Media MONITOR:Print
16 March 2012 Daily Media Roundup
Somalia News Highlights: The Somali government unveiled a new security plan to liberate all of southern Somalia from al-Shabaab; Somaliland arrested a prominent clan chief who opposed Somaliland's participation at the London Conference; the number of Somali journalists fleeing threats from al-Shabaab increased to record levels; the Somali-New Zealander community expressed their sympathy after an armed Somali killed people in Christchurch; TFG forces arrested several individuals in security operations in Baidoa town; Al-Qaeda linked militants killed two farmers in Afgoye town of Lower Shabelle; al-Shabaab claimed the families of AMISOM soldiers complained their spouses haven't been paid in four months; Puntland police arrested five suspects for the attempted assassination of Mudug's Security Operations Chief; and Somalia's National Cultural Theater is undergoing renovations after being out of service for 20 years.


Somali Memo - The pro-al-Shabaab Islamist website claimed that al-Shabaab Spokesman Sheikh Ali Dhere urged Mogadishu residents to submit the identities and actual locations of the TFG soldiers who burned the Koran in Wadajir district of Mogadishu. Speaking to demonstrators at public arena in Afgoye town of Lower Shabelle, Sheikh Ali Dhere spoke strongly about the shameful actions of burning the sacred Koran by infidel-supporting individuals and stated that the TFG administrators will face the repurcursions of their actions. He reminded Wadajir residents of their responsibility in protecting the Koran and asked residents to handover the burned Korans to the Mujahideens. (Editor's Note: The Burning of the Koran is only reported by the Islamist websites and not by the independent Somali media and this might be a just propaganda tool devised by al-Shabaab.) Somali Language


All Africa - Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has unveiled plans to liberate the remaining southern and central regions of Somalia still held by al-Shabaab fighters, officials said on Friday. The Somali government is intending to establish local administrations to the regions of central and southern Somalia captured recently from militant group al-Shabaab by TFG soldiers along with Ethiopian forces.

Garowe Online - Somaliland police detained Bogor Buur Madow after the clan elder landed at Hargeisa airport from a trip to the United Arab Emirates. Local sources say that clan elder Buur Madow was taken to the Somaliland intelligence headquarters in Hargeisa but contradicting reports say that he was taken to Mandherra prison. Local journalists say the clan elder was very vocal in opposing Somaliland leader Ahmed Silanyo's participation at the London Conference on Somalia, which was held on 23 Feb 2012 and attended by Somali officials and world leaders.


IFEX - According to the US based Committee to Protect Journalists, Kenya ranks second to the United States among global destinations for exiled journalists, harbouring at least 66 members of the media. Those forced to flee are overwhelmingly from neighbouring countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda. In those countries, state and militia suppression of independent and objective media is endemic. As a radio journalist in his hometown of Beledweyne, Elmi Waare, now 26 years old, reported on the policy initiatives of the former provincial governor at the time that Al-Shabaab was gaining momentum. Now notorious for the brutality afflicted on central and southern Somalis for the past five years, the militant group violently muzzled dissent and objective media coverage as it accumulated power. "Three days later I left. I did not tell many people I was leaving because I could be intercepted," said Waare, from his temporary home in the Eastleigh district of Nairobi, Kenya. "Even when I was leaving, I left the city hiding."


The Press - A 27-year-old man yesterday abducted a truck driver and stabbed two people in Christchurch before being shot twice by police. The Somali-born man, who was lived in Christchurch for some time, is under police guard at Christchurch Hospital. The wider Somali community said in a statement: " The family of the gentleman involved in the incident in Christchurch and the wider Somali community wish to express our collective sympathy to all affected by this incident. "We are aware of the situation which those affected are going through and we wish them a quick recovery."


Hiiraan Online - The author, Bashir Goth laments about the crisis facing Somali women throughout the nation, especially the rampant rape and sexual assaults even in relatively stable regions like Somaliland. "In fact rape has become rampant not only in Somaliland but all the Somali territory. Dr. Ahmed Dahir Aden, Sexual Assault Referral Center (SARC) at Hargeisa General Hospital, reported that: "Rape cases are on the rise in Somaliland year after year. For example, in our office, we recorded 105 rape cases and the number in 2011 has increased to 145. It also soars in Galkayo, in Mogadishu’s IDP camps."


Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

Somali security forces kicked off massive security operations in Baidoa town of Bay region on Friday. TFG's Chairman of Bay region, Abdifatah Gessey, told Radio Mogadishu that the police forces captured individuals who were creating insecurity in the town. Chairman Gessey vowed that they will continue the security operations till they secure the entire town.

Al-Qaeda militias killed two innocent men in Afgoye district of Lower Shabelle region on Friday. Local residents told Radio Mogadishu that the militias killed the two farmers for no reason. (Editor's Note: Radio Mogadishu started to use 'Al-Qaeda' instead of 'al-Shabaab' to describe the militants.)

Radio Al-Furqaan - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

The foreign troops in Mogadishu (AMISOM) complained that their salaries have gone unpaid for the past four months. One of the Ugandan soldiers who contacted the Observer Newspaper in Uganda confirmed that they have not been paid since November of last year. The families of the soldiers are pressuring the Ugandan government centers in Uganda for the release of the salaries.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

Puntland police in northern Galkayo arrested five people in connection with Thursday’s explosion targeting Mudug's Security Operations chief that injured two people. The arrests were made after police launched security operations in the area. Puntland’s Mudug police Chief Jamaa Mohamed was quoted as saying that five highly suspected criminals were arrested and they are undergoing intensive interrogations at Galkayo’s central police station. Muse Ahmed Abdirahman escaped the assassination attempt but his vehicle was badly damaged and two of his guards were also injured by the landmine.

Radio Kulmiye - An independent radio station

Somalia's National Theater in Mogadishu is now under construction after it went out of service since the collapse of the Somali government in 1991 and subsequently destroyed. The reconstruction project is being spearheaded by the Somali government and other development agencies like Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD). Speaking to Kulmiye Radio in Mogadishu, the Minister of Information, Postal and Telecommunications Abdikadir Mohamed Jaahweyn stated, "They are supporting to promote entertainment teams in Mogadishu and also other places in the country."