14 Jun 2011 – Daily Monitoring Report

Key Headlines:

  • Somali Premier refuses to quit
  • Ibrahim Issack Yarow: We have received al Shabaab intelligence
  • Al Shabaab government troops clash in Garbaharey town
  • More than 20 Somali refugees found dead on Yemen-Saudi border
  • Row between al Shabaab troops in Bakol region
  • Darkenley Police station attacked

Titres Principaux:

  • Le premier ministre Somalien refuse de démissioner
  • Ibrahim Issack Yarow: nous avons reçu des informations confidentielles sur al Shabaab
  • Al Shabaab et les troupes gouvernementales s’affrontent dans la ville de Garbaharey
  • Plus de 20 refugiés Somaliens retrouvés morts le long de la frontiére entre le Yemen et l’Arabie Saoudite
  • Des disputes entre troupes d’al Shabaab dans la région de Bakol
  • La station de police de Dharkenley attaquée


Somali Premier refuses to quit

14 Jun – Source: Jowhar Online – 147 words

Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo today said he would not resign despite an agreement signed by the president and speaker in Kampala, which called for him to do so. The Kampala Accord, as it has become known, called for Farmajo to resign within thirty days and the formation of a new cabinet as part of a deal to delay elections for one year.

Supporters of Farmajo took to the streets in their thousands to protest the agreement, which they see as a blow to attempts to bring peace and stability in a country struggling with an insurgency led by militant al Shabaab. Several people died as protesters trashed cars belonging to lawmakers and attacked hotels occupied by politicians. Farmajo, buoyed by the support, said he would respect the wishes of the protesters by not resigning.


Ibrahim Issack Yarow: We have received al Shabaab intelligence

14 Jun – Source: Radio Mogadishu – 142 words

The Assistant Minister for Internal and Security Affairs of the TFG Ibrahim Issack Yarow gave an interview to Radio Mogadishu in which he said his ministry received top secret information describing that al Shabaab are hatching a plan to carry out terrorism acts.

“We are not against the people voicing their sentiments and feelings but we are trying to avoid the militias of making use of the opportunity to cause havoc in the line of the demonstrators, using suicide bombers” said the interim and assistant minister for Internal and Security Affairs. The assistant minister said the police have the necessary orders to maintain order and security and to wad off any looming threats and dangers. He also asked the public to work with the police force. The government has tightened the security in the areas of the government institution and other important places.

Al Shabaab, government troops clash in Garbaharey town

14 Jun – Source: Mareeg Online – 139 words

Clash between the Transitional Government of Somalia and al Shabaab militias has broken out in the outskirts of Garbaharey town of Gedo region in southern Somalia, witnesses said on Tuesday. Sources confirmed that the fighting started as al Shabaab militias attacked TFG bases near the town, where both sides reportedly exchanged heavy gunfire which continued for a while, killing 3 of the warring sides.

Several military personnel were also wounded during the gun battle according to witnesses. Garbaharey is the centre of Gedo region in s southern Somalia that was controlled by al Shabaab until Somali government troops took over its control after a big offensive against al Shabaab happened in the region in over the past months.


Civil Society Groups ask people to wait for parliament

13 Jun – Source: Mareeg Online – 160 words

The Civil Society Groups of Somalia held a meeting in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday and called for the Somali people to wait for the parliament’s decision before continuing demonstrations against PM’s resignation. Somali cabinet ministers held a meeting in Mogadishu during the demonstrations happened and agreed to bring the results of the Kampala meeting and its results before the parliament, urging the people to wait for the lawmakers’ feedback.


More than 20 Somali refugees found dead on Yemen-Saudi border

13 Jun – Source: Bariga Afrika – 116 words

The Somalia Consulate in Yemen, Mr. Hussein Hajji Ahmed has confirmed the deaths of several Somalis in Yemen and he added that some of those killed had their kidneys missing. The Consul added that the men were taken from Sanaa by brokers and on reaching the border killed them before ripping off important parts of their body. He also confirmed that some of the brokers had been arrested and that several are been investigated. Meanwhile the diplomat has said that the UN refugee agency (UNHRC) camped over 300 Somalis in the town of Haraab between the Yemen and Saudi borders who were earlier evacuated from the towns of Sanaa, Tis and the province of Ebyan.


