Somalia Information Ministery: Weekly Updates

Mogadishu, 07 June 2014 – H.E. Mustafa Duhulow today spoke to the media in Mogadishu to provide an update on government progress over the last week. The Minister spoke on issues such as good governance, security operations in Mogadishu, military operations against al-Shabaab, UNSOM’s 1st Anniversary, the London Conference (on Combatting Violence Against Women) on 10th June, the EU and civil society’s engagement, the Prime Minister’s initiative to engage the public, the US’s appointment of an Ambassador to Somalia and the recognition of Somali 21st Century Hero, Captain Dahir Gurhan Mohamud of the Somali Police Force.

The Minister of Information spoke on the progress of good governance: “This week local administration officials from 25 districts finished 3 week long training on good governance. HE the President spoke at the closing of the event, stating the importance of good governance and asking those took part the training to ensure that they serve the community and that they deliver basic services to the people. The President emphasized the urgent need to develop a reconciliation strategy for all communities and that local authorities should engage with communities so that they can take part in all decision making processes. The President concluded his remarks by saying that we want to show leadership on good governance and that we need to hold fair and free elections by 2016.”
The Minister spoke on security operations in Mogadishu: “The Somali National Security Forces along with African Union forces on Monday morning began major search operation in parts of the capital, Mogadishu. The operation commenced early in the morning as people slept, targeting houses on the main Industrial Road and near the former Milk Factory in Hodan district. The aim of this operation was to ensure that al-Shabaab is denied the opportunity to hide in in Mogadishu. The security forces arrested dozens of suspected al Shabaab members from these villages and they are being interrogated in the Criminal Investigations Department.”

The Minister spoke on military operations against Al-Shabaab: “Somali Government forces killed at least 50 al-Shabaab fighters and captured 12 prisoners in clashes between government forces and al-Shabaab fighters in the outskirts of Ato locality in Bakol region. The government forces on Sunday morning attacked al-Shabaab bases in La-helow village which lies 8 km out of Ato. During operations in central regions, Somali forces captured 16 al-Shabaab fighters in El-Bur district, part of Galgadud Region.”

The Minister spoke on the first anniversary of UNSOM: “Speaking at an event to mark the first anniversary of the launch of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), HE Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia paid tribute to the work of the United Nations and the leadership of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay. The Minister of Information, speaking at the event said “The Ministry of Information is honoured to host this very important event. We have a dedicated and committed friend at the head of the UN mission who has worked tirelessly with us to galvanize the efforts of the International Community towards Somalia. Mr Kay is has created a positive situation for us, where we have one door knock to access all UN agencies, precisely what our President asked for when he came to power in September 2012. Nicholas Kay has consistently gone the extra mile to galvanize the efforts of the International Community towards Somalia.”

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, pledged the UN’s continued support for Somalia and called upon on Somalis to step up progress on peace and state building and said: “The expectations of the Somali people are high and time is limited. I call on all Somalia’s leaders and institutions to unite for the greater good of Somalia. Much work needs to be done between now and 2016. International support for peace and state building in Somalia will continue to be guided by the principles of Somali ownership, leadership and respect for the provisional Constitution,” he added.
The Minister spoke on the London Conference on Combatting Violence Against Women on 10th June: “Our Minister of Women & Human Rights will attend the upcoming UK conference on 10 June in order to highlight the plight of Somali women and the progress that has been made regarding sexual violence towards women. Over 100 countries will attend this conference and particular priority has been given to Somalia at this important event. Our aim is to stop all human rights violations in Somalia and, in particular, violence against women. The UK Foreign Minister is co-chairing a dedicated session on Somalia at the summit for the FGS to showcase the National Action Plan on tackling sexual violence. This is an opportunity for the international community to herald the progress Somalia has made in developing a national plan, in consultation with civil society and the regions, and for the FGS to seek donor support for its implementation. Representatives from regions such as Puntland, Jubba and Galmudug will also attend as part of the Somalia delegation.”

The Minister spoke on the EU’s engagement with Somali Civil Society: “The Somali Federal Government welcomes the European Union’s wide consultation mission in order to elaborate an “EU Roadmap for Engagement with Civil Society”. The European Union has stepped up its support to civil society organisations by developing a roadmap that will allow donors and Somali partners to frame their activities in a structured dialogue resulting in a more strategic cooperation. The Road Map will be fully aligned with the Somali New Deal Compact and will enhance the cooperation and the social contract between the authorities and civil society.”

The Minister spoke on the Prime Minister’s initiative to engage with public: “HE Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Somalia, on 4th June opened the first of a series of Public Consultations at Hamar Jab-jab District. 125 diverse groups from al walks of life from four districts in Mogadishu took part in the consultation process. The Prime Minister listened the concerns of the public. He answered their questions and stated that these kinds of public engagement are vital to good governance and that the FGS wants the public to work with security institutions. The PM said that the government will continue to consult and engage with public.”

The Minister spoke on the US government’s appointment of an Ambassador to Somalia: “The Somali President and the cabinet welcome the US’s decision to appoint their first Ambassador to Somalia since 1991.” Wendy Sherman, US Under Secretary of State, said President Barack Obama will nominate an ambassador to Somalia for the first time in more than 20 years, and she outlined an intensified push to improve security, governance and development in the African nation. Sherman pledged stepped-up U.S. support. She said it was “a reflection of our deepening relationship with the country and of our belief that better times are ahead.”

The Minister spoke on a visit by Turkish officials to Mogadishu: “I would like to highlight the historic visit by Turkish Navy Commander to Mogadishu on 5th June. HE the Somali President and HE the Prime Minister were hosted on a Turkish Navy destroyer that berthed alongside at Mogadishu port for the first time, a historic event. The Turkish vessel brought a major humanitarian donation of medicines that was received on behalf of the nation by the President of Somalia. The much needed medications will go to hospitals in Mogadishu. HE The President commented: “I would say to our international partners that they need to learn from Turkey’s involvement in Somalia. Turkey has won the hearts and minds of our citizens by providing direct assistance to the people which is visible to the people. Viva Turkey!” “

The Minister concluded his weekly press briefing: “ I am very glad to conclude my press briefing by noting that we now have a 21st Century Somali Hero, Captain Dahir Gurhan Mohamud. As you are well aware, he gave up his life as he bravely attempted to stop a terrorist vehicle that was filled with explosives. HE the Somali President, speaking on at the parliament on 3rd June to commemorate those brave soldiers who lost their lives and those injured said, “We all agree that Captain Dahir Gurhan Mohamud was our hero during the failed 24 May attack on parliament.” He continued, “Captain Dahir Gurhan Mohamud is our 21st Century Hero. I am glad to see so many of Somali citizens showed their appreciation of his sacrifice and in recognition changed their profile pictures on Facebook to show their recognition of Captain Dahir Gurhan Mohamud.”


Ministry of Information
Mogadishu, Somalia