Media MONITOR:Print
9 February 2012 Daily Media Roundup
02/09/2012
Somalia News Highlights: The UK Foreign Minister addressed Somali Diasporas about the upcoming London Conference; 6,000 people have been displaced by fighting between Somaliland and Khatumo State; AMISOM allocated $4.5 million for security improvements and public works projects in Mogadishu; ASWJ's new Twitter account designed to counter al-Shabaab's was hacked; a UK-based health group urged the Somali community to regulate consumption of khat in the UK; the TFG succeeded in getting five Somali fishermen released from the Seychelles and are in negotiations for the release of 60 others; al-Shabaab militias looted over 200 heads of livestock from nomads in Middle Shabelle; al-Shabaab claimed they burned two vehicles and killed Kenyan soldiers in an ambush; Radio Al-Furqaan released some of the names of TFG officials killed in Wednesday's suicide car bomb; ten TFG soldiers killed and ten others were wounded in two blast targeted at them; the EU Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa condemned Wednesday's suicide attack at Hotel Muna and urged the TFG to tighten security; and the Benadir Governor urged Mogadishu residents to fight against al-Shabaab since they target everyone in suicide attacks.

POLITICS

Foreign and Common Wealth - The UK Foreign Secretary spoke at the British Government Consultation on Somalia at Chatham House on 8 February. "Chatham House’s Africa programme is highly regarded internationally, especially for their work with diaspora communities, so this is a very appropriate place to hold today’s consultation. And I am extremely grateful to all of you for coming today, and to anyone who is watching us via live stream over the internet. In just over two weeks’ time London will host a major international conference on Somalia, attended by heads of government and senior representatives from more than 50 countries and organisations, including the President and Prime Minister of Somalia itself."

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

IRIN News - More than 1,000 families (about 6,000 people) have been displaced from the town of Buuhoodle and nearby villages in eastern Somaliland after heavy fighting on 8 February between the Somaliland Army and clan militias loyal to the newly created Khatumo State, locals told IRIN. The area has been disputed, with both the self-declared republic of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia, and the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland in the northeast, claiming them. Khatumo State was established on 12 January by clans from the area that want to remain part of the larger Somalia.

AMISOM - The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has announced that it will be spending over $4.5 million on a series of projects meant to improve security and the lives of ordinary Somalis in Mogadishu. According to Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Honourable Wafula Wamunyinyi, over $1 million from international donors will be spent on the construction of a school in Wadajir district; supply of generators for the Banadir Hospital; equipment and supplies for police stations; installation of water treatment facilities to provide clean drinking water to nearly 1.3 million people in 4 of the capital’s districts; and the rehabilitation of the Parliament and the Ministry of Labour buildings. This is in addition to the $3.5 million AMISOM is already spending to upgrade facilities for the Somali National Army at their military base in Al-Jazeera.

Washington Post - The main opposition group al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked Somali militia, often uses the social media site to pick fights and proselytize to would-be recruits. One of the groups that opposes al-Shabaab, the Sufi Islamist group Ahlu Sunna Waljamea, also uses Twitter, but to a far less successful degree. Compared to al-Shabaab’s nearly 11,000 followers, Ahlu Sunna has only 74. And, while al-Shabaab’s continuing to tweet about the latest disruptive violence it’s inflicting on Somalia, Ahlu Sunna’s last tweet offered an easy way to lose weight. It’s not a new propaganda tactic. The Twitter stream appears to have been hacked.

DRUG TRAFFICKING/DIASPORAS

Harrow Observer - Brent Council’s Health Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee has put forward recommendations to the council aimed at regulating and raising awareness of the plant-derived drug, which is prevalent in Wembley and among the Somali community. The council does not have the power to classify the drug or prevent sales to under 18s, so they are calling on shopkeepers to voluntarily ban sales to under-18s among other recommendations, which were approved at a meeting on Tuesday. Councillor Ann Hunter, chairwoman of a ‘khat task group’ set up by the health committee to look at the health and social impact of the drug in Brent, says in the report prepared ahead of the meeting: "Our primary concern was to look at the social and health implications of khat, both for those who chew, their families and neighbours, and the communities in which they live.

OP-ED

Catham House - This is a 22-minute video of speech given by UK Foreign Minister William Hague at the Catham House. The UK Foreign Minister spoke to the Somali Diasporas about the upcoming London Conference for Somalia and sought the contributions of the support of the Somali community living in the UK.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

The Somali fishing ministry has succeeded in securing the release of five Somali fishermen who were in prison in the Seychelles for 11 months after negotiating with the Seychelles government. The Somali Minister of Fisheries, Abdirahman Sheikh Ibrahim, told the media the men landed in Mogadishu on Thursday and they were reunited with their families. The Somali minister also stated that they are also involved in securing the release of more than 60 Somalis who remain imprisoned in the Seychelles.

Masked al-Shabaab militias looted more than 200 heads of domesticated animals from the livestock herders in Middle Shabelle region on Thursday. Residents told Radio Mogadishu that the Islamist fighters were masked to hide their identities as they looted the livestock.

Radio Al-Furqaan - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

The al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters burned two Kenyan military vehicles in El-Ade village of Gedo region after they ambushed a Kenyan convoy on Thursday. Reports indicated that Kenyan soldiers were killed and the wounded were evacuated to Kenya for treatment. The Mujahideen fighters have succeeded in restricting the movement of Kenyans since they entered Somalia four months ago.

Radio Al-Furqaan received the names of top TFG security officials and lawmakers who were killed in Wednesday’s blast in Mogadishu. The TFG officials killed in the suicide car bomb included Yurkey and Abdi Hakim and Mursal of counter terrorism troops, MPs Jesow and Dahir M, and Sa’id Artan who was a pro-TFG elder and the head of TFG immigration services.

Radio Andulus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

At least ten pro-infidel militias were killed and ten others injured by two heavy explosions that targeted their military bases in Dharkinlay district of Mogadishu on Thursday. An eye witness told Radio Andalus that the militias frantically fired in all directions after the blast but no civilian casualties were reported.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

European Union Special Representative to the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos, has strongly condemned the recent car bomb in Mogadishu where over ten people were killed and dozen others wounded. The EU Special Representative urged the Somali government to bolster security in the city to avert such attacks in the near future. British ambassador to Somalia Matt Baugh called the attack “barbaric”, saying that such attacks will only strengthen their resolve to work harder in helping the Somali people to build a better future that is free from violence and extremism. He said the attack is a clear indication that al-Shabaab is committed to continue butchering innocent lives in the country.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

The governor of Banadir region, Mohamud Ahmed Nor (Tarsan), on Thursday called on Mogadishu residents to fight against the Al-Qaeda linked militants of al-Shabaab who carried out a deadly car bomb attack in the capital. Giving an interview with Shabelle Radio, the governor called the suicide car explosion at Muna hotel on Wednesday a 'cowardly and heartless attack.' He also stated that al-Shabaab militants are targeting everyone and not just government officials and AMISOM soldiers in Mogadishu.