30 Nov 2011 – Daily Monitoring Report

Key Headlines:

  • The Somali government condemns the recent wave of bombings against People in Hospitals and Schools(Source: TFG)
  • Somali PM meets Somali Community members in Doha Qatar (Source: Radio Bar-kulan )
  • Security forces foil suicide blast (Source: Radio Mogadishu SONNA and SNTV)
  • Suicide bomber kill four soldiers in Mogadishu (Source: Radio Bar-kulan )
  • Deadly bomb blast kills 10 women in Mogadishu (Source: Radio Mogadishu Bar-kulan Shabelle Kulmiye and SONNA)
  • TFG-AMISOM seized explosives and weapons stashed away by al Shabaab (Source: Radio Mogadishu Somalia Report)
  • COMESA supports Kenya’s fight against al Shabaab (Source: Standard)
  • Suicide bomber in Somalia tries to attack army HQ (Source: AP)
  • OCHA Somalia report summary (Source: OCHA)

 

PRESS RELEASE

The Somali government condemns the recent wave of bombings against People in Hospitals and Schools

30 Nov – Source: TFG – 416 words

The TFG of Somalia condemns the recent wave of bombing by the Al-Qaeda linked terrorist group of Al Shabaab. The Minister of Information, Posts & Telecommunications, of the TFG, H.E. Abdulkadir Hussein Mohamed ‘Jaahweyn’, described the Al Shabaab bombings as “ The cowardly actions of a desperate and anti-Islamic criminals targeting the weak and the defenceless, like the ill people in hospitals ad innocent children in schools”.

“After having been defeated In the battle field and after realizing never to have had any support or confidence from the Somali people, they are engaged in a campaign of terrorizing the civilian population” he added.

The Minister then continued,” Instead of fighting the TFG forces they are now directing their terror against the whole society. Just a glance of the catalogue of murders perpetrated by Al Shabaab recently and who the victims are shows what Al Shabaab really is and what it represents:

  1. Location – Mahamud Harbi Secondry School, Wardhigley. Bomb left in the middle of the road. Victims- 4 deaths, all children; 7 other civilians injured.
  2. Location – Vicinity of Gaheyr University. Bomb left in the middle of the road. Victims- 1 civilian and 2 passing soldiers injured.
  3. Location – Hodan District. Bomb left on the road again. Victims- 1 death, 2 injuries, all civilians.
  4. Location – Banadir Hospital, mother and child wing. Bomb left on a 2nd floor. Victims- 2 injuries, of people looking after their sick loved ones.

The MIPT Minister said, “Today the security forces have safely defused 3 bombs in the Hamarweyne district, after vigilant members of the public informed them of the suspicious packages. Also today, an attempted suicide bombing at Villa Baidoa, the Army HQ. was foiled and caused only minor injuries to 8 guards” This shows that the people of Somalia are closely working with their government in the National Security and Stabilization Plan effectively.

“If anyone was in doubt as to what or who these people are, the above sample of their recent murders should make it crystal clear that they are devoid of humanity, of Islamic values and principles, of culture and of basic decency. It should be clearly evident to everybody that, Al Shabaab are nothing more than murders of children and civilians in hospitals and schools. We, the Somali people, with the help of the rest of the world should continue fighting them relentlessly until we bring back peace, stability and progress to our people and to our country.” The Minister concluded.

SOMALI MEDIA

Security forces foil suicide blast

30 Nov – Source: Radio Mogadishu, SONNA, and SNTV – 67 words

The Somalia National Intelligence agency in conjunction with the Somali police and national army foiled a suicide attempt targeting TFG military heads in Villa Baidoa.

Villa Baidoa is the TFG military headquarter and houses the top military leaders of the Somali national army. Military Commander General Abdikarim Yusuf Adan (Dhegabadan) told SONNA that three soldiers sustained minor wounds and were rushed to Medina hospital.

Suicide bomber kill four soldiers in Mogadishu

30 Nov – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 259 words

At least four government soldiers have been killed and 12 others were wounded today after a suicide bomber struck at a national army headquarters in Mogadishu. Eyewitnesses told Bar-kulan that a suicide bomber, dressed in a government military uniform, blew up him inside the compound, killing four soldiers on the spot and injuring several others.

