Worldwide UN family celebrates enduring universal values of human rights

Worldwide UN family celebrates enduring universal values of human rights Source: UN, 10 December 2018 UN Photo A group of Japanese women look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights during a visit to the UN’s interim headquarters in Lake Success in February 1950 Source: UN, 10 December 2018 Human Rights Across the world, the UN family has been making sure that this year’s Human Rights Day – which falls on Monday, and marks 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – succeeds in raising awareness of the principles enshrined in the document, which are as important and relevant today, as they were in 1948. Speaking in Marrakesh, where over 160 Governments signed up to the first-ever global migration pact on Monday, UN chief António Guterres said that the Compact is an important step towards safety and dignity for millions of people which “sets out in practical terms how Member States and other stakeholders can respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all migrants, in line with the Universal Declaration.” The UN Chief was followed by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, reinforced Mr. Guterres’s comments, reminding the audience that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was forged in the crisis of the post-war period as a guide to leading societies away from “conflict, inequality and turmoil,” which is a “a living document, just as powerful and valid today as it was in the ashes and rubble of global destruction.” President of the General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, also speaking at the conference, referred to the context in which the Declaration was drawn up, mentioning that she had, just a few weeks...

IMF Urges Somalia To Sustain Reform Momentum

IMF Urges Somalia To Sustain Reform Momentum Source: IMF, December 11, 2018 0 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday urged the Somali government to sustain reform momentum to help long-term recovery and growth objectives. The IMF mission led by Mohamad H. Elhage, who visited Kenya from Dec. 1 to 6 to meet Somali financial officials and conduct the first review under the 12-month (May 2018-April 2019) Staff-Monitored Program (SMP), said it stands ready to continue supporting Somalia’s reform agenda and capacity development needs by intensifying technical assistance and training. “Despite a difficult environment, performance under the SMP is strong,” said the mission in a statement. The IMF team welcomed the government’s commitment to continue improving the fiscal framework for the remainder of 2018 and for 2019 by expanding gains from the new tax measures and by keeping expenditure under control. The team recommended several measures to strengthen public financial management reform, including expenditure control and minimizing the use of cash advances; improving domestic arrears management capacity; maintaining efforts toward achieving Treasury Single Account; and continuing to make progress toward fiscal federalism. “The authorities have made considerable progress in implementing steps to support the launch of the new national currency,” said the IMF mission. The IMF team said it supports the Somali authorities’ effort to continue reaching out to donors to secure funding for the currency reform project. It noted that economic activity in 2018 is recovering from the 2016-17 drought, noting that a favorable rainy season is supporting the economic recovery, particularly in the agriculture and livestock sectors. “Increased activities in the construction, communication, commerce, and service sectors...

Motion to impeach Somali President Farmajo declared invalid

Motion to impeach Somali President Farmajo declared invalid Source: Daily Nation, Tuesday December 11, 2018 The Somali Lower House of Parliament has declared as invalid a motion seeking the impeachment of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. The House Administrative Director, Mr Abdikarim Haji Abdi Buuh, on Tuesday issued the letter that could offer the besieged president a lifeline. THRESHOLD The letter, published by the mainstream and social media, is addressed to the Speaker of the Lower House, Mr Mohamed Mursal, and copied to his deputes, Mr Abdiweli Sheikh Ibrahim Mudey and Mahad Abdalla Awad. It states that the motion submitted to the Speaker on December 9, by 92 legislators, did not meet signatories’ threshold. The document adds that some 14 MPs said to back it sent letters to Parliament’s Administration Office, stating that their names were wrongly put in the list and that did not append their signatures. “I have seen letters sent to the office by 14 MPs, stating they did not endorse the motion,” reads the letter to the Speaker. “They insist that their names and signatures were forged.” SHORTFALL Mr Buh stated that if the 14 were deducted from the original 92 parliamentarians said to have endorsed the motion, 78 would remain, falling short of the minimum requirement. “Therefore, they are short of the 92 signatories to keep the motion valid as the provisional constitution requires 1/3 of the total MPs of 275 to unequivocally endorse a motion,” concluded the letter sent by Mr Buh. In March, a motion was submitted against the former Speaker, Prof Mohamed Osman Jawari. It was first said that it was rendered...

Somalia piracy: How foreign powers are tackling it

Somalia piracy: How foreign powers are tackling it Source: BBC, Tuesday December 11, 2018 Foreign navies have played a key role in curbing piracy off Somalia’s coast, writes the BBC’s Anne Soy. On a beach in Hordeia on the northern coast of Somalia, I asked a former pirate what attracted him to piracy in the first place. The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, told me he was originally a fisherman and that was his main source of income but things changed when an illegal trawler destroyed his net. “I had a boat and a net on it, then a trawler cut our fishing nets and pulled them away. I was left with an empty boat,” he recalled. He and a fellow fisherman tried to shout and call the trawler crew, but it was in vain. It angered them. “They passed over our nets and pulled them away. Our fishing equipment was destroyed.” Fishermen are being encouraged to resume their trade The former pirate’s story was not unusual. In the second half of the last decade what began as a defensive act against big trawlers, quickly morphed into a lucrative illegal business that raised global concern.As he and other fishermen lost their trade, they turned to piracy, hijacking ships and passengers for ransom. Dramatic cliff It also drew in former militiamen who fought with warlords during Somalia’s long civil war. I wanted to know more about his days as a pirate but he became unsettled and ended the interview abruptly. What appeared to make him uneasy was a Spanish Special Forces soldier who had wandered over. Security around the...

Big trouble brewing in Somalia

Big trouble brewing in Somalia Source. AFP, Tuesday December 11, 2018 Somalia was plunged into fresh political problems on Monday after a motion to impeach President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed for alleged abuse of office cleared a key hurdle Parliament speaker Mohamed Mursal agreed late Sunday to accept the motion, signed by 92 out of 275 legislators. FACTIONALISM The document accuses the president, commonly known as Farmajo, of violating the constitution “by engaging (in a) secret memorandum of understanding with foreign countries.” It specifies control over Somalia’s ports “and uniting the country with Ethiopia and Eritrea.” The motion was filed a month after Farmajo met Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki for talks on cementing economic ties between their once-rival nations. The tri-nation diplomatic breakthrough was made possibly by a rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, engineered by Abiy. The impeachment motion will succeed if its sponsors muster support from at least two-thirds of the 275 legislators in the federal parliament. Observers say the target will be hard to reach, given the entrenched factionalism of Somali politics. A date for the vote has yet to be set. The two deputy speakers held a press conference to distance themselves from involvement in the impeachment motion. “The speaker rushed to receive this document, which gives us the feeling that he was angry with something,” said the first deputy speaker, Abdiweli Ibrahim Mudey. CONSEQUENCES “We want to inform the public that our friend Mohamed Mursal will take responsibility for any consequences.” Mudey added that, under the constitution, any impeachment motion should be scrutinised by a Constitutional Court, but the long-troubled...