October 29, 2019 | Morning Headlines

AMISOM Daily Monitoring Report

October 29, 2019 | Morning Headlines.
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Daily Media Monitoring
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AMISOM And Security Partners Committed To End The Use Of Improvised Explosive Devices In Somalia

28 October – Source: AMISOM – 402 Words

Stakeholders in Somalia’s security sector on Sunday concluded a meeting in Mogadishu on the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The two-day counter-IED seminar supported by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the British Army, highlighted the need to build the capacity of Somali security forces to combat the use of IEDs. IEDs remain a weapon of choice for terrorists who target AMISOM convoys, Somali security forces and civilians traveling along the main supply routes. As a result, this hampers movement of people, goods, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to communities in need. Participants during the seminar discussed issues relating to pre-deployment and in-mission training of AMISOM troops and their counterpart Somali security forces, dismantling the IED network within Somalia, and disposal of explosives, among others. They also highlighted the importance of improving the capacity of the Somali security forces to take over from AMISOM in mitigating the IED threat, which will in turn facilitate the handover of security responsibilities by AMISOM in line with the Somalia Transition Plan. Lt. Col. Bob Slay, the acting Commander of the British Forces in Somalia, noted, “The IED environment in Somalia is complex and evolving.” He suggested response mechanisms must therefore evolve and adapt faster to address the threat posed by IEDs in Somalia. The Deputy Force Commander for AMISOM in-charge of Support and Logistics, Maj. Gen. George Owinow noted that mitigating the threat posed by IEDs required continuous training of Somali security forces and AMISOM personnel.

“The best weapon against IEDs is a well-trained soldier who practice correct drills, and maintains a conscious awareness of the environment,” noted Maj Gen  Owinow. The Deputy Head of AMISOM, Simon Mulongo, noted that countering IEDs is key to AMISOM’s war against terrorism and emphasised that AMISOM would implement a raft of measures to curtail importation of explosive materials that are used as ingredients in the making of IEDs. Currently, UNMAS trains Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams during the mandatory pre-deployment training for African Union troops before they are deployed to Somalia. The EOD trainings are done in Kenya and Uganda and will be rolled out to other AMISOM troop-contributing countries including Burundi, Djibouti, and Ethiopia. Since September 2016, AMISOM has hosted seminars to take stock of the threat posed by IEDs, seek solutions to the threat and mobilise resources to counter the use of IEDs in Somalia.

Key Headlines

  • AMISOM And Security Partners Committed To End The Use Of Improvised Explosive Devices In Somalia (AMISOM)
  • Hirshabelle Presidential Advisor Dies As Boat Capsizes In Beletweyne (Hiiraan Online)
  • State To Cater For Retired Presidents As Senate Approves Retirement Bill (Goobjoog)
  • Agencies Responsible For Constitutional Review Opens Conference In Turkey (Goobjoog)
  • MPs On Defence Committee Visit Ugandan Troops In Somalia (Nile Post)
  • Minister Engola Commends UPDF Peace Efforts In Somalia (NTV Uganda)
  • Remarks To The Press By The Special Representative Of The Secretary-General James Swan  (UNSOM)
  • Somalia Commits To Reducing Maternal Deaths And To Zero Tolerance For GBV And FGM (UN Population Fund)
  • Why Beating Shabaab Explosives Is Kenya’s Biggest Assignment (Standard Media)


Hirshabelle Presidential Advisor Dies As Boat Capsizes In Beletweyne

28 October – Source: Hiiraan Online – 150 Words

An advisor to HirShabelle president Mohamed Waare was killed Monday when a boat she was traveling in with other government officials in Beletweyene capsized. Sources in Beletweyne told HOL, the official identified as Dahabo Ahmed died after the boat capsized. Hiiraan administration officials were aboard the ill-fated boat when it overturned. Dahabo who was the president’s advisor on gender affairs did not survive, sources said. The officials were part of government and humanitarian aid teams who were supporting in the evacuation and provision of emergency relief.

Waare appointed a 13-member ministerial team Sunday to work with Hiiraan officials in responding to the floods which have so far displaced thousands of families. The Federal Government also dispatched ministers to oversee the aid efforts as more families continued Monday moving from the homes. Pictures from Beletweyne show houses submerged in water as locals use all means available to move to safer grounds.

