Thursday 17 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/11/17)
International leaders are gathering in London on Thursday to thrash out agreements with Somalia aimed at stabilising the country under its new political leadership. The one-day conference is looking to strike a new compact that will accelerate progress on security, development and the troubled east African country's economy by 2020. Britain's Foreign Office said it was aiming for "a new partnership for Somalia". The meeting is being co-chaired by Somalia's new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and British Prime Minister Theresa May. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini is also attending, along with US
(Reuters (Eng) 05/11/17)
Somalia's government and its foreign backers said on Thursday they were hammering out a plan to try and strengthen the army to take over the fight against al Shabaab militants from over-stretched African Union troops. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May told a London conference the scheme would aim to unite Somalia's main army with a range of regional forces based across the divided and chaotic territory. The African Union troops have clawed back most of Somalia's main towns and cities from al Shabaab since they helped drive the Al Qaeda-linked insurgents out of the capital Mogadishu in 2010. But the soldiers from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and other states are due to start leaving in 2018 - and the Islamist militants...
(Xinhuanet 05/10/17)
The Somali government and the European Union (EU) have held talks on strengthening the Horn of Africa nation's maritime security to help deter piracy along the coastline. Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and EU Ambassador to Somalia Veronique Lorenzo, who were hosted by the EU Naval Force aboard the flagship ESPS Galicia on Monday, discussed how the EU can best support the government to take full control of its maritime security, which is essential for long-term stability of the country. "We have been a supporter of the security sector in Somalia and maritime safety is a central pillar often overlooked," Lorenzo said in a statement issued on Tuesday. The discussions highlighted the cooperation existing between EU and the Somalia...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(Xinhuanet 05/09/17)
The UN refugee agency said Monday it had repatriated some 62,372 Somali refugees from Dadaab camp in northeast Kenya since the return exercise begun in December 2014. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in its bi-weekly update that some 707 refugees were supported to return to their home in Somalia voluntarily in the past ten days. According to the UNHCR, some 23,058 refugees out of 62,372 returned in 2017 as the UN refugee agency steps up returns to the Horn of Africa nation. The UN agency said road convoys to Somalia remained suspended due to the heavy rains in some parts of the Horn of Africa nation. UNHCR Somalia and its partners are closely monitoring the accessibility of...
(AFP (eng) 05/08/17)
At least six people were killed and about 10 injured Monday in a car bomb attack in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, a police officer on the scene told AFP. The car exploded next to an Italian cafe on a key thoroughfare in the centre of the city which leads to the presidential palace, in the latest such attack in the violence-scarred country. "For the moment we have six dead in the explosion, civilians. The car full of explosives blew up next to an Italian cafe," said the officer, Mohamed Abdulahi. "The blast was very powerful and there were a lot of people there at the time, I saw several people dead and injured," added a witness, Abdukadir Ise. It was unclear...
(Bloomberg 05/08/17)
Almost a quarter century since the U.S. withdrew from Somalia after militiamen shot down two Black Hawk helicopters and special forces took heavy losses in a battle in the capital, an al-Qaeda-backed insurgency is once again drawing U.S. attention. The U.S., which already supported the Horn of Africa country’s battle against al-Shabaab militants with drone strikes and limited special forces, say it’s deploying about a dozen troops from the 101st Airborne Division to train Somalia’s army and has given U.S. commanders greater authority to use air strikes. A Navy SEAL was killed May 4 in a operation with Somali forces west of the capital, Mogadishu. The Pentagon said it was the first death of a U.S. service member in combat...
(Voice of America 05/08/17)
The Somali government says the leader of al-Shabab in the Lower Shabelle region and three of his associates have been killed in a raid in the village of Barire. The Somali government identified the man as Moalin Osman Abdi Badil. In a statement by the Information Ministry the government says the operation on May 5 was conducted by the Somali national security forces. The Somali government says the death the al-Shabab leader Badil “significantly disrupts” the group’s ability to operate in the Lower Shabelle region. “The operation marks a turning point in our fight for security,” the statement read. The Somali statement did not mention if U.S. were involved in the operation in Barire. Last Friday, the U.S. said a...
