Latest News Regarding
Horn of Africa
Ethiopia Plans to Sign Nuclear Deal with Russia
Source: Prensa Latina, Friday March 29, 2019
Addis Ababa, Mar 27 (Prensa Latina) Ethiopian government is working in preparing the protocol terms required to sign an agreement with Russia in April, to allow exploiting nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, local media states.
Mehreteab Mulugeta, Director General for European Affairs at the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, said this statement after he met in Moscow with Andrei Kemarsky, director of the Department of Africa at the Russian Foreign Ministry.
According to Addis TV information, the diplomat said he expects to sign treaties in sectors such as trade, industry, tourism and customs cooperation.Mulugeta urged Russian entrepreneurs to invest more actively in Ethiopia, after considering that the current state of collaboration does not adequately reflect the strength of a bilateral relationship of more than 100 years of antiquity, the Fana Broadcasting Corporate states.
We want that many Russian companies are part of the reform process in our economy, they get more involved and participate in the development of agricultural processing, infrastructure construction and other areas, he said.
Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia for One Year, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2461 (2019)
Source: UN, Thursday March 28, 2019
The Security Council decided today to extend until 31 March 2020 the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), as previously set out in resolution 2158 (2014), and requested the Mission to maintain and strengthen its presence throughout the country, as the security situation allows.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2461 (2019), the Council urged the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States to accelerate an inclusive political settlement and requested UNSOM to continue supporting that effort in close cooperation with partners.
Through the text, it urged the Federal Government and the Parliament to finalize and adopt an election law by mid-2019 and ensure that upcoming elections in Federal Member States are conducted in line with Somalia’s international obligations and commitments.
The resolution underlined the importance of UNSOM’s political, technical, operational and logistical support, in collaboration with the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), to the Government for the delivery of inclusive, peaceful, free and fair one-person-one-vote elections. It also urged the Government and the Federal Member States to increase the representation and participation of women and youth at all decision-making levels.On security matters, the Council urged the Federal Government and the Federal Member States to accelerate implementation of key security reforms, with support from UNSOM, UNSOS and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). It also urged the Federal Government to resume implementation of a transition plan — with clear target dates — for transferring security from AMISOM to Somali security institutions and forces.
The Council strongly condemned recent attacks in the region by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab and encouraged the United Nations to continue working with the Federal Government and AMISOM to strengthen security at the Organization’s compound in Mogadishu, where an attack on 1 January injured three United Nations personnel and contractors.
Expressing concern about all violations of humanitarian law and human rights, including by Al-Shabaab and affiliates linked to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), the Council called on all parties to comply with their obligations under international law and take all precautions to protect civilians and minimize civilian deaths and casualties.
In addition, the Council requested the United Nations, the Federal Government and the Federal Member States to consider the adverse implications of climate change and natural disasters, among other factors, on their programmes in Somalia. It also requested the Secretary-General to provide information in that regard in his future reports.
Speaking after adoption, the representative of United States, said preambular paragraphs 15 and operative paragraph 21 should have focused on risk management regarding drought, desertification and food security, rather than any causes such as climate change.
Welcoming the unanimous adoption of the text, Somalia’s representative said it provides essential assistance to the Federal Government in such areas as governance, economic development and security. He expressed great appreciation for the Secretary-General’s personal commitment and assured him of Somalia’s full cooperation with the United Nations system. Emphasizing that the work of the United Nations is based on respect and cooperation between the Organization and host countries, he said he is confident that the Council, the international community and all other partners agree that Somalia’s problems require Somalian solutions and that increased local ownership of the issues facing the country is crucial. More than ever, the people of Somalia want their country to take its rightful place among nations, he said, adding that his Government firmly believes that its legitimacy and the impact of its decisions depend on the wishes and interests of its people.
The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:14 p.m.
Source: AFP, Thursday March 28, 2019
Nairobi (AFP) – A quarter of a million Somali refugees face violence back home if Kenya continues with plans to shut the vast Dadaab camp, rights groups warned Thursday.
Kenya has submitted plans to shut the camp complex located in the east of the country near Somali border by August, according to internal UN documents.
