Monday 24 July 2017
(Bloomberg 04/07/17)
Somalia’s president named a new head of national intelligence and army commander, saying the appointments would help the country deal with an al-Qaeda-linked insurgency that stages frequent attacks in the capital. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s changes, which were announced Thursday on state radio, included the reappointment of Abdullahi Mohamed Samboloshe as intelligence chief and the naming of Tabit Abdi as Mogadishu’s mayor. Ahmed Mohamed Jimale, who’d previously commanded Somalia’s army, was reappointed to the post. Militant group al-Shabaab has waged an insurgency in the Horn of Africa nation since 2006 in a bid to impose its version of Islamic law. It claimed responsibility for an explosion at a tea shop in Mogadishu on Wednesday that killed at least seven people...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/06/17)
Somali dentist Abdikadir Adem spent all his savings on a battered van to rescue wounded people after he watched neighbors hit by bomb blasts bleed to death in wheelbarrows on a desperate five kilometer dash to hospital. Ten years later, his single van has grown into a fleet of second-hand ambulances whose red, hand-stencilled Aamin Ambulance logo and nasal sirens are instantly recognized on the battle-scarred streets of Mogadishu. Adem's initiative, funded by dollars cajoled out of his medical students and donations wheedled from businessmen, highlights how private citizens in Somalia, Syria and Pakistan can provide lifesaving social services in countries abandoned by their governments and devastated by violence. "It was so hard to watch people dying, we had to...
(BBC News Africa 04/06/17)
Armed men have abducted five aid workers from the central Somali town of Beledweyne, locals have confirmed to the BBC Somali service. The staff, who included two volunteers, a nurse, a driver and a veterinary, were working with the region's Veterinary Medical Association, the privately-owned Jowhar news website reports. "The kidnapped workers were on an immunisation programme in a place 10km (6.2 miles)from Beledweyne town," the site added. No group has said it was behind the abduction yet, but Islamist militant group al-Shabab has carried out attacks in the region before. The abduction comes a day after al-Shabab released four aid worker who were doing work paid for by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the south-western town of Luuq...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
At least seven people were killed and 10 wounded on Wednesday when a car bomb exploded at a restaurant near the Somali ministry of internal security in Mogadishu, officials said. "There was a huge blast at a tea-shop near the security ministry, the initial information we are getting indicates it was a car bomb explosion," said Somali police official Mohammed Ibrahim. Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for the Mogadishu adminstration, said "seven civilians were killed in the blast and more than 10 others wounded." Witnesses said the area was swarmed by ambulances. "The blast was huge and I saw ambulances rushing but the area was cordoned off by the police", said witness Abdisalam Sharif.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/05/17)
A car bomb rammed into a cafe in the Somali capital Mogadishu near compounds housing government ministries on Wednesday, killing seven people, officials and ambulance services said. Reuters witnesses said the blast destroyed the cafe and damaged another one. Three cars destroyed and blood stained the floor. Smoke billowed from the scene. "So far we have carried seven dead people from the blast. Casualties may rise," Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Amin ambulances, told Reuters. Police said the blast took place near the compounds housing the security and sports ministries.
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
Observers warn piracy is making a comeback along the coast of Somalia, after gunmen hijacked two ships in 48 hours and took them to an area known as a pirate haven. On Monday, pirates hijacked a Pakistani boat, Salama 1, soon after seizing an Indian-owned boat, MSV Al Kausar. The mayor of Hobyo, a town on the central Somali coast, tells VOA Somali the Al Kausar, with 11 crew members, is now anchored off the nearby village of El Hur. The Salama 1 was reportedly headed to the same area with an unknown number of crew. Hobyo was a central base for Somali pirates who hijacked dozens of ships for ransom earlier this decade. Mayor Abdillahi Ahmed Ali says his...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
Cholera is spreading in Somalia, further complicating drought relief efforts as the country teeters on famine. Health officials are complaining about a lack of access to some areas due to security challenges. Health workers say at least 300 new cases and dozens of deaths are reported each day. World Health Organization Cholera expert Abdinasir Abubakar said the situation may worsen in a few weeks. “I think it is good for people to understand also this time of the year is not cholera season for Somalia. The actual cholera season will start during the rainy season, which is probably in a few weeks' time. So, we describe this as off-season and we are expecting in a few weeks' time when the...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(Xinhuanet 04/04/17)
Somalia and the African Union mission have kicked off discussions aimed at opening main supply routes to ease access to humanitarian aid in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa nation. Senior African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) officials are holding talks with government officials on the modalities of opening and securing main supply routes to help facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid to drought stricken communities in the country. Rashid Abdullahi Mohamed, Minister of Defence, said Somalia National Army (SNA) will ensure humanitarian relief reaches residents affected by the drought. He said the initiative will help alleviate the humanitarian crisis and save thousands of lives. "I think that the plan presented was very amazing and we do really appreciate, if it is...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/04/17)
