22 October – Source: Goobjoog – 90 Words
Fighter jets bombarded Al-Shabaab bases in Jilib and Jamame districts in Lower and Middle Juba regions Sunday night, government officials said. Officials from the federal government told the media that members of the Al-Shabaab group were killed in the attack, but no figures have been released since. The warplanes also targeted a convoy of Al-Shabaab militants who had been travelling through the Haram area with officials saying the occupants were killed. The Somali forces have intensified operations in the Lower Shabelle and Juba regions in recent weeks targeting Al-Shabaab remaining strongholds.
22 October – Source: Hiiraan Online – 256 Words
President Mohamed Farmajo has left Mogadishu to attend the Russia-Africa Summit scheduled for 23-24 October in the resort city of Sochi as Somalia seeks to engage international investors for its reconstruction campaign. Farmajo will be joining about 46 heads of states and governments from Africa in the first ever Russia-Africa economic forum which will be followed by Heads of States summit hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to the Ros Foundation which organizes the event, ‘the forum will be [a] strategically important step towards creating favourable conditions for the development of trade and economic relations between Russia and Africa and will also diversify the forms and areas of Russian-African cooperation.’ The agenda of the forum according to Ros Foundation will cover the role of Russia’s agenda in Africa and its promotion, Africa’s role in the international financial system, expanding cooperation, export and investment, as well as security challenges.
Somalia is expected to position itself as a key investment destination especially in light of oil licensing rounds as it seeks investments for reconstruction. According to a timetable from the Somalia Oil conference in London early this year, the country will issue its first licenses to oil companies in January 2020. The forum comes amid increased engagements in Africa by China, US and the European Union with analysts viewing Russia as a late entrant. Russia’s trade with Sub-Saharan Africa was only $20 billion in 2018 compared to compared with U.S.-Africa trade of $61 billion, Africa-China at $200 billion and EU-Africa at over $300 billion annually.
21 October – Source: Goobjoog – 145 Words
Reports from Lower Shabelle region indicate that several government soldiers and their weapons are missing after their boat capsized off the coast of Marka. The soldiers, who are members of the 14 October Batallion, and accompanied by their commander, Captain Osman Muse, travelled from Marka on their way to Mogadishu. Most of them were, however, rescued including Commander Osman Muse. Several soldiers are now missing and a number of rifles with efforts to rescue the misisng soldiers and recover the weapons underway. Al-Shabaab blocked all the roads that lead to Marka thus the government soldiers’ use of boats as a mean of transport.
20 October – Souce: Somali Affairs – 191 Words
The Puntland regional administration has barred federal parliament lawmakers and federal government ministers from opening offices in several constituencies in Puntland state. Minister of Planning Jamal Mohamed Hassan and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Sadaq Warfa recently opened parliamentary offices in their respective constituencies meant for building a bridging link between the politicians and people in their respective constituencies. In a press statement from the Puntland Ministry of Interior‘s office said that it will not allow the politicians to have offices in the state.
Senator Mohamud Mashru’ rejected the decision by the Puntland Ministry of Interior to ban federal government cabinets from opening offices in Puntland. Senator Mashru’ termed the decision a violation of the constitution and a challenge to the representation rights of members of the federal parliament from Puntland. He called on the Puntland authorities to refrain from anything that might harm national unity. He also welcomed the idea that members of Parliament should establish their own offices in their respected constituencies. The dispute between the federal government and the Puntland administration has intensified in recent past, to the point where the federal government officials have been affected.
21 October – Source: Concern Worldwide – 641 Words
The Somali Cash Consortium, led by Concern Worldwide, has distributed emergency funding to over 7,000 displaced people who have been forced to leave their homes in the region due to the continuing drought. The Consortium has activated its emergency cash response in the southern Somalia city of Baidoa to assist 1,225 vulnerable Somali families. The Consortium transferred $73,500 of emergency response cash this month to the mobile phones of people who were displaced or at risk of displacement due to drought. This is the fourth time the Consortium has activated its $275,000 emergency cash response fund this year. The Consortium’s previous activations have been in response to homes being destroyed by floods and evictions. The cash enables recipients to purchase food as well as basic supplies such as portable solar lamps, kitchen sets, corrugated galvanized iron for shelters, blankets, floor mats and hygiene items. In previous responses, 99% of participants reported that the cash assistance had improved their access to food. Following reports of newly displaced people around Baidoa town, teams from Consortium partner agencies carried out rapid needs assessment surveys. Interviews with affected households indicated that they left their villages in the region due to severe food and water shortages. Displaced families face challenges accessing food, water and basic health services when they arrive in Baidoa, the capital of Bay district. The majority of those impacted are women and children. “Our survey teams found that 74% of respondents were not able to meet their food needs,” Consortium Programme Manager Kaitlyn Scott said. UNHCR reports that 272,000 people[i] have been forced to move to Bay as a result of conflict or drought. Ms Scott said: “Consortium members were already operating in this area, so we’re able to respond quickly. This is a good example of how existing capacity, as well as mobile technology, can be used to scale up support efficiently and effectively as the need changes.”
Participants supported by the Somali Cash Consortium receive money through mobile money, a system that works on even the most basic phones. Mobile money is widely accepted in Somalia, giving participants greater choice and reducing the risks of travelling to distribution sites or specific vendors. Six out of the last seven rainy seasons have failed in Somalia. In southern Somalia, the Gu season (April-June) produced the lowest Gu cereal harvest since 1995. The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) figures, a food security and nutrition measure, show 2.1million[ii] people in phase 3 and 4, “acute food and livelihood crisis” and “humanitarian emergency,” respectively. UN OCHA warns that the November cereal harvest is likely to be 44% below average[iii]. Alessandro Bini, Consortium Director said: “The Crisis Modifier funds from ECHO allows us to respond quickly to a wide variety of shocks which affect vulnerable Somalis. Heavy rains are expected around the Juba and Shabelle river basins leading to an increased risk of flooding[iv], yet other areas remain in drought conditions, displacement and evictions continue.”
