Media MONITOR:Print
3 April 2012 Daily Media Roundup
04/03/2012
Somalia News Highlights: Somali-American declares his candidacy for Somali president with newly established People Party; Puntland president inaugurates a new Criminal Investigation Center; EU navies pledge to be pro-active and not defensive against piracy; Senegalese fishermen may follow in the footsteps of the Somali pirates due to over-fishing by foreign vessels; Somali media watchdog urges Puntland authorities to release an ailing journalist; Somali journalists attend a two-day Media Law Consultative Workshop to offer their input to the TFG's new media law; Mogadishu's basketball entertainment scene revives as al-Shabaab is defeated; al-Shabaab beheads three civilians in central Somalia; TFG denies al-Shabaab claims to assassinate top TFG officers in Mogadishu; al-Shabaab claims to kill six TFG soldiers in roadside bomb attack; 200 al-Shabaab fighters allegedly complete training at Lafole of Lower Shabelle; Iran's navy seize 13 Somali pirates; traditional elders call for a cease fire between Somaliland and the newly established Khatumo State; the Dutch government is expected to deport over 70 Somalis after rejecting their asylum applications; al-Shabaab attacks trucks delivering Red Cross relief goods in Gedo region and killed a truck driver in the attack.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Somali Memo - The pro-al-Shabaab Islamist website warns about the visit paid by the Turkish Ambassador to Somalia to Puntland State, and the Islamist commentary accuses the Turkish Ambassador of bribing the Puntland authorities and traditional leaders in order to get approval for shady business deals. The business owners of Puntland are worried about the the arrival of the Turkish Ambassador and the negative consequences for local business owners. Somali Language

POLITICS

MMD News - Originally hailing from one of Somalia's major clans, Said Issa Mohamud made official his candidacy for President of Somalia and now plans to help transition his homeland to a fully functioning modern democratic state. Mohamud left Somalia in 1991 when its government collapsed, and moved his family to Maine. Mohamud has returned to Somalia to create the Peoples Party of Somalia and has already campaigned extensively in Mogadishu and many outlying regions. "The challenges that lie ahead for Somalia will not be easy to overcome," Mohamud said. "But if the people of Somalia are to have any hope for a normal future, we must meet these challenges together. Corruption, piracy and the absence of the rule of law stand in the way of the investment that will give every Somali a chance to live in peace and prosperity. Every Somali deserves the opportunities I've had in the last two decades. I will ensure these opportunities for them."

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

Garowe Online - President of Puntland Abdiraman Farole opened a newly completed center for Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Tuesday, and the opening ceremony was attended by top officials representing various Puntland security forces and the UNDP Representative for Puntland, Mr. Nick Presford. The CID center will investigate various serious crimes, including piracy and human trafficking activities in Puntland.

MARITIME

Associated Press - The European Union's anti-piracy military force will become more proactive in the fight against pirates, the departing force commander said on Tuesday, in an effort to seize the initiative in an evolving battle that is moving closer to land. The EU Naval Force announced last month that it will expand its mission to include Somalia's coast and waterways inside the country for the first time. Rear Adm. Jorge Manso, whose tenure as force commander ends on Saturday, said the EU force's mission is evolving. "To date our approach has been primarily defensive, but from now on we have to become more flexible in our priorities and practices and seize the initiative from pirates," Manso told the Associated Press by telephone from the Spanish military ship Patino. "Doing that we will improve our capabilities against this problem."

The Guardian - The complaints made by Somali fishermen some years ago about illegal fishing are very similar to those being voiced by the fishermen of Senegal today. The fishermen of Joal say that if the foreign trawlers are not stopped, Senegal could end up like Somalia, with gun-toting pirates attacking shipping. But is there any evidence that over-fishing by Europeans or Chinese actually led to the fishermen of Somalia turning to piracy?

MEDIA

NUSOJ - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is deeply worried about the health condition of journalist Awke Abdullahi Ali, Director of Radio Voice of Peace in Bossasso, who is ill in Bossasso prison. "We call on the Puntland authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Awke Abdullahi Ali, whom we believe is wrongfully detained," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "Radio Voice of Peace was not engaged in anything more than telling two sides of the story as required by professional journalism and must not be punished on this basis".