“Many Somali refugees are themselves victims of violence, from which they fled to seek protection,” said Otsieno Namwaya from Human Rights Watch, adding that the plan “threatens the rights and safety” of the people.
“Forcing them to go back to face violence or persecution would be inhumane and a violation of Kenya’s legal obligations,” Namwaya added.
Amnesty International said Kenya should look for solutions, including integration into Kenyan society and resettlement to third countries.
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said in a document seen by AFP it was committed to working with the government on voluntary repatriation to countries of origin, relocating refugees to other parts of Kenya and resettlement to third countries.
A Kenyan foreign ministry official confirmed to AFP on condition of anonymity that government had sent a note to the UNHCR advising them of the closure of the camp, but would not discuss the matter further.
“Kenya courts a humanitarian disaster and international criticism if it intends to forcibly return hundreds of thousands of refugees to Somalia without proper consultation, planning and regard for their safety,” Kenya’s Amnesty chief Irungu Houghton said.
Dadaab is home to some 230,000 people. The vast majority of them are Somalis who fled civil war in 1991. Many have lived there ever since.
For many years Dadaab was the world’s largest refugee camp — with once as many as 580,000 residents — although it is now far smaller and dwarfed in size by Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, home to some 600,000 people fleeing Myanmar.
Kenya, which sent troops into Somalia in 2011 following a spate of kidnappings by Somali-led Al-Shabaab insurgents, claims the camp is a security risk. Kenya’s military remains in Somalia, prompting revenge attacks by the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab in Kenya.
Kenya has moved to shut the camp before.
In May 2016, Kenya decided to close the camp, and tens of thousands of refugees returned to Somalia under a repatriation package.
However, many encountered drought, hunger and dire conditions in a country destroyed by decades of conflict, where five million lack enough food, and where war continues.
A year later, Kenya’s High Court ruled the plan to close the camp was unconstitutional.
Source: Reuters, Thursday March 28, 2019
A car bomb exploded near a hotel and restaurant in the Somali capital on Thursday, killing at least eight people, police said.
The afternoon explosion on a busy road in Mogadishu sent a huge could of smoke into the sky and destroyed two restaurants and cars parked in the area. A Reuters witness at the scene counted six dead bodies.
“So far we know at least eight people died and a dozen others were injured,” police Major Mohamed Husssein told Reuters.
“The blast destroyed a restaurant and killed many who were inside and outside the restaurant. The death toll may rise,” he added.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants have in the past targeted the same location, the Wehliye Hotel, which is along the busy Maka al Mukaram road.
On Saturday, 15 people were killed in two explosions and a gunfight between al Shabaab militants and security personnel in central Mogadishu.
Somaliland Complains about Chinese Companies Fishing Offshores
Somaliland declared unilateral independence from Somalia in 1991 and, therefore, denies the right of Somalia to make decisions concerning territory that it claims. Somalia’s recent decision to grant licenses to Chinese companies to fish in territorial waters claimed by Somaliland is a case in point. Somaliland Foreign Minister Yasin Hagi Mohamoud argues that China is not the only country with predatory fishing fleets, but its boats are the ones that have been invited into Somaliland’s waters. Absent an agreement with Somaliland’s Ministry of Fisheries in adherence with Somaliland law, he argues that Chinese fishermen would be imprudent to venture into Somaliland’s territorial waters.
Postponing Somaliland’s Elections
Elections for Somaliland’s Lower House of Parliament and the local councils scheduled for this month have been postponed to December for technical and political reasons.
The author suggests that Ethiopia could become the anchor of a more peaceful, less bitterly divided Horn of Africa–or descend back into dictatorship, mass migration, or even civil war. Ethiopia is a reminder that U.S. foreign policy should value not only avoiding the wrong partners, but also supporting the right ones.
Source: XINHUANEWS, Wednesday March 27, 2019
MOGADISHU (Xinhua) — The international partners on Tuesday welcomed reforms in Somalia’s security sector to help flush out the al-Shabab militant group.
The partners from the United Nations, African Union, European Union, Britain, and the United States welcomed the initiative by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire to brief them on reforms in the security sector and the government’s plans to continue to improve security.
