March 3, 2015 | Morning Headlines.

Main Story

Severe Humanitarian Crisis Looms In Galgaduud

02 March – Source: Radio Bar-Kulan – 90 Words

A severe humanitarian crisis is looming in parts of Galgadud after recent skirmishes displaced many families from their homes, says the regional administration of Galgadud. The Galgadud Governor, Hussein Ali Wehliye, appealed to the Federal Government of Somalia, aid agencies and the Somali diaspora for immediate assistance for the families. Since the beginning of February intermittent clashes in  the town of Guriel have left many dead and others displaced.

Key Headlines

  • Severe Humanitarian Crisis Looms In Galgaduud (Radio Bar-Kulan)
  • Puntland Democratization Minister Hands Over Office (Garowe Online)
  • Hundreds Of Baidoa Residents Strike Over Alleged Food Theft (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Defense Minister Visits Dhusamareb (Radio Bar-Kulan)
  • One Person Dies In Konis Stadium Amid Commotion (Radio Danan)
  • Bulla Burte: Residents Call For Roads To Open (Radio Bar-Kulan)
  • Police Deployed To Parliament Over Possible Terror Attack (Star kenya)
  • AMISOM Police Engage Somali Youth Through Football Matches (AMISOM News)
  • The Great Wall Of Kenya (Daily Maverick)
  • Somalia Should Declare War On Two Enemies (Radio RBC)

 

SOMALI MEDIA

Puntland Democratization Minister Hands Over Office

02 March – Source: Garowe Online – 170 Words

As Somalia’s north eastern state of Puntland is preparing for a transition into multiparty elections, Democratization and Federal Affairs Minister Sahra Saed Nur handed over office to a deputy minister, Garowe Online reports.  Nur who resigned over alleged meddling by President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali in clan affairs onJanuary 24, officially left her post on Sunday, conferring interim responsibilities to Deputy Democratization Minister Abdirahman Abdi Ismail. “I resigned for personal issues, I really  didn’t vacate the post due to other reasons. I am a Puntland native, I am Somali and you can’t help the community only through the government,” she told reporters when asked about the matters besetting her resignation.  The Puntland Democratization Minister said that much more needs to be done in the coming four years. In late January, Garowe Online learned that Nur stepped down after President Ali allegedly sidelined her clan’s titled elder.  On December 9, 2014, Puntland parliament unanimously endorsed a 24-clause Electoral Commission bill following intense debate that saw the role of Democratization Ministry ministry voted out.


Hundreds Of Baidoa Residents Strike Over Alleged Food Theft

02 March – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 121 Words

Hundreds of strikers marched on the roads of Baidoa town accusing the national police of looting food aid on Sunday which was intended for displaced people in Baidoa, the administrative capital of the Interim South-West Administration. Reports state that the food, which was brought by Huneyn Foundation, a local NGO operating in southern Somalia, was plundered. One of the IDPs in the area who couldn’t be named for fear of reprisal told Goobjoog News that the food was loaded into pickup trucks owned by the national police in Baidoa town. “We were expecting to get food but we witnessed government soldiers loading the food aid brought by Huneyn into their pickup trucks as we watched them helplessly,” she said.


Defense Minister Visits Dhusamareb

02 March – Source: Radio Bar-Kulan – 120 Words

A delegation led by Minister for Defense, Abdiqadir Sheikh Ali Dini, arrived in the town of Dhusmareeb, the headquarters of Galgadud region.  The minister was welcomed at Ugas Nur Airport by members of parliament, the local administration and civil society organizations. Amongst the officials accompanying the Minister on his visit are senior commanders of the Somali National Army (SNA) who have moved to the town of Guriel. Security has been tightened in Guriel after heavy fighting between Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa fighters and forces loyal to the Somali government gripped the town over the past month. The Minister and his delegation are expected to meet representatives of the warring factions.


One Person Dies In Konis Stadium Amid Commotion

02 March – Source: Radio Danan – 86 Words

At least one person was killed after the security forces guarding Konis Stadium in Mogadishu opened fire following fighting between Banadir FC and Jeenyo FC supporters. The Banadir FC fans started the commotion when Jeenyo FC was leading 2-1. They attacked the supporters of Jeenyo FC, and the police subsequently fired live bullets.  Other reports on the incident say that two people died.


