Category: Sharia Land of Somalia


19 March 2017 Sunday

Turkey will open its largest military base in the world in Somalia in April. Soldiers from the Somalia National Army and soldiers from many African countries will be trained by the Turkish Army in the base that is being constructed in Mogadishu.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar are expected to attend the official opening.

Somalia’s Defense Minister, General Abdulkadir Ali Dini, visited the military base yesterday with a military delegation.

Minister Dini, who visited the base near its completion, thanked the Turkish military and civilian authorities for preparing the base.

Somali President Mohammad Abdullah Muhammad ‘Farmajo’ tweeted from his official account and announced that the base would be opened very soon. “Turkey’s largest military base in the world is almost complete. Soon the Somali Army will return strongly,” President Farmajo said.

Cost of $50 million

The construction of the $50 million base began in March 2015. It will have the capacity to train 500 soldiers at the same time.

The facility is located close to Mogadishu’s airport and three kilometers (1.8 miles) from Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital and the Port of Mogadishu.

The base will occupy 400 hectares and house three military schools, dormitories and depots.

Somalia and Turkey share multi-tiered cooperation. Turkey provides Somalia with military aid, education support, infrastructural development and skills training.

Source: World Bulletin.

Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/186505/turkey-to-open-its-largest-military-base-in-the-world-in-somalia.

January 12, 2017

During a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed a former Somali-born refugee, Ahmed Hussen, as the new Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Hussen was the first Somali-Canadian to be voted to parliament in 2015, where he represented the ruling Liberal Party of Canada. He has served on the Justice and Human Rights Committee as well as the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association.

Prior to being elected, Hussen worked as a lawyer, practicing criminal defense, immigration and refugee law. He has served on the board of the Global Enrichment Foundation, which helps women in East Africa go to university and colleges in the region, as well as the board for the Toronto-based Journalists for Human Rights.

Since his election, Hussen has become a household name among Somalis in the diaspora, as he headed the Canadian Somali Congress – a community based group that champions the interest of Somalis by engaging the Canadian authorities whiles also at it, strengthening civic engagement and integration.

His election has been touted as a symbol of the Canadian Liberal Party’s openness to immigrant communities.

Ahmed Hussen, a lawyer, and community activist came to Canada in 1993 at the age of 16 after fleeing his hometown, the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170112-former-somali-refugee-takes-over-canadas-immigration-ministry/.

December 11, 2016

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A suicide car bomber killed at least 16 people and injured nine others at a police station in the Somalia capital, a Somali police official said Sunday. The attack early Sunday targeted a police station adjacent to Mogadishu seaport, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

At the blast scene, medical workers carried bodies burned beyond recognition to ambulances. Human limbs and bloodied shoes were scattered across the blast scene. Most of the victims are port workers and police officers.

Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack, the second blast in the seaside capital in two days. The insurgents said they had killed “apostates” in the attack, according to the group’s Andalus radio.

On Saturday, a suspected suicide car bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at a security checkpoint near Mogadishu when soldiers stopped him for security checks. Despite being ousted from most of its key strongholds in south and central Somalia, al-Shabab continues to launch deadly guerrilla attacks against the Somali government and African Union forces across large parts of the horn of Africa nation.

More than 22,000 peacekeepers are deployed in Somalia in the multi-national African Union force. Al-Shabab opposes the presence of the foreign troops. A surge in attacks by al-Shabab could lead to further delays in the country’s presidential elections, which have been set for Dec. 28.

The elections have already been delayed three times.

27 October 2016

By Harun Maruf

Pro-Islamic State militants have seized their first big town in the Puntland region of Somalia, officials and residents told VOA.

The militants moved into the Red Sea town of Qandala, 90 miles east of Bosaso, in the early hours of Wednesday without any confrontations.

Officials from the Puntland administration have left the town. The chairman of the town, Jama Mohamed Mumin, confirmed to VOA’s Somali Service that the town was seized by “Daesh.”

A resident in the town told VOA Somali that about 60 militants entered the town and hoisted their flag on top of the police station and another historical building.

“Early in the morning they restricted our movement, now they eased restrictions and we are trying to leave the town,” says the resident, who asked not to be identified for security reasons.

He said local elders met with the militants and told them to leave the town but says the militants insisted ‘they are not going anywhere.”

The pro-Islamic State faction in northeastern Somalia is led by Sheikh Abdulkadir Mumin, a former al-Shabab cleric who pledged his allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi a year ago.

