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Sisi orders medical aid to be sent to Somalia.

Based on the orders of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to relieve the difficult situation of the people of Somalia, General Sedky Sobhy, General Commander of Armed Forces and Minister of Defense, ordered the preparation of medical supplies and medicine to be transferred to Somalia.

A plane loaded with the supplies took off to Mogadishu airport, carrying a team of medics to treat patients and transfer those in need to additional care to Egyptian military hospitals.

This comes as part of the Egyptian initiative towards its African counterparts for cooperation.

Somalia has faced instability since its creation in 1960. Before that, Somalia was a British protectorate.

Following the overthrow of its regime in 1991, Somalia entered into a period of political and social uncertainty. Because of its clan-based system, successive governments failed to establish a control over the country. However, in 2012, an internationally-backed government managed to slowly move Somalia towards stability.

The country still faces threats from Al-Qaeda-backed Al-Shabab insurgents.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said conditions are now in place in Somalia for it to achieve necessary development, according to BBC Timeline.

Since the Somali crisis broke out, Egypt has been involved in mediating between the fighting parties and hosted the Somali National Reconciliation Conference in 1997, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

As for Egyptian-Somali relations they have historically been strong. In 1960, Egypt became one of the first countries to recognize Somalia’s independence. Not only that, but an Egyptian named Kamal El Din Salah sacrificed his life in 1957 to help Somalia gain independence and to maintain its territorial integrity, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Moreover, after Somalia’s independence, Egypt’s Al-Azhar sent envoys to enhance education in Somalia.

Somalia calls Trump Jerusalem move ‘dangerous’

Jerusalem – Somalia’s government says it is closely following with concern the “dangerous” decision by President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“We are urging the US government to seriously reconsider the risks that its decision could have on the future of the Middle East and the world in general,” Somalia’s foreign ministry says.

The statement by the Horn of Africa nation also calls for Arab, Muslim and other nations to redouble their efforts to find a solution to the Palestinian issue in order to end the crisis in the region.

It says Somalia’s government and people are prepared to support Palestine’s struggle for its “rights.”

Plane carrying deportees to Somalia returns to the United States.

 A plane with deportees to Somalia, including at least four from Minnesota, returned to the United States on Friday after a stop in Senegal that authorities said did not go according to plan.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that a flight with 92 deportees headed back after a refueling and pilot exchange stop in Dakar. As the plane landed in Dakar, ICE was notified that relief crew members were not able to get enough rest because of issues with their hotel, and the plane remained parked at the airport to allow the relief crew time to rest.

“Various logistical options were explored, and ultimately ICE decided to reschedule the mission to Somalia and return to the United States with all 92 detainees,” said the statement from the agency.

Local attorneys for several of the deportees on the flight said they were baffled by the turn of events — but hopeful the flight’s return might offer some of their clients a long-shot opening to block their deportations.

The number of Somalia natives the United States deports to their homeland has increased markedly in recent years, and the Trump administration this year removed that country from a list of nations deemed uncooperative on deportations.

The U.S. government has argued that conditions in the East African country have improved sufficiently to return people there. Advocates have pointed to a string of deadly terror attacks in Somalia as they insist the country remains unsafe.

John Bruning, an attorney at Kim Hunter Law in St. Paul, said his office had two clients on the flight, both of whom unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After receiving final deportation orders, they had been checking in with ICE regularly for years until they were detained earlier this year. One of them worked as a cardiovascular technician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. In a dramatic last-minute turnaround, a federal judge blocked temporarily the deportations of two other clients who were slated to be on Thursday’s flight. A third client’s case was reopened by the Board of Immigration Appeals.”

“We’re still trying to wrap our minds around what is going on,” Bruning said.

Bruning said the two men on the flight have pending claims with the Board of Immigration Appeals, though it is unlikely that decisions in those cases will come during what will probably be a short stint in the United States until another flight to Africa can be arranged. Still, he said his office is trying to find out more about the circumstances of the return to determine if it might offer any chance to make a fresh case on their behalf.

Habon Osman, whose husband, Cabduqaadir Mayow, was on the plane, said she hoped its return might give him another chance. The couple is legally married, but her husband was arrested days before their religious ceremony. “It’s the worst story of my life,” she said. “I have a little bit of hope he came back, but you never know.”

Linus Chan at the University of Minnesota’s Center for New Americans, which is representing another deportee on the flight, said he’s also exploring whether the plane’s return might provide an opening for his client. He said he’s encouraged by the outcome in federal court for Kim Hunter Law’s three clients.

