December 18, 2014 | Morning Headlines.

Main Story

Somali president appoints new prime minister

17 Dec- Source: Hiiraan Online/Radio Goobjoog/Dalsan Radio  – 235 Words

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud  appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as his new prime minister in a press conference held at Villa Somalia. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the former holder of the premiership and Somalia’s ambassador to the United States, held the post from 2009 to 2010, when he resigned due to an ongoing feud between himself and former President Sharif Ahmed. The appointment comes after the previous Prime Minister, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, lost a vote of no-confidence in the Somali parliament on December 6 following a disagreement with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over cabinet appointments.

If his appointment is confirmed by Somalia’s parliament, Sharmarke, a Somali-born Canadian citizen, would become the country’s third prime minister in 26 months. Sharmarke, 54, has worked with the United Nations in Sudan and Sierra Leone, and earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in political economics from Carleton University in Ottawa. On July 14, 2014, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke became Somalia’s first ambassador to the United States in more than 20 years. Sharmarke’s father, Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, was Somalia’s prime minister and second president since independence.  On October 15, 1969, President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke was assassinated by his bodyguards, and a few days later on October 21, General Siad Barre seized power in a bloodless military coup.Sharmarke has 30 days to appoint a new cabinet, which will have to be approved by parliament.

Key Headlines

  • Somali president appoints new prime minister (Hiraan Online/Radio Goobjoog/Dalsan Radio)
  • Somalia regains control of its airspace but lacks personnel management (Horseed Media)
  • The South West Six-regions and Southwest Three-Region join to form a new administration (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Kenya arrests several al-shabaab suspects (Dalsan Radio)
  • Puntland Parliament approves $60 million budget for 2015 (Horseed Media)
  • Tiyeglow officials vow to avenge women’s murders with the law (Sabahi Online)
  • Somaliland seizes Yemeni and Egyptian vessels (BBC News)
  • Divided Kenyans disagree over strategy to end ‘terror’ attacks (Virginia Gazette)
  • Staying safe while covering a terrorism-related story (Deutsche Welle)

SOMALI MEDIA

Somali president appoints new prime minister

17 Dec- Source: Hiraan Online/Radio Goobjoog/Dalsan Radio  – 235 Words

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud  appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as his new prime minister in a press conference held at Villa Somalia. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the former holder of the premiership and Somalia’s ambassador to the United States, held the post from 2009 to 2010, when he resigned due to an ongoing feud between himself and former President Sharif Ahmed. The appointment comes after the previous Prime Minister, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, lost a vote of no-confidence in the Somali parliament on December 6 following a disagreement with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over cabinet appointments.

If his appointment is confirmed by Somalia’s parliament, Sharmarke, a Somali-born Canadian citizen, would become the country’s third prime minister in 26 months. Sharmarke, 54, has worked with the United Nations in Sudan and Sierra Leone, and earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in political economics from Carleton University in Ottawa. On July 14, 2014, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke became Somalia’s first ambassador to the United States in more than 20 years. Sharmarke’s father, Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, was Somalia’s prime minister and second president since independence.  On October 15, 1969, President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke was assassinated by his bodyguards, and a few days later on October 21, General Siad Barre seized power in a bloodless military coup.Sharmarke has 30 days to appoint a new cabinet, which will have to be approved by parliament.


Somalia regains control of its airspace, but lacks personnel management

17 Dec- Source: Horseed Media – 386 Words

Somalia has announced that it has regained the control of its airspace which has not been under the control of the government for more than two decades, an official has confirmed. Ministry of Air and Land Transport of Somalia Mr. Said Jama Qorshel said that they have agreed with the International Civil Aviation Organisation to handle over the control of the airspace to the Somali government. “Our airspace will be controlled from Mogadishu and all the necessary equipments will be transferred very soon,” he told reporters after arriving from Canada where he went to meet the ICAO officials.

