Nairobi attack Hotel complex

A hotel complex is under attack in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

At least two explosions followed by sustained gunfire were heard at the compound in the Westland district of the city, which houses the Dusit hotel as well as offices.

“We are under attack,” a person inside the complex told Reuters news agency.

Several vehicles are on fire in the car park. Police have been sent to the area.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

First time in history Somalia hired on a foreigner for the top job at the central bank,

images (31)

A disquiet is simmering within the government and public circles after the leakage of information that the government had settled on a foreigner for the top job at the central bank, for the first time in the country’s history.

Sources privy to the selection process intimate that that indeed an outsider had been settled on, without divulging much on the individual. But this seems to not have gone down well with critics who argue that the country had sufficient skillset for the position.

somalia-1103-0002_large

Those supporting the government like famous author Harun Maruf argue that it was expertise that mattered not the nationality.
money changers carry loads of low value notes in wheelbarrows on the street, Barao, Somaliland, Somalia
The revelation end speculations which have been on air since August last year as to who would replace Bashir Isse, who has been serving since April 2014. He previously held the position in interim roles from 2006 to 2010 and was reappointed in November 2013, but will now retire.

The division on opinion adds to the raft of challenges the new office holder will have to navigate to street the government banker and the economy at large to stability.

The new governor will be taking over at a time when the country is just on the verge of commencing the printing of official government banknotes for the first time in over two decades ending the long reign of counterfeit notes and unregulated monetary policy.

With footprints of two decades old civil war still visible in the country, Somali leaders have been working on means and ways to rid the country of the old counterfeit notes in place of new currency.

The new currency, is hopes, will help Somalia boost its economy. The new move to print money with security features will also prop the shilling’s value.

The new office holder will also have to impose measure to control Foreign Exchange Rate appreciation. In addition, Somalia does not have well-organized money and capital markets. The successful candidate will be tasked with steering the development of the banking and the financial system in the country.

Also in the in-tray will the task of promoting the process of economic growth and ensure adequate monetary expansion in the country.

Also to be seen is the office holders’ ability to maintain internal price stability by adopting a monetary policy that can control inflationary tendencies and ensure market stability.

The biggest challenge will be whether the CBS of Somalia will successfully integrate the traditional banking system with the mobile money economy, with over 70% of the population opting for the cashless banking method.

Critical in the implementation will be a pool of qualified staff to implement the policies. There is need for an a structured training programme and facilities that will help develop the necessary skillset of the future employees

Donate

More than 850 million people in developing countries are excluded from a wide range of information and knowledge, with the rural poor in Africa are remaining isolated from both traditional media and new information and communication technologies, which would improve their livelihoods and development pattern

$2.00

 
 

Ethiopia faces political crisis, parties need to focus on common grounds and discuss differences

 

 

 

Addis Ababa — Political parties have to resolve differences at roundtable discussions since violence is an existential threat to stability and peace, representatives of political parties said.

politicsparties-620x310-1In an exclusive interview with ENA, Arena Party Chairman Abraha Desta said “power should be in the hands of the people, and for this to happen there must be peace and stability. We should, therefore, prioritize these.”

According to him, “there is no democracy, election and development in the absence of peace.”

Therefore, he added, his party is strongly opposed to anything that disrupts peace.

Arena Party Chairman Abraha urged social media activists to refrain from getting involved in anything that jeopardizes the social bondage and strive to enhance people-to-people ties.

Arena Party is working to ensure peace and security as only united and prosperous Ethiopia can be ascertained in the prevalence of peace, he added.

Ethiopian Unity Patriots Front Peace Negotiator Head, Getaneh Zeleke said “parties need to focus on common grounds and discuss differences.”

He called on all parties to patiently negotiate till they come to agreement and work together.

“Despite their different political agenda, they should come together in the spirit of united Ethiopia, and that cannot be realized unless they sit down and discuss,” Getaneh pointed out.

According him, the Ethiopian Unity Patriots Front is ready to help the government in bringing peace and stability.

Oromia National Party Public Relations Head, Liben Wako said “our party firmly believes that there is no other choice than peaceful struggle.”

According to Liben, “there is no doubt that the existing security problems will end and the public will be crowned with victory.”

He stressed that political parties should play their due role to shape the new generation

 
 

Southern Africa: Mozambique Bans Import of Meat From South Africa

Maputo — Mozambique has banned the import of animals and products of animal origin from South Africa, because of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the South African province of Limpopo.