Speaking at a press conference shortly after the incident, Somali military chief Gen. Abdikarin Yussuf Adan Dego-badan said the attacker who posed as a government soldier seems to have been targeting him. He called it a failed assassination attempt against him.

He further said the attacker blew himself when he was stopped by guards inside the compound. The commander blamed al Shabaab for carrying out the attack. He said such attacks will not prevent them from flushing out rebel fighters from the country.

He stated that the attack was not a surprise since the TFG is at war with al Shabaab. Dego-badan urged al Shabaab not to cowardly target civilians and be ready to face the wrath of its actions. He threatened to deal with the outlawed group at all costs.

The incident comes a day after five people were killed and eight others wounded in an explosion targeting government security officers in the Sana’a neighbourhood of Mogadishu’s Yaqshid district.

A remotely controlled device went off as the officers were searching for landmines planted in the area after receiving a tip-off from locals that explosives were planted in the area. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

More Ethiopian troops enter Somalia

30 Nov – Source: Somalia Report – 71 words

More than 35 Ethiopian military vehicles crossed the border into Somalia on Saturday and Sunday, advancing towards Beledweyne, Hiiraan region. Eyewitness from amongst local residents in Feerfeer, Jawil Mountains and El-gal all spoke with Somalia Report.

A retired military official in Jawil Mountains, who requested to be called Mr. Edeb, confirmed to Somalia Report that he personally witnessed more than 35 Ethiopian military vehicles making the border crossing on Sunday morning.

Deadly bomb blast kills 10 women in Mogadishu

30 Nov – Source: Radio Mogadishu, Bar-kulan, Shabelle, Kulmiye, and SONNA – 138 words

A deadly bomb blast claimed the lives of ten women in Suq Liif in Darkenley district this morning. Several others were seriously injured and taken to nearby hospital for Treatment. The innocent women passed away after the bomb blast which happened at their workplace. The women were cleaning streets of Suq Liif in the Darkenley district of Mogadishu.

The explosion, which is said to have been caused by a landmine going off, happened as a group of women were undertaking cleaning activities in the area, according to area district commissioner Abdulle Ali Hilowle. It is not clear whether these women were targeted. Two women are said to be among those killed in the explosion. The injuries were immediately rushed to health facilities in Mogadishu for treatment.

Hilowle said investigations to identify the perpetrators of this explosion are still underway. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the explosion. The incident comes hours after four government soldiers were killed and 12 others wounded after a suicide bomber struck at a national army headquarters in Mogadishu.

Al Shabaab cut legs, hands of two young boys

29 Nov – Source: Mareeg Online – 126 words

Al Shabaab have on Tuesday afternoon performed a sentence consisting of cutting legs and hands from two young boys accused of robbery, reports said

A 24-year old man named Sa’id Hussein Mohamed and 21-year old Idiris A/lahi Mohamed were sentenced to have each a leg and hand cut down in the Lafole area in front of many people watching them, reports said. Sheikh Mohamed Abdirahman, Chairman of Shabaab for Lafole court told those boys were found guilty of robbing people in Daynile district in Mogadishu and were then punished according to Sharia.

http://www.mareeg.com/fidsan.php?sid=22019&tirsan=3

TFG-AMISOM seized explosives and weapons stashed away by al Shabaab

29 Nov – Source: Radio Mogadishu, Somalia Report – 82 words

The TFG and AMISOM displayed bombs, weapons, and remote-controlled explosive devises found by the security forces in some parts of the capital, which had been hidden by al Shabaab. The Deputy Chief Commander of the Somali Police, General Abdihakim Dahir, said local residents helped in their search efforts by reporting the weapons. He added that al Shabaab started giving polythene bags with children to hide and urged the Somali people to support the TFG in order to ensure the security of Mogadishu.

Somaliland Presidential guard hits Haatuf reporter

30 Nov – Source: NUSOJ, Bariga Afrika – 311 words

The Presidential Guard who hit the journalist on the face as photographed at the Hargeysa Airport by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the continued harassment against journalists in Somaliland, after one of the Somaliland’s presidential guards slapped a reporter working for the independent newspaper, Haatuf, on the face on Monday morning around 11:00am local time, amid celebrations to welcome President Silanyo’ return at the Hargeysa airport.

