Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Hambalyo iyo bogaadin ku socota Axmed Xasan Carwo,oo loo magacaabay La Taliyaha Madaxweynha ee Arrimaha Dhaqaalaha, Ganacsiga iyo Maalgashiga.
badan ee Axmed Dalkiisa iyo Dadkiisaba u qabtay, bal aan isku dayo inaan idiin iftiimiyo dhowr qodob:
- Axmed Xasan Carwo, Waxaan qofnaba daah ka saarneyn , inuu qayb laxaad leh ka soo qaatay halgankii iyo Guushii Xisbiga Kulmiye ku hantiyey talada Dalka,kana mid ahaa rukumadii ugu waaweynaa ee xisbiga Kulmiye ka hawl gala,Dalka Gudihiisa iyo Dibaddiisaba.
-Axmed Xasan Carwo, Waxaa marnaba la illoobi karin qoraaladiisii taxanaha ahaa, ee sida onkodka iska soo daba dhici jiray , kuna suntanaa cinwaanka: "Codkaaga ku ciil bax", oo aalaaba intiinna badani aad ka daalacan jirteen Mareegaha Somaliland,mar kale ayaanan idiin soo gudbin doonaa qoraaladaas taariikhiga ah,iyagoo dhameys tiran.
-Axmed Xasan Carwo, Wuxuu muddo dheer ahaa Guddoomiyaha Jaaliyadda Soomaliland ee Wales,UK, waxaanu ku guuleystay
inuu isku xidho ,soona casuumo mudanayaal ka mid ah Dawladda Ingiriiska, oo uu ka mid yahay Wasiirka Arrimaha Dibedda,
Mudane David Miliband,Mudane Alun Michael MP,oo ay shirar la yeeshaan jaaliayadda.
Bishii November 25,2008,ayuu Axmed si sharaf leh u wareejiey Xilkii Guddomiyanimada ee Jaaliyadda Wales.
Aan mid kaftan ah raaciyee,Axmedaw sidii Codkii loogu ciil baxay, waa in Somaliland aqoontaada,waayo aragnimadaada iyo khibraddaada, ugu ciil baxdaa, oo Hashii Maandeeq Xoorkeeda beryo qol qolka xaafaddii Laba Nuux , lagu wada dhamaa !!!!!
Mar labaad ,Hambalyo Hambalyo Hambalyo,waxaanan Allaha weyn kaaga baryayaa, in xilkaa culus ee Madaxweynuhu kuu igmaday,Rabbi kugu asturo ,kaana yeelo kii ka midho dhaliya, Aamiin.
Eng. Mohamed Ali Muse (Farshaxan)
Senior Computer Network Specialist
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Hargeysa: Madaxwaynaha Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland, Axmed Maxamed Maxamuud (Siilaanyo) Digreeto uu soo saaray waxa uu magacaabay Aqoonyahanka Axmed Xasan Cawo inuu noqdo la-taliyaha madaxweynaha ee arrimaha Dhaqaalaha, Ganacsiga, iyo Maalgashiga ee JSL . Mudane Axmed Carwo oo haysta shahaadada Msc kana qaatay Jaamacadda London ee caanka ku ah culuumta dhaqaalaha ( London School of Economics- LSE), ayaa isla markaas ka mid ahaa tirarka ugu weyn ee loo aanayn karo inay qayb libaax ka qaateen guusha xisbiga Kulmiye, isagoo qoraalo iyo talooyin noqday hal-ku-dhigyada xisbiga lagu xusuusto.
Waxa tan loo arkaa inay waxtar weyn ku yeelan karto xoojinta dhinaca arrimaha maaliyadda iyo dhaqaalha oo xagal daac ka muuqdo. Waxayna ku soo kordhinaysaa xukuumadda Madaxweyne Siilaanyo waayo-aragnimo siyaasadeed, biseel odaynimo iyo aqoon sare.
Waxay digreetadu u qornayd sidan:
"Digreeto Magacaabid:- No.084/2010 Taar 13/11/2010
Madaxwaynaha Jamhuuriyada Somaliland.
Markuu akhriyay : Qodobka 90-aad faqradiisa 3-aad ee dastuurka Qaranka Somaliland.
Markuu Tixgeliyay: Ahmiyada ay la taliyeyaasha qaranku u leeyihiin dhismaha qaranka.
Markuu arkay: in baahi wayn loo qabo buuxinta jagadan.
markuu ka fiirsaday : kartida, aqoontiisa iyo hufnaantiisa shaqo.
markuu ku qancay: in uu hanan karo xilalkan loo magacaabay.
In Mudane Axmed Xasan Carwo ahaado La-taliyaha Madaxweynha Arrimaha Dhaqaalaha, Ganacsiga iyo Maalgashiga
ALLaa mahad leh.
Madaxwaynaha Jamhuuriyada Somaliland Md. Axmed Maxamed Maxamuud."
In the Coke Zero commercial, an impatient young man says, "It's 2010. Weren't we supposed to have time machines by now?" Human rights supporters have equal cause to ask, "Weren't we all supposed to have democracy by now?"
In 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet empire, Francis Fukuyama wrote that "for a very large part of the world, there is now no ideology with pretensions to universality that is in a position to challenge liberal democracy, and no universal principle of legitimacy other than the sovereignty of the people." A host of despots, however, has managed just fine without a universal principle.
The world is freer and more democratic than it was then. But advances have been stymied by dozens of repressive regimes. The human rights group Freedom House said in January that the previous four years made up "the longest continuous period of deterioration" in the nearly 40 years it has kept tabs. This year brought no evident turnaround.
That is fine with the rulers of China. Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to advance democracy and free speech, which had also earned him an 11-year prison term.
In North Korea, the ailing Kim Jong-il installed his son Kim Jong-un as heir apparent — proving that Marxism can coexist with monarchy. A former Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi, was released from seven years of house arrest after her jailers won elections that were widely denounced as rigged.
A Pentagon cable published by WikiLeaks said Robert Gates told his French counterpart that "Russian democracy has disappeared." Elections in Belarus were not free enough to deprive re-elected President Alexander Lukashenko of his claim to be the last dictator in Europe.
The American effort to spread democracy in the Middle East and Muslim world encountered fierce headwinds. Afghan President Hamid Karzai took over an election commission after it had the nerve to find rampant irregularities in the election he won last year. Unhappy with the U.S. government, he told the American ambassador, "If I had to choose sides today, I'd choose the Taliban."
Iraq held elections that didn't produce a new government until nine months later, during which time authorities banned political demonstrations. In Egypt, the opposition Muslim Brotherhood went from 88 seats in parliament to one. "At least get creative in how you rig the elections," one newspaper publisher implored President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for 29 years.
On the other side of the globe, 85 percent of Venezuelans said they don't want their country to resemble communist Cuba. But President Hugo Chavez nationalized hundreds of businesses, closed down the last remaining opposition TV station and expelled a member of the European Parliament for calling him — I am not making this up — a "dictator."
Retired Cuban autocrat Fidel Castro, meanwhile, admitted the communist economic model "doesn't even work for us anymore." The number of political prisoners in Cuba fell to the lowest level since 1959.
Haiti suffered a horrendous earthquake, a cholera epidemic and a chaotic national election spoiled by violence and fraud. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega made it plain he will run for re-election in 2011 even though the Constitution forbids him from seeking another term.