Chan said the flight’s return seems like an ordeal for those on board, though he noted ICE might not be at fault for the issues in Dakar. The agency said the air-conditioning remained on throughout the stay in Dakar, and the plane was stocked with enough food and water.

“You’ve been sitting in detention for months,” he said. “You’re on a plane to Somalia, and the next thing you know you are heading back to the U.S. That’s got to be terrible.”

Staff writer Faiza Mahamud contributed to this report.

LEAGUES Banadir hands Jubbaland 2-1 in 2017 inter-State football tourney opener

Hosts Banadir made a positive start in the second edition of Somalia’s Inter-State football tournament 2017 after shocking Jubbaland 2-1 in the opener match at Stadium Banadir on Friday.

Mohamed Omar Abukar signed the first goal for Banadir region in the 47th minute of the match, becoming the first goal scorer of this year’s edition of the competition, while ten minutes later; striker Nur Iraad Abdullahi doubled making the match 2-0 in favor of his banadir region team.

Abdiweli Abdirahman Mohamed of Banadir scored an own goal in the 75th minute of the match. This had given Jubbaland rivals a little bit of motivation although they were unable to equalize due to Banadir who seemed to have dominated most of the match in the second half preventing their opponents to score.

The Second edition of the Somali Inter-State Football tournament was opened by the prime minister of the federal republic of Somalia Hassan Ali Kheyre, while Somali Minister for youth and sports Honorable Khadija Mohamed Diriye was honored to kick the first ball of the competition.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Hirshabelle State will take on South West State at Stadium Banadir in the second day of the fixtures.

Somalis protest Trump’s Jerusalem move.

Thusands of Somalis took to the streets after Friday prayers in the capital Mogadishu to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The protesters, young and old, raised anti-America slogans. “Down with America, down with Israel,” they chanted.

“Trump will not win this war against Muslims,” Mohamed Aadan Ismail, one of the protesters told Anadolu Agency.

The mosques during the Friday sermon called for peace in the world, especially Palestine.

The Somalian government in a statement said: “We call upon the United States to seriously consider the consequences of this decision in the Middle East and the world.”

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city

The controversial decision angered Muslims and a number of demonstrations were held all around the world.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — now occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

 

UN welcomes signing of power sharing deal in central Somalia.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating, has welcomed the signing of power-sharing deal between Galmudug administration and moderate Islamic group, Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a in central Somalia.

Keating in a statement issued on Thursday night lauded the role played by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in facilitating meetings in Nairobi and Djibouti between the two parties.

“This is good news for the people of Galmudug and for all Somalis. Resolving conflicts through dialogue is the best way forward,” he added.

The power-sharing agreement was signed by Galmudug State President Ahmed Duale Ghelle and Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a (ASWJ) leader Sheikh Shakir.

The agreement which was signed at Villa Somalia was witnessed by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” and Prime Minister Hassan Khaire as well as the country’s federal member state presidents.

Keating said the power sharing deal was a significant step towards forming a viable, unified administration in Galmudug.

The parties had not met since the formation of Galmudug state in July 2015, but reached a breakthrough during a workshop held in Djibouti earlier this month.

Keating who noted that outstanding issues still need to be addressed encouraged all stakeholders — including the two parties, the central government, local representatives and authorities, assembly members and civil society — to maintain momentum to finalize and implement the agreement.

The regional bloc has played a mediation role in bringing together the rival sides in Galmudug, a federal member state in central Somalia established in 2014.

Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a, a moderate Islamist group is opposed to Al-Shabaab militant group but sympathetic to the central government.

Al-Shabaab group kills senior police commissioner in Galkayo.

Sources in the semi-autonomous regional state of Puntland in the northern Somalia said Wednesday that a local police officer was killed in a car bomb explosion, KNN reports.

The late police commissioner was identified as Ali Ibrahim. He was the head of Galkayo police commission. Police said his car has been fixed with a time bomb which exploded as killed officer was on his way to work.

The militant group, Al-Shabaab which routinely carries out such attacks in the region claimed responsibility of today’s killing.

Somalia Partnership Forum stresses job creation and poverty reduction to promote stability.

A gathering of senior representatives of the Somali Government, the United Nations and the international community concluded in Mogadishu today with a call for greater investment in the country’s economic development to create more job opportunities, rehabilitate essential infrastructure, and improve the living conditions of the Somali people.

For the second consecutive day, the Federal and state-level leaders of the country met with senior representatives of the international community in the so-called Somalia Partnership Forum to assess the various challenges facing Somalia, with today’s high-level conference focusing on humanitarian and development issues.

Participants commended the Government of Federal President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” for its leadership in the country’s drought response effort that averted a devastating famine in 2017. 

