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Horn of Africa


Garowe mayor demands departure of undocumented Ethiopian migrants

Garowe mayor demands departure of undocumented Ethiopian migrants

Source: : hIIRAAN oNLINE, Monday June 17, 2024

Garowe (HOL) – The mayor of Garowe, Abdikhadir Mohamed Mohamud Geddi, has ordered all illegal Ethiopian residents to leave the town immediately, threatening deportation if they do not comply.

Speaking to reporters in Garowe on Sunday, the mayor said, “I want to send a message to the Ethiopian people who are in the city illegally. We have worked hard to welcome these people, but now the time has come. We want to tell those who do not have permits to leave the city of Garowe.”

Ethiopian migrants have been arriving in Garowe, the administrative capital of Puntland State, over the past few years. These people have faced complex lives in Garowe and other major towns in Puntland, SSC-Khatumo, and Somaliland.

Some Ethiopians have also taken over small jobs, including shoe cleaning.

Earlier, the administration of Galkayo district in Puntland banned Ethiopians from the city of Galkayo after the administration expressed concerns.

AU mission hands over military base to Somalia in 3rd phase of troop withdrawal

AU mission hands over military base to Somalia in 3rd phase of troop withdrawal


Source: XINHUA NET, Monday June 17, 2024

The African Union (AU) Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) said on Sunday that it has handed over the Barire military base to the Somali security forces, marking the start of the third phase of the troop drawdown.

ATMIS said the military base, which is located in the Lower Shabelle region under the ATMIS Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces since 2019, holds strategic significance as it serves as a buffer zone about 60 km west of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

“This transfer of the Barire military base is not just a transfer of physical assets, but it symbolizes the progress we have made together in our shared mission,” ATMIS Uganda Contingent Commander Anthony Lukwago Mbuusi said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

“Together, we will continue to work toward a brighter future for Somalia, one built on cooperation, mutual respect, and the common goal of finding lasting peace,” said Mbuusi who handed over the base to Muhudin Ahmed, the Somali National Army (SNA) representative.

Ahmed lauded ATMIS Uganda troops for their commitment to the transition and their sacrifice in ensuring peace returns to Somalia.

He said the SNA would continue to secure Barire town and its inhabitants from Al-Shabaab attacks and other illegal armed groups.

The AU mission withdrew 5,000 troops from Somalia and handed over 17 military bases to the Somali Security Forces during the first and second phases of the drawdown concluded in 2023.

The third phase of the ATMIS drawdown is in line with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2628 (2022), 2670 (2022), and 2710 (2023), which mandate ATMIS to withdraw 4,000 troops by the end of June 2024.

Somali President Mohamud reaffirms readiness for dialogue with al-Shabab militant group

Somali President Mohamud reaffirms readiness for dialogue with al-Shabab militant group

Source: Hiiraan Online, Sunday June 16, 2024

Oslo (HOL) – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has reiterated that his government is ready to engage in dialogue and negotiations with the al-Shabab militant group.

Speaking at a debate in Oslo, Norway, President Mohamud stated that the government is waiting for al-Shabab to negotiate. He pointed out that the dialogue process might take time.

“We believe that the end game for al-Shabab is negotiations whenever they are ready. We were ready yesterday, and tomorrow, we will still be ready,” said President Mohamud.

He emphasized that dialogue with the group can create new hope but stressed that al-Shabab needs to change its behavior first.

“Anyone who can convince them to change their behavior should take that step,” said the president.

This is the second time President Mohamud has called for dialogue with al-Shabab during his two years in office. However, al-Shabab has previously refused to engage in dialogue with the government.

Since 2007, al-Shabaab has been fighting the Somali government and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) – a multidimensional mission authorized by the African Union and mandated by the UN Security Council.

Puntland oo ku amartay dadka Itoobiyaanka ah ee Garowe ku sugan inay si degdeg uga baxaan

Puntland oo ku amartay dadka Itoobiyaanka ah ee Garowe ku sugan inay si degdeg uga baxaan

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Source: Hiiraan Online, Axad, Juun, 16, 2024 (HOL) – Duqa degmada Garowe, Cabdiqaadir Maxamed Maxamuud Geeddi ayaa ku amray dadka Itoobiyaanka ah ee ku sugan Garowe inay si degdeg ah uga baxaan, haddii kale in tallaabo laga qaadayo.