In Africa, there are modest signs of progress. The number of coups on the continent fell by more than half in this decade compared to the one before, and 48 countries were scheduled to go to the polls this year.
Successful, credible votes took place this year in Tanzania and Somaliland. Guinea's military junta yielded to civilians after the country's first democratic election.
But many exercises in democracy were a sham. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, won after warning that if international poll watchers caused trouble, "we will cut off their fingers."
This year served mainly to vindicate the desires of tyrants and the fears of pessimists. To recapture the sense that the world is destined for universal democracy, you'd need a time machine.
Hargeisa (somalilandpress)- Yesterday early in the morning at 5:30 a group of thieves attacked and threw Fadumo Mohamed Yusuf a 65 aged mother from Hargeisa's main bridge. The elderly woman told the police that the thieves tried to snatch her small handbag and then after they took it they threw her off the the Hargeisa Bridge.
Fadumo is a mother of seven orphanage children and every morning she goes to work at 5am to Hargeisa market where she works as hawker of small goods. She was taken to Hargeisa City Hospital for treatment to cut on her hands, fractured leg and ribs.
From her hospital bed Faduma was able to speak with the media where she told them how the attack happened"we were almost six women, and we were walking over the Hargeisa Bridge one man with a big knife stood in front of us and immediately he seized to my shoulder and then dropped me down the bridge and I became unconscious. The other women were shouted and run away, the thieves then took my hand bag and disappeared."
One of the Hargeisa hospital Medical staff told to Somalilandpress that the number of burgler victims has increased last few months. Chief of Somaliland police commission Elmi Rooble Furre (Elmi kabaal) told reporters today that more 700 thieves were released from the prisons of Somaliland, the chief of Somaliland Police Commission also insisted that prisons buildings in Somaliland are almost destroyed and couldn't hold numbers of thieves.
This isn't the first time that the thieves are made such horrible cases in Hargeisa, but the last months, injuries and deaths from the burglars at night and early morning times are more increasing then as before.
Hargeisa the capital city of Somaliland is now crowded with multi ethnic and different cultured people. People are consisted those displaced from southern Somali, Ethiopia. Even though; Hargeisa is now crowded by other Somaliland regions inhabitant due to lack of employment and without resources.
Reported by Abdiqani Husein Baynah
Sunday, December 26, 2010
As the violence in Ivory Coast continues in the wake of political turmoil following the presidential runoff vote held last month, the number of dead, wounded and missing persons is increasing rapidly. The nearly 200 deaths have stoked fears of a civil war reminiscent of the conflict the West African nation of 22 million suffered eight years ago.
The problem is that as it stands now, Ivory Coast is in the unique but impractical position of having two presidents. The country's electoral commission ruled that President-elect Alassane Ouattara had won, but the Constitutional Council said incumbent Laurent Gbagbo had been elected, citing vote rigging in some northern areas.
The international community recognizes the winner as Ouattara who also seems to have captured the country's vital airwaves, though Gbagbo maintains control of the military, convincing him he can ride out the storm. Some of the resource-rich country's richest men, with their well-connected vested interests, are also staunch defenders of the Gbagbo clique.
Gbagbo is widely viewed as the champion of the rights of the people of the southern part of the country who regard themselves as rightful sons of the soil, though the southerners conveniently overlook that the northerners are precisely the workers who tilled the land that turned Ivory Coast into the world's largest producer of cocoa.
Even if Ouattara assumes office, the army might be reluctant to obey his orders that would be a grave error in judgment. The more the Ivorian generals enmesh themselves into the country's political fray, the stronger their claim to be the kingmakers, which could blur the current separation of powers between the executive and the military establishment.
The current crisis has split the nation into two warring groups locked in combat over the political future of the country. The mood in both the Christian south where Gbagbo proponents predominate and in the Muslim north and central parts of the country where Ouattara supporters rule is restive as the crisis has uncovered the tribal and religious fissures of a terribly fractured nation.
And yet the cultural driving force of Ivory Coast has been its ethnic and religious diversity. The founding father of the Ivory Coast, former President Felix Houphouet Boigney, was a symbol of national unity, seen neither as Christian nor Muslim, southerner nor northerner. It really didn't matter what he believed insofar as religion was concerned.
A power-sharing government has been ruled out so the division of the country into separate areas may last a while — with the death toll continuing to rise — until a long-term solution can be found. If the impasse continues, the implications are that elections don't matter and that defeated candidates who have military support can stay in power anyway.
Given that Africa has actually made enormous progress over the past two decades in strengthening the institutions of democracy and in holding elections, it would be a tragedy for the Ivorian people and for Africa generally if the world sees the Ivory Coast elections as yet another example of failed African governance.
This bears more than passing resemblance to the situation in Sudan. The north-south divide, the Muslim-Christian chasm, has emerged as an intractable political challenge in numerous African nations. The fissures, it is feared, in both cases are along the religious fault-line.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Four people, including three women, were arrested on Thursday when Durban police raided a Westville home and seized weapons and ammunition believed to be destined for Somalia to help in the fight against piracy, but which had been illegally diverted.
Among the weapons seized were eight 308 rifles, two shotguns and two AM3 assault rifles with telescopic lens and silencers. They were hidden in one of the rooms in the house.
The firearms were found still in their transportation cases. Police also recovered 592 rounds of ammunition and 12-bore rounds.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said that preliminary investigations showed the firearms had been transported from Malta.
He refused to say who the weapons were destined for as this was still being investigated.
The investigation which led them to the house in Westville had been ongoing and more firearms could be found.
"We believe the firearms were illegally diverted to South Africa, but how they ended up in Durban remains a mystery," he said.
"We believe the house was being used as a firearms holding area," Mdunge said.
Those arrested, two 20-year-old women, a 28-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man, would appear in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court today.
It is believed that part of the house had been converted into offices where two women were working.
Somali pirates have been involved in a spate of hijackings around the Horn of Africa, including that of a Durban couple who are still being held captive.
Bruno Pelizzari and Deborah Caitz were kidnapped along with skipper Peter Eldridge on October 26.
Ten days after their capture a Dutch naval vessel gave chase and ran their vessel ashore. The pirates fled along with the couple, leaving Eldridge behind after he refused to leave the yacht. Eldridge was duly rescued by the Dutch and brought back to Richards Bay.
On Thursday Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Clayson Monyela said: "There is nothing new on the South African couple who were hijacked by Somali pirates."
In another incident involving South Africans, two men from Cape Town who were falsely arrested for ownership of allegedly smuggled goods as well as for "impersonating journalists", were released and arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday.
Anton van der Merwe and Chris Everson, a cameraman and a sound recordist, who both work for an American documentary news show, were travelling to work on an independent production in Somalia. Their producers had told them to board a charter aircraft at Entebbe international airport in Uganda.
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been growing rapidly, with numerous vessels being hijacked and held for huge ransoms.
A number of international organisations such as the International Maritime Organisation and the World Food Programme have expressed concern over the rise in acts of piracy, incidents of which have contributed to an increase in shipping costs and impeded delivery of food aid shipments.
A multinational coalition naval task force has been established to monitor and inspect vessels along the north-east African coastline.
