Monday, July 30, 2012

The Stench of Hypocrisy Rising From Hargeisa

The Stench of Hypocrisy Rising From Hargeisa
Jamal Madar

At an impromptu press conference held at the Presidential Palace in the wee hours of the night of 29th September 2011 when almost everyone in Somaliland was fast asleep, president Ahmed Silanyo came down from his upstairs residence, huffing and puffing with anger, and appeared before a hastily arranged television news cameras in his office.

The president uncharacteristically launched a blistering attack on Faisal Ali Warabe, the leader of the Welfare and Justice Party known by its Somali acronym, UCID.
“I would like to talk about the opposition parties namely UDUB and UCID, especially Faisal Ali Warabe, with particular reference to his recent utterances and the offensive words that keep tumbling out of his mouth to which he has become accustomed whenever he miserably fails to perform his duties and responsibilities and finds himself in a difficult situation.” the president said angrily, frothing at the corners of his mouth.

“Knowing his negative place in history, his snitching on UFO (elite volunteers group) colleagues, he still has the audacity to continue to use offensive remarks and disgusting language, which no one can stand. Mr. Faisal, the people know your unsavoury past and how much support in terms of votes [presidential elections] you have received from them. You know that the people have reached their decision and held their noses against you [presidential election loss]. They said to you: uf [Yuck, you’re so disgusting] even though you invoked clanism and claimed that Hargeysa is yours. You are the one who was saying ‘I will go to the South [return back to the fold]’.

Every day, you are there, making nonsensical speeches and people have witnessed your alarming display of hateful, offensive and bigoted words and actions. Enough is enough. We will no longer tolerate and be at the receiving end of your unacceptable behaviour.” the president ended his statement and returned back to his residence without answering any questions.

The president’s press conference have been aired in its entirety on the state controlled television, SLNT, uncut and unedited.

The nation reeled with shock and jaw-dropping disbelief as these comments had been bereft of the diplomacy expected of a leader of Silanyo’s pedigree. There were howls of rage and cheers of gratitude from both sides of the political divide.

In fairness, the president has gone overboard in his deeply passionate attack on Faisal as he delivered hammer-like blows that were way below the belt. Stunned and speechless, Faisal found himself on the ropes and had no option other than to throw in the white towel.

On many an occasion Faisal took jabs at the president but this time the president gleefully hit Faisal where it hurts most and sent him scurrying away from the public arena for a good while. And the land finally had a rest from the loudmouth opposition leader.

Until now, it remains somewhat bizarre to this date why Faisal’s comments triggered such strong emotional response from the president. Apparently, Faisal inadvertently pressed a hot political button, which he shouldn’t have pressed.

This highly controversial public outburst against Faisal was not only limited to the President.
Five months earlier, in February, 2011, the minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Mohammed Abdillahi Omer, had angrily reacted to remarks made by Faisal Ali Warabe.

Faisal exhibited with much bravado in his showdown with the foreign minister by openly and publicly accusing him of committing “a high treason” because of his attendance to, and participation in, the Wilton Park Conference on Somalia held in the UK in February 2011. Although there was some truth in his statement in the sense that the minister had actually participated in the Wilton Park conference which was mainly concerned with Somalia’s affairs nonetheless the remarks that the minister committed a high treason was not only grossly unfair but had gone far beyond the limit of acceptability.

“We believe that this constitutes a high treason and the minister should be brought before a court of law. Those who believe otherwise are only looking at things through clan lenses.” said Faisal Ali Warabe.
“If Mohammed [foreign minister] participates in another conference on Somalia, then he will definitely not going to represent me; and cannot speak for me. I want to make it perfectly clear, unless he should desist from attending these conferences on Somalia without consultation, I, too, will go to Somalia on behalf of my clan or my own behalf.” Faisal’s statement could not have been more clear and explicit.

The minister took off the kid gloves and came out swinging, “One of those opposition members who are misleading the public about the purpose of this conference [Wilton Park] is the leader of UCID, Faisal Ali Warabe, whom I personally perceive him as a failed politician. He failed in his presidential bid twice after the people had resoundingly rejected him in national elections. His abject failure stems from his unsettledness and chameleon-like behaviour of changing from one personality to another.” The minister did not end his attack there but he was yet to reserve his most scathing attack on Faisal.

The minister continued: “Faisal said that the participation of Somaliland in Wilton Park conference could lead to the disintegration of the country into clan fiefdoms. We see that such statement are solely intended to create a situation detrimental to the national security of the country. I do not know any Somaliland citizen who has committed treason against this country other than Faisal himself. Faisal has not yet cleared himself of the charges of espionage that he committed against his UFO comrades.”

Although more often than not the president and his foreign minister rarely sing from the same page, this time around they marched in lockstep with each other in their ferocious, no-holds-barred attack on Faisal.
As evident from these statement, the president and the foreign minister both categorically stated that Faisal is not only a man who wants to return [Somaliland] back to the fold [Somalia] but rather he is a man who could not be trusted because of his past treachery.

Many people relied on Faisal for his unflinching and robust defense against proponents of greater Somalia. But this time Faisal had gone beyond the fence of Somaliland. He went to see an old friend of his who is currently serving as an ambassador for Somalia’s TFG in the UAE. According to BBC Somali radio interview, Faisal asked the ambassador to arrange an appointment for him to meet with president Sheikh Sharif who was coming there for a private visit. Finally, Faisal met with Sheikh Sharif. No one knows what transpired between Faisal and Sheikh Sharif other than what Faisal told the press. This is the same Fiasal who said in the past “a child born in Addis Ababa is closer to me than a child born in Mogadishu.”

Yet, the president and his foreign minister who castigated Faisal mercilessly in their press conferences recently appointed him to be a leading member of Somaliland government’s official negotiating team assigned to negotiate with Somalia about the future relationship of the two countries. In other words, the maverick opposition leader that both the president and his foreign minister told us in the clearest language possible that he is a treacherous man have now been allowed to be privy to the sensitive information and confidential negotiations between Somaliland and Somalia. Can you smell the foul odour of hypocrisy here?

When the president, who is the highest authority in the land, holds a press conference and appears on the TV, we ought to believe his word. And needless to say his word carry a considerable weight. But what about when the president say something but does another as in this case.

Was the president feeding us propaganda when he held the press conference at midnight and could not even wait until the morning? Was the foreign minister lying to the public when he described Faisal as a man with treacherous past?

If both the president and minister were not telling us the truth in their press conferences, shouldn’t they have apologized to Faisal and to the public at large?

