Media MONITOR 04/07/2012
Somalia News Highlights: Puntland government announces participants in 45-member constitutional amendment process; USAID-IGAD establish alliance to promote drought resilience of East Africa; War-displaced people flock to Mogadishu as the war intensifies around Afgoye corridor; US Ambassador to the UN reiterates US anti-terrorism policy toward Somalia; Tanzanian football federation condemns al-Shabaab suicide bombing of Somali sport leaders; MSF declares continued humanitarian crisis in Somalia; Somali PM visits victims injured in the National theater suicide attack; TFG minister of information condemns al-Shabaab for the assassination of a Radio Shabelle reporter in Beledweyne; Al-Shabaab claims killing of two TFG soldiers in hand grenade attacks in Mogadishu; Dozens of TFG-AMISOM soldiers allegedly killed by al-Shabaab who claim to have raided their Mogadishu bases; Ethiopian troops accused of looting civilian properties in Galgadud region; First contingent of Sierra Leone troops reach Gedo region as part of AMISOM mission; Somali PM states that recent al-Shabaab suicide attack was intended to assassinate him; and Somali president addresses himself to Somalia's people from the site of the recent suicide attack of the National Theater.
COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES
Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab Islamist website announced the release of the first Swahili-language jihadi magazine "Gaidi Mtaani". The magazine is intended for the Swahili speaking Muslim populations of East Africa. (Editor's Note: the cover shows a man's back, with hand grenades.) Somali Language
Garowe Online - Puntland government has announced the selection and nomination of the 480-member Puntland's Constitutional participants scheduled for April 15, 2012. The 480-members representing various sectors of the Puntland community are expected to discuss and eventually approve the new constitution of Puntland. The Chairman of Puntland's Constitutional Committee Mohamed Hassan Barre, known as Shimbiraale, announced the completion of the selection process of the 48-member constitutional participants. He praised the various Puntland government agencies who participated and facilitated the selection process, including the security of the constitutional participants.
US IIP Digital - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa and other international development leaders have established an alliance to promote resilience against disasters in the Horn of Africa. Called the Global Alliance for Action for Drought, Resilience and Growth, the alliance will bolster coordination among development partners, encourage economic growth, build new partnerships with the private sector and increase food availability. The alliance was announced April 4 at the end of a two-day IGAD conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
Press TV - For the past week, the Somali capital Mogadishu has witnessed a surge of people flocking to it in fear of being caught up in the ongoing military clashes between the Somali forces backed by African Union (AU) troops, and the al-Shabaab fighters in the outskirts of Somalis bullet riddled capital, Mogadishu. The U.N. refugee agency said in February 2012 that more than 7,000 Somalis have left the Afgoye corridor as Somali troops and AU forces warned of advancing deeper into al-Shabaab strongholds. Most of the returnees say that they have spent sleepless nights after AU shells landed in the Tredish, Garasbalay and Sinka Der areas. They say that it’s wise to return to Mogadishu now that it is almost under the Somali government control.
US IIP Digital - The United States has been and remains extremely focused — as do all members of the international community — on combating the terrorist threat that al-Shabaab poses, as an active threat not only to Somalia, but to the people of the region and beyond, in particular, given its active affiliation with al-Qaeda. So we’ll continue to work with partners in Somalia and beyond to deal effectively with the Al Shabaab threat. Reporter: I want to ask you about Somalia. Yesterday the Somali mission’s first secretary, Omar Jamal, held a press conference, among other things here. And he said that his government, the TFG, has given permission to the U.S. to use unmanned aerial vehicles or drones to make strikes in Somalia fighting Al Shabaab. So it seems sort of—I wanted to know, is that the case? And what is the U.S.’s role itself — I understand, in your national capacity — in actually fighting al-Shabaab, who has claimed credit for this national theater bombing? (Editor's Note: This is a press release of US Ambassador to the United Nations on the situations of Somalia and Syria and use of drone airplanes in Somalia.)
