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Ethiopia: UN forced to abort humanitarian aid flight into Tigray

Ethiopia: UN forced to abort humanitarian aid flight into Tigray

Source: UN, 23 October 2021Humanitarian Aid

A UN humanitarian aid flight destined for the capital of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, was forced to return to Addis Ababa due to airstrikes on Friday, raising “serious concerns” for the safety of staff working on the ground, said the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, in a statement.

Erdogan pledges to double bilateral trade at Turkey-Africa summit

Erdogan pledges to double bilateral trade at Turkey-Africa summit

The Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum held in Istanbul from 21-22 October, aims to provide a platform for Turkish businesses to gain a foothold on the continent.

Source: Shoshana Kedem October 19th 2021AfricaTrade & Investment

Turkey aims to double its bilateral trade volume with Africa from $25bn to $50bn, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum on Friday 22 October.

The Forum, held in Istanbul from 21-22 October, was attended by some 3,000 businessmen and women from Turkey and across Africa, 30 African ministers and representatives of regional organisations.

Organised by Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in cooperation with the Trade Ministry and the African Union Commission (AUC), the Forum took place under the slogan “Deepening Turkey-Africa Partnership: Trade, Investment, Technology and Logistics.”

Speaking on the first day of the Forum, Turkey’s trade minister, Mehmet Muş, recalled that the country’s trade volume with Africa had risen to its present $25bn level from just $5.4bn in 2003. He said that Turkey’s aim in the region was to establish relations based on mutual respect and a win-win strategy.

The first day saw Turkish and African ministers of trade, investment, technology and logistics hold closed door meetings on deepening the Turkey-Africa partnership.

The agenda for day one also scheduled bilateral meetings with business leaders and ministers, as well as panel discussions on emerging opportunities in agriculture, healthcare and the new regional free-trade zone – the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The second day saw hosted sessions promoting innovation, Turkish-African banking cooperation, trade finance and women’s leadership.

“Raising the Turkish-African trade volume to $50bn must be our main goal,” the chairman of DEIK, Nail Olpak, said in his address on the second day of the Forum. “Signing free trade agreements, agreements to reciprocally strengthen and protect investments, besides cooperation and knowledge-sharing in the fields of industrialisation, agriculture, construction, textiles and health, are our priorities.”

Erdogan’s Africa tour

Ahead of the Forum, Erdogan undertook a tour of three African countries in four days, meeting leaders and investors in Angola, Nigeria and Togo.

During his visit to Angola, the Turkish president said there were significant bilateral opportunities in the energy and defence sectors, with seven deals signed so far between the two countries. He also attempted to differentiate Turkey’s offering to Africa from the West.

“There are still those who cannot accept the independence, freedom and equality gains of the African peoples. We have been witnessing the recurrence of this indigestion recently,” he said in a speech to the country’s parliament.

“As Turkey, we reject Western-centred Orientalist approaches to the African continent. We embrace the peoples of the African continent without discrimination.”

The second country on his tour was Togo, where Turkey recently opened its 43rd embassy in Africa (see below). Erdogan was greeted by President Faure Gnassingbé, who hosted a working dinner at which they were joined by President Roch Kaboré of Burkina Faso and President George Weah of Liberia.

His final stop was Nigeria, where he signed eight bilateral agreements with President Muhammadu Buhari. Nigeria is already Turkey’s biggest trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa, but the Nigerian president expressed the wish that the volume of trade would soon increase from $2bn to $5bn.

Battle for hearts and minds

Since 2009, Ankara has engaged with African countries, big and small, at feverish speed, with Erdogan’s overriding ambition on the continent driven by trade and investment, says Tim Ash, an emerging markets economist at BlueBay Asset Management.

“For quite a long time Turkey has been very Africa focused. Under Erdogan, Turkey embassies have expanded massively globally as part of their effort to boost trade and investment,” Ash says.

That building spree has taken the number of Turkish embassies in Africa from a dozen in 2009 to 43 today. This year, it will open its 44th, in Guinea-Bissau.

The number of Turkish embassies in Africa has increased from 12 in 2003 (countries shaded dark red on map) to 43 in 2021.

Erdogan’s foreign policy is also moulded by efforts to counter the growing influence of rival Islamic powers in Africa such as the UAE and Egypt.

With strong historical trading links, the UAE has become an increasingly vital partner for the continent, and its second-largest investing country, second only to China, according to the Financial Times’ fDI Intelligence.

Ankara’s allegiance with Qatar has pitted Turkey against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE in a “battle for hearts and minds” on the continent, Ash says.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE are fiercely opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood and its associated brand of political Islam, Ash says. Doha and Ankara have provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and backed rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

This has manifested itself in Turkey’s sweeping investments in education projects on the continent, building 17 schools in Nigeria alone.

“Turkey’s been a big investor in education. Expanding Turkish cultural-religious influence as a conduit to boosting Turkish trade,” Ash says.

Africa also represents a huge success story for Erdogan as Turkey’s tourist economy weathers a battering from Covid-19, Ash says.

“Erdogan has massive problems at home, the economy’s not doing well and and Africa has been one of that has been relatively successful for him in terms of business and trade. So he probably wants some nice photo shoots of him shaking hands and doing stuff in Africa.

As Turkey’s relations with Europe unravel, Ankara has been keen to diversify its trade away from Europe. Two-thirds of Turkey’s trade investment financing comes from Europe, but amid political tensions Erdogan has tried to kindle trade ties elsewhere, starting with the Middle East. Souring relations with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, and a deteriorating regional security situation refocussed the president’s sights on the continent.

“Africa has been a relatively low hanging fruit, with less geopolitical problems. So Africa is part of this diversification ploy,” Ash adds.

“Africa has been very beneficial for Turkish companies, manufactured products, food, its been a big market, they’ve also been a conduit of transit trade and travellers from Africa.”

