Latest News Regarding

Horn of Africa

 

US Open To Removing Sudan from State Sponsors of Terrorism List

US Open To Removing Sudan from State Sponsors of Terrorism List

Source: Posted: The New York Times, 17 Nov 2017 06:02 AM PST

The New York Times published on 16 November 2017 an article titled “U.S. Is Open to Removing Sudan From Terrorism List, Diplomat Says” by Jina Moore.

Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan recently visited Khartoum. One of the most senior U.S. officials to visit Sudan in the past decade, he said the United States would consider removing Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism if Sudan continued to make progress on counterterrorism cooperation, human rights and other key issues. While this is a big “if,” it clearly signals Washington’s willingness to move in this direction.

Mitigating Natural Disasters in Somaliland

Mitigating Natural Disasters in Somaliland

Source: The University of Hargeisa Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Posted: 17 Nov 2017 10:35 AM PST

The University of Hargeisa Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies published in November 2017 a study titled “Mitigating Natural Disasters in Somaliland: Policy Options and Strategies” by Nasir M. Ali and Kedir Jemal.

The objective of the study is to explore existing gaps and weaknesses in climate-related policies and institutional frameworks, with a specific focus on drought-related issues. It also critically examines possible strategies and approaches to help mitigate the impacts of future droughts with a special emphasis on early warning systems.

Security Council maintains partial lifting of arms embargo on Somalia for one year

Security Council maintains partial lifting of arms embargo on Somalia for one year re


Source: UN News Center, Wednesday November 15, 2017

The Security Council on Tuesday renewed until 15 November 2018 the partial lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia, authorization for maritime interdiction of illicit arms imports and charcoal exports, and the humanitarian exemption.

In the resolution adopted by 11 affirmative votes and four abstentions, the 15-member body requested the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) to continue its investigations related to the export to Somalia of chemicals that may be used as oxidisers in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices, such as the precursors ammonium nitrate, potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate and sodium chlorate.

Those abstained in the vote were Bolivia, China, Egypt and Russia.

Further, the Council extended until 15 December 2018 the mandate of the SEMG, and recognised that during the course of its current and three previous mandates, the SEMG has not found conclusive evidence that Eritrea supports Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

The Council expressed its intention to keep measures on Eritrea under regular review, in light of the upcoming midterm update by the SEMG due by 30 April 2018.

Recalling the three meetings between an Eritrean government representative and the SEMG, the Council reiterated its expectation that Eritrea’s Government will facilitate the entry of the SEMG into Eritrea to discharge fully its mandate.

The Council urged Eritrea and Djibouti to engage on the issue of the Djiboutian combatants missing in action and to seek all available solutions to settle their border dispute peacefully

Ethiopia scores Qatari praise for security in Horn of Africa region

Ethiopia scores Qatari praise for security in Horn of Africa region hare


Source: africanews, Wednesday November 15, 2017

Qatar has lauded efforts of Ethiopia in maintaining peace in the Horn of Africa region. The applause from Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was during a meeting with Ethiopian premier Hailemarian Desalegn.

The state-affiliated FBC reports that the two leaders spoke on areas of strengthening security, investments and diplomatic ties. The Emir is said to have lauded Ethiopia as a strategic partner and one key to peace in the Horn of Africa region.

Desalegn is in Doha on an official visit reciprocating a similar one earlier this year by the Emir to Addis Ababa.

Another Ethiopian state outlet, ENA, reported about diplomatic agreements signed by both countries in the area of visa waivers.

“Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman signed the agreement providing for waiver of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and official passports.

“Finance and Economic Cooperation Minister Dr. Abraham Tekeste and Qatari Economy and Trade Minister Ahmed Bin Jassim signed the protection of investment agreement,” ENA reported.

On the issue of the Gulf crisis, Ethiopia reiterated its stance with the Kuwaiti move to resolve the dispute through dialogue. Unlike Djibouti and Eritrea who took sides in the crisis, Ethiopia and Somalia maintained a neutral stance and backed calls for dialogue.