Geeddi wuxuu sheegay, in la joogo waqtigii magaalada Garowe laga saari lahaa Itoobiyaanka sharci darrada ku jooga, isagoo ku hanjabay ciddii aan amarka qaadan in iyagoo xirxiran la saaridoono.

“Waxaan rabaa inaan baaq u diro dadka Itoobiyaanka ah ee magaalada ku jooga sharci darrada. In badan waxaan ku dadaalnay in dadkaas lasoo dhoweeyo, laakiin hadda waqtigeedii bay gaartay. Waxaan rabnaa inaan dadkaas u sheegno, cidda aan sharciga ku haysan magaalada Garowe inay isaga baxaay,” ayuu yiri duqa magaalada Garowe.

Hadalkan ayuu guddoomiyaha degmada Garowe sheegay, xilli uu maanta saxaafadda la hadlayay salaaddii ciidda kaddib.

Go’aankaan ayaa kusoo beegmay, iyadoo magaalada Garowe ay si aad ah ugusoo qulqulayaan dadka kasoo jeeda Itoobiya oo leh qowmiyado kala duwan. Dadkan ayaa haatan qaati looga taagan yahay dawarsiga ama Tuugsoga, iyagoo magaalada Garowe lagu arkayo carruur iyo dad waawayn oo suuqyada iyo waddooyinka ka dawarsanaya habeen iyo maalin.

Dadka Itoobiyaanka ah waxay sidoo kale la wareegeen qaar kamid ah shaqooyin ay ku tiirsanaayeen dadka muwaadiniinta ah, sida shaqada caseeyaha ama baalashka, oo ay ku tiirsanaayeen dadka kasoo jeeda qoysaska danyarta ah.

Horey, maamulka degmada Gaalkacyo ee Puntland ayaa dadka Itoobiyaanka uga mamnuucay magaalada Gaalkacyo, kaddib markii walaac laga muujiyay hab dhaqankooda iyo qulqulkooda.

DP World plans $3 billion investment in African ports by 2029

DP World plans $3 billion investment in African ports by 2029

Source: Bloomberg, Friday June 14, 2024
By Jennifer Zabasajja and Paul Burkhardt

Berbera Port and Bebera city in Somalia. Photographer: Ed Ram/AFP/Getty Images

(Bloomberg) — DP World plans to spend $3 billion over the next three to five years on new port infrastructure in Africa to meet long-term growth that includes surging demand for critical mineral exports.

“The cost of logistics and supply chain across Africa is very high relative to other global markets,” which presents a good opportunity, Mohammed Akoojee, DP World’s chief executive officer and managing director for sub-Saharan Africa, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. The port operator is expanding in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and has recently assessed harbors in South Africa and Kenya for potential investment. 

Eight of the world’s 15 fastest-growing economies will be in Africa this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. That’s luring companies including Dubai-based DP World, despite economic pain from accelerating inflation, depreciating currencies and high borrowing costs in the region.

Africa’s potential should be viewed over the long term, not by short-term macroeconomics, according to Akoojee. “It’s a cycle and it certainly hasn’t impacted our appetite for growth on the continent,” he said. “We’re still investing.”

A booming market for critical minerals including copper from Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are helping drive the need for greater logistics capacity, Akoojee said. “We’ve seen demand increasing over the last few years, largely driven by the whole electrification drive globally and the demand for commodities like cobalt, lithium.”

Port Interest

DP World ’s Africa unit has 27,000 workers and covers ports, terminals, logistics and supply chain businesses. It failed in a bid to partner with South Africa’s Transnet SOC Ltd. to develop the biggest container port on the continent, losing to International Container Terminal Services Inc., which is owned by Filipino billionaire Enrique Razon.

That hasn’t deterred the company from looking to continue its expansion on the continent. As South Africa moves forward on the partial privatization of Transnet, “we remain interested in those opportunities,” Akoojee said. DP World is also looking at the port of Lamu in Kenya, where there’s also a privatization process underway.

–With assistance from Matthew Hill.

At least 49 dead, 140 missing in migrant boat sinking off Yemen: UN

At least 49 dead, 140 missing in migrant boat sinking off Yemen: UN

Refugees and migrants are increasingly taking the dangerous route despite instability in Yemen and the fallout of the war on Gaza.