How would the president explain the glaring inconsistency in which he and his minister branded Faisal a treacherous man as well as someone who wants to return back to the fold [Somalia] and at the same time allow him to be a member of the government’s official negotiating team? This hypocrisy rising from the presidential palace and foreign office can be smelled from miles away.

The office of The President is synonymous with duty, respect, trust, leadership, and making the best decisions and taking the best actions.

It is also important to point out the principle that a public office is a public trust.
When there is a lack of trust there is continuous suspicion and doubt about so many things unless the public trust is fully restored.

First, the government must stop taking refuge in hypocrisy and double-talk whenever it finds itself in a tight spot. Secondly, in order to restore some measure of credibility the government MUST reshuffle its negotiating team and make it an all inclusive team where there is no special interest group pulling at one end of the rope in their direction as is the case right now.

Until then, there will be a question mark hanging over the so-called successful outcome of the much-touted negotiations between Somaliland and Somalia because of the government’s apparent credibility deficit.

Jamal Madar

Horn Newspaper Editorial : The Kulmiye or is it UDUB election Saga?

Horn Newspaper Editorial : The Kulmiye or is it UDUB election Saga?

The ongoing local council elections saga makes one believe that it is UDUB party and not Kulmiye in power. WHY?

When the leader of UDUB party Hon Dahir Rayale Kahin was the incumbent at the newly renovated presidency, the current incumbent H.E. Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo was rabble rousing through the current ruling political machinery of Kulmiye then in opposition and very bitter opposition at that

The then Silanyo Favourite rabble rousing gimmick mainly pertained to elections (presidential, local council & parliamentary) delays effected by Rayale of course with the acquiescence of Kulmiye and UCID
Come the Silanyo led Kulmiye Cartel with the campaign promises of not only holding elections on time but legalizing the registration of political groups.

Sure to the campaign pledge political groups were legalized with 15 being registered and later reduced to 6 after some machinations that. This saga continues with the over 1,000,000 supporters of the 9 political groups rejected by the Political Parties Registration & Verification Committee, accusing the government of denying them their constitutional rights. (This saga is to be visited on this column soon)

As per current election saga, Silanyo and his Kulmiye cartel are out of excuses on reasons behind never ending postponements not withstanding all arrangements being ready as per the national elections commission.

The local council elections saga is surely to end in indefinite postponement if Saturday’s position by the NEC chair Commissioner Hamari is a pointer. The NEC boss told legislators that their rejection of an election law amendment that would negate the use of candidates’ symbols will treble the budgeted expenditure as well as create a managerial nightmare.

Since Silanyo came to power this was the first setback his administration has received from the honourable members who had usually rubberstamped anything from the presidency. The sedition law on engaging with Somalia

Various elections laws that ended scrapping the voters register, legalizing the continued of office for elected officials defecting from original sponsoring party, to mention just a few. While Somalilanders have in their ignorance supported all Silanyo machinations a point has reached where they have started questioning their blind loyalty.




President Silanyo most of your actions in the two years you have been in office are exactly what you usually accused RAYALE of.

To distinguish yourself and reclaim the 100% loyalties of your ever faithful subjects kindly open the doors of the local council elections

On second thoughts is it possible that ex-president RAYALE is the actual ruler considering the recent closeness discerned?

If RAYALE is back in control then it is surely not a Kulmiye but UDUB election Saga.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dr Zakir Naik - The Holy Month Of Ramadan

Deciphering Meles Zenawi’s hatred of Ethiopia

Ethiopian Review
Deciphering Meles Zenawi’s hatred of Ethiopia |
By Messay Kebede

Meles Zenawi’s blatant hatred of Ethiopia is a puzzle that Ethiopian intellectual circles have in vain tried to decipher.While some propose the suggestion that the hatred betrays his commitment to his Eritrean side, others consider it as an expression of his ethnic racism. Still others remain baffled, unable as they are to understand how he revels in denigrating the object of his obsession, namely, state power. One thing is sure, however, they all agree on the idea that his overall policy and its day-to-day implementation make sense only from the vantage point of a project to ransack Ethiopia’s resources and leave the rest to the vultures of ethnic secessionism. Harsh dictators have ruled Ethiopia in the past, but all considered themselves as Ethiopians. What is new with Meles is his anti-Ethiopian stand and his open contempt for whatever is Ethiopian.

Yet, one important element liable to explain Meles’s hatred has been with us for quite some time. I have in mind the history of his family, which is a history marred by collaboration with the occupying Italian forces. Notably, his grandfather not only worked for the Italians, but he was also an appointee and an office holder. What this means is that Meles had to deal very early with this family shame, which according to testimonies brought scorn and isolation on his family.

Now, there are two ways of dealing with this kind of existential predicament. There is the positive way according to which the person affected by family disgrace tries to behave in such a way as to repair the fault. In the case of Meles, this would mean showing a renewed and active commitment to Ethiopia. This is the path of expiation, which requires a serious self-examination and, mostly, a great amount of courage. All the available and trustworthy testimonies about Meles agree on the fact that courage was and is not one of his virtues.

There remains the second path, which is negative and consonant with the lack of courage. It is the path of denial, that is, the denial of betrayal. In order to accomplish this metamorphosis, Meles has to demean Ethiopia and devalue all its accomplishments. The more he belittles Ethiopia, the more he weakens the gravity of the family betrayal, and the less guilty and stained he feels. There was no betrayal since what his family supposedly betrayed was just a trash.

The path of denial nurtures hatred for the simple reason that hatred is a self-defense, a counter to the feeling of being despised by others. When you feel that other people despise you, you react by developing an intense dislike for them as a way of protecting yourself. If you hate them, you get rid of all scruples and sensitivity and adopt the principle that all means are good to hurt them.

This hatred partially explains Meles’s rapid rise to the leadership of the TPLF. Who else could best express and incarnate the rage of the TPLF against the Ethiopian state and army but Meles, who in addition to sharing with other members the resentment against the marginalization of Tigray, had on him the personal scar of national betrayal. While anger motivated most members, Meles had a stronger torment: he was humiliated and could not rest until he humiliated the source of his own dishonor.

Meles’s characterization of the Ethiopian national flag as nothing but a trash, his persistence in reducing Ethiopian history to mere conquest and subordination, his delight in debunking Ethiopian heroes, his ritual of jailing pro-Ethiopian leaders and releasing them after forcing them to sign degrading letters, etc., are all part of his strategy to humiliate Ethiopia in order to feel good about himself. Add to this that his long-standing hatred has been reignited by his electoral defeat in 2005, which defeat he was quick to interpret as another attempt to humiliate him. Because the defeat revived an old wound, his crackdown on the opposition and protesters was bound to be brutal.

