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Horn of Africa

 

Somaliland women need loans to support their small businesses

Somaliland women need loans to support their small businesseslinkedin sharing button

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Source: radio ergo, Sunday June 20, 2021

Basra Hussein Hersi, a mother of six, had to close her small shop last year in Gacan Libaax village, in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa, when she ran into losses.

“The little money I made from the shop daily was used to pay the family bills. I didn’t save any money for the continuity of the shop,” she said.

Nobody she knew could lend her any money. The banks in Somaliland offered minimum loans of $1,000 with repayment rates of at least $200 a month, which was an impossible target for her.

“I would have taken a loan from the bank if the repayment plan were $50 a month because I can afford that. My shop is not in the market, I sell here in the village, so $200 is a lot,” she said.

Basra and her family have been relying on her husband’s small income as a security guard and some support from Basra’s mother, who rented out two rooms to help her daughter and grandchildren after the shop closed last October.

They had to move to her brother’s house in December after she and her husband failed to pay their rent.

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A study published in June by charity Oxfam found that prohibitive bank loan requirements are a major factor in the collapse of small businesses in Somaliland. Most businesses are run by women,  who provide for their families from their income. But as well as the high rates, the local banks prefer to lend money to men rather than women.

The researchers interviewed 144 women in Hargeisa, Burao and Borama, whose small businesses closed last year due to financial problems. All but five of them said that they had wanted a loan but the bank charges were unaffordable.

Nimo Ali Ahmed, a mother of 11, provided for her family selling goat meat. She used to slaughter two goats a day to sell in her neighbourhood but was forced to shut down after the price of goats rose to two million Somaliland shillings ($230).

Nimo learnt about bank loans in May after a friend of hers took a loan. She is now contemplating applying for a loan herself to restart her business.

“I have never taken a bank loan, but I am thinking of trying it now. The process is long, and I am not too sure if I will be lucky enough to get it,” she said.

Oxfam’s head of communications and media, Abdiaziz Ali Adani, told Radio Ergo that the lack of investment opportunities for small businesses has exacerbated poverty as women are mostly the sole breadwinners of their families in Somalia.

“Most women prefer the rotating group savings scheme over bank loans. They are easier to access as you can join the group and contribute money. Some groups collect as little as $10,” he said.

Abdiaziz urged the banks to lower their interest rates on loans and to ease the application requirements so that more women can turn to bank loans when their businesses are failing and need investment.

Why Ethiopia’s 2021 Elections Matter

Why Ethiopia’s 2021 Elections Matter

 Source: The US Institute of Peace published on 17 June 2021 an analysis titled “Why Ethiopia’s 2021 Elections Matter” by Aly Verjee and Terence Lyons.

There are serious questions whether the 21 June elections in Ethiopia will advance democratization or lead to further political polarization.  At least 76 of the 547 constituencies will not be voting.

Labels: Abiy AhmedelectionsEthiopiaEzemaHararNAMAparliamentProsperity PartySomali RegionTigray Region

Ethiopia’s Upcoming Election

Ethiopia’s Upcoming Election

 Source: The International Crisis Group (ICG) published on 17 June 2021 a Q and A titled “Ethiopia Votes, But Balloting Will Not Ease the Country’s Deep Crisis” with William Davison, ICG senior analyst for Ethiopia.  

This is a wide ranging discussion of Ethiopia’s parliamentary elections scheduled for most parts of the country on 21 June.  

Labels: Abiy AhmedelectionsEthiopiaEzemanational dialogueNational Movement of AmharaOLFOromiaOromo Federalist CongressProsperity PartyTigray RegionTPLF

Podcast on Ethiopia’s 21 June Election

Podcast on Ethiopia’s 21 June Election

 Source, The International Crisis Group (ICG) posted on 16 June 2021 a 34-minute podcast titled “Ethiopia’s Rocky Transitional Election” with William Davison, ICG’s senior analyst for Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is holding parliamentary elections on 21 June.  Violent flare-ups in parts of the country, a poll boycott by some opposition political parties, and postponed votes in several locations cast a shadow over the election.  