Today, Turkish fingerprints are all over Africa, from the Kigali Arena in Rwanda, east Africa’s biggest stadium, built by a Turkish construction firm, to an Olympic swimming pool in Senegal, a colossal mosque in Djibouti and Turkish military hardware on Libya’s battlefields. But while most African countries have welcomed the new partnership, experts wonder about the long-term ambitions behind Erdogan’s Africa strategy. 

Additional reporting by Charlie Mitchell.

Huge Pro-democracy Protests in Sudan

Huge Pro-democracy Protests in Sudan

 Source: Reuters published on 22 October 2021 an article titled “Mass Protests Held in Sudan against Prospect of Military Rule” by Khalid Abdelaziz.

Huge crowds marched in Sudan’s capital and several other cities on 21 October in demonstrations against the prospect of military rule.  Reuters journalists estimated that hundreds of thousands of protestors turned out. The US embassy in Khartoum issued a statement expressing strong support for Sudan’s democratic transition to civilian government.

Labels: Abdalla HamdokAbdel Fattah al-BurhandemocracyForces for Freedom and ChangeOmar al-BashirSudanUS

Somalis in UK targeted with death threats and abuse after David Amess killing

Somalis in UK targeted with death threats and abuse after David Amess killinglinkedin sharing button

Source: The Guardian, 24 October 2021

Sunday October 24, 2021

Deep in the sprawling Andover estate in Finsbury Park, north London, talk turns to an identity crisis holding back teenage and twentysomething British Somalis.

Born in London, 23-year-old Najma Sharif laments how some view her as not British enough, as others in her community believe she is not sufficiently Somalian. In her parents’ birthplace she is dismissed as diaspora; at home a mere ’Mali.

Speaking as darkness fell on Friday – just a day after Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old, British-born man of Somali heritage, was charged with the murder of the Conservative MP Sir David Amess in Essex – Sharif said the intersectionality of being black and Muslim was hitting young men particularly hard.
The fear is that the killing of Amess has compounded negativity towards Britain’s Somali community; an anecdotal rise in hate crime has already been recorded.

Almost immediately after the MP’s killing, death threats were reported, according to Kahiye Alim, director of the Council of Somali Organisations. The morning after, advice was issued to Somali groups and businesses to get in touch with their local police and crime commissioners, and their council, for possible help.

“We’ve had death threats against members, people telling them: ‘Go home, terrorist’, abuse on social media,” said Alim.

Younger members of the community have been specifically targeted, and a couple of youth clubs were forced to shut.

Already, Alim’s organisation has approached the mayor of London’s office for policing and crime for help reporting hate crime more effectively. This week he is hoping for a meeting with the Metropolitan police’s hate crime unit.
advertisementsAfter Ali was charged on Thursday, the Council of Somali Organisations produced a video on how the community can report hate crime; it is also offering tips on “personal safety”.

Sitting in the office of the charity Minority Matters, in the heart of the Andover estate, Sharif said there had been no reprisals during the past week.

Yet on the streets around the labyrinthine 1970s housing estate, she describes how police frequently target her brothers and friends.

“Some are even stopped in their school uniform or on their way to medical college. They are facing such negative stereotyping, suffering isolation and alienation from many sides,” she said.

Away from the Andover estate, the ethnicity of murder suspect Ali has shone a spotlight on Britain’s Somali community, which, although sizeable, remains largely overlooked, according to its representatives.

Alim anticipates the imminent results of the 2021 census will put Britain’s Somali community at 500,000.

For such a significant size, it has, he said, conspicuously little political clout.

Some councils still do not categorise Somali as a separate identity, despite Somalis first arriving in the UK during the mid-19th century, he added.

Recently his organisation felt the identity crisis had become so acute that it released a video guide on how to self-identify as Somali.

Sadia Ali, co-founder of Minority Matters, also points to the lack of an umbrella organisation championing the community’s needs.

“We are forgotten. We exist but at the same time we do not exist. There is a real crisis, we don’t belong in Somalia but we also don’t belong here,” said Ali.
Rakhia Ismail, former mayor of Islington in north London and now a Tory councillor, believes the Somali community’s lack of political heft is thwarting its hopes of improving outcomes for its young people.

She blames the Labour party, of which she was once a member, for treating the Somali electorate with “complacency”, accusing it of taking Somali support for granted.

Sharif said that while British Somali young men are too easily criminalised and targeted by police, their female peers are also viewed through the prism of inaccurate stereotypes.

“There are a lot of assumptions about black women – loud, obnoxious, aggressive – so when people talk to me, they are surprised. And as a Muslim they may think I’m oppressed – I’m not – or that I know all about FGM [female genital mutilation]. But I had no idea of it when growing up.”

Challenging stereotypes runs alongside campaigns for rehabilitation programmes for young men caught selling drugs. Too many, Sharif said, are written off after being caught dealing small amounts.

“They go to jail and come out with a criminal record and no opportunities,” she said.

Compounding the issue is that the model of university and career is failing many. “Some struggle to get a part-time job in a shop,” added Sharif.

Sadia Ali estimates that out of every 100 young British Somali men, between five and 10 end up with successful careers in white-collar sectors, such as the legal profession.

A bleak outlook is nothing new for Britain’s Somalis. Many of their parents have struggled to secure an enviable job. More than a third of Somali-born men with children born in the UK are economically inactive or unemployed. Of those working, Alim said that a “very large proportion” work in the gig economy or navigate life on zero-hours contracts.

Gesturing to the towering Andover flats surrounding her charity, Ali said: “We have to protect young people. We are losing a generation who were born and bred here. Then there is the question: ‘How do we make our young people safe?’”