Countries which are party to this task force include France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. - The Mercury
HARGEISA, Somaliland — In the mist forests of the Golis Mountains in northern Somalia, clouds roll in off the sea. Up and over the mountain ridges, they evaporate into the desert air.
There, in the southern slopes, stumpy trees grow as if anchored to the mountainside by some unknown force. From the hand-slashed bark of these stubborn, spiky trees leak droplets of a gum that hardens into a chewy resin.
These aromatic gums are the biblical frankincense and myrrh. Harvested and dried, they have been highly valued trade items for thousands of years. The gums are simply processed and exported. They look like dirty little stones, and they find their way out of Somalia's wild north and into European perfumes, Christian churches, Arabian households and Chinese medicines.
Somaliland is the northern territory of Somalia that functions largely independent from the war-torn south, although it is not officially recognized as an autonomous country. The production and trade in the aromatic gums of frankincense and myrrh is an important economic activity for Somaliland.
Guelleh Osman Guelleh, general manager of Beyomol Natural Gums in Hargeisa, told GlobalPost that he exports 330,000 pounds of frankincense and myrrh every year. Much of his product is distilled abroad for use in perfumes.
"The main market for us is in southern France, in Grasse. Ninety percent of what we sell goes there to be used in perfumes," said Guelleh who studied in the United Kingdom before returning to Somaliland in 1999 to set up his gum exporting business.
The only processing done in Somaliland itself is sorting and grading the gums according to size and color but Guelleh hopes that will change, one day.
"It's a technical issue because it is not a simple process to distill for the perfumery industry. You need to show reliability of quality and consistency of supply, you need to be able to process the same way the French do," he said.
Nevertheless, exporting the unrefined gums alone is a profitable enterprise earning Guelleh up to $60,000 a year. Overall Somaliland's economy is estimated to be worth $50 million, of which 95 percent is exports of livestock.
Guelleh's business operates out of Somaliland, where successive governments of the self-declared independent province have a laissez-fair policy toward private enterprise that borders on disregard.
"Somaliland is fantastic for doing business because the government keeps out of the private sector," said Guelleh enthusiastically. Regulations are minimal, taxes non-existent. "Somaliland allows you to do your business and they don't interfere."
It was not always this way. During the years when Somalia was under the military rule of Mohamed Siad Barre, the government-owned Frankincense and Gums Trading Agency nationalized the sector and the crop was part of the corrupt state bureaucracy. But since the collapse of Barre's regime and Somaliland's declaration of independence in 1991, gums, like the rest of the economy, have been making a slow recovery.
Myrrh is extracted from the Commiphora myrrha tree that grows on the lower slopes. Frankincense comes from the Boswellia carteri tree that grows at higher altitudes. Both are used in herbal medicines, essential oils and perfume, not to mention religious ceremonies. Christians often incorporate frankincense and myrrh into traditions, given the fact that the Three Wise Men are said to have offered them to baby Jesus.
Lesser known in the Western world is "maidi" a type of frankincense that is extracted from the Boswellia frereana tree and is popular in the Arab world as a naturally scented chewing gum. This high quality gum — pure white in color — is sought after and sells for $12 per kilogram, six times the price of the best inedible frankincense.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
In the face of increased successes by international forces and the national army in Afghanistan, the Taliban may attempt spectacular attacks in the coming weeks, the top United Nations envoy in the country warned today.
"In other words, our sentiment is: before it gets better it may get worse," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council, noting that the combined activity by the Afghan and international forces is intensifying and showing results.
"At the same time, we are detecting from the anti-Government elements an attempt to show some spectacular attacks in order to diversify the feeling of a change of momentum. What does it mean? That we should be ready, I'm afraid, for the next few months for some tense security environment."
Mr. de Mistura was briefing the Council on Mr. Ban's latest <"http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=s/2010/630">report, which noted that conditions for reconciliation in Afghanistan are becoming more favourable and that there may soon be a real opportunity for a political dialogue leading to a settlement.
The Special Representative, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), gave his assessment of September's parliamentary elections and the final certification of the results three weeks ago, which the Council welcomed.
"The Security Council members reiterated that the elections which have been carried out under difficult security conditions under full Afghan ownership constitute an important milestone in the vital political process in Afghanistan," it said in a <"http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/sc10143.doc.htm">press statement following the briefing.
In his report Mr. Ban noted that the electoral process was far from flawless but he commended the Afghan electoral institutions their independence and integrity and for having accomplished the logistical feat of organizing such a complicated operation in a difficult political, security and geographic environment.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
NAIROBI, 21 December 2010 (IRIN) - Holding a football tournament with
teams from 15 regions of Somalia is an achievement in itself - but the
organizers hope it will do more than only bring players together.
"The footballers taking part in the tournament have never known a
unified Somalia; this is an opportunity for them to interact,"
Abdirashid Hassan Baki, the deputy president of Somalia's Football
Federation (SFF), said. "We hope the tournament will also boost peace
and reconciliation in our country."
Somalia has been embroiled in conflict since 1990, with more than 1.4
million displaced and 600,000 refugees in neighbouring countries. The
UN estimates more than two million Somalis need humanitarian
"The fact that we are even holding this football tournament for the
first time since 1987 is in itself an achievement. This, to me, is a
miracle and a beginning for peace and reconciliation. This is sport at
its best. It reminds me of the 'ping-pong' between China and the US
[when the US and China started their rapprochement under Richard
At least 290 young Somali football players are taking part in the
20-day tournament, which opened on 15 December in Garowe, capital of
the autonomous region of Puntland. It is jointly organized by
Puntland, northeastern Somalia and the SFF for Somali youths from 15
of Somalia's original 18 regions.
Somalia has, over the years, split into three distinct areas. What
was the northern region of Somalia is now the self-declared republic
of Somaliland, the northeastern regions are now the autonomous regions
of Puntland and the south and central are controlled by the
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and large parts of it by
Islamist Al-Shabab and Hisbul Islam groups.
Baki said many of the players came from regions controlled by
different groups "but they all allowed them to come and participate".
Abdisamad Sheikh Hamud, a footballer representing Nugal region of
Puntland, told IRIN the tournament's opening ceremony was very
emotional for many players.
"There were a lot of people crying, mostly the older people who could
remember [a unified] Somalia," Hamud said. "It is the first time for
the majority of us to attend anything that brought Somalis together.
We all felt like true Somalis. No clans or regions."
Hamud said the tournament was an opportunity "to meet young people
like us from across Somalia, who we may never have met otherwise. I
hope to make lifelong friends."
Ahmed Egal Awale, the Puntland deputy minister of sports, said most
of the tournament's participants were born after the collapse of the
Somali state in 1991. "It is their first experience of an all-Somali
affair. Today in Garowe you will see youth from Mogadishu or Baidao,
with others from Nugal or Sool. I don't think they ever thought they
would get such an opportunity.
"I have no doubt that this will contribute to peace and
reconciliation in our country. It is bringing us together. It is a
Baki of the SFF said many of the youth from south and central Somalia
were for the first time playing football without being afraid of
shells or bullets - "a new thing for many".
Sunday, December 19, 2010
MOGADISHU — Authorities in autonomous Somaliland said Sunday they
opened an investigation into a plane seized en route to neighbouring
Puntland that contained military supplies and two South Africans
posing as journalists.
