Tag Archives: Somalia

Somalia: EU calls for compromise

Brussels 23.03.2021 “Somalia’s leaders need to find a compromise leading to an immediate electoral process and a peaceful transfer of power, through the implementation of the September 17 agreement. The current lack of agreement seriously delays the pace of urgently needed reforms, for the detriment of Somalia’s citizens”, reads the statement of the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell on the current political situation. (Image: illustration)

“When individual priorities prevail over the general interest of the country, political leaders discredit themselves to represent their citizens. Those who undermine the dialogue or resort to the use of violence will be exposed to measures and will face the consequences of their actions”.

“Somalia’s federal and Member State leaders must honour their responsibilities to the people of Somalia and hold Parliamentary and Presidential elections immediately. No alternative, unilateral or partial process will receive our support”.

Somalia power succession crisis deepens

The Somalia opposition alliance said they would reject any attempt to extend the term of President Mohamed Abdullahi and stepped forward with a project of the election a transitional leader to govern until a new president can be chosen by lawmakers.

“We are against time extension, suppression, violence and further delay to the election,” the alliance said in a statement. “An election schedule should immediately without delay be displayed with agreed upon specified time.”

There was no immediate comment from the presidency. Aides had previously privately floated the idea of extending his term.

In a statement issued by its embassy in Mogadishu, the United States urged Mohamed to “act now to resolve the political impasse…and find agreement with Federal Member State leaders to allow the conduct of parliamentary and presidential elections immediately.”

“The political gridlock…has resulted in a disappointing lack of progress in fighting al-Shabaab.”

Somalia was initially planning to hold its first direct election since civil war erupted in 1991, but delays in preparations and continuous attacks by al Shabaab forced Somalia to plan another indirect vote.

Clan elders should have chosen lawmakers in December and the lawmakers were due to choose a president on Monday.
However the selection of lawmakers was delayed after the opposition accused President Mohamed – who was seeking a second term – of packing regional and national electoral boards with his allies.

Leaders in two of Somalia’s five federal states, Puntland and Jubbaland, have said they will no longer recognise President Mohamed.

On Sunday, February 7, night at midnight, the capital Mogadishu lit up with gunfire and drums as residents said they were celebrating the end of the president’s term.

“We are firing into the sky to say goodbye to the dictator Farmajo, he has burnt Somalia these four years,” said a soldier Aden Ali, using President Mohamed’s common nickname.

Hussein Sheikh Ali, Somalia’s former national security advisor and founder of the Mogadishu-based Hiraal think-tank, said al Shabaab had already taken advantage of the security vacuum to launch attacks in portions of central Somalia that had been relatively peaceful for around a decade.

“They (al Shabaab) are laughing out loud,” he said. “This is a failure by the president, Somalia’s political elite and the international community. They didn’t have a plan B to move forward.”

The power vacuum and divisions between political leaders was used to advantage the extremists of al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency, a Somali security analyst warned, citing a spate of recent attacks in a relatively peaceful part of the country.

On Sunday, 12 security agents were killed by a roadside bomb outside the town of Dhusamareb in central Somalia where political leaders were meeting to try to resolve disagreements over the presidential selection process. Al Shabaab also launched repeated mortar attacks on the town.

The attack happened a week after four al Shabaab suicide attackers killed five people at a hotel in Mogadishu.

Somali: Al Shabaab explosion in Mogadishu

Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for an attack on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu, in which nine people including four attackers are reported to have been killed, according to Reuters Africa reports.
A car bomb exploded near a popular hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Sunday, January 31. The explosion was followed by a shootout between militants and police. Militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Witnesses said the massive blast occurred Sunday near Hotel Afrik, located in the vicinity of a busy security checkpoint en route to the Mogadishu airport.

Police say al-Shabab members stormed the hotel and many of the people inside were rescued, including Somalia’s former state minister for defense, Yusuf Siad Indha-Adde.
A VOA reporter, Abdikafi Yusuf Aden, was also inside the hotel at the time and survived.
“There was confusion and thick smoke rose up after the blast occurred. People were jumping down over the wall as we ran for our lives,” Aden told VOA News Somali.

Somali General Nour Galal is among the victims of the attack in Mogadishu local media reports.

