That most Somalis lived as nomads has always made it difficult for children to attend school. In the 1970s, a seven-year primary school was created. The introduction of a Somali writing language in 1972 was followed by a campaign for literacy. But the educational system collapsed during the civil war. Only a number of Quran schools continued to function. Later, elementary schools have been reopened in some areas.
Some of the elementary schools are run by local authorities, NGOs or religious groups, in many cases with the help of the UN, the EU and Western-based aid organizations, but also Islamic groups. In many places, Koran schools are the only education offered.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Somalia, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Formally, everyone has the right to free elementary education, but the reality looks different. Parents are forced to pay school fees, and the security situation prevents many from participating in education. It is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of children who attend school (there are no reliable statistics). Many students quit school early. More boys than girls participate in teaching, especially in the higher stages. There is a shortage of educated teachers, especially female teachers, and in many schools there are no textbooks.
Some traditional Qur’an schools have been transformed into so-called mattresses, where students receive a shorter basic education at low cost. This is especially common in the countryside and in areas controlled by al-Shabaab.
Higher education has also suffered. There are about 10 small private universities or institutes with limited resources. The majority of students read technical subjects, especially IT, economics and law. The quality of teaching has major shortcomings.
- Educationvv: Provides school and education information in Somalia, covering middle school, high school and college education.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Burundi protests against withdrawal from Amisom
Burundi says no to a request from the AU to withdraw a thousand soldiers from the Amisom peacekeeping force in Somalia until February 28. A spokesman for the Burundian army says the military should urge the AU to reduce each country’s troop strength more proportionately, rather than just selecting Burundian soldiers. AU pays Burundi about $ 18 million in the quarter, which is one of the country’s most important sources of income in foreign currency. especially since the EU withdrew its support because of the Burundian regime’s violation of human rights. One of AFP’s news sources says that the Burundian soldiers are the worst equipped in Amisom, and that is one of the reasons they are allowed to go home first.
Former Minister of Energy wins state elections
Former Energy Minister Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed (also known as Lafta Garen) is elected new president of the Southwest State. He is appointed by the state’s MPs. He has four counter-candidates, but Muhktar Robow (also called Abu Mansur), who was the favorite to win, was not allowed to participate. Robow who dropped out of al-Shabaab was arrested on December 13. Some observers believe that there was no strong legal basis for the arrest, and that it may deter other al-Shabaab leaders from resigning from the Islamist group. The arrest of Robow also risks leading to new unrest in the Baidoa area. It is also speculated that the arrest was prompted by the federal government’s concern that a victory for Robow would strengthen cooperation between the states that are already on a collision course with the Mogadishu government in terms of their powers. The states, for their part, are concerned that Amisom will hand over the responsibility for security in their area to Somalia’s National Army (SNA), which would reduce their influence. There is also a risk that al-Shabaab will carry out more attacks in the Baidoa area in order to take advantage of the fragmentation that prevails.
USA: “62 Islamist Rebels Killed in US Aircraft”
US military claims to have killed 62 rebels from militant Islamist group al-Shabaab in six air strikes. The United States claims that the raids did not require any civilian casualties. This means that at least 400 people have been killed in US air strikes since the beginning of 2017. In 2018, the United States carried out 40 attacks, compared with 35 in 2017. According to a Somali think tank, the Hiraal Institute, al-Shabaab has been forced to change tactics because of the increasing more American raids. The number of attacks on military targets has decreased significantly, instead government buildings and business operations that have refused to pay taxes to al-Shabaab have increased significantly. According to US estimates, al-Shabaab consists of between 3,000 and 7,000 men, while the Islamic State (IS) has between 70 and 250 rebels in Somalia.
Concerned in Baidoa after detainees from al-Shabaab were arrested
Mukthar Robow (also called Abu Mansur) who in 2017 jumped off from al-Shabaab (see August 2017) is arrested by the Baidoa authorities and accused of posing a security threat. Robow has had the intention of running for election to the state president of the Southwestern state, and he has profiled himself as a strong opponent of the federal government. The arrest raises unrest which leads to several people being killed. Among the victims is a Member of Parliament, but it is not clear how he was killed. The state elections are scheduled to be held on December 19. Witnesses say Ethiopian soldiers, some of them in tanks labeled Amisom, come to the area to bring calm.
Afwerki is visiting Somalia for the first time in over 30 years
13th of December
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki visits Somalia for the first time in three decades for talks with his Somali colleague Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed. Relations between the countries were strained until last summer, Somalia has previously accused Eritrea of supporting the militant Islamist group al-Shabaab, something the Eritrean government has denied.
