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Horn of Africa


Farmaajo accuses PM Roble of failing to deliver elections mandate, hints at his removal from elections management

Farmaajo accuses PM Roble of failing to deliver elections mandate, hints at his removal from elections managementfacebook sharing button linkedin sharing button

Source: Hiiraan Online, Sunday December 26, 2021

MOGADISHU (HOL) – President Mohamed Farmaajo had accused his Prime Minister Mohamed Roble for failing to deliver his election mandate and called for a national conference in an indication he might be clawing back authority to oversee the long-delayed process from the PM.advertisements

In a statement Saturday night, Villa Somalia said the President was concerned that the PM had failed to complete the elections and was now making his own decisions which are ‘detrimental’ to the electoral process.

The PM, the statement read in part, ‘had deviated from the rules of the electoral process, he tore apart the mandate of the electoral commissions and violated their independence.’ Villa Somalia also accused the PM of being ‘slow’ in implementing the electoral mandate which was handed to him by the President on May1 this year.

In light of these, Villa Somalia said, the PM was convening a national conference bringing together Federal Member State leaders and ‘to agree on a leadership capable of implementing comprehensive and transparent elections in the country.’ It did not however set a date for the meeting.

The remarks come barely a week after PM Roble made changes at the Elections Dispute Resolution Committee (EDRC) removing the chairman and six other members. Villa Somalia was incensed by the move and has since wedged a move to remove the PM from managing the elections.

The Federal Indirect Elections Team (FIET) has also been rocked by leadership wrangles. The electoral body members announced in a meeting on Saturday that they had relieved the chairman Mohamed Irro of his role accusing him of partisanship and unilateral decisions.

The announcement by Villa Somalia comes in the eve of a National Consultative Council meeting convened by the PM for tomorrow.

UN Human Rights Council Establishes International Commission of Experts on Ethiopia

UN Human Rights Council Establishes International Commission of Experts on Ethiopia

 Source: UN News published on 17 December 2021 an article titled “Ethiopia Crisis: Human Rights Council Sets Up International Rights Probe.”

Deutsche Welle published on 17 December 2021 an article titled “UN Human Rights Council to Investigate War Crimes in Ethiopia.”

The European Union sponsored the resolution with the support of the US.  The government of Ethiopia opposed the resolution.  The final vote was 21 in favor, 15 opposed, and 11 abstentions.  China and Russia opposed the resolution together with 7 Africans (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Namibia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Gabon).  Six African countries abstained (Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Senegal, Sudan, and Togo).  The Commission will comprise three human rights experts appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council to investigate alleged violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law committed by all parties to the conflict in Tigray.

Labels: Amhara RegionatrocitiesChinaEthiopiaEUhuman rightsnational dialogueRussiaTigray RegionTPLFUN Human Rights CouncilUSwar crimes

US Issues Statement Supporting Civilian Rule in Sudan

US Issues Statement Supporting Civilian Rule in Sudan

Source:  US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued on 17 December 2021 a statement “Commemorating the Sudanese People’s Peaceful Revolution.”

The statement is a clear signal to the military in Sudan that if it expects any support from the United States it must end the state of emergency and move forward with strengthening the civilian authority in the government.

Tigray Defense Forces Pull Back to Tigray Region

Tigray Defense Forces Pull Back to Tigray Region

 Source: Reuters published on 20 December 2021 an article titled “Tigray Forces Withdraw from Neighboring Ethiopian Regions – Spokesman.”

Source: The TPLF announced on 20 December that the Tigray Defense Forces have pulled back to within the border of Tigray Region.  In a 19 December letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael called for a no-fly zone over Tigray Region and suggested the withdrawal of Tigray forces will be a decisive opening for peace.   

Labels: Afar RegionAmhara RegionAntonio Guterrescease firecivil warDebretsion GebremichaelENDFEritrean Defense ForcesEthiopiahumanitarian crisisTigray Defense ForcesTigray RegionTPLF

Humanitarian aid plan seeks $1.5 bln to help people in Somalia

Humanitarian aid plan seeks $1.5 bln to help people in Somalialinkedin sharing button

Source: Xinuanet, Tuesday December 21, 2021

The United Nations and other humanitarian partners have launched the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2022, seeking about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to help 5.5 million of the most vulnerable people in Somalia.

advertisementsThe UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said on Monday that, it is releasing 17 million dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund to meet the immediate needs of drought-affected communities.

“To save lives in Somalia and avert another humanitarian catastrophe, we must release funding now so that people can protect themselves from further hunger and impoverishment,” the UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

Somalia is facing three consecutive failed rainy seasons for the first time in 30 years. “I count on other donors to follow this lead and urge them to generously support the Somalia Humanitarian Fund,” Griffiths said.