Mogadishu airport is currently upgraded to an international standard through a project funded by the Turkish government and expected to be completed in the beginning of 2015. After the collapse of Somalia’s central government in the 1991 civil war, the United Nations Development Program and the International Civil Aviation Organization founded a civil aviation caretaker authority for Somalia in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Beyond providing air traffic services to flights within and through the airspace of Somalia, these successive United Nations bodies failed in the fulfilment of the rest of their mandate: i) provision of technical and operational assistance at designated airports and to local administrations in Somalia; ii) establishment and operation of a nucleus civil aviation administration for the functioning of CACAS; iii) formulation and implementation of training program for national personnel; and iv) formulation of procedures and draft regulations required for the operation and maintenance of civil aviation activities.

But Mr Qorshel voiced concerns on lack of professional workers which he said that it will take time to train them. “At the mean time we don’t have professional Somali workers to handle this job, but the government will train them,” he said. Between 80 and 100 regular flights enter Somalia’s airspace daily. Each of these flights is liable to paying an estimated navigation fee of $275 per entry. Everything remaining constant between 1993 and 2011, a conservative estimate of total revenue (collected or not) thus exceeds $150 million. The self-supporting project currently generates an average of $9 to $10 Million a year. There has not been a full, transparent accounting of how that money has been and is being managed nor where it may be.


The South West Six-regions and Southwest Three-Region join to form a new administration

17 Dec – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 143 Words

The administration of South West Somalia-six regions led by Madobe Nunow Mohamed joined the newly established regional state comprising of three regions, Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle region. The decision came after leaders from sides signed power sharing agreement in a series of talks in Baidoa, the headquarters of Bay region. A senior official among Nunow administration Abdikadir Mohamed Ibrahim told Goobjoog FM that the administration of South West Somalia-six regions were allowed to take the posts of vice president and speaker of the parliament. Madobe Nunow and Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, the newly elected president of South West Somalia were not present at the meeting but delegates representing them participated in the talks. Presiding over the talks were members of federal parliament and other dignitaries. Mr. Abdikadir stated that the agreement will lead to the development and the rebuilding of the region.


Puntland Parliament approves $60 million Budget for 2015

17 Dec – Source: Horseed Media – 104 Words

Puntland Parliament on Wednesday unanimously approved 2015 budget which was submitted by the Ministry of Finance weeks ago. Members of the Parliament passed the budget which is $60,182,159 and was voted in favour by 51 MPs, according to the Speaker of the Parliament Mr Said Hassan Shire. The sum, which is twice more than 2014 budget ($ 29 million) is expected to enable the government improve security, health care delivery, infrastructure and economic development. Puntland Ministry of Finance’s officials said that the budget will mainly be based on the funds received from the International donors and also from local sources like collection of tax.


Kenya arrests several al-shabaab suspects

17 Dec – Source: Dalsan Radio – 108 Words

The Kenyan security forces have arrested several al-Shabaab suspects inside Kenya. The trio were arrested at Athi River and were said to have entered Kenya through Kenya-Ethiopia border.  Deputy Kenyan Police boss, Joseph Keitany said the anti terrorist police unit contributed to the arrest of those suspects. He added that the three are currently being interrogated by police. The three were traveling to Mombasa when they were arrested.  Joseph Keitany also said the three were in Mandera for quite some time.  The names of the three are Abdulla Yussuf, Mohamed Rashid and Mohamed. Police say, three arrived in Mandera in November. Recently, Mandera saw a spate of attacks.

REGIONAL MEDIA

Tiyeglow officials vow to avenge women’s murders with the law

17 Dec – Source: Sabahi Online – 821 Words

Residents of Somalia’s Bakol region are shocked and saddened by the brutal murder of seven women in Tiyeglow district last week, but local officials have warned citizens not to take the law into their own hands and perpetuate the cycle of violence and revenge. After al-Shabaab militants beheaded a Somali National Army soldier’s wife and her friend on December 10th, a group of soldiers led by the slain woman’s husband rounded up women believed to be close to al-Shabaab and killed five of them in retaliation.
Tiyeglow District Commissioner Mohamed Abdulle Hassan said neither of the two women al-Shabaab beheaded cooked for the Somali government forces as was previously reported. He said the women were close friends and were kidnapped from the soldier’s house. “Al-Shabaab broke into a house on the outskirts of Tiyeglow town at night and kidnapped two women who had done nothing,” he told Sabahi. “After a few hours, they discarded [the bodies of] the beheaded women in the town’s garbage dump.” Hassan said investigations into the five women killed in retaliation revealed that four of them were married to al-Shabaab fighters. Two of the four government soldiers who took part in the murders are in custody, he said, and efforts are under way to capture the remaining killers, including the al-Shabaab members. “By God, I was very, very saddened and I condemn the killing of the seven women,” Hassan said.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Somaliland seizes Yemeni and Egyptian vessels

