08 October 2015 - Morning Headlines‏, At Least Five Dead In Somalia Market Bomb Attack

Thursday October 08, 2015 - 15:04:58 in News In English by Warsheekh Media
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    08 October 2015 - Morning Headlines‏, At Least Five Dead In Somalia Market Bomb Attack

    An explosion has ripped through a market in the southern Somali town of Afgoye, killing at least five people and injuring several others, witnesses have said. A resident of the town told Horseed Media that the blast happened in the livestock market a

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An explosion has ripped through a market in the southern Somali town of Afgoye, killing at least five people and injuring several others, witnesses have said. A resident of the town told Horseed Media that the blast happened in the livestock market at noon time. Among the dead are two soldiers and three civilians. '
’We think the bomb was planted last night and today while normal business was going on it exploded. Following the blast everybody fled the market because of fear of more explosions,’’ said one of the witnesses. Though no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, the region is a hotbed of Al-Shabaab activity. The al-Qaeda-linked terror group has carried out a string of such assaults in the area that has claimed lives of civilians and government officials.

Afgoye, which is 30km (18 miles) northwest of the capital city of Mogadishu, was a major stronghold of the Al-Shabaab militants until 2012 when government and African Union forces took control of the area. It lies on a strategic crossroads for routes to the north, west and south of Somalia.
07 October - Source: Goobjoog News - 504 Words

The African Union has appointed Mozambican, Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, as head of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) replacing Ambassador Maman Sambo Sidikou, who has been heading the mission for the last one year. Madeira, a career diplomat and anti-terrorism expert, takes over the mission mandate a time AMISOM has made significant gains jointly with the Somali National Army in neutralising Al-Shabaab and recovering a number of towns and localities formerly under Al-Shabaab control.

Madeira served as AU Special Representative for Counter-Terrorism Cooperation and Director of the Algiers-based African Centre on the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), a post he held concurrently with that of Special Envoy for the issue of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), from November 2011 to July 2014. He has also variously served as special envoy on a number of peace missions in Africa such negotiator roles in Sao Tome and Principe, Arusha negotiations for Burundi, South Sudan and Comoros. Madeira also been a minister and member of parliament in Mozambique where he played a critical role in the truce between the government and then rebel faction RENAMO in 1992.

In a statement to the media, AMISOM has hailed Madeira’s appointment as key especially as Somalia prepares for elections in 2016. "Given his experience in counter-terrorism, Ambassador Madeira is expected to give a new impetus to the campaign to neutralize al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups, building on the tremendous achievements made by AMISOM over the past few years, in particular with the recovery of many of the major cities and other strategic locations of south-central Somalia. He will also assist in the implementation of Vision 2016 developed by the Somali stakeholders,” read the statement in part.

Sidikou’s tenure has been marked by significant gains by AMISOM including the fall of key resource bases for Al-Shabaab such as the coastal town of Barawe and recently Bardhere among a number of other towns. However, the attack of AMISOM bases for Uganda and Burundi this year, which left a number of soldiers dead, have marked some of his challenging moments including allegations of killings of civilians by AMISOM soldiers.

The AU chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has thanked Sidikou for his remarkable achievements in making Somalia more peaceful during his tenure and wished him well as he exits Mogadishu. "The Chairperson of the Commission would like to express her sincere appreciation to Ambassador Sidikou for his leadership and commitment. Under his tenure, AMISOM, jointly with the Somali Security Forces, significantly expanded the territory under the control of the FGS, and played an important role in advancing the political process. She wishes him success in his future endeavours,” said AMISOM.

AMISOM’s term in Somalia is set to come to a close in 2017 but questions still abound on the ability of the Somali National Army to take over the mantle and secure the country from Al-Shabaab which has been waging war on the government. An exit strategy could be part of Madeira’s assignment but more importantly ensuring sufficient security for the August 2016 polls.

