Media MONITOR:Print
27 June 2012 Daily Media Roundup
06/27/2012
Somalia News Highlights: Key Achievement Undermined by Independent Federal Constitution Commission Rejection; Somali President Accuses World of Balking at Aid; Benadir Clans’ Elders Meet to Discuss Stabilization of Benadir Region; Close Encounters at Afmadhow Front-line; Somalia’s Prisons, The War on Terror’s Latest Front; Call for Aid Scale-up Following Poor Rains; 43 Ethiopians, Somalis Suffocate in Truck Smuggle; Somali President Participates in Global Anti-piracy Conference in Dubai; Somali PM Traveled to Uganda After Official Invitation from the Ugandan President; Al-Shabaab Claimed to have Killed 30 Ethiopian Soldiers in Bay Region; Al-Shabaab Accused TFG Soldiers of Looting Property From Bal'ad Residents; Ethiopian Forces Allegedly Detained Seven ASWJ Fighters Including Officers; ASWJ Established Special Security Group to Patrol Galgadud's Linkage Roads; Puntland Started Rehabilitation of Coastal Town Roads; Water Shortages Reported Along Kenya-Somalia Border; and Somali PM Vowed to Eradicate Remnants of Al-Shabaab in Southern Somalia.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab website claimed that al-Shabaab fighters used grenades to attack Hotel Medina of Hamar Jajab district which houses the Somali lawmakers in Mogadishu. Local residents who witnessed the explosions stated they saw ambulances flocking to the area to evacuate those who had been wounded.Somali Language

POLITICS

Garowe Online - The Independent Federal Constitution Commission (IFCC) have rejected the newly approved draft constitution after leaders agreed to present the document so it could be voted on, Garowe Online reports. The head of the IFCC, Abdullahi Hassan Jama held a press conference in Mogadishu on Monday where he stated that he could not present the proposed constitution ratified by leaders, to stakeholders. "Officials in the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) have asked us to distribute the document to different members of the civil society, but we have objected to this because this is not a document that the IFCC can be responsible for," said Mr. Jama. The statement by the IFCC Chairman comes after leaders had agreed to the proposed document following a meeting in Nairobi.

Reuters - Somalia's president on Wednesday accused the international community of refusing to fund the creation of local security forces capable of tackling piracy and al Qaeda-linked militants and urged them to pay up. "The international community spends millions of dollars (because of piracy) and when you ask them to contribute to building forces on the ground they evade our request," Sheikh Sharif Ahmed told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a conference on piracy in Dubai. Ahmed said he thought international donors such as the United States were reluctant to contribute funds because they were concerned that the money would be embezzled and said he was willing to allow them to pay and train such forces themselves to allay such fears.

Hiiraan Online - Over 50 people from the entire Benadir council of elders met with women groups as well as youth and religious leaders in Mogadishu on Monday. In the meeting the elders and other civil society groups discussed the current security problems in Benadir region and what can be done to improve it. During the discussion, the participants identified serious security problems including illegal checkpoints for clan militia, extortion, rape, theft of private property, murder, and the closure of public service centers by armed men.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

The Star - The Daily Star writer Dominic Wabala was recently embedded with the Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia. He narrates about his experiences in the front-line. Captain Mutuku narrates how a KDF convoy of 13 Armoured Personnel Carriers on the wayfrom Tabda to Hosingow was attacked by a group of about 50 al-Shabaab fighters. The area of attack is the insurgent fighters favourite ambush point because of the thick vegetation and the narrow road that links Jillib, Hosingow, Afmadhow and Biibi towns. He recalls how the first APC rolled over an improvised explosive device and was tossed in the air as the attackers sprayed the convoy with bullets. And as if on cue, a loud bang reverberates through the camp. Some of the soldiers while away time playing cards but other listen to the budget speech in Parliament on KBC. When the network allows, the soldiers patiently surf the Internet on a very slow network catching up with family and friends back home.

The Daily Beast - The U.S. wants out of the international jailing business. So what happens when we catch a terrorist abroad? In Somalia, they end up in a living hell. So now it’s official: United States soldiers have been hunting down al Qaeda affiliates in Somalia. When the White House confirmed earlier this month what has long been an open secret, most of the ensuing chatter focused on the need for greater transparency about the expanding war on terror. Pentagon spokesman James Gregory wouldn’t confirm the number of prisoners the U.S. has sent to Bosaso, only that it has handed over prisoners, "back over to where they came from." He said the U.S. is "returning them to their government, and their government takes them." (Editor's Note: a 55-second video on the situation of Bosaso prison is embedded in the story.)

HUMANITARIAN/DOUGHT

IRIN News - Humanitarian aid to Somalia, where 3.4 million people are expected to continue to need food and non-food support for the next six months, should be scaled up particularly in south-central agro-pastoral areas following poor March-May 'Gu’ rains, say aid agencies. The 'Gu’ season accounts for 60-70 percent of Somalia’s cereal harvests. Among parts of the south that are expected to be affected are the regions of Bakool, Bay, Gedo and Shabelle as well as parts of the Juba region, which normally get 4-6 months of cereal supplies from the 'Gu’ season. "The food security situation is going to deteriorate in the agropastoral areas in the South where below average Gu rainfall in most of the rain-fed farming areas suggest an inevitable shortfall of the Gu harvest," says a 25 June analysis by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit-Somalia, FSNAU.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Associated Press - Forty-three Ethiopians and Somalis who paid to be smuggled from their homelands in search of better living conditions died in the back of a crowded, suffocating truck, an official said Wednesday. Deputy Home Affairs Minister Pereira Silima on Wednesday said it was sad that so many people died from the illegal smuggling scheme. Tanzania's state television said the dead bodies were thrown off the truck and dumped in the bush after the driver of the truck realized on Tuesday that some of the people he was smuggling had perished. Some 70 people in the truck survived and are receiving medical treatment and being questioned by police.

