Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fwd: Digital jobs offer skills, promise to Africa's unemployed youth

Digital jobs offer skills, promise to Africa's unemployed youth

JOHANNESBURG/NAIROBI, 28 May 2013 (IRIN) - Although Africa's economy has expanded rapidly in recent years, it has not kept pace with the growth of its youth population or their need for jobs.

With almost 200 million people between 15 and 24 years old - a figure that is set to double by 2045, according to the African Economic Outlook's (AEO) 2012 report [ http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/in-depth/youth_employment/ ] - the continent has the youngest population in the world. Yet despite the increasing percentage of Africa's young people with secondary and tertiary educations, many find themselves unemployed or underemployed in the informal economy. Part of the problem, according to the AEO study, is a mismatch between the skills young jobs seekers have to offer and those that employers need.

The world's increasingly digitalized economy needs workers with the skills to capture and manage the vast amounts of data it generates. With appropriate training, such tasks can be performed anywhere in the world. Data generated by a high-tech company in Silicon Valley, for example, can be processed by youth with smartphones or tablets living in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. This means that digital work could potentially alleviate the unemployment and poverty hampering development in many African countries.

Both the private and humanitarian sectors are starting to recognize this potential and find ways to harness it.

Skills for the future

The Rockefeller Foundation recently launched Digital Jobs Africa [ http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/our-work/current-work/digital-jobs-africa ], a seven-year, US$83 million initiative to improve the lives of one million people in six African countries through digital job opportunities and skills training.

Eme Essien Lore, the foundation's Nairobi-based senior associate director, explained that having identified youth unemployment as one of Africa's most pressing problems, the organization was looking for ways to help young people on the continent gain sustainable, long-term job opportunities.

"The reason digital employment really rose to the top for us was because we saw the skills they get from these kinds of jobs as a springboard to other types of employment," she told IRIN. "We know young people take time to figure out what they want to do. Also, we don't know what the future labour market is going to look like. So we thought this was a very important sector because it develops skills they can use whether they stay in the digital economy or move into other sectors."

The six focus countries - Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa - share particularly high youth unemployment rates and have rapidly developing information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructures. Some, such as Nigeria and South Africa, have booming ICT sectors in need of labour, while others, such as Morocco, are well-placed to meet demand from Europe and the US, said Lore.

Winnie Mwihaki, 24, is among 500 Kenyan youths from poor backgrounds recruited by one of the Rockefeller Foundation's grantees - San Francisco-based non-profit Samasource. Globally, the company has connected an estimated 3,700 young people in nine countries to paying work and hopes to expand this number to 5,000 by the end of 2013.

Samasource secures data- and content-processing jobs from its US-based clients, and then uses its specially developed software to break these large digital projects down into small computer-based tasks it calls "microwork". This work is then distributed to local partners that are responsible for recruiting, training and managing employees.

Unlike most companies in the business process outsourcing (BPO) and information technology outsourcing industry, Samasource only employs people living below the poverty line. Workers must also be between 18 and 30 years old, and preference is given to women, who are less likely to have access to formal employment.

"Part of the criteria is that people need to be literate in English," added Lauren Schulte, director of marketing and communications at Samasource. "They don't have to have any computer skills. We can bring someone in with virtually no experience, and in a matter of weeks they can start doing small tasks on a computer."

With her monthly salary of 13,000 shillings [$149], Mwihaki is able to assist her mother, who had been struggling to care for their family of six. "Because of the money I earn from here, I am now able to help my mother [and] to also be a breadwinner in the family," Mwihaki told IRIN.

Mwihaki grew up in Korogocho, a sprawling slum in Nairobi, where crime is commonplace. She was unable to proceed to college after secondary school because her parents could not afford it.

"Now I will use part of what I earn from this job to sponsor myself through college," she said.

A new trajectory

Samasource is not the only company targeting disadvantaged people in low-income areas with digital employment. Another Rockefeller Foundation grantee, Digital Divide Data, operates on a similar principle and employs more than 1,000 people in Cambodia, Kenya and Laos. Both companies are considered pioneers of impact sourcing, which the Rockefeller Foundation defines as "the socially responsible arm of the BPO and information technology outsourcing industry".

 A relative newcomer to the sector, and another Rockefeller Foundation grantee, is the Impact Sourcing Academy (ISA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. ISA combines a training and job placement programme with a fully functional call centre that gives its students the opportunity to obtain practical work experience while earning enough money to help support their families.

"We're not so much interested in just giving them a job as a call centre agent," said ISA head Taddy Blecher. "We really want to make sure they're doing part-time studies while they're working, getting access to more knowledge and training so they can move into higher-level jobs."

Once graduates are fully employed and earning a decent salary, they are encouraged to fund another student from a similar background. Using this model, the academy is already about 65 percent self-funded and aims to be completely self-funded in the future.

Blecher described the Rockefeller Foundation initiative as "a massive opportunity" for South Africa, given the need for skilled labour to work in its booming BPO sector and its 51 percent youth unemployment rate. "In a short period of time, you can bring a family out of poverty and put them on a whole new trajectory," he told IRIN.

Opening doors

For now, evidence that impact sourcing really can lift families out of poverty is limited to the small studies the Rockefeller Foundation has conducted with Samasource and Digital Divide Data. "What we want to do next is really measure the impacts on a household level," said Lore. "Anecdotally, we're quite convinced, but we need to work on measuring over the next seven years."

The Rockefeller Foundation does not stipulate a minimum wage that its grantees must pay, and the line between a living wage and an exploitatively low wage can be a fine one. "This is a sector where companies' first priority is really around cost savings," acknowledged Lore. "If you take the example of someone living in a slum, [a job like this] won't get them into a nicer neighbourhood. But it might be able to buy food for the family and get younger siblings into school," she said.

She added that the demand for young people with these skills is such that they are often poached by rival companies offering slightly higher salaries. "We've seen that when people move from these jobs, usually after about two years, they go on to better jobs. You rarely see people sitting in these types of jobs indefinitely."


Monday, May 27, 2013

Somalia: Federal Govt Supports Repatriation of Somali Refugees

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Mogadishu — African leaders agreed at IGAD's 22nd extraordinary summit in Addis Ababa on Friday that hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees living in Kenya and Ethiopia will be repatriated to Somalia, Garowe Online reports.

Leaders at IGAD's 22nd extraordinary summit in Addis Ababa agreed that the international community support "the initiative by the governments of Somalia and Kenya and UNHCR to convene an international conference on repatriation of Somali refugees to be held later this year".

According to Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta - who attended the summit - the conference will be co-chaired on Somalia and Kenya will consult with Somali stakeholders on how to resettle Somali refugees safely and orderly.

After returning from Addis Ababa, President Uhuru said in statement that the Somali people needed to take part in reconstruction of Somalia.

"Urged for the people of Somalia to support and participate in the reconstruction and re-establishment of governance and social economic infrastructures," read the statement.

Spokesman for the Somalia Federal Government (SFG) Abdirahman Osman Yarisow welcomed all the agreed upon points which included the SFG leading the state building in Jubaland.

There are hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees living in Ethiopia and Kenya. Dadaab refugee camp in north eastern Kenya is home to close to half a million Somali refugees.


Woolwich murder: Kenya arrest raises questions for security services in UK

Woolwich murder: Kenya arrest raises questions for security services in UK

Arrest of Michael Adebolajo in Kenya raises question as to why security services did not monitor him more closely on UK return

  • Luke HardingJessica Hatcher in Nairobi
  • The Guardian, Sunday 26 May 2013 20.29 BST
Woolwich murder: Kenya arrest raises questions for security services in UK
Michael Adebolajo, centre, in court in Kenya in 2010. He claims he was mistreated in custody. Photograph: Michael Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Adebolajo, one of two men arrested over last week's attack in Woolwich, was detained by Kenyans for suspected extremist activity in 2010 and later deported back to Britain, the Foreign Office confirmed on Sunday.

