Somalia

  1. UK MP killing: Former Somali PM adviser's son arrested

    The Newsroom

    BBC World Service

    Photo of David Amess smiling
    Image caption: Sir David Amess (pictured) was stabbed multiple times as he held a regular Friday meeting with constituents

    The father of a man suspected of killing the British MP, Sir David Amess, says he has been traumatised by his son's arrest.

    Harbi Ali Kullane - a former adviser to the prime minister of Somalia - told the Sunday Times newspaper he had never dreamt that Ali Harbi Ali, 25, could do something like that.

    It has emerged that the alleged attacker had previously attended a UK government scheme designed to prevent radicalisation, but was not on a security services' terror watchlist.

  2. Horn of Africa maritime dispute impasse continues

    Video content

    Video caption: Kenya's maritime border dispute with Somalia continues after it rejects UN court's ruling

    Kenya's maritime border dispute with Somalia continues after it rejects UN court's ruling.

  3. Huge investment to develop Africa's infrastructure signed

    An oil ship docked at Senegal's port  Autonome
    Image caption: The $1.7bn project will begin in Egypt, Dakar and Somalia

    A joint investment to modernise logistics infrastructure in Africa has been agreed between the Dubai ports giant DP World and the UK's development finance agency CDC Group.

    The $1.7bn (£1.2bn) investment will initially focus on expanding three ports: Egypt's Ain Sokhna, Senegal's Dakar and Berbera in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland. All the ports are operated by DP World.

    The partners hope the investment - which they plan to expand to other regions in Africa - will help accelerate inbound and outbound trade for the continent.

    According to CDC, the expansion of the three ports will support five million jobs and add $51bn to total trade by 2035.

    It's expected to benefit 35 million people including those from neighbouring countries.

  4. Kenya and Somalia await key sea border ruling

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Kenya is set to disregard the judgement of The International Court of Justice on the maritime border dispute between Kenya and Somalia, due today at 13:00 GMT.

    The two countries are both claiming a 62,000 sq miles (160,000 sq km) in the Indian Ocean thought to be rich in oil and gas.

    Kenya’s border currently runs horizontally into the Indian Ocean, and that is how Nairobi wants it to stay. But Somalia insists its southern boundary should run south-east as an extension of the land border.

    Kenya first established this maritime boundary along the parallel of latitude by presidential proclamation in 1979.

    Map

    In 2009, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding, certified by the United Nations, to negotiate their boundaries.

    In 2014, Somalia decided to settle the matter at the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

    In its application, Somalia said diplomatic negotiation had failed and it was now asking the court to "determine the precise geographical co-ordinates of the single maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean”.

    But that is not all. Somalia also wants the ICJ to declare that “Kenya… has violated its international obligations to respect the sovereignty, and sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Somalia, and is responsible under international law to make full reparation to Somalia".

    A year later, Kenya filed an objection to the court case, arguing that the memorandum of understanding was binding.

    Kenya also questioned the jurisdiction and fairness of the courts and seek postponements because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The court eventually rejected those arguments and ordered a hearing this year. Kenya decided to pull out of the case, citing procedural unfairness and questioning whether justice would be done.

    Nevertheless, the judgement is set to go ahead.

    Last Friday, Kenya said it had withdrawn from an agreement granting the ICJ mandate to handle cases against the country without its consent.

  5. AU force to expand military operations in Somalia

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The African Union says it will extend and expand its military operation in Somalia, where AU troops have been fighting Islamist militants for fourteen years. The AU said the new mission will be run jointly with the United Nations. It said the expanded AMISOM force would include soldiers from other African countries. The plan needs to be endorsed by the UN and the Somali government, which previously has rejected AU proposals. Ethiopia, which contributes thousands of soldiers to AMISOM, is facing serious security challenges at home. Kenya is also reported to be considering a military drawdown.
    Image caption: The AU force is trying to reduce the threat posed by al-Shabab

    The African Union says it wants to extend and expand its military operation in Somalia, where AU troops have been fighting Islamist militants for 14 years.

    The AU said the new mission would be run jointly with the United Nations.

    It said the expanded Amisom force would include soldiers from other African countries.

    The plan needs to be endorsed by the UN and the Somali government, which has previously rejected AU proposals.

    Ethiopia, which contributes thousands of soldiers to Amisom, is facing serious security challenges at home.

    Kenya is also reported to be considering a military drawdown.

  6. BreakingKenya will refuse to accept court ruling in Somalia dispute

    Kenya has said it will not recognise next week’s expected ruling by the International Court of Justice on the maritime border dispute with Somalia.

    In a hard-hitting statement, Kenya’s foreign affairs ministry said the judgement "will be the culmination of a flawed judicial process" that was bias.

    Kenya withdrew from the hearing earlier this year, questioning the fairness of the process, which concerns a 62,000 sq miles (160,000 sq km) triangle in the Indian Ocean.

    The area is thought to be rich in oil and gas.

    The dispute is at the heart of a diplomatic row between the neighbours.

    "The filing of a case against Kenya at the court, and the court’s assumption of jurisdiction where it had none, are demonstrative of new tactics of using pseudo-judicial processes to undermine territorial integrity," Kenya's foreign ministry said.

    Somalia brought the case in 2014, saying the maritime frontier should follow on in the same direction as the land border, while Kenya argues that it has always been taken in a horizontal line from the point where the two countries meet at the coast.

    The ICJ will deliver its judgement on 12 October.

    Map of Horn region
  7. UN condemns Somaliland deportations

    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) has condemned the deportation of Somalis from the self-declared republic of Somaliland.

