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Weekly Press Conference on the Progress of the Government

Storyline:National News

Mustaph dhuhulowMogadishu, 12 July 2014 – H.E. Mustafa Duhulow today spoke to the media in Mogadishu to provide an update on government progress over the last week. The Minister spoke on various issues: the failed attack on Villa Somalia, changes to the leadership of the security institutions, the latest Media Law consultation conference, plans to revive and to develop Somali Agriculture, training programme to enhance the capacity of the staff of the Ministry of Women & Human Rights and Ramadan Appeal.

The Minister of Information spoke the failed attack on Villa Somalia: “On the evening of Tuesday 08 July, a people carrier entered the Villa Somalia compound carrying 3 al-Shabaab terrorists wearing military style fatigues. The driver of the vehicle called Hassan facilitated the attack. This is how the attackers gained entry to the compound. The suspicious behaviour of the attackers was noticed by members of the security forces, who promptly raised the alarm and engaged the attackers. The officer who first spotted the attackers has been awarded a commendation and promoted in recognition of his alertness and decisive actions. The driver immediately abandoned the three attackers and attempted to escape but an explosive device in the vehicle detonated at the gate. The driver was subsequently captured and remains in custody. Meanwhile the security forces killed all three attackers. I would like to thank our own security forces and the AMISOM troops for their bravery in stopping this heinous attack.”

The Minister of Information spoke on changes to the leadership of the security institutions: “The Prime Minister of Somalia, H.E. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed appointed H.E. Khalif Ahmed Ereg, who has wealth experience in the field of security, as the new Minister of National Security. At the same time the PM dismissed Police Commissioner Gen Abdihakim Dahir Saa’id and the Chief of Intelligence, Major Gen Bashir Mohamed Jama. Gen Mohamed Sheikh Hassan Ismail has been appointed as the new Police Commissioner and H.E. Abdullahi Mohamed Ali (Simbloshe) has been appointed to the post of Chief of Intelligence. The aim of these changes is to redouble the efforts towards security and stabilization in the country. In order to have better coordination and working relationship, the Chiefs of Police and Intelligence for Banadir Region will report directly to the Governor of Banadir Region.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the draft Counter-Terrorism Law: “On 10th July the cabinet approved the draft Counter Terrorism Law and once the law receives the parliament’s approval and comes into effect then this will be the first ever Counter Terrorism Law in Somalia. The CT law will now be forwarded to the parliament for discussion and approval. The aim of the CT Law is to provide tools for the courts so that they can deal will all cases related to terrorism using appropriate legislative measures. The current provision of the law does not provide appropriate measures to deal with terrorism. This law will ensure that all perpetrators who commit terrorist acts receive appropriate sentencing from the courts. This is a major achievement which in turn will help to bring peace and stability in the country, while combatting terrorist groups operating in the country.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the Media Law consultation conference: “I am very glad that we successfully held a two day consultation conference on Media Law on 7th and 8th of July. The Prime Minister opened the first day of the conference. Participants were from diverse groups, from media practitioners to civil society groups. The aim was to review the Media Law and to hear the views and inputs of the public, ensuring that the Media Law is a piece of legislation that has considered the views of the people. The Media Law will define the responsibilities and the rights of media practitioners. The Ministry of Information is committed to ensuring that the process is transparent and accountable to the public and in particular to all key stakeholders. The Media Law will be soon presented to the cabinet with a view to approval and then it will be forwarded to the parliament for their consideration and approval.”

The Minister of Information spoke on plans to revive and to develop Somali Agriculture: “Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Abdi Ahmed Baafo, visited Afgoye District on 7th July in order to see the offices of the ministry in the area as well as to visit agricultural lands and communities in the area. The Minister also visited the site of the Centre of Agricultural Research with a view to re-establishing the centre soon. The Minister of Agriculture met Afgoye District Administration as well as communities living in the area in order to stress the importance of agriculture in Somalia and the need to support communities that are willing to develop their agricultural lands. The plan of the Government is to encourage communities in the area to develop their agricultural sector to its full potential so that the country can move through the period of recovery to the development stage. This will mean that the economy of the country will be developed to the point where we become self-sufficient.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the training to enhance the capacity of the staff of the Ministry of Women & Human Rights: “The Minister of Women & Human Rights, H.E. Khadija Mohamed Dirie, organized a three day workshop for the staff of the ministry in order to enhance their capacity for dealing with violence against women, in particular victims of rape. UNFPA and UNICEF facilitated and participated in the training. The Federal Government is committed to upholding the rule of law and to protecting vulnerable communities such as women, children and the elderly. Every citizen has the right to live with dignity and pride without fear of human rights violations.”

The Minister of Information spoke on Ramadan Appeal: “We are now in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan and I would like to make this appeal to the public: that it is imperative that we look after each other and support our neighbours and those who cannot afford to buy food during Ramadan. We also need to bear in mind that Eid is approaching fast so we should offer all support possible to our children so that they can celebrate with dignity and pride. I would like to thank the elements of government and non-governmental institutions that have been providing food aid to poor people during Ramadan and we need to continue this. As the saying goes, charity begins at home.”