Experts have warned that the move to abandon military bases may
expose the Horn of Africa nation to al-Shabab threats.
military group on Monday briefly captured Bal’ad town, about 30
km north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, burnt battle wagons
and freed detainers, but were overpowered by government forces
backed by the African Union Mission in Somalia.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)
has refuted reports that it was planning to evacuate its staff
in Somalia due to the current security situation.
"Rumors of a crisis meeting and evacuation of UN Somalia
staff are completely unfounded.
"No such meeting has taken place and there are no evacuation
plans underway," UNSOM said on Wednesday evening.
Amid rising attacks,
Somalia determined to defeat terrorism
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The Somali government has vowed to step up efforts against
terrorism and urged the international community to support
Mogadishu in its stabilization efforts.
Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire convened an emergency
meeting on Saturday evening with envoys from the African Union,
Britain, the European Union and the United States after 11
people were killed and 15 others injured in a terrorist attack,
the ministry of information said in a statement on Sunday.
"The Somali government leader’s first priority is to ensure
the safety and security in Somalia," the statement said.
It said the meeting revised military support and strategies
in countering terrorism and threats posed by al-Shabab.
The meeting also discussed strategies of recapturing al-Shabab
During the meeting, the statement said, Khaire promised to
wipe out the terrorist groups.
The foreign envoys supported the security strategy and the
efforts aimed at eliminating al-Shabab terrorists, the statement
Al-Qaida allied al-Shabab, which is fighting to topple the
internationally-backed government, has claimed responsibility
for recent attacks.
The group stages frequent attacks on Somali troops and
African Union peacekeeping forces, and on hotels and other
Somalia mourns death of
deputy minister in terror attack
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Somali government on Saturday mourned the death
of deputy minister for labor and social affairs Saqar Ibrahim
Abdalla who was among six people killed in the car bombing
attack in Mogadishu.
Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire led other government
officials in sending condolences messages to the families of the
victims killed when suicide car bombing hit government buildings
housing ministries of and public works.
The prime minister also condemned the terrorist attack and
vowed to defeat extremism.
A security officer said five al-Shabab attackers were killed
during the operation, adding that gunfire was heard at the
building housing the two ministries.
The al-Shabab, an al-Qaida linked terrorist group, claimed
responsibility for the attack, claiming one of its fighters
entered the two buildings with a car laden with explosives and
carried out the attack.
The latest attack came as Somali security forces are vacating
their military bases in protest of unpaid salaries, stoking fear
among the residents that the al-Shabab may take over the
However, the government refuted such allegations, saying the
soldiers are paid regularly and on time, adding that soldiers
who have not received their salaries refused to register
themselves under biometric system which was put in place to weed
About 1.7 million people
in need of humanitarian aid in Somaliland: charity
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
An estimated 1.7 million people are in
critical need of humanitarian assistance in self-declared
semi-autonomous region of Somaliland with poor rains and
prolonged dry spells since 2016 deepening the crisis, a global
charity warned on Wednesday.
Oxfam International said communal water resources are drying
up at an alarming rate, forcing communities to truck in water
that they can’t afford.
"The warning signs are all negative. Famine was averted in
2016 because of a rapid, large-scale response.
"Resources and action must again be forthcoming, prioritized
for women and children, who are the most vulnerable," Amjad Ali,
Oxfam’s country director in Somalia and Somaliland said in a
The charity warned that the 1.7 million figure increased by
hundreds of thousands in recent months.
According to the charity, an estimated 4.9 million people
across Somaliland and Somalia are food insecure and 2.6 million
internally displaced, of a population estimated at 14-15
The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan is only 6.4 percent
funded, leaving a gaping hole, Oxfam said and warned that
resources are urgently needed to avert catastrophe.
The charity said below average rainfall in late 2018 provided
scant relief, as most communities remain unable to rebuild
livestock herds to utilize the very limited new pasture.
It said vulnerabilities were further exacerbated by the
devastation of cyclone Sagar in mid-2018 that killed an
estimated 80 percent of livestock in affected areas and
decimated the few agricultural crops Somaliland grows with
coastal areas, Togdheer, Sool and Sanaag being the regions
Ali said Oxfam has been closely monitoring the unfolding
situation through an existing response in these regions,
deciding it is now time to raise the alarm.
"The decision to declare an emerging crisis is not taken
lightly, as we are wary of donor fatigue, but the situation is
"As existing humanitarian support was scheduled to scale
down, we are seeing a humanitarian cliff before our eyes. We
must not walk blindly over the edge," said Ali.
UN relief agency says dry
spell may worsen humanitarian crisis in Somalia
MOGADISHU (Xinhua) --
Dry conditions have worsened in Somalia with
humanitarian partners across the country reporting critical
water shortages during the month of February, the UN relief
agency said on Monday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
said aid agencies have already observed stress-induced migration
among pastoralist communities in the worst-hit areas in
Somaliland and Puntland with some moving to urban centres in
search of day labor or to join relatives.
"The current rainfall projection indicates normal-to
above-average precipitation across most of the country; even in
the drought-affected areas of Somaliland, the likelihood of
normal rainfall is around 70 per cent," OCHA said in its latest
The Horn of Africa nation experienced a prolonged drought
from late 2016 through late 2017 that resulted in significant
livestock losses and consecutive seasons of below-average
production, causing severe and at times extreme acute food
The UN humanitarian agency said the dry conditions follow a
poor 2018 Deyr rainy season (from October to December), even as
ongoing conflict and forced evictions continue to
disproportionately affect those who are already displaced.
"If the next Gu (main rainy) season (from April to June)
performs poorly, those in the Stressed phase may find their
situation deteriorating further," it warned.