UPDF resumes deployments to AMISOM in Somalia

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NAKASEKE —The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) has resumed its deployment to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) after four months’ suspension of the rotation of troops since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The African Union (AU) and UPDF had suspended troop movements in and out of the mission area as force protection measure and one of the mitigating measures in combating the spread of the pandemic.

The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) of the UPDF, Gen David Muhoozi said that AMISOM and UPDF has built capacity to contain the spread of the pandemic

“COVID-19 came as a new phenomenon. We neither had no concrete ideas about the virus nor did we have adequate capacity to manage it,” Gen Muhoozi.

 

He noted that the entire world is affected and hence even with the money at hand, it was difficult to access the logistics to handle the pandemic. The CDF added that many countries have now developed capacity to produce the necessary logistics to address the problem such as sanitizers and personal protective equipment.

Gen Muhoozi said this while flagging off Uganda’s thirtieth Battle Group to Somalia at Peace Support Operation and Training Center (PSO TC)in Singo, Nakaseke district.

The Battle Group Commanded by Col Jimmy Musoke comprises of over 1,800 personnel, both veterans and regular force who were mobilized in June 2019 and regular Forces.

The CDF counseled the soldiers to be cautious of their health by observing the COVID-19 guidelines and preventive measures of all other diseases. He also told them to remain alert all the time to thwart enemy threats and consolidate the achievements of the previous battle groups.
He expressed confidence that the extra training time the battlegroup received will make them perform batter.

The CDF was accompanied by the Commander Land Forces, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu. Lt Gen Elwelu urged the deploying troops to ensure maximum discipline, which is a core attribute in military service.

Commandant of PSO-TC, Brig Gen Bonny Wolimbwa, said the Battle Group is a hardened one because most of the members had earlier served in Somalia when the situation was more volatile and they had actively participated in the liberation struggle of places such as Mogadishu city, University, Masilah, Balcad, Jowhar, Afgooye, Bur-Hakaba, Marka and Barawe.

Uganda deployed to Somalia in 2007 and since then it has fielded in 30 regular battle groups plus three other special battle groups; Battle Groups 9+, 11+ and 13+

Minn. woman who aided al-Shabab gets early release

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Hawo Mohamed Hassan was scheduled to be released in January 2021.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis on Thursday ordered the early release of a 73-year-old Somali American woman whom he sentenced to prison in 2013 for providing aid to al-Shabab, a U.S. designated terrorist organization.

Hawo Mohamed Hassan was scheduled to be released in January 2021, but Davis said in a memorandum that she was eligible for early release under federal sentencing guidelines that cite “extraordinary and compelling reasons” due to medical conditions, including deteriorating health and the threat of COVID-19 in federal prison.

“Defendant argues these medical conditions are recognized risk factors that increase her risk of life-threatening consequences if she is infected with COVID-19,” Davis wrote. He wrote that her age and medical conditions “place her in a high risk category that warrants relief.”

Davis also concluded she was unlikely to reoffend at her advanced age.

Hassan is incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary Hazelton in West Virginia.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Paulsen argued in a memorandum filed Aug. 5 that Hassan should not be released, saying there were no COVID-19 cases at Hazelton at this time, although three staff members have tested positive but recovered. He contended Hassan was “relatively healthy for her age” and pointed to the seriousness of her crimes.

Hassan, a U.S. citizen, was convicted in 2011 of conspiring to provide material support to al-Shabab by raising money in Rochester for what prosecutors called “a deadly pipeline” of money and fighters from the United States to Somalia.

Kathy Manley, Hassan’s attorney from New York, wrote in a July 17 memorandum that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee urged on March 19 that all existing authority be used to reduce the number of people in federal prisons, particularly those over 65 or who have health conditions putting them at high risk from COVID-19.

Besides her medical conditions, Hanley wrote, Hassan “expresses regret for her offense and has changed her views” and “poses no danger to any person or to her community.

AMISOM condemns attack on its convoy.

Mogadishu:-On September 6, 2020 one of the vehicles in a convoy of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which had departed the mission’s Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Maslah and heading towards Mogadishu, was targeted by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the Bakala Soqola junction. Preliminary investigation indicates that the truck was partially damaged and one civilian who was near the scene of the attack was killed as a result of the blast.