Labels: Abiy AhmedAmhara RegionBenishangul-GumuzelectionsEPRDFethnic nationalismGERDnational dialogueOromiaparliamentpolitical partiesProsperity PartySomali RegionTigray RegionUS

Ethiopia Rejects Arab League Call for UN Security Council Meeting on Dam

Ethiopia Rejects Arab League Call for UN Security Council Meeting on Dam

 Source: Reuters published on 15 June 2021 an article titled “Arab States Call on U.N. Security Council to Meet over Ethiopian Dam.”

An Arab League meeting in Qatar on 15 June passed a resolution calling on Ethiopia to negotiate “in good faith” with Egypt and Sudan and asked the UN Security Council to take up the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Aljazeera published on 16 June 2021 an article titled “Ethiopia Rejects Arab League Resolution on Renaissance Dam.”

Ethiopia responded that the GERD is an African issue that can only be resolved in the spirit of finding African solutions to African problems.  

Labels: Arab LeagueAUBlue NileEgyptGERDSudanUNS

UN chief Guterres sworn in for second term, vows to learn from pandemic

UN chief Guterres sworn in for second term, vows to learn from pandemiclinkedin sharing button

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Source: AFP, Friday June 18, 2021


UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks at a news briefing after presenting his disarmament agenda at a conference at the University of Geneva on May 24, 2018 in Geneva. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was sworn in Friday for a second term as head of the world body, promising to draw on the lessons of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our greatest challenge — and which is at the same time our greatest opportunity — is to use this crisis to turn the tide, pivot towards a world that learns lessons,” the former Portuguese prime minister said as the General Assembly re-appointed him for the 2022-2016 term.advertisements

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This, Guterres added, would include promoting a “just, green and sustainable recovery” which shows the way forward “through increased and effective international cooperation to address global issues.”

In office since 2017, Guterres promised to act independently of member states and organizations during the swearing-in ceremony attended by Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the first head of state to set foot in the United Nations building for more than a year because of the pandemic.

Guterres added that it would be essential to “make prevention and preparedness — in the broad sense of the words — a top priority in the international system.”

Speaking at a press conference after the ceremony, Guterres reiterated that “from the many lessons that we learned, the most important lesson is that alone we can do nothing. The most important lesson is that we need to rebuild solidarity and trust.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Guterres saying his country looked forward to “continuing our strong and constructive relationship” with the secretary-general.

Global issues “require a collaborative, effective, and results-oriented leader in the United Nations secretariat, and we have that in Antonio Guterres,” Blinken added.

The 193-member General Assembly had approved a resolution extending Guterres’ five-year term, rather than taking a vote.

The UN Security Council, at a crucial stage in the nomination process, gave its blessing on June 8 to the reappointment of the 72-year-old, who had previously served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees between 2005 and 2015.

Environmentalists: Demand for Somali Charcoal Fueling Desertification, Drought

Environmentalists: Demand for Somali Charcoal Fueling Desertification, Droughtlinkedin sharing button

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Source: VOA, By Mohamed Kahiye
Friday June 18, 2021
Somali porters offload charcoal from a truck at a charcoal market in Mogadishu, Oct. 30, 2012.
Somali porters offload charcoal from a truck at a charcoal market in Mogadishu, Oct. 30, 2012.


MOGADISHU – Environmentalists are warning that the demand for charcoal in Somalia is fueling desertification and drought. 

The U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification, known as UNCCD, says an estimated 8.2 million trees were cut down for charcoal in Somalia between 2011 and 2017, increasing land degradation, food insecurity, and vulnerability to flooding and drought.