Somalia’s Humanitarian Affairs minister resigns hare

Somalia’s Humanitarian Affairs minister resigns hare


Source: Hiiraan Online, Wednesday November 15, 2017


Maryan Qassim


MOGADISHU (HOL) – Somali minister for Humanitarian and Disaster Managment, Maryan Qassim has resigned on Wednesday citing incertitude and disorder in the government.
In a press conference held Mogadishu, the minister said she could not work in atmosphere associated with confusion and disorder.

“I can work in professional way in a department or ministry but you get confused when the work is done in disorderly manner, therefore I am not in a  way to oppose the government. I have decided to go back for a private job and stay clear from politics,” said Qasim.
Qasim

She is the second high profile minister to resign in less than forty days following the resignation of the former Defense minister,  Abdirashid A Mohamed on 12th October just two before the deadly truck bombing.

Her resignation comes amid the defense position has not been filled yet. Qasim who is one of the prominent ministers in prime minister Kheires cabinet, prevously headed several ministries including Family Affairs, Social Development and Health ministries. She  is close ally of the current president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

US asks Amisom troops to stay on in Somalia, pledges support are

US asks Amisom troops to stay on in Somalia, pledges support are


Source: The East African, Sunday November 12, 2017

The UN directive for a phased withdrawal of African peacekeepers from Somalia next month has been opposed by the US, which believes the timing is not right given the terrorist threat in the Horn of Africa.

The US State Department has warned that extremism could escalate in the region if the withdrawal goes through, especially now that Al Shabaab has increased the number of suicide bombings such as the October 14 attack in Mogadishu that killed over 300.

The UN Security Council has endorsed the withdrawal of another 1,000 troops from Somalia by May next year largely with finance, rather than security, as a key consideration after the EU cut its funding to Amisom.

Amisom has been asking for an additional 8,000 troops to bring the total number to 29,000 to cover areas that are not under its control but the troop contributing countries (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda) have not been receptive.

UN Resolution 2372

Wohlers Marion, who is Foreign Service Officer at the State Department, told The EastAfrican that the US does not expect any troop withdrawals in December as Washington is ready to keep providing training, equipment, logistics, and advisory support in order to build a Somali force capable of operating alongside, and eventually replacing, the African Union Mission.

“We do not support further drawdown of forces beyond that level at this time, due to ongoing security concerns. The United States supports a conditions-based Amisom drawdown that is tied to the development of capable, professional Somali security forces,” said Mr Marion.

The planned withdrawal is tied to the reduction of the Amisom force mandated by the UN Security Council 2372 Resolution made in August, which is to be carried out by the end of 2017.

According to the UN timetable, Amisom will withdraw 1,000 troops by December and another 1,000 in May next year. The final withdrawal of the 21,000-strong Amisom is set for 2020.

While Amisom continues to receive financial, logistical and equipment support from multilateral donors, the reduction of the EU annual stipend to Amisom from $200 million to $160 million has affected operations.

The EU asked the AU to find alternative sources of funding, and the continental Peace and Security Council has been trying to reach out to counties in the Gulf to fill the gap.

The EU provided $1.68 billion to Amisom between 2004 and 2017. This includes the $189.5 million earmarked for the period April–December 2017.

Amisom benefits from a UN logistical support package, donations, and voluntary contributions to the UN managed Trust Fund. The EU provides the resources needed for paying troop allowances and related expenses within the framework of the African Peace Facility.

Joint operations

Mwenda Njoka, spokesperson for the Kenyan Interior Ministry, said that Kenya’s objectives in going into Somalia in 2011 have been largely met, as Kenya sought to secure its borders and dilute Al Shabaab’s capacity to attack the country.

“We have seen attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa decline significantly except in parts of northern Kenya where there are limited opportunistic attacks using improvised explosive devices. We continue to increase border security along the 700km boundary and we are in the process of flushing out Al Shabaab from Boni forest,” said Mr Njoka.