Somali pirates release four Pakistanis and 18 other hostages

13 Jun – Source: Radio Shabelle – 267 words

Somali pirates on Monday released four Pakistanis and 18 other hostages after a ransom was paid to them, says Ansar Burney Chairman of Ansar Burney Trust. Somali pirates had kidnapped a group of 22 crew members, who also included Egyptians, Indians and a Sri Lankan in August last year, on board vessel MV Suez owned by an Egyptian company and had demanded $2.1 millions for their release.

Ansar Burney, who negotiated with the pirates and raised money through donations, said that all the hostages have been freed and that they would reach home in a few days as arrangements for their repatriation are being made. The freed Pakistani captain of the ship, Mohammad Wasi told a private television channel on the phone that all the hostages have been freed.

Row between al Shabaab troops in Bakol region

14 Jun – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 145 words

A row is reported to have erupted between the senior al Shabaab leaders in the town of Wajid in Bakol region of Somalia. Reliable and competent sources in Wajid informed Bar-kulan that there is rampant disagreement between the senior leader of the town and the senior leader in command of the police station. The disagreement is rooted in the administration of the town.

The row came about after the officer in charge of the police station arrested a mini bus that was carrying cigarettes to the Somali dwelled areas of Ethiopia. The senior leader of the town released the mini bus which caused the conflict between them. Reports add that the militias allied to the town leader forcefully released the mini bus from the police station prompting exchange of fire between the two groups. The conflict still persists as the people fear backlashes because of the disagreement.

Bay Traditional elders condemn al Shabaab

14 Jun – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 82 words

The traditional elders of Baidoa in Bay region have vehemently criticised al Shabaab in regards to the detention of some local elders in Huddur of Bakool region. Abdi Ali, a leading elder in Baidoa said it is disturbing to see such incidents undertaken by al Shabaab to detain traditional elders in Huddur. He said the militias have transgressed and passed the limits defined by Somali tradition and religion. The elder urged the senior leaders of Bay and Bakool to immediately release the elders.

Darkenley Police station attacked

14 Jun – Source: Radio Kulmiye – 56 words

An attack on a government police station yesterday night in Darkenley caused the death of at least one government soldier. Two soldiers were reported to have been wounded in the attack. The attackers used hand grenades and later got away. The government soldier opened fire after the attack. No government official has so far commented on the event.

Civil society body accuses government forces of arresting demonstrators

14 Jun – Source: Radio Kulmiye – 83 words

The chairman of Mogadishu civil society body Abdiqadir Ibrahim Ga’al has condemned the TFG security forces for arresting dozens of peaceful demonstrators including a reporter for Radio Kulmiye, Mohammed Amin Abukar, adding that the move is against democracy and the will of the Somali people. Hundreds of aggravated people have staged large demonstratons in parts of Mogadishu for the past few days against the resignation of Prime Minister Farmajo and the Kampala accord.

Al shabaab take 10 people into custody in central region

14 Jun – Source: Shabelle – 103 words

Al Shabaab on Tuesday apprehended at least ten people in Elbur district in Galgudud region in southern Somalia. The arrests came after fighters loyal to al Shabaab movement conducted search operations in many parts of the region. The apprehended ones were charged with committing deeds against the religion of Islam, according to Sheikh Yusuf Sheikh Isse, the head al Shabaab in Galgudud region. Isse said the alleged individuals will be put on trial as soon as possible to get their punishment in accordance with Islam.



Uganda: Somali stabs Sudanese at Police school

14 Jun – Source: Al Shahid – 235 words

Rivalry between Somalis and Sudanese trainees at the Police Training School in Masindi turned bloody today when a Somali national stabbed a Sudanese colleague. Detained Abdulaziz allegedly used a bayonet to stab Angelo Garang Makwak in the stomach, according to the Uganda Police force training chief, Felix Ndyomugenyi. Ndyomugenyi said Abdulaziz had previously asked Makwak to join others in cleaning the premises. According to Ndyomugenyi, while giving out orders, Abdulaziz reportedly said he was superior, a thing that annoyed Makwak.