Dr. Abdullahi Emi Mohamed, an expert on the environment, water and climate change, said several parts of the country are experiencing climate-related shocks because of the unprecedented deforestation rate in the past three decades.advertisements

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“In many parts of the Hiran and Middle Shabelle region, that is the places we have seen major flooding because of the low capacity of the river channel to carry a large amount of water, and that has clear co-relations with the number of trees,” he said. “Because when the tree is cut, it will be easy for the soil to erode, which ends up into the river. So all these connections can be explained — that the people have cut down the large number of trees that could have sustained the life of the rural people and their animals.”

U.N. Security Council Resolution 2036, adopted in 2012, banned the export of charcoal from Somalia.

Although significant amounts of the charcoal still find their way to the gulf states, the relative peace and stability experienced in Somalia and lifestyle changes are forcing some families — mainly diaspora returnees — to abandon the use of charcoal and firewood.

“Previously, people used to use a lot of charcoal in the city, but as time has passed, people have resorted to using gas because the security has improved,” said gas user Ikram Farah. “And then there is the availability of cooking gas everywhere in towns, so it is much easier to use the gas than the charcoal, because the gas is faster and there is no smoke. And it is safe for the environment, and no more trees are cut.”

UNCCD said countries across the globe are expected to recover 1 billion hectares of land by 2030. The U.N. program’s executive secretary, Ibrahim Thiaw, said his organization helps promote sustainable land management to protect the climate from overuse of land that results in drought.

A spokesperson for Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimu reiterated that cutting down trees for commercial purposes in the country is illegal and urged citizens to preserve the remaining forest cover.

Somali premier appoints committee to probe missing recruits

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Source: AA, Sunday June 13, 2021

Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble appointed a high-level government commission of inquiry on Saturday to investigate complaints by Somali parents who have not heard from their sons who went to Eritrea.

Ads By GoogleDefense chief Hassan Hussein Haji, Interior Minister Mukhtar Hussein Afrah and Army Chief of Staff Odawa Yusuf Rageh are among those selected to be on the commission.

Somali parents have been protesting in Mogadishu for the past two days, demanding information and to know the whereabouts of their sons.

A UN human rights report, citing credible information, reported that Somali cadets in Eritrea crossed the Eritrean border alongside Eritrean troops to fight in the Tigray region.

Somalia denied reports of Somali troops fighting in the war-torn region.

Anadolu Agency spoke to several parents who are suffering from a lack of information about their sons but some confirmed that they spoke to their children through government communication channels and also via direct telephone calls.

Opposition Wins Somaliland Parliamentary Elections

Opposition Wins Somaliland Parliamentary Elections

 Source: Reuters published on 6 June 2021 an article titled “Somaliland Opposition Win Majority in First Parliamentary Vote since 2005.”

Somaliland opposition political parties–WADDANI and Justice and Welfare–respectively won 31 and 21 parliamentary seats in the 82-member chamber.  The ruling Unity and Development Party won 30 seats.  The two opposition parties said they would join forces.  They also won a majority of the seats in municipal races.  The next presidential vote is scheduled for 2022. 

Labels: electionsMusa Bihi Abdiparliamentpolitical partiesSomaliland

Somaliland at a Crossroads

Somaliland at a Crossroads

 Source: World Politics Review published on 8 June 2021 an analysis titled “Somaliland’s Moment of Reckoning” by Matthew Gordon, University of London.  

The author argues that after 30 years of self-declared independence from Somalia but no international recognition, Somaliland is too well-established to ignore and its people are as devoted to self-determination as ever.  The international community can choose to embrace this reality or maintain its hands-off approach.  

Labels: AUdemocracydiplomatic recognitiongovernanceindependenceSomaliaSomalilandUAE

Somali parents take to streets over ‘missing’ army recruits

Somali parents take to streets over ‘missing’ army recruitslinkedin sharing button

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Source: AA, Thursday June 10, 2021
By Mohammed Dhaysane

Government denies Somali forces fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region



Somali parents Thursday staged a protest in the capital Mogadishu, demanding the government disclose the whereabouts of their sons who were taken to Eritrea for military training.

