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Weekly Statement : Progress of the Somali Government

By Tajuddin
In Local News
Jan 31st, 2015
Mustafa Duhulow

Mustafa Duhulow

Mogadishu ( DIPLOMAT.SO) – The Interim 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 progress of development projects; Turkey & Somalia sign a co-operation agreement; new areas being liberated from Al-Shabaab; a reconciliation agreement signed between warring clans; an al-Shabaab leader renouncing violence, a new council of ministers appointed; new solar lights installed in Mogadishu streets; food aid delivered to Maxaas area; and the progress of the New Deal.

The Progress of Development Projects

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the progress of a number of development projects: “On January 25th, 2015, the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, opened the new terminal building at Adan Abdulle International airport and the Erdogan Hospital (formerly known as Digfer). The Turkish President, who led a huge delegation that visited Mogadishu, stated that Turkey is committed to supporting the Federal Government and the Somali people. The new terminal has the capacity of 5000 travellers, whereas the previous capacity was only for 300 travellers. On the other hand, the new Erdogan Hospital is the best-equipped hospital in East Africa. The hospital has, amongst other features, facilities for research and study by medical students and a large mosque. President Erdogan promised to provide the necessary funding to run the hospital for the next five years along with Turkish experts to provide training and build the capacity of Somali doctors and nurses so that the Somalis can take over the management of the hospital in five years time.”

Somalia and Turkey Sign Co-operation Agreement

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on a cooperation agreement between Turkey and Somalia: “On January 25th, 2015, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visited Somalia and, as part of the trip, representatives of Somalia and Turkey signed a cooperation agreement in Mogadishu. Bilateral discussions concentrated on the increasing dialogue and cooperation between Somalia and Turkey regarding economic, social and security issues. New development agreements were signed focusing on elements of military and security cooperation, youth and sports initiatives, marine transportation, police support and cooperation between Turkish National Radio TRT and Somali National TV. the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said, “We thank Turkey for her ongoing development assistance in support of economic, military, social, infrastructure partnership and humanitarian aid initiatives. The Somali people are grateful for Turkey’s friendship throughout the years and we look forward to strengthened ties between our countries.” President Erdogan also promised to build 10,000 houses in Somalia within the next two years.”

New Areas Liberated from Al-Shabaab

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the liberation of new territories from the control of Al-Shabaab: “Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM forces continue to experience great success in liberating town after town from the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab. On January 28th, 2015, forces liberated Jamaay Abdalle (80km from Afmadow district), Farwaamo and other areas in Lower Jubba region. These areas lay on the shores of the Jubba River. The SNA and AMISOM have been conducting operations in the area for sometime, which resulted the weakening of the terrorist group. The FGS is committed to liberating all areas currently held by Al-Shabaab in order to provide an environment that is conducive for people to freely take part in decision making processes that can lead them to freedom and prosperity.”

Reconciliation Agreement between Warring Clans

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on reconciliation agreement between warring clans: “ Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, the President of South West State, chaired a reconciliation conference that led to the signing of an agreement on January 28th, 2015, in Afgoye district, Lowever Shabelle region. The aim of the conference was to reconcile two warring clans in the area by signing an agreement to stop the fighting and to agree a peace deal. All key stakeholders in the area were present, in particular stakeholders from the two warring clans. The Minister of Reconciliation of South West read out the nine point agreement that included that the parties that approve this agreement will abide by Somali customary laws and the legal system of the government, will agree to the presence of integrated security forces deployed in the areas affected by the war, to provide rehabilitation programs for militiamen from both sides, to provide food aid in the area, and various other points. The President of South West expressed his appreciation of the agreement and encouraged both sides to abide by the agreement in order to bring peace and stability in the area of Lower Shabelle region.”

Al-Shabaab leader renounces violence

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on a former Al-Shabaab leader’s renunciation of violence and rejection of al-Shabaab: “The FGS welcomed Zakariya Ismail Hersi, a former Al-Shabaab leader, on his renunciation of violence and embracing of the peace process. On January 27th, 2015, Zakriya spoke to media in Mogadishu where he declared that he is no longer part of Al-Shabaab, an organization he described as being ‘in a total collapse’. Zakaria said that from now on he will solve all disputes through peaceful means and appealed to his friends to seek out reconciliation and the peace process over violent activities. The Minister of Information praised Zakaria’s brave efforts. HE the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, subsequently stated that, “the door is always open to those who reject al-Shabaab’s doctrine of destruction and embrace peace.”

The Appointment of New Council of Ministers

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the appointment of new council of ministers: “ the Prime Minister of Somalia, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, announced a new council of ministers on January 27th, 2015, following consultations with HE the President, the leaders of the parliament, MPs, and all segments of the society. The new council of ministers consists of 20 ministers with the remaining deputies and state ministers to be appointed at a later date. The PM stated that under his constitutional mandate he has chosen the most competent technocratic ministers for the implementation of Vision 2016, and in order to achieve political stability all the newly appointed ministers had no involvement whatsoever in the previous political crisis.”

New Solar Lights Installed in Mogadishu Streets

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on installation of new solar lights in Mogadishu streets: “The Governor of Banadir & the Mayor of Mogadishu, General Hassan Mohamed Hussein (Mungab), officially launched the installation of 333 solar lights on Industrial Street in Mogadishu. The Mayor stated: “This is part of the process of bringing peace and stability back to the capital and I urge residents to look after these lights because terrorists groups will try to destroy these lights as they are both symbols of progress and they deny them the darkness in which they thrive.”

Food Aid Delivered to Mahaas

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on food aid deliveries to Mahaas: “Mr Mumin Mohamed Halane, the District Commissioner of Mahaas in Hiiraan region distributed food aid to residents on January 29th, 2015, as these residents were in urgent need of food aid. Each family were given 50kg of rice and flour. This was the first food aid that was delivered in Mahaas for some time and the district commissioner stated that the needs of the community are still far greater than what was distributed and asked anyone and all who can to provide food aid to communities in the area in order to overcome all the challenges of food availability in the area.”

The Progress of the New Deal

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the progress of the New Deal: “The Aid Coordination Unit (ACU) organized a 4 day Peace & Security Goals number 4 (PSG 4) Working Group meeting in Garowe, Puntland, Somalia between 26th and 29th January 2015. This was the first time a PSG WG meeting is being held outside of Mogadishu, in order to strengthen the inclusivity of the New Deal and the implementation of the Somali Compact.

Representatives who attended the meeting included members of the FGS, Puntland, Jubbaland, South West, Banadir and Galmudug regions, civil society groups and representatives of the International partners, including the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Puntland President opened the meeting on January 26th, 2015, and welcomed the first meeting of a PSG WG to take place outside of Mogadishu, setting an important precedent for other PSG WGs. After discussions, presentations and debates the groups agreed on the need to continue partnership amongst all stakeholders. It was also agreed to establish a task force with representatives from PSG 4 and PSG 5 WGs to propose a way forward. The World Bank and the UN gave specific presentations on the SDRF financing architecture and the status of the funding windows, which had been requested by the leads and co-leads of PSG 4. ACU has been very active in planning all PSGs WGs meetings and aims to conduct these important meetings in all regions of Somalia.”

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