16 Jun 2011 – Daily Monitoring Report

Key Headlines:

  • Police arrest suspected robbers in military uniforms in Mogadishu
  • Pro-Farmajo demo in Abudwaaq as some lawmakers ask Farmajo to resign
  • Italy supports Prime Minister Farmajo’s position
  • Somali official accuses aid agencies of failing to assist displaced populations

Titres Principaux:

  • La police arrête des individus en uniforme militaire suspectés de vol à Mogadiscio
  • Une manifestation pro-Farmajo à Abudwaaq alors que des membres du parlement demandent au premier ministre de démissioner
  • L’Italie supporte la position du premier ministre Farmajo
  • Un représentant Somalien accuse des agences d’aide d’échouer dans leur assistance aux populations deplacées


Police arrest suspected robbers in military uniforms in Mogadishu

16 Jun – Source: Radio Mogadishu – 118 words

Government forces have conducted security operations in Mogadishu and arrested a number of robbers in military uniforms. Police arrested two men wearing military uniforms among a group of five men who were robbing civilians and motorists at Suuqa Beerta in Waberi District of Mogadishu. The operation in which the two were nabbed was conducted this afternoon and was led by the Banadir region’s police commander.

The five robbers, three who managed to escape, have been notorious in robbing the public in the area. The two arrested were taken away in armored police vehicles. Police also searched passengers and vehicles using Maka Al-Mukarama Road in Mogadishu. However, it is unclear whether anyone has been arrested during this operation.

Rallies supporting Somali PM held in central Somalia

15 Jun – Source: Shabelle net – 134 words

Hundreds of people on Wednesday have gathered in the town of Abudwak in central Somalia, supporting the prime minister and denouncing the Kampala accord. The rallies, which were massive, have been organized by the local administration of Somalia’s moderate Ahlu Sunna Waljama ASWJ as well as local elders. The crowds were chanting slogans demanding the Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed not to leave the office.

Addressing crowds of demonstrating people, Sheikh Shuriye Mohammed Salad, an Ahlu Sunna official, said sadness is the only outcome of the Kampala meeting. He praised the current government led by Premier Mohammed and its most recent successes on the ground and politics. Children, women and young teenagers were among those gathered in the central Somalia town as part of two consecutive days of protests in Mogadishu.


Pro-Farmajo demo in Abudwaaq as some lawmakers ask Farmajo to resign

16 Jun – Source: Hiiraan Online – 370 words

A section of Somali lawmakers on Wednesday have asked Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to abide by the Kampala Accord as fresh divisions within the TFG are emerging. During the meeting in Mogadishu, the lawmakers said that if Farmajo refuses to resign, Somalia will degenerate further into a new level of violence.

“At this point in time, it is necessary for Farmajo to abide by the Kampala agreement to avoid a dangerous situation for the country. If Farmajo does not resign, Somalia will enter into more problems” said Mohamed Ibrahim Habsade, one of the lawmakers. The lawmakers refuted claims that a majority of the members of transitional federal parliament are supporting premier Farmajo amidst the current heated political situation of the country.

MP Mohamed Issack Afarale said during the press conference that the ongoing demonstrations in the capital are nothing but a failed coup against the fragile authority of president Sharif. “After the Kampala agreements there were widespread protests in Mogadishu, and these cannot help redefine the situation of the country, they are part of a plan to derail the functioning of the government” Afaraale said.

These groups of parliamentarians who have asked the premier to resign have seemingly appeared to be backing the speaker of the Somali parliament Sharif Hassan. Despite the Kampala Accord, premier Farmajo on Tuesday appeared defiant as he reiterated that he is not going to resign until the Somali parliament approves. Meanwhile in the Southern Abduwaaq town of Galgadud region, hundreds of protesters took to the streets in support of Prime Minister Farmajo, asking him to remain in office and continue serving the government.

During the street march, leaders of Ahlu Suna Waljama’a (ASWJ) addressed a huge crowd who raised their voice supporting the authority of the prime minister. Sheikh Shuriye Mohamed, a regional authority in Galgadud told protesters that the agreement between the president and speaker in Kampala is likely to result in fresh violence in the entire country. Chanting slogans and waving placards, the majority of protestors were women and youth opposed to he controversial Kampala Accord which requires Farmajo to leave office within a period of 30 days.

http://www.hiiraan.com/news2/2011/Jun/pro_farmaajo_demo_in_abudwaaq_as_some_lawmaker s_asks_farmaajo_to_resign.aspx

30 families evacuated from Bay drought

16 Jun – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 168 words

At least 30 families have been reported to have been evacuated as a result of the prolonged drought in some parts of Bay region. They went to Elasha biyaha of Afgoi corridor in lower Shabelle.