Journalist Naasir Adan Nawaa, a reporter for an independent Newspaper paper, Haatuf, based in Hargeysa, was trying the cover the event, when one of the presidential guards attacked and slapped him on the face, singling out among a dozen journalists at the airport, according to local journalists.

“I don’t know why this policeman attacked me in the midst of the dozen journalists,” Naasir Adan Nawa told NUSOJ, “I was taking photographs when the policeman hit me unexpectedly on the face. “It was around 11:00am on Monday morning, the president (was expected) to arrive from Djibouti” Mr. Nawaa added.

Somaliland is a relatively safe region of northern Somalia where unprecedented attacks against journalists have been one of the biggest challenges the journalists face, sometimes facing arrests, intimidation, legal procedures etc. The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the act and calls the Somaliland Authorities to cease the attacks against the press.

“(The) slapping (of) the journalist’s face on duty by presidential guard is inhuman and (a) deliberate act of abuse,” Mohamed Ibrahim, the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists said. “We demand from the Somaliland authorities to end the impunity and call upon (them) to cease the attacks against the journalists.”

http://www.barigaafrika.com/en/read.php?id=4678#axzz1fAGEPJqS

Somali PM meets Somali Community members in Doha, Qatar

30 Nov – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 235 words

Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali yesterday evening met Somali community members in Doha, including Somali students studying at various Universities in Doha. The PM, who is in Doha for an official trip, held talks with community representatives, briefing them on the current political situation in the country, the government’s achievement in terms of security and the reconciliation process. Abdiweli urged the community to support the government and participate in rebuilding the country.

The PM also held meetings with Somali University students in Doha to discuss with them several issues, including the challenges facing them and the way forward. He answered several questions asked by the students on issues relating to the current situation back home.

Abdiweli specifically met with top students in terms of academics from various universities in the country. He urged the students to turn their problems into opportunities and bear with the challenges they might face while studying in Qatar.

The Prime minister was also briefed by the acting Somali ambassador to Qatar on the Somali embassy in Qatar and the Qatari scholarships given to the Somali students in the country.

Earlier, the PM met with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani in Doha where the two leaders discussed lengthily bilateral relations between the two countries, the security situation in Somalia, drought and ways in which Qatar can play a role in TFG’s effort to wind up transitional period.

REGIONAL MEDIA

Al Shabaab ban on aid outfits leaves 1.4m Somalis starving

29 Nov – Source: Daily Nation – 378 words

Over 1.4 million Somalis face starvation after the al Shabaab banished 16 humanitarian organisations from Southern Somalia.

The United Nations and its refugee agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned that millions of displaced Somalis faced a humanitarian crisis after the militants expelled the aid agencies.

The agencies were accused of collaborating with the Kenyan military and the Transitional Federal Government troops in running al Shabaab out of their bases in southern Somalia. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described as brazen the seizure of property and equipment of the aid agencies.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos also warned that famine could return to some drought-hit areas. Separately, the refugees agency warned that the ban had placed the lives of millions of Somalia people in danger.

“More than two thirds of Somalia’s estimated 1.46 million internally displaced people in the south and central parts need immense humanitarian aid,” the agency said in a statement.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Al+Shabaab+ban+on+aid+outfits+leaves+14m+Somalis+starving/-/1056/1281664/-/1r941tz/-/index.html

US “extremely concerned” over al Shabaab’s move to ban aid agencies in Somalia

30 Nov – Source: Kuwait News Agency – 180 words

The United States is “extremely concerned” by Somali’s al-Qaeda linked extremist group al Shabaab’s move to ban several UN agencies and international NGOs in parts of the country.

In a statement released late Tuesday, State department spokesman Mark Toner indicated the US joins in solidarity with the United Nations officials and others in condemning these actions in the strongest possible terms.

He said “al Shabaab’s actions put at even greater risk the lives of the four million people in Somalia who remain in need of emergency assistance and the 250,000 of those who are suffering from ongoing famine.” The US joins the international community in calling for aid organizations and other international nongovernmental organizations to resume full and unhindered access to Somalis in need of emergency assistance there, Toner said.

Al-Shabaab made the move to ban some aid organizations on Monday and began seizing and looting some of their offices in southern and central areas of the country.