Star Africa - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) organized a one-day Media Law Consultative Workshop which was held at the NUSOJ Conference in Mogadishu on 28 March 2012. The workshop was supported financially by Mustaqbal Media Corporation (NMC) a local Radio station based in Mogadishu. More than 25 Journalists from all the media sectors- Print, Television, Radios and Online - media - attended a Media Law Consultative Workshop and have got the opportunity to comment and have their inputs to the Somali Media Law. Mohamed Ibrahim, the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)expressed in his opening remarks, the high importance to have the media law back into the hands of the Somali Journalists so that they are able to comment, an opportunity offered by Somalia's Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunication.

SPORT

Associated Press - The crowd—both men and women—cheered wildly as two Mogadishu basketball teams entered an old stadium that once bore the bloodstains of war. During the recent reign of Islamist militants, playing basketball in Somalia's seaside capital was punishable by torture or death. Today, Somalia's blue flag has reclaimed its place over the battered Lujino Stadium, replacing the black banner of al-Shabaab, the militant Islamist group that until a few months ago held sway over much of Mogadishu. "I see so much difference as a longtime resident in Mogadishu," Abdiaziz Nur, a 31-year-old Mogadishu resident, said at a cafe where he was smoking a hookah. "I had never dreamed that I would either walk through Mogadishu's streets or drive my car at night, but now we feel glorified and proud."

OP-ED

Garowe Online - The editorial calls on the TFG not to accept the reformation of Colonel Aweys unless he surrenders his weapons, allows loyal fighters to undergo the national rehabilitation program, and he must withdraw from Somali politics. Somalia must learn from the experience of other countries, and not empower the enemies of good governance to eat away at the government from within.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

Al-Qaeda militias have beheaded three civilians in the Galgadud region of central Somalia on Tuesday. The beheaded people were captured by al-Qaeda militias in between Dhusamreb and El-bur districts, while they were travelling to El-bur district.

The chairman of the Somali National Security Forces, Ahmed Mo’alim Fiqi, has denied that al-Qaeda-linked militias have assassinated members of the security forces and that they have abducted others. Mr. Fiqi stated that the Al-Qaeda-linked militants are propagating baseless propaganda since the national forces have defeated them and cleared al-Shabaab from the Somali capital.

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

At least six TFG militias were killed, and dozen of others were injured, in a roadside bomb targeted at TFG vehicles in the Dharkinlay district of Mogadishu on Monday night. The al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters also launched hit-and-run attacks on TFG and allied foreign troops bases in Dharkinlay, and al-Shabaab inflicted heavy loses on the allied forces.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

The al-Shabaab mujahideen administration for Banadir region has completed a military training for 200 new fighters to defend the country from the enemy. Hundreds of civilians and al-Shabaab officials came out to attend the closing ceremony at Lofole district on Tuesday. The chairman of Lafole district Sheikh Abdirahman Hersi urged the new fighters to defend the country from the Christian alliance who want to capture Somalia.

Radio Kulmiye - An independent radio station

Speaking at a press conference, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that the Iranian Navy has detained 13 pirates 3,000 kilometers off Iran's territorial waters. The pirates were captured in the Indian Ocean after they tried to seize a cargo ship loaded with commodities heading for Iran, the Iranian Navy commander said, adding that the detained pirates were being transferred to Iran. The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.

Traditional elders initiated peace mediation between Somaliland and newly formed Khatumo State after fierce fighting erupted between the two groups. The two groups are fighting for the control of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn regions since the start of the year. The elders called for a ceasefire from both warring militias.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

Over 70 Somali asylum seekers will be deported from the Netherlands after failing to secure refugee status in that country. Abdiweli Abdullahi Ahmed, one of the rejected asylum seekers, told Radio Bar-Kulan that their lawyer had informed them that they will be sent back to Mogadishu soon, following the government’s decision to send them back, in the middle of last month. The rejected asylum seekers urged the Somali government to intervene in the situation, to order the Dutch government to immediately halt all their plans of deporting Somalis to war-torn Somalia.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

Al-Shabaab militias attacked trucks carrying Red Cross food aid in Gedo region on Tuesday. According to TFG official in Gedo region, the militants killed a truck driver and injured others. TFG troops reached the scene and conducted searches, but no arrests were made.