The families comprise of herders and farmers who migrated from Ufurow of Qansax dheere after droughts swept away their animals and rains failed to arrive. An elder among the people who fled to Elasha Biyaha told Bar-kulan that their area did not receive any rains.

The families who were mostly women, children and aged people said they did not have any means of livelihood and need urgent humanitarian assistance. The number of people running away from drought and disease-prone areas is increasing as a result of drought which struck some parts of the country. The people mostly flee to Mogadishu suburbs to look for humanitarian assistance and support in a bid to sustain their life.

Juba elders planning mass demonstrations

16 Jun – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 104 words

The elders hailing from Juba regions of Somalia have outrageously criticized the Kampala accord signed by top TFG officials and which stipulates that the prime minister is to resign within 30 days. The elders who held a meeting in Dhobley of lower Juba region vehemently rejected the Kampala accord and are in full support of the PM, asking him not to quit. Abdi Duale, one of the elders told Bar-kulan that they are planning to hold demonstrations in Dhobley to express their wish. The accord that was reached in Kampala indicated that the Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed should resign within 30 days.

Al Islah islamic group opposes Kampala agreement

16 Jun – Source: Radio Kulmiye – 79 words

The Al Islah Islamic group has issued a press statement in which they oppose the Kampala agreement, saying that it was opposed to the unity of the Somali people. The group, however, said they are in support of the extension of the TFG term in office by one year. The chairman of the Islah Islamic group, Osman Ibrahim Ahmad, said that senior TFG officials need to heed the calls of the people and listen to the demands being made.

Situation in central Somalia district is tense

16 Jun – Source: Shabelle – 129 words

After one day of fierce fighting, tension is reported in Mataban district in Hiiraan region in central Somalia. Reports from Hiiraan region on Thursday said that al Shabaab and Somalia’s moderate Ahlu Sunna Waljama ASWJ are making military movements in the villages around the town of Mataban and Mahas districts.

On he other hand, fighters loyal to Shabelle Valley administration have also moved towards Beledweyne town, the regional capital of Hiiraan which al Shabaab control. Heavy fighting between fighters loyal to Somalia’s moderate Sufi group of Ahlu Sunna Waljama and al Shabaab militants on Wednesday broke out in Mataban area of central Somalia, leaving at least 15 people dead and dozens more injured.


Cargo vessel burned in Harardere coast

16 Jun – Source: Mareeg Online – 204 words

A cargo vessel hijacked by Somali pirates six months ago has burnt on the coast of Harardere town of Mudug region overnight according to witnesses and a pirate leader. A pirate called Sugule told reporters through the telephone that the Ship was called MV Orena and was hijacked by the pirates in areas around the port town of Kenya Mombassa, adding that its burning started on Wednesday afternoon and continued overnight.

Mr. Sugule said the ship was enrolled in UAE, but was carrying charcoal from South Africa. The reason the ship was set on fire is unclear so far, but witnesses and some of the pirates said that the fire was caused by the charcoal it carried. 19 crew members from Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan and Syria were on board the ship according to the people of the town adding that they were ordered to land as it started burning and were led to the shores where they were kept by the pirates.


Progress against the odds for governance in Somaliland

15 Jun – Source: Somaliland Press – 307 words

Somaliland has defied the odds by delivering unexpected progress in governance, according to a newly published global research project. The UK-based Overseas Development Institute reports that despite lacking formal recognition as a state, Somaliland has developed a type of rule-based governance to which the rest of Somalia can only aspire.

The territory has managed to establish basic public security, gradually improve its business environment and is increasingly capable of providing for its citizens. A pragmatic blending of ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ institutions, in which the de-facto government’s legitimacy rests, has been instrumental in driving this progress.

The story is taken from’ Mapping progress: evidence for a new development outlook’, a new report that pulls together the findings from stories of progress across 24 countries. It identifies the crucial role of effective leadership, smart policies, proper institutional foundations and international partnerships in driving development.