Kenyan counter-terrorism police arrested Adebolajo after he allegedly attempted to join up with al-Shabaab Islamist militants in neighbouring Somalia. He appeared in court under a different name, Michael Olemendis Ndemolajo. The FCO said it had provided Adebolajo with "consular assistance" after he was held "as is normal for British nationals detained".

The arrest raises questions as to why the security services did not monitor Adebolajo more closely on his return to the UK, given his apparent unsuccessful attempt to fight alongside jihadist extremists. Kenyan officials indicated on Sunday they had briefed their British intelligence counterparts about his radical activities.

"Kenya's government arrested Michael Olemendis Ndemolajo. We handed him to British security agents in Kenya and he seems to have found his way to London and mutated to Michael Adebolajo," a Kenyan counter-terrorism spokesman, Muthui Kariuki, told the Associated Press. He added: "The Kenyan government cannot be held responsible for what happened to him after we handed him to the British authorities."

Adebolajo was arrested in November 2010 together with seven other young Islamists. Kenyan police captured the group after they travelled by speedboat from the Indian Ocean island of Lamu to Kizingitini, on Pate Island, 40 miles from the Somali border. The police acted following a tip-off. Two of those apprehended were teenage schoolboys who had apparently been radicalised during regular visits to a mosque in Mombasa.

The Kenyan authorities later released the group without charge. Adebolajo told local media that the police had severely mistreated him. According to family members he was beaten, and threatened with rape and death. There is evidence he subsequently lodged a complaint. Kenyan officials deny wrongdoing.

His family say that he returned to the UK a changed and embittered man. His brother-in-law, who did not wish to be identified, said: "He was very withdrawn. And he saw everyone in authority as being his torturer."

At this point, two and a half years ago, according to relatives, MI5 began to take an increased interest in Adebolajo. "They had been interested in him for years," the brother-in-law said. "MI5 asked me about him in 2009. But they began pestering him after he came back from Kenya. They would be banging on his door or approaching him in the street. It was happening constantly; it was every couple of days. At first they wanted information, then they wanted him to spy for them. I assume they wanted him to spy on Muslims."

Adebolajo last saw his sister – a fellow convert to Islam – and his brother-in-law two weeks ago, when he visited their home in Lancashire. His brother-in-law said: "He seemed fine then. We talked about doing some charity work. Since then his wife has given birth to a son, and that was a cause of great pride for him."

It is unclear why Adebolajo did not face prosecution on his return to the UK, if there was evidence to support allegations that he went to Somalia to seek training with al-Shabaab. Somalia has long been a magnet for British jihadists. More than 100 UK nationals are believed to have trained or fought there up to 2011, according to British intelligence and security sources. Those who are successful at crossing the border often vanish and are never heard from again.

Al-Shabaab, meaning "the youth" in Arabic, is a militant group that formed in Somalia in 2006 to fight for a fundamentalist Islamic state. Its insurgency is now considered to be on the wane, but it is still active in Somalia and instigates regular suicide attacks. Swaths of Southern Somalia are still under its control, and the group's networks of facilitators, communication teams and training camps are complex. Western-backed Kenyan anti-terror police have been proactive since Kenyan troops entered Somalia in October 2011 and al-Shabaab promised to wreak revenge. But this has not been without consequences: many human rights groups and analysts say the Kenyans have been heavy handed in their approach.

"Terrorism has become an easy label, especially along the Kenyan coast. The anti-terrorism unit has been especially brutal, even against the families of the suspected terrorists," said Abdullahi Halakhe, former Horn of Africa analyst at the International Crisis Group.

To get to Somalia, Britons, Australians and Canadians either fly to Kenya and cross into Somalia by foot on bush tracks, or go by boat to the port city of Kismayo, a known smuggling route. Locals believe that Adebolajo was planning to travel from Pate Island by sea.

Lamu in the Indian Ocean is an archipelago of islands lined with mangrove swamps and a rich history based on ancient trade routes. Its reputation as a destination for celebrities and European royalty was tarnished in October 2011, when a French woman was kidnapped and taken on a speed boat to Somalia where she later died. The streets of Lamu Town are too narrow to accommodate cars; donkeys are the staple transport. Security on the mainland is now tight but the many shorelines and islands make it difficult to control. MI5 will be questioned this week about its alleged connections with Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the second suspect in the murder of Lee Rigby, a soldier in the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who was hacked to death in Woolwich, south-east London, last Wednesday. Members of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), the panel of MPs and peers that provides oversight of the UK's intelligence agencies, will ask what exactly the agency knew about their links to extremism.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the ISC, says he has had a preliminary briefing from Andrew Parker, the new head of the agency, and agreed that a written report would be submitted to the committee this week.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ciidan Iyo Gaadhi Tikniko Ah Oo Ka Soo Goostay Kooxda Khaatumo Oo Xalay Isu Soo Dhiibay Ciidanka Qaranka Somaliland.

Laascanood(Ramaas)-Taliyaha Ciidanka Qaranka qeybta 12-aad Axmed Hurre Haariye ayaa caddeeyay in xalay abaaro 8:00pm cawaysnimo ay ciidanka qaranka ee fadhigoodu yahay gobolka Sool ay soo gaadheen unug dhawr iyo toban xubnood ah iyo Baabuur Tikniko ah oo ay wateen, kuwaasi oo ka soo goostay kooxda Nabad-diidka ah ee la baxday Khaatumo.

Taliyaha Ciidanka qaranka ee Qeybta 12-aad Axmed Hurre Haariye ayaa sheegay inay Unugan iyo baabuurka ay wateenba lagu qaramayn doono ciidanka qaranka.

Taliyuhu waxa uu sheegay inay u mahad celinayaan soona dhaweynayaan muwaadiniinta la khalday ee la hubeeyay, waxaanu inta kale ee baaqiga ku sii ahna u soo jeediyay inay wax la qabsadaan walaalahooda Somaliland oo ay iska dhigaan hubka.

Mid ka mid ah kooxdan oo halkaasi ka hadlay ayaa ciidanka qaranka ee jiida Sool uga mahad celiyay sida diiran ee loogu soo dhaweeyay duleedka Laascaanood, waxaanu xusay inay ka soo goosteen kooxda Khaatumo ka dib markii ay ka waayeen wax rejo iyo naruuro ah oo ay u hayaan bulshadda.

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Ogaysiis Dhamaan Dadka Somaaliyeed ee ku nool UK Fadlan iska ilkaaliya Dr. Ali Mao-Aweysnin oo sheegta dhakhtar

Ugu horayn waxaan halkan salaan sharafeed u soo marinayaa media sida wanaagsan ugu soo gudbisa dadka afka somaliga ku hadla wararka iyo talooyinka .

Layaabka aduunka oo runtii aan aad uga qiirooday kadib markii aan arkay nin somaliyeed oo dadkii lugaha wada jaray kuna shegay in uu hayo xanuun isku wada mid ah, kuna sheegay caruurtii 8da bilood jirtay in gaastari hayso.

dadka somaliyeed ee ku dhaqan uk gaar ahaan magaalkada london iyo birmningham , dadka uu dhiibaatada u gastay waxaa ka mid ah gabdho somaaliyeed oo qaarna lugaha laga jaray qaarna hada curyaan yihiin oo guryaha dhex fadhiyaan kadib markii uu siiyay kala dawooyin oo khalad ah u siiyay kiniino iyo irbado uu ku muday kuna sheegay xanuuun aan haynin,

Gabadh ku nool magaalada london ayaa waxaa uu ku muday irbad kad markii uu ku sheegay xanuun aan haynin waxaana ku dhacday gabartaa qiso naxdin leh waana cuuryaan hada guriga ayey dhex fadhidaa.
Sidoo kale boqolaal dad ah ayaa u ildaran xanuuno kadibna waxay booqdan Dr. Ali Mao-Aweys yagoo dadkaasi islahaa dawo ka raadiya waxaana uu kuw wada sheegay xanuun isku mid ah .