But several speakers also warned that the threat of a major humanitarian disaster still loomed over millions of Somalis, and continued support from international partners would be needed for the foreseeable future.

“Unfortunately, we cannot declare victory, and we have to exercise extreme caution because the situation remains the worst we have faced in recent living memory after four failed rainy seasons,” said Peter de Clercq, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia.

“We continue to need deliveries of humanitarian assistance to the tune of $100 million per month,” he explained.

Mr. de Clercq noted that international partners have provided over $1.2 billion in assistance to support the Federal Government’s drought response effort this year, adding that a humanitarian response plan for Somalia in 2018 will seek to raise another $1.5 billion.

“Without the support of the international community, we could not have averted this famine,” Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said in his remarks at the event.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), poverty, marginalization, armed violence, insecurity, political instability, natural disasters and a lack of economic development have driven up humanitarian needs for decades in the east African country.

Also, a lack of access to basic services, especially in the areas of education and livelihoods opportunities, can easily tip residents into the vulnerable category in terms of relief needs, as well as encouraging outward migration in search of employment and increased susceptibility to recruitment by militant groups.

In his keynote address, President Farmaajo said his Government intends to reduce poverty by two per cent each year and had created jobs for thousands of Somali youth since taking office earlier this year with assistance from the international community.

“We must still do more to retain our young people,” he added. “That is a must, not only to grow our country but also for preventing radicalization. We are fully aware that socio-economic improvements to the quality of our people’s lives…will undoubtedly help bring about political stability.”

President Farmaajo also reiterated his long-standing call for debt relief that would provide Somalia with access to loans from international financial institutions to pay for urgently needed infrastructure improvements.

“If we are not able to build roads required by our small businesses to bring their produce to market, it would be difficult to meet our stated goal of reducing poverty,” the President said.

A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting welcomed the Federal Government’s pledge to hold one-person, one-vote elections in 2021. The document also stated that the next Somalia Partnership Forum would be held in the middle of 2018.

Somalia’s Puntland region declares state of emergency over drought.

Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland declared a state of emergency on Tuesday and appealed for food and water because of shortages triggered by a severe drought.

Drought has gripped large parts of the Horn of Africa country this year and the United Nations says children face acute malnutrition.

The crisis is compounded by al Shabaab’s Islamist insurgency that seeks to topple the central government that is backed by African Union peacekeepers and the West.

Al Shabaab militants carry out bombings in the capital Mogadishu and other regions. Militants killed more than 500 people in the capital in an attack last month.

Puntland’s government said 34,000 households across the region are affected by the drought due to the failure of successive rainy seasons.

Puntland “launched a wide-ranging humanitarian appeal to secure food, water and other resources for the affected region,” a government statement said. It said 70 percent of the area faced extreme drought and was unlikely to receive rain for five months.

Militant attacks in Puntland are rare compared to the rest of Somalia mainly because its security forces are relatively regularly paid and receive substantial U.S. assistance.

But this year there has been an upsurge in violence as al Shabaab and a splinter group linked to Islamic State have attacked government troops.

-Reuters

Somalia Allows Formation of Political Parties for First Time in 40 Years.

For the first time in almost half a century, Somali authorities announced on Monday that they were permitting the formation of political parties.

Meanwhile, international and regional partners pledged at a conference held in the Somali capital Mogadishu to support the current government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmajo.

The vow is to help Somalia meet security, military and economic challenges.

In a move that would replace the current clan-based power-sharing system, seven parties have been accredited by the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC).

“We have to come up with political parties that will compete in the elections that will take place in the country in order to move away from the system of 4.5 to one person one vote,” NIEC chair Halima Ismail Ibrahim said.

“We have succeeded in this process and today we temporarily registered seven political parties,” she added.

Later, Farmajo officially opened a high-level meeting on security in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

Leaders of the Federal member states, the African Union, United Nations, European Union, and other international partners attended the meeting aimed at following up on the London Conference on Somalia, held earlier in May this year.

Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira co-chaired the meeting with Farmajo.

Madeira said the meeting reviewed developments, especially in the political and security fields, and welcomed the doubling of the security operations of the African Union peacekeeping forces AMISOM to eliminate Al-Shabaab extremists.

The implementation of the National Security Architecture plan and the mechanisms of handing over security responsibility from AMISOM to the Somali National Army forces, starting next year was high on the agenda at talks.

But Madeira spoke in turn of the need to obtain approval from the UN Security Council to give greater powers to expand the scope of AMISOM operations to crack down on Al-Shabaab terrorists.

He added that AMISOM forces are currently securing vital premises and providing military advice to Somali army forces in preparation for assuming security functions.