The two started quarreling and at the peak of the argument, Abulaziz reportedly hit Makwak’s stomach with a sharp object attached to the gun. “When other Sudanese saw Makwak on the ground, they started rioting,” Ndyomugenyi said on phone. There were reports that the unrest spread to nearby areas, where the Sudanese engaged the Somalis in fist fights and running battles. However, Ndyomugenyi said the dispute was quickly resolved. Makwak was admitted to Masindi Hospital before being transferred to a private clinic, Ndyomugenyi disclosed.

“The situation is under control and the trainees are attending classes. They got assurance that they would be safe until the end of the course,” Ndyomugenyi said. Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said: “We handled the issue. It was an internal matter involving the two groups.” Thirty-nine Sudanese and 17 Somalis are undergoing a nine-month cadet course at Kabalye under a “bilateral arrangement”. About 500 Ugandans are attending the course.


Fazul man was freed by Kenyan court

14 Jun – Source: Daily Nation – 514 words

A Kenyan killed alongside terror mastermind Fazul Abdullah in Somalia last week had been arrested by police in Mombasa four years ago, but set free by a court. The arrest of Musa Hussein Abdi, better known as Dheere, in December 2007 came during police operations targeting al Shabaab and al Qaeda operatives hiding in Kenya. The raids were also carried out in Nairobi’s Eastleigh, South B and Nairobi West estates. In East Leigh, several grenades were recovered from the houses raided by the police, Dheere, who was shot dead together with Fazul by Somali forces at a roadblock in Mogadishu last Wednesday.

After the Mombasa arrest, Dheere was charged with illegal possession of explosives. Two years later, he was freed by Kibera Chief Magistrate Uniter Kidula together with five accomplices — Ahmed Mohammed Osman, Omar Issa Noor, Mohammed Gedi Hussein, Mursal Abdirahman Hassan and Talib Abubakar — for lack of evidence. Dheere was an explosive expert who used an artificial leg. His lawyers, Mbugua Mureithi and Harun Ndubi, had argued that when the police found the grenades in Dheere’s house, he was not present during the search, a reasoning that was upheld by the court.

The house was owned by Omar Awadh Omar who has been charged in a Uganda court over terror attacks that targeted crowds watching World Cup finals last year, killing 76 people. On Monday, security officers who spoke to the Nation said the evidence they had gathered at the time would have sent Dheere in jail if Kenya had enacted conducive legislations. Police commissioner Mathew Iteere said the Anti-terrorism Bill that has not been passed in Parliament would have been a favorable law to ensure the suspect was convicted.

“There was evidence against him, but a higher threshold of proof was required by the court going by the Act the suit was relying on. It was the option then,” he told the Nation. The Prevention of Organised Crime Act, which has since come into existence, would also have been preferred, since al Shabaab — the terror group the two belonged to — has since been listed among the outlawed organizations. Before the two men were killed, they were driving a pick-up truck full of medicine, laptops and mobile phones and $40,000 in cash.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Fazul+man+was+freed+by+Kenyan+court+/-/1056/1180482/- /11h5vv7z/-/index.html

Egypt: Somalis planning attacks in Israel arrested

13 Jun – Source: Al Shahid – 136 words

Egyptian authorities are questioning seven members of an alleged Somali terror cell planning attacks on Western interests in Egypt and Israel, a security official said on Sunday. Authorities detained a Somali, Yussef Ahmed Hassan, at Cairo airport last month after suspecting he was travelling on a forged passport from Morocco, the official said.

Hassan was searched and airport officials found dozens of fake passports on him, as well as fake birth certificates, visas and airline tickets. His arrest led to the capture and detention of other members of the group also coming from Morocco, the official said.

During questioning, the men had confessed to “planning attacks against Western interests, particularly American interests, in the country.” The official said the group also aimed to make contact with Islamist groups in Egypt before “entering the Palestinian territories to carry out attacks against Israel.”



Opportunity in Somalia after Killing of Qaeda Militant

13 Jun – Source: New York Times – 683 words

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Al Qaeda’s top operative in Somalia and one of the most wanted men in Africa, drove into a government checkpoint by mistake last week and was killed in a blaze of gunfire. At the same time, the Islamist militant group he helped lead — the Shabaab — has been steadily losing ground as African Union peacekeepers and government troops go on the offensive.