According to a release from the National Veterinary Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, the measure has been taken to avoid the risk that Mozambicans livestock might be infected from contaminated South African animals and products.

The ban covers all cattle, goats, sheep and pigs and their products and sub-products from the entirety of South Africa. The only exceptions are products that have been completely treated to de-activate the foot-and-mouth virus, such as pasteurised dairy products, and heat processed meats.

The Mozambican authorities have guaranteed that border inspection will be stepped up to prevent South African livestock and meat from entering the country.

The foot-and-mouth outbreak in Limpopo province was reported last Monday. Since then bans on importing South African meat have been announced by Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia and now Mozambique.

The South African Department of Agriculture says that the affected areas are under quarantine, and that investigations are under way to determine the extent of the outbreak.

The World Organisation for Animal Health has temporarily suspended South Africa as a meat exporter until the area affected is confirmed as free of the disease.

 
 

UK, Russia and UAE scramble to set up military bases in Somaliland

 

fb_img_1546835253889
Somaliand President Mouse Bihi holding talks with UK’s Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson at the presidential palace in Hargeisa, Somaliand, at the weekend to discuss the cooperation between the two countries.PHOTO | COURTESY

The United Kingdom has joined Russia and the United Arab Emirates in the scramble to set up military bases in Somaliland.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson at the weekend met President Mouse Bihi in Hargeysa, and discussed ways on strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

Somaliland, a former British colony, is yet to be recognised internationally.

The visit comes barely a week after Mr Williamson said the UK was keen on building new military bases around the world after Brexit. It is believed his visit to Somaliland sought to discuss the possibilities of setting up a base in the country.

 
 

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US&adInstanceId=9ac5a316-2326-4ffb-adad-03b398fde173

Facebook acquires biometric ID verification startup Confirm.io

Facebook has confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s acquired… Confirm.io. The startup offered an API that let other companies quickly verify someone’s government-issued identification card, like a driver’s license, was authentic. The Boston-based startup will shut down as both its team and technology are rolled into Facebook, where it could help users who are locked out of their accounts.

Confirm.io had raised at least $4 million from investors, including Cava Capital, since launching three years ago. The 2015 seed round funded advanced forensics used to pull information from an ID card, as well as mobile biometrics and facial recognition to confirm a person’s identity before the startup deleted the personal data.

Mark zuckerberg

Clients could quickly integrate the tech, which expedited on-demand startup staff onboarding. Food delivery service Doordash used Confirm.io to verify its drivers, while Notarize used it to authenticate the identity of customers looking to file documents.

The startup writes, “When we launched Confirm, our mission was to become the market’s trusted identity origination platform for which other multifactor verification services can build upon. Now, we’re ready to take the next step on our journey with Facebook. However, in the meantime this means all of our current digital ID authentication software offerings will be wound down.”

Confirm.io’s ID authentication feature

Facebook tells TechCrunch, “We are excited to welcome the Confirm team to Facebook. Their technology and expertise will support our ongoing efforts to keep our community safe.”

Facebook tests selfie-to-unlock feature

Facebook could potentially use the technology to have people confirm their identities if they’re locked out of their accounts after being hacked or losing their password. Back in September we spotted Facebook testing a feature that let you unlock your account using a selfie. And since at least 2013, Facebook has let people mail in a copy of their photo ID or other identity verification materials in order to regain access to their account.

Because this is a full acquisition, not just an acqui-hire, Confirm.io’s team and tech could help Facebook strengthen and streamline these options. And one day, perhaps Facebook could even serve as your ID card in some situations. Face ID on the iPhone X could eventually be opened to third parties to power more biometric security across apps. With our keys and payment cards becoming digitized and part of our phone, the ID card is really the last reason you have to carry an old-school wallet.

