Latest News Regarding

Horn of Africa

 

Somalia discusses $ 1 billion debt relief with Arab states

Somalia discusses $ 1 billion debt relief with Arab states


Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday September 1, 202

Mogadishu (HOL) – Somalia’s Minister of Finance, Abdirahman Duale Bayle, held a press conference in Mogadishu on Tuesday, saying that they have discussed debt relief with  Arab countries.

The finance minister said that Somalia owed $1 billion to Arab creditors. He added that Somalia incurred the majority of the debt between the 1960s and 1990s.

The minister said that he participated in a three-hour meeting with Arab governments to chart out a debt forgiveness path.The conference was attended by the World Bank, the African Development Bank.

Minister Bayle said that he is confident that a deal will be reached.

Somaliland-Taiwan Ties Pose New Challenge for China

Somaliland-Taiwan Ties Pose New Challenge for China

Source:  The Foreign Policy Research Institute published on 28 August 2020

 The Foreign Policy Research Institute published on 28 August 2020 an analysis titled “China-Taiwan Competition over Somaliland and Implications for Small Countries” by Thomas J. Shattuck.

Somaliland and Taiwan exchanged “representative offices” earlier this year.  Taiwan has informal arrangements with a number of countries that fall short of diplomatic relations.  Its office in Somaliland is the only case, however, where it uses “Taiwan” in the official name instead of “Taipei.”  While seemingly a minor issue, it is especially annoying to China.

Beijing’s attempt to prevent this development failed.  The author concludes that Somaliland may be a special case because Taiwan can offer mutual respect for Somaliland, which is not recognized by any other country, and Beijing, which has formal diplomatic relations with Somalia, cannot.

Cuba works for return of doctors kidnapped in Kenya

Cuba works for return of doctors kidnapped in Kenya

Source: Prensa Latina, Sunday August 30, 2020

Cuban doctors from left: Assel Herera Correa, a general physician, and Landy Rodriguez, a surgeon. They were kidnapped in Mandera on April 12, 2019

Havana, Aug 29 (Prensa Latina) President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Saturday ratified the Cuban Government’s efforts to bring the doctors kidnapped in Kenya in April 2019 home.

The president shared information on Twitter about a telephone conversation between the foreign ministers of the two countries regarding the situation of Cuban Doctors Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez.

From the outset, Cuba’s top authorities established communication channels with their Kenyan counterparts to address this issue, while keeping the doctors’ relatives informed about the situation.

On July 31, Cuban Health Minister Jose Angel Portal reported a telephone conversation on the issue with his Kenyan counterpart, Mutahi Kagwe.

According to Portal, Kagwe told him that his Government continues making efforts to guarantee the safe return to Cuba of the doctors kidnapped in Kenya and taken to neighboring Somalia by the Al-Shabaab armed group

Somaliland to establish cross-network spectrum among telcos

Somaliland to establish cross-network spectrum among telcos


Source: Hiiraan Online, Sunday August 30, 2020

HARGEISA (HOL) – Mobile phone subscribers in Somaliland will now enjoy cross network connections thanks to a government driven initiative.

Communications Minister Sheikh Abdillahi Jibril told the media Sunday the government was partnering with Taiwanese government to roll out a cross-network spectrum.“The government is in talks with telecommunication firms to enable subscribers to communicate even when they are on different platforms,” Jibril said.

The interconnection will mean that a customer on Somtel can now be able to call another who is using a Telesom SIM card.

At the moment, subscribers are forced to carry multiple SIM cards which they swap from time to time to communicate with subscribers using a different telco.

The minister added that Taiwan which Somaliland recently established diplomatic relations with will help in establishing the interconnection.

Jibril also hinted at plans to acquire a separate country code. Somaliland which is internationally recognised as part of Somalia uses the +252 country code.

600 UPDF personnel receive medals from UN Secretary General

600 UPDF personnel receive medals from UN Secretary General


Source: PML Daily, Monday August 31, 2020
UPDF officers receiving medals from the United Nations Secretary General in Mogadishu (PHOTO/Courtesy).
UPDF officers receiving medals from the United Nations Secretary General in Mogadishu (PHOTO/Courtesy).


MOGADISHU – The Secretary General of the United Nations has awarded medals to over 600 Ugandan Officers and Militants serving under the sixth United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU VI) in Somalia. The medals are a recognition of the one-year selfless service by the Officers and Militants in securing the UN facilities and personnel against Al-Shabaab threats.