Qaar kamid ah dadka aan la kulmay ee sida joogtadaa isgu dayay inay dabiib ka raadsadaan Dr. Ali Mao-Aweys ayaa waxay ii sheegeen in ay iswaydiiyaan dadka marka ay ka soo baxaan meesha uu ku daweeyo maxaa lagaa helay? waxaana ay wada sheegtaan wada beer xanuun  waxaana u sheega mar cali macow .

Sidoo kale ilmo yar oo jiray 8 bilood ayaa loo geeyay waxaanu ku sheegay in uu hayo gaastari.

Haweenay fara badan oo somalia ayaa aad ugu qulqula sida uu sheegay dr cali macow waxaa uu ku takhakhusay xanuunada beerka iyo dumarkaba taas waxaa uu ku helay suuq badan oo dadka somalida ahi door bideen qofkan somaliga ku hadalaaya ee sheegtay inuu dhakhtar yahay, haweenay somaalia oo fara badan ayaa waxaa uu siiyay kiniino khaldan markii ilmihii ka soo dhacay ee ay u tageen xanuun koodiina uu ku sheegay in qabow galay siiyayna kinka lafaha oo ku qoran afka luqada germalka taas oo markii la tusay dhakhaatiirta ay sheegen in uu khalad yahay kiniinkani soona sheegan qofka siiyay meesha uu joogaba.

Isla dhwaan ayaa 5 bilood oo xadhiga loo jaray kadib markii uu dawo khaldan oo qofkii somliga ahaa ee uu siiyay ku xanuunsaday.

Hadaba inaga oo aan maqaalkan halkan ku soo wada koobi karayn dhibaatada uu ku hayo
Dr. Ali Mao-Aweys dadka somaliyeed ee ku nool uk qayb uun ayaan hada soo qaadanay waana sii wadi doona .

Halkan ka eeg address  ka iyo magaciisa ninka sheegta inuu yahay dhakhtar ku takhakhusay xanuuuno fara badan.
Fadlan fariin gaara hadii aad akhrisato maaqalkan ka taxa dir adiga iyo faamiligaaguba ninka qabona dhakhaatiirta kale oo kaaga fiican beenta macow .

By Kamal Abukar

Halkan kala bax sawirkiisa http://www.dralimaoaweys.com/Pages/default.aspx

London:London office is open on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM ( Dadweynaha Somaaliyeed waxaa la ogeysiinaya in xarunta London ay furan tahay Axad, Isniin, Talaado, iyo Khamiis saacadu markey tahay 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM).

Birmingham:Birmingham office is open on Friday and Saturday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Xafiiska Birmingham wuxuu furan yahay Jimco iyo Sabti saacadu markey tahay 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM). .

New Service: completion and signing of any forms (e.g. Taxi medicals, housing support letters, fitness to travel, EHIC and many more).
Immunizations (Talaal):  We now offer Vaccinations for Hajj and Umrah, children's vaccinations, flu jabs, vitamin D checks and injections (Haddii aad u baahan tahay in aad is talaashid inta aadan ubixin Hajj ka iyo Umrada. Waxaan kaloo sameynaa Talaalka caruurta, Hargabka, iyo baritaanka Vitamin D).

For appointments Call (Ballan ka suubso lambarada hoos ku yaala):
Mobile: 00447425628980  or  00447436262986
Office:  00442088025566  or  00441213553308

For Addresses, Maps, and Phone numbers (Click Here (Halkan Riix)

For Health Questions send me an Email (Email isoo dir su'aalaha ku saabsan dhinaca caafimaadka):

Rockets hit south Beirut after Hezbollah vows Syria victory

By Dominic Evans

BEIRUT | Sun May 26, 2013 12:54pm BST

(Reuters) - Two rockets hit a Shi'ite Muslim district of southern Beirut on Sunday and wounded several people, residents said, a day after the leader of Lebanese Shi'ite militant movement Hezbollah said his group would continue fighting in Syria until victory.

It was the first attack to apparently target Hezbollah's stronghold in the south of the Lebanese capital since the outbreak of the two-year conflict in neighbouring Syria, which has sharply heightened Lebanon's own sectarian tensions.

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One rocket landed in a car sales yard next to a busy road junction in the Chiah neighbourhood and the other hit an apartment several hundred metres away, wounding five people, residents said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Brigadier Selim Idris, head of Syria's Western-backed rebel military command, told Al-Arabiya Television that his forces had not carried out the attack and urged rebels to keep their conflict inside Syria.

But another Syrian rebel, Ammar al-Wawi, told Lebanon's LBC Television the attack was a warning to authorities in Beirut to restrain Hezbollah. "In coming days we will do more than this. This is a warning to Hezbollah, and the Lebanese government to keep Hezbollah's hands off Syria," he said.

A Lebanese security source said three rocket launchers were found, one of which had misfired or failed to launch, in hills to the southeast of the Lebanese capital, about 5 miles (8 km) from the area where the two rockets landed.

The rocket strikes came hours after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, a powerful supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said his fighters were committed to the conflict whatever the cost.

"We will continue to the end of the road. We accept this responsibility and will accept all sacrifices and expected consequences of this position," he said in a televised speech on Saturday evening. "We will be the ones who bring victory".

Syria's two-year uprising has polarised Lebanon, with Sunni Muslims supporting the rebellion against Assad and Shi'ite Hezbollah and its allies standing by Assad. The Lebanese city of Tripoli has seen frequent explosions of violence between majority Sunnis and its small Alawite community.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the violence in Lebanon. "The war in Syria must not become the war in Lebanon," he told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Kuwait, which like several Gulf states warned its nationals last year against visiting Lebanon, urged any citizens in Lebanon to leave and reiterated its advice not travel there.


Until recently, Nasrallah insisted that Hezbollah had not sent guerrillas to fight alongside Assad's forces, but in his speech on Saturday he said it was fighting in Syria to defend Lebanon from radical Islamists now leading Syria's rebellion.

Hezbollah forces and Assad's troops launched a fierce assault last week aimed at driving Syrian rebels out of Qusair, a strategic town close to the Lebanese border which rebels have used as a supply route for weapons coming into the country.

Lebanese authorities, haunted by Lebanon's own 1975-1990 civil war and torn by the same sectarian rifts as its powerful neighbour, have sought to pursue a police of "dissociation" from the Syrian turmoil.

But they are unable to prevent the flow into Syria of Sunni Muslim gunmen who support the rebels and Hezbollah fighters who support Assad, and have struggled to absorb nearly half a million refugees coming the other way to escape the fighting.

At least 25 people have been killed in Tripoli in the north of Lebanon over the last week in street fighting which has been partly triggered by the battle for Qusair across the border.

Nasrallah's speech was condemned by Sunni Muslim former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who said that Hezbollah, set up by Iran in the 1980s to fight Israeli occupation forces in south Lebanon, had abandoned anti-Israeli "resistance" in favour of sectarian conflict in Syria.

"The resistance is ending by your hand and your will," Hariri said in a statement. "The resistance announced its political and military suicide in Qusair".

Hariri is backed by Saudi Arabia, which along with other Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab monarchies has strongly supported the uprising against Iranian-backed Assad, whose minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

In Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, residents said three rockets landed on Sunday close to the mainly Shi'ite border town of Hermel, without causing injuries. Rebels have targeted Hermel from inside Syria several times in recent weeks.

(Additional reporting by Laila Bassam and Erika Solomon in Beirut, John Irish in Abu Dhabi and Sylvia Westall in Kuwait; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)--
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Three more arrests over London murder

THREE men have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder the British soldier hacked to death in a London street by two Islamists.