Baidhao genocides

Somalia government is fully responsible for the deaths and the now potential civil war currently brewing in Baidoa. Dignity and respect are two virtues that every human being ought to live with. While I admire those of you suggesting “maintain the peace message” at all cost, your silence on the government actions begs some questions. Our grievances and the perpetual attacks on our dignity over long period of time(since 1959) requires all digil iyo mirefle to defend their honor. If the election is held next Wednesday, the members of KGS should vote for Robow even while he is the hands of the DICTATOR wanna be Ethiopian stooge FARMAJO. To all Somalis: Wow, do I see and hear the customary inconsistencies of Somalis on their country’s affairs. The selective lens that makes the arrest of a very popular figure, SHEIKH MUKHTAR ROBOW, by ETHIOPIANS to be okay or applauded by some of you here or by Farmajo also shows that you are still hungry for a war. We were made to believe Ethiopia will no longer meddle with Somalia’s affairs, and it has now become very clear that Shariif Xassan was pressured by them as was reported to me by people very close to Shariif. If you think the government has won in their wrestling with Robows unprecedented popular Somali regional politician, you’re mistaken. His arrest begins a new era of reality. One third of Somali populations lives in this region and blatant stupid move by Farmajo further shows his war on the people of REER AW-DIGIL( Digil and Mirefle). And anybody who doesn’t see that undermining the interest of Southwest public’s will to be wrong should really not pretend they care about the overall Somali plight. It is actually not about Robow’s candidacy. The principal in question is whether or not the public’s right to elect their own leader is being violated or not. And anybody who consciously concurs with this Farmajo’s move to deny the right of Southwest regions to hold its own free and fair elections has ill-intentions towards the people of that region and is participating in furthering the rift among Somalis! Take a hard look and think about the principles that are being VIOLATED HERE!
To Nasir Solo’s point, Digil and Mirifle clans should not fight amongest themselves and should rather focus on getting ROBOW ELECTED WHILE HE IS IN JAIL.

Ethiopia” Djibouti discussed the co-operation of the 2 countries

Addis Ababa, December 6, 2018 (FBC) – Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene held talks in Djibouti today with Mahmoud Ali Yousouf, Foreign Minister of Djibouti.

47574317_2532602916766936_4001575739253063680_n

Commending the leadership of Djibouti for its unwavering commitment to heighten the symbolic ties with its sisterly country Ethiopia, Hirut expressed her Government’s keenness to further map out arrays of cooperation between the two countries.

She also underscored the need to further cement the ongoing remarkable economic integration by properly exploiting the unique people to people ties.

Praising the unremitting endeavors of the Ethiopian Government to put the ties to a higher gear, Mahmoud noted that his Government would continue to commit itself to regional cooperation in a bid to finally witness the integration Africa sought to win.

The two sides held discussions on issues such as the expansion of the electrified Ethio-Djibouti Railway, construction of a fuel pipeline, the Dkihil-Galafi road that is expected to be fully operational by the end of next year.

They have also deliberated ways of deepening the already excellent cooperation on bilateral as well as regional issues, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.download (2)

Eritrean President isaias afawerki will soon visit to Djibouti

Addis Ababa, December 6, 2018 (FBC) -Djibouti’s foreign minister on Wednesday said Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki will pay a visit to his country “soon”.

Djibouti and Eritrea have been maintaining high level contacts after Ethiopia’s recommendation for a region-wide thaw was accepted across the board.

“We don’t have a date yet, but the two presidents will exchange visits soon,” Mahamoud Ali Youssouf told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview as he attended Ethiopian Day organized on the sidelines of the ongoing 2nd Djibouti International Trade Fair.

etiopia-eritrea-somalia

“The two presidents met in September and I met my Eritrean counterpart. We will build on that momentum. Confidence should be built,” he said.

“Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is launching initiatives that create conducive environment for the reconciliation and he broadened the scope of the stability and prospect for peace in the region,” he said.

Youssouf said, “This has to be acknowledged and recognized [because] the prime minister has been instrumental in the new momentum.”

He described the region as the most volatile in Africa.

“In comparison with other regions in Africa, this region [the Horn of Africa] has been trapped in a number of crises; some of them internal like the case in Somalia, and some external like the case between Eritrea and Djibouti.

“I think that we needed a visionary leader who could think regional and see the opportunities for countries to come together, plan together, and work for the benefit of the people of the region,” Youssouf added.

“We are very optimistic, he said, “Because we have seen the first signals of the development of the situation. In the future we will see more of it.”

Relations between Eritrea and Djibouti have been tense since the 1980s due to land claims.

In June 2008, the two countries fought a three-day war after Djibouti claimed that Eritrean forces dug trenches on its side of the border.

Somaliland’s Stakes In A Fast Changing Horn Of Africa – Professor Ahmed I. Samatar

As most observers acknowledge, seismic changes are now underway in the Horn of Africa. As a result of an unexpected rise of a new Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali, from the Oromo ethnic group, a novel and breathtaking vision is swirling in the region.