Aden said he saw at least three people injured where he was hiding, but was unable to confirm what happened outside or on the other side of the hotel.
VOA reporters in Mogadishu said dozens of people were still trapped inside as night fell and security forces engaged attackers in an operation to end the siege.
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Kenya: Al Shabaab attack

One Kenyan security officer killed and three others injured in a roadside bomb targeted their vehicle along the Omarjillo-Arabia Road in Mandera County by Al-Shabaab on Wednesday afternoon, January 27, per North Eastern regional police boss Rono Bunei.

Earlier on January 24 Kenyan forces killed two Al Shabaab militants following a security operation in Mandera county near Kenya-Somalia border, according to local police. Mandera county governor, Ali Ibrahim Roba recently sent a distress call for help to deal with Al-Shabaab in the county.

EU officials visit to Horn of Africa

Brussels 10.10.2020 Senior European officials have concluded their two-day visit to Ethiopa visit aimed at uplifting the cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) in the situation of COVID-19 pandemic.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic, inspected 1.5 tons of coronavirus testing kits which were donated to Ethiopia by Germany.

This is an important expression of the European Union role in the fight against pandemic and how we do that with our partners from the African Union,” Borrell said at an airport cargo hall in Addis Ababa, surrounded by thousands of boxes containing the test kits.

Lenarcic stressed that the European Commission wants any future COVID-19 vaccine to be treated as “a global public good” which should be available to all countries irrespective of their purchasing power.

Later on Octobrr 8, Borrell met Moussa Faki, the chairperson of the AU Commission.

“… The European Union, as Africa’s close neighbour and main partner, strongly supports the African Union efforts in silencing the guns on the continent” the head of the EU diplomacy said addressing the webinar on the role of the media in promoting silencing the guns of Africa.

 

“And here, Commissioner [of the African Union for Peace and Security, Smaïl] Chergui, our cooperation aiming at sustainable peace and conflict prevention is at the top of our common agenda. It also fosters inclusive and accountable governance and recognises the role of civil society, the media, and democratic institutions”  Borrell has underlined.

“Allow me to commend the work of journalists, specifically here, in Africa, and all over the world, for their commitment to ensure that all voices calling for peace are being heard. Voices that will eventually silence the guns because they are more powerful. Your work is crucial in providing reliable and credible analysis and acting as a bridge between local communities and policy makers. I can assure you that the European Union will continue to be a strong and reliable partner in the implementation of the African Union master roadmap for silencing the guns”  the EU top diplomat Borrell said during the webinar.

In May this year the EU has provided an additional €105.5 million to countries in the Horn of Africa as the coronavirus pandemic risks worsening the humanitarian situation across the region where many continue to suffer from armed conflict, displacement, and recurrent droughts and floods. Furthermore, a large-scale infestation of locusts threatens food security and livelihoods of many vulnerable people in the region.

Funding from this aid package to humanitarian projects in Djibouti (€500,000), Ethiopia (€42 million), Kenya (€15 million) and Somalia (€48 million).

Mogadishu Elite Hotel blasts left 43 injured

At least 16 people were killed in an suicide bomb atttack on Sunday, August 16, by the Islamist group al Shabaab on a seaside hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, according to government spokesman Ismail Mukhtar Omar.

The toll includes 11 victims and five assailants, Omar underlind in a Tweet late on Sunday.

“Security forces lost one, 18 people were injured,” Omar said.

A group of armed men stormed the high-end Elite Hotel in Lido beach, after detonation of a car bomb and then opened fire with assault rifles. Later the Al Shabaab militants claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Dr Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of AAMIN ambulance services, told Reuters news agency on Monday, August 17, that in the aftermath of the attack they had transported at least 43 injured to the hosptials.

https://twitter.com/studio63_ke/status/1295289537703419906?s=21

Al Shabaab militants ambition is to topple the central government and establish Caliphate based on their own interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

The Elite hotel is owned by Abdullahi Mohamed Nor, a lawmaker and former finance minister, and is frequented by government officials and members of the Somali diaspora.

Somalia has been plagued violence since 1991, when warlords of clans overthrew leader Mohamed Siad Barre and then started a protracted armed dispute over power among them.

Car bomb Mogadishu Hotel attack

The gunmen stormed a hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, following a huge explosion on its premises, witnesses and police said. Presumabley the assault has been undertakien in attempt to assassinate the Somali education Minister, experts said.