Last month, the U.S. State Department designated Mumin as a global terrorist.

A former al-Shabab member estimates that about 200 pro-IS fighters are in the group. A security expert puts the number a bit higher at 300.

Qandala is a strategic port town facing the coastal towns of Yemen. The former Intelligence Director of Puntland Abdi Hassan said earlier that IS has started delivering supplies through their affiliate faction in Yemen.

“They received military supplies from Yemen – weapons, uniform, ISIS sent trainers who inspected their bases, and they have started sending financial support,” he said. “The weapons’ shipment was delivered by sea from Mukallah city in Hadramouth, it has arrived from the Red Sea coast of Somalia in February and March this year.”

Source: allAfrica.

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201610270627.html.

March 28, 2015

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Gunmen from the Somali extremist group al-Shabab, who had taken up positions in a hotel frequented by government officials and dignitaries killing at least nine people, were exchanging fire with government troops more than 12 hours later, officials said Saturday

After the gunmen’s initial attack Friday, government troops managed to take up the first floor of the Maka Al-Mukarramah hotel in the capital Mogadishu. The gunmen were believed to be on the third and fourth floor, Capt. Mohammed Hussein said.

Hussein said the attackers were hurling grenades at the Somali special forces. The African Union Mission In Somalia, or AMISOM, posted on Twitter that there were reports of possible hostages. The attack started when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car at the gate of the hotel. Gunmen then quickly moved in.

Hours later, the militants were still holed up in the hotel’s dark alleys and rooms. Sporadic gunfire could be heard, but it appeared that the security forces would wait until daybreak before trying again to dislodge the militants.

Al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremist group that has carried out many attacks in Somalia, claimed responsibility for the assault on the hotel, which is popular with Somali government officials and foreigners.

But al-Shabab routinely carries out suicide bombings, drive-by shootings and other attacks in Mogadishu, the seat of Somalia’s Western-backed government — often targeting government troops, lawmakers and foreigners.

Al-Shabab controlled much of Mogadishu between 2007 and 2011, but was pushed out of Somalia’s capital and other major cities by African Union forces. Despite major setbacks in 2014, al-Shabab continues to wage a deadly insurgency against Somalia’s government and remains a threat in the East African region.

The group has carried out attacks in neighboring countries, including Kenya, whose military is part of the African Union troops bolstering Somalia’s weak government from al-Shabab insurgency. At least 67 people were killed in a September 2013 attack by al-Shabab on a mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi

22 January 2015 Thursday

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is still intending to visit Somalia despite a bomb blast outside the presidential palace near a hotel hosting a Turkish delegation of officials.

“An investigation is underway into whether it is a direct attack on the Turkish delegation,” he told a press conference in the Swiss city of Davos.

Earlier today, the Interior Security Ministry of Somalia told The Anadolu Agency that security in the Somali capital has been increased significantly ahead of the planned arrival of the Turkish president Friday.

Erdogan is currently holding talks in Addis Ababa as part of an official visit to Ethiopia which started Wednesday.

No casualties from the blast were reported to be Turks, according to the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu.

Though no group has claimed the attack thus far, the militant Al-Shabab group has often claimed similar attacks in the past.

Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu stressed that Somalia is a country that has high security risks.

He said he talked with the Turkish ambassador in Mogadishu and was told that three Somalis were killed in the attack.

“There are always risks but they cannot shatter Turkey’s resolute stance. Africa policy is among our key policy areas,” he said.

The Turkish premier added that it might be wrong to consider the attack as one aimed solely at Turkey.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that a Turk may have been slightly injured in the attack due to broken glass from the hotel.

The ministry added that Somali officials have strengthened security measures following the attack.

Source: World Bulletin.

Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/153548/mogadishu-attack-erdogan-to-go-ahead-with-somalia-visit.

2015-01-04

MOGADISHU – A huge car bomb blast shook Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Sunday after a suicide bomber struck an area close to the heavily-fortified international airport, killing four people, officials said.

A Somalia police official said the car bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into another car, setting off a huge blast that was heard across the coastal city.

The sprawling airport area is a major base for members of Somalia’s armed forces, houses several foreign embassies and African Union troops battling Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militants.

It has been a frequent target of attacks by the Shebab, most recently in late December when the Shebab launched a major assault against an African Union command center.

“We had information about this car laden with explosives and we have been following it… but it detonated and four civilians were killed, and the bomber,” interior ministry spokesman Mohamed Yusuf told reporters.

Witnesses said they saw clouds of smoke after the explosion, and that security forces opened fire to disperse approaching onlookers.

