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Hiiraan Online - Somali President Sharif Ahmed stated that the government will not give in to those who categorically oppose the proposed Somali Constitution, but welcomed discussions and amendments on certain articles. The president announced that the constitutional conference will officially start on tomorrow if not on Sunday. Somali traditional elders hailing from various regions of the country will approve the drafted constitution. Somali Language
Garowe Online - The Puntland traditional elders left Garowe to attend a conference in Mogadishu, where 135 traditional elders from across Somalia will pick the 825 members of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA). Puntland officials accompanied the elders to the airport where elders briefly spoke to media before departing. "We are leaving Garowe to attend the conference starting soon in Mogadishu and God willing we arrive there safely," said Suldan Saeed Mohamed Garase.
Associated Press - Video games are the new rage in Somalia, a first-world entertainment option for teenage boys that wasn’t permitted when ultraconservative al-Shabab militants controlled the capital. The insurgents — who were pushed out of Mogadishu last year by African Union and Somali troops — banned recreational pleasures like movies and Nintendo. With the militants gone, Somali teens and boys are bingeing on entertainment systems like Sony’s PlayStation, a development with both positive and negative aspects. "This is his daylong activity because I don’t want him get bored and go to war," Abdullahi said. "The busier they stay the more tired they get and the more they ignore violence."
The Christian Science Monitor - Human Rights Watch report says that Kenyan forces, now fighting insurgents across the border in Somalia, has beaten, humiliated, and raped ethnic Somalis along Kenyan border. Months after Kenyan troops rolled into Somalia to prop up the shaky government there and to pursue Al Shabab, the al-Qaeda linked Islamist militants, an international human-rights group has accused Kenyan forces of abusing Somalis in North Eastern province. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today that it was calling for an investigation into the atrocities which it says occurred after Kenya sent its troops into the war-torn country October 2011. Kenya had accused the Somali militant group Al Shabab of kidnapping Kenyan nationals, foreign aid workers and tourists in the months leading up to the Kenyan military's operation known as Operation Linda Nchi (Operation Protect Country). Kenya launched this operation on Oct. 16, 2011.
Strategy Page - With nations providing foreign aid demanding less corruption (stealing aid), there is an ongoing war between corrupt groups and Somalis who seek to reduce the theft and terrorism. This, as has happened in many other places, results in attacks on anti-corruption journalists and leaders. This usually starts with threats and intimidation and eventually escalates to murder. So far this year, at least five Somali journalists (often radio reporters, who are crucial in a nation where most people are illiterate) have been murdered.
Garowe Online - Donations to Somalia coordinated by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has failed to reach intended destinations across Somalia. Reliable sources in Mogadishu, including public and private sector sources, tell Somali news agency Garowe Online that a recent project to dig 680 water wells across Somalia was "mismanaged" by Somali officials working for OIC. The project was donated by the Saudi Arabian Government and other Arab countries. According to OIC website, a project to dig 680 water wells at a cost of $82 million got underway in October 2011. According to Atta Elmanan Bakhit, Assistant Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs of the OIC who released a statement last October when OIC announced the project in Somalia at a conference called Water for Life: "About 680 artesian wells will be dug in 11 regions across Somalia," said Secretary Bakhit.
Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station
The first AMISOM troops reached Hiiraan region in central Somalia on Thursday night. The troops from Djibouti arrived at government bases in Kalabayr village near Beledewyne town. Military sources indicated that they would also reach Beledeweyne as soon as possible. The people of Hiiraan region reportedly welcomed the peacekeeping forces.
Somali information Minister Abdisamad Mo’allim Mohamud met with the traditional leaders of Banadir region on Friday. Both sides discussed the implementation of the Somali constitution and how to cooperate to tighten the security of the country.
Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
Dozens of Ethiopian infidels were killed and military vehicles were burned as the Mujahideen ambushed a convoy of Ethiopian troops between Elbur and Wabxo districts. The Mujahideen forced the enemy to stop their journey. The Ethiopian troops in Somalia are faced with a critical situation after the Mujahideen surrounded them in every direction.
Radio Al-Furqan - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
An unconfirmed numbers of foreign troops were killed after militants shelled the presidential palace of Villa Somalia in Mogadishu on Thursday night. Sources close to the TFG indicate that at least ten mortars hit the compound of the presidential place. The foreign troops suffered the heaviest casualties.
The fighting between the Mujahideens and the TFG-AMISOM forces is continuing in Mogadishu, as three separate incidents took place in the capital over the last 24 hours. The heaviest fight erupted in Dharkinlay district after the Mujahideen conducted a successful hit and run attack. The Mujahideen also conducted grenade attacks, killing at least three TFG soldiers.
Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed received letters of credence from the ambassador of the republic of Iran, Makel Hussein. The president congratulated the new ambassador and expressed hope that his appointment will promote yet stronger relations between the two countries and expand their partnership on important issues.
Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed called on the people not to boycott the new draft constitution of Somalia following a public protest. Speaking to the media in Mogadishu, the president said, "It’s not a time to carve up, but it time to unite for moving the country out of the long running crises."
Radio Kulmiye - An independent radio station
Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Ahmed Nur Tarsan called on the city’s population to voluntarily cooperate with cleaning efforts in Mogadishu. The mayor stated that that the capital is undergoing a revival, reconstruction and repair, since al-Shabaab retreated from it last year.