The function was presided over on telecast by the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) in Somalia, His Excellency James Swan.

The SRSG applauded the Peacekeepers for exhibiting a high level of professionalism during their just ended tour of duty and appropriately representing their country in the UN mission. He specifically recognized the manner in which UNGU VI dealt with the recurring challenge of Al-Shabaab’s indirect mortar fires directed on the UN facilities in Mogadishu. He also hailed the blue berets for their ability to adjust to other extraordinary challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.“I want to thank UNGU VI who have been collaborative in ensuring that they have kept everyone safe through the pandemic,” he said, and added that, “In addition to your personal contributions, you have been good ambassadors of Uganda and the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces.”

The AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in-charge Operations and Plans, Maj Gen James Nakibus Lakara said the coordination and synergies by the various actors in Somalia have enabled Horn of African country to make positive steps going forward in state building, and creating a secure environment.

The General further thanked and wished the peacekeepers well. “UNGU VI, I wish you well and please convey our regards to your families, because without those families you would not have reached where you reached,” said Gen Lakara.

The Deputy Sector One Commander who is also the Deputy Commander of Uganda’s Contingent in Somalia, Col John Winston Mugarura said the Gurad Unit had fulfilled their mission. “Overall, you have delivered on your tasks ably well and I therefore congratulate you all,” he said.

The Guard Unit was commanded by Lt Col Nathan Bainomugisha who thanked members of his unit for their selfless service. “To all of you our nationals and international partners, I thank you for working selflessly as a team. More heads work better than one,” he observed. The Commanding Officer also applauded the UPDF Leadership in Uganda for the continued guidance and support to Officers abd Militants keeping peace in Somalia.

Present at the function was the UN Principle Security Advisor, Mr. Andrew Rigg, UN Officials and Officers from both the Headquarters of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Sector One.

 

Sudanese leaders and rebel groups agree peace deal

Sudanese leaders and rebel groups agree peace deal


Source Middle East Eye, Monday August 31, 2020

A peace agreement between Sudanese leaders and a coalition of rebel groups was formalised at a ceremony in neighbouring South Sudan on Monday.

Both civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the military’s General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan attended the ceremony in Juba, where negotiations have been held over the past year.

The agreement was initialled by the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), an umbrella organisation of rebel groups from various Sudanese conflict zones, but was not fully signed as two key groups had not added their signatures.

An AFP correspondent said that the SRF had raised their fists in celebration after inking the deal.

The signatories to the deal included a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), the Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM),  and a faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).The document was initialled by Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, known as Hemeti, the leader of the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary, who rose through the ranks as a leader of the Janjaweed militias accused of genocide in Darfur.

However, an SLM faction led by Abdelwahid Nour and a wing of the SPLM-N headed by Abdelaziz al-Hilu refused to take part.

Darfur has been devastated since 2003 by a conflict that has left 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million others displaced, according to the United Nations.

The conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile erupted in 2011, following unresolved issues from bitter fighting there in Sudan’s 1983-2005 civil war.

A new wave of violence has gripped the Darfur region in recent months, claiming 100 lives in July alone, despite a short lull in the unrest after the 2019 Sudanese revolution that ousted longtime president Omar al-Bashir.

The rebel groups are largely drawn from non-Arab minority communities that have long railed against Arab domination of successive governments in Khartoum.

Rebels fought against troops deployed by the now-toppled Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in the conflict.

After Bashir was overthrown, the transitional government led by Hamdok has made peacemaking with the rebels one of its top priorities.

The Role of Russian Private Military Contractors in Africa

The Role of Russian Private Military Contractors in Africa

Source:  The American Foreign Policy Research Institute published on 21 August 2020

 The American Foreign Policy Research Institute published on 21 August 2020 an analysis titled “The Role of Russian Private Military Contractors in Africa” by Anna Borshchevskaya, The Washington Institute.

The author looks at the role of the Wagner Group in Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic, and Madagascar.  She concludes that Russia’s growing presence in Africa, and its use of private military contractors, should be a cause for concern in the United States.

Is Trump Trying to Write Off the Ethiopian-American Vote?

Is Trump Trying to Write Off the Ethiopian-American Vote?

Source:  Foreign Policy published on 27 August 2020

 Foreign Policy published on 27 August 2020 an article titled “U.S. Halts Some Foreign Assistance Funding to Ethiopia Over Dam Dispute with Egypt, Sudan” by Robbie Gramer.

