Somalia: Morning Headlines

MOGADISHU (HAN) October 19, 2015 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Investment Initiative News.


Somali Military In Lower Shabelle To Launch Military Offensive Against Al-Shabaab

18 October – Source: Shabelle News –  130 Words

Somali Government troops in Lower Shabelle region are final preparations to launch an offensive against Al-Shabaab fighters, a top security official has disclosed.  Ali Nur Mohamed, the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region on the security affairs has told Radio Shabelle by phone that the Somali army will root Al-Shabaab out the the region before the end of 2016.“I commend the local residents of Lower Shabelle region for the commitment to work closely with the national army in the fight against Al-Shabaab,” said Mohamed, vowing that the militants will no longer operate in the region. Militants in Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia staged massive attacks on military bases belonging to AU troops in Leego and Janaale towns in June and September, killing scores of Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers.

Aden Abdulle Airport Staffer Shot Dead In Mogadishu’s Wadajir District

18 October – Source: Wacaal Media – 87 Words

Unknown gunmen shot dead a staff member of Aden Abdulle  International Airport on Sunday morning in Mogadishu city’s Wadajir district. The slain officer was identified as Issa Bayle. It was not immediately possible to establish why he was killed and by who. The youthful man was reportedly leaving his Nasteeho estate house when he was accosted by the pistol wielding gangsters, who shot him in the head killing him on the spot. By the time of going to the press no one had claimed responsibility for the killing much as Al-Shabaab militants are known to target government officers.

UAE To Partly Offset Somali Military Pay In New Pact

17 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 530 Words

Somalia has signed a military support agreement with the United Arab Emirates to offset part of salaries owed to members of the Somali National Army. The positive gesture comes amid claims that the war against Al-Shabaab could be hampered by the government’s failure to pay the soldiers.The government has not, however, disclosed the nature and scope of the agreement with the army chief Ali Bashi. Nonetheless, government sources admit the support was much needed to ensure regular salaries for the soldiers, who have had to go without salaries for many months.

Finance Minister, Mohamed Adan Fargeti, praised the UAE Government for the deal adding that the government had been working on ways to end the salary problem for its soldiers. “As you know, we have been facing challenges in paying our soldiers and most of the time we pay out very late. We thank the Emirati government for helping us solve this problem,” said Fargeti.The agreement sealed in Mogadishu, and whose details were kept from the media, brings into question the increasing dependency on foreign governments to support core functions of the state. Analysts have raised concerns over the country’s ability to stand on its feet.

It is unclear if the agreement covers regional state militaries and for how long, athough the minister only indicated the deal was as short term arrangement.In July the UAE government donated military vehicles and other assortments to the military of Jubbaland State including RG-31 armoured personnel carriers. In the same month, UAE donated armoured vehicles, traffic police motorbikes, jeep vehicles  and water tankers to Somaliland police. A month before, in June, UAE also donated armoured vehicles, Toyota/LandCruiser-type vehicles and other equipment such as tank trailers to Somali police.

Concerns have also been raised over the transparency of the agreements with regard to management of monies meant for salaries of military officers. Reuters last week quoted a leaked UN Monitoring report casting aspersions on transparency and accountability in military spending with claims senior military personnel could be fleecing the military coffers for personal gain at the expense of hardworking soldiers.

The UN Monitoring Group for Eritrea and Somalia allegedly noted that senior military officials have grossly inflated troop numbers to enable them pocket the difference in donor funding.“Few cases illustrate the threat posed by financial mismanagement and misappropriation to peace, security and stability in Somalia more than corruption within the Federal Government security institutions,” said the U.N. monitoring group.It also remains largely unknown, the number of foreign governments and institutions funding the military and the nature of policy to ensure all donor funds are channeled to the intended use. The UK and the US provides stipends of about $100 for every soldier on a monthly basis.

Somali National Army has been battling Al-Shabaab alongside better equipped and remunerated AMISOM troops. The government has been working on integrating the National Army with a call to the regional states to contribute soldiers to the National Army. Puntland pledged in May to contribute 3000 troops to join SNA. However keeping the troops motivated in light of an insurgency remains a major challenge for the government.


