Anani conveys King’s invitation to Somali president to attend Arab Summit

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Wednesday, received Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and State Minister for Investment Affairs Jawad Anani.

Anani conveyed to the Somali president a letter from His Majesty King Abdullah II that included an invitation to attend the Arab Summit that will be hosted by Jordan in March.

He also conveyed to President Mohamud His Majesty’s greetings as well as his keenness to ensure that the summit will contribute to enhancing Arab cooperation and solidarity.

The Somali president also asked Anani to convey his greetings to His Majesty and voiced his appreciation to King Abdullah’s supportive stances towards Somalia.

Source: Petro

Ilhan Omar meets with President Mohamud at Villa Somalia

Mogadishu (HOL) – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with Ilhan Omar, a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives in the United States on Tuesday at Villa Somalia.

Accompanied by her husband, Ilhan Omar was welcomed to the presidential palace by Abdirahman Osman.

Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American legislator in the history of the United States. She was born in Mogadishu before fleeing to a Kenyan refugee camp on the onset of the Somali civil war.

President Mohamud thanked Ilhan for visiting her motherland and congratulated her on victory this past November. The pair met briefly and discussed the political atmosphere in Somalia including upcoming elections.

During their meeting, Ms. Omar welcomed the 30% quota allocated for women in parliament and urged the President to do anything in his power to achieve that benchmark.

Source: Hiiraan Online

Farmajo lands in Mogadishu; greeted by thousands of supporters

In a welcoming typically reserved for a high profile celebrity, Somali presidential candidate Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo has landed in the Somali capital on Tuesday amid throngs of cheering supporters.

The former Prime Minister flew in from Nairobi and was welcomed by residents of Mogadishu and some government officials.

Mohamed Ali Dahir, A local businessman who was among the supporters told HOL that Farmajo is the people’s candidate.

“If there was one-man-one-vote, Farmajo would easily come out the winner. He enjoys the support of the people throughout the country. Unfortunately, we do not have that opportunity to express our vote.”

Farmajo was Prime Minister from October 2010 to June 2011. He is widely credited with improving the security sector in Somalia by providing regular salary payments to security forces while in office. When he was forced to resign in 2011 as a part of a UN-backed deal that extended the president and speaker mandate, protesters took to the streets of Mogadishu to reject the deal that would remove Farmajo.

Farmajo hopes to be the 9th President of Somalia as he is one of the main candidates in what analysts are expecting to be a hotly contested Presidential race. The election is scheduled for December 28, but with voting for the Lower House still  incomplete, another postponement appears to be likely.

Source: Hiiraan Online

African Union forces in Somalia kill 11 civilians: Residents

MOGADISHU, Somalia — African Union soldiers killed 11 civilians in two separate incidents over the weekend, Somalia residents told The Associated Press on Monday.

Traditional elder Mohamed Hassan said the first occurred when troops opened fire on a minibus in Qoryooley town in Lower Shabelle region on Sunday. All six passengers were killed, he said.

The African Union Mission for Somalia said it was investigating “the unfortunate incident in Qoryooley where civilians lost their lives in an attack.”

The force also said on Twitter that it will issue a statement on the other “allegations.”

In a separate incident, residents in Marka town said an AU armored vehicle smashed into a home, killing a mother and four children. Resident Ahmed Sheikh Ali said the crash occurred after a bomb attack targeted an army convoy.

Somali officials were not available for comment Monday.

Thousands of African Union troops are in Somalia to bolster the country’s weak government, which is facing an insurgency from the homegrown al-Shabab extremist group that is linked to al-Qaida.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Washington Post

East Africa: Somalia Saves Uganda and Tanzania From Going to War

Somalia could be categorised as a failed state today, but 44 years ago it mediated in a peace deal to prevent Uganda and her southern neighbour Tanzania from going to war.

Then Somalia president Siad Barre brokered a regional peace deal that delayed the war from breaking out, by about five years.

Then president Idi Amin was responding to the invasion by pro-Milton Obote forces who had bases in Tanzania. The invasion was short lived as the invaders were pushed out of Uganda.


The Uganda Argus newspaper of September 17, 1972, reported that at least 1,000 ‘Tanzanian troops’ had invaded the country, reaching 100 miles away from the capital, Kampala. They overran Kyotera, Kakuto and Kalisizo towns.