This is, then, an appeal to Meles urging him to psychoanalyze himself so as to become aware of the deep wound that constantly perverts his policy and contradicts his dream of becoming a great leader. As we all know, in matters of spiritual illness, awareness of the cause is an efficient cure so that the second path, the path of expiation through great deeds is still open to him. No amount of power can erase his shame so long as Meles continues to hang his rehabilitation on the trashing of Ethiopia. For the more he lowers Ethiopia, the less gratifying becomes his dominion. This contradiction is the reason why he wants more power, even though the discredit of the nation cheapens his power. In other words, the cure lies, not in the mistreatment of Ethiopia, but in its promotion, that is, in the commitment to overcome his shame through good works.

Deciphering Meles Zenawi’s hatred of Ethiopia

(Prof. Messay Kebede can be reached at

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dayeer Diaries: Democratic Governance & the Rule of Law in Somaliland

Dayeer Diaries: Democratic Governance & the Rule of Law in Somaliland 

Ahmed M.I. Egal has particular interest in Somali affairs about which he has written extensively, as well as issues concerning African political economy and international politics.

By Ahmed M.I. Egal - The demand for protection against arbitrary rule and punishment provided by the rule of law dates back to medieval times when feudal barons demanded and wrested such protections from King John of England in 1215 under the Magna Carta. Thus, this “Great Charter” has been referenced as one of the core foundations of the of the system of representative government that is called democracy. In Somaliland, the principle of protection against an arbitrary executive enshrined in the rule of law has a particular resonance and was one of the core principles underlying the deep desire of the people to vanquish the Afweyne dictatorship and recover their sovereignty. In Somali society the principle of equality before the law and the impartial application of justice are ingrained indelibly in both the nomadic culture and in the religious faith of the society.

Professor Ioan M. Lewis, the doyen of Somali studies, in his seminal study, “A Pastoral Democracy” described the political organisation of traditional, nomadic Somali society as “democratic to the point of anarchy” for a very good reason. Quite simply, Somali nomadic culture has no tradition of strong chiefs or other executive authority. People govern themselves through an open, participatory and essentially egalitarian system whereby all male members of a clan or sub-clan gather in an open meeting and discuss the issue at hand, during which a collective decision is reached which is binding upon all. Individual clan members submit to the will of the majority of their kinsmen voluntarily and willingly, there is no compulsion, save the moral and ethical impetus to accept the decisions of the group in order to remain a responsible member and enjoy the benefits flowing from said membership.

It is important to outline the socio-cultural roots of the relationship between the people of Somaliland and the rule of law in our society, in order to highlight the dangers inherent in the flagrant and criminal flouting of the law by the Silanyo government. The first major misstep committed by the Silanyo administration with respect to the rule of law was the decision to attend the Wilton Park conference on Somalia which was entitled: “Somalia: Building Stability, Accepting Reality” held on 7-9 February 2011, in clear and direct contravention of the law prohibiting participation in any meetings or conferences held for Somalia passed jointly by the two houses of parliament on 11 October 2003. The administration used tortuous syntax and outright mendacity to try to convince the public that it was not acting outside the law of the land by attending the Wilton Park meeting on Somalia, but the simple truth is that everyone knew that it was breaking the law, and that it didn’t care that it was doing so.

During this period, the administration also welcomed and rehabilitated Somaliland citizens that had flouted the same law, rather than bring them before the courts, e.g. the rehabilitation of Mohamud Abdillahi Jama (Sifir) and his appointment as Ambassador to Kenya, with no reference at all to his long held and publicly stated opposition to Somaliland’s independence and concomitant advocacy of Somaliweyn. This was followed by the attendance of the London Conference on Somalia on 23th February 2012, and the follow-on conference held in Istanbul on 31st May/1st June 2012. The clear message the administration was sending was that it simply did not feel itself bound by this particular law with which it disagreed.

In response to the government’s flouting of the law, indeed acting as if the law did not exist, other political actors decided to do likewise. Thus, in response to tempting offers of large payments of US Dollars many clan elders, particularly newly-minted ones that have been given the telling and terrific moniker of ‘prepaid’ in Somaliland street parlance in order to evidence their similarity to prepaid SIM cards, decided to accept the generous offers and travelled to Mogadishu to participate in the conference of clan elders being held in Mogadishu to approve the new constitution for Somalia’s new government under the Roadmap. In a bid to bring these ‘elders’ to heel, the government belatedly discovered the 2003 law and proposed an amendment to said law permitting the government to attend any such meetings that it deemed to be in Somaliland’s interest, while maintaining the blanket prohibition for all other actors, individual or organisational. Of course, the, mainly prepaid, elders responded to the administration’s admonition of “do as I say, not as I do” with the tart rejoinder “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” as could have been anticipated by any seasoned observer.

The second major example of this administration’s flagrant flouting of the law is the ultra vires and repeated imprisonment of its political opponents and independent journalists on flimsy or entirely trumped up charges. The most notable example of this illegal incarceration of political opponents was the imprisonment of Boqor Osman Aw-Mahamoud (Buur Madow) on ludicrous charges of treason for voicing criticism of the Silanyo administration. In the end, unable to withstand the huge and mounting pressure within the country and from abroad, including public appeals from Amnesty International, the administration was forced to free Buur Madow last week. However, the arbitrary arrests and imprisonment without charge of independent journalists continues unabated and shows no sign of diminishing. It is very telling that the head of the Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) recently stated that the Silanyo administration has managed to arbitrarily arrest and imprison more journalists in its first two years in office than the previous Rayalle administration during its entire eight years in office. And this, from the same people that used to champion the freedom of the press when they were in opposition!

The third major example of the administration’s disregard for the rule of law, is the corrosive culture of corruption that surrounds and envelops this government as none other before it. The administration seems unwilling or unable to shake off this widespread and toxic perception of corruption that taints all of its activities and officials, even into the Presidency itself. It seems that nearly every week yet another revelation of financial misdeeds and misappropriation of public funds involving public officials or their relatives comes to light with no convincing refutation from the government. This perception is given much credence and veracity by the resignation some short time ago of Mohamed Hashi, the former Finance Minister who is widely regarded as personally honest and incorruptible, irrespective of his politics, with which many, including this writer, disagreed. The fact that Mr. Hashi left the government shortly after a dispute with Cabinet colleagues over alleged misappropriation of public funds, which he lost, merely confirms this widely held perception of endemic corruption within the administration.