The move comes as aid group’s battle to stem a famine that has left a quarter of a million Somalis in danger of starvation.

http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2205626&Language=en

COMESA supports Kenya’s fight against al Shabaab

30 Nov – Source: Standard – 292 words

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has said it supports Kenya’s war against Al Shabaab in Somalia.

In his address during the official opening of a Comesa committee of Elders retreat in Mombasa, Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said the organisation fully supported the Kenyan Government in its fight against the militia.

“We wish to express our support to the Kenyan Government and its population in their fight against the al Shabaab and wish you success in this endeavour. We have every confidence that your efforts will go long way towards enhancing global security especially in the area of terrorism and piracy,” Ngwenya said.

The Secretary General, whose speech was read on his behalf by Brian Chigawaya, director of Legal and Institutional Affairs of Comesa said that they were delighted to hold their first retreat in Kenya which has been at the forefront in conflict resolution in the Horn of Africa and in particular the mediation role Kenya played to end the 21 year long conflict in the Sudan.

He told the gathering that the Comesa Committee of elders should put their skills towards supporting ongoing mediation efforts in the region.

The Comesa committee of elder’s retreat main objective is to develop rules of procedure. Foreign Affairs assistant minister, Richard Onyonka officiated the opening of the retreat. Onyonka urged the international community to take advantage of the opportunity created by joint operation mounted by Kenya Defence Forces and the Transitional Federation Government Forces of Somali to realize the otherwise elusive objective of creating a peaceful and stable Somalia.

Onyonka said deepening of the integration of the region through the custom union and progressing towards the Comesa/EAC/Sadc tripartite Free trade area remains an important avenue for development in the region.

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000047549&cid=4

Kenyan Police nab al Shabaab suspects in Mwingi

29 Nov – Source: the Star – 149 words

Kenyan police in Mwingi town were yesterday holding two men suspected to be on al Shabaab mission. The two were arrested at a Mwingi bar on Sunday after sneaking out of the town’s Muithi Museo Catholic Church where they had caused a scare among the faithful during mass.

A faithful who spoke on condition of anonymity said the two strangers caused panic when they walked into the church as Father Cyprian Kaleve was preaching. They wore heavy goggles and gloves. One of the men proceeded to partake in the holy sacrament as some faithful went outside to call the police.

The men after apparently sensing danger walked out of the church shortly before the police arrived. The acting office commanding Mwingi police division Simon Birrir thanked the public for being alert about suspicious characters. He said such collaboration would go a long way in pre-empting infiltration of the al-Shabaab.

Horn of Africa crisis: Somalia’s famine

29 Nov – Source: Al jazeera – 297 words

The worst drought in 60 years has thrown some 13 million people across the Horn of Africa into crisis. In Somalia, ravaged by two decades of conflict, the consequences have been disastrous. For over six months, aid agencies on the ground sounded the alarm that a major drought and famine was on the horizon.

Then in July and August, the world watched and international aid agencies scrambled as tens of thousands of Somalis fled famine and fighting in the devastated Southern part of the country, controlled by the armed group al-Shabaab. And they continued to flee – to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, and refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia – in the following months, when the world seemed to lose interest.

Tens of thousands of Somalis have died and the UN has warned that three quarters of a million more are at risk of dying before the end of the year.

Somalia’s weak Transitional Federal Government, the Obama administration, and the United Nations have all blamed the anti-government group al-Shabaab for restricting international aid operations in the areas they control. But is al-Shabaab the only reason a drought and food crisis has turned into a deadly famine? In the first of a two-part series examining the US response to drought and hunger in the Horn of Africa, Fault Lines travels to Mogadishu to meet refugees who have fled to the most war-ravaged city in the world to escape a worse fate, and the aid and medical workers struggling to help them. We examine the legacy of US engagement in Somalia and its efforts to address the current crisis.

Has aid in this region of the world become politicised? And has Washington’s pre-occupation with terrorism in the Horn of Africa contributed to the deadly consequences of this disaster?

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/faultlines/2011/11/201111271473753430.html

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Five dead in Mogadishu military bomb blast: officials

30 Nov – Source: AFP – 311 words

Five people died in a blast Wednesday including a suicide bomber after he detonated an explosive device at the gates of a military base in the Somali capital, officials and witnesses said.