Several witnesses also said they saw up to five destroyed vehicles in the vicinity of the explosion.

“There was a terrible explosion. The security forces have cordoned off the area. They opened fire to disperse people nearby,” said Ali Suleyman, a witness.

The latest attack came at the end of a week which saw the United States conduct another air strike against the Isl.

The Somali government said the Shebab’s intelligence chief, Abdishakur Tahlil, was killed in Monday night’s raid.

The Shebab’s former leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was also killed by a US air strike in September.

The Shebab emerged from the Islamic Courts Union that controlled Mogadishu in 2006 before being pushed out by Ethiopian forces.

The militants were finally driven from their fixed positions in Mogadishu in 2011, and have lost several strongholds in the south and center of the country in a recent offensive by the AU’s AMISOM force.

The group, however, still controls vast rural areas from where militants launch regular attacks against the AU’s AMISOM troops and the country’s internationally-backed government.

Source: Middle East Online.

Link: http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=69536.

Thu Dec 25, 2014

At least five al-Shabab militants have reportedly been killed after attacking a military base belonging to the African Union (AU) mission in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Colonel Ali Aden Houmed, spokesman for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), said on Thursday that the militants launched an attack on the Halane military base, Somalia’s largest base for AU troops, in Mogadishu.

The AU official said at least eight militants stormed the base, adding that three of them were shot dead, while two others detonated their explosives and died near a fuel depot.

Three others were also believed to have fled the scene of the attack.

The al-Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility for the assault, saying it was targeting a Christmas party at the base near the capital’s airport, which also houses UN offices.

Witnesses said the attack prompted a heavy exchange of fire between the AU forces and the militants.

The Somali government and the African Union forces have stepped up safety measures in an effort to prevent assaults by al-Shabab, which was pushed out of Mogadishu by the African Union troops in 2011.

However, the group still holds several smaller towns and areas in the center and south of the country.

Somalia has been the scene of clashes between government forces and al-Shabab since 1991.

The country did not have an effective central government until September 2012, when lawmakers elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the new president.

Source: PressTV.

Link: http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/391808.html.

2014-12-17

MOGADISHU – Somalia’s president on Wednesday appointed a new prime minister, 11 days after the war-torn nation’s previous premier was ousted amid bitter infighting.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said he had appointed political heavyweight Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, 54, who becomes the first person to hold the post twice.

“I’m very happy that I have picked Omar Abdirashid Ali as the new prime minister of the country. I expect him to fulfill his commandments,” the president said at Villa Somalia, the fortified compound and seat of the country’s fragile internationally backed government.

Sharmarke, a dual Canadian and Somali national, replaces sacked prime minster Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, ousted by parliament after just over a year in the post.

The United Nations, United States and European Union have all warned that power struggles in the Villa Somalia were a damaging distraction for the country as it tries to battle Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels.

United Nations special envoy Nicholas Kay also said the tensions put at risk political goals including a referendum on a new constitution due to take place next year, ahead of elections in 2016.

The new prime minister told reporters he would “continue working on the efforts to bring about stability” and “taking the country the way forward to free elections”.

– Son of former president –

The economist was previously prime minister during the transitional government from 2009-2010, when he resigned after falling out with the then president.

Most recently, he became in July the first Somali ambassador to the United States in over two decades, and has previously worked for the United Nations as political adviser, including in Sudan.

Sharmarke’s father was also a former prime minister and was president between 1967 and 1969. He was assassinated by his own bodyguard, paving the way for the takeover by Siad Barre.

Hardliner Barre ruled Somalia until he himself was toppled in 1991 as the country descended into the civil war that still continues.

Like previous prime ministers, he faces a giant task to rein in corruption, quash Shebab insurgents battling to topple the central government, and rebuild the troubled Horn of Africa nation.

Sharmarke was born in the capital Mogadishu but comes from the northeastern Puntland region, from the Majeerteen clan.

In Somalia’s complex clan politics, each community expects to be represented in the corridors of power.

The Somali government, which took power in August 2012, was the first to be given global recognition since the collapse of Siad Barre’s hardline regime in 1991.

Billions in foreign aid has been poured in, including funding for the UN-mandated 22,000-strong African Union force, which has done much of the heavy fighting against Shebab rebels.

Source: Middle East Online.

Link: http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=69333.

By Isaiah Esipisu

DADAAB, Kenya, Oct 5 2011 (IPS) – When Aisha Diis and her five children fled their home in Somalia seeking aid from the famine devastating the region, she could not have known the dangers of the journey, or even fathom that she would be raped along the way.

