09 Jun 2011 – Daily Monitoring Report

Key Headlines:

  • The PM’s resignation is speculation according to IGAD representative to PM
  • Two suicide attacks reported near Mogadishu’s seaport
  • Hundreds demonstrate in Mogadishu
  • Somalia rival leaders agree to defer elections
  • Sudan to train TFG soldiers
  • Somali MPs: the president speaker cannot change the time of the election

Titres Principaux:

  • La démission du premier ministre n’est que spéculation selon le représentant de l’IGAD auprès du premier ministre
  • Deux attaques-suicides prés du port de Mogadiscio
  • Des centaines de personnes manifestent à Mogadiscio
  • Les chefs rivaux Somaliens se mettent d’accord pour reporter les élections à plus tard
  • Le Soudan formera des soldats du GFT
  • Des membres du parlement: le président et le porte-parole ne peuvent pas changer la date des élections


The TFG agreement in Kampala

09 Jun – Source: Ministry of Information, Posts & Telecommunications – 464 words

Following the United Nations and the recommendations made by the International Contact Group on Somalia (ICG) that called on the top TFG leadership to come to a consensus on the end for the Transition Period. The top two leaders of the Transitional federal Government namely the Somali President and the Somali Speaker engaged serious dialogue in the Ugandan Capital Kampala.

The session facilitated by the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni and the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Somalia Amb. Augustine P Mahiga and the Following were the recommendations agreed upon;-

  1. That the elections of the President, Parliament Speaker and his two deputies postponed for 12 more months as of August 21 2011.
  2. Elections of the President and Speaker and his deputies be held before August 2012
  3. After citing the progress made by the current administration as well as the need for the need to find a common vision between the Cabinet and Parliament therefore the Prime Minister has agreed to resign in Somalia within 30 days period.
  4. As per the agreement reached, the President will appoint a new Prime Minister in the next 30 days and the parliament promised to approve the new Prime Minister within 14days time.
  5. Naming of the Cabinet must comply with the 4.5 formula and that those to be named must be persons of integrity, trust and the Minister must be well educated and all must comply with the Transitional Federal Charter.
  6. The new Cabinet must work together with Parliament in order to achieve the TFG main objectives like the upkeep of the current security state, completion of the draft constitution, elections preparations, and reformation of the current Parliament as well as maintaining the political goodwill as per the agreements agreed upon.
  7. The need to have the tasks clearly outlined timelines responsible vision to end the current transition as set clearly in the Transitional Federal Charter.
  8. The need to create a relative working condition between the Somali cabinet and Somali Parliament, the end of the media war and it reiterated that no motion against the President, the new Prime Minister as well as the House Speaker and his deputies can be brought to the floor of the house and that no motion will be brought against the cabinet that has no weight or validity.
  9. After six months the government’s progress shall be analyzed in a bid to monitor its progress.
  10. And finally the heads of the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the East African Community (EAC) shall constitute a Political Bureau with participation of the UN (UNPOS) and the AU, similar to the Burundi Regional Peace Initiative. The Bureau shall oversee and monitor compliance of the TFIs with agreed benchmarks and timelines to implement the transitional tasks and to advance the Somali Peace Process.

MSF is denied access to drought-affected areas

08 Jun – Source: MSF – 186 words

After weeks of negotiation, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says it has been blocked last April by the local authorities from conducting emergency medical activities in Burhakaba district in the Bay region of South Central Somalia, where drought affected population needed nutritional support and clean water.

MSF’s planned emergency response included water trucking, nutrition screening for children under the age of five, and food distribution for malnourished children. However, the authorities have not allowed MSF to access the area. Buurhakaba district is highly populated, with estimated 125 000 people. At the moment, there is no other actor providing nutrition support to this population.

MSF is an independent medical organization with projects in eight regions of Somalia. Over 1,500 Somali staff, supported by approximately 100 staff in Nairobi, provide primary health care, malnutrition treatment, health care and support to displaced people, surgery, and water and relief supply distributions in some locations. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender, political or clan affiliation. MSF does not accept any government funding for its projects in Somalia, all its funding comes from private donors.



