28 October – Source: AMISOM – 389 Words
A delegation of Members of Parliament from Uganda, is on a weeklong working visit to Somalia to assess the welfare of the country’s troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The delegation is led by the State Minister of Defence, Col. Charles Engola Okello, and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs, Doreen Amule. Other members of the visiting parliament committee include Moses Nagwomu Musamba, Margaret Lamwaka, Richard Oseku, Donozio Kahonda, Brig. Felix Kulayigye, and Lucy Aciro. The legislators will visit the Forward Operating Bases and interact with Ugandan soldiers and commanders serving under AMISOM. They will also meet local Somali leaders in areas located within the AMISOM Ugandan contingent’s area of responsibility. Being the first country to deploy troops to Somalia in 2007, Uganda is a significant contributor of troops under AMISOM, alongside Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Uganda is also a police-contributing country. The legislators will also meet and hold discussions with the President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and the Speaker of the Lower House of the Federal Parliament.
Today, the delegation met with the senior leadership team of AMISOM led by the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, and the AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn. At the meeting, they were briefed on the status of implementing AMISOM mission’s mandate to defeat terrorists in Somalia, achievements, progress, and challenges in implementing the Somalia Transition Plan. Minister Engola hailed AMISOM for contributing to conflict resolution in Somalia. He also explained that their visit is in fulfilment of the mandate to provide oversight over the army, police, and prisons. “We want to thank you for the changes that you have made in this country. We are grateful to the troops. I know that Somalia can now move with the rest of Africa because of the changes that we have seen,” said Col. Engola. The Deputy Head of AMISOM, Simon Mulongo, explained, “We evaluated progress made and considered recorded achievements, while taking into account that there is still work to be done.” Mulongo said, “As Parliament, they are now in a better position to appreciate the challenges of the mission, and will engage diplomatically, politically and through the executive, to reinforce support to AMISOM through the contingent.”
28 October – Source: Halbeeg – 133 Words
Humanitarian assistance has finally reached the residents of Beledweyne in Hiran region on Sunday. Planes carrying non-food items such as blankets and tents arrived in the areas which were affected by heavy flooding resulted by the torrential rains that led to river Shabelle bursting its banks. Hundreds of people were displaced along the villages along the river, buildings submerged and crops destroyed. Meanwhile nine-member emergency committee that was appointed by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire to respond to the calamity, arrived in the town to assess the damage. The committee is chaired by the Minister for Humanitarian Assistance, Hamza Said Hamza. Affected areas include Beledweyne, Bardale, with fears that Jowhar would also be affected soon. The federal government provided USD one million to respond to similar flooding in the area two years ago.
28 October – Source: Halbeeg – 156 Words
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has called upon fellow African heads of state and governments to implement the outcome of the recently concluded Russia-Africa summit. Moscow pledged to boost trade with the continent and ease debt relief by cancelling over USD 20 billion during first Russia- Africa summit held in the resort Black Sea city of Sochi between 23-24 October. President Farmajo, who held sideline meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin urged the federation to play its part the efforts by the international community to help his government in the rebuilding and reconstruction of the state. The former Soviet State had one of the biggest military base in Berbera before being kicked out by former President Mohamed Siyyad Barre for its support to Ethiopia during 1977 war. President Farmajo and his delegation, that included Foreign Minister, Ahmed Isse Awad, Defense Minister, Hassan Mohamed Amar-Dambe and other key officials returned in the country on Saturday from Russia.
25 October – Souce: AFRICOM – 165 Words
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting ISIS terrorists in the Golis Mountain region, Somalia, on October 25, 2019. The Golis Mountains are a known area for terrorist activity. Precision airstrikes such as these support Somali security forces efforts to protect the Somali people from terrorists and support long-term security in the region. At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed three (3) terrorists. Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.
25 October – Source: US Mission in the UN – 489 Words
Ambassador Pecsteen, thank you for your briefing today. Your work as the chair of the 751 committee continues to contribute not only to the work of this Council, but also to the international efforts to advance peace and stability within Somalia and in the region. Despite positive developments, the Federal Government of Somalia continues to face significant challenges on its path towards building a safe, stable, and prosperous country. Somalia’s ongoing humanitarian crisis remains particularly concerning. An estimated 1.7 million people in Somalia face life-threatening food insecurity, and at least 4.2 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance. The seemingly endless cycle of attacks upon civilians, included those cited in the latest POE report and echoed in numerous prior reports from UN experts, must cease in order for Somalia to prosper. I note that al-Shabaab was once again responsible for the highest number of attacks against civilians. We are committed to the 751 Somalia sanctions regime and to using this regime to disrupt al-Shabaab and its ability to conduct attacks against Somali, AMISOM, and U.S. forces.
As part of this effort, we look forward to cooperating closely with the FGS and the international community to disrupt and ultimately eliminate the sources of financing for al-Shabaab and ISIS in Somalia. Al-Shabaab continues to expand its revenue base through extensive informal taxation, and ISIS increasingly uses Somalia as a financial conduit to its regional affiliates. We look to partners to strengthen information sharing on these threats both with the FGS and multilaterally. As we work to counter terrorism in Somalia, the United States continues to build the capacity of Federal Government of Somalia security forces to secure and properly manage their conventional weapons stockpiles to prevent pilferage and unauthorized transfers. International partners can help by coordinating closely on their respective security assistance efforts with the Somali(an) government. AMISOM and the Somali government should continue working toward a conditions-based transfer of security responsibilities……
25 October – Source: Daily Nation – 638 Words
Kenya is warning the region and allies not to “step down” from the war on violent extremism, and instead target informal sources of finances for groups like Al-Shabaab, who have managed to subsist despite military losses. A senior Kenyan diplomat told an audience in London, that despite the visible crackdown on terror merchants, some like Al-Shabaab are thriving because authorities have not cut off informal channels of fundraising. “The military means must be maintained and escalated. This is necessary but insufficient,” Mr Manoah Esipisu, the Kenyan High Commissioner to the UK said. He added: “Rather than focus so exclusively on countering terrorism financing measures in the formal banking and money transfer systems, we will need to fully deal with cash-based financing in areas that terrorists operate.” Mr Esipisu spoke during a workshop at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a British research institution that focuses on international affairs such as counter-terrorism measures. At hand was a debate on whether military might could eliminate the group.
Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Uganda, Djibouti and Ethiopia have contributed troops to African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is backed by the UN and has been a combat force since 2007. The militant group has, however, been able to raise its tempo attacks recently inside Somalia, attacking installations using suicide bombers. In addition, the group has been able to recruit foreign fighters who are able to launch attacks in neighbouring countries like Kenya. Part of the problem, the Kenyan envoy argued, has been a failure to focus on where Shabaab get their money. A recent report by the Voice of America’s Somali service indicated the group had infiltrated even government offices, gathering their own intelligence to counter government efforts. The group, the report said, was also collecting ‘taxes’ from local businesspeople, often through extortion and paid in cash…..
25 October – Source: Reuters – 131 Words
Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil have paid $1.7 million to Somalia to lease offshore blocks for 30 years, the country’s state news agency reported on Friday. “Shell/Exxon Mobil have paid $1.7 million to Somalia as the preliminary rent for 30 years,” SONNA reported. Shell and Exxon Mobil had a joint venture on five offshore blocks in Somalia prior to the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in the early 1990s. The country has been mired in insecurity since Barre left and is battling Islamist group al Shabaab that frequently carries out bombings in the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country. In June, the oil ministry announced that the two companies were looking to return to Somalia ahead of an oil block bid round later this year.
26 October – Source: KUNA – 182 Words
Kuwait has affirmed the necessity of enforcing security and stability in Somalia, particularly within the framework of executing international curbs on the nation. Moreover, Kuwait has considered these international sanctions as helpful for the federal government to prevent arms’ deliveries to “Al-Shabab movement,” other armed groups and dry up funding resources for these groups. The official Kuwaiti stance was expressed by the acting charge d’affaires at the permanent mission at the UN, Ambassador Plenipotentiary, Bader Almunaykh, addressing a Security Council session, late on Friday. The Security Council first imposed a general and complete arms embargo on Somalia on January 23, 1992, with the adoption of resolution 733 (1992). By resolution 2444 (2018), the Council decided to extend the partial lifting of the arms embargo for the Federal Government of Somalia until November 15, 2019. Ambassador Almunaykh has lauded progress, achieved by the federal government with respect to handling incoming arms and ammunition. He also praised the outcome of the “second Somali partnership forum,” recently held in Mogadishu, for paving the way for regulating the federal financial system and backing national development schemes.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“My pediatrician at Harborview was one of the first people who believed in me and that I could become a doctor,” Ibrahim said. “For me, as a young refugee, saying, ‘This is my dream,’ and having someone already doing it actually believing in you is so meaningful.”
26 October – Source: CNN – 743 Words
Dr. Anisa Ibrahim was 5 years old when her life was uprooted by the grisly consequences of a gruesome civil war. Fleeing Somalia in 1992 with her family, Ibrahim sacrificed a year of her childhood in refugee camps in Kenya. “There were so many people in small quarters, all of us were fleeing the downstream effects of violence and political unrest,” Ibrahim, 32, told CNN. “Our family was luckier, but there was a lot of poverty, malnutrition, and infectious diseases and outbreaks.” The following year, Ibrahim’s family was relocated to the United States, where she and her siblings — including a younger sister who’d recently contracted measles — were treated at Harborview Medical Center’s Pediatrics Clinic in Seattle. It’s the same center that Ibrahim — more than two decades later — now runs, at a time when the nation’s refugee resettlement efforts have eroded under White House pressure. Still, she looks upon refugee children who come to the facility with the same hope she once felt as a young patient. “I’m not this exceptional human being,” Ibrahim said. “There are millions of refugees right now who are not being given the opportunities that I have been given. And if they were, they would do incredible things.” Ibrahim had always known she wanted to be a doctor. And her time at the clinic made her realize that her dreams were more than just fantasies. The treatment she received as a refugee, she said, “solidified” her decision.
“My pediatrician at Harborview was one of the first people who believed in me and that I could become a doctor,” Ibrahim said. “For me, as a young refugee, saying, ‘This is my dream,’ and having someone already doing it actually believing in you is so meaningful.” That pediatrician was Dr. Elinor Graham, associate professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Washington. “In the clinic, I would always ask children what they want to be when they grow up, what were their dreams? I remember Anisa at around age 10 saying that she wanted to become a pediatrician like me,” Graham told CNN. After graduating from the University of Washington’s medical school, Ibrahim joined Harborview as a general pediatrician in 2016. In September, she was promoted to medical director. “I felt that having Dr. Anisa Ibrahim become the medical director of the same clinic where I was her pediatrician, and in the same role that I had, was the highlight of my medical career,” Graham said, calling her successor the perfect leader for a clinic that primarily serves lower-income, immigrant, refugee and minority populations. But Ibrahim’s move to America did not come without obstacles. As a Somali refugee who wore hijab, the Islamic headscarf, Ibrahim saw no one who looked like her in her field. That often made her doubt she even would be accepted into medical programs.