This surging paradigmatic shift is already impacting on both the Ethiopian domestic and regional political topographies. In the case of the first, dramatic and positive changes in the relationship between the Ethiopian state and its richly diverse citizenry is unfolding.

Among the most significant are: (a) the selection of an Oromo person to head the government for the first time in the history of modern Ethiopia, (b) the appointment of women to half of his cabinet, (c) a new and fresh invitation for the resistant Amhara community to reenter peaceful and civic national politics, (d) the immediate release of notable political prisoners, (e) a reassertion of popular participation and freedom of expression, and (f) an overall re-­‐energizing of democratic governance. On the wider regional front, the implications are even more notable.

dj8mc1ixoaapmb_

First, a daring breakthrough with regard to the long, bitter, and violent stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been swiftly promulgated. In this context, a satisfactory settlement over the contentious border between the two countries has now ushered in an unconstrained travel and trade between the two peoples.

Second, the Prime Minister and the long-­‐serving and authoritarian President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, have publicly stated that the two countries will support the integrity of the sovereignty of Somalia.

hqdefault

Third, Mr. Ahmed has underscored the urge to move the Horn of Africa towards a larger and more integrated developmental agenda. Add these together, and more, the new initiatives are not only exhilarating but, more importantly and if made to bear fruit, could transform the region from its current profile as the epitome of ubiquitous hunger, disease, ignorance, insecurity, malignant sectarianism, and vulnerability to old and new outside manipulations to one of rising quality of well being, collective confidence, and emerging cosmopolitanism. In short, kudos to Prime Minister Ahmed — he has triggered potentially colossal changes that are at once worth encouraging and watching with great interest.

SOMALILAND’S VIBRANT AND PEACEFUL ELECTION

Another historic happening took place in the Republic of Somaliland: the successful national presidential election of November 2017. The three established and constitutionally permitted political parties –i.e. Wadani, Ucid, and the ruling Kulmiye, contested for the much-­‐delayed presidency of the country. Notwithstanding a heavy and regressive dose of tribalist small-­‐mindedness, particularly by Wadani and Kulmiye, the nearly month-­‐long campaign was generally spirited and composed.

Furthermore, when polling day arrived, the country was calm and the process concluded with impressive orderliness. Kulmiye won decisively, by over eighty thousand votes (around 54% of the total) beyond its closest and major competitor Wadani. During the immediate aftermath, the leadership of Wadani had expressed bitter concern over the voting process and accused it of electoral fraudulence, as well as pointed out an illegitimate and blatant use of the financial and other assets of the state, to secure Kulmiye’s victory. However, the numerous internationalmonitors on the ground unanimously certified that, though the contest was fierce, on the whole the election was quite fair and free.

There is no question that the consummation of the presidential election in Somaliland, the third nation-­‐wide of its type since the rebirth of the country in 1991, has marked its politics distinctly from that of Somalia. In the case of the latter, any hope of a national election –i.e. one-­‐person one vote — is still in the distant future. The reasons for this great divergence include: Somaliland’s relative civic cohesiveness, its working national political institutions, and its professional and able security forces.

In comparison, Somalia continues to be bedeviled by a toxic cocktail of tribalized zones, self-­seeking individualism, fissiparous identity politics, corruption as a way of life among the lumpen elite, and direct and dark financial interventions by foreign countries, particularly from the Middle East and some EU countries in search of compradors. This condition, now entering its third decade, gives the lie to the claim of the existence of an effective government in Somalia. On the contrary, the writ of Mogadishu is not uncontestably enforceable in the whole of the capital, let alone maintaining law and order across the width and breadth of Somalia.

More pointedly, Al-­‐Shabaab forces are resilient and continue to be very active almost everywhere, with particularly violent disruptions of quotidian life in Mogadishu. Such is the condition even after nearly $2 billion of aid, primarily for supporting UNISOM, from the United States alone in the past ten years. In short, the fall out from the total wreckage of the post-­‐colonial Somali state, more than a quarter of a century ago, still debilitatively haunts the people of Somalia. Notwithstanding the grimness of the above, however, it is important to register here this paramount fact: there are still ordinary women and men from Somalia who, everyday quietly, if not heroically, resist the degeneration and, concurrently, dream a new time of resuscitation.

