Monday, October 31, 2011


New York, Oct 31 2011  6:10PM
It is vital that Member States strengthen efforts to tackle piracy off the Somali coast, a senior United Nations official stressed today, adding that current initiatives, while laudable, are insufficient.

Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told a meeting of the Security Council that the international community has responded with an "unprecedented" effort to counter piracy, including through a naval presence off the coast of Somalia which has resulted in the reduction of incidents of piracy at sea.

In addition, more and more pirates are being arrested and prosecuted, and information sharing and coordination have improved, he said, as he presented the annual report of the Secretary-General on piracy off the Somali coast.

"Despite these unprecedented efforts, attempts to stem pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa remain insufficient," Mr. Zerihoun stated, adding that Somali pirates have expanded their operations well into the Indian Ocean.

According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), 316 people and 15 vessels were being held hostage as of early October 2011.

Mr. Zerihoun noted that the pirates' technical capacities have increased and they have become more violent. Many young Somalis continue to be willing to take the risk of becoming criminals at sea.

Another cause of concern is reports of links between pirates and the Islamist militant group in Somalia known as Al-Shabaab, according to the official. Somali piracy could also be inspiring attacks elsewhere on the world's shipping lanes, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea, he added.

"It is important that Member States and international actors redouble their efforts," said Mr. Zerihoun.

The fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia can only be won through an integrated strategy that tackles deterrence, security, the rule of law and development, he noted, adding that counter-piracy efforts should be an integral element of the Somalia peace process.

He said it is also worth looking at interim objectives, including developing Somali capacity to deal with piracy on land and waters close to shore through the establishment of a coast guard.

"The Somali people, especially the youth, need greater incentives not to succumb to the lure of piracy. Economic rehabilitation and the creation of alternative livelihoods, especially the development and rehabilitation of coastal fisheries, must be at the centre of efforts to fight piracy. But as long as piracy is lucrative, alternate livelihood options will be a hard sale," he stated.

Last week the Council adopted a resolution renewing its call for tougher anti-piracy measures in Somalia and the wider region, and urging all countries to adopt laws and cooperate with international organizations to accelerate the prosecution and punishment of piracy.

It also emphasized that the failure to prosecute persons responsible for piracy undermines the broader anti-piracy efforts of the international community, and stressed the need to establish specialized anti-piracy courts in Somalia and other countries in the region.


New York, Oct 31 2011  5:10PM
The Security Council today condemned all acts of maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea and welcomed the intention by States in the region to convene a summit to consider a comprehensive response to the menace.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council encouraged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) to develop a strategy against maritime piracy.

The strategy will entail the drafting of domestic laws and regulations – where they do not exist – which will criminalize piracy and armed robbery at sea and develop a regional framework to counter piracy and armed robbery, including information-sharing and operational coordination mechanisms in the region.

The regional anti-piracy effort will also include the development and strengthening of domestic laws and regulations to implement relevant international agreements on the safety and security of navigation, in accordance with international law.

The Council encouraged ECOWAS, ECCAS and the GGC to counter piracy in the Gulf of Guinea through bilateral or regional maritime patrols, in line with relevant international law, while ensuring that such activities do not hinder the freedom of navigation on the high seas or the right of passage in the territorial sea to vessels of other States.

The 15-member United Nations body urged States, in cooperation with the shipping industry, the insurance industry and the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO), to issue to ships entitled to fly their flag, appropriate advice and guidance on avoidance, evasion and defensive techniques and measures to take if under attack or threat of attack.

The Council called on Member States of ECOWAS, ECCAS and GGC, in conjunction countries where ships are registered and States of nationality of victims or perpetrators of maritime piracy to cooperate in the prosecution of suspects, including facilitators and financiers, in accordance with applicable international laws, including human rights law.

The Council also encouraged the international community to assist, on request, countries in the region, as well as other relevant organizations, in strengthening their efforts to counter piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea.

It also welcomed the intention of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to deploy a UN assessment mission to examine the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and explore options on how best to address the problem, saying it looked forward to receiving the mission's report with recommendations on the issue.

Earlier this month Mr. Ban urged States and regional organizations in the Gulf of Guinea to develop a comprehensive and integrated strategy to combat maritime piracy, which he said was threatening to hinder economic development and undermine security in the region.

Omar Sharif Slaps Woman at Qatar Film Festival

Omar Sharif Slaps Woman at Qatar Film Festival


Omar Sharif sure is a stickler for manners.

The 79-year-old "Lawrence of Arabia" star got a little too hands-on with a female fan Thursday morning at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar, slapping the woman when she cut in line for a photograph with him, TMZ reports.

The exchange occurred after the woman approached Sharif on the red carpet and asked for a photograph -- despite the fact that there were other people waiting before her. Sharif didn't like it, and instead of rocking the Casbah he yelled at her in Arabic to wait her turn before letting fly with a hearty slap.

Amazingly, the fan not only didn't flee in terror, but stuck around to have her picture taken with the actor, plastering a smile on her face as if she hadn't just gotten pummeled by one of the foremost actors of his generation.

Maybe she was collecting evidence?

Sharif has a history of hot-headed physical exchanges with strangers. He attacked a police officer in a Paris casino in 2003, and copped to misdemeanor battery in 2007 after brawling with a parking attendant in Beverly Hills.

Xaaskii Marxuum Cigaal Oo Ka Warantay Dagaal Iyo Dulmi Ay Ka Tirsatay Rayaale Iyo Xisbiga Udub

Xaaskii Marxuum Cigaal Oo Ka Warantay Dagaal Iyo Dulmi Ay Ka Tirsatay Rayaale Iyo Xisbiga Udub

"Naxariistii aan ka waayay UDUB iyo Daahir Rayaale. waxaan ka helay Axmed Siilaanyo Iyo Xaaskiisa"

Hargeysa - Marwo Kaltuun Xaaji Daahir oo ahayd Xaaskii Madaxweynihii hore ee Somaliland Marxuum- Maxamed Ibraahim Cigaal ayaa maanta markii u horeysay ka hadashay dagaal iyo dulmi ay ka tirsanaysay dawladii Rayaale iyo xisbiga UDUB-ba.

Marwo Kaltuun waxay sidaasi ka sheegtay furitaankii xaflad xisbiga UDUB ku qabsaday Huteelka Crown ee magaalada Hargeysa oo loogu magac daray toban guurada xisbiga iyo Kalfadhigii Golaha Dhexe.
Marwo Kaltuun Xaaji Daahir waxa kale oo ay ka warantay aasaaskii xisbiga UDUB waxaanay tidhi "Waxaan filayaa maalintii ILAAHAY ha u naxariistee uu Marxuum-Maxamed Ibraahim Cigaal ka furay shirweynihii aasaaska UDUB aqalka shaqaalaha waxa ka soo wareegtay toban sanadood, intaasi ka dib la iguma arag saaxad ay UDUB leedahay si ay u dhacdayba. Waxay ahayd bishii 3-dii Bishii May Khamiisa Cisbitaalka Milatariga ee Pretoria markii sakaraatul mowtkii ku qabtay Marxuumkii anagoo markaa kaligay la jooga oo uu markaas uun naga baxay Dr. Cali Qaadi waxa I weheliyay Abokor Sulub oo ahaa Taliyihii ciidanka Madaxtooyada. Markaa anigaa gunaanadkii la gaadhay waxay ahayd laxdadii nolashayda ugu naxdinta iyo murugada badnayd."

Marwo Kaltuun waxay sheegay in Madaxweynihii Cigaal dabadii Hoggaankii dalka loo dhaariyay uu dagaal ku bilaabay waxaanay tidhi "Waxa la yidhi Madaxweyne ayaa la sii dhaariyay oo Marxuum- Cigaal ku sii dardaarmay oo uu yidhi waxaan kaga sii tagay Daahir Rayaale, markii aanu maydkii Marxuumka keenay ee la aasay wixiiba waa la iloobay oo daaqada ayaa laga tuuray, maanta waan garnaqsanayaa nin ka naxa iyo nin ku farxowba. Madaxweynihii dalka loo dhaariyay dagaalkii aniga (ooridii madaxweynihii hore) ayuu ka bilaabay."

"Waxaan garan waayay xisbigii aan aasaaskiisa wax ku lahaa ma UDUB buu ahaa mise Xisbiga KULMIYE waayo naxariistii aan ka waayay UDUB, Daahir Rayaale iyo Xaaskiisa waxaan ka helay xisbiga KULMIYE, Axmed Siilaanyo Iyo Xaaskiisa kuwaasi ayaan sharaftii iyo nabsi bixii ka helay oo I soo dhaweeyay intaasi waa wax dhacday oo aan la diidi Karin waana maalintii u horaysay ee aan wax taabtaabtay,"ayay tidhi Marwo Kaltuun Xaaji Daahir.

Xaaskii Marxuum- Cigaal waxay ku baaqday in tallada xisbiga UDUB gacanteeda lagu soo celiyo si ay marka dambe cidii loo garto ugu wareejiso maadaama oo gurigeeda lagu soo dhidbay iyadoo arrintaasi ka hadlayaysayna waxay tidhi
"Waxaan codsanayaa maanta in taladii xisbiga UDUB Guddoomiyenimadeedii aniga la igu soo wareejiyo diyaar ma u tihiin arrintaasi, talladii xisbiga UDUB in badan bay nimanku hayeen oo aanan tallo ku darsan oo aan lahaa inamada loolamaya ha dhex gelin maanta waan soo diyaar garoobay carabtu waxay tidhaahdaa wax waliba waxay ku noqdaan asalkiisii. Faysal Cali Waraabe maxkamad ayaa UCID rag kula galay maxkamadii isaga ayay u xukuntay xisbigii uu aasaasay. Waxaan leeyahay talladii xisbiga ha la igu soo wareejiyo cidii la isku waafaqana anagaa ku soo celin doona tallada gacantooda."