The AU Mission in Somalia remains steadfast and will continue to fight terrorism side-by-side with its Somali counterparts in pursuit of peace and stability for the country.

AMISOM is investigating the matter to fully establish the circumstances in which the unfortunate incident happened and the overall number of casualties.

Stadium Mogadishu hosts first official football league after regaining its glamour

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Following its reopening by the end of June this year, Somalia’s national football facility, Stadium Mogadishu, has opened its doors to the first official football league in 16 years.

This is the annual Somali Domestic Youth Football League, which until now is the most youthful sporting event in the country. Hosting the youth league at Stadium Mogadishu means a lot to the teens participating in the competition who were all born during the years that the facility had been serving as a military ground.

Somali Football Federation president, Abdiqani Said Arab, accompanied by his deputy Ali Abdi Mohamed and the head for the youth development committee, Abdalla Mahmoud Hersi, honoured the director general of the ministry for youth and sports, Isaq Hashi Jimaale, to kick the first ball of the youth event.

Before the match kick off, the musical band of Somali police forces, was invited to the stadium where they beat the Somali national anthem and made some exhibitions to entertain people.

“We are not only teaching these children football, but we are also teaching them the meaningfulness of patriotism and that is why we have invited the musical band and the national anthem was beaten there” Somali Football Federation president, Abdiqani Said Arab, explained.

Jaber Bin Hayaan youth football team, won Wednesday’s opening match after defeating their rivals of Kaaraan Youth team by 2-1, while Yaaqhiid and Banadir Zone shared points after a 1-1 draw on Thursday.

Friday is reserved as a resting day, according the schedules of the competition, but two matches will be played on Saturday.

Somali Football Federation Media Department

Yamamoto Urges Somali Leaders to Show Wisdom Through Compromise

Mogadishu (PP News Desk) — The US Embassy in Mogadishu urged Somali leaders to finalise Dhuusamareeb III through a spirit of compromise.

Presidents of Puntland and Jubaland, who are visiting Mogadishu, met US Ambassador Donald Yamamoto in Mogadishu to present a joint stance on Dhuusamareeb III that the Said Abdullahi Deni and Ahmed Mohammed Islam had boycotted.

“@US2SOMALIA met with President Madobe and @SaidAbdullahiDe yesterday. Relying on these statesmen to work w/ @TheVillaSomalia to finalize #Dhuasamareb3 implementation details. #Somalia needs consensus & compromise – now is a time for leaders to show wisdom” tweeted the US Embassy in Mogadishu.

Deni and Ahmed are meeting President Farmaajo tonight to work out a deal to co-opt the two disaffected leaders on to the Dhuusamareeb III Agreement.

The Agreement specified the electoral model for 2021 elections, and is a compromise in favour of the Puntland argument to abrogate the Electoral Law.

Puntland and Jubaland are the only political stakeholders dissatisfied with Dhuusamareeb III. What conditions the two leaders will put forward to endorse the electoral deal is still known.

Somali father kills drug-addict son, arrested VIDEO

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DOOHO MOGADISHU, Somalia –-Somali police soldiers have arrested a man, who was accused of killing his 20 year old son by throwing him into a river in Jowhar town, some 91km north of the capital, Mogadishu.

The accused, Mohamed Dhayow Aden was apprehended in an operation carried out by the police after he escaped from his village to another avoid capture.

Speaking to media, Aden says he tied his son and thrown him into a river, saying he was drug-addicted son.

Kenya: DHL launches digital cross-border trade platform

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Nairobi — Digital freight forwarder Saloodo!, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Global Forwarding, an international provider of air, sea and road freight services has launched a new digital road freight platform for shippers and transport providers along the Northern Corridor.

Saloodo Chief Executive Officer Middle East and Africa Tobias Maier Tobias Maier says the platform has provided reliability and efficiency to businesses access to a pool of reliable carriers in Kenya to cater to their on-demand shipments

Speaking to Capital FM from Dubai during a virtual conference call, Maier said border restrictions implemented by various governments contain the spread of COVID-19.

“In COVID-19, we actually realised that many people like the chance to organise their movement in a digital way as everyone tried to minimise exposure and people contact.”

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“One thing which was a bit of a challenge, we many borders were affected across Africa, there were additional testings required for drivers and many borders were closed completely. So with the platform and the tracking we have on the platform, we could actually have people coordinate these hussles but that was the challenge for the tracking industry,” he said

But says the industry has stepped up efforts to respond to the pandemic efficiently by looking at various alternative solutions and offerings.