PHOTO-ESSAY

Horseed Media - This is 18-picture photo essay on the Somali Prime Minister's visit to the newly captured town of Bal'ad of Middle Shabelle region.

VIDEO

British Forces News - This is a 4-minute video on the training of Sierra Leone troops to be deployed to Somalia by the British Army. "Now, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, or RSALF have progressed so much that for the first time they are about to deploy a battalion of troops into Somalia, another country plagued by civil war."

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Wednesday attended a global anti-piracy conference, which was held in United Arab Emirates. The president addressed the conference and stated that the solution of the piracy is to fight against them on the land, not on the sea only. The president asked the international community to support Somalia to rebuild the Somali navy so that they can eradicate the piracy.

Somali Prime Minister Abdiwali Mohamed Ali on Wednesday traveled to Kampala, Uganda, after he received a formal invitation from the Ugandan government, where he will meet Ugandan officials including the president of Uganda, Uweri Musseveni. The PM spoke to the media at Mogadishu airport and stated that the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the current political situation in Somalia, and ways of stabilizing the country will be among the top agendas he will be discussing with the Ugandan government officials.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

At least 30 Ethiopian Christian troops were killed and dozens injured after one of the heaviest fights took place in Bay region in southern Somalia. The fighting erupted when al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters launched a planned attack on the infidels’ base in Goon-Dhob village on the outskirts of Baidoa town. Local residents told Radio Andalus the the fighting continued for hours and they saw the dead bodies of Ethiopian soldiers. The Ethiopians shelled the villages near the scene, but no civilian casualties were reported.

Local residents in Bal’ad town of Middle Shabelle region, which was seized by the infidels on Tuesday, stated that the pro-infidel militias started to loot the properties of the Somali people. The militias broke into the stores in the town and robbed the properties. Also they arrested and tortured dozens of residents accusing them of supporting the Mujahideen.

Radio Al-Furqaan - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

Reports from Guri’el town of Galgaduud region indicate the Ethiopian troops detained at least seven ASWJ soldiers and two officers for unknown reason. Locals told Radio al-Furqaan that the Ethiopians entered a house where the officers had a meeting and tortured them before they were detained.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

ASWJ group said it has established a special unit of its armed militias to bolster security along the major roads linking Dusamareb to other towns the region. The move is aimed at containing the escalating banditry in the area targeting travelers, according to Farah Maalim Ali, the head of ASWJ militias tasked with securing the district. The latest robbery happened early this morning when armed bandits attacked a minibus carrying passengers from Galkayo heading towards Beledweyne town at an area near Dusamareb town, injuring one person. Ali told Bar-kulan they already arrested three suspects who are believed to be part of the gangs who attacked the vehicles.

Puntland’s Highway Authority (NESHA) on Wednesday started construction work to rehabilitate the road between the port city of Bosaso and the regional capital, Garowe. NESHA director, Eng. Hassan Osman Ali who held a press conference in Garowe, said the first phase of the rehabilitation process has officially started at an area between Bosaso and Marerka which has been badly affected by the heavy rains that pounded the area recently. He said after the completion of this part of the road, his engineers will also start working on the remaining parts of the road in order to improve the quality of the region’s road network and reduce travel time and transport costs. NESHA has previously rehabilitated the road between Garowe and Galkayo and has just finished construction of the road between Jalam and Kala-bayr which has been in badly condition.

A server water shortage is being reported from several areas of Beled-Hawo district near the border with Kenya. The affected villages include Gubo-diya, Malkariyey, Jira’le Hareri Hosle, and Kamora-gof. This water shortage is attributed to the failure of Gu’ rains which forced water pans and water wells which served as the main source of water for locals and their livestock to dry up. Sheikh Adan Ali Barow, one of the local elders in the area told Bar-kulan that the district is experiencing severe shortage of water which has affected both humans and animals. He said acute water problem has compounded the drought situation saying that situation is getting worse by the day and it is becoming a great concern for the locals since they risk losing their livelihoods. Barrow added that wild animals like monkeys have started attacking homes in search of water, prompting human and animal conflict in the area.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

The Prime Minister of Somalia Abdiwali Mohamed Ali declared that his government is willing to end the reign of al-Shabaab militants in the country before 20 August 2012, the ending point of the governments transitional period. Speaking with Radio Shabelle, the PM said the TFG and AMISOM forces will continue fighting against al-Shabaab fighters until peace and stability is restored throughout the nation. “Our plan is to eradicate the Islamist al-Shabaab militants-linked with Al Qaeda out of their last stronghold in Somalia before next August and set local administrations under Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government,” Abdiwali said.