Daily News - The President of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Leodegar Tenga expressed his shock after hearing of the terrorist attack that took the life of Somali Football Federation (SSF) chief Said Mohamed Nur on Wednesday in Mogadishu. "On behalf of TFF and football stakeholders in Tanzania, I pass our heartfelt condolences to the Vice-Chairman of the SFF, Ali Said Ghuled, following the untimely death of the great leader, who also served with passion as an Executive Member of the Council for East and Central African Football Association (CECAFA). His sudden demise is a big blow to the development of football in the region.
Doctors Without Borders - Special Report: Assisting the Somali Population Affected by the Humanitarian Crisis of 2011. Somalia’s humanitarian crisis continues to be one of the worst in the world. This year, Somalis have faced the devastating effects of drought, compounding a long-lasting conflict and the absence of a functioning health care system. However, despite intense negotiations with armed groups, access to the most affected regions inside south-central Somalia has remained difficult.
Aljazeera - This is a 35-minute video on the EU Navy's newly-approved anti-piracy program, which calls for the extension as well as the expansion of anti-piracy actions onto land. The program focuses on the political and practical consequences of fighting piracy on land. "So can the EU's move to expand the Atalanta mission put an end to Somalia-based piracy, or would it further complicate the situation in the country? What are the risks involved?"
Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station
Somali Prime Minister Abdiwali Mohamed Ali on Friday visited victims injured in the recent suicide attack in Somali National Theater. The PM promised that the government will take care of the victims and the victims will be evacuated to overseas hospitals for treatment, if medically necessary. Dr. Ali restated that the government is still investigating the incident and they will press charge against those individuals involved in the explosion.
The Somali government has strongly condemned the assassination of Shabelle Radio reporter Mahad Salat, who was killed by gunmen in Beledweyne on Thursday. The Somali Information Minister Abdukadir Husein Mohamed Jahweyne has accused al-Qaeda-linked militants for the assassination. "We are saddened by the killing of Mahadm and al-Shabaab has demonstrated that their terror acts are directed against the Somali people," he said.
Radio Al-Furqaan - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
At least two TFG militias were killed, and several others were injured, as gunmen threw hand grenades at their base in the Dharkinlay district of Mogadishu on Thursday night. Gunmen also shot and killed a top TFG security officer in the Wardhiglay district on Thursday night. Two other explosions also took place in the town of Baidoa, in the Bay region.
Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station
Dozens of infidels and their supporters were killed after al-Shabaab mujahideen fighters launched attacks at their bases in Tida, Hosh and Ex-control villages of Dharkinlay and Dayniile districts over the last 24 hours. Military sources indicated that the mujahideen broke into several military bases in those areas and seized military equipments.
The Christian Ethiopian troops who recently took over certain districts in Galgadud region have started to loot the property of civilians in that region. Local residents told Radio Andalus that the infidel soldiers have looted all the business centers in Wabho and Elbur districts.
Radio Kulmiye - An independent radio station
The first contingent of Sierra Leone troops as part of AMISOM mission in Somalia have reached Gedo region of southern Somalia on Friday. The Defense Secretary of the ASWJ pro-government militias, Ishaq Hussein Muse, confirmed to Kulmiye Radio that the Sierra Leone troops are based at the village of El-Adde.
Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station
Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali stated that Friday's suicide attack in Mogadishu’s Somali National Theater was an attempt to assassinate him. Dr. Ali told AFP news agency that Al-Shabaab militia failed to intimidate them through such attacks. "The attempt on my life and other government officials was the last kick of a dying horse. They killed some very prominent Somali personalities but they failed to intimidate us," said the PM.
Top Somali leaders have appealed to Somali citizens to take part in the government’s efforts to secure the country, especially the capital, Mogadishu. President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed urged the public to report suspicious individuals or groups plotting criminal activities aimed at causing havoc in the country. Speaking at the site of the recent suicide attack, the president cautioned his fellow compatriots not to give any support to the extremist suicide bombers, since al-Shabaab had resorted to misguiding teenagers by luring them into such horrible activities, in desperation after failing to win the war.