Bulla Burte: Residents Call For Roads To Open

02 March – Source: Radio Bar-Kulan – 113 Words

The administration of Bulla Burte, elders, religious elders, women and youth convened a meeting to discuss sanctions imposed on the town by Al Shabaab.  The radical group has blocked all roads leading to the town. The acting district commissioner who is also vice commissioner in charge of finance, Liban Abdi Bursow, told Radio Bar-Kulan that there is acute shortage of food which could result in a severe humanitarian situation. He said area residents are also in dire need of medical supplies. The road linking Bulle Burte to Beled Weyne has been closed for almost a  year following an Al Shabaab blockade on roads.

REGIONAL MEDIA

Police Deployed To Parliament Over Possible Terror Attack

02 March – Source: Star kenya  – 213 Words

Police are on high alert following reports of a possible terror attack on Parliament.
Security has been heightened at all key government installations, said acting IG Samuel Arachi. We have deployed both static and mobile teams,” he said. “The teams are backed up by more than 100 security staff attached to Parliament.”

Intelligence reports state that at least 12 terror suspects are behind the plot, Daily Nation said in an article on Monday. Six of them are in Nairobi while the locations of the other six are unknown, the article said. The attack was allegedly planned by Mohammed Mohamud, believed to head one of the arms of the al Shabaab militia group in Somalia.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi confirmed that anti-terror measures have been taken.
“You see those dogs which security officers are moving around with? We brought them because of such threats. There is much more which we plan to do,” he said. The reports come amid a request by the Embassy of Egypt for more security at all of its installations.
The request was made on February 20, the article said. “The embassy kindly requests the relevant Kenyan authorities to take what it deems appropriate to upgrade and tighten security measures around Egyptian installations in Kenya,” the letter reportedly says.


AMISOM Police Engage Somali Youth Through Football Matches

02 March – Source: AMISOM News – 358 Words

The Police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia has started an aggressive community engagement exercise that will see them forge closer ties with communities, youth and local administration across the country. AMISOM Police led by Deputy Operations Coordinator SP Enos Kalulu joined the District Commissioner of Warta Nabadda in Banaadir region Yasin Noor Isse on Sunday for a football event that brought together youth teams in the district. Two local teams, Waaxda 5 (Xamar Bille) and Waaxda 1 (Janaraal Daauud) played a match in an indoor football pitch before a massive gathering of other youths.
The District Commissioner thanked AMISOM Police for supporting the event saying, “An event like this will contribute to the peace process in Mogadishu, you can also feel the people were happy, and there was no enmity among the participants and spectators. I believe holding of the event came too late but I hope it will continue and reach all districts in Banaadir region”.

AMISOM Police has been using football matches, as one way of engaging youths who are prone to crime.
At the end of the match, the youths were awarded footballs donated by AMISOM Police.
District Commissioner Isse added, “It should not be only us but to all districts and we being among the lucky pioneers. We also hope the other 17 districts of the region will benefit from such event. I really thank the AMISOM Police; they have done an excellent job. They brought 24 footballs as a donation to the district which we distributed to all the teams that have attended today’s event” Speaking at the event, SP Kalulu said “We are very happy that the youth in Somalia can now gather together and play football to enjoy themselves because of the relative peace that is existing in Somalia today. Our expectation is that, we need to put the youth closer to the security forces so that they work with us in fighting crime in Somalia and finally pacifying Somalia. That’s why the African Union is putting much effort in bringing the youth together and closer to the security forces”.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Somali Jailed For Attempted Break-In

