October 15, 2012 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

Somali government calls for end to arms embargo

15 Oct – Source: Radio Galkacyo – 193 words

The Somalia’s Federal Government has appealed to the United Nations to lift the arms embargo on the country to strengthen peacekeeping operations in Somalia. Speaking to the media in Mogadishu, the outgoing Defence Minister Hussein Arab Isse has said that his government urges the UN to lift the arms embargo, saying that Somalia now has a “permanent” government after two decades of transitional process in the country. He added that the new government is expected to control security and peace, and seeks to receive weapons from donors.

According to the radio, the former defence minister has outlined that government wants to rebuild the “judiciary” system and wants to implement construction of government institutions that will focus on the restoration of stability. Somali government has in the recent past appealed to the UN to lift the arms embargo.

The United Nation imposed an arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 after the central government collapsed, resulting in a two decade-long civil war. Government troops in collaboration with AU peacekeepers from four countries including Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Djibouti are now fighting against al Shabaab Islamic Movement in the country.

Key Headlines

  • Somali government calls for end to arms embargo (Radio Galkacyo)
  • Somali Information Minister jets back (SNTV/SONNA/Radio Mogadishu)
  • QC opens service centre for orphans in Somaliland (Gulf Times)
  • Somali army bases in Kismayo came under attack (Shabelle)
  • Al Shabaab attacks Somali govt troops in Mogadishu (Shabelle/Hiiraan Online/Jowhar Online)
  • AMISOM says security situation improving in Kismayo (Coast Week/ Xinhua)
  • EU to work more closely with Somalia’s local partners: official (Nz Week/ Xinhua)

SOMALI MEDIA

Somali army bases in Kismayo came under attack

15 Oct – Source: Shabelle – 92 words

String of attacks on Monday rocked Somalia’s southern port city of Kismayo, 500 Km south of Mogadishu, wounding scores of people, including government soldiers, Witnesses and Officials said.

Aden Hirse Rufle, the Somali Army Spokesman in Jubba regions, confirmed to Shebelle radio station that al Shabaab agents carried out grenade attacks on several army positions in the city overnight. The spokesman accused al Shabaab of being behind the assaults, but declined to comment about the exact figures on the casualties.


Somali government calls for end to arms embargo

15 Oct – Source: Radio Galkacyo – 193 words

The Somalia’s Federal Government has appealed to the United Nations to lift the arms embargo on the country to strengthen peacekeeping operations in Somalia. Speaking to the media in Mogadishu, the outgoing defence minister Hussein Arab Isse has said that his government urges the UN to lift the arms embargo, saying that Somalia now has a “permanent” government after two decades of transitional process in the country. He added that the new government is expected to control security and peace, and seeks to receive weapons from donors.

According to the radio, the former defence minister has outlined that government wants to rebuild the “judiciary” system and wants to implement construction of government institutions that will focus on the restoration of stability. Somali government has in the recent past appealed to the UN to lift the arms embargo.

The United Nation imposed an arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 after the central government collapsed, resulting in a two decade-long civil war. Government troops in collaboration with AU peacekeepers from four countries including Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Djibouti are now fighting against al Shabaab Islamic Movement in the country.


Puntland President visits former pirate hub

14 Oct – Source; Garowe Online – 119 words

Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole departed from Garowe  on Sunday to the former coastal pirate-hub of Eyl, Garowe Online reports. President Farole and his delegation of government officials left Garowe early Sunday morning and will visit various towns in Nugal before reaching Eyl.

The president is accompanied by Nugal governor Abdi Hersi Qarjab, Garowe mayor Abdiaziz Nur Elmi Koor and Puntland Police Deputy Commissioner Col. Mohayadin Muse Ahmed.

Among the towns President Farole visited on his tour, was the town of Qarhis approximately 160 km from Garowe. This is the first visit to the former pirate-hub Eyl by President Farole. In 2008, Eyl had close to a dozen ships being held by Somali pirates for ransom in its waters.


Al Shabaab sends appeal as allied forces approach stronghold in Gedo

15 Oct – Source: Radio Dalsan – 123 words

Al Shabaab fighters have been reported to making their last preparation to defend Bardera district of Gedo region in southern Somalia from the allied forces led by the Somali Military, witness said on Sunday.

Al Shabaab is said to be organizing itself after they heard reports that the allied forces are approaching the town.  On the other hand, Al Shabaab officials appealed to the civilians in Bardera to defend their town and fight alongside their fighters to defeat the Somali-led allied forces.


Al Shabaab attacks Somali govt troops in Mogadishu

15 Oct – Source: Shabelle/Hiiraan Online/Jowhar Online – 86 words

Al Qaeda-inspired insurgents on Sunday night launched attacks, with rocked propelled grenade launchers, on Somali government force bases in southern Mogadishu, leaving scores injured.

The clashes broke out at dawn when heavily armed fighters launched an attack on soldiers stationed on one of the city’s frontlines in the Hosh neighbourhood. Similarly, an attack took place at a government compound in Yaqshid district, north of Mogadishu, sparking battle between Somali forces and the militants.


Somali information minister jets back

14 Oct – Source: SNTV/SONNA/Radio Mogadishu – 103 words

Somalia’s Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunication of the Somali government Abdikadir Mohamed Hussein Jahweyne has returned back to the capital Mogadishu on Sunday after attending conference on global telecommunication in Doha, Qatar.

Speaking to the reporters at Mogadishu international airport, the minister said that the meeting on global telecommunication was attended by over 200 developed countries and said it was very important for Somalia to attend.


Galmudug pledges to act on insecurity cases in Mudug region

14 Oct – Source: Radio Mustaqbal – 134 words

Galmudug administration which controls parts of Mudug region said it will deal with the insecurity cases that had renewed in many parts of the central Somali region. The governor of Mudug region for Galmudug administration Mohamed Gure Guleid speaking to Mustaqbal radio in Mogadishu said it is unfortunate that the clan wars have restarted in the region, calling on the clans in Mudug to cease the clashes, and end their disputes on the negotiation desk.

The Mudug governor pointed out unidentified gunmen were also causing insecurity inside Mudug region, vowing that his administration will deal with them especially, those in north of Galka’yo town.


Big rally in Gedo region in support of Somalia’s new PM

14 Oct – Source: Mareeg Online – 130  words

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in major towns of Gedo region on Saturday in support of the newly appointed Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, reports said. The rallies took place in the towns of El waq, Beled-Hawo and Garbaharey, the capital of Gedo region, with hundreds of men and women carrying banners and chanting slogans supporting the appointment of Somali new PM.

Mohamed Abdi Kalil, the governor of Gedo, said the region’s population is very satisfied and happy about the appointment of country’s new PM, calling upon him to set up an effective and competent cabinet as soon as possible.


2 killed, 6 wounded as clan militia battle in Hiiraan

14 Oct – Source: Radio Mustaqbal – 105 words

Two people were killed while 6 others were wounded when clan militiamen clashed in a village in Hiiraan region , central Somalia. The fighting took place in Warsomane locality that comes under Buleburde district. The fighting erupted over dispute on grazing fields that had been between bone of contention. The situation seems calm despite tension remaining high. The clans frequently fight over grazing land and water wells in Somalia.


Gunmen open fire on civilian bus in central Somalia, kill one

15 Oct – Source: Shabelle – 96 words

Gunmen armed with AK-47 rifles opened fire on a civilian bus travelling in central Somalia, killing a civilian while injuring 5 others, witnesses said on Monday. Witnesses said the truck was en route to the central Somalia region from Mogadishu, when the gunmen attacked. Passengers reported that the shooting started the truck driver defied gunmen orders to pay illegal tax at a checkpoint in the main corridor linking Galinsor to Galka’yo town. Reports indicated that the injured passengers were immediately taken to the hospitals in the central town of Galka’yo for treatment.


Somaliland Police arrest women, journalists in Las Anod

12 Oct – Source: Raxanreeb/VOA Somali Service – 162 words

At least fifteen elderly women and journalists were arrested in Las Anod of Sool region on Friday night by the Somaliland police accused of organizing  rally and a ceremony in support of the newly appointed Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdi Farah shirdon. Local journalists confirmed to Raxanreeb that the police detained the women and number of journalists who are currently held at Las Anod central police. They add that those arrested were accused of mobilizing and holding supportive party for the appointment of PM Abdi farah Shirdon of Somalia

A mother who was one of the organizers of the party and declined to be named for her safety told VOA that she is in hiding and confirmed to VOA the detention of the other women. ‘’ all my colleagues are in custody and I am in hiding. I can’t recall the exact number of those detained but I guess they are more than 10 women ’’ she said.


Somali Pirates collect $2.3m ransom for vessel, as E.U. detains 7 piracy suspects

13 Oct – Source: Garowe Online – 111 words

Somali pirates collected a ransom payment of $2.3million USD for a Greek-owned vessel hijacked eight months ago, as European Union naval forces arrested seven piracy suspects near Somali seas, Garowe Online reports.

Informed sources told Garowe Online that Somali pirates initially demanded $9million USD for the Liberian-flagged vessel MV Free Goddess, which was hijacked by pirates on Feb. 7, 2012, according to the ship owners. “The pirates settled for $2.3million,” the source added.

The ship’s 21 seafarers from the Philippines are in good condition. In a separate development, Puntland’s counter-piracy director Mr. Abdirizak Mohamed Ahmed (Du’aysane) told Radio Garowe that E.U. naval forces detained seven piracy suspects.

REGIONAL MEDIA

QC opens service centre for orphans in Somaliland

15 Oct – Source: Gulf Times – 149 words

Qatar Charity (QC) has opened a new multi-purpose service centre at Hargeisa City, the capital of Somaliland, that could benefit more than 2,000 orphans.

“The Ideal Multi-Service Centre for Qualifying Orphans” encompasses an elementary school, a clinic, mosque, administrative building, and commercial outlets, in addition to multi-purpose halls and open yards. The centre was built on 5,600sq m at a cost of about QR840,000.

Somaliland Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs Khalil Abd Ahmed attended the inauguration ceremony alongside various local officials, representatives of the local civil society organisations and residents of the area. Ahmed thanked QC for its efforts in Somaliland.


Soldiers’ road to victory

14 Oct – Source: Daily Nation – 424 words

Kenya Defence Forces commanders and soldiers narrated the ordeals they went through before the capture of Kismayo during Sunday’s celebrations to mark the first KDF Day. The day will become an annual event. Lt Col Jeff Nyaga, who commanded the central sector, described the lows and highs of the campaign, saying how the soldiers had to battle not only the al Shabaab insurgents but also heavy rains and difficult terrain.

He spoke at the 10th Engineers battalion headquarters in Nanyuki where the military top brass led by Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi and Army Commander Lt Gen Joseph Kasaon as well as Defence Minister Yusuf Haji were in attendance to celebrate the KDF Day and unveil a monument for soldiers who have fallen in the one-year old war in Somalia.

Lt Col Nyaga described the loss of a KDF Z9 helicopter just two days into the campaign on October 16, 2011 as the low point of the campaign. Sunday’s celebrations coincided with the day KDF soldiers crossed into Somalia.


AMISOM says security situation improving in Kismayo

14 Oct – Source: Coast Week/ Xinhua – 520 words

Kenyan troops in the UN-backed Africa Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said on Wednesday that relative peace is steadily returning to the port city of Kismayo once the bastion of al Shabaab.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna said more militants are still surrendering to AMISOM forces as the troops mull ways of setting up an inclusive administration that will run the port city. “The security situation in Kismayo is steadily improving with more militants surrendering to AMISOM forces,” Oguna said.


Pregnancy complications claim 60pc of Somalis

13 Oct – Source: East African – 247 words

A recent study of 1,800 households in Somalia has found that 60 per cent of deaths recorded in the survey were related to pregnancy complications. The research, conducted by Oxfam as part of a broader investigation into food security and poverty in the country, suggests that despite ongoing problems with malnutrition, pregnancy related illnesses may in fact be the greatest health risk in Somalia.

According to the latest available statistics, from 2010, one in every 12 women in Somalia dies as a result of pregnancy related problems — the second highest rate in the world. Oxfam’s report also warned that pregnant women and children were at the greatest risk of preventable illnesses as a result of food and water shortages caused by failed rains.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

EU to work more closely with Somalia’s local partners: official

15 Oct – Source: Nz Week/ Xinhua – 455 words

The European Union (EU) Ambassador and Special Envoy to Somalia Michele Cervone d’Urso said that the Europe’s economic and political bloc will work closely with the new Somali authorities including the civil society, according to a statement issued here on Monday.

“The Somalis have taken their destiny in their own hands and the EU will support them in doing so,” d’Urso said in the statement. “That is why we will work closely with the new Somali authorities but also with Somali civil society that plays a crucial role in the rebuilding of the Somali Nation,” the statement said.

Somalia has formed an inclusive and democratic government that has inspired the international community to partake in the reconstruction of the fragile horn of African state.


Open letter to Puntland’s president about radio station’s closure

15 Oct – Source: Reporters without Borders –  629 words

Reporters Without Borders wrote an open letter today to the president of the semi-autonomous northeastern region of Puntland requesting an explanation for radio Horseed Media’s closure.

The radio station has been banned from broadcasting since 6 October and access to its website is blocked in some of the region’s cities. It is clear from the lack of transparency surrounding the ban, which the police notified to the station, that it is politically motivated and was not issued by any court.

The regional police chief, Col. Osman Afdalow, has acknowledged giving the radio station the closure order, which took the form of an unsigned and unstamped letter. Normally the information ministry and the president’s office take such a decision, but they claim to know nothing.

The only reason cited for the closure is an accusation of “spreading false news” with aim of “destabilizing peace and security in Puntland” that seems to have been prompted by a series of broadcasts critical of the government last month.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

“A sense of panic currently prevails amongst the Somali-Kenyan and Somali refugees residing and working in Nairobi’s Eastleigh. Somalis’ dread of physical violence is in fact accompanied by apprehension of possible looting and destruction of their hard-earned thriving businesses in this slum-like area. Eastleigh is a business and residential area which attracts billions of dollars of investment from Somali entrepreneurs around the globe.”


Eastleigh bombings, terror dynamics and Kenya’s Somali intervention

13 Oct – Source: Aljazeera English – 882 Words

Kenya’s Somali intervention in its quest to crush the terrorist group al-Shabaab is producing a potentially devastating dynamic for ethnic harmony in Kenya. For two weeks now, I documented an average of two to three daily articles in Kenyan papers extolling the mighty powers of the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) and their defeat of Somalia’s al Shabaab in many parts of Southern Somalia.

Nationalistic flashy titles such as “Kenya’s Military Has Proven Its Might in Somalia” are found not only in printed news, but also in TV and radio programmes.

Juxtapose this to the twin bombs that shook parts of Eastleigh – a residential district in Nairobi – within the span of one hour last night. Unknown persons succeeded in detonating two powerful explosions near the site of another deadly attack less than a fortnight ago.


“The danger in Somalia is that many cities and towns have been claimed by single clans and the consequences have been clan conflicts. What I am arguing is that we have to be very careful not to encourage a victor’s peace in Kismayo in which one clan militia or a coalition of clan militias dominate the city and excludes others. This may result in the excluded clans turning to insurgency — turning to al Shabaab.”


Al Shabaab has been weakened but it is still far from destroyed

13 Oct – Source: Daily Nation – 1245 Words

Q: How has Kenya’s entry into Somalia and its new assertive and interventionist posture altered the regional geopolitical landscape? How are the other key regional players reacting?

A: Kenya’s intervention in southern Somalia initially complicated regional geopolitical dynamics, especially with regard to Ethiopia and its security concerns in southern Somalia.

Over time, the two countries have worked much more closely together to reach broad agreement on a number of matters, particularly how to handle the provisional authority that needs to be set up in Kismayo in conjunction with the new Somali government. In the end, this has actually helped improve and routinise regional cooperation between Kenya and Ethiopia.

Q: Cynics argue that Kismayo may turn out to be a poisoned chalice? Are they right?

A: It is too soon to tell. Everything now depends on the will of the Somali people to forge a broad-based local government in Kismayo and to produce circumstances that will welcome Somalis from all parts of the country to participate in the enormous potential commercial opportunities that Kismayo presents. If Somalis seize this advantage, Kismayo could actually become a model for the rest of the country.

If, however, Somali factions fight over Kismayo it is going to be the country’s Sarajevo — a divided and war-torn city, which will not so much be a poison chalice for Kenya but a poisoned chalice for the new government of President Mohamud.


“The unstable nature of the region’s security is a fitting metaphor to describe both the redrawing of Africa’s sacrosanct colonial borders and the birth of liberation movements. Ethiopia is the geographic, demographic, political, and economic center of the Horn. It shares boundaries with each of the countries of the Horn: Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, and South Sudan.”


Somalia’s fragile hope is linked to Ethiopia

13 Oct – Source: Global Post Blog – 728 Words

No sooner had Somalia’s clan-appointed legislators elected a president, the first in more than 42 years in this Horn of Africa nation, than Kenyan troops dislodged the Islamist military group al Shabaab from its last stronghold, the port town of Kismayo. As important a turnaround as this is, it hardly signals that two decades of anarchy have been overcome.

Although African Union troops have diminished al Shabaab’s capabilities, this translates neither into its defeat nor increased legitimacy of the fledgling Somali government. More importantly, a viable exit strategy is as elusive now as it has always been.

Top tweets

@MarkC_Anderson  #Somalia: @EU_Commission announces Somali #NGOs will now be allowed to apply for EU grants if in partnership with international NGOs.

@whatescapes  Interesting @nazaninemoshiri story on property speculation in #Somalia capital: Mogadishu property boom stirs concern- http://aje.me/RYMGZ6.

@Hamza_Africa  #Mogadishu vehicles to be registered after 20 years of chaos http://shar.es/5TCIW  #Somalia.

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@Hamza_Africa  IGAD says the establishment of an administration for #Kismayo & Juba region will be finished by December. #Somalia.

@EGKennedySD  A #Somali girl’s horrific story arriving to and living at Dadaab #Refugee Camp http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/kenya_66170.html ….

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Image of the day

Image of the day Somali policemen (foreground, in blue) share a moment as they are handed out supplies by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) police force at General Kaahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu, October 14, 2012. Photo: Reuters/AU-UN IST.

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.