This fresh protest by the parents comes days after a UN human rights report, citing “credible sources”, said that Somali trainees have crossed to the Eritrean border along with the Eritrean forces to fight in Ethiopia’s conflict-hit Tigray region.Ads By GoogleBashir Sheikh Ali, the father of a recruit, told Anadolu Agency in Mogadishu they want the government to explain the recruiting process and the whereabout of their sons.

“Our son was very young and he was told that he was going to Qatar for training. He was told he will be paid well and become an army officer. But he was transferred to Eritrea. Since his departure, we never communicated with him,” Ali said.

“If the government does not have anything to hide, it should tell us if he is alive or dead,” he demanded.

Halima Abdi, one of the protesting parents, told Anadolu Agency that they will continue the protest to pressure the government.

“We are not against our government. We are patriotic citizens, but the way our leaders are behaving right now is unacceptable. We need full information about our sons,” Abdi said.

Some families confirmed they spoke to their sons through the government communication channels.

Somali government reiterates denial

The Somali government Thursday again strongly denied that its forces fought in Tigray region, but confirmed the presence of Somalian forces in Eritrea.

Somali Information Minister Osman Dubbe told a news conference in Mogadishu after the protests: “No Somali soldier is fighting in Tigray, no Somali soldier has been captured in Tigray, and no Somali soldier was in Axum.”

He said Eritrea is training the forces just like other friendly countries who are taking part in rebuilding and strengthening the Somali national army.

The minister accused the political opposition groups of politicizing the country’s defense and security matters.

“In many countries, politicians avoid discussing defense and security matters because it is deemed a supreme national secret. Unfortunately, our politicians have made the politicization of our forces a hobby which is dangerous,” he said.

Somalia’s Puntland moves to ban female genital mutilation

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Source: Reuters, Friday June 11, 2021

GAROWE, Somalia (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region has taken a first step towards banning female genital mutilation (FGM) in a country where almost all women and girls are forced to undergo the internationally condemned practice.

Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni and his cabinet this week approved a bill to be submitted to parliament that would criminalise the ancient ritual, a measure anti-FGM campaigners said would boost their efforts to end the practice.“It will be forbidden to circumcise girls. Girls in Puntland must be left the way they are born. Anyone who performs circumcision in the region will face the full force of the law,” Puntland Justice Minister Awil Sheikh Hamud told reporters.

Justice Ministry officials said the bill includes stiff penalties for those who perform FGM, including hospitals, midwives and traditional circumcisers. No date has yet been set for it to be presented before parliament for a vote.

FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia, is almost universal in Somalia – with 98% of women and girls having been cut, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

There is currently no national law outlawing FGM in the Horn of Africa country.

Both Puntland and the breakaway state of Somaliland have issues fatwas – religious edicts – against the practice in the past, but there is no parliamentary legislation is in place.

FGM affects 200 million girls and women globally and can lead to a host of serious medical problems, according to the World Health Organization.

It can cause long-lasting mental and physical health problems including chronic infections, menstrual problems, infertility, pregnancy and childbirth complications. In some cases, girls can bleed to death or die from infections.

In many communities, girls are married soon after cutting, stifling their progress in education, health and employment.

School closures caused by the pandemic could lead to an extra two million girls being cut in the next decade, the UNFPA has estimated, hampering global efforts to stamp out the practice by 2030.

In Somalia, where the vaginal opening is also often sewn up – a practice called infibulation – charities have reported a surge in cases as circumcisers offer door-to-door services for girls stuck at home due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Campaigners said legislation banning FGM would boost their fight to end the practice.

Hailing it as a “great milestone”, the UNFPA’s head in Somalia, Anders Thomsen, said the bill would “have a ripple effect in the campaign to end FGM in Puntland” if approved.

“This means girls will be safe from the brutal cut,” he added in a statement.

Somali anti-FGM campaigner Maymun Mahad said she still remembered undergoing the “very painful” practice.

