Just as the International Community, the United Nations and African Union Mission are holding a tight grip, while the Mogadishu political scene is in full squabble and in-fighting. The neighbors are setting their sights on more land, Somali land to take control over. Over the last 24 hours, there are reports that Ethiopia has taken control over Aato District of Bakool province, where the Ethiopian government has built a hospital and a Police Station. They have annexed it without any forewarning.
Just like that the Kenyan government has started to building a border wall at Beled-hawo Town, the Kenyans are extending their border and their land with the building of the wall. It is a trick to grab some more land away from Somalia. Just like Ethiopia just have built themselves as a state in Aato District. That is the province closest to the Ethiopian border. So, it is fitting, the same as the Kenyan.
This is happening as the Berbera Port deal between Somaliland, Ethiopia and DP World has gotten into issues, as the Mogadishu politicians are trying to stop it and also the connection with Ethiopia. Who has already had a Berbera Corridor, that has been a project since October 2014 and has involved both IGAD, World Bank and other international development banks. All to secure a transport hub between Addis Ababa and Berbera port. That is fitting that the added pressure and lack of transparency between the regional government and the central government in Mogadishu, gets into question. That led to issues between Speaker Mohamad Osman Jawari and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire. Money talks and also adds guns.
That is why the whole play of the international community, while the Mogadishu government lacks control and oversight. While most of the family members of the cabinet are living abroad, while the leaders themselves, are eating for bad deals. And they don’t have the security or training to secure the borders. That is why Kenya and Ethiopia are taking charge on the porous borders, they are invading and annexing land. Because it has no consequence to the sovereignty of Somalia.
AMISOM, who has foreign soldiers on mandate cannot even keep Mogadishu totally safe, as the escalation of car-bombs and fatalities of civilians are a sign of troubles ahead. The President hasn’t attacked or asked for reasons for the neighbors annexation of land. Even if he cares or afraid of doing so. While the PM isn’t acting on it either. Even UN’s Micheal Keating hasn’t addressed it, he who loves to be the face of the Republic. Now he is gone missing on the map. Just like President Farmajo, who should fight for his borders and his state, instead he is busy elsewhere.
This is worrying, that the Kenyans can take this land, that Ethiopia does too. That them all are doing this, that the DP Deal with Ethiopia, while the secrecy of the Berbera Corridor deal is showing it was planned a long while ago, since Ethiopia is landlocked and wants more safe ports than only in Djibouti. That is the sign, it is the Ethiopian power-play, while Kenya just showing power to take more land in self-defense. Still, it is not right to do that to a sovereign.
I am not even Somali and I am worried about the porous borders, the lack of manpower, the Somali National Army and the Police Service, when the foreign states can just do this. You take a breadcrumb, another breadcrumb and next time slice of bread, with time you take the whole bread. That is how we are as people, state is not different from that. As a weak state, that is taken advantage by its neighbor. They know this, because the AMISOM and UN Mission is not training or trying to achieve a secure state. The ones in Central Government want to live on donor funds and rampant corruption, instead of building institutions and stronger army to secure the borders. Because if they do, then they cannot beg for aid. A pledge they can eat without doing any work for it. Peace.
Yesterday’s stand-off in the Parliament as the two tabled ‘no confidence’ votes transpired into the Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire decision to send the Special Guard to the Parliament to prove his power to the Lower House Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari. Today, The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) sent troops to the Parliament to settle the stand-off of yesterday, if these we’re the orders of the Force Commander Lieutenant General Osman Noor Soubagleh or somebody else is hard to know.