A picture taken on September 26, 2019 shows a view of the Yemeni flagged oil tanker
Refugees and migrants are taking the sea route despite the effects of Yemen’s war [File: Saleh Al-Obeidi/AFP] (AFP)

Source: Aljazeera, Published On 11 Jun 202411 Jun 2024

At least 49 people have been killed and 140 more are missing after a boat carrying refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa to Yemen sank, according to the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The vessel that capsized on Monday was carrying some 260 people, mostly from Ethiopia and Somalia, who had set off from the northern coast of Somalia to travel 320km (200 miles) across the Gulf of Aden to reach Yemen.


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Yemen’s Houthis detain 11 UN staff, aid workers

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US seeks to block Houthi revenues in possible threat to Yemen truce: Report

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Yemen’s Houthis say they launched two attacks against ships at Haifa port

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Red Sea tensions: Yemen’s Houthis ‘attack’ US carrier after deadly strikes

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Refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa and East Africa are increasingly braving the dangerous journey to reach Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the region via Yemen.

The IOM said in a statement on Tuesday that 71 people had been rescued, eight of whom were taken to hospital. At least six children and 31 women were among the dead.

In April, at least 62 people died in two shipwrecks off the coast of Djibouti as they tried to reach Yemen. The IOM said at least 1,860 people have died or disappeared along the route, including 480 who drowned.

WHO and Somalia collaborate to strengthen disease outbreak response

WHO and Somalia collaborate to strengthen disease outbreak response

Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday June 11, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) — Amid a severe humanitarian crisis, Somalia’s vulnerability to disease outbreaks is high. The country has taken a major step to address this by implementing the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) system, a move that promises to transform public health responses.

In collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and the WHO Country Office in Somalia, Somalia has strengthened its multi-disease surveillance system. The IDSR system consolidates real-time health data using the District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2), allowing health workers to record and analyze data for early outbreak detection and response.

“IDSR has enabled the Ministry of Health and Human Services to stay ahead of the public health events and safeguard the health of our communities by detecting outbreaks early,” said Dr Sahro Isse Mohamed, Head of the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Unit, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Federal Government of Somalia.

Since its implementation, the IDSR system has been crucial in detecting cholera, diphtheria, and pertussis alerts. Health workers have been trained to develop weekly epidemiological bulletins, which are shared with stakeholders for decision-making and resource coordination. These efforts have significantly reduced disease-related morbidity and mortality.

WHO Somalia supported developing a three-year, multiphase operational plan for IDSR implementation. The plan includes technical guidelines, standard operating procedures, and training materials tailored for health workers. Phase one, completed in 2023, trained health workers from 371 out of 620 health facilities, surpassing the target coverage. By the end of 2023, these facilities reported on 42 priority conditions. Between weeks 3 and 13 of 2024, the number of reporting facilities increased to 409, with 80% of trained facilities regularly submitting surveillance data.

The plan’s second phase, which began in January 2024, focuses on improving data quality, linking surveillance data with laboratory information, enhancing data usage at the subnational level, and monitoring the IDSR system’s implementation through supervision and stakeholder review meetings.

The planning for IDSR began in 2020. By 2021, Somalia had a functioning IDSR system. In 2022, guidelines and training materials were developed to build health workers’ capacities. The final phase of the operational plan, set to be completed in 2024, aims to provide a comprehensive approach to public surveillance of priority diseases and response needs.

Somalia is also working on implementing event-based surveillance at the community level and strengthening its public health laboratory capacity for the timely diagnosis of priority diseases. Rapid response teams will be trained to address emergencies within communities. Plans are also in place to establish surveillance and response systems for antimicrobial resistance and maternal and perinatal deaths.



Source: Sydsvenskan, Sverige


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UN funds for AU peace operations: Somalia as a test case

Source: ISS, UN funds for AU peace operations: Somalia as a test case

Tuesday June 11, 2024

Should the African Union focus on a single situation – or apply UN Security Council Resolution 2719 to various conflicts?
Last December, the United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously agreed to consider case-by-case requests from the African Union (AU) for UN funding for peacekeeping operations on the continent.