"We have sent transferred the case to the prosecutor and the affair
will now go through the courts," said Transport Minister Mohamud Abdi
The government of Somaliland, a northern region of Somalia which has
declared independence but is yet to be internationally recognised,
made the decision to investigate on Saturday evening, Hashi said.
Hashi said prosecutors would probe a violation of Somaliland airspace,
the violation of an international embargo on arms to Somalia, and the
presence of two South Africans who passed themselves off as
Somaliland authorities seized the plane on December 10 after it was
forced to land in regional capital Hargeysa because it was short on
It was heading to Puntland, another autonomous Somali region which is
home to many of the pirates who threaten international shipping in the
Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, after travelling from South Africa via
It contained military equipment including uniforms and there were six
people on board, authorities said.
Tensions run high between Somaliland and Puntland, which are separated
by a disputed territory where armed clashes sporadically break out.
Delegations from Morocco and the Frente Polisario have attended a
fourth round of informal talks in New York on ending the conflict in
Western Sahara at the invitation of the personal envoy of the United
The three-day meeting in Long Island, convened by the envoy,
Christopher Ross, was also attended delegates from the neighbouring
States, Algeria and Mauritania. As was the case in the previous
informal talks, the discussions, which ended on Saturday, took place
in "an atmosphere of serious engagement, frankness, and mutual
respect," according to a statement issued by Mr. Ross' office.
The proposals of the two parties were again presented, but by the end
of the meeting, each party continued to reject the proposal of the
other as a sole basis for future negotiations, the statement added.
Within the framework of the relevant Security Council resolutions
on the ongoing negotiations process, the parties engaged in extensive
discussions on innovative approaches to create a new dynamic in the
negotiating process next year on the basis of regular meetings.
"In this regard, both parties proposed concrete ideas that will be
developed at the next two rounds of informal talks to be held from 21
to 22 January and in March 2011."
The delegations also discussed the programme of Confidence Building
Measures set out by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and
confirmed the continuation of family visits by air.
As agreed during the third round of informal talks, the four
delegations plan to meet with the Office of the High Commissioner for
Refugees in Geneva in the near future to review the implementation of
the "Plan of Action" in full and to advance the implementation of
family visits by road.
Mr. Ross called upon the two parties to help create an atmosphere of
trust in order to make progress in the negotiations and to avoid
t could have negative effects on that process.
In its resolution 1871 of 2009, the Security Council called on the
parties to continue their dialogue under the auspices of the
Secretary-General to achieve "a just, lasting and mutually acceptable
political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of
the people of Western Sahara."
The UN has been involved in efforts towards a settlement in Western
Sahara since 1976, when fighting broke out between Morocco and the
Frente Polisario after the Spanish colonial administration of the
Morocco has presented a plan for autonomy while the position of the
Frente Polisario is that the territory's final status should be
decided in a referendum on self-determination that includes
independence as an option.
Dr.Hawa Abdi Honored by the City of Irving, TX USA
Mayor Herbert Gears of Irving, Texas (left) presents Dr. Hawa Abdi Day proclamation to Dr. Hawa
Dr. Hawa Abdi Honored by the City of Irving, Texas, USA
December 16, 2010 (Dallas, Texas)- Dr. Hawa Abdi of Somalia was honored by the City of Irving, Texas with a proclamation declaring December 16 Dr. Hawa Abdi Day in honor of her humanitarian work. At a reception held in her honor at the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, December 16, 2010, Mayor Herbert Gears of Irving presented her the proclamation certificate. Mayor Gears commended Dr. Hawa for her humanitarian work in her homeland of Somalia. The reception was sponsored by Amoud Foundation of Irving, Texas, and was attended by Somali Americans from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, City of Irving council members, members and leaders from the Muslim community, and other dignitaries.
In her brief remarks, Dr. Hawa thanked the City of Irving for the honor. She thanked the City of Irving and its people for the hospitality they extended to the Somali immigrants who settled in their city. She urged the Somali residents to appreciate the peace and its benefits they enjoy here, and to always remember the brothers and sisters left behind in their homeland, and to do everything in their power to contribute to the search for peace for their homeland.
Dr. Hawa Abdi was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She studied medicine in Kiev, Ukraine, in the 1960s and became one of the first female Somali gynecologists. In 1983, she opened her own private clinic at Afgoi near Mogadishu.
In 1991, when Somalia's government collapsed, and the country descended into a brutal civil war, she opened the doors to her hospital to Internally Displaced People (IDPs) fleeing the violence in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital. By 1993, tens of thousands of IDPs were living at her hospital and the surrounding grounds.
Dr. Hawa continues to care for tens of thousands of Somali IDPs at her clinic camp grounds to this day through her Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, www.drhawaabdifoundation.org
Dr. Hawa and her two daughters, Dr. Amina and Dr. Deqo, were the winners of the 2010 Glamour Magazine "Women of the Year" award. Dr. Hawa was the winner of the Amoud Foundation of Irving's 2008 Awdal Achievement Award
Dr. Hawa is visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth area December 16-18, 2010.
For more picture gallery please visit the link below.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
American Diplomacy Unveiled
Published diplomatic cables push transparency limits, but many Americans disagree
A supporter of Julian Assange holds a placard outside as another wears a mask outside Westminster Magistrates Court on 7 December 2010 in London, England.
Wikileaks wesite founder Julian Assange appeared in court, before a district judge, to fight an extradition after being accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of rape. Mr. Assange was remanded in custody pending a hearing next week.
By Hussain Abdul-Hussain
Published: Wednesday 08 December 2010 Updated: Monday 13 December 2010
While WikiLeaks argues that its documents push the government’s limits on transparency, many of America’s champions of open government disagree. Meanwhile, in the Arab world, the cables show that what goes on behind closed doors differs little from what is said in public. With many Arab leaders, what you see is what you get.
On 13 June 1971, Alexander Haig, then assistant to National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, called President Richard Nixon for the daily brief. Nixon’s initial questions were about the Vietnam casualty figures for the week. Only after the president asked, “Nothing else of interest in the world today?” did “Al” remark on the “Goddamn New York Times expose… devastating uh security breach… greatest magnitude of anything I’ve ever seen.” That day, The New York Times had begun publishing the Pentagon Papers, a documentary history tracing the ultimately doomed involvement of the United States in a grinding war in the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam.
The initial Nixon reaction to Al Haig’s words was casual. Nixon even remarked that he had not read the story. It was not until Kissinger personally called Nixon from California that the president got heated up about the Pentagon Papers. Declassified White House tapes show the two men cranked up each other’s righteous indignation. Kissinger was the first to suggest, “it’s actionable, I’m absolutely certain that this violates all sorts of security laws,” and goes on to volunteer to call Attorney General Mitchell on what the prosecution options are. Nixon replied: “People have gotta be put to the torch for this sort of thing …(.)”
The Nixon administration employed a dual track. On the one hand, it censored The New York Times until the Supreme Court overruled the government on 30 June. On the other hand, Nixon formed his infamous team of “plumbers” that went on to investigate the leak, in effect committing a few break-ins, one of which took place at the Watergate building in Washington. The Watergate scandal eventually spelled the end of Nixon’s career. He was the first and only US president to resign (on 8 August 1974).