Amisom spokesperson Col Wilson Rono insisted that the withdrawal will proceed as scheduled. “The numbers will come from all the six sectors. The recent attacks will not disturb the programme unless we are instructed to the contrary by the UN Security Council and the AU,” said Col Rono.

Ugandan troops

But Uganda has offered to send 5,000 troops to Somalia outside Amisom provided the international community commits resources for the operations. President Yoweri Museveni in September gave the offer to Donald Yamamoto, US acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

The first withdrawal which will be on a pro rata basis, will see each of the five countries reduce their troops by four per cent. Uganda, with the highest number of troops in Amisom (6,223) will send home about 250 troops, followed by Burundi with 5,432 troops which will release 217 soldiers.

Ethiopia with 4,395 troops will pull back 176, Kenya’s 3,664 will be whittled down by 146 and Djibouti’s 1,000 troops will make do without 40.

Nonetheless, police contributing countries like Burundi, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe will contribute 500 officers to beef up the Somalian police service across the country.

Amisom civilian head Francisco Madeira, who is also the special representative of the AU Commission chairperson said the reduction in peacekeepers would run concurrently with the Somali National Army (SNA) assuming the country’s security responsibilities.

Amisom launched a massive operation on November 6 to flush out Al Shabaab militants from Lower Shabelle and secure main supply routes in the area.

Amisom is supposed to train and equip at least 30,000 SNA troops to take over once they leave

Djibouti plans to deploy additional troops in Somalia hare

Djibouti plans to deploy additional troops in Somalia hare

Source: Hiiraan Online
Saturday November 11, 2017

Djibouti,(HOL)_Djibouti is planning to send troops to Somalia following federal government’s plea for support to fight against Alshabaab.

The Red Sea state’s chief of army, Zakariye Sheikh Ibrahim said plans to dispatch the troops to Somalia are underway.

Following the October 14 truck bombing in Mogadishu which killed over 400 people, Somalia President called IGAD countries to support an offensive that is aimed to crackdown Al-shabaab footholds in the country.
Djibouti is one of the countries that contribute troops to the African Union-led peacekeeping force in Somalia.

It has thousands of peacekeepers securing in Somalia’s Hiiraan region.

Somali leaders this month agreed a joint counteroffensive plan which is against Al-shabaab milatants, a group which pledges support to Al-Qaeda.

The country’s military backed continental forces have begun operations to flush Alshabaab out of Somalia. Al-Shabaab which is an Al-Qaida affiliate group seeks to impose strict Sharia version and heap on its deadly attacks in Somalia

Growing Challenges for Eritrea

Growing Challenges for Eritrea

Source:The Institute for Defense Analyses, Posted: 09 Nov 2017 11:01 AM PST

The Institute for Defense Analyses published on 9 November 2017 a commentary titled “Eritrea–Will Declining Remittances Lead to Domestic Unrest?” by Sarah Graveline.

The author concludes that declining remittances from outside Eritrea and Europe’s growing desire to limit Eritrean migration are challenging the government and may encourage increased domestic unrest.

Somaliland election: Will the self-declared state show East Africa how it’s done?

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Somaliland election: Will the self-declared state show East Africa how it’s done? hare

Source: African Arguments
Wednesday November 8, 2017
By Bashir Ali

Polls suggest a close race for the presidency, but there’s more at stake than just the result in Somaliland’s 13 November election.


Somiland’s three contenders in the presidential debate. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi “Irro”, Musa Bihi Abdi, and Faysal Ali Warabe (left to right). Credit: Inspire Group.

On 13 November, Somaliland will embark on its third presidential elections since it unilaterally declared independence in 1991. With the incumbent set to step down, voters at 1,600 polling stations across the autonomous region of Somalia will choose a new president.

Despite not being a recognised independent state, Somaliland is considered to be one of East Africa’s best-functioning and most stable democracies. The election, part funded by the European Union and UK, will be overseen by international observers and may be the first in the world to employ iris-based biometric voter registration.

