Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Somalia

Newsline: Foreign Aid Worker Kidnapped in Mogadishu

A security guard employed by the International Committee of the Red Cross was involved in the kidnapping of a German nurse working for the organisation in Mogadishu, the Somali government said Thursday. The nurse, identified as Sonja Nientiet, was abducted from the ICRC compound at around 8.00 pm local time (1700 GMT) on Wednesday evening when unidentified armed men entered its premises. Security ministry spokesman Abdiaziz Ali Ibrahim said one of the Red Cross security guards was involved, after local staff reported the gunmen had easily managed to sneak Nientiet out through a back entrance into a waiting vehicle. “She was kidnapped by a member of ICRC’s own security guards in Mogadishu, the kidnapper’s name is Mohamud Mohamed Alas,” he said.



Newsline: Somalians protest at Ethiopia embassy in UK over prisoner transfer

Somalians resident in the United Kingdom on Tuesday held a protest outside the Ethiopian embassy in the country demanding that their country’s sovereignty be respected. The protest was in response to a recent decision of Somali authorities to transfer a citizen to Ethiopia. Scores of protesters with placards assembled in front of the Ethiopia embassy in London in what was a peaceful protest. Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “The Somali people are not a commodity to be sold, I am Qalbi Dagax,” “Ethiopia must respect Somalia’s sovereignty! Stop interfering with our Somali government.”


Newsline: Kenya Halts Mogadishu Embassy Project Over Insecurity

The insecurity in Somalia has seen Kenya halt construction of an embassy in Mogadishu, Foreign Affairs secretary Amina Mohamed told Parliament. She said a third of works at Mogadishu embassy, which includes construction of an office block, ambassador’s residence and four staff houses, had been done when building was stopped. Ms Mohamed told the National Assembly’s Defence and Foreign Affairs committee that the project commenced in August 2015 and was due for completion in December 2016. “However, it has slowed down due to security challenges. The project completion rate is at 35 per cent,” she told MPs. In March 2014, Kenya announced plans to reopen its embassy in Mogadishu to boost its diplomatic engagement with Somalia. The Kenyan embassy to Somalia has been operating from Nairobi — at the NSSF Building — and many other Foreign missions have engaged Somalia from their Nairobi missions due to insecurity in Mogadishu.


Newsline: US Ambassador’s Gift to Somali President Leads to Confusion

Controversy is surrounding a meeting between U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz, who was appointed by former president Barack Obama, and new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. The controversy is not so much about the meeting but what happened during the photo opportunity when Schwartz gave Farmajo a hat bearing a slogan that appears to be derived from President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” After the meeting, the Twitter account of the U.S. Mission tweeted about the meeting posting a message that read, “US2SOM Amb Schwartz had a fruitful mtng w Pres Farmaajo 2day + presented the Pres with a cap “MAKE SOM GREAT AGAIN.” The photo attached with the message shows the two men shaking hands and holding the hat. Most Twitter users thought the gift was a diplomatic misstep; others were harsher and said the timing for such a message was inappropriate because of Trump’s recent immigration travel ban that affected seven Muslim-majority nations, including Somalia.


Newsline: China re-opens Embassy in Somalia

China officially reopened its embassy in Somalia and accredited a new ambassador to the horn of Africa country recovering from years of conflict. China, like other nations, closed its embassy and relocated its staff after the breakout of civil war in Somalia back in 1991 when the country descended into a chaos and lawlessness that lasted during the next 23 years. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming announced the official reopening of the embassy in a ceremony in the capital Mogadishu. The new ambassador, Wei Hongtian, who speaks fluent Somali, said he was honored to be appointed to represent his country in Somalia where he studied Somali at the national university during the 1980s. China is one of the latest countries to reopen embassy in Somali capital Mogadishu, where several, mostly African and Arab nations, have diplomatic representations. Turkey, Britain, and Norway are among a number of European nations that have sent ambassadors to Mogadishu.


Newsline: Ugandan Embassy in Somalia Starts Issuing Visas

The Ugandan embassy in Mogadishu has just started the issuance of the visas to Uganda. In the past people in Somalia who wanted to travel to Uganda used to face challenges in getting visas to Uganda. Therefore, the embassy started the processing of the visas for students, families, business people and patients who want to travel to Uganda for different purposes. The Ugandan embassy in Mogadishu issues visas to at least 30 people per day. In the past, people traveled all the way to Entebe airport where they were given the visas on arrival. Most of the people who travel to Uganda are students who want to study at the universities of Uganda and people who get resettlement in European countries, USA, Canada and Australia. Those who get the resettlement processes go to Uganda to wait their flights to those countries while inside Uganda.


Newsline: Qatar to Reopen Its Embassy in Mogadishu

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met the ambassador of Qatar to Somalia Hassan Bin Hamza Assad Mohamed. President Hassan and Mr. Hassan Bin Hamza discussed about intent the Qatar government is reopening its embassy in Somalia. Mr. Hassan Bin Hamza also said hi to the president on behalf of the amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamaad Al-thani.