Friday 26 May 2017
(Voice of America 03/14/17)
The hijackers who seized an oil tanker and its eight-man crew off Somalia are demanding “compensation” for a rise in illegal fishing in Somali waters. VOA’s Somali service spoke by phone to one of the hijackers Tuesday, a day after men boarded and seized the ship about 30 kilometers off the Somali coast, then anchored off Alula, a town in Somalia’s Puntland region. The hijacker said seven men took part in the raid. He asserted that he and his colleagues are fishermen, not pirates. “We have decided, as local fishermen, to resist illegal fishing. We have taken arms to defend ourselves, and we will continue,” said the man, who declined to give his name and did not suggest any dollar...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
At least five people were killed and 12 others injured in two separate car bombings in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Monday, officials and witnesses said. "More than five people were confirmed dead so far and many others are wounded in a car bomb blast near the Weheliye hotel," said Ise Gure Mohamed, a district police commissioner. Witnesses said the toll from the blast which occurred along the busy Maka Al-Mukarama road could in fact be higher. "I saw the dead bodies of seven people but the death toll could be higher, there were seriously wounded people at a teashop close to the road where the vehicle exploded," said Muhidin Ali, a witness. Abdirahman Mohamed, another witness, said he saw as...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
At least five people were killed and 12 others injured in two separate car bombings in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Monday, officials and witnesses said. "More than five people were confirmed dead so far and many others are wounded in a car bomb blast near the Weheliye hotel," said Ise Gure Mohamed, a district police commissioner. Witnesses said the toll from the blast which occurred along the busy Maka Al-Mukarama road could in fact be higher. "I saw the dead bodies of seven people but the death toll could be higher, there were seriously wounded people at a teashop close to the road where the vehicle exploded," said Muhidin Ali, a witness. Abdirahman Mohamed, another witness, said he saw as...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
A car bomb exploded near a hotel on a busy street in the Somali capital on Monday, killing at least two people, police said, hours after another blast killed the driver of a minibus who tried to breach a checkpoint. Police said the blast took place outside the Wehliye Hotel on Maka al Mukaram street. "So far two civilians have died and two others were injured," Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters. A Reuters witness at the scene counted five bodies on the ground. The hotel was left intact, but the explosion damaged a nearby house. Hours before, a minibus exploded after police shot at it after it refused to stop as it approached a checkpoint in the capital,...
(Xinhuanet 03/13/17)
At least seven people were killed and 10 others were injured in two separate bomb explosions in Mogadishu on Monday with sources indicating a possible surge in the casualty figures. Six civilians were killed when a vehicle loaded with explosives went off in front of Wehliye hotel in central business district of Mogadishu. Ten others were injured. Mohamed Dahir senior police officer at the scene told Xinhua they have established that six people died from the attack at the hotel. "So far we have counted six people who have died and ten others have sustained injuries. We are still carrying out investigations into the matter," said Dahir. An eye witness confirmed the explosion to Xinhua noting the explosion was massive...
(The Associated Press 03/13/17)
Ahmed Haji turns from his visibly dehydrated animals and whispers: "I am lost." Trying to flee the worsening drought, he trekked thousands of kilometers with a herd that once numbered 1,200. But hundreds perished during the arduous trip to Puntland, in northern Somalia, in search of greener pasture. The land here dried up not long after he arrived, leaving his animals weak from hunger and thirst. "They are now dying one by one," the 30-year-old said, shading his face from the scorching sun. His goats drank water from a plastic barrel and picked dry leaves from plants nearby. "I don't even think these remaining ones will survive in the next two months," Haji said. He left his wife and five...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
Hundreds of soldiers went on strike in the Somali capital on Sunday, blocking roads and forcing businesses to close in protest over unpaid salaries, a challenge for the new president who has vowed to defeat Islamist militant group, al Shabaab. Reuters witnesses saw soldiers - some armed - stopping traffic at several locations including on two major roads and at two junctions. At the K5 junction, unarmed soldiers ordered shops and restaurants to close, and on Maka Al Mukaram, a major street, soldiers blocked traffic with a pickup truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun. Captain Ali Osman, a military official told Reuters, that the soldiers were protesting to remind the president of his campaign promise to pay all arrears."He was...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(Agence Ecofin 03/10/17)
Last Wednesday, the World Bank announced it would provide more than $1.6 billion to Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Southern Sudan and Yemen to fight hunger. More than 20 million people are to benefit from the facility. “Our first priority is to work with partners to make sure that families have access to food and water. We are working towards a financial package of more than $1.6 billion to build social protection systems, strengthen economic reliance, and maintain service delivery to the most vulnerable,” said World Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim. “This package includes over $870 million worth of existing projects which will help fight hunger. I am also working with the bank’s board of directors to secure the approval of...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
