March 5, 2013 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

Somali President Praises Qatar’s Role In Global Affairs

05 Mar – Source: Qatar News Agency – 291 Words

President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud said that his talks with HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani on Monday focused on strengthening bilateral relations as well as discussing regional and international affairs. He also described relations between both countries as strong.

Speaking today to Qatar news agency (QNA), the Somali President praised the role Qatar is playing in regional and international politics under the guidance of HH the Emir. He added that they wanted to make use of Qatar’s expertise in reaching a national reconciliation, adding that the people and government of Somalia have complete faith in Qatar’s ability to help them reach a national reconciliation.

President Sheikh Mahmoud described the upcoming Arab Summit, in late March in Doha, as a key event.
On the Syrian crisis, the President of Somalia called on Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to step down so that Syria can regain stability. He warned that the State in Syria could dissolve if the crisis rages on.

Key Headlines

  • Somali President Praises Qatar’s Role In Global Affairs (Qatar News Agency)
  • Ten alleged militants killed in Bula-burte explosion ( Bar-kulan/Raxanreeb/Shabelle)
  • Rights group urges U.N. not to lift Somalia arms embargo (Reuters)
  • Government troops seize 13 al Shabaab suspects explosives in Mogadishu (Radio Galkacyo)
  • Ban gratified Somali Appeals Court overturned conviction of rape victim (KUNA News)
  • Soldiers sent to face up to terror attacks by al Shabaab (Daily Monitor)
  • Prime Minister Saa’id makes historic visit to central Somali town (Radio Daljir)
  • Gunmen take control of Kenyan polling stations near Somali border (Voice of Russia)

PRESS STATEMENT

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary General on Somalia

04 Mar – Source: UNPOS – 111 words

The (UN) Secretary-General is gratified by the 3 March Appeals Court ruling in Mogadishu overturning the conviction of an alleged rape victim accused of maligning the reputation of the state.

He regrets, however, that the sentence against a journalist charged in connection with the case, while shortened, has been upheld. The Secretary-General welcomes the statement by the Prime Minister reaffirming his government’s commitment to independent media and freedom of expression.

The Secretary-General urges the Government of Somalia to ensure that allegations of sexual violence are investigated and perpetrators are brought to justice.  He emphasizes the importance of respect for human rights and a fair judicial process in the public life of Somalia.

SOMALI MEDIA

Ten alleged militants killed in Bula-burte explosion

05 Mar – Source: Bar-kulan/Raxanreeb/Shabelle – 122 words

At least ten suspected militants died Monday evening after explosives went off in a house in Bulo-burte town, Bay region. Locals say the militants were believed to have been assembling an improvised explosive device meant to carry out deadly attack in the area.

They said the explosion completely destroyed the house, adding that several badly damaged human bodies were retrieved from the scene of the incident. Al Shabaab has not yet released any comment on the incident. The incident comes a month after similar incident in Jowhar town killing one alleged suicide bomber.

The body of the man was found badly damaged after the explosion was heard in the area, according to locals who spoke to Bar-kulan on condition of anonymity.


Government troops seize 13 al Shabaab suspects, explosives in Mogadishu

04 Mar – Source: Radio Galkacyo – 128 words

Somalia’s national security troops have paraded 13 al Shabaab suspects and explosives following massive security operations conducted in Mogadishu’s Yaqshid District.

The Regional Intelligence Commander of Banadir Region (Mogadishu and its environs) Khalif Ahmed Erag, has confirmed the seizure of the al Shabaab suspects and the explosives, saying that they would be arraigned before court. The commander further mentioned that many other people have been seized but released after long investigation.

The commander said that they had also captured a laptop containing various secret information during the crackdown. The move comes after a series of explosions that rocked Mogadishu’s Lido beach in the past few weeks.


Cleric Critical Of President Silaanyo’s Administration Thrown In Jail

04 Mar – Source: Qaran News – 82 words

The Head of the Muslim group Hisbulah, Sheikh Mohamed Abdillahi Gelle has been arrested and placed in custody by the Somaliland Security Forces.

The Sheikh held a press conference in Hargeisa two days ago in which he severely criticised the administration of President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud “Silaanyo” and several of his ministers including Finance minister, Sheikh Abdiasis Samale and Home Minister Mohamed Nur Arraale “Duur”. The Sheikh had accused the ministers of using state funds to support their own Muslim organisation Al-islaax.


Prime Minister Saa’id makes historic visit to central Somali town

04 Mar – Source: Radio Daljir – 145 words

A high-ranking delegation led by Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdoon aka Saa’id has arrived in Dhuusa Mareeb District of Galgudud Region, central Somalia, privately-owned Radio Daljir reported on 4 March 13.

The delegation included defense minister Abdihakim Haji Fiqi, interior minister Abdihakarim Husein Guled, MPs and army commanders under tight security by Amisom troops.

Prime Minister Saa’id reportedly held talks with traditional elders, officials of Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a and businessmen on the formation of regional authority in Galgudud Region and how the government institutions of the region would be established. Issues discussed with the Ahlu Sunna included improving security in the area.

The Prime minister is expected to visit the police station, main hospital and other governmental institutions including the court to observe their performance.

REGIONAL MEDIA

Somali President Praises Qatar’s Role In Global Affairs

05 Mar – Source: Qatar News Agency – 291 Words

President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud said that his talks with HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani on Monday focused on strengthening bilateral relations as well as discussing regional and international affairs. He also described relations between both countries as strong.

Speaking today to Qatar news agency (QNA), the Somali President praised the role Qatar is playing in regional and international politics under the guidance of HH the Emir. He added that they wanted to make use of Qatar’s expertise in reaching a national reconciliation, adding that the people and government of Somalia have complete faith in Qatar’s ability to help them reach a national reconciliation.

President Sheikh Mahmoud described the upcoming Arab Summit, in late March in Doha, as a key event.
On the Syrian crisis, the President of Somalia called on Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to step down so that Syria can regain stability. He warned that the State in Syria could dissolve if the crisis rages on.

On the latest developments in Somalia, he expressed his administration’s willingness to hold talks with the armed Al Shabab movement, although he excluded personalities that were involved in crimes or condemned by the international community.


Soldiers sent to face up to terror attacks by al Shabaab

05 Mar – Source: Daily Monitor – 116 words

The military has been sent to parts of Coast to beef up security along the Kenya-Somalia border. The Kenya Defence Forces are also conducting aerial surveillance in Lamu County to stop any attacks by al Shabaab militants.

Defence Forces spokesman Bogita Ongeri said that the military was on high alert in Moyale, Mandera and Kiunga ready to respond to any external aggression particularly from the terror group.

“This election is historical and important to the country. We want to ensure our borders are well-secured. Our soldiers are alert,” added Mr Ongeri. At the Kiunga border point, a contingent of regular and Administration Police officers backed by the General Service Unit were on the ground carrying out patrols.


Shirdon visits Dhusamareb

04 Mar – Source: Sabahi Online – 109 Words

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon visited Dhusamareb on Monday (March 4th) to address residents on what his administration has done since its formation in November. “I thank the people of Dhusamareb and Galgadud for my warm welcome today [and] I congratulate them for their victory over the enemies of peace,” Shirdon posted on Twitter.

Even though most of Dhusamareb and Galgadud have been controlled by government-allied forces since last year, residents have suffered sporadic attacks from al Shabaab.

Hundreds of Somali and African Union Mission in Somalia troops stationed in Beledweyne were dispatched to Dhusamareb and Guriel in advance of Shirdon’s visit..


Ban gratified Somali Appeals Court overturned conviction of rape victim

05 Mar – Source: KUNA – 196 Words

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was “gratified” by the Somali Appeals Court dropping charges on Sunday against a woman who had claimed to be raped by government forces, his press office said in a statement late Monday. “The Secretary-General is gratified by the 3 March Appeals Court ruling in Mogadishu overturning the conviction of an alleged rape victim accused of maligning the reputation of the state,” the statement said.

Ban urged the Somali Government to ensure that allegations of sexual violence are investigated and perpetrators are brought to justice. He also emphasized the importance of respect for human rights and a fair judicial process in the public life of Somalia.

Ban expressed regret, however, that the sentence against a journalist who interviewed the victim, while shortened from one year to six months, has been upheld. He welcomed, nevertheless, the government’s reaffirmation of its commitment to independent media and freedom of expression.

Ban expressed “deep disappointment” in early February over the one-year sentences handed down in Mogadishu, the capital, against the rape victim and the journalist, and urged the Government at that time to respect their right to a fair and transparent judicial process, including the right of appeal.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Rights group urges U.N. not to lift Somalia arms embargo

04 Mar – Source: Reuters – 617 words

The human rights group Amnesty International warned the U.N. Security Council on Monday not to lift the 21-year-old arms embargo in place for Somalia as called for by a draft resolution, describing the idea as premature. The 15-nation council is considering lifting the U.N. arms embargo on Somalia’s government for one year so it can beef up its army to combat Islamist fighters, according to a draft resolution obtained by Reuters.

“Without adequate safeguards, arms transfers may expose Somali civilians to even greater risk and worsen the humanitarian situation,” said Gemma Davies, Amnesty International’s Somalia researcher. “For several years, the arms embargo on Somalia has been continuously violated with arms supplied to armed groups on all sides of the conflict. The flow of arms to Somalia has fueled serious human rights abuses committed during the conflict,” Davies said in a statement.

The Amnesty statement described the idea as “premature.” The Somali government has asked for the arms embargo to be lifted and the United States has been pushing the council to agree, but Britain and France have been wary of removing the ban in a country already awash with weapons, diplomats say. The draft resolution, drawn up by Britain and obtained by Reuters, appears to propose a compromise: lifting the arms embargo for one year but keeping restrictions in place on heavy weapons such as surface-to-air missiles, howitzers and cannon.

The draft says the arms embargo shall not apply to the deliveries of other “weapons or military equipment or the provision of advice, assistance or training, intended solely for the development of the security forces of the federal government of Somalia and to provide security for the Somali people.” The Security Council imposed the arms embargo in 1992 to cut the flow of arms to feuding warlords, who a year earlier had ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and plunged Somalia into civil war. Last year Somalia held its first national vote since 1991 to elect a president and prime minister.


Gunmen take control of Kenyan polling stations near Somali border

04 Mar – Source: Voice of Russia – 119 words

Kenya’s Deputy Speaker of Parliament says gunmen have attacked and taken control of two polling stations near the East African country’s border with Somalia. Farah Maalim said Monday that the attacks took place after nightfall.

Gunshots and an explosion rang out in the city of Garissa as the gunmen stormed the two polling stations. It wasn’t immediately clear if the attackers took any hostages. The gunmen were in control of election material.
Separate attacks on Kenya’s coast killed 19 people early on Monday.

There are eight contenders for the presidential post in Kenya, but the frontrunners are current Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who, according to polls, have about an equal chance of winning.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

“Recent coverage of Somalia has been dominated by the horrific case of a woman who was prosecuted and sexually assaulted after reporting her rape by government security forces to the police. Cynics are starting to wonder: is the new government any better than al Shabaab?”


Analysis: Somalia’s new government is not Al-Shabaab, not yet

05 Mar – Source: Daily Maverick – 1340 Words

It’s hard to find anyone who’s too upset with Islamist militant group al Shabaab’s gradual but definite fall from power in Somalia. It was kicked out of its Kismayo stronghold last year by Kenyan troops, and slowly but surely the central, civilian government in Mogadishu has been restoring its tenuous authority over the country (some of it, at least). This is a long and complicated process, with plenty of setbacks along the way, but few argue with the central narrative: Islamist militants bad, vaguely democratic government good.

But sometimes the setbacks set Somalia so far back that even this broad narrative is called into question. Just ask the women who last month was given a year-long jail term after reporting that she was raped by security forces. Think that one though: she was jailed simply because she reported a rape. So much for women’s rights in the new Somalia.

Or the journalist, Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, who interviewed the woman about the rape. He didn’t even report the story, but he too was given a year-long jail term, because that’s what seems to happen in the post al Shabaab Somalia that everyone’s fought so hard to establish.

The details of their situation make for difficult reading for the Somali government’s many international supporters. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) – an organisation which deserves considerable credit for attempting to apply its human rights standards to all protagonists in a particular situation – the case against both the woman and Ibrahim were marred by serious violations of international human rights law.


The problem why Somalia is not moving forward

04 Mar – Source: SomaliaOnline Forum – 388 Words

Somalia a country tarnished by a 21 years civil war, and even though the vast majority of battles of the Somali civil war , are now behind us. And Somalia is slowly emerging is becoming a peaceful nation particularly the southern parts of the country. But there is a problem, we are not addressing , how do we deal with the past. Since Somalia civil war officially ended with the new elected government headed by Mr Hasan Mahamud. Subsequently creating a healthy environment where Somalis can coexist and a national parliament was established. But Somalis are still struggling with the civil war, the most significant problem is , in Somalia no one won the war.

Most countries have a clear winner but in Somalia every one is a loser or everyone’s a winner, in that sense there is no clear winner. In the Ugandan bush war from 1981 till 1986 had a clear winner Yoweri Museveni and the national Resistance movement was the winner. The same with the Rwandan civil war it had a clear winner the patriotic movement of Rwanda won the civil war. In Ethiopia closer to home, the Ethiopians had a clear winner the TPLF along with the EPLF defeated the derg.  look at Somalia the USC came in drove out general Siyad Barre the last dictator from Mogadishu, but nothing tangible came out of the civil war, the SNM in the north captured much of Somaliland and unilaterally declared independence, and moved on from there. Puntland region declared the Puntland region autonomous years later.
What we see currently in Somalia, is Political distrust between the leaders and also this has a severe effect on the population in Somalia. Instead of reconciliation, the clan factor is being deeply encouraged by the various Somali stakeholders and including the Diaspora. So till the day of today we are sill looking for a magical winner of the Somali civil war, it will most likely be a Political victory for one group. For example if clan federalism is fully adopted some groups will feel they won the war , if Somaliland is recognized another certain group will feel they won the war , if the last group is believed and followed and a centralized system is implemented than the last group won the civil war.

Top tweets

@StateDept  U.S. Statement on #Somalia Rape Case Appeals Court Verdict. http://go.usa.gov/24z3.

@Shugsss  Despite improvements in security in Mogadishu, civilians face a high risk of being killed during outbreaks of fighting.- @amnesty #somalia.

@EUTMSomalia  #Press briefing on #EU training mission in #Somalia. @defenceforces @aguiarbranco @UN_Spokesperson @MinisteroDifesa http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/video/press-briefing-on-eu-training-mission-in-somalia …

@UNPOSomalia  @UN #Secretary-General’s statement on the overturned conviction of alleged rape victim in #Somalia: http://bit.ly/13CVD1o  @UN_DPA.

@MareejoXaamud  In meeting with #Emir of #Qatar, #Somalia‘s president calls on Assad of #Syria to step down!- http://www.fananews.com/en/?p=149943  @Africathinker.

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Image of the day

Image of the day Qatar’s Amir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, left, leads Somali president Hassan Sheikh to inspect a military guard of honor in Doha, Qatar, March 04, 2013. Somali president is in the Gulf state for an official visit. Photo: @TheVillaSomalia.

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