At Least 20 Killed as Somalia Troops Battle Moderate Islamist Militia

At Least 20 Killed as Somalia Troops Battle Moderate Islamist Militialinkedin sharing button


Source: VOA, Sunday October 24, 2021

At least 20 people were killed and more than 40 wounded on Saturday when a moderate Islamist group clashed with Somali government troops over control of a town in central Somalia, according to witnesses and regional officials.

The clashes started at dawn Saturday morning when government troops, who have been amassing on the outskirts of Guri-El, a central Somali town some 400 kilometers north of the capital, Mogadishu, attacked bases held by Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a (ASWJ) rebels.

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According to residents, both sides used heavy artillery, mortars, machineguns, and vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft guns during a fierce battle in the streets.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, military officials from the opposing sides told VOA that both sides suffered fatalities.

A senior official with the Somali National Security Agency, Col: Abdirisaq Mohamud Yusuf, told VOA that the regional commander of Somali’s Danab Brigade, Abdiladif Feyfle, was among the dead.

Danab or “lightning” brigadiers are U.S.-trained Somali commandos.

“I can confirm that three of our soldiers were killed and more than 10 injured during the fighting,” Ahmed Shire Falagle, Galmudug’s regional state information minister, told VOA’s Somali Service. “I also know that a significant number of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a militia were killed, although I cannot give exact number.”

Falagle also said government troops ultimately took control of the town and that opposing combatants retreated.

“We have driven the militia out of the town and now they are firing back from the outskirts,” he said.

But witnesses who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal said that government forces managed to hold control of only the police station, the district headquarters and several ASWJ administrative buildings.

“None of the two sides is in full control [of the town] yet,” one witness told VOA. “We can hear heavy gunfire and shelling. The government soldiers are positioned at strategic bases at the heart of the town.”

VOA phone calls to several ASWJ officials went unanswered.

A moderate Sufi sect, ASWJ previously assisted Somali government troops battling al-Shabab Islamist extremists, temporarily striking a regional power-sharing deal with the Somali government. Saturday’s fighting followed a simmering dispute over ASWJ’s representation in local, state and national government.

Mogadishu has been denying the group’s request to have power as an Islamic entity, saying its members should peacefully seek power through their respective clans. It also wanted the group’s militia to be integrated into national forces.

In February of last year, Somali troops seized towns previously under ASWJ control, including Guri-El.

Earlier this month, the Islamist group took control of Guri-El unopposed after forcing Somali government troops to withdraw.

In an interview with VOA Somali at the time, the group’s chief, Sheikh Shakir, said it wants to take control of towns and regions to better protect them from al-Shabab extremists.

Since then, tension has been building as government troops began amassing military reinforcement near the town.

The U.N. said on Thursday over 100,000 people had been displaced in Guri-El because of the military buildup.

Efforts to mediate differences by local elders and regional leaders failed, leading to Saturday’s bloody battle.

The fighting comes two days after Somalia’s president and prime minister said they had struck a deal to speed up the country’s long-delayed election process and to end a simmering feud that threatened to plunge the Horn of Africa nation into a fresh crisis.

The two men had been deadlocked over top security appointments and dismissals that were triggered by the mysterious disappearance of a female Somali spy who has long been declared dead by the country’s National Intelligence and Security Agency.

Experts warn that continued political instability and renewed fighting with the moderate Islamist group could benefit al-Shabab.

President, PM reach truce after weeks of tension

 President, PM reach truce after weeks of tensionlinkedin sharing button


Source: Hiiraan Online, Friday October 22, 2021

Mogadishu (HOL) – Somalia’s Prime Minister and President have agreed to end their longstanding political standoff on Thursday.advertisements

Government spokesperson, Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, confirmed that the two leaders agreed on several points during a face-to-face meeting on Wednesday night that went into the early hours of Thursday. It was the first time Farmajo and Roble met since the constitutional crisis was sparked nearly two months ago.

The talks focused on who will lead Somalia’s embattled spy agency, how Ikran Tahlil’s case will be handled, and the timeline for upcoming federal elections.

As part of the agreement, both Farmajo and Roble will accept each other’s nominations to the security sector.

Roble agreed to allow Yasin Abdullahi Mohamud (Farey) to continue in his role as acting head of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA). The PM’s pick for interim spy chief, General Bashir Mohamed Jama (Goobe), was appointed as the Minister of State.

In exchange, Farmajo would recognize Abdullahi Mohamed Nur as the Minister of Internal Security.

Farmajo and Roble have agreed to allow Ikran Tahlil’s case to run its course through the military court. Ikran’s murder and the subsequent alleged cover-up by NISA sparked a political standoff that shook the state. Ikran’s case led to the ouster of Farmajo’s confidante and close ally, Fahad Yasin, as Somalia’s intelligence chief.

In a statement released by Somalia’s state news agency, the two leaders apologized to the Somali people for the worry their public power struggle caused and vowed to work together to organize elections.

The meetings were mediated by the President of South West State, Abdiaziz Lafta-Gareen. Galmudug President Ahmed Kahiye undertook a similar endeavour last month at the behest of Laftagareen to no avail.

Somalia’s international partners have urged Roble and Farmajo to settle their differences amicably and work towards holding indirect elections.

US Cautions Citizens Against Travelling to Kenya

 US Cautions Citizens Against Travelling to Kenyalinkedin sharing button

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Source: Kenyans.com.ke, Friday October 22, 2021

The United States of America has issued a travel advisory to its citizens travelling to Kenya and those currently living in the country.

Through a statement released on Thursday, October 21, the US Embassy in Nairobi cautioned its citizens against travelling to the Kenya-Somalia border and some coastal areas prone to terrorism.

It also warned them against travelling to areas within Turkana due to the high crime rate witnessed in the county.

The Embassy further red zoned Eastleigh and Kibera slums, underlining that they are unsafe to their citizens who are likely to be mugged or kidnapped.