In conclusion, the Silanyo administration, more than any other government in Somaliland’s short history, is widely perceived as one that not only rides roughshod over the law of the land, but that can indeed be characterised as criminal in nature. If the elected government of the land does not respect the constitution and the rule of law under which it came to power, then there is little hope that other political actors will. We have already seen the consequences of this blatant disregard for the law in the growing embroilment of Somaliland clan elders (prepaid and/or genuine) in the farcical Roadmap process in Somalia, as well as in the culture of impunity and corruption among lower and midlevel bureaucrats within government. If this growing cancer within our body politic is not arrested and reversed soon, it will poison our politics and destroy the democracy we have so assiduously built in ‘Africa’s best kept secret’.

Dayeer Diaries appear regularly @

Somaliland cause on clash with the ruler’s bottom line

Somaliland cause on clash with the ruler’s bottom line 

 Ibrahim Mead 


Is the government seditious it self? I am not saying they are, however their actions, inactions and reactions regarding the sovereignty and independence of our home land are worrisome indeed! In the end history will answer that question unambiguously, unkindly, clearly. Is the government corrupt? With out question they are, and they know they are!
We elect People rationally or irrationally and they take oath to serve, protect, safeguard, and promote the cause of Somaliland, and develop the people and the country. No one elects them for their own profit making venture out of the meager revenue collected from the poor men and women selling small quantities of produce in the streets! When these two diametrically different agendas collide like they did in Somaliland it turns out that the nation’s agenda suffers despondently despite hiding it by way of lying about it!
Siilanyo never had a governing strategy in the first place, however he had a political strategy by which he threw the kulmiye party manifesto in which we put much effort in to the dust pin and pulled a hidden political agenda from the back pocket of his pants upon announcement of his win! That was why he avoided the party veterans and collected inexperienced; unconcerned and emotionally unconnected crowd as far as the national conscience is concerned! That is also called betrayal.
There is no vision, no clear picture in where Somaliland is going as far as we can see! There is no conviction, confidence and clarity regarding the cause of Somaliland!
There is a vision disability which reduces one’s ability to see things clearly, but there is an area where the Siilanyo administration sees things not only clearly but sees it in super focus and that is their bottom line, their personal enrichment and political entrenchment!
They changed the definition of what governance means. They changed the concept of governance. They changed who’s the government was supposed to serve. They changed it in to a family and friends enterprise!
Governance is defined as: “the conscious management of regime structure with the intent to enhance the public realm” not to enhance the realm of family and friends.
A systematic fraud and outright theft of public funds and assets have become part of the culture of governance in Siilanyo’s administration
corruption and inexperience is the most serious stumbling block to govern justly and it is there in Mr. Siilanyo’s administration
Mr. Siilanyo is the honey bee and being that bee a lot of bees are around him. The question is what is that honey? That honey is ‘Money, people’s money and the bees around that honey are his Ministers and those who are connected with them!’
The administration which is chasing money was supposed to go all-out for the recognition and the independence of Somaliland and above all uphold its dignity and integrity, but the two differing agendas are parallel and can not be compatible and can not meet!
A serious agenda from a serious leadership sets its narrative before others set that for them. Somaliland leadership failed to set its agenda according to their constitutions and according to the wishes and aspiration of their people! An unelected, Djibouti made ‘Awo’shreif who does not represent any community except his government which does not represent any one set the narrative for Somaliland! He likened the people of Somaliland like a women who left her husband in anger. He addressed Somaliland as “our Northern brothers whom their concern will be addressed” He was like- he was saying, “come back to your husband he will give you ‘Xaal’ “no one told Mr. Shareef, shut up!
The basic bargain and the bedrock of this country-Somaliland were and should be to realize the bargain it self and that is striving and winning the independence and sovereignty of Somaliland. That seemed compromised by way of corruption, and incompetence and probably deception on the part of Siilanyo’s administration!
The people are in one direction and that is towards its bedrock which is its rightful and legal independence. Siilanyo and his functionaries are in an opposite direction!
They are chasing the money. They are minding their interest, so Mr. Siilanyo and the people are travelling in parallel paths. These two parallel paths are irreconcilable.

Mr. Siilanyo must come back to the right path, the people’s path, the path of serving the people of Somaliland. He either must lead honestly, or get out of the way. Two choices he is not ready to abide! The end result of his insistence of what he is doing now is a perfect recipe for conflicts, destabilization and even war
Deception is a tool they perfected in averting the attention of the people but Allah “is not guiding the snares of the false ones” that is why Allah is uncovering what they want to cover and hide from the people

When at any point the government becomes corrupted and is subverting the Somaliland constitution in favor of hidden agendas it pursues and is no longer doing the job they were elected in good faith, then it is right to below the horn as to expose them and that is the least a conscionable people can do. It is also reasonable to wonder whether the government is seditious it self! All signs are pointing in that direction.

Siilanyo’s government is running around arrogantly waving and boasting that they are the winners in London, Istanbul and Dubai gatherings of TFG Somalia and Somaliland. The government of Siilanyo has undertaken deceptive moves in all those gatherings or if that is not the case then they did not know what they were doing!

Facts we know about the British led Somalia and Somaliland conferences in London and else where can be summed up as the following:

a) that the British and the west in general were looking a solution to the Sea piracy and Alshabaab and for that reason to establish yet another government in Somalia was sought the right way to achieve that end. However this time Somaliland was in the mix

b) Somaliland’s president and his government accepted the new chemistry and they defined their acceptance of that mix in oddly different way!
They denied they gave in to the British request / pressurewhen every one knows they did, and with what? With little money which never triggered down!?

c) The unelected foreign made and packaged, Sheik sheriff was the winner with out question. He won more money for his new campaign to become the coming president for Somalia. These conferences also elevated him as a leader of “Somaliween” who called Somaliland not be her name but ‘Northern brothers whom their anger can be managed!’ Mr. Shareef arrogantly boasted that he brought Somaliland to the fold after 20 years Somaliland was separate! That strategy worked for him. The point was that it worked for him and he sold it to the Arabs and others, a win for him. Where did Mr. Siilanyo sign?

d) The President of Somaliland and his government was the losers even when they boast they are the victors. He followed the precooked agenda in one hand and telling his people different things on the other hand!
The national interest of Somaliland which is her sovereignty was not mentioned any where any time in all the different conferences

Alshabaab, the sea piracy, human displacement and wars was Somalia’s problem and not Somaliland’s and that was what the whole conference was all about, besides reconstructing yet another government for Somalia. Where are we in this!?
In this case Siilanyo’s administration willingly joined Somalia’s agenda which indicated that they are part of Somalia despite denying that even when they did!

e) President Siilanyo lost all moral authority to represent the people who through democratic process determined their future and aspiration in a popular referendum after surviving the ethnic cleansing operations of Mogadiho government which they in the end defeated!

f) Somaliland’s cause and case was in the process damaged, demeaned and demagogued!

g) Conflict, instability and probably war will get their way in this stable and peaceful Somaliland if Siilanyo’s ill advised and unwise agenda is not stopped before it gets out of hand.