02 March – Source: Malta Today – 190 Words

A 26-year-old Somali man has been jailed for 12 months and fined €466 after he pleaded guilty to attempting to break into a house in Marsa last night. Mustafa Mohamud Mohamed, who lives in Gozo, admitted to charges of attempted burglary, recidivism and breach of probation during his arraignment before Magistrate Gabriella Vella this morning. Police Inspector Edel Camilleri told the court that the accused had been spotted trying to force his way into a house belonging to an elderly lady, who is currently being cared for at St. Vincent De Paule residence, by traffic police. Upon realising this, Mohamed jumped on to a bus in an attempt to escape, but was arrested shortly afterwards. The inspector told the court that the accused had been conditionally discharged twice last year, once last August for criminal damage to property and again last October for Cannabis Possession. The court sentenced Mohamed to six months incarceration for the attempted break-in, another six months for breaching the conditions of his criminal damage discharge and fined him €466 for breaching the conditions of the other conditional discharge for cannabis possession.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

“Historically, walls are never a long term fix – and their effectiveness has always been dubious. The Great Wall of China, impressive as it was, became irrelevant when China’s ruling elite, confronted with a peasant rebellion, invited the Mongols in. The Berlin Wall couldn’t isolate East Germans from the lure of a better life, and eventually in was torn down, brick by brick. The barrier established by America is so porous that one documentary-maker repeatedly crossed it illegally, once dressed as Osama bin Laden. “


The Great Wall Of Kenya

02 March – Source: Daily Maverick – 927 Words

Kenya is going to build a wall. Not just any wall, but a separation barrier, to employ the euphemism coined by Israel to describe the towering, snaking monstrosity that now separates it from Palestine’s West Bank. Kenya’s version will be on sections of its notoriously porous border with Somalia, a physical rendering in bricks, mortar and barbed wire of that line on the map. “Construction works will begin soon. We expect to have finished the project before the end of the year,” said Lamu County governor Issa Timamy, as reported in the Daily Nation. As yet, more details on the project are not forthcoming, and Lamu County did not respond to requests for comment. All we know is that the wall will be erected along the sections of border near the coast, and that it’s intended to keep out illegal immigrants from Somalia as well as dangerous Al-Shabaab militants. “This is where immigrants have been arrested trying to cross into the country or having already entered through the border in Lamu. This is a good idea and we support it because we believe it will go a long way to secure this region and indeed, the country as a whole,” said Timamy.

Walls are a comforting proposition, as South Africans, with our gated communities and electric fences, well know. There is something reassuring about shutting the rest of the world out, and pretending as you go to sleep at night that their problems are not yours; that the bad guys can’t get you, even if it means that the good guys must build and inhabit their own prisons. But how does this theory translate on to the international stage? Can countries really shut themselves off from their neighbours? Can cartographical borders become man-made barriers? They can. The most famous ancient example, of many, was the Great Wall of China, an unparalleled feat of engineering designed to keep the Mongol hordes at bay. Then there was Hadrian’s Wall, a line of bricks across northern England meant to protect the Romans from the barbarian Scots. More recently, the Berlin Wall divided a city, keeping the evil capitalists of West Germany from poisoning East Germany’s communist revolution.


Instead of depending on clan-propelled force for public labor, the government should build a web of dependable, committed and educated workforce. The values which should govern hiring policies must be publicly defensible. The logic that says Somalia lacks resources to build on is just a myth. The country is tired of back-door hiring practices. The case is even truer when international NGOs contribute the hiring process.

Somalia Should Declare War On Two Enemies

02 March – Source: Radio RBC – 893 Words

I used to think that what keeps a rank-and-file officer motivated to behave in a certain way is highly different from what layman’s attitude of thinking toward the world around could dictate. I realized that the idea of civic irresponsibility is grown within societies, and when younger generation is put to work, a mentality of pedestrianism and of recklessness comes into play. This incident shaped my thinking toward political irresponsibility this week. A man left his 2-year-old child sleeping in a car with the engine running on a cold night for a happy-hour in Montevideo, MN, USA. According to the media report, Christopher Jasperson’s blood alcohol content ran at 0.23 percent. Not only did this father behave insanely by leaving his child in a locked car but endangered other lives on the road as well.

If you examine this incident closely, you will realize that this story resembles Somalia’s status quo. Because when recklessness is created at the bottom it can do more harm at the top. My thesis here is that Somalia’s broken system is not about bad leadership, nor is it about foreign intervention. It is about bad, irresponsible civil service system. When you have innocent- and tribe-fueled employees in public institutions, personal and group interests are almost always put before the interest of the nation. And when that happens, policies and developmental agendas get stuck because the mainstream channel that is supposed to transport and execute public policies is in incredible dysfunctional.

