Monday, November 05, 2012

Al-Shabab Fighters Attack US-backed Forces in Somalia

Somalia: Al-shabab fighters attack allied forces in kismayu

Kismayu (RBC)

Reports from the Somalia’s port city of Kismayo say that heavy sporadic gun battle between Somali government forces backed by Kenyan defenses forces and Al-shabab rebel fighters has erupted on late Sunday night in kismayu. RBC reports.

The fighting, which cannot be independently verified its loss and casualties, took place at the main city port where a ship carrying ammunition and other military equipment for the KDf forces sailed in.

Residents say they heard heavy gunshots and sporadic rocket fire sounds from the main city port and coastal side of the town.

No officials commented on the mentioned fighting between the allied forces and Al-shabab snipers as both sides could not reach for comments.

The situation of kismayu is calm this morning and there is no any confrontation reported and everything has returned to normalcy following the horrific over night clashes.

On October, the allied forces had been continuously carrying out a joint security operation conducted all city districts and arrested more than 400 people suspected to have a link to Al-shabab rebel fighters.

The Islamist militants were pushed out of kismayu on August but they have frequently staged attacks in the city since then, targeting government bases and police stations.

Monday, November 5th, 2012 at 10:15 am

SOMALIA: Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s Travel to Somalia

Nairobi (RBC)

On November 4, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman visited Mogadishu, Somalia to meet with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud, Speaker of the Federal Parliament Mohammed Osman Jawari, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti, the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia, and leaders of Somalia’s civil society and business community. Under Secretary Sherman is the highest ranking U.S. official to visit Somalia in more than twenty years, and her visit underscored the U.S. Government’s commitment to Somalia’s stabilization efforts.

Under Secretary Sherman welcomed the announcement by Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon that he has named his new cabinet. Under Secretary Sherman noted that the United States is pleased to see that the new cabinet includes two women, which is a positive reflection of the important role women play in all aspects of Somali life. Somalia’s parliamentarians will soon meet to consider the new cabinet.

In her comments to senior Somali officials, Under Secretary Sherman stressed her conviction that Somalia is now a place of hope, not of despair. She congratulated the Somali President and Speaker of Parliament on the important political progress made in Somalia, including the August 20 formation of Parliament and September 10 election of President Hassan Sheikh. The Under Secretary affirmed the centrality of the Somali government and people in guiding international support to the country.

Under Secretary Sherman urged the Somali leadership to continue to consolidate gains by helping local governance structures emerge through community dialogue and reconciliation, rapidly providing services, drafting legislation to facilitate implementation of the provisional constitution adopted in August, and addressing al-Shabaab defectors and the charcoal stockpile in the port city of Kismayo.

The Under Secretary congratulated AMISOM Force Commander Gutti for AMISOM’s recent success in driving al-Shabaab out of strategically important population centers and acknowledged the courage and professionalism of the AMISOM forces in achieving these gains. Ambassador Sherman underscored the continued U.S. commitment to support AMISOM and the Somali National forces in their critically important responsibility of extending security throughout Somalia.

Under Secretary Sherman congratulated the Somali business community for its efforts to sustain the Somali economy during Somalia’s 20 years of civil conflict and civil society for its provision of services to the Somali people in the lack of a functioning government. The Under Secretary encouraged Somalia’s civil society and business community to continue giving robust voice to their constituencies in engaging the emerging governmental institutions and holding them accountable as the new government establishes itself and its priorities.

RBC Radio

Monday, November 5th, 2012 at 08:24 am

Somalia to get first female foreign minister

Mogadishu(RBC Radio)

Somalia is to get its first female foreign minister in a cabinet formed by new Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon.

Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan is among 10 politicians joining a cabinet that has been significantly reduced in size.

She described her inclusion as “historic” for both the country and Somali women in particular.

However, correspondents say Mr Shirdon may struggle to get his choices through parliament because some clans feel they have not been properly represented.

Mr Shirdon, an ex-businessman, took office last month after his nomination – by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud – was approved by MPs.

The election of Mr Mohamud in September was considered the first fair poll in the capital Mogadishu for 42 years.

They take on a country that has been without effective central authority for more than 20 years while clan-based warlords, Islamist militants and Somalia’s neighbours all battled for control following the 1991 overthrow of President Siad Barre.

Big challenge”After long discussions and consultations, I have named my cabinet which consists of only 10 members. Among them is a female foreign affairs minister for the first time in Somali history,” the prime minister said.

Ms Adan hails from the self-declared independent state of Somaliland and lived for a long time in Britain, the AFP reports.

“My nomination as the foreign minister is historic for the Somali country and particularly for the women of Somalia, it turns a new page for the political situation of our country and will lead to success and prosperity,” she said.

The biggest challenge facing Somalia’s new UN-backed leaders is the al-Qaeda-aligned Islamist group, al-Shabab.

Despite losing key towns over the last few months, the militants still control large areas of rural southern and central Somalia.

Al-Shabab supporters have carried out a number of suicide attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, since the group was driven out of the city by African Union and pro-government forces last year – including several since Mr Mohamud’s election.

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