17 Dec- Source: BBC – 149 Words

Somaliland has seized more than 51 Yemeni boats and an Egyptian ship for fishing illegally in its waters, an official has told the BBC. Admiral Ahmed Osman said coastguards had also arrested more than 250 fishermen who were on board.This is the biggest arrest ever by Somaliland’s coastguards, trained by Western states to curb piracy and illegal fishing off its coast.Illegal fishing has depleted fishing stocks along the Somali coast. Correspondents say years of illegal fishing by foreign trawlers devastated the livelihoods of many people, some of whom then became pirates who attacked vessels for ransom.Piracy in the region has declined in recent years following the deployment of a multinational naval force.Last month, the EU Naval Force provided training and equipment to the Somaliland coast guard. Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in 1991, but is not recognised by the United Nations or any government.


Divided Kenyans disagree over strategy to end ‘terror’ attacks

17 Dec – Source: Virginia Gazette – 488 Words

Islamist attacks, knee-jerk security responses, corrupt policing and racial profiling are dividing Kenyans increasingly along religious and ethnic lines, experts said. There is fear on all sides – among Christians who pray on Sundays under armed police guard, among Muslims who are vilified on the internet, and among government leaders who have lost face for failing to provide security. The Somalia-based al Shabaab militant group has escalated the number of attacks on Kenyans this year, as part of its campaign to stop Kenyan military operations in Somalia.

“It is primed to explode,” said Clive Wanguthi, a Muslim leader living in Nairobi’s Somali-dominated Eastleigh area. “If they (extremists) continue with these attacks, they will come and hit a sensitive area and everything will go to hell. I mean we will kill each other,” said Wanguthi. The 47-year-old father of six converted from Christianity to Islam 25 years ago, and is trying to ease tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims in Eastleigh, which has been a focus of government crackdowns. Eleven percent of Kenyans are Muslim, some of them ethnically Somali.  Security forces’ efforts to tame the Islamist threat have focused on shutting down radical mosques and mass arrests of Muslims, particularly of Somali refugees living in Eastleigh, during an operation in April.  In the countdown to Christmas, lorryloads of police have arrived in Eastleigh each night to patrol its streets, video halls and clubs, residents said.


Staying safe while covering a terrorism-related story

17 Dec – Source: Deutsche Welle – 500 Words

For our series on terrorist groups, DW correspondents travelled to some of the most dangerous regions of Africa. Local journalists kept them safe. Our jeep was stuck in the middle of the Sahara desert in Mali for just fifteen minutes but it seemed much longer. We were on our way from Timbuktu to Bamako and had planned our journey so it would not take not longer than one and half days. But 100 kilometers into Timbuktu the car’s engine stopped working. This was the most dangerous part of the journey because of bandits and Islamists who roam the area. They abduct foreigners for large sums or for political leverage. A reputable security company classifies this area as extremely risky. Close cooperation with local journalists…We trust our local colleagues and contacts; their sound judgment and assessment are invaluable. Sometimes we were just lucky.

A week after we had been filming in Mogadishu, a car bomb exploded a few meters in front of our hotel killing six people. Another incident occurred during a return flight from the north-eastern Nigeria, where we produced a report on Boko Haram. The plane almost crashed as we were about to land in the capital Abuja. We only take risks when we go on trips; our local colleagues live with these risks all the time. In Mogadishu, we worked with a journalist who spent some years in Europe because there had been threats to his life there in Somalia. But he has returned to continue reporting on the abuses in his country. The threats haven’t stopped. And so he lives in a low budget hostel so he can constantly move around. He wears different headscarves daily to disguise himself. Otherwise he would be an easy target for the terrorists.