Somalia Accuses Arrested Journalists Of Public ‘Incitement’

07 October - Source: Mareeg Online - 358 Words

Somalia’s national intelligence agency has accused a journalist and his director it arrested early this month of inciting violence through their coverage. This is after their television station hosted a debate, which discussed about alleged meddling of Somalia’s internal affairs by neighbouring countries of Ethiopia and Kenya. Awil Dahir Salad, a producer of the London-based Universal TV who hosted the debate in which Somali parliamentarians criticized the government’s rule and its ‘leniency’ towards ‘intrusive’ politics by neighbouring countries and Abdullahi Hersi, the television’s bureau director, were arrested last Friday after being summoned to the intelligence agency headquarters.

During the debate, two Somali legislators alleged that neighbouring countries, notably Ethiopia, dominates Somali politics and continues to divide Somalia along clan and regional state lines: "When a media outlet is used to extort state institutions, defame constitutional heads of state, creates a political instability and instill public hopelessness – they inflict a damage more harmful than terrorism,” said a statement from the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) on Tuesday.

"We haven’t taken action against this television station just because of one reporting, but there have been previous detrimental actions they have committed.” The statement added. The statement from the agency comes as the two media workers are spending their fifth day in a prison in the Somali capital. Journalists’ watchdogs accused the government of violating freedom of speech by arresting the journalists, an action which they said constitutes a flagrant violation of freedom of information. "We condemn the arrests of Abdullahi Hersi and Awil Dahir Salad and the suspension of Universal TV,” said Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) East Africa Representative, Tom Rhodes: "We call on Somali authorities to stop this arbitrary harassment of journalists and respect freedom of the press, as called for in the country’s Constitution.”

Besides Syria, Somalia is one of the most dangerous places media workers operate. Dozens of journalists have been killed in the past few years, forcing many to flee from the Horn of Africa nation where competing political parties, government officials and militants are often blamed for journalists’ deaths. Very few perpetrators have so far been been charged with the cold-blood murders, which have sent shockwaves across media industry.

Universal TV’s Journalists Released After Six Days In Jail

07 October - Source: Goobjoog News - 269 Words

Two of London-based Somali owned Channel Universal TV’s journalists Awil Dahir Salad and Abdullahi Hirsi Kulmiye were finally released from prison on Wednesday afternoon after being detained for six days. The detention of the two is linked to a program aired on 30th last month on the critical political state of the country. The development comes following a press statement released from the office of the Somali Parliament Speaker urging the Attorney General to release of Universal VT’s journalists.

"Because of the MPs involvement in the case, the Speaker asked the Attorney General to immediately grant the journalists freedom and he (Attorney general) obliged,” reads the statement. Earlier this month Somali security forces closed down universal TV’s office in Mogadishu and apprehended two staffers including a senior journalist. Addressing journalists, the channel’s head of programs, Mohamed Ahmed Haji aka Agma-dhige said two of the station’s journalists have spent a night behind the bars and the office remained closed following the raid by National Intelligence Service Agency, NISA on Friday evening.

He pointed out that the detention is related to debate program on the critical of state of the country that has been aired 30th of last month by the station. "The administration of Universal TV condemns the arbitrary arrest of the two journalists in Mogadishu, the latest in a string of violence against the journalists in Somalia” he said. During the debate that irked NISA officials, MPs who participated in the programme claimed Somalia was no longer a free country; and that the presence of AMISOM troops in the country was "illegal”.

Baardheere Swoop Nets Members Of Al-Shabaab And Weapons

07 October - Source: Wacaal Media - 88 Words

Up to five members of Al-Shabaab were yesterday arrested in Baardheere and assorted weapons seized from them hours after Al-Shabaab attacked a military checkpoint outside the town. Confirming this to Wacaal Media, a senior member of the Somali National Army in Gedo region, Abdi Mohamud Maalim Omar, said the operations were carried out in Baardheere and the surrounding areas. The suspects are currently being held at a local police station where they were being interrogated. Officials say they will be arraigned in court soon.