The author reports that the Trump administration is threatening to stop up to $130 million in assistance to Ethiopia because Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has not accepted the U.S. “mediation” proposal for filling the reservoir and releasing water from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).  U.S. programs that are on the chopping block include security assistance, counterterrorism and military education and training, anti-human trafficking programs, and broader development assistance funding.

The one issue Ethiopians and the Ethiopian diaspora are united on today is completion of the GERD.  Playing political hardball with Ethiopia will not only fail to obtain Washington’s desired result but will probably ensure that the Ethiopian diaspora in the United States rallies against Trump.  There are sizeable Ethiopian-American communities in key states such as Georgia, Texas, and Virginia.

USA:s utrikesminister Mike Pompeo har lämnat Israel och rest till Sudan

NYHETER

Source: Aftonbladet, 25 August 2020

USA:s utrikesminister Mike Pompeo har lämnat Israel och rest till Sudan med det första officiella direktflyget mellan Tel Aviv och Khartoum.

Flera faktorer tyder på att relationen mellan länderna håller på att normaliseras.

Israel och Sudan har inga diplomatiska relationer. Tekniskt sett ligger länderna i krig med varandra sedan flera årtionden och flyget mellan de två städerna ska vara det allra första. Videobilder från den amerikanska ambassaden i Jerusalem visar Pompeo på väg in i planet.

 

I förra veckan fick det sudanesiska utrikesdepartementets talesperson Haider Badawi sparken efter att ha sagt att han “inte kan förneka” att landets regering försökt normalisera relationerna med Israel och att det inte finns någon anledning till fortsatta fientligheter mellan länderna.

 

Enligt Sudans utrikesminister Omar Gamaledinne har frågan dock aldrig diskuterats av den sudanesiska regeringen. General Abd al-Fattah al-Burhan, ledare för Sudans styrande övergångsråd, träffade dock Israels premiärminister Benjamin Netanyahu i Uganda i februari.

 

Israel och Förenade arabemiraten kom nyligen överens om att normalisera sina relationer, och Pompeo sade på måndagen att han är optimistisk till att fler länder också kan vilja göra samma sak. Enligt amerikanska källor kan just Sudan samt Bahrain och Oman nu stå på tur.

 

Middle East Competition in Horn of Africa

Middle East Competition in Horn of Africa

Source: The Middle East Institute published in August 2020

 The Middle East Institute published in August 2020 a paper titled “The Impact of Middle East Regional Competition on Security and Stability in the Horn of Africa” by Gerald M. Feierstein.

The Horn of Africa has become a battleground for influence among competing regional players, principally Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, Qatar, Iran, and Egypt.  As they pursue their interests in the region, from Ethiopia and Sudan to Somalia and Djibouti, these competing states are the main drivers of tension and instability in the Horn of Africa.

Confusion over suspected Somali pirate attack

Confusion over suspected Somali pirate attack

Safety Sea
Source: Safety Sea, Tuesday August 25, 2020

A chemical tanker is under way again after a stop for repairs and a police boarding was mistakenly reported as the first Somali piracy attack in more than three years.

Aegean II was en route to Mogadishu, Somalia, when an unexpected change in the vessel’s course alerted the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia – Operation Atalanta.

EU NAVFOR was formed in 2008 to combat the growing threat of piracy to international shipping in the region. Since then, there has been a steady drop in the number of incidents. In November 2017, there were no major vessels or hostages remaining in pirate captivity.

The grouping’s watchkeepers contacted Aegean II and it confirmed that it was waiting to carry out repairs due to hull damage caused by rough seas.

On 20 August, the risk analysis agency, Dryad Global, reported a possible hijacking in the same area. EU NAVFOR connected this information to Aegean II, and the Spanish Navy frigate, Santa Maria, was dispatched to investigate and execute incident response procedures, along with aircraft support.

In the meantime, the port authority in nearby Bosaso Puntland, Somalia, confirmed to the EU NAVFOR commander, rear admiral Ignacio Villanueva, that Aegean II had not been hijacked and that police from nearby Guardafui, Somalia, had been sent on board to inspect the vessel as it was drifting off Bereeda, Somalia, waiting for technical assistance.

While Santa Maria was on the scene, the Aegean II‘s master “revealed that there had been certain incidents on board the vessel”, said EU NAVFOR in a statement.

Like most merchant ships transiting in the area, Aegean II had its own security team and its weapons “led to a dispute” with the local police when they came aboard, reported Dryad Global.

“At this point, the event cannot be classified as a maritime security event, but a more detailed investigation is in progress,”EU NAVFOR concluded in its statement.