“The suicide bomber tried to enter the compound but guards stopped him, when he then detonated his bomb, killing three people on the spot including him,” said Farah Barre, a government security official.

“Two more people died soon after from their wounds,” he said, adding the attack on Wednesday morning took place at Villa Baidoa, a government military base near the busy K4 roundabout in central Mogadishu.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest in a string of blasts including roadside bombs and grenade explosions that have rocked Mogadishu in recent weeks.

The war-torn city has seen an increase in such attacks since Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels abandoned fixed positions there in August and switched to guerrilla tactics against the Western-backed government.

Witnesses said the bomber had tried to disguise himself as a government soldier to gain access into the compound. “I saw a man dressed in military uniform trying to enter the gate but he was stopped, and then minutes later I heard the huge blast,” said Ahmed Mahmud, who was drinking tea on the street nearby.

“I saw four bodies being carried away, and the bits of the body of the bomber were scattered around.” Last month a Shabaab suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden truck, killing at least 82 and wounding many more, the bloodiest such attack in the group’s history.

The hard line insurgents control large parts of southern Somalia but are facing increasing pressure from regional armies and government forces.

Kenyan troops are battling the rebels in the far south, Ethiopia forces are in the south and west, while Ugandan and Burundian soldiers in the African Union force in Mogadishu are supporting government efforts.

Four troops killed by blast in Somali capital

30 Nov – Source: Reuters – 100 words

An explosion at a presidential compound in the Somali capital Mogadishu killed four soldiers on Wednesday, a government soldier said. “We saw smoke and heard an explosion. I can confirm four dead who are all (transitional federal government) forces,” Abdikarin Adan told Reuters from the scene. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear.

http://af.reuters.com/article/somaliaNews/idAFL5E7MU09O20111130?rpc=401&feedType=RSS&feedName=somaliaNews&rpc=401

Suicide bomber in Somalia tries to attack army HQ

30 Nov – Source: AP – 94 words

A Somali officer says a suicide bomber dressed in a military uniform tried to enter the headquarters of the Somali army in Mogadishu but was shot dead by troops.

Lt. Hassan Hussein said seven Somali troops were wounded after the bomber detonated the explosives on Tuesday. Hussein says that only the bomber was killed.

Al-Qaida- linked militants with the al-Shabaab group have carried out several suicide bomb attacks in Mogadishu.

Somalia’s weak military is backed by 9,000 troops from Uganda and Burundi who are fighting al-Shabaab as part of an African Union peacekeeping force.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gtHp5bdeOwWjong3BhIaJMLrsjSQ?docId=16179f6118544eacb74408cb1c538efe

Al Shabaab announcement in Somalia

29 Nov – Source: State.gov – 152 words

The United States is extremely concerned by al Shabaab’s announcement yesterday that it is banning a number of United Nations (UN) agencies and international nongovernmental organizations from providing life-saving assistance in south central Somalia and by its seizure of offices, property and equipment belonging to these organizations. We join the UN Secretary General and the UN under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief in condemning these actions in the strongest possible terms.

Al-Shabaab’s actions put at even greater risk the lives of the four million people in Somalia who remain in need of emergency assistance and the 250,000 of those who are suffering from ongoing famine.

The only purpose of the humanitarian organizations working in Somalia is to save lives. We join the international community in calling upon all parties to respect international humanitarian principles and immediately allow these organizations full and unhindered access to all who require emergency assistance in Somalia.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/11/177881.htm

OCHA Somalia report summary

29 Nov – Source: OCHA – 8000 words

On 28 November, al Shabaab banned the operations of 16 UN agencies and international NGOs in areas under its control, gravely undermining capacity to engage in life-saving activities in these areas. Security incidents continued throughout the week, with IED explosions in Mogadishu killing 19 and combining with the on-going Kenyan military operation to hamper humanitarian access. Because of logistical and security challenges, 23 per cent fewer people received food assistance as of 28 November than in October. From a high of 2.6 million people reached in October, the reported response has been reduced to 1,458,049 people in November.

http://ochaonline.un.org/Default.aspx?alias=ochaonline.un.org/somalia

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