I am persuaded to believe that even if you put the sharpest minds in the executive branches of the government, this country will never get far until you fix the civil servant issue. Right now, the country is like beautifully laid-out and electronically engineered sports car without fuel. No matter how hard you try to accelerate it, the situation is not going to get any better. Needless to say, political responsibility starts with recruiting qualified personnel to public institutions. This is so because the current name-carrying bureaucracy won’t change dime in the face of a flat world where assertion and courageous seeking of interests are staged.

 

March 2, 2015 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

Al-Shabaab ‘Is Plotting To Blow Up Parliament’

01 March – Source: Daily Nation  – 612 Words

At least 12 suspected terrorists are believed to be plotting an attack against Parliament, police sources have warned, prompting all government institutions to be put on heightened security alert. Intelligence reports indicate that six of the suspects could be in Nairobi already although the whereabouts of the other six are yet to be established. Reports about the possible attack came as it emerged that the Egyptian embassy in Nairobi had also asked Kenya’s security agents to heighten security measures around Egyptian installations, including the embassy itself, its envoy’s residence and other sensitive Egyptian organisations and premises.

“The Embassy kindly requests the relevant Kenyan authorities to take what it deems appropriate to upgrade and tighten security measures around Egyptian installations in Kenya,” said the letter dated February 20. Intelligence reports have warned that a vehicle carrying explosive materials is likely to be used against Parliament unless police thwart the attempt. It was not clear where the vehicle could be and when the attack will be carried out. The attack, according to the security report, was planned by Mr Mohammed Mohamud alias Dulyadeen alias Gamadheere, who heads one of the arms of Al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based terrorist group.Mohamud, who claimed responsibility for the November 22, 2014 bus attack in Mandera, is said to have dispatched 12 foreign fighters to Kenya about three weeks ago.

Key Headlines

  • Non State Actors Call Government To Intervene In Guri El Clashes (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Somaliland Puts Conditions To Attend Talks In Turkey (Radio RBC)
  • Benadir Court Sentences Journalists (Radio Bar-Kulan)
  • Puntland Forces Carry Out Operations (Radio Danan)
  • Fighting Drives Hundreds In South-Western Somalia Into Misery (Garowe Online)
  • Al-Shabab Set Alight Commodities(Radio Goobjoog)
  • Al-Shabaab ‘Is Plotting To Blow Up Parliament’ (Daily Nation)
  • How Police Helped Al Shabaab Smuggle Their Arsenal (Standard Media)
  • New Alberta-Wide Somali TV Show Will Connect Community Says Host(Edmonton Journal)
  • Somali Hotel Attack Victims Airlifted To Dubai For Treatment (Shanghai Daily/Xinhua)
  • Twin Cities Somalis Say They’re Unfairly Affected By Anti-Terror Efforts (CBS Local)
  • Why Shabab Poses Little Threat To American Malls (Economist)
  • Why Kenya-Somalia Border Wall Is Not The Answer (Standard Media)
  • Public Policy Challenges: Somalia Behind The World – Reflection (Blog)

 

SOMALI MEDIA

Non State Actors Call Government To Intervene In Guri El Clashes

02 March – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 120 Words

The umbrella body of Somalia’s non state actors, SOSCENSA, has called for warring sides in Guri El to immediately cease fire without condition, so that people can live in peace. Abdullahi Mohamed Shirwa of SOSCENSA told Goobjoog News that there is an urgent need for the Federal Government to intervene and help solve the situation. “We as the civil society dislike any clashes, people are tired of conflicts, hundreds of thousands of people died because of this, more people were disabled, and more than that were displaced. The fighting in Guri El is not exceptional, it’s very disheartening,” Shirwa said. SOSCENSA, which is well known for its mediation efforts in the past, is now engaged in solving these clashes.


