Media MONITOR:Print
30 March 2012 Daily Media Roundup
03/31/2012
Somalia News Highlights:Human Rights Watch asks Kenyan authorities to not return Somali refugees; Hundreds of Somali-Americans expected to attend a memorial service for late Somali president Yusuf at Minnesota State; Doctors Without Borders condemns shelling of their hospital in Mogadishu; Government of the Philippines advocates for protection and welfare of seafarers, including post-release care; China's navy claims 100% success rate fighting piracy in Somali waters; Dozens of Somali migrants abducted by armed Yemenis, who demand ransom for their release; Somali president returns to Mogadishu after attending the Arab League summit in Iraq; al-Shabaab claims to have killed over 70 AMISOM soldiers in Dayniile fighting on Friday; al-Shabaab recaptured Mahaas district of Hiiraan from ASWJ militias; Five TFG officers and soldiers were killed in assassinations and grenade attacks in Mogadishu today; Hobyo police authorities object to allowing the hijacked Taiwanese fishing vessel to dock along Hobyo's shore; TFG security forces seize hand grenades and IEDs in Mogadishu through security operations.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab Islamist website claims that the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital is in the hands of al-Shabaab, posting photos of al-Shabaab fighters allegedly guarding both the front gate and administrative offices of MSF's hospital compound in the Dayniile district of Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab claims that the spokesman for AMISOM has lied about the situation in Mogadishu by claiming that the hospital is under the control of TFG-AMISOM forces. Somali Language

POLITICS

Human Rights Watch - Kenyan authorities should not return refugees to Somalia because of ongoing fighting and abuses against civilians in areas controlled by Kenyan forces and allied militias, Human Rights Watch said today. Instead of claiming that "newly liberated areas” are safe for refugee return, Kenyan authorities should reopen the screening center at Liboi and resume registration of new refugees to ensure they receive assistance, Human Rights Watch said. "Fierce clashes in southern Somalia still pose a grave threat to civilians," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "Instead of peddling false claims that the border areas are safe, Kenya should focus on assisting and protecting refugees."

Star Tribute - Hundreds from Minnesota's Somali community are expected to attend a special memorial service Friday to remember a prominent political leader from their homeland. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was president of Somalia's interim federal government from 2004 to 2008. The Minneapolis service coincides with the visit of another prominent ex-leader of Somalia. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as "Farmajo," resigned as prime minister of Somalia last summer and is visiting Minnesota this weekend. He is scheduled to speak at the service for Yusuf, which will take place from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Midtown YWCA, 2121 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis. A controversial figure, Yusuf is credited with bringing Somalia's federal government center back to the capital of Mogadishu, with the help of the United Nations, for the first time since the civil war began in 1991. "He gets a lot of credit for daring to do that," said Abdirizak Bihi, a local activist.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

ENEWSPF - The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) condemns today’s shelling of Daynile Hospital in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Fighting began in the morning in Daynile, a neighborhood located in an outlying area of Mogadishu. The shelling struck the hospital’s emergency room and a portion of the surgical ward, causing significant damage. MSF has worked in the hospital since 2006. There were no casualties among the hospital’s 19 patients or staff, comprising 36 medical personnel and 12 guards. All patients and staff sought shelter from the shelling in the internal medicine department. MSF calls on parties to the conflict in Somalia to respect the neutrality of Daynile Hospital, along with that of all medical facilities in the country, and to respect the safety of patients and hospital staff.

MARITIME

GMA News - Upon the prodding of Philippine officials, the Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) has included the post-piracy care for seafarers affected by piracy as part of its agenda. The Philippine officials had pushed for the protection of seafarers, especially those victimized by Somali pirates, during a meeting of the CGPCS' Contact Group 3 in London on March 21. In a DFA news release, Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Enrique Manalo said: "International efforts have concentrated on the protection of merchant vessels traversing Somali waters but programs benefiting the victims of piracy have not been adopted by the different international fora where the problem of piracy off Somalia is discussed."

CRI - The Chinese navy's escort missions in Somali waters have been "100 percent successful" since they started to dispatch escort warships to the Gulf of Aden and the Somali coastal area in January 2009, China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Wang Min said here Thursday. Wang made the remarks at the eleventh plenary meeting of the Contact Group on piracy off the coast of Somalia. By the end of March this year, China has dispatched eleven batches of 28 warships to engage in escort missions for 4,543 vessels in 431 batches, more than half of which were foreign vessels, Wang said. "The escort missions are 100 percent successful," he said.

OP-ED

The Daily Beast - The author, Margot Kiser, writes about the release of Judith Tebbutt and the rising ransom demanded by the Somali pirates for the release of hundreds of hostages under their will. "Although Judith Tebbutt is safely home, residents and business operators in areas along the East African coast worry that the mere mention of a hefty ransom payout will encourage further piracy."

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

Dozens of Somali migrants were kidnapped by Yemeni gunmen in the Harar region of Yemen. The Somali ambassador in Yemen, Hussein Haji Ahmed, told Radio Mogadishu that gunmen are demanding ransom for the release of the Somali immigrants. He also said that the militias have raped and tortured the Somali women who were abducted. The Yemeni security forces attempted to release those kidnapped but failed when the gunmen repelled them.

Somali President Sharif Ahmed has returned back to Mogadishu on Friday after he attended the Arab League summit in Iraq. During his visit to Iraq, the Somali president met with Arab leaders and he asked them to support the transitional government of Somalia in its effort of rebuilding the country.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

Al-Shabaab mujahideen fighters have repelled the infidels and their slaves who tried to capture the Dayniile district of Mogadishu on Thursday. More than 70 Ugandan and Burundi infidels were killed, and five enemy military vehicles and tanks were burned. Sources close to the infidels indicated that over 16 Burundi soldiers were missing in the fighting.

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

Al-Shabaab mujahideen fighters recaptured the Mahaas district in Hiiraan region after fierce fighting against ASWJ militias on Friday. Local residents and al-Shabaab military officials told Radio al-Furqaan that the mujahideen are in full control of the district. A few days ago, a large number of Ethiopian troops and ASWJ militia entered Mahaas district, after the mujahideens withdrew for tactical reasons.

Unidentified gunmen have shot and killed two TFG military officials named Yassin Abdi and Ahmed Abdulle Haadoole, in the Shibis and Karan districts of Mogadishu respectively, on Thursday night. It is also reported that armed men killed two TFG security forces in the Yaqshid district of Mogadishu. Unidentified men also threw grenades at a TFG military base in Buluhubey village of Mogadishu which caused the death of a soldier.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

Galmudug police officials announced that they will not allow Somali pirates holding a hijacked ship to access its beaches. Hobyo's police chief Abdiweli Hassan Hirsi told Bar-Kulan Radio that the gangs holding the Taiwanese fishing vessel are trying to dock at Hobyo, a pirate-infested Somali coastline town. Mr. Hirsi stated that they will try their best to prevent the pirates docking along Hobyo's shores. Reports say the vessel, NAHAM 3, is being held at an area called Labad, some 40 kilometers east of Hobyo.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

TFG security forces on Friday night stated that they seized a number of hand grenades and other explosive devices in Mogadishu after security operations. Ahmed Abdullahi Yare, a TFG military commander at Ex-control Afgoye checkpoint, south of Mogadishu, told Shabelle Radio that the security forces seized a number of explosive devices, including hand grenades, during operations in the area. He said that al-Shabaab elements have smuggled these explosive devices intending to attack the TFG-controlled districts, adding they have handed the seized explosives and al-Shabaab fighters to the African Union (AMISOM) peacekeepers in Mogadishu.