The PM’s resignation is speculation, according to IGAD representative to PM

09 June – Source: Shabelle – 300 words

Cali Cabdi Wardhere, the IGAD’s Representative in the PM’s office has denied that the Prime Minister has resigned from his position, arguing that the news announced by the Ministry of Information was pure speculation and had not been confirmed.

Two suicide attacks reported near Mogadishu’s seaport

09 June – Source: RBK – 50 words

Two suicide attacks were reported near the capital’s seaport. One of the attackers got killed before his bomb went off, while the second one exploded, killing an older man, the only casualty reported in these attacks.

Somali premier agrees to resign

09 Jun – Source: Radio Mogadishu, Shabelle – 151 words

The TFG’s Prime Minister, Muhammad Abdullahi Farmajo, has accepted to resign following a request made to him by President Sheikh Sharif. The Somali Minister of Information, Abdikarim Hasan Jama’a, said “the premier accepted to step down for the sake of the nation and as part of efforts to end the political row between the president and the Speaker.

The minister further said “the move follows a series of talks aimed at resolving the rift between the president and the Speaker, mediated in Uganda by the Ugandan leader, Yoweri Museveni, and the UN special envoy to Somalia, Augustine Mahiga”.

He said the prime minister, who is currently in Uganda, will announce his resignation upon returning to Mogadishu. On the other hand, the information said the Kampala talks have agreed on a one year extension for the government and that elections be held before August 2012.

Hundreds demonstrate in Mogadishu

09 Jun – Source: Somaliweyn – 93 words

Hundreds of people took to the streets in government controlled areas of Mogadishu to condemn the forced resignation of the Prime Minister Farmajo. Demonstrators include TFG soldiers, who credit the premier with ensuring wage were paid and providing encouragement, and several of them told the media they believed this PM’s resignation could lead to a loss of morale. The demonstrators blocked streets with stones and burning tyres, sending a pall of black smoke over the capital.


Thousand of people demonstrate in Mogadishu

09 June – Source: Mareeg Online – 100 words

Thousands of men, women and children are currently demonstrating in Mogadishu in protest of the Somali PM’s resignation. Waving Somali flags, the demonstrators are asking for the ex-PM to stay in office; some of them were reported to be weeping as a result of the announcement of his resignation, according to Mareeg Online.

Several Mogadishu media outlets are covering the demonstrations and are, according to the same source, being pressed by demonstrators to underline the achievements made by the PM during his time in the TFG.

Somali MPs: the president, speaker cannot change the time of the election

09 Jun – Source: Shabelle – 121 words

The Election Committee of the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia on Thursday announced that the president of Somalia and the speaker of the parliament cannot change the date of national elections in the country.

The announcement of the election committee comes as the mandate of the interim federal government is due to expire on August 20. In an interview with Shabelle Media Network, the Spokesman of the Election of Committee, Hared Hassan Ali said the committee will keep on working and organizing both presidential and parliamentary elections despite the bickering. The outcomes of Uganda and Kenya meetings on Somalia will not be implemented; the MP was quoted as saying. These developments come as the Somali prime minister has accepted to resign.


Meeting to show support to the TFG held in Mogadishu

09 Jun – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 173 words

A meeting to support the achievements of the TFG and the advancement of the Somali military backed by the AMISOM peacekeeping forces was held in Banadir, Mogadishu.

The meeting was attended by officials from the government, the youth community and administration officials. The mayor of Mogadishu Mohamud Ahmed, who spoke during the occasion, said victory has been attained in the operations of the military and AMISOM. The mayor said there are changes in Mogadishu which are discernible and that hopes of peace are seen in the faces of the people. Ilyas Bare Shiil, a former member of the Kenyan parliament who was in attendance said the Somalis need to work towards peace to move Somalia out of its long-term lawlessness of 20 years.