“As a young woman, I welcome the move by the cabinet,” she said.

Reporting by Mohammed Omer; Writing by Nita Bhalla @nitabhalla; Editing by Helen Popper.

Somali PM appoints team of seven to support his office in preparations for elections

Somali PM appoints team of seven to support his office in preparations for electionslinkedin sharing button

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Source: Hiiraan Online, Wednesday June 9, 2021

MOGADISHU (HOL) – A team of seven individuals will help Prime Minister Mohamed Roble in leading the preparations and conduct of elections set to happen in less than two months from now.
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The office of the Prime Minister announced Wednesday the appointment of the Elections Support Team which will be tasked with overseeing various aspects of the election such as elections, gender, outreach and legal issues among others.

The team will be headed by Abdulkadir Elmi Ali who will act as the chief coordinator of the support team.

Omar Mohamed Abdulle who chaired the 2016 Federal Indirect Elections Team (FIET) has been appointed as senior elections and legal advisor to the team.

Fadumo Ali will be in charge of finance and operations while Mohamed Mohamed Roble  handles capacity building and training. Liban Rabila Good has been assigned the security aspect.

Others are Laila Abdirahman Mohamed (gender and inclusivity) and Abdullahi Hashi Hassan (civil society and engagement assignment).

The appointment of the team adds to a series of events in the lead up to the August 2021 elections.

The OPM last week removed 33 individuals from a list of 67 flagged by the opposition for removal from the federal and state level elections committees for unsuitability.

Somaliland Police increase their public order expertise with EU and UN support

Somaliland Police increase their public order expertise with EU and UN supportlinkedin sharing button

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Source Hiiraan Online, Source: Wednesday June 9, 2021

In May officers from the Somaliland Police completed two EU and UN supported courses, on maintaining public order and safety during the election campaign as well as other public events.
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The courses were a five-day training of trainers, and a convoy and close protection security training to safeguard visiting officials.

The courses were led by the Somaliland Police and the Somaliland Ministry of Interior, with support from the European Union Capacity Building Mission (EUCAP), UNSOM, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with funding from the European Union and Sweden through the UN Joint Rule of Law Programme.

Training of police trainers in public safety

Fifty Somaliland police officers, including ten women, took part in the training of trainers course, which was held in the Police Academy in Hargeisa in early May.

The officers were selected from each region in Somaliland, and the training aimed to equip them with the skills to train and pass on the knowledge to police colleagues in their districts and regions, on how to maintain public safety on polling day and other wider events.

The Somaliland Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Mahamed Adan Saqadhi (Dabagale), said the course was key for police officers to understand their roles and responsibilities in this area.

“You have chosen to be trainers, and you have the responsibility to pass the knowledge you receive to the other six thousand to seven thousand officers in Somaliland,” he said.

EUCAP police advisors in Hargeisa worked alongside UN experts on the development of the curriculum, which included information on Somaliland’s Police Act and Electoral Law, how police function in a democracy, conflict resolution, human rights, and on how to work with the media. The course also included practical exercises, and as part of  EU support to election security, EUCAP advisors delivered a module on the role of civilian security forces during electoral processes.

Ole Toger Rasmussen, EUCAP police advisor, said EUCAP’s support aimed to demonstrate the wide spectrum of roles and responsibilities of police and other security forces during key events.

“EUCAP was honoured to support this course, and to pass on knowledge on how security forces operate and coordinate with each other, and other stakeholders, to guarantee public order, as well as human rights during the process,” he said.

Protection of visiting officials as part of peace and security

To support Somaliland police in ensuring the safety of visiting officials, EUCAP and UNSOM also delivered a two-day course on close protection security.  The course included convoy training and practical security procedures for police officers, such as motorcade composition, coordination, response actions, and command and control functions.

