The Taiwanese government contracted US maritime security solutions provider Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) to help the European Union establish the first Somali coastal radar surveillance network to help secure the Indian Ocean waters off the coast of the war-ravaged Horn of Africa country.
Under a memorandum of understanding signed between the EU, OBP and the Taiwanese representative to the EU, Tung Kyo-yu, Taiwan will pay US $166,000 for the establishment of the Somali Maritime Communications Initiative (MCI).
Once established, the MCI will be used to monitor vessel movements and coordinate the security operations of the local coast guard and the European Union-led international navies involved in the counter-piracy operations on the Indian Ocean coast off Somalia.
The surveillance system will operate from five maritime communications and safety centers in Somali cities that will be set up in the coastal cities of Berbera, Bosaso, Hobyo, Kismayo and the capital Mogadishu. Tung said the joint maritime security initiative will help ensure the safety of local shipping routes and promote better port management practices in Somalia.
“It also underscores the government’s commitment to promoting Taiwan as a peacemaker and provider of humanitarian aid in the global community. The centers will collaborate with international naval forces and local authorities to increase the safety of seafarers operating in the region,” he added.
OBP representative James Burnell-Nugent said his organization is pleased to partner with the EU and Taiwan in improving maritime security along the Somali coast.
“We are very happy to partner with Taiwan. This important project is intended to increase Somali ownership of its maritime domain and avoid dangerous misunderstandings between local traffic and international partners at sea,” he said.
The Taiwanese donation will be used to acquire communications and security equipment together with sustainable power options to the five maritime security centers, which will coordinate regional maritime security operations.
The MCI initiative will be a major boost for the EU effort to train, equip and operationalize a Somali coast guard service, which will take over maritime security duties when the foreign naval forces deployed to fight pirates and kidnapping gangs in the Indian Ocean depart.
In July, the EU delivered six Nissan Patrol four-wheel-drive troop carriers, computers and GPS devices to the Somali coast guard to improve its on-shore capability and connectivity.
The donation followed the training of more than 100 Somali coast guard officers who completed a month-long navigation and basic maritime investigation course offered by the EU.
According to security experts, efforts to set up a reliable Somali coast guard are being hampered by lack of training resources, poor equipment and the non-payment of wages for soldiers who are eventually frustrated into joining piracy.
Somaliland Head To Polls For Councillors And MPs On May 31, 2021 Last updated May 31, 2021
Voters in the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland are heading to the polls on May, 31 to choose their member of parliament for the first time since 2005.
Somaliland broke off from mainland Somalia after the regime of Siad Barre in 1991.
The 5.2 Million citizens of Somaliland will be making yet another stab at global recognition as some 1.3 million voters head to the polls to choose 82 members of parliament and 247 local councils.
An election whose measure of democracy Somaliland hopes to use in its quest to certify its sovereignty.
Somaliland’s three political parties in the polls are opposition politicians Faisal Warabe’s UCID, Wadani led by another opposition leader Abdirahman Erye and President Muse Bihi Kulmiye party.
The elections is observed by over a hundred international observers including Uganda’s former opposition leader, Kizza Besigye and ex-president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Korma.
”Our visit to the headquarters of the Somaliland National Electoral Commission left us with a good impression about the Commission’s preparedness to conduct peaceful and credible elections,” said in a Twitter post.
The elections are taking place in six regions of Somaliland, namely Awdal, Sahil, Marodi-Jeeh, Toghdeer, Sanaag and Sool.
3 Somalia Regional States Say No To Farmaajo Term Extension.
The regional state leaders of Southwest, HirShabelle, and Galmudug allied with incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo have opposed to any form of extension on Tuesday evening.
In a joint statement Galmudug and HirShabelle called for dialogue based on 17 September pact.
“We agreed that the country should hold elections as soon as possible and that any form of extension should be abolished,” read part of the joint statement by HirShabelle and Galmudug.
Southwest leader Abdiaziz laftagaren also opposed the term extension of the President just an hour after Galmudug and HirShabelle released a joint statement.
The move by the three regional states allied to President was welcomed by Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble who also instructed the military commanders to pull back forces to their locations and barracks.
“I would like to welcome the press statements made by Galmudug and HirShabelle federal states, ” PM Roboe said in a statement.
“I call on the FMS states of Puntland and Jubaland and Benadir region to fully commit to a peaceful process in our efforts to hold free and inclusive election, ” he added.
United Nations, United Kingdom, United States and opposition leaders including former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud commended the move by the regional states.
“The UN in Somalia noting statements by Qoorqqor, Ali Gudlawe, PM Roble and others recalls int’l partners position: consensus is vital for any electoral process; only 17 September model can be endorsed by FGS and all FMS; all parties must reject violence and resume dialogue, ” the United Nations said.
The development comes as families in some parts of Mogadishu fleed from their residences and moved to other district followings clashes.
Somali Gov’t Warns Al-Shabaab & ISIS Will Capitalize On SNA Faction Clashes.
Somali National Security Minister Hassan Hundubey has warned opposition groups to be wary of “unknown elements” including Al-Shabaab and Daesh who might seek to use the current crisis to inflict harm to the public.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday said that the government may take action to confront people with the “behaviour of militias” who are taking advantage of the situation.
“The government has enough troops to take control of the city. It is Ramadan, but more actions need to be taken to prevent it.” mr. Hundebey said.
”The reason the prime minister called for dialogue is that the government does not want the fighting to affect the residence,” he added.
The remarks by the interior minister come hours after the international partners strongly condemned the outbreak of violence in the capital.
“We are alarmed especially by the emerging fragmentation of the Somali National Army along clan lines, which detracts from its primary task of combating Al Shabab and protecting the Somali population. Use of security forces for the pursuit of political objectives is unacceptable” the statement read in part.
As tensions increase in Mogadishu following Sunday clashes between government soldiers and those who were against President Farmaajo’s two years term extension.