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Addressing humanitarian needs, alongside long-term investment in development, vital to tackling Somalia’s fragility (04.12.2017)

In 2017, over $1.2 billion has been mobilized enabling humanitarians to avert a famine but the causes of Somalia’s fragility remain.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 4, 2017 – The Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq has welcomed the State of Qatar’s commitment to partner with Somalia amid growing calls for a new approach where sustained humanitarian action is complemented by long-term efforts to build the country’s resilience. Mr. de Clercq was addressing participants at the workshop for Qatar Humanitarian and Development partners on the Somalia Resilience and Recovery Framework held in Mogadishu on 2 December 2017.

Over the past decades Somalia has faced a vicious cycle of recurring droughts and protracted conflict that have led to loss of lives, caused mass displacement, and put the lives of millions of Somalis in peril and dependent on life-saving assistance. Since 2011, with the generous contribution by international partners, approximately USD 4.5 billion has been spent on the emergency response alone. In 2017, over $1.2 billion has been mobilized enabling humanitarians to avert a famine but the causes of Somalia’s fragility remain.

“I am encouraged to see the Government initiating discussions to forge a way forward on how to strengthen the structural resilience of Somalia to prevent future humanitarian disasters that undermine the country’s path to recovery and reconstruction,” said Mr. de Clercq. “Effective and collective drought response has so far prevented famine in 2017, but much more is needed to trigger long-term resilience and development, and protect fragile progress and achievements. We cannot continue to wait until the current crisis is over before we embark on promoting long-term solutions. We can help address the drivers of fragility and insecurity if we collectively act now.”

The Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Gamal M. Hassan, thanked the State of Qatar which recently signed a development agreement with the Federal Government of Somalia worth $200M for infrastructure development including support for education and youth employment initiatives. “The impact of the recurrent climatic shocks continues to disrupt our development vision, hence the need for preventative measures and sustainable solutions that are based on resilience and sustainable development,” Minister Gamal M. Hassan told participants. “In 2018, as part of the Resilience and Recovery Framework, we aim to accelerate collaboration between humanitarian and development partners on the agreed collective outcomes.”

Ambassador Tariq Bin Ali Faraj Al-Ansari, Director of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to work with the Federal Government of Somalia and to align their funding with the National Development Plan priorities. The State of Qatar provides support for humanitarian, resilience and recovery efforts through partners such as the Qatar Charity and the Red Crescent among others, in partnership with the UN and national authorities.

“Qatar’s support to Somalia is anchored on its principled stand on global commitments including the “leave no one behind” vision of the Agenda 2030. We provided US$210 million development assistance to Somalia since 2010. Qatar also signed a $200 million bilateral agreement on 28 November 2017 with the Somali government focusing on job creation, infrastructure, economic empowerment and education, to be implemented in partnership with the United Nations. Regional and global actors need to take a unified and coherent approach when supporting Somalia in order to be effective”, he underscored.

The 2018 Somalia Humanitarian Needs Overview launched in November shows that the unprecedented drought, spanning at least four consecutive poor rainy seasons, has resulted in severe and growing humanitarian needs across Somalia. Limited rain, displacement, lack of access to basic services and continuing conflict continue to drive needs. Some 6.2 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection assistance, 3.1 million of these need urgent life-saving assistance.

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Eritrea: Press Briefing note on Attacks/threats by States against UN Human Rights Experts (21.11.2017)

Eritrea: Statement of ELS on the Protest of October 31 (02.11.2017)

The Eritrean Law Society (ELS) is closely observing developments that have led to, and that have followed after, the unprecedented civilian protest of 31 October 2017, which occurred in the heart of the capital city of Eritrea. The protest was prompted by the announcement of a drastic government decision that affected the status of educational establishments administered by Eritrean religious institutions. Another major motive for the protest is the arbitrary arrest of respected elders and spiritual leaders, notably Haji Mussa Mohammed Nur, who strongly opposed the government decision.