Declaration of trust is void
The statement of disbelief against President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is rejected when 14 MPs deny that they have signed it. This means that it is therefore only supported by 78 members and is therefore not valid. The day after, President Mohamed Mursal leaves his post in protest of the decision. In most cases, the MPs who oppose the president belong to hawaii and issaq who compete for power with Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s clan there.
Declaration of mistrust against the president
A statement of mistrust is directed at President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. It has been signed by 92 of 275 MEPs and has been endorsed by President Mohamed Mursal. The President is accused of violating the Constitution by making secret agreements with other countries. The statement of disbelief comes a month after Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed met with Ethiopian and Eritrean presidents to strengthen economic ties between the countries. The president may be forced to resign if the declaration of confidence is supported by at least two-thirds of Parliament. It is not clear when a vote on the president will be held.
Seven soldiers are killed in a mine explosion
At least seven militants, including two generals, are killed in a mine explosion in Mogadishu. The militant Islamist group al-Shabaab is suspected of the act.
US opens embassy
The US now decides to establish permanent diplomatic relations with Somalia. The embassy established in 2015 in the country was formally part of the US mission in Kenya. Career diplomat Donald Yamamoto becomes US ambassador to Somalia.
At least 15 dead in suicide attacks
A Muliman minister, Sheikh Abdiweli Ali Elmi, and 17 others are killed in a suicide attack against a religious center in Galkayo in the Mudig region in the north of the country. The militant group al-Shabaab takes on the deed and has previously accused the preacher of having blasphemed Prophet Muhammad by playing music during his religious ceremonies. Elmi, who is a Sufi, has defended this and said that the music does not constitute a violation of Islam’s teachings.
At least 37 dead in US airstrikes
20th of November
The US military says at least 37 members of the a-Shabaab militant group killed two US air strikes near Debate Scile. The United States Africa Command claims that “no civilians were killed or injured in the raids”. In October, some 60 people were killed in another American air tree in Somalia.
At least 41 dead in Mogadishu attacks
At least 41 people have been killed in a suicide attack near a hotel and the Criminal Police Office in Mogadishu. Hundreds of people are injured. The militant Islamist group al-Shabaab assumes responsibility for the act.
Amisom soldiers are accused of killing four civilian Somalis
Witnesses accuse Burundian soldiers of the Amisom force of killing four civilian Somalis. Amisom soldiers are said to have opened fire on civilians after driving on a homemade explosive charge in Huriwa district in the north. This triggers street protests in Huriwa, where protesters demand that the guilty be punished.
“At least 50 dead in clashes in Somaliland”
At least 50 people are reported to have been killed in connection with clan battles in the Dhumey area of Somaliland. Another 100 people are said to have been seriously injured, and the death toll is believed to be rising, especially as the fighting continues, according to data from Puntland. Puntland claims in the Dhumey area
IS leader killed in Mogadishu
One of Islamic State’s (IS) supreme leaders in Somalia, Mahad Moallim, has been killed in Mogadishu. It is not clear how it went, but according to the British news service BBC, it may have happened because of a power struggle within IS. The Islamist group is believed to have around 400 to 500 members in Somalia, most of them based in Puntland.
Pentagon: “50 al-Shabaab rebels killed in aerial trees”
The US military claims to have killed some 60 al-Shabaab rebels in an air raid in the coastal area near Harardere, which was previously an important hub for Somali pirates. According to the United States, no civilians were killed in the attack, which should have been carried out on October 12. However, no independent sources confirm this information. The number of US air strikes has increased in recent months as the military no longer needs to seek special permission from the White House to carry them out. The US military cooperates with both Somali defense forces and Amison and has approximately 500 men stationed in the country.
One is executed for terrorist acts
A man sentenced to death for involvement in the terror attack in Mogadishu on October 14, 2018 is executed. Hassan Adan Isak was driving one of the vehicles involved in the attack that claimed about 600 lives. No group has assumed responsibility for the act, but most judges suspect it was performed by al-Shabaab.
At least 20 dead in terror attacks in Baidoa
At least 20 people are killed in two suicide bombings in Baidoa. Another 10 or so people are injured in the death. The Islamist group al-Shabaab claims to have carried out the attacks.
New airline between Ethiopia and Somalia opens after 41 years
For the first time in 41 years, there is commercial traffic between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu. It is a plane from the Ethiopian company Ethiopia National Airways which lands in Mogadishu. The intention is that there will be four flights a week between the countries.