"Xisbigan la yidhaahdo UDUB waa xisbi gurigayga ku soo dhashay oo aan gacmahayga ku soo koriyay kuna soo gardaadiyay oo aan goobtii la iskugu imanayay ku keenay. Xisbigii UDUB markii uu tallada hayayna waa lala ambaday oo xisbigii waa lala lumay. Maanta waxaan leeyahay rag badan baa UDUB ka tartamaya oo xisbigii mar labaad burburin kara, anigu hooyadii xisbiga ayaan ahay oo xisbigii lexjecelo ayaan ka qabaa. Cidaan muranay iyo xisbiga UDUB kala gooni ayay noqdeen horta waxaan idin leeyhay ha tafaraaruqina oo tallada iskaga tanaasula oo ha is barbar yaacina ee madax iyo mijo kala yeesha,"ayay tidhi Marwo Kaltuun.
Intii ay hadlaysay xaaskii marxuum Cigaal dhawr jeer ayay Hoggaanka xisbiga UDUB isku dayeen inay makarafoonka ka qaadaan hase yeeshee way u suurto geli wayday markii ay ku adkaysatay inay sii wadanayso hadalkeeda.

Weriye Cumar Maxamed Faarax

Thursday, October 27, 2011

UGANDA: Mothers-to-be most at risk from inadequate health budget

UGANDA: Mothers-to-be most at risk from inadequate health budget

KAMPALA, 27 October 2011 (IRIN) - The shortage of health workers in Uganda is a "crisis", says the Minister of Health, and activists say expectant mothers are bearing the brunt of the country's staffing deficiency.

 Just 56 percent of Uganda's available health positions are filled. Parliament's recent refusal to reallocate part of the country's budget to hire more doctors, nurses and midwives has now become a rallying point for Uganda's maternal health advocates.

 A parliamentary committee's recent attempt to redirect 75 billion Ugandan shillings - about US$27.5 million - out of a national budget of more than 10 trillion shillings ($3.6 billion) towards hiring enough health workers was rebuffed in September, a rejection that became official when President Yoweri Museveni agreed parliament's final budget.

 The reallocation failure has angered health advocates, especially maternal health activists, who point to the lack of trained nurses and midwives as a key reason an estimated 16 women die daily giving birth in Uganda. According to the International Monetary Fund [ ], Zambia and Uganda have similar GDPs, but World Health Organisation figures show very different death rates for mothers in the two countries: 7.8 percent of all deaths of women of reproductive age in Zambia are related to childbirth, against 11.3 percent in Uganda.

 Budget priorities

 Government "should prioritize", said Dorcas Amoding, advocacy manager for a local NGO, Community Health & Information Network. "There are these non-essential areas [in the budget]: the allowances; the cars; the international travel. Those are things they can wait for... What are the priorities? Women are going to hospitals, but they don't have someone to attend to them."

 The health ministry, which was criticized for not including new recruitment in its initial draft budget to parliament, has responded by shifting some of its funding towards hiring and has been talking to donors about accessing more money for staffing, but health advocates say it is not enough. They are calling on government to pass a supplementary budget this year or risk losing thousands of mothers.

 Asuman Lukwago, the ministry's permanent secretary, acknowledged a supplementary budget was a possibility but made no guarantees. Ministry officials did not respond to queries about why money was not targeted for recruitment in the initial ministerial policy statement submitted to parliament.

 Finding the money

 During September's parliamentary budget debate, the social services committee - which has oversight of health spending - called for the government to reallocate money towards recruiting 5,000 additional health workers and retaining those who might look for a pay rise by moving to the private sector.

 The money would have beefed up staffing levels from 56 percent to 65 percent - the minimum rate necessary, according to Ministry of Health estimates, to meet the country's health needs.

 As Sam Lyomoki, chairman of the social services committee, finished presenting the report to parliament, he reminded his fellow MPs: "Since we have been here this morning, four mothers have died. I think as parliament we must stand in the eyes of God and save those lives."

 But when the final budget was presented, only 5.57 billion shillings, about $2 million - all from the health ministry's own budget - was reallocated for hiring health workers. "Each sector started fighting for its own resources. Our case had been clearly explained and understood... I know we shall access this money over time. Of course, as we wait, we lose more mothers," he said.

 The reallocated funds are already being used to recruit new doctors, nurses and midwives, according to health ministry permanent secretary Lukwago.

 He said the health ministry was in discussions with the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which had pledged funding for 800 new medical salaries. He also emphasized the government's decision to give away free "mama kits" - packages with critical delivery items, such as gloves and a plastic sheet for the delivery bed - to improve maternal health.

 Keeping up the pressure

 Community Health & Information Network's Amoding said the continued shortage of funding for health workers meant Uganda's appalling maternal health record would continue. "It is not going to create a reduction in maternal mortality," she said.

 But the activists say they will continue to lobby for Parliament to pass a supplementary health budget.

 "You don't just do it in one moment in one day. We're going to be very active," Amoding said.

 And Lyomoki said his committee would continue to keep the failings of the health system in the parliamentary spotlight. His committee had already commissioned what he described as a "fully fledged investigation of the health sector", which would incorporate maternal health issues and hopefully "again energize allocation to health in terms of a supplementary [budget] for this area. Or make it not negotiable for next financial year."


KENYA: Government must account for Mt Elgon disappearances - report

KENYA: Government must account for Mt Elgon disappearances - report

NAIROBI, 27 October 2011 (IRIN) - Human rights activists are calling on the Kenyan government to account for the whereabouts of more than 300 people who disappeared following a land conflict that gripped the western Mount Elgon region and a 2008 military offensive against the militia behind it.

 "The government of Kenya has done little to resolve cases of abductions and forced disappearances in Mount Elgon region in western Kenya and has made no effort at all to investigate cases of human rights abuse carried out by both the militia group and the Kenyan Defence Forces and the police," said Neela Ghoshal, a researcher with Human Rights Watch (HRW), which released a report on the subject on 27 October in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

 The report [ ], 'Hold Your Heart': Waiting for Justice in Kenya's Mt Elgon Region, examines the attempts of families of those forcibly disappeared by the Kenyan army and the rebel Sabaot Land Defence Forces (SLDF) militia to seek truth and justice.

 Between 2006 and 2008, the SLDF launched an offensive [ ] to stop the government from evicting squatters from Mount Elgon; they attacked and maimed people they suspected of being sympathetic to the government. In 2008, the government launched an operation dubbed "Okoa Maisha" - Kiswahili for "Save Lives" - a military offensive to eradicate the militia; it is estimated more than 1,000 people died at the hands of the SLDF and the Kenyan military.

 At a press conference, Philistia Kipteyo, a widowed mother of three, told how she tried to find justice for her husband, who she says was abducted from their home by military officers. At the time of his disappearance, Kipteyo's husband was an assistant chief in the region.

 "People in military uniform came to our home at night and took my husband away, saying he was also part of government. They took him to a nearby military camp and when I went to see him, they chased me away," she said. "I have never seen him since but people who saw him last tell me they doubt if he is still alive. I can't get a death certificate for him because the authorities tell me my husband was never buried by me."

 Without a death certificate or a burial permit, Kipteyo cannot access her husband's bank accounts or lay claim to any of his properties; she says she is unable to educate her three children.

 "All I want is justice to be done," she added.

 Only four members of the SLDF have since been charged and convicted of manslaughter as a result of the outlawed organization's activities in western Kenya. Kenya's police and military have denied any involvement in disappearances or deaths during operation Okoa Maisha.

 "If the Kenyan government cannot investigate these cases of forced disappearances and provide justice to the victims, then it is up to international organizations, including the ICC, to come in and investigate and prosecute those responsible for these atrocities," said HRW's Ghoshal.

 Job Bwonya, executive director of Western Kenya Human Rights Watch, a local NGO working with the survivors of the insurgency, said the lack of action by the government had added insult to injury for the families of the disappeared.

 "It cannot be normal when you have 300 people missing; these were people with dependants and some of them even worked for the government," he said. "It is double injustice for the government to ignore the plight of their families."



Wednesday, October 26, 2011


New York, Oct 26 2011  1:10PM
It is vital that international law underpin developments on the global stage, especially in an ever increasingly globalized and interconnected world, the head of the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) said today.

"It is no exaggeration to say that all regions of the world have become closely intertwined," Judge Hisashi Owada, President of the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the UN, said as he reported to the General Assembly on the court's activities over the past year.

"In this 21st century, international politics are undeniably interconnected; a truly global economy has emerged; and our natural environment and global climate change have created new challenges," he noted.

"In these times of unprecedented interconnection between States and peoples, it is my sincere belief that a firm reliance on international law must underpin any and all future developments on the global stage."

Established in 1945 under the UN Charter, the ICJ – sometimes referred to as the World Court – settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by authorized UN organs or specialized agencies.

Judge Owada noted the trust that the international community continues to place in the Court to handle a wide variety of legal disputes.

"States from all corners of world, faithful to their attachment to international law, continue to have recourse to the Court in order to find a judicial settlement to their disputes," he stated.

