February 27, 2013 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

Somali forces, AMISOM capture Bur hakaba

27 Feb – Source: Radio Mogadishu/Bar-kulan/Hiiraan Online/Kulmiye & Risaala/Halgan Online – 104 words

Somali and African Union forces Wednesday morning took control of rebel-held town of Bur-hakaba in Bay region without facing resistance from Al-Shabaab militants. The allied forces have been advancing towards the town for the last few days in effort to unseat the more than four year-old militant rule in the area.

Hundreds of locals were reportedly seen at the area police station and the district headquarters welcoming the coalition forces. The capture of Bur-hakaba is of significant importance for the coalition forces as they seek to open up the road that links Mogadishu to Baidoa.

Somali army Chief Gen. Abdikarin Yussuf Adan Dhego-badan told the state-owned Radio Mogadishu that their forces are now in full control of the town. He said the town is strategic as it is located along the road linking four regions in South-central Somalia, adding that it will help them secure more towns in the region.

Key Headlines

  • Somali forces AMISOM capture Bur hakaba (Radio Mogadishu/Bar-kulan/Hiiraan Online/Kulmiye & Risaala/Halgan Online)
  • Somali government to relocate IDPs welcome returning refugees (IRIN News)
  • Criminals must be apprehended and crime must be punished says Prime Minister (Prime Minister’s Media Office)
  • UPDF Secures Six Towns From al Shabaab in 10 Days (NBS News)
  • Puntland accused Somali Federal Government Violation of Constitution (Raxanreeb)
  • Court frees 70 Somali youth charged with Eastleigh riots  (Star News)
  • Date set for Somali journalist verdict (Al Jazeera English)

PRESS STATEMENT

Criminals must be apprehended and crime must be punished, says Prime Minister

26 Feb – Source: Prime Minister’s Media Office – 263 words

Criminals must be apprehended and all crimes must be punished, Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon said during a visit to Police Headquarters in Mogadishu. “You must solve all crimes – robbery, murder, rape and any other offences,” the Prime Minister told senior police officers.

“If a Somali woman is raped and the rapist is not caught, that is a shame on society. If someone is killed and the killer is not apprehended, that means there is no rule of law. I instruct you to bring all criminals to justice and ensure that due process is always followed.”

The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Interior, Abdikarim Hussein Guled. Together they toured the police headquarters, spoke to senior police officers and inspected a parade. The Prime Minister praised the police for the dramatic turnaround in security they had been instrumental in achieving.

“As police officers you have done a fantastic job on security even while you’re working conditions have been extremely difficult. Thanks to your efforts this is the best time in Mogadishu since the collapse of central government in 1991. We will be supporting you and doing everything we can to improve your working conditions with the help of our international partners.”

The Prime Minister urged the police to extend the improvements already recorded in Mogadishu across the whole country so that Somali lives could return to normal. “Everybody should be safe in their own home or place of work,” he said. The government is committed to reform of the police and judiciary as part of its reform programme.

SOMALI MEDIA

Somali forces, AMISOM capture Bur hakaba

27 Feb – Source: Radio Mogadishu/Bar-kulan/Hiiraan Online/Kulmiye & Risaala/Halgan Online – 104 words

Somali and African Union forces Wednesday morning took control of rebel-held town of Bur-hakaba in Bay region without facing resistance from Al Shabaab militants. The allied forces have been advancing towards the town for the last few days in effort to unseat the more than four year-old militant rule in the area.

Hundreds of locals were reportedly seen at the area police station and the district headquarters welcoming the coalition forces. The capture of Bur-hakaba is of significant importance for the coalition forces as they seek to open up the road that links Mogadishu to Baidoa.

Somali army Chief Gen. Abdikarin Yussuf Adan Dhego-badan told the state-owned Radio Mogadishu that their forces are now in full control of the town. He said the town is strategic as it is located along the road linking four regions in South-central Somalia, adding that it will help them secure more towns in the region.


