Weekly Press Conference on the Progress of the Government

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The Interim Minister of Information, H.E. Mustafa Duhulow, today addressed the media, providing an update on the progress of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) over the last week. The Minister discussed various issues: IGAD Ministerial Meeting takes place in Mogadishu, the launch of various development projects; progress in Federalism; the launch of a major real estate project in Mogadishu; the opening of Health & Safety Office; the progress in the Judiciary; the FGS’s warning to illegal companies operating in Somalia; and efforts to bring peace and stability in Somalia. 

Major IGAD Foreign Ministers Meeting Takes Place in Mogadishu

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the IGAD meeting in Mogadishu: “For the first time in 29 years, the IGAD Foreign Ministers Meeting takes place in Mogadishu. Ministers of Foreign Affairs from IGAD member States arrived in Mogadishu yesterday, Friday January 9th, 2015 in order to take part in the IGAD Foreign Ministers Meeting that is taking place in the city today, Saturday, January 10th, 2015. H.E. Abdirahman Duale Beileh, the FGS Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed his counterparts and thanked them for their show of solidarity in participating in this important meeting for Somalia. The President and the Prime Minister of Somalia met ministers from IGAD countries yesterday afternoon in the Office of the President of Somalia. UN Special Envoy to Somalia, the EU Special Envoy and other diplomats also took part the meeting. H.E. the President of Somali, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, opened the meeting and delivered a historic speech that provided an update on current situation in Somalia and the huge progress in security, politics, federalism, reconciliation and good governance. The President also updated IGAD the FGS’s plans to implement Vision 2016, something that he personally has taken responsibility for and is driving forward. The President re-iterated the FGS commitment to bring peace and stability in Somalia. IGAD Ministers depart later today.”

Various Development Projects Launched

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the launch of a number of development projects: “The Ministry of Interior & Federal Affairs has been implementing development projects throughout Somalia as part of the Stabilization Process. On January 4th, 2015 development projects were launched in Kunturwaarey district in Lower Shabelle Region. Prior to work starting, the Ministry conducted a community consultation process to discuss people in the area about the kind of projects they felt needed to be implemented in the area. The aim of the consultation was to engage with communities so that they would buy into the process of implementing development projects. Abdirahman Sabtow Dahir, the District Commissioner in Kunturwaarey, thanked the Ministry for its efforts to bring development projects to the area. Dr Ismail Jimale Alasow, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, stated that the need to involve and engage with communities is vital to the successful implementation of projects, as they will be projects that the people themselves have chosen.”

Progress in Federalism

The Interim Minister of Information spoke about progress in Federalism: “The President of South West State, H.E. Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, appointed 20 ministers as part of the process to complete the governance structures of South West State. The cabinet on January 6th, 2015 appointed a Security Committee consisting of 5 ministers with the aim of increasing the effort to fight terrorism and bring peace and stability to the South West region. With these appointments the total number of ministers is 24. The establishment of the cabinet of South West State is expected to speed up the process of selecting MPs, governors and district commissioners.”

Launch of Major Real Estate Project in Mogadishu

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the launch of a major real estate project in Mogadishu: “On 6th January 2015 Al Buruuj company launched a major real estate project called Daru-Salam City and presented details of the project to the public. The project, which consists of town houses, flats, a mosque, supermarket, recreational areas and playgrounds, roads and all other amenities, will be implemented on the outskirts of north Mogadishu (7km from Industrial Road) and financed by Salama Somali Bank. Abdikarin Gabeyre, the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry praised the efforts of Al Buruuj and Salama Somali Bank and urged citizens to participate in the rebuilding of the nation. Mohamed Abdi Olow from Salam Somali Bank stated that the Bank is ready to facilitate and, where necessary, invest in projects that are sound and financially viable. The FGS welcomes such projects as they build the confidence of the people and at the same time assist in the process of bringing peace and stability back to Somalia.”

The Opening of a New Health & Safety Office in Mogadishu

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the opening of a new health and safety office: “Banadir Regional Administration on January 7th, 2015 opened a new Health & Safety Office in Mogadishu to oversee health and safety practices in the capital. Dr Abdullahi Hassan Mohamed Nune, the Head of Health & Safety Office, emphasized the importance of the office, which will greatly improve effectiveness and efficiency of business activities in Mogadishu. Col Ahmed Hussein Mahdi stated that Health & Safety officers are fully trained and ready to implement Health & Safety Policy and procedures. The Deputy Mayor of Mogadishu, Ismail Moallim Abdi Gure, officially opened the office and said it would help improve the general cleanliness and the health and safety of the city so that residents in Mogadishu will be able to access services without worrying about health & safety hazards. This is an example of how the country is constantly making progress, day by day, week by week and month by month.”

Progress in the Judiciary

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the progress in the judiciary: “The Interim Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs, H.E. Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir, visited Turkey at the invitation of his counterpart, H.E. Bekir Bozdag, the Minister of Justice of the Turkish Republic. The Attorney General, Ahmed Ali Dahir, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Hussein Qasim Yusuf, and his advisors were part of the delegation. The 4 day visit to Ankara aimed to strengthen bi-lateral relations between the two ministries and the Turkish government to provide the necessary support and assistance to the reform of Somali Judiciary system. Delegates visited justice institutions in Turkey, such as the Judiciary Commission, training centres, ministry and departmental offices and other significant places. The Interim Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs, H.E. Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir, has been reforming the judiciary system in Somalia and the visit provides the necessary support and assistant to advance the reform.”

FGS’s Warning to Illegal Companies Operating in Somalia

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the warning given to companies operating illegally in Somalia: “The FGS Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources hereby provide official notice to a Chinese company, ARC, to cease and desist immediately from their illegal mining activities in the Simodi mountain ranges in the Awdal region of Somalia. These activities are a violation of Somalia’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty. These activities are also a threat and an immediate danger to the improving but nonetheless fragile political situation in Somalia. ARC’s illegal activities have already caused civil turmoil with the large-scale displacement of inhabitants in the area, the destruction of private property and tensions amongst communities in the region following the company’s introduction of armed militia to protect its illegally obtained mining acreage. ARC’s activities are similar to other companies that have engaged in activities that have caused environmental degradation including the illegal disposal of harmful chemicals. The Ministry hereby officially requests that the People’s Republic of China assistance in the FGS’s efforts to stop the illegal mining activities of this company. The FGS, represented herein by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, provides a stern warning to all companies operating illegally in Somalia on the basis of suspect, invalid, and illegal agreements and contracts with individuals and organizations. The Federal Government of Somalia has exclusive jurisdiction over foreign affairs and by extension agreements with international companies.”

The Effort to Bring Peace and Stability to Somalia

The Interim Minister of Information spoke on the effort to bring peace and stability in Somalia: “On January 7th, 2014, the President of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, met the Commissioner for Peace & Security of the African Union, H.E. Ismail Chergui, who was visiting Somalia for the first time. The aim of the visit was to reinforce the AMISOM mission’s effort to bring peace and stability to Somalia and, in particular, to redouble the AU’s efforts to provide support to the Somali National Army (SNA). The Interim Minister of Defense, H.E. Mohamed Sheikh Hassan Hamud, and Commissioner Chergui held a joint press conference in Mogadishu after their meeting with H.E. the President. It was also agreed to increase joint SNA and AMISOM operations in the fight against Al-Shabaab. Mr Chergui praised the efforts of the President of Somalia and the huge progress that the country has made over the last two years.”