Since last October, the Court has rendered four judgments and three orders on cases involving countries from all regions of the world and raising a broad range of legal questions, from border and maritime disputes to compensation for injury and racial discrimination.

Given a "remarkable" increase in the number of cases on the docket, the President said the Court is now opining on more than a few cases on a parallel basis, thus making its best endeavours to eliminate a backlog on judicial work.

"It is my hope that Member States will continue to rely on the International Court of Justice to assist them in the pacific settlement of their disputes and that more States will accept the Court's jurisdiction."

The Court's current docket stands at 15 cases, most of which are still at the stage of being in the hands of the parties who are presenting their written proceedings in advance of the oral hearings.

The two most recent cases that have been filed concern a border dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua as well as the row between Cambodia and Thailand over the Preah Vihear temple.

Monday, October 24, 2011


New York, Oct 24 2011  5:10PM
Corruption is a serious impediment to reducing poverty and achieving development goals, the head of the United Nations agency anti-crime agency <"">said today, adding that this year's uprisings in the Arab world highlighted the anger within societies at this scourge.

Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said the Arab Spring was "an emphatic rejection of corruption and a cry for integrity," as he addressed the opening of the fourth session of the Conference of the States parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, in Marrakech, Morocco.

"At the movement's centre was a deep-seated anger at the poverty and injustice suffered by entire societies due to systemic corruption," he added.

The meeting, which runs until Friday, brings together more than 1,000 delegates from 129 countries to review the implementation of the convention and to discuss ways to better tackle corruption around the world, including how to prevent it, its impact on development and how to recover illicit assets.

Corruption is a phenomenon found in all countries, according to UNODC. However, evidence shows it harms poor people more than others, stifles economic growth and diverts desperately needed funds from education, health care and other public services. The World Bank says an estimated $1 trillion gets siphoned off through bribes every year.

"Universal primary education cannot exist if bribes are needed to enter children into school systems… Reductions in child mortality are more difficult where payments are required to obtain medical assistance," said Mr. Fedotov.

He stressed that everyone has a role to play in preventing corruption, a global threat and serious roadblock to economic development.

"All of us must contribute to a culture of integrity. The eyes previously closed to corruption must become the open eyes of justice and equality."

The convention, which came into force in 2005, is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. It obliges States to prevent and criminalize corruption, to promote international cooperation, to recover stolen assets and to improve technical assistance and information exchange in both the private and the public sectors.

The treaty sets out provisions enabling countries to detect and recover money stolen through corruption. UNODC works with the World Bank through the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative to help countries trace, confiscate and recover stolen assets.

A study released today by the Initiative shows how most large-scale corruption cases involve the use of legal entities to conceal ownership and control of proceeds of corruption. It also calls on policymakers to take steps to improve transparency to reduce opportunities for wrongdoing.

Mr. Fedotov said that the StAR Initiative is sending out a very clear message: "There can be no safe havens for stolen assets."

ETHIOPIA-KENYA: Who rules the range?

ETHIOPIA-KENYA: Who rules the range?

LONDON, 24 October 2011 (IRIN) - The border land between Kenya and Ethiopia is a vast, open plain under a big sky. Hard red earth shows through the thin grass of the sun-baked landscape, an expanse of thorny scrub, flat-topped thorn-trees and tall red anthills. There are no fences or other visible boundaries, and few people, just occasional groups of cattle or goats with their herders. To the untutored eye it can look like empty land, where wandering nomads graze their animals at random.

 But there is nothing random about it. This unpromising landscape can provide a good living for livestock if it is carefully managed, and the herds are kept on the move across the seasons so they make the optimum use of each area of pasture and each water source. Over the years, the herders have built up a great body of expertise about how best to manage the area's resources.

 And the land is also definitely not "empty" in the sense that it belongs to no one - the people of the area are quite clear about whose land is whose, in terms not of individuals, but of different communities.

 Sara Pavanello, who has just completed a three-year study [ ] of how natural resources are managed in the area, says: "The pastoralists I spoke to very often used collective terms, saying for example, 'Our resources, we decide, we manage.' For pastoral communities, the rangeland as a whole is perceived as one single economic resource that's communally owned, even if this tract of rangeland has been divided by the international border. At the same time different ethnic groups own, or exercise control over specific territory and the natural resources found within it."

 This does not mean that they exclude everyone else. They understand that other groups need access to the pasture and water sources at certain seasons. That kind of temporary access is traditionally negotiated between the elders of the different communities. Elders told Pavanello: "Today they need us; tomorrow we will need them." She describes this kind of sharing as being seen as an "insurance policy for the future".

 Land ownership conundrum

 It is a model that makes perfect sense to the Borana, Gabra and Garri, the three ethnic groups which live along and across the border, but one that the conventional authorities struggle with, both in Ethiopia and Kenya. Land in Kenya is, for the most part, in private ownership. In Ethiopia all land belongs to the people, represented by the state. Neither system is designed to cope with private land, communally owned.

 In Ethiopia, farmers are granted land to cultivate, and have security of possession under the constitution. Pavanello and her co-author, Simon Levine, say pastoralists' rights are much weaker. The constitution gives them the right to use free land for grazing but, they write "the operative word here is free; the moment the state chooses to claim any grazing land, and declare it no longer 'free' the pastoralists lose any right to graze."

 The authorities also tend to want to introduce resource management schemes to make the rangelands more productive, failing to see and understand the subtle and flexible management systems already in place involving elders and community institutions.

 In their research Pavanello and Levine found cases where local administrators were enforcing ideas of ownership, citizenship and nationality which cut across the communities' traditional right to manage their lands. In Kenya they say district officials reportedly cited the principle of freedom of movement for Kenyan citizens under the constitution in order to allow Somali clans into the rangelands of Borana clans around Moyale, despite the elders' protests that it would exhaust the grazing.

 On the other side of the border Ethiopia's policy of "ethnic federalism" puts the Garri in Somali Region and the Borana in Orommiya, and has led, say Pavanello and Levine, to administrators pressing pastoralist communities to adopt a more exclusionary approach to natural resources, failing, they say, "to recognize the fact that granting secondary users rights of access is in customary law a legal obligation, which reinforces, rather than undermines the primary holders' claims of ownership rights and sovereignty over their territory".

 Cross-border mixed committees

 The challenge is clearly how to harmonize traditional and formal regulation in a way which allows the flexibility and freedom of movement on which the productivity of the rangelands depends. Here the paper focuses on the growth of cross-border mixed committees on which both local government officials and community elders are represented, along with other groups such as young people and women. Set up mostly to deal with cattle raiding, the committees have also had some success in the joint management of pasture and water resources in the border areas, with communities from both sides sharing the resources and jointly negotiating access for other groups.

 The idea of these mixed committees generated a lot of interest at the launch of the report earlier this month at London's Overseas Development Institute. Jeremy Swift, a pastoralist development specialist with a lifetime of experience in the field, said bringing formal and customary regulation together was necessary, but likely to be difficult. "Formal rules have to be uniform throughout the country; customary rules are place and time specific. This is only likely to work if there is a real delegation of authority, which governments are not usually happy about and not likely to do willingly."

 John Morton of the University of Greenwich cautioned against any attempt to bypass formal government structures. "Clearly this border is very fluid, but the states are still real, and you have to respect state authority and boundaries. You don't do people any favours by over-stressing cross-border action which may label pastoralists as having divided loyalties."

 The co-author of the report, Simon Levine, said they also had some reservations about the hybrid committees. "For example, in a case where it is the committee which decides who can use a water point, you are in effect negating the idea that the people who used to call themselves the owners of that land now have the right to exclude anyone. Now that may be a good thing or it may be a bad thing, but it does seem to me that it is not necessarily always going to be a good thing, especially where you know that the power relations within the committee may not always be equal. I would have thought the idea of hybrid committees is possibly and hopefully a way forward, but one that needs an awful lot more caution than I heard expressed today."


Kris plans huge trek for Somaliland hospital

Kris plans huge trek for Somaliland hospital

ORMISTON'S Kris McBride is embarking on a 1800km walk across Egypt in January to raise awareness and funding for a maternity hospital in Hargeisa.

Kris said growing up with five sisters provided impetus for the trip, which finishes at the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Hargeisa.

Kris leaves Cairo on January 2, 2012, heading south to Aswan (900km intending to walk 30km daily), taking the ferry to Wadi Halfa, walking to Atbara in central Sudan, then heading to the Red Sea. He said he intends to catch a boat down the sea to Dijibouti before walking the final 500km.

Kris will be joined by a friend, Chris, from England.

"We have been provided with a video camera from Ink Productions in the UK and a satellite phone from another company. We have also been given a few smaller things, so things are coming together," Kris said.

He said he was currently seeking more sponsors in order to kit out with trekking boots, a bag and gas cooker.

Kris moved to Ormiston at age eight, and attended Cleveland State High School.

"I am doing what I can to help the female population and highlight the facts facing these women in Somaliland," he said.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bury Gaddafi with dignity

Bury Gaddafi with dignity

Gaddafi's body should be treated with dignity in order to send a message to other dictators and future generations.

Hamid Dabashi- Aljazeera 

Colonel Gaddafi should get a funeral befitting of a fallen head of state, author says [GALLO/GETTY]

The unseemly pictures and videos circulating the internet capturing the final moments of Gaddafi's life should be the last signs of indignity that Libyan people would ever see marking their historic revolution. Future generation of Libyans, the children of these very freedom fighters, deserve better.

