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Weekly Press Conference on the Progress of the Government

Storyline:National News

DhuxulowMogadishu, 03 August 2014 – H.E. Mustafa Duhulow today addressed the media in Mogadishu providing an update on the progress of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) over the last week. The Minister provided details on various issues such as: Eid celebrations, the formation of Board of Directors to Somali National University, the Agreement to form Central Regions State, President’s visit to Garbaharey District, the progress of the Stabilization process in Mogadishu, Military Court’s sentencing Al-Shabaab members to public execution, and the Government’s encouragement towards blind children.

Minister of Information started with the celebration of Eidul Fitra: “On 28th July it was the first day of Eidul Fitra celebration and it went extremely very well, as Somalis celebrated inside the country and abroad. This Eid was different from previous Eid, as people enjoyed the peace and stability in the country. Somali leaders prayed Eid with people at Isbaheysiga Mosque in Mogadishu, while the people were full of celebrations in markets, and other places such as Lido beach and other beaches in the country. The people remembered the importance of peace and stability in the country and the need of government institutions. The government is committed to continue bringing peace and stability in the country, so that people can enjoy with dignity and pride.”

Minister of Information emphasizing the importance of education then spoke on the formation of Board of Directors of Somali National University: “On 27th July Somali leaders attended an event to celebrate the formation of Board of Directors to Somali National University in Mogadishu. Attendees included the Management of the University, Civil Society groups, ministers and other dignitaries. The President of Somali National University, Dr Mohamed Ahmed Jimale, presented a report on the history of the university as well as the current plans to re-open the university in Mogadishu. The Minister of Higher Education, Dr Duale Aden Mohamed stated the importance of education in Somalia and the plans of the ministry in order to provide higher education to all students. The Prime Minister and the President also addressed the audience both thanking those who took the time and the initiative to revive Somali National University at this critical time in Somalia. The government is committed to providing a free and quality education to all students in order to build a talented and young generation that can be future leaders of this country.”

Minister of Information praised signatories of recent agreement to form Central Regions State: “After long consultation and reconciliation with key stakeholders in central regions of Somalia, the Federal Government succeeded to reconcile leaders in central regions. As a result Gal-Mudug and Ahlu Sunna leaders signed a historic agreement with a view to forming Central Regions State as part of the implementation of Federalism in Somalia. On 30th July in the presence of Somali leaders and representatives of the International Community, Gal-Mudug and ASWJ leaders agreed to form Central Regions State, which is in line with the provisional constitution and under the leadership of the Federal Government of Somalia. Attendees included the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the UN to Somalia, EU Ambassador to Somalia, Deputy Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the AU to Somalia, IGAD Ambassador to Somalia, and other diplomats. It was agreed to form a technical committee within 10 days to work on the establishment of the Federal Unit in Central regions of Somalia. The government also appointed a ministerial committee to assist the technical committee in order to ensure that the process is inclusive to all stakeholders in the region and in line with the provisional constitution. This is a milestone achievement towards the implementation of Federalism in Somalia.”

Minister of Information underscored government’s commitment to political outreach to regions: “The President of Somalia H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visited Garbaharey district in Gedo Region on 31st July 2014 as part of government’s political outreach to all regions in Somalia. The President met District Commissioner and representatives of all segments of the society and discussed the situation in Garbaharey. The aim of the visit was to strengthen the relationship between the Federal Government of Somalia ad regions and to assess the situation in the region. The President thanked district leaders and communities for their commitment to bringing peace and stability in the area. Having seen the dire need of humanitarian situation the President made an urgent humanitarian appeal to international community as well as to Somalis in order to avoid repeat of 2011 famine. It is the government’s policy to reach out to all communities as part of the political outreach program and in order to intensify government plans to review the provisional constitution, implement federalism and to start democratization process with a view to hold fair and fee elections by 2016.”

Minister of Information praised security institutions’ efforts to the stabilization plan: “ There has been huge progress towards stabilization process in Mogadishu. Security institutions have been conducting security operations in the capital city, which have prevented a number of serious attacks planned by terrorists. On 27th July security institutions with the support of AMISOM searched one of stores in Mogadishu and found a number of arms and ammunitions, which included 3 sniper rifles, 5 crates of mines, 18 crates of bombs, 15 boxes of ammunitions, and other arms weapons. The government is currently in possession of these weapons and is investigating this matter. On 29th July security forces spotted a car with explosive and managed to stop and defuse the explosive item before it detonated near Lido beach, which prevented to cause injuries and deaths to public. A member of the public who provided the information was granted incentives for his bravery stand. On 30th July security forces killed two members of Al-Shabaab as they refused to stop when the security forces run after them. These two individuals had pistols that they attempted to kill innocent people in Bakara Market.”

Minister of Information stressed the importance of addressing impunity following the recent public execution decisions by the military court against terrorists: “On 30th July the military court listened cases related to terrorism in Mogadishu. Hassan Mohamed Hassan, who has facilitated Al-Shabaab attack to Villa Somalia was sentenced to death by public execution. Adan Mohamed Hassan admitted at court that he killed 19 people and he was part of a further 13 killings and that he was part of Al-shabaab. People he killed included Mohamed Deeq Abdi who was a government accountant, Abdiaziz (an MP), Hawo Adan and Hafso Abdi Nur. Adan Mohamed Hasan, was also sentenced to death by public execution. Finally Bashir Mohamed Hassan was sentenced to life imprisonment.”

Minister of Information finally highlighted the government’s commitment to assist blind children: “Prime Minister’s wife Fartun Ahmed Dirie provided food aid to blind students and promised to continue supporting them. On 31st July I invited blind children to our offices and to Somali National TV as I promised during Eid when I celebrated Eid with them. These blind students spoke to the public and shared their desire to making valuable contributions to the society and their ambitions to become future leaders. These blind students from Al-Bashir Abikar Hussein School were very pleased to be given this opportunity to share their experiences with public. They made an appeal to Somalis to support all blind children in order for them to fulfil their potentiality and to become a useful members of the society. I promised to them that I will raised their issues and concerns to the government and that the government will do all it can to support them. I also made an appeal to Somalis in particular business community and Diaspora to provide an urgent help and support to all blind children.”