SOCIAL MEDIA

CULTURE / OPINION / EDITORIAL / ANALYSIS / BLOGS/ DISCUSSION BOARDS

“Somali Diaspora Voice was set to be the voice for the voiceless. It is a venue, a representational platform whereby peoples voices are heard, whereby people make their own decisions toward the future and whereby hope and audacity are built.”


What is Somali Diaspora voice?

17 Dec – Source: Radio RBC – 650 Words

On Saturday, Dec. 20th, Somali Diaspora Voice is kicking off its first grand opening at Marriott Hotel, St. Louis Park. This event was planned in such a way to become the first of its kind that ever to pass by the community. Now, people may ask: what is Somali Diaspora Voice, and why now? Is it different from other community organizations? I admit these are highly and fairly legitimate questions. With all due diligence and honest, let me answer these questions. Somali Diaspora Voice is an indigenous, grassroots organization and was born out of necessity. A group of friends from different walks of life came together and brainstormed for ways to save the community. After so many months of rigorous meetings they came up with a vision and mandate to work on. For over two decades, Somalis in the Diaspora–regardless of where they live in the world, were overpromised and underdelivered. We understand the pervasive challenges faced by many around the globe. The single mothers with possibly children with special need and elderly people who suffer in daily basis do not deserve the treatments they encounter. The students who are sent home simply because they do culturally accepted norms back home will be represented. In essence, nobody will expect an empty promise, and hopes will be realized in the fullest way possible.

December 17, 2014 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

Somali national army conducts operations against Al-Shabaab Militia in Hudur District

17 Dec – Source: Radio Mogadishu – 113 Words

Somali National army has started operations Hudur district in Bakool region. Abdirahman Timcade, a member of the Somali National army and a leaders of operation told Radio Mogadishu that they killed unknown number of al-Shabab militias including those who were in charge of the district. Timcade also stated that the army has also captured a number of militia members. It is confirmed that the operations in Hudur are still ongoing. The results of the operation will be exhibited once the operation is completed successfully. . He has urged residents of Bakool region to support the Government forces in the war against al-Shabab the government’s efforts to liberate terrorist from the region and the country.

Key Headlines

  • Somali national army conducts operations against Al-Shabaab Militia in Hudur District (Radio Mogadishu)
  • Migrants return home to start new lives (Radio Ergo)
  • Kenyan manager takes over Somali champions (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Somalia’s radio show a bridge to migrants (Goobjoog Radio)
  • Conference over Somalis safety held in South Africa (Radio Mustaqbal)
  • One-year jail for illegal stay (Star Kenya)
  • Finally free of al-Shabaab daily life resumes in El Bur (Sabahi Online)
  • Kenyan new Amisom boss (Star Kenya)
  • The object of al-Shabaab terror: to set up a caliphate in Kenya (Huffington Post)
  • Somalia facing a new year of tragedy (Examener.com)
  • Refugees living in Kenya long for peace at home (Voice of America)
  • Failed 21/7 bombers lose ECHR appeal (Express UK)

SOMALI MEDIA

Somali national army conducts operations against Al-Shabaab Militia in Hudur District

17 Dec – Source: Radio Mogadishu – 113 Words

Somali National army has started operations Hudur district in Bakool region. Abdirahman Timcade, a member of the Somali National army and a leaders of operation told Radio Mogadishu that they killed unknown number of al-Shabab militias including those who were in charge of the district. Timcade also stated that the army has also captured a number of militia members. It is confirmed that the operations in Hudur are still ongoing. The results of the operation will be exhibited once the operation is completed successfully. . He has urged residents of Bakool region to support the Government forces in the war against al-Shabab the government’s efforts to liberate terrorist from the region and the country.


Auditor general calls the businesses operating on public properties to hand over  government land

17 Dec – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 280 Words

The auditor general of federal government of Somalia Noor Jima’ale Farah sent warnings to Somali business people operating and investing on public properties. Mr. Farah stated that the government is now ready to take action against such people adding that  the money used to refurbish or restructure these properties will not be refunded. He called the business owners operating on public properties to hand over to the government before it is too late. Speaking about the corruption allegations in the country, he said his office will focus on rampant corruption in three sectors.