Italy supports Prime Minister Farmajo’s position

16 Jun – Source: Jowhar Online – 1037 words

Somalia, Manteca: “The prime minister must remain – They cannot possibly win the instability ” Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Alfredo Manteca speaks of the situation in the Horn of Africa country, ravaged by 22 years of civil war and clashes between clans, following the decision of the president and the speaker of Parliament to force the resignation of the Prime Minister of the transitional government.

Somali official accuses aid agencies of failing to assist displaced populations

16 Jun- Source: Radio Shabelle- 194 words

The TFG has blamed humanitarian aid agencies for failing to provide assistance to vulnerable civilians in the capital.

The Regional Coordinator for the Ministry of Sports and Public Affairs, Sheikh Aweys Sheikh Xadaad accused humanitarian aid agencies of failing to assist displaced civilians who are living in hardships in various parts of the country. The coordinator said many displaced families affected by both the conflict and prolonged drought have not received any form of assistance from aid agencies, despite the dire situation they live in.

Sheikh Aweys asked aid agencies to either do their work by assisting these civilians or else withdraw from the country. Speaking on the problems with illegal immigration, Sheikh Aweys said there are many Somali nationals missing in the deserts between Sudan and Libya. The Banadir Regional Administration has in the past accused humanitarian aid agencies of failing to assist displaced people in the country and giving them an ultimatum to either step up their operations or leave.


Light at end of the tunnel in Somali war

15 Jun – Source: Daily Nation – 594 words

The killing of Mohammed Abdullah Fazul in Mogadishu last Monday, nearly a month after the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has dealt a major blow to Somali militia group al Shabaab which has been fighting the Transitional Federal Government. Mr Fazul was not only head of al Qaeda’s East African cell, but also a key player in al Shabaab operations in Somalia.

His death follows that of another al Qaeda operative, Mombasa-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan believed to have been the leader of the group’s cell in Kenya. The two were among Osama bin Laden’s top commanders and they were linked to the 1998 twin US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam and the 2002 Kikambala Paradise Hotel attack that happened simultaneously with an attempt to bring down an Israeli airliner that was leaving Moi International Airport in Mombasa.

Their deaths have thrown al Shabaab into a spin and emboldened the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) which has waged a vicious war on the militia group. Al Shabaab emerged in the 1990s following the absence of a central authority in Somalia. A network of local Islamic courts emerged, establishing a level of law and order in parts of the country that was welcomed by many Somalis.

The courts’ leadership varied in their ideological approaches, representing diverse views on political Islam, Somali nationalism, and clan identity. Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujahidin (“Mujahidin Youth Movement” or MYM, hereafter al Shabaab), a militia loosely affiliated with the courts, emerged in 2003-2004 under young former AIAI commanders who had fought in Afghanistan.

Unlike the courts and their individual militias, which were largely clan-based and nationalist in their agenda, al Shabaab’s leadership drew from across clans, ascribing to a broader vision of uniting Somali-inhabited areas of East Africa under an Islamist caliphate. Al Shabaab’s vision for Somalia ran counter to the political transition proposed under the auspices of the nascent TFG of Somalia.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/africa/Light+at+end+of+the+tunnel+in+Somali+war+/- /1066/1181736/-/x4g5gfz/-/index.html

Museveni sneaks into Somalia

15 Jun – Source: the Observer (Uganda) – 839 words

President Yoweri Museveni secretly visited Somalia on his way to South Africa last weekend, The Observer has established. A reliable State House source has told us that the commander in chief rushed to war-torn Mogadishu on Saturday to reorganize and boost the morale of Ugandan soldiers following an attack by al Shabaab fighters that left a lieutenant colonel and 12 other soldiers dead.

The attack angered the President because it came on the heels of major gains on the part of TFG forces and African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM), comprising Ugandan and Burundian troops. We have been told that the President had to skip the Bunyoro Empango celebrations to be able to make a stop-over in Mogadishu before proceeding to Pretoria in South Africa for the second tripartite meeting of regional trading blocs. Lt Col Felix Kulayigye, the army spokesman, said he was not aware of President Museveni’s brief trip to Somalia.

“He met the Somali president recently; why would he then travel?” Kulayigye said. On more deaths arising from the recent skirmishes in Mogadishu, the army spokesman advised us to contact AMISOM when he was told that information available to The Observer indicated more deaths had occurred.

