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COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES
Somali Memo - The pro-al-Shabaab website claimed the Somali committee in charge of drafting the new constitution bribed Shabelle Radio website to stop it's publication and broadcasting of stories against the proposed constitution. The Islamist website stated that a reliable source close to the bribery deal claimed the London-based owner of Radio Shabelle, Abdimalik Yusuf Mohamoud, asked for a $100,000 kickback but he negotiated it down to $10,000 in the end. (Editor's Note: The Somali Memo website did not post or produce any documents or evidences to prove the alleged bribery case. In fact, Radio Shabelle was very critical of the TFG and AMISOM activities in Mogadishu.)
Hiiraan Online - TFG's National Security Forces stopped an scheduled meeting organized by opposition Somali lawmakers and politicians including the former warlord and current TFG member Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Siad known as Indha Adde. The Mogadishu meeting was expected to be discussed with the proposed Somali Constitution and it was expected to be attended by various members who oppose the drafted constitution and TFG's roadmap process. The Somali Interior Minister and National Security has issued a decree banning political gathering and meeting without the approval of TFG's security agencies. Somali Language
Voice Of America - Somalia's Transitional Federal Government is making preparations to hand over power to an elected government in August. The surprising development is being engineered by a Somali-American technocrat intent on ending his native country's reputation as a failed state. Somalia's Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali is a man with a mission. Ali and his crew of Western-educated technocrats are racing against the clock to create a constitutional government for Somalia by August, when his administration's mandate expires. Two weeks ago they finished drafting a new constitution. In technocratic form, Ali expresses confidence that he can succeed where others have failed by strict adherence to a timetable. "We have a 'road map.' You know why previous governments failed was because they never had a framework that guides them, that takes them from where they were and to where they want to be," he said. "Now we have a framework. The road map has benchmarks, timelines and deadlines of doing specific jobs. That's why we've succeeded."
Shabelle - Anti-draft constitution demonstrators, including women and children, marched on Thursday through the streets of a town in Somalia’s violence-torn, reports said. The marchers who took to the streets of Balanbal town, Galgadud region, shouting slogans against the new draft constitution for Somalia led TFG Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohammed Ali. Abdirisaq Abdulle Igal, one of the Organizers who delivered speeches at the crowds voiced their opposite against the new draft constitution, saying the new constitution endangers and disgraces the region of Islam and the dignity of sacred Somalia culture and value.
Mareeg - In Mogadishu press conference, a man Ahlu Sunna Waljama' (ASWJ) named as the suicide bomber of recent Dhusamareb attack denied the claims of ASWJ and presented himself to the media. The man, Mohamoud Artan Addawe Ulusow accused to have carried out the suicide attack stated that he was surprised to hear his full name mentioned by the Somali radios and ASWJ leader, Sheikh Yusuf Hefow of Galgadud claiming that Mr. Ulusow was the man behind the suicide and that he died in the suicide mission. The Sultan of Duduble Hussein Hirsi Farah who also attended the press conference stated that Sheikh Hefow od ASWJ has a political agenda and ASWJ leader wants to create conflict between the people of El-Bur and El-Garas areas. Somali Language
Xinhua News - There was a security scare on Thursday at the UN refugee agency compound in Dadaab complex in northeast Kenya, causing panic among the UN and humanitarian officials providing the emergency services in the camp. The normal business at the camp which mainly houses Somali refugees was sparked by a huge round black paper bag that had been mistaken for an explosive device was found lying right in the middle of the road a few meters from the CARE international offices. Security officers from the near by Dadaab police station were quickly called upon to come and collect the "bomb" only to find the huge round black paper lying on the ground. Security officers had a difficult time keeping away anxious residents from the town who wanted to get in the compound to see for themselves the "bomb". There were however conflicting reports with other eye witnesses saying that police took the "explosive device" that was discovered hidden inside the soil.
WORLD PRESS DAY/TERRORISM
Associated Press - Dozens of Somali journalists met Thursday in somber silence to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, a meeting that came only hours after the killing of the fifth Somali journalist this year. The U.S. in a statement on Thursday said that too many deaths of journalists are going unpunished in Somalia, while media and rights groups condemned the Somali information minister for harassing reporters. Britain also expressed its alarm at Abdulle's killing. "This shocking murder tragically underlines the ongoing struggle throughout the world for press freedom and I offer my condolences to...Farah Abdulle's family and friends," Britain's Africa minister, Henry Bellingham, said. "It is particularly distressing to see further violence against journalists in Somalia."
HUMAN RIGHTS/JUSTICE SYSYTEM
UN News Center - An independent United Nations expert today urged Somalia’s authorities to restore a legitimate justice system in the capital, Mogadishu, and in the country’s southern and central regions, with assistance from the international community. "Strengthening access to justice and rule of law in the country is crucial to protect and promote the fundamental rights of the Somali people," said the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, in a news release, issued following a visit in April. "Re-establishing a legitimate justice system in Mogadishu and South-Central Somalia presents a major challenge, but also an opportunity for the international community," he said. "A specific and coordinated assessment of the justice and corrections sectors and the development of a nationally-owned strategy for the reestablishment of a functioning apparatus are urgently needed."
Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed appointed Hussein Sheikh Mohamed Hussein as the new deputy prime minister and the minister of agriculture, livestock and forestry. The newly appointed minister will replace the former minister of agriculture, livestock and forestry who was fired by the president last month after he was accused of failing to fulfill his designed responsibilities.
Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Ahmed Nur Tarsan returned to Somalia after a six-day official visit to Kampala, Uganda. During his visit, the mayor and eight other Mogadishu district chairmen attended a meeting organized by USAID for the reconstruction of the Somali capital. The mayor also met with Ugandan officials, including Kampala’s mayor.
The Somali government strongly condemned the assassination of Somali journalist Farah Jemis Abdulaahi who was killed by gunmen in Galkayo on Wednesday night. Information Minister Abdukadir Hussein Jahweyne showed his disappointment regarding the inhumane acts against Somali journalists. The minister urged the administration of Galkayo to thoroughly investigate the incident.
Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
At least five Ugandan infidel soldiers were killed and unspecified number were injured after a roadside bomb exploded near the infidels’ military vehicle in Gubta village of Dayniile district of Mogadishu on Thursday. An eye witness told Radio Andalus that the blast totally destroyed the vehicle. The pro-infidel militias started to detain the civilians after the explosion.
Al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters recaptured Goobo district of Hiiraan region on Wednesday night. Local residents and al-Shabaab military officials told Radio Andalus that hundreds of Mujahideens waving the blakc Islamic flag entered the district after the pro-infidels militias retreated. The infidel militias used to rob and loot the properties of the Somali people and raped the Muslim women.
Radio Al-Furqan - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
A major rift broke out between TFG officials in Dolo district of Gedo region after some TFG officers protected elders who wanted to fly from Dolo to Mogadishu to attend the approval of TFG constitution. The rift caused the Ethiopian troops in Dolo to arrest TFG officials including the chairman of Dolo, Abdirashid Janan, and other officials.
Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station
The Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa (ASWJ) administration in the border town of Beled-hawa on Thursday announced that people found felling trees to transform them into charcoal would be fined $60. Speaking at a public gathering in the center of the town, the area chairman Mohamud Ahmed Odwayne said his administration will not tolerate individuals felling tree haphazardly. He said that forest resources have been increasingly exploited as people have turned to alternative means of income by chopping down trees to transform them into charcoal. (For a detailed look at the charocoal trade, please see Somalia Reports article here.)