Although the details of causalities are not yet fully known, ELS is concerned by the fact that brute force, including live ammunition, was used to suppress the protest, which was nothing more than a peaceful demonstration against a drastic government measure affecting the lives of thousands of people. In our view, the protest signifies one fundamental reality. In today’s Eritrea, citizens have no choice of whatsoever nature in pursuing their individual and group aspirations, life plans, goals, and purposes. Eritreans do not also have access to independent and impartial institutions, including courts of law that can safeguard their fundamental rights and freedoms in the event these essential entitlements are wantonly violated by government authorities.

History dictates that no population can be ruled forever under the yoke of unbearable authoritarianism. There is an urgent need in Eritrea for a full return to a system of governance based on constitutional order, the requirements of democratic accountability, and respect for the rule of law, including the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of the Eritrean people. ELS would like to take this occasion to make a call on the international community and those who can play a role by pushing for a full return to a democratic system of governance in Eritrea.

Meanwhile, the following reminder is also important for all peace-loving and justice-seeking Eritreans. We shall stay the course and remain vigilant against all sorts of divisive and cheap political machinations orchestrated by the authoritarian regime in Eritrea, its brazen apologists and messengers. It is always important to remember that the regime will make continuous recourse to methods that promote its narrow political agenda as well as frustrate the momentum ushered by the protest of 31 October.

Eritrean Law Society
Executive Committee
November 2, 2017

Ethiopian troops enters Somalia to reinforce offensive against the Al-Shabaab!

The Ethiopian Armed Forces has returned and arrived again on Somali soil. This after a call between EPRDF and the Transitional Government in Mogadishu. Clearly, the Al-Shabaab insurgency is out of control with the two recent bombings in the Republic. That the Somali President Faramaajo has to call on Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to send troops into Somalia. This is after even the mandate of AMISOM is strong and Kenyan presence is there. Certainly, the Somali government has weaken their position and the strengthen of own troops must be hurt by this. As the Ethiopian government sends 1000 troops into Somali territory.

The AMISOM apparently needs the support of Ethiopia and Kenya to achieve their goals of stopping Al-Shabaab, they cannot do it without, as the government haven’t the trained soldiers or the bullets to do so themselves. That is evident as the Ethiopian soldiers are pouring into Somalia. You can wonder who are paying the salaries and fixing the equipment of the armed combatants there. They are usually not fighting wars for free. Especially not from a broke state and with massive demonstrations as Ethiopia. At this moment, this must be giving funding to a broke state and also help them with diplomatic support to facilitate and help the Federation of Somalia. Clearly, it cannot be keep the horn peaceful, as the soldiers themselves has been used in Amhara and Oromia to quell demonstrators over the recent years, killing civilians and tormenting them. We will see what they will achieve and when the conference call for the operations is launched.

ESAT News (November 2, 2017) Hundreds of Ethiopian troops have crossed into Somalia help new offensive by the Somali government against Al-Shabaab militants. The VOA report quoted residents in the border town of Dolow, in Somalia’s Gedo region, as saying that they saw at least 30 vehicles carrying Ethiopian troops crossing into Somalia late Tuesday. The locals estimate that about 1000 Ethiopian troops have entered Somalia on Tuesday” (ESAT, 02.11.2017).

Regional authorities contacted by VOA on Wednesday confirmed the new Ethiopian military movements.“The Ethiopian troops as a part of AMISOM have already been in the region, and their current movement is part of the response to the Somali president’s call for a massive attack on al-Shabab militants,” said Mohamed Husein al-Qadi, the deputy governor of Gedo region” (DireTube, 02.11.2017).

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Border residents say thousands of Ethiopian troops have crossed into Somalia to accompany a large-scale offensive against al-Shabab extremists. The offensive comes after a truck bombing in Somalia’s capital last month killed more than 350 people. Somalia’s president has visited countries in the expanse to seek more military sustain. Abdullahi Yusuf, an elder in Luq town, says Ethiopian troops in tanks and armored vehicles passed by Thursday morning toward southwestern Somalia” (Uxcnc.com, 02.11.2017).

