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COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES
Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab website claimed that al-Shabaab leader Sheikh Fu'ad Mohamed Khalf (known as Sheikh Shongole) stated that they put a bounty on the head of President Obama and Hillary Clinton and will reward anyone who provides information on their whereabouts. In response to the $7 million reward US government announced, al-Shabaab will pay a reward of 10 camels for information on Obama's whereabouts and 10 hens and 10 roosters for any information on the location of Hillary Clinton. (Editor's Note: This is a mere propaganda and shows the weakness of al-Shabaab. It lacks seriousness and it is just an entertainment plot.) Somali Language
Time - If this were anywhere else, our trip would be a tour of a failed state and a humanitarian disaster. But in Somalia, what we’re seeing is progress. A few months ago, our drive would have been impossible: the west of the city was plagued with guerrilla attacks by fighters from the Al-Qaeda-allied al-Shabaab. Our destination, Afgoye, a town 30 km southwest of the city, was unreachable even two weeks ago: formerly an al-Shabaab stronghold, Ugandan and Burundian troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) fought their way into the town in pitched battles at the end of May, killing 60 al-Shabaab fighters. Their advance has been matched by gains by Ethiopian troops farther west, around the city of Baidoa, and to the south, where Kenyan troops are gradually advancing north. Military success has been followed by economic and political revival in Mogadishu. Good rain means that while hundreds of thousands of Somalis are still malnourished and depend on food aid, a cataclysm on the same scale as last year, in which 150,000 people died, will not be repeated.
Somaliland Press - Somalia’s transitional president Sheikh Sharif has called on the country’s elders and tribal leaders to help revive talks between Somaliland and his government. Mr. Sharif briefed the elders at a meeting in his office in the Somali capital on Friday in a bid to resume the negotiations between Mogadishu and Hargeisa – the first such since 1991. The Somali president said that it was vital to break the current diplomatic stalemate and consultation was needed in order to find a solution. He reiterated that dialogue and negotiations were the only and accurate means to resolve the Somali
The Washington Times - African troops are targeting the Somali port city of Kismayo, the last main town controlled by al-Shabab terrorists, after driving the al Qaeda-linked rebels out of strongholds across a nation afflicted by 20 years of instability, war and famine. African Union troops ran al-Shabab out of Mogadishu in August, but the nearby town of Afgoye allowed the Islamist rebels to control traffic in and out of the capital and extort money from anyone who wanted to enter or leave. Last week, Kenyan and Somali forces overtook Afmadow, the last main strategic crossroads between AU troops and Kismayo, about 70 miles to the south. Days earlier, Ugandan and Burundian troops had overrun Afgoye.
ISS South Africa - Recent victories over the Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab in Somalia have boosted the confidence of the Somali government’s forces and its allies, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Kenya and Ethiopia. However, al-Shabaab hasn’t simply fled the areas where it has been defeated, but has resorted to guerrilla-style hit-and-run attacks, suicide bombings and grenade attacks. The people in the ‘liberated’ areas are now living in fear of reprisal attacks from the militants and doubt whether the government could provide them with sufficient protection. Thus, the significance of enhanced policing in these areas increases. One of the critical steps in the course of transforming the liberated areas from a state of conflict to a post-conflict scenario is to enhance local policing – ensuring communities’ security through the enhanced presence and performance of the police. The principal role of maintaining security in those areas freed from the rule of militant groups needs to be transferred to the police.
Garowe Online - Puntland Government forces conducted a robust anti-piracy campaign between 6 May 2012 and 8 June 2012 and have achieved tangible success in anti-piracy operations along coastal towns in Bari, Karkar and Nugal regions of Puntland State of Somalia. In recent weeks, Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMFP) units have been deployed in the coastal towns of Eyl, Hafun, Bargal, and the village of Hul-Anod. PMPF forces have successfully cut off pirate supply lines to hijacked ships and two hijacked ships have left the coast of Bari region as a result. The two hijacked ships escaped towards the open Indian Ocean and the pirate leader Mr. Isse Yuluh is on board one of the hijacked ships. Mr. Yuluh and his gang of pirates are charged with kidnapping a Danish family in 2011, among other piracy crimes. Puntland Government strongly urges nonpayment of ransom money, as ransom payment fuels more piracy attacks.
