Sudan is Making Progress

Sudan is Making Progress Source: World Politics Review published on 20 February 2020 World Politics Review published on 20 February 2020 a commentary titled “Can Sudan’s Transitional Government Persuade the Skeptics?” by Frida Ghitis. The author concluded that Sudan’s new government is making a strong case that it is deeply committed to progress and profound transformation. 0 comments  Labels: Abdalla Hamdok, governance, ICC, Israel, Omar al-Bashir, Rapid Support...

Farmaajo assents to Elections Law as country aims to hold universal vote in 8 months

Farmaajo assents to Elections Law as country aims to hold universal vote in 8 months Source: Hiiraan Online, Friday February 21, 2020 MOGADISHU (HOL) – President Mohamed Farmaajo has assented into the Elections Act ushering in a new chapter in preparations for parliamentary and presidential elections which are barely eight months away. Speaking after signing into law the polls legislation, President Farmaajo said its passage now handed over power to the people to choose the leaders they want. “Power has today been restored and now in the hands of Somali people,” the President said. “The House of the People and the Upper House have ratified it (Elections Act) and I have signed it tonight so that you can vote for the party and person you want.” The law which has been rejected by both Puntland and Jubbaland provides for a winner-takes- all formula otherwise known as the First-Past-the Post which is used in Somaliland and neighbouring Kenya. The model which overturned the Proportional Representation (PR) proposed in the initial Bill by the polls body, NIEC was arrived at by an ad-hoc Elections Bill parliamentary committee following public consultations in all the Federal Member States. Both the Lower and Upper Houses adopted the model throwing out the PR system proposed by the National Independent Elections Commission (NIEC). The law envisages a one-person-one vote denying elders and select individuals the power to decide the country’s leadership as they have before. However, the practicality of a universal vote by October is questionable given the extremely short timeframe against incredibly huge logistical issues. Security remains one of the key obstacles to realizing a one-person-vote...

Turkey approves agreement with Ethiopia for cooperation in petroleum and mining

Turkey approves agreement with Ethiopia for cooperation in petroleum and mining Nordic Monitor Source: Nordic Monitor, Friday February 21, 2020 Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum held on October 2018 in Istanbul Turkey plans to start oil and gas exploration in the Horn of Africa in order to expand its energy ties with regional countries. In addition to Somalia, the Turkish parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has also approved a deal signed with Ethiopia, a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa, to cooperate in energy, hydrocarbons and mining. According to Article 1 of the agreement, obtained by Nordic Monitor, the Turkey-Ethiopia energy cooperation mechanism will focus on promoting “cooperation in the fields of mining and hydrocarbon between the Parties on the basis of a mutual understanding, taking into account the expertise and the development needs of the Parties.” The agreement states in Article 3 that Turkey and Ethiopia will conduct joint projects in the development and promotion of minerals, oil and gas exploration and exploitation; storage, marketing, transport and distribution of oil derivatives; construction and maintenance of oil and gas infrastructure; and the application of gas technology. In its meeting on February 5, 2020, the Foreign Affairs Committee approved comprehensive energy and mining cooperation deals with neighboring countries Somalia and Ethiopia a week after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement on the invitation by the Somali government to conduct energy drilling and exploration operations off its coasts. Recent developments and parliamentary actions reveal that Turkey has already established the legal basis to become a key energy...

Ethiopian delegation lands in Hargeisa as Abiy Ahmed seeks lead role in Somalia-Somaliland talks

Ethiopian delegation lands in Hargeisa as Abiy Ahmed seeks lead role in Somalia-Somaliland talks Source: Hiiraan Online, Wednesday February 19, 2020 HARGEISA (HOL) – An Ethiopian delegation led by Finance Minister Ahmed Shide arrived in Hargeisa Wednesday in what sources said was set to lay the groundwork for PM Ahmed Abiy’s mediation for a visit of President Mohamed Farmaajo to the break-away region of Somaliland. Shide arrived in Hargeisa at about noon and is expected to hold talks with top Somaliland leadership. It is not clear if he will be meeting President Muse Bihi.Shide’s arrival in Somaliland follows reports of a planned historic visit by Farmaajo to the breakaway region which Bihi has termed as ‘rumours’. While delivering the annual address to Parliament Monday, Muse was categorial that Farmaajo’s visit ‘will never happen considering the atrocities committed by his country on the citizens of Somaliland’. Though he welcomed Farmaajo’s public apology, Muse said any meeting with the Somali leader will only happen on condition Somalia acknowledges Somaliland’s sovereignty and its decision to secede in May 18, 1991. Muse also noted the brief meeting with Farmaajo in Addis Ababa last week did not address anything regarding talks or who would be mediating adding there have been a number of countries involved in the long running talks which have never resumed since 2015. There have been reports Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed whose country enjoys cordial relations with Somaliland is keen on taking up the lead role in bringing the leaders of the two sides together. Ethiopia controls 19% stake at the Berbera Port which is being upgraded under a 30-year concession by the...

Somaliland ‘accepts’ Farmaajo’s apology, says was a first

Somaliland ‘accepts’ Farmaajo’s apology, says was a first Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday February 18, 2020 HARGEISA (HOL) – Somaliland president Muse Bihi has welcomed the public apology by Somalia’s President Mohamed Farmaajo on atrocities committed by former regime of Siad Barre on the break-away region terming it ‘unprecedented’. While addressing a joint session of Parliament in Hargeisa, Bihi said Farmaajo’s apology was the first such public admission of the massacres by Siad Barre regime on Somaliland in the late 1980s. “The statement by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on February 13 was unprecedented. It was the first by a president of Somalia. We welcome the apology,” said Bihi. In a rear move by a sitting head of state, President Farmaajo issued a public apology last week over the killing of thousands of Somalis in the break-away region between 1988 and 89. “The persecution of our brothers in the northern regions was not based on the south invading the north or by any clans but it was by the then government,” Farmaajo said upon arrival from Addis Ababa where he met Bihi in the sidelines of the African Union summit. “As the President of the Nation, I want to make that apology and extend our apologies to our northern brothers,” the president added. Bihi said in his address today the meeting in Addis Ababa was meant to address the question of Somaliland’s secession. Bihi’s remarks come amid reports that Farmaajo could be visiting Somaliland in the near future though there have been conflicting reports on the issue. Somaliland secretary to the cabinet Jamal Mohamed yesterday denied claims the cabinet had approved the...