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COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES
Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab website claimed that warlord Barre Aden Shire (Barre) is allegedly in critical condition after escaping an Ethiopian prison at Dolow town last week. Barre is allegedly suffering from an eye problem and back injuries from being tortured at the hands of the Ethiopians. (Editor's note: Somalia Report's article on Barre can be found here.)Somali Language
Somaliland Press - Somaliland marked its 21st Independence Day today amidst unprecedented tight security measures for fear of further clashes over the recent military tribunal ruling that sentenced 17 civilians to death. "May 18th is the day we pledged our loyalty to Somaliland statehood. A day when we held aloft the torch of freedom and hands in which we agreed to the formation of a nation. A day a period of ill fortune came to an end and healing began," President Ahmed Silanyo said during his message to the people in Freedom Park. Aiming to motivate the general masses at today’s gathering the President continued saying: "The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, still infant plant with no ribbed fruits to pick however the turning-point is past. We will get there together, be patient, do not lose hope and do not let difficult times cloud your judgements. The State is yours."
Hiiraan Online - The chairman of Somalia’s People's Party professor Sa’id Isse Mohamoud, has urged Somalis not to boycott the drafted Somali Constitution. Despite the strong opposition to the UN led and funded new constitution for Somalia, the chairman of People's Party warned against not to sink the Somali nation into a deeper conflict and chaos at this very critical stage of transitional period. "There is no any nation in the world that has no a constitution. Somali people should approve the draft constitution to end the 20-years of war and division," told the chairman of the party.
Reuters - Mauritius said on Friday it has agreed to prosecute Somali pirates, helping overcome one of the hurdles to cracking down on the wave of piracy that has hit international shipping. The island nation said it had reached agreement with Somalia, and the semi-autonomous regions of Somaliland and Puntland, to accept suspected pirates for prosecution and trial starting in June. Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam said his Indian Ocean country needed to play a more active role in fighting piracy, given its impact on security, fishing and tourism.
Al Arabiya - Somali fisherman pleaded Friday for international navies protecting shipping to halt air strikes on coastal villages, after the EU Naval Force struck a pirate base for the first time. An attack helicopter staged a nighttime raid on the Somali coastline Tuesday, the first since the European Union authorized such strikes, destroying several small boats that the force said were part of pirate operations. But fishermen on the impoverished coast said that their boats had also been destroyed, and that they feared being caught up in further attacks aimed to damage pirate operations. "The pirates cannot be easily identified, as they mingle with the fishermen -- the boats are the same and the people look alike unless they are armed," said Mohamed Hassan, a local fisherman in the Harardhere region.
Reuters Africa - Horn Petroleum Corp has suspended drilling at its Shabeel well in Somalia's Puntland and said it will move the drilling rig away from the area before reaching the planned depth of 3800 meters. The well in the Dharoor valley hit a metamorphic basement at a depth of 3,430 meters, Horn Petroleum said in a statement on Thursday. Basement is the rock layer below which economic oil or natural gas reservoirs are unlikely to be found. Horn Petroleum's shares more than halved to 77 Canadian cents on Thursday on the Toronto Venture Exchange. The rig used to drill the Shabeel well will now be moved 3.5 kilometers north of the current location, the company said.
Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station
The speaker of Somali parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, on Friday visited one of the largest military training camps in Bay region. The speaker addressed 1,000 military forces who are currently taking military training in the camp and thanked them for their choice of becoming part the Somali National Forces. The speaker was accompanied by the deputy defense minister, state minister of finance and other government officials including members of the parliament. The speaker jetted back to Mogadishu late on Friday.
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed visited Bujumbura, Burundi on Friday. The president, who came from USA, was welcomed by Burundian officials, including the vice president, the foreign minister and the chief commanders of police and military. During his official visit in Bujumbura, the president will meet the Burundi president. According to government officials, both leaders will discuss the current Somali situation and how to increase the fighting against al-Qaeda.
Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
An Ethiopian soldier surrendered himself and his weapons to al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters in Bay region on Friday. Al-Shabaab military officials told Radio Andalus that the soldier is currently at a military base of al-Shabaab Mujahideens located at the outskirts of Yurkud district.
A well organized meeting attended by various sectors of Biyomaal clan (a largest clans in Lower Shabelle region), was held in No50 village of Lower Shabelle region on Friday. The clan opposed the infidels' draft constitution and expressed their full support to the Mujahideen.
Radio Al-Furqaan - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
An unspecified number of Ethiopian soldiers were killed as al-Shabaab fighters ambushed a military convoy of Ethiopian troops in between Wabxo and Warxoolo villages of Galgadud region. The troops were from Wabxo and heading to Elbur district when the Mujahideen fired them and forced them to stop their journey.
Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station
A UN delegation on Thursday visited the central Somali town of Abudwak, Galgadud region, to assess the humanitarian situation. Upon their arrival, the visiting UN officials held talks with Ahlu Sunna Waljama' (ASWJ) officials, according to an ASWJ official, Mahad Khalif Roble. But details of their meeting still remain unknown. Roble said they UN officials promised to tackle challenges facing the locals in central Somalia regions including poverty and other humanitarian crisis.
African Union (AU) Special Representative for Somalia, Jerry Rawlings, visited the Somali capital, Mogadishu today, where he is expected to meet officials from TFG and the AU forces in Mogadishu. Ambassador Rawlings was welcomed at the airport by officials from the African Union Mission in Somalia and TFG officials. After his arrival, Rawlings proceeded to the AMISOM Mission Headquarters. Although details regarding Rawlings trip to Mogadishu still remains scanty, sources close the Somali government say the former Ghanaian president came to discuss with the Somali government on several issues including the current political situation, adoption of the new constitution and implementation of the country’s political process dubbed "Road map."
Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station
The Ethiopian force commander in Somalia’s southern regions of Bay and Bakol General John announced on Friday that they will soon clean al-Shabaab out of those two regions. Mr. John told reporters in Baidoa that Ethiopian troops will not pull out from Somalia until al-Shabaab will be out completely in the country. “There are no reasons just compel us to withdraw from Somalia. Ethiopian troops re-entered the country to help TFG in the fight against the Al Qaeda-aligned insurgents of al-Shabaab whom pose security threat the entire east African nations,” he said. He emphasized that Ethiopian troops are committed to take over the Somalia’s southern strategic port town of Kismayu, the center of al-Shabaab’s economic resources after losing the main market of Bakara in the capital, Mogadishu, followed an offensive by Somali and AU peace keeping soldiers.