“I always say that it is a big irony or a big injustice for that the logistic costs for for consumers in Africa are the highest on the globe, where people having the lowest income have to pay the highest portion of logistic costs when they buy goods in the supermarkets, and I think we as players have a duty to make the logistics supply chain,” he said.

The service will be available for cargo movement within Kenya as well as to and from its neighbouring countries of Uganda, Somalia, Rwanda and South Sudan which mostly depend on the port of Mombasa for their imports and exports

In addition to security features in the platform, Saloodo will also provide cargo insurance through their global cover for extra protection and all contractual relationships are organised via the existing local DHL entity.

Collectively, the service has grown to more than 30,000 shippers and over 12,000 carriers covering 35 countries.

Kenya has over 162,000 kilometres of road and is currently working on upgrading existing road network conditions.

Kenya’s Mombasa Port is Africa’s fifth-busiest port, and serves as the main gateway for trade in the Eastern Africa region, while its roads connect Kenya with neighbours including Uganda, Somalia, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Lessons to be Learnt from 13 of Africa’s Top Emerging Entrepreneurs

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On Friday, 28 August 2020, 13 of the top emerging startups from around Africa will be showcasing their solutions to a panel of investors at the Startup Circles.ai Demo Day.

According to StartupCircles.ai CEO, Sandras Phiri, “Despite the current climate, there are still plenty of investors with funds that need to be invested. This Demo Day is an opportunity for the startups we are nurturing to get in front of investors who are actively looking to invest. With startups being hailed as the potential saving grace for Africa’s struggling economy, now is the time for entrepreneurs, and even those just with business ideas, to join events like this to learn about what investors look for and hear how to make their businesses more commercially viable.”

The startups that will be showing off their solutions – which span sanitation, retail, financial services,

food and more – are:

  • Akiba Digital (South Africa) is a financial data aggregator with a data consolidation and enrichment engine that enables businesses to better understand their customers’ financial behaviours.
  • AYA (South Africa), also known as the Etsy of Africa, is an online store for handmade African artisanal goods.
  • Candor Lifestyle (South Africa) is an out-of-season shoe reseller offering a range of quality, unique styles for ladies and men.
  • Chuuse (Nigeria) is an app that provides online courses and certification for adults in a vast array of areas ranging from business analytics and graphic design, to Python.
  • Delta Chem (Zambia) produces high quality, organic-grade natural honey through superior production management methods.
  • Edu VR (Nigeria) is a virtual reality education platform for learners from kindergarten all the way through to 12th grade.
  • Fitrend (Nigeria) is a diabetes and hypertension monitoring and diagnostics watch.
  • Mangwee (Zambia) is a mobile money transfer and payments platform aimed at increasing the rate of financial inclusion, especially for  women, farmers and youth in rural areas.
  • Mdala Online Food (South Africa), dubbed the UberEats of street cuisine, is an on-demand food ordering/delivery platform that gets local food favourites delivered to your door.
  • Mtwanamba Hygiene (South Africa) provides mobile toilet units for funerals.
  • Push Eat (Nigeria) is a marketplace app that connects informal food vendors with customers and delivery drivers to reduce the cost of food.
  • ShortKode (Nigeria) is an education app that allows students to study a wide range of subjects with or without internet connectivity.
  • Yamzit (Uganda) offers POS Software to help small- and medium-sized enterprises understand their customers and make more sales.

Startup Circles is Africa’s No.1 startup school and online accelerator helping entrepreneurs from over 30 countries build commercially viable businesses quickly and cost effectively. Those pitching have gone through the rigorous Startup Launch and Investor Readiness programmes.

The event kicks off at 16:00. To register or for more information, go to https://go.startupcircles.ai/aug-demo-day.

U.S. strategy to contain China hotbed of troubles, harm

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By Zhong Sheng-Mreeg.com-Strategic misjudgment resulting from short-sightedness and shallowness is regarded as the worst mistake in the development of China-U.S. relations. Unfortunately, the U.S. side has been repeating the mistake over and over again for a long time.

In its official documents from the National Security Strategy introduced in December 2017 to the National Defense Strategy released in January 2018 and then the United States Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China released in May 2020, the U.S. has deliberately misrepresented China’s political system and development goals time after time, wantonly hyped up the so-called “China threat”, and used it as an excuse to agitate for adopting tough policies to contain China in all aspects.