Somali pirates release last 3 hostages as armed men attack Panama-flagged ship

UPDATE 3-Somali pirates release last 3 hostages as armed men attack Panama-flagged ship


Source: Routers, Friday August 21, 2020
By Abdiqani Hassan and Katharine Houreld


Somali pirates are said to have hijacked a ship for the first time since 2017, reportedly taking control of the Panama-flagged tanker Aegean II. (© Bettina Rohbrecht / MarineTraffic.com)

BOSASO, Somalia/NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Somali pirates have released three Iranian hostages held for five years, a maritime security official said on Thursday, as conflicting reports emerged whether another ship had been seized after a three-year hiatus in hijackings.

The three Iranians are the last of the crew of the Iranian fishing vessel FV Siraj, which was captured by pirates on March 22, 2015.

“This marks the end of an era of Somali piracy and the pain and suffering of Somalia’s forgotten hostages,” said John Steed, the coordinator of the Hostage Support Programme, a volunteer organisation based in Nairobi begun to help rescue crews abandoned by their employers.

The release was meant to mark the end of an era for Somalia’s pirates, who held over 2,300 crew between 2010 and 2019.

But instead, six armed men hijacked the Panama-flagged Aegean II late Wednesday after it had engine problems, a regional governor in Somalia told Reuters.

Musse Salah, the governor of Gardafu in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland, said the ship was travelling from the United Arab Emirates to Mogadishu port when pirates attacked it, in what would be the first successful hijacking since 2017.There were 20 crew onboard, said a resident in contact with the men who had seized the ship.

A regional security official said the men appeared to have links to a local militia that functioned as a police unit in the Bari region. The official asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

POLICE, PIRATES, OR BOTH?

Jay Bahadur, a Somali piracy expert who was previously head of a United Nations group of experts enforcing an arms embargo on Somalia, said that being a pirate and a member of the Somali police had not historically been mutually exclusive.

He said it appeared that a group of men wearing police uniforms had boarded the ship, robbed the crew and taken the weapons of a private security team on board.

The man reported to be the ringleader of the attack on the Aegean II had repeated phone contact with another pirate who was part of a group that carried out Somalia’s last hijacking in 2017, he added. The contact happened in the months prior to the 2017 hijacking.

“If it was indeed the police, it bears resemblance to one of the earliest Somali piracy incidents, when members of the Puntland coast guard hijacked the boat they were supposed to be guarding,” he said.

Satellite tracking data showed the ship appeared to have rounded the Horn of Africa and was going south past the Somali port of Hafun before suddenly turning sharply to the north and docking in Bereeda. Pictures sent to Reuters from Bereeda showed the Aegean II, a small tanker that carries chemical or crude products.

The European Union Naval Force, known as EU Navfor, was checking on the incident, said a source in their Somalia Joint Operation Centre.

At the height of their power in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks off the coast of the country, the International Maritime Bureau says, and held hundreds hostage.

The number of attacks later tumbled as shipping firms implemented better security protocols, including posting look-outs, sailing further away from Somalia, and hiring private security. International warships operating as part of a coalition also prevented several attacks.

Somalia has been riven by civil war since 1991 and is controlled by a patchwork of local militias, pockets of federal forces, African Union peacekeepers and Islamist insurgents. The Horn of Africa nation has also been intermittently plagued by pirates. (Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Barbara Lewis, Hugh Lawson and Lisa Shumaker)

Somali leaders agree on election model

Somali leaders agree on election model


Source: AA, Friday August 21, 2020

Agreement reached after talks in central town of Dhusamareb

f Dhusamareb

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed along with three state leaders and the mayor of Mogadishu have reached an agreement on the country’s election model after days of talks in the central town of Dhusamareb.

The election will be based on constituency caucuses, according to a communique issued after the summit in Dhusamareb, the administrative capital of Galmadug state.

Each caucus will consist of 301 delegates who will vote for a seat in parliament and the election will be presided over by a national independent electoral commission and a party system will be applied.Puntland autonomous region and Jubaland state leaders did not attend the latest talks on the election as the country remains mired in political turmoil since Somalia’s parliament ousted former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre in July.

“Tonight in Dhusamareb, I have reached an agreement on elections with federal member states and the Banadir region which I hope will lead the country to a fair and timely election. I invite brothers who were absent during the process to join us,” Mohamed said in a short statement on Twitter.