For America and the world, the 1971 Pentagon Papers announced the advent of the age of governmental transparency. An unfortunate Nixon misread the situation. Instead of surrendering to the leaks, he tried to kill them, and eventually lost.
Almost four decades later, Australian-born Julien Assange appointed himself as the new guardian of America’s transparency. On his website, WikiLeaks, he began the greatest leak in the history of governments as he slowly unveiled more than a quarter of a million US Department of State classified diplomatic cables that include all sorts of useful—and useless—details, from describing Russian President Vladimir Putin as an “alpha dog,” to reporting on Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi’s escort nurse. The documents cover everything from meetings to weddings and personal impressions.
The diplomatic gossip gave the press something to feast on, and America a red blushing face. World leaders were quoted speaking frankly. They had dropped their guard, knowing they were in an off-the-record environment. The leaks, therefore, made world leaders skeptical. If every undiplomatic thought they utter in front of American diplomats finds its way to the front page of world newspapers, then these leaders will stop speaking freely when around US officials. From the world’s perspective, America had better get its house in order and stop these leaks, or officials around the globe will start saying in their private meetings with their American counterparts what they tell the media in public.
WikiLeaks promises to release a total of 251,287 cables, comprising more than 261 million words. The cables cover close to half a century of American diplomacy, from 28 December 1966 to 28 February 2010. They originate from 274 American embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions.
Since 29 November the site has been unveiling cables at an average of 60 per day. At the current rate, it will take WikiLeaks 15 years to publish all of them. Whatever scandals these documents promise to uncover, the media hype and public interest in the content of the documents will probably recede in a few weeks. But before attention fades away, the world has been divided between those who support Assange’s efforts to force governmental transparency, and those who feel that his actions are an invasion of government privacy.
In a message on his website, Assange wrote that the goal behind uncovering the cables was to show the “extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in client states; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them.”
This, according to WikiLeaks, is a “contradiction between the [US] public persona and what [the US] says behind closed doors—and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.” Not all Americans agree with Assange’s goal.
Leslie Gelb, one of the authors of the 1971 Pentagon Papers, told The Majalla that while “Assange insists he did this for transparency's sake... when he got to look inside, he didn't see what was plain: that our diplomats were doing a good job.”
Gelb—a former New York Times columnist and author of Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy—argued that Assange’s concept of government transparency was blurred. “If a US administration is lying, or distorting the facts, or telling one story to the public and another to itself, then by all means, let's have it out in public,” said Gelb. “If the US government is concocting intelligence in order to justify wars, let's hope an enterprising reporter finds it out for the rest of us,” he added.
Gelb, also president emeritus of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, said: “Indeed, when you turn off his nonsense and stop listening to the strange commentary on cable news and even on the front pages of great newspapers, when you actually read the cables, here's what you see: American leaders and American diplomats trying to solve crucial world problems.”
Other American voices downplayed the importance of the WikiLeaks cables. In an editorial, The Washington Post described the documents as “harmless,” and rather “helpful,” even though “foreign leaders everywhere may consider carefully, at least for a while, before speaking frankly to US diplomats.” The American daily called on the administration to employ new restrictions on access to classified government files.
From an American perspective, the WikiLeaks documents caused minor damage and taught Washington a lesson: End easy access to government files.
From an Arab perspective, WikiLeaks confirmed earlier accounts from anonymous sources, and showed that—in Arab capitals—what is discussed behind closed doors differs little from what is printed in newspapers. This means that with some Arab rulers, what you see is what you get.
In the past, a number of pundits wondered whether Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was as brutal as his actions suggested, or was merely encircled by advisors who shut him away from reality. The televised sessions of Saddam’s trials, in addition to later written accounts—such as from his FBI interrogator George Pirro or his lawyer Khalil Dulaimi—showed that the late Iraqi leader had been living in a world of illusion. Obsessed with his personal security and hygiene, Saddam lived in a world of conspiracies where mass brutality was simply in the interest of Iraqis and the Arabs. During his days as Iraq’s leader, everyone suspected that Saddam was mentally unstable. Piro and Dulaimi’s inside information came only to verify Saddam’s instability.
Similarly, the WikiLeaks documents prove the paranoia of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi. American diplomats report on Qadhafi’s fear of traveling over water or living on a first floor, his threat to go back on surrendering his nuclear program should he be banned from erecting a tent in New York City. The WikiLeaks documents on Qadhafi verify what the public has always suspected, that Libya’s leader has a problem of uncontrollable erratic behavior.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
The UN peacekeeping mission in Côte d'Ivoire today called for all
parties to show restraint and to remain calm amidst reports of violent
clashes, including the use of mortars and heavy weaponry, in the
country's capital city Abidjan.
Côte d'Ivoire has been thrust into political uncertainty after the
incumbent president refused to concede electoral defeat recently. The
UN has endorsed the victory of opposition leader and President-elect,
Alassane Ouattara, in the run-off presidential elections held on 28
November, despite outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo's claim to have
Known by the acronym
<"http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unoci/">UNOCI, the UN
mission reports that heavy fighting broke out earlier Thursday between
elements of the <i>Forces Nouvelles</i> and the <i>Forces de défense
et de sécurité</i>, which had reinforced their checkpoints on the main
passages to the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, where President-elect Ouattara
has been based.
The mission has established contact with both sides with the aim of
stopping the fighting. In addition, it has deployed a total of almost
800 military and police personnel and eight armoured personnel
carriers to provide security for the Golf Hotel, together with the
<i>Forces Nouvelles</i> and the <i>Licorne</i> troops provided by
France in support of UNOCI.
An additional UN formed police unit is being deployed from the city
Bouaké today and, as a precautionary measure, UNOCI has also
pre-positioned potable water, bulk water tanks, generators and fuel in
the Golf Hotel should any of these services be disrupted.
UNOCI has reiterated that violence is not the way to resolve the
political stalemate and that the parties should refrain from acts that
could jeopardize the numerous efforts being made to allow the will of
the Ivorian people, as expressed on 28 November 2010, to prevail.
Since the announcement of marches by the supporters of the
pro-Ouattara <i>Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie et
la Paix</i> (RHDP), the Secretary-General's Special Representative in
Côte d'Ivoire, Y. J. Choi, has increased his efforts to prevent
violence. He has been in contact with Prime Minister Guillaume Soro
and the Chief of Staff of the Forces de défense et de sécurité,
General Philippe Mangou, in an effort to help calm the situation.
In a statement by his spokesperson on Wednesday, Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon called on all the Ivorian parties and their supporters to
exercise patience and refrain from any actions that could,
accidentally or deliberately, provoke violence. He also stressed that
in the currently charged political environment such actions could have
unpredictable consequences, including reigniting civil war.<p
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Hope and caution in Somaliland
Steve Kibble and Michael Walls
2010-12-09, Issue 509
Somaliland’s Hargeisa government ‘will need to be far more clear-sighted and long-term in its vision to obtain not just outside support but sustained momentum for democracy and development’, write Steve Kibble and Michael Walls, in an assessment of the first few months of the new presidency.
