Media MONITOR:Print
26 March 2012 Daily Media Roundup
03/26/2012
Somalia News Highlights: Majority of Somalis supported AU-AMISOM troop interventions as indicated by UN Poll; Kenya and UK leaders discussed their diplomatic relations in relation to the Somali situation; the late President of Somalia is officially buried in his hometown of Galkayo in Puntland today; two civilians and eight others wounded by mortars which al-Shabaab fired at a Mogadishu IDP Camp; global seafarers haile EU's extension of anti-piracy program; EU Navies object to rescue of hostages held by Somali pirates due to high risks; a Military Court is opened in Baidoa for the prosecution of Al-Qaeda fighters captured in the recent fighting; al-Shabaab is reported to have shot and killed a prominent traditional leaders in refusing to join the fight; Al-Shabaab claimed to have two TFG military officers in grenade attacks in Mogadishu; several Galmudud villages fell into the hands of al-Shabaab militants as claimed by the Islamist media; Al-Shabaab claimed to have garnered the support of the elders of Galdudug region; TFG leaders pledged to help the socio-economic development of Galmudug region; tension is heightened at border towns of Lower Juba after Kenyan forces arrested TFG military officers; and TFG forces conducted security operations in search of armed men who wounded a radio Shabelle reported.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab Islamist website published a statement issued by al-Shabaab's Spokesman Sheikh Ali Dhere who claimed that they held a meeting between al-Shabaab Mujahideens and foreign Al-Qaeda members in Somalia, and the Islamist leaders agreed to continue fighting and never to abandon in defending Somalia and the global Muslim community, and the implementation of Shariah law. Sheikh Ali Dhere stated that "Death will hurt those imported ones", in reference to a Somali saying used by Somali freedom fighters during the colonial era. Somali Language

POLITICS

The Standard - Somalis are increasingly supportive of foreign intervention to restore stability in the lawless country. According to a UN sponsored opinion poll, just released, perception of foreigners and foreign intervention among residents of Mogadishu, has improved in the last two years. Asked to respond to the question "would you describe AU-UN and the international community as friend or foe?", 95 per cent described international actors in Somalia as friendly, compared to 83 per cent and 84 per cent who described the international community as friendly, in January and November 2010, respectively.

Voice Of America - Kenya’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Britain's Minister for Africa met Monday in Kenya’s capital for talks aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries. The meeting come in the wake of a recent British conference on Somalia, and the murder and kidnapping of British nationals in the region. Henry Bellingham, Britain's Minister for Africa, described to reporters his trip to the Somali capital Sunday, when he met with U.N. and Somali officials. "It is absolutely essential that the transition comes to an end on the 22nd of August, and it is very important indeed that the political process toward new, inclusive, and representative political structures is maintained because there can be no simple handover by the transitional federal government to another government that is exactly the same," said Bellingham.

Garowe Online - The late President of Somalia-Puntland Col. Abdullahi Yusuf is officially buried at hometown of Galkayo of Puntland today. The burial was attended by the leaders of TFG and Puntland, diplomats and Somali civilians. (Editor's Note: This is a dozen photos showcasing the burial and the Somali leaders who participated.)

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

Reuters - At least two people were killed and 8 others wounded after mortar rounds fired by Somali rebel group al-Shabaab towards the presidential palace landed on a nearby camp for the internally displaced, witnesses and officials said on Monday. Under pressure from African Union and Somali government troops, the al Qaeda-linked militants withdrew from Mogadishu in August prompting a return to relative calm in the capital, although they still manage to launch sporadic attacks. Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for the African Union force known as AMISOM, said some mortars hit a camp for Somalis displaced by war and famine about 300 meters from the presidential palace.

MARITIME

Insurance Journal - SaveOurSeafarers – campaign announced that it "welcomes the extension of the EU counter- piracy operation until end 2014, and the EU decision to broaden the scope of its naval operation in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean by extending the naval forces’ area of operations to include Somali coastal territory." In addition it expanded the area of operations for naval forces to conduct operation on the coast of Somalia, in addition to seaborne actions. SOS described the move as allowing the EU forces to "take more robust action on the Somali coast," and as a "bold step towards the goal that the shipping industry and its seafarers embrace – that of seeing piracy in this region eliminated."

CRI - While family members of a South African couple held hostage by Somali pirates since 16 months ago were asking the world community for a rescue operation, an EU naval commander said Monday such a move "would be too risky." Fearing the risk of mass casualties, an international counter-piracy force operating off the coast of Somalia has ruled out the possibility of carrying out an armed raid to free 220 seafarers held hostage there, including the South African couple, Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz. "The main concern is not to put lives at risk. A recovery operation is highly risky," said Rear Admiral Jorge Manso, the Force Commander of the European Union Naval Taskforce (EUNAVFOR), which has been battling piracy there since 2008.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

The Chief of the Somali Military Court Hassan Mohamed Hussein Mungab reached Baidoa town of Bay region to open a court branch in Bay. Mr. Mungab who spoke to the media stated that the court will start with the sentencing of Al-Qaeda militias apprehended in Baidoa and he called on the Islamist militants to stop causing problems to Somali people.

Al-Qaeda militias have shot and killed a prominent elder, Osman Hashi Mohamed, near the El-bur district of Galgadud region on Sunday night. It is also reported that the militants have kidnapped other elders from the region after the elders refused to support their fighting against Somali government.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

At least two pro-infidels officers were shot and killed in Mogadishu on Monday night and one of those killed officers was named Mohamed Deeq. it is also claimed that at least 12 pro-infidels militias were killed as heavy explosion targeted at a military vehicle in Yaqshid district of Mogadishu on Monday.

Al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters have recaptured El-lahelay, El-Garas and El-dher villages of Galgadud region after the Christian Ethiopian troops and their followers entered those villages on Monday. the local residents of those villages have confirmed to Radio Andalus that the Mujahideens are in full control those areas.

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

After a large meeting held by the elders from Galgadud region in Lafole district, they strongly opposed the Ethiopian entrance of the region. The elders from Mohamud Hirabe and Murusade clans vowed that they will fight against the Ethiopian troops and they will never allow the Ethiopians to seize their region. Al-Shabaab Mujahideens's Chairman of Galgadud region has called on the Somali people to defend the region from the enemy.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

TFG leaders stated that the Mogadishu-based Somali government is committed to help Galmudug regional State in developing the region, officials say. Speaking at the central Somalia city of Galkayo, President Sharif Ahmed and his Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali have assured Galmudug Administration that they will be considered the region when distributing grants from donors and friendly countries.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

As tension mounts high along the border towns of Lower Juba region after the Kenya has closed the border to avoid further insecurity acts and attacks into it's soil. reliable sources stated that the tension is very high after the Kenyan military have arrested several top officials of TFG troops in Lower Juba region and it might spark a fighting between both Somalia and Kenya forces.

TFG's District Commissioner of Wadajir Ahmed Hassan Adow has disclosed that his administration is planning to improve the overall security of the district. Mr. Adow told Shabelle Radio that the security forced under his command are conducting security operations in hunt of the ant-peace elements hiding among the civilian populations, a day after a Somali journalist working for Shabelle Media was slightly injured by two men armed with pistols near his home.