19 October – Source: Independent UG – 794 Words
Veteran Ugandan journalist, publisher and analyst Charles Onyango-Obbo has explained why the world will not just sit back and watch as resource-rich Africa does nothing productive with its assets. Onyango-Obbo, however, hailed Uganda for playing a key African geopolitical contribution to the world when their army, the UPDF, intervened in Somalia in 2007. He was the keynote speaker on the final day Friday of the two-day Africa Geopolitics Conference at Makerere University. He spoke, mainly through illustrations, on “the role of Africa in geopolitics.” Onyango-Obbo described the ‘Indian Ocean Circle’ as key to the world economy and said the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) had played an important geopolitical role in making the Indian Ocean safe for investment, as piracy out of Somalia had become a major world headache. He said the ‘Indian Ocean circle’ today has the largest concentration of military bases in the world and largest concentration of multinational and rival forces since the 2nd world war. He argued that Uganda provided the biggest geopolitical goods to the world by their intervention in Somalia in 2007. “I think we need to appreciate what the UPDF did. We keep asking what does Africa give the world? What the UPDF did when it became the first mover contingent to Somalia was it supplied one of the biggest geopolitical goods to the world. It made it possible to turn the tide in the Horn and west of the Indian Ocean against piracy.”…
18 October – Source: IOM – 312 Words
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ethiopia organized on Tuesday its first international charter flight carrying 154 Somali refugees to be resettled in Germany. The group had been residing in Jijiga and Dolo Ado refugee camps in southern Ethiopia. They included 63 males and 91 females, 47 of whom are minors. IOM has supported the German Resettlement Programme in their efforts to resettle 500 refugees living in Ethiopia to Germany since March. These efforts are closely coordinated with the Ethiopian Government’s Agency for Refugees and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Federal Government of Germany. An additional 220 refugees will depart for Germany on a second IOM-chartered flight in mid-November. The majority of these people have already undergone the necessary interviews and health assessments. “It is important that we facilitate the smooth resettlement of refugees by providing safe transportation,” said Milun Jovanovic, Operations Officer with IOM Ethiopia. “We are happy that refugees enjoyed this facilitated charter flight from departure to destination, with no hassles faced.”
For the past 15 years, IOM Ethiopia has been involved in relocating refugees to more than 16 countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, Norway and the European Union through resettlement, family reunification and humanitarian admission programmes. Since 2016, the Organization has arranged 36 domestic charter flights for refugees travelling to Addis Ababa from camps throughout Ethiopia. In 2019 alone, IOM has assisted 4,000 refugees to resettle to new countries together with UNHCR. The Organization facilitates case selection and processing, health assessments, movement from camps and departure logistics. IOM teams also conduct a pre-departure orientation to ease the integration of refugees. Resettlement provides millions of refugees worldwide with protection and the opportunity to build new lives for themselves and their families – particularly for those whose life, health or fundamental human rights are at risk in the country where they first sought refuge.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“After leading a bloodless 1969 coup, Siad Barre survived defeat in a long desert war with Ethiopia and manoeuvred the country through alliances with the Soviets and Americans. Meanwhile, his country suffered through a succession of droughts. A tall, austere-looking man with a long face and hooded eyes often hidden behind dark glasses, Siad Barre kept power in a land of anarchic nomads by cunningly playing a myriad of squabbling clans off against one another.”
21 October – Source: Radio Dalsan – 803 Words
On October 21, a day like today in 1969, a bloodless coup resulted in the instalment of President Siad Barre. From 1969 to 1978, the Barre Regime enjoyed relative popularity and financial support from both the Soviet Union and Western institutions.[ While projecting an image of Somalia as a constitutional state to international actors, Barre cultivated a patrimonial state that increasingly revolved around clan identity. Clan-based paramilitaries were funded and armed by the government, a practice that exacerbated relations between communities that had previously lived adjacently and intermarried with little conflict. Rather than completely excluding particular clans, Barre co-opted key actors in certain sub-clans, causing divisions within the larger clans. During this time, the regime passed legislation giving the statewide powers of detention and execution. A number of paramilitaries, militias, and security agencies were founded, including the National Security Service and the Victory Pioneers. While there were several incidents of political violence, this caused relatively low numbers of civilian deaths; no single incident from 1945 to 1975 seems to have caused more than 100 civilian deaths.
The Barre regime became increasingly oppressive and violent in the late 1970s through the 1980s, although mass atrocities did not begin until later. In 1977 Somalia entered the Ethio-Somalia or Ogaden war with Ethiopia. After a number of initial victories, the Soviet Union withdrew support from Somalia in favour of Ethiopia, and Somalia lost the war in 1978. Discontent with the Siad Barre regime began to spread after the military loss against Ethiopia. Siad Barre had eighty-two high-level military officers executed in Ethiopian territory for their opposition to the way the war was handled. The military failure and execution of military officers prompted a 1978 coup attempt. Despite somewhat diverse clan participation amongst the coup leaders, Barre portrayed the coup as orchestrated by the Majeerteen clan. In a pattern similar to what would be used later against the Isaak clan in 1988, Barre responded by purging the government and military of Majeerteen, and committing reprisal killings against the Majeerteen civilian clan members that left roughly 2,000 dead. Siad Barre rose from being an orphaned shepherd boy to rule Somalia for more than two decades, using a mixture of terror and guile. He left behind a country beset by clan rivalries and drought. War and famine combined in 1992 to kill 350,000 people in the nation of 8 million….