On 26 July 2010, Somaliland swore in its fourth president, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud ‘Silanyo’, leader of one of the former opposition parties, Kulmiye, after an election declared free and fair by international and domestic observers. The decisive election result and the peaceful handover of power from the previous regime under ex-President Riyale marks an opportunity for Somaliland to take further its steps towards democratisation – and for many in Somaliland to gain the international recognition they crave and believe they deserve. President Silanyo visited the UK in late November and many supporters of Somaliland inside and outside the diaspora were keen to ask what the vision was to take Somaliland towards development, further democratisation and of course recognition as an independent sovereign state.
In 1991 Somaliland unilaterally declared the restoration of the independence they enjoyed for several days in 1960. This represented an end to the territory’s allegiance to a greater Somalia. In the late 1990s, Somaliland’s political leadership declared a commitment to representative democracy, and local body elections in 2002, a presidential election in 2003, and parliamentary elections in 2005 all contributed to this process, though not without problems and obstacles.
Somaliland held presidential elections on 26 June 2010. These elections were postponed on a number of occasions from 2008 onwards, but when an outside-brokered six-point agreement was signed on 30 September 2009, there was the basis for the appointment of a new National Electoral Commission (NEC), the establishment of a viable electoral timetable and the cleaning up of a corrupted registration system. This marked a major turnaround from before the agreement, when political infighting and NEC incompetence had made agreement on voter registration and an election date impossible.
The elections went ahead despite concerns over security, the relevance of which were graphically illustrated by a shootout between alleged political Islamists and police in Somaliland’s second city Burao in early June. That action appeared to have dismantled a well-planned anti-Somaliland operation. Just before election day, the Islamist organisation al-Shabaab based in (South Central) Somalia warned Somalilanders against voting – ‘advice’ Somalilanders ignored by turning out in large numbers. Security considerations had led some international organisations to adopt a ‘hibernation’ mode or to send staff out of the country. The bombings in Kampala a month later illustrated the fragility of the security situation, while also underlining the fact that, increasingly, Somali insecurity extends beyond Somali borders.
All parties stressed their commitment to respecting the verdict of the electorate and they explicitly repeated this commitment to the international observer mission. All parties stressed and observed the need for peace, as did many religious leaders and elders. Parties adhered to the Code of Conduct agreement that campaign rallies be held on separate days. The run-up to the election provided an opportunity for youth, and particularly young women who are otherwise more socially constrained, to enjoy the occasion, giving a carnival atmosphere.
BACKGROUND TO DEMOCRATISATION
Many African states struggle to reconcile traditional social institutions with the precepts of nation-state democracy within previously colonial borders. Somaliland offers similar contradictions, not least through clan politics, yet such contradictions also suggest possible resolution. Despite increasingly autocratic government moves until July 2010, socio-political norms that emphasise the importance of negotiation and compromise have averted a number of crises in recent years, while cautious and fully engaged external interventions have, in marked contrast to efforts in southern Somali areas, been successful in supporting this process. One can point to some successful interventions in situations where the dynamics of Somaliland have been understood and the complexities of who is an insider and who is an outsider have been at least partly comprehended.
The Republic of Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in 1991, after a civil war caused the collapse of the dictatorial Siyaad Barre regime. While the southern areas of Somalia have endured endemic conflict, interspersed with unsuccessful periodic, peace conferences, the north-western territory of Somaliland embarked on a home-grown process of reconciliation and state-building, largely escaping the pressure of outside-brokered and lavishly-funded interventions aimed at establishing a government for the whole of the erstwhile Republic of Somalia.
Much of the process of democratisation has been enabled by an overwhelming public desire to avoid a return to conflict and an accompanying urge to win international recognition (although yoking the two has also proved problematic). The nascent state remains weak and poorly-funded, but has paradoxically enjoyed a degree of legitimacy exceeding that of many African and other governments. However, until the recent elections, the institutionalisation of a system that combines elements of traditional ‘pastoral’ male democracy in the context of the Westphalian and Weberian nation-state seemed to be starting to unravel. In its place a personalised ‘securocratic’ approach was gaining the upper hand, with a concomitant fear of debate and criticism. This intolerance of dissent is at odds with Somali tradition more generally and can be seen as a legacy of the Siyaad Barre regime. However, it remains to be seen how deeply embedded it is as we move into the era of a new government and a promised more open, transparent society rethinking its engagement with outsiders as well as internal policy.
Many look to the new government for the implementation of new approaches to overcoming the previous stasis in the arenas of justice, further democratisation and development. There are a number of questions that will determine fundamentally the ways in which traditional institutions interact with the norms of nation-state democracy. Clan will continue to play a significant yet dynamic role in the political realm, while external actors, from private, public and non-governmental sectors, must also expand their involvement.
On the first day of the new regime, they delivered on a pledge to abolish the unpopular security committees. Originally established to address urgent issues of security in the wake of the civil war, these committees had been permitted to imprison without trial and they lay outside any due judicial process. A new National Security Board has been established instead, with a mandate that embraces the security of the country, defence of its borders and the fight against terrorism.
There has as yet been no effect on other parts of the judicial system from this policy change. The judiciary remains ineffective and subject to executive pressure arising from its lack of independence. It is also alleged to be corrupt and non-professional with untrained clerks acting as judges. A seasoned observer described the system as ‘a hell of a mess which will take a lot of cleaning up. It’s still based largely on judicial practice under Siyaad Barre – i.e. who has the most money wins’.
The position of women has been another key element in the fight to further and deepen democratisation and Kulmiye has as well as its clan base, majority support among women, youth, civil society and diaspora. We spoke to key activists on the subject, and they cautiously welcomed the increase in female cabinet ministers from 5 per cent to 20 per cent but pointed out this still only means two ministers and an assistant minister. (We can note however that the cabinet has shrunk in size). There is also a woman commissioner on the Human Rights Commission. The new (female) minister for labour and social affairs is, unlike her predecessor, more open to dialogue with civil society. Women’s groups welcomed these developments, with the umbrella network Nagaad sending government an advisory paper on gender issues. However, women’s groups are also looking for much greater progress, which still appears distant. There is, for example, little noticeable movement on key issues such as proposed 30 per cent quotas for women in parliament.
There has also been movement on a much-improved relationship with civil society. A new NGO Act defining roles and responsibilities for non-governmental organisations as well as giving them legal protection was signed into being, while a number of new ministers have civil society backgrounds. These include one of the female cabinet members, Zam Zam Abdi, now minister of education and formerly executive director of the Committee of Concerned Somalis (CCS) and ex-chair of the human rights network SHURONET. The new minister of planning was himself a founding member of the NGO Somali Relief Association (SOMRA) in the UK in the early 1990s, and spent the past few years working with the private sector hawala (money transfer company), Dahabshiil. Early in his new ministerial role, he held his first coordination meeting with the UN and international NGOs and presented new guidelines for aid coordination. In addition, there is the promise of forums for domestic civil society to engage with government and to monitor performance, including input into the budgetary process.
Before the elections, the (then shadow) foreign minister spoke of taking a far more nuanced approach to Somaliland’s neighbours, including pursuing reconciliation with Somalia and Puntland, as well as with other Somali groups and neighbours in the Horn in general. This necessarily requires that Somaliland address specific sensitivities on the question of recognition, on which neighbours remain the key.