State To Cater For Retired Presidents As Senate Approves Retirement Bill

28 October – Source: Goobjoog – 254 Words

The Senate today endorsed the State Officers Retirement Bill paving the way for senior state officials who retire to tap into state welfare support fund. The Bill which was first tabled  in Parliament (then only Lower House) in 2015 received approval from Senators today and now proceeds to the President for assent. According to the Bill, state officers among them President, Prime Ministers, Speakers of Parliament and Chief Justice will enjoy retirement perks from the state which cover medical bills for them and immediate family, salaries, travel and security among others. The Bill, as tabled in Parliament in 2015 gives former presidents 70% of their salaries, a residential, elite security unit, first class tickets for official trips, luxury car and four-wheel drive car.

The PM, according to the Bill, will enjoy similar percentage of salaries as president, furnished house, luxury car, four-wheel drive car, but a reduced security of two personnel and health care. The same applies to former retired Speakers of Parliament. In the event of ill-health and a president is forced to leave office, the Bill reads, a former President will be entitled to 60% of monthly salary. However, presidents who are removed from office in accordance with procedures laid out in article 92 of the Provisional Constitution will not be entitled to any benefits. Article 92 of the constitution provides for the removal of the president from office if he or she is accused of treason or gross violation of the constitution or the laws of the Federal Constitution of Somalia.

Agencies Responsible For Constitutional Review Opens Conference In Turkey

28 October – Source: Goobjoog – 123 Words

A joint meeting concerns Constitution review held by the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs of the Federal Government of Somalia. The Independent National Review Board and The Independent National Assembly with the Regional Provinces Committees for the constitutional review process has opened a conference in Istanbul today from 28 October 2019 to 5 November 2019 and is about the review of the 15th Chapter of the Constitution. All participants welcomed to the conference and outlined the objectives of the meeting of the Chair of the Constitution Review Committee of the two Houses, Abdi Qaybdid. The Minister of Constitutional Affairs of the Federal Government of Somalia Salah Ahmed Jama was leading the government delegation to review the Constitution and provide information about minor technical corrections.


MPs On Defence Committee Visit Ugandan Troops In Somalia

28 October – Source: Nile Post – 364 Words

Members of Parliament on the parliamentary committee on Defence and Internal Affairs have visited Ugandan troops in Somalia. The MPs led by the State Minister for Defence, Col.Charles Engola interacted with UPDF soldiers at the Forward Operating Base(FOB) at Arbiska, which is located 25 kilometres Northeast of Mogadishu city, the Somalia capital. The delegation was shown a demonstration on how the troops counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), with the UPDF contingent commander, Brig.Michael Kabango informing the committee that Al Shabaab uses IEDs as their weapon of choice. “Since 2011 when Alshabaab lost most of its fighters due to fighting UPDF face to face, they resorted to IEDs because of cheap materials and only a triggerman is required to blow the explosive,” Gen.Kabango told the legislators on the parliamentary Defence Committee. The State Minister for Defence informed the troops that the committee is in Somalia to have an on-spot assessment as part of their oversight role. While in Arbiska, the delegation also met with the local leaders who gave testimonies on peace brought about by AMISOM, to which the UPDF is part, since the capture of Afgoye. The visiting delegation later toured Mogadishu level 2 Hospital where the UPDF medical team led by Capt. Dr Hawa Katusiime briefed them on a range of medical services it offers to the troops and the community in Mogadishu. The Parliamentary team is headed by the committee’s chairperson, Doreen Amule.

Uganda was the first African country to deploy troops under the African Union Mission in Somalia in 2007 and is currently the largest troop contributor with over 80% of the troops coming from Uganda. The Ugandan troops also control the largest area in Somalia after being deployed in Sector One in Benadir,(has 16 districts) Banadir, and Lower Shabelle regions having pushed Al Shabaab militants for over 200km away from Mogadishu city. The UPDF turned around the mission which was termed dead on arrival to break Al Shabaab fighters who controlled the largest part of the city and the cost where they levied taxes from locals to finance their activities. Since 2011 when they were forced out of Mogadishu, the Somalia capital has seen development.

Minister Engola Commends UPDF Peace Efforts In Somalia

27 October – Source: NTV Uganda – Video; 1:59

Members of parliament on the defense and internal affairs committee have paid a courtesy call on the African Union Mission in Somalia. Led by the Minister of State of Defence for General Duties Colonel Charles Engola, the legislators also met with the senior leadership of AMISOM, which is overseeing all security activities within the region. Engola commended the AMISOM team for the work that it’s undertaking to maintain peace within Somalia and the entire region.