“We believe the full implementation of these reforms will contribute to stability and prosperity for the Somali people and the wider region,” the partners said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.They called on the stakeholders to support and coordinate collective efforts to help the government and people of Somalia achieve security, economic and political reforms through an inclusive dialogue process.
“We are encouraged by the determination of the Federal Government of Somalia to implement necessary security, economic and political reforms, and we underline our support for this work,” they said.
The partners said they looked forward to the important decisions in the context of continued support to African Union Mission in Somalia as it transfers security responsibilities to Somali-owned security.
The AU mission is supporting the transition through the priority tasks including securing main supply routes, securing key population centers, mentor and assist Somali security forces, both military and police, in close collaboration with UN Assistance Mission in Somalia.
“Mosques should be safe havens, not sites for terror”, says Guterres announcing UN plan to help safeguard religious sites
‘Mosques should be safe havens, not sites of terror’, says Guterres announcing UN plan to help safeguard religious sites
Source: UN, 22 March 2019
In the wake of a horrific mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has announced his intention to launch a UN action plan for the safeguarding of religious sites, declaring that “mosques and all places of prayer and contemplation should be safe havens, not sites of terror.”
Mr. Guterres was addressing representatives of the press at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, to show his solidarity with the worldwide Muslim community, a week after the murder of some 50 Muslim worshippers by a gunman in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15.
The UN chief spoke, with a “heavy and full heart,” of the grief and sympathy felt for the families of the victims, and the moving displays of “leadership, love and community from the people of New Zealand.”
Around the world, we have seen ever-rising anti-Muslim hatred, anti-Semitism, hate speech and bigotry. The cancer is spreading. It is our duty to find the cure. UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Although the attack was “utterly appalling,” he said that it was not utterly surprising, because “around the world, we have seen ever-rising anti-Muslim hatred, anti-Semitism, hate speech and bigotry.”
Reminding the press that he has repeatedly warned about these dangers, Mr. Guterres said that hate speech is “spreading like wildfire,” whether via social media or public discourse, with many political movements admitting neo-Nazi affiliation. He described the phenomenon as “a cancer,” and declared that “it is our duty to find the cure.”
Citing a US academic study, the UN chief highlighted the important role of the media in the representation of Muslims and Islam, noting that, over the last decade, attacks in the United States received 357 per cent more coverage than attacks carried out by others.
Mr. Guterres called for a reaffirmation of the sanctity of all places of worship and “the safety of all worshippers who visit revered sites in a spirit of compassion and tolerance. People everywhere must be allowed to observe and practice their faith in peace.”
The Secretary-General announced that he has asked the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Moratinos, to develop an Action Plan for the UN to be fully engaged in support of safeguarding religious sites. The Alliance, he said, will reach out to governments, faith-based organizations and religious leaders to explore ways to prevent attacks and guarantee the sanctity of religious sites.
“You are not alone,” Mr. Guterres promised the Muslim community, and all others feeling targeted. “The world is with you. The United Nations is with you. I am with you.”
The Branding of Al-Shabab
Branding is how an organization sustains relations with its audiences over the long term. Among other themes, al-Shabaab is determined to build an image as a credible alternative to the Somali government. The analysis explains some of the ways that al-Shabaab is having success with its branding effort.
Nile Waters Dispute: Fill Rate Behind the Dam
The study focuses on the different positions of Ethiopia and Egypt on the fill rate behind the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam under construction on the Blue Nile so that the downstream flow of Nile water does not adversely affect Egypt.
Military Bases in Somaliland and Djibouti Complecating Regional Politics
The United Arab Emirates has signed an agreement to build a military base in Berbera, Somaliland. There are multiple military bases in Djibouti. All of this military engagement is complicating relationships in the region.
Source: EU, Friday March 22, 2019
Garowe – The European Union jointly with the Government of the Puntland State of Somalia launched the third phase of the Puntland Education Sector Support Programme worth 7.3 million Euro. The initiative called ‘Waxbarashadu Waa Iftiin’ (‘Education is Light’) is implemented by CARE and Save the Children and in close coordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Puntland. It will enrol over 56,000 students over a 3-year period. It reflects full alignment with the education priorities set out in the Puntland Education Sector Strategic Plan (2017-2021) and Sustainable Development Goal 4. The President Said Abdullahi Deni of Puntland launched the programme at Peace and Research Development Centre in Garowe.