Two men aged 24 and 28 were arrested at a residential address in southeast London while a 21-year-old man was arrested in the street about 1.5 kilometres from the murder scene, Scotland Yard police headquarters said in a statement on Saturday.

Taser guns were used on the 28-year-old and the 21-year-old, though neither needed hospital treatment.

Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, who survived a tour of duty in Afghanistan, was butchered in broad daylight on Wednesday outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London.

The three men were all arrested within half an hour by detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command supported by specialist firearms officers.

All three were being taken to a south London police station, the police statement said.

Officers were also searching four residential addresses in southeast London.

Meanwhile a 29-year-old man arrested on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder has been bailed to return to a police station pending further enquiries.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and 22-year-old Michael Adebowale remain in a stable condition after being shot by police at the scene of the grisly killing.

They have both been arrested on suspicion of murder and are under armed guard in separate hospitals.

Mo Ibrahim Foundation And African Development Bank To Co-Host Live-Streamed Event On Leadership AndGovernance In Africa

Mo Ibrahim Foundation And African Development Bank To Co-Host Live-Streamed Event On Leadership AndGovernance In Africa

The panelists, including Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, and Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, will discuss the relevance of leadership and governance for Africa's transformation; the challenges of measuring progress in governance; and the way forward.

The session will use three country-specific case studies, drawing on evidence from the Ibrahim Index of African Governance: Mauritius, Mozambique and Liberia.

Other high level representatives speaking at the event include:

· Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Director – Liaison with Governments and Institutions in Africa, Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Former Under Secretary-General, UN and Executive Secretary of UNECA

· Nathalie Delapalme, Executive Director – Research and Policy, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

· Honorable Charles Gaëtan Xavier-Luc Duval, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mauritius

· Honorable Manuel Chang, Minister of Finance, Mozambique

· Honorable Amara M. Konneh, Minister of Finance, Liberia

· Mr. Raju Jaddoo, Managing Director, Board of Investment, and Secretary General, Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Industry

· Mr. Emmanuel Mbi, First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, African Development Bank

· Dr. Aly Abou Sabaa, Vice-President, African Development Bank

The discussions will inform and advance the support of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the African Development Bank to Africa's transformation.

French soldier stabbed in Paris

A French soldier is stabbed while on patrol in Paris, according to local news sources, just days after the brutal murder of the British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

The soldier was patrolling a business area of western Paris as part of France's 'Vigipirate' anti-terrorist surveillance plan.

A police source told French newspaper Le Parisien that the soldier was stabbed in the early hours of Saturday evening, at around 6pm.

The source said the soldier was expected to survive the attack.

The attacker, who the source said was a bearded man of North African origin, fled the scene.

Police are searching for the suspect, said to be around 30 years old, wearing an Arab-style garment under his jacket.

The stabbing comes just a few days after the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby, who was killed on Wednesday, raising fears it may be a copycat killing.

In Prison, Somalia’s Pirates Become A Source Of Government Wrangling

This is how it ends for a Somali pirate: not with the bang of a rifle, but with a quiet fadeout into a sewing class, a vegetable garden and a basketball court.

At least 34 convicted pirates are locked away in the remote city of Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared nation of Somaliland, where the United Nations is trying to teach them useful trades: tailoring, welding, brick-making, computer skills and gardening. In their leisure time, the pirates play basketball in the dusty prison yard.

Somalia's pirates were once the scourge of the seas, holding more than 1,200 hostages in 2011 and inflicting $18-billion in damage to the world economy. But over the past year, a massive European-led naval operation, combined with armed guards on cargo ships, has foiled almost every hijacking attempt by Somali pirates.

Today the number of pirate attacks is down sharply – but the dilemma now is what to do with the convicted pirates, who have become a diplomatic bargaining chip and a source of government wrangling.

The pirate prisoners – who continue to deny their guilt, insisting they were "just fishing" when they were captured near the Seychelles – agreed to be transferred to Hargeisa's prison because it has Somali guards and a familiar language and culture. But now they say the prison conditions are much worse than in the Seychelles.

Somaliland prison officials complain bitterly about a lack of financial support from the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which had promised to help provide food, medicine and other basic support for the convicted pirates. The budget shortfall is as much as $72,000 annually, the prison officials say.

Two of the pirates, 25-year-old Mawlid Ahmed Abtidon and 29-year-old Abdi Fatah Ahmed Abdullah, lounge casually in the office of the prison commander as they field questions from The Globe and Mail. They complain about the shortage of prison food and the absence of promised phone calls to their families in Mogadishu, although both appeared well-fed and healthy. They also say that they were never allowed to appeal their trial verdicts.

"Life in this prison is not good," Mr. Abtidon said. "We are requesting you to convey the message that our rights were neglected."

Most of the 34 pirates here, who are serving prison terms of up to 25 years, were previously held in the Seychelles, close to where they were captured in 2009 and 2010. Several other pirates are being held in other Somaliland prisons. The breakaway region in northern Somalia agreed to accept the pirates as a gesture of international co-operation – and unofficially in hopes of winning diplomatic recognition for its independence.

Although it is an oasis of peace and democracy in the Horn of Africa, the enclave of Somaliland has failed to gain any international diplomatic recognition so far. To bolster its cause, Somaliland has agreed to accept up to 60 pirate prisoners – a valuable offer to the UN, since most countries are unwilling to accept the pirates, and the prisons in southern and central Somalia are not considered secure enough to hold the pirates safely.

Two agencies of the United Nations spent a reported $1.5-million to complete the construction of the Hargeisa prison in 2011 so that it could house the pirates. But now the UN is accused of breaking its promises to support the pirates.

"When I hear the word 'UNODC,' it makes me angry," said Abdullahi Dahir, a senior official in Somaliland's prisons agency. "The UNODC is failing to provide basic needs for those who were transferred from the Seychelles and those who were captured here."

Current spending by the Somaliland government is only $1.20 a day for food and medicine for each prisoner, the UN acknowledges, but it insists it is working on a plan to provide more of these supplies to the prison. "The process is under way to deliver these items in the near future," one UN official said in an e-mail.

He said the UNODC is encountering difficulty in the "delivery and storage" of sheep, beans and oil to supplement the prison food.

The UN also acknowledges that most of the pirates have not been allowed any phone calls to their families, although it blames the Somaliland government for this decision.

The pirates are among 409 inmates at the Hargeisa prison. The prison commander refused to allow photos of the conditions in the cells, but he allowed a brief visit, showing that the cells are crowded, although each prisoner has a bunk bed.

While officials squabble over their food and medicine, the pirates say they should be transferred to a prison in Mogadishu, close to their families. They say they haven't talked to their families since they were transferred to Somaliland.

In the meantime, the pirates are kept busy with the UN's vocational job programs at the prison. They weld chairs for an orphanage. They make bricks for the construction of a government ministry. And they build bunk beds for the next group of arriving pirates from the Seychelles.

