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USA/Somalia – The United States Announces New Humanitarian Aid for the People of Somalia (US Department of State)

The United States is providing nearly $199 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Somalia who have faced decades of chronic food insecurity, violence, and cycles of drought and flooding—the impacts of which have all been compounded by desert locusts and the COVID-19 pandemic. This additional funding, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State, brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the people of Somalia to more than  $408 million for Fiscal Year 2021.

This assistance will help many of the nearly six million people of Somalia in need of humanitarian aid, including three million displaced people inside Somalia as well as nearly 500,000 Somali refugees in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  This new funding will provide emergency food and nutrition assistance, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, shelter, protection, education, and health care, as well as logistics and other support, in the face of worsening environmental, humanitarian, and conflict related challenges.

The United States is the largest single donor of humanitarian aid in Somalia and for Somali refugees in the region, and we welcome efforts by the UN to draw attention to the plight of the people of Somalia.  We remain concerned about the continuing increase in humanitarian needs, and we urge other donors to contribute to the international response and provide the support needed to save lives.

For the latest updates on U.S. humanitarian assistance for the people of Somalia, visit:  https://www.usaid.gov/humanitarian-assistance/somalia.

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(Kenya/Al Shabab) The Kenyans robbed of their families by al-Shabab (Al Jazeera)

 Amina* sits close to the edge of her modest home in Garissa, a county in northern Kenya bordering Somalia. Her 15-year-old daughter is standing opposite her, reading a newspaper lying on the ground. “Go inside and start washing the house,” Amina, wearing a navy blue hijab, instructs her daughter. “Make sure you clean all the rooms and arrange the furniture as discussed before guests arrive.”

*Name changed to protect their identity

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(Somalia) Inside Somalia

Yasmin Kamel and Maimuna Mohamud write for Al Jazeera: On June 30, a much-anticipated announcement finally confirmed the timetable of the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in Somalia due to take place between July and October this year. The announcement comes after months-long disagreements between the government and the main opposition figures.

read the analysis: Women must be included in conflict mediation in Somalia | Somalia | Al Jazeera

Somali women wait to collect water at the New Kabasa internally displaced camp in the northern Somali town of Dollow, Somalia, on February 25, 2018 [File: Baz Ratner/Reuters]

Somali women wait to collect water at the New Kabasa internally displaced camp in the northern Somali town of Dollow, Somalia, on February 25, 2018 [File: Baz Ratner/Reuters]

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USA/Somalia – ‘Black Hawk Down’ Veterans to Receive 58 Silver Stars (Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One)

The Army is upgrading the valor awards of 60 special operators who participated in the ill-fated Battle of Mogadishu 28 years ago—perhaps best known through the “Black Hawk Down” book and movie.  The late recognition comes as Pentagon officials decide whether to send U.S. troops to Somalia anew.

‘Black Hawk Down’ Veterans to Receive 58 Silver Stars – Defense One

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Somalia – Somalia to hold indirect presidential election October 10 (Al Jazeera)

After months of deadlock, political leaders in Somalia have agreed that the country’s long-delayed presidential election will be held on October 10.

The office of Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble unveiled the timetable for indirect parliamentary and presidential elections in a statement on Twitter, saying stakeholders had agreed to a road map for a vote following two days of talks in the capital, Mogadishu.

Somalia to hold indirect presidential election October 10 | Elections News | Al Jazeera

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Somalia – Somalia’s army camp rocked by deadly suicide attack (Al Jazeera)

At least 15 army recruits have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at a military training camp in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

Army officer Mohamed Adan said the bomber behind Tuesday’s attack was disguised among recruits queueing up outside the General Dhegobadan Military Camp when the explosion occurred.

“I have counted about 15 new recruits who have been killed in the blast,” Adan said, adding that the death toll could be higher.

The injured people were taken to Mogadishu’s Madina Hospital, according to the Reuters news agency.

 

An ambulance carrying people wounded by a suicide bombing attack at a military base arrives at the Madina Hospital in Mogadishu [Feisal Omar/Reuters]

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the deadliest in the capital for 18 months.

Hotels and security checkpoints are commonly attacked in Somalia.

In December 2019, 81 people were killed by a suicide car bomber at a checkpoint in the city centre, while the last significant assault on a hotel killed 11 in August 2020.

Somalia has been mired in interlocking crises for the last 30 years, with repeated bouts of civil war, clan conflict, armed rebellion, famine and political instability.

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Kenya/Somalia – Kenya to reopen Mogadishu embassy ‘as soon as possible’ (Al Jazeera)

Kenya says it will honour Somalia’s invitation to restore diplomatic ties and reopen its embassy in Mogadishu, marking a thaw in the often-tense relations between the Horn of Africa neighbours.

Ties between the countries were severed on December 15 after Kenya hosted the leadership of Somaliland, a breakaway state not recognised by the central government in Mogadishu.

On June 12, Somalia’s foreign minister, Abdirizak Mohamed, wrote to his Kenyan counterpart offering to resume full diplomatic ties “in the spirit of good neighbourliness”.

On Monday, June 14, Kenya’s foreign ministry responded with a statement that said “it welcomes and acknowledges the invitation by the federal government of Somalia to restore diplomatic relations” and that it would reopen its embassy in Mogadishu “as soon as possible”.

It also said Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya was invited to resume duties in Nairobi as well.

Stalled detente

Last month, Somalia signalled its intention to resume ties with Kenya, but the detente stalled after Kenya, a few days later, banned flights between the two capitals without explanation. The flights have since resumed.

Somalia has long bristled at what it calls Kenya’s meddling in regions beyond its border, while Nairobi has accused Mogadishu of using it as a scapegoat for its own political problems.

The neighbours are also engaged in a long-running territorial dispute over a potentially resource-rich stretch of the Indian Ocean claimed by both nations.

The dispute reached its nadir in early 2019 when Kenya recalled its ambassador after Somalia decided to unilaterally auction off oil and gas blocks.

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Somalia – Return to Election Negotiations (US Department of State)

The United States notes President Farmaajo’s April 28 commitment to return to the September 17 election agreement and resume talks immediately with Federal Member State leaders. We call on the President and Parliament to act swiftly to annul the April 12 mandate extension bill.

We commend Prime Minister Roble and the Federal Member State leaders for rejecting a mandate extension. We urge Somalia’s national and Federal Member State leaders to meet immediately to finalize a consensus-based electoral model and hold parliamentary and presidential elections as soon as possible on the basis of the September 17 agreement. All leaders must set aside their political aspirations and differences for the good of the Somali people and negotiate in good faith without preconditions and with a willingness to compromise.

We also call on Somalia’s security forces and all armed groups to stand down and allow political dialogue to resume in an atmosphere free from violence and intimidation. Continuing conflict will only serve to worsen conditions for the people of Somalia.

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Somalia – Somalia: A tale of two countries (World Bank blogs)

Having endured cyclical crises spanning three decades, Somalia is both a fragile state and a resilient society. For decades, people have been organizing themselves and helping address crises on their own. At the local level, hybrid forms of governance, such as customary, religious, civic, private sector, and governmental authorities, have emerged to provide communities with variable, sometimes illiberal, but nonetheless real systems of governance. In the face of nascent state-led services, the private sector has filled the void to provide services.

https://blogs.worldbank.org/africacan/somalia-tale-two-countries

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