December 18, 2014 | Morning Headlines.

Main Story

Somali president appoints new prime minister

17 Dec- Source: Hiiraan Online/Radio Goobjoog/Dalsan Radio  – 235 Words

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud  appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as his new prime minister in a press conference held at Villa Somalia. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the former holder of the premiership and Somalia’s ambassador to the United States, held the post from 2009 to 2010, when he resigned due to an ongoing feud between himself and former President Sharif Ahmed. The appointment comes after the previous Prime Minister, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, lost a vote of no-confidence in the Somali parliament on December 6 following a disagreement with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over cabinet appointments.

If his appointment is confirmed by Somalia’s parliament, Sharmarke, a Somali-born Canadian citizen, would become the country’s third prime minister in 26 months. Sharmarke, 54, has worked with the United Nations in Sudan and Sierra Leone, and earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in political economics from Carleton University in Ottawa. On July 14, 2014, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke became Somalia’s first ambassador to the United States in more than 20 years. Sharmarke’s father, Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, was Somalia’s prime minister and second president since independence.  On October 15, 1969, President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke was assassinated by his bodyguards, and a few days later on October 21, General Siad Barre seized power in a bloodless military coup.Sharmarke has 30 days to appoint a new cabinet, which will have to be approved by parliament.

Key Headlines

  • Somali president appoints new prime minister (Hiraan Online/Radio Goobjoog/Dalsan Radio)
  • Somalia regains control of its airspace but lacks personnel management (Horseed Media)
  • The South West Six-regions and Southwest Three-Region join to form a new administration (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Kenya arrests several al-shabaab suspects (Dalsan Radio)
  • Puntland Parliament approves $60 million budget for 2015 (Horseed Media)
  • Tiyeglow officials vow to avenge women’s murders with the law (Sabahi Online)
  • Somaliland seizes Yemeni and Egyptian vessels (BBC News)
  • Divided Kenyans disagree over strategy to end ‘terror’ attacks (Virginia Gazette)
  • Staying safe while covering a terrorism-related story (Deutsche Welle)

SOMALI MEDIA

Somali president appoints new prime minister

17 Dec- Source: Hiraan Online/Radio Goobjoog/Dalsan Radio  – 235 Words

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud  appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as his new prime minister in a press conference held at Villa Somalia. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the former holder of the premiership and Somalia’s ambassador to the United States, held the post from 2009 to 2010, when he resigned due to an ongoing feud between himself and former President Sharif Ahmed. The appointment comes after the previous Prime Minister, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, lost a vote of no-confidence in the Somali parliament on December 6 following a disagreement with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over cabinet appointments.

If his appointment is confirmed by Somalia’s parliament, Sharmarke, a Somali-born Canadian citizen, would become the country’s third prime minister in 26 months. Sharmarke, 54, has worked with the United Nations in Sudan and Sierra Leone, and earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in political economics from Carleton University in Ottawa. On July 14, 2014, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke became Somalia’s first ambassador to the United States in more than 20 years. Sharmarke’s father, Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, was Somalia’s prime minister and second president since independence.  On October 15, 1969, President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke was assassinated by his bodyguards, and a few days later on October 21, General Siad Barre seized power in a bloodless military coup.Sharmarke has 30 days to appoint a new cabinet, which will have to be approved by parliament.


Somalia regains control of its airspace, but lacks personnel management

17 Dec- Source: Horseed Media – 386 Words

Somalia has announced that it has regained the control of its airspace which has not been under the control of the government for more than two decades, an official has confirmed. Ministry of Air and Land Transport of Somalia Mr. Said Jama Qorshel said that they have agreed with the International Civil Aviation Organisation to handle over the control of the airspace to the Somali government. “Our airspace will be controlled from Mogadishu and all the necessary equipments will be transferred very soon,” he told reporters after arriving from Canada where he went to meet the ICAO officials.

Mogadishu airport is currently upgraded to an international standard through a project funded by the Turkish government and expected to be completed in the beginning of 2015. After the collapse of Somalia’s central government in the 1991 civil war, the United Nations Development Program and the International Civil Aviation Organization founded a civil aviation caretaker authority for Somalia in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Beyond providing air traffic services to flights within and through the airspace of Somalia, these successive United Nations bodies failed in the fulfilment of the rest of their mandate: i) provision of technical and operational assistance at designated airports and to local administrations in Somalia; ii) establishment and operation of a nucleus civil aviation administration for the functioning of CACAS; iii) formulation and implementation of training program for national personnel; and iv) formulation of procedures and draft regulations required for the operation and maintenance of civil aviation activities.

But Mr Qorshel voiced concerns on lack of professional workers which he said that it will take time to train them. “At the mean time we don’t have professional Somali workers to handle this job, but the government will train them,” he said. Between 80 and 100 regular flights enter Somalia’s airspace daily. Each of these flights is liable to paying an estimated navigation fee of $275 per entry. Everything remaining constant between 1993 and 2011, a conservative estimate of total revenue (collected or not) thus exceeds $150 million. The self-supporting project currently generates an average of $9 to $10 Million a year. There has not been a full, transparent accounting of how that money has been and is being managed nor where it may be.


The South West Six-regions and Southwest Three-Region join to form a new administration

17 Dec – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 143 Words

The administration of South West Somalia-six regions led by Madobe Nunow Mohamed joined the newly established regional state comprising of three regions, Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle region. The decision came after leaders from sides signed power sharing agreement in a series of talks in Baidoa, the headquarters of Bay region. A senior official among Nunow administration Abdikadir Mohamed Ibrahim told Goobjoog FM that the administration of South West Somalia-six regions were allowed to take the posts of vice president and speaker of the parliament. Madobe Nunow and Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, the newly elected president of South West Somalia were not present at the meeting but delegates representing them participated in the talks. Presiding over the talks were members of federal parliament and other dignitaries. Mr. Abdikadir stated that the agreement will lead to the development and the rebuilding of the region.


Puntland Parliament approves $60 million Budget for 2015

17 Dec – Source: Horseed Media – 104 Words

Puntland Parliament on Wednesday unanimously approved 2015 budget which was submitted by the Ministry of Finance weeks ago. Members of the Parliament passed the budget which is $60,182,159 and was voted in favour by 51 MPs, according to the Speaker of the Parliament Mr Said Hassan Shire. The sum, which is twice more than 2014 budget ($ 29 million) is expected to enable the government improve security, health care delivery, infrastructure and economic development. Puntland Ministry of Finance’s officials said that the budget will mainly be based on the funds received from the International donors and also from local sources like collection of tax.


Kenya arrests several al-shabaab suspects

17 Dec – Source: Dalsan Radio – 108 Words

The Kenyan security forces have arrested several al-Shabaab suspects inside Kenya. The trio were arrested at Athi River and were said to have entered Kenya through Kenya-Ethiopia border.  Deputy Kenyan Police boss, Joseph Keitany said the anti terrorist police unit contributed to the arrest of those suspects. He added that the three are currently being interrogated by police. The three were traveling to Mombasa when they were arrested.  Joseph Keitany also said the three were in Mandera for quite some time.  The names of the three are Abdulla Yussuf, Mohamed Rashid and Mohamed. Police say, three arrived in Mandera in November. Recently, Mandera saw a spate of attacks.

REGIONAL MEDIA

Tiyeglow officials vow to avenge women’s murders with the law

17 Dec – Source: Sabahi Online – 821 Words

Residents of Somalia’s Bakol region are shocked and saddened by the brutal murder of seven women in Tiyeglow district last week, but local officials have warned citizens not to take the law into their own hands and perpetuate the cycle of violence and revenge. After al-Shabaab militants beheaded a Somali National Army soldier’s wife and her friend on December 10th, a group of soldiers led by the slain woman’s husband rounded up women believed to be close to al-Shabaab and killed five of them in retaliation.
Tiyeglow District Commissioner Mohamed Abdulle Hassan said neither of the two women al-Shabaab beheaded cooked for the Somali government forces as was previously reported. He said the women were close friends and were kidnapped from the soldier’s house. “Al-Shabaab broke into a house on the outskirts of Tiyeglow town at night and kidnapped two women who had done nothing,” he told Sabahi. “After a few hours, they discarded [the bodies of] the beheaded women in the town’s garbage dump.” Hassan said investigations into the five women killed in retaliation revealed that four of them were married to al-Shabaab fighters. Two of the four government soldiers who took part in the murders are in custody, he said, and efforts are under way to capture the remaining killers, including the al-Shabaab members. “By God, I was very, very saddened and I condemn the killing of the seven women,” Hassan said.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Somaliland seizes Yemeni and Egyptian vessels

17 Dec- Source: BBC – 149 Words

Somaliland has seized more than 51 Yemeni boats and an Egyptian ship for fishing illegally in its waters, an official has told the BBC. Admiral Ahmed Osman said coastguards had also arrested more than 250 fishermen who were on board.This is the biggest arrest ever by Somaliland’s coastguards, trained by Western states to curb piracy and illegal fishing off its coast.Illegal fishing has depleted fishing stocks along the Somali coast. Correspondents say years of illegal fishing by foreign trawlers devastated the livelihoods of many people, some of whom then became pirates who attacked vessels for ransom.Piracy in the region has declined in recent years following the deployment of a multinational naval force.Last month, the EU Naval Force provided training and equipment to the Somaliland coast guard. Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in 1991, but is not recognised by the United Nations or any government.


Divided Kenyans disagree over strategy to end ‘terror’ attacks

17 Dec – Source: Virginia Gazette – 488 Words

Islamist attacks, knee-jerk security responses, corrupt policing and racial profiling are dividing Kenyans increasingly along religious and ethnic lines, experts said. There is fear on all sides – among Christians who pray on Sundays under armed police guard, among Muslims who are vilified on the internet, and among government leaders who have lost face for failing to provide security. The Somalia-based al Shabaab militant group has escalated the number of attacks on Kenyans this year, as part of its campaign to stop Kenyan military operations in Somalia.

“It is primed to explode,” said Clive Wanguthi, a Muslim leader living in Nairobi’s Somali-dominated Eastleigh area. “If they (extremists) continue with these attacks, they will come and hit a sensitive area and everything will go to hell. I mean we will kill each other,” said Wanguthi. The 47-year-old father of six converted from Christianity to Islam 25 years ago, and is trying to ease tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims in Eastleigh, which has been a focus of government crackdowns. Eleven percent of Kenyans are Muslim, some of them ethnically Somali.  Security forces’ efforts to tame the Islamist threat have focused on shutting down radical mosques and mass arrests of Muslims, particularly of Somali refugees living in Eastleigh, during an operation in April.  In the countdown to Christmas, lorryloads of police have arrived in Eastleigh each night to patrol its streets, video halls and clubs, residents said.


Staying safe while covering a terrorism-related story

17 Dec – Source: Deutsche Welle – 500 Words

For our series on terrorist groups, DW correspondents travelled to some of the most dangerous regions of Africa. Local journalists kept them safe. Our jeep was stuck in the middle of the Sahara desert in Mali for just fifteen minutes but it seemed much longer. We were on our way from Timbuktu to Bamako and had planned our journey so it would not take not longer than one and half days. But 100 kilometers into Timbuktu the car’s engine stopped working. This was the most dangerous part of the journey because of bandits and Islamists who roam the area. They abduct foreigners for large sums or for political leverage. A reputable security company classifies this area as extremely risky. Close cooperation with local journalists…We trust our local colleagues and contacts; their sound judgment and assessment are invaluable. Sometimes we were just lucky.

A week after we had been filming in Mogadishu, a car bomb exploded a few meters in front of our hotel killing six people. Another incident occurred during a return flight from the north-eastern Nigeria, where we produced a report on Boko Haram. The plane almost crashed as we were about to land in the capital Abuja. We only take risks when we go on trips; our local colleagues live with these risks all the time. In Mogadishu, we worked with a journalist who spent some years in Europe because there had been threats to his life there in Somalia. But he has returned to continue reporting on the abuses in his country. The threats haven’t stopped. And so he lives in a low budget hostel so he can constantly move around. He wears different headscarves daily to disguise himself. Otherwise he would be an easy target for the terrorists.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

“Somali Diaspora Voice was set to be the voice for the voiceless. It is a venue, a representational platform whereby peoples voices are heard, whereby people make their own decisions toward the future and whereby hope and audacity are built.”


What is Somali Diaspora voice?

17 Dec – Source: Radio RBC – 650 Words

On Saturday, Dec. 20th, Somali Diaspora Voice is kicking off its first grand opening at Marriott Hotel, St. Louis Park. This event was planned in such a way to become the first of its kind that ever to pass by the community. Now, people may ask: what is Somali Diaspora Voice, and why now? Is it different from other community organizations? I admit these are highly and fairly legitimate questions. With all due diligence and honest, let me answer these questions. Somali Diaspora Voice is an indigenous, grassroots organization and was born out of necessity. A group of friends from different walks of life came together and brainstormed for ways to save the community. After so many months of rigorous meetings they came up with a vision and mandate to work on. For over two decades, Somalis in the Diaspora–regardless of where they live in the world, were overpromised and underdelivered. We understand the pervasive challenges faced by many around the globe. The single mothers with possibly children with special need and elderly people who suffer in daily basis do not deserve the treatments they encounter. The students who are sent home simply because they do culturally accepted norms back home will be represented. In essence, nobody will expect an empty promise, and hopes will be realized in the fullest way possible.

December 18, 2014 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

World marks International Day of Migrants

18 Dec – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 110 Words

International migrants day is commemorated  all over the world  including Somalia, where ceremonies to mark day are held in all regions of the country. Many immigrants, including Somalis, face threats and human right violations all over the world. Thousands of Somali migrants  keep fleeing the country, with most migrants dying enroute to Yemen in pursuit of a better life, and others subject to human right violations during the course of their travel. On December 4, 2000, the United Nations (U.N.) proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants’ Day, in recognition of migrant persons as being particularly vulnerable to violations of their basic rights.

Key Headlines

  • Government forces launch security operations in the road connecting lower Shabelle towns (Radio Goobjoog)
  • 400 girls from IDP families get free schooling in Galkayo (Radio Ergo)
  • Somali President arrives in Kismayo (Radio Goobjoog/Radio Muqdisho/Radio Mustaqbal)
  • The price of livestock in Galkayo markets drops down (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Former Puntland president Farole congratulates new Somali PM (Garowe Online/Radio Muqdisho)
  • World marks international day of migrants (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Kenya police offers Sh2m bounty on two Al-Shabaab members (Standard Media/Daily Nation/Star Kenya)
  • Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting (Middle East Online)
  • Somalia President names Prime Minister after cabinet dispute (Bloomberg News)
  • Mogadishu hosts a medal parade for AMISOM Kenya contingent (Xinhuanet.com)
  • Man sentenced to 15 years in Miami case linked to al-Qaida (Bloomberg News)

PRESS STATEMENT

AU Special Representative Welcomes the Appointment of Mr. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as Somalia’s Prime Minister

18 Dec – Source: AMISOM – 168 Words

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Maman S. Sidikou has welcomed the appointment of Mr. Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke as Somalia’s new Prime Minister, replacing Mr. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed.

Mr. Sharmarke’s appointment was announced yesterday, 17 December, 2014 by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud. Mr. Sharmake’s appointment has to be endorsed by the Federal Parliament after which he is expected to appoint his cabinet of ministers in consultation with the President.

Ambassador Sidikou notes that the appointment of Mr. Sharmarke is another positive step forward for Somalia and further demonstrates effectiveness of the country’s institutions in meeting their constitutional responsibilities.He also notes that Mr. Sharmarke comes on board with a wealth of experience drawn from his previous term as Prime Minister between 2009 and 2010 as well as his international public service experiences in the United Nations and the African Union.

SOMALI MEDIA

Government forces launch security operations in the road connecting lower Shabelle towns

18 Dec – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 108 Words

Federal government forces in Lower Shabelle region have launched security operations to smoke out armed men who set up roadblocks where passengers are robbed and drivers are forced to pay large amounts of money.The heavy security operations has affected the road connecting Afgoye district to Marerey, Baladul Amin and Janaale localities in Lower Shabelle region. The government forces have formed at least five temporary bases between Afgoye and other localities in the region to beef up the security and fight the armed militias as Goobjoog correspondent in the region reports.The security officials vowed to weed out the armed men who threaten the security of the region


Former Puntland president Farole congratulates new Somali PM Sharmarke

18 Dec – Source: Garowe Online/Radio Muqdisho – 146 Words

Former Puntland president Abdirahman Farole, today extended his congratulations to the new Somali premier from his current home in Melbourne, Australia. “Your Excellency, I am pleased to hear your nomination as the Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and would like to congratulate you for assuming this leading role in this very crucial moment of the history of Somalia. I do understand the enormous and hard work ahead that you will be confronted to deal with in order to complete difficult tasks – in a relatively short period of time. I hope you will succeed, with the help of Allah Almighty, in bringing peace and stability to the country, completing the review of the Provisional Federal Constitution and speeding up the formation of the remaining Federated States to reunite the fragmented regions and territories of the country in a reconciliatory manner.”


Somali President arrives in Kismayo

18 Dec – Source: Radio Goobjoog/Radio Muqdisho/Radio Mustaqbal – 86 Words

Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his delegation have arrived in Kismayo, the administrative capital of the interim administration of Juba in Southern Somalia. President Hassan and his delegation were warmly welcomed at the airport by IJA officials, he was immediately moved to Kismayo state house where he is expected to take meetings with the top leaders of the administration. This is the third trip of President Hassan Sheikh to Kismayo since he came to office earlier on September 2012.


The price of livestock in Galkayo markets drops down

18 Dec – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 206 Words

The prices of livestock across all markets in Mudug region particularly Galkayo, the headquarters of the region has drastically dropped down. The herders and livestock traders say the decline in the price of livestock is attributed to the increasing number of livestock reaching the markets every day. One of the livestock traders told Goobjoog FM that the price of livestock normally come down during the rainy seasons as pastoralists get enough pasture and water for their animals hence ready for selling. The trader estimates that at least 500 herds of livestock mostly goats are sold in the markets compared to the drought seasons where less than 200 herds of livestock were sold on daily bases.

The price of livestock fluctuates from time to time as the federal government of Somalia has not yet put in place measures to regulate the price. Taxation of livestock exports is the main source of government revenue and funding for the reconstruction of the country particularly devastated government institutions.


400 girls from IDP families get free schooling in Galkayo

17 Dec – Source: Radio Ergo – 277 Words

400 girls from displaced and low-income families in Mudug region have been awarded free schooling, benefiting from a project run by Relief International in collaboration with Puntland’s Education Ministry. The project, now in its second phase, aims to increase the number of girls enrolled in schools. It was launched in July and is expected to continue until 2017, according to Puntland’s Galkayo education chairman Mohamed Abdi Farah. Farah said the enrolled girls, between the ages of 6 and 19, were selected from displaced and low-income families in the city who were not able to send or keep their girls in school due to financial difficulties. Girls from rural areas with no family members or relatives in the town are also among the enrolled girls.

Suhaiba Ibrahim Mohamed, 18, comes from a poor family and dropped out of form two of high school after failing to pay the school fees. She was very happy to get the opportunity to enroll again under the programme and start learning. “My parents couldn’t often afford to pay the school fees, so I was forced to stay at home for months, but now I am very happy with the opportunity I was granted,” said Mohamed. Zamzam Sheikh Hussein, a mother of 11, said: “I am very happy that two of my children are going to school because I cannot afford to pay for them so.” 200 girls mostly from IDP families benefited from the project’s earlier phase in Puntland in 2013. The project is being rolled out in other parts of the country and  more than 22,562 girls are reportedly benefiting.


World marks international day of migrants

18 Dec – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 110 Words

International migrants day is commemorated  all over the world  including Somalia, where ceremonies to mark day are held in all regions of the country. Many immigrants, including Somalis, face threats and human right violations all over the world. Thousands of Somali migrants  keep fleeing the country, with most migrants dying enroute to Yemen in pursuit of a better life, and others subject to human right violations during the course of their travel. On December 4, 2000, the United Nations (U.N.) proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants’ Day, in recognition of migrant persons as being particularly vulnerable to violations of their basic rights.

REGIONAL MEDIA

Kenya police offers Sh2m bounty on two Al-Shabaab members

18 Dec – Source: Standard Media/Daily Nation/Star Kenya  – 529 Words

Police have circulated pictures of two wanted Al-Shabaab terror suspects and offered a Sh2 million reward to anyone who will provide information that may lead to their arrest. Detectives who released the photos of the two said the suspects are behind a series of attacks in the country. Mohamed Kuno alias Dulyadayn also known as Gamadhere or Sheikh Mahamad from Garissa and Ahmed Iman Ali alias Abu Zinira from Majengo in Nairobi are wanted and are believed to be either in Kenya or Somalia.

Deputy director of CID Gideon Kimilu said the two are believed to be behind attacks including the recent attacks in Mandera in which over 60 people were killed. Gamadheere is Al-Shabaab’s Jabha leader for Juba region, Somalia. He is currently in charge of external operations against Kenya. “He commands the militia along the border and is responsible for cross-border incursions in the country,” police said in a statement,Wednesday. He has three wife’s with the first one being a resident of Huda near Ras Kamboni. “The second wife lives in Garissa. His third wife lives in Bulla Iftin, near Bulla Iftin Secondary School, in Garissa,” the statement partly read.


Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

18 Dec – Source: Middle East Online – 447 Words

Somalia’s president on Wednesday appointed a new prime minister, 11 days after the war-torn nation’s previous premier was ousted amid bitter infighting. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said he had appointed political heavyweight Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, 54, who becomes the first person to hold the post twice. “I’m very happy that I have picked Omar Abdirashid Ali as the new prime minister of the country. I expect him to fulfill his commandments,” the president said at Villa Somalia, the fortified compound and seat of the country’s fragile internationally backed government.

Sharmarke, a dual Canadian and Somali national, replaces sacked prime minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, ousted by parliament after just over a year in the post. The United Nations, United States and European Union have all warned that power struggles in the Villa Somalia were a damaging distraction for the country as it tries to battle Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab rebels. United Nations special envoy Nicholas Kay also said the tensions put at risk political goals including a referendum on a new constitution due to take place next year, ahead of elections in 2016. The new prime minister told reporters he would “continue working on the efforts to bring about stability” and “taking the country the way forward to free elections.” Like previous prime ministers, he faces a giant task to rein in corruption, quash al-Shabaab insurgents battling to topple the central government, and rebuild the troubled Horn of Africa nation.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Somalia President names prime minister after cabinet dispute

18 Dec- Source: Bloomberg News – 161 Words

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud named Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke prime minister after parliament removed the previous head of government because of a disagreement about cabinet appointments. Sharmarke, the ambassador to the U.S., will replace Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, Mohamoud said yesterday in Mogadishu, the capital. Parliament removed Ahmed from office on Dec. 6 after clashing with the president about a cabinet change.

“I will soon nominate a cabinet that will help the country realize its full potential,” Sharmarke said. Sharmarke will take over Somalia’s 17th attempt to establish an effective central administration. The country, stuck in a civil war since 1991, has gained ground against al-Shabaab, militants linked to al-Qaeda. The government is using the success to try to lure investors for rebuilding the east African economy. Sharmarke served as prime minister from 2009 to 2010, when he resigned saying political infighting was compromising the government’s ability to focus on fighting insecurity.


Mogadishu hosts a medal parade for AMISOM Kenya contingent

18 Dec – Source: Xinhuanet.com – 615 Words

A medal parade has been held in Mogadishu, in recognition of the Kenyan Police Contingent drawing to the end of its tour of duty, having contributed to the peace process in Somalia over the past one year. The Individual Police Officers including 3 females and 17 males were first deployed in Somalia on 17th December 2013 in various capacities as mentors, trainers and advisors, working under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). They have worked together with officers from other Police Contributing Countries in mentorship of the Somali Police Force to support efforts at ensuring law and order in the country. The ceremony held in appreciation of their contribution was presided over by the AMISOM Police Commissioner Anand Pillay and the Kenyan AMISOM Deputy Force Commander Maj. Gen. Jonathan K. Ronno.

Speaking during the ceremony, the AMISOM Deputy Force Commander challenged the officers to apply the knowledge acquired while in Somalia to the fight against terrorism back home. “We are facing a situation where we have a lot of intrusion of terrorist activities in the country and this is facing the police at all our boarders. “So as you go, I am so happy because you will employ that knowledge, you will employ that technique that you have been using here to see that you enforce law and order and also detect issues of possible terrorism and safeguard human life,” said Maj. General Jonathan Ronno. The AMISOM Police Commissioner Anand Pillay applauded the high level of professionalism exhibited by the outgoing officers. “I am looking forward to the new contingent that is coming in, and when they arrive I will also speak to them.” And I will speak to them about the quality of personnel that I had, that has just left. And I will also ask them to keep your standards or even better your standards and watch them if they do so,” he said.


Man sentenced to 15 years in Miami case linked to al-Qaida

17 Dec- Source: Bloomberg News – 476 Words

A naturalized U.S. citizen who had once lived in California was sentenced Wednesday in Miami federal court to the maximum 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing thousands of dollars in support to three U.S.-designated terrorist organizations operating under al-Qaida.Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed, 31, was convicted of a conspiracy conviction in July and sought a more lenient sentence before U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro. She rejected his request.

Prosecutors Rick del Toro and Brian Frazier argued that Mohammed, who holds a master’s degree in computer science, possessed “a deep hatred for the country that provided him shelter, citizenship and education” and that “his intent was to kill innocent American civilians,” according to court papers.Mohammed was arrested last year in a Miami-based terrorism investigation led by an FBI employee, who engaged him and a co-defendant, Mohamed Hussein Said, 26, in an online, undercover financial scheme.

Mohammed and Said were charged with conspiring to provide a combined total of about $25,000 to the al-Qaida splinter groups.Said, who is being held without bond and pleaded not guilty, is set for trial next May.The Miami FBI employee posed as a brother and a sister who supported al-Qaida as a way to communicate in an Internet chat room with the two men overseas. The men were accused of plotting to finance the terrorist group’s battles in Syria and Somalia, according to an indictment.


4 Charged in $4 million gov’t benefits scam

17 Dec- Source: CBS Minnesota  – 339 Words

A former daycare operator is in jail while police search for her husband as part of a multimillion-dollar fraud investigation.Yasmin Ali of Fridley and her husband, Ahmed Mohammed, are charged with felonies along with two other men — Joshua Miller of St. Paul and Jordan Smith of Cottage Grove.Ali and Mohammed owned the Deqo Family Centers in St. Paul and Minneapolis, which provided daycare services to low-income families.Minnesota offers child care payments for mothers who average 20 hours of work a week, with an income level that qualifies. The state pays the childcare provider directly.

To get the payments, prosecutors say the Deqo Centers would recruit mothers, especially those with several children. If they didn’t have jobs, they could go on the daycare’s payroll, and they wouldn’t have to work nearly as much as the daycare was telling the government.Ramsey County attorney John Choi calls it a complex scheme.“The defendants provided counties with pay stubs overstating hours that were worked by the mothers,” Choi said. “In some cases, no wages were paid to the mothers, but pay stubs were created to make it appear as if wages had been paid.”That money then was going to the company operated by Ali, Mohammed and Miller.In just one ten-month period, the group allegedly took in more than $3 million in fraudulent payments.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

“It is the duty, for example, of the Somali pastoral poet to compose verse on all important clan events and to express and formalize in poetry the dominant issues of the age – in short, to record and immortalize the history of his people.”


Sarbeeb: the art of oblique communication in Somali culture

17 Dec- Source: Wardheer News – 1348 Words

The Somalis have been described as a “nation of Poets” whose poetic heritage is intimately linked to the vicissitudes of the people’s daily life. In the great demoralization that followed the collapse of the Somali state, some Somalis turned for inspiration to what a former president has called “ and asset of inestimable value” – namely, their lyrical poetry that moves the Somalis in almost primeval ways, alternately inspiring them for good or inflaming them for evil.

From early times foreigners who studied Somali language and culture observed the centrality of oral poetry in Somali literary temper and tastes. For example, , in 1854 the romantic and highly eccentric British explorer, Sir Richard Burton, entered the Somali coast town of Zayla ‘ disguised as a Muslim holy man and traveling under the pseudonym of al_Hajj Abdullah. Burton who spoke flawless Arabic and knew Islamic theology well, resided in Zayla’ for some months impressed the inhabitants with his considerable Islamic learning and by some accounts induced them to appoint him the imam of the mosque of Zayla’, where he allegedly regularly led the faithful in Friday prayer


“I was arrested several times, thrown in jail and spent some six months under house arrest subject to random searches…because I wasn’t a communist…I was called an anti-revolutionary, a capitalist pig, an imperialist stooge, and a foreign agent.”


A Somali woman struggles alone for a better Somalia

18 Dec – Source: Daily Sabah – 881 Words

Development economists debate whether institutions or infrastructure is more important for a nation’s development. Edna Adan, a retired Somali politician has done both, by building Somaliland’s first proper hospital and working to train a new generation of medical professionals. At 76 years of age, Edna Adan has more energy than a woman half her age. The nurse-turned-U.N.- diplomat-turned-former foreign minister of Somaliland retired in order to launch the Edna Adan Hospital in Hargeisa, which aims to provide competent medical care for those living in the region.

She’s been likened a “Muslim Mother Teresa” and has received the French Legion of Honor. Edna Adan sold her car and poured her life savings into turning a former landfill into one of the better hospitals in rural Somalia that has a fraction of the mortality rates elsewhere in the country. Born the daughter of a Somali doctor, she was afforded opportunities that many of the other residents of British Somaliland were not. She didn’t hesitate in seizing them, becoming the first woman to get a driver’s license and the first woman to become a nurse. She married the first prime minister of Somaliland, and through the post, met many world leaders. An image on the wall behind the desk in her modest office shows a meeting between the heads of the United States and Somalia. In the photo, she is seen standing next to then U.S. President Lyndon B Johnson.

Top tweets

@amisomsomalia A statement from @MamanSidikou1 on#Somalia‘s Prime Minister appointment http://bit.ly/1J6FuEv

@UNHCRSom Today: >1.1 M internally #displaced within#Somalia & >1 M Somali #refugees in the region. Asylum & Protection is a human right #MigrantsDay

@amisomsomalia SRCC @MamanSidikou1 and AMISOM welcome the appointment of Mr. Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke as#Somalia’s new Prime Minister.

@UNHCRSom  Decades of war, violence & poverty in #Somalia. Now, a new struggle to rebuild lives & livelihoods. Some succeed – many give up #MigrantsDay

@RadioErgo Farmers in Middle Shabelle sing praises of soil enrichment technology #Somalia http://bit.ly/1zx2GHM

‏@USAforSOMALIA  For over 20 years, landmines and unexploded ordnance, and other munitions have plagued communities across #Somalia  http://go.usa.gov/MxfQ

@mary_harper  Interviewing #sharmarke the last time he was prime minister of #Somalia – how long will he last this time?http://fb.me/7hbRLNABp

 

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Image of the day

Image of the day

A group photo of the trainees, facilitators, members from UNSOM police unit and senior officials from Somali police force taken after the closure of the training program Photo: UNSOM