Diarrhea outbreak kills 5 children in Somalia



An outbreak of acute watery diarrhea has killed up to five people in Bal’ad town in Somalia’s southern region of Middle Shabelle, an official confirmed on Thursday.

Hanbali Ahmed, Deputy Governor of Bal’ad town said that acute watery diarrhea broke out in the town causing deaths.

“Up to five kids under seven years old have died from diarrhea, while eight others are suffering from the disease,” Ahmed said.

He added that the waterborne disease had affected many villages in Bal’ad town.

“We are giving utmost help to the victims but the patients are coming from various areas of the town. We ask humanitarian agencies to extend a hand to those who are suffering,” the official said.

Medical sources said that the number of patients was increasing by the day.

The outbreak of diarrhea follows major flooding in central and southern regions in November in 2019 which displaced over 300,000 people.

On Jan. 29, diarrhea killed up to 15 people in Somalia’s central region of Hiran.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu


Somali president appoints new prime minister



Somali President Mohamed Farmajo has appointed Mohamed Roble as the country’s new prime minister to replace Ali Khaire, who was impeached by parliament in July.

Farmajo, who made the announcement, directed Roble to form a new government to lead the country through the transition period as Somalia prepares for the 2020/2021 general elections.

The president said he made the appointment of Roble on the basis of his knowledge, experience and ability to take the government initiative, building efforts and the development of national plans.

He directed Roble to make significant efforts to consolidate security gains, rebuild the armed forces and develop infrastructure.

Roble, a graduate of Somali National University in civil engineering, is an international civil servant who worked at the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

In a statement after his appointment, Roble, who once worked at the University of London and lived in New York, said he will cooperate with all Somalis as he leads the delicate transition period.

“It is clear that the country is in a state of transition which requires real compromise and cooperation,” he said in his social media posts.

He expressed the hope that Somalis would support him and become part of the new political arrangement.

The appointment of Roble, a humanitarian, came shortly after a major breakthrough in the talks between Farmajo and five regional state leaders to reach a new agreement on the conduct of the 2020 to 2021 parliamentary and presidential elections.

Analysts describe the appointment of Roble, who appears non-aligned in the Somalia political landscape, as a sign of hope and a major compromise on the process to be followed in electing the incoming federal government of Somalia.

The tenure of the current parliament ends on Dec. 27; the tenure of office of President Farmajo ends on Feb. 7, 2021.

Analysts say holding the 2020 universal vote is critical to entrenching the federal system of governance, which is required to appease communities and regions complaining systematic exclusion and marginaliation for decades.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN
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Somali leaders urged to reach deal on credible electoral model



International partners have called on Somali leaders, who are meeting in Mogadishu to engage fully in serious dialogue aimed at reaching broad agreement on a credible and implementable electoral model.

President Mohamed Farmaajo and leaders of the five regional states, as well as the governor of Banadir region, kicked off their meeting in Mogadishu to discuss an inclusive model for the elections scheduled for December and February 2021.

“The partners hope that other key Somali political stakeholders will also be consulted, as discussions advance, to expand support for an agreement and its implementation,” the partners including the AU, the EU and UN said in a joint statement.

The Horn of Africa nation was due to hold parliamentary elections by December while presidential polls will take place in February 2021.

The international partners commended President Farmajo’ and the federal member states’ presidents from Jubaland, Galmudug, HirShabelle, Southwest, and Puntland including Mogadishu mayor for participating in these important meetings in Mogadishu.

“International partners appeal to Somalia’s leaders to be guided by the national interest and the democratic aspirations of the Somali people at this historic moment,” they said.

Sources said the leaders are yet to agree on who will manage the polls since some leaders have opted for a joint electoral body while others prefer regional states.

The number of electoral delegates is also a thorny issue at the meeting with some regional states saying the number 301 which was agreed during the previous meeting be reduced by half.

Analysts say holding the 2020 universal vote is considered critical for the sake of entrenching the federal system of governance, which is required to appease communities and regions claiming systematic exclusion and marginalisation for decades.

The Horn of Africa nation last held one-person, one-vote elections in March 1969 when the government was overthrown in a bloodless military coup.

Parliamentary and presidential elections took place in late 2016 and early 2017 through a system of indirect suffrage.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Source: NAN
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6 dead after suicide bombing at Somali mosque



At least six people were killed in a suicide bombing outside a mosque in Somalia’s port city of Kismayo on Friday, a regional official said.

“A suicide bomber wearing a heavy vest of explosives targeted the congregation at the Qaadim mosque in the centre of the town as people were leaving the mosque after performing Friday prayers,” said Abdinasir Gulled.

Another 20 people were injured in the attack, which may have been aimed at a provincial politician, Gulled said.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on their Radio Andulus.

Al-Shabaab, which has ties to al-Qaeda, regularly launches attacks on government officials, journalists, prominent businessmen as well as civilians in the volatile nation in the Horn of Africa.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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Uganda resumes rotation of peacekeeping troops to Somalia



Uganda has resumed rotation of its peacekeeping troops to Somalia after four months suspension over COVID-19, the military has said.

Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen. David Muhoozi said Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have built capacity to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.

On Thursday, Muhoozi flagged off Uganda’s 30th Battle Group to Somalia at in Singo, in the central district of Nakaseke.

The group comprises more than 1,800 personnel, both veterans and regular forces.

The UPDF and AMISOM suspended troop movements in and out of the mission area in May, as a force protection measure to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The Ugandan military also suspended troop deployments to Equatorial Guinea.

Uganda has more than 6,000 troops serving under the AMISOM in Somalia and over 100 officers in Equatorial Guinea.

The East African country deploys troops to Somalia and Equatorial Guinea on a one-year rotational basis.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Source: NAN
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