Somaliland Puts Conditions To Attend Talks In Turkey

02 March – Source: Radio RBC – 193 Words

Talks between Somali Federal Government and the self-declared state of Somaliland are reportedly on the edge of closure. The 8th round of talks between Somalia and Somaliland was set to commence yesterday in Istanbul before the Somaliland delegation refused to open talks with the Somali Federal Government delegation. Somaliland delegation, led by the breakaway state’s Foreign Minister Muse Bihi Yonis, rejected to meet the Somali Government delegation saying some members of the Somalia delegation hail from Somaliland. Bihu Yonis speaking at Egal Airport in Hargeisa before departing for Turkey stated that they will not open talks with the Somali Federal Government delegation if individuals who hail from regions under Somaliland are included, adding ” we will only talk with individuals from South Somalia.” The Somali Federal Government delegation includes the Minister of Transport and Aviation, and the Minister of Information, both of whom come from regions claimed by Somaliland. Turkey, a key ally of Somalia, has been trying to convince the Somaliland delegation to attend the talks and not consider the background of members of the delegation, sources say.The fate of the talks remains unclear.


Benadir Court Sentences Journalists

02 March – Source: Radio Bar-Kulan – 102 Words

A court in the Benadir regional administration has sentenced three journalists to various sentences.The court has fined the owners of Shabelle Radio and Sky FM Abdimalik Yusuf Mahmud $10,000, for allegedly publishing and airing false reports. Two other journalists, Mohamed Mohamud and Ahmed Abdi Hassan were each fined between $500 to $2000 for the same charges. The judge at the Benadir regional court, Dr Hashi Elmi Nur, said the journalists were found guilty of airing false reports, he added that a fourth journalist, Mohamed Bashir, has been remanded after further accusations were leveled against him.


Puntland Forces Carry Out Operations

02 March – Source: Radio Danan – 109 Words

Puntland forces carried out operations after an attack yesterday in which the commander of the tax guard forces in Mudug was killed. The commander, Duraan Omar Geele, was killed after explosives planted in his car went off. According to the chief commander of Puntland forces in Mudug, Abdirashiid Hassan Hashi, the Puntland forces are pursuing the attackers. “The forces are still carrying out operations so as to track down the perpetrators of the explosion,” he said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.


Fighting Drives Hundreds In South-Western Somalia Into Misery

01 March – Source: Garowe Online  – 169 Words

Hundreds of residents in south-western Somalia who escaped fighting between government troops backed by the African Union and the Al-Qaeda linked militants face misery, hunger and disease in bush areas in Bakool region, Garowe Online reports.  The fighting has already displaced thousands of nomads and residents in rural areas, creating a humanitarian situation in Bakool region, hard-hit by the anti-militant push led by AU forces. Abdifatah Duwane,the Commissioner for Yel town told Radio Garowe that displaced families face water shortages and lack basic health care, adding woes to their already fragile situation. He urged aid agencies to come to assistance of the families who fled into rural areas, leaving behind their homes and livestock on which they were heavily dependent. Residents in El-Bar, a small rural town in the region reported on Saturday that fighting between the two sides killed at least 11 people, mostly civilians who were caught in the middle of the offensive against the insurgent fighters trying to topple the western-backed government in Somalia.


Al-Shabab Set Alight Commodities

01 March – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 107 Words

Reports from Hiraan region indicate that Al-Shabab has burnt down trade commodities and foodstuffs in Burwein locality as part of their scorched earth policy. Al-Shabab reportedly gathered the food sacks and other commodities, carried them to a field and made a public show of setting them on fire. A district official said that the food which had been burned belonged to a businesswoman and refuted that it is food aid,

He accused Al-Shabab fighters of terrorising traders saying, “they ordered business people to close down.” Al-Shabab has imposed tight sanctions by blocking the main trade routes leading to Jalalaqsi and other towns in Hiran region such as Bulloburde, after they were driven out of many towns by the government and allied forces.