“These areas are characterised by armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping. Be especially careful when traveling after dark anywhere in Kenya due to crime,” their statement read in part.

They added “Local police are willing but often lack the capability to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents and terrorist attacks.  Emergency medical and fire service is also limited.”

The US cited cases of terror attacks targeting both locals and foreigners as among the reasons for the travel advisory.

“Terrorist attacks have occurred with little or no warning, targeting Kenyan and foreign government facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, hotels, resorts, markets/shopping malls, and places of worship.  

“These terrorist acts included armed assaults, suicide operations, bomb/grenade attacks, and kidnappings.”

While travelling to Somalia or areas near the border, residents were urged to seek assistance and protection.

“Some schools and other facilities acting as cultural rehabilitation centres are operating in Kenya with inadequate or nonexistent licensing and oversight.  Reports of minors and young adults being held in these facilities against their wills and physically abused are common.”

Kenya-Somalia Ties after UN Court Decision

Kenya-Somalia Ties after UN Court Decision

 Source: The International Crisis Group (ICG) published on 15 October 2021 an analysis titled “UN Court Decision a Fresh Test for Kenya-Somalia Ties” by Meron Elias.

An ICG expert discusses the potential impact on Kenya-Somalia relations of the recent International Court of Justice decision that upheld Somalia’s claims of a long-running maritime border dispute between the two countries.  

Labels: al-ShabaabAMISOMforeign affairsICJinternational lawKenyamaritime boundaryMohamed Abdullahi FarmajoSomaliaUhuru Kenyatta

Sudan: Protesters demand military rule amid tough economic reforms and political crisis

Sudan: Protesters demand military rule amid tough economic reforms and political crisis

Source: Middle East Eye, 17 October 2021, Thousands marched in Khartoum calling for Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to dissolve civilian-led government

Sudanese protesters demonstrate outside the presidential palace in Khartoum on 16 October 2021, demanding the dissolution of the transitional government (AFP)By MEE and agenciesPublished date: 17 October 2021 12:09 UTC | Last update: 5 hours 2 mins ago

Sudan is grappling with the biggest political crisis in its two-year transition to civilian rule, following a massive demonstration on Saturday that brought thousands of pro-military protesters to central Khartoum, demanding the government to be dissolved.

The military and civilian groups have been sharing power in the east African country in an uneasy alliance since the toppling of long-standing President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted by the army in April 2019 following weeks of mass protests.

‘I am not neutral or a mediator in this conflict. My clear and firm position is complete alignment to the civilian democratic transition’

– Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok

Saturday’s protest was organised by a splinter faction of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), a civilian alliance which spearheaded the anti-Bashir protests and became a key plank of the transition.

Outside the presidential palace, the protesters chanted: “We will stay put where we are… we want the dissolution of this government.” 

Saturday’s protest comes after Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Friday unveiled a road map to end what he described as the country’s “worst and most dangerous” political crisis in its two-year transition.

Groups advocating for civilian rule have called for protests on Thursday 21 October.

‘Bring us bread’

Support for the transitional government has waned in recent months in the face of its tough economic reforms, which have included the slashing of fuel subsidies and a managed float of the Sudanese pound. 

Inflation has skyrocketed, reaching 422 percent in July, before easing slightly in August and September. 

Hamdok, a former UN economist, has been facing calls to dissolve his government following the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) approval of a $2.5bn loan and debt relief agreement that would see Sudan’s external debt reduced by some $50bn.

However the harsh reforms have hit the pockets of many Sudanese who are now struggling with poverty, shortages of medicines and power cuts.Sudan protesters demand government resign over IMF-backed reformsRead More »

On Saturday evening, demonstrators set up tents outside the presidential palace and chanted “one army, one people” and “the army will bring us bread”.

Abdelnaby Abdelelah, a protester from the eastern state of Kassala, told AFP that the government has overlooked other states beyond Khartoum. “We want a government that knows about the things going on in the east,” he said. 

“We are marching in a peaceful protest and we want a military government,” added Enaam Mohamed, a housewife.

The current government has failed to bring the people “justice and equality”, said 50-year-old Abboud Ahmed, who wants the military to be in charge.

The IMF-mandated reforms so far have caused food and transportation costs to surge, forcing Sudanese people to make sacrifices. 

Since September, demonstrators in eastern Sudan have blocked trade through the key hub of Port Sudan.

On 21 September, the government said it thwarted a coup attempt and placed the blame on sympathisers of the Bashir regime, which was dominated by Islamists and the military.

Daunting challenges

Since a coup attempt in September, Sudan’s military and civilian power-sharing partners have been locked in a war of words, with military leaders demanding the reform of the cabinet and ruling coalition. Civilian politicians accused the military of aiming for a power grab.

“The coup attempt opened the door for discord, and for all the hidden disputes and accusations from all sides, and in this way we are throwing the future of our country and people and revolution to the wind,” Hamdok said in a speech on Friday.

Hamdok described the current conflict as not between the military and civilians but between those who believe in a transition towards democracy and civilian leadership and those who do not.

“I am not neutral or a mediator in this conflict. My clear and firm position is complete alignment to the civilian democratic transition,” he said.

Nevertheless he said he had spoken to both sides, and presented them with a road map that called for the end of escalation and one-sided decision-making and a return to a functioning government.

He emphasised the importance of the formation of a transitional legislature, reform of the military, and the expansion of the base for political participation.Sudan: Large protests against military rule reflect deepened political crisisRead More »

Referring to an ongoing blockade of the country’s main port in the East of the country by protesting tribesmen, Hamdok described their grievances as legitimate while asking that they re-open the flow of trade. He also said an international donors’ conference to benefit the region was being organised.

The mainstream faction of the FFC said: “The current crisis is not related to dissolution of the government or not.

“It is engineered by some parties to overthrow the revolutionary forces… paving the way for the return of remnants of the previous regime.”

