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COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES
Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab website posted the identification of a Burundian soldier allegedly killed in Mogadishu by al-Shabaab. The news on the Burundian soldier, Emmanuel Bizimana, was disclosed through @HSMPress (a self-proclaimed Shabaab twitter feed although this has never been verified). Somali Language
KUNA - With only three months to go to the end of the political transition in Somalia, the European Union (EU) Monday called on the Somali leadership to seize this opportunity and to implement their commitments to ensure that the 20 August deadline is met. The EU rejects any further extension of the mandate of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) in line" with the outcome of the International Conference on Somalia in London on 23 February 2012," said the EU.Foreign Affairs Council in a statement. The EU looks forward to the Istanbul Conference on 31 May-1 June and to the International Contact Group meeting in Rome on 2-3 July on Somalia as important meetings in assessing progress before the end of the transition, noted the statement.
Washington Post - The heart of the Obama administration’s strategy for fighting al-Qaeda militants in Somalia can be found next to a cow pasture here, a thousand miles from the front lines. Under the gaze of American instructors, gangly Ugandan recruits are taught to carry rifles, dodge roadside bombs and avoid shooting one another by accident. In one obstacle course dubbed “Little Mogadishu,” the Ugandans learn the basics of urban warfare as they patrol a mock city block of tumble-down buildings and rusty shipping containers designed to resemble the battered and dangerous Somali capital. "At the end of the day, if you look at all of this and say, ‘Is it worth it?’" said Army Lt. Col. Luis Perozo, the defense attache at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, “and I would say, all you need to do is look at what’s going on in Mogadishu."
Garowe Online - The Transitional Federal Government (TFG)'s National Security Service (NSS) apprehended a young man who had on him explosives, Radio Garowe reports. The NSS apprehended the young man at a military post near the ex-border of Afgoye in Mogadishu's Hodon district. According to authorities, the would-be bomber was given explosives to plant on a car driven by Mogadishu's Hilawa district representative. Abdirahman Farah Mohamed was displayed to press by the NSS, who foiled the Al Shabaab agent's plot.
IRIN News - Over 600 Somali troops completed six months of military training in southwestern Uganda on 10 May and are heading home to boost the forces fighting al-Shabaab. Col. Winston Byaruhanga, head of Bihanga military training school in Ibanda District, told IRIN the 603 soldiers who trained alongside 248 Ugandans will help bring peace and stability to the country. "These soldiers will significantly reinforce the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and contribute to more stable conditions to deliver aid and bring the country on the way to development," Byaruhanga told IRIN.
New York Times - A former military commander with al-Shabaab, the Somali terrorist group with ties to Al-Qaeda, has become a cooperating witness and is expected to testify for the United States government in a trial this summer in Manhattan, prosecutors have disclosed in a court filing. More than 30 defendants have been prosecuted in this country for supporting al-Shabaab; the former military commander would appear to be the most senior cooperating witness from that group to testify in an American trial, several terrorism experts said. The former commander, who is referred to in the filing only as CW-2, is assisting the government in the prosecution of Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, who is accused of being an al-Shabaab conspirator. His case in Federal District Court in Manhattan has been full of intrigue and has caused a legal battle over government interrogation tactics.
Garowe Online - Off the coast of Oman, Turkish commando forces captured 14 alleged pirates that were holding 7 Yemeni sailors, Radio Garowe reports. According to AFP news agency, a helicopter in the Giresun frigate spotted the pirate held boat 190 nautical miles from the Omani coast. The Turkish commando team said that the boat had 9 assault weapons and one rocket launcher.
Geo Pakistan - President Asif Ali Zardari has tasked Interior Minister Rehman Malik with taking measures for the release of Pakistani hostages held by Somali pirates, Geo News reported. According to sources, President Zardari late Monday night telephoned the interior minister and directed him to leave no stone unturned for the recovery of hostages as the deadline given by the pirates ends today (May 15, Tuesday). The kin of the hostages are in perpetual pain since the pirates commandeered the MV Albedo ship off the coast of Somalia in November 2010 ship carrying Pakistani sailors. Initially, the Somali pirates had demanded a ransom worth $8 million to set the hostages free. Further negotiations brought it down to around to $ 2.85 million by April 20, 2012. Later Ahmed Chinoy, Head of Pakistan Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, bought some more time after entreating with the hostage-takers getting the deadline extended to May 15.