Globe and Mail

Friday, May 24, 2013

العدالة في ليبيا ما بعد القذافي

Middle East/North Africa Report N°14017 Apr 2013

الملخص التنفيذي والتوصيات 

هناك العديد من العلاجات الضرورية لانعدام الأمن المستشري في ليبيا، إلاّ أنه لا يوجد ما هو أكثر إلحاحاً من إصلاح النظام القضائي. ضحايا حقبة القذافي، الذين لا يثقون في جهاز يعتبرونه قديماً ومتهالكاً، يتولون زمام أمورهم بأنفسهم؛ فبعض الجماعات المسلحة، المتشككة في قدرة الدولة على تنفيذ العدالة، تقوم وبشكل اعتباطي باحتجاز وتعذيب أو اغتيال أشخاص تفترض أنهم موالون للقذافي؛ جماعات أخرى، تستغل انعدام النظام، وتمارس العنف لأهداف سياسية أو إجرامية. كل هذا يولّد مظالم جديدة، ويسهم في المزيد من تقويض الثقة بالدولة. إن كسر هذه الحلقة المفرغة يتطلب إجراءات على جبهات متعددة، مثل إحقاق العدالة لضحايا النظام السابق بإصلاح الجهاز القضائي والشروع في العدالة الانتقالية، وتحديد الموالين للنظام السابق الذين ارتكبوا جرائم، وفي نفس الوقت تجنّب المطاردات والمضايقات غير القانونية، ولجم الجماعات المسلّحة، بما في ذلك تلك التي تعمل تحت مظلة الدولة. ما لم يكن هناك رسالة واضحة مفادها أن ثمة عملية جارية لإصلاح النظام القضائي وأنه لن يتم التسامح بأي حالة من حالات العنف أو الإساءات التي ارتكبت في الماضي من قبل مسؤولين في حقبة القذافي أو في الوقت الراهن من قبل المجموعات المسلحة، ثمة مخاطرة حقيقية في تصاعد عمليات الاغتيال، والعنف في المدن والصراعات بين القبائل. 

لقد مضى أكثر من عام على الإطاحة بنظام القذافي وحتى الآن ليس هناك نظام محاكم يعمل بشكل معقول في العديد من أنحاء البلاد، في حين أن الجماعات المسلحة تستمر في إدارة السجون وتطبيق الأشكال الخاصة بها من العدالة. إن العيوب والنواقص الحادة التي تعتري النظام القضائي الحالي لها جذور عميقة، أولاً وقبل كل شيء، في نواقص وعيوب النظام التي أتت من حيث المبدأ لتحل محله. في ظل حكم القذافي، كان النظام القضائي يعاني من تسييس التعيينات، واستشراء الفساد واستعمال الوسائل غير القانونية لاستهداف الخصوم السياسيين. إن أربعة عقود من ممارسة العدالة الاعتباطية تشكّل خلفية حافلة بالأعباء لجهود الحكومة الجديدة؛ التي تواجَه بالخيار بين الفصل الجماعي للمسؤولين القضائيين الذين عملوا في ظل حكم القذافي أو غربلتهم والتحقق من خلفياتهم وأدائهم واحداً بعد الآخر، وقد اختارت السلطات الجديدة حتى الآن الخيار الأخير. في حين أن هذا كان قراراً سليماً، إلاّ أنه أسهم في تشكك الجمهور في نطاق التغيير. 

وقد أسهم في تعقيد الوضع انتشار وتكاثر الجماعات المسلّحة. نظراً لتشكك ما يسمى بكتائب الثوار ـ وفي بعض الأحيان العصابات الإجرامية التي تنكّرت في لباس الثوار ـ بالنظام القضائي الموروث من حقبة القذافي وبالشرطة، وبسبب الإحباط الذي تشعر به من الإيقاع البطيء للمحاكمات ضد المسؤولين السابقين، وفي مواجهة عناصر أمن في حالة من التشرذم، ونظراً لشعورها بالجرأة بسبب القوة الجديدة التي اكتسبتها، فإنها تعمل فوق القانون، وتعيق عمل المحققين والقضاة. جميعها تضطلع بدور الشرطة، والمدعين العامين، والقضاة والسجانين. الكتائب المسلحة تنشئ وحدات تحقيق واعتقال وتضع قوائم بالأشخاص المطلوبين؛ وتقيم نقاط التفتيش أو تقتحم بيوت الناس لاعتقال خارجين مفتَرضين عن القانون أو أشخاص يُشَك بأنهم يساعدون النظام القديم؛ وفي بعض الأحيان تدير مراكز اعتقال خاصة بها في مقراتها، وفي مزارع معزولة أو في مباني حكومية سابقة استولت عليها. هناك آلاف الأشخاص بين أيدي هذه الكتائب، خارج الإطار القانوني الرسمي ودون الاستعانة بمراجعة قضائية أو اتباع الإجراءات القضائية اللازمة. وقد ألقت الاغتيالات والهجمات المتصاعدة على قوات الأمن الحكومية ظلالاً قاتمة على هذه الصورة. 

كل ما سبق ذكره يعتبر من العلامات المميزة للحلقة المفرغة: نفاد الصبر من إيقاع العدالة، والتشكك بشكل عام، يشجع الجماعات المسلحة ويزيدها جرأة؛ وفي نفس الوقت فإن زيادة نشاطها تقوض قدرة الدولة على العمل، بما في ذلك في مسائل القانون والنظام؛ وهذا بدوره يضفي مصداقية على مزاعم الجماعات المسلحة بأن من واجبها ملء الفراغ. 

ثمة رؤيتان متعارضتان بشأن هذا الوضع سواء فيما يتعلق بمصدر المشكلة أو بطبيعة علاجها. البعض ـ ومن بينهم حكومة رئيس الوزراء علي زيدان ـ ينظرون إلى الجماعات المسلحة بوصفها سبباً رئيسياً من أسباب ارتفاع حدة العنف؛ ويدعون إلى تفككيها أو استيعابها في جهاز الأمن الرسمي ونقل المحتجزين لديها إلى سلطة الدولة. آخرون، بمن فيهم الكتائب نفسها، ينظرون إلى نشاط الجماعات المسلحة بوصفه ضرورياً في ضوء تعطل مؤسسات الدولة واستمرار نفوذ المسؤولين من حقبة القذافي. تتم ترجمة هاتين الروايتين المتعارضتين إلى مقاربات مختلفة حيال الجهاز القضائي: بين مقاربة الحكومة الحذرة لاستئصال المسؤولين السابقين على أساس كل حالة على حدى ودعوة الكتائب إلى طرد جميع الموالين وبالجملة. بالنسبة للعديد من الليبيين، الذين يشعرون بالإحباط من أن شيئاً كثيراً لم يتغير، فإن المقاربة الأخيرة تحظى بالدعم. 

السياسات الحكومية المتناقضة حيال الجماعات المسلحة تفسر جزئياً وجود مثل هذا الاستقطاب في الآراء. المجلس الوطني الانتقالي، أول هيئة حاكمة بعد القذافي، تعهّد ببناء نظام قضائي جديد قائم على سيادة القانون. رغم ذلك، فإنه شجع في نفس الوقت تعزيز قوة الكتائب، ومنح الاعتراف الرسمي بعدد كبير من الجماعات المسلحة التي كانت تقوم بأعمال الشرطة بنفسها. كما وفر لهم الحصانة من الجرائم التي يمكن المجادلة بأنها ارتكبت دفاعاً عن الثورة. خليفة المجلس الوطني الانتقالي، أي المؤتمر الوطني العام ـ حذا حذوه جزئياً، وأقر الجهود التي تبذلها الجماعات المسلحة المرتبطة بالحكومة لاعتقال الأشخاص المشكوك فيهم دون اتباع الإجراءات المعتادة. 

بالنظر إلى هذا الواقع، فإن حكومة زيدان، التي عُيّنت في تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2012، تستحق الإشادة لأنها تحاول وقف هذا المد. لقد أعلن هو ووزير العدل في حكومته أنه لن يكون هناك أي تسامح مع حالات الحجز الاعتباطي أو الاغتيالات الانتقامية وجعلا من نقل الأشخاص المحتجزين عشوائياً إلى سلطة الدولة أولوية لهما. لقد أفرغت قوات أمن الدولة عدة مراكز اعتقال غير قانونية في العاصمة وأصدرت الهيئة التشريعية قانوناً يجرّم التعذيب والاختطاف. 

إلا أن هذا لا يزال عملاً قيد الانجاز، كما أن ميزان القوى لا يميل بشكل حاسم لصالح الحكومة. إذا لم تتم معالجة هذه القضية بعناية، وخصوصاً إذا لم تعالج المظالم المشروعة فيما يتعلق ببطء محاكمة الجرائم المرتكبة في عهد القذافي، فإن مواجهة الكتائب يمكن أن تحدث أثراً عكسياً. 

