Media MONITOR:Print
25 July 2012 Daily Media Roundup
07/25/2012
Somalia News Highlights: Somali Constitutional Assembly Conference is Convened in Mogadishu; Drone Operations Over Somalia Pose Danger to Air Traffic; Somalia to Elect New President, Affirms African Representative; UPDF Somalia Budget Up By 78%; Kenya Court Suspends Bail For Iranian Bomb Plot Suspects; Chinese Pirate Hostages Finally Come Home; National Disaster Management and ICRC Distributed Relief Goods to Over 300 IDPs; Al-Shabaab Claimed Carries Out Assassinations and IED Attacks in Mogadishu; Four AMISOM Soldiers Were Allegedly Killed in an Al-Shabaab Ambush in Mogadishu; Two Security Chiefs Shot and Killed in Mogadishu, Claims Al-Shabaab; Galmudug President Nominated Electoral Commission to Abate Political Turmoil; Six People Including Three Kenyan Police Killed by Roadside Bomb in Dabaab; and Clashes Erupted Among TFG Forces in Mogadishu.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab website posted a call by the Islamist leader of Iraq, Sheikh Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi, urging individuals to come over to Iraq to witness the effective Jihad activities in Iraq. Al-Baghdadi encouraged individuals to come over in person or send representatives to Iraq. Sheikh Al-Baghdadi also praised and prayed for the Islamic movements around the world and also urged Muslims not be persuaded by the infidel program committed to distorting the image of Islam. The commentary taunted and criticized the Somali scholars who opposed al-Shabaab's activities in Somalia and it portrayed those scholars as individuals who do not understand Islam.Somali Language

POLITICS

Garowe Online - Somalia’s National Constitution Assembly (NCA) was in the first time convened on Wednesday in Mogadishu. The NCA Conference is scheduled to last nine days and the NCA 825-members are expected ratify and eventually to adopt the draft constitution for Somalia. The NCA is composed of 825 delegates chosen by traditional elders representing all Somali clans. The opening of the NCA Conference is attended by Somali leaders and representatives of the international community. Somali Language

Associated Press - The skies over Somalia have become so congested with drones that the unmanned aircraft pose a danger to air traffic and potentially violate a long-standing arms embargo against the war-torn country, according to United Nations officials. In a recently completed report, U.N. officials describe several narrowly averted disasters in which drones crashed into a refu­gee camp, flew dangerously close to a fuel dump and almost collided with a large passenger plane over Mogadishu, the capital. Although U.N. investigators did not directly pin the blame for the mishaps on the United States, the report noted that at least two of the unmanned aircraft appeared to be U.S.-manufactured and suggested that Washington had been less than forthcoming about its drone operations in Somalia.

Panapress Agency - The Somali parliament will elect next August 20 the President of this country with persistent political instability in recent years, regional sources reported on Tuesday. The Special Representative of the African Union Commission on Somalia, Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra stated that this step is part of the schedule of political transformations under way in this State, released Panapress Agency. He also confirmed that a Constituent Assembly composed of 825 members will meet soon to approve a new constitution and elect 225 deputies.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

The Observer - The UPDF is to spend Shs 672m every day on its operations in Somalia this financial year, The Observer can reveal. Available documents indicate that the money Uganda will pay for the presence of 6,700 UPDF troops in the chaos-marred county will increase by 78 per cent. The operations previously cost Shs 376m per day. This appears to contradict the widely held view that any major costs of the Somalia operations are borne by the United Nations and the African Union. The figures are contained in the budgetary estimates for the ministry of Defence policy statement for the year 2012/2013. Dated June 30, the statement was recently presented to Parliament for approval by Defence minister Chrispus Kiyonga. It shows that the UPDF will increase its budget for the United Nations-backed African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) from Shs 137bn last financial year to Shs 245bn in 2012/2013.

The Daily Star - Kenya's High Court on Tuesday suspended bail for two Iranians on trial for possessing explosives allegedly for use in bomb attacks in Kenya, after prosecutors cited issues of "national security." Ahmed Mohammed and Sayed Mansour, who were arrested in June and charged with suspected links to a terror network planning bombings in Mombasa and Nairobi, are accused of possessing 15 kilos (33 pounds) of the powerful explosive RDX. Both men, who have denied the charges, were granted bail by a lower court earlier this month, but prosecutors later appealed against the decision. "The order of the trial court granting bail...is hereby stayed until the application for revision is heard," Justice Lydia Achode ruled.

MARITIME

China Daily - Fishermen recount their 19-month ordeal at the hands of Somali pirates. With his weather-beaten face creasing into smiles, 30-year-old fisherman Zhang Leilei said he felt "reborn" the moment he arrived in Beijing on Tuesday afternoon after more than 570 days at the mercy of Somali pirates. Zhang was among 26 rescued crew members of the Xu Fu 1 trawler, a Taiwan ship with 13 fishermen from the Chinese mainland, one from Taiwan and 12 from Vietnam. The boat was hijacked by Somali pirates in late December, 2010, off the Madagascar coast and forced to Somalia. The fishermen told reporters they felt helpless and survived on meager rations, often less than a meal a day, during their 19-month captivity.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) co-operating with ICRC distributed relief goods to over 300 Somali IDP families in Badbaado IDP of Dharkinlay district of Mogadishu on Wednesday. Dharkinlay's district chairman Mo’allim Abdulle thanked the two agencies for their support. The chairman of NDMA Abdulaahi Mohamed Jum’ale urged the aid agencies and the wealthy Somalis to help the IDPs during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

Dozens of pro-infidels militias were killed as string of explosions and assassinations rocked the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Tuesday night. The heaviest explosions took place in Hiliwa, Dayniile, Howl-wadaag, Hodan, Yaqshid and Hamar-Jajab districts where several pro-infidels officers were assassinated by the Mujahideens. Al-Shabaab chairman in Banadir region Sheikh Mohamed Abdirahman underlined that the Mujahideens usually carry out operations in the capital at night by targeting the infidels and their slaves.

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

At least four AMISOM soldiers were confirmed killed and several others injured in fighting between al-Shabaab Mujahideens and the foreign troops that took place between Mogadishu and Afgoye town. The fighting erupted as the al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters ambushed a convoy of the foreign troops from Mogadishu and heading to Afgooye. Locals told Radio al-Furqaan that the fighting continued more than 30 minutes.

The head of TFG's so-called anti-terrorism forces in Karan district, Abdi Sharah, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in Karan district of Mogadishu. According to an eye witness, the armed gunmen immediately escaped from the scene before the TFG security forces reached the crime area. Mr. Sharah used to regularly detain youths and scholars from the district and transfer them to the foreign troops by accusing them of being al-Shabaab Mujahideen supporters. The security chief of TFG's Waberi district and his deputy were also shot and killed by gunmen on Tuesday night.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

Galmudug President Mohamed Ahmed Alin named the region’s electoral commission to abate heightened political tensions in the region following a recent appointment of his vice president which sparked the controversies. In a statement from his office, Mr. Alin claimed that the move is aimed to end the current political stalemate, the infighting among the regional leaders, and to save the regional government from collapsing. President Alin also disbanded the recently appointed commission, saying he is the only person mandated to appoint any commission in the region. The appointment of the Galmudug’s Electoral Commission comes amid souring political temperature in the region following the recent appointment of the disbanded electoral body by Vice President Abdisamed Noor Gulled.

At least six people, including three police officers, were injured in an explosion in Dadaab refugee camp, the latest in a wave of attacks at the border with Somalia. Reports indicated that the explosion was a roadside bomb targeted at a police vehicle escorting the staff of Care International Agency distributing food in Dagahley camp, one of the refugee camps forming the larger Dadaab complex. Area police chief George Kingi told Bar-kulan that three police officers and three civilians were injured in the explosion. He said investigations are now underway to determine the perpetrators of the attack, adding that ten people were arrested for the attack.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

Witnesses claimed Somali government troops exchanged heavy gunfire among themselves in Mogadishu on Wednesday with the opening of the Somali Constitutional Conference. "I can confirm you that the battle between the Somali national army is ongoing at Bo’le neighborhood in Dharkenlay district, but I don’t know the reason behind the fighting. Sporadic gunfire could be heard across the village," said a local woman. The clashes temporarily halted traffic and public movement in the district, according to the residents.