As tensions have risen, a number of international envoys have rushed to visit the country in order to ease the strains between the military and civilian leadership.

Earlier this month, a United Nations source disclosed that Volker Perthes, special representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan, has been in Khartoum to undertake a series of meetings with civil and military officials in the transitional government. 

However some Sudanese analysts have played down international involvement, saying the only way to protect the transition and democracy was through the people of Sudan who had made the revolution.

China provides humanitarian aid to Somali

China provides humanitarian aid to Somalialinkedin sharing button

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Source: Xinuanet, Sunday October 17, 2021

China on Saturday donated a batch of humanitarian assistance to Somalia amid flourishing bilateral ties.

Fei Shengchao, Chinese Ambassador to Somalia, said the humanitarian supplies from China included 10,000 tents, 50,000 mosquito nets, 20,000 aid kits and baby weight scales, stethoscopes and thermometers.

“The pandemic has taken its toll on humanitarian support worldwide. For these supplies, the cost of production has gone up 15 percent and the cost of shipment has soared seven times,” Fei said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

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The Chinese government has delivered the aid despite the rising cost of production and shipment. Fei said that is the Chinese way of helping others.

The ambassador added that China and Somalia are well-known for their compassion for each other and for their resilience at difficult times.

Somalia’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Khadijo Mohamed Diriye thanked the Chinese government for providing the humanitarian assistance, saying it came at a very critical moment.

“Somalia thanks China for its constant role of support to its Government and people in the very dire situation that they’re facing. We received different equipment of humanitarian assistance from our brotherly nation,” Khadijo said.

The humanitarian assistance from China was delivered at a time Somalia was reeling from droughts, floods and locusts invasion.

Somaliland Minister calls forced expulsion a law enforcement operation

Somaliland Minister calls forced expulsion a law enforcement operationlinkedin sharing button

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Source: Hiirasan Online, Friday October 15, 2021

Hargeisa (HOL) – Somaliland’s Interior Minister Mohamed Kahin Ahmed described an operation to expel non-Somalilanders from Sool and other regions as a ‘law enforcement operation.’

Minister Kahin, a guest on Horn Cable’s Hal-adayg program, was asked if the Somaliland government would apologize to the deportees if the security situation in the Sool region did not change.advertisements

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Kahin described it as an operation in line with Somaliland immigration law targeting foreigners.

“These people have been repatriated to Somalia; they have not been violated. The nature of our situation here is affected by the laws of Somaliland. As a minister, I cannot cross the Tog-Wajale border without a visa from the Ethiopian government. I cannot enter Djibouti without the proper documentation. We follow these rules all over the world.

The minister said that Somaliland and Somalia are two separate countries, and therefore, the evictions are classified as deportations.

“The local community called on their authorities to act. They asked for us to remove non-Somalilanders, and we have complied. We did not hurt anyone in the process of the deportation; they were just repatriated to their lands.”

So far, an operation has been announced in Sool, Sanaag and Sahil regions to deport Somalilanders, while in Hargeisa, police are conducting operations to repatriate Ethiopians.

Diversity, a ‘source of strength’, UN chief tells Security Council

Diversity, a ‘source of strength’, UN chief tells Security Council

Peacekeepers celebrate International Day of Peace in a village in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Source: UN news center, MONUSCOPeacekeepers celebrate International Day of Peace in a village in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.    12 October 2021Peace and Security

Inclusion is fundamental to rebuild societies in the wake of war and achieve durable peace, UN Secretary-General told world leaders, ambassadors and prominent global citizens meeting in the Security Council on Tuesday. 

The UN chief addressed an open debate on diversity, statebuilding and the search for peace, organized by Kenya, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month. 

 “For countries emerging from the horrors of conflict and looking to a better future – indeed for all countries – diversity must not be seen as a threat.  It is a source of strength,” the Secretary-General said

Inclusion and participation 

Stressing that” peace is not found in a piece of paper”, but in people, the UN chief spoke of how inequalities and weak governance can create the space for intolerance and extremism to grow, which can spark violent conflict.  Inclusion has the opposite effect. 

By opening the door to inclusion and participation, “we take a giant step forward in conflict-prevention and peacebuilding,” he said. 

“As countries look to build sustainable peace, they need to include and involve all segments of the population in the process of rebuilding communities and sustaining peace,” he added. 

The meeting, chaired by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, was held because most situations on the Security Council’s agenda arise from internal conflicts in which identity issues—whether ethnic, racial, religious or socioeconomic–play a part. 

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, as well as the first woman Deputy Speaker of Afghanistan’s Parliament, Fawzia Koofi, were among those briefing. 

Promote human rights 

The Secretary-General emphasized three areas for action, beginning with ensuring national institutions and laws work for all people, through protecting and promoting human rights. 

“It means implementing policies and laws that protect vulnerable groups — including laws against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity,” he said. 

Move people forward 

Countries emerging from instability cannot afford to ignore the views of entire segments of their populations, which could fuel future resentments, the UN chief warned. Instead, they should explore ways to give greater voice to subnational regions. 

“Governments must find ways to move people forward together, as one, through constant dialogue – recognizing and respecting differences – even if this means devolving some areas of authority,” said Mr. Guterres, speaking in French. 

UN operations on the ground, he said, work to keep dialogue open and flowing between state institutions and local populations “so that everyone can have a hand in shaping their country’s future.” 

Women and youth essential 

For his third point, the Secretary-General stressed the importance of including women and young people because “building and sustaining peace requires their voices and actions.” 

This is something which UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions strongly emphasize, he said.   

For example, the UN mission in Somalia, UNSOM, has trained budding politicians from different political parties in the country. It also supported the authorities and women leaders in implementing a 30 per cent gender quota in national elections. 