After decades of exchanges between the UN and AU on how to fund peace operations, Resolution 2719 was a milestone – even though questions about its implementation persist. Among them are whether the funds could supplement existing peace operations, or if the AU should use the opportunity to create new missions.

The AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) could be a test case. ATMIS is scheduled to exit in December, and the AU could request funds under Resolution 2719 for a post-ATMIS mission. Institute for Security Studies sources say a new mission could expand the number and scope of troop-contributing countries to include contingents from East and Southern Africa.

Could Resolution 2719 be used to support a post-ATMIS setup? Would this be the most useful application of the resolution in light of the continent’s plethora of conflicts? Might the AU want to create an entirely new peace support mission?

Somalia briefed the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) on 26 March on its proposal for a post-ATMIS security arrangement starting on 1 January 2025. Somalia wants to keep its gains in the fight against the violent extremist group al-Shabaab, and requested further capacity building for the Somali Security Forces to avoid a security vacuum when ATMIS leaves.

Could a post-ATMIS mission expand to include contingents from East and Southern African countries?

The PSC recognised Somalia’s concerns and stressed the need for adequate funding through Resolution 2719. This is despite its earlier decision to close ATMIS with a third drawdown of 4 000 personnel by 30 June. That decision presents contradictions: the PSC and the Somali Federal Government support the drawdown, but a request for another peace support operation is emerging.

Some PSC members have shown a preference for Somalia being the first country to use UN funds through Resolution 2719. During a recent field mission, an AU Commission high-level delegation reassured Somalis there would be no security vacuum following ATMIS’ departure.

An AU representative said there were plans to establish a post-ATMIS force to help protect strategic population centres, UN facilities and key government installations. Such a mission would have strong regional support, particularly from current troop- and police-contributing countries, some of whom are PSC members.

Somalia’s Federal Government is eager to pursue a post-ATMIS mission through Resolution 2719. In May, its Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry asked the UN Security Council president to terminate the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) – possibly to lay the foundations for a post-ATMIS mission. UN member states had voiced their concerns about funding multiple initiatives in the country.

Although the PSC and Somali government support ATMIS’ drawdown, a request for another peace mission is emerging

The PSC and UN Security Council must decide whether UN funds would better support UNSOM, which capacitates and strengthens state institutions, or ATMIS, which focuses on security. It’s equally important to consider the timing and sequencing of these missions. Should stabilisation through security precede building state capacity or take place simultaneously?

The PSC must also consider the pros and cons of using Resolution 2719 for a post-ATMIS mission. There are legitimate concerns that ATMIS’ exit would create a security vacuum that al-Shabaab would capitalise on. Even as new army units are being trained, and despite the successful handover of seven security bases to Somali forces, al-Shabaab attacks continue. Recent gains by the government in central Somalia, with ATMIS’ help, could be overturned.

However, considering that these recent successes are thanks to a joint campaign with clan militias, Somalia urgently needs to establish holding forces, work for communal reconciliation and meet local service delivery expectations.

A committee comprising the Federal Government, AU and UN Support Office in Somalia aims to ensure the smooth transfer of responsibility from ATMIS to the Somali Security Forces. All three stakeholders must distinguish between the mandates of Somalia’s current and future peace missions.

Resolution 2719 funds could boost the Southern African Development Community’s Mission in east DRC

The AU Commission must also assess requirements for the military, police and civilian components, the concept of operations, budgetary implications, and exit strategies for a post-ATMIS mission. The AU’s Military Staff Committee should undertake its own review and advise the PSC and AU Commission.

The decision to deploy a new mission in Somalia must also be considered against the backdrop of protracted and emerging crises in Africa (see diagram).

The eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) conflict has reached breaking point with recent M23 rebel group advancements displacing 250 000 people. The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC, which lacked support from local communities and political elites, is expected to exit in December. Funds could be sourced under Resolution 2719 to boost the meagrely resourced Southern African Development Community’s Mission in east DRC.

The AU could also use Resolution 2719 to back an intervention in Sudan’s civil war. The conflict has seen the collapse of state institutions, a massive death toll and humanitarian disaster, and the displacement of around eight million people. An AU-mandated mission could significantly tip the scales, bring short-term stabilisation and provide impetus for a ceasefire.