5,000 Somali Refugees Repatriated From Kenya Since December 2014 – UNHCR

18 October – Source: The Star – 400 Words

Nearly 5,000 Somali refugees from Kenya’s Dadaab camps have returned home since December 2014, the UN refugee agency has said. In an update issued during a press briefing in Geneva on Saturday, the agency said 4,500 more have signed up to go back in the coming months: “They receive a cash grant, food and basic domestic items such as sleeping mats, mosquito nets, a solar lantern, hygiene supplies and kitchen utensils to help them start a new life,” said UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards.

Edwards said security and socio-economic conditions in many parts of Somalia are not right for large-scale refugee returns, but noted that some are eager to return and rebuild their country. He said; “To end one of the world’s most complex refugee situations, it is vital to make sure the small number of returns can be successful and contribute to a more peaceful and stable Somalia.” Edwards added that more support and investment in Somalia’s social and economic infrastructure are urgently needed.

“While security remains a concern, the lack of equipped public schools and job opportunities is cited by many as stopping them from going back,” he said. Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed is expected to take part in a major pledging conference for Somali refugees in Brussels on Wednesday. UN High Commissioner António Guterres, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica will attend the conference.

Others will be Somalia’s Prime Minister Omar Sharmarke and high-level delegations from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Yemen. They will present an action plan on the sustainable return of refugees from the region to Somalia, and rebuilding areas of return.


UN Assistant Secretary-General For Field Support Closes Trial Training For Peacekeeping Military Engineering Units, In Nairobi

18 October – Source: AMISOM – 532 Words

The trial training for the Triangular Partnership Project, aimed at enhancing African rapid deployment of engineering capability in peacekeeping, closed in Nairobi on Friday 16 October 2015, after a six-week programme.Ten military personnel from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda successfully completed the training and were presented with certificates at the closing ceremony held at the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS) in Embakasi-Nairobi. The Guest of Honour for the event was Mr. Anthony Banbury, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support.

The Guest of Honour said the training would fast track deployment of troops.  “The rapid deployment of engineering capabilities to peacekeeping missions in Africa remains an urgent requirement. All professional soldiers know that military operations cannot be successful without logistics and without engineering. All too often in our peacekeeping missions, we have good infantry units but we do not have logistics and engineering capabilities to support them. And this triangular partnership is designed to address that critical shortfall,” noted the Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support.

He added that delays in the deployment of UN troops due to lack of infrastructure could reduce chances for peace and erode trust in the international community, by populations living in stressed and conflict environments. He emphasized, “Rapid deployment of troops into well situated and defended camps can greatly improve conditions on the ground, build confidence, provide stability and ensure that the United Nations is able to create and maintain peace. This is a fundamental need that this project is designed to help meet.” Mr Banbury lauded the contributions of the Governments of Japan and Kenya, the other partners for the training. He further said, “there will be now serious lessons learned study, we can draw the benefits of the pilot project and build on that for the future and we expect much bigger, more expansive effort”.

The just concluded training is a prelude to several full-fledged trainings, that will take place starting 2016, and which will equip and deploy African military engineering units to UN peacekeeping missions.Speaking on behalf of the Japanese government, the Director of Operations Support Division in the Ministry of Defence in Japan Colonel Kazuo Sakai said the contribution by the Government of Japan was in line with the government’s policy on proactive contribution to international peace and stability.  Eleven Japanese instructors trained the soldiers for the entire six weeks.

AMISOM Builds New Police Station In Cadale District

17 October – Source: AMISOM – 296 Words

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today handed over a model police station to the authorities in Cadale district, in Middle Shabelle region in support of effort to enhance law and order. The AMISOM Stabilization and Early Recovery working group handed over the police station to Somali Police Force (SPF) and the local administration.

The ceremony was attended by officials from AMISOM including the Deputy Police Commissioner Christine Alalo, Christopher Ogwang Aria, AMISOM Civil Affairs Officer and Mr. Eric Winful from AMISOM Police. Mr. Muhyadin Suudi, the Cadale district commissioner said, “The people of Cadale will not forget their brothers from AMISOM, the senior officers from Somali Police Force and the officials from the Interior Ministry for the effort they have made to get here as well as deploying the much needed police officers in the district. We thank them a lot. Before AMISOM’s generous aid, no any other help was received in this district. We need the refurbishment of police stations, hospitals, schools and we also need clean water.”