“As a global community, we must continue encouraging and supporting the full and active participation of women and young people in this journey,” the Secretary-General said. 

Afghan women want inclusion 

With Afghanistan back under de facto Taliban rule, women and girls are now regarded as second-class citizens, said former leading parliamentarian, Fawzia Koofi, adding, “literally, they are making us invisible again.” 

As gender equality is among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she said political processes, structures and working methods must be more responsive to women’s needs. 

“In Afghanistan, for example, we want direct and face-to-face talks with the Taliban,” she told the Council. “You can include us in your own mediation teams. You can also facilitate a meeting of a delegation of our women with the Taliban. We want to do it for our sisters back home.” 

Emotions and negotiations 

In his address, President Kagame of Rwanda underscored how peacebuilding is an ongoing process.  While it will be impossible to prevent all conflicts, their intensity and impact can be minimized by remaining attentive to local needs and expectations. 

“This means investing in the capacity of institutions and individuals so they can deliver the results that citizens expect and deserve,” he said. 

Peacebuilding is also not purely technical but deeply political and human, he further stated, and consideration must be given to the emotions and memories that various parties bring to the negotiating table. 

“Multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the African Union have a central role in many situations.  Civil society groups, particularly those led by women also have a key role, as do business leaders.”

Fighting hate speech 

 President Kenyatta of Kenya offered several recommendations for the international community, which included reviewing whether global institutions currently are “fit for purpose” in building a more inclusive world. 

He also called for governments, the UN and social media companies to collaborate on combating hate speech and incitement. 

“This can include an agreed global code of conduct by companies, and the development of early warning tools to detect escalation trends and facilitate pre-emptive measures,” he said.  

Kenya’s President also looked to the COP26 climate change conference in November, saying it provides an opportunity to ensure adaptation commitments will accelerate development, investment and job creation. 

“Climate adaptation must offer a clear and viable path to a green industrialisation for Africa and the Global South,” he said.♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox – Subscribe here to a topic.

BREAKING: ICJ rules overwhelmingly in Somalia’s favour in landmark maritime dispute

BREAKING: ICJ rules overwhelmingly in Somalia’s favour in landmark maritime disputetwitter sharing button

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Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday October 12, 2021

Mogadishu (HOL) – The UN’s top court has ruled overwhelmingly in Somalia’s favour in a bitter seven-year maritime dispute against its neighbour Kenya on Tuesday.

In its judgment read by the presiding judge at ICJ, Joan E. Donoghue, the court granted Somalia most of the territory that it had claimed.

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Oil and gas speculators believe that the 62,000 square mile area is potentially rich in hydrocarbons.

A fifteen-judge panel of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected Kenya’s claim that there had been an agreed maritime boundary with Somalia and ruled that the maritime border should run on equidistant or on a median line as suggested by Somalia.

The ICJ ruled that contrary to Kenya’s assertations, there was never a formal agreement with Somalia regarding their maritime boundaries. Furthermore, Kenya did not consistently maintain its supposed boundary claim.

“The court unanimously finds that there is no agreed maritime boundary between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Republic of Kenya that follows that parallel of latitude.”

“Kenya has not consistently maintained its claim that the maritime border with Somalia is defined by the line of latitude between the two side,” said Judge Donoghue.

Kenya argued that a 1979 decree by former President Daniel Arap Moi was proof that it has always maintained its border as a parallel line. It says that since then, it has exercised sovereignty in the EEZ territory it claimed. 

The Court pointed to the  2009 MOU with Somalia – which acknowledged a boundary dispute – and subsequent meetings as explicit evidence that both sides recognized that a resolution was not met.


The ICJ has dismissed Kenya’s claim to a parallel latitude (horizontal) boundary. CREDIT: ICJ

The ICJ also found that Kenya entered into negotiations with the Somali government in the 1980s, which ended inconclusively, further proving that it has not been consistent on its maritime border claims.

The Court said that it could not ignore Somalia’s 30-year civil war. Its government inaction during that period cannot be interpreted as de facto acceptance of Kenya’s border claims.

The Court also rejected that Kenya’s security claims warranted an adjustment of the equidistant line.

The Court said that it was not convinced by Kenya’s argument that the new maritime boundary would have catastrophic effects on the livelihood and economic wellbeing of Kenyan’s.

“17 of the 19 fish landing sites are located in the Lamu archipelago and would therefore be unaffected by the equidistant line.”

Somalia immediately welcomed the result.

“Congratulations to the Somali people, we have succeeded in securing our seas,” Somalia’s minister of information, Osman Dubbe, tweeted.

Dubbe thanked Somalia’s lawyers for their assistance.

“Finally, we made it. Thanks to all the great lawyers who represented Somalia on the International Court of Justice. 12th October, our national flag day, will be another historic day for all Somalis.”

It appears that Kenya anticipated the negative result. Ahead of Tuesday’s verdict Kenya said that it would no longer recognize the international court’s jurisdiction.

“The delivery of the Judgment will be the culmination of a flawed judicial process that Kenya has had reservations with, and withdrawn from, on account not just of its obvious and inherent bias but also of its unsuitability to resolve the dispute at hand,” said Kenya’s foreign office.

Nairobi has already granted exploration concessions to major European multinational oil and gas companies, including Italy’s ENI.

However, the court did reject Somalia’s claims for reparations, saying that Kenya’s conduct in the disputed area before the verdict did not violate international law.

Kenya also refused – at the 11th hour – to participate in oral hearings for the case in March.

Somalia initiated legal proceedings against Kenya at the international court in 2014 after it failed to solve the dispute after several meetings.

The court asked that both Somalia and Kenya accept the ruling and each other’s sovereignty.

The ICJ rulings are final and legally binding, meaning that Kenya cannot appeal. However, its enforcement relies on the Security Council. Several countries including the US and China have openly flouted the ICJ’s decisions in the past.