But the political squabble and the use of military force to settle the score cannot continue. This transpiring efforts will only undermine the state and the means of the Federal Government of Somalia. That is not a show of strength, when the PM orders the Special Guards to the Parliament, neither is it show of strength, when the Peacekeepers has to occupy the National Assembly. We all know that is a bad sign ahead. No matter what they call the action today, if it a redeployment or a takeover. Yesterday, was a vicious act to spike fear in the mind of Jawari, even if I doubt it would do that to him,
We can wonder where President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo has been, why he hasn’t said anything, condemn either of the political actors, neither his deputy or the speaker. No one has been answered, the President is so silent. You could think he was hiding beneath a rock or try to get to Addis Ababa. Because, he is not heard from. Even the fishes speaks more of the recent acts in Mogadishu than him, I am sure Nemo has some answers for Farmajo.
Another one, who usually challenges the political landscape and acts like a local kingpin, is United Nations Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating. I was expecting to blaze all guns and spiteful chants of different types. As he sometimes at international affairs and even at forums are more viable than heads of the Federal Government of Somalia. Therefore, in an affair like this, he might should have taken more charge. Since he likes the spotlight and looks like he matters in Somalian questions.
With the AMISOM actions, they clearly used the status of the 11 Point of their mandate: “To provide and assist, as appropriate, protection to the Somali authorities to help them carry out their functions of government, and security for key infrastructure” (AMISOM – ‘AMISOM Mandate’). So the Parliament can be seen as part of Somali authorities and key infrastructure. Some call the acts today a redeployment and not a takeover. But after yesterday, it seems like an act to show their mandate to the people.
Since the Special Guards came yesterday, we can wonder how this will evolve, how the different fractions will behave and how the next few days will be. Since the PM has used the army for his personnel gain, while questions of others non-action shows their true face. It should be expected that the President acts and also address his closest Deputy, instead he has left him go of the hook. He could also have addressed the Speaker to clear the air. Instead, nothing has happen and the transpired affair shows.
The ending of a political career can show the weakest links, can show how they act under stress. The PM goes to use soldiers and use of the army to settle his affairs with men who wants him away. The Speaker tries to use protocol and find out if he is allowed to do the same. However, the one with the guns stops all activity, but he loses face, because they know it was wrong behavior and the world knows it.
PM Kheire has flipped has cards, but he doesn’t have a full-house, not even a straight flush, he should have wished he had a royal flush, but he didn’t. We could wish the PM had bluffed, but he didn’t stack the deck, he just went into with a bad hand. The risked all with all-in without knowing the consequences. We will see if he wins, but it will not be because of brilliant tactics, because it hasn’t been.
AMISOM has acted, but the tale of the Lower House of the Parliament is not over and the ‘No Confidence’ for either the Speaker and PM will come up again. But the one that has lost face is the PM. Who has misused his position and put himself in the line of fire, because of either arrogance or fear for his position. Peace.
There are reports that the Somali National Army and the Special Guard on orders by the Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire today after there been secret meetings of a ‘No Confidence’ towards him and wanted it to be tabled at the Parliament. This was supposed to be a group of 40 MPs in the Parliament. However, the PM has addressed this with sending the army to the Parliament and seizing it. To silence and stop the House Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari. As well as the PM took away the Security Detail for the Speaker hours earlier. This is really a stand-off between the two power brokers.
This week the blows between has been evident as the tablet ‘no confidence’ against Jawari, that was in the media on the 13th March, now on the 16th March, the whole brigade has blown over. Since the PM has used his powers to act against the people who wants him down.
Even United Nations in Somalia (UNSOM) has this Press Statement late today: “JOINT PRESS STATEMENT: International community extremely concerned by recent political developments in #Somalia, urges respect for constitutional processes to resolve differences” (UNSOM, 16.03.2018).
This stand-off is because of different ‘no confidence’ votes and signatures. Earlier in the week, there was 40 MPs at an undisclosed location planning to put forward a petition to vote on the future of the Prime Minister. However, that has no been countered, but the PM decided to order the army. Therefore, this isn’t procedure or trying to resolve matter with words or persuasion. The same issue as of the fear, there are reports of regroup of 91 MPs to support the suspension of the Session tomorrow tabled by the speaker. But that is only to be in the good graces of the ones using the army against the Parliament.