A strong response from the Amin government followed the attack. It started off by blaming the British government of supporting the invaders, before arresting a number of British nationals in Uganda.

According to The Keesing’s Contemporary Archives volume 18 of November 1972, “After arresting a number of British nationals by police, the government appealed to both the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and to Dr Kurt Waldheim, the UN Secretary General, to intervene against unprovoked aggression.”

The same publication goes on to state that on the same day, September 17, 1972, in Tanzania an official statement was issued by government saying, “forces of a people’s army inside Uganda had taken over a military camp at Kisenyi and seized a large quantity of arms.”

However, in the same statement the commander of the Tanzanian People’s Defence Forces (TPDF), Maj Gen Mrisho Sarakikya, denied that Tanzanian troops were involved in the operations. Though there were reports in Tanzania that a group of Ugandan dissidents fighting against the Ugandan Army had taken a military garrison.

A day after the invasion, government troops managed to retake the towns lost to the invaders.

On September 18, 1972, Radio Uganda announced that among those arrested during the invasion included three former Ugandan Army officers and two civilians. Among those captured were Wilfred Odong, Picho Ali and another only identified as Capt Oyile.

Having suspected British involvement in the raid, a Ugandan Defence Council meeting resolved that Amin removes all Asians and Europeans from the security forces with immediate effect, for they could not be trusted.

The Time newspaper of London reported the next day that “Nine British nationals, including nine journalists have been arrested by the police. Among those arrested include children and women”.

The Keesing’s Contemporary Archives further says while meeting diplomats from the Organisation of African Union to brief them about the invasion, Amin said: “Uganda had been attacked by 1,500 men, including Tanzanian soldiers, supporters of ex-president Obote and Israeli mercenaries.”

“Captain Oyile had admitted that there were guerrilla camps at Bukoba and Tabora (in Tanzania), where between 1,000 and 1,500 men were being trained.”

Despite having retaken the towns from the invaders, the Ugandan Air Force continued bombing Bukoba in Tanzania, prompting the Tanzanian government to move its 4th battalion from Tabora, supported by a mortar company from Musoma, towards the Uganda boarder to stop Ugandan troops from crossing into their country.

After the Bukoba air attacks, Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere sent a telegram to King Hassan of Morocco, then chairman of the OAU, protesting against the attacks.

According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper of September 17, 1972, the British government reacted to Amin’s allegation through the junior minister for foreign and Commonwealth affairs, Lady Priscilla Tweedsmuir, who told the House of Lords that: “The allegation that Britain was deeply involved in the situation in Uganda had been repeated in an indirect message from the Ugandan Foreign ministry.”

She reiterated that the British government “had no prior knowledge of operations then taking place in southwest Uganda, was not involved in any way in their planning or execution, and certainly had no plans of invading Uganda”.

Towards the end of the month, the Sudanese government intercepted five Libyan Air Force planes carrying officers, arms and ammunition to Uganda. They were forced to land at Khartoum airport.

It should be remembered that Obote had just left Sudan three months earlier to go to Tanzania. Tripoli tricked Khartoum that they had recalled their planes back home but they instead flew to Entebbe.

The Keesing’s Contemporary Archives says Sudanese president Gaafar Nemery declared “that he supported Uganda’s right to defend her sovereignty but hoped that this would be done without armed conflict.”

Foreign mediation

As Amin was looking for support, the OAU started a diplomatic solution to prevent the conflict from escalating into a full-blown war. The Organisation’s secretary general, Nzo Ekangaki, and the Somalia government led the quest for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Ekangaki first approached then Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta to mediate. According to Kenyan Newspaper Daily Nation of September 22, 1972, then Kenyan minister for power and communication Ronald Ngala announced, “We are friendly to both nations. Whatever is going on between them, Kenya will not get involved.”

With Kenya refusing to mediate, three other heads of state, included Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, presidents Houari Boumedienne and Sekou Toure of Algeria and Guinea respectively all expressed readiness to be associated with the initiative.

Egyptian president at the time Anwar Sadat met Tanzanian foreign minister John Malecela, who requested him to send a diplomatic delegation to Uganda to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

It was, however, reported in Kenyan media that presidents Amin and Nyerere had agreed to an interim cease-fire, with Uganda promising to stop bombing Tanzanian towns and Tanzania undertaking to withdraw its forces from the border.

