Skip to content

Weekly Press Conference on the Progress of the Government

Storyline:National News

The Minister for Information, 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 discussed various issues including: Consultations in Baidoa; political-outreach to regions; the success of Operation Indian Ocean; Media Sector Development in Somalia; the looming drought in the country; progress on Justice & Constitutional Affairs; the efforts to implement Federalism in the country, and efforts to open the Adan Adde airport at night time.

The Minister of Information began by speaking on the consultation process in Baidoa: “The Speaker of the Parliament, the Honorable Mohamed Shiekh Osman (Jawari) visited Baidoa on 1st September in order to push forward the consultation process for forming the new Federal Unit in the area. The Speaker had a series of talks with key stakeholders including traditional leaders, politicians and representatives of all segments of society as well as the technical committee that was tasked to form the new federal unit called South West State of Somalia. The Speaker, for the past 7 days, has been trying to convince all sides to unite their efforts and to come to a consensus that can be beneficial to all sides.”

The Minister for Information spoke on political-outreach to the regions of Somalia: “On 4th September the Prime Minister, H.E. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed and the Minister of Defense, H.E. Mohamed Sheikh Hassan visited Baidoa and Tayeglow. The Prime Minister and his delegation had talks with key stakeholders in the area including traditional leaders and all segments of the society as well as meeting the Somali and AMISOM forces deployed there. The aim of the visit was to reach out to newly liberated areas and to provide basic services to the people.

On 4th September, the Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Ridwan Hersi Mohamed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Transport and Djibouti’s Ambassador to Somalia and other officials visited Buule Burde district in Hiran region in order to assess the humanitarian situation in the area. As a result, the Federal Government provided food aid to the residents of the area.

Buule Burte was recently liberated from terrorists groups and people in the area are now enjoying peace and stability. The aim of political outreach by Somali leaders is to assess the situation in the regions as part of the stabilization process and at the same time to show people the peace dividend.”

The Minister of Information highlighted the importance of media sector development in Somalia: “The cabinet approved the draft Media Law on 1st September 2014. The draft Media Law lays down the laws governing Somali media and is in line with the Provisional Constitution, specifically Chapter 18. There is an urgent need for this law, which will help the reform and the development of the Somali media, and it will also modernize the Somali media, it will create jobs for young people, and it will protect the rights of Somali media workers. Importantly, this law will also protect civilians from any violation of his or her dignity in the media. On 1st September, ACCORD facilitated a 4 day training programme in Kampala for 20 journalists from inside Somalia as well as Somali journalists based in Kampala.

The aim of the seminar was to enhance the knowledge and experience of the journalists including the ethics of journalism in terms of reporting news and programming. The seminar focused specifically on media reporting of key issues such as the review of the constitution, reconciliation and building institutions in Somalia. This seminar will greatly help Somali journalists in playing their part in preparing for the democratization process and the national elections in 2016.”

The Minister of Information praised Somali forces and AMISOM for the success of military operations: “The Indian Ocean Military Operations are going very well and Somali forces, with the support of AMISOM, liberated many areas from the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab. On 3rd September the forces liberated Jalalaqsi district in Hiran region, a town with strategic importance. The Federal Government welcomed the killing of Al-Shabaab Leader Ahmed Abdi Godane and this is an opportunity to advance the peace process in the country.

The cabinet on 2nd September agreed to further strengthening of the campaign against Al-Shabaab, including offering amnesty within 45 days on those who want to renounce violence and want to join the peace process. The cabinet also appealed to the public to support military operations against terrorists and also made an appeal for religious leaders to lead a campaign to expose the terrorists’ warped ideology and falsehoods. The Federal Government is committed to eliminating the threats posed by terrorists groups to Somalia in order to bring peace and stability in the country.”

The Minister of Information made an appeal for humanitarian assistance: “The ministerial committee on the humanitarian crisis in Somalia has been working continuously to address the looming drought in parts of Gedo, Bakol, Hiiraan and Galgadud. The Djiboutian government has provided food aid and we are very grateful for their assistance.

The Federal Government itself has provided another 280 tons of food aid on 4th September for the residents of Bule Burde. The committee previously provided food aid to the regions of Bakol and Gedo. On 3rd September, Qatar Charity handed-over five containers of dates to the committee, destined for the people in affected areas. The committee thanked Qatar Charity for their generosity and appealed to all concerned parties to provide an urgent humanitarian assistance to those who desperately in need. The Federal Government of Somalia once again makes an appeal to Somalis and in particular the business community and the Somali Diaspora around the world to provide urgent humanitarian assistance in order to prevent our people from dying of hunger and thirst.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the progress of Judiciary & Constitutional Development: “The Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs has been advancing the reform of the judiciary and the constitution-making process in the country. The parliament has previously approved legislation on the Judicial Service Commission and an independent review of the provisional constitution commission, both of which were key developments. In order to advance this agenda, on 3rd September the ministry delivered a 3 day training course for staff.

The aim of the training was to redouble efforts in the constitutional making process and the reform of the judicial system in the country, which are key milestones within Vision 2016. The Federal Government is committed to ensuring that the process of the review of the constitution is a transparent and accountable process so that people are giving an opportunity to exercise their democratic rights.

During the period of the referendum the government will conduct a series of public awareness events so that the people can make an informed decision based on the truth and the reality on the ground.”

The Minister of Information praised the efforts to implement Federalism in Somalia: “The President of Somalia H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the Prime Minister H.E. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed met the Technical Committee tasked to form a new Federal Unit in Central Regions of Somalia. Both leaders stressed the importance of public consultation and bringing all stakeholders in the process during the preparation of the conference and beyond. Both leaders stated their commitment to advance the Federalism agenda in Somalia which is key milestone towards Vision 2016. The Technical Committee it is expected to visit the area and to start their mandated task of consulting with local people so that they can make an informed decision about their future.”

The Minister of Information concluded by speaking on efforts to open Mogadishu Aden Adde airport at night: “On 3rd September the Minister of Air & Land Transport, H.E. Said Jama Ali (Qorshel) had a meeting with business community, airlines, the management of the airport, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN, H.E. Nicholas Kay and the Deputy Minister of Commerce & Industry. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the improvement of the airport facilities and, in particular, the requirement to open the airport during the hours of darkness, so that people can travel both day and night. All sides agreed on the importance of enhancing airport facilities, to provide competitive opportunities for airlines and to allow airlines to offer 24 hour a day travel and freight options, a reflection of the improvements in security Mogadishu is experiencing.

The Federal Government is committed to providing essential services to people and the airport is one of key means that we can provide access for Somalis and outsiders.”