Remarks To The Press By The Special Representative Of The Secretary-General James Swan

27 October – Source: UNSOM – 526 Words

President Said Deni, Honourable Members of the Cabinet, Members of the Press, Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be back in Garowe. I am here today on one of my regular visits to Federal Member States to review the work of the United Nations team, and to discuss local and national issues with Federal Member State Leaders. I am pleased that Deputy Special Representative Raisedon Zenenga has also joined me on this trip. The United Nations presence in Garowe includes the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM) plus another 17 agencies, funds, and programmes that work throughout Puntland to help its people.  Key projects focus on support to local governance; cash transfers and cash-for-work for vulnerable populations; promotion of reproductive health; and response to the needs of Internally Displaced Persons and host communities in Puntland, among many other programmes. In our meetings today with President Deni and his cabinet we discussed a range of local issues, related to economic development, democratic reform, and security.  We congratulated Puntland’s leaders for the recent successful investment conference and the start of the Ethiopian Airlines flight over the summer.  Both offer positive signals of economic revival in Puntland.  We also learned about preparations for the new Puntland Development Plan and we look forward to collaborating on that initiative……

Somalia Commits To Reducing Maternal Deaths And To Zero Tolerance For GBV And FGM

25 October – Source: UN Population Fund – 549 Words

The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) on 16 October 2019 committed to reducing the overall maternal mortality rate across the country by no less than 25 percent by 2030 through the training and employment of 1,000 additional midwives. The Government also reaffirmed the need to accelerate progress towards achieving universal access to quality sexual and reproductive health services for all. “Ultimately, the Government will strive for zero preventable maternal deaths in Somalia. To achieve this ultimate goal, the Government commits to integrating comprehensive interventions on the reduction of maternal mortality into the national strategies, policies and programs,” stated the Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development of the Federal Republic of Somalia His Excellency Gamal Mohamed Hassan. The Minister was speaking in Mogadishu at the High-Level National Event where he signed Somalia’s Statement of Commitment for ICPD25. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which took place in Cairo in 1994.

At that conference, 179 governments adopted a Programme of Action, recognizing that reproductive health, women’s empowerment and gender equality are the pathway to sustainable development. From 12-14 November, the governments of Kenya and Denmark and UNFPA are co-convening the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, a high-level conference to mobilize the political will and financial commitments the world urgently needs to finally and fully implement the ICPD Programme of Action. These commitments will be centred around achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful practices against women and girls……..


Why Beating Shabaab Explosives Is Kenya’s Biggest Assignment

27 October – Source: Standard Media – 672 Words

On October 12, up to 10 Kenyan police officers were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the roadside – most likely by Al Shabaab jihadists – in Garissa.  On June 15, at least eight officers were killed in similar circumstances in Wajir County. These are just two of the many attacks by Al Shabaab on our security officers that have been prevalent in the recent past. Technology comes in various forms and terrorist groups, like any other organisation in this day and age, are keen to exploit them in furthering their agenda. Kenya’s anti-terrorism authorities have largely succeeded in stemming the use of modern information communication technology (ICT), especially social media, by the terrorists. For instance, Al Shabaab’s Twitter handles have been constantly deactivated by counter terrorism agencies and the jihadists are evidently absent on Facebook, significantly crippling their chances of recruitment and spreading of propaganda. However, this by no means implies that Kenya has won the war on terrorism on the technology front, as it is clear that Al Shabaab is thriving in the use of IEDs – simple bombs made from readily available raw materials.

Some experts argue that Al Shabaab’s technology upgrade that enables the rise of its IED attacks is often as a result of the terrorist organisation’s growing international connections. That it imports this technology from its international partners. But Daisy Muibu and Benjamin Nickels in their article published by Combating Terrorism Centre – a US-based anti-terrorism research and advisory institution – discount this assumption as it overlooks the fact that Al Shabaab has in recent years been determined to reduce and limit foreign influence. In this regard and as research has shown, Al Shabaab has its own bomb experts recruited locally, who have the capability of using readily available materials, some acquired from wreckage of attacked vehicles and from guns and ammunition gained from military and police bases in Somalia and Kenya. In September, the media reported that some Al Shabaab operatives work in cahoots with mechanics, garage operators and car thieves to steal a special type of metal from car exhaust pipes that they use to make IEDs. It is in the interest of terrorist organisations to always stay ahead of policy makers and the Kenyan government has been playing catch-up to Al Shabaab in this fight, mostly resorting to reactionary tactics whenever there is an attack. And it seems Al Shabaab has realised that countering their IED attacks is Kenyan authorities’ weakest link, giving them a field day to exploit the simple technology to hurt and further weaken Kenya’s security apparatus. Evidence suggests that the terrorists use IEDs as a means to an end – to immobilise the security personnel before attacking them and ensuring maximum damage and casualties. The Kenyan government has attempted to respond to the offensive by importing a number of armoured personnel carriers from China for use by anti-terrorism police in areas prone to IED attacks…….

Additional Somalia news will appear in the Afternoon Report

The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.

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The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.