While the Minister of Security Mohamed Abukar Islow Dualle wants to deflect the reports that has been going on for hours, as they are saying: “denies reports of the seizure of the Parliament building, says it sent reinforcement units to boost the security” (Garowe Online, 16.03.2018).
Just to further verification to all the speculations, that this is real, the reporting from Radio Dalsan said this: ““The security of the Parliament is not our control.If anything happens in Parliament the responsibility is not mine but the PM.The security is not in our hands but has gone to the PM. The responsibility has been taken by him” Speaking to journalists at his office Jawari added” (…) “Radio Dalsan reporter Saleymaan Rage confirmed the presence of extra military personnel deployed at the Parliament buildings. These latest development followed this week’s failed vote of no confidence against Jawari” (…) “Mps loyal to Jawari have accused Khaire of being the mastermind of the vote of no confidence against Speaker Jawari. Jawari said that he is ready to face the motion on the floor of the house if the legal requirements are met” (…) “Deputy Speaker Abdulkadir Mudey on Thursday had announced that the motion is legitimate and will brought to the house. Jawari has been a speaker since 2012” (Radio Dalsan, 16.03.2018).
“Jawari claims reason motion was initiatied again him is because “I refused to sign documents that are contrary to the principle and trust”. If any problem happens at building it’ll be the responsibility of the PM who ordered seizure, Somali people should know that, Jawari says” (Harun Maruf, 16.03.2018).
At this point, with the allegations going both ways, the weakest link seems to be the one who ordered the army and Special Guards to takeover the Parliament. Take away the Parliamentary Guards and the ones securing the Parliament Speakers Security. That is really to insult to injury and also intimidate the Speaker of the Lower House. Prime Minister Khaire are really messing up the political landscape and also showing his will to use force to stay in power.
That PM Khaire is afraid is evident by his actions, since he fears for both motions, that the Lower House would get enough signatures and votes to impeach him. That would have insulted him and also his career. Seemingly, the speaker since 2012 would follow procedure and make sure he didn’t get enough signatures against him. That is what the PM should be doing, making alliances and making sure the Parliament would be on his side, even as the secret meetings was appearing. However, he has instead sent the army and trying to tell it isn’t anything. Like the Speaker would cry foul and spread the news, when it is nothing. It is Mogadishu. He knows when he see army personnel and when they takeover of the Parliament.
This is a coup, where the Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire has taken all power in his hands and doesn’t care for the aftermath. He is clearly using his power and the position he has to stop the Speaker of the Lower House. Clearly, this is a violation and a stand-off. We just have to see, what will be the next movement. What it will cost for the Parliament, for the motions and for the Speaker. Even if this will backfire for the PM who is in-charge of the operation.
While we can wonder, why the President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Faramajo has been silent and hasn’t acted? Doesn’t he care about the Parliament or the Speaker? Is he a puppet for the Prime Minister? That is things I wonder about, since this sort of action should have been done by the President and the No Confidence should been pushed with him first and then the PM. That would be common sense, as the MPs would bring down the center and maneuver down the food-chain. Instead, the Second in Command is the one people are questioning. Than, you know there are something behind closed-doors that is not known in public or disclosed yet. Peace.
This week the campaign targets 2.7 million children in the southern and central states, along with 1.1 million children in Somaliland.
MOGADISHU, Somalia, March 14, 2018 – A nationwide campaign continues in Somalia to protect millions of children against the potentially deadly effects of measles. WHO, UNICEF, national and local health authorities aim to reach more than 4.7 million children aged from six months to 10 years during the overall campaign.
This week the campaign targets 2.7 million children in the southern and central states, along with 1.1 million children in Somaliland. The vaccinations will be available at health centres and temporary vaccination sites. Puntland implemented its campaign in January when over 933,000 children were vaccinated.