    The agency placed the number of people forced out of their homes at 1,000. It said it had information that those deported had lived in the area for nearly 20 years.

    The agency said it was "concerned about the reports of additional forced displacements planned in the coming days".

    Somaliland deported people from southern Somali on Sunday citing insecurity. Those who had been deported were being looked after in Puntland.

  8. Somalia PM terms Somaliland deportations unfortunate

    Bella Sheegow

    BBC News, Mogadishu

    Somalia's Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has described the deportation of Somalis from the self-declared republic of Somaliland as unfortunate.

    The authorities in Somaliland deported hundreds of people who are from southern Somalia on Sunday.

    They were arrested in Las Anod town with the authorities citing rising insecurity.

    Prime Minister Roble identified those who had been deported as Somali businessmen, elderly people, women and children.

    "History will be written and I hope the people of Las Anod will protest against this and show solidarity," he said.

    Those who had been deported were being looked after in Puntland, its Interior Minister Abdirahman Dhabancad said.

  9. Sufi clerics seize town in central Somalia

    Abdi Dahir

    BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

    The moderate Islamist militia group, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a, has taken control of a key government-held town in central Galmudug state.

    The Sufi group engaged in fighting with the Galmudug state forces before seizing Guri’el, according to the local website Goobjoog News.

    More than 10 people were reportedly killed.

    Over the past few weeks the Sufi group has been mobilising fighters with the aim of retaking major towns under the Galmudug administration's control.

    The Sufi clerics reportedly received backing from local clans in central Somalia.

    Authorities have not yet commented about the clashes and seizure of the town.

    Once allied to the government, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'a was forced out of the central Somali regions in February 2020, when they clashed with state forces.

    The Sufi group had played a key role in the fight against al-Shabab when they controlled much of central Somalia.

  10. Somalia opens oxygen plant vital in Covid fight

    Juneydi Farah

    BBC Somali service

    Oxygen factory

    Somalia’s first large-scale factory producing much-needed medical oxygen has been opened in the capital, Mogadishu.

    The plant, which is at the city’s main child and maternal health hospital, was made possible through a collaboration between the government and the Hormuud Salaam Foundation (HSF), a charity set up by a large telecoms company.

    It will produce 1,000 cylinders of oxygen per week and is seen as a huge step forward in strengthening the country’s public health infrastructure.

    More than three decades of conflict has left the health sector in dire straits with little investment over the years.

    Covid-19 exposed the challenges the country is facing.

    Opening ceremony

    Health Minister Fawzia Abikar Nur admitted at the opening ceremony that people had great difficulty in getting medical oxygen, vital in saving patients’ lives, when the pandemic first hit.

    Up to now, there have been only two small private oxygen plants in the capital, neither of which produce the gas on a large-enough scale to satisfy demand.

    As well as saving lives, HSF estimated that the plant will save the country’s health authority $2.6m (£1.9) a year.

  11. Somalia mourns death of popular comedian

    Abdi Dahir

    BBC Monitoring

    Somali comedian, actor and TV host Abdi Muridi Dhere
    Image caption: Somali comedian Abdi Muridi Dhere died on Monday

    Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the celebrated Somali comedian, actor and TV host Abdi Muridi Dhere, popularly known as Ajakis, who died on Monday in Mogadishu after a short illness.

    Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was among those who sent their condolences, according to the media.

    “President @M_Farmaajo extends his heavy-hearted condolences to the family, relatives and the people of Somalia on the shock death of the popular comedian... ,” the state-owned Somali National TV said in a tweet.

    "Ajakis was a talented comedian who entertained the Somali people, especially the youth," another user wrote.

    Dhere was a host of a live stand-up comedy show, which was broadcast on privately-owned Universal Somali TV.

    He also presented a weekly satirical show, where he wryly criticised Somali politicians for their unending political squabbles.

    In the past, the show annoyed some of the regional authorities in Somalia.

    In early 2017, the self-declared Republic of Somaliland reportedly arrested Ajakis and the owner of Universal Somali TV, and thereafter banned the television station.

    Ajakis was said to have never left the country, even when warlords were battling for the control of the capital and in the past decade as al-Shabab insurgents banned the watching of TV and entertainment.

    His hilarious voice featured in many Indian Bollywood films dubbed into the Somali language in the 1990s and early 2000s.

  12. British MPs slam 'outrageous' aid cuts to African states

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The UK parliamentary committee that scrutinises British aid has described funding cuts to several African countries as outrageous and hypocritical.

    The International Development Committee says several conflict-hit East African countries will see their aid slashed by half or more, despite being identified as priority areas.

    The British government has cited the financial impact of the pandemic as a reason for the cuts.

    The countries include Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Mozambique and Somalia.

    The committee said UK aid in the region was needed more than ever as humanitarian crises were being exacerbated by conflict and climate change.

  13. Somali court convicts foreigners for al-Shabab recruitment

    Juneydi Farah

    BBC Somali service

    Two men in court
    Image caption: Darren Anthony Byrnes (L) and Ahmed Mustagim bin Abdihamid (R) were accused of helping recruit militants

    A military court in Somalia has sentenced a British and a Malaysian citizen to 15 years in prison for belonging to Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

    Briton Darren Anthony Byrnes, 44, and Malay Ahmed Mustagim bin Abdihamid, 34, were convicted of recruiting foreign fighters.

    They travelled to Somalia just over a decade ago.

    During the trial Mr Byrnes explained that he entered the country after paying $50 (£36) to a group of soldiers from neighbouring Kenya.

    "I presumed that was my visa end of story," he said.

    The two men were arrested in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland while trying to board a boat to Yemen.

    They had both denied working with al-Shabab.