ثمة أدلة بدأت تظهر على ذلك، فقد تعرضت وزارة العدل ومكتب رئيس الوزراء للهجمات وتُهدد الجماعات المسلحة بالاستيلاء على السجون الواقعة حالياً تحت سيطرة الحكومة. 

إن القيام بهذه العملية بشكل صحيح يتطلب القيام بعدة مهام سياسية متزامنة. ينبغي على الحكومة أن تظهر علامات واضحة على أنها تعالج مواطن الخلل والقصور الموروثة من الماضي من أجل استعادة الثقة في النظام القضائي وقوات الأمن. وتعتبر المتابعات القضائية الجنائية ضد المسؤولين رفيعي المستوى من حقبة القذافي خطوة هامة، إلا أنها لن تكون كافية. ما ينبغي القيام به هو عملية شاملة للعدالة الانتقالية تتضمن، إضافة إلى المحاكمات الجنائية، آليات دراسة وتدقيق سليمة للموالين السابقين للقذافي وتشكيل لجان حقيقة ومصالحة. وفي نفس الوقت، ينبغي أن تخضع الجماعات المسلحة ـ حتى تلك التي يعتبر أعضاءها من أبطال الثورة ـ للمساءلة عن أعمالهم أيضاً؛ ينبغي أن يسير تحقيق العدالة لضحايا جرائم الأمس يداً بيد مع تحقيق العدالة لضحايا اليوم.


لاستعادة الثقة في النظام القضائي وضمان المساءلة

إلى المجلس القضائي الأعلى:

1.  مراجعة مشروع القانون المتعلق بالجهاز القضائي لضمان ألاّ تكون آليات الدراسة والتدقيق قائمة على الانتماء السياسي وذلك بتقديم الأمور الآتية، بين أمور أخرى:

آ) تشكيل لجنة مستقلة تكون مهمتها دراسة خلفيات موظفي الجهاز القضائي والتدقيق في نزاهتهم؛

ب) أن تكون العملية شفافة وأن يكون بوسع القضاة الذين يساء إليهم الاستئناف؛

ج‌) يصرف القضاة من الخدمة على أساس مراجعة عادلة لأدائهم ومؤهلاتهم وليس فقط على أساس خدمتهم في "المحاكم الخاصة" في عهد القذافي.

إلى وزارة العدل:

2.  إطلاق عملية دراسة وتحقيق، على وجه السرعة، لوضع حد لعمليات الاحتجاز العشوائي.

3. إعادة تفعيل المحاكم غير العاملة حالياً، وفي المناطق التي لا يزال يسود فيها انعدام الثقة حيال قضاء الدولة ما أدى إلى إغلاقها، التواصل مع الجماعات المسلحة المحلية، والوجهاء والمجالس المحلية للتشجيع على قدر أكبر من الحوار حول النظام القضائي للدولة.

4. التواصل مع المواطنين العاديين من خلال وسائل الإعلام وجماعات المجتمع المدني لشرح النظام القضائي الحالي واستعادة الثقة فيما لا يزال كثيرون يعتبرونه أحد رموز حقبة القذافي.

إلى المؤتمر الوطني العام:

5.  وضع مشروع قانون حول الجهاز القضائي، كما وُصف أعلاه، بحيث تتم دراسة خلفيات وأداء القضاة من قبل لجنة مستقلة، واستعمال هذه العملية، وليس قانون الإقصاء الإداري والسياسي، كأداة رئيسية لاستئصال الأعضاء الفاسدين والملطخين في الجهاز القضائي.

6.  الموافقة على مشاريع القوانين المتعلقة بالعدالة الانتقالية وقصر الصلاحيات العسكرية على أفراد القوات المسلحة.

إلى مكتب النائب العام:

7.  ضمان احترام جميع التحقيقات والمحاكمات الجنائية، بما فيها محاكمات مسؤولي النظام السابق، للإجراءات المتّبعة وأن يتم القيام بها بشكل ينسجم مع قانون المحاكمات الجنائية. 

إلى الحكومات التي تعهدت بدعم برامج سيادة القانون والعدالة الانتقالية في ليبيا، وبعثة الأمم المتحدة لدعم ليبيا، والاتحاد الأوروبي والمنظمات غير الحكومية الدولية العاملة في البلاد:

8.  تقديم المساعدة التقنية والتدريب للجنة المصالحة وتقصي الحقائق ولجانها الفرعية ودعم جهود منظمات المجتمع المدني لتوثيق الانتهاكات السابقة وحديثة العهد.

للمساعدة على لجم الجماعات المسلحة

إلى المؤتمر الوطني العام:

9.  تعديل القانون 38/2012 لتوضيح أن مرتكبي جرائم مثل التعذيب، والقتل والاغتصاب المرتكبة أثناء وبعد حرب عام 2011 لن يمنحوا الحصانة القانونية.

إلى مكتب النائب العام:

10  إخضاع أفراد الجماعات المسلحة للمساءلة عن أعمالهم، خصوصاً تلك التي تنطوي على التعذيب والقتل اثناء الاعتقال.

إلى وزارة الداخلية ووزارة الدفاع:

11.  منع الأفراد والجماعات المسلحة المسؤولة عن جرائم خطيرة من تسلّم المناصب القيادية في أجهزة أمن الدولة.

12.  ضمان أن توقف وحدات اللجنة الأمنية العليا، ودرع ليبيا وغيرها من الجماعات المسلحة العاملة بموافقة الحكومة ممارسة اعتقال الأشخاص ومداهمة المنازل أو المكاتب دون إذن قضائي أو أدلة على انتهاك القانون.

13.  ضمان أن تكون الوحدات الأمنية الرسمية وحدها مخوّلة باعتقال ما يسمى بالأشخاص المطلوبين وأن تلتزم تلك الوحدات بصرامة بالإجراءات المتبعة. 

طرابلس/بروكسل، 17 نيسان/ابريل 2013

Drones: Myths And Reality In Pakistan

Asia Report N°24721 May 2013


Nine years after the first U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in 2004, the U.S. refuses to officially acknowledge the CIA-run program, while Pakistan denies consenting to it. This secrecy undermines efforts to assess the program's legality or its full impact on FATA's population. It also diverts attention from a candid examination of the roots of militancy in the poorly governed tribal belt bordering southern and eastern Afghanistan and how best to address them. Drone strikes may disrupt FATA-based militant groups' capacity to plan and execute cross-border attacks on NATO troops and to plot attacks against the U.S. homeland, but they cannot solve the fundamental problem. The ability of those groups to regroup, rearm and recruit will remain intact so long as they enjoy safe havens on Pakistani territory and efforts to incorporate FATA into the constitutional mainstream are stifled.

Since 2004, there have been at least 350 drone strikes in FATA, mostly in North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Kurram agencies. These have killed significant numbers of al-Qaeda leaders and senior militant commanders of both the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, but also scores of innocent civilians, in part because of so-called "signature" strikes that target groups of men based on behaviour patterns associated with terrorist activity rather than known identities.

Even with so-called "personality" strikes in which the individual has been targeted based on evidence of identity, accurate assessments of collateral damage are impossible. Independent researchers, facing significant military and militant-imposed barriers to access in FATA, rely primarily on media reports that depend largely on anonymous U.S. government and/or Pakistani military sources – each with a vested interest in under- or over-reporting civilian casualties.

Neither is it possible to gauge the real feelings of civilians who live in the areas of drone operations. Fearing retaliation from the militants or the military, respondents choose their words carefully. For the same reasons, it is hard to determine with any precision the strategic impact of the drone campaign. While reported signature strikes may in particular fuel local alienation, at the same time, the deaths of senior, highly experienced commanders are certainly a hard blow for the militants.

