Somalia Media Updates on 11th May 2024:

The first open heart surgery performed in Somalia. The Doctor who performed the surgery spoke to the BBC Somali Service, Dr. Abdinaafi from Erdogan Hospital in Mogadishu[1]:

Key points:

  • Dr. Abdinaafic is the first Somali doctor to perform open heart surgery, with support from Turkish doctors and nurses.
  • The new cardiac surgery center has successfully conducted seven operations on patients with various heart diseases since its opening in March 2024.
  • Congenital heart defects, such as holes in the heart or abnormal heart structure, are common in Somali children, with about 60% of pediatric heart patients having these conditions.
  • The establishment of this specialized cardiac center is expected to significantly improve treatment of heart diseases in Somalia, which previously lacked such facilities.

A suspected pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden was reported that has raised concerns about the potential resurgence of Somali piracy[2].

Key points:

  • A Spanish warship, Victoria, rushed to investigate a Maltese-flagged commercial vessel, Ruen, which was potentially hijacked by pirates off Somalia.
  • This incident could be the first successful hijacking by Somali pirates since 2017, marking a significant development and prompting heightened vigilance in the region.
  • International naval forces are coordinating to address piracy-related events in the northwest Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
  • The situation remains dynamic as authorities investigate the suspected attack and monitor the region for any further piracy incidents.

Somalia has formally requested the United Nations to terminate its political mission in the country, known as UNSOM, when its current mandate expires in October 2024[3]. This decision is reported to have come amidst an increase in attacks by the al-Shabab militant group. The key points:

  • In a letter to the UN Security Council and Secretary-General, Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Moalim Fiqi expressed gratitude for UNSOM’s role in promoting peace, stability, and development in Somalia over the past decade.  However, he emphasized that the government is now ready to move forward to the next phase of their partnership, focusing on long-term development priorities.
  • The termination of UNSOM coincides with the planned withdrawal of the African Union Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and the transfer of security responsibilities to Somali forces by the end of 2024.
  • While some experts, such as former Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad, believe the mission is still vital for strengthening government institutions and that the decision is untimely[3]. It also, draws concerns from the North East of the country’s autonomous state of Puntland in an interview with BBC Somali. However, the Somalia government is committed to its decision.

The Minster of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Federal Republic of Somalia urges Somali Diaspora to boost the economy and return their  expertise[4].  The key points:

  • This appeal aims to harness the skills, investments, and cultural diversity of the diaspora to support sustainable development in Somalia.
  • The minister’s call aligns with efforts to strengthen social and economic linkages between Somalia and its diaspora, emphasizing the significant role diaspora communities play in the country’s development through remittances, investments, and skills transfer.




[3] Somalia wants to terminate the UN political mission assisting peace …


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