In a recent talk in London, one of the authors of this editorial floated the concept of ‘incremental recognition’ in which we suggest that Somaliland leaders engage in confidence-building measures, such as pursuing the possibility of greater engagement with regional bodies such as the IGAD forum (Intergovernmental Authority on Development). The premise is that this would allow Somaliland themselves to assume a more active and self-directing role in the pursuit of recognition, setting modest incremental objectives that are nevertheless achievable and should one day lead to a situation in which full recognition becomes a mere acceptance of an ipso facto condition. Such an approach would contrast with past tendencies to emphasise recognition as a one-stop solution requiring a single, substantial policy shift on the part of other nations.
Since taking office, there has been an unexpectedly positive presidential visit to Djibouti in which President Silanyo was awarded red carpet status as if he were a recognised head of state. The long closed Somaliland liaison office was also reopened, marking a shift from the rocky relations between Djibouti and the Riyale regime. It may be that this change is linked to the new fibre optic cable coming into Somaliland via Djibouti. A number of government advisers themselves have links with Djibouti, and there were accusations within Somaliland that the agreement had favoured Djibouti against Somaliland interests.
Having initially viewed the new Somaliland government with suspicion, Ethiopia also hosted a Somaliland delegation led by Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, the new minister of foreign affairs. In so doing they indicated a willingness to work with the new administration. Hargeisa has also seen a visit from the new UN envoy, apparently at the invitation of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
However, relations with Puntland have continued to be tense, with the contested sovereignty of areas of Sanaag and Sool complicated by recent accusations from Puntland that Somaliland was harbouring and indeed promoting the ‘terrorist’ Mohamed Said ‘Atom’. Puntland forces had clashed with Atom in the mountainous area of Galgala, and accused Somaliland variously of sending militia to fight alongside him and of sheltering him when he fled. The Somaliland account inevitably differed from this, with senior politicians declaring Atom a terrorist and insisting that the two territories were cooperating over terrorism. These claims were repeated to us when we spoke to the Somaliland president and the minister of foreign affairs in London in November, who suggested that the dispute was essentially between the Puntland administration and local clan groups.
There were some early disagreements between the incoming Somaliland government and the media, with the most high profile being suspension of the right of the popular Somali cable broadcaster Universal TV to work in Somaliland. The reason given was that Universal had consistently ‘treated Somaliland unfairly’. Much more recently, the chief editor of YOOL daily newspaper was threatened by ministers and security personnel for unfavourable coverage. The editor of the daily newspaper ‘Waaheen’, which belongs to Ahmed Hussein Essa (a long-time politician with good insider knowledge but with a combative past inside Kulmiye), was arrested for publishing articles that accused some of the government institutions of nepotism, although he was released on bail after a few days. So far, the new administration has not resorted systematically to the measures of the prior regime, which had a tendency to lock up perceived opponents including journalists. To this point, the government has shown a willingness to discuss disputes, helped by the fact that the new media spokesperson is an ex-journalist. However, there is a significant need for work on fully institutionalising the freedom of the media.
Despite this recent activity and some promising moves, commentators and people on the streets see little evidence of a unifying vision behind the new government. In the five months since taking power the concentration appears to be on reshuffling the institutions and getting rid of supposedly corrupt civil servants, while creating new agencies such as the Anti Corruption Commission. Essentially some charge that Kulmiye did not have a plan for governing. This line holds that they concentrated too hard on winning the election on an anti-government platform and, despite the high expectations of the population, they are now weighed down by the day-to-day job of governing. A popular joke asks whether ‘change’ meant ‘change of ministers and staff’. One commentator opined that the president seems to be overwhelmed and that he lacks the stamina for the job, relying instead on others to do the work for him.
It is still too early to tell whether such criticism is well-founded. The early months of the presidency have seen considerable advance as well as areas of disappointment.
There is nevertheless ample evidence of general donor goodwill. In September, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs announced a new policy on Somaliland that would see ‘aggressive’ engagement with the administration there, as well as that in Puntland. This is part of a ‘dual track’ strategy which will see the US continue to support the Mogadishu-based Transitional Federal Government, but which will also result in an increase in direct aid to Somaliland. The British ambassador to Ethiopia, a Danish minister, the Swedish ambassador and the UN envoy to Somalia all also confirmed increased aid to Somaliland and there has been some talk of direct budget support for the Somaliland government. If implemented, this would mark a significant shift in donor engagement with Somaliland, contributing materially to the process of incremental recognition mentioned above. However, these discussions are yet to result in action.
Finally, Somaliland has a significant potential opportunity at the present time given the impending expiry of the mandate of the Transitional Federal Government in the south. With the TFG representing an obstacle if Somaliland is to extend the depth and breadth of its formal engagement with the international community, negotiation over their future offers a leverage opportunity for both Somaliland and those amongst the international diplomatic community who would like to see a change in the nature of that engagement.
The new Hargeisa government will need to be far more clear-sighted and long-term in its vision to obtain not just outside support but sustained momentum for democracy and development. Civil society too can play a material role in seeing that Somaliland continues down a road in which the transition from discursive to representative democracy continues to advance the needs of the wider population, not just of a political elite.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Somaliland Seizes Plane Carrying Military Equipment To Puntland
Hargeisa, Somaliland, - Officials from the break away republic of Somaliland said late Friday that they have seized a plane carrying military equipments to Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland.
In a press conference held at the Hargeisa airport, Somaliland Interior Minister Mohammed Abdi Gabose, told reporters that the plane was carrying military equipment such as uniforms and devices to inspect mines and bombs.
Gabose said the plane came from South Africa, stopped over Uganda and was heading to Puntland. Somaliland security forces detained the plane after landing at Hargeisa airport.
He said the aircraft had violated the United Nations embargo on arms to Somalia. “Eight crew were aboard the plane, two from South Africa and the six others from Russia,” Gabose was quoted as saying.
Puntland authorities have not yet commented on the charges by neighboring Somaliland. But, Saracen International, a British-based security company that holds a contract with Puntland to train thousands of its naval forces, denied the plane was loaded with weapons. Saracen said it had flown from United Arab Emirates and was loaded with military uniforms, cameras, life jackets and tents.
Supported by Saracen, Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland has begun training thousands of its naval forces to uproot pirates who constantly bedevil Somalia’s coasts. However, the United States and neighboring break-away republic of Somaliland have expressed a deep concern about Puntland’s step to train thousands of its maritime forces
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Somalia embassy in Kenya 'sold illegally'
A court in Kenya has ruled that a former Somali embassy building, sold off after the collapse of the Somali government, was illegally sold.
A former Somali ambassador to Kenya is alleged to have sold the property to a Kenyan businessman in 1994.
Shortly after the ruling, the ambassador appointed by the UN-backed administration, Mohamad Ali Noor, led a march to the embassy to reclaim it.
Somalia has been without an effective national government since 1991.
The man who bought the embassy says he will appeal against the ruling.
It follows a five-year legal battle for the property in Nairobi's upmarket Westlands suburb which is valued at $200,000 (£130,000) .
Mr Noor told the BBC that the property had been unoccupied for 15 years.
"It is uninhabitable, so we have to renovate [it]. Then we will move in," he said.
The UN-backed government controls about half the capital, Mogadishu.
It is battling the Islamist militia, al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qaeda.
