updated 7:33 AM MST, Nov 17, 2017

A nation that doesn’t officially exist: on Somaliland’s campaign to build a national library in Hargeisa

By Jonn Elledge
For seven years now, there’s been a fundraising campaign underway to build a new national library in a nation that doesn’t officially exist. 
Since 2010, the Somali diaspora have been sending money, to pay for construction of the new building in the capital, Hargeisa. In a video promoting the project, the British journalist Rageeh Omar, who was born in Mogadishu to a Hargeisa family, said it would be... 
“...one of the most important institutions and reference points for all Somalilanders. I hope it sets a benchmark in terms of when a country decides to do something for itself, for the greater good, for learning and for progress – that anything can be achieved.”
Now the first storey of the Somaliland National Library is largely complete. The next step is to fill it with books. The diaspora has been sending those, too.
  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Somalia

General Gabre "President Farmajo disrespected the Ethiopian Forces in Baidoa visit"

Gabre has long been deplored by the Somali public for his continued and strange presence in key Somalia political and security discussions.
MOGADISHU  — Ethiopian General serving as official of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has criticized Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo for what he termed as 'disrespect against Ethiopian forces serving in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
In a twitter post, General Gabre said President Farmajo disrespected the Ethiopian Forces in Baidoa during his visit.
"Somalia president disrespectful at Amisom force Ethiopia in Baydhabo visiting Mogadishu” he said in a posting on his official twitter page

Three hours after the first posting, General Gabre once again made a second posting raising a question about Mr. Farmajo’s visit to Ethiopia during his brief tenure as Somali Prime Minister in 2010 in which Mr. Farmajo sat and met with the then Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

"Did farmajo forget our late pm Meles Zanawi saw to him that meeting?? When Meles called me? #Somalia #Mogadishu #Ethiopia” he wrote by posting a picture of Mr. Farmajo sitting and conversing with former Ethiopian PM (now deceased) Zenawi.
Neither IGAD officials in Somalia, not the official communication of Somali President’s Office commented on the matter.
General Gabre Heard, a former Commander of the Ethiopian Defense Forces in Somalia was in Baidoa on Sunday when President Farmajo visited the town, sources in Baidoa told Somaliupdate. The President toured the town to assess the security situation and the drought-hit people in the region.
General Gabre attempted to get access to meet President Farmajo before his proposal was simply denied by Somali Presidential aides rendering his embarrassment.
He is believed to be a self-declared representative of IGAD, an eight-country bloc which Ethiopia and Somalia are member states.
Apparently, the Ethiopian general seems to be taking advantage by referring his country’s troop contribution to African Union mission in Somalia while attempting to use his notorious well-versed behavior to influence Somali politicians.
He has long been deplored by the Somali public for his continued and strange presence in key Somalia political and security discussions.


  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Somalia

UNICEF seeks to immunize 30,000 Somali children against measles

MOGADISHU,  (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and its partners on Tuesday kicked off an emergency campaign to immunize 30,000 children against measles in Baidoa, one of the hardest-hit areas in southern Somalia.

Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF's Representative in Somalia said the children, many of them displaced by a searing drought, have never been immunized before and come from remote areas. Health workers often cannot reach because of a decades-old conflict that has ravaged the impoverished country in the Horn of Africa.

"The only way to prevent sickness and death from measles is to make sure all children receive the vaccine," Lauwerier said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Somalia

UNHCR returns nearly 62,000 Somali refugees from Kenya

NAIROBI, The UN refugee agency said Tuesday it has repatriated some 61,665 Somali refugees in Kenya since the return exercise begun in December 2014.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in its bi-weekly Update released in Nairobi that some 1,836 refugees were supported to return to their home in Somalia in the past ten days.

The UN agency said 22,351 out of 61,665 refugees were supported in 2017 alone, adding that 20,991 refugees are currently being registered for voluntary repatriation.

"Road convoys to Somalia are suspended due to the heavy rains in Dadaab area of operation and some parts of Somalia. UNHCR Somalia and its partners are closely monitoring the accessibility of roads in the twelve designated return areas," it said.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Somalia

Multi-national navies join latest Somalia counter piracy exercises

COMBIINED MARITIME FORCES -- Ships and aircraft from four nations of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) have conducted an advanced Counter Piracy Validation Exercise (CPVE) 20 Apr 17 under the direction of the Commander Combined Task Force 151 (CCTF 151).

The exercise took place in the Gulf of Aden (GOA), adjacent to the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), demonstrating the task force’s professional and highly effective capability.
The activities reassured crews of merchant vessels and fishing fleets and communities in the vicinity – particularly pertinent after recent piracy attacks in the region.

The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ship Teruzuki and P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, the Republic of Korea Navy ship Choi Young, the US Navy ship Carter Hall, and the UK Royal Navy ship HMS Monmouth conducted a variety of training evolutions that reinforced collective tactics, procedures and quick information sharing designed to deter, deny and suppress piracy in the region.

Activities included boarding exercises from Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) on to participating warships, designed to hone skills and inspire confidence of interoperability, teamwork and collective effectiveness against pirates.

Commander CTF 151, Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukuda JMSDF, said:

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Somalia