Somalia agrees on new cooperation agreement with Ethiopia and Eritrea
Relations between Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea seem to continue to improve. The three countries have agreed on a new cooperation agreement that covers political, economic, security, cultural and social issues. Somalia and Ethiopia have pressed for Eritrea to start a dialogue to resolve the border dispute with Djibouti. During the day, the foreign ministers of the three countries travel there for talks. Estimates say that so far, not much has happened that can eventually resolve old tensions between the countries in the region.
al-Shabaab takes hostages as elders
Some 60 seniors from Galgadug in the middle of the country are taken hostage by al-Shabaab and taken to an area controlled by the militant group. They are accused of failing to pay the entire damages to a sub-clan whose members were killed two years ago. The authorities of the state of Galgmudug criticize the government for not doing enough to protect the civilian population.
Amisom force reductions are postponed
The UN Security Council decides to postpone planned cuts to the Amisom force. The intention was to leave 1,000 people by the end of October. Now they remain in Somalia until the end of February. As a reason, it is stated that the country’s defense forces are not ready to take over responsibility for security in the country. Amisom’s mandate is also extended to May 31, 2019.
Interventions against media in Somaliland
Somaliland authorities arrest several journalists and shut down two TV stations that have reported on recent fighting between Somali and Pound soldiers in the disputed Sool region. It reports the Press Freedom Organization Reporters Without Borders.
Worried about the Sool region
15th of May
At least 40 people are killed in clashes between Somaliland and Puntland forces in the disputed Sool region. Both sides accuse the opposing party of initiating the attack. President Abdullahi Mohamed urges groups of elders and other organizations to try to mediate in the conflict.
At least 11 dead in attacks on the market
11 people are killed when an explosive charge explodes in a market square in the small town of Wanlaweyn, north of Mogadishu. The explosion takes place in the area of the square where the sale of the drug khat occurs. No group has taken on the blame for the deed.
Nine Kenyan soldiers are killed by road bombs
Nine Kenyan soldiers are killed in southern Somalia while operating on a road bomb. The Somali terror organization al-Shabaab is taking on the deed.
The Shabelle River floods
After a long period of severe drought, heavy rainfall causes flooding in the area around the Shabelle River. The AU force Amisom evacuates about 10,000 people from the city of Beledweyne, but over 100,000 people are affected by the floods. There is great concern that waterborne illnesses will follow in the wake of the floods.
Somalia cancels cooperation with United Arab Emirates
Somalia is suspending cooperation with the United Arab Emirates in a training program for government soldiers. However, the program will continue and will from now on be financed by the Somali government, says Defense Minister Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman. Since 2014, hundreds of Somali soldiers have been trained with money from the Gulf state, which has also contributed money to just over 2,000 government soldiers’ salaries. The decision is made after the United Arab Emirates promised to also train soldiers in the Somaliland breakaway republic.
The President resigns after a power struggle
The Speaker of the Somali Parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari, is retiring. This occurs after a period of turbulence in Parliament due to conflicts between the President and several Members of Parliament. The week before, a police unit supporting Jawari had taken the parliament building to prevent a vote of no confidenceagainst him. At the same time, forces loyal to President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” had gathered outside the building. A confrontation between the groups can be avoided, after mediation from the AU. According to Somali media, members of Jawari’s side had accused members of the opposition side of having received money to vote him out. According to an article in the New York Times, Jawari has strengthened its power and, among other things, pushed through a ban on foreign contracts being signed without Parliament’s approval. This has happened without previous consultations with the President or the Prime Minister, which led to a distrust vote against Jawari. However, the vote has been postponed twice due to security concerns. Parliament also claimed an agreement between Somaliland and DP World, a company based in the United Arab Emirates, about the port of Berbera. This must be seen as a mark against Somaliland. But it is also a consequence of the conflict between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the one hand and Qatar on the other. Qatar supported Farmaajo in the 2017 presidential election, but the president is now under intense pressure from the United Arab Emirates who wants him to break with the Gulf state. New information emerges later on the power struggle between the president and the president. According to Reuters news agency, citing government and police sources, nearly $ 10 million in cash had been seized in a United Arab Emirates plane. There is no mention of what the money would have been used for, and the data pertains to the suspicions that many Somalis have about other countries interfering in Somali politics. However, it is unclear whether Jawari’s departure will reduce tensions between the government and parliament, or within parliament’s various groupings. Earlier in the year, attempts were also made to dismiss Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire via a vote of no confidence. This, according to the magazine Africa Confidential, could have been stopped by Jawari, who chose not to do so.