SNATCHING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY

But the generalized euphoria that accompanied the electoral success of Kulmiye in Somaliland about a year ago seems to be short lived. More pointedly, that spirit of high expectation, one based on a coast to coast campaign that stressed five urgent public policy priorities- –that is, strengthening civic bonding, stimulating economic growth accompanied by environmental protection, reconstructing educational institutions, addressing the gravity of public health, and reinvigorating international relations –-­‐ is vaporizing. As a result, there is palpable collective descent into what Somalilanders call Amakaag iyo Yaab (i.e. bewilderment and dismay). This worrisome reaction is building up for the following (among others) reasons:

  • President Bihi is yet to concretize in real time the alluring and compact vision that galvanized the majority of the voters – one grounded in broad justice, ethnic and gender equity, and high administrative performance — that was promised to the country.
  • The composition of his cabinet contradicts the repetitively asserted campaign pledge to appoint women and men of the highest caliber. Moreover, the agreed upon postulate of establishing a maximum limit of twenty ministerial portfolios has been breached. In fact, Bihi immediately returned to the old and defective formula of at once exaggerated appointments (32 ministers and deputies) and conspicuous communal imbalance that is exceedingly partial to the kin community in middle of the country (22 vs. 10 and only one full minister who is female). Given the thick rancor surrounding the issue of fairness, it is seems appropriate to heed this wise insight of Michael Ignetieff:

“Interethnic accommodation anywhere depends on equilibrium of forces. An ethnic minority can live in peace with an ethnic majority, as long as that majority does not use its preponderance to turn the institutions of the state into an instrument of ethnic favoritism.”

  • Bihi has admirably and decisively reduced the venal and scandalous use of state revenues, particularly by senior officials. Nevertheless, the effect of the confluence of an absence of economic growth, rising prices, degrading local currency, and severe unemployment rate among the youth is a looming and generalized immiseration. Driven from the rural areas by a succession of droughts and a desiccating landscape, vast numbers of the denizens of Somaliland are moving to the few major urban concentrations and smaller
  • towns. Without reliable sources of livelihood and decent shelter, the majority of the people of Somaliland are increasingly becoming depraved hovel dwellers.
  • Bihi’s administration continues the unsophisticated, ill-­‐planned, poorly staffed, and niggardly funded approach to international affairs. This has been the bane of Somaliland’s global relations ever since the country’s rebirth, twenty-­‐seven and half years ago. Despite the mounting and dizzying changes taking in the neighborhood and farther-­‐afield, then, Somaliland is stuck at a sophomoric level in both understanding the complexities of the search for recognition, as well as taking stock of the strategic shifts that are in-­‐progress.
  • There is no evidence that neither the Ministry of Education nor the Ministry of Public Health has been, thus far, given the supreme attention and reform that each needs so desperately. For, it is a common article of faith in the modern world that these two seminal priorities set the foundation for the production of high quality human capital.
  • The two opposition parties have become feckless and seem incapable, thus far, of offering an analytical and inspiring civic critique. Furthermore, the main opposition, Wadani, which garnered a striking 43 percent of the total vote, is still wailing over the defeat. More than a year later, Wadani has shown no signs that it is a robust national political institution – one that is competent to hold on tightly to its large supporters, restock its vision for the country, win over more citizens to its side, and prepare itself for the competitions ahead.
  • The long, long overdue parliamentary election which have been delayed for over eight years were marked to take place in March 2019. This will not be possible again. There reasons for this include: (a) a highly charged dispute over the tenure of the Electoral Commission such that Wadani believes must be terminated before any new national elections are to mounted, (b) Wadani’s conviction that the majority of the Commission is a disguised and biased members of Kulmiye and, therefore, a new Commission with equal representation from the three parties must be created, and (c) the long-­‐ standing disgruntlement by the kin communities in the western and eastern Somaliland over what they believe to be a severely lopsided and unacceptable distribution of parliamentary seats, one that allots 56 out of the total of 82 seats to the kin community in the geographical center of the country. This impasse, full of murky intrigue, has at least three immediate and critical ramifications. First, the current Parliament, despite unanimity among Somalilanders that it is functionally comatose, will linger on. Second, Somaliland’s acclaimed democratic logos and practice will suffer greater devaluation. This is particularly the case among the members of the international society, particularly the European Union, whose material and moral sympathy for Somaliland has been indispensable. Third, such a situation will further discount President Bihi’s declaration that his leadership will be drastically different from the previous regime in that national elections will be conducted on the appointed month and year. All in all, then, Somalilanders will do well to hear and act on these sagacious and highly relevant testimony from Vico, penned nearly three hundred years ago.

“That body politics is most fortunate, indeed, where the rigorous observance of the law that binds citizens together like the worship of an unknown god; where communal discipline is maintained with no less impartiality and firmness than in an army, where no soldier is allowed to question an order, his only duty being to await commands alertly and execute them.”

Given the preceding and the total dissonance with those who had voted for all parties with high hopes, Somaliland seems to be, as it were, “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” Combined, the above concerns, unless attended with potent alacrity and haste, are bound to corrode collective phronesis. Such, in the end, is the critical difference between what Sartre called “seriality” ­‐ passive and thin commonality imposed from without-­ and civic, thick and active republicanism deliberately made within. All in all, then, 2019 is likely to be a year of big stakes and heightened anxieties

 U.S. military says it conducted two airstrikes in central Somalia Wednesday 21-11-18 killing a total of 47 al-Shabab militants.

00300116_d45789ca883534392b34a0369e96e14d_arc614x376_w614_us1.png U.S. military says it conducted two airstrikes in central Somalia Wednesday killing a total of 47 al-Shabab militants.

A statement issued by the U.S. Africa Command Tuesday said the first strike killed 37 militants. Africa Command described the attack as a “planned and deliberate action.”

It says a second strike on the same day killed another 10 Shabab militants. The statement said the airstrikes did not kill or injure civilians.

00441305_5c10700bec24450c44c08908de3616bf_arc614x376_w614_us1

Locals told VOA Somali that the strikes targeted al-Shabab vehicles and militias.

In October, another U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Harardhere killed at least 60 al-Shabab militants.

According to a count by VOA Somali, the U.S. has carried out about 30 airstrikes against al-Shabab this year, killing more than 200 militants.

Al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaida, is trying to overthrow the Somali government and turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state.

U.S. airstrikes have killed numerous al-Shabab leaders over the years, including the group’s former emir Ahmed Godane in September 2014.

37 Alshabaab fighters have been killed and more than 47 others wounded in an airstrike on Saturday 11pmEst 25-11-2018

37 Alshabaab fighters have been killed and more than 47 others wounded in an airstrike on Saturday evening.

According to official Somali National News Agency (SONNA) the attack targeted meeting of the militants in Hargeysa Yarey in the middle Juba region of Somalia at 11PM local time on Saturday.

SONNA said top Al Qaida linked group officials including Daahir Gacmay, Abdirahman Takar, Sayid Dheere, Abdullahi Rabbi and among others were in the meeting during the attack.

No confirmation or denial from US Africa command press department on the attack reportedly carried out by its aircraft.

US drone attacks constantly target alshabaab fighters in Somalia.

Drone strike killed group leader Ahmed Godane on September 2014.

Last week group’s convoy was destroyed by suspected US strike in Galmudug region of Somalia.

The number of casualties or scale of damage is still unclear.

The secret diplomatic relation between isreal and somalilan

Israel and Somaliland have much in common.

Israel faces many adversaries that don’t recognize it or its right to self-determination; Somaliland is also unrecognized as a state by most countries.
somalilandisrael (1)
Both share a history with Britain. The British defeated the Ottoman Empire, captured Palestine and later established treaties with the Jewish people in Israel. Somaliland tribal leaders granted the British a protectorate in the territory that would became British Somaliland and subsequently gained independence on June 26, 1960. Israel was first of 34 countries, including the United States, to recognize Somaliland.

Somaliland, which joined South Somalia in a union that lasted until 1991, finds itself politically isolated, in the middle of a hostile region threatened by a sinister and pernicious enemy in the form of encroaching religious extremism. With a population of four million, Somaliland faces hard-line opposition from wider Somalia, with population of 10 million. Israel is perceived as enemy to Arab world with an estimated population of 400 million and economic power of $2.5 trillion a year. Somaliland and Israel face significant opposition and near total rejection of the 22 nations of the Arab world who support the positions of Somalia and Palestinian Arabs, respectively.

Despite overwhelming obstacles, both Somaliland and Israel are beating the odds. Israel is one of the most developed nations in the Middle East and the world, with per capita annual income of $42k and thriving and sophisticated industries. Israeli technology and corporations are pioneers of advanced research and development in the world. Although Israel is situated in semi-desert land that has little potential for agriculture, they have reached 90% food security.

Somaliland, unrecognized by most countries and with limited foreign direct investment, has a flourishing private sector economy, highly advanced telecom, digital economy, peace and stability and democratic processes rare in Africa. It is the only Muslim democracy in the horn of Africa and maintains cordial diplomatic relationships with Western powers and African nations.

Somaliland needs investment, technology and know-how. It has an abundance of resources, such as oil and gas, and strategic positioning that add to its geopolitical prowess. As Israel warms up its relationships with the Arab world and Africa, and Somaliland can a potential ally and friend that can fulfill a strategic Israeli goal – a loyal Muslim ally in the Red Sea region.
Somaliland needs a strong partner that has little to lose in maintaining strong support with Hargeisa, our capital. Alleged Russian interest in establishing a military base in Somaliland, albeit a potential positive development, threatens Somaliland’s close relationship with Washington and the EU, thus Israel stands as a key missing piece in Somaliland puzzle.

The government of Israel has shown interest in restoring the de jure recognition it offered to Somaliland in 1960, considering its role in the geopolitics of the Red Sea and the Horn. According to a local source, Golisnews, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has said his government is ready to recognize Somaliland again. Similar sentiment is shown in Somaliland, where influential people, academics, businessmen, civil society organizations and government officials are overwhelmingly in support of a close relationship with Tel Aviv.

The warm attitude toward Israel is not new. M. Haji Ibrahim Egal, the first prime minister of Somaliland, tirelessly solicited Israel’s support, addressing that very issue in a letter to former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

Given the status of both states and their struggle for statehood and recognition, it is high time Israel and Somaliland renew their diplomatic relationship and mutual cooperation.

The writer is a liberal student and entrepreneur based in Somaliland.

Renewing sanctions measures on Somalia while lifting sanctions on Eritrea, namely the arms embargoes, travel bans

On Wednesday (14 November), the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing sanctions measures on Somalia while lifting sanctions on Eritrea, namely the arms embargoes, travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions imposed on Eritrea in resolutions 1907 (2009), 2023 (2011), 2060 (2012) and 2111 (2013). Accordingly, the draft resolution states that the committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea will be known as the committee pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia.
The resolution also terminates the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) and establishes the Panel of Experts on Somalia in its stead.
The lifting of sanctions on Eritrea was the culmination of regional political developments that unfolded since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed a peace agreement in Asmara on 9 July, ending a 20-year conflict. Eritrea and Ethiopia signed an Agreement on Peace, Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation on 16 September, which was welcomed by Council members in a press statement (SC/13516). Ethiopia then pushed in the Council for the lifting of sanctions on Eritrea. Not all issues that led to the imposition of UN sanctions on Eritrea have been entirely resolved, however. In the midst of the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Djibouti transmitted a letter to the Secretary-General on 11 July calling on him, in close collaboration with the Security Council, to use his good offices to facilitate an agreement between the principal parties (that is, Djibouti and Eritrea) on a particular method of dispute settlement, preferably adjudication or arbitration. Resolutions 1862 and 1907 of 2009 called on Eritrea to withdraw its forces to their previous positions from an area disputed with Djibouti (the Ras Doumeira peninsula and adjacent territory), to engage in the peaceful settlement of the border dispute, and to resolve related issues such as unaccounted-for prisoners of war. Resolution 1907 imposes sanctions on Eritrea for obstructing the implementation of resolution 1862 concerning Djibouti. Over the months that followed, Council members started to discuss the conditions under which sanctions would be lifted, taking into account that over the previous four years, the SEMG had not been able to find conclusive evidence that Eritrea was providing support to Al-Shabaab, the main reason the sanctions had been imposed. Council members conveyed to Eritrea that sanctions could be lifted if Eritrea committed to resolving its dispute with Djibouti and, considering that Eritrea has refused to acknowledge and cooperate with the Council’s sanctions regime, if it were to receive the chair of the Sanctions Committee (Ambassador Kairat Umarov of Kazakhstan) for a visit and meet with the coordinator of the SEMG. Several encouraging developments ensued, paving the way for the lifting of sanctions. On 6 September, Eritrea and Djibouti announced the restoration of diplomatic ties, following a trilateral high-level meeting with Ethiopia, and the presidents of the two states met in Jeddah on 17 September. Then, on 25 September, Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed met with Umarov, in his capacity as chair of the sanctions committee, in New York. This was followed by a 5 October meeting between an Eritrean presidential advisor and the SEMG, with the participation of Umarov, also in New York. With respect to Al-Shabaab, Council members received the latest SEMG report in October, which reported that for the fifth year in a row, no conclusive evidence was found that Eritrea was providing support to Al-Shabaab. Furthermore, the report noted that other armed groups acting against Ethiopia with the support of Eritrea have now signed peace agreements with Ethiopia. Heading into the negotiations on the resolution to be voted on tomorrow, there was consensus among Council members that the recent meetings between Eritrean officials, Umarov and the SEMG coordinator were sufficient to demonstrate Eritrea’s cooperation with the Sanctions Committee, and that there had been positive developments on the Eritrea-Djibouti front. Thus, there was a general willingness to work towards terminating sanctions on Eritrea. Nevertheless, some Council members were more supportive than others. Ethiopia, with the support of some members, such as Russia and Sweden, expressed its readiness to end the sanctions. The US and France would have preferred to see further commitment by Eritrea and Djibouti to resolving their dispute, such as a letter to the Council. Taking all of this into account, the draft resolution in blue terminates sanctions measures imposed on Eritrea, while underlining the importance of continuing efforts towards the normalisation of relations between Eritrea and Djibouti for regional peace, stability and reconciliation. In this regard, Council members have been given to understand that Djibouti no longer opposes the lifting of sanctions on Eritrea, provided the Council continues to monitor the situation. The draft urges Eritrea and Djibouti to continue efforts to settle their border dispute peacefully in a manner consistent with international law by conciliation, arbitration or judicial settlement, or by any other agreed means of pacific dispute settlement identified in Article 33 of the Charter, and for the parties to engage on the issue of the Djiboutian combatants missing in action. Furthermore, the resolution confirms the Council’s intention to support the two countries’ effort to resolve their differences, requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council by 15 February 2019 and every six months thereafter on this matter, and expresses the Council’s intention to keep normalisation efforts under review. On the reporting requirement, Russia broke silence over a previous draft, taking the view that reporting should be annual rather than every six months. The final draft, however, retains the semi-annual reporting requirement. With the lifting of sanctions on Eritrea, Council members agreed to establish a Panel of Experts on Somalia until 15 December 2019, instead of the SEMG. The Council expresses its intention in the draft resolution to review the panel’s mandate and take appropriate action regarding its extension by 15 November 2019. Council members agreed that the number of experts on the panel should be fewer than the eight members of the SEMG; however, there was disagreement on the precise number. Russia wanted the panel to consist of five experts and broke silence on this issue. Other Council members insisted that the panel number six, and the draft in blue requests the Secretary-General to establish a panel of six experts, in consultation with the Sanctions Committee, drawing, as appropriate, on the expertise of the members of the SEMG. The draft further calls on the panel to include the necessary gender expertise, in line with paragraph 6 of resolution 2242 (2015). The draft resolution further decides that the existing listing criterion under resolution 1844(2008) on engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Somalia may also include the planning, directing or committing acts involving sexual and gender-based violence. In addition to these changes in the sanctions regime, the draft resolution reaffirms the arms embargo on Somalia, while renewing the partial lifting of the arms embargo on Somali security forces. It also requests the Secretary-General to conduct a technical assessment of the arms embargo, with options and recommendations for improving implementation, by 15 May 2019; renews the authorisation for maritime interdiction to enforce the embargo on illicit arms imports and charcoal exports; and renews the humanitarian exemptions to the sanctions regime. This will be the second resolution that the Council will adopt on Somalia in November. On 6 November, the Council adopted resolution 2442renewing for 13 months the authorisations allowing international naval forces cooperating with Somali authorities to take measures against piracy in the waters off the coast of Somalia. These include operations in Somalia’s territorial waters and related operations on land.

renewing sanctions measures on Somalia while lifting sanctions on Eritrea, namely the arms embargoes, travel bans

Get the latest News from the Africa and middle East, South africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, somaliland, Djibouti, Sudan, south Sudan, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameron, Ghana, Madagascar, Angola, equatorial Geni,: breaking news, features, analysis and debate plus audio and video coverage from across the Middle East

%d bloggers like this: