Media MONITOR:Print
7 April 2012 Daily Media Roundup
04/08/2012
Somalia News Highlights: Al-Shabaab lost more territories to TFG-Ethiopian troops in southwest Somalia; Puntland holds a public forum for 200 university students; the UK warns Westerners against traveling to Somalia including Somaliland; Somali women are subjected to ongoing physical and mental abuse; the Somali president urged the AMISOM commander to expand the advance against al-Shabaab to the rest of the nation; the Somali parliament speaker visited Baidoa city; al-Shabaab distributed 1,600 goats to poor families in Lower Shabelle; two civilians were allegedly killed by the Ethiopian troops in Galgudud region; al-Shabaab concluded training for hundreds of youths in Bay region; Somali migrants crossing the Turkish border were arrested; and the former Somali parliament speaker warns the public about potential al-Shabaab attacks.

POLITICS

Somaliland Press - Somali Government forces backed by Ethiopian troops have taken control of Hudur, about 420km south of the capital Mogadishu, residents said. According to residents, the allied forces entered the town Thursday around 2pm (local time), having moved from an area 15km away. They said there was no resistance from Al-Shabaab militants who left the town earlier. The arriving troops set up positions in and around Hudur, urging the people to conduct business as usual. The fanatical Islamists had reportedly vacated their positions in the town on Wednesday afternoon as the enemy forces advanced “Not even one Al-Shabaab loyalist is in the town (Hudur),” said a resident who asked not to be named for security reason. The development was preceded by intense fighting at a location known as Teed, about 15km west of the town.

Garowe Online - The president of Somalia’s Puntland government addressed over 200 university students at a hall meeting Friday, marking the president’s awareness campaign ahead of Puntland’s crucial constitution vote next week, Radio Garowe reports. Organizers told Garowe Online that more than 200 students at PSU and East Africa University (EAU) in Puntland attend the event. Senior Cabinet officials, Interior Minister Abdullahi Ahmed Ilkajir, Finance Minister Farah Ali Jama, Planning Minister Daud Mohamed Omar, and Education Minister Abdi Saeed Juha, were present as President Farole answered the students’ questions in front of satellite television cameras.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

Foreign and Common Wealth Office - We advise against all travel to Somalia. There is a high threat to western, including British, interests from terrorism in Somalia, including Somaliland. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Since the death of Osama Bin Laden terrorist groups operating in Somalia have made threats against Westerners and those working for western organisations in Somalia, including Somaliland. This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Safety and Security Terrorism/Security section (explosion in Mogadishu on 4 April). The overall level of the advice has not changed; we continue to advise against all travel to Somalia.

HUMANITARIAN/WOMANS' RIGHTS

Woman News Network - Following several weeks of military intervention by the Kenyan Defense Forces against Somali extremist militia groups, Somali women have become easy targets for rape and physical assault. But physical assault