Leader of Somali militant group al-Shabaab has surrendered to government forces in Baidoa town in southern Somalia, the AU mission confirmed. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said on Wednesday evening that Hussein Salad Mukhtar surrendered to the Somali National Army (SNA) on Tuesday following a government amnesty offer for militants to surrender. "AMISOM calls on Al-Shabaab fighters to heed the government's amnesty," AMISOM said. It called on al-Shabaab militants to lay down their weapons and join the Somali people to rebuild their county. "AMISON hopes that other sons and daughters of Somalia who have been misled into terrorist acts will emulate the courageous action of Mukhtar," it said.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/09/17)
Somali mothers are facing an agonizing choice over how to divide their shrinking food supply among hungry children as a devastating drought kills off livestock and leaves the Horn of Africa nation facing the possibility of famine. "If there's a very small amount of food, we give it to those who need it the most - the youngest," said Fatuma Abdille, who arrived in the capital of Mogadishu two weeks ago with her seven children after the family's herd of goats perished from hunger. The drought has shriveled grass and dried up water holes. In Bay, a key agricultural region, the United Nations says the harvest has dropped by more than 40 percent. Now the United Nations is warning that...
(Voice of America 03/09/17)
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday that East Africans are facing starvation and that the situation might worsen if nothing is done to avert the crisis. The United Nations estimates more than 17 million people are facing hunger in nine countries. Somalia is facing its second famine in less than six years, South Sudan has declared some parts of the country in famine, and Kenya's government declared the drought there a national disaster. More than 10 million people are going to bed hungry in Ethiopia alone. Guterres, ending a visit to Kenya on Wednesday, discussed the South Sudan political and humanitarian crisis with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. "We had the opportunity to discuss, to find, identify [a] point of view...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(Xinhuanet 03/08/17)
One out of seven Somali children dies before its fifth birthday, and acute malnutrition weakens the immune system, which makes affected children more susceptible to disease such as measles, a UN spokesman told reporters here Tuesday. Only about half of the Somali population, some 6.2 million people, has access to basic health services, and less than half of all pregnant women have access to assisted deliveries.and less than half of all pregnant women have access to assisted deliveries, Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, quoted the World Health Organization (WHO) as saying at a daily news briefingat. Food insecurity has been worsened by drought in Somalia, where the famine killed around 260,000 people in 2011. In Somalia, drought conditions are...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged the international community to take action to avert famine in Somalia where a biting drought has left three million people going hungry. Somalia is facing its third famine in the 25 years that it has been embroiled in civil war and anarchy. A 2011 famine left 260,000 people dead in the Horn of Africa nation. "There is a chance to avoid the worst... but we need massive support from the international community to avoid a repetition of the tragic events of 2011," said Guterres. "It justifies a massive response," he added. After a stop in Mogadishu, Guterres visited a camp of displaced people in the central city of Baidoa which has been...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived in Somalia Tuesday to discuss a hunger crisis which has pushed the country to the verge of famine with new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. "The combination of conflict, drought, climate change, diseases and cholera is a nightmare," Guterres told journalists during the flight to Mogadishu. "It's essentially a visit of solidarity with Somalia. We are trying to put in place a response mechanism... for trying to prevent the worst". Guterres will meet the newly elected president, better known by his nickname Farmajo, in the highly secured airport zone, which is protected by African Union peacekeepers and which houses the offices of the UN and humanitarian organisations. It is only the third visit by a...
(Xinhuanet 03/07/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday warned of a spiraling famine in Somalia should the international community fail to respond in time. Speaking in Somali capital of Mogadishu after meeting with the country's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, Guterres said millions of Somalis are facing food shortage and disease and that the situation is getting worse unless the world acts fast. "This is a moment of tragedy, people are dying because of famine; because of disease but this is a moment of hope because the government is ready to act, the humanitarian community is ready to act," he said. He said that with the support of the international community, "it will be possible to avoid the worst and it will be...

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