It seems the conditions are finally ripe for the transitional government, which for years has been boxed into a tiny corner of Mogadishu, the capital, to assert itself. But many analysts are doubtful that Somalia’s political leadership has the capacity or the will to seize the moment. In their view, the prognosis for the country, despite the recent military successes, remains grim. Mr. Mohammed, a native of the Comoros Islands, off East Africa between Madagascar and Mozambique, was a master of disguises, a computer wizard and fluent in five languages, and was considered one of the most dangerous fugitives.

He plotted the bombings of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and devised a plan in 2002 that nearly brought down an Israeli airliner in Kenya. More recently, fomenting Somalia’s chaos had been his focus. As a top commander for the Shabab, he was instrumental in bringing roadside bombs, suicide bombs and other Qaeda tactics to Somalia’s battlefields. Though the Shabab have vowed to take their jihad global, and demonstrated last summer in a pair of suicide bombs in Uganda that they were capable of killing many people outside Somalia, under Mr. Mohammed’s influence they seemed to have made a strategic decision not to attack Western targets. So the impact of Mr. Mohammed’s death, analysts say, will not mean as much for Al Qaeda as it will for the Shabab.

“Fazul’s death will affect the movement in many ways, morale being the most important,” said Afyare Elmi, who teaches politics at Qatar University and writes frequently on Somalia. Bronwyn E. Bruton, a consultant on democracy who wrote a provocative essay urging the West to withdraw from Somalia, said Mr. Mohammed’s death was a serious setback for the Shabab, which was “already visibly starved for funds and in retreat.” In the past several weeks, African Union troops have routed the Shabab in several strategic neighborhoods. In southern Somalia, local militias allied to the government have likewise driven the Shabab back. Not so long ago, Shabab snipers were in rifle range of the president’s bedroom and the Somali government was pleading for outside help.

The government now seems to be puffed up with confidence, even though it was apparently by luck that Mr. Mohammed fell into government hands last week. Late Tuesday night, by Somalia government accounts, he got lost on the outskirts of Mogadishu and drove into a government checkpoint when he had thought he was heading to a Shabab area. Somali troops opened fire on his truck, and Mr. Mohammed and an associate were killed instantly. It was a surprise end for a man for whom the American government had been searching for years.

“We have overpowered Al Qaeda and Al Shabab in Somalia; they are weak and now melting away,” proclaimed President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed on Sunday. The problem is, just as the military equation is changing in Somalia, the government is about to go through a seemingly pointless upheaval — again. The president has made an agreement with the speaker of Parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden, an illiterate but wily livestock trader who used to be his friend and recently had become his nemesis, to extend the transitional government by one more year. As part of the arrangement, the two leaders also agreed to dismiss the prime minister, so the speaker could bring more allies into high positions.

This deal came after months of intense international pressure, and many diplomats who work on Somalia seem exasperated by the government’s seemingly endless capacity for squabbling. “This is such a waste,” said one Western diplomat in Nairobi on Sunday. “It’s not like we’re trying to reconcile the government with the Shabab. We’re trying to bring two guys together who were together just a year ago.”


FACT BOX-Ships held by Somali pirates

13 Jun – Source: Reuters – 840 words

Here are details of ships still held by Somali pirates after they said at the weekend they had freed the MV Zirku. The UAE-flagged oil tanker was bound for Singapore from Sudan when it was seized on March 28. The 105,846 dwt tanker had carried a 29-strong crew. The MV Yuan Xiang was also released last week — it had been captured last November. * SOCOTRA 1: Seized on December 25, 2009 in the Gulf of Aden. Yemeni-owned ship had six Yemeni crew.