The PSC is expected to meet and discuss how to use Resolution 2719 to help stabilise countries in conflict. Considerations will hinge on whether the AU focuses on a single test case or applies the resolution to various contexts. Making the decision requires a thorough analysis of the advantages and challenges of each conflict. 

In Somalia, Resolution 2719 presents an opportunity to apply the UN-AU security partnership. It’s also a unique chance for the AU Commission and PSC to fully operationalise the African Standby Force as originally conceived, and to deploy an AU-led mission in Somalia made up of troops beyond East African countries.

Protracted discussions to iron out challenges around Resolution 2719 are ongoing, so concrete action may not be possible before the end of 2024. In the meantime, AU officials should thoroughly assess the future of ATMIS and whether a new peace support operation would tip the scale in favour of long-lasting peace and stability in Somalia.

Ruto calls for order amid war of words in Kenya Kwanza

Ruto calls for order amid war of words in Kenya Kwanza

Source: TheStar, Monday June 10, 2024

President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua (left) at the Akorino National Thanksgiving Prayer Conference in Nakuru County on June 9, 2024. Image: PCS

President William Ruto has called on leaders in the Kenya Kwanza government to tone down on attacks that have characterised his administration recently.

Speaking at Nakuru Boys High School grounds on Sunday, June 9, during the Akorino Annual Prayer Conference, Ruto said the country needs to be united asking leaders to lead from the front.

“Tuungane, tushirikiane, tuweke amani sisi wote tuchangie katika kuhakikisha Kenya yetu ni Kenya moja (Let us unite, cooperate and work on peace to ensure ours is a united Kenya).  We want the best for our country,” he said.

Ruto urged all leaders, regardless of their tribe or ethnic group to work on a united nation for the benefit of all citizens.

“I want to plead with my fellow leaders not to divide Kenyans. We must unite our people for the sake of peace and development,” he said.

The call by the president comes after weeks of war of words among his key allies.

Gachagua, who has been calling for unity in the Mt Kenya region, has recently faced criticism from a section of leaders who accused him of fanning tribalism.

But in a rejoinder to the attacks on Sunday, Gachagua said his call for a united Mt Kenya is not aimed at antagonising any community.

“I am on record as a great peacemaker. The unity we are calling for is not against anybody, it is the unity of purpose. The unity we are calling for is the unity of Kenya and we are doing it bottom up,” Gachagua, who was also at the Akorino Annual Prayer Conference,  said.

Leaders backing Gachagua’s call also defended his unity call saying there is nothing wrong with it.

“We are in a bottom-up government. All things in our government start from the village level before going up and everybody comes from a village. What wrong has Gachagua done by trying to solidify his backyard?,” Maragua MP Mary Waithera said.

According to her, local leaders working against the unity of the region are either confused or have been ‘fed’ enough.

“Those accusing Gachagua of being a villager just for discussing issues pertaining to his region should be investigated because they could have been paid to do so,” she said.

The MP said the forces fueling conflicts within the region are afraid of its unity due to its high numbers of voters and are keen on destabilising it, urging Gachagua to persist in his efforts to bring residents together.

Sudan paramilitary RSF targets last operating hospital in Darfur

Sudan paramilitary RSF targets last operating hospital in Darfur

Source: Aljazeera, The armed group fired on and looted the last operating hospital in western Darfur, forcing it to close.

Sudanese soldiers from the Rapid Support Forces unit
Sudanese soldiers from the Rapid Support Forces unit, in the East Nile province, Sudan, on June 22, 2019 [File: Hussein Malla/AP]

Published On 10 Jun 202410 Jun 2024

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary in Sudan has attacked the last operating hospital in the Darfur region, an international aid group said.

Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, reported late on Sunday that the RSF had attacked the South Hospital in el-Fasher, the capital city of the North Darfur province, the previous day. The armed group opened fire on medical staff and patients as it looted the site, forcing the facility to close.

Piracy Slowly Returns to Somalia

Piracy Slowly Returns to Somalia

 Source: The International Crisis Group published on 7 June 2024 an analysis titled “The Roots of Somalia’s Slow Piracy Resurgence” by Omar Mahmoud.

After a lapse of about five years, Somali piracy is again on the increase.  Since late 2023, the slow rise in piracy is due to a decrease in counter measures by shipowners and naval task forces and frustration in Somali fishing communities with overfishing by foreign trawlers

Can Somalia Implement Universal Suffrage?