Pirates who seized an Indian cargo dhow with 11 crew members in waters off the Somali coast have taken the vessel to El Hur, near the port of Hobyo in Somalia's semi-autonomous Galmudug state, a pirate leader told Reuters on Tuesday. Aw Kombe also said the pirates were in touch with businessmen in Kismayu over releasing the vessel, Al Kausar. "The traders want the dhow be released without ransom but my friends say they may not release without at least some cash," he added. "They are still discussing." The identity and origin of the hijackers was disputed, however. A Galmudug state official said the pirates came from northern Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland while Kombe, a Puntland pirate leader, put...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/04/17)
Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group has taken control of El Bur, a town in the Horn of Africa's semi-autonomous region of Galmudug, after Ethiopian forces left, a government official has said. Al Shabaab is seeking to drive the African Union-mandated peace keeping force, AMISOM, out of Somalia and topple the country's Western-backed central government. The Islamist militants also want to rule the country according to a harsh version of sharia, or Islamic law. "Ethiopian troops left the town ... thus al Shabaab captured it today," Burhaan Warsame, Galmudug’s minister for ports and sea transport, told Reuters late on Monday. Ethiopian forces, who are part of AMISOM alongside troops from Uganda, Kenya and other countries, had captured the town from al...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/04/17)
Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group has taken control of El Bur, a town in the Horn of Africa's semi-autonomous region of Galmudug, after Ethiopian forces left, a government official has said. Al Shabaab is seeking to drive the African Union-mandated peace keeping force, AMISOM, out of Somalia and topple the country's Western-backed central government. The Islamist militants also want to rule the country according to a harsh version of sharia, or Islamic law. "Ethiopian troops left the town ... thus al Shabaab captured it today," Burhaan Warsame, Galmudug’s minister for ports and sea transport, told Reuters late on Monday. Ethiopian forces, who are part of AMISOM alongside troops from Uganda, Kenya and other countries, had captured the town from al...
(The Associated Press 04/04/17)
Pirates have seized a small boat and kidnapped its 11 Indian crew members off the coast of Somalia, an investigator said Monday, the latest vessel targeted by the region's resurgent hijackers. The attack on the small ship happened Saturday as the vessel passed through the narrow channel between Yemen's Socotra island and the Somali coast, said Graeme Gibbon Brooks, the CEO of the maritime firm Dryad Maritime. The pirates are taking the vessel to the Eyl area of northern Somalia, he said. The small dhow, a traditional wooden ship common in regional waters, initially was heading from Dubai to Bosaso, Somalia, he said. Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said sailors there are...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
Somali pirates have hijacked a ship carrying more than 10 crew members, a local security official said Monday, the third such incident in less than a month. "We have been informed about another hijack of a ship ...but we don't have the details yet, the pirates boarded the ship with more than 10 crew members on board," Mohamed Samater, a security official from northeastern Puntland, told AFP. He could not provide further details about the vessel, nor when it was hijacked. On March 15, pirates seized an oil tanker and eight Sri Lankan hostages
(Voice of America 04/03/17)
Somalia’s new prime minister, Hassan Ali-Khaire, said he is mobilizing his government to tackle corruption and vowed to make the fight against misconduct a non-negotiable principle in his administration. Speaking at an official handover ceremony from the outgoing finance minister, Mohamed Adan Ibrahim "Farketi", to the new minister, Abdirahman Duale Beyle, Khaire expressed his concerns about the need for Somalia to be governed on transparency principles. “I and the president will never accept public property embezzlement, and we will crusade against those involving corruption,” he said.
(The East African 04/03/17)
Mogadishu — Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak arrived in Mogadishu on Sunday with a bag of goodies. Mr Kaynak and his delegation were received at Mogadishu's the Aden Abdulle International Airport by Somalia's Deputy PM Mahdi Mohamed Guled and several state officials. The Turkish delegation immediately held talks with the Somali officials at the airport on, among other issues, the current drought in the Horn of Africa region. Later, Mr Kaynak handed over to the Mogadishu authorities 52 trucks and earthmovers donated by the government of Turkey to host municipality. Building materials The deputy premier also handed over to the Mogadishu leaders a plant for the manufacture of building materials. "I trust these trucks and the plant being handed...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/03/17)
Pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial ship off the coast of Somalia, the second attack in weeks after years of inactivity by pirates, industry and security sources said on Monday. United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which coordinates the management of all merchant ships and yachts in the Gulf of Aden area, said it had received information that a dhow en route to Bosasso from Dubai had been hijacked "in the vicinity of Socotra (Island)". A spokesman said UKMTO was unable to confirm the location of the vessel, which he identified as Al Kausar, or what had taken place, and that investigations were ongoing. "We understand Somali pirates hijacked a commercial Indian ship and (it is heading) toward Somalia shores,"...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...

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