His first priority will be to fight alleged corruption on annual scholarships to hundreds of Somali students due to bribery that ends up in the hands of corrupt politicians and diplomats.
His second priority, he said would recruitment of civil servants and use of public properties in the expense of personal interest. He noted that they are aware of former government workers who are in illegal possession of public properties including vehicles. “Even if they keep on hiding the hand of the government is long enough to get hold of them soon,” the auditor said. He asked the federal parliament of Somalia to enforce the laws of national so as to fight corruption to the end. Finally the auditor general underlined that  his office plans to launch seminars and awareness campaigns through the media to the public, government workers and employers of both public and private companies about ways to fight corruption. The remarks of the auditor general comes days after the attorney general of Somalia Ahmed Dahir responded to parliamentary questions during which he said they found widespread corruption and misuse of power on 19 ministries and three agencies after investigations.


Conference over Somalis safety held in South Africa

17 Dec – Source: Radio Mustaqbal – 120 Words

The United Nations organized a meeting to discuss the safety and security of Somalis living in South Africa. Human rights organizations, UNHCR, lawyers, South African officials and the Somali business community participated in the high level meeting. The Somali business community expressed their worries over the insecurity they are facing in South Africa from xenophobia and wide-scale armed robbery that occurs at least four times a week. Differing from the previous meeting that were held for the same purpose in South Africa, this meeting issued a law draft that will be implemented by the South African government to protect Somali refugees in the country. A number of Somali refugees were killed in South Africa while others were violently robbed at their business.


Kenyan manager takes over Somali champions

17 Dec – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 270 Words

Somalia’s current  champions, Banadir Sports Club has signed John Maura  of Kenyan to succeed the club’s former manager Omar Mohamed Naser who was sacked on Saturday after successive losses. The new manager, John Maura, has on Tuesday signed one-year contract with the club’s Chairman Abokar Mohamed Sheikh in Nairobi and is due to arrive in Mogadishu on Friday. “The duration of the contract is one year and can be renewed,” the club’s chairman Abokar Mohamed Sheikh said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

The chairman said that the club authorities came to decision to fire the former manager Omar Mohamed Naser after losing several successive matches including the General Da’ud cup and the Supper Cup last Friday. “We have invested a lot in the club, we were the first Somali club to transfer foreign players and we spent such much money to triumph all trophies, but instead we lost in many successive matches” Banadir Sports Club Chairman Abokar Mohamed Sheik said in his statement on Tuesday evening.

He said that it was unacceptable for such strong club to lose continuously. Banadir Sports Club made history last season when they won the country’s Nation Link Telecom championship ‘unbeaten’. The unbeaten record was the first since 1956 when Gaadiidka which previously known as ‘Autobarca’ won the Somali football league unbeaten and for that reason Banadir Sports Club have been recognized as ‘history rewriters’. However, John Maura will be the first foreign manager to lead top football club in Somalia for nearly three decades.


Migrants return home to start new lives

16 Dec – Source: Radio Ergo – 381 Words

Hamdi Abdulkadir, 24, returned to Mogadishu in 2011, after nine years living in refugee camps in Djibouti and Ethiopia. She is one of a growing number of migrants who decided to quit a troubled life abroad to rebuild a stable future in Somalia. “Every migrant knows about the tribulations of migration. I was in Awbare refugee camp, east of Ethiopia for six years. I also stayed in Ali Adde refugee camp in Djibouti for three years, and faced risks including rape and killing,” she told Radio Ergo’s local reporter.

Hamdi opened her own beauty salon and shop in Wardigley district, Mogadishu. “I learnt henna beautification skills in the refugee camps where I used to do beautify treatments for fellow refugee women,” she said.She is also a part-time university student pursuing a course in social science. “I am a member of the students’ committee. My small business covers my basic needs and education fees, and I also support my family.”Abdullahi Hussein Jiir-yare, “I left Mogadishu in April 2011, and it took me four months to reach South Africa. I didn’t have valid documents, so I was taken from Mogadishu by smugglers and went through various smugglers’ hands; I eventually entered South Africa after a seven-day journey by boat to Mozambique.” “I met numerous risks in South Africa. Life was difficult and I was finally fed up. Even people who came earlier than me were fed up and were making little money.”