Can Somalia Implement Universal Suffrage?

 Source: World Politics Review published on 7 June 2024 an analysis titled “Somalia’s Constitutional Revision Is Deepening Political Divisions” by Omar Mahmood, International Crisis Group.

The author argues that Somalia’s leaders are signaling their seriousness to hold parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for February 2026 under a universal suffrage model in line with the country’s constitutional review.  Given security challenges and the enormous technical work required, previous attempts to do so repeatedly fell short in a country that hasn’t conducted an open universal suffrage election in over fifty years.

Security measures in Oslo for Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s visit

Security measures in Oslo for Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s visit

Source: Hiiraan Online,, Monday June 10, 2024

The police motorcycle leads the procession. Photo: Ingri Valen Egeland
OSLO, Norway (HOL) – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud began a three-day working visit to Norway on Sunday.

Upon his arrival in Oslo, President Mohamud was welcomed with significant security measures. A long procession of police vehicles and black cars moved through the city center, temporarily halting traffic. “It’s a significant visit,” said Operations Manager Rune Hekkelstrand of the Oslo Police District.

President Mohamud’s itinerary includes bilateral talks with the Norwegian Prime Minister, focusing on economic cooperation, security, and development initiatives. According to a statement from Villa Somalia, these discussions aim to “further enhance the Somalia-Norway strategic bilateral relations in various areas of mutual interest.”

In addition to his meetings, The Somali National News Agency reported that President Mohamud will deliver a keynote address at the Oslo Forum 2024, an annual retreat known for bringing together global leaders and policymakers to discuss peace and conflict resolution. 

However, opposition groups have criticized the President’s travel to Europe amid deadly inter-clan fighting in central Somalia. The fighting has resulted in 50 deaths and over 60 injuries in a village between the Herale and Abudwak districts in the Galgadud region. On the same day, al-Shabab attacked El-dher village in the Galgadud region, where the Somali government reported that five government soldiers and 47 al-Shabab militants were killed.

Somalia joins UN Security Council after more than 50 years

Somalia joins UN Security Council after more than 50 years

Source: VOA, Friday June 7, 2024
By Mohamed Olad Hassan

Somali officials celebrated in the General Assembly after the vote [EPA]

WASHINGTON — The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday elected Somalia to the 15-member U.N. Security Council for a two-year term starting in 2025.

The tiny Horn of Africa nation was among five countries that received the winning votes, alongside Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, and Panama.

“It is both symbolic and strong diplomatic status for Somalia to appear among the Security Council members and this will help Somalia to have a better access for member nations,” said Somalia analyst Abdiqafar Abdi Wardhere, who is based in Virginia.

For the first time in more than 50 years, he said, Somalia will have a vote on decisions regarding world conflicts.

“The Security Council is the only U.N. body that can make legally binding decisions such as imposing sanctions and authorizing use of force. Therefore, Somalia would get a vote that determines the world issues and resolutions,” Wardhere said.

Announcing the elections’ results, the U.N. General Assembly President Dennis Francis, said, “In a secret ballot, the elected countries secured the required two-thirds majority of Member States present and voting in the 193-member General Assembly.”

Following the news, the United Nations in Somalia congratulated the Somali government and its people “on their country’s election today to a seat on the UN Security Council for 2025-2026.”

“Somalia has come a long way over the past three decades on its path to peace, prosperity, and security,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Acting Special Representative for Somalia James Swan. “Election to a seat on the Security Council is recognition of that commendable progress.”

“Somalia’s experiences place it in a unique position to contribute to Council deliberations on international peace and security,” Swan added.

The Security Council’s five permanent veto-wielding members are Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The five countries that got elected Thursday will replace Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland, whose terms end December 31.

Somali and the other elected new members will join existing non-permanent members Algeria, Guyana, the Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone and Slovenia, whose terms started in January.

According to United Nations, the 10 non-permanent seats on the Security Council are distributed according to four regional groupings: Africa and Asia; Eastern Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; and the Western European and other States group.

The newly elected members were endorsed by their respective regional groups and ran largely uncontested.

Margaret Besheer contributed this report from New York.

President William Ruto interview: What’s Kenya’s role on the global stage?

President William Ruto interview: What’s Kenya’s role on the global stage?