REGIONAL MEDIA

How Police Helped Al Shabaab Smuggle Their Arsenal

02 March – Source: Standard Media – 404 Words

Al Shabaab terrorists bribed Kenyan police officers who helped them smuggle explosives into Kenya last year, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua has revealed. He said that after being bribed, the police at the Kenya-Somalia border, handcuffed the terrorists and escorted them all the way to Mombasa. This helped the terrorists, who were now suspects by the virtue of being under police guard, to evade further scrutiny at various roadblocks. And after they arrived in Mombasa, Mr Kinyua said the terrorists were unchained and let free to go ahead with their mission. Kinyua, however, said it was unlikely the officers knew the terrorists’ car had explosives. “Imagine the kind of damage they could have caused if they were not arrested later?” posed Kinyua.  Police who intercepted the vehicle bearing the explosives in March last year found six grenades, an AK-47 assault rifle, 270 bullets, six cylindrical bombs weighing 10kg each, five magazines, six detonators, a Nokia cell phone and six electronic cables. The in-built improvised explosive devices were welded to the floor and back seat of the vehicle.

“We later established who they were and punished them. Remember the explosives caused a crater when they were detonated.” Kinyua was speaking during the launch of an exercise that is aimed at reviewing systems, policies and procedures at ports of entry into the country. The 30-day exercise will be undertaken by officials from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Ports Authority. The exercise was launched after it emerged that most of the entry points were to blame for insecurity, including terrorism, in Kenya. EACC Chairman Mumo Matemu said the objective of the preventive strategy is to promote and sustain good governance in public institutions. “It is intended to help us identify corruption loopholes in the systems, policies, procedures and practices in selected ports of entry. What we find there will be used in other areas,” he said.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

New Alberta-Wide Somali TV Show Will Connect Community, Says Host

01 March – Source: Edmonton Journal  – 574 Words

People in Alberta’s Somali community will hear their own stories in their own voices on a Somali-language television news program airing Sundays, says the show’s host. The half-hour Omni television show, called Somalis in Alberta, started in September. Organizers hope to expand the Somali-language program to an hour-long show, said Jaamac, 38, who does not use a last name. Somalis in Alberta is looking for a venue that could hold 60 to 80 people for a talk-show format, said Jaamac, who also hosts a radio show on CJSR called Somalis in Edmonton.

“It’s a kind of identity. Having your own radio and your own TV in the city means you live here. And it’s important for people to tell their story rather than hearing it from someone else,” Jaamac said. “The mainstream media covers (the community) mainly only when there’s a crisis, when there’s something negative happening … So telling successes and showcasing our own stories is something Somali media can do much better than the other media. Seeing ourselves talking about our own issues will be much more helpful.” About six years ago, Edmonton’s Somali community was rocked by a string of murders that were in the news. In January, three cousins from Edmonton’s Somali-Canadian community were reportedly killed while fighting overseas for ISIS last fall.


Somali Hotel Attack Victims Airlifted To Dubai For Treatment

01 March – Source: Shanghai Daily/Xinhua – 212 Words

More than 10 people who were injured in a bomb attack at a hotel in Mogadishu have been flown to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for specialized treatment since local hospitals do not have the capacity, health minister said Sunday. Health Minister Hawa Hassan Mohamed told journalists in Mogadishu that the government had been liaising with various governments to seek support, and the UAE government agreed to airlift the patients for treatment in Dubai.

“Thirteen people who were seriously wounded have been flown to UAE after they agreed to our request. They have also given us two planes to transport the injured. I thank the UAE for their response and assistance for the treatment of our people,” Mohamed said.
The minister added that there were still many other people in different hospitals in the city and the government is still looking for more medical support.However, the minister did not indicate if government officials were among those airlifted. The militant group Al-Shabaab let off explosives at Central Hotel in the capital more than a week ago, killing 28 people that include two members of parliament. The government also confirmed that 58 people were injured in the attack, which targeted worshipers in a mosque inside the hotel compound and customers at the hotel.


Twin Cities Somalis Say They’re Unfairly Affected By Anti-Terror Efforts

01 March – Source: CBS Local – 383 Words

Some local immigrants say they, and their families, are being unfairly affected by an anti-terrorism effort. Most banks that have helped east African immigrants wire money home are no longer doing that.  Some are afraid the money could end up in the hands of terrorist groups, such as al-Shabaab. But local immigrants said the hold on transfers could ruin the economy in places like Somalia. Mustafe Abi spent Sunday going from money transfer store to money transfer store and is trying. He’s been trying for weeks and he’ll try again.“We try because they don’t have nothing,” Abi said. Abi moved to the U.S. in 2006 from a refugee camp in Kenya. He goes to school and work here to support his mom and brother back home.“Their school is not free, food is not free, they are not working, they don’t have income other places. It just depends on what I am sending them,” Abi said.