Somaliland also has a relatively mature political culture. This was exemplified on 30th September when outgoing President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Silanyo” issued a decree banning government officials from utilising state resources for election campaigning and ordering state media to give fair and equal coverage to all contesting parties.

Another example of Somaliland’s political maturity was seen on 19th October when the three presidential candidates engaged in a town hall-style debate. The event, which was live-streamed from the capital Hargeisa, allowed the media and public to scrutinise each of the nominees’ policies.

This state of affairs contrasts sharply with Somalia’s recent elections, which concluded this February. That fraught process faced repeated delays amidst political infighting and insecurity; relied on abundant international funding and support to take place; and involved a highly limited franchise in which just 14,025 people selected the president.

Next week, Somaliland will be hoping to show the region how things can be done.

“All international eyes are on Somaliland’s election,” says Laura Hammond, Reader of Development Studies at SOAS University of London and long-time analyst of Somaliland affairs. “If it comes off smoothly…then Somaliland will (not for the first time, it must be said) have demonstrated its political maturity and ability to pull off what the Mogadishu-based government of Somalia can still only dream of: a direct election by the people.

“The fact that the result is too close to call is already in many ways a sign of healthy democracy in action.”

High stakes

Somaliland’s election comes at a critical moment for the autonomous region. While the government continues to demand recognition as an independent state, the international community has recently been exerting pressure on Somaliland to join Somalia’s federal state-building exercise.

However, Somaliland has so far dismissed these calls and may have been strengthened in its position this year thanks to a $442 million deal with DP World. The UAE-based company agreed to modernise Berbera port in conjunction with Somaliland and its land-locked neighbour, Ethiopia. This development could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in customs revenue for the Somaliland government, making it even more self-sufficient.

Somaliland also struck an even more controversial deal with UAE this February. In the face of toothless objections from Mogadishu, the UAE gained permission to build a military base and airport in Berbera.
This increased investment and international attention for Somaliland means that there is all the more to play for in the upcoming poll. “The stakes are much higher this election, and the rewards could be even greater to the eventual winner,” says Sharmarke Jama, a former trade and economic adviser to the Somaliland government.

The contenders

Somaliland’s constitution allows presidents to serve two terms. But President Silanyo, a British-educated economist, has decided to step down after just one. This has left the field wide open, and three candidates are now vying to replace him.

The man in waiting

The ruling Kulmiye (“solidarity”) party’s standard bearer is Musa Bihi. A former military man, Bihi was an air force commander in the Somali National Army and leader of the military wing of the Somali National Movement (SNM), the main rebel group in Northern Somalia set up to overthrow dictator Siad Barre in 1991.

Bihi co-founded Kulmiye with Silanyo in the early-2000s. Many speculate that the two made a pact ahead of the 2010 elections that Bihi, and his influential Habar Awal clan, would support Silanyo’s bid for office. In return, it is believed that Silanyo agreed to step down after one term to make way for Bihi.

Kulmiye can boast certain achievements while in office, including a marked increase in foreign direct investment and a degree of reconciliation with Somaliland’s volatile eastern regions. However, it also faces many criticisms. Some argue that the government has been complacent over the economy, allowing inflation and unemployment to rise. Kulmiye has also been blamed for an increase in rent-seeking and cronyism, with critics pointing to a fire sale of state-owned land in Berbera at below market prices to political supporters.

The challenger for change

The main challenger to Bihi and Kulmiye is Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi “Irro” of the Waddani (“national”) party. Irro was the Speaker of Somaliland’s House of Representatives from 2005 to 2017, only stepping down recently to avoid a conflict of interest.

Waddani positions itself as the change party and, although it gives little away in terms of specific policy proposals, it has proven attractive to voters frustrated with the government. However, the opposition party has also faced much criticism, particularly over its alleged links to the Federal Government of Somalia in Mogadishu. Much of Waddani’s senior leadership is made up of former Mogadishu-based ministers. Meanwhile, it is noteworthy that Irro is the only candidate to suggest cancelling the lucrative military and port deals with the UAE if elected.

