this strike," Africom said in a statement following a coordinated operation with international partners near Torotoroow in southern Somalia. The military said the strike was conducted within the parameters of the proposal approved by President Donald
(Reuters (Eng) 08/04/17)
Somalia's militant Islamist group al Shabaab seized a town in the south of the country early on Friday after it was abandoned by the military and African Union-mandated (AMISOM) peacekeepers, residents said. The town of Leego, which lies about 130 km (80 miles) to the northwest of the capital Mogadishu, is in Somalia's lower Shabelle region where al Shabaab last week killed at least 12 peacekeepers in one of the deadliest attacks on AMISOM. Farah Ahmed, a resident of Leego, told Reuters AMISOM and Somali military forces had pulled out of the town early on Friday. "That same minute al Shabaab entered to control the town... The town is now calm and al Shabaab fighters are in every part of...
(IRIN 08/04/17)
Ahmed Hussein’s perfectly white teeth seem too big for his mouth; his upper arms look like they belong to a little boy, not a 23-year-old man. Propped up on an iron bed, Hussein laughs and says he always was slim. But he is clearly malnourished. Hussein arrived at Mogadishu’s Bandir Hospital a day earlier with his mother and two sisters, all suffering from acute watery diarrhoea: a tell-tale sign of cholera. A nurse at the hospital told IRIN she believed the whole family got sick from the same water source. This is Somalia’s worst cholera outbreak in five years. So far, 71,663 cases have been counted, including more than 1,098 deaths, according to Doctor Ghulam Popal, the World Health Organization...
(New Vision 08/04/17)
In a press release, the Council expressed their sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Uganda, and wished the injured a speedy recovery. The UN Security Council has condemned the recent Al Shabaab terrorist attack against the Ugandan contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which left 12 soldiers dead and seven injured. In a press release, the Council expressed their sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Uganda, and wished the injured a speedy recovery. “The members of the Security Council honored the sacrifice and dedication of AMISOM troops to combating terrorism in Somalia and...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
The World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday held a hand-over ceremony in Mogadishu to welcome the arrival of more than 2,800 tonnes of rice assistance into the drought-hit country from China. China's rice contribution will enable WFP to sustain ongoing efforts to save lives and avert famine in Somalia, according to a press release by the WFP, which added that it will be used to provide hot meals to about 96,500 vulnerable people for about three months. "The rice is one part of the generous 10 million U.S. dollar contribution that WFP received from China in April this year," WFP Somalia Deputy County Director Edith Heines said. "This contribution towards WFP's emergency drought response in Somalia was also used to...
(Business Day Ghana 08/03/17)
AfDB signs US$ 78 million Grant agreements with Governments of Somalia and South Sudan to strengthen drought resilience whilst addressing chronic hunger and malnutrition The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed tripartite grant agreements of US$ 34.8 million and US$ 43.8 million with the Republic of Somalia and the Republic of South Sudan respectively and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) under the Bank’s ‘Say No To Famine – Short Term Regional Emergency Response Project – STRERP’. IGAD will oversee the implementation of the project through an agency to be recruited in each of the countries. The agencies will work with the governments to put in place structures, systems and facilities that will enable them take on increasing responsibility for...
(The Associated Press 08/03/17)
NAIROBI, Kenya — Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels killed a Kenyan policeman Thursday when they attacked a police station in northern Mandera County, raising security concerns over next week’s national elections. Al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the attack on Lafey police station near the border with Somalia. The group made the claim through its Shahada News Agency’s blog and social media accounts, according to the SITE monitoring group. Two vehicles were burned in the early morning attack, according to Kenya’s North Eastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh. The violence comes a day after three people died in a suspected al-Shabab attack in southern Kenya and days before Kenya’s national elections on Tuesday. Al-Shabab has been threatening since March...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/02/17)
A car bomb explosion in the southern Somali town of Kismayo wounded at least 10 people on Tuesday, police and residents said. The blast occurred on a busy road in the port city once prized by warlords and the Islamist militant group al Shabaab for its money-spinning charcoal trade, said Mohamud, a police officer who gave his first name only. "We believe it was a car bomb parked here in this busy street. So far we know 10 civilians were injured," he told Reuters. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Al Shabaab, which has been frequently carrying out attacks in the country, was not immediately reachable for comment. Residents gave a larger number of casualties, saying up to double...
(Voice of America 08/02/17)
Being a journalist in Somalia carries both risk and reward. The risk comes from al-Shabab militants and other armed groups who have killed at least 26 reporters in the last five years, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The reward is having a job with one of the many independent media outlets that have sprung up despite chronic violence and the absence of any journalism schools in Somalia. Somalia's National University is trying to fill the education void by reopening its journalism school for the first time in 26 years. The Faculty of Journalism and Communication Science could begin classes as early as next month, instructing up to 60 students. Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire addressed — and...

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