Reports indicate that Colonel Gaddafi's body is in the possession of authorities from the National Transitional Council (NTC). They must see that he gets a proper and dignified funeral, befitting a fallen head of state.

The body now in possession of NTC authorities is not just the remains of a fallen dictator to be violated freely on the battlefield of a cruel history. It is also the body-politic of future Libya. The triumphant euphoria of Libyans feasting on their victory, richly deserved, must not be marred by the undignified pictures of abusing the image they will most remember and tell their grandchildren for an entire history yet to unfold.

Treat Gaddafi's body with dignity not because he deserved it. But because the Libyan people need it. They must commence the rest of their history with a sense of self-dignity, of triumphant pride. That self-dignity is now determined by how they will treat the dead body of Colonel Gaddafi.

Treat that body not as the fallen tyrant deserved, but as the future of your children deserves.

Shakespearian dilemma

There is a scene in Hamlet where the bereaved Prince turns to the conniving Polonius asking him to treat a group of actors visiting the Elsinore with dignity and generous hospitality. "Good my lord," Hamlet says, "Will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live."

These days are indeed "the abstract and brief chronicles of the time" for future Libyans, for the future of the Arab and Muslim world. They should treat the fallen tyrant not "according to his desert," but after their own honor and dignity.

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Let the pictures and videos of a proper burial and a dignified resting place for Colonel Gaddafi fill the schoolbooks in which future generations of Libyans will read their Arabic alphabet and learn the dignity of their parentage.

The man was a relic, a frightful echo from a past, a monster not entirely of his own making. Heads of state, who in some cases enabled the dictator, are now rejoicing in his downfall.

How unseemly were the scenes of US President Obama, or UK Prime Minister Cameron, rejoicing in Gaddafi's downfall. But as Omar Mukhtar says in a key scene in the late Mustapha Akkad's Lion of the Desert (a film about rebels fighting the Italian invasion of Libya) when refusing to kill a captured Italian soldier, "they are not our teachers".

Western intervention

Obama's administration still has to answer for the American weapons sold to Gaddafi when he was in power. There are even darker tyrannies in Bahrain and Yemen that Obama helps keeping in power. And his chief ally in the region, Saudi Arabia, is not exactly the beacon of liberty.

These are the days from which the foundational myth of the future Libya is made. Future generation of Libyans, the children of these very Libyans that have earned their freedom, demand that Gaddafi be buried properly, with dignity befitting a head of state.

Let the dignified burial of Gaddafi be the farewell ceremony for NATO. Libyans owe NATO nothing. NATO just destroyed the weapons that Europe and the US had sold Gaddafi's regime.

The dignified burial of Gaddafi would also be a signal to the world at large that the Arab Spring is in charge of its own destiny—that Arabs and Muslims will not join Obama and Cameron in "rejoicing" the demise of a postcolonial monster created by European colonialism and American imperialism in the first place. American and British professors at Harvard, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and London School of Economics beatified and celebrated the monster — lucratively.

It is imperative for the future of the Arab Spring that the hopes and aspirations of these revolutions determine the course of action rather than the NATO alliance who will be paving the way for European and American oil companies.

The proper burial of Colonel Gaddafi would also provide a signal to other remaining dictators in the region. They too must see a safe and sane way out of their bloody deeds. They too must be given the chance to recognise the world has changed— that we are not going to repeat the vicious cycle of one brutal downfall after another. All the tyrants of the region, from Iran to Syria, from Bahrain to Yemen, must be able to see a dignified way out, without NATO intervention.

As Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy think of how to turn the Arab Spring around and to their advantage, and as European and American oil companies think of the lucrative contracts shining forth from Tripoli, Libyans, Arabs, and Muslims, must think of the enduring sense of dignity that the Arab Spring has in store for the future of their children.

Bury Colonel Gaddafi in a manner befitting the dignity of Libya, the pride of Arabs and the faith of Muslims.

Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York. He is the author, most recently, of Shi'ism: A Religion of Protest (Harvard University Press, 2011).

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

Kenya army says it’s closing in on rebel-held town in Somalia where ground battle is expected

Kenya army says it's closing in on rebel-held town in Somalia where ground battle is expected

By Associated Press, Published: October 22

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Kenyan troops in Somalia closed in on the rebel-held town of Afmadow Saturday where they may fight their first ground battle against al-Qaida-linked militants since launching an offensive last weekend, a military spokesman said.

Hundreds of residents were fleeing Afmadow in anticipation of fighting as Kenyan and Somali troops moved closer.

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Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir said Kenya's army was flanking Somali troops and pro-government militia. Afmadow is now controlled by al-Shabab, Somalia's most dangerous militant group waging a war against the country's weak U.N.-backed government.

"We believe this movement will create the first ground offensive," Chirchir said.

Kenya had been bombing militants from the air but the charge at Afmedow will be first "man to man fighting situation," he said.

Al-Shabab militants are regrouping in the town of Bula Haji to reinforce their fighters in Afmadow, Chirchir said.

Osman Ahmed, a resident in Afmadow, said there is alot of tension with militants preparing to do battle with Kenyan and somali government troops.

"We sleep and wake up with fears, only gunmen and sporadic civilians are crossing the streets. It's a frightening situation," he said.

Kenya last weekend sent its troops into Somalia to pursue al-Shabab militants blamed for a string of kidnappings on Kenyan soil.

Somali gunmen have kidnapped four Europeans in the last six weeks — two from the Lamu coastal region and two from the Dadaab refugee camp. One of the hostages, a quadriplegic French woman, died on Wednesday.

Kenya's government says the kidnappings threaten the country's tourism industry — a key driver of the economy— that had bounced back after near collapse following postelection violence three-years-ago in which more than 1,000 people died.

Also Saturday the U.S. Embassy warned that an imminent terrorist attack in Kenya is possible. It said likely targets include places that foreigners congregate, including shopping malls and night clubs.

In response to the Kenyan military incursion, al-Shabab on Monday threatened to carry out suicide attacks in Kenya similar to those in July that killed 76 people watching the World Cup final in Uganda. Al-Shabab said that attack was a response to Uganda sending troops to support Somalia's government.

Somalia has been a failed state for more than 20 years. The lawless country is a haven for pirates and international terrorists and the conflict is causing a major famine which is believed to have cost tens of thousands of lives already.

Al-Shabab is blocking aid from reaching hungry Somalis, after it banned major aid groups from operating in the territories it controls.

Chirchir said the overall strategy of Kenya's military incursion is to reduce al-Shabab's effectiveness and restore authority to Somalia's government in order to achieve enduring peace.

African Union troops and government soldiers pushed the al-Shabab militia from their last bases in the capital on Thursday, AU spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said.

Al-Shabab has retreated before the Kenyan forces so far, but the militants have struck back in the Somali capital with a series of bombings — including a truck bomb that killed over 100 people. On Thursday, they put up a bloody fight when AU forces arrived in Deynile, al-Shabab's last base in Mogadishu.

“Our children could face the risk of dying from starvation

"Our children could face the risk of dying from starvation" says
illegal Ethiopian father stranded in front of IOM office in Hargeisa

HARGEISA(SomalilandPress)-Throughout the world today there are at
least 50,000 NGOs in the Third
World receiving over $10 billion in funding from international financial
institutions, Euro-US-Japanese governmental agencies and local governments.

The managers of the biggest NGOs manage million dollar budgets with salaries
and perks that are comparable to CEOs. They jet to international
conferences, confer with top corporate and financial directors and make
policy decisions that affect – in the great majority of cases adversely -
millions of people … especially the poor, women and informal sector
working people.

The International Organization for Migration-popularly known as IOM
established in 1951 and currently operating in Somaliland, a
self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an
autonomous of Somalia has failed to deliver the assistance of a more
than 120 Ethiopians stranded in Somaliland.

On Sept/2011 the government of Somaliland announced that all illegal
immigrants, mostly Ethiopians, must return. Lack of means to travel to
Ethiopia, and hence falling under the mandate of the IOM took over the
operation of their safe return.

In anticipation of receiving support as promised by the IOM, the more
than 120 illegal Ethiopians went to one of the currently functioning
IOM offices in Hargeisa, the capital.

After sleeping outside in front the IOM office for more than 12
consecutive days and eating whatever they can find, as well as their
freedom of movement became virtually impossible and have not received
the humane treatment they fully deserve, Mr. Girayse an organiser of
the deportation and one of the stranded speaking to a reporter of online webite, said "We've been stuck here (in front
of IOM office) for past 12 days with no food and water". He continued
on by saying "We are following the orders of Somaliland government and
IOM has promised to take us to Ethiopia, disappointingly, they have
yet to do so and what's more alarming is that some of the children
became severely ill after eating biscuits given by IOM thus if not
aided immediately, our children could face the risk of dying from

Another man sitting calmly beside Mr. Girayse during the interview
said, "Whatever he (Mr. Girayse) is saying is the absolute truth and
will not add anything, however, I would like to convey to the
Somaliland government and international organizations to take action
of our appalling situation mainly caused by the empty promises of the

The IOM which is said by a reliable source to have received around 50
million US dollars for this project declined a Berbera News reporter
for an interview via telephone to get some answers from their side.

The Somaliland government is said to be enormously concerned about the
safety and well being of the illegal Ethiopians awaiting to be
deported as well as the actions of the IOM.

