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Somali military court jails ISIS cameraman for 15 years

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A military court in Mogadishu has handed a 10-year jail term to an ISIS cameraman barely a week after another member of the group was sentenced to 15 years.

The court sitting in Mogadishu found Abdisamad Ibrahim Ali aka Abu Ali guilty of belonging to the outlawed militant group.

The court heard that Abu Ali joined the group in Bari region, Puntland in 2016.

ISIS was founded in 2015 in the Galgala mountain ranges, Bari region by former UK based preacher Abdulqadir Mumin.

According to the prosecution, Abu Ali filmed fighting between Al-Shabaab and ISIL in Bari region in 2018 and 2019.

He told the court that 30 militants were killed during the 2019 fighting in Bargaal locality in Bari region.

Abu Ali was arrested in April this year at Aden Adde Airport in Mogadishu upon arrival from Puntland.

The sentencing of Abu Ali today comes about a week after another ISIS operative, Abdirizak Mohamed Abdi, identified as a high-ranking member of the group was slapped with a 15-year jail term by the military court in Mogadishu.

According to the prosecution, Abdi had transferred $40,000 to ISIS through Heeryo Trading Company between 2019 and 2020. He was carrying $19,000 at the time of his arrest.

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Politics

Farmajo names committee of inquiry to investigate disappearance of former spy Ikran Tahlil

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Somali president Mohamed Farmajo has appointing a five-member committee to investigate the disappearance of former spy agent Ikran Tahlil.

“I hereby appoint a five-Member Commission of inquiry Chaired by the Attorney-General and deputized by Head of Military Court to expedite investigations on the case of IKRAN TAHLIL and to hand over the findings and evidence to responsible legal institutions for the execution of Justice.”

In the presidential decree, Farmajo appointed the Attorney-General to lead the fact-finding mission. The Armed Forces Court Attorney General is also a member of the committee. The three committee members will be nominated later by the Somali Police Force Commander, the Commander of the Somali National Army and Col. Yasin Abdulahi Mohamud, his new appointee Director-General of the National Intelligence and Security Agency.

The statement added that Ikran’s case was a “sensitive one that needs a thorough investigation.”

Farmajo instructed the commission to submit its investigative reports to the relevant authorities, although there will undoubtedly be demands to make the findings of any report public. There will also likely be apprehension to Somalia’s intelligence agency being a part of the investigation. Many lawmakers have called on an independent inquiry into Ikran’s murder.

Farmajo declared that the decree came into effect immediately after he signed it.

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Politics

Qorqor and Laftagareen try to bring Farmajo and Roble together

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The presidents of Galmudug, Ahmed Abdi Karie Qoor Qoor his South West State counterpart and Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed Laftagareen have taken the role of mediators to find a solution the wrangle between President Mohamed Farmajo and his Prime Minister Mohamed Roble.

The two  met with Farmajo and Roble separately, and urged both parties to refrain from further action that would escalate the tense situation.

Reports indicate that the president and the prime minister have accepted the mediation, although each has developed conditions attached to the talks.

Prime Minister Roble insisted that Commander Bashir Goobe was the commander of NISA, and President Farmajo emphasized that the steps taken by the Prime Minister were invalid.

The meeting is expected to continue on Friday. The two presidents are hopeful that the two top officials will finally be reconciled so that their differences do not affect the election process.

The intervention comes amidst heightened political tensions between Farmajo and Roble which could threaten the fragile security of the Horn of Africa nation.

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Politics

Finland swears-in its first Somali-born member of parliament

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Suldaan Said Ahmed has been officially sworn in as a Member of Parliament, becoming Finland’s first Somali-background MP, according to Finnish news oulrt Yle News.

The Helsinki city councillor replaces party colleague and outgoing MP Paavo Arhinmäki (Left), who left Parliament to take up a role as Helsinki Deputy Mayor.

Said Ahmed told Yle News that he still “cannot quite believe” he is now an MP.

“If someone had told the refugee-background, single-mother raised, teenage Suldaan, that you would one day become a Finnish legislator, I would not have believed it,” he said.

“There were no people like me in Parliament when I was growing up.”

He added that he intends to help “build a better Finland” during his time in Parliament.

“I want a Finland where every young person, regardless of their background or starting point, can pursue their dreams. I hope that my selection here will send a message to young people that anything is possible,” he added.

Said Ahmed and two other incoming MPs — Atte Kaleva (NCP) and Jari Kinnunen (NCP) — were officially announced as Members of Parliament by parliamentary speaker Anu Vehviläinen (Cen) at a plenary session on Thursday afternoon.

Kaleva and Kinnunen are replacing party colleagues Anna-Kaisa Ikonen and Juhana Vartiainen, who became mayors of Tampere and Helsinki respectively.

Said Ahmed was born in Somalia in 1993 and moved to Finland in 2008. He was elected to Helsinki City Council at the municipal elections in 2017, garnering over 1,000 votes, and was re-elected to the council at the last municipal election in June, increasing his vote count to 1,634.

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