Pakistan's attitude towards drones borders on the schizophrenic. Rather than inherently opposing the strikes, its leadership, in particular its military, seeks greater control over target selection. This is often to punish enemies, but sometimes, allegedly, to protect militants who enjoy good relations with, or support from, the military – leaders of the Haqqani network, for example, or some Pakistani Taliban groups with whom the military has made peace deals.

Ample evidence exists of tacit Pakistani consent and active cooperation with the drone program, contradicting the official posture that it violates the country's sovereignty. This includes acknowledgements by former President Pervez Musharraf in April 2013 and by then-Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in 2008 and 2010. After the October 2001 U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan, Musharraf's military regime permitted a substantial CIA presence in at least two airbases, Shamsi in southern Balochistan and Shahbaz in Sindh's Jacobabad district, for intelligence gathering and collaboration; both were used to gather intelligence for drone strikes and possibly even to conduct them. This cooperation and collaboration signified Pakistan's assent to the program. It was not until the November 2011 NATO air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border and months after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, vitiating relations with Washington, that Islamabad demanded the U.S. vacate one of the bases.

While drones have not themselves caused the political falling out between Washington and Islamabad, the Pakistani military has attempted to take advantage of downturns in the relationship to leverage greater control over drone targets. Even after the U.S. vacated the Shamsi base in December 2011, some level of Pakistani sanction for the strikes continues. While condemning attacks against its anti-Afghanistan-oriented jihadi allies, such as the August 2012 killing of Badruddin Haqqani, the Haqqani network's third in command, it supports strikes against its internal enemies, such as Maulvi Dadullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban in Bajaur Agency, killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan's Kunar province that same month. The U.S. hit list now reportedly includes Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of a Pakistani Taliban faction in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's (KPK's) Malakand region, ousted in a military operation in 2009, and now operating out of Afghanistan's Nuristan province.

The legal debate does not pivot only on Pakistani consent. Both countries are subject to numerous obligations under international law and their respective domestic legislation. Islamabad has a constitutional and international obligation to protect the lives of citizens and non-citizens alike on its territory. Even if it seeks U.S. assistance against individuals and groups at war with the state, Pakistan is still obliged to ensure that its actions and those of the U.S. comply with the principles, among others, of distinction and proportionality under International Humanitarian Law, and ideally to give independent observers unhindered access to the areas targeted.

The Obama administration should terminate any practice, such as the reported signature strikes, that does not comply with principles of international humanitarian and human rights law. It must also introduce transparency to the drone program, including its governing rules, how targets are selected and how civilian damage is weighed. By transferring its management from the CIA to the Defense Department, the administration would establish clearer lines of authority and accountability, including greater congressional and judicial oversight.

Distorted through hyper-nationalistic segments of the Pakistani media and hi-jacked by political hardliners, the domestic Pakistani debate on the impact of drone operations has overshadowed a more urgent discussion about the state's obligation to its citizens in FATA, who are denied constitutional rights and protections. In the absence of formal courts and law enforcement institutions, the state fails to protect FATA's residents from jihadi and other criminal groups.

The core of any Pakistani counter-terrorism strategy in this area should be to incorporate FATA into the country's legal and constitutional mainstream. This should be accompanied by a national counter-terrorism policy that prioritises the modernisation of a failing criminal justice sector, thus enabling the state to bring violent extremists to justice.

While the U.S. and international debate over legitimacy and control of drone strikes is highly important, drones are not a long-term solution to the problem they are being deployed to solve – destruction of local, regional and wider transnational jihadis who operate out of Pakistan's tribal belt.

The U.S. policy should be two-fold: pressuring the Pakistan military to abandon any logistical or other support to violent extremists, including by more rigorously applying existing conditions on security assistance; and encouraging and supporting efforts by the elected leadership in Islamabad to extend the state's writ to FATA. Similarly, if Pakistan is genuinely committed to ending strikes on its territory, it should realise that its strongest case against the U.S. drone program lies in overhauling an anachronistic governance system so as to establish fundamental constitutional rights and genuine political enfranchisement in FATA, along with a state apparatus capable of upholding the rule of law and bringing violent extremists to justice.


To introduce transparency to the U.S. drone program in Pakistan and ensure it is consistent with key principles of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

To the Federal Government of Pakistan:

1.  Enable independent assessment of drone strike casualties and impact on FATA by:

a) lifting all travel and other restrictions on independent observers, national and foreign, to the targeted areas in FATA; and

b) conditioning any ongoing consent of drone strikes on the institution of transparent U.S. policies and practices that respect international humanitarian law principles of humanity, distinction, proportionality and military necessity, and ending any active or tacit support should the U.S. program violate those principles.

To the U.S. Government:

2.  Demonstrate respect for the international humanitarian law principles of humanity, distinction, proportionality and military necessity, including by:

a) halting reported signature strikes that target groups of men based on behaviour patterns that may be associated with terrorist activity rather than known identities; and

b) ending the reported practice of counting all military-aged men in a strike zone as combatants unless sufficient evidence proves them innocent posthumously.

3.  Develop a rigorous legal framework for the use of drones that defines clear roles for the executive, legislative and judicial branches and introduces a meaningful level of regular judicial and congressional oversight.

4.  Convert the drone program from a covert CIA operation to a military-run program overseen by the Defense Department, with oversight by the Senate and House Armed Services Committees and appropriate judicial review.

To bolster the Pakistani civilian government's ability to protect its citizens and bring violent extremists to justice

To the Federal Government of Pakistan:

5.  Ensure that the federal cabinet takes the lead in formulating comprehensive, nationwide and civilian-led counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency policies, centred on enhancing rule-of-law institutions, with input from and oversight by the legislature, particularly the parliamentary committee on national security and the Senate committee on defence and defence production.

6.  Make the extension of the state's writ in FATA the centrepiece of the counter-terrorism agenda by:

a) extending the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court to FATA, as authorised by Article 247 of the constitution;

b) abolishing the FATA secretariat, established by the Musharraf military regime in 2006, and returning its responsibilities to the relevant Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KPK) line ministries;

c) incorporating FATA into the constitutional mainstream, abolishing the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR, 1901) and replacing it by the Pakistan Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence Act.

d) replacing tribal jirgas (councils of elders) with district and sub-district courts, manned by judges, and extending the jurisdiction of the KPK police to FATA;

e) repealing the Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulations 2011 for FATA; and

f) enhancing border management cooperation with Afghanistan to contain and prevent militant cross border movement.

7.  Establish clear guidelines for remedial action if and when innocent civilians are injured or killed, whether by U.S. drones or the Pakistani military, and create a compensation fund for such victims.

To the U.S. Government:

8.  Implement existing conditions on military aid if the Pakistan military or elements within it do not take concrete steps to end support to the Haqqani network, the Quetta Shura, the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and other extremist groups, including factions of the Pakistani Taliban; and consider as a last resort imposing targeted and incremental sanctions, including travel and visa bans and the freezing of financial assets of key military leaders and military-controlled intelligence agencies responsible for supporting extremist elements that plan and conduct attacks from Pakistani territory against its neighbourhood and beyond.

9.  Shift the priority of security assistance to making Pakistan a strong criminal justice partner by supporting the modernisation and enhancing the counter-terrorism capacity of the police and civilian law enforcement agencies.

10.  Condition FATA aid on tangible steps by Pakistan's federal government to extend the state's writ in the tribal belt and implement political reforms – including by abolishing the FATA secretariat and returning its responsibilities to KPK line ministries and instituting an effective law enforcement apparatus – and then provide technical, financial and other support to that new system.