Josef Wiklund, UN police advisor in Hargeisa, said the training of trainers and close protection training was important to enhance the Somaliland Police’s professional skills. “Police play a crucial role in protecting democracy and upholding civil society. These trainings have increased the ability of Somaliland police officers to train others in this area. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them, in the context of the UN Joint Rule of Law Project,” Mr Wiklund said.

European missions laud Somaliland elections, call for more women representation

European missions laud Somaliland elections, call for more women representationlinkedin sharing button

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Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday June 8, 2021



The European Union and other non EU countries with presence in Somalia have applauded the just concluded elections in Somaliland terming them a strong commitment democracy.

The 27 member bloc, UK, Norway and Switzerland commended the people of Somaliland, political parties and government institutions them the electoral commission for the successful conduct of the elections on May 31.

“Through these elections, the people of Somaliland have demonstrated a strong commitment to the electoral process, to political participation and to strengthening democracy,” the statement read in part.

They noted in particular the elections of youth and candidates from minority groups as a key step towards inclusive governance.
The partners, the statement added however expressed regrets over failure to elect women. All the 82 seats in the Lower House of Parliament went to men despite the participation of 13 women candidates in the race.

“We recognise the significant achievements of female candidates during this electoral process, but deeply regret that this has not translated to more women in elected office resulting in decreased women political representation.”

Among those elected to Parliament is Barkad Batuun from a minority clan. Batuun got slightly over 20,000 votes unrivaled in terms of votes by any candidate in the parliamentary race.

Ethiopia: Investigative Report on Ethnic Killings at Mai Kadra

Ethiopia: Investigative Report on Ethnic Killings at Mai Kadra

 Source: Reuters published on 7 June 2021 a lengthy investigative report titled “How Ethnic Killings Exploded from an Ethiopian Town” by Katharine Houreld, Michael Georgy, and Silvia Aloisi.  

This is an account of the ethnic violence that took place in mid-November 2020 at and around Mai Kadra in western Tigray Region.  The authors conclude there were two rounds of ethnic killings.  The first round was carried out by ethnic Tigrayans against Amhara who were living in Mai Kadra.  The second round constituted revenge killings of Tigrayans by Amhara.

Labels: Abiy AhmedAmharaAmhara militiaatrocitiesENDFEritreaEthiopialandMai KadrarefugeesSudanTigray RegionTigrayansTPLFwar crimes

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Chinese built Ethiopia-Djibouti railway earns 29 mln USD in nine months period

Chinese built Ethiopia-Djibouti railway earns 29 mln USD in nine months periodlinkedin sharing button

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Source: Xinhuanet, Sunday June 6, 2021

The Chinese-built 752.7 km Ethiopia-Djibouti railway earned 29 million U.S. dollars in a nine-month period, the Ethiopia-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway Share Company (EDR) disclosed on Friday.

In a statement, EDR said 29 million U.S. dollars was earned from 1.35 million tons of cargo and 15,480 passengers that were transported in the first nine months of the current Ethiopian Fiscal Year (EFY) 2020/2021, which started on July 8.
The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway which connects landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti port has in recent months robustly resumed operations that had previously been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, EDR graduated 34 Ethiopian train drivers who underwent a series of training in Ethiopia and China.

UAE Financial Intelligence Unit signs MoUs with Bangladesh Somalia

UAE Financial Intelligence Unit signs MoUs with Bangladesh Somalialinkedin sharing button

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Source: gulfnews.com, Monday June 7, 2021

Regulators to exchange knowledge on financial crimes 


The UAE Central Bank. The Financial Intelligence Unit of the United Arab Emirates has signed MoU with its counterparts in Bangladesh and Somalia to combat financial crimes. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives


Abu Dhabi: The Financial Intelligence Unit of the United Arab Emirates (UAE FIU) has signed two separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) and the Financial Reporting Center (FRC) of the Federal Republic of Somalia to exchange financial information and expertise, as well as collaborate with relevant authorities and stakeholders to combat financial crimes.Ads By GoogleThe UAE FIU has signed separate agreements with the FRC of Somalia and the BFIU in accordance with the UAE’s overarching objective of combatting money laundering and financing of terrorism, underpinned by mutually beneficial intelligence exchanges with international counterparts.

