Media MONITOR:Print
22 August 2011 Daily Media Roundup
08/22/2011
Somalia News Highlights: Al-Shabaab claims five US drones crashed in southern Somalia in the past two weeks; an NGO says Mogadishu remains a risk; al-Shabaab arrested three aid workers; the Serbian military agreed to conduct anti-piracy patrols off Somalia and train TFG soldiers in Uganda; al-Shabaab is forcibly recruiting youths; China donated $16 million to the WFP's effort in Somalia; 18 seriously injured TFG soldiers were airlifted to Nairobi; over 20 bodies of TFG soldiers killed in Garsale fighting were found; Denmark is engaged in removal of landmines; two Somali pirates were sentenced to life in Virginia; the first security committee conference was held in Mogadishu; the Somali president departed for the United Arab Emirates.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The Islamist website accused Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken women's rights activist, of contributing $10 million dollars to the Puntland government to eliminate the Islamist fighters in the Galgala mountains of Bari region. The Islamists accused her of collecting the donations from Christian churches and individuals who are committed to waging war against Islam. Somali Language

POLITICS

Blic Online - The Serbian Defense Ministry and Army are to take part in the first EU peacekeeping mission in Somalia until the end of the year. Tanja Miscevic, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Defense, said their peacekeepers are ready for the mission. With regards to Somalia, two missions have been planned for 2011 – Atalanta, to fight against pirates and coast patrolling and also EUTM (European Union Training Mission), a mission for the training of Somali army and police in Uganda.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

Voice of America - Although the al-Shabaab militant group has withdrawn from Mogadishu, the Somali capital is still a dangerous place, including for aid workers. Despite that, many Somalis are traveling to the city hoping to find food and water in a country hit by drought and famine. The Programs Manager for Doctors Without Borders, Duncan McLean said, "There are also private militias related to different clans and so on. And working in those circumstances I actually find almost as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than when there was a front line running through the city. Nonetheless, we do have access with extreme caution."

HUMANITARIAN

Xinhua - China has made its largest single donation to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) with $16 million towards famine relief operation in Somalia. The donation will be directed towards WFP's food assistance operation in the Horn of Africa nation, where 1.5 million people are currently receiving food rations, the agency said via a press release. "This is an enormous gesture of goodwill from the people of China," WFP Deputy Executive Director Ramiro Lopes da Silva said, calling China "a vital donor to WFP programmes around the world."

MARITIME

Forbes – A pair of Somali men were sentenced to life in prison on Monday for their roles in the hijacking of a yacht that left all four Americans on board dead. The owners of the Quest, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., along with friends Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were shot to death in February several days after being taken hostage several hundred miles south of Oman. "Piracy is a scourge that threatens nations, commerce, and individual lives," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement. "Today's sentences send a message to all those who participate in piracy that armed attacks on the high seas carry lifelong consequences."

DEMINING

Voice Of America – A Danish demining group is helping to empower Somali communities. "The programs are going well, but we have some obstacles towards implementation,” said Klaus Ljoerrinng Pedersen, the DDG regional director for the Horn of Africa. "Access is a key requirement, obviously, and the areas that have been occupied by al-Shabaab have been inaccessible for us. We had some earlier negotiations a year ago but they wouldn’t allow us in do to our humanitarian mine action work. We were seen as part of the work of the UN in Somalia," said Pedersen.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

The Security Committee of the Somali government, United Nation (UN), European Union (EU), and United State of America (USA) held their fist meeting in Mogadishu which focused on the security achievements by the Somali national forces in the country and ways strengthen the security forces. The meeting was attended by Prime Minster Abdiweli Mahamed Ali, the head of the United Nation political office for Somalia (UNPOS), Augustine Mahiga, and other prominent individuals. This meeting was the 9th security meeting but the first of its kind held in Mogadishu since the establishment of the committee in Djibouti in 2008.

Somali President Sharif Ahmed departed today for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after receiving an invitation from UAE officials. The president was accompanied by the Minister of Planning and International Relations, Abdulahi Godah Barre. The president is expected to stopover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia upon his return from the UAE to participate in a meeting of African leaders.

Al-Shabaab militias started forcing the youths of Elasha-biyaha village on the outskirts of Mogadishu to take part the fight against the Somali government. The residents of Elasha said that fewer militias are patrolling the streets and that hundreds of young men are fleeing the village to avoid al-Shabaab's forced recruitment.

Radio Al-Furqaan - An al-Shabaab run radio station

Several TFG soldiers, who were injured in yesterday’s fighting in Busar Village of Gedo region, have reached Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, for treatment. Sources close to the civil society organizations said that 18 injured soldiers were brought for treatment, and eight are seriously wounded.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

Al-Shabaab militias in Bardere district of Gedo region have arrested three men who were working with local NGOs of the Red Cross and Soordis, accusing them of traveling to Nairobi, Kenya without permission from al-Shabaab officials. One of Bardere elders told Radio Bar-kulan on condition of anonymity that they spoke to al-Shabaab authorities and persuaded them to release the detained men.

Radio Andalus - An al-Shabaab run radio station

Five American surveillance drones have crashed in southern Somalia over the last two weeks. Two of these drones fell in Mogadishu, one in Kismayo, and the others around Merka town of Lower Shabelle. The US has confirmed that some of these drones crashed in Somalia for technical reasons.

Over 20 bodies of TFG forces killed by the Mujahideens in Garsale village of Gedo region were found on the outskirts of Busar and Garsale. Nomadic people of that area buried dozens of the pro-Kenya militias who died in the fighting. The Mujahideen defeated TFG forces after they attacked Busar village on Sunday. The Mujahideen seized six vehicles and most of the TFG's weapons.