According to the UN, people in Somalia have endured decades of conflict, recurrent climate shocks, and disease outbreaks, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. And a prolonged desert locust infestation has also impacted harvests and livelihoods in Somalia.

The UN estimates that about 7.7 million people in Somalia will require humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022.

The UN said the HRP will prioritize life-saving assistance for the most vulnerable people, including one million children under five, by decreasing the prevalence of hunger, acute malnutrition, public health threats and outbreaks, abuse, violence, and exposure to explosive ordinances by the end of the year.

Additionally, the UN said, partners will attempt to sustain the lives of 5.5 million people requiring humanitarian assistance by ensuring safe, equitable and dignified access to livelihoods and essential services. Finally, the humanitarian response in Somalia aims to uphold commitments to the centrality of protection.

Khadija Diriye, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster of Somalia, said the current drought has devastated livelihoods and pushed families to the brink of disaster.

“There is a high risk that without immediate humanitarian assistance, children, women and men will start dying of starvation in Somalia,” Diriye said.

Turkish Red Crescent distributes food aid in drought-stricken Somalia

Turkish Red Crescent distributes food aid in drought-stricken Somaliafacebook sharing button messenger sharing button

Source: AA, Tuesday December 21, 2021

The Turkish Red Crescent on Monday delivered at least 4,253 food packages donated by the Turkish government to drought-stricken families in southern Somalia.

The food was distributed by the Turkish Red Crescent and sent by Turkey’s Interior Ministry and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

The aid was “distributed to families in need in the drought-stricken Jubaland region Monday through a commission established by the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu,” Orhan Kokcu, head of the Turkish Red Crescent Somalia Delegation, currently paying a humanitarian visit to the port city of Kismayo, Jubaland’s administrative capital, told Anadolu Agency over the phone.

advertisementsHe added that the food aid parcels include such key staples as sugar, flour, pasta, rice, and oil.

The distribution comes as a delegation led by Ismail Emre Kosif, Turkrey’s charge d’affaires in Somalia, and including senior officials from the Turkish Interior Ministry, as well as Turkish Red Crescent officials arrived in Kismayo and met with Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe, the president of Jubaland state.

The meeting discussed the humanitarian situation in Jubaland and the Turkish government’s role in delivering aid to the needy in the Horn of Africa country.

Madoobe thanked the government of Turkey for responding to the call to the international community over the ongoing deadly drought in Jubaland.

Facing one of its worst droughts in decades, Somalia has already declared that the country is in a state of humanitarian emergency.

Somali Islamist Insurgents Make Gains as Government and Allies Fall Ou

Somali Islamist Insurgents Make Gains as Government and Allies Fall Outlinkedin sharing button

Source: Thursday December 16, 2021

Somali Islamists have captured a town in the semi-autonomous central state of Galmudug, residents said, part of a string of incursions underscoring the group’s gains amid divisions between the central government and its erstwhile allies in the region.
advertisementsThe gains – in towns free of the al Shabaab insurgency for more than a decade – are evidence that the group with links to al Qaeda is capitalizing on deepening political divisions in Somalia ahead of long-delayed presidential elections scheduled for next year.

The group on Tuesday captured the town of Eldheere, 30 km (18 miles) south of Galmudug’s capital Dhusamareb. Al Shabaab fighters bombed the police station before taking over the town, residents and an official from Galmudug state’s military told Reuters.

“Last night the (Galmudug state) forces left and al Shabaab captured the town,” elder Nur Hussein said by phone from Eldheere town on Wednesday.
The Islamists also kidnapped a trader and were threatening a key regional road.

On Monday, al Shabaab fighters briefly took over the town of Mataban before it was reoccupied by troops from Galmudug state, resident Ahmed Abdullahi told Reuters by phone.

“I saw masked al Shabaab fighters raising flags and addressing the people in the centre of town,” he said.

Al Shabaab has been fighting in Somalia for years, seeking to topple the central government and rule based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Major Farah Ahmed, a police officer in Galmudug, confirmed al Shabaab had taken Eldheere but said the state had dispatched troops to dislodge them.

The incursions follow infighting between the Somali government and its erstwhile allies, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a (ASWJ), a Galmudug militia that was instrumental in the fight against al Shabaab. ASWJ says the government has accepted too many hardline clerics into its fold.

In October, the two sides fought a deadly battle that claimed more than 120 lives. Analysts fear the clash is derailing the fight against al Shabaab.