Source: Aljazeera, Thursday June 6, 2024

Redi Tlhabi discusses Kenya’s role as a US ally and security partner with President William Ruto.United States President Joe Biden hosted Kenyan President William Ruto on the first official visit by an African head of state since 2008. The two leaders discussed a deepening partnership around US investments in Kenya’s trade, technology, green initiatives and debt relief.

Biden has designated Kenya as a major non-NATO ally, while rivals like China and Russia have grown in influence on the continent.

The trip bolstered Kenya’s reputation as a peacemaker in neighbouring conflicts, like Sudan’s civil war, and on the global stage. In Haiti, Kenya is leading a multinational peacekeeping mission funded by the US, with 1,000 Kenyan police officers deploying imminently to fight gangs in Port-Au-Prince.

Kenya’s closeness to the US amid public outrage over US support for Israel has also raised questions. The East African nation supports a ceasefire and two-state solution, but has fallen short of condemning US policy towards Israel amid its eight-month-long military assault on Gaza.

So how is Kenya handling a close US alliance amid regional and international conflict? And will Ruto’s policies withstand mounting criticism?

On this special episode of South to North, Redi Tlhabi sits down with Kenyan President William Ruto to discuss Kenya’s diplomatic and military peacekeeping efforts as well as its global standing.

‘Serious breaches’ of international law committed in Tigray War, watchdog says

‘Serious breaches’ of international law committed in Tigray War, watchdog says

Source: ABC news, By Emma Ogao
Thursday June 6, 2024

Ethiopian army units patrol the streets of Mekele in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region in March after the city was captured during an operation against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

LONDON — There were “serious breaches” of international law and crimes against humanity were committed during the two-year Tigray War, according to a report released by U.S think tank New Lines Institute.

The report said it found “reasonable basis” that all parties in the conflict committed war crimes and “serious” breaches of international law. Ethiopia’s Defence Force and allied forces also appeared to have committed “crimes against humanity” and “acts of genocide” against Tigrayans as an ethnic group, the report said.

“These acts of genocide include killings, the infliction of serious bodily and mental harm, intentional measures to prevent births, and the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the destruction of Tigrayans,” said Dr. Azeem Ibrahim, senior director of the New Lines Institute.

The report published Monday is intended to relate “multiple and widespread” reports of atrocities committed during the conflict to the U.N.’s Genocide Convention.

“These findings, drawn from a critical mass of evidence, underscore our collective legal responsibility as signatory states to the Geneva Conventions and the Genocide Convention to prevent further atrocities in the region,” said former U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues David Scheffer, who wrote the report’s afterward.

Among the evidence laid out in the report is a speech by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s social affairs advisor, Daniel Kibret, which was found to openly advocate genocide against Tigrayans.

“We can only erase it,” Kibret said in reference to Tigray, in a speech widely criticized as dangerous, including by the U.S. government.

The report also cites testimony from a senior envoy to the European Union, Pekka Haavisto, who revealed to the media that he was told Ethiopia was planning to “wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years” in a closed-door meeting attended by Ahmed, the prime minister.

“Victims will carry with them scarring and abuse from a conflict that, despite an apparent cessation of hostilities in 2022, did not result in a stable peace,” Ibrahim said.

The report also said it found “reasonable basis” that starvation was used as a weapon of warfare by Ethiopia’s government, a claim Addis Ababa has denied.

The two-year Tigray War, which ended in November 2022, has been described as one of the deadliest conflicts of the 21st century; the conflict erupting just a year after Ahmed won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.

Fighting broke out in November 2020 after Ahmed ordered a military offensive in the northern Tigray region after months of tensions, accusing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of attacking a federal army base just outside Tigray.

The conflict — fought between forces allied to the Ethiopian Federal Government against TPLF and allied militias — soon spilt to neighboring regions. Researchers from Ghent University told ABC News the conflict was estimated to have killed up to 378,000 people.

“Tigray was a terrible, terrible time, and we haven’t talked about it recently, and yet there is speculation about famine there again,” said U.N. Relief Chief Martin Griffiths at a press conference on Tuesday. At least 21.4 million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance this year.