Mohamed Sa'ed Abdillaahi
Chief Editor,

Friday, October 21, 2011

Somaliland: French Delegation Signals Increased Cooperation

Somaliland: French Delegation Signals Increased Cooperation

French Ambassador to Djibouti Rene Forceville met with President Siilaanyo to discuss economic assistance and trade relations between the two nations.

Below is an article published by JSL Times:

Somaliland's President Mr. Ahmed Mohamoud Siilaanyo met with a French delegation today [20 October 2011] that is on a short visit to Somaliland. The meeting took place at the presidential office in Somaliland's capital of Hargeisa.  Somaliland president briefed the delegate about the general situation in the country.

According to press release issued from the presidential spokesman Mr. Abdilahi Mohamed Daahir 'Cukuse,' Somaliland president Mr. Siilaanyo held a high level meeting with French delegation. The meeting was held at the office of the president today as the press release states.

The French delegation is headed by the French ambassador to Djibouti Mr. Rene Forceville.

The ambassador stated that the main aim of their visit was to enhance and upgrade the cooperation and the bilateral relation between Somaliland the French government.

The ambassador further added that his government is keen on assisting Somaliland with development and enhancing private trade.

Somaliland president took the opportunity to brief the delegate about the general situation in the country and the genuine peace and stability that Somaliland has achieved.

The president added that Somaliland has achieved miracles when it comes to maintaining security on the ground and its territorial waters and it is now working hard on achieving genuine development.

Somaliland president hailed the French delegate's arrival to Somaliland and he seized the chance to demand that the French government as well as the international community provide assistance to Somaliland when it comes to the underscored achievements.

Somaliland president was accompanied by the planning and development Dr. Sacad Ali Shire and the foreign affairs secretary Dr. Mohamed Rashid Sh. Hasan.

The French ambassador to Djibouti Mr. Rene Forceville was accompanied by Renu Morechaux from the French defense ministry and the first secretary at the French embassy to Djibouti, Alexdener Jabet.

Gaddafi's death breached the law, says Russia

Gaddafi's death breached the law, says Russia

World Reaction

By Shaun Walker in Moscow

As politicians in Western capitals were taking quiet pleasure in the capture and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi yesterday, opinions elsewhere were divided.

In Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Geneva Conventions had been breached with the killing of Colonel Gaddafi.

"We have to lean on facts and international laws," Mr Lavrov said. "They say that a captured participant of an armed conflict should be treated in a certain way. And in any case, a prisoner of war should not be killed."

Russia has been critical of Nato military action in Libya, saying that it has gone well beyond the stated mission of saving civilian life. The main concern for Moscow now is whether the new Libyan authorities will honour contracts signed by the Gaddafi regime. As well as the oil and arms trade, Russian Railways had secured a £2bn contract to construct a railway line between Sirte and Benghazi. Moscow recognised the National Transitional Council as the official government of Libya last month and said it expected all existing contracts to be honoured.

China, which like Russia abstained in the Security Council vote on whether to use force against Colonel Gaddafi's troops, was quicker yesterday to change its tune. Beijing initially refused to support the rebels and had been highly critical of the bombing campaign. But as realities on the ground altered, in recent weeks the Chinese government had started to engage with the rebel movement.

"A new page has been turned in the history of Libya," a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, said yesterday. "We hope Libya will rapidly embark on an inclusive political process ... and allow the people to live in peace and happiness," she said.

A sign of the official policy change could be discerned in the language that Chinese state media used to refer to Colonel Gaddafi. Newspapers and agencies run by the state, which had previously referred to a "Middle East strongman", had yesterday made a small but significant change to their phrasing, calling him a "madman" instead.

Reaction from other enemies of the US was varied. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez described the dead dictator as a "martyr", while Iran's foreign ministry tried to banish any parallels between the Libyan revolution and anti-government protests at home. "Despots and oppressors throughout history have no fate other than destruction and death," a spokesman said. He called Colonel Gaddafi's killing a "great victory" but added that all foreign forces must now pull out of the country.

And the eccentric Russian politician Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is also the head of the World Chess Federation, said that Colonel Gaddafi's death was a "tragedy" but that he died as a martyr and would be reincarnated.

Mr Ilyumzhinov made a surreal mission to Tripoli in June, where he met with Colonel Gaddafi as an unofficial mediator and played a game of chess with him. Yesterday, he said in a Russian newspaper interview that he had spoken to the Libyan leader numerous times on the phone since. He claimed that Colonel Gaddafi had not been scared of death: "Not a bit! He believed in reincarnation."

Democracy Action Group-SL. Somaliland : A Task For A Leader

Democracy Action Group-SL. Somaliland : A Task For A Leader
Written by M.Musa   

The Economist Magazine, in its October I, 2011 issue (Democracy in sub-Saharan Africa; It is progress, even if it is patchy), lauded the spread of democracy in Africa in the last decade. In the same article the Economist also listed the peaceful and democratic ousting of several ruling parties by opposition parties. In the same the article listed President Ahmed Mohamoud Silanyo and Somaliland 4th in a list of 34 heads of states and countries that underwent peaceful and democratic change of guard. This is an honour for President Ahmed Mohamoud Silanyo; a statesman who many expect to change the politics of the region. In the same instance, it also included Somaliland; a country which rose; like a phoenix, from the ashes of a destructive civil.

In another development, President Silanyos recent visit to the eastern regions of the republic was another commendable and successful step. He extended a peaceful political outreach to both the traditional and political representatives of the Sool and Sanag regions. This step is expected to be the foundation for the success of the scheduled Taleex meeting around the end of this year. The initial signs coming out the community show that the majority of the region's leadership is willing to establish peaceful co-existence within the sovereign boundaries of Somaliland.

The resulting outburst from an official from Puntland who opposed the Taleex meeting further attests to those regions resolute decision to take their future in their hands, sideline many self-serving detractors especially from Puntland and discount many eastern region politicians who manipulated the regions politics to their own interest. The presidents' visit also discredited the opposition's unfound claims of the governments' collusion with Somalia politicians and the UN.

But, despite these successful measures by President Ahmed Mohamoud Silanyo and his government, we must not overlook the recent blunders of his administration. How it managed both the relief aid to Somalia and the scholarships from Turkey was a political fiasco. Both incidents created a public relations nightmare for the president which forced him to further blunder (the UF word fiasco) in defence of his government's actions.

The government lacked political foresight by how it managed the aid to Somalia. By appointing the well known and respected Somali poet, Hadrawi, the administration was either naïve about clan-oriented implications or decided to disregard the sensibilities of the populace. Despite his fame as a literary icon among all Somalilanders, Mr, Hadrawi is also known for his pro-unionist political views and staunch support the Pan-Somali irredentist ideology of the past; a view which sadly contradicts the aspirations of his country and the inviolability of its' sovereignty.

In a similar disregard, the government showed its lack of political prudence by how it handled the Turkish scholarship. It showed a lack of public relations foresight when it allowed the Somaliland students nominated for the Turkish scholarship program to depart from Mogadishu, a public relations blunder which translated to a propaganda boon for the TFG in Mogadishu. The government could have opted to pay the groups' airfare direct to Ankara to sidestep the political minefields of Mogadishu. The scandal was further exacerbated by President Silanyo's radio interview in response to the opposition's claim that his government is in cahoots with the United Nations Somalia Representative, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga who recently visited Hargeisa. It is a not a secret that Ambassador Mahiga's mandate is to re-establish a unified Somalia, an agenda he never deviated from in all his political briefings, community meetings and press releases since his appointment in June 2011 by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as his Special representative for Somalia.

To overcome the population's pesky mistrust of the issue which is often misused by the opposition, the government must adopt and publicise a transparent and coherent foreign policy towards Mogadishu. In addition to its often stated mantra "The Holiness of Sovereignty", the administration must also publicly state all the issues which need cooperation with Mogadishu as required by the UN in its Somaliland/Somalia mandate.

The administrations shortcomings and public relations disappointments are further aggravated by the continuous stream of public misgivings. The emergence of powerful financial and political power brokers within the Presidents family is a continuous debate among Somalilanders. Many claim that President Ahmed Mohamoud Silanyo is not living up to his election promise of curbing nepotism in the political and financial matters of the government.

While in the opposition, the president often accused the last government of Dahir Riyale of corruption and blatant nepotism. Kulmiye often pointed to Dahir Riyales close family members who wielded a powerful influence over the treasury, the administration high level appointments, and local and foreign investors. As a result, the majority of the public who voted for President Silanyo in the last presidential election were expecting the end of this practise and many are now disheartened by the current nepotistic atmosphere that is over shadowing the many other progressive measures implemented by his government.

This is crucial now more than other time due to the recent political and economic developments in the region. The Saudi and other Middle Eastern governments are now willing to reopen the import of Somali livestock to their markets. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, Saudi Arabia imports $250 million worth of Somali livestock for the Haj period, the lion's share from Somaliland. This number is expected to rise to $500 million a year by 2913 when the Saudi market is opened throughout the year for Somali imports. Lebanon, India and other Middle Eastern countries are also expected to permit Somali livestock imports to their countries

Ethiopia is also expected to join the energy-producing counties soon. Its gas production which is expected to go online soon is expected to be shipped through a corridor that passes through Somaliland. Many in Somaliand expect that President Mohamoud Ahmed Silanyo negotiated a profitable deal in his last trip to China where the Ethiopians were finalizing the project's requirements.