Read the entire 79-page decision HERE

South Sudan’s Deteriorating Finances

South Sudan’s Deteriorating Finances

 Source: The International Crisis Group (ICG) published on 6 October 2021 a paper titled “Oil or Nothing: Dealing with South Sudan’s Bleeding Finances.”  

South Sudan’s state finances are derailing it from the already fraught path to peace and stability after a brutal civil war.  The regimes slush-fund approach to governance and winner-take-all politics helps explain why so much went wrong so quickly after independence in 2011.  Much of the problem has been caused by the government’s mishandling of its oil wealth.  

Labels: Chinacivil warcorruptionEUIMFoilrevenueRiak MacharSalva KiirsanctionsSouth SudanSPLASPLMUS

South Sudan’s Deteriorating Finances

South Sudan’s Deteriorating Finances

 Source: The International Crisis Group (ICG) published on 6 October 2021 a paper titled “Oil or Nothing: Dealing with South Sudan’s Bleeding Finances.”  

South Sudan’s state finances are derailing it from the already fraught path to peace and stability after a brutal civil war.  The regimes slush-fund approach to governance and winner-take-all politics helps explain why so much went wrong so quickly after independence in 2011.  Much of the problem has been caused by the government’s mishandling of its oil wealth.  

Labels: Chinacivil warcorruptionEUIMFoilrevenueRiak MacharSalva KiirsanctionsSouth SudanSPLASPLMUS

Bihi: Somaliland will protect women’s business interests

Bihi: Somaliland will protect women’s business interestsfacebook sharing button messenger sharing button

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Source: Hiiraan Online, Monday October 11, 2021

Hargeisa (HOL) – The president of the breakaway region of Somaliland,  Muse Bihi Abdi, says he is defending the business interests of women.

Bihi Abdi said women were oppressed in Somali culture and that his government would do their part to empower them.advertisements”Women are oppressed when we (men) are in power. Our culture is still punishing women. I could not give them a third of what they asked of my government because of stiff opposition. There are many self-employed and educated people who are not given priority,” said Bihi.

He added that some men were attacking women business people, and he was defending and supporting them as president.

“women and men are equal before the law, health, trade, education and freedom. If they commit a crime, the nation has the right to arrest them. Just as a boy commits a crime, so can a girl.”

Somaliland’s president has sided with Layla Ibrahim Omar, who a day earlier told the media that a businessman was planning to destroy her restaurant and lounge in Hargeisa’s Kodbur district.

Upon receiving Layla’s complaint, the president held an emergency meeting with Layla and security officials, and authorities took the businessman into custody.

AU Security Council endorses joint AU-UN force to replace AMISOM

AU Security Council endorses joint AU-UN force to replace AMISOMlinkedin sharing button

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Source: Hiiraan Online, Monday October 11, 2021

ADDIS ABABA (HOL) – The African Peace and Security Council adopted a proposal to deploy a joint AU-UN force to replace AMISOM by the end of this year.

Following a meeting last week, the Council said that it was adopting the AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia, deployed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, “which would ensure predictable and sustainable multi-year financing for the future mission, through UN assessed contributions.”advertisementsAn Independent Experts report in August proposed that the multidimensional force should take over from AMISOM, which the UN Security Council does not fund.

The African Union and Troops Contributing Countries (TCCs) have variously demanded the UN Security Council finances AMISOM as it is responsible for maintaining world peace.

The Council said that the security in the country was “worsening” and worried about a potential militant comeback.

“(The Council) expresses grave concern at the worsening security situation in Somalia, which has seen a worrying resurgence in the activities of Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups in large parts of the country and has detracted attention from the critical processes of state-building and stabilization.”

The Somali government has since rejected the proposal for the hybrid force but has not given its position. In the AU Peace and Security Council communique Sunday, the Council urged the AU, Un and Somalia to “finalize as a matter of urgency the joint report on the strategic objectives, mandate, size and composition of the AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia.”

The AUPSC also raised concerns about the political deadlock between the nation’s top leaders.

“The ongoing political standoff between the Office of the President and the Office of the Prime Minister is contributing to the worsening security situation, as the political authorities find their attention distracted from governance matters,” the statement said.

The continental security body also called on the UN Security Council to allow for the rollout of the new mandate as discussions are still ongoing to prevent any security lapses during the transition.

AMISOM has been operating in Somalia for 14 years now, and its mandate is expected to conclude on December 31. Since then, the militant insurgent group Al-Shabaab has been pushed from Somalia’sSomalia’s capital but still exerts influence over large swaths of land in the south and central Somalia.

Dr. Hussen announces the launch of his book Denial of independence

Dr. Hussen announces the launch of his book, Denial of Independencelinkedin sharing button

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Source: Hiiraan Online, Sunday October 10, 2021

Dr. Hussen Announces the Launch of His Book, Denial of Independence: How the Four Powers and Italy Set up Somalia for Failure and Dismemberment

New York, New York – Dr. Hussen is pleased to announce that his book on the Denial of Independence: How the Four Powers and Italy Set up Somalia for Failure and Dismemberment has come out. At a time when the world is struggling to resolve postwar crisis, Dr. Hussen provides insight into what was done wrong in Somalia immediately after the war. He uses the oral account of his late father, Hagi Mohamed Hussein, leader of the anti-colonial movement in Southern Somalia, as well as material from the national archives in Italy, Britain, United States, and the United Nations.

Denial of IndependenceadvertisementsDr. Hussen attributes the causes of the Somali tragedy on the economic subordination left behind by Italy, the seizure of indigenous land, and using such land to grow cash crops thus depriving the country of its capacity to feed itself. He points out that the Italian use of the institutions of indirect rule, such as clan chiefs, notables, and elders held the country stagnant while the integration of the fascist-trained native militia forces, known as “banda” into the army and police force set the stage for instability. He adds that Italy left behind a system of government based on favoritism and corruption, playing one clan against another, only to prove how divided the Somali people were and how distant the prospect of a Somali nation.

