Media MONITOR:Print
13 February 2012 Daily Media Roundup
02/13/2012
Somalia News Highlights: The Somali prime minister envisioned a 'Marshal Plan' for Somalia; a Chinese company scrapped plans to build an LNG facility in Berbera; TFG authorities stated the al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab union will pose higher security risks for Somalia; the US military has escalated drone attacks in Somalia; the AU Special Envoy for Somalia has declared Somalia may have a famine recurrence; the Somali PM appealed to the Somali Diasporas for the resurrection of the Somali nation; the EU pledged to support the Kenyan forces under the umbrella of AMISOM; Ugandan diplomats visited Mogadishu to hold talks with TFG leaders; Hawiye elders condemned civilian abuses by the Ethiopian troops in Beledweyne; a political rift erupted among top Somali leaders over the misuse of port revenues; heavy fighting erupted between al-Shabaab and TFG forces in Mogadishu; the Somali prime minister is expected to reshuffle some of his cabinet ministers; the Qatari leader has pledged to support the stabilization of Somalia; and Kenya is expected to charge two suspects involved in IED attacks.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab website posted almost a dozen pictures of al-Shabaab’s organized rally in support of the recent declaration of al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab alliance in their global Jihad and the establishment of Islamist state in Somalia. Al-Shabaab's Spokesman Sheikh Ali Dhere spoke to thousands of civilians and came out in support of the union. "The unity is a key for the return of the Islamic Caliphate and we are united against the global infidel forces," he said. The rally took place at a public arena in Alamada area. Somali Language

POLITICS

AFP/AC - Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said Monday he hoped an upcoming conference in London on the war-torn country would produce a "Marshall Plan" to end two decades of chaos. "Somalia expects a lot from this conference. We expect the establishment of a trust fund for Somalia. We expect a complete reconstruction plan for Somalia. We expect a Marshall Plan for Somalia," he told AFP in an interview. British Prime Minister David Cameron will chair the February 23 conference, gathering Somali and foreign leaders to find a solution to the civil unrest that has plagued Somalia almost without interruption since 1991.

Reuters - PetroTrans, a Chinese oil and gas producer could conclude preliminary negotiations with Somaliland for the extension of the key port of Berbera by the end of this year, but has scrapped plans to build a liquefied natural gas facility. Philip Hirschler, a legal adviser for PetroTrans, said from London the firm planned to extend Berbera port's container and mineral export services following an agreement it signed with the government of the breakaway enclave of Somalia last August. The Horn of Africa has been attracting increased investments in exploration by foreign oil firms, due to its proximity to east Africa, where oil has been discovered in Uganda and natural gas found in Tanzania.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

Bloomberg - Somalia’s government said al-Qaeda’s announcement that the al-Shabaab militia had officially joined the organization will destabilize the war-torn nation even further while increasing security risks in the region. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announced on Feb. 9 that al-Shabaab, which has waged an insurgency against Somalia’s United Nations-backed government since 2007, joined its ranks "to support the jihad unity against the Zionist crusader campaign," according to a video posted on the website of al- Arabiya, the Dubai-based broadcaster. "Their union will increase insecurity in Somalia, East Africa and the rest of the world," the government said in an e-mailed statement today from Mogadishu, the capital. Somalia also risks becoming an al-Qaeda base in East Africa, it said.

Workers World - The Pentagon and the White House continue to deny that United States military forces are directly involved in the current war over control of the Horn of Africa state of Somalia. Nevertheless, a Washington-directed drone struck an internationally supervised displaced persons camp just outside Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Washington’s escalation of military involvement in the Horn of Africa is designed to control the geopolitical situation and to dominate the exploration and exploitation of oil that has recently been discovered in Somalia. Over the last several months, U.S. drones have killed and injured hundreds of Somalis. The escalation of military actions aims to liquidate the al-Shabaab Islamic resistance movement inside the country. The most recent attack on Feb. 3 drew international attention to the Obama administration’s role in East Africa.

HUMANITARIAN

Joy Online - African Union High Representative for Somalia, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings says though the United Nations has downgraded the famine situation in Somalia, the country was still at risk of a renewed crisis if humanitarian aid was cut. President Rawlings said an amount of $1.5 billion was required so Somalia does not return into a state of famine. In an address at the second annual conference of the Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) of the New York University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Sunday, President Rawlings said a total of 9.5 million people still faced famine in the Horn of Africa with 2.3 million coming from Somalia alone.

OP-ED

Raxanreeb - This is an open letter that the Somali Prime Minister, Dr. Abdiweli Ali, wrote to the Somali Diasporas to explain the expectations from the UN Roadmap for Somalia and the London Conference while seeking their help in the reconstruction of the war torn nation.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

The European Union (EU) announced they will support the Kenyan forces if they join the African Union peacekeepers in Somalia. The head of EU for East Africa, Alexander Rondos, told The Standard Newspaper in Kenya that if the UN Security Council approves Kenya’s plan to join AMISOM, they will get more funds from the EU and other donor countries in the world.

A delegation from the Ugandan government headed by Foreign Minister Oriemo Okello on Monday landed at Mogadishu and met with TFG officials. Among the delegates were the chief commander of Ugandan forces, General Katumba Wamala, the former AMISOM chief commander, Nathen Magusha, and other military and civil officials. The delegates and Somali officials discussed the current situation of Somalia and the upcoming London conference.

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

Hawiye Clan elders have said Ethiopian troops have committed a massacre in Beledeweyne district of Hiiraan region. The spokesman of Hawiye elders, Garad Fidow, stated that the Ethiopians kill the civilians daily and throw their bodies into the river. He called for the Hiiraan people to fight against the enemy and support the Mujahideen.

A major rift over funds erupted between TFG’s top officials, including speaker Sharif Hassan, President Sheikh Sharif and PM Abdiweli. According to a TFG lawmaker who requested anonymity, the leaders disagreed on how to manage the funds from the port and the airport. The MP stated that Sheikh Sharif takes all the funds, while Sharif Hassan wants to divide the money.

Radio Andulus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

Heavy fighting between al-Shabaab Mujahideen against the infidels and their workers took place in Mogadishu on Sunday night. The Mujahideen attacked the enemy’s bases in Kuliyadda, Ex-control, Ifka Halane and many parts of the industrial street. According to al-Shabaab military officials, the Mujahiden inflicted many loses to the enemy which forced them to flee some of their bases.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

Somali MP Ali Abdulla Afgoye said Prime Minster Abdiweli Mohamed Ali plans to reshuffle some of his cabinet ministers, including foreign, labor and agriculture.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

Qatar plans to have strong cooperative relations based on peace and development with the Somalia. Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani made the remarks after meeting with the Somali ambassador to the UAE, Omar Sheikh Idris Ali. The emir revealed he received the request to improve relations from the Somalia president, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Al-Thani welcomed the Somali request, promising that Qatar will support TFG efforts to restore law and order in Somalia after two decades of conflict in the country.

The Kenyan authorities finalized their investigations into the improvised explosive devices in northern Kenya and two people are likely to face prosecutions next week, according to Kenya Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe. Kiraithe expressed confidence that the state security is stable and the internal security organs do not anticipate any more attacks.