Both developments are expected to drastically increase Somaliland's revenues; a shift that could potentially play a major role in the economic development of many sectors in Somaliland. But the current claims that allege the spread of nepotism among the President's family and inner circle, could be a detrimental factor that could potentially derail the expected benefits of both enterprises. The exclusion of local businessmen and merchants from these and other profitable contracts is also a guaranteed precursor to social unrest that could derail the country's peace and security.

The President, at the beginning of his term, showed the will to curb corruption by appointing Engineer, Mohamed Hashi to Ministry of Finance. The president was lauded for this since Mr. Hashi is famous for his financial integrity and no-nonsense approach in stamping out corruption from the public sector.

Now that the stakes are higher, many hope that President Silanyo would show his grit and sweep all allegations of nepotism from his doorstep.

M. Muse

Democracy Action Group-SL

Thursday, October 20, 2011



Corporate executives and prominent political figures today at a United Nations-backed meeting called for investment in emerging sectors that support sustainable development to reinvigorate the flagging global economy and address the deepening rift between rich and poor.

Amid growing protests over financial and economic uncertainty across the world, more than 500 leading executives met at the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative Global Roundtable (UNEP FI) summit in Washington to discuss possible solutions.

Among those calling for change include former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Ireland's former President Mary Robinson, as well as decision-makers in the investment, banking and insurance sectors. The meeting also heard from the United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.

Recommendations included the implementation of policies that can mobilize investment by the banking and investment sectors into emerging industries associated with sustainability – including the clean energy sector, renewable energy, green buildings and retrofitting, clean vehicles and fuels.

"Economic policies must move in a direction that balances the needs of all stakeholders," Barbara Krumsiek, the Calvert Investments chief executive and UNEP FI co-chair.

"It is not enough to restore the financial industry to previous levels of capitalization and profitability, without simultaneously providing a path that seeks to return all Americans to their previous levels of economic security and opportunity."

Paul Clements-Hunt, the head of UNEP FI, pointed out that the world's economy is at a tipping point.

"The risk that the disconnect between grassroots economic realities and financial markets erodes the trust that binds us together is real. If we are to avert this scenario, the global economy's most damaging flaws must be re-engineered with the adoption of market practices that value both sustainability and long-term financial stability."

The summit's participants stressed that with the right incentives private finance can play an essential role in spurring a recovery of the US economy and achieve job creation in sectors ranging from green technology to ecosystem management.

With less than a year to go before the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, UNEP FI explained that the Washington meeting was the first in a series of agenda-setting and action-oriented discussions on the private sector's increasing role in global environmental protection.

"Clearly, the financial world must do its part in creating mechanisms that lead to a more equitable and green economy," said Ms. Robinson. "The set of concrete proposals put forward during the Global Roundtable are a politically credible and economically sound roadmap to achieve this goal."



The massive humanitarian response to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa has eased the suffering of thousands of people, but more resources are needed to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in famine-hit areas of Somalia, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said today in a progress report on the crisis.

"We have saved many children, in Somalia, in the refugee camps in neighbouring countries as well as in the other regions in Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti hit by prolonged drought, escalating food prices and conflict," <"">said Elhadj As Sy, the UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, releasing the report entitled <i><"">Response to the Horn of Africa Emergency</i>.

"Due to the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis, we have to increase our immediate response and at the same time lay the foundation for long-term development to prevent a similar catastrophe from happening again."

He called for the scaling up of integrated interventions in health, nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, education and child protection.

A total of 13.3 million people needed assistance in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti as a result of what aid agencies said was the worst drought in the region in six decades.

More than 450,000 Somalis have fled to refugee camps around Dadaab in north-eastern Kenya, including 100,000 since June. Another 183,000 Somalis entered Ethiopia. Some 20,000 other refugees from Somalia went to Djibouti. Famine was formally declared in six areas of Somalia.

Thousands of children have already died, and more than 320,000 – half of them in central and southern Somalia – are suffering from life-threatening malnutrition.

Thanks to international support over the past three months, UNICEF and partners across the Horn of Africa have achieved important results on which to build, according to the report.

Over the past three months, UNICEF has delivered 10,000 tons of assorted life-saving relief supplies to the Horn of Africa by air, land and sea, and supported the treatment of 108,000 severely malnourished children in therapeutic feeding centres. Some 1.2 million children have been vaccinated against measles, and an estimated 2.2 million people benefited from access to safe water. About 48,000 children were provided access to child-friendly environments.

In central and southern Somalia, where access for humanitarian agencies is limited, UNICEF has been able to reach 350,000 people with supplementary feeding and some 30,000 families with cooked meals while they were on their way to the refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.



The Somali crisis has always been aggravated by foreign involvement, whereby both the intent of in-depth understanding and the instrument of enduring goodwill lacked. Others with ulterior motives threw spanners in the works and created non-starter situations of entanglement and stalemate. The UN efforts of reversing this enigmatic political landscape would require re-tooled strategy to make any headway.
First and foremost the role of any envoy had proven to be a total failure heretofore. Invariably the Somalis had shown repellant ill-disposition towards a lone actor with semblance of colonial style viceroy. A better approach would be replacing the envoy mission by a multilateral Adhoc commission for Peace and Restoration. Such commission would better engage if co-chaired by Britain and Italy, the two former colonizing patrons, until mission accomplished. It might be desirable to beef up the commission with a component of Somali nationals, whose record of leadership, patriotic performance and knowledgeable experience in handling Somali affairs is verified. The number and the role of the Somali add-ons, if any, would be stipulated by the UN. However, the final selection of qualifying incumbents would be determined by mutuality.

Per se this inclusion would be a catalyst in creating an atmosphere of frank dialogue and more passionate understanding between the national divide. It would also be bridgehead connectivity between the commission and all parties. Additionally, such initiative would restore hope in the ranks of the Somali common persons and would re-energize popular support across the board. Properly directed, such public support could be exploited for the mobilization of volunteer militia, effectively deployable as "Peoples Pioneers for Peace and Prosperity''. Given above the need for foreign troops would be substantially minimized as these pioneers would eventually evolve into the national armed forces. Further more, this mobilization would let the steam out of the provocative stigma of foreign troop occupation. Indeed an atmosphere of appreciation for the goodwill rescue operation of the world body would accrue.
Needless to say IGADD'S dejavu ineptitude in handling the Somali issue, under the intrigue of concerned neighbors capable of delivering, did not hold any water. On the contrary it has proven to be derailing disservice culminating at loggerhead stagnation. A persistent policy of designed division and polarization has been pursued all along, to undo the interwoven fabric of the Somali nation. The Somali traditional culture of peace, national pride and brotherhood has been exploited to turn into segmented tribes plagued by unwarranted phobia of mistrust, misdirection and mindless massacre. It was conspired that once Somalia has fallen apart, the piecemeal residue would easily melt away inter-IGADD, thus eliminating the Somali identity for good. Given the limitations of IGADD countries, it was a foregone conclusion that they lacked la politica and la Poesia to put the Somali house back together. To all intents and purposes, Somalia can no longer be a guinea pig in the hands of IGADD malpractice. Accordingly the UN would need to come full circle, galvanizing inward-looking solutions to extricate the Somali people from the ordeal of abysmal debris of despair and destruction.

Somaliland the missing link – Somaliland had always been the glue holding the union together and a glowing beacon for Somali nationalism. The union partners, on both sides of the aisle, Somaliland and Somalia had suffered in the hands of inept leadership which eventually destroyed the nation. Somaliland would not therefore qualify to be a renegade state, as erroneously labeled, but a wreck survivor. Its ensuing success was made possible by the cohesive nature of the "Huwan breed" Of syndicated tribes and by the wisdom of the Housekeeping Administration for 15 years.
Contrary to all ethical and moral obligations, the TFGS failed to come up with a policy position vis-à-vis Somaliland, despite it being the most pressing national priority mandated to the transitional government. Forget not, that the Somali tribe, despite man made cantonments, represents strategic regional dominance uniquely interwoven by traditional heritage and a kinship of cultural commonality. Consequently the catalyst clout of Somaliland, in the peace making process was a missing link all along. That is why all reconciliation endeavors, international or otherwise, dead-ended in a dream-chasing toss-up.
To make a difference the world body would need to reverse the snubbing posture and to engage Somaliland as a venue for peace making, in lieu of Djibouti. Yes! Somaliland has vested interest in any break thorough solution for this endless stalemate. At least this would undo the frustration `of international cold-shouldering and the eventualities of indefinite suspense. In this vein, Somaliland would welcome to become a venue for the reconciliation process without necessarily becoming a material party in the outcome. The rare state of commendable behavior demonstrated by Somaliland, post-Somali state failure, would merit recognition and rewarding reciprocity, namely:-
 That Somaliland would become a host venue for the follow-up and consolidation of the UN-backed peace initiative signed in Djibouti between the TFGS and the Opposition.
 That Somaliland would use its good offices to persuade the non-participating factions in the peace process to come to the negotiation table, along with others in the best interest of the nation.
 That the UN would cover all expenses, logistical and security requirement of the peace making process.
 That Somaliland would not be a party of the reconciliation process, but would only play the role of a facilitation venue and a service provider.
 That Somalia-Somaliland issue would be resolved by an internationally mediated agreement, at a later date, based on equal facilitation for unionist and secessionist advocates, leading eventually to one-man-one-vote franchise.
 That the UN would encourage international aid, cultural and technical assistance, bilateral and multilateral investment in Somaliland.
 That the UN would continue its development and humanitarian assistance in Somaliland.
 That the world body would encourage the capability enhancement of Somaliland in the professional intricacies of good governance, leadership and balanced accountability in state management affairs.