  • ICEBERG 1: Seized on March 29, 2010. Roll-on roll-off vessel captured 10 miles from Aden. Crew of 24.
  • JIH-CHUN TSAI 68: Taiwanese fishing vessel seized on March 30. Crew of 14: Taiwanese captain, two Chinese and 11 Indonesians.
  • Three Thai fishing vessels — PRANTALAY 11, 12 and 14 — hijacked on April 17-18. Total of 77 crew.
  • SUEZ: Seized on Aug. 2. Panama-flagged cargo ship hijacked in the Gulf of Aden. Carrying cement. Crew of 23 all from Egypt, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India.
  • OLIB G: Seized on Sept. 8. Maltese-flagged merchant vessel with 18 crew — 15 Georgians, three Turks.
  • CHOIZIL: Seized on Oct. 26. South-African-owned yacht was hijacked after leaving Dar es Salaam. European Union anti-piracy task force rescued one South African but two other crew members were taken ashore and held as hostages.
  • POLAR: Seized on Oct 30. Liberian-owned Panama-flagged 72,825-tonne tanker seized 580 miles east of Socotra. Crew of 24 — one Romanian, three Greeks, four Montenegrins, 16 Filipinos.
  • ALBEDO: Seized on Nov. 26. Malaysian-owned cargo vessel was taken 900 miles off Somalia as it headed for Mombasa from UAE. Crew of 23 from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Iran.
  • PANAMA: Seized on Dec. 10. Liberian-flagged container ship en route from Tanzania to Beira. Crew of 23 from Myanmar.
  • ORNA: Seized on Dec. 20. The Panama-flagged bulk cargo vessel, 27,915 dwt, owned by the United Arab Emirates, was seized 400 miles northeast of the Seychelles.
  • SHIUH FU NO 1: Seized Dec. 25. Somali pirates appeared to have seized the Taiwaneseowned fishing vessel near the northeast tip of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The vessel had a crew of 26 Taiwanese, Chinese and Vietnamese nationals.
  • VEGA 5: Seized before Dec. 31. Somali pirates hijacked the 140 dwt Mozambican-flagged fishing vessel about 200 miles southwest of the Comoros. There were two Spaniards, three Indonesians and 19 Mozambicans on board.
  • BLIDA: Seized on Jan. 1, 2011. The 20,586-tonne Algerian-flagged bulk carrier was seized about 150 miles southeast of Salalah, Oman. The ship, with 27 crew from Algeria, Ukraine and the Philippines, was heading to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from Salalah with a cargo of clinker.
  • HOANG SON SUN: Seized on Jan. 19. The 22,835-tonne bulk carrier, which is Mongolian flagged and Vietnamese-owned and had a crew of 24 Vietnamese nationals, was seized about 520 nautical miles southeast of the port of Muscat.
  • SAVINA CAYLYN: Seized on Feb. 8. The 104,255-dwt tanker, Italian-flagged and owned, was on passage to Malaysia from Sudan when it was attacked 670 miles east of Socotra Island. It had five Italians and 17 Indians on board.
  • SININ: Seized on Feb. 12. The Maltese owned and registered bulk carrier was seized with a crew of 13 Iranian and 10 Indian nationals in the North Arabian Sea. The 53,000 dwt vessel was on route to Singapore from Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.
  • ALFARDOUS: Seized on Feb. 13. The Yemeni fishing vessel was believed to have been pirated close to Socotra Island in the Gulf of Aden and has a crew of eight.
  • DOVER: Seized on Feb. 28. It was taken about 260 nautical miles north east of Salalah in Oman. The Panamanian flagged, Greek owned vessel was on its way to Saleef (Yemen) from Port Quasim (Pakistan) when it was attacked. The crew consists of three Romanians, one Russian and 19 Filipinos.
  • SINAR KINDUS: Seized on March 16. The Indonesian flagged and owned bulk cargo carrier was pirated approximately 320 miles North East of Socotra in the Somali Basin. The ship, with 20 crew, was quickly used to launch further attacks.
  • SUSAN K: Seized on April 8. The German-owned, Antigua and Barbuda-flagged vessel was travelling to Port Sudan from Mumbai in India when it was pirated 200 nautical miles northeast of Salalah, Oman. The 4,450 dwt vessel carried a crew of 10.
  • ROSALIA D’AMATO: Seized on April 21. The Italian-owned bulk carrier was captured 350 miles (560 km) off the coast of Oman. The 74,500 tonne bulk carrier was on its way to Bandar Imam Khomeini in Iran from Brazil with a cargo of soya. The 21 crew consisted of six Italians and 15 Filipinos.
  • GEMINI: Seized April 30. The Singapore-flagged chemical tanker was seized off the Tanzanian coast, 115 miles east of Zanzibar. The 29,871 dwt vessel carried 28,000 metric tonnes of crude palm oil from Kuala Tanjung in Indonesia to Mombasa in Kenya. The 25 crew consist of four from South Korea, 13 from Indonesia, three from Myanmar and five from China.


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