Weekly Statement : Progress of the Somali Government
Mogadishu ( DIPLOMAT.SO) – The Minister of Information, Mustafa Duhulow, today addressed the media, providing an update on the progress of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) over the last week. The Minister discussed various issues: The development of Postal Services in Somalia; political outreach to Somalis in the Diaspora; the introduction of Cash Machines in Somalia, the liberation of Barawa; progress in the implementation of Federalism; the visit to Guri’el by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; the President’s visit to Adale; and finally the Prime Minister’s visit to Puntland.
The Minister of Information began by discussing the progress in the provision of Postal Services in Somalia: “The Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications has been working hard to revive postal services in Somalia. As part of that effort, on 9th October the ministry successfully launched a system to allow the delivery of letters from abroad in Somalia. The postal service will be implemented all across the country as the ministry of Posts & Telecommunications has allocated post codes to all 18 regions of Somalia, such as AW for Awdal, BN for Banadir, BR for Bari, SL for Sool and so on. There are also numbers allocated to each region and districts. The FGS is committed to providing basic services for the people as a sign of improving security in the country.”
The Minister of Information highlighted the importance of engaging with Somali Diaspora: “I was very pleased to visit Washington DC, Virginia, Minnesota and Columbus Ohio between 28 September to 08 October 2014, and I had fruitful engagement with Somalis in the United States of America. I also had meetings with US officials there. I will always remember the vibrant community that I saw and how they were ready to support the FGS. The communities in US demonstrated huge commitment, dedication and a sense of patriotism for the homeland, which I really liked very much. I would like to thank them for their hospitality during my stay in the US. I had the opportunity to visit Somali Malls in Minneapolis, Virginia and in Columbus, Ohio. The community came out in huge numbers to events in Minneapolis and in Columbus. I discussed a number of issues with them including the need for them to show unity of purpose so that they can make a valuable contribution to both the US and to Somalia. I also discussed our concerns about young Somalis joining terrorists group such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab. I described to them the urgent need for religious leaders, community leaders, parents, business community and all to take a leadership role on providing young people with alternatives such as job opportunities, education and entertainment. Somalis in the Diaspora are the backbone to the rebuilding of the country and we have high hopes based on our meetings with them in the US.”
The Minister of Information spoke on the first Cash Machine in Mogadishu: “The Federal Government is pleased by the installation of Cash Machines, introduced by Salaama Somali Bank in Mogadishu on 08 October 2014. This is the first time that the capital has had cash machines and this will encourage other banks to follow suit so that people will have an opportunity to withdraw money even if their banks are based outside of the country. This initiative is a major sign of progress, the return to normalcy and also of modernisation and it shows that the security in Mogadishu is improving on a daily basis. The Federal Government encourages other banks to introduce similar initiatives that can boost the confidence of the people while also making their daily lives easier.”
The Minister of Information praised Somali National Army and AMISOM: “On 06 October 2014 Somali National Army, with the support of AMISOM forces, liberated Barawa from al-Shabaab. Barawa was a key town for Al-Shabaab, a stronghold where planned the numerous atrocities committed by them in Somalia and elsewhere such as suicide bombings, campaigns to terrorise the public such as the public stoning of women and girls, illicit taxation and the illegal export of charcoal. The FGS immediately started the stabilization process including setting up security and administrative institutions in Barawa and providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance. The FGS thanks the people in the area for the warm welcome they gave to the liberating security forces and immediately started working with them in order to bring peace and stability to the area. We want to encourage people in the area to take part in the democratization process so that they can take ownership of the process in the lead up to the 2016 elections. The people in the area are now enjoying freedoms they have not been allowed for some time: they started watching football games on television and listening to the radio as well as playing football, all activities previously banned under Al-Shabaab.”
The Minister of Information spoke on the progress in the implementation of Federalism: “Community consultations are going very well in Adaado district, where the people are preparing themselves for the upcoming conference for all stakeholders in the area with a view to setting up a Federal unit in Central Regions. Consultations are also happening in other parts of Galgadud such as Dhusomareb. The aim of these consultations is to unite people with differences of view and to come up with consensus on the way ahead. Representatives from Galmudug, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jameeca and Himin & Heeb, along with the technical committee, are working tirelessly to convince all concerned parties to take part in the process. The FGS is leading this process in line with the provisional Constitution. There are also other consultations happening in Kismayo, Baido and Garbaharey, all aimed at setting up Federal units across Somalia.”
The Minister of Information spoke on political outreach to regions of Somalia: “The Federal Government has been reaching out to all regions of Somalia as part of the mandate of the government and with a view to updating the people on government policies and strategies as well as listening to their views and concerns so that the basic services that the people want can be implemented in the regions.
On 9th October 2014 Mahad Mohamed Salad, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion, led a delegation that visited Gur’el in order to engage with communities and to advance the consultation process leading to the formation of Central Regions State of Somalia. The delegation including members of parliament and the technical committee and they also visited Dusamareb and had meetings with key stakeholders in the area. The aim of the government’s political outreach activity is to consult with key stakeholders in those areas including Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jame’a, Galgadud Authority, Galmudug and Himin & Heeb and other key stakeholders, so that the process of implementing federal units with the FGS is inclusive. The delegation has also been evaluating the current situation in the area with a view of providing basic services as well.”
The Minister of Information spoke on the Prime Minister’s visit to Puntland: “On 10 October 2014, the Prime Minister of Somalia, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, visited Puntland in order to revive the relationship between the FGS and the Puntland Authority. The Prime Minister and his delegation, which included Ministers and MPs, received a warm welcome from the President and the people of Puntland. The Prime Minister thanked the leadership of Puntland and the people in Garowe for the warm welcome accorded to his delegation. The Prime Minister commented that this showed how people in Puntland have always been keen for unity in Somalia and supportive of the FGS.
The PM also said that the FGS is committed to reviving the relationship between the FGS and Puntland based on mutual interest, trust, transparency and service delivery to all the people of Somalia. Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas said that Puntland wants the FGS to listen their concerns and to take the necessary course of action.”
The Minister of Information spoke on President’s visit to Adale: “On 10 October, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, visited Adale district in Middle Shabelle region, an area recently liberated from al-Shabaab control. The President and his delegation were warmly welcomed by the Governor of Middle Shabelle region and people in the area came out and greeted the President in the streets in huge numbers. The President shook hands with the people and asked about their situation since the fall of Al-Shabaab in the area. The President promised to provide basic services such as health, education, water and the resurfacing of the roads. The President and his delegation, which included Deputy Minister of Interior & Federal Affairs, MPs and politicians, also visited Adale beach and spoke to fishermen in the area. The aim of the visit was to reach out to communities in the newly recovered areas so that people can feel the benefits of peace and stability.”