Puntland accused Somali Federal Government Violation of Constitution

27 Feb – Source: Raxanreeb –  140 words

The Federal Government (FG) of Somalia is violating the country’s Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC), which the elected leaders were sworn to uphold.

The FG has actively interfered with the formation of emerging Federated States, such as Jubaland in southern Somalia, directly contradicting the principles and provisions of the PFC and abandoning the aspirations of the Somali people, who hope for responsible and accountable governance that paves the way for peace, stability and development, and promotes justice, political cohesion, outreach and national reconciliation.

Instead of focusing on principal priorities, the FG has adventures illegitimately on resource exploitation by hiring foreign advisers to build the ‘Somali Petroleum Company’ and actively pursue oil companies – former concession holders as well as new companies – to renegotiate old concession or sign new Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) to areas that are not under FG’s control.


Somalia: Ministerial delegation will ‘consider’ taking part in Jubaland convention

26 Feb  Source: Garowe Online – 134 words

A Somali Federal Government (SFG) ministerial delegation which visited port city of Kismayo on Monday said that they would “consider” participating in the Jubaland state formation convention after failing to move the conference to Mogadishu, Garowe Online reports.

Following a statement on by SFG Minister of Interior Abdikarim Hassan Guled who said that the SFG would be holding a state formation convention for Jubaland – which had already been underway by the Jubaland community – the minister led a delegation to Kismayo.

Sources in Mogadishu said that the delegation used grounded Horn Air Aviation’s plane – without the consent of company officials – to depart to Kismayo.  The plane carried Minister of Finance, Minister of Security and Minister Guled who met with Jubaland officials in Kismayo to discuss the recent conflict and the Jubaland state formation process.


Somaliland:Ten councilors Quit their Posts in Protest

26 Feb – Source: Somaliland Press – 177 Words

Ten recently elected Councilors have resigned from their post in lughaya and Saylac council both in Salal region due a resolve that came after elders from Issa community.

The 10 Councils revealed the reason which prompted them to resign as being the inaction by the government to intervene and address their grievances which aroused from last year’s 28th of November local elections announced this during a press conference they held in the town of Haridad on Monday.

The councilors have in the past declined to acknowledge the new mayor Suleiman Eidle of Saylac who is from a minority clan namely the Gadabursi clan. Efforts by the several cabinet ministers to reconcile both sides proved impossible after they refused to reach a compromise.

REGIONAL MEDIA

Court frees 70 Somali youth charged with Eastleigh riots

27 Feb – Source: Star News – 146 words

There was jubilation in a Kibera court yesterday when more than 70 young men of Somali origin were acquitted from answering to extortion and creating disturbance charges. They youth were arrested and charged last year in connection to the chaos and riots that were witnessed after an Eastleigh Matatu explosion that killed seven and left more than 30 injured.

At the hearing yesterday, the prosecution made an application to have the case adjourned since they did not have the witnesses in court and also the police file was not available. They asked the court to give them more time to prepare for the case.

Ag Chief Magistrate David Ochenja rejected the prosecution’s application for adjournment saying that the last time they were in court, prosecution applied for the same thing and have still not shown any progress. Ochenja ordered their release and refund of cash bails.


5 European ambassadors present credentials to Somalia

26 Feb – Source: Sabahi Online – 152 Words

Five European ambassadors jointly presented their credentials to Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu on Tuesday (February 26th), according to a news release from the Delegation of the European Union to Kenya.

Ambassadors Margit Hellwig-Bötte of Germany, Etienne de Poncins of France, Javier Herrera García-Canturri of Spain, Bart Ouvry of Belgium and Sofie From-Emmesberger of Finland become their countries’ ambassadors to Somalia for the first time in more than two decades.

“With the accreditation of five EU member states’ ambassadors to Somalia, the EU expresses its genuine commitment to the people of Somalia and underlines its confidence in the new political dispensation,” the statement said. “The EU’s partnership with Somalia is based upon respect for Somali ownership and responsibility.”

The EU said it supports the Somali government’s efforts in building a federal state, establishing security and the rule of law, improving its financial management system, and living peacefully with its neighbours.


UPDF Secures Six Towns From al Shabaab in 10 Days

26 Feb – Source: NBS News – 151 Words

Somali government forces with the support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are steadily gaining ground on a sustained offensive against the handful of al Shabaab bases left in the country’s Bay Region.

The securing of the key towns of Dardan and Jirada-Kullow on Monday raises to six the number of strategic positions captured by the allied forces in less than ten days. This renewed offensive follows last week’s recovery of the towns of Aw-dheegle, Jannale and Barrire in lower Shabelle and the Jowhar airfield in Middle Shabelle.

The allied forces are currently moving to secure other towns along the strategic Afgooye-Baidoa corridor, as militants from the al Qaeda-linked terror group flee without putting up resistance.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Date set for Somali journalist verdict

27 Feb – Source: Al Jazeera English – 352 Words

A Somali court will give its ruling on Sunday on an appeal by a journalist against his jailing for one year for interviewing an alleged rape victim. The judge at the court of appeals in Mogadishu on Wednesday said he needed more time to consider the case and pronounce his verdict.

Journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim and the 27-year-old woman were sentenced to one year in prison on charges including assaulting a government body, making false accusations and seeking to profit from said allegations. Rights activists, including US-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW), have alleged that the ruling was politically motivated, and urged the appeals court to acquit the two defendants.

Three other defendants were acquitted during the February 5 trial by a Benadir regional court. At the trial, the judges did not permit the defence to present witnesses or evidence to rebut the prosecution’s case. Prior to being charged, the woman was interrogated for two days by the police without a lawyer present, HRW said.

Ibrahim, who has been under detention since January 10, began serving his sentence at Mogadishu Central Prison immediately after the trial. The woman is to begin her sentence after nursing her baby.


Somali government to relocate IDPs, welcome returning refugees

27 Feb – Source: IRIN News – 1074 Words

The Somali government plans to relocate thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently living in Mogadishu to camps on the outskirts of the city, but there are concerns over inadequate government capacity as well as security and access to services in the proposed relocation areas.

There are an estimated 369,000 IDPs or people living like IDPs in Mogadishu, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Of these, about 270,000 could be relocated to three camps on the outskirts of the capital, helping to decongest the city, according to Mohamed Ahmed Nur Tarsan, Mogadishu’s mayor.

“Honestly, no mayor in the world would tolerate IDPs form[ing] shanty shelters in the capital city. This issue touches [on] the security of the city and remains a threat to the sanitation of the city,” Tarsan said, adding that there are no security problems on the outskirts of Mogadishu.

“I am not saying that we should put these people in faraway isolated places, but what I am saying is that we should get better places for them since these people are currently living in appalling conditions.” IDPs in Mogadishu live in difficult conditions, under threat of extortion and eviction. Providing aid to them has also been difficult in the past due to security constraints.


Somali boys bask in glow of Oscars

26 Feb – Source: Independent Online – 306 Words

The family of the two young brothers from Somalia who were in the Oscar-nominated film Asad have said the boys had always dreamed of being actors. While the film missed out on an award in the best short film category, the chance for leading stars Harun Mohamed, 14, and Ali Mohamed, 12, to travel to the US accompanied by their father, Mahdi Hassan Mohamed, was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Hassan Mohamed is one of 16 siblings in the family, who came from Somalia in 2004 as refugees and now live in a two- bedroom house in Cape Town. “Their dream was to win an Oscar, they used to dream of being actors,” Mohamed said. While only four of the children go to school, the funds from the film helped the two young stars to enrol in a home school system here.

“We cannot afford school shoes and clothing for all of them,” the boys’ mother, Nasima Ali, said. South African producer on the film, Rafiq Samsodien, said the proceeds from the festival winnings were put into a fund to help the children’s schooling.


Somalia’s women in the driving seat

26 Feb – Source: BBC – 1:40 mins

Women in Somalia are enjoying the independence of driving, after nearly two years of living under the strict rule of al Shabaab. Life for women in Mogadishu has changed beyond recognition, although full equality is still to be realised.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

“In this two part series Hassan Ghedi Santur speaks with politicians, academics, journalists and aid workers to understand what has happened to Somalia.”


Things We Lost In The War, Part 1

26 Feb – Source: CBC Radio Blog – 235 Words

The East African nation of Somalia is the definition of a failed state. It has been without a central government since 1991, when the country’s dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown. What followed were two decades of civil war, anarchy, failed Western intervention, Islamic fundamentalism and famine. Somali-born IDEAS contributor Hassan Ghedi Santur returns to his home-land to explore, “Things We Lost in the War.” Part 2 airs Tuesday, March 5. Somalia has been called a failed state. It was ruled for two decades by the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre until he was violently overthrown in 1991.

Since then, Somalia has suffered one calamitous setback after another: famines, warlords, suicide bombings, U.S drone attacks and an invasion by Ethiopia. In the anarchy and famines that have followed the civil war, it is estimated that seven hundred thousand Somalis have perished. Even more have fled the country. One million Somalis have become an international nation of refugees.


“Somaliland at this stage cannot woo the International investors as it is not an internationally recognised country – and foreign direct investment known as FDI is, however, hypothetical for Somaliland, though it has the capacity as an independent State to enter into an agreement with the International Community given the stability and the democracy in which she enjoys presently since the democratisation process had begun for nearly a decade ago.”


Somaliland:The Paper Factory launched in Hargeisa is sign of commencement of industrialisation

26 Feb – Source: Somaliland Press – 1299 Words

Given the business thriving in Somaliland each passing day saw the establishment of a light factory – of which in the recent past a Paper Mill has been launched in the capital of Somaliland, Hargeisa, which is the first of its kind installed in the entire country.

The inauguration ceremony saw the participation of a sea of humanity including the President of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud, Siilaanyo, and some high ranking officials of his dispensation – where he gave a speech on the occasion. The President stressed on how his administration is determined in helping and motivating the business community of Somaliland to invest in their country by offering a tax relaxation specifically for those willing to establish the much needed small scale industries.

The set up of the factory has been applauded staunchly by the people of Somaliland as there has never been a Paper Mill of its sort throughout Somaliland – and that this plant would be a sign of commencement of industrialisation. This plant would meet the mounting demand for white sheets and notebooks, and would also be made available across the country in a bid to dispense with the sheets and notebooks imported from outside world.

Top tweets

‏@UKinSomalia  Check out the new Somalia Conference 2013 website! http://bit.ly/Whc6pF.

‏@EmmanuelBesnier  IN PICTURES accreditation of French Ambassador to Somalia, & EU colleagues http://on.fb.me/ZHZs4a @TheVillaSomalia @francediplo @SomaliaEU.

@amisomsomalia  QUOTE OF THE DAY: Capture of Buur-Hakba town by Somalia and AMISOM forces this morning http://on.fb.me/UKHK96  pic.twitter.com/2e4xaPve3S.

@PoetNation  Women in #Mogadishu return to driving. Situation improving for women but still progress to be made #BBC #Somalia http://youtu.be/drQ-etpQenQ.

@Hamza_Africa  #Somalia‘s Court of Appeal expected to reach verdict on case of jailed journo & alleged rape victim today.Hearing to start in couple of hrs.

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Image of the day

Image of the day Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, 3rd from left, speaks after receiving credentials from Ambassadors of Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and Finland in Mogadishu on February 26, 2013. Photo: Raxanreeb.

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.