RIGZONE - Horn Petroleum has encountered further oil at its Shabeel-1 well that it is currently drilling in Puntland, Somalia, according to stock exchange announcements made in London on Monday from Horn's partners Range Resources and Red Emperor Resources. The firms previously reported that a gross section of 490 feet (150 meters) of oil, with possible net pay of between 39 and 66 feet, had been found. But now that the well has been drilled to a depth of 11,235 feet (3,425 meters) further oil shows have been encountered in the deeper sandstones. On Monday oil analysts at Fox-Davies Capital commented that the news raised the potential that Shabeel-1 may have a commercial discovery, while also increasing the prospectivity of the remaining targets in the firms' exploration portfolio in Puntland.
Press TV - This is over 2-minute video of the plight of the Somali woman and the potential of the voices of the Somali women to be heard through the drafted Somali Constitution. "But now the Somali women would have at least 30% of the seats in the new Constituent Assembly and will be a part of the permanent Somali government set to take office at the end of August."
Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station
High ranking Somali delegates led by the Somali President Sharif Ahmed reached the United States to attend a UN Security Council meeting on Somalia. Before his departure to the US, the president visited Uganda and Kenya where he met with the leaders of those nations. President Sharif is expected to address the UN's Security Council on the Somali situation.
Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
At least ten Ethiopian Christian soldiers were killed and dozens of others were injured as al-Shabaab Mujahideens and the infidels fought in Qansahdhere district of Bay region on Sunday night. The fighting erupted when the Mujahideen attacked the infidels bases in the outskirts of Qasahdhere. Some reports indicate that Ethiopian military vehicles were burned in the fighting.
Radio Al-Furqaan - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
The foreign troops in Mogadishu robbed and looted the property of one of the biggest hotels in Somalia. The owner of Tropical Hotel, Mohamed Ali Jiis, told the media that they are asking the foreign troops to refund the property. Mr. Jiis accused the AMISOM troops of establishing a military base inside the hotel in Daynile district of Mogadishu.
One of the heaviest fighting between al-Shabaab Mujahideens and Kenyan troops took place in Badhadhe district of Lower Jubba over the last two nights. A large number of al-Shabaab Mujahideens have waged attacks at Kenyan military bases in Badhadhe on Sunday night. Local residents told Radio al-Furqaan that the fighting continued for more than six hours and the Mujahideen shelled the Kenyan bases. The latest reports indicate that another battle broke out on Monday night.
Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station
At least three people were killed and six others injured when a lightning struck local herders in Mudug region amid a heavy downpour. Mohamed Ahmed, a local resident in Bud-bud settlement, told Radio Bar Kulan that the three were killed in remote areas of eastern part of the region when the lighting hit a makeshift house. Reports stated that the injured people were rushed to health facilities in Galkayo town for treatments.
Reports from the riverine region of Middle Shabelle claim that several hundreds of acres of farm lands were destroyed after the banks of the River Shabelle burst following a heavy downpour in the region. Several villages were also reportedly submerged in water as the river continues to swell due to the heavy rains experienced in the region for the last few days. The affected villages include Raqayle, Magay, Gashanle and several other villages around Jowhar district. The rains have also disrupted the planting season, with hundreds of acres of rice, beans, sesame and vegetables submerged in water and sections of roads washed away. Sheikh Ibrahim Ali, one of the local farmers in Magay village, told Bar-Kulan that there is growing fear among the locals that flood water might hit several other villages and cause destruction if preventive measures are not adopted early enough.
Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station
A huge landmine blast has rocked an Ethiopian convoy in the heart of Somalia’s central strategic town of Beledweyne in Hiiraan region on Monday morning. The witnesses said the blast occurred when a landmine went off as a convoy of the Ethiopian military forces snaked its way through the eastern part of the district, causing an unconfirmed fatalities on the troops. “I don’t know the exact number of casualties, but Ethiopian soldiers shot dead two civilians following the blast,” one of the witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity told Radio Shabelle.
Radio Kulmiye - An independent radio station
Somalia’s Health Minister, Dr. Abdi-Asis Sheikh Yusuf, urged aid agencies to register in the government offices in Mogadishu and to account for the medicine and medical supplies that they are distributing to the in south and central Somalia. The health minister expressed his extreme dissatisfaction with the unregistered charitable agencies distributing medicines to the people. "We want to know that any sections may go to distribute a medicine and stuffs like the same to have our permissions officially. We will not be accepting anyone who are providing aid supplies to Somalia and not officially registered in our sectors," the minister said.