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Somalia opposition says protests on despite government ban on gatherings




The Council of Presidential Candidates is gearing up for planned protests against President Farmajo on Friday despite an order from the Somali government banning all public gatherings in a bid to quell rising coronavirus cases in the country.

The council, which is led by former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, announced that they would no longer recognize President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo as Somalia’s head of state after his mandate.

“Starting from 8th February 2021, the council of opposition candidates does not recognize Farmaajo as president,” they said in a statement. “The council will not accept any form of mandate extension through pressure.”

The coalition of presidential hopefuls arrived in Nasahablood 2 Hotel, the de facto base of operations for the council, in Mogadishu to begin preparations for the demonstration. The committee called on security forces not to interfere in the demonstrations, saying that civilians’ right to protest. They added that the demonstrations would go on as planned in the face of Somalia’s latest restrictions on public gatherings.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Somalia’s Information Minister Osman Abukar Dubbe; and Somalia’s Health Minister, Fowzia Abikar, announced that public gatherings would be banned. Students were sent home for the foreseeable future as schools and universities shuttered their doors. An exception was made for madrassas and mosques, which will remain open but still must adhere to social distancing rules.

“We have recorded several deaths of patients exhibiting coronavirus symptoms in recent days. We are hearing people who had the virus symptoms died and buried before they were registered,” said Abikar.

The demonstrations are expected to take place Friday morning between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm at the Daljirka Dahsoon monument or the unknown soldier’s tomb in Mogadishu. The U.S State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council has advised its citizens to avoid the area and have evacuation plans that do not rely on American government assistance.

“Somalia’s opposition presidential candidates have called for protests against President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” and delays to the country’s electoral process.  Given the risk of violent crime and civil unrest, U.S. citizens should avoid these demonstrations and any demonstration-related activities. ”

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Supreme Court of Somalia to hear election-related cases



Somali judicial officers at a past training

The Supreme Court of Somalia announced it will hear cases related to elections. Chief Justice Bashe Yusuf Ahmed said it would be illegal for the federal and state governments not to allow the courts to adjudicate over election cases.

“The Supreme Court is ready to hear any appeal that arises from an administrative decision made by the electoral commissions,” Bashe said.

Bashe was speaking at a judicial conference held in Mogadishu.

The Horn of Africa nation is preparing for parliamentary and peesidential elections in September and October respectively.

Somalia has no constitutional court but there is an electoral dispute resolution committee.

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Race for Villa Somalia

Former foreign minister joins race for Villa Somalia




Former Foreign minister Fawzia Adam becomes the firs female candidate to announce her candidature for Somalia presidency. Fawzia, who became Somalia’s first and only woman foreign minister and Deputy Prime Minister in 2012, said she is joining the race for Villa Somalia to change the course of the country’s politics. More than 30 other candidates have expressed their interest for the top job. She leads the National Democratic Party.

“My sole aim is to breath a new lease of life into Somalia. Our political ideology and believes are at the heart and soul of our political trajectory in deciding the best way Forward for my nation,” Fawzia said.

“Our people are known for their dynamism, resilience and fruitful thinking when it comes to business. If they are encouraged, the country will surely get rapid development and investment,” she added.

She is running on an anti-corruption platform. Fawzia hails from Somaliland. The Horn of Africa nation will hold presidential elections on October 10.

As foreign minister, Fawzia was instrumental in Somalia’s quest to recover state properties that had been frozen by foreign administrations, institutions and firms after the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991 in order to prevent unauthorized use,  and began a formal assessment and recovery process of Somali national assets, which include ships and planes that are believed to be held in Italy, Germany and Yemen.

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Farmajo congratulation Abiy Ahmed on his election victory



President Farmajo (right) and Ethiopian Premier Abiy Aed at a past event

Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo has congratulated Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed whose party won the just-concluded elections in Ethiopia.

Somalia will continue to work with the government of Abiy Ahmed to further strengthen bilateral relations and benefit peoples of the two countries and the wider region, Farmajo said in a statement. 

“I warmly congratulate PM Abiy Ahmed on regaining a strong mandate from the people of Ethiopia,” Farmaajo said.

Abiy’s new Prosperity Party won 410 out of 436 seats, according to electoral body.

Ethiopia has thousands of troops in Somalia under Amisom, the African Union Mission in Somalia, fighting al Shabab group. Since assuming office in 2018, Abiy has been supportive of the Somali Federal Government unlike his predecessors who supported regional administrations against the government in Mogadishu.

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