He used what money he had four years ago to set up a shop in the Kulmiye shopping centre near Fagah junction and is now a well-known businessman. “You can now see that I own a good shop! I also started a university course this year in business studies. So I look after my shop one shift, and the other I go to university. I come home in the evening relaxed!” Several local organisations are running migration awareness programmes. Faisal Guledis vice-chairman of one such group in Mogadishu. “We go to university campuses, schools and areas where youths gather and advise them against migration. We encourage those who haven’t studied to go to school. We also persuade young people to start any type of jobs to deter them from the risky journeys that can endanger their lives,” Faisal said.


Somali’s radio show a bridge to migrants

16 Dec – Source: Goobjoog Radio – 686 Words

Ahmed Nuur Ibrahim, who fled Somalia after fellow journalists were shot dead, is setting up his own radio programme for African migrants in Malta. “When more than 18 fellow journalists were killed, some in my hometown of Mogadishu, I feared for my own life. I left the capital and moved around the different regions in Somalia. Since I covered humanitarian issues, life got even more difficult for me so I had to leave for Ethiopia. “I was not welcome there either, so I left my two sons and wife behind and headed to Sudan, where I faced the same threats. It was then that I decided to follow my friends to Libya for Europe,” the 26-year-old says.

Mr Ibrahim sits in a rented room in a side street off Ħamrun’s main road. The room is bare except for a donated table and three mismatching chairs. Sitting down next to him, David Millner, who has a radio programme of his own called Connect Africa, recounts how, around a year ago, Mr Ibrahim spoke to him about pursuing a career in journalism here. Together they set up the African Media Association Malta, an NGO embracing African journalists.

Migrants at the detention centres are completely cut off, so we’ll start by providing news bulletins about what’s going on in their own country. The NGO’s first project – Somali Media Malta – is headed by Mr Ibrahim and supported by EEA funding through SOS Malta and also the US Embassy. Through this project, they want to produce programmes for Somali migrants in detention centres and the African community in Malta. “Migrants at the detention centres are completely cut off from the world, so we’ll start by providing news bulletins about what’s going on in their own country,” Mr Millner says.

“We will then start giving out information about life and culture in Malta and how to integrate within the local community. We’ll start off with the Somali language and then move on to other languages. “It would be of great help if radio stations can spare any old equipment, which we can use to record our programmes and then transmit them through a free online radio station or via MP3 files,” he adds. Mr Ibrahim himself spent five “stressful” months at the detention centre in Ħal Far. He arrived in Malta in August 2013 after 10 years working in the media in Somalia. He started off at 15 with a weekly radio programme for children and then worked his way up, mainly focusing on human rights. He served in various positions, including as news editor for radio Daljir and as a reporter for the UN humanitarian news agency Irin. Mr Ibrahim was also head of programmes at the Somalia Broadcasting Company and a reporter for Somalia Report.

When he fled sub-Saharan Africa in May last year for Libya, he was kidnapped by smugglers in the desert and had to pay a ransom of $3,500. Once in Tripoli, he was thrown in prison, as he had no documents or money. “Everything is about money in Libya. If you have money, you’re safe, if not you’re beaten up or jailed. When I managed to escape, I paid another $800 to get on a boat headed to Europe, but we ended up in Tunisia instead. “We were 85 in all and we were taken to the border between Libya and Tunisia. For the second time I was thrown in a prison cell but I managed to run away again.” His family sent him money to flee on a boat again and he was “lucky” enough to be saved by the Maltese armed forces. He says he will always remain grateful to the Armed Forces of Malta. Once here, he received refugee status. “When I gained my freedom and moved to the open centre in Marsa, I started looking for a job in journalism but this time I wasn’t so lucky. So I thought of doing what I do best: inform and entertain. That is why I am urging migrants who are journalists by profession to join me in this project,” he adds.

