30 October – Source: Goobjoog – 132 Words
A District Commissioner has been sentenced to life for killing his deputy by a military court in Mogadishu. The court found Mahas District Commissioner, Sheikh Elmi Awale, guilty of conspiracy to commit the murder of his then Deputy Commissioner, Rashid Osman Abdi. The Deputy Commissioner died in April after an explosive device planted in his car went off in April. Two other defendants, Ali Ahmed Gure and Noor Ibrahim, whom the court established were members of the militant group Al-Shabaab, were condemned to face the firing squad by the court. Ibrahim, the court held was responsible for delivering the explosives which were later planted on the deputy commissioner’s vehicle. The case is perhaps one of the rarest to have been handled by the court where a district commissioner purposely kills his deputy.
30 October – Source: Goobjoog – 114 Words
A coalition of political parties under the Forum for National Parties (FNP) has elected former president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed as its chairman heralding a new political direction as the country gears up for elections next year. The FNP leadership meeting in Mogadishu today settled for President Ahmed to head the new coalition in what is seen as a major political alignment ahead of the polls for the election of a new president in February 2021. Parliamentary elections will start as from October when the term of parliament ends. FNP was formed last month bringing together about 10 political parties among them UPD chaired by former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Himilo chaired by Sharif.
30 October – Source: Hiiraan Online – 582 Words
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has condemned the 3-month jail sentence and fine of US $300 that a court in Southwest State handed to Abdulkadir Barre Moallim, a freelance journalist on 29 October 2019. Journalist Abdulkadir Barre Moallim was arrested on 25 September and held in prison for more than a month without charges, after covering a press conference by local elders who reportedly supported former president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who was barred to travel to Kismayo. Bay regional court said in a document dated October 29 and seen by NUSOJ, the journalist was part of four people convicted of organising what it described as “unlawful” meeting in Baidoa to support and apologise to ex-president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Abdulkadir Barre Moallim and the other three defendants were all charged for violating article 232 (political conspiracy to commit a crime) of Somalia’s old and obsolete penal code.
“The sham verdict of journalist Abdulkadir Barre Moallim confirms that the topmost purpose of his arrest and continued detention has been to criminalise the legitimate work of a journalist. Our colleague is a victim of a miscarriage of justice because he was today convicted and punished for a crime that he did not commit. And handing out the guilty verdict for this case just makes a mockery of Abdulkadir’s right to a fair trial, his right to justice, and justice system of South West State,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary-General. “The administration of Southwest State used the seriously flawed legal proceedings to punish and silence Abdulkadir Barre and to intimidate other journalists from speaking out,” Osman added. “This sentence is all about cowing independent media into submission to [the] local government’s control.”
The case has been marred by fundamental due process concerns. Abdulkadir Barre Moalim was arrested and detained for conduct that is not inherently criminal, in the first place. Authorities of Southwest State did not inform Abdulkadir Barre and other co-defendants of the crime of which they are accused, or the evidence supporting the accusation for more than a month. The presiding judge in his decision violated the right to a presumption of innocence, while most of the judges in Baidoa routinely disregard, and are even ignorant of, the provisions of the Somali Penal Code and the Provisional Constitution of Somalia. “If allowed to stand, this conviction and sentence strike a serious blow to freedom of expression and the journalistic profession in Somalia, and in Southwest regions in particular. Abdulkadir’s conviction must be set aside,” stressed Osman…….
29 October – Source: CBN News – 424 Words
A Muslim driver has saved the lives of eight Christians workers after boldly refusing to obey the commands of an Islamist militant group. The incident occurred in the South Kenyan city of Mandera when a group of al-Shabaab fighters flagged down workers as they left a hospital building site. But instead of allowing the fighters to stop the vehicle, the Muslim driver put his foot to the floor, speeding off and evading the murderous jihadis. A senior police official in the area told religious persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern, that officers became aware of the attempted attack and dispatched personnel to the area, meeting the car about four miles beyond the Al-Shabaab roadblock. “We applaud Mr Hassan Abdul for his [bravery] in escaping from the trap of the Somali insurgents and saving the lives of the eight innocent men,” the official explained.
One of the survivors, Simon Kiiru, described the incident to ICC as “a traumatizing moment that should not be wished upon anybody regardless of their tribe or religion,” noting that the gunmen opened fire on the vehicle as they sped away. “As soon as we had bypassed the attackers, they started running after us while spraying bullets on the van and deflating one of the tires,” he said. “We lied on the floor and we could hear bullets hitting the body of the van. We thank God that the driver, who is a Muslim, did not stop to sacrifice us to the enemy. His act of love has touched our hearts in a way we shall never forget.” Incredibly, this is not the first time an incident like this has occurred. In August of this year, a Muslim bus driver carrying over 40 passengers, most of whom were Christians, evaded an al-Shabaab ambush as he was driving to the capital of Nairobi. “It is incidents like these that bring hope,” said ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson of the latest attack. “It shows that no matter what ethnicity or religion, there are those who are willing to risk their lives to save others. The driver should be lauded for his bravery, and others should work to emulate his example.” “It is through acts like this that terrorism can be defeated. Please pray for safety, peace, and security in Mandera.” In January of this year, al-Shabaab shot dead 21 people at the DusitD2 hotel and office complex in Nairobi, including American tech CEO Jason Spindler who was a 9/11 survivor. The group claimed the attack was committed in response to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
25 October – Source: Kofi Annan Foundation – 447 Words
The Kofi Annan Foundation, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, is expanding its youth-led activities in Uganda and Somalia to prevent violent extremism. The Foundation’s Extremely Together initiative, through its network of exceptional young leaders, aims to equip youth with the capacities to recognize extremist narratives and patterns and find adequate responses.
