Somali reelects president, 5 years after he was voted out
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who served as Somali president between 2012 and 2017, won the contest in the capital, Mogadishu, amid a security lockdown imposed by authorities to prevent deadly militant attacks. Mohamud’s election ended a protracted electoral process that raised political tensions — and heightened insecurity concerns — after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s mandate expired in February 2021 without a successor in place. MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia's presidential vote is proceeding to a third round Sunday, with the incumbent leader facing off against a former president. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and his immediate predecessor, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, will now contest a third round of voting to be decided by 328 legislators. While Mohamed has made it to the third and final round, he is expected to face a strong challenge from the previous president, Mohamud.wftv.com
Somali lawmakers go to 2nd round to choose next president
Somalia Presidential Vote Somali lawmakers are checked by security forces as they arrive to cast their vote in the presidential election, at the Halane military camp which is protected by African Union peacekeepers, in Mogadishu, Somalia Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh) (Farah Abdi Warsameh)MOGADISHU, Somalia — (AP) — Somalia's presidential vote is proceeding to a second round Sunday after the first round of voting did not produce a decisive winner. Legislators are choosing the country's next president in the capital, Mogadishu, which is under lockdown measures aimed at preventing deadly militant attacks . The top four candidates out of 36 presidential aspirants will be on the ballot in the next round: incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, former Prime Minister Hassan Khaire and regional leader Said Dani. Analysts say the current president Mohamed — who also is known as Farmaajo because of his appetite for Italian cheese — faces an uphill battle to be reelected.wftv.com
Somali lawmakers gather to choose the country's president
Somalia Presidential Vote A campaign poster for presidential candidate Jamal Ahmed Ibrahim is seen above an armored vehicle belonging to Ugandan peacekeepers with the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), on a street in Mogadishu, Somalia Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Some 36 candidates are vying for the presidency, including incumbent leader Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and two of his predecessors: Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Analysts say the current president Mohamed — who also is known as Farmaajo because of his appetite for Italian cheese — faces an uphill battle to be reelected. No sitting president has ever won reelection in the Horn of Africa nation, where rival clans battle intensely for political power. All 329 lawmakers of both chambers of parliament will pick the president by secret ballot.wftv.com
Somalia set to elect new president amid growing insecurity
MOGADISHU, Somalia — (AP) — Somalia is set to hold its long-delayed presidential vote on Sunday, ending the convoluted electoral process that raised tensions in the country when the president's term expired last year without a successor in place. Mohamed has been locked in a power struggle with his prime minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, over control of the government. Somalia began to fall apart in 1991, when warlords ousted dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other. Whoever wins the election faces the urgent issue of insecurity, with al-Shabab fighters making territorial gains in recent months. The new president will also have to help ease tensions between regional states competing for limited resources, analysts say.wftv.com
UAE welcomes Somali apology for seized cash, easing dispute
The United Arab Emirates late Tuesday welcomed the prime minister of Somalia's public apology for a Somali operation in 2018 that resulted in the seizure of Emirati aircraft and $9.6 million in cash, wrecking relations between the two nations. The Emirati foreign ministry thanked Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble for his “initiative” to settle the dispute, which prompted the UAE to end a military training mission in Somalia that had helped the conflict-ravaged nation rebuild after decades of chaos. “The UAE continues its steps towards restoring bridges and reconnecting with various countries in its quest to enhance regional stability.”news.yahoo.com
Car bomb hits outside Mogadishu airport in Somalia; 8 killed
Somalia Explosion Rescuers carry away the body of a civilian who was killed in a blast in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. A large explosion was reported outside the international airport in Somalia's capital on Wednesday and an emergency responder said there were deaths and injuries. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh) (Farah Abdi Warsameh)MOGADISHU, Somalia — (AP) — A car bomb exploded Wednesday outside the international airport in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killing at least eight people and wounding nine others, a local doctor said. The al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was targeting “white officials” passing by. The international airport hosts the U.S. Embassy, among other diplomatic offices.wftv.com
UN envoy: Somalia's leaders must finish elections quickly
He welcomed the completion of elections for the 54 senators in the Upper House of parliament, including 14 women representing 26% of the chamber -- an increase from 2016 but still below the 30% target. He said it is also encouraging that elections for the 275 seats in the House of the People have started, with two members chosen and elections for an additional 11 seats announced to begin this week. Talks between the federal government and regional leaders that began in March broke down in early April. After the clashes, President Mohamed on May 1 asked the lower house of parliament to reverse its actions that included extending his mandate for two years. This led to a May 27 agreement on holding indirect elections this year.wftv.com
UN council urges Somalia's feuding leaders to settle dispute