The MoUs were signed by Ali Faisal Ba’Alawi, Head of the UAE FIU, with Amina Ali, Director of the FRC of Somalia, and Abu Hena Mohammad Razee Hassan, Head of the BFIU, representing their respective jurisdictions.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Ali Faisal, Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit for the UAE, said:

“Our undertaking of these agreements with the FRC of Somalia and the Bangladesh FIU further reinstate our efforts to facilitate a robust exchange of knowledge and expertise in the areas of anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism, alongside leading international intelligence units,” said Ba’Alawi.

Somalia in good terms with Djibouti despite IGAD report- Foreign Minister

Somalia in good terms with Djibouti despite IGAD report- Foreign Ministerlinkedin sharing button

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Source: Hiiraan Online, Wednesday June 2, 2021

MOGADISHU (HOL) – Somali government has rejected claims Wednesday it had fallen out with Djibouti following the February report which exonerated Kenya of violation of Somalia’s territorial integrity.
Ads By GoogleForeign Affairs Minister Abdirizak Mohamed said Somalia still maintains good relations with Djibouti but said it had registered its protests over the February report.

“For Djibouti, we are two brotherly countries and we are all Somalis, so there is nothing wrong with our diplomatic relations,” said Mohamed. “Somalia attended the inauguration of President Ismail Omar Guelleh.”

Somalia had in February accused Djibouti of colluding with Kenya in writing the IGAD report which cleared Kenya of any wrongdoing.

Djibouti president Omar Guelleh, the current chair of IGAD appointed the team which conducted the fact-finding mission and subsequently did the report.

Prime Minister Mohamed Roble attended the inauguration of Guelleh last month two days after President Mohamed Farmaajo attended the inauguration of his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni.

Somaliland vote highlights peace in breakaway Somali region

Somaliland vote highlights peace in breakaway Somali regionlinkedin sharing button

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Source: AP, By RODNEY MUHUMUZA
Monday May 31, 2021

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — The people of Somaliland are voting Monday in parliamentary and local elections, highlighting progress in the semi-autonomous region of Somalia that over the years has avoided the destructive violence plaguing other parts of the Horn of Africa country.

More than 1 million of Somaliland’s 4 million people are registered voters. The region has invited international observers for the elections, including political figures from elsewhere in Africa.

Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 as the country collapsed into warlord-led conflict. Despite lacking international recognition, Somaliland has maintained its own independent government, currency and security system.

John Githongo, an anti-corruption campaigner from Kenya who is in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, as an observer, in a Twitter post described the region as “the one Somalia with a bottom up democracy that seems to organically work.”Ads By GoogleGreg Mills, director of a South Africa-based group that is observing the polls, said in a statement that the semi-autonomous region “represents an example of an African country which is committed to democracy and development and deserves the support of every African who wants to see progress on this continent.”

Somalia considers Somaliland as part of its territory. Several rounds of talks over possible unification have failed to reach a breakthrough and the region continues to assert its right to independence.

Somaliland’s relative stability over the years has sharpened the sense of failure in Somalia, where deadly attacks by Islamic extremists are frequently reported. Elections due there in February failed to take place because of the lack of agreement on how the vote should be carried out.

Talks between Somalia’s federal government and regional leaders that began in March broke down in early April, precipitating a political crisis that deepened when the lower house of parliament adopted a special law extending the terms of current office holders for two years and abandoned an agreement last year.

The decision sparked widespread opposition, leading to the mobilization of militias, exposing divisions within Somali security forces, and resulting in violent clashes on April 25.

Following the clashes, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed earlier this month asked the lower house of parliament to reverse its actions that included extending his mandate for two years.

Somalia announced last week that federal authorities had reached an agreement with regional leaders to hold indirect elections within 60 days.