Then Somali president Siad Barre drafted a five-point peace plan which was presented to the two presidents by the Somali foreign minister Omar Arteh Ghalib.

American newspaper New York Times of September 24, 1972, reported that the plan had the following questions, “Would Uganda halt its bombing and land attacks if it were assured by Tanzania that it would not be attacked by Tanzanian troops or pro-Obote guerrillas? Would Tanzania, given an assurance that the Ugandan Army would not attack it, undertake not to attack Uganda? If so, would Tanzania withdraw its troops from the frontier? Would Tanzania also withdraw the pro-Obote fighters from the border? Would Tanzania oppose subversive activities threatening a neighbouring state?”

After receiving the draft plan, Amin warned the guerrillas in the border towns of Mutukula and Kikagati to withdraw. Despite agreeing on the peace plan, the threat and accusation of aggression against each other persisted.

Just two days after Amin had agreed on the peace plan, he accused Zambia, Tanzania and India of planning to attack Uganda.

The Keesing’s Contemporary Archives says Amin’s comments followed the visit of presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Varahagiri Venkata Giri of Zambia and India respectively to Tanzania.

The Cape Times newspaper of South Africa on September 28, 1972, quoted the Indian government spokesperson saying “that Indian involvement is a mischievous and fantastic rumour without any foundation whatsoever”.

In a presidential press statement aired on Radio Uganda on September 28, 1972, Amin accused Tanzanian of carrying out another invasion in which a number of attackers were arrested in Mutukula.

Among those captured was Alex Ojera who was a former minister of Information and Broadcasting.

The following day, Ojera was paraded before diplomats, including OAU secretary general Ekangaki who had come to Kampala on a peace mission.

Mogadishu peace accord

The talks in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, were scheduled to start on September 27. It involved foreign minister of Uganda Wanume Kibedi, his Tanzanian counterpart John Malecela, Somalia’s Omar Arteh Ghalib, the OAU secretary general, among others.

However, they were delayed until October 2, 1972. The Ugandan and Tanzanian foreign ministers met the Somali president who told them that the conflict between their two countries was nothing but a colonialist conspiracy aimed at weakening African unity.

On October 5, 1972, after two days of talks, Kibedi, Malecela and Arteh in the presence of Ekangaki, signed an agreement which was published simultaneously in Dar-es-Salaam, Kampala and Mogadishu on October 7, 1972.

Previously Siad Barre had paid a visit to Dar-es-Salaam on October 6, 1972, and Kampala the following day.

During the visit to Uganda, Amin named a road after Siad Barre in honour of his efforts to end the conflict between Uganda and Tanzania.

The peace agreement required the two countries to withdraw their forces at least six miles away from their borders.

This was supposed to come into effect by October 9, 1972. A team of Somali peace observers would be deployed on the borders of the two countries to observe the withdrawal.

The peace accord also required both countries to stop harbouring subversive elements on their areas that cross into the other’s territory and to end all hostilities. Both countries were also required to return all the properties they captured from each other during the conflict.

On October 11, 1972, Amin announced that his troops had withdrawn six miles from the border and that fighting had ceased. A day later the Tanzanian Defence minister Edward Sokoine announced the withdrawal of the TPDF from the border area.

The Obote loyalists who had participated in the invasion were relocated deep inside northern Tanzania.

A former member of the Kikosi Maalum says they concentrated in the areas of Tabora where they went into Tobacco growing and charcoal burning from 1972 until 1978 when they were mobilised for the final battle that deposed Amin.

Source: Daily Monitor

Health practitioner in Hingalool saves women from bleeding in maternity

Despite a severe fistula conditions faced by immature girls in Somalia, Saynab Abdi Warsame 53, stood up to grip with a critical maternity challenges in Sanaag’s Hingalool village.

She has been helping and consoling young girls for almost 26years to avoid women rapture and die during the childbirth as voluntarily.

“I have never left Hingalool to help suffering women, in my town we have not been capable to acquire an appropriate health equipments to execute midwifery so we have accustomed to recommend pregnants to take their medics from the bigger cities before labour approaches” Saynab said .

You know how it difficult to be without salary and I yet been dedicated to deliver midwifery services through different complications. Now a health facility was built in here but challenges are out of hands” she said.

She said that maternity deaths could be handled if authorities set agendas it tackling in mitigating the death of unborn babies in Hingalool’s single referral hospital.