“I own you,” and a coerced reunification is absolutely out of question whether Mr. Cameron requested it or not. It is a recipe for conflicts, instability and war in the whole horn of Africa so let every body including Siilanyo and Shareif be on notice of that fact!

I am calling the president of Somaliland to correct him self and come back to sanity and to his oath for the people and the country of Somaliland before unwanted consequences of national proportion happens.

Whether or not trust can ever be restored depends on how badly it damaged the nation and how much the damaged nation feels betrayed. If the nation sees their trust was betrayed, then it is understandable how hard it can be to let go. More often than not the betrayed people just want to cut their losses and end the relationship but if they do want to repair the damage, if they want to salvage the relationship and rebuild trust, there are steps they need to follow.

While the Government which damaged the trust has a work to do in earning it back, the people and the country of Somaliland which was hurt also has a job to do. So how can we put things back on track? It’s hard but it can be done and it is up to the Siilanyo to show the peoplethe “Gooder” and swear they will not do what they done again and vow they will correct their wrongs. The problem is that who believes them until they show the people the “Gooder” for real this time? To see the ‘Gooder’ the present pack of this administration must not be around any more!

Peace and prayers
Ibrahim Mead

Friday, July 20, 2012




Waxa bilabantay bishii soonka, bishii quraanka, bishii raxmadda, bishii dambi dhaafka. Waa Ramadaan iyo barakadeedii. Waa fursad Alle ina siiyey inaynu toobad keeno iyo nafta ooynu ku soo dabaalno dariiqa toosan iyo tubta Raxmaanku ina faray.
Waxaan hanbalyo kal iyo laab ah u fidinayaa shacbi-weynaha Somaliland qolqol joog iyo qurbojoogba, iyo dhammaan Islaamka daafaha dunida ku nool. Waa bisha ina mideysa ee meel kasta oo Islaam ku nool yahay maalqabeen iyo quudlaawe ay ka simanyihiin inay soomaan ooyna afka waxba gelin daalaca waaga ilaa guduudka maqrib. Waa cadaalad Alle uu ummadiisa faray inay dartiis u gaajoodaan ooy ogaadaan xanuunka ay leedahay si ay ugu naxaan kuwa sanadkoo dhan ku jira qadoodi iyo qaadaa ma dhergaan. Waa cibaado wadata caafimaad, naxariis iyo raxmad.

Waxaan ummadda ugu baaqayaa inay soonka adkeeyaan ooy raaciyaan salaada faradka ah iyo taraawiixda, sadaqadda iyo quraan akhriska. Waa inayna waqti ku lumin telefishanka iyo riwaayadaha beryahan dunida Islaamka lagu asqeysiiyo Ramadaanka.

Alle henaga yeelo inta dariiqa toosan raacda, inta barakada bishani ayna dhaafin, inta toobadda keenta, inta dhammaadka bisha naarta laga xoreeyo. Waa ayaamo tirsan ee yeyna dhayal kugu dhaafin. 

Axmed Xasan Carwo
La-taliayaha Madaxweynaha ee Dhaqaalaha, 
Ganacsiga iyo Maalgashiga

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

SOMALIA: One million return to Mogadishu

SOMALIA: One million return to Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, 17 July 2012 (IRIN) - Around a million people who fled insecurity and fighting in the Somali capital Mogadishu have returned to the city since August 2011, after the departure of Al-Shabab insurgents, say officials.

"We estimate that about one million people have returned to Mogadishu this year," said Warsame Mohamed Hassan, also known as Jodah, Mogadishu's deputy mayor in charge of security.

Mogadishu's population was estimated at 1.5 million in July 2011 compared to 2.5-3.0 million today, Jodah said.

Some of the returnees are back in their homes, having rebuilt them; others are in temporary shelters in the grounds of their still-ruined residences; others still are in disused government buildings.

Some have returned to find their homes occupied by strangers.

"We fled during the first war in Mogadishu in 1991. We went to Sudan, but later when we returned home, we couldn't go to our house because the people who lived in it did not agree to leave," said Faisa Hassan Ali, a mother of 10 who now lives with her children in a friend's room in the Suqa Xoolaha area of Mogadishu.

"We went to the government and they told us to wait. We are waiting to get back our home."

According to Mogadishu local authorities, at least 80 percent of the properties squatted during the war have been restored to their rightful owners.

The local authorities are standing by to help people reclaim their properties, said Jodah.

Meanwhile, the northern Mogadishu districts of Karan, Shibis and Bondhere, which had previously been empty because of fighting, are now bustling.

Asha Abdillahi Nur, a mother of seven, is among the recent returnees.

"We ran away from Mogadishu in 2006 during the war between Ethiopian forces and [the then ruling Al-Shabab precursor] Union of Islamic Courts, to Elasha Biyaha [in the outskirts of Mogadishu]. We built a house there, but in late May, AMISOM/TFG [African Union Mission to Somalia and Transitional Federal Government] forces clashed with Al-Shabab in Elasha Biyaha and we fled back to Mogadishu... and rented a house," she said.

IDPs on the move

According to an April 2012 UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report, [ ] some 14,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned from the Afgoye corridor, a 30-km-long stretch of road.

At the height of the displacement crisis in 2010 the Afgoye corridor was home to an estimated 400,000 Mogadishu residents, [ ] according to a 22 June UNHCR statement, with an estimated 120,000 IDPs still living there as of May. Most of the Afgoye IDPs fled fighting in Mogadishu between 2007 and 2010.

While large-scale fighting ended in the city in August 2011, other factors - the declaration of famine in July 2011, insecurity in the Afgoye corridor, as well as the scale-up of humanitarian assistance in Mogadishu - have prompted people to return, says UNHCR.

A July UNHCR report [ ] on IDP population estimates said there were about 184,000 IDPs in Mogadishu, though UNHCR also said: "Continuing insecurity in Somalia, multiple displacements and lack of access, make efforts to estimate the IDP population extremely challenging."


Despite the improved security situation, sexual violence, bombings and assassinations continue.

"We believe hundreds of rapes are taking place in Mogadishu per month," said Dunia Mohamed Arab, chairman of one of the local NGOs working on gender-based violence in Mogadishu. Most rape victims are females aged 15-25, she said.

"Some of the rapes are committed by IDPs and some by men wearing the uniform of government forces. Most of the rapes happen near alcohol-selling centres in IDP camps, or near police checkpoints in the camps."