While Italian colonialism bears much of the blame, so do the Four Powers who used the disposition of the former Italian Colonies to advance their strategic interests. And when the Four Powers could not agree among themselves, they passed the matter to a polarized United Nations, which not only denied immediate independence to Somalia, but threw her back into the lap of her colonial master, Italy, as trustee for ten years, contrary to the wishes and welfare of the majority of the Somali people.

Dr. Hussen graduated from the University of Rome with a Dottore in Civil Engineering. He completed the PHD Program in Traffic Engineering at the same university. He also has a Master’s Degree in Construction from the Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia. He worked extensively in Eastern and Central Africa as Project Engineer for fifteen years in the construction of roads, livestock isolation facilities, primary health care units, and schools.

Somaliland defends Las Anod evictions, says was informed by security considerations

Somaliland defends Las Anod evictions, says was informed by security considerationslinkedin sharing button

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Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday October 5, 2021

HARGEISA (HOL) – Somaliland has defended his decision to evict residents from southern Somalia noting the move was motivated by security concerns.

In a statement seemingly reacting to Somali PM Mohamed Roble’s castigation of the evictions, Somaliland said it acted in the best interests of its territory while scorning  the Somali Prime Minister for overreach. The breakaway region accused Roble of ‘sharing unfounded information and baseless accusations.’

It added that the evictions were motivated by issues pertaining to security, including appeals from the local communities and authorities in Las Anod district.

It also said that Intelligence reports and consultations indicated that the selected individuals were putting the safety of the local population at risk but was quick to add that they were deported in a manner that did not infringe on their rights and without damage or loss of property or personhood.

The breakaway region further rebuked Somalia for what it termed as interference of its sovereignty and threat to its territorial security. PM Mohamed Roble said Tuesday the ‘deportation’ amounted to mistreatment of people in their own land.

“Expelling Somalis from a Somali territory is shameful, ugly and dishonouring,” he said. “Ordering people who have been peacefully trading to leave for simply originally coming from the southern regions is unfortunate and will be recorded by history.”

Meanwhile the UN and a Consortium of NGOs in Somalia has also weighed in on the evictions noting they ‘deeply regretted’ the decision by Somaliland to expell fellow Somalis from their own country.

The two sides urged Somaliland government against further evictions noting the move violated human rights.

Kenya’s Manda Bay now a naval base

Kenya’s Manda Bay now a naval baselinkedin sharing button

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Source: defenceWeb, Tuesday October 5, 2021

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has upgraded Naval Station Manda Bay to a naval base due to its strategic importance in enhancing counter-terrorism efforts and maritime security.

In a ceremony at Manda Bay on 23 September, Kenyatta said the military installation will now gain expanded operational autonomy as it sets out to become a more geo-strategic facility for national, regional and global security operations.advertisementsHe said the frontline military installation plays a critical role in defending Kenya’s sovereignty, maintaining territorial integrity, and securing the nation’s maritime borders.

“Given the growing investments in this part of our country and the promise of the maritime domain, Manda is an invaluable listening and watching tower for Kenya and Kenyans.”

In order to fulfil the country’s development agenda without external disruption, President Kenyatta said the expansion of the naval base’s operational autonomy was meant to establish a military installation with adequate capacity to respond to all forms of enemy aggression.

“The Kenya Navy Base Manda Bay is of utmost significance in enhancing counterterrorism efforts and maritime security, besides protecting the country’s port infrastructure. In addition, this base boosts security in the region and guards vital trade routes that are the lifeblood of international commerce,” Kenyatta said.

The Head of State singled out the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor projects such as the new port, roads and other supporting infrastructure as some of the prized national and international investments that the military base is tasked to proactively protect round the clock.

“The LAPSSET project and road improvements from Hindi through Bargoni, Bodhei, Baure and Kiunga are ongoing. We are steadfastly committed to making the Boni area a peaceful and stable economic hub. Those infrastructure projects will support the livelihoods of our people within the region,” the President said.

He pointed out that emerging maritime security challenges require responsive multilateral approaches, saying Kenya will continue to actively engage with her partners to improve its naval capabilities, and assured that the Government will continue allocating adequate resources to the Kenya Defence Forces to enable them fulfil their mandate of securing the country’s interests.

Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi said the Kenya Navy Manda Bay Base is a strategic installation recognized for its centrality in securing maritime trade in the Indian Ocean from the vantage Lamu archipelago.


Kenya, Africa (Jan. 5, 2004) – An aerial view of a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC 63) heading towards Manda Bay Kenyan Naval training area in Kenya, Africa. /US NAVY

He said the military base’s trauma centre, officially commissioned by President Kenyatta, serves local, regional and international multi-agency security operations in the area including AMISOM.

Manda Bay played a key role in the capture of Kismayu in Somalia by the Kenyan military during operations in September 2012. The FOB was crucial in planning during Operation Linda Nchi, a cross-border offensive against the Al-Shabaab who had been making regular trips into Kenyan territory and causing chaos.

The base is strategically located and has since 2010 been used as a launch-pad for major operations to counter terrorism and deter international crime.

During the 23 September ceremony, Kenyatta toured a monument and the site at the base where terrorists attacked in January 2020, resulting in the deaths of three Americans and an undisclosed number of Kenyan soldiers.

Kenya’s National Land Commission plans to acquire more than 5 000 hectares in Lamu and Tana River counties for the expansion of the base.

Manda Bay features a jetty, airstrip with 1.3 km runway, hangars, helipad, sickbay and trauma centre. Since 2004 it has been hosting a US government Forward Operating Location under operational control of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in Djibouti.