Media MONITOR:Print
4 July 2012 Daily Media Roundup
07/04/2012
Somalia News Highlights: UN and Partners Note Somali Roadmap Progress, Voice Concern Over Missed Deadlines; Puntland Government Supports Formation of Federated States of Somalia; Somaliland President Silanyo Returns, Reaffirming Somaliland Sovereignty; Somali Tribes Reject Al-Shabaab Call for Financing Their War Efforts; Kenya Police Detain Over 30, While Religious Groups Unite; Somaliland Police Arrest Al-Shabaab Suspects, Including Portuguese Man; Bill To Help Ease International Money Transfers for Minnesota Somalis; Somali Farmers Call for Help to Improve Production; The Somali President On Two-Day Visit in Sudan; Al-Shabaab Claims to Have Confiscated Weapons from Dead Ethiopian Soldiers; Four Kenyan Soldiers Killed, Claims Al-Shabaab; TFG Security Minister Claims Entirety Of Mogadishu and Outskirts Are Secure; Water Shortages at Belet-hawo Area to be Solved Through Charitable Well-Drilling; Al-Shabaab Demolishes Graveyards of Renowned Somali Clerics in Mudug; and Ugandan President States That He Has No Vested Interest in Somalia.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab website claimed that the Somali president is using public money to bribe Somali lawmakers for his re-election, and the president is failing to pay the salary of the infidel-supporting soldiers.Somali Language

POLITICS

UN News Center - While noting progress, the international group that brings together the United Nations and its diplomatic partners in support of efforts to restore peace and stability in Somalia today expressed concern over the missing of deadlines, which form part of the process of ending the country's current transitional governing arrangements on 20 August this year. The two-day meeting, which ended on Tuesday, was chaired by the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), Augustine Mahiga. "The ICG noted progress in many areas of the Roadmap, and called for the remaining tasks to be completed on time. For the time being, the focus is rightly on ending the Transition on schedule," the communiqué stated.

Garowe Online - Puntland Government Supports Formation of Federated States of Somalia. Puntland recognizes the outcome of the Nairobi consultative meeting, which called for the establishment of a Technical Committee to meet on 9 July 2012, to prepare the agenda for a General Convention, and to keep the door open for legitimate political actors and local constituencies to join this peace- building process towards the formation of an interim administration in the Juba regions of Somalia. Puntland calls upon the political actors and civil society groups in the Juba regions to unite behind a common purpose of establishing a regional administration for their constituencies, in accordance with the Provisional Federal Constitution of Somalia.

Somaliland Press - Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo has returned after a week-long trip to Dubai, where he met with his counterpart TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. Dr. Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs, said the Dubai meeting mainly focused on the framework for the future dialogue and areas of potential cooperation between Somaliland and the TFG. He emphasized that his government was committed to regional peace, stability and democracy in the Horn communities. Dr. Omar underlined that the sides have agreed to use these opportunities to resolve their difference and reconcile — "without compromising the sovereignty and integrity of Somaliland Republic" – between the Somaliland Republic and Somalia.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

SABAHI - Somali tribal leaders and officials have condemned al-Shabaab's recent calls for tribes to join the group's war efforts and fund its terrorist activities. "Somali tribes have suffered from al-Shabaab's cruel and criminal activities and now all tribes have become well aware that al-Shabaab is their enemy and the enemy of peace, progress and prosperity," said Mohamed Hassan Haad, leader of the Hawiye tribe, one of the largest and most widespread tribes in the central areas. "The tribes have also realised that al-Shabaab has been a plague on the people of Somalia, which is why Somali tribes cannot comply with this group or respond to the periodic calls from their leaders," he said.

Garowe Online - Kenyan authorities have arrested over 30 people after the attacks on two churches in Garissa that killed 17 people, Radio Garowe reports. According to Philip Ndolo, the region’s deputy police chief, Kenyan authorities apprehended more than 30 people following the twin attacks on Garissa churches earlier this week. Of the 30 plus suspects detained in the crackdown by Kenyan authorities, more than 20 still remain in custody while authorities continue their interrogations. Authorities could not verify who was behind the attacks but speculate that it was al-Shabaab. "We are sure al-Shabaab is behind the attacks, but right now we are only speculating," Ndolo said.

Somaliland Press - Security forces detained a number of suspected al Qaeda militants in a series of night raids across the capital of Somaliland’s southern state of Sool this week, official said. Governor Mohamed M. Ali of Sool said they have arrested several men in operations which begun after the assassination of the regional deputy attorney general last week in Las Anod. The judge was killed early last week by unknown gunmen armed with pistols and he was the second judge assassinated in the town in less than a month.

HAWALA/SECURITY

Twin Cities Daily Planet - a congressional subcommittee is developing a bill that will lower the financial and legal risks and costs banks encounter when holding accounts with MSBs, Hassan may soon find it easier to send money to his relatives. "Right now the burden is on the banks to comply when really the burden should be on the wiring services," said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. Ellison said the bill would give banks more incentive to do business with MSBs. The implications of the bill are a welcome relief to Hassan. He said, however, it’s important for people to understand what many other families like his are going through. "If they don’t receive small assistance, that is it," Hassan said. "It stops an entire lifeline."

HUMANITARIAN/FOOD SECURITY

Voice Of America - The Balad area in central Somalia is returning to normalcy after the farming town was liberated more than a week ago by African Union (AMISOM) forces and Somali government soldiers. Now, residents in the town of Balad are ready to reclaim their livelihoods. For nearly five years, the al-Qaida linked group al-Shabaab controlled Balad, 30 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu. ​​​​An area known for its agriculture, al-Shabab routinely extorted money from farmers in the Shabelle region to finance their war against the transitional federal government.

TOXIC WASTE DUMPING/AFRICAN UNION

Ghana News Agency - Former President Jerry John Rawlings has condemned illegalfishing and dumping of toxic waste on parts of the Somali coastline which has caused extensive damage including fish contamination and birth abnormalities to humans. He called on the international community to strive to trace, apprehend and prosecute those responsible for such despicable acts with the same urgency as the arrest and transfer of leading African citizens to the ICC in The Hague. Former President Rawlings, who is also African Union High Representative for Somalia, addressed the opening session with an update on the situation in Somalia and later a panel discussion on the topic "The Humanitarian Situation in Somalia and Public-Private Sector Responses," lashed out at the abuse of the Somali coastline and the impunity that came with it.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

The Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Tuesday met with the Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum. Both leaders discussed the relationship between the two countries and how to improve the Sudan's support of the Somali people. Sudan president vowed that his government will support the TFG. Sudan is a host to thousands of Somali university students.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

Dozens bodies of Ethiopian Christian soldiers who were killed on Monday’s fighting in Bakol region were found in the woods of that region. Somali Pastoralists have informed the Mujahideen that the bodies are rotting in the countryside and the Mujahideen collected the weapons of the bodies. Over 30 Ethiopian soldiers were killed in Monday's fighting between al-Shabab Mujahideen and the infidels, which took place in between the el-Barde and Hudur districts.

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

At least four Kenyan infidels soldiers were killed, and over eight injured, in fighting between al-Shabaab Mujahideen and Kenyan troops that took place in Qoqani village of Lower Jubba region on Tuesday night. Al-Shabaab fighters attacked the infidel's military bases and inflicted loses the enemy. Locals told Radio Andalus that the fighting continued more than 40 minutes and the Mujahideens have bravely entered the infidel’s bases.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

The government has successfully secured the entirety of Mogadishu and other areas the government seized from Al-Shabaab militant group, said Abdisamed Maalim Mohamoud, Minister of the Interior and Internal Security. In an exclusive interview with Radio Bar-kulan, the minister stated that Somali forces and their allied African Union forces have dedicated their lives in order to restore law and order in the country. The minister also acknowledged the loss of TFG soldiers in line of duty, trying to stabilise the country. The minister also made clear that his government is working on plans to establish interim administrative authorities in areas recently recovered from Al-Shabaab militants.

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) on the outskirts of the town of Beled-hawo in the Gedo region are excited about plans of solving their water shortages by a Good Samaritan. Water drilling project on Wednesday kicked off at Shirko settlement, some ten kilometres from the border town of Beled-Hawo after a Somali woman of British citizen offered to help to tackle water crisis facing the IDPs in the area. Maalim Farah, one of the locals who is responsible of the well drilling project told Radio Bar-kulan that they hope the prevailing water shortage in the area will soon be things of the past once the ongoing drilling is completed.

Al-Shabaab militants on Tuesday evening started demolishing graveyards in Dabagalo area of Harardere district of Mudug region. According to locals in the area, heavily armed militants descended on the cemetery containing renowned and respected Somali clerics, including the tomb of Sheikh Hussein Dhere. Al-Shabaab claims the tombs are contrary to Islamic teaching. The move caused conflict between the local residents and the militant group. A section of local elders appealed to the militant group to stop demolishing these graves.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

The Ugandan President Yoweri Moseveni stated that his government does not any special interest in Somalia except the stabilization of Somalia as an African nation. The Ugandan president was speaking at the independence anniversary of Burundi, another African nation contributing peacekeeping forces to Somalia.