The meeting was also attended by the foreign minister of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Omar who praised the Somali women for their active role in the development and attainment of peace, adding that the operations of the military were successful because of the public support.

Somali forces in southwestern region said to be targeted in bombing

08 Jun – Source: Radio Shabelle – 150 words

Senior Armed Forces commanders have been targeted in a massive explosion in the town of Ceel Waaq, Gedo Region south western Somalia.

The massive explosion is said to have taken place in a restaurant in Ceel Waaq where senior commanders of the TFG forces as well as soldiers were at the time. The heavy explosion is said to have caused unspecified losses in the restaurant and it is not yet known exactly how many were hurt and the nature of their injuries. Senior armed forces commanders in Gedo Region whom radio Shabelle contacted have refrained from giving details of the explosion in Ceel Waaq. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack; however, al Shabaab have in the recent past claimed responsibility for a series of other bombings carried out in parts of Gedo Region which are under the TFG forces’ control.

Sudan to train TFG soldiers

09 Jun – Source: Bariga Afrika – 138 words

The government of Sudan has promised to kick start the training of troops for TFG so that they take part in restoring peace and stability in Somalia. The President of Sudan Omar El Bashir spelled out that his government is ready to support the TFG in terms of military training during a conference attended by over 43 countries to address intelligence affairs in Africa.He pointed out that the intelligence security agencies are the most essential for a country to counter, investigate crime. El Bashir pledged to train such troops for Somalia.

The vice-president of Sudan on his part also urged African countries to help stabilize Somalia which has been in political upheaval for more than twenty years. The decision of Sudan comes a time when several countries in Africa and Europe have offered training for TFG military and police.


Somali forces, al Shabaab to take on in southern Somalia town

09 Jun – Source: Shabelle – 74 words

Reports emanating from Lower Jubba region suggested that tense is high as fighting between Somali forces – joined by Raskamboni fighters – and al Shabaab is looming in the border town of Dhobley. Reports say that a great number of al Shabaab fighters armed with military vehicles moved towards the town of Dhobley as Somali forces got readied to rebel. Residents in the town and its suburbs are facing tough time fearing from new armed clashes there.


Puntland forces arrest people for insecurity activities

09 Jun – Source: Shabelle – 84 words

The security force of Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland on Thursday captured individuals accused of destabilizing the region.

The arrests come after large security operations in parts of Galka’yo town in Mudug region in central Somalia. At least five persons were confirmed to have been arrested during the securityrelated operations, accused of organizing violence and insecurity. All apprehended were taken central jail in northern Galka’yo, according to local residents. Insecurity, planned killing and roadside bombs have been rampant in Galka’yo in the last few months.


Somalia’s Galmudug region accuses Puntland of civilian deaths

09 Jun- Source: Radio Banadir- 68 words

Galmudug regional administration has accused Puntland of being behind the killing of nine civilians in Galkacyo town, central Somalia. The Galmudug’s deputy information minister, Ahmad Basto, said the killing is related to interclan rivalry, adding that the civilians have been deliberated targeted by militia from Puntland. Reports say the incident disrupted business activity in Galkacyo town. Religious leaders from the two sides held a meeting on how to resolve the crisis in Galkacyo.

Somaliland publics support the multi-party policy

09 Jun – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 119 words

The Committee for the implementation and approval of the registration of multi-partism have announced that majority of the people are in favor of pluralism in the political parties.

The press conference signed by the chairman of the committee Suleiman Ali Kore states that out of 1700 people who cast their opinion, 1002 of them want multi-party system. Mr.Suleiman said in the press conference that the final result from the opinion poll has been submitted to the Somaliland president.

There are three political parties in Somaliland which are UDUB, UCID and KULMIYE. Kulmiye is currently in power. The Somaliland constitution did not allow more than those three parties. This effort by the Somaliland government is meant to pluralize the political parties in the country.