Over 2,800 cases of suspected measles have been reported since the start of the year, with the most affected regions including Bay, Banadir and Mudug. In 2017 there were more than 23,000 suspected cases of measles – six times as many as in 2016 – with the vast majority (83 per cent) affecting children under ten.
In early 2017, WHO, UNICEF and partners, together with national health authorities, vaccinated nearly 600,000 children aged 6 months to 5 years for measles in hard-to-reach and hotspot areas across Somalia.
“The campaign will intensify efforts to improve immunity against measles and reach unvaccinated children. As we saw last year when partners responded to a major cholera outbreak, with the right interventions, WHO and health authorities are confident that similar success may be seen in controlling this measles outbreak,” said Dr Ghulam Popal, WHO Representative in Somalia.
More than two years of severe drought has led to widespread child malnutrition, mass displacement, and a lack of access to clean water and sanitation, creating ideal conditions for infectious disease outbreaks.
“The situation is especially critical for millions of under-vaccinated, weak and vulnerable children who are susceptible to contracting infectious diseases. More than 1.2 million children are projected to be at risk of acute malnutrition in the next 12 months. These children are nine times more likely to die of killer diseases such as measles and acute watery diarrhoea /cholera than healthy children,” said Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Somalia Representative.
Ahead of this latest campaign, in late 2017, WHO conducted a series of trainings for Somali health workers on early outbreak detection and response for measles. The trainings aim to enhance measles case-based surveillance and laboratory confirmation, improve measles case management during outbreaks, and achieve high routine measles vaccination coverage.
UNICEF has procured and distributed over 4.7 million doses of measles vaccine and organized 1,700 social mobilizers to encourage families to vaccinate children and adults who are not or think they might not be fully immunized. This will be accompanied by Vitamin A supplementation which will help to boost immunity.
The response is supported through funding from Alwaleed Philanthropies (Saudi Arabia), the United Nations Foundation, WHO, and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund.
Penny Mordaunt tells donors that despite success at averting a famine last year, drought is still a serious threat in Somalia.
LONDON, United Kingdom, March 6, 2018 – International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt will tell an audience of global donors today that while swift action last year saved thousands of lives and held-off famine in Somalia, “the job is not yet done”.
At an event co-hosted by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Development Secretary will praise the efforts of the international community in 2017 – but call for continued global support for the 5.4 million people in need living in Somalia.
Six years ago Somalia was ravaged by a deadly famine which killed 260,000 people – half of those who died were children.
With extreme weathers and an unprecedented fourth consecutive year of poor rain forecast for the country, Ms Mordaunt will today deliver the stark warning that half the population is still hungry and at risk of disease – and will call on global partners to generate innovative ideas for building long-term resilience to drought.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
“Last year the UK stood up and called for international action at a landmark conference to agree critical help for the people of Somalia. Together, we helped avert a famine and saved thousands of lives.”
“But drought continues to haunt Somalia, where today half the population is hungry and at risk of disease. The job is not yet done.”
“Drought and famine do not have to go hand-in-hand. We must harness the potential of new ideas to build future-proof resilience against drought – and end the cycle of crisis.”
“We cannot let the world forget Somalia. It’s not just the right thing to do – we are all less safe when hunger and poverty are free to feed extremism and mass irregular migration.”
The International Development Secretary will today announce a further emergency package to get urgently needed medical, nutritional, health and livelihood support to the country, including to 54,000 children who will be treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition.
The package will be distributed before the end of March 2018, to ensure urgent delivery of these life-saving services.
UN humanitarian chief and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said:
“Last year, more than US$90 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund were released to mitigate against the worsening food security situation in Somalia.”
“Thanks to generous and timely contributions from the UK and other donors, the Somalia Humanitarian Fund is this year already programming $22 million for life-saving support. The CERF is also stepping up quickly with complementary, time-critical and life-saving funding which will help minimize further displacement of people in Somalia and other risks caused by the drought.”