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Somalia News Highlights: The Somali government forced businesses to close for Friday prayers; an MP condemned the Somali president for intervening in parliament decisions; President Sharif Ahmed met with the parliament constitutional committee to settle political squabbling; Uganda and Burundi agreed to deploy an additional 4000 troops; Al Shabaab criticized civilians for their lack of support; Al Shabaab detained 10 people in Gedo region; Ahlu Sunna was blamed for premeditated executions of civilians including a young boy; a US naval ship interdicted piracy operations; and Puntland detained four pirates holding Danish family.
Shabelle – The Somali government ordered the closure of all businesses in Benadir region during Friday prayers first time in history and ordered the Mogadishu police to enforce the rule. The decree was proposed and approved by the Ministry of Justice and Benadir region administrators after meeting with Benadir business leaders in Mogadishu.
All Africa – A Somali parliament member, Ali Mohamoud Farah, condemned the statement of Somali President Sharif Ahmed for the parliament not having the legal capacity to call for presidential election by August 2011. Mr. Farah reiterated that the president must respect the lawmakers that elected him as a legitimate Somali leader.
All Headline News – Somali President Sharif Ahmed met with the parliamentary constitutional committee to solve the escalating political squabbles between him and Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan. The president urged the constitutional committee to clarify the constitutional duties of the president, speaker and that of the Somali parliament.
Mareeg – AS mandated by the African Union, Uganda and Burundi pledged to deploy additional 3,000-4,000 peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu by December of this year. After visiting Mogadishu, Ugandan and Burundian military chiefs stated that, “each country has pledged a further 2,000 troops and anticipate an efficient deployment around the middle of the year.”
Bar Kulan – Senior Al Shabaab leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir, criticized the residents of Elasha for their lack of support of Al Shabaab jihad against TFG-AMISOM. Preaching at Friday prayer in Elasha mosque, Sheikh Dahir complained about the desire of the civilians in witnessing the defeat of Al Shabaab by Somali government troops.
Mareeg – Al Shabaab fighters apprehended 10 people in security operations at Garbaharey town of Gedo region on Saturday. It is reported that 7 people were released but three remain in the hands of the Al Shabaab militia.
Shabelle – Elders and intellectuals of Gedo region accused Ahlu Sunna Waljama (ASWJ) of carrying out premeditated execution of civilians, including that of a 14 year old boy in Elwak town.
Oceanus Live – The US Navy intercepted an attempted piracy act in the Somali Basin. Somali pirates attacked a merchant ship with heavy fire and wounded three seafarers but the attack was repelled by the Navy.
Sail World – Puntland police detained four Somali pirates holding the Danish family in its territory. The President of Puntland, Dr. Abdurrahman Farole said, “It is great honor for our security forces to try to rescue the Danish family. We have detained four of those pirates as we are on the way to unchain and free the seven Danes as soon as possible.”
Irish Examiner – The anti-piracy navies in the Somali Basin are being investigated for moonlighting as private security for merchant ships on their leave time due to lucrative payments. Spokesman for the anti-piracy naval forces said, “When a member of the Defense Forces is engaged in off-duty employment which is likely to prove detrimental to the best interests of the service, measures may be taken to terminate or limit the scope of such employment.”
TODAY’S SPOTLIGHT ARTICLE
"Somali pirates open up to student with camera"
Mohamed Ashareh knew he would eventually wear out his welcome in Somalia. He was the Canadian guy walking around with a video camera and a team of pirates, a sight bound to make him a target.
But the 24-year-old was not afraid to be courting marauders in one of the most dangerous places on earth. Not when the pirates he sailed with set out to hijack a ship. Not when a masked man aimed an AK-47 at his chest and demanded money. Not even when he awaited his own roadside execution.
Ashareh, 22 at the time and midway through a computer science degree at Laurentian University, was on a mission: Live with pirates. Learn about what they do and why they do it. Then make a film.
The product of Ashareh's Somali escapade — The Pirate Tapes — will screen at Hot Docs in May. “I'm lucky,” Ashareh says in the film. “I escaped death.”