UNITED NATIONS — (AP) — The U.N. Security Council urged Somalia’s feuding government leaders on Saturday to resolve their disagreements through dialogue and give top priority to holding long-delayed national elections this year. The council meeting followed President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s statement Thursday saying he suspended Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble’s power to hire and fire officials, the latest action in their increasingly divisive relationship. Talks between the federal government and regional leaders that began in March broke down in early April. This led to a May 27 agreement on holding indirect elections this year. “The risks for the Somali people, the risks for giving Al-Shabab more room are very high indeed.wftv.com
Somalia accuses Djibouti of detaining ex-intelligence chief
NAIROBI, Kenya — (AP) — A tense political dispute between Somalia's president and prime minister threatened to broaden into a regional crisis on Friday after the president accused neighboring Djibouti of unlawfully detaining his former national intelligence chief. Tensions between the president and Prime Minister Hussein Roble, tasked with leading election preparations, have risen sharply in recent days over the high-profile case of a missing intelligence agent, Ikran Tahlil Farah. The prime minister suspended Yasin after the intelligence agency asserted that the al-Shabab extremist group had killed the agent - an allegation that al-Shabab denied. On Thursday, Somalia’s president suspended the prime minister’s powers to hire and fire, leading to a new outcry. The international community has urged calm amid fears of a return to open gunfire in the streets of Mogadishu over heightened political tensions.wftv.com
Somalia says it has resumed diplomatic ties with Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya — (AP) — Somalia says it has resumed diplomatic ties with neighboring Kenya after severing relations late last year. A government statement on Thursday thanked Qatar for its mediation efforts. Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed recently caused an uproar by approving a controversial two-year term extension. That move brought extraordinary scenes of rival groups of soldiers firing on each other in the capital, Mogadishu. Somalia's federal government had accused Kenya of meddling in politics in the country's south, where Kenya has soldiers fighting the al-Shabab extremist group.wftv.com
Somali lawmakers reverse president's extended stay in power
Saturday’s actions mean a return to talks on how to carry out the election that has been delayed since early February, when some Somalis believe the president’s term ended. Mohamed asked lawmakers to back the agreement the federal government reached with regional states last September on a way forward for the vote. He asked Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble to lead the election preparations and the related security measures. Somalia’s leader also for the first time publicly expressed condolences to those who died or were displaced during the clashes in Mogadishu. “Would you bring your wife and children in the middle of those opposing forces, right in front of and around your house?” asked Mohamed Abdulle Farah, who had fled the Hodan district of the capital.wftv.com
Somali lawmakers reverse president's extended stay in power
The controversial two-year term extension for Somalia’s president evaporated on Saturday after intense public pressure as the lower house of parliament approved his request to instead support efforts to organize the country’s long-delayed national election. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed asked the lawmakers to retreat from their decision earlier this month to extend his time in office, a move blasted by the Senate as illegal and opposed by soldiers who took up key positions in the capital and clashed with other security forces. The extraordinary scene of soldiers firing at each other in the streets of Mogadishu brought back fears for many Somalis that the Horn of Africa nation could collapse back into chaos after years of trying to rebuild.news.yahoo.com
Somalia starts first inoculations with AstraZeneca vaccines
(AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)MOGADISHU – Somalia launched COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday with the inoculation of the health minister, who received the jab publicly to reassure the nation about its safety. The Horn of Africa nation, which has recently experienced a surge of cases, on Monday received its first shipment of 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the international COVAX intiative to ensure that low- and middle-income countries receive vaccines. The AstraZeneca vaccine is the only one available in Somalia and many other African countries. Somalia has recorded 8,946 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including at least 349 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Issak asked, speaking specifically of the AstraZeneca shot, “If it is good, why those many European countries are refusing to take it?
UN urges Somalia to organize elections without delay
Security forces block a street with an armored personnel carrier during protests against the government and the delay of the country's election in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (AP Photo)CAMEROON – The U.N. Security Council urged Somalia’s government on Friday to organize elections “without delay” in a resolution that stressed the pressing threat to the country’s security from al-Shabab and armed opposition groups. The Security Council expressed concern at the delays in finalizing arrangements for elections this year. It urged the federal government and regional states “to organize free, fair, credible and inclusive elections” in line with a Sept. 17, 2020, agreement. AdThe Security Council welcomed “progress achieved so far” but also stressed the immediate threat from al-Shabab and other extremist groups.
As Somalia's COVID-19 cases surge, a variant is suspected
A doctor tends to a patient suffering from COVID-19 in a ward for coronavirus patients at the Martini hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. “We believe this second wave is the new variant of the virus,” he said. Sadaq said a large, unnamed Somali-owned company had lost a dozen people to COVID-19 in just the past few days. “Now you see how widespread is becoming this new variant of the virus, and we were not prepared for it,” he said. Somalia’s current crisis around a delayed national election has contributed to the spread of COVID-19 as “social distancing is ignored,” Sadaq added.