Islamabad/Washington/Brussels, 21 May 2013

Somalia: PM Shirdon Outlines the Road ahead on Jubaland and Somaliland

By: Ahmed adan

PM Shirdoon  says Somaliland back on fold after Turkey PM Shirdoon says Somaliland back on fold after Turkey

Somalilandsun - Prime Minister welcomes progress in parliament and outlines road ahead on Jubaland and Somaliland.

"We want Jubaland to become a federal state but this must happen in a legal way according to the constitution. This is what must be our guiding principle at all times. Look at what we are doing with regard to Somaliland.

Negotiations are ongoing and we are looking forward to more progress at the talks in Turkey month. It is all happening in the proper manner."

His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon today praised parliament's decision to withdraw a planned no-confidence vote in the government and updated ministers on recent progress on Jubaland and ongoing discussions with Somaliland at the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Commenting on recent events in parliament, the Prime Minister praised the lawmakers' responsiveness to public concerns.

"First of all, parliament has an absolute democratic right to hold our government to account and it is quite right for it to do so in this manner. I welcome the decision lawmakers have taken to withdraw the no-confidence vote because they listened to the people's concerns, they heard the public outcry, and the demand that the vote be stopped. They recognized that this would be a step backwards towards the chaos of the past, at the same time as providing a negative image for Somalia. They came to the right decision."

The Prime Minister congratulated Somalis for making their voice heard during recent days and convincing parliament to change its mind. He said it demonstrated a welcome and newfound political maturity and showed the world that Somalis could resolve their own problems without relying on foreign intervention.

"This experience gives us a new momentum. It has been an important education for the government, providing an invaluable lesson about how to deal with a crisis by working closely with parliament to resolve it. I pay tribute to our political colleagues on all sides who came together to resolve their differences, and reached a Somali solution for a Somali problem, without the customary international intervention. It is a really encouraging sign of political maturity. And we know we need to deliver."

Updating the Cabinet on the situation with Jubaland, the Prime Minister said he completely shared the region's desires to build a federal state and reiterated the government position that this process needs to evolve within the constitutional framework. He had sent a delegation of parliamentarians and a government minister to Kismayo to discuss reconciliation and a way forward on state formation.

"Let me be quite clear about this. As a government we want a united, federal, stable Somalia. We support reconciliation, we support the fight against Al Shabaab, we want Jubaland to become a federal state but this must happen in a legal way according to the constitution. This is what must be our guiding principle at all times. Look at what we are doing with regard to Somaliland. Negotiations are ongoing and we are looking forward to more progress at the talks in Turkey month. It is all happening in the proper manner."


Ahmed Adan

Prime Minister's Media Office

Mogadishu, Somalia

Email: media@opm.gov.so

Mobile: +252 (0) 616 440 028

Canadian Sisters on Front Lines of Rebuilding Somalia


The Elman sisters of Commander Iman (R) of the Somali military and Ilwad pose inside the Elman Peace CentreThe Elman sisters of Commander Iman (R) of the Somali military and Ilwad pose inside the Elman Peace Centre

Somalilandsun—The Elman sisters are bathed in the honey glow of Somalia's late afternoon sun, the only sounds coming from an iPhone in a pink case that chirps continuously and the bursts of chatter from women upstairs. A sign in the corner of the office where they sit reads: "Real Men Don't Rape."

For those who know the Canadian sisters from Ottawa, it is rare to see them together, just talking, sitting still, not working on Somalia's front lines.

Iman has just come from work and is still dressed in her military fatigues, a black hijab discreetly tucked beneath the lieutenant's cap. She turns heads on Mogadishu's streets: it is rare, if not unheard of, to have a female commander, let alone one who is only 21.

When she joined the military two years ago, women were given two pairs of pants to sew together to make a skirt. Knowing it would be hard to fight in a skirt, Iman told them one pair of pants would do. Now she commands 90 men in her battalion.

"Being raised in Canada, I was taught you're no different from any guy, you're equal, you're the same," she says. "When I went into the military they said, 'You can't do that, it's not your job.' I wanted to break some of the stereotypes here."

Ilwad, 23, is smashing stereotypes, too, speaking out about violence against women and promoting their rights at the Elman Peace Centre, which she runs with her mother, Fartuun Adan.

She left Ottawa in 2010, to visit her mom. But she couldn't leave.

"A lot of people didn't understand what compelled me to come back here, and even more so, what caused me to stay," she says. "It's hard not to be here. I've been back to Canada several times but every time I'm there I feel I'm just so much more of use around here. I feel guilty almost.

"Things are changing so rapidly in Somalia. It's like we're in the middle of a revolution and I feel like I'm a part of that."

Their father, Elman Ali Ahmed, would be proud. Ahmed was a well-known peace activist in Mogadishu during the early 1990s, when Somalia's government collapsed and sectarian warfare enveloped the country. With his wife, he cared for orphans and ran community programs, including one called "Lights for Peace," which lit the city's dark corridors, controlled by rival warlords.

On March 9, 1996, he was shot in the back by hooded gunmen in a crime that was never solved.

"Elman did not belong to any political faction and had been outspoken in criticizing all political leaders for the continuing violence," read Amnesty International's statement at the time. "He had actively promoted a culture of peace and reconciliation and, unlike many businessmen went about unarmed."

Elman was 42 when he was killed and three years later, in 1999, his wife moved to Ottawa with their young daughters, Ilwad, Iman and their eldest sister Almas, who is with the Canadian military reserves.

"I look at these girls and I see a piece of him in each of them: the creativity, the energy; the courage and ideas," says their uncle, Ahmed Abdisalam Adan.

"None of them knew their father but the genes are there."

Fartuun Adan raised her girls in Canada but returned to Somalia for good in 2007 to continue her humanitarian work. This March, she received an International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. Department of State.

In 2010, when Ilwad and Iman returned to Mogadishu, Al Shabab controlled most of the city. While the Al Qaeda group still has a strong, covert presence and the ability to launch attacks — such as the assault on the Supreme Court last month — the capital is no longer a war zone.

"Now I can drive down the road by myself, I can walk, I can be out until 11 at night or even past that. When I first came the curfew was at 1 p.m.," says Ilwan. "Flying bullets and stray bullets were the norm. Now when I hear one shot I flinch because I'm not used to it anymore."

But there is still a long way to go before the Shabab is completely conquered, especially outside of Mogadishu, where Iman has fought or led security operations.

A Somali girl and her brother run to safety near the scene of a blast in Mogadishu April 14 2013.A Somali girl and her brother run to safety near the scene of a blast in Mogadishu April 14 2013.The work of the Elman sisters highlights many underlying tensions in the city: the role of the returning diaspora; women and the stigma of speaking out on gender violence; and the building of a military that can be trusted.

Those issues converge upstairs at the Peace Centre, where a 40-year-old woman is cuddling her 1-month-old daughter. To protect her identity we'll call her Asha. Asha was abandoned by her husband's family after a divorce and could only survive by trading sex with soldiers for food and a place to sleep. She says she was gang raped, eventually became pregnant, and left to give birth by herself before she was rescued in a town outside of Mogadishu in April.

After spending a few weeks at the Elmans' safe house, she is now being reunited with her family.

In March, the New York-based Human Rights Watch issued a scathing reportaccusing Somalia's security forces and militias of raping displaced Somalis who had fled to camps to escape the famine and conflict in the country's south.

The report followed the story of 27-year-old Lul Ali Osman Barake. She said she was gang raped by uniformed men, but when she reported the crime to police and a local journalist, she and the reporter were put in jail. It took a month — and international outcry — before the government acknowledged the incident.

Rape and issues of gender violence, such as forced genital mutilation of young girls, are not topics easily discussed in Somalia. Keeping the issue at the forefront is a struggle.

"This has to be addressed and the focus now is on concealing it," Ilwad says. "So will there be a push to change Somalia's image by just covering it, or will there be an acknowledgement that it's happening and actually do something about it?"


Fwd: CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN weekly humanitarian round-up 684 24 May 2013

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