(Xinhua) -- At least 22 Somalia
soldiers were mistakenly killed and 16 others injured by
suspected U.S. airstrikes early Wednesday in the outskirt of
Galkayo town in central Somalia.
Osman Isse Nor,
Security Minister for regional Galmudug State, told reporters
that airstrike only targeted their forces, saying no Al-Shabaab
militants were killed during the bombardment, an incident which
sparked street demonstrations against U.S.forces.
"The attack occurred at our army base, 30 kilometers east of
this town and killed 22 soldiers, wounded 16 others and
destroyed armed vehicles. The U.S drones carried out the attack,
but we believe that the Puntland security forces gave them
(United States) wrong information," Nor said.
The minister said that the attack happened at 3:30 a.m. on
Wednesday and called on Washington to give response to the
latest deadly incident which saw many residents held street
protests against the killings.
Dozens of angry residents chanted anti-American slogans,
burning the U.S. flags in protests against the killings and
called on the Galmudug regional state to respond to what they
The protesters accused semi-autonomous Puntland State of
giving false information to American Special Forces to kill the
soldiers who were in their military base and not the militants
who have been fighting to topple the Western-backed government.
There were no official comments from either the U.S.
government or Puntland State on the airstrikes in the region.
The U.S. maintains a small force unit of about 50 troops in
Somalia mainly to advise and assist Somalia and AMISOM troops
battling Al-Shabaab militants.
Though they are not in Somalia to conduct combat operations,
when called in, their helicopters, drones and manned aircraft
are available for quick reaction airstrikes.
Somalia releases new dates
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Somalia’s electoral body has postponed the
nation’s electoral process by a month.
The Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT)
said the presidential election will now take place on Nov. 30
while parliamentary elections will be held from Oct. 23 to Nov.
10 for both the Lower and Upper houses.
"The election of speakers of both houses of parliament will
be held on Nov. 23," FIEIT chairman Omar Abdulle said in a
statement released in Mogadishu on Monday evening.
Briefly, Abdulle noted the process was facing financial,
security and political challenges among other several causes.
"Although substantial progress has been achieved on the
electoral process, it seems some of the tasks cannot be
completed based on the planned schedule, due to several
impediments including political challenges, security, management
of the electoral budget.
"The Election Dispute Resolution Mechanism has not yet
"Some traditional elders haven’t yet completed submission of
a list of delegates," he said.
Failure by elders to submit lists of delegates who will elect
members of the Lower House was also cited as a major obstacle by
the electoral body.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud whose term expired Sept. 10
in line with the constitution was given a 50-day extension until
Oct. 30 but will now have another full month in office.
According to UN Mission in Somalia, a three-day meeting
between FIEIT members and chairpersons of the State Indirect
Electoral Implementation Teams also agreed that the Election
Dispute Resolution Mechanism should become operational by Oct.
8, in order to address complaints of irregularities related to
the electoral process.
Presidents of the existing and emerging federal member states
will be asked to submit the names of candidates for the Upper
house of the federal parliament by Oct. 5.
Ugandan military says
action to be taken to rescue captured soldier in Somalia
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Ugandan military on Wednesday
said appropriate action will be taken to ensure the release of
one of its soldiers captured by Somali militants in Somalia
capital Mogadishu last year.
Military spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda told Xinhua by
telephone that Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) high
command is concerned about the life of the soldier only
identified as Private Masasa who is under Al Shabaab captivity
in the Horn of African country.
"We are still studying the video and are concerned about the
life of the soldier. Al Shabaab have an obligation to save his
"We are doing all it takes to rescue him," said Ankunda.
Al Shabaab militants on Monday released a video of Masasa
whom they captured after overrunning UPDF base in Janaale, about
90km south-west of the capital Mogadishu in the Sept. 1, 2015
At least 18 Ugandan peacekeepers serving under African Union
Mission in Somalia were killed in the dawn attack.
In the video, Masasa is pleading to President Yoweri Museveni
and opposition leaders in the country to talk to his captors and
have him released from captivity.
"I am pleading with you, President [Museveni], to help so
that I am released from the hands of Al-Shabaab," said Masasa in
an emotional video the militants posted on social media.
This is the second video where Masasa is pleading for mercy
and release from captivity.
"This is my 12th month in captivity. It has been one year but
I’m in good health and I haven’t been killed," said Masasa.
Ankunda said all will be done for the safety and life of the
"We will take action as appropriate," he said.
After the attack, President Museveni ordered the suspension
and the arrest of Col. Bosco Mutambi, the commander of the
Battle Group 16 and three of his officers.
Mutambi who was demoted to the lower rank of Lt. Colonel was
charged in army court martial for failure to execute his duties
and briefing his seniors about a possible attack.
The East African country accounts for about a third of the
roughly 22,000-strong AMISOM force.
UN Security Council voices
regret over Somalia’s delayed election process
UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) --
The UN Security Council on Wednesday expressed
regret over repeated delays of this year’s parliamentary and
presidential elections in Somalia, calling on all the Somali
parties to follow the revised schedule and reach agreement on
the remaining political challenges soon.
"The members of the Security Council expressed regret at the
announcement by the Federal Indirect Election Implementation
Team (FIEIT) on Sept. 26, 2016 that the timetable for the 2016
electoral process required a further extension," the 15-nation
UN body said in a statement.