“#Somalia’s election train has already left the station. H.E @M_Farmaajo is leading the line in #Dhusamareb towards the realization of inclusive, participatory and multi-stakeholder elections. Leaders with the nation’s shared interest at heart are already at the table,” Presidential Communications Director Abdinour Mohamed Ahmed said earlier on Twitter.

An opposition alliance known as the Forum for National Parties headed by former Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has accused the current president of failing to lead the country to a one man one vote election.

 

Uproar after Somali lawmaker presents bill to legalise child marriage

Uproar after Somali lawmaker presents bill to legalise child marriage


Source: Reuters, Thursday August 20, 2020

Hafsa Ali Osman


Hafsa Ali Osman was married off at 13 by her father to a man who paid $100. She and her mother say she was beaten and raped for two years before they convinced him to divorce her.

“The man just slept with me, beating me always,” she said, sitting by her mother, who clutches her daughter tightly. “I regretted I was born.”

There is no law mandating a minimum age for marriage in Somalia. A bill introduced in parliament this month by a presidential ally caused a storm of criticism from lawmakers when they realised it would legalise marriage at puberty – as early as 10 for some girls.

nesinsideData from a government survey this year shows that nearly a third of girls are married before their 18th birthday – just under half of those before the age of 15.

“Some families marry off their daughters to reduce their economic burden or earn income. Others may do so because they believe it will secure their daughters’ futures or protect them,” said Dheepa Pandian, a spokeswoman from UNICEF, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund.

Political turmoil in Somalia – the prime minister was sacked last month and elections due this year will likely be delayed – means it is unclear when parliament might vote on the bill. The Horn of Africa nation is also battling an Islamist insurgency.

Many lawmakers, like legislator and human rights activist Sahra Omar Malin, reject the bill.

“Our constitution is based on Islam. It says the age of maturity is 18, this is the right age for voting or for a girl to marry,” she said.

Deputy speaker Abdiweli Mudeey, who presented the bill, did not return calls seeking comment but told lawmakers that it had been reviewed by clerics and “this bill … is the correct one based on Islam.”

Nadifa Hussein, who runs three camps in the capital for families fleeing violence, shelters many abused and abandoned child brides.

Nurta Mohamed, 13, a Somali girl sits inside her mother’s makeshift shelter after she ran away from a suspected forced marriage at the Alafuuto camp for internally displaced persons in Garasbaaley district of Mogadishu, Somalia August 14, 2020. Picture taken August 14, 2020. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

“Most women here were married at 13 and are divorced by the time they are 20,” Hussein said. “They have no one to feed them.”

Among them is Sirad, a shy 16-year-old with two children. Her husband has left, but if he comes back she must welcome him, she said sadly.

“Who else wants me?” she asked, covering her face. “If you are thrown into a well and can’t come out, the only option is to try to swim.”

Somalia, UN call for protection of aid workers

Somalia, UN call for protection of aid workers


Source: Hiiraan Online, Wednesday August 19, 2020

MOGADISHU (HOL) – The UN and the government of Somalia have called for heightened efforts to protect humanitarian workers in the country noting incidents against aid workers had remarkably increased compared to last year.

In a joint statement to mark the World Humanitarian Day, the government and UN humanitarian agency OCHA warned the situation  for aid workers in the country had worsened with incidents already going beyond those recorded in the whole of 2019.

“This year, World Humanitarian Day has come at a critical time when the triple threat of COVID-19, floods and desert locusts has aggravated Somalia’s complex, protracted humanitarian crisis,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula.

The statement noted incidents against humanitarian workers had risen to 141 by the end of July compared to 151 the whole of 2019.  Humanitarian Affairs Minister Hamza Said Hamza condoled with aid workers noting 11 of them had been killed this year alone.“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Somali aid workers, for their continued and unwavering service to humanity in one of the world’s most dangerous operating environments,” Hamza said.

The operating environment in Somalia is particularly challenging for humanitarian workers due to widespread insecurity and poor infrastructure, which hampers the delivery of assistance to people in need.

Taiwan opens ‘diplomatic’ office in Somaliland

Taiwan opens ‘diplomatic’ office in Somaliland


Source: Hiiraan online, Monday August 17, 2020

HARGEISA (HOL) – Taiwan has opened its diplomatic office in the breakaway region of Somaliland as the two sides seek to bolster relations and international recognition.

The office which they called ‘representative’ was opened in Somaliland capital Hargeisa Sunday close to two months after both Hargeisa and Taipei announced start of diplomatic engagements.