The new programme will consolidate and expand the achievements made under two previous phases of EU support that have reached over 58,000 students; constructed 17 new schools, 228 new classrooms; and 66 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities. This new phase will add 16 schools, 84 classrooms, 23 Water Sanitation and Hygiene facilities and 4 secondary school laboratories. 200 new teachers will be trained while 300 youth will be equipped with marketable vocational skills. The programme also incorporates support measures for children with special needs, children from pastoralist communities and girls.“Education is essential in alleviating poverty, building peaceful societies and promoting social inclusion. In the face of security related challenges that Somalia faces today, educated youth are less likely to become radicalized, attracted to militias and join other destabilising activities. The programme we are launching today will go a long way in improving and expanding education and vocational training opportunities that will benefit Somali children and youth,” said the EU Chargé d’Affaires, Fulgencio Garrido Ruiz.
The Minister of Education and Higher Education for the Puntland State of Somalia, Hon. Abdullahi Mohamed Hassan appreciated longstanding partnership between the EU and the Somali people, and in particular the sustained support to the education sector. He added, “the new programme will support implementation of our education sector strategic plan by prioritizing activities that foster access to quality education, completion and transition.”
CARE Somalia’s Country Director, Abdullahi Iman stressed, “The EU investment will enable the Ministry of Education, school communities and implementing partners to provide the required curriculum support resources, train teachers, improve the conditions in the schools and subsequently mobilize, enroll and retain the students in target schools. This is the essence of quality education.”
Source: Reuters, Saturday March 23, 2019
Destruction caused after a previous blast was claimed by al-Shabaab in Mogadishu, Somalia. (File photo: AP)
Al Shabaab stormed a Somali government building in Mogadishu on Saturday, with at least four people killed in the suicide car bomb attack by the country’s Islamist group and an ensuing gunfight
A large explosion shook the center of the Somali capital in the latest bombing by Al Shabaab, which is fighting to establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of sharia law, as the group blasted its way into the building.
“Al Shabaab stormed the building where two ministries including the ministry of labor work. So far we know 4 people are dead but (the) death toll is sure to rise,” Major Abdullahi Nur, a police officer told Reuters.
Eleven people were injured, Dr. Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of Amin Ambulance Service told Reuters, adding some were still trapped inside the building and that it was not possible to rescue them because of an ongoing gun battle.
Al Shabaab said one of its fighters had rammed the ministry building with a suicide car bomb, allowing others to enter it.
Nur said people were being rescued with a ladder from the upper floors and that an exchange of gunfire was still going on.
“We are inside the building and (the) fighting goes on. We shall give details later,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman told Reuters.
Al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s western backed central government, was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds.
But it remains a threat, with its fighters frequently carrying out bombings in Somalia and neighboring Kenya, whose troops form part of the African Union mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM that helps defend Somalia’s central government.
Madaxweyne Farmaajo: “abaalkey Jabuuti noo gashay waan gudi doonnaa.
Madaxweynaha Jamhuuriyadda Jabuuti Mudane Ismaaciil Cumar Geelle ayaa soo gabagabeeyay booqashadii labada maalmood ahayd ee uu ku yimid magaalada Muqdisho kaddib martiqaad uu ka helay Madaxweyne Maxamed Cabdullaahi Farmaajo.
Madaxweyne Farmaajo iyo Madaxweyne Geelle ayaa ka hor intii aanu ka duulin Garoonka Diyaaradaha ee Aadan Cabdulle, waxa ay xarigga ka jareen dhismaha cusub ee safaaradda Dowladda Jabuuti ku yeelanayso Soomaaliya.
Madaxweyne Farmaajo oo munaasabadda ka hadlay ayaa sheegay “in soo dhawaynta Madaxweyne Ismaaciil Cumar Geelle loogu sameeyay Muqdisho ay ka tarjumayso wanaagga iyo jacaylka ay Soomaalidu u hayso reer Jabuuti, isaga oo adkeeyay muhiimadda xiriirka walaaltinimo iyo wadashaqaynta labada dal”.
“Sida diirran ee dadka Soomaaliyeed ee Muqdisho ku nool kuu soo dhaweeyeen Madaxweyne adiga iyo wafdigaaga waxay muujinaysaa abaalka iyo wanaagga badan ee Soomaalidu u hayso reer Jabuuti. Horay abaal waan idiin galnay waadna guddeen, annagana waad noo gasheen waana gudi doonnaa.” ayuu yiri Madaxweyne Farmaajo.
Madaxweyne Geelle ayaa isna dhankiisa xusay sida uu ugu faraxsan yahay booqashadiisa Muqdisho isaga oo sheegay “inuu miradhalay dadaalkii ka bilawday Carta ee loo galay sidii Soomaaliya ula soo noqon lahayd dowladnimadeeda iyo sharaftii ay caalamka ku lahayd.
“Waxaa qalbigaygu uu la damqanayaa waxa inaga dhexeeya. Dadaalkii labaatan sano ka hor ka soo billawday shirkii Carte ee ahaa inaan ku adkeyno cisigeenna iyo sharafteenna inagoo isku duuban, dunidaan tartan kula geleynaa taas.” ayuu yiri Madaxweyne Ismaaciil.
Madaxweyne Ismaaciil Cumar Geelle ayaa sidoo kale sheegay “inay waajib tahay in la ilaaliyo xornimada ummadeed isaga oo dadka Soomaaliyeed ku bogaadiyay dadaallada ay dhexdooda mar kasta ku xallistaan arrimaha ay isku khilaafsan yihiin, wuxuuna hoosta ka xarriiqay in Dowladda Jabuuti ay ka go’an tahay in Soomaalidu wixii is-faham waa ah ay dhexdeeda kudhammaysato”.
Xarig ka jarka dhismaha cusub ee safaaradda kaddib, waxa uu Madaxweynaha Jabuuti u gudbay Hoolka Shirarka ee Janaraal Kaahiye oo uu khudbad dardaaran ah ugu jeediyay Xildhibaannada labada Aqal ee Baarlamaanka Federaalka Soomaaliya.
Sudan, limate Change and Conflict
The author draws parallels between conflict in Iraq and Sudan, noting the negative impact of climate change and drought.
Salvaging South Sudan’s Fragile Peace
The peace deal under discussion neither resolves the power struggle between President Salva Kiir and erstwhile rebel leader Riek Machar nor outlines a final political settlement for South Sudan. Rather, it establishes a wobbly Kiir-Machar truce and grafts it onto the previous failed peace terms. ICG argues that to stave off renewed civil war, external actors should urge the belligerents to strike new bargains on security and internal boundaries and accept a third-party protection force for the capital of Juba.
Creating a Red Sea Forum
It explains why there has not yet been a forum created for states on both sides of the Red Sea to discuss areas of conflict and cooperation. It concludes with four suggestions for creating a viable Red Sea Forum.
South Sudan: The Perils of Payroll Peace
Payroll peace is the practice of putting large numbers of soldiers and civil servants on the state payroll as an incentive for them, and the belligerent parties, to accept a peace agreement. This has become standard practice in South Sudan. The paper argues that at best it is corruption, at worst it is violently explosive.
16-year-old climate change activist nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Source: AP, Friday March 15, 2019
COPENHAGEN — Three Norwegian lawmakers have nominated Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, who has become a prominent voice in campaigns against climate change, for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Freddy Andre Oevstegaard and two other members of the Socialist Left Party said they believe “the massive movement Greta has set in motion is a very important peace contribution.”
Thunberg, 16, has encouraged students to skip school to join protests demanding faster action on climate change, a movement that has spread beyond Sweden to other European nations.Oevstegaard told the VG newspaper Wednesday that “climate threats are perhaps one of the most important contributions to war and conflict.”
Any national lawmaker can nominate somebody for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee doesn’t publicly comment on nominations, which for 2019 had to be submitted by Feb. 1.