Mohamed Khawi
Somaliland natives association.

BBC News - Col Gaddafi 'killed'

BBC News - Col Gaddafi 'killed':
Libyans have been celebrating in Martyrs' Square, Tripoli, after hearing reports that Col Gaddafi - who ruled the country for 42 years - was killed in Sirte.

KENYA-SOMALIA: A risky intervention

KENYA-SOMALIA: A risky intervention

NAIROBI, 20 October 2011 (IRIN) - Kenya's military intervention to target Al-Shabab in Somalia is likely to worsen the plight of millions of food-insecure civilians and could increase popular support for the Islamist insurgents, aid workers and analysts warn.

Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi (Kiswahili for "Protect the Nation") on 16 October and has since deployed ground troops and air assets between its common border and the Somali port town of Kismayo.

Government officials have said its forces were targeting militants who threaten Kenya's heavily tourism-dependent economy and its national security. In recent weeks there have been kidnappings of tourists and aid workers in Kenya, which officials blamed on Al-Shabab, a charge the group denied. One tourist was shot dead on the Kenyan coast, another died in captivity.

Six regions in Somalia are now classified as being in a state of famine; volatile security in many of these areas, mostly under the control of Al-Shabab, greatly reduces aid agencies' ability to reach the needy. The food crisis has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have crossed into Kenya to seek refuge in the world's largest refugee complex. Two Spanish employees of Medécins sans Frontières (MSF), were abducted from the camp in October.

"The main concern is that we are in the middle of a famine where hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk, people are extremely malnourished and desperately need more aid - the last thing they need right now is more conflict that could displace more people and make it even harder for aid agencies to reach them," Alun McDonald, regional media and communications officer for Oxfam GB's operations for the Horn, East and Central Africa, told IRIN.

"We're already seeing some impact on humanitarian access - some of our local partners in Somalia have reported having to temporarily suspend some activities over the past few days - particularly some of the less immediate work such as support for farmers and livelihoods. The concern is that if fighting continues to increase then it will get even harder to work than it already is," he said.

"Population movements are a very likely result, and there are concerns about where people would flee to if the Kenyan government puts stricter controls in place for crossing the border," he said.

Tony Burns, operational director for SAACID, a Somali NGO working mainly with women and children, said, "Any increased conflict will inevitably have negative consequences for the Somali civilian population and the local economy."

But he added, "If the Kenyan intervention remains only a short-term incursion - to demonstrate military capacity and strength of will - then I do not believe there will be any lasting consequences for the current basket of humanitarian and development activities."

On the move

"Many people have been leaving in the last three days. No-one wants to get caught up in the fighting, I have sent my family to the villages," said a resident of Afmadow, a town 140km north of Kenya's border.

Describing the intervention as a "joint Kenya-Somali operation", the commander of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces in the border area, Gen. Yusuf Hussein Dhumal, told IRIN from his base in Tabta, 65km north of the Kenyan border, that his forces were in control of Qoqani, 50km south of Afmadow town.

"We are being delayed by heavy rains. Our aim was to be in Afmadow by now but the rains have made that impossible. We will push until we chase them [Al-Shabab] from Kismayo."

Mohamed Ahmed Ilkase, a reporter for Somali national TV travelling with the Somali forces, told IRIN Al-Shabab was reportedly regrouping in Afmadow.

A resident of the port city of Kismayo, 500km south of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, said Al-Shabab had been reinforcing its positions in the city and conscripting people "to fight the enemy. They have been bringing many militias since Monday [17 October] and have been calling on residents to register to fight."

He said families had started leaving the city. "Some are going south [towards Kenya], while many others are going north to Mogadishu."


Several observers warned that Kenya's intervention could backfire.

"The real surprise is that the western countries that have urged restraint have failed to convince Kenya that Kenya may be perpetuating the problem that it is claiming to want to eliminate," said SAACID's Burns.

"The fear is that Al-Shabab will be able to garner Somali nationalist sentiment against Kenya - perceiving the incursion as an invasion and occupation. Al-Shabab was very successful in framing the Ethiopian military incursion of 2007-2008 in support of the TFG in that way, and there was a concomitant virulent nationalist Somali opposition to the Ethiopian occupation.

"If the incursion becomes an occupation, then I suspect Al-Shabab will be able to garner more and more public support and funding as time passes, and the Kenyan military will face an ever more complicated military context," he added.

A view echoed by Somali university lecturer Farah Mohamed: "The invasion, I don't know what else to call it, will only help those they claim to be fighting."

"Unfortunately, it will not solve any of the problems but will create even more," said Hassan Sheikh, an academic and politician. Kenya's intervention risks "not only boosting Al-Shabab but creating new groups that we don't know about".

"I think they [the Kenyans] have taken on more they bargained for," said Abdi Dahir Dirie, a professor of at Mogadishu University.

Noting that Kenya's tourism industry was an economic lifeline worth protecting, Laura Hammond, a senior lecturer in the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, also expressed concerns about the plan to capture Kismayo from Al-Shabab.

"If it succeeds, what then? What will it do if it achieves this goal? Stay in Kismayo the way the Ethiopians stayed in Mogadishu? The plan seems to me not that clearly thought out, and there are a thousand chances for it to go wrong," Hammond said.

Rashid Abdi, Horn of Africa analyst for the International Crisis Group (ICG), said he doubted "the Kenyans have a military strategy as such beyond showing they can act.

"This operation is primarily aimed at mollifying critics of Nairobi's 'soft' policy towards Somalia... I think this escalation is ill-advised.

"My greatest fear is that Kenya has just given Al-Shabab the excuse it needs to strike at Kenya. If Al-Shabab carries out a terrorist act in Kenya, the repercussion for Somalis will be grave," he said.

Within Somalia, "Al-Shabab will most certainly retaliate with all manner of actions - suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices, hit-and-run guerrilla tactics, ambushes and even frontal attacks against soft targets," Imaana Laibuta, a retired Kenyan army major now working as a security consultant, wrote in Nairobi's Daily Nation newspaper.

Without adequate force protection measures, he warned the incursion "might be a tragic undertaking whereby we have just sent our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and mothers to die just to satisfy public anger and please the western tourist circuit and anti-Islam fear-mongers", he added.

Buffer zone?

There are also suspicions that the intervention is designed to boost Kenya's widely reported but publicly undeclared plan to establish a semi-autonomous region in southern Somalia, a buffer zone known variously as Jubaland and Azania, made up of the Gedo, Lower and Middle Juba regions, with Kismayo as its capital.

From the Kenyan perspective, the main incentive for such a zone would be to protect its border from Al-Shabab incursions. Kenya has also been keen to reduce the inflow of Somali refugees, around half a million of whom live in Dadaab, an attitude demonstrated by the delayed opening of an overflow camp in the complex.

On 20 October, the Star newspaper quoted an unidentified government minister expressing alarm at Al-Shabab's recruitment in Dadaab. "We will create a safe zone for them and then the UNHCR [the UN Refugee Agency] and other agencies can take care of them inside Somalia," said the minister, who made no specific reference to "Jubaland".

In April 2011, a Somali former defence minister, Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, announced to international media that he had been named "president" of Jubaland, but since then there have been no noticeable developments around the initiative.

"The real reason [for the military action] in my opinion has to do with the failed Jubaland initiative and the Somali-Kenya maritime boundary," said Hassan Sheikh, an opinion shared by Mogadishu University's Dirie.

"I think some people in Kenya want to revive the Jubaland initiative," Sheikh added.



Next stop Eastleigh

The Kenyan government plans to target Al-Shabab elements in the capital, Nairobi, especially in Eastleigh, a district heavily populated by ethnic Somalis of both Kenyan and Somali nationality, who frequently complain of harassment by police.

The Islamist insurgency "is like a big animal, with the tail in Somalia and the head of the animal is hidden here in Eastleigh", Internal Security Assistant Minister Orwa Ojodeh told parliament on 19 October.

The group would be targeted by "the mother of all operations" in Nairobi, he said, adding that orders had been given to search passengers travelling by bus from northern and eastern regions of the country.

Mohamed Mohamud Gutal of the Eastleigh District Business Association described the statement as "discriminatory".

"If this is about security, the way to go is to talk to the people and ask them for their help. We would gladly help improve security because it is in our interest," he told IRIN.

"If they really are after criminals, they know who they are and where they are," said an Eastleigh businesswoman, who asked not to be named. "They should target them. Why go after an entire area that gives this government so much tax money? Any operation that targets Eastleigh will be seen as targeting Somali-owned businesses."

Read also:
Refugees fear increased police harassment [ ]
When a low profile is key to survival [ ]
Urban refugees need legal clarity [ ]
Raids and rancour [ ]


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


New York, Oct 19 2011 11:10AM
A new <"">report by the United Nations labour agency warns of a youth jobs crisis in both developed and developing countries, with young people aged 15 to 24 finding it increasingly difficult to obtain decent employment and future prospects are dim.

As it released its <"">"Global Employment Trends for Youth: 2011 Update," the International Labour Organization (ILO) notes that the recent global economic crisis led to a "substantial" increase in youth unemployment rates, reversing earlier favourable trends over the past decade.

At the peak of the crisis period in 2009, the global youth unemployment rate saw its largest annual increase on record, rising from 11.8 per cent to 12.7 per cent between 2008 and 2009 – an unprecedented increase of 4.5 million unemployed youth worldwide.

The average increase of the pre-crisis period (1997-2007) was less than 100,000 persons per year.

The report says the absolute number of unemployed youth fell slightly since its peak in 2009 – from 75.8 million to 75.1 million in late 2010, a drop of 12.7 per cent – and is expected to decline to 74.6 million in 2011, or 12.6 per cent.

However, this is due more to youth withdrawing from the labour market, rather than finding jobs. This is especially true in the developed economies and the European Union region.

The agency <"">warns of a "scarred" generation of young workers and growing frustration amid millions of youth worldwide who are facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and precarious work.

If youth unemployment were examined alone, states the report, one might wrongly guess that young people in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are doing well compared to the developed economies, when in fact the high employment-to-population ratios of youth in the poorest regions mean the poor have no choice but work.

"There are by far more young people around the world that are stuck in circumstances of working poverty than are without work or looking for work," the report points out.

It also notes that the collective frustration among youth has been a contributing factor to protest movements around the world this year, as it becomes increasingly difficult for young people to find anything other than part-time and temporary work.

It adds that the "bad luck of the generation entering the labour market in the years of the Great Recession brings not only current discomfort from unemployment, under-employment and the stress of social hazards associated with joblessness and prolonged inactivity, but also possible longer-term consequences in terms of lower future wages and distrust of the political and economic system."

"These new statistics reflect the frustration and anger that millions of youth around the world are feeling," said José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Director of the ILO Employment Sector.

He noted that governments are struggling to find innovative solutions through labour market interventions such as addressing skills mismatches, job search support, entrepreneurship training and subsidies to hiring.

"These measures can make a difference, but ultimately more jobs must come from measures beyond the labour market that aim to remove obstacles to growth recovery such as accelerating the repair of the financial system, bank restructuring and recapitalization to re-launch credit to small- and medium-sized enterprises, and real progress in global demand rebalancing," he said.

The report offers a series of policy measures for promoting youth employment, including developing an integrated strategy for growth and job creation with a focus on young people as well as improving the quality of jobs and investing in the quality of education and training.

Perhaps most important of all, according to the report, is to pursue financial and macroeconomic policies that aim to remove obstacles to economic recovery.

Somaliland: A Rudderless Government?

Somaliland: A Rudderless Government?
Written by Ahmed Kheyre   

On June 26th, 2010, a majority of Somalilanders, a strong majority, voted for and welcomed a new government from the KUMIYE party under the leadership of Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud "Siilaanyo". Fifteen months later, a lot of these voters are wondering if they had made right choice.

After almost a decade of UDUB government´s under the late Mohamed Ibrahim Egal and his successor Dahir Rayale Kahin, Somalilanders vote for a change and a new direction. However, it is very doubtful that they voted for a rudderless government, without a sense of direction and bereft of strong political leadership.

A government with a domestic policy that is yet to take shape, a foreign policy that is adrift in turbulent international water, and the foul odour of alleged graft and corruption.

At this stage, this article emphasis that Somaliland remains a beacon of hope, progress and stability in an otherwise insecure region that is the Horn of Africa. Somaliland´s tried and test formula of dialogue, discussion and consensus remains in place. Somaliland remains a tolerant, inclusive and democratic nation which has over twenty years contributed to stability, development and democratization of the region.

It is therefore imperative, for reader, to appreciate that this article is a critical evaluation of the current government in Somaliland, nothing more, and nothing less.

After a decade in opposition, KULMIYE, under the leadership of Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud "Siilaanyo" came into power in a thumping victory, which left in no doubt the need for change desired by the Somaliland electorate. The second presidential election in Somaliland´s history took place in a free and fair manner, followed by the smooth transition of power unheard of in Africa and in many other places across the globe.

The new government came into office raring to go, with a lot of goodwill and most importantly of all a legitimate and solid mandate from the Somaliland electorate. The new government´s agenda was ambitious and extensive. This new agenda was formulated after a decade in opposition and presented with skill to the Somaliland public. 

The new government´s agenda on domestic policy was seen as a new deal for Somaliland; a pledge to develop Somaliland´s infrastructure, increase revenue, upgrade public services, such as schools and hospitals, fight corruption and restore good governance. 

On the international front, the new government´s foreign policy was aimed at extensive engagements to further Somaliland´s quest for de-jure recognition.

After fifteen months in power, the government´s domestic and foreign policy are in tatters. The president, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud "Siilaanyo", a normally genial and avuncular person, appears isolated, out of touch and reduced to middle of the night rants on national television. Mr. Siilaanyo is surrounded by an inner cabinet in the presidency which intends to control access and information to the President. Not, even the usually vocal and straight forward KULMIYE chair, Muse Bihi can get through the political cordon surrounding the president.

The government´s most talented, effective and progressive officials are leaving in droves. The Somaliland public is becoming disenchanted and disillusioned, all in fewer than two years.

How did all this come about?

First of all, President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud still has three and half years left in his term, and may win re-election in 2015. There is still plenty of time left steady the ship and head for the right direction. But, if matters continue on their current course, it is very doubtful that things would be better in 2015, they may well worse, much worse.

The main issue in Somaliland, the only issue, both domestic and foreign, is the sovereignty of the country. Everything else is secondary. Under this government, Somaliland´s sovereignty appears to be under assault, both internally and externally.

Without a strong domestic policy; unity, territorial integrity, a common purpose, inclusiveness, tolerance and dialogue; there is no foreign policy, and vice-versa.

It is a great irony that a government which has some of the most patriotic members in Somaliland´s history at should find itself so vulnerable, and it is all the government´s doing!

Say what you would like about the previous government, but in terms of Somaliland´s number one issue, sovereignty, there is no doubt about their fidelity to the nation´s aim. The recent Wiki-leaks diplomatic cables are ample proof.

The main problem facing the current government is not due to a lack of talent, knowledge, drive or patriotism, it is a lack of leadership. Political leadership, not personal leadership is the cause of the government lack of a sense of direction.

The government´s ambitious domestic agenda is not gaining any traction; it is deeply mired in controversy and incompetence. Instead of improvement in Somaliland´s infrastructure, things appear to be getting worse, particularly in the key public services sector, such as security, hospitals and school, to highlight a few areas.

There have been alleged reports of rampant corruption within the government and uncomfortably close to the President. Allegations made by some of the Somaliland´s leading media outlets, include the contracts for the increased security installations at some of Somaliland´s main facilities, the Drysdale saga, the currency printing contract, the Berbera cement factory license, the Somaliland Defence Force census, the communication bill, and the student scholarships to Turkey and Uganda, just to name a few.

Then there are the other miss-steps by the government. For example, the expansion of political parties was a core campaign promise by the KULMIYE party prior to the last presidential election. The expansion served a political purpose, to emasculate a strong opposition by allowing a plethora of political party to emerge. 

Although, there was a strong opposition to this bill, partly based on political survival by the opposition parties, UDUB and UCID, and from concerned Somalilanders worried about repeating the experience of the 1960´s when formation of countless political parties led to corruption, mayhem and eventual military coup in the defunct Somali Republic. The bill was pushed through a disturbingly toothless and in-effective Somaliland parliament.

Today, in Somaliland, as a result of this bill, there is the spectacle of the Somaliland speaker of parliament, Abdurahman Abdillahi Irro, having failed to take over his old party UICD, resigning from that party, forming his own party, Wadani, and yet refusing to relinquish the Speaker´s chair!. A plethora of new parties have been formed, some solely based on community affiliation. Exactly, the results the government expected, and precisely what the majority of Somalilanders feared. 

If the idea behind bill was to maintain KULMIYE´s ascendancy, it has worked a treat; unfortunately, it is has put Somaliland´s nascent democratic process in serious jeopardy.

Another miss-step by the current Somaliland government was the recent humanitarian trip to take Somaliland´s donations to the help drought stricken in Somalia. The trip had the support and backing of the government, and has back-fired in a spectacular fashion!

It was right and proper to help those suffering in Somalia, but charity begins at home. There are a lot of Somalilanders who need the support and assistance of their own government. 

The idea behind the Somaliland assistance to Somalia may have been a noble one, filled with good intentions, but, as expected, it was used by the politicians in Somalia to try and undermine Somaliland. 

The apparent economic, administrative and political neglect of the eastern regions of Somaliland is another failure by the current Somaliland government, which needs a strong and effective remedy.

We now come to Somaliland foreign policy under this current government, which appears to consist of the foreign minister, Dr. Mohamed Abdillahi Omar, a young, energetic, educated and very inexperienced politician meeting and talking with un-elected and un-representative operators from the various administrations in the region! Somaliland with its democratic credentials should not give legitimacy to these entities.

Somaliland should always take the strong position in its foreign policy, i.e. Somaliland´s sovereignty is sacrosanct and non-negotiable, especially with un-elected political opportunists parachuted from overseas to fill their pocket with aid money and return to comfortable exile whilst their poor people continue to suffer.

In conclusion, Somaliland finds itself at its most vulnerable situation under this government since 1991. The country´s domestic and foreign policies require strong and steady political leadership, from the President on down, through all of Somaliland´s national and political institutions.

Fortunately, there remain the true vanguards of Somaliland´s independence, security, stability and progress: the Somaliland citizens.
It is these citizens who sacrificed for their independence and freedom, and who must remain, vigilant, united with a common purpose and goals.

Ahmed Kheyre