Many children dies during the labour as they wedge their mother’s womb due to unskilled health professionals hired to work in some hospitals in Sanaag according to Saynab.

Female genital mutilation and child marriage remains prevalent practices in Somalia’s main villages as risky of childbirth challenges being addressed in recent years.

Source: Hiiraan Online

12 killed in Al-Shabaab clashes with locals in Somalia

Twelve people were killed, including nine civilians and three Al-Shabaab militants, in their clashes in south Somalia on Saturday, officials said.

Ahmed Mohamud Ahmed, spokesman for Jubaland State security agency, said their forces backed locals near Kismayo town who were fighting Al-Shabaab.

“Al-Shabaab militants killed nine livestock owners. They also stole 2,000 camels from the locals. Later the locals backed by the military fought back the militants where the forces killed three Al-Shabaab fighters and injured several others,” Ahmed said.

The spokesman said Jubaland State forces captured three key locations from Al-Shabaab militants in Saturday’s operation.

“Our forces made progress in the fight against terrorists. We captured three key areas including Janay-Abdale and Ber-hano, about some 60 kilometers west of Kismayo town. We are in full control of those locations and we remain there and continue the liberation,” he added.

Al-Shabaab militants has not commented on the latest clashes in Lower Juba region in southern Somalia.

Similar confrontation happened in central Somalia on November after locals rejected to pay taxes (Zakawat) imposed by Al-Shabaab.

Source: Xinhua

UPDATE: Slain sisters in Ottawa double homicide have been identified

Ottawa (HOL) – The names of the two sisters who were killed last night in their home in Ottawa have been identified as Asma Noor and Nasiba Noor.

Police responded to a call at a McCarthy Road home at about 9 pm on Friday and found the two victims dead.

The Ottawa Citizen reported that a man had been arrested after being spotted by one of their reporters standing on train tracks near the family home at around 11 pm. Police arrested the man 15 minutes later.

A source close to the family who spoke with us on condition of anonymity has said that the girls were alone at the time of the slaying.

The name of the suspect has not yet officially been released although there are unconfirmed reports that the brother of the deceased sisters is in custody and a suspect in the double homicide.

Hiiraan Online emphasizes that these reports are unconfirmed by Ottawa Police.

Family were role models

The sisters were daughters of prominent Somali professor Abdirahman Ahmed Noor (Sulub). He has authored books on leadership studies and teaches at many institutions throughout Somalia.

A neighbour and Somali community leader Abdulkadir Maalin is shocked that a tragedy of this magnitude can befall such a nice family.

“The family was a role model in the Somali community. They were successful in every aspect of their lives in terms of education, generosity, and religious piety. They were excellent neighbours. It’s a tragedy, any way you look at it, its just tragic. I haven’t slept much since I heard the news.”  he told Hiiraan Online. “The girls, they were really respectful.”

 Community in mourning

Ottawa is home to tens of thousands of Somali’s who expressed shock and dismay at the slayings.

The tight-knit Somali community has grappled with homicide in the past, what makes this different is the circumstances at which the sisters died and that the two girls were well-respected role models.

A funeral and burial services for the girls will be held tomorrow (Sunday, December 17, 2016) at Jami Omar Mosque located at 3990 Old Richmond Road in Ottawa.

Source: Hiiraan Online

Why Mogadishu’s former mayor wants to be Somalia’s president

He was the mayor of Mogadishu. Before that a teenaged basketball star. And before that, a young nomad in Somalia. Now, Mohamud Nur’s ambitions are set on being Somalia’s president. (Tobin Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

His full name is Mohamud Ahmed Nur, but most people in his home country of Somalia call him “Tarzan,”  a nickname that has stayed with him since childhood.

For four years, Nur was the mayor of Mogadishu, trying to bring his beloved city back to its once comfortable grandeur. In 2014, he was ousted from the mayor’s office but he hasn’t given up on setting his country on the right path.  He’s now running to become Somalia’s president.

Nur’s own history reflects the complicated history of his country. Born into a poor, nomadic family, he became a teenaged basketball star living in an orphanage, then a member of the diaspora, and now a returnee.

As mayor in 2011, Mohamud “Tarzan” Nur pictured here clearing garbage in Mogadishu. (Courtesy of Mohamud Nur)

The Current’s Anna Maria Tremonti speaks with Mohamud Nur from Mogadishu about his past successes as a politician and a basketball player, and the changes he hopes he can bring to Somalia if he is elected president later this year.

