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Turkey provides education to Somali refugee children

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Turkey-based aid agencies will provide education to more than 250 orphaned Somali children living in Kenya’s north eastern town of Dabaab.

Turkish Deniz Feneri Association in collaboration with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has opened Aysel and Serif Findikkaya Orphanage and Integrated Primary School for the children, who were orphaned while fleeing volatile situations in war-ravaged Somalia.

Most of the children were orphaned at an early stage when their parents left Somalia to seek refuge in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee complex.

Dadaab camp, located in northern Kenya’s Garissa Country, is home to over 400,000 refugees, mostly Somalis.

“Now we have a bed to sleep on, we have education, food and water, something that we are not used to have. I am thankful that our lives will change,” said a 12-year-old Hamid Mohammed, who is a beneficiary of the Turkish donation.

According to a UNICEF and 2012 Kenya Aids indicator survey, there were 2.6 million orphans in 2012 in the East African country.

Emre Yuksek, the Nairobi coordinator for TIKA, said: “Despite the crucial role that education plays for disadvantaged communities, it is ignored by aid donors and governments. The impact of this is devastating.”

He said Turkey would like to establish and encourage similar institutions like the Aysel and Serif Findikkaya Integrated Primary School in Africa.

Mehmet Cengiz, the director general of the Deniz Feneri Association, said the school and orphanage will host 256 students.

Cengiz said 180 of total 256 children will be boarding students. “May this facility be a home to thousands of orphans and children who are deprived of formal education.”

Mehmet Findikkaya, who is the main donor to the construction of the school, promised that the children will get free education.

Somali News

Somali fisherwoman breaks boundaries in Mogadishu

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Riyan Abukar Ali is determined to succeed as a fisherwoman in Somalia, in a trade dominated by men.

She used be a tuk-tuk driver, but took to the seas off the coast of the capital Mogadishu when the social pressures of being a woman in her previous job became too much.

Video journalists: Alinur Hassan and Mohamud Abdisamad

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Ethiopian PM says they will continue to develop Berbera Port so Ethiopia and Somaliland can benefit

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Somalia’s al Shabaab denounces ex-spokesman as apostate who could be killed

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Somali al Shabaab Islamist militants, who have carried out frequent bombings in the capital, Mogadishu, said a former leader who defected to the government side was an apostate who could be killed.

Al Shabaab fell out with its former spokesman and deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, in 2013. He defected to the U.N.-backed government in August last year.

Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to try to topple Somalia’s central government and rule the Horn of Africa country according to its own interpretation of Islamic law.

“If Mukhtar Robow thinks he can destroy Islamic sharia and the mujahedeen, he is deluded. Allah will protect Islam and Jihad will not stop just because of you and your likes who joined the enemies,” Ali Mohamud Rage, al Shabaab’s spokesman, said in a video posted late on Monday.

It was not immediately possible to reach Robow for comment.

“No doubt, Mukhtar Robow left his religion and joined the disbelievers and the enemies are still the enemies,” al shabaab’s spokesman said.

“Anybody who joins the line of non-Muslims is an apostate who can be killed.”

A report by rights body Human Rights Watch released on Monday said al Shabaab had threatened and abducted civilians in Somalia’s Bay region to force communities to hand over their children for indoctrination and military training in recent months.

“Al Shabaab’s ruthless recruitment campaign is taking rural children from their parents so they can serve this militant armed group,” said Laetitia Bader, senior Africa researcher for the rights body.

The insurgents, who are allied with al Qaeda, were driven out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011. They have also since lost nearly all other territory they previously controlled after an offensive by Somali government troops and African Union-mandated AMISOM peacekeepers.

Al Shabaab, however, remains a formidable threat and has carried out bombings both in Mogadishu and other towns against military and civilian targets.

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