Like Taiwan, party politics in Somaliland are dominated by the pursuit of international recognition and any ambivalence to this mission is seen as treacherous by the wider public.

The outsider

The third candidate hoping to be Somaliland’s president is Faysal Ali Warabe of the Justice and Welfare Party (UCID). Nicknamed “Hyena” due to his eccentric and larger than life nature, Warabe has contested every election since 2003. He is yet to prevail despite the fact that UCID is the only party with a genuine political identity.

UCID is a socialist party dedicated to combating inequality and has gained plaudits, particularly among the youth, for not activating clan bases or engaging tribal elders to drum up support. In contrast to his competitors, Warabe has chosen to put policy over clan interests in his campaign, which has focussed on getting out the youth vote, including through a specially-created app. It is for these reasons that Warabe and UCID may be the wildcard of the election.

Forcing the world to take notice

2017, however, is probably too soon for UCID’s kind of campaigning to be successful. Indeed, unofficial polls predict a close race between Bihi and Irro, both of whom have effectively courted support among their clan power bases and sought the backing of elders who hold sway in Somaliland’s different regions.
This suggests that the vote on 13th November could well go down to the wire. But there is more at stake than just the result. If Somaliland can hold credible, peaceful elections for a third time, the international community will be forced to sit up and take notice.

When compared to the ongoing election fiasco in Kenya and the non-election which took place in Somalia – not to mention the situation in the likes of Ethiopia, Eritrea and the two Sudans – Somaliland can use this poll to further leverage its position as a democratic outpost in an ever-volatile neighbourhood.

Global experts underscore investments in energy sector in Somalia hare

Global experts underscore investments in energy sector in Somalia hare


Source: XINHUANET, Thursday November 9, 2017

International energy experts are meeting in Mogadishu on Wednesday to discuss investment opportunities in Somalia’s sustainable energy sector.

Minister of Energy and Water Resources Salim Aliyow Ibrow, who opened the meeting late Tuesday, said the government was in the process of drafting regulations to govern investment in the energy sector.

Ibrow noted that the pressing need for the country to move in the direction of renewable energy sources, according to a statement from the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) released on Wednesday.

“The country needs investment to harvest energy from the sun, water and wind. The investment will develop industries and hence create employment,” the minister added.

The two-day conference organized by the government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) brings together government officials, donors, private sector investors and practitioners and international sustainable energy experts.
The UN expert on renewable energy, Andrew Morton, observed that the energy sector in Somalia is in the hands of the country’s private sector, which has been receiving grants from the international community.

“But to really grow, it needs to bring in financing, it needs to bring credit. And to get that happening, we need to set up the right environment. We need to have interesting projects and interesting businesses in which companies can invest,” Morton added.

The forum is discussing challenges facing the energy sector that include low rates of investment and the high cost of energy in Somalia, which is saddled with one of the highest household tariffs for electricity in the world.

It will also look at opportunities for investment in oil and gas in addition to renewable energy options such as wind, solar and hydropower.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG) Michael Keating said Somalia has enormous energy resources which can be used to address health, education, social, environmental and security challenges facing the country.
However, Keating said more regulation of the renewable energy sector was needed to promote its growth.

“At the moment it’s fairly unregulated and even though some businesses are making money, it is very small compared to what could be done if the sector was more regulated,” Keating noted.

Some speakers noted the adverse effects of 25 years of conflict and instability in hindering the development of Somalia’s energy sector.

AU Special Representative calls for urgent support for Somalia as scale down of troops begins

AU Special Representative calls for urgent support for Somalia as scale down of troops begins are


Source: AMISOM, Thursday November 9, 2017

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, has called for urgent and timely support for Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) as the African Union begins to scale down its troops.

Speaking at a media briefing held in Mogadishu, the SRCC noted that timely and well-coordinated support is necessary to consolidate the gains already made in the country and enable SNSF assume full responsibility for the country’s security, once the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) exits.