“Imagine a city in the coastline of the Indian Ocean and Italian architecture, how beautiful that city,” Nur tells Tremonti looking back at life in the 70s.

“When we grew up we grew up in a city that was peaceful, zero criminality, zero tension. We used to go to the ocean and swim and then walk around … Peacefully.”

“So that’s why I was looking to bring Mogadishu back to the ‘hey’ time of Somalia and they ‘hey’ time of the capital city of Somalia. That was my dream.”

Mohamud “Tarzan” Nur with his basketball team, 1970. Tarzan rear left, with his arm around the coach. (Courtesy of Mohamud Nur)

Tremonti also spoke with Nur’s brother Yusuf Ahmed Nur, professor of business management at Indiana University and by journalist Andrew Harding, author of The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia.

“In a sense, Somalia is a glimpse into the future because it’s been through everything, the worst that can happen to a country,” Harding says. “And it’s happened over 25 years.”

Harding says Somalia’s experience is a lesson the world needs to learn.

“When you look at Syria today the first thing is: don’t give up on the country because the world gave up on Somalia in the early 1990s.”

“And once a country collapses it takes a generation, or maybe two or three generations, to put it back together again.”

Source: CBSNews

Young Somali-Australians get chance to grow business skills

The Iftiin Somali graduate program has paired nine Muslim Somali university graduates with early-and mid-career professionals from the Young Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) network.

The mentoring program is a six-month program that includes regular one-on-one meetings and workshops.

‘Iftiin’ is the Somali word for ‘light’ and was chosen by the participants.

Young AICC chairman Alon Cassuto said: “Light is an incredibly powerful symbol for them, because, in a world where, often, there’s a lot of darkness, it just takes a little bit of light to be able to create a complete change in possibilities and mindsets.

“So this idea of them being a light in their community, and the idea of being able to light up the possibilities, for them is incredibly powerful as a metaphor and as a symbol.”

The program aims to create a new generation of Somali-Australian business leaders “and to be able to equip them to truly succeed in the professional world,” said Mr Cassuto.

The program stems from a meeting between African leaders and Melbourne’s Jewish community, who referred the idea to the Young Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce.

The Young AICC is a not-for-profit networking organisation promoting cross-cultural business networking for future business leaders in Australia.

There are over 1,200 Victorian members across a broad range of industry sectors.

The brains behind the program is Mahad Warsame, a member of Victoria’s Somali community.

The program is a concept he hopes will help break down workplace barriers and biases.
“It’s challenging. It’s not only us. I think it’s everyone. But, for us, what’s happening in the world, it impacts sometimes – you know, the names we have, the colour, sometimes, we have,” he said.

Even though graduates often have strong academic records and professional qualifications, they say finding jobs in their chosen fields can be hard.

“Somali graduates had got incredibly good marks at university, had graduated from the top universities, but then didn’t necessarily know where to (go) from there.

They didn’t have people in their families or in their community that they could turn to to be able to get work experience or internships or interviews. And, time and again, when they applied for jobs, they found themselves not being able to get a foot in the door,” said Alon Cassuto.

It’s a problem that 26-year-old Abdurrahman Ahmed says is all too familiar.

Ahmed, who is now a participant in the Iftiin mentoring program, moved to Australia eight years ago, leaving his immediate family in Africa.

With little English, he worked hard to pursue a higher education and became the first of his family to attend university. He graduated last year with honours.

But since then, he’s worked mostly as a security guard.

“What I’m hoping to get out of Iftiin program is, absolutely, first is personal development, like getting those extra skills in terms of resume writing, public speaking, et cetera.

“And second thing is to get employed in the industry, engineering,” he said.

The programs mentors also say there are benefits for them.

They say they get to grow and develop as leaders and feel empowered to contribute to multicultural Australia.

Mr Ahmed has been paired with mentor Rita Chandra.

“I have a keen interest in working with other young professionals and graduates and helping them into the industry.

“It is a bit of a tough industry to get into,” said Ms Chandra.

“The second reason is I think that it is a little bit tougher for first-generation migrants. There are some social norms and that kind of level of integration getting into the job market that is a little bit tougher.”

Young AICC says it will look at potentially rolling out the program on a wider scale after it was approached by the South Sudanese and Congolese communities.

Source: World News Australia