FOX News - Prime Minister David Cameron says the U.K. has signed an agreement for Mauritius to prosecute suspected Somali pirates captured by the British navy in the Indian Ocean. Britain has previously sealed similar arrangements with the Seychelles and Tanzania, under which the countries agree to process suspected pirates in their courts. The U.K. had complained suspects were being allowed to walk free because there was nowhere to put them on trial. It had urged nearby countries to help and take a role in international efforts to tackle piracy. Cameron said Friday that "pirates should be in no doubt that they will be arrested at sea, prosecuted in regional states and imprisoned."
Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station
Somalia Prime Minister Abdiwali Mohamed Ali Gaas on Friday welcomed the offer of the United States government to pay millions of dollars for information on al-Shabaab leaders to aid in their capture. The PM, who held a press conference in Mogadishu, accused al-Shabaab leaders of causing many problems for the Somali people and the neighbouring countries.
At least ten civilians were killed after al-Shabaab militias exploded a populated business centre in Baidoa town of Bay region on Thursday night. The state minister of defence Mohammed Ali Atosh told Radio Mogadishu that the security forces are investigating the incident and soon will press charges against those who killed the innocent people.
Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
Al-Shaabaab Mujahideen fighters have for the second night fulfilled military operations in Afmadow district of Lower Jubba region. The Mujahideen attacked and entered the Kenyan and TFG infidels’ bases in the outskirts of Afmadow. Local residents told Radio Andalus that the fighting continued more than 45 minutes.
Somali religious leaders and the residents of the Golis Mountains vowed to fight the pro-infidel administration of Puntland who attacked that area two days ago. One of the most prominent religious leaders in Somalia, Sheikh Abdukadir Mumin, who is currently in the mountains stated that the people of the area are ready to defend the region from the enemy. He called the residents of Puntland to take part in the fighting between the Muslims and the infidels and support the Mujahideen.
A workshop about how to improve the Jihad in Somalia was concluded in Merka town of Lower Shabelle region by Somali scholars on Thursday night. The workshop was attended by prominent religious leaders including Sheikh Abi Yasir Al-Maqadishi, Sheikh Hasan Takar, Sheikh Faysal, and Sheikh Mohamed Omar Mulla. All the scholars agreed on the importance of improving the Jihad and defending the country from the enemy.
Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station
Former TFG Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullah Farmajo on Friday announced that Somalia wants an independent electoral commission for the upcoming presidential elections in August 20, 2012. While giving an exclusive interview to Radio Shabelle, Mr. Farmajo emphasized the need to set up a sovereign commission tasked to organize fair elections by August 20, the end of the current transitional government and parliament of Somalia. Faarmajo also welcomed the achievements gained by coalition forces of the government army and AMISOM that have jointly reached victory against al-Shabaab in securing many areas in Somalia.
The commander of the African Union Mission (AMISOM) in Somalia explained their next military target against the remaining al-Shabaab controlled regions in southern Somalia. He said that Somali and AU soldiers are preparing an offensive against Bal-ad town, 30 kilometers north of Mogadishu. “After securing Afgoye corridor, crowded with internally displaced people, we are setting up another major attack against the militants remaining in Lower Shabelle region. That is our next step of our “Free Shabelle operation,” said the commander.
Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station
Ahlu Sunna (ASWJ) administration in central Somali regions welcomed the recent US move to offer millions of dollars in rewards for information leading to the capture of al-Shabaab leaders in Somalia. It is the first time the US has offered money for specific members of the group, which announced its allegiance to al-Qaeda earlier this year. The group’s advisory committee chairman, Omar Sheikh Abdikadir, said his administration welcomes the moves, calling it a step forward in the fight against the group. He said such reward can create suspicion among the rebel fighters and lead to disintegration of the militant group.