“We must reiterate, however, the urgency for timely support for the Somali National Security Forces. The forces urgently need to be equipped with necessary weapons, key logistical support including timely payment of stipends, provision of quality medical care, establishment of key infrastructure including barracks and training centers among others,” SRCC Madeira who is also Head of Mission stated.

He noted that AMISOM will reduce its troops by 1000 before the end of the year, adding that realignment and redeployment of troops in all the sectors is ongoing.

“Troop movements have started in different parts of the country and will continue for the coming weeks. This is a process of realignment to effect the reduction in numbers and also begin the handover process of national security responsibility to the Somali National Security Forces,” SRCC Madeira noted.

The AU Special Representative, however, emphasized that the drawdown will be gradual and conditions-based to ensure the security of the country is not disrupted.

Commenting on the recent bombings, including the October 14 attack, in Mogadishu, which killed more than 300 civilians, the SRCC urged the Somali public to play their role in improving the country’s security by sharing information with the security forces.

“Every citizen has a role to play in this effort to ensure that Somalia is pacified and freed from all elements of terror. It is important to note that security forces cannot uproot Al-Shabaab from the communities if the residents do not play their part by sharing the necessary information with the relevant security organs,” Ambassador Madeira observed.

The SRCC observed that AMISOM together with the Somali National Security Forces can only enhance security if residents report, to the relevant authorities, suspicious individuals and movements in their communities.

He also urged the public to support the efforts by the federal and state governments to counter violent extremism, noting that Somalia was at a critical stage of transition towards peace and security.

The SRCC reiterated AMISOM’s commitment to support Somalia establish a strong army and police force capable of securing and maintaining law and order in the country.

“The focus for AMISOM going forward is to continue strengthening the capacity of the Somali National Army (SNA) and the Somali Police Force (SPF) as we begin the drawdown. Training and mentorship through joint operations will continue,” Ambassador Madeira added.

The head of the Mission noted that AMISOM together with the SNA will continue engaging in offensive operations to defeat Al-Shabaab and ensure the security situation the country is improved.

UN Security Council urges ‘comprehensive response’ to piracy off Somali coast

UN Security Council urges ‘comprehensive response’ to piracy off Somali coast are


Source: UN News Center, Wednesday November 8, 2017

A Spanish aircraft on patrol as part of Operation ATALANTA. Photo: EUNAVFOR


Condemning the acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, the United Nations Security Council today called for a comprehensive response to prevent and suppress such acts and tackle their underlying causes.

In a resolution adopted Tuesday, the 15-member Council also urged Somali authorities, to continue expedite the passing of comprehensive anti-piracy and maritime laws, to establish security forces with clear roles and jurisdictions to enforce these laws, as well as strengthen the capacity of its Somali courts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for piracy.

The Security Council also called upon UN Member States, “working in conjunction with relevant international organizations, to adopt legislation to facilitate prosecution of suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia.”

Also in the resolution, the Council urged all Member States to criminalize piracy under their domestic law and to favourably consider the prosecution of suspected – and imprisonment of those convicted – pirates apprehended off the coast of Somalia as well as their facilitators and financiers ashore, in line with applicable international law.

The UN body responsible for matters relating to international peace and security further encouraged flag States and port States to also consider the development of safety and security measures on board vessels, including, where applicable, developing regulations for the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships, aimed at preventing and suppressing piracy off the coast of Somalia, through a consultative process, including through the relevant UN entities.

The Council also commended the efforts of the European Union Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR) Operation ATALANTA, Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 151, counter-piracy efforts of the African Union and the naval activities of the Southern Africa Development Community, as well as the efforts of other States to suppress piracy and to protect ships transiting through the waters off the coast of Somalia.