Tensions rise between Somalia and UAE over delayed elections
(AP Photo)MOGADISHU – Two days after violence related to Somalia's delayed elections, the country's foreign ministry has accused “external forces” for contributing to the problems. The UAE statement, notably, referred to Somalia’s government as an “interim” one. Somalia's Information Minister Osman Dubbe angrily responded to the UAE statement, saying it was provocative. Relations between the UAE and Somalia have been deteriorating ever since DP World, a UAE company, signed separate agreements with the Somali regional administrations of Somaliland and Puntland without the consent of Somalia's federal government. AdThe goal of direct, one-person-one-vote elections in Somalia remains elusive.
Doctor says 5 killed in Somalia's election-related violence
Security forces in Somalia's capital fired on hundreds of people protesting the delay of the country's election on Friday as at least one explosion was reported at the international airport and armored personnel carriers blocked major streets. (AP Photo)MOGADISHU – A health worker in Somalia’s capital says at least five soldiers were killed and more than a dozen people, mostly civilians, were wounded in violence related to protests over the country’s delayed election. Abdi Bafo, a doctor at the Medina hospital, spoke on Saturday, the day after Somali security forces fired on hundreds of people peacefully demonstrating in Mogadishu over the delayed vote. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is under pressure as the Feb. 8 election date came and went without resolution of issues related to how the vote is conducted in the Horn of Africa nation. AdMembers of parliament and senators then elect Somalia’s president.
Somali security forces fire on protest over delayed election
Somalis march and protest against the government and the delay of the country's election in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is under pressure as the Feb. 8 election date came and went without resolution of issues related to how the vote is conducted in the Horn of Africa nation. It cited a rise in COVID-19 cases, but critics called it an attempt to block the protest. Mohamud accused the president of a “coup.”AdThe United Nations and others have urged Somali political leaders to solve their differences quickly. AdMembers of parliament and senators then elect Somalia’s president.
Somalia's talks on troubled election fail 2 days before vote
FILE - In this Saturday, May 25, 2019, file photo, Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed arrives for the swearing-in ceremony of Cyril Ramaphosa at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria, South Africa. Al-Shabab attacked the city hosting the election talks on the night the president arrived and the following night. “I tried everything I could to solve this crisis in the best logical way together with the rest of the federal member states, but it was always the president who refused,” Madobe said. Contentious issues in the election talks have been the formation of the electoral management commission, the selection of commission members for the breakaway region of Somaliland and the crisis in the Somalia-Kenya border region of Gedo. AdThe federal government and three regional states have appointed their commission members but Puntland and Jubbaland declined, accusing the federal government of selecting its members from non-neutral bodies.
Somali forces end jihadist siege of Mogadishu hotel, 5 dead
A hotel security guard stands by wreckage in the aftermath of an attack on the Afrik hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. At least five people have died in the attack on the Mogadishu hotel by Somalia's al-Shabab rebels that was ended early Monday by security forces, according to the Somali police force. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)MOGADISHU – At least five people have died in the attack on a Mogadishu hotel by Somalia's al-Shabab rebels that was ended early Monday by security forces, according to the Somali police force. The siege of the Afrik hotel ended after a gun battle that lasted for more than eight hours, and all four rebel attackers were killed, Somali police spokesman Sadiq Adan Ali said. Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and the country’s prime minister condemned the attack and sent their condolences to the families of the deceased.
Time running out on Somalia's troubled vote as citizens sigh
Two regional states refuse to take part, and time is running out before the Feb. 8 date when mandates expire. Instead, the federal government and states agreed on another “indirect election,” with senators and members of parliament elected by community leaders — delegates of powerful clans — in each member state. Members of parliament and senators then elect Somalia's president. You were given to lead a united people in a peaceful way,” said one former president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. AdHe also warned that Jubbaland and Puntland could go the way of Somaliland, with Somalia's unity at stake.
Mortar shells hit after Somalia celebrates reopened stadium
Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, center, prepares to cut the ribbon for the reopening of the stadium in Mogadishu, Somalia Tuesday, June 30, 2020. At least three mortar blasts struck the Mogadishu Stadium Tuesday evening, just hours after it was reopened by Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who had left before the shells hit, following years of instability. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)NAIROBI At least three mortar blasts sent sports fans in Somalia ducking for cover Tuesday evening, hours after the Mogadishu Stadium reopened following years of instability. The mortar shells struck in and around the stadium, police Col. Ahmed Muse said. The blasts occurred after Somalias President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed attended the opening ceremonies that included a football match in the nearly empty stadium.