Such misdeeds have fully exposed the evil intentions of the U.S. to contain and obstruct China’s development.

Whether China and the U.S. should benefit from cooperation or lose from confrontation is actually a simple question. It’s a pity that certain politicians in the U.S., who cannot understand history, grasp reality, or predict the future due to their narrow vision and shallow minds, have been obsessed with the paranoid delusion that wherever China gains, the U.S. loses.

These politicians have seen cooperative partners as strategic rivals or even opponents, regarded competitions that promote progress as wars that have to end up with the death of one side, had their minds stuffed with deep-rooted ideological bias, and been used to basing decisions on nothing but their fusty Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset.

Their urge to provoke a so-called “new Cold War” against China is getting increasingly wild and their attempt to jeopardize China-U.S. relations for selfish political gains is becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day.

Economic globalization is a natural result of the development of human productivity and market economy. In the era of economic globalization, the real global and strategic issues are peace and development, with development being the core issue.

On the one hand, developing countries cannot achieve their development goals without opening-up and introduction of the experience, scientific and technological achievements, and capital of developed countries.

On the other hand, without the growth of developing countries, capital and goods of developed countries would find no new market, which could certainly lead to limitations on their development.

Since the implementation of the reform and opening-up policy, China’s rapid and continuous development has offered a huge market and infinite business opportunities for developed countries. In recent years, more than 30 percent of the world’s economic growth has been contributed by development of the Chinese economy. These are facts that no one can deny.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) has always regarded people’s aspiration for a better life as its goal. Chinese people’s legitimate rights to pursue national development and a better life ought to be respected.

It can never be ignored or distorted that in the globalized world today, China’s development means win-win results for both China and the world. In this sense, to hinder the development of China is the same as sabotaging the development of the whole world, including the U.S.

Certain U.S. politicians have lately intensified their efforts to fabricate lies out of thin air to slander the CPC, making such malicious accusation as “CPC’s designed for hegemony”, and tried to incite other countries to join its anti-China camp.

Their remarks and deeds are so ridiculous, exposing their evil intentions to impede China’s development and indicating that they are bound to be isolated in the international community.

Given that the interests of China and the U.S. are so closely intertwined, containing China’s development is not at all in line with the interests of America and the American people.

When the U.S. side wielded its big stick of tariff against China, the pain was actually first inflicted upon enterprises, farmers, and consumers in the U.S.

Extremely worried about the consequences of U.S.’ decision to impose new additional tariffs on Chinese goods, representatives of U.S. companies, farmers and consumers directly pointed out that these new tariffs would become “a nail in the coffin” for businesses at a hearing held at the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

In the face of U.S. suppression of certain Chinese companies through political means, many entrepreneurs and far-sighted people in the U.S. explicitly said that such a move was sacrificing interests of the U.S.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, some politicians in the U.S. have been politicizing the pandemic and stigmatizing China. However, they can never cover up the truth about their inadequate response to the outbreak.

As the surging number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatalities arouses strong dissatisfaction among the public, certain politicians’ old trick of buck-passing and political manipulation would only add fuel to the flames of fury.

It has been proven again that no country can pay the debts of domestic governance for the U.S. government, and the U.S. side will never “make America great again” by suppressing China.

U.S. strategy of containing China is tantamount to hotbed for troubles and harm.

People with breadth of vision have increasingly been aware that the moves taken by the U.S. to curb China’s development have caused harm for the U.S. instead.

It is “flat wrong” to suggest that working with China has not served U.S. interests, said Robert B. Zoellick, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, adding that “self-deception will lead to dangerous diplomacy”.

“We must call out the China Threat hucksters as posing a clear and present danger to the safety and well-being of all Americans,” wrote an article published on U.S. magazine The Nation.

The leadership of CPC and the development path of socialism with Chinese characteristics are the choices of history and Chinese people.

As it has been demonstrated repeatedly by history, any external pressure only makes Chinese people unite more closely around the CPC Central Committee, and any attempt to obstruct China’s development is bound to fail.

The world has seen clearly that China has unshakeable confidence and determination to continue down the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics against all odds, run its own affairs, and stand firm in the community of nations.

