Friday 23 June 2017
(Daily Nation 03/31/17)
Many media commentators wrote surprisingly of the successful official state visit of Somalia's President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, to Kenya on Thursday last week. In fact, the Somali President's warm welcome by his counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta, was not the main story as this was a given, but how quickly they moved to agree strategic action on all matters of common concern and opportunity within this single face-to-face encounter. All the agreed policies at this fruitful meeting from security, trade and investment to direct flights between Mogadishu and Nairobi are not new either. They were negotiated, agreed and renewed as part of the Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) which was signed between the two governments in February 2016. However, what is...
(The New York Times 03/30/17)
President Trump has relaxed some of the rules for preventing civilian casualties when the American military carries out counterterrorism strikes in Somalia, laying the groundwork for an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa. The decision, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations, gives commanders at the United States Africa Command greater latitude to carry out offensive airstrikes and raids by ground troops against militants with the Qaeda-linked Islamist group Shabab. That sets the stage for an intensified pace of combat there, while increasing the risk that American forces could kill civilians. Mr. Trump signed a directive on Wednesday declaring parts of Somalia
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
Somali Parliament on Wednesday approved a new cabinet appointed by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire a week ago. Lower House Deputy Speaker Abdiweli Ibrahim Mudey announced that 224 lawmakers voted in favor of the cabinet, 15 rejected the list and two abstained. The move ended anxiety that many analysts say could have crippled the operations of the new government formed after successful in-direct presidential elections in February. Speaker of the Lower House Mohamed Osman Jawari lauded the lawmakers for endorsing the ministers. "Parliament did their constitutional duties and we urge the executive
(Shabelle News 03/30/17)
President of Federal Republic of Somalia H.E Mohamed Abduallahi Farmaajo, in a written speech distributed to the leaders of the Arab world attending at 28th Ordinary Summit of the Arab League, discussed Somalia's progress, priorities and remaining challenges going forward. The president acknowledged that most of the Arab world is currently facing grave challenges stemming from the threats of insecurity, political upheaval and economic distress. In light of this, the President called on Arab leaders to unite to overcome these challenges and galvanize wide ranging support to safeguard the future of the Arab world and its citizens. "We need to unite our efforts to overcome these challenges and galvanize support for our people and safeguard our future... We call for...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(Xinhuanet 03/29/17)
Child malnutrition coupled with a spike in diarrhea diseases linked to water scarcity could spin out of control in Somalia as the drought season enters a critical phase, a UN official said in a recent interview with Xinhua. United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)'s Chief of Field Office in Central South Somalia Eltayeb Adam noted that Somali children have borne the brunt of malnutrition and water-borne diseases hence making them vulnerable targets of recruitment by armed groups. "We are expecting the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition to increase from the current figure of 177,000 to 288, 000," Adam said. He noted that a cholera outbreak
(The Associated Press 03/29/17)
Somalia’s parliament has endorsed the country’s new cabinet, a victory for the prime minister after more than 100 legislators challenged his nominations last week. Acting parliament speaker Abdiweli Sheikh Ibrahim said Wednesday that 224 MPs out of the 341 present voted in favor of the new cabinet, while 15 rejected it and two abstained. Somalia’s chief justice has sworn in the cabinet members. Some lawmakers had said the proposed cabinet went against the power-sharing formula that Somalia’s powerful clans agreed on previously. The fragile central government is trying to assert itself in this long-chaotic country after the election of Somali-American President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed last month. The international community has poured in hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years...
(Xinhuanet 03/29/17)
A global charity said Wednesday over 3,000 Somalis are fleeing daily due to a severe drought which is ravaging several parts of Somalia. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said its latest data shows that 438,000 people in Somalia have been displaced since November 2016, by the worst drought the country has experienced in 20 years. "Over 3,000 people a day are being forced to abandon their homes in search of water and food. This is the highest displacement we have witnessed since the 2011 famine, and it's spiralling higher each day," said NRC's Country Director in Somalia, Victor Moses. "The indicators are lining up dangerously with what we saw in the lead up to the 2011 famine," Moses said in...
(CBC News 03/29/17)
Hodan Nalayeh, founder of Integration TV, went to Somalia to see how drought is affecting people. A Toronto-area host of a weekly television talk show for Somali viewers says people in Somalia are showing resilience despite severe drought. Hodan Nalayeh, founder and host of Integration TV on OMNI TV, travelled to remote areas in Somalia for about 10 days earlier this month to see how the drought is affecting people there and to raise awareness of the situation. "The conditions are horrific," Nalayeh told Metro Morning on Tuesday. "People basically have not seen rain for the past two years. The results have basically showed up now where it's near famine conditions. Somalis are basically starving from just their land and...