Now that most banks have stopped wring money to places like Somalia, it’s been trickier than ever. Representative Keith Ellison said it’s a major problem among his constituents.“I have tons of examples personally and specifically about people trying to get money to their loved ones,” Ellison said. Ellison said he’s been trying to make that point in Washington, to encourage banks to allow the flow of small amounts of money to Somalia.“We want to stop money from going to the terrorists but we don’t want to be so inflexible that we can’t get the money to the overwhelming majority of people,” Ellison said.While most banks have decided to stop the transfers completely, he said a few are continuing to quietly help east Africans out. Abi said he’ll find one.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

“Shabab is losing on the battlefield, and in the media. Its brutality looks almost quaint in comparison to the actions of ISIS. Under new leader Sheikh Ahmad Umar the group has continued to launch suicide attacks at home in Somalia, most recently killing 25 people at a hotel in Mogadishu, and has stepped up sectarian killings in Kenya. There is little doubt Shabab will remain a regional threat for some time to come, but its danger to the West is limited.”


Why Shabab Poses Little Threat To American Malls

01 March – Source: Economist – 488 Words

On Saturday Somalia’s al-Qaeda-aligned Islamic militants posted a new propaganda video online. The Shabab said the 76-minute film would reveal the true story behind its September 2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall, which killed at least 67 people. Instead it provided a handful of unsubstantiated claims, re-hashed Kenya’s woeful mishandling of the attack and plagiarized HBO and Al-Jazeera documentaries with abandon. The film concluded with a call-to-action directed at “Muslim brothers, particularly those in the West” to emulate the Westgate assault by attacking a series of “American or Jewish-owned shopping centres across the world”. Malls and retail districts in Minnesota, Edmonton, London and Paris were named, but is Shabaab actually capable of striking in the West?

Shabab emerged from the ruins of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a grassroots religious movement that in 2006 reclaimed Somalia from years of warlord rule. After a few months in charge, an American-backed Ethiopian invasion smashed the ICU. Its armed wing then transformed into a powerful guerilla force. At its zenith in 2009 Shabab controlled almost the whole of southern Somalia and all but a few blocks of the capital Mogadishu. For years it harboured one of the masterminds of the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and in 2012 declared its allegiance to Al-Qaeda. Shabab suicide bombers killed 74 people in a pair of suicide attacks in Uganda during the 2010 World Cup final. But the Westgate attack, though less deadly, is its most high-profile operation to date. Shabab has never launched a successful attack outside East Africa and is less likely now than ever to do so.


“It is a fact that in the heart of every human being there is a sense of dignity that is never satisfied as long as one is a sojourner. That is why our focus must be on praying for and working towards peace in Somalia. It is in their internal amity that we will find our peace.”


Why Kenya-Somalia Border Wall Is Not The Answer

01 March – Source: Standard Media – 824 Words

My first reaction to the news that the government intends to construct a wall between Kenya and Somalia was only excitement. I had personally contemplated this as a possible solution to the menace of illegal immigrants crossing from the war-torn nation. And indeed, Lamu Governor Issa Timamy is reported to be in full support of the proposed wall. Of course the wall, whose construction is expected to be complete before the end of the year, is hoped to curb the infiltration of the Somalia based terrorists – a welcome thought indeed. But on second thoughts, the idea is not that attractive, especially in the long term. When the government of East Germany was faced with mass defections into West Germany, it resorted to building a barbed wire and concrete wall between East and West Berlin. And so the construction began on 13 August, 1961, ostensibly to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state.