African Union force begins troop withdrawal from Somalia

African Union force begins troop withdrawal from Somalia are


Source: abc News, Tuesday November 7, 2017

The African Union says it has begun its withdrawal from Somalia and will cut 1,000 troops by the end of this year as security responsibilities start to shift to the local military. The continental body said Tuesday that the move comes at a critical time, less than a month after the country’s worst attack killed more than 350 people. The Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group has been blamed.

The AU says its troop movements shouldn’t cause alarm, but the withdrawal has begun earlier than expected. Plans had said the first troops would leave in 2018. The 22,000-strong African Union force in Somalia is expected to fully withdraw by the end of 2020. The United States military and others have expressed concern that Somalia’s security forces will not be ready by then.

Bonn: UN climate conference to maintain ambition one year after Paris accord’s entry into force

Bonn: UN climate conference to maintain ambition one year after Paris accord’s entry into force

Source: UN News Center, 3 November 2017

Aerial view of the Bonn Campus, Bonn, Germany. Photo: UNFCCC

3 November 2017 – One year after the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Bonn Conference, which opens on 6 November in Germany, will be an opportunity for nations around the world to show their ambition for climate action and their determination to keep their promises.

“While Paris represented one of those moments where the best of humanity achieved an agreement so important to our collective futures, Bonn represents how we will move forward to fulfill its promise”, said the Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, on the margins of a ministerial meeting in Fiji on 17 October 2017 to prepare for the Bonn Conference of the Convention’s States Parties.

“We are running out of time to turn things around. To do so, we must significantly increase our efforts to reduce emissions and our carbon footprints,” she added.

The Paris Agreement, which was adopted by the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2015 in the French capital after which it is named, calls on countries to combat climate change by limiting the rise of global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and strive not to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius.

A year ago, the Marrakech Climate Conference concluded with the Marrakech Action Proclamation, for our climate and sustainable development, in which the UNFCCC States Parties affirmed their “commitment” to the “full implementation” of the Paris Agreement. Today, 169 Parties have ratified the Agreement.

At the Bonn Conference, informally known as COP 23, countries will seek to move forward in completing the rule book for operationalizing the Paris Agreement. The Conference, which runs until 17 November, is chaired by Fiji, an island State particularly affected by the impacts of climate change.

“Never has our work been more necessary. We see this with respect to the extreme weather events affecting almost every continent throughout the world,” said Ms. Espinosa.

COP 23 President and Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama agrees. “We can no longer ignore this crisis. Whether it is fires in California, Portugal and Spain. Flooding in Nigeria, India and Bangladesh. The dramatic Arctic melt. Ice breaking off the continent of Antarctica. The recent hurricanes that devastated the Caribbean and the southern United States […] It’s hard to find any part of the world that is unaffected by these events”, he said at the ministerial meeting in Fiji.

Bonn Conference an opportunity to boost climate risk management efforts

In an op-ed published in October 2017, Ms. Espinosa, alongside the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner, and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser, said the Bonn Conference “provides an opportunity to not only accelerate emission reductions but also boost the serious work of ensuring that the management of climate risk is integrated into disaster risk management as a whole.”

A week before the opening of the Bonn Conference, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that the levels of carbon dioxide (C02) surged at “record-breaking speed” to new highs in 2016.

The Bonn Conference will feature a series of meetings and events, including the high-level segment, on 15 November and 16 November, attended by Heads of State and Government, Ministers, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Mr. Guterres has invited leaders to consider championing six high-impact areas at a special Climate Summit in 2019. These areas are investment in clean technology, maturing carbon pricing, enabling the energy transition, risk mitigation and building resilience, augmenting the contribution of sub-national actors and business and mobilizing climate finance.

“Increasing ambition is the only way to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius this century, and as close to 1.5 degree as possible. By focusing on these sectors, we can substantially reduce the gap between where we are and where we need to be,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, at the pre-COP meeting in Fiji.

Among the side events scheduled at COP 23, several will be organized under the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action to show how cities, regions, private sector companies and investors are trying to implement the Paris Agreement in the areas of energy, water, agriculture, oceans and coastal areas, human settlements, transportation, industry, and forests.