“This is a big threat to Galmudug’s cities like Dhusamareb,” said Abdisalam Yusuf Guled, former deputy at Somalia’s national intelligence service agency, NISA.

Galmudug state did not have enough forces to fight al Shabaab, he added.

Climate Change a Growing Threat in the Horn of Africa

Climate Change a Growing Threat in the Horn of Africa

 Source: Foreign Policy published on 8 December 2021 a commentary titled “Climate Threats Are Multiplying in the Horn of Africa” by Robert Muggah.

Climate change, especially warming temperatures and more erratic rainfall, is exacerbating security conflicts in the Horn of Africa.  There is some indication that permanent members of the UN Security Council are willing to acknowledge this challenge.

Labels: climate changeconflictDjiboutiEritreaEthiopiaHorn of AfricaSomaliaSouth SudanSudanUNSC

Tigrayan Asylum Seekers and Refugees Face Challenges in Kenya

Tigrayan Asylum Seekers and Refugees Face Challenges in Kenya

 Source: The Washington Post published on 8 December 2021 an article titled “They Fled Hundreds of Miles to Escape War in Ethiopia.  But They Fear It Wasn’t Far Enough” by Rachel Chason and Rael Ombuor.

The article relates the challenges that Tigrayan asylum seekers and refugees face in neighboring Kenya as they try to escape the civil war in Ethiopia.  

Labels: Abiy Ahmedasylumcivil warconflictEthiopiaKenyarefugeesTigrayansTPLFUNHCRUS

Time to End Ethiopia’s Unwinnable Civil War

Time to End Ethiopia’s Unwinnable Civil War

 Source: The International Crisis Group published on 10 December 2021 a statement titled “Time to End Ethiopia’s Unwinnable Civil War.”

The statement concluded that Ethiopian federal government forces have recorded gains in recent weeks, but the civil war will grind on without a winner.  The federal government must let more aid into blockaded Tigray Region and the TPLF should recognize the federal government’s legitimacy pending ceasefire talks.  

Labels: Abiy AhmedAfar RegionAmhara Regioncease fireChinacivil wardronesENDFEritrean Defense ForcesEthiopiaOLAOromiaTigray RegionTPLFTurkeyUAE

Putting Sudan Back on Track

Putting Sudan Back on Track

 Source: The US Institute of Peace published on 9 December 2021 a commentary titled “Putting Sudan’s Political Transition Back on Track” by Susan Stigant.

This commentary lays out steps for the United States to take in Sudan, emphasizing they need to be aligned with the ideals of democratic renewal.

Labels: Abdalla HamdokAbdel Fattah al-BurhanAUdemocracyEgyptprotestsSaudi ArabiaSovereignty CouncilSudanUAE,

Human Rights Watch Account of Tigrayan Civilian Executions in Amhara Region

Human Rights Watch Account of Tigrayan Civilian Executions in Amhara Region

 Source: Human Rights Watch published on 9 December 2021 a report titled “Ethiopia: Tigray Forces Summarily Execute Civilians.”  

Atrocities have bedeviled Ethiopia’s ugly civil war from the beginning, initially focused primarily against Tigrayans in Tigray Region.  As the Tigrayan Defense Forces expanded the conflict into Amhara Region, the atrocities followed.  This report investigates summary execution of Amhara civilians in Chenna and Kobo during September.  Human Rights Watch underscores the need for an independent international inquiry into alleged war crimes in Ethiopia’s Tigray and Amhara regions.  

Labels: Amhara militiaAmhara RegionatrocitiesENDFEritrean Defense ForcesHuman Rights WatchTigray RegionTigrayan Defense ForcesTPLFwar crimes

Are Drones Decisive Factor in Ethiopia’s Civil War?

Are Drones Decisive Factor in Ethiopia’s Civil War?

 Source: Aljazeera published on 10 December 2021 an article titled “How Armed Drones May Have Helped Turn the Tide in Ethiopia’s War” by Alex Gatopoulos.

Armed drones from China, Iran, and Turkey reportedly have been deployed in Ethiopia by the central government and may be having an important effect on the outcome of the fighting.  

Labels: Abiy AhmedChinacivil wardronesENDFEthiopiaIranTigray RegionTigrayan Defense ForcesTurkey

UN Official Says Drought in Somalia Worsening

UN Official Says Drought in Somalia Worseningmessenger sharing button

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Source: VOA, Wednesday December 15, 2021

Drought conditions in Somalia are worsening despite rains in parts of the country, a top United Nations humanitarian official said.

Ian Ridley, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Somalia, says the recent rains are not enough, and the drought situation is deteriorating in the country.