REGIONAL MEDIA

Finally free of al-Shabaab, daily life resumes in El Bur

17 Dec – Source: Sabahi Online – 799 Words

Life is steadily improving in Galgadud region’s El Bur since Somali and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops removed al-Shabaab’s blockade of the town two months ago. After allied forces drove al-Shabaab from the town in March, the group’s fighters cut off access to El Bur by blocking the surrounding roads. When the roadblocks were cleared in late September, most El Bur residents, who had been displaced from the town, returned to their homes and businesses, said traditional elder Mohamud Guled,

But for a time, residents continued to live under difficult circumstances until the town’s three generators used to supply electricity and pump water were replaced by early November, he said. Just before El Bur was liberated, al-Shabaab looted and vandalised two power stations that provided electricity to the district and another one that was used to pump water to local residents, making off with power generators and other critical equipment. “We have lived through very difficult days that I thought we would never overcome,” Guled told Sabahi. Al-Shabaab was powerful and imposed harsh rules on citizens when it controlled the town, he said, adding that the group continued its abuse of power even as they fled. “They filled the town’s water wells with rocks and took the generators that provided electricity to the wells.”


Kenyan new Amisom boss

17 Dec – Source: Star Kenya – 54 Words

A senior Kenyan military officer has been appointed to take charge of the 22,000 strong African Union force in Somalia.Major-General Jonathan Rono, who was deputy force commander in charge of support and logistics, is acting Amisom force commander until a new one is appointed.He replaces Lieutenant General Silas Ntigurirwa of Uganda.

One-year jail for illegal stay

17 Dec – Source: Star Kenya – 72 Words

A Somali was yesterday fined Sh80,000 by a Nairobi court or serve one year in prison for illegal stay in Kenya.Madum Ahmed will then be deported to Somalia after paying the fine or serving the jail term.She arrived in the country on July 31, 2013 through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where she was issued with a one-month instant visa. Madum was arrested on December 15 by immigration officers.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

The object of al-Shabaab terror: to set up a caliphate in Kenya

17 Dec – Source: Huffington Post – 1, 196 Words

When, in September 2013, Al Shabaab terrorists occupied the Westgate Mall, an upmarket shopping center in Nairobi, taking captives, the Kenyan government did not follow up on witness claims that the terrorists had gone out of their way to identify Muslims captives, who were given safe passage out of the mall, while the rest were subjected to savage attacks including torture, resulting in the death of more than 70 people. The government may have been worried that admitting that the terrorist attack had targeted non-Muslims would create inter-religious tensions in the country.

Since the Westgate attack, all the major acts of terrorism in Kenya have seen the targeting of non-Muslims, while sparing any Muslims caught in harm’s way. The Westgate Mall attack was followed by killings in Mpeketoni, a village near the tourist resort of Lamu Island, near Kenya’s border with Somalia, where, again, the terrorists targeted only non-Muslims.

The government was initially reluctant to acknowledge that the Lamu attacks targeted non-Muslims. Instead, President Uhuru Kenyatta depicted the Lamu violence as ethnically, rather than religiously, targeted, explaining that “local networks” in the mainly indigenous Muslim population were responsible for attackson the members of the Kikuyu community, a mainly Christian minority settled in Lamu. Assessing the recent terrorist acts in Kenya, the president explained that “the obvious intent is to create hostility and suspicion across ethnic and religious lines and to drive non-Muslims from certain parts of this country.” In his view, “the ultimate aim of this atrocious campaign is to establish an extremist caliphate in our region.”


Somalia facing a new year of tragedy

16 Dec – Source: Examener.com – 198 Words

There is alarming news coming from Somalia. The East African nation, which just three years ago suffered a famine, is in danger of a new hunger emergency. With over a million people needing life-saving food, funding for humanitarian aid is low. The UN says that assistance programs are being scaled back. The coming new year may start off with a tragedy. A UN report states, The UN World Food Programme (WFP) relies on voluntary donations for its operations. Their resources are stretched because of wars in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. UNICEF is also low on funds. The UN children’s agency reports that it has suspended some healthcare services for 2.5 million Somalis. It is estimated that 300,000 children under age 5 are not receiving help. Small children are at extreme risk of malnutrition, which can cause lasting physical and mental damage. Severe malnutrition claims the lives of children.