Relatives of Kenyan youths who joined Somali Islamist group fear arrest

09 Jun – Source: the Star – 346 words

Relatives of youths alleged to have joined al Shabaab in Somalia say they have been threatened with arrest by the anti-terror police unit. They claim the officers have also used coercion to get information on the whereabouts of their youth relatives. Many families in South Coast are alleged to have fled their rural homes for fear of constant harassment. Three men said to have returned from Somalia are still being probed over their role in the al Shabaab wars.

The men had their documents confiscated by the police to ensure they cannot leave the country as they are being investigated. In the North Coast, a family whose son left the country a year ago had to remove a signpost leading to the home after its picture was highlighted in the process. A relative of one of the youths who asked not to be identified said: “We are afraid that the police may decide to incriminate us. That is why we do not want to speak publicly about what we know. We believe we are the victims here and subjecting us to more harassment does not solve the issue at hand”.

The Coast police boss Aggrey Adoli accused the parents of the youth of collusion with the recruiters for financial rewards. Adoli said: “When the deal goes sour, that is when the parents start blaming the police for not protecting their youths against al Shabaab. They had been compliant all along.” Adoli added that the police would not hesitate to question any relative who may be having information concerning the illegal recruitment that has painted a bad picture of Kenya on the world map.

The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya had raised the alarm over the recruitment and estimated over 50 youths may have left for Somalia from different parts of the Coast. They are usually promised between 50,000 and 80,000 shillings a month. Two weeks ago, a youth from Nairobi claimed that he was cheated into travelling to Mombasa by the recruiters but rejected after questioning their activities and why they wanted to cross to Kiunga.

Report warns of increasing torture by Somali pirates

09 Jun – Source: the Standard – 399 words

Seafarers captured by Somali pirates have increasingly faced beatings, use as human shields and other forms of torture over the past year, according to the authors of a report calling for greater recognition of the problem.

The authors of The Human Cost of Somali Piracy, published by the One Earth Future Foundation, a US-based think-tank, said seafarers were sometimes locked in freezers, hung from ships’ masts or meat hooks or had their genitals attached to electric wires. Pirates also sometimes called seafarers’ families from their mobile telephones, and then beat them in their families’ hearing — a tactic designed to increase pressure on ship-owners to pay ransoms. Of the 1,090 seafarers taken hostage in 2010, 59 per cent had been abused or used as human shields, or both, the report found.

The tactics break a previous code of conduct, which had kept violence by Somali pirates at a minimum. This year has seen the first deliberate murders of hostages off Somalia — four American tourists on a yacht in February and two crew members from the captured Beluga Nomination in January.

Pottengal Mukundan, director of the London-based International Maritime Bureau, who helped to compile the report, said something had changed in the behavior of the pirates. “There’s definitely evidence of the violence growing greater,” he said. The pirates’ change of tactics reflects the shift of much Somali pirate activity away from the relatively easily monitored Gulf of Aden north of Somalia to the vast spaces of the Indian Ocean, west of the country. The shift has depended on pirates capturing merchant vessels and forcing their crews to let their ships be used as floating bases for attacks.



Somalia rival leaders agree to defer elections

09 Jun – Source: Reuters – 249 words

Somalia’s feuding leaders agreed on Thursday to extend the mandate of both government and parliament for a year and hold elections by August next year. The mandate for Somalia’s latest transitional government was meant to expire in August but President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a former Islamist rebel leader, and speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who covets the top job, had been at loggerheads over what should happen then.

“We agree to defer elections of the President and the Speaker and his deputies for twelve months after August,” a deal signed by the Somali president and speaker in Uganda said. “Elections for President and Speaker of Parliament will have to take place prior to August 20, 2012.”

The deal also demanded the prime minister resign within 30 days of the agreement, signed in the presence of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and U.N. Special Envoy for Somalia Augustine Mahiga “Within thirty days of the signing of this Agreement … the President will appoint a new Prime Minister,” the agreement said. “Parliament will endorse the new Prime Minister within 14 days of the submission of the PM Nominee by the Office of the President.”

