Media MONITOR:Print
27 March 2012 Daily Media Roundup
03/27/2012
Somalia News Highlights: The European Union urges credible Somali government by ruling out any extensions of TFG mandate; UK's Minister for Africa visits Mogadishu and holds talks with TFG, AU and UN leaders; Minneapolis city redistricting expected to garner additional political representation to Somali-Americans; a dozen Somali-Americans expected to appear before a Tennessee State Court on sex-trafficking charges; the US State Department claims that the anti-piracy program has unintended consequence of spreading pirates out over vaster waters; the Somali Basketball Federation requests technical assistance from the African Union's Sport Association; TFG & AMISOM officials visit Beledweyne town today; the Somali president paid an official visit to the Adado town of Galgudud region; TFG soldiers accused of having raped a woman in Bakool region; Al-Shabaab claims to have killed a senior TFG officer in Mogadishu; an al-Shabaab leaders claims Islamist fighters are behind the assassinations of TFG officials in Mogadishu; Yemeni government claims to have captured six suspected al-Shabaab members in Yemen; ASWJ calls on al-Shabaab members to renounce violence and surrender; and the international media watchdog condemned the assault on a Somali journalist wounded in Mogadishu.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab Islamist website claimed that the leaders of the Ayr sub-clan of Habargidir clan held a meeting at the Guri-El and Dhusamareeb districts today, and the traditional and religious leaders have expressed their opposition to the presence and the invasion of the Ethiopian troops of Ayr sub-clan inhabited area. The Sultan Mahdi calls on Ayr youth to participate in the fight against the Ethiopians.Somali Language

POLITICS

AFP - The European Union calls on Tuesday for a credible government in Somalia after the mandate of the current transitional authority, accused of rampant corruption, expires in August. Donors have ruled out extending the term of the eight-year-old Transitional Federal Government, which has failed to deliver on its mandate, and are backing efforts to set up a new administration. "The outside world could satisfy itself by just ticking 100 boxes and saying something's being done," Alexander Rondos, the EU special representative for Somalia, told reporters in Nairobi.

Garowe Online - Britain’s minister for Africa and overseas territories Henry Bellingham visited the capital on Tuesday stating that Britain is committed to supporting Somalia, Radio Garowe reports. The minister who met with UN Special Representative Augustine Mahiga,Mayor of Mogadishu Mohamed Ahmed Nur, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdinur Sheikh Ibrahim as well as the AMISOM commander Major Gen. Fred Mugisha and civil society members. Mr. Bellingham and ambassador Mahiga spoke about the development of political structures so that the transitional period could end as scheduled.

MPR - The Minneapolis Charter Commission votes this afternoon on a plan that has the potential to increase minority representation on the City Council. Lilligren's ward will be re-drawn to encompass a larger swath of the city's East African population, stretching into parts of Cedar-Riverside and Seward. A Somali-led group called the Citizen's Committee for Fair Redistricting lobbied heavily for the creation of such a ward. The Somali group also wanted at least part of the Midtown Phillips neighborhood, but the redistricting plan gives that territory to Ward 9 in an effort to create a stronghold for the city's Latino community.

MARITIME

National Defense Magazine - Efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia have had the unintended consequence of pushing pirates farther out to sea and giving them more control of the Indian Ocean, said the State Department’s lead official on counter-piracy policy. The U.S. Navy worked with partner countries to set up a nearly 500-mile long corridor in the Gulf of Aden to ensure safe travel for commercial vessels. The transit zone is heavily patrolled by naval forces and even used by some countries for convoy operations. It is used less now by pirates, who have set their sights on bigger targets farther away from shore. "The corridor has helped reduce the number of attacks in the transit zone, but it has also had the unfortunate side effect of pushing pirate activities farther out to sea," Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, said during a March 27 discussion at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C..

SEX TRAFFICKING/DIASPORA

Star Tribute - A federal judge has delayed the start of a trial for more than a dozen people accused in a sex trafficking ring run by Somali gangs that reached from Minnesota to Tennessee. Opening arguments were scheduled to start Monday, but over the weekend the U.S. attorney's office released to defense attorneys hundreds of pages of investigator notes and hours of telephone recordings of one of the juvenile female victims. The indictment said three gangs called the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia and the Lady Outlaws were forcing teenage girls into prostitution and operated in St. Paul, Minn.; Minneapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Nashville.