Unfortunately, the Berlin Wall did not stem the flow of refugees from East to West as expected. Consequently, the makeshift wall was replaced with a 12-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide reinforced concrete wall. With twelve checkpoints atop, the wall was designed to make climbing over nearly impossible. Furthermore, on the East German side was created a highly sophisticated buffer zone of soft sand, floodlights, vicious dogs, trip-wire machine guns, and patrolling soldiers with orders to shoot escapees on sight. But even this did not make escape from East Germany impossible. By the time the wall came down in 1989, it is estimated that more than 5,000 East Germans had managed to cross the border by jumping out of windows adjacent to the wall, climbing over the barbed wire, flying in hot air balloons, crawling through sewers, or driving through unfortified parts of the wall at high speeds. It is this reality that makes me wonder whether our own version of the “Berlin Wall” will succeed, unless of course we are ready to invest in greater sophistication than employed in East Germany. For to be sure, human determination to break through barriers is amazing…and especially when the said human beings are intent on evil. The wall can therefore be only a temporary measure while we pursue a more permanent solution.


“Finding a viable solution depends on choosing the right and honest leaders who work with the active members of the civic society. Thus, the combination of good leadership and inclusivity of a grassroots movement will catalyze our general public policy.”


Public Policy Challenges: Somalia Behind The World – Reflection

02 March – Source: Blog – 718 Words

I am taking an online course on Public Policy Challenges in the 21st century. In the first week of the course, the professor and the students were exploring issues that are likely to dominate the US public policy agenda in the year 2030. The students’ focus was pivoted around multi-faceted issues. Among those issues were the environmental change and the technological advancement, the pervasive problems in the Middle East, shifting demographics (urbanization, globalization and immigration), income inequality, space explorations, growing extremism and the rise of economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa known as BRICs. Students also brainstormed what the American public policy would be like after 15 years from now. During the course, the part of the plan is to invite Public Policy experts and political leaders who present lectures that focus on a specific policy issue and thus answer students’ questions after the lecture. This type of experts’ discussion will help the students to understand deeply about the topics relevant to the course. In addition to that, the students will have the academic competence to put questions to the prominent leaders of the country.

In the first week of the study, many questions raced through my mind. “Look! These students are deliberating about 2030 policy agenda. What about your country – Somalia? Does anybody think discussing Somalia’s policy issues after 15 years? What would be the challenges facing our public policy in today and tomorrow? Are the incumbent leaders and those who are inspiring to join politics eager to streamline sound public policies that are organic, inclusive, participative and relevant to the current situation? Will the Somali citizens acquire the opportunity to discuss the future policy issues of their country? Will we have the leaders who are determined to guiding the national policies in the right direction and for the best interest of the nation? The more I dwelled on those questions the more disappointed I felt. Let alone discussing what the challenges we face would be in years, we are struggling to make credible public policy to cope with some of the today’s pressing issues.
In Somalia, the criterion in which the political leaders are chosen is solely based on a power sharing clan formula. This method does not warrant good leadership qualities, a strong academic background, competence, honesty and integrity. To run for positions in the public policy, effective and credible leadership is an essential element. Unfortunately, we lacked such leadership, and that is the reason why the country is trailing behind the world in terms of mapping and exploring the policy agenda ahead. Coming back to the reality, today the country is in a precarious situation where people expect much from the newly approved cabinet within a very short period.

Top tweets

@somalianalyst  Overly optimistic piece about state of accountability in IJA #Somalia: http://www.theguardian.com/global-developmenst

@SalahOsman0 Mogadishu is moving ahead. Look how clean and beautiful Mogadishu’s roads are  nowadays. #Somalia#Mogadishu

@HarunMaruf: #Somalia: Despite being one of the most dangerous places to work as a reporter, young female journos train to improve.

@LibanObsiye Improving civil servants training, job security & pay crucial to peace and progress in Somalia @UNDPSomalia @Somalia111. Hope & Opportunity

‏@OCHASom: #Malnutrition rate is 15.3% in south-central#Somalia. Need to address immediate & underlying causes@unicefsomalia

@AbdirachidATM: “After decades of civil war, an estimated one-third of #Somalia’s population suffers from mental-health problems…. http://fb.me/3i4zxmxXB

@ElmanPeaceHRC: Thank you @HausOfRiya for letting us share your story from #Somalia. Speaking out against sexual violence, is everyone’s responsibility!

Follow the conversation →

Image of the day

Image of the day

Today, we take a moment to appreciate the Somali National Army (SNA) for their commitment to a peaceful Somalia. Photo: AMISOM