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Angry people loot stores and hawala shops in Abudwak town

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Hundreds of angry residents in Abudwak town have looted hawala shops and stores in the Galgadud region in central Somalia forcing business activities in the town closed down.

The angry residents turned violent as they were protesting against the business owners’ move to ban the 1000 Somali banknotes following rumours of fake banknotes in circulation.

The menace started in Hiiraan last week where the Al-Shabab group issued restrictions on trading with the only 1000 banknote remaining from the Somali shilling and soon spread to other regions including Galgadud.

“Residents started to protest the against the foreign exchange and business owners who rejected to trade with the Shilling. The protest turned violent. Several shops of hawalas and food stores were looted.” Said Abdi Yonis, a resident in Abudwak.

The protesters mostly low income families in the town later marched in the centre of the town as they called the Federal Government and local authorities to intervene the menace that led to the people’s lives to face standstill.

They warned the local traders against the use of EVC Plus, a local mobile money transfer service.

On Sunday residents in Beledweyn took to the streets to protest against the ban on the Somali shilling and alleged the business owners and foreign exchange operators to have sided with Al-Shabab.

A directive from the Ministry of Finance of the Hirshabelle state in Somalia on Tuesday barred all services of the local mobile money transfer by the Hormuud Telecom following standstill in the central Somalia region of Hiiraan.

The directive came following the closure of businesses in Beledweyn for the third day.

“After witnessing the challenges faced by he community in Beledweyn which led to business closure, we have ordered all EVC Plus (Electronic Voucher Cards) stopped. Said the directive from the Jowhar-based Ministry of Finance of the Hirshabelle state.

EVC Plus is operated by the Hormuud Telecom.

Local traders rejected to trade with the Somali 1000 banknote, the only banknote currently in circulation in the country. The move came after Al-Shabab issued ban against the banknote as they alleged that fake new denomination of 1000 banknotes were coming from Puntland.

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Africa

DP World says Djibouti incident could hurt Africa investment

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Port operator DP World said on Thursday that Djibouti’s decision to seize control of a terminal project could hurt African efforts to attract investment.

The Dubai state-owned port operator is facing twin political challenges in Africa.

Djibouti abruptly ended its contract to run the Doraleh Container Terminal last month and Somalia’s parliament voted this week to ban the company.

DP World has called the Djibouti move illegal and said it had begun proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration, which last year cleared the company of all charges of misconduct over the concession.

“Africa needs infrastructure investments and if countries can change their law [to take assets then this] is going to basically make it more difficult to attract investment,” Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told a news conference in Dubai.
DP World reported 14.9 percent rise in 2017 profit to $1.18 billion profit and said that it would invest $1.4 billion across its global portfolio including in Berbera in Somaliland. [L8N1QX0F2]

It is developing a port in Berbera in partnership with the governments of Somaliland and Ethiopia. It is also developing a greenfield free trade zone in the breakaway region.

Bin Sulayem said he was not concerned by the vote in Somalia’s parliament to ban DP World from the country, which the parliament said nullified their Somaliland contract.

It is unclear how Somalia’s federal government could enforce the ban given Somaliland’s semi-autonomous status.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for about 42 percent of the cargo DP World handled in 2017.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Jason Neely

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Business

INTERVIEW: Somalia gears towards improving its monetary policies

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CGTN — Somalia’s central government imposed a five percent sales tax this month as part of efforts to win billions of dollars in international debt relief. This was followed by protests in Mogadishu’s main market by traders opposed to the tax. CGTN’s Abdulaziz Billow sat down with the country’s minister of finance who shed more light on the country’s monetary policies

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Somalia Tax Argument From Both Sides: Bakara Traders vs The Government

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Somalia’s busiest and largest open-air market in Mogadishu has been closed for the past two days.

Business owners in Bakara market are protesting over a five percent tax imposed by the government, in an effort to pay back some of its international debt.

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