(AL Jazeera 03/29/17)
The United Nations has raised alarm over a major outbreak of cholera in southern Somalia. Aid groups are already scrambling to help people suffering from severe drought and mass malnutrition. The UN is urging immediate action and aid to avert the crisis. Al Jazeera got access to a hospital in Baidoa in the badly-hit southern region. Caroline Malone
(Xinhuanet 03/29/17)
Child malnutrition coupled with a spike in diarrhea diseases linked to water scarcity could spin out of control in Somalia as the drought season enters a critical phase, a UN official said in a recent interview with Xinhua. United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)'s Chief of Field Office in Central South Somalia Eltayeb Adam noted that Somali children have borne the brunt of malnutrition and water-borne diseases hence making them vulnerable targets of recruitment by armed groups. "We are expecting the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition to increase from the current figure of 177,000 to 288, 000," Adam said. He noted that a cholera outbreak is spreading quickly in drought-hit towns and villages. The United Nations contended...
(The Associated Press 03/29/17)
Tears fill Sahra Muse's eyes as she stares at her severely malnourished son, his thin arms crossed over his bloated stomach. Before he succumbed to hunger, 7-year-old Ibrahim Ali had helped his mother herd the family's 30 cows on their farm in Toratorow, a village in Lower Shabelle region. But the family lost all they had to the growing drought. The 32-year-old Muse walked for three days to reach this wind-swept camp 13 kilometers (8 miles) south of Somalia's capital earlier this week, leaving behind her other three children and their father. "Life is becoming so hard. We have nothing to survive, and I don't know how long he will survive," Muse said of her son. She sat in a...
(The New York Times 03/28/17)
Somalia, which has been hit by a series of crises that sound like a page from the Book of Job, is starting a major effort to vaccinate 450,000 people against its latest plague: cholera. The country, in the Horn of Africa, has long suffered from weak central government, fighting among clan warlords and terrorist acts committed by Al Shabab, an Islamic militant group with some factions aligned with Al Qaeda. In 1993, the capital, Mogadishu, was the scene of the “Black Hawk Down” battle between United States Army Rangers and clan militias. American troops sent to protect food aid shipments ended up fighting the warlords who were seizing them. The world’s largest refugee camp complex in Dadaab, Kenya, contains 260,000...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
As the breakaway republic of Somaliland grapples with a severe drought, medical workers are struggling to aid people left weakened by malnourishment and hunger. A 70-year-old hospital in Erigavo, the capital of the Sanaag region, is operating beyond full capacity to treat people affected by the drought. And it's the only hospital in the region. The drought has left tens of thousands of children acutely malnourished. In desperate need of treatment, they are checked as they lie on the beds in this stabilization center ward. Ismail Saleban Bowkah, the hospital's director, said most of the children admitted for care come from rural areas. "The drought forced most pastoralists to move from one area into another.Some came to the cities. But...
(Standard Digital 03/28/17)
The democratic installation of Mohamed Mohamed as President of the Federal Republic of Somalia is the most hopeful political development in the war-torn Horn of Africa country in decades. Mr Mohamed, a New York resident – and dual US-Somali citizen – is likely to lead a national renaissance in one of the most tortured countries on earth. Somalia has not known peace since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. President Mohamed, the urbane technocrat educated at the University at Buffalo, is bound to transform Villa Somalia into the nerve centre that puts humpty dumpty back together again. A man of virtue, Mr Mohamed is a one in a generation leader. Mr Mohamed’s rise to power has been...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/25/17)
The head of U.S. forces in Africa told reporters on Friday that greater authority to fight al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants in Somalia would lead to more flexibility and quicker targeting, but that a decision had not yet been made by the White House. Al Shabaab has been able to carry out deadly bombings despite losing most of its territory to African Union peacekeepers supporting the Somali government. The United States has a small presence in Somalia and is allowed to carry out strikes in defense of partnered forces. "Regardless of what combatant commander was sitting here this afternoon, I think they would all tell you that it is very important
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
Somalia's new president appealed to the international community Thursday for more aid to avert a famine threatening his country that could also undermine fledgling political hopes born in his peaceful election. "Almost half of our people are facing acute food shortages and about 15 percent are facing famine" amid a severe drought, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmajo, said in a video conference with the United Nations Security Council. "Among the many pressing priorities for my administration, responding effectively to the current humanitarian crisis tops the agenda," he said.
(Voice of America 03/24/17)
The Kenyan government says it will open the border with Somalia to boost trade and allow the flow of people between the two countries. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also pledged to help Somalia in the fight against al-Shabab militants and support and train government workers. His remarks followed a meeting he had in Nairobi with his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. After a closed door meeting that lasted more than three hours, the two heads of state addressed the media in a display of friendship. President Kenyatta discussed the border issue. "We agreed to take the following actions within the shortest possible time, open two border posts, in Dobley-Liboi and Mandera-Bula Hawa, and to facilitate the movement of people, goods...

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