The statement was issued here late Wednesday after the
council was briefed by the special representative of the UN
secretary-general for Somalia, Michael Keating, and the special
representative of the African Union Chairperson on Somalia,
Francisco Madeira, on the situation in Somalia.
"The members of the Security Council underlined that holding
a peaceful, transparent and inclusive electoral process in 2016
will mark a historic step forward for all Somalis, and will be
fundamental for the country’s continued progress towards
democracy and stability," the statement said.
The council members called on all parties to "adhere to the
implementation plan put in place by the FIEIT, and to
demonstrate the political will to ensure the revised timetable
will be met," the statement said.
The latest postponement decision was the second by the Somali
electoral body since August, in which both polls were slated for
under the original time table.
The FIEIT said the parliamentary elections will be held from
Oct. 23 to Nov. 10 for both the Lower and Upper houses, while
the presidential election will take place on Nov. 30.
Somalia misses poll
deadline amid confusion on way forward
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Somalia’s electoral team failed to meet the Sept.
24 deadline for the start of the elections of members of the
Lower House, raising concerns the delay could affect the
election of the president slated for Oct. 30.
By Saturday, the day polling stations were set to open in the
regional capitals, the Federal Indirect Elections Implementing
Team, FIEIT and its state level equivalent were still held up in
a meeting to iron out contentious issues.
The polls body said in a statement on Sept. 21 that elders
tasked with choosing the delegates who will elect members of the
Lower House were yet to submit their lists to the electoral body
even as it emerged clans were not willing to reserve seats to
women in line with the poll procedures.
The polls body also said it was facing financial, political
and security challenges which could delay the electoral process
for the Horn of Africa nation.
The international community committed to meet 60 percent of
the budget while Somalia would clear the rest through Federal
Government purse and candidates fees.
Besides the technical aspects of the elections, security
remains a key challenge.
The militant group Al-Shabaab announced last week it would
disrupt the polls, raising concerns this could scare some voters
Analysts have expressed fears that a delay in parliamentary
elections will automatically influence that of the president
which is scheduled for Oct. 30.
The Presidency announced in a decree Sept. 4 that President
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud would have limited powers after Sept. 10
when his constitutionally mandated term ran out.
The decree stipulated the extended stay in office must come
to a close in November 6. But the delay of Parliamentary
elections is likely to affect the October 30 Presidential poll.
The election of members of the Upper House which ought to be
completed by Sept. 25 also stands postponed.
The timetable which set out the process to choose a new
federal Parliament between Sept. 24 and Oct. 10 and president by
Oct. 30 was endorsed by Somalia’s National Leadership Forum.
The electoral body announced late last month that a list of
135 traditional elders was being finalized for selecting 14,025
members of Electoral Colleges, who will in turn elect the 275
members of the lower house of the next federal parliament.
United Nations calls for
arrest of Somalia journalist killers
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The United Nations top envoy in Somalia on
Wednesday called for speedy investigations into the killing of a
radio journalist in Somalia.
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG)
for Somalia, Michael Keating, strongly condemned the murder of
Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali on Tuesday, who hosted a morning news
program for the privately-run Radio Shabelle, in the Yaqshid
district of the capital Mogadishu by two unknown gunmen.
"The perpetrators have not yet been identified. The United
Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) calls on Somalia
authorities to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators of
this heinous crime to justice," Keating said in a statement
issued in Mogadishu.
The motive for the Tuesday evening killing was not
immediately apparent, and no one claimed responsibility for the
A highly regarded reporter and producer, Ali became the
second Somali journalist to meet a violent death this year.
In June, Sagal Salad Osman, who worked for state-run Radio
Mogadishu, was fatally shot as she left her university campus.
A total of 31 Somali journalists have been murdered since
August 2012, according to the UNSOM Human Rights and Protection
"Ali was an inquisitive, experienced and resourceful
journalist who regularly covered press conferences offered by
the international community in Mogadishu," said Keating.
"His death represents a great loss to the country’s
journalistic community, and we extend our thoughts and
condolences to Ali’s friends and family," he added.
Earlier this month, UNSOM and the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report on the right to
freedom of expression that described Somalia as "a dangerous
operating environment" that has especially affected journalists
and media professionals.
Two Al-Shabaab terrorists
killed in Southern Somalia
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
African Union peacekeeping mission (AMSIOM)
backed by Somali forces killed two Al-Shabaab terrorists on
Monday in Somalia’s southern city of Kimaiyo.
AMISOM said the allied forces conducted a security disruption
and clearing operation in Caba village outside the port city of
Kismayo, where they killed the militants behind terror attacks
in the region.
"The forces killed two Al-Shabaab terrorists. Somali and
AMISOM troops are working closely to destroy Al-Shabaab and
bring peace and security to Somalia," it said in a brief
The allied forces have intensified their security operations
in the Horn of Africa nation, which was scheduled to host its
indirect elections on last Saturday but postponed the exercise
until further notice.
The operation comes after ten people, mostly militants, were
on Sunday killed and several others wounded in a deadly fighting
between forces loyal to Somalia’s South-West State and Al-Shabaab
militants in southern Somalia.