The opening ceremony was attended by senior officials in Somaliland while Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Wu joined via teleconference.Both Somaliland and Taiwan announced July 1 they had entered into diplomatic relations drawing sharp criticism from Mogadishu and Beijing. The US has since sent signals endorsing the engagements.

In a tweet following the announcement, the US  National Security Council welcomed the move noting Taiwan was a strategic partner.

Blast heard at a hotel in Somalia capital Mogadishu: witness

Blast heard at a hotel in Somalia capital Mogadishu: witness

Source: Reuters, 16 August 2020

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – A blast was heard on Sunday at the Elite Hotel in Lido beach in the Somalia capital Mogadishu, followed by gunfire, a witness told Reuters.

“I heard a huge blast at the hotel, gunfire followed, and then clouds of smoke,” Ahmed Ali said.

Police spokesman Sadik Ali confirmed there had been an explosion, adding: “We shall update you later.”

Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by Omar Mohammed; Editing by David Goodman

Ethiopia’s Federal-Tigray Feud

Ethiopia’s Federal-Tigray Feud

 Source: The International Crisis Group posted on 14 August 2020

 The International Crisis Group posted on 14 August 2020 a brief titled “Toward an End to Ethiopia’s Federal-Tigray Feud.”

The International Crisis Group urges Tigrayan officials to postpone their Tigray State Council election and embrace dialogue with the federal government to address the underlying issues in their dispute.

President Farmaajo to attend election talks in Dhusamareb today-Villa Somalia

President Farmaajo to attend election talks in Dhusamareb today-Villa Somalia


Source: Hiiraan Online, Saturday August 15, 2020

MOGADISHU (HOL) – President Mohamed Farmaajo will be heading to the central Somalia regional state, Galmudug today to attend the third round of electoral talks set to kick off in the central Somalia town today.

Villa Somalia communications director Abdinur Mohamed has confirmed that the president and delegation will leaving the capital for Dhusamareeb town.

“In line with the state-building endeavours and in the spirit of enhancing the FGS-FMS cooperation on the way forward, H.E President Farmaajo will be travelling to Dhuusamareeb tomorrow to participate in the 2nd round of FGS-FMS Consultative Forum,” Mohamed said in a tweet.

The President is expected to join Federal Member State leaders, representatives from political parties and civil society groups among other stakeholders.

The meeting is expected to deliberate on a compromise electoral model following the announcement in June by the electoral commission, NIEC it would not deliver a universal poll this year.The international community Friday urged the leaders to attend the talks warning failure to do so would compromise the result of talks.

“Failure by any leader to participate in the next summit would erode the still fragile trust, undermine the consensus-building process and impair the ability of the meeting to arrive at implementable decisions,” a joint statement issued Friday evening read in part.

Constitutional Affairs Minister Salah Jamah said Thursday Puntland and Jubbaland had failed to send representatives to the Technical Committee formed during the second round of talks in July.

New ocean will form in Africa as continent splits in two: scientists

New ocean will form in Africa as continent splits in two: scientists


Source: New Yorkpost, Friday August 14, 2020
By Hannah Sparks


Aerial view of Hamedilla, Ethiopia, along the East African Rift.

Humanity may soon boast two motherlands.

Geologists studying plate tectonics of Africa have revealed that the continent that’s home to 54 countries is splitting up.

The fault line, called the East African Rift, stretches from the Afar region of northern Ethiopia down to Mozambique, severing eastern coastal countries including Kenya and Tanzania from the larger part of the contingent.

The two pieces of land are pulling apart at a rate of seven millimeters per year, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. As it happens, countries such as Uganda and Zambia will get their own coastline.Along the rift, scientists say that a range of currently active volcanoes, such as the Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania and the Alu-DallaFilla in Ethiopia, are shedding new light on the process. One Ethiopian volcano in particular, the Erta Ale, has existed in a perpetual state of eruption for more than 50 years.

Nestled between each side of the rift, the Victoria microplate, the largest of its kind on Earth, has been rotating counter-clockwise for the last two years. With respect to all of the other plates on the continent, including the main African plate, the Victoria microplate is turning in the opposite direction. This anomaly, according to scientists, may accelerate the rift’s separation.

Researchers mark a Y-shaped intersection where the African, Somali and Arabian tectonic plates meet, between Djibouti and Eritrea, as the site where the ocean will begin to form.

Scientists say they are unsure about the fate of the two land masses and whether or not a new ocean will form, but note that it will take tens of millions of years to find out.