Refugees living in Kenya long for peace at home

16 Dec – Source: Voice of America  – 3:00 Minutes

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Twenty-two year old Ahmed Shaciye runs a clothing business in Eastleigh, on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Four years ago, he and two friends combined their resources to import clothes from Dubai and China and sell them at a profit. Their thriving enterprise draws in customers from all over the area. What’s notable about their success is the fact that Shaciye is a Somali refugee. He fled Mogadishu seven years ago but says he plans to return someday to rebuild his country. “Somalia, there’s fighting always, there are terrorists, and it isn’t a peaceful place,” he said. “It is not a place to live; now that we are here in Kenya we live and work here. When Somalia becomes peaceful we will go back home.” Eastleigh or ‘small Mogadishu,’ is home to thousands of Somali migrants. Most, who have attained legal status, are either second or third generation Kenyan Somalis. Journalist Asaid Hassan fled the Hodan District in Somalia in 2006 at the height of the al-Shabab insurrection. Hassan worked at Horn Afrika Radio, which was taken over by extremists. Today Hassan works at Star FM, which is based in Eastleigh. Two weeks ago the International Organization for Migration, or IOM, in collaboration with UNHCR, began the voluntary repatriation of 94 Somali refugees from Kenya, 23 years after conflict and famine drove them from their homeland. The process is supported by Somalia.


Failed 21/7 bombers lose ECHR appeal

16 Dec – Source: Express UK – 471 Words

The group attempted to carry out an attack on July 21, 2005, two weeks after 52 people were killed and 700 injured by four bombers who also killed themselves. They have since appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. Somali nationals Muktar Said Ibrahim, Ramzi Mohammed and Yassin Omar were convicted of conspiracy to murder and jailed for a minimum of 40 years, alongside Hussain Osman, who is not believed to have been named in the appeal. The three men had claimed their convictions were unfair as they were denied access to lawyers during police questioning and statements they gave were subsequently used at trial. A fourth claimant, Ismail Abdurahman, was convicted of assisting one of the suspected bombers and sentenced to eight years in prison. He claimed his trial was unfair as a statement he provided as a witness, rather than a suspect, was used against him.

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CULTURE / OPINION / EDITORIAL / ANALYSIS / BLOGS/ DISCUSSION BOARDS

“During my time working on Somalia, insecurity has continued to plague several areas of the country. I traveled into Somalia occasionally for work, but my movements were restricted as many provinces remain too dangerous for outsiders.”

On my 4 years of Somalia…

16 Dec – Source: Oxfam – 684 Words

Before departing, an Oxfam media staffer reflects on his Somalia experiences After four years of working for Oxfam on Somalia, my time is finally coming to a close. But as I leave to work for another organization, I can’t help but reflect on everything I’ve seen, and all of the changes Somalia has going through during my time here.When I began working for Oxfam on Somalia back in 2011, the country was long in crisis. There had been conflict off and on for two decades, and as I began my new job, there was another food crisis, and it was getting worse.

It was frustrating. As I sent out our press releases and reports, we hoped to generate more attention and aid for what many outsiders thought was a country that was a ‘hopeless case’. Warnings on the worsening food crisis went unheeded, and soon, it descended into a full blown famine. With so many dying of hunger, and with graphic images seen on TVs around the world, foreign governments finally responded with emergency funding. The famine subsided, even though a food crisis still persists. About a million Somalis still don’t have enough to eat today. The risk of descending into another catastrophe in the future remains, as international aid has declined again.

Top tweets

@amisomsomalia · The beauty that is Muqdhiso inspires us!ht/mogadishuimages.tumblr.com/
#InspireSomalia #Mogadishu #somali

@SmithInAfrica “There are very close links” between al-Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria, claims an ex-member. From DW: http://bit.ly/1swgADJ

@samirasawlani Somalia: Migrants return home to start new lives //horseedmedia.net/2014/12/16/soma

SomaliaNewsroom Australian man formerly held hostage in#Somalia speculates about the mental health recovery of#SydneySiege victims theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/sydney

@RavzaKavakci Killing of innocent people, especially children is NOT acceptable whethet in Pakistan, Syria,   Somalia, or the US

@BileBashiirMaxb #Somalia‘s #Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed to have collected $9 million in #zakat, or alms, in areas that it controls

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Risen from the ashes, Somalia’s Jeenyo triumphs in Super Cup  Photo: Paul Nicholson