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Pentagon steps up Somalia drone strikes

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The US military has quietly upped the tempo of its operations in Somalia, conducting a growing number of drone strikes against Al-Qaeda affiliated Shabaab militants and other jihadists.

Since the start of the year, America has carried out 28 drone strikes in the Horn of Africa nation, with 15 of these coming since September 1, the military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) said.

That’s a big increase from last year. According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which maintains a tally of US operations in Somalia and elsewhere, there were 15 anti-Shabaab air strikes in the whole of 2016.

The surge in activity comes as the US watches for an influx of fighters from the Islamic State group, which has lost almost all its territory in Iraq and Syria.

The US conducted a pair of drone strikes against IS in Somalia on November 3, the first time it has hit the jihadists there.

Though the Pentagon has provided few details about the strikes, spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said this week that US forces had killed 40 Shabaab and IS fighters in a series of five strikes on Somalia between November 9 and 12.

On Wednesday, AFRICOM announced a sixth strike that killed “several” Shabaab militants 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Mogadishu.

The surge in activity comes after President Donald Trump in March loosened constraints on the US military in Somalia, allowing commanders to take action against suspected terrorists when they judge it is needed, without seeking specific White House approval.

The US is supporting the country’s fight against Shabaab, which has carried out a string of devastating bombings in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

In May, officials said only about 50 US troops were in Somalia providing training and advice for the Somali military and logistical support, but on Thursday the Pentagon said the figure is now at about 500.

Pentagon spokesman and Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie told reporters Thursday that he didn’t necessarily think there was a ramping-up of operations, but said the “density of targets” meant more strikes had been possible.

“There’s no particular rhythm to it, except that as (targets) become available and as we’re able to process them and vet them, we strike,” he said.

McKenzie added that officials keep a close eye on foreign fighters’ movements from Iraq and Syria, but he would not say if the Pentagon was tracking jihadists flowing from their former “caliphate” through Yemen and onto Somalia.

AMISOM
Aside from US forces training and advising Somalia’s young military, about 22,000 African Union troops are helping secure outlying urban areas.

AMISOM, the AU’s mission in Somalia, has said it will withdraw 1,000 troops fighting jihadists in the country this year, as part of plans to pull out all soldiers by December 2020.

Washington is worried the reduction will hamper efforts against Shabaab.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan met with Ugandan Minister of Defense Adolf Mwesige in Vancouver, Canada on the margins of a UN peacekeeping summit this week.

Uganda is the main contributor to AMISOM and has been there for a decade.

Shanahan “acknowledged those Ugandan lives lost in Somalia. He expressed his understanding of the frustration with the pace of progress in Somalia but also his confidence that progress is being made,” Shanahan’s spokeswoman Commander Sarah Higgins said.

For Jennifer Cooke, an Africa specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, this “militarization” of US policy in Somalia is concerning.

“The raining down of strikes from the sky can give major fuel to recruitment by (jihadist) groups,” she told AFP.

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PRESS STATEMENT: Passage of the Somaliland National Procurement Bill

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PRESS STATEMENT

Passage of the Procurement Bill

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

We are delighted to announce that, on Sunday the 6th May 2018, the Somaliland Parliament approved the passage of the Procurement Bill. This was the last remaining PFM Bill to be passed by Parliament and, with the President’s signature, will mean that all the PFM Bills will become the law of the land.

The new Procurement Act will reform the public procurement systems of Somaliland to bring them to modern national and international standards that embrace best practices whilst reducing the scope for corruption. The Bill seeks to organize public procurement management in Somaliland to ensure that it (public procurement) is not done in a discretionary manner but in a structured manner that ensures (goals) economy (value for money), efficiency, transparency, equal opportunity (to all candidates, particularly to Somaliland businesses), and professionalism.

The rules and procedures in the Bill will be applicable for use of all public funds (regardless of the source) and by all public entities that have been provided with budget and responsibility for public service delivery.

In short, the bill will ensure application of common rules/procedure and standards across all public entities, i.e. Central Government Ministries and their Departments and Agencies, Local Authorities, public institutions, public corporations and state enterprises. It will therefore be easy to compare performance of various public entities and to audits procurement transactions.

The Government of Somaliland will implement this Act as soon as possible and are looking forward to the expansion and successful continuation of PFM reforms in the Procurement Pillar of the program.

 

 

PFM Reform Coordination Unit

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PRESS RELEASE: Fathi Initiative Publishes an Open Letter

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Fathi Initiative has issued an open letter to government bodies asking them to evidence their commitment to delivering the United Nation’s  Sustainable Development Goals in Somaliland. The letter was sent to Somaliland political parties, parliamentary committees, the Somaliland Cabinet and all Somaliland’s local authorities.

The letter calls on these key decision makers and institutions to show their commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Somaliland by publishing the specific actions they are taking that relate to the 17 critical areas reflected in the SDGs.

The purpose of the letter is to raise awareness of the SDGs at strategic level and encourage a sense of responsibility from institutions and key individuals.

Fathi Initiative Founder, Fathi Bashe said:

“This letter presents an opening for civil society, government bodies, youth and businesses to come together and make the Global Goals a reality in Somaliland”

 

All the responses to the letter will be published in September 2018 on www.initiative.fathibashe.com

 

To sign the letter follow the below link:

http://initiative.fathibashe.com/our-open-letter

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Academic Researches

Somaliland: First 100 Days of President Muse Bihi Abdi

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As Somaliland held its latest and strongly contested Presidential Elections in November 2017, the new President marked his first 100 days in the office last week. This paper examines President Bihi’s first 100 days in the office and the issues surrounding him from Politics, Economy, Development, International Relations and many others. It gives a detailed background of the situation in Somaliland and analyses the current circumstances through intellectual and legal perspectives.

Click the below link to download the paper for free

 

Click Here to Download the Paper

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