Sunday 28 May 2017
(Voice of America 05/27/17)
A top official said Friday that forces from the United Arab Emirates could soon be flying fighter jets from a new base in the breakaway republic of Somaliland. Somaliland Foreign Minister Saad Ali Shire said the UAE could use the base in the town of Berbera for any purpose, including "training, surveillance and military operations." Berbera is about 250 kilometers south of Yemen, where a Saudi-led military coalition that includes UAE troops is fighting Houthi rebels. The base is still under construction, but UAE Navy ships have docked at Berbera's deep-water port. Shire, interviewed by VOA's Somali service in Washington, defended Somaliland's naval and air base deal with the UAE, which the parliament approved in...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Five police officers were killed Thursday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Kenya in an attack claimed by Shabaab Islamists a day after nine police died in similar blasts. The officers had been deployed to the restive northeastern region to take part in an operation against the Somali-led militants after two separate roadside bombs on Wednesday. "The five police officers killed in the attack were headed to boost the ongoing operation in Liboi," said North Eastern regional coordinator Mohamud Ali Saleh referring to a town on the border with Somalia. The Kenya Red Cross said the latest attack occurred between Malelei and Kulan in Garissa county when a vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast flipped...
(AFP (eng) 05/25/17)
Five police officers were killed Thursday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in northeastern Kenya, a day after two separate IEDs killed eight officers, a regional security official said. "The five police officers killed in the attack were headed to boost the ongoing operation in Liboi," said North Eastern regional coordinator Mohamud Ali Saleh referring to a town on the border with Somalia. The Kenya Red Cross said the attack occurred between Malelei and Kulan in Garissa county. The Shabaab, a Somali-led Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group, claimed the attack -- as well as the previous two --
(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
The Islamic State group has claimed its first suicide attack in Somalia that left five dead as it steps up activities in a region dominated by the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab. The group's self-styled news agency Amaq claimed the "martyrdom-seeking operation with an explosive vest" in a statement carried by the SITE Intelligence Group which noted it was the first suicide bombing by the militants in Somalia. The suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest at a checkpoint in the northeastern port city of Bosaso late Tuesday, situated in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led...
(The Associated Press 05/22/17)
More than 23,000 Somali students are sitting their final Secondary School exams despite recent militant threats that it will punish parents who send their children to Western-style schools and universities. Somalia’s minister of education, Abdurahman Dahir Osman, said the exams, which began Saturday, will be conducted in 77 centers across five federal states – Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Southwest, Jubaland and Benadir. Launching the exam in Mogadishu, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said educating youth was the only way Somalia could...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting...
(Xinhuanet 05/19/17)
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) confirmed Friday that Zambia has joined police contributing countries to AU mission to offer specialized skills to Somali police force. A statement from the AU mission said a contingent of four senior Zambian police officers are part of a team of 22 newly deployed Individual Police Officers (IPOs) to AMISOM, who will train Somali police officers on security matters. "Zambia has deployed to the police component of the AU Mission for the first time, although they have had military presence in Somalia," the AU mission said.
(AFP (eng) 05/17/17)
At least three members of the Somali security forces were killed Wednesday as they tried to defuse a bomb inside a vehicle in the capital Mogadishu, police said. "The vehicle was seized and the security forces were trying to defuse the bomb inside when it went off," said Ibrahim Mohamed, a police officer. "Three of the security forces were killed in the blast." One of the dead was a member of a specialised bomb squad, the other two regular soldiers...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Prompt humanitarian action has kept drought-ridden Somalia from sliding into famine so far but more resources, better security and increased access to remote areas are needed to bring the country back from the brink, experts said on Tuesday. Almost 3 million people are facing starvation in the Horn of Africa nation that is suffering the effects of repeated rain failures and decades of conflict, according to the United Nations. A pre-famine alert was issued in February, a move that U.N...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded...
(The Associated Press 05/16/17)
Gunmen suspected to be al-Shabab Islamic extremists killed an administrative chief in an attack in Kenya's north that left two police reservists missing, an official said Tuesday. The attack took place in Omar Jillo in Mandera county on Monday night, Regional Coordinator Mohamud Saleh said. The county borders Somalia, where al-Shabab is based. Omar Jillo is among several towns in the area under dusk-to-dawn curfew over insecurity caused by the al-Qaida-linked extremists. A police report seen by The Associated Press...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Somalia struck a new stability pact with the international community on Thursday, aimed at steadying the fragile state by bolstering its security, staving off famine and rebooting its economy. New President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed hailed a "historic day for Somalia" after concluding the pact between Mogadishu and the international network propping up the crisis-wracked country at a conference in London. "As we begin on this journey in this new era of Somalia's recovery, the commitments made must be followed through," said the president, commonly known by his nickname Farmajo.
(Voice of America 05/12/17)
Somalia needs genuine international support for its reconstruction and stabilization plans to prevent a slide back into anarchy, leaders said at the start of a one-day conference on Somalia in London. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for another $900 million for the drought-stricken country, reports the Associated Press. "Somalia now hangs in the balance between peril and potential,'' Guterres said at the opening of the conference Thursday. "Here in London we can tip the scales from danger to safety.'' Somali...
(Xinhuanet 05/12/17)
The UN refugee agency said Friday it has revised funding needs for people displaced inside Somalia and for Somali refugees in the East Africa region. In a statement, the UNHCR said it's seeking some 488 million U.S. dollars to provide continued support to displaced Somalis in 2017. "The updated funding appeal is combined with our call for continued and sustainable international engagement with the government of Somalia and also refugee hosting countries in the region," UNHCR said. The update includes...
(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...
(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...
(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...

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