GALKAYO, Somalia (AP) — The three masked gunmen burst into Asha Muse Ali's tent at night and grabbed every item of value they could find: $85 in cash, a cell phone and a gold ring.
Then the attackers embarked on a crime that carries a severe social stigma in this conservative Muslim country: They raped Ali and her aunt.
Ali and her family are among almost 60,000 internally displaced people in the central Somali town of Galkayo, where hundreds of families have sought refuge from violence in Mogadishu and in south-central Somalia. But once there, the women risk being raped.
Aid workers say the number of rapes are alarming and that in some cases, they are fueled by young men watching pornographic videos.
The Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development said it has documented 51 cases of rape against women in Galkayo this year. Last year the center recorded 104 cases, most of them inside the refugee camps. Many more cases go unreported.
"The number is bigger than what we recorded because there are women who suffer in silence for fear of reprisals, divorce or allegations that they consented to the act," said the center's Saado Mohamed Ise.
Antonio Guterres, the head of the U.N.'s refugee agency, expressed outrage about the rapes as he toured camps in Galkayo and Bossaso last week.
"That is a heinous crime and it needs to stop. It is a central human rights question," Guterres said. Refugees also told him they lack food, education, health care and proper shelter.
The U.N. refugee agency says more than 12,000 people have fled Mogadishu since Oct. 1. Somalia hasn't had a central government for nearly 20 years. Much of Mogadishu is ruled by violent Islamist militias who impose conservative social rules on families and mete out harsh punishments for violations of the social code.
Rape as a weapon of war has occurred in many countries across Africa, most notably in Congo. Rape and other kinds of sexual violence are a reality in Somalia as well, although rapists are widely despised here. Al-Shabab, the country's most powerful Islamist militia, has sentenced men to death for sexual assaults.
Violence against women in Somalia can trigger clan wars. The family of an accused rapist will pay monetary or livestock compensation for sexual assaults. Somali families have also arranged marriages between the rapist and the victim to clear the victim from the stigma associated with rape.
Some camp residents and aid workers blamed some of the sexual assaults on a new prevalence of pornography, which can even be seen on cell phones. The top official in Somalia for the U.N. refugee agency said he has received reports that youths "first heat up themselves before they go out and hunt down women."
"It is appalling that the women in the camps are raped by youth gangs with total impunity after watching pornographic films," Bruno Geddo said.
Ise said three rapists were arrested last month but freed after their victims left Galkayo, a sprawling city jammed with tents and tin shacks and that lacks a proper judicial system to try rapists and social resources to help victims.
Ali, 45, whose tent was broken into, said she won't alert authorities about the masked men who raped her even if she recognizes them. Ali's aunt, Muna Aden, who was also raped during the Nov. 26 attack, nodded.
"No. I won't inform on them because I'm afraid for my life," Ali recounted in an interview.
The Associated Press does not identify victims of sex crimes as a matter of policy but both women gave permission to use their names and take their photographs in order to publicize the dangers they face and the poverty they live in.
Women who collect firewood in the bush or walk in darkened refugee camps risk being attacked.
When the men armed with pistols, a dagger and an AK-47 rifle broke into her tent, Ali, who earns $1.50 a day washing clothes and cleaning houses, dragged her sleeping children — ages 10 and 8 — out of the way. The gang ransacked the tent. Ali implored them: "Brothers, you've got what you wanted, can you please go away and leave us alone? Please don't rape us."
Instead, the three gunmen took turns raping her.
Next Muna, 35, was raped. Her husband, pinned down by the assailants, could do nothing. The assault ended with Muna being stabbed in the thigh.
"Allah! Allah!" she screamed. The attackers ran away.
The police arrived a half-hour later, asked a few questions and left. In the morning, Ise's aid group took the women to the hospital.
"I have experienced enough hell on this world," said Ali, whose husband was shot dead two years ago in Mogadishu.
The attackers who raped Asha and Muna are not likely to be punished, said Ise.
"It is not uncommon to have a criminal walking freely in the streets of the town the day after the night he raped a woman," she said.
Monday, December 6, 2010
ADDIS ABABA, 6 December 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - Everywhere in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, modern buildings are popping up and wide roads are being built. The country's booming construction sector is attracting thousands of labourers, and government officials are increasingly recognizing the need to target these workers with HIV prevention services.
"We don't yet have a [clear idea of] Ethiopia's construction labourers' status and lifestyles, though the sector is growing massively," Bekele Desalegn, social mobilization expert at the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO), told IRIN/PlusNews.
"We need to assess how increasing labourers - mainly youth - employed by the construction sector are living away from their family; are they informed about HIV/AIDS and how to protect themselves? Do they take HIV tests when they go back to their families? All this needs to be answered and necessary interventions should be put in place," he added.
A visit to a construction site near Addis provides some answers. Bikila Gurmu makes 30 Ethiopian Birr - about US$1.85 - a day working at a construction project in the Sendafa area, 42km north of the capital. The married father of two admits he sleeps with local women when he is away from his family, who live a four-and-a-half hour walk away; he only manages the trek once a week.
Lack of knowledge
"Few times; I do it only sometimes," he said. Until he came to the city, Bikila had never used or even seen a condom. "I first saw a condom when a woman I paid for sex insisted I wore it first before we had sex."
He has since got into the habit of using condoms when he has sex with women other than his wife, but is still hesitant to take an HIV test.
Bikila says the way he found out about condoms highlights the need for HIV prevention programmes in the construction sector, where men often spend weeks away from their families. Evenings are spent in local bars where waitresses and bar owners sometimes double up as sex workers.
In addition, unlike other construction sectors in East Africa, women form an important part of the construction labour force.
"When you have a big group of employees, there is also a good chance of dating among them; I have seen girls getting pregnant and [losing] work subsequently," Bethlehem Endalkachew, civil engineer in charge of the Sendafa site where Bikila works. "Most of labourers are not aware of pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease prevention methods."
However, while a national policy for the construction sector is not yet in place, some of the sectors' main actors are taking steps to address HIV among construction workers.
"When we award any road project, we include in a contractual agreement a clause that obliges a contractor to allocate 1 percent of the total project cost to combat HIV/AIDS and protect labourers against the epidemic," said Ethiopia's Roads Authority spokesman, Samson Wondimu.
And some of the larger private companies are also working to protect their workforces. Sunshine Construction, which is undertaking road projects worth more than $100 million, has created a department dedicated to HIV.
"It is responsible to educate labourers and give them necessary support, including providing condoms," said Samuel Tafesse, managing director of Sunshine Construction.
A three-year project, run by the NGO, World Learning [ http://www.worldlearning.org/15049.htm ], and funded by the US government, is also working with government agencies to create workplace interventions and policies to reduce the HIV risk among construction workers.
Ethiopia's construction sector has increased from an annual growth rate [ http://www.africa-union.org/root/UA/Annonces/African%20Statistical%20Yearbook%202009%20-%2000.%20Full%20Volume.pdf ] of about 3 percent in 2000 to 11.3 percent by 2008, and covers wide areas of the country. Experts say urban areas, where HIV prevalence is estimated at about 7 percent, clearly need HIV prevention urgently. However, rural areas - where prevalence remains relatively low at 0.9 percent - must not be left behind as small towns crop up along the country's growing road network, blurring the distinction between rural and urban.