Political analysts had said the row between the country’s two most powerful politicians had ground government activity to a halt. African peacekeepers fighting to prop up Sharif’s government against Islamist militants had warned the dispute risked unravelling the military gains made against the rebels. International patience has been wearing thin at the slow pace of reform in Somalia.


Somali militants aiming to attack abroad: CIA chief

09 Jun – Source: AFP/Washington post – 320 words

Al Qaeda linked militants who control much of Somalia are looking to extend their operations and carry out attacks abroad, CIA chief Leon Panetta will tell US lawmakers Thursday. “The threat from al Shabaab to the US and Western interests in the Horn of Africa and to the US homeland is significant and on the rise,” Panetta says in written responses to the Senate Armed Services committee.

Panetta is to attend Thursday’s hearing as the Senate considers his nomination to be the next secretary of defense to replace Robert Gates. “Al Shabaab leaders, who have claimed affiliation with Al-Qaeda since 2007, are developing ties with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and are showing an increasing desire to stage international terrorist attacks in addition to their acts of violence inside Somalia,” he says in his written text, a copy of which was obtained by AFP Wednesday. Panetta was nominated on April 28 by President Barack Obama to replace Gates who retires on June 30. His nomination has to be confirmed by the Senate.

“Al Shabaab employs several hundred foreign fighters and regularly tries to recruit fighters from Somali diaspora communities in the United States and Europe,” Panetta writes. As the Islamist movement, which controls much of Somalia and a large part of the capital Mogadishu, “faces increasing international pressure, we may see the group increase its international attacks,” he warns.

Al Shabaab carried out its first attack outside Somali territory in July 2010 when it claimed a double bombing in which 79 people died in Kampala. Panetta warned that Somalia, which has had no effective government since dictator Siad Barre was deposed in 1991, could become a new haven for Al-Qaeda, whose leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a US commando raid on May 2. “As Al-Qaeda undergoes leadership changes and regroups from counterterrorism operations in Pakistan, we need to ensure that it does not relocate its center of operations to Somalia,” Panetta says.


Editorial: Time to review Somalia mission

08 Jun – Source: The Observer – 358 words

The news from Somalia is bad and good. Bad because a lieutenant colonel and three other Ugandan soldiers were last Saturday killed in Mogadishu. Good because the African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) and the Somali transitional government forces have recently made significant gains in their bid to eject al Shabaab fighters from Mogadishu. Lt Col Patrick Tibihwa’s death has made him the most senior Ugandan army officer to die in Somalia so far. He was commanding officer of the 23 battalion.

Others who died are: Lt Lawrence Tugume, Cpl Abdalla Isabirye, and Pte Augustine Kuloba. These gallant soldiers must be honoured for serving and dying for their country. On the other hand, the transitional government and AMISOM have since February embarked on an offensive that has seen them take control of at least 50% of the war-torn Somali capital.

However, we must not bask in these gains and forget the price we have had to pay. Every time we lose soldiers, it is unavoidable that we find ourselves asking what cost is too high for Uganda to pay in this conflict. When Uganda first contributed troops in 2007, it was on the understanding that this was an African Union mission and so other countries would join later. Only Burundi has so far joined.

But that task is too big to be left to only two countries. Uganda lost 80 people in bomb blasts in Kampala almost a year ago, which the Al Shabaab terrorists claimed was revenge for Uganda’s role in Somalia. In addition, dozens of soldiers have died on duty in that country since 2007. Yet the conflict is far from settlement.

The African Union, United States, European Union, and other world powers interested in world security must put their money where their mouths are. Uganda has played its part and it’s time for others to either back it up in a robust way or completely take over. Indeed the government in Kampala ought to come clean on its exit strategy. Four years is a long time and seeing no end in sight, when our citizens continue to die, or live in fear of terrorism, is unacceptable.

http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13773:editorial-timeto- review-somalia-mission&catid=35:editorial&Itemid=61

The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.