Five dead in American aviation against al-Shabaab
US military reports that five members of al-Shabaab have been killed in an air raid against the village of El Buur, some 40 miles northeast of Mogadishu. This is the seventh time since the turn of the year that the United States is carrying out a scare against the militant Islamist group.
Several dead in attack on AU base
Several people are killed when al-Shabaab attacks an AU base in Bulamars, about 13 miles southwest of Mogadishu. A three-hour firefight erupts after the militant group detonates two car bombs outside the base. According to the Somali Ministry of the Interior, at least 20 al-Shabaab rebels are killed and the AU seizes large quantities of ammunition. Ugandan sources indicate that eight Ugandan AU soldiers have been killed in the fighting.
Several dead in Mogadishu attacks
At least three people, as well as the assailant, are killed in an attack just a few hundred meters from the Parliament and the Ministry of the Interior in Mogadishu. The bomb explodes right next to a roadblock. The militant group al-Shabaab takes on the deed.
Free Trade Agreement in Africa
Somalia is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.
Clans in Sanaag agree on harsh penalties in new peace agreement
The clans in the disputed Sanaag area in the north agree on a peace agreement after three weeks of mediation. According to him, the perpetrator of revenge attacks should be sentenced to death, and the perpetrator’s family must be fined $ 100,000. In recent years, land and water disputes have triggered a spiral of violence that also feeds off conflicts that in some cases go back several generations. Both Somaliland and Puntland claim the Sanaag area. The clan battles there claimed at least 23 lives in 2017, and some 60 people were injured. The revenge attacks that triggered this have claimed at least 15 lives since the beginning of 2018.
At least 38 are killed in two assaults in Mogadishu
At least 38 people were killed in two car bomb attacks near the presidential palace in Mogadishu and a nearby hotel. Outside the presidential palace, a firefight erupts, killing five assailants, according to the government page. Al-Shabaab takes on the act, saying that 35 government soldiers were killed in the attacks, as well as five members of the militant Islamist group, including the drivers of the two cars.
The 23-year-old is sentenced to death for terrorist attacks
6th of February
A 23-year-old man is sentenced to death for his involvement in the terrorist attack in Mogadishu in October that claimed at least 500 lives. The man is accused of suffering from al-Shabaab terror cells. Another man is sentenced to life imprisonment for membership in another group that is close to al-Qaeda, and for providing the assailants with vehicles.
Somaliland prohibits female genital mutilation
In Somaliland, the government and Muslim ministers are calling for a fatwa, a religious injunction, to ban all forms of female genital mutilation. They also promise that those who violate the ban will be punished. And that girls who are nevertheless subjected to the intervention will be awarded damages. The next step is for the Somali parliament to legislate on this.
al-Shabaab forcibly recruits thousands of children
The Islamist group al-Shabaab forcibly recruits children from small communities in the countryside. According to a report from Human Rights Watch, Somalia: Al-Shabab Demanding Children, thousands of girls and boys between the ages of eight and 15 have been taken from their parents since September 2017. Militants have also come to schools and urged teachers to hand over children to them. Al-Shabaab then uses religious schools as a cover when they indoctrinate the children and train them for battle. To avoid this, hundreds of children have been sent to safer areas, where they are often forced to live in refugee camps under aggravated conditions. In at least four villages where the residents have refused to hand over any children, al-Shabaab has responded by kidnapping elderly people.
The Appeal for Debt Amortization
7 th of January
Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire urges donors to speed up the process of writing off the country’s debts, as money is needed to fight terrorism and to build a functioning state. Somalia’s foreign debt amounts to about $ 4 billion, and stems from loans taken before 1991. As no repayments have been made and penalties have been applied, the debt has continued to grow, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are not very willing to grant new loan. The government’s total budget amounts to approximately $ 274 million
Somaliland adopts law against rape
Somaliland faces a law that prohibits rape, where anyone convicted of the crime faces up to 30 years in prison. There are many years of pressure from organizations working for the rights of children and women. Until now, it has been common for the victim to be forced to marry the rapist.
Three ministers are dismissed
Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire dismisses three of his ministers. Those who are allowed to go are Foreign Minister Yusuf Garaad Omar, Interior Minister Abdi Farah Said Juha and Trade and Labor Minister Khadra Ahmed Duale. Their replacements are newcomers to the government. As a reason, it is stated that new forces are needed to deal with the government’s workload. The posts as head of the police and of national security are still vacant.