We can wonder if the United States or any other sponsor of AMISOM asked the President of Somalia to this call, to again call upon the Ethiopian troops to clear the streets as they have done in the past. As they did for instance in 2006, 2011 and 2016, and so on. This to get rid of Somali problems, but leaving power-vacuum and opening up for more violence. As long as they have come in either as invading force, supported by Americans like in 2006 or other times. They have not left Somalia better, but more wounded ready to taken by other warlords or other leaders who has had their selfishness instead of building government.

We can wonder if this will bring any hope or be used for greater Ethiopian pride, if he EPRDF are using this or the TPLF are using this as a deflection from the problems in their state. The Ethiopian state is not a great stage right now. The demonstrations and the killings of civilians continue as well as activists are detained together with opposition leaders. The Ethiopian leadership needs this conflict with Al-Shabaab to look good and also possibly make people forget their own actions against their own citizens.

We can wonder what the Somali President are considering and his motives behind getting Ethiopian forces as well, as the AMISOM and Kenyan forces on his soil. There are lots of foreign forces protecting the Somali life, they are there paid by foreign donors, therefore their loyalty isn’t to the Transitional Government, but to the donors. When the donors stop, they will leave and fight conflicts elsewhere. While the Somali government are also trying to change the regional leadership in the federation to make sure they are more Mogadishu friendly and not as independent to make agreement with foreign nations without the permission of Mogadishu, as the DP World contract is evident off.

We can just wonder how long the Ethiopian forces will be on Somali soil and to what extent their mandate is, as the AMISOM and the Al-Shabaab vows is not over. Peace.

Somalia: Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management – “Mogadishu Deadly Attack” (16.10.2017)

IGAD Stands with Somalia in the Face of Horrifying Attacks (15.10.2017)

Somalia: President Farmajo calls for unity and Cooperation (12.10.2017)

President Farmajo acknowledges that in a nascent federal system, there would be challenges and that must always be solved amicably through dialogue while remaining faithful to the constitution.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 12, 2017 – The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo has been keenly following the concerns of the leaders of the federal member states, and in effect underscores the need for closer cooperation between the Federal Government and the Federal Members States to achieve the hope of peace and prosperity for our country.

“I want to remind you all that we must acknowledge that our country is on the path of recovery, and the only way we can achieve full recovery is through cooperation. We must therefore all strive for the greater good of this country and be true to the oath that we all took to put the country first.”

President Farmajo acknowledges that in a nascent federal system, there would be challenges and that must always be solved amicably through dialogue while remaining faithful to the constitution.

The president remains confident that all concerns will be resolved, and that leaders would remain true to the pledge of putting the interest of our country before anything else.

Somalia: UN letter to Galmudug ‘President’ Haaf calling for dialogue between FMS and FGS (08.10.2017)

IGAD lnternal Memo: “Re: IGAD Special Mission to Somalia” (13.09.2017)

EU NAVFOR Train AMISOM’s Marine Unit off Coast of Mogadishu (11.09.2017)

This was the third time this year that EU NAVFOR has had the opportunity to exercise and train with AMISOM forces

BRUSSELS, Belgium, September 11, 2017 – On September 7th crew members from ESPS Rayo continued the regional cooperation EU NAVFOR has established with the AMISOM Marine unit off the coast of Mogadishu.

This was the third time this year that EU NAVFOR has had the opportunity to exercise and train with AMISOM forces. This visit to Mogadishu followed on from ESPS Relampago in February and ESPS Galicia in May.

The training included briefings and exercises on fire fighting, search and rescue, first aid and boarding procedures.

Maritime training with regional partners, such as AMISOM, is an extremely important aspect of Operation Atalanta’s work to deter piracy off the coast of Somalia. The aim is to strengthen cooperation and increase the capability and capacity of regional maritime forces to help seafarers stay safe during their transits across the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

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