“Over the next 12 months, committed young people from different backgrounds in Somalia and Uganda will be equipped to lead training and to mobilise others to act for peace,” says Maud Roure, Head of the Promoting Youth Leadership Programme at the Kofi Annan Foundation. “This is the first step in Extremely Together’s strategy to scale up its work and deepen its in-country engagement. Learning from this experience in Somalia and Uganda, we will expand the youth networks into other countries.” “Many of my peers are trapped in conditions of poverty, violence and a generally bleak outlook for their future,” says Hassan Ndugwa, Extremely Together Young Leader, based in Kampala, Uganda. “Extremist groups consider these fertile recruiting grounds. Our aim is to have youth leading concrete actions against violent extremism and to promote positive values through art, music, and theatre to resist the lure of these groups.” In Uganda, young people in the districts of Kampala and Bugiri will be inducted in non-violent methods of addressing their grievances, for example, in peace clubs in secondary schools. They will be invited to reflect on their roles as citizens and agents for peace in their communities, as well as encouraged to devise strategies to address the challenges they face.
“Somalia’s population is overwhelmingly young and many social structures have broken down, making youth particularly vulnerable to becoming perpetrators and victims of violent extremism,” says Ilwad Elman, Extremely Together Young Leader, based in Mogadishu, Somalia. “Our work with young people derives much of its substance from the Extremely Together Guide on Countering Violent Extremism which proposes different approaches debunking the narrative of extremists.” In Somalia, the project will focus on the three regions of Mogadishu, Baidoa and Galmudug. In particular, the trained youth will engage vulnerable young people, such as those living in camps for internally displaced persons and those who have renounced violence and wish to reintegrate into their communities.
About Extremely Together
Extremely Together are ten Young Leaders, all active in preventing and countering violent extremism in their communities and beyond. Together, they produced the world’s first guide, by young people for young people, on how to counter violent extremism your community. Based on this guide, they work to equip youth all over the world to prevent and counter violent extremism and establish a movement that stands for unity, dialogue and inclusion.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Despite a considerable number of Somali people living in the area, this is the only space available to them. Many Somali people came to Britain after an ongoing civil war erupted in Somalia in the late 1980s. The shop has an area at the front and a back room that leaks when it rains. It’s used as a prayer room and for the weekly social isolation and loneliness group.”
30 October – Source: Hackney Gazzette – 618 Words
For decades, a little shop on Ridley Road has been Hackney’s first and only Somali community centre, where women go to discuss the issues affecting their lives and to get support and advice. But despite all it gives to the community, the shop isn’t big enough to fully support the hundreds of women and children that could benefit from an expansion of its services – so now they hope to create a community space that reflects the large population of British-Somali people living in Hackney. “We’ve been here for 27 years and never had a safe space in Hackney. Somewhere to go and get support when we’re struggling. We don’t have a place to go and do exercise, activities, just to get out of the home – I also travel outside the borough for support services,” said one Somali woman. Bashiir Hassan leads a social isolation and loneliness project at the shop and has been an activist and local campaigner for more than 20 years. He often helps by filling out forms or contacting organisations and services. One Somali woman told the Gazette: “We come to Bashiir and he helps us. We come every day to talk, to drink tea [but] this is a shop, you can’t do a community place here.”
Language barriers can make it difficult to talk about complicated issues like mental health, housing, the impact of Universal Credit – or even to share concerns about young Somali people, education and crime. Many of the women worry about their health and talk about high rates of diabetes and cancer in the Somali community. One woman told the Gazette: “When I’ve got a problem, I don’t know where to go. Some people, they don’t talk, they stay at home. “It’s very difficult when you can’t speak the language properly – the kids, sometimes, they’re busy working [or] they study. There [are] many opportunities in this country [and] we’re happy we’re British – it’s our home here. I like Hackney but we don’t have help.”
Despite a considerable number of Somali people living in the area, this is the only space available to them. Many Somali people came to Britain after an ongoing civil war erupted in Somalia in the late 1980s. The shop has an area at the front and a back room that leaks when it rains. It’s used as a prayer room and for the weekly social isolation and loneliness group. The number of people attending often stretches the room’s capacity. “Last week we had 60-plus here,” said Abdi Hassan, who founded the community cafe Coffee Afrique CIC and supports Bashiir with the project. “It’s those sort of numbers and all through word of mouth – it’s tight. At the front, we have food and activities – Arabic-based classes, mindfulness talking therapy and budget management.”…….