But according to TFG Minister for Women and Family Development Maryan Aweis Jama, the number of rape cases has decreased in the last three months compared to the start of 2012.

While 39-45 cases of rape were reported per month between January and February, 17-29 cases were recorded between March and June, she said.

"Of course there are some security incidents in Mogadishu, but that does not mean Mogadishu is not secure, said Jodah.

"Even though there are some incidents of insecurity, such as bombings and assassinations... the people of Mogadishu are now returning their original homes with high hopes," said a police official who preferred anonymity.

Lack of skilled labour

Amid renewed hope, new buildings are coming up in Mogadishu although there is a lack of adequate skilled labour - most masons having fled to places like Gal-Mudug, Puntland, Somaliland and Djibouti.

To fill the gap, the TFG is calling for the setting up of vocational training schools. "We believe that only 10,000 skilled workers returned to Mogadishu [in addition to] 20,000 who were in the town during the war. But due to the high demand in the town, these numbers are not enough," said Aweys Sheikh Hadaad, director-general of the Ministry of Labour, Sports and Social Affairs.

"These schools can contribute [to] the security of the town. For example, we believe 90 percent of people are unemployed." Security could be improved by giving these people jobs or training, he added.

Mogadishu, like most of south-central Somalia, has experienced over two decades of insecurity due to clan-based war resulting in deaths and massive displacement.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

SOMALIA: Tens of thousands need food aid in Somaliland

SOMALIA: Tens of thousands need food aid in Somaliland

HARGEISA, 13 July 2012 (IRIN) - About 120,000 people in the coastal, mid- and far western regions of the self-declared republic of Somaliland require emergency food assistance after four years of failed rains, says Mohamed Mousa Awale, chairman of Somaliland's environment research and disaster preparedness agency.

"We are calling on the international community to help these needy people to save lives," he said.

The most affected areas include the Salel Region localities of Asha-Ado, Lughaya, Garba-Dadar, Gargaara and Waraqa-dhigta where some 450 tons of food aid from Djibouti was distributed on 6 July.

"People [have] gathered in the villages after they lost [all] their animals during the four-year drought," said Sa'ad Ahmed Abdillahi, a member of Zaila District Council. Zaila is the capital of Salel in western Somaliland near the border with Djibouti.

Abdillahi said thousands of former pastoralists in Salel had migrated to areas such as Abdul-Kadir, Asha-Ado, Cel-Gal and Harirad which previously had some remaining water sources.

"Now... there are thousands of families in search of a livelihood. These people have no shelter, food or even medical care."

The four-year drought has caused human deaths, too. "We believe that about 500 mothers lost their lives during [childbirth] because they were malnourished and about 1,500 children died from malnutrition in the four years," added Abdillahi.

Previously, people were able to cope by exchanging some of their livestock for food.

Remittances had also played a role. "Families who have relatives abroad can survive [for] some time, but now it seems that the problem is getting beyond the money that the diaspora Somalilanders send back home," said Sayid Omar, chairman of the Awdal region-based Africa Youth Development Association.

Appeals for help

The village of Garbadadar in the Golis mountains, 125km northwest of Hargeisa, is now hosting several hundred drought-displaced families.

"We came here to search for a livelihood or get support from the government of Somaliland, citizens or international aid workers because we lost our animals. But we are yet to get any; now we are relying on local people's support," Mohamed Hassan, a father of five, told journalists.

"We get some food sometimes, and sometimes we [do] not. We hope the Almighty Allah will help us," said Amina Omar, a mother of three.

In a 24 June statement, Somaliland president Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo) appealed for help in responding to the drought: "It is estimated that up to 20,000 households have been affected. These people require emergency assistance in food, water, medical care and shelter. If we do not respond and attend to their needs immediately, we might lose many of them, particularly the most vulnerable, the young and the old, to starvation and dehydration."

Day-time temperatures in the coastal areas of Somaliland exceed 40 degrees Celsius at this time of year. Somaliland has experienced worsening drought since March. [ ]

A May-June update [ ] by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit expressed concern about the plight of pastoralists with sheep or goats along parts of the Indian Ocean coastline which received poor to no rainfall. A third consecutive failed `Hays' rainy season (December-February) in the Guban area of Awdal region and in the Waqooyi Galbeed region led to a large outmigration of livestock to the nearby Golis mountains.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012



Mawduucan oo ah mid aad u ballaadhan weliba dhinaca Sacuudiga ah badweyn oon gunteeda la gaadhayn waxaan idinku soo koobi doonaa aragti-shinbireed aad u kooban. Waxaan abaari hadafka bulsho ka leedahay kobcinta dhaqaale oo ah horumarinta bulshada dhaqan iyo dhaqaalaba.
Tilmaan kooban aan u soo qaato halkaan aqaanay iyo shaqadeydii.Sharkadda SABIC oo ahayd tii lahayd shirkaddaan ka shaqayn jiray ee ARRAZI, waxay macaashkeedu ahaa 1991 laba bilyan oo sucuudi riyaal ah, halka 2011 uu noqday 29 bilyan, iyadoo iibisay badeecad gaadhaysa 190 bilyan SR hantideeduna tahay 333 bilyan SR ( Total Assets). Intiina jecel cabirka doolarka Maraykan sarifku waa 3.75 SR halkii doolar. Tilmaantaas waxa aad ka dheegan kartaa xawliga dhaqaalaha Sacuudigu ku kordhay. Haddaba aan toos ugu baqoolo gunta hadalka oo ah siduu u bedelay nolasha dadweynaha?

Waxa aan aad ula dhacay sida loo habeeyey kheyraadka dalka iyo shirkadaha halbowlaha u ah dhaqaalaha dalka. Fikradaas oo ah mid aan aad u aaminsanay, kuna dhisan sida ugu habboon ee kheyraadka dalka loo gaadhsiin karo bulshosweynta waddanka. Waana fikrad ku dhisan cadaaladda bulsho. Shirkadaha Baananka, Leydhka, Wershadaha kimikada sida SABIC, Sibidhka iwm, waxa xukuumaddu u sameysay hab saamiyaal ah oo dadweynaha loo farsameeyo si ay ugu iibsadaan samiyaale sicir kooban leh oo qof waliba iibsan karo. Waxa taas laga badbaadiyey in kheyraadka dalku u gacan galo maalqabeen tiro kooban, kolkaas ayaa la xadiday inta qofku iibsan karo iyadoo kolka hore la fadilaayo dadweynaha tirada yar raba inay iibsadaan. Qofba qofkuu ka dalab yar yahayna laga fuudh yeelo. Waa argti ku salaysan in la helo bulsho u soo jeeda maalgashiga oo ka guurta lacagta barkinta hoosteeda taal een waxba soo kordhin. Waxa mudnaanta leh danyarta rabta inay dakhligooda kooban wallow 10 doolarna ha ahaatee ayna qayb ka helaan kheyraadka dalka.