Diis left her village of Kismayu, southwest of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, for the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya’s North Eastern Province in April.

“I was in a group of many women and children, but four of us had come from the same village, hence, we related (to each other) as one family. Along the way, we stopped to make some strong tea since the children were feeling very tired and hungry. One woman remained behind with the children and the three of us went to search for firewood,” Diis told IPS through a translator.

“We were ambushed by a group of five men who stripped us naked and raped us repeatedly,” she said as tears rolled down her cheeks. “It is something I have not been able to forget. But I wouldn’t like my children to know about it.”

But the trauma Diis and the other two women had to undergo is not an isolated incident.

As hundreds of tired, weak and malnourished women and children stream into Dadaab from famine-hit Somalia daily, the journey, for many of the women, would have been a harrowing one.

Tired and dusty, most women carry their babies tied to their backs. For many this precious cargo is the only possession they have managed to save from their homes in Somalia. Some, however, are slightly more fortunate and come with their children and what few belongings they have packed onto donkey carts.

They rarely talk about what has happened to them on the way here, when they arrive.

Instead, most register as refugees and undergo medical screening with their children. Then they are allocated a tent and basic household equipment.

The tents have no lockable doors, no windows, and no furniture, not even a bed. But all the same this is a place that the refugees can call home – for now, and perhaps for many years to come. (Some of the refugees were born here in 1991 when the camp was first established, and have not known any other home.)

But even after the women have settled in, many do not come forward to speak about the violence they experienced on their way to the camp.

“Gender-based violence is a hidden side of the famine crisis,” said Sinead Murray, the gender-based violence (GBV) program manager for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) at Dadaab.

“As per the rapid assessment done on GBV in Dadaab released by the IRC in July, rape and sexual violence were mentioned as the most pressing concerns for women and girls while fleeing Somalia and as an ongoing, though lesser concern, in the camps,” Murray told IPS.

“Some women interviewed during (the IRC) survey said they witnessed women and girls being raped in front of their husbands and parents, at the insistence of perpetrators described as ‘men with guns.’ Others were forced to strip down naked, and in the event they were raped by multiple perpetrators,” said Murray.

But Diis, and the two women who were raped with her, are some of the few Somali women who reported the violence they have been subjected to on their journey to Dadaab. In Diis’ case, she was brave enough to do so because she is a widow, and does not fear recrimination from her family as other women do.

“I did not fear to disclose my case to the medical officer because I did not have a husband,” said the widow whose husband was gunned down in Somalia by unknown assailants seven months ago.

“Many women are assaulted on their way to the refugee camp by unknown armed men, especially when travelling in a group without men,” said Ann Burton, a senior public health officer at the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at Dadaab.

“However, most of them are reluctant to report such cases since they fear that their families will blame them, communities will reject them or simply because they feel ashamed to talk about it.”

Diis was given post exposure prophylaxis, a short-term antiretroviral treatment used to reduce the likelihood of HIV infection, after she reported her rape.

“After I reported my case I was given some medicine, and I was monitored for three months after which I was informed that I had not contracted HIV. That was one of my biggest concerns,” said Diis. She also received counselling.

The other two women who were raped with Diis were also counselled and received post exposure prophylaxis.

Diis said that she is aware of other women who were raped before their immediate family members and did not report it to the medical staff at the camp.

Not reporting the rape just adds to the suffering of the women. Burton said: “Survivors often do not get critical life-saving care because of keeping it a secret.”

So far, only 30 cases of rape were reported between January and July 2011 according to the UNHCR at Dadaab. But medical experts at the camp say that this is a small fraction of a huge problem faced by women.

Once they arrive at Dadaab some women continue to experience gender-based violence from their intimate partners. Murray said this includes early marriages and survival sex – where women are forced to exchange sex for access to basic needs.

Though such GBV incidents are said to be less frequent within the camps, some women told IPS that they feel insecure and scared at night while sleeping in the makeshift shelters.

“The camps do not have fences and at the same time we are not able to lock our shelters throughout the night. Anything can happen in the dark hours,” said Amina Muhammad who lives in Dadaab.

The biggest risk at the camp, according to the women IPS spoke to, is when they travel long distances in search of firewood.

Source: Inter-Press Service (IPS).

Link: http://www.ipsnews.net/2011/10/somalia-rape-the-hidden-side-of-the-famine-crisis/.