UAE welcomes Somali apology for seized cash, easing dispute
The United Arab Emirates late Tuesday welcomed the prime minister of Somalia's public apology for a Somali operation in 2018 that resulted in the seizure of Emirati aircraft and $9.6 million in cash, wrecking relations between the two nations. The Emirati foreign ministry thanked Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble for his “initiative” to settle the dispute, which prompted the UAE to end a military training mission in Somalia that had helped the conflict-ravaged nation rebuild after decades of chaos. “The UAE continues its steps towards restoring bridges and reconnecting with various countries in its quest to enhance regional stability.”news.yahoo.com
Somali lawmakers reverse president's extended stay in power
The controversial two-year term extension for Somalia’s president evaporated on Saturday after intense public pressure as the lower house of parliament approved his request to instead support efforts to organize the country’s long-delayed national election. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed asked the lawmakers to retreat from their decision earlier this month to extend his time in office, a move blasted by the Senate as illegal and opposed by soldiers who took up key positions in the capital and clashed with other security forces. The extraordinary scene of soldiers firing at each other in the streets of Mogadishu brought back fears for many Somalis that the Horn of Africa nation could collapse back into chaos after years of trying to rebuild.news.yahoo.com
Somalia starts first inoculations with AstraZeneca vaccines
(AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)MOGADISHU – Somalia launched COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday with the inoculation of the health minister, who received the jab publicly to reassure the nation about its safety. The Horn of Africa nation, which has recently experienced a surge of cases, on Monday received its first shipment of 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the international COVAX intiative to ensure that low- and middle-income countries receive vaccines. The AstraZeneca vaccine is the only one available in Somalia and many other African countries. Somalia has recorded 8,946 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including at least 349 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Issak asked, speaking specifically of the AstraZeneca shot, “If it is good, why those many European countries are refusing to take it?
UN urges Somalia to organize elections without delay
Security forces block a street with an armored personnel carrier during protests against the government and the delay of the country's election in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (AP Photo)CAMEROON – The U.N. Security Council urged Somalia’s government on Friday to organize elections “without delay” in a resolution that stressed the pressing threat to the country’s security from al-Shabab and armed opposition groups. The Security Council expressed concern at the delays in finalizing arrangements for elections this year. It urged the federal government and regional states “to organize free, fair, credible and inclusive elections” in line with a Sept. 17, 2020, agreement. AdThe Security Council welcomed “progress achieved so far” but also stressed the immediate threat from al-Shabab and other extremist groups.
As Somalia's COVID-19 cases surge, a variant is suspected
A doctor tends to a patient suffering from COVID-19 in a ward for coronavirus patients at the Martini hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. “We believe this second wave is the new variant of the virus,” he said. Sadaq said a large, unnamed Somali-owned company had lost a dozen people to COVID-19 in just the past few days. “Now you see how widespread is becoming this new variant of the virus, and we were not prepared for it,” he said. Somalia’s current crisis around a delayed national election has contributed to the spread of COVID-19 as “social distancing is ignored,” Sadaq added.
Tensions rise between Somalia and UAE over delayed elections
(AP Photo)MOGADISHU – Two days after violence related to Somalia's delayed elections, the country's foreign ministry has accused “external forces” for contributing to the problems. The UAE statement, notably, referred to Somalia’s government as an “interim” one. Somalia's Information Minister Osman Dubbe angrily responded to the UAE statement, saying it was provocative. Relations between the UAE and Somalia have been deteriorating ever since DP World, a UAE company, signed separate agreements with the Somali regional administrations of Somaliland and Puntland without the consent of Somalia's federal government. AdThe goal of direct, one-person-one-vote elections in Somalia remains elusive.
Doctor says 5 killed in Somalia's election-related violence
Security forces in Somalia's capital fired on hundreds of people protesting the delay of the country's election on Friday as at least one explosion was reported at the international airport and armored personnel carriers blocked major streets. (AP Photo)MOGADISHU – A health worker in Somalia’s capital says at least five soldiers were killed and more than a dozen people, mostly civilians, were wounded in violence related to protests over the country’s delayed election. Abdi Bafo, a doctor at the Medina hospital, spoke on Saturday, the day after Somali security forces fired on hundreds of people peacefully demonstrating in Mogadishu over the delayed vote. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is under pressure as the Feb. 8 election date came and went without resolution of issues related to how the vote is conducted in the Horn of Africa nation. AdMembers of parliament and senators then elect Somalia’s president.
Somali security forces fire on protest over delayed election
Somalis march and protest against the government and the delay of the country's election in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is under pressure as the Feb. 8 election date came and went without resolution of issues related to how the vote is conducted in the Horn of Africa nation. It cited a rise in COVID-19 cases, but critics called it an attempt to block the protest. Mohamud accused the president of a “coup.”AdThe United Nations and others have urged Somali political leaders to solve their differences quickly. AdMembers of parliament and senators then elect Somalia’s president.
Somalia's talks on troubled election fail 2 days before vote
FILE - In this Saturday, May 25, 2019, file photo, Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed arrives for the swearing-in ceremony of Cyril Ramaphosa at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria, South Africa. Al-Shabab attacked the city hosting the election talks on the night the president arrived and the following night. “I tried everything I could to solve this crisis in the best logical way together with the rest of the federal member states, but it was always the president who refused,” Madobe said. Contentious issues in the election talks have been the formation of the electoral management commission, the selection of commission members for the breakaway region of Somaliland and the crisis in the Somalia-Kenya border region of Gedo. AdThe federal government and three regional states have appointed their commission members but Puntland and Jubbaland declined, accusing the federal government of selecting its members from non-neutral bodies.
Somali forces end jihadist siege of Mogadishu hotel, 5 dead
A hotel security guard stands by wreckage in the aftermath of an attack on the Afrik hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. At least five people have died in the attack on the Mogadishu hotel by Somalia's al-Shabab rebels that was ended early Monday by security forces, according to the Somali police force. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)MOGADISHU – At least five people have died in the attack on a Mogadishu hotel by Somalia's al-Shabab rebels that was ended early Monday by security forces, according to the Somali police force. The siege of the Afrik hotel ended after a gun battle that lasted for more than eight hours, and all four rebel attackers were killed, Somali police spokesman Sadiq Adan Ali said. Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and the country’s prime minister condemned the attack and sent their condolences to the families of the deceased.
Time running out on Somalia's troubled vote as citizens sigh
Two regional states refuse to take part, and time is running out before the Feb. 8 date when mandates expire. Instead, the federal government and states agreed on another “indirect election,” with senators and members of parliament elected by community leaders — delegates of powerful clans — in each member state. Members of parliament and senators then elect Somalia's president. You were given to lead a united people in a peaceful way,” said one former president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. AdHe also warned that Jubbaland and Puntland could go the way of Somaliland, with Somalia's unity at stake.
Mortar shells hit after Somalia celebrates reopened stadium
Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, center, prepares to cut the ribbon for the reopening of the stadium in Mogadishu, Somalia Tuesday, June 30, 2020. At least three mortar blasts struck the Mogadishu Stadium Tuesday evening, just hours after it was reopened by Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who had left before the shells hit, following years of instability. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)NAIROBI At least three mortar blasts sent sports fans in Somalia ducking for cover Tuesday evening, hours after the Mogadishu Stadium reopened following years of instability. The mortar shells struck in and around the stadium, police Col. Ahmed Muse said. The blasts occurred after Somalias President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed attended the opening ceremonies that included a football match in the nearly empty stadium.