Waxtarka ugu weyn ee ka dhashay waa iyada oo ay abuurantay sayladda saamiyaasha ee Sacuudiga oo ay bilaabmayn shirkaddo sameeyaal ah oo nooc kasta leh. Waana kuwa manta ay ka dhasheen horumar dhaqaale oo bulshada wada gaadhay.
Waa aragti ku dayasho mudan, waana mid ku dhisan fikrad cilmi dhaqaale oo hubanti leh. Waana mid aan qof ahaan waligayba aaminsanaa ilaa xiligaan jaamacadda (London School of Economics), aan u hayeyna fiiro gaar ah. Xiligaas oo Raysal Wasaare UK Mrs. Thacher ay bilowday inay shirkadahii Telefoonada, Gaaska, Biyaha, Dayaaradaha, IWM ay ku iibiso saamiyaal la hor dhigo dadweynaha. Waana nidaamkii badbaadiyey dalka UK oo xiligaas ku dhowaa inuu kaco oo ay ganata dhaqaalaha ku haysay IMF sida dalaka soo koraaya. Waxay ahayd duruus aad u qiimo badan oon u soo joogay fikir ahaan iyo iyadoo dhab loo dabaqaayo. Waa isla nidaamkaas kan ay ku dhaqmeyn dalalkii shuuciga ahaa ee 90kii u boqoolay hantigoosadka sida Ruushka iyo dalaalkii Sovietka ka baxay iyo dhammaan bariga Yurub , iyagoo ka dhigay nidaamkii Mrs Thacher mid jaamacadaha dhaqaale lagu barto oo ah duruusta salka u ah barashada dhaqaalaha.
Tan Sacuudiguna waxuu sii adkeeyey aragtidayda la hal maasha dariiqa ugu habboon ee dhaqaale loo kobcin karo iyadoo lagu salaynaayo cadaalad bulsho oo kheyradka dalku gaadho tirada ugu badan ee dadweynaha ka tirsan, iyo fursad loo siman yahay dhinaca horfumarinta dhaqaalaha dalka.  

Waxa furmay in bulshadu dhammaan noqdaan dar ku xisabtama dhaqaale, abuura shaqooyin iyo ganacsi. Waxaa bilaabmay in wax kasta oo guryaha iyo nolol maalmeedka loogu baahan yahay lagu wershadeeyo dalka gudihiisa inta badan si gaar ah cuntooyinka qasacadeysan, iyo dhammaan daawooyinka. Waxa la sameeyey shirkado maal gashada beeraha iyo xoolo dhiqidda. Waxa kor u kacay dakhligii xukuumadda oo sanadkan ay heshay cashuur iyo sako gaadhaysa 20 bilyan SR, halkay ka ahayd wax ka yar hal bilyan 20 sano ka hor. Taas oo mecneheedu yahay inay 20 jeer labanlaabantay. Waxaad ogaataa in cashuurta keliya ee laga qaado muwaadinka Sacuudiga ihi yahay 2.5% sako ah, weliba cidda laga qaadaa tahay uun shirkadaha iyo maalqabeenka waaweyn, inta kale ee bulshada ooy ugu badan yihiin ganacsatada yaryari iyagaa loo daayey inay sakada iska bixiyaan. Waxa cashuur laga qaadaa ka badan sakada qaybta ay leeyihiin shirkadaha ajnabiga ah iyo qaybta aqnabigu ku leeyahy shirkadha wadaaga ah.

Waxa waliba kabid lagu daraa raashinka oo ah mid adduunka kale kolkuu kor u kaco ay xukuumaddu soo farogeliso si ay u xakameyso sicir ku kordha dan yarta. Waxa aad u jaban oon marna la kordhin batroolka, taas oon u arko aragti aan wacnayn kolkaad eegto dhaawaca ay u yeelan karto socodka aan  khrashka wadan cimilada iyo saxmadda baabuurta oo wallow dariiqo waawyn oo lix iyo sideed haad ah magaalooyinka gees walba laga hirgeliyey, haddana maalinba maalinta ka dambeysa sii kordhaaya.
Maan saarin miisaan kaafi ah oon ku eego mudarooyinka iyo dheelitir la'aanta, waayo waxay u baahantay baadhis cilmi ah iyo qoraal dheer, waxa se aan ku farxay in sanadkan la bilaabay kaalmo mushahar ah oo qofka shaqada la'rag iyo dumarba ( 15 jir) qof ahaan loo siiyo.( Social Benefit), nidaamkaas oo dhinaca cadaaladda bulsho ka dhigaaya dal hiigsada nidaamka dunida horumartay. Isla markaasna ka dhigayaa dal ka badbaada dheeldheeliga bulsho ee beryahan ka taagan bariga dhexe. Waana dhabo ay asiibeen, wallow uu jiray hab kaalmo oo tiro badani, haddana kani waxuu noqday mid taabta ruuxa danyarta qof ahaan een ahyn mid qoys ahaan loo xisaabiyey. Taas oo ka yeeshay in qoyska dhowr qof u soo hoydaan ay nolashoodu aad kor ugu kacdo.

Nidaamka dhiirgelinta abuurista shirkado saamileey ahi waa mid qayb libax ka qaadan karta:
1.    Kor-u-qaadka maalgashiga gudaha .
2.    Kor-u-qaadka maalgashiga qurbojooga iyo shisheeyahaba
3.    Nidaaminta sarifka lacagaha qalaad iyo ilaalinta lacagta mahaliga ah.
4.    La dagalanka sicir bararka
Intaas waxa u raacda falsafadda ah in la helo cadaalad bulsho oo fursad loo siman yahay loo farsameeyo muwaadiniinta, iyadoo danytarta lagu badhi taaraayo inay qayb ka qaataan kheyraadka dalka. Waa nidaam la tijabiyey lagana gaadhay guul iyo horumar.
Guud ahaan waxaan argay dal qorshe horumarineed leh, mid aqooneed leh iyo hiigsi dheer oo aragti fog.

  Waa inoo aragti dambe iyo dhowaan Insha Allah.

Axmed Xasan Carwo
La-taliyaha Madaxweynaha Somaliland ee
Dhaqaalaha, Ganacsiga iyo Maalgashiga

Thursday, July 5, 2012

SOMALIA: Fighting displaces thousands in Middle Shabelle

SOMALIA: Fighting displaces thousands in Middle Shabelle

MOGADISHU, 5 July 2012 (IRIN) - Hundreds of families from villages in Somalia's Bal'ad District, in Middle Shabelle Region, have been displaced following recent fighting between African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces and Al-Shabab insurgents, say officials.