ABC News has reached out to Ethiopia’s Federal Government for comment

Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, Panama and Somalia are set to get seats on the UN Security Council

Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, Panama and Somalia are set to get seats on the UN Security Council

Thursday June 6, 2024

UNITED NATIONS — Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, Panama and Somalia were set to get seats on the U.N. Security Council in a secret ballot Thursday in the General Assembly.

The 193-member world body is scheduled to vote to elect five countries to serve two-year terms on the council. The 10 non-permanent seats on the 15-member council are allotted to regional groups who usually select their candidates but sometimes can’t agree on one. There are no such surprises this year.

Last year, Slovenia soundly defeated Russia’s close ally Belarus for the seat representing the East European regional group, a vote that reflected strong global opposition to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

This time, the regional groups put forward Somalia for an African seat, Pakistan for an Asia-Pacific seat, Panama for a Latin America and Caribbean seat, and Denmark and Greece for two mainly Western seats.

The five council members elected Thursday will start their terms on Jan. 1, replacing those whose two-year terms end on Dec. 31 — Mozambique, Japan, Ecuador, Malta and Switzerland.

They will join the five veto-wielding permanent members — the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France — and the five countries elected last year — Algeria, Guyana, South Korea, Sierra Leone and Slovenia.

The Security Council is charged with maintaining international peace and security. But because of Russia’s veto power it has been unable to take action on Ukraine — and because of close U.S. ties to Israel it has not called for a cessation of hostilities in Gaza.

All five countries expected to win seats on Thursday have served previously on the Security Council – Pakistan seven times, Panama five times, Denmark four times, Greece twice and Somalia once.

Virtually every country agrees that almost eight decades after the United Nations was established the Security Council needs to expand and reflect the world in the 21st century, not the post-World War II era reflected now.

But with 193 countries with national interests, the central question — and the biggest disagreement — is exactly how. And for four decades, those disagreements have blocked any significant reform of the U.N.’s most powerful body.

Why is Kenya investigating alleged abuse by UK soldiers?



Why is Kenya investigating alleged abuse by UK soldiers?

Multiple offences, including a murder, have hounded British soldiers in Kenya for years.

Boris Johnson with UK troops in Kenya
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, left, awards a Long Service and Good Conduct medal to an officer at the British Army Training Unit Kenya [BATUK] in Nanyuki, Kenya, on March 17, 2017 [Thomas Mukoya/AP Photo]

By Shola Lawal

Source: Explainer, Published On 1 Jun 20241 Jun 2024

Kenya this week kick-started public hearings into widespread allegations that United Kingdom soldiers stationed in the East African country have committed multiple human rights violations.

For over a decade, locals on different occasions accused British soldiers training in towns in central Kenya of misconduct, environmental degradation, murder, and a host of other serious offences.


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The hearings mark the culmination of long-winded legal proceedings to try British soldiers under Kenyan law following years of lobbying by civil society groups and after initial pushback from the British government.

Here’s what we know about the abuse allegations and what’s expected to happen after the hearings:

What is BATUK and what are members accused of?

The British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) is a permanent training support force based in Nanyuki, central Kenya – and it has existed since Kenyan independence from the UK in 1963.

BATUK has about 100 permanent staff and some 280 rotating short-term regiments from the UK. The unit trains British troops and provides antiterrorism training for Kenyan troops facing the al-Shabab armed group. 

Although the unit has become essential for the economy in Nanyuki and surrounding counties close to training sites, with hundreds of locals employed and with many shops catering to the soldiers, residents have long listed grievances against the troops. Unexploded bombs left from training have claimed people’s limbs in multiple incidents.

Lethal chemicals, such as white phosphorus used in the training exercises, have also raised concerns. The chemical is believed to have contributed to a massive blaze that ripped through the privately owned Lolldaiga Conservancy in March 2021, burning swaths of forest. Locals said the smoke pressed in on them for days and caused eye and inhalation problems. Others said it pushed wildlife onto their farms, leading to crop loss. Some 5,000 people have sued BATUK over that incident.


Who is Agnes Wanjiru?

Sexual abuse claims are also key among the allegations, with several accusations of assault by troops against local women. One soldier in 2021 was dismissed and fined for lifting the skirts of a local woman in public.

In the highest profile case to date, UK soldiers are accused of the March 2012 murder of 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiru in a hotel in Nanyuki. The woman’s body was found in a septic tank two months later close to the room the soldiers used.