The stop-over came with major changes in the army command in Somalia, with the commander in chief removing Maj Gen Nathan Mugisha who had been overall commander, and replacing him with Fred Mugisha who was with “immediate effect” promoted from Brigadier to Major General.

Fred Mugisha had previously been attached to the UPDF’s artillery section. Maj Gen Nathan Mugisha, who has been the commander, was reassigned as Uganda’s deputy ambassador to Somalia, while a civilian, Ngoma Ngime, who has been serving in that position, has been recalled and referred to the ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala for reassignment.

The Observer has also learnt from a reliable military source that more soldiers have died from injuries sustained in the devastating attack last week that claimed the life of Lt Col Patrick Sibihwa and five others. That brings to 13 the number of UPDF soldiers killed in that attack.

http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13879:musevenisneaks- into-somalia&catid=78:topstories&Itemid=59


Mahiga: Somali PM didn’t tell me he won’t resign

16 Jun – Source: BBC World Service – 280 words

Augustine Mahiga, the UN Special Representative for Somalia on Wednesday said that he contacted the prime minister of Somalia Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed discussing the latest developments in strife-torn horn of Africa nation.

In an interview with BBC Somali Service, Mahiga noted that premier gave briefings about the security situation in the country, Mogadishu in particular. The UN special envoy for Somalia spelled out the prime minister didn’t say that he will resign. During Kampala meeting, he showed his word of honest, Mahiga said the interview with BBC.

The popular Prime Minister of the Somali Interim federal government on Tuesday disclosed he won’t quit the job until parliament approves the Kampala accord that suggests the prime minister be dismissal within 30 days. The agreement also extends the government’s mandate for a year.

“Respecting the calls of Somali people inside and outside of the country, I felt I had to listen to their voice,’ Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed said in a news conference.’Thus I will not leave office until the Kampala accord goes before the parliament and gets ratified by the representatives of Somalis (MPs).’

The premier also shed a light on the latest street protests in Mogadishu and parts of the world against his dismissal, saying he appreciated the Somali people for their expression of support.

Senator Alfredo Mantica, what happens in Somalia?

16 June – Source: Repubblica – 501 words

Italy’s Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Alfredo Mantica speaks of the situation the Horn of Africa country, ravaged by 22 years of civil war and clashes between clans, following the decision of the president and the speaker of Parliament to force the resignation of the Prime Minister of the transitional government.

La Repubblica met the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Minister to whom we asked to paint a picture of the situation in Somalia. “There seems to be a strong protest in Mogadishu. We do not know how extensive, whether popular or exploited by others. But we know that it has its foundation.” “Last week an agreement was signed in Kampala, Uganda, which is a one year extension of the parliamentary elections in Somalia. They were scheduled for next August 21.

President Sheik Ahmed and the speaker of Parliament Sharif Hassan wanted to extend by three years the mandate of the transitional government. The international community, headed by the U.S. and the UN were against it. The President of Uganda has mediated and it was decided to extend it for one year only”.

“The Somali situation is complex and difficult, says Mantica. (…) The prime minister has been in office five months. And ‘early to judge his work. But what he has done so far has been very positive. It has achieved important results. (…) The strength of the instability in Somalia is a constant. And the prime minister represents stability. (…) Italy has decided to open an embassy in Mogadishu. That seems to be a gesture that will lead to a semblance of normality. “It’s a decision we made with Britain and the United Nations.

All three will open a representative office in the airport area, under the control of the AMISOM forces. We were opposed to an extension of the transitional government for three years. We can not continue indefinitely. We welcome the postponement of an election for a year (…) and we believe that the Kampala accord should be discussed in the Parliament. The President, the Speaker of the Parliament and the Prime minister should remain in office for one more year”.

When asked chat can be done to resolve a crisis that has lasted 22 year, the Italian senator states: “Three things. First, create stability. Secondly, to advance good governance and manage the vital infrastructures of the country. (..) Third, insist on dialogue between the different clans on the basis of the Djibouti agreement. The forces in the country must be fairly represented”. Questioned whether Italy is doing anything in Somalia, Mantica says:

“We are following the path traced by the British in Somaliland. We support and are present in Puntland, the old Migiurtina. (…) which is a stable form of government, there are institutions. ”

http://www.repubblica.it/solidarieta/emergenza/2011/06/15/news/intervista_mandica- 17737594/index.html?ref=search

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