"Our settlements are now the front line between the AMISOM/TFG alliance forces and Al-Shabab and we don't know where to go," Hussein Mayow, a father of six, told IRIN.

The displacement followed 25 June clashes in Bal'ad, about 40km northwest of Mogadishu, with the worst affected areas being the villages of Wala-Moy and Hamar-Daye, said an official with the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Youth and Sport, who preferred anonymity.

Wala-Moy residents were displaced in an Al-Shabab retaliatory attack following civil strife there. "Al-Shabab forces came [to] the village and killed the man who led the civil disobedience and wounded two others and the other people fled from the village to the neighbouring forest[ed] areas," the official said.

"About 560 families, out of the 1,000 families displaced by the war in Bal'ad, have now reached Mogadishu and the remainder are in villages such as Mukudhere, Hawadlay and Jame'ad and no aid has been distributed yet," said Sheikh Ahmed Sheikh Abukar, a TFG member of parliament.

Abukar said displaced people now need "shelter, food and non-food items".

At least 18,000 people were reported to have fled following the start of an AMISOM/TFG military operation in the Afgooye corridor, near Mogadishu, on 22 May, according to a 16-30 May Somalia update by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). [

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

AID POLICY: Accountability in Islam

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AID POLICY: Accountability in Islam

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DUBAI, 4 July 2012 (IRIN) - The rights-based framework may only have been formally adopted by the international humanitarian and development community in the past decade; but the concept that people in need have a right to assistance has existed in the Muslim world since the birth of Islam.

"When we [in the international community] started thinking differently about relief, and talking about a rights-based approach, it was very easy to equate and put this within the Islamic perspective," said Khaled Khalifa, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for the Gulf Region. "It was there, but we didn't know about it."

Despite an increased focus on accountability in recent years and a growing role for aid agencies from the Muslim world in mainstream humanitarian aid operations, few analysts or academics - neither in humanitarian thought nor in Islamic jurisprudence - have asked the question: What does accountability look like in the Islamic context?

The answer can be contradictory.

On the one hand, the Muslim Holy book, the Koran refers to the "known right" of the petitioner and the deprived to the wealth of observant Muslims: "Give to your relatives, to the poor and to the traveller their right, and do not spend wastefully [on yourself]," it says in verse 26, surah 17.

Islamic scripture requires Muslims to give 2.5 percent of their wealth in `zakat', or mandatory alms, to specific categories of people in need.

"`Zakat' is not charity," says Tariq Cheema, president of the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP). "`Zakat' is an obligation. `Zakat' is a mandatory discharge of duty. It's not your money. It belongs to the poor."

As such, billions of dollars are spent each year in helping those in need.

On the other hand, aid in the Muslim world is understood to have more than one purpose.

Fulfilling a religious obligation

Part of it is fulfilling a religious obligation, which means that Muslims should see themselves as first and foremost accountable to God. This can lead to what Marie Juul Petersen, a researcher in politics and development at the Danish Institute for International Studies, calls "the invisibility of the recipient".

"The provision of aid is a way to gain religious rewards and a place in Paradise," she wrote in her PhD thesis, For humanity or for the umma?, a study of four transnational Muslim NGOs' ideologies of aid. "If the purpose of aid is to ensure rewards for the donor, the recipient easily becomes irrelevant as anything but an instrument to obtain these rewards…

"What the donor gives is not important; what is important is the intention. This is perhaps most clearly expressed in the frequently mentioned saying, 'If you save one person it is as if you saved all of humankind.' It is not important whether you save one or 100 people, but that you save - in other words, it is not the result of the action, but the action itself (and the underlying intention) that matters."

Some Muslim NGOs complain of the challenges of raising funds for certain activities, because some donors give based on what they believe they will be rewarded for in heaven - building mosques or sponsoring orphans - rather than what may be most needed on the ground.

"Even though donors are becoming more aware of the need to donate toward sustainable development projects, a great deal of raising awareness is still required, especially amongst the first generation of immigrants in the EU and America, about the obligations Islam places on its adherence to help community and eradicating poverty," said Inlia Aziz, of MuslimAid, a UK-based international NGO.

During many humanitarian crises in the Muslim world - from Somalia to Syria - some Muslim donors have simply sent whatever they have to offer, instead of assessing the true needs of people affected.

"If you are doing charity simply to fulfil your own requirement, then accountability is not there," Cheema told IRIN. "Accountability is going to come when you are thinking from the perspective of the beneficiary."

''If you are doing charity simply to fulfil your own requirement, then accountability is not there …Accountability is going to come when you are thinking from the perspective of the beneficiary''
But increasingly, civil society within the Muslim world is realizing the potential of `zakat' being spent more effectively and calling for a more needs-based and sustainable approach.

Strengthening the `ummah'

Another perceived purpose of aid in the Muslim world, according to Juul Petersen, is strengthening the `ummah', or global Muslim community, "as a response to problems of spiritual poverty" - meaning that recipients of Muslim aid are primarily Muslim.

Some see nothing wrong with this approach, pointing to other examples of the same: Australian aid focuses on the Pacific region; Belgium focuses on the Great Lakes; increasingly, other donors are targeting their aid by reducing the number of recipients and the scope of work.

"A number of donors' aid allocation is based on historical, regional, religious, cultural and language ties - should Arab donors be any different?" asks Kerry Smith, programme officer with Development Initiatives, a research and advocacy organization. "Aren't they best placed to understand the needs of Muslim countries in their region?"

Some Muslim aid workers believe this solidarity between the "sons of the ummah" makes them more accountable, because of their close ties to the people they are trying to help.

"[Other aid workers] don't have the same feeling of family as we have, that the orphans are a part of our family, that it's about humanity, family, about making the orphans feel important. For them, it's routine, it's just a job they need to do, it's about finishing work to get home to your own family," one employee of the Saudi-based International Islamic Charitable Organization told Juul Petersen.

But the approach has also garnered criticism from secular, Western NGOs, claiming that they discriminate among recipients, thus violating principles of universalism and neutrality so tied to accountability.

In any case, many of the Muslim aid agencies working in the world's major emergency zones have long worked in the international system and have adopted mainstream development practices. But that too raises questions of accountability.

According to a study of Islamic Relief's work in Bangladesh, religious leaders in a refugee camp complained that the NGO was not meeting their religious needs because it had not built enough religious schools, mosques and graveyards.

"We can live without food but we can't live without our religion," the refugees reportedly said.

For more stories on humanitarian accountability, please visit our In-Depth