10 mind-blowing things that happened this week in Somalia

At Gosahan, we know that there are times when keeping up with the news is hard. So we have decided to save you the hassle by rounding up the most significant stories from each week.

Here’s a complete recap of this week’s top stories from Somalia:


1. Ethiopia’s new prime minister is trying to mediate a diplomatic crisis between Somalia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre is expected to visit the United Arab Emirates “in the coming days for talks to smooth relations”, according to Rashid Abdi, Horn of Africa project director at the International Crisis Group.

2. A car explosion rocked a key street in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday (20 June), leaving two people injured, shattering a month-long period of relative stability in the city.

The explosion took place along the capital’s Mecca al-Mukaramah Road after a device attached to a private vehicle went off.

The wounded were rushed to medical facilities in Mogadishu for treatment. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

3. Also this week, Somalia took control of its own air space for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Since 1992, air traffic over Somalia had been controlled from Nairobi by the United Nations after a civil war broke out in the Horn of Africa country.

The Somali Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (SCAMA) announced on 18 June that “from today on wards, the office operating in Nairobi has been closed and work will resume from Somalia”.

4. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed suggested that his country should unite with neighbouring Somalia to form one East African nation.

“Somalia is strategically placed geographically. Therefore, it would be a shame for Ethiopia to say that it has no ports while Somalia’s waters are underutilized”.

In an audio message broadcast by the BBC Somali Service, the Ethiopian leader said he would like to see the citizens of the two countries become “one people one day”.

“If possible, all East African nations should unite like Dubai, the US and Europe have united,” he said.

5. Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed arrived in Mogadishu on Saturday amid increased security in the Somali capital, reports say.

Ahmed’s visit is part of efforts to bolster ties with neighbouring Somalia.

This was Abiy Ahmed’s first official visit to Somalia since his appointment as Ethiopia’s prime minister in March. He has already visited Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Egypt

6. On Thursday, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend an extraordinary summit of the regional Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD) bloc.

The civil war in South Sudan will top the agenda of the summit.

All heads of state of IGAD member states, African Union and UN representatives as South Sudanese leaders will attend the meeting.

On Wednesday, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former deputy-turned rival Riek Machar met in neighbouring Ethiopia for the first time in nearly two years.

7. A day Earlier, a Somali traditional elder who spent two months in detention for calling on Somaliland and Puntland to withdraw their troops from a disputed region was pardoned by President Muse Bihi Abdi.

Boqor Osman Aw-Mohamud, also known as “Buur Madow”, was charged with bringing Somaliland into contempt during “proceedings that lasted less than an hour” in April, according to campaign group Human Rights Watch.

His relatives told the media in Somaliland that the elder was released on the orders of the president.

8. According to a new report by the United Nations refugee agency, there are 986,400 refugees who have fled Somalia in 2017, with 3.2 million Somalis being internally displaced.

9. Some very sad from Mogadishu this week. Three Somali brothers were shot dead in the Somali capital after an armed man believed to be a kin stormed into their home, local media say.

The murders took place in the city’s Karan district. Eyewitnesses said the killer immediately fled the scene.

Somali police say they are investigating the incident.

10. Finally, A Somali journalist who had been in a Somaliland prison for nine months was freed this week, an international press freedom group has said.

Online journalist Mohamed Adan Dirir has been released “even though we believe he should never have been jailed in the first place”, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Twitter.

The journalist has been pardoned by the president of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, reports suggested. Dirir, who worked for the Horseed news website, was sentenced to 18 months in jail in October last year for allegedly publishing “false news”, the CPJ said at the time.

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