News Tracker: past stories on this issue

MARRAKECH: ‘We strive to lead,’ climate-vulnerable countries declare, pledging robust action on Paris accord

Dubai’s DP World to develop free zone in Somaliland

Dubai’s DP World to develop free zone in Somaliland hare

Source: Arabian Business
Monday November 6, 2017

DP World Group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.


Dubai-based DP World announced on Monday that it will develop a greenfield economic free zone in Somaliland to complement the development of the Port of Berbera.

DP World Group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Republic of Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr Saad Ali Shire have signed an agreement for the Berbera Free Zone (BFZ).

The development is based on DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai and aims to attract investments, encourage trade, create new jobs and position Berbera as a gateway port for the region, a statement said.

Under the terms of the agreement, DP World will develop BFZ in phases, with the first phase focusing on 4 square kilometres of land out of the 12.2 square kilometres earmarked for the project.

Future phases will be detailed in a concept plan together with the projected capital investment required from DP World for its development.

Each phase of the BFZ will start once the previous phase has achieved 85 percent occupancy, the statement said, adding that it will target a wide range of businesses including warehousing, logistics, traders, manufacturers and other related businesses.

Further details of the BFZ will be concluded with Somaliland’s new government after the country’s elections scheduled next week.

Bin Sulayem said: “We are excited by Somaliland’s development opportunities which has parallels with the start of our own growth in Dubai and the UAE.

“We look forward to finalising the details of the Berbera Free Zone with the next government of Somaliland and look forward to our continued partnership.”

The new facility will build on DP World’s existing operations at the Port of Berbera where it has achieved substantial production gains in recent months. In September, the port recorded the highest container volumes in its history with a 40 percent increase compared to September 2016

Doing Business in South Sudan 2018

Doing Business in South Sudan 2018

Source: The World Bank, Posted: 03 Nov 2017 05:30 PM PDT

The World Bank has just released its annual Doing Business 2018 report. It evaluated 190 countries. South Sudan ranked 187, a slight reduction compared to the 2017 report. By comparison, Sudan ranked 170 and Somalia ranked 190.

The World Bank ranking takes into account the following eleven factors: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulation.

Doing Business in Djibouti 2018

Doing Business in Djibouti 2018

Source: The World Bank, Posted: 03 Nov 2017 05:09 PM PDT

The World Bank has just released its annual Doing Business 2018 report. It evaluated 190 countries. Djibouti ranked 154, an improvement compared to the 2017 report. By comparison, Ethiopia ranked 160 and Kenya ranked 80.

The World Bank ranking takes into account the following eleven factors: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulation.

Doing Business in Eritrea 2018

Doing Business in Eritrea 2018

Source: The World Bank, Posted: 03 Nov 2017 05:00 PM PDT

The World Bank has just released its annual Doing Business 2018 report. It evaluated 190 countries. Eritrea ranked 189, a slight improvement compared to the 2017 report. By comparison, Somalia ranked 190 and Ethiopia ranked 161.

The World Bank ranking takes into account the following eleven factors: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulation.

Doing Business in Sudan 2018

Doing Business in Sudan 2018

Source: Posted: The World Bank , 03 Nov 2017 05:19 PM PDT

The World Bank has just released its annual Doing Business 2018 report. It evaluated 190 countries. Sudan ranked 170, a slight improvement compared to the 2017 report. By comparison, Ethiopia ranked 161 and South Sudan ranked 187.

The World Bank ranking takes into account the following eleven factors: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulations.

Doing Business in Ethiopia 2018

Doing Business in Ethiopia 2018

Source: The World Bank, Posted: 03 Nov 2017 04:50 PM PDT

The World Bank has just released its annual Doing Business 2018 report. It evaluated 190 countries. Ethiopia ranked 161, a modest improvement compared to the 2017 report. By comparison, Eritrea ranked 189 and Kenya ranked 80.

The World Bank ranking takes into account the following eleven factors: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulation.