March 5, 2015 | Morning Headlines.

Main Story

Army Rescues Food Supplies For Besieged Town from Al Shabab

04 March – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 163 Words

The Somali National Army Command in Bulo Burde town says they rescued food supplies for the residents of the besieged town from Al Shabab fighters who were trying to starve the public. They also seized weapons and captured members belonging to the group. Abdullahi Barre Elmi, the Commander of SNA in Bulo Burde, told Goobjoog that the army conducted an operation towards the northern areas of Bulo Burde and the operation was successful in capturing Al Shabab members and seizing some weapons. He said the consignment of food was loaded on some 40 donkey carts destined for the residents and this is big achievement in averting a disaster. Al Shabab had previously laid a 10 month siege on the town. “We captured three  anti-peace culprits , together with their guns. This was done by the  Somali National Army and AMISOM peacekeepers, and we managed to deliver the food to their rightful owners in the town,” Elmi said.

Key Headlines

  • Army Rescues Food Supplies For Besieged Town From Al Shabab (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Puntland Court Acquits Politicians Of Charges Of ‘Treason’  (Garowe Online)
  • Somali Town Launches Solar Energy Project (Hiiraan Online)
  • Somalia ‘Determined’ To Improve Human Rights Situation (Horseed Media)
  • Talks Between Puntland And Interim Juba Administration Open In Kismayu (Radio Bar-kula)
  • EU Boosts The Somali Energy Sector (Mareeg Media)
  • Three Arrested Over Canada Mall Threat (Daily Nation/AFP)
  • First Somali-American On Metropolitan Airports Commission Honored In Minneapolis (My Fox – Twin Cities)
  • Former Foreign Minister And Somali First Lady Shares Inspiring Story Of Social Change With Walden University Graduates (PR Newswire)
  • Post-Independence And Discourse Of Perplexed Leadership (Horseed Media)

 

SOMALI MEDIA

Puntland Court Acquits Politicians Of Charges Of ‘Treason’

04 March – Source: Garowe Online – 177 Words

A court in Somalia’s north eastern state of Puntland dropped treason charges against politicians and traditional leaders on Wednesday, Garowe Online reports. The Chairman of the First Degree Court of Nugal Mohamed Hared Farah told reports in Garowe that following an appeal against a verdict being dealt to 14 people on January 13, 2015, the judges found the defendants of innocent of treason charges. He added that the court did not receive sufficient evidence and ordered that the 14 people be compensated with $8,000 collectively. Amongst the defendants acquitted of treason is former Puntland MP Abdiweli Musse Shire who was sentenced to life in prison for attending a state formation conference held in the central Somali town of Adado. Shire has reportedly returned to Galkayo. Three of the fourteen were initially handed down life imprisonment while 11 were expected to serve 10-year jail terms. On July 31, 2014 Puntland protested the inclusion of Mudug in central state map, withdrawing confidence in the relatively weak  UN-backed central government in Mogadishu.


Somali Town Launches Solar Energy Project

04 March – Source: Hiiraan Online  – 211 Words

In an attempt to reduce the skyrocketing electricity costs, Beledweyne, a town in central Somalia, launched a solar-power system on Wednesday, deploying solar panels across the city in the hopes of seeing progress through the new initiative. Funded by the Norwegian government, the town’s administration inaugurated the program which aims covering the town’s electricity needs, a move that can contain the high electrical energy prices. The first solar panel was set up at the town’s main hospital to help the health facility to have unlimited power access, unlike the subscription electricity that often results in numerous blackouts.

“It’s going to be a good progress ending those terrible energy challenges we have experienced,” said Ahmed Mohamed Khalif, the director of the town’s hospital. “Sometimes there would be a power failure in the middle of a critical surgery–it was dangerous.” The project, which aims to create a better energy alternative for the town, plans to install solar-powered posts across the town giving residents easy access to electricity. Residents celebrated the new investment which will help poor families in the town to get an unlimited solar access, and will likely chip away at the expensive electricity companies.


Somalia ‘Determined’ To Improve On Human Rights Situation

04 March – Source: Horseed Media – 166 Words

Somalia’s Federal government has said that it will work to improve the  human rights situation in the country, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders including international organizations and donors. For many years, Somalia has had a terrible human rights record, and has consistently been on the list of the world’s worst countries for human rights violations. The Minister of Women’s Affairs and Human Rights, Sahra Mohammed Ali, met with senior officials from the United Nations offices in Mogadishu to discuss ways to develop the human rights situation in a country recovering from two decades of civil war and lawlessness. She said that the government is determined to work on the elimination of human rights abuses and deal with those who violate the rights of others. The current government, which came in power in 2012, has failed to tackle rights violations despite making public  pledges several times. Its human rights record has also been tainted by  accusations of security forces committing acts of sexual violence against women.


Talks Between Puntland And Interim Juba Administration Open In Kismayu

04 March – Source: Radio Bar-Kulan  – 87 Words

Leaders of Puntland and the Interim Juba Administration are currently meeting in Kismayu. A large delegation from Puntland, led by President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (Gaas), arrived in Kismayu on Tuesday for a three day visit. According to a Radio Bar-Kulan reporter, the two sides will discuss a range of issues including strengthening ties between Puntland and the Interim Juba Administration, fighting terrorism and Vision 2016. The President of Puntland is expected to visit the Kismayu port  which is the largest source of revenue for the Juba administration.


EU Boosts The Somali Energy Sector

04 March – Source:Mareeg Media – 327 Words

Today, the European Union (EU) and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) launched a new three year Somali program aimed at the use and dissemination of renewable energies. Through the “Somali Energy Transformation” (SET) project, more than 100.000 households will have access to sustainable and affordable energy services in Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia.

Deployment of renewable energies will contribute to a cleaner energy sector. Achieving this goal will help the Somalis to move along a low carbon development pathway contributing to climate change objectives, increased energy security, more economic opportunities and better access to energy services. This goal will be achieved through the development of solar photovoltaic markets and solar powered systems for irrigation, health and educational facilities and community electrification schemes, but also through promotion of efficient cook stoves and support for youth led renewable energy enterprises.

“This is a very timely project that will immensely contribute to the development of the Somaliland energy sector, in addition to contributing significantly to the Government’s goal of lighting up rural and peri-urban areas of the country,” said Hussein Abdi Dualeh, the Somaliland Minister of Energy and Minerals. “We will work with the EU and ADRA to ensure efficacious implementation of this vital intervention.”

“The EU believes in this innovative project which will change the lives of many Somalis, said the EU Ambassador to Somalia, Michele Cervone d’Urso. “Expanded access to electricity will improve access to water, health and education services, and will boost job opportunities. We hope the project will bring a transformational change by spreading the use of renewable energies throughout Somalia.”

“This action will facilitate eradication of extreme poverty and hunger through provision of energy aimed at increasing production in the agriculture and livestock sectors making food more affordable and in the process generating jobs,” said Luiz Carmago, Country Director for ADRA Somalia. “The project will also deploy cleaner energy systems that are needed to ensure environmental sustainability and mitigate against climate change.”

REGIONAL MEDIA​

Three Arrested Over Canada Mall Threat

04 March – Source: Daily Nation/AFP – 249 Words
Police arrested two men and a woman in a raid Tuesday over a “potential threat” to a mall near Canada’s port city of Halifax, home to the navy’s Atlantic fleet.
It comes after security officials last month warned shoppers in Canada, the United States and Britain to be on guard after an Al-Qaeda-linked militant group posted a video calling for attacks on Western malls.

Halifax Police Constable Pierre Bourdages said a “heavy police presence” was dispatched to the Mic Mac Mall in the Halifax suburb of Dartmouth and the mall was closed for the day, although investigators said the threat had not been confirmed.
Officers raided a small bungalow in connection with the threat, but a suspect was absent and “no dangerous substances” or firearms were found, Bourdages told AFP.

A short time later, an apartment in another part of Halifax was raided and three people — two men and a woman — were taken into custody. Police said they “have been actively investigating the matter to determine the validity of the threat and to this point no threat has been confirmed.” The Al-Shabaab militant group last month specifically threatened the Mall of America in the US state of Minnesota, Canada’s massive West Edmonton Mall, London’s famous Oxford Street and two malls in France.
Also last month, an American woman and a Canadian man were arrested and charged with plotting a Valentine’s Day massacre at another mall in Halifax.A third suspect was found dead at his parents’ home.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

First Somali-American On Metropolitan Airports Commission Honored In Minneapolis

04 March – Source: My Fox – Twin Cities – 113 Words

Ibrahim Mohamed was honored at an event Tuesday night at the Brian Coyle Center after he became the first Somali-American member of the Metropolitan Airports Commission this February. Appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton, Mohamed now has a seat among 14 commissioners that operate Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and six small airports in the metro area. For 11 years, Mohamed worked his way up at MSP from baggage runner to cabin cleaner, restroom attendant, ticket verifier, and most recently, for the last 6 years, a cart driver. Mohamed’s term will last until 2019. He first came to the United States from Somalia in 2004 and is married with five children and lives in Rosemount.


Former Foreign Minister And Somali First Lady Shares Inspiring Story Of Social Change With Walden University Graduates

04 March – Source: PR Newswire – 787 Words

Edna Adan, former foreign minister and Somali first lady, addressed more than 1,050 graduates and 4,600 guests, faculty, administration and staff attending Walden University’s 53rd Commencement Ceremony onSaturday, January 31, 2015, at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center near Orlando. Adan shared her powerful personal story and experience of going against all odds to effect positive social change in her country and offered inspiring insight into the importance of education and the responsibility that comes with earning an advanced degree. “We were honored to have Edna Adan, a passionate advocate who gives a voice to the voiceless, share her inspiring story of social change with Walden graduates,” said Jonathan Kaplan, interim president of Walden University. “Her drive to pursue education as a basic human right and her continuous fight to challenge the status quo ring true for the Walden community, who undoubtedly went home feeling motivated to continue impacting their communities, now and in the future.”

Adan reflected on her journey as the first Somali girl awarded one of a few coveted scholarships to study in Britain, where she spent seven years studying nursing, midwifery and hospital management to become Somaliland’s first qualified nurse-midwife in the country. She then went on to open the Edna Adan University Hospital in 2002 and Edna Adan University in 2012, “the first university in Somaliland that is headed by a woman.” For Adan, her scholarly achievements made her accountable to the women and girls of Somaliland and gave her the ability to create educational opportunities that previously may not have been able to be realized. “Besides giving me a new purpose in life, the [Edna Adan University] Hospital has also become a platform from where I can influence education in my country, where I can encourage girls to go to school and often say to those who hesitate ‘Do you think that I could have built this hospital without education?'” continued Adan.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

“Somalia has a tragic history and was shaped by enigma of deep-seated and intertwined forces. The country wears the scars of colonial rule, the marks of the military regime’s authoritarian and brutal system, and the self-inflicted wounds of civil war. What becomes apparent; however, from all the trial-and-error style of governments thus far, is that the country is still finding its identity just as it was during the emancipation. The only difference today is that Somali leaders are actively participating in the country’s perpetuated tragedy.”


Post-Independence And Discourse Of Perplexed Leadership

04 March – Source: Horseed Media – 1,304 Words

Somalia with more than two decades of civil war carries an indelible scar from colonial and authoritarian powers, which have imposed cultural and psychological limits that have become the impervious fault lines of conflict. Colonialism has shaped the history of ancient cultures throughout Africa and instilled a perpetual exploitation of tribalism, or in the case of Somalia, clannism. Colonialism is defined as “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.” Post-colonialism; however, is defined by Ania Loomba in her book Colonialism and Post Colonialism “as a study of the legacy of an era of European and American’s direct global domination, and the residual political, socioeconomic, and psychological effects of that colonial history, which ended roughly in the mid- twentieth century (1998).”  Other scholars such as Hamza Alavi, Ndirangu Mwaura and Edward Said share similar views, arguing that when colonial domination ends its machinery keeps running within the colonized societies, as it is embedded in its cultural structure.

More importantly their influence is also apparent, particularly in Africa, where colonial powers are still connected through economic and social development. Somalia was colonized by three opposing European colonizers in late 1800s: Britain, which administered over what was known as British Somaliland, Italy with Italian-Somaliland, and the French over the area now known as Djibouti. Somalia gained its independence in 1960, just as decolonization was unfolding in Africa in the late fifties and early sixties. The after-effects of Somalia’s political and economic dependence on former colonizers is self-evident, and not only in today’s political crisis, but throughout the country’s leadership history. As I was pondering the causes of the country’s current futile political system and perplexed leadership, I realized that the country has dealt with three different leadership scenarios in post-independent Somalia, with startling different generational representation and experience.

 

March 4, 2015 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

Anti-Al Shabaab Operations Kick Off In Ceel Bur

04 March – Source: Radio Bar-Kulan – 146 Words

Somali government forces have started an operation to flush out  Al Shabaab elements in the district of Ceel Bur in Galgadud region and it environs. The areas the forces are carrying out the operation in include  Dari El Shil and other towns in the area. The commander of the Somali National Forces in the district of Elbur, Mohamud Mohamed (Ceyrow) who spoke to Radio Bar-Kulan said the operation started on Tuesday, and so far three people suspected to be members of Al Shabaab have been arrested while still on the lookout for more. He said the operations will continue. He added that forces have been successful in relocating displaced families back to their homes; he promised that the people living in Ceel Bur will receive assistance, and called for the deployment of more forces to the town of El Bur.

Key Headlines

  • Anti-Al Shabaab Operations Kick Off In Ceel Bur (Radio Bar-Kulan)
  • Shortage Of Medical Supplies At Balad Hawo Hospital (Radio Goobjoog)
  • South-West State President Nominates More Ministers (Radio Danan)
  • Somalia: Minister For Women And Human Rights Development Calls For Increased measures to protect the rights of women (Midnimo)
  • Two Somaliland Ministers Resign In Twenty Four Hours (Radio RBC)
  • New Deal Meeting Held In Mogadishu (Radio Bar-Kulan)
  • Over 60 Undocumented Migrants Found In Serbia In 48 Hours (Anadolu Agency)
  • Ethiopia’s TACON Completes Somaliland’s New Airport Terminal and Fence with 80M Birr  (Addis Fortune)
  • Somalia Top Priority In U.N. Agriculture Organization Funding Appeal (Reuters)
  • Exposed: ISIS’ Somali-American Terrorist Pipeline (The National Interest)
  • Somalis In Banyule Fear Loss Of Remittance Accounts As Banks Cease Transfer Service (Herald Sun)
  • Somalia’s Remittance Crisis Eclipses News Of First US Ambassador Since 1991 (Christian Science Monitor)

 

SOMALI MEDIA

Shortage Of Medical Supplies At Balad Hawo Hospital

04 March – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 134 Words

Health workers at the main hospital in Balad Hawo, Gedo region, have appealed for help as they face an acute shortage of medical and other important supplies. MP Musa Sheik Omar who is in the district visiting his constituency told Goobjoog that he saw many patients including women and children when he toured the hospital. “The doctors told me that for 3 months, there have been no medical suppliers for this hospital, so I would appeal to the federal government to help,” Omar said. Lack of basic services is the order of the day in many parts of Somalia as the federal government and regional states are trying to stand on their feet, and self sufficiency is long way away.


South-West State President Nominates More Ministers

04 March – Source: Radio Danan – 98 Words

The President of the Interim South-West Administration of Somalia, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan nominated new ministers, and state ministers to his regional government. These were complementing a list of ministers President Sharif nominated in the past. The list of the new nominees includes Madoobe Nuunow who was the former president of the former six-region South-West State. President Sharif nominated Madoobe Nuunow to serve as Minister of Livestock and Wildlife. Saida Sheikh Ahmed, an academic and a writer who currently lives in Belgium, was nominated the State Minister for Planning and International Cooperation.


Somalia: Minister For Women and Human Rights Development Calls For Increased Measures To Protect The Rights Of Women

03 March – Source: Midnimo – 321 Words

Speaking at a high level panel discussion on sexual violence in Somalia the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Nicholas Kay and the Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC), Maman S. Sidikou made a joint call for increased measures to protect Somalia’s women and girls and reiterated their commitment to support efforts to combat sexual and gender based violence in Somalia. The event was organised by international Non-Governmental Organisation, Legal Action Worldwide, in Mogadishu. Other panelists included Somalia’s Minister for Women and Human Rights Development, Hon. Minister Zahra Mohamed Ali Samantar, the European Union Special Representative for Somalia, Michele Cervone d’Urso, the Director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, Ms Fartun Aden and the Executive Director of Legal Action Worldwide, Ms Antonia Mulvey.

“Preventing and responding to sexual violence is vital. There should be no impunity for these crimes. The United Nations is committed to working with the Somali people and authorities to increase measures to protect the rights of Somalia’s women and girls.” said SRSG Kay. SRCC Sidikou reinforced AMISOM’s commitment and determination for efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse.”There should be no safe haven for perpetrators of such heinous crimes against some of Somalia’s most vulnerable women and girls. By working together, sharing our knowledge and our experience, mobilising resources and committing our political will we are determined to end rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict situations. We remain committed to working with the Somali people, the Federal Government, and the United Nations to support all efforts to hold any perpetrators to account and to improve the response and support to victims and their access to Somalia’s justice system,” he said. Panel members also highlighted the importance of providing better, more timely and comprehensive assistance and care to, including health and psychosocial care that addresses the long term consequences of sexual violence in conflict to victims and their families.


Two Somaliland Ministers Resign In Twenty Four Hours

03 March – Source: Radio RBC – 101 Words

A second minister in Somaliland, the self-declared breakaway state, has announced his resignation making it two ministers who have resigned in the past twenty four hours. Somaliland industries minister Abiib Dirie Nuur (Abiib Timacad) stepped down, announcing his resignation in Hargeisa, the administrative capital of Somaliland. Speaking to the press, Nuur said that he sent his resignation letter to the President Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyo. The former finance minister stepped down after a reshuffle by President Siilaanyo.


New Deal Meeting Held In Mogadishu

03 March – Source: Radio Bar-Kulan – 179 Words

A meeting to discuss the new deal  program chaired by the Prime Minister was held in Mogadishu. The meeting was attended by seven line ministries and international donors. The Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Abdirahman Yusuf Ali (Aynte), said after the meeting , that the discussion was focused on the implementation of the New Deal. Aynte said they tabled three things before the donor groups including that Vision 2016 should be a Somali owned process, and that the leadership and the facilitation of Vision 2016 be undertaken by the Federal Government of Somalia.

According to Aynte, the Prime Minister informed the donor group of the formation of an inter-ministerial task force composed of seven line ministries that we will work on the issue of Vision 2016 as a priority.  The ministries include, the finance, planning, national security, interior and justice ministries. The donors meanwhile submitted a list of incomplete tasks that needs to be achieved before 2016. Meanwhile, a further meeting to discuss Vision 2016 will be held in Mogadishu on the 23rd of this month

REGIONAL MEDIA

OVER 60 UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS FOUND IN SERBIA IN 48 HOURS

03 March – Source: Anadolu Agency – 364 Words

Undocumented citizens from Afghanistan and Iraq seeking asylumSerbian police have found 39 undocumented migrants from Afghanistan on Tuesday .Two groups were discovered on foot in eastern Negotin municipality near the border with Bulgaria, the Ministry of Interior reported. A group of 26 undocumented migrants were heading from Veljkovo village near Negotin towards the town. Another group of 13 migrants was found heading from Mokranje village, the authorities reported.They were taken to Negotin police station where it was confirmed that they come from Afghanistan. All are seeking asylum in Serbia and were sent to a reception center for asylum seekers in the south-central town of Tutin.

On Monday, another 22 foreign citizens were found walking on a highway from southern city of Nis to the capital, Belgrade. All were found without documents. The Interior Ministry confirmed that they come from Iraq; the group was sent to an asylum center in Krnjaca, Belgrade. More than 5,000 people who come from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Algeria sought asylum in Serbia in 2014.


Ethiopia’s TACON Completes Somaliland’s New Airport Terminal and Fence with 80M Birr

02 March – Source: Addis Fortune  – 519 Words

Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction Plc (TACON) has completed the construction of its first out-of-country contract of Berbera International Airport terminal and 12Km perimeter fence at a cost of 80 million Birr in Somaliland gaining a profit of only three million Br. The construction, which began a year ago, was finalized in a joint venture between the Ethiopian construction company, TACON, and a Somaliland construction company known as Afro-sino constracting & Investment Company.

Tekleberhan, which has more than twenty years of experience in the construction sector, is a Grade 1 contractor. It has done the construction projects of Jimma University, Mekele University, Oromia Region president’s office, Gambella Region Technical and Vocational Training College, and now the civil works of the Yayu fertilizer factory, which is the first in the country located in the Oromia region Illubabor Zone.

The contract was awarded to the Ethiopian company in 2012 and the construction took one year, which had lagged back because of construction materials supply shortage in the area and the lack of trained human resource in the vicinity, explained Habtamu Mengiste (Eng.), TACON’s deputy CEO of engineering and construction, on a phone interview with Fortune. “This is our first project out of Ethiopia and it has given us a lesson on how to handle projects with other countries’ companies,” he said. The company, which won the tender for 83 million Br, completed the construction of the terminal and the fence, spending 80 million Br for the whole construction.The terminal has different facilities within it. Checkpoints for baggage, security checks, public address equipment, communication equipment, baggage transfer, scales that can measure up to 200Kg, water tanker, and asphalt road to the runway.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Somalia Top Priority In U.N. Agriculture Organization Funding Appeal

03 March – Source: Reuters – 364 Words

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has launched an emergency appeal for $697 million to help 30 million people in 31 crisis-hit countries, a senior official with the U.N. agency said on Tuesday. Somalia, Syria and countries in the Sahel region of Africa are some of the areas requiring the greatest assistance to boost agriculture and mitigate hunger, said Dominique Bourgeon, director of FAO’s emergency division.

“We are trying to promote risk management, early warning systems and prevention (of food emergencies),” Bourgeon told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
In Somalia, where the FAO has requested $118 million, the largest requirement for a single country, people are “on the edge”, Bourgeon said. “If there is a small drought, resilience collapses and the situation becomes desperate,” he added. Stopping or mitigating a crisis before it spirals out of control with support for farming is often more efficient than providing emergency relief, he said. The FAO request – aimed primarily at helping farmers and people living in rural areas in regions hit by conflicts or natural disasters – constitutes about four percent of the UnitedNations’ appeal for $16.4 billion to address humanitarian needs around the world in 2015.


Exposed: ISIS’ Somali-American Terrorist Pipeline

03 March – Source: The National Interest – 903 Words

On October 29, 2008, an American named Shirwa Ahmed drove a vehicle loaded with explosives into the northern Somali city of Bosaso. When he detonated the bomb, as part of one of five near-simultaneous attacks across northern Somalia, he became the second-known American suicide bomber. Ahmed was one of dozens of Somali-Americans enticed to fight in Somalia by al-Shabaab, a Somali terrorist organization that controls swathes of the East African country. On February 21, the group called for attacks on several malls in the West, including the Mall of America in Minnesota. The group recruited as many as sixty Americans—nearly all of Somali descent—including one added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list in January. Al-Shabaab’s efforts constitute the most successful terrorist recruiting program in U.S.history, according to the House Homeland Security Committee.
Al-Shabaab’s American recruit pipeline mostly dried up after 2009, but events suggest Middle Eastern terrorist groups, particularly the Islamic State, are reviving the practice of recruiting from the United States.

On February 5, the Department of Justice announced charges — and listed three unnamed co-conspirators — against Somali-American Hamza Naj Ahmed for attempting to aid the Islamic State. Reports chronicle other Somali-Americans involved with Middle Eastern terror groups: a Minnesotan killed fighting for the Islamic State; at least four women who disappeared presumably to marry Islamic State fighters; teenage sisters foiled trying to do the same; two men arrested for attempting to join the Islamic State; and one man fighting for Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. A Somali-American has never carried out a domestic terror attack — though one has tried — but the recent attacks in Australia and France underscore the danger of domestic radicalization. The Islamic State has called for terrorist attacks in the West, and specifically appealed to Muslims in Minnesota in an August video. Minnesota is home to the United States’ largest Somali community. Understanding the vulnerability of some Somali-Americans towards radicalization is the first step in fighting it. But first, it is important to keep in mind that radicalization plagues other communities as well, not just the Somali-American one. And even if one takes the highest estimate of Somali-Americans that have joined terrorist organizations, it is still a tiny percentage of that population. The great majority of Somali-Americans repudiate terrorism.


Somalis In Banyule Fear Loss Of Remittance Accounts As Banks Cease Transfer Service

04 March – Source: Herald Sun – 475 Words

Banyule’s Somali community is on tenterhooks with only weeks until the last remittance accounts — the only thing helping their families in Africa survive — are closed for good.
The deadline comes as a report on the imminent threat to Somali remittance lifelines, Hanging by a thread, was released by Oxfam, Global Center on Co-operative Security and the African humanitarian organisation Adeso.

So far there have been no long-term solutions to come from the remittance working group or the Federal Government despite Westpac, the last of the big four banks offering the service, announcing it would close its connections to Somali transfer agencies on March 31.
The Heidelberg Leader previously reported the bank advised the remittance operators at the Bell St Mall it would close their accounts for good at the end of the month after a Federal Court hearing in December.

The banks have scrapped this service because of changing international regulations. Have you say: Should the Australian Government intervene to allow Banyule’s Somali community to send money back to struggling families? Tell us in the comment section below.
There are about 10,000 Somalis in Australia sending money to their families in Africa.
Heidelberg West residents Nadia Yusuf and Luul Jimale are worried about the desperate plight of their families left behind in Somalia if they are without money.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

“For Hassan Omar, the director at the Somali Community Association of Ohio, who relied on Merchants Bank’s service to send money to his sister in the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya, the stresses shared by the Somali-American community are unlikely to ease until a solution crystallizes. “We could see the death of an entire nation,” Mr. Omar says. “We’re talking about genocide.


Somalia’s Remittance Crisis Eclipses News Of First US Ambassador Since 1991

03 March – Source: Christian Science Monitor – 822 Words

For the last three weeks, Ali Eishe has been scrambling to find a way to send money to his nieces and nephews in Somalia.  From his home in Columbus, Ohio – host to the second-largest Somali population in the US — he sends up to $200 a month. The money comes from his small teacher’s salary, and he’s done this since his brother died in 2012, leaving 12 children behind.  But all that changed late last month when California-based Merchants Bank officially closed the accounts of all its Somali-American money transfer company clients, after years of pressure from financial arms of the US government. It’s a move that Somalis, human rights groups, and development NGOs claim could spur a humanitarian crisis by cutting off the East African country’s primary flow of monetary aid.  The news came weeks before President Barack Obama nominated Katherine Simonds Dhanani last Tuesday as the first US ambassador to Somalia in nearly 25 years. The post has been vacant since Somalia collapsed into chaos in 1991.
The two events were not coordinated. Yet, for the hundreds of thousands of Somali-Americans who still have deep connections to their motherland, the scuttling of Merchants Bank transfer business sends mixed messages about the US’s plans for progress in Somalia. The ambassadorial nomination was trumpeted as a sign of US commitment beyond humanitarian aid and intelligence assistance. But, the Somali government has little influence beyond the capital of Mogadishu.  “With Merchants Bank stopping, the entire country will turn into a refugee camp,” Mr. Eishe says. “It is a total disaster.” Hundreds of millions of dollars flow from the US to Somalia in the form of remittances each year.  Following the bank’s announcement, US lawmakers issued a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding a meeting. They say the current situation could throw Somalia and its “already vulnerable economy deeper into crisis.”  A spokesperson for Representative Keith Ellison, the Minnesotan Democrat who drafted the letter, confirmed for The Christian Science Monitor that the first of what is likely to be a series of behind-closed-doors meetings was held last Thursday.


“A failure to disembark from the violent politics of Somalia could incubate the risk of Al-Shabab’s inspiring more youths. The sheer size of Minnesota’s Somali community increases the possibility of a lone-wolf terrorism attempt.”


A Watershed Moment For Minnesota’s Somalis

03 March – Source: Star Tribune – 707 Words

The terror group Al-Shabab in Somalia recently threatened the Mall of America. The threat was more serious than those issued before. Even though Al-Shabab’s ability to plan and carry out an overseas operation has diminished over the years, the threat is real, since it takes little effort to commit an act of terrorism. Terrorism is like a game of hockey. Rarely does anyone see all the great saves, but everyone sees the one that went in. Most people don’t see Al-Shabab’s losses, but do see the video threat on Mall of America. The threat is also unique. Al-Shabab is part of Somalia’s political environment — one mired in perpetual violence for nearly a quarter-century now. Furthermore, the strong political connection that Somali-Americans have with Somalia provides Al-Shabab an edge in inspiring disenfranchised youths in Minnesota. Many of the Somali-American young men who went back to Somalia acted out of political devotion. They wanted to fight Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia in 2006 but later joined Al-Shabab. Al-Shabab would have almost no chance of attracting Somali-American young people without a strong grass-roots political attachment to Somalia. But such connections create vulnerabilities that can be exploited, and terror groups like Al-Shabab are expert on exploitation.
It’s for this reason the threat on Mall of America presents a moment of clarity for Minnesota’s Somali-Americans. The time has come for them to start the process of disengaging from the violent politics of Somalia and starting to focus on political participation in America. This is the best long-term solution to eliminate vulnerabilities that could be exploited by terrorists.The notion that Somali-Americans can engage effectively with politics in the United States and Somalia simultaneously is a fantasy. This idea should be in no way misconstrued as an opposition to humanitarian activities, including finding a solution for the money-transfer services that recently were closed due to federal regulation. A mechanism to send money to family members in Somalia but to ensure that no money reaches Al-Shabab and other armed groups deserves support from Minnesota’s Somali community. The current atmosphere in America is conducive for political shift.

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