“There is not nearly enough rain, so we are calling it very low rainfall for the season,” Ridley told VOA Somali in an interview that aired Tuesday.

“Importantly, this comes on top of failed or low rains in the last two rainy seasons,” he said. “We are now in the third rainy season where the amount of rainfall is below average, and that is why the drought situation is worsening through the country.”

advertisementsRidley has been visiting some of the worst affected areas in the country in recent weeks. Speaking from Mogadishu, he said shallow wells are starting to dry up, increasing demand on deep wells.
“The overall availability of water is very, very low, and what we are seeing as a result is pastoralists are moving with their animals in search of water,” he said.

He said people are being displaced, with some traveling 30 or 40 kilometers from rural areas in search of water in urban centers.

He said another impact of the drought is outbreaks of certain diseases. The incidence of acute water diarrhea and cholera is increasing; the incidence of measles is increasing as people come together in IDP [Internally Displaced Persons] camps, he said.

OCHA has just conducted a rapid assessment of the situation. Ridley says preliminary data shows that almost 3 million Somalis are feeling the impact of drought, and more than 100,000 people moved in search of water.

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble declared a state of humanitarian emergency in the country last month because of the drought.

Way Forward for Peace in Ethiopia

Way Forward for Peace in Ethiopia

Source:  Chatham House in London published on 29 November 2021 a commentary titled “Can Ethiopia Avert Deep Turmoil and Prioritize Peace?” by Ahmed Soliman.  

The author calls for the engagement of regional leaders such as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to help establish a cease fire in Ethiopia that would be monitored by a UN-mandated commission.  Eventually there must be an Ethiopian national political dialogue to accommodate different ideas.  

Labels: Abiy AhmedAfar RegionAmhara RegionAUcivil warENDFEthiopiaEUhuman rightshumanitarian crisisOLAOlusegun Obasanjostate of emergencyTigray Defense ForcesTigray RegionTPLFUhuru KenyattaUS

Sudan’s Post-Coup Agreement

Sudan’s Post-Coup Agreement

 Source: The Africa Center for Strategic Studies published on 24 November 2021 an analysis titled “What the Post-Coup Agreement Means for Sudan’s Democratic Transition” by Joseph Siegle.

The Burhan-Hamdok post-military coup agreement has largely not been viewed as credible by Sudan’s key domestic stakeholders.  Instead, it is seen as a means of affirming and legitimizing the role of the military in government and Burhan’s position as head of state.  

Labels: Abdalla HamdokAbdel Fattah al-Burhancoup d’etatdemocracyForces for Freedom and ChangegovernanceprotestersSovereign CouncilSudan

Who Can Mediate Ethiopian Crisis?

Who Can Mediate Ethiopian Crisis?

Source:  Daily Sabah, a Turkish pro-government daily, published on 30 November 2021 a commentary titled “The Conflict in Ethiopia and Prospects for Mediation” by Ismail Numan Telci, Sakarya University in Serdivan, Turkey.  

The author proposes a number of mediators for the Ethiopia crisis, including Qatar, which he argues can play an important role in mediating Ethiopia’s rival parties.

Labels: Abiy AhmedAmharacivil warEthiopiaHorn of AfricamigrationOromoProsperity PartyQatarrefugeesTigrayan Defense ForcesTPLFTurkey

Ethiopian Central Government Retakes Lalibela

Ethiopian Central Government Retakes Lalibela

 Source: The BBC posted an article on 1 December 2021 titled “Ethiopia’s Tigray Conflict: Lalibela Retaken – Government.”

The BBC reports that Ethiopian National Defense Forces have retaken Lalibela from the Tigrayan Defense Forces.  The article also reports the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Labels: Abiy AhmedChinacivil warDebretsion GebremichaeldronesEthiopiaLalibelaTPLFWang Yi

Somali commandos arrive home after training in Turkey

Somali commandos arrive home after training in Turkeylinkedin sharing button

Source: Yenisafak
Sunday December 5, 2021

Over 100 Somali Gorgor (Eagle) commandos trained by the Turkish Armed Forces arrived home on Saturday.

The Somali National Army’s (SNA) infantry forces commander Mohamed Tahlil Bihi and senior government officials received the elite force personnel at the Adan Adde International Airport in the capital Mogadishu.


Military officials told Anadolu Agency that the troops received modern commando training in Isparta, Turkey, and will be deployed on the frontline to fight against the al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group al-Shabaab.

Turkey has been training Somali soldiers for the last four years as part of a 2010 military training cooperation agreement.

Since a groundbreaking visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2011, Turkey and Somalia have enjoyed deep-rooted relations spanning several fields.