The attackers blew up a vehicle loaded with explosives and fought their way into the Elite hotel, police officer Osman Shine said by phone. The hotel is at the edge of Lido beach, an area frequented by senior government officials.

Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab launched the attack, a spokesman for the Somali government, Ismael Mukhtar Omar, said, adding that “there is gunfire ongoing inside.”

Two of the assailants have been shot dead by Somali security forces, according to Mukhtar.

Local journalists are reporting, quoting security sources, that at least four gunmen armed with AK47, suicide vests and grenades attacked the Elite hotel in Mogadishu. At least 5 people have died, dozens injured.

Al Shabaab claims suicide attack at Elite Hotel in Mogadishu, planned as assassination of Somali Education Minister, experts claim. Attack continued with fighters storming inside an engaging in ongoing clashes with security. The strike follows a long series of Shabaab attacks on hotels in Mogadishu via same strategy of suicide bombings. Local media reports on 10 people killed and 30 wounded.

Al Shabaab attack in Mogadishu

A huge blast rocked a military base in Mogadishu, Somalia capital, killing at least eight people and injuring 14, emergency workers said, and the militant group al Shabaab has already claimed responsiblity.

Soldiers opened fire after the explosion which sent clouds of smoke into the sky, said a resident of from the area.

“We ran indoors in fear,” a witness told to Reuters agency correspondent. “Soon I could see a military pickup speeding and carrying many soldiers covered with blood. I do not know if they were all dead or injured.”

Army officer Major Abdullahi Mohamud said it was an attack. “It must be a suicide car bomb, I am now transporting casualties,” he said.

Claiming responsibility for the incident, the military operations spokesman of the al Shabaab group, Abdiasis Abu Musab, said: “We conducted a successful martyrdom operation on a major apostate military base in Mogadishu.”

“The enemy suffered many casualties and wounded, military vehicles destroyed.”

Somalia has been plagued by violence since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew leader Siad Barre and then started military operations against each other.

Since 2008, al Shabaab militants has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-recognised central government and establish its rule based strictly on Islamic Sharia law.

Borrell regrets events in Somalia

“Somalia is still on a long journey of national recovery to become free of insecurity, free of debt and free to vote leaders into power. Until that time, the leaders of the Somali nation bear a special responsibility to ensure that a consensus is achieved and maintained in national politics” reads the statement of Josep Borrell the head of the European Union, while diplomacy reacting upon recent events in the Horn of Africa.

“Regrettably, the developments in the House of the People of Somalia on Saturday represent a setback for Somalia and for the confidence of the European Union in the progress of Somalia.

“The procedures under which a motion of no confidence in the cabinet was passed did not meet minimal constitutional requirements. This vote occurred a day after the conclusion of a much anticipated meeting between the President and Federal Member States at which it was agreed that consultations would follow and a further meeting would occur on August 15. These actions entail a serious disrespect for the constitutional foundations of Somalia, on which the European Union has been investing.

“The European Union will review carefully how these events have come to pass, who bears responsibility and to what extent they deviate Somalia from the progress it was making and to which it had committed itself to its international partners”.

Taiwan-Somaliland diplomatic ties

Taiwan and the African region of Somaliland, which claims independence, will establish representative offices in each other’s capitals, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on July 8. Till present Taiwan has formal diplomatic ties with 15 countries because of pressure from the Communist China, which considers the island to be an integral part of its territory with no right to state-to-state relations.

However in February this year Taiwan signed the agreement with Somaliland, strategically located on the Horn of Africa, and Minister Wu added Taiwan’s contacts with Somaliland, a self-declared state internationally recognised only as an autonomous region of Somalia, dated back to 2009.

The top diplomat told reporters in Taipei that eight other nations or international bodies had representative offices in Somaliland, including Ethiopia, although not China.

“I think what we are doing is not much different from other countries,” Wu said, adding that Somaliland had declared independence in 1991 and since then held three democratic presidential elections.

“They have been recognised by many countries as a very free, democratic country in Africa,” the diplomat added. “So, in essence, Somaliland is an independent country.”

China’s influence is not far away, though, as it runs its first ever overseas military base in neighbouring Djibouti.

“International military forces, including those from China, patrol the waters around Somalia on anti-piracy missions.

China and Taiwan have traded barbs for years over the international recognition of the island.

In Africa only the Kingdom of Eswatini has established full diplomatic ties with Taiwan, however in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Embassy doors remain closed.

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