Kenya Objects To Coastal Boundary Case Filed By Somalia At The ICJ

07 October - Source: Daily Nation - Words 659

Kenya has formally rejected Somalia’s boundary dispute case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), terming it "invalid.”Attorney-General Githu Muigai says in preliminary objections filed to the ICJ that Mogadishu’s contest to have Kenya-Somalia coastal boundaries adjusted is invalid. This is because an agreement exists between the two countries to progressively solve the matter through negotiations and not courts.

"Litigating this complex issue before the court is clearly contrary to the 2009 MoU. Somalia’s case is invalid and Kenya is confident that the court will agree with its submissions,” Kenya says in its response to the case filed in July. "The two governments must find a solution through amicable agreement, under international law. It is their obligation to do so.” Kenya is responding to a case in which Somalia has gone to the ICJ to demand that its boundary be adjusted to give Mogadishu a huge chunk of it with significant oil deposits.

The area in contest is about 100,000 square kilometres, forming a triangle east of the Kenya coast. In 2009, Kenya and Somalia reached an MoU, which was then deposited to the UN in 2011. The agreement had stated that the border would run east along the line of latitude although further negotiations were to be held through the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

This agreement also stated that maritime boundary adjustments would only occur after the commission had established the outer limits of shelf and that both sides would avoid courts as much as possible over the matter. While Kenya accuses Somalia of reneging on the agreement, Somalia says the deal won’t hold because its cabinet and MPs rejected it.In 2012, Somalia accused Kenya of awarding offshore oil and gas blocks illegally to multinationals Total and Eni, an accusation Kenya rejected. Prof Muigai told the court on Wednesday that that agreement should still guide negotiations on the matter. But Somalia has charged that only the ICJ, a UN court that handles inter-state disputes, would resolve it because the two sides had exhausted all diplomatic channels.

Australia Refuses Abortion For Raped Refugee

07 October - Source: Radio New Zealand - 181

Australia is refusing to grant an abortion to a Somali woman who was raped after Canberra sent her to Nauru. The 23-year-old refugee says she was raped on Nauru and is now 11 weeks pregnant. Lawyers acting on her behalf have asked the Australian government to fly her back to Australia for a possible termination, but have reportedly received no reply from either the Prime Minister or the Immigration Minister.

A gynecology professor, Caroline de Costa, says the woman, who is under the care of the government of Australia, should be transferred without delay to Australia to a service where she can have appropriate care to make an informed decision. She says if this woman's story is correct she would be lawfully entitled to a termination of pregnancy in any jurisdiction in Australia except South Australia. Australia's opposition leader Bill Shorten has told the ABC that it's a travesty if the raped woman cannot obtain an abortion in Australia.

"There’s a real danger Ukraine will become a kind of Somalia in the middle of Europe—Europe can’t turn its back on the Ukrainians and close its eyes to what’s happening,” said the nuncio, who now works as Vatican ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.”

Vatican Ambassador: Ukraine Risks Becoming ‘A Kind of Somalia’

07 October - Source: Hiiraan Online - 721 Words

An American archbishop who served as Vatican nuncio to Ukraine until several weeks ago warned that the country is in dire straits and risks becoming "a kind of Somalia in the middle of Europe.” Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, who was Papal Nuncio in Kiev from November 2011 until this past September, is especially insistent that the West must intervene with a sort of "Marshall Plan” to help rebuild Ukraine before it is too late.

"Ukraine desperately needs support from abroad, so it doesn’t become a so-called failed state—this risk is unfortunately very great,” the archbishop told Vatican Radio. "I hope the world, and especially the countries of Western Europe, will overcome their resistance and do the same as was done after World War II with the Marshall Plan. No one waited till all Nazis were behind bars—they began immediately to rebuild Europe,” he said.

Gullickson stressed that just because Ukraine isn’t in the news every day, doesn’t mean it is not going through a critical moment in its history, which could easily go very wrong and could negatively affect others as well. Ukrainian Catholic leaders have repeatedly accused Russia of military intervention in the war, in which some 8,000 people have been killed and 17,800 injured since April 2014.
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