(Capitalfm Business 05/08/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday held talks with the President of the United Nations General Assembly Peter Thomson, on the need for the UN to increase funding for the efforts to stabilise Somalia. President Kenyatta said the UN should do more to support the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) so that the force can play a bigger role in supporting the government of Somalia and neutralise the terrorist threats in the country. He said the UN also needs to give more funds to the government of Somalia so that it can do more to ensure the safety of its people. He said the European Union has supported AMISOM forces and the UN should do more to help Somalia. “The...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/06/17)
A Chinese navy ship handed over three suspected pirates to Somali authorities on Friday, police said, underscoring the determination of international naval forces to stamp out a resurgence of piracy this year. The pirates were involved in the attempted hijacking in April of the OS35, a Tuvalu-flagged cargo ship that was rescued by the Chinese navy after the crew sent a distress call. "A Chinese navy ship handed over three pirates to Puntland today," said Ahmed Saiid, the deputy director of maritime police forces in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland. The pirates handed to the Puntland authorities included a local pirate leader known as Aw Kombe, he said. In their heyday in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks off...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/06/17)
A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed and two troops wounded in a raid on an al Shabaab militant compound in Somalia, U.S. officials said on Friday, in what appeared to be the first U.S. combat death in the African country since the 1993 "Black Hawk Down" disaster. The White House has granted the U.S. military broader authority to carry out strikes in Somalia against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, the latest sign President Donald Trump is increasing U.S. military engagement in the region. Still, U.S. participation in the Somalia-led assault was carried out under authorities in place for years, the Pentagon said. The targets were al Shabaab fighters tied to attacks. "The objective was a compound and a group of people...
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
An American soldier was shot dead and two others wounded in a night-time raid with Somali forces against Shabaab militants in Somalia, the US military said Friday. "On May 4, one US service member was killed during an operation against Al-Shabaab near Barii, Somalia, approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu," said a statement from the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), adding the US forces were "conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army." AFRICOM spokeswoman Robyn Mack told AFP that two US soldiers were also wounded. "The service member was struck by small arms fire while conducting an advise and assist
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
The Somali government sacked the country's auditor-general on Friday, after his bodyguards were accused of shooting dead the minister of public works, apparently by accident. Abbas Abdullahi Siraji, the 31-year-old public works minister, was killed on Wednesday when government security guards shot at his vehicle outside the presidential palace. After an emergency cabinet meeting, the prime minister's office issued a statement announcing auditor-general Nur Jimale Farah's dismissal. "After hearing a report about the killing of minister Abas Siraji, the minister for public works, the cabinet members have unanimously agreed to discharge the National Auditor General. The position will be temporarily filled by his deputy", the statement said. The attorney-general and police chief told cabinet that three people had been arrested...
(Xinhuanet 05/05/17)
The United States military confirmed on Friday that a special operations member was killed on Thursday during an operation against Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia. The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) which has in the past conducted counter-terrorism airstrikes against the militants in Somalia said the incident took place when the U.S. Special Forces were conducting an advise-and-assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army. "On May 4, one U.S. service member was killed during an operation against Al-Shabaab near Barii, Somalia, approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu," Africom said in a statement. It said Al-Shabaab presents a threat to Americans and American interests. Africom said the U.S. forces are assisting partner forces to counter Al-Shabaab in Somalia to degrade the...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Somalia's president cut short a trip to Ethiopia on Thursday, the day after a cabinet minister was accidentally shot and killed in Mogadishu by another official's guards. "The president of the republic, who is now outside the country, decided to cut his trip short to participate in the burial," said Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire. Abbas Abdullahi Siraji, the 31-year-old public works minister, was killed on Wednesday when his vehicle was mistakenly shot at by government security guards outside the presidential palace. "We are deeply saddened by the devastating news of the death of minister Abbas Siraji and we are passionately grieving with his family as they pass through this difficult time," Khaire said. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known by...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Somalia's minister of public works and reconstruction Abbas Abdullahi Siraji was killed in Mogadishu on Wednesday in what was apparently an accidental shooting, government and police sources said. In a statement, the government said it was "deeply saddened" by the death of Siraji, the youngest member of the Somali cabinet, who grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp before winning election in 2016 and being named a minister by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Siraji's vehicle was mistakenly shot at by government security guards outside the presidential palace, a senator, Ilyas Abdulahi, told AFP. Sources said the gunmen were security guards for another government official
(Voice of America 05/04/17)
For the first time in years, piracy has returned to the coast of Somalia, with as many as six incidents reported in the last two months. But the European Union naval force patrolling the region, EU NAVFOR, says it continues to be successful in escorting ships carrying food aid to drought-stricken Somalia. A spokesperson for the EU force, Lieutenant Commander Jacqueline Sherriff, told VOA's Somali Service that the force has not experienced a single attack on aid ships since it began protecting World Food Program (WFP) vessels in 2008. “Our warship will actually sail alongside a ship very closely to stop any pirates approaching but we also have another way of doing it...We can put a military protection team on...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/04/17)
Somali security forces shot dead a minister for public works in his car in the capital Mogadishu on Wednesday after mistaking him for an Islamist militant, officials said. Mogadishu mayoral spokesman Abdifatah Omar Halane said the minister, Abbas Abdullahi Sheikh Siraji, who was also a lawmaker, was killed "by mistake - they opened fire on his car accidentally. May God rest his soul". Police Major Nur Hussein told Reuters that security forces on patrol encountered a car blocking the street and, believing it was being driven by militants, opened fire. Al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab militants often carry out attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in their campaign to topple Somalia's government and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops out of the...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...

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