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The secret behind the kenya and somalia fight for the ocean boundary

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre’s defiance not to postpone or stop the London meeting where contentious oil blocks were “auctioned” escalated diplomatic friction with Kenya. 1512126images (1) President Uhuru Kenyatta and Khayre met at State House, Nairobi on January 29, where sources said the PM was asked to put the auction on hold. “Kenya, through multiple channels, has sought to find an amicable and peaceful resolution to the maritime boundary,” Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau said in a statement on Saturday. Somalia, nevertheless, auctioned the oil blocks on February 7, the ministry said. The oil blocks are L21, L22, L23 and L24. They were sold to the UK and Norway. Somalia’s embassy in Nairobi yesterday said no oil blocks were auctioned. However, Daily Telegraph’s Adrian Blomfield said, “I’ve spoken to my colleague who was at the Somalia conference. He said there was no auction, but a map was shown of oil and gas blocks the Somali government intends to auction in future, some of which may be in dispute waters claimed by Kenya.” Another source who did not want to be named said although the bid was launched, no auction was done. “The bid process launched by Spectrum Geo in London has nothing to do with the disputed offshore territory. The blocks are all north and are very clearly identified,” he said. The blocks included in the Spectrum Geo bid are from the matrix that covers areas that are the subject of two dimensional ( 2D) seismic surveys in 2014 and 2015 north of the disputed area. The dispute is in the international court. “The only thing sold on February 7 was this data for the benefit of interested oil and gas companies,” the source said. The government of Kenya has demanded that Somalia withdraws an incorrect map that it had issued at the time the supposed auction of oil and gas blocks in Kenyan territory happened. The Somali-Norwegian Prime Minister is spearheading the auction and has had interests in Soma Gas and Oil, where he was executive director for Africa until he resigned in 2017. Soma Gas and Oil is a private oil company that explores natural resources in Somalia. It’s registered in London. In 2013, it signed a contract in Somalia with the government to collect data on onshore and offshore oil. In exchange, the company had the right to apply for up to 12 oil blocks. The UK, Norway, Turkey, Qatar and other players have silently been fighting to gain influence in Somalia’s oil-rich waters, which analysts warned could frustrate the country’s recovery after decades of war. A UN panel of experts in a report in July 2013 cautioned that oil could lead to conflict between rival players. But former Natural Resources minister Abdirizak Mohamed tweeted on Saturday: “This has nothing to do with the Somali bid rounds conference in London. It is rather a pre-emptive strategy to force Somali Government to open negotiations on the maritime dispute with Kenya or influence the outcome of the case before the International Court of Justice.” Kamau denied the move was to coerce Somalia to negotiate. “It is Somalia that took us to the ICJ. The case is still there. In any case, do you take your friend to court? It is better to discuss,” Kamau said. “This is not a matter to be taken lightly. We have a history with Somalia. We do not want any escalation because we’re already suffering from the impact of an unstable neighbour,” ANC Musalia Mudavadi said yesterday. “Let us stand with the government of Kenya.” In its judgement of February 2, 2017, the ICJ decided to adjudicate the maritime dispute after negotiations between Kenya and Somalia failed. Kenya wants the dispute be resolved through negotiations. Lawyers said the maritime boundary is along a parallel of latitude as was decreed in the Presidential Proclamation of 1979. Somalia says the boundary should be at an equidistant line and that Kenya’s oil exploration activities in the disputed area are unlawful. In February 2017, Kenya lost the first round of the case to Somalia in its bid to stop the matter from going to full hearing. The court is yet to give a hearing date. Kenya has huge interest in Somalia with KDF troops still present in the country. Kenya helped in its formation of Jubaland after jointly capturing its capital, Kismayo from al Shabaab militants in 2012.

 
 

 

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2019-2020 china goverment scholarship