SPORTS

Raxanreeb - With Somalia currently emerging from decades of conflicts, the country’s national Olympic committee has asked the Zone V basketball Federation to help Somali basketball recover from the past wounds and setbacks caused by the long-running lawlessness in the horn of African country. The demand was delivered by Somali National Olympic committee senior vice president for international relations Duran Ahmed Farah during a meeting with Zone V secretary General and Kenyan basketball Federation Secretary General Mr. Vitalis Gode in Nairobi over night on Saturday. "The secretary General has fully pledged that his Zonal association will help Somalia get international level courses for coaching, administration and refereeing in a bid to promote Somali basketball in terms of both techniques and administration" the senior vice president told the media upon arrival in Mogadishu on Sunday.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

Officials from the African Union's Peacekeepers known as AMISOM have reached the tow of Beledweyne in the Hiran region on Tuesday. The TFG & AMISOM officials are expected to assess Beledweyne town and the locations for basing those peacekeepers who are heading there to replace the Ethiopian troops. Recently those officials visited Baidoa of Bay region.

Somali TFG President Sharif Ahmed on visited the Adado district of Galgadud region. The president, who was accompanied by the Speaker of the Parliament, Sharif Hassan, and TFG officials, met with the Himan and Heeb Regional State officials including the vice president Abdirahman Shati Adde. The Somali president promised that TFG will support the regional state.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

The pro-infidel militias have raped a Somali woman in Hudur district of Bakool region on Tuesday. An eye witness told Radio Andalus that the militiamen entered the house of the woman at noon and then tortured her husband before they raped his wife.

Undercover fighters belonging to the al-Shabaab mujahideen shot and killed a pro-infidel officer in the Shibis district of Mogadishu on Tuesday night. Locals have confirmed that the mujahideen took money and other things from the body of the officer.

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

Al-Shaabaab chairman for the Banadir region, Sheikh Mohamed Abu Abdirahman claimed that al-Shabaab fighters are responsible for the assassinations of TFG security officials in Mogadishu. Abu Abdirahman, who held a press conference in Mogadishu, stated that the mujahideen have killed and captured many spies from the TFG. The chairman called for the TFG security forces to stop working with the enemy.

Radio Kulmiye - An independent radio station

Yemeni army forces arrested on Tuesday six Somali nationals believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula. Yemeni Defense Minister said that army forces managed on Monday to detain 6 Somali nationals planning to carry out terrorist operations intending to target army and security bases and personnel. Troops from the 39th army brigade arrested six Somalis in the southern restive town of Zinjubar, the provincial capital of Abyan, while they were plotting attacks on the army, according to a short statement posted on the official website of the Defense Ministry. In the past two months, the army forces have already detained 29 terrorists belonging to the Shabaab al-Islam, the Somali wing of al-Qaeda, said the statement.

A pro-government militia group of Ahlus Sunna wal Jamaa (ASWJ) call on al-Shabaab fighters to renounce violence and join their solders, or else they will find punishment. Sheikh Yusuf Hefow, a senior leader for the group, said the fighters have now an opportunity to renounce violence and stand with their people in straggle to restore peace and security in the country, but the leader threatened al-Shabaab fighters will be pursued if they do not lay down their arms.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Sunday’s shooting of radio journalist Mohaiyadin Hassan Mohamed in the capital Mogadishu, and call on civil authorities to ensure his safety. Two unknown gunmen opened fire at Mohamed, the news director of Shabelle Media Network’s radio station, as he walked home from work at around 6 pm (1600 UTC), news reports said. The journalist told CPJ that he ran after the gunmen began shooting at him, and that one bullet grazed his chest. Islamist insurgents Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the shooting, according to Somalimemo, a website that supports the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group. The group has also claimed responsibility for the 2010 murder of journalist Sheik Nur Mohamed Abkey. “This attack on Mohyadin Hassan Mohamed is the latest example of the deteriorating press freedom climate in Somalia,” said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. “Authorities must immediately ensure Mohamed’s safety as well as the security of all journalists working in the country."