Some politicians in the U.S. have made a serious misjudgment when talking about the relationship between the CPC and the Chinese people, pointed out Singaporean scholar Kishore Mahbubani.

The CPC is not a party about to crack up under American pressure: it is floating on an ocean of legitimacy among 1.4 billion Chinese people, who are now happy as they are experiencing a new high tide in the history of Chinese civilization, said the scholar in an article carried by the National Interest.

Today, emerging markets and developing countries are rising faster than ever before, while the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation are bringing to the world unprecedented changes and fierce competitions.

Since the trend of the times can never be stopped, established powers particularly need to treat the rise of emerging powers with a healthy and rational mentality. By sharing opportunities with each other and drawing on each other’s strengths, developing countries and developed countries can surely make the “cake” of common interests bigger, improve people’s well-being and guarantee peace for the world.

“The west can and must live with a rising China. But it should do so by being true to the better angels of its own nature. If it is to manage this turn of the wheel of history, it has to look within,” wrote Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times.

Certain U.S. politicians should really listen to the advice.

A government can never reverse the general trend of the times, and should never go against people’s will. These are major issues of principle that allow no misjudgment.

The U.S. side ought to choose to meet China halfway and make joint efforts with China to create a general landscape in which the two countries can cooperate while compete, achieve win-win results in cooperation, and realize common development that the people of China and the U.S. have always wanted.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)

Lionel Messi tells Barcelona he wants to leave – sources

Lionel Messi has told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club this summer, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

The club confirmed to ESPN Deportes’ Jordi Blanco on Tuesday that they were notified by Messi of his decision via burofax, a service used in Spain to urgently dispatch a document that requires proof to third parties. The club responded to Messi via the same service saying they want him to stay and finish his career at the club.

Messi, 33, has a contract until 2021 but has grown disappointed with events on and off the pitch at Camp Nou in recent months. Reports from Argentina claim Messi believes a clause in the contract should oblige Barcelona to let him leave for free. However, as reported by ESPN earlier this year, the club maintain that particular clause expired at the start of the summer.

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The debated clause was included in the last contract signed by Messi, in 2017, and stipulated he could leave for nothing at the end of each season as long as he communicated his decision to Barca before June. Otherwise, any rival club wanting him would have to pay a €700 million release clause.

A source at Barcelona has told ESPN they firmly believe that Messi’s window to leave for free this year has passed, but other reports say Messi’s legal team are arguing the extension of the season altered the expiry date of the clause.

On Monday, ESPN revealed that Manchester City are already looking into the feasibility of signing the Argentine forward. The Premier League side are crunching the numbers that would be involved in the deal to see if they would be able to make the signing without breaking financial fair play rules.

It remains to be seen what other clubs would be in contention as very few would be able to offer Messi what he wants on the pitch — success in the Champions League — and, at the same time, match his wages as the best-paid player in the world.

Barcelona’s 8-2 Champions League semifinals humiliation last week at the hands of eventual tournament winners Bayern Munich proved the final straw, and Messi has now informed the club of his desire to embark on a new challenge following a first trophyless season since 2007-08.

Coach Quique Setien was sacked after the Bayern loss. Messi met with Setien’s replacement, Ronald Koeman, last week, telling him that he had doubts about his future in Catalonia. After several days of further reflection, Messi has now decided he wants to spend the final years of his career away from Barca, who he first joined almost 20 years ago as a teenager.

Messi, the six-time World Player of the Year, has considered leaving Barcelona before but has never previously taken his desire to leave to the club this far. He is conscious that at 33 he won’t have many more opportunities to add to the four European Cups he has already won and has decided he will have a better chance of more silverware elsewhere after a string of disappointments with Barca.

The Blaugrana last won the Champions League in 2015, but since then have suffered a string of embarrassing exits. They gave up three-goal first-leg leads against AS Roma and Liverpool in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and were then thumped by Bayern in Lisbon last week. That has prompted plans for an overhaul of the squad at Barca which could include parting with Luis Suarez, too. Sources have confirmed to ESPN that Suarez, Messi’s best friend at the club, will be allowed to leave this summer.

Meanwhile, Messi has also grown frustrated with the people in power at Barcelona. He had a public fallout with former sporting director Eric Abidal earlier this year and criticised the board for attempting to put pressure on the players when they were negotiating a wage cut due to the coronavirus pandemic.