The new 2019-2020 Chinese Government Scholarship-Silk Road Program of Tianjin University is now available for citizens of countries along the Belt and Road. images (33) This scholarship program is provided to China’s high-level universities for recruiting the outstanding young students from Belt and Road countries to pursue degrees in China. Tianjin University School of International Education was established in January 2000, it is one of the secondary schools of Tianjin University. The school of International Educational takes enrollment, teaching administration, and social administration and services functions of international students at Tianjin University for its main task, and also undertakes the Chinese language teaching for international students. china-government-scholarship-1742018-1 Applicants who want to join in the programs taught in English must submit the certificate of TOEFL (Score 80 or above), or IELTS (Score 6.0 or above) (Not required for native English speakers); Applicants who don’t have one should submit an English Level Certificate or a self-introduction video which should be recorded in English for 3-5 minutes in duration. Scholarship Description Applications Deadline: Application: November 20, 2018, to March 10, 2019 (Winter vacation is from February 2 to February 24, 2019, application submitted during this period will be reviewed afterwards? Course Level: Scholarships are available to pursue Bachelor, Master and PhD programs. Study Subject: For Bachelor Programs taught in Chinese For Master Programs taught in Chinese For Master Programs taught in English For PhD Programs Scholarship Award: Tuition waiver and accommodation on campus; Monthly Living Allowance: 2,500 RMB/month for Bachelor students; 3,000 RMB/month for Master students; 3,500 RMB/month for PhD students; Comprehensive Medical Insurance. Nationality: Applicants must be a citizen of countries along the Belt and Road. Number of Scholarships: Numbers not given Scholarship can be taken in China Eligibility for the Scholarship Eligible Countries: Applicants must be a citizen of countries along the Belt and Road. images (32) Entrance Requirements: Applicants must meet the following criteria: Applicants can apply from November 20, 2018, to March 10, 2019. All written application materials should be submitted to the School of International Education (hereinafter referred to as SIE), Tianjin University before March 10, 2019. Eligibility Applicants must be a citizen of countries along the Belt and Road, and be in good health; Requirements for applicants’ degree and age: The applicant applying for a Bachelor degree should hold a high school diploma and be under the age of 25; The applicant applying for a Master degree should hold a Bachelor diploma and be under the age of 35; The applicant applying for a PhD degree should hold a Master diploma and be under the age of 40. English Language Requirements: Applicants who want to join in the programs taught in English must submit the certificate of TOEFL (Score 80 or above), or IELTS (Score 6.0 or above) (Not required for native English speakers); Applicants who don’t have one should submit an English Level Certificate or a self-introduction video which should be recorded in English for 3-5 minutes in duration. China Scholarships Application Procedure How to Apply: Applicants must submit the following application materials (in duplicate): Application Form for Chinese Government Scholarship Program(one original & one copy) Please complete the online application procedures at Chinese Government Scholarship Information System (website: http://www.csc.edu.cn/laihua/), submit online the completed Application Form for Chinese Government Scholarship in Chinese or English, and print hard copies with photos of you. Please note that: The Agency Number for Tianjin University is 10056; Choose Program Category Type B. Original Notarized certificate of the Highest Diploma If applicants are university students or are already employed, they should provide the pre-graduation certificate or employment certificate. Documents in languages other than Chinese or English must be attached with notarized translations in Chinese or English? one original & one copy?; Original Notarized certificate of the Academic Transcripts: Transcripts in languages other than Chinese or English must be attached with notarized translations in Chinese or English? one original & one copy?; A Study or Research Plan (For Master & PhD Applicants) All applicants must submit a study or research plan for the study in China, with no less than 800 words in English or Chinese.; Two Recommendation Letters(For Master & PhD Applicants) (please click 1 or 2) An applicant applying for a Master degree needs to provide two recommendation letters by professors or associate professors in Chinese or English; Applicant applying for a PhD degree needs to provide two recommendation letters by professors in Chinese or English. Photocopy of Passport; Photocopy of Foreigner Physical Examination Form(please click) Applicant should fill the form in English and submit the copy (the original copy should be kept by the applicant). The physical examinations must cover all the items listed in the Foreigner Physical Examination Form. Incomplete records or those without the signature of the attending physician, the official stamp of the hospital or a sealed photograph of the applicants are invalid. Please select the appropriate time to complete the physical examination as the examination reports have 6-month validity; The form of Provisional Acceptance of International Student by TJU Professor Applicant should contact the TJU professors to finish the acceptance form; Not necessary to provide. If you cannot get an acceptance on your own, admission office of TJU will deliver application materials to the college to find a supervisor for you.? Language Proficiency Certificate The applicant applying for programs taught in Chinese needs to submit HSK certificate. A minimum requirement of HSK4 (Score 180 or above) for Engineering/Science or HSK5 (Score 180 or above) for liberal arts is needed. The applicant who has not met the requirement of Chinese proficiency level should take Chinese language courses for one year (fees covered by Chinese Government Scholarship), and start major studies when achieving the required HSK certificate; The applicant applying for programs taught in English needs to submit English proficiency certificate (TOEFLL, IELTS, or English Instruction Certificate). TOFEL: no less than 550, New TOFEL: no less than 75, IELTS: no less than 6.0; Self-introduction Video Applicant needs to submit a 5-minute self-introduction video in Chinese or English (recorded in a USB); An applicant for art studies is required to submit two sketches of the applicant’s own works. Official Scholarship.

 
 

 

Facebook removes millions of Russia-linked accounts, pages

Facebook said on Thursday it had removed millions of Russia-initiated pages, accounts and groups that it judged to be involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior on its Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a blog post it had unearthed two separate operations which originated in Russia, with one active in multiple countries across eastern Europe and the other specific to Ukraine.

The company said it had taken down about 364 Facebook pages and accounts run by the first Russian network and operating in Baltic Sea states, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern Europe, adding that these pages were linked to employees of Russian news agency Sputnik.

The company also said that based on a tip from U.S. law enforcement, it had separately removed 107 Facebook pages, group and accounts and 41 Instagram accounts that originated in Russia and operated in Ukraine.

“We didn’t find any links between these operations, but they used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing,” the company said.

Facebook has been under fire for the last two years for its self-admitted sluggishness in developing tools to combat extremist content and propaganda operations.

Facebook and Twitter Inc took down millions of posts and shuttered accounts linked to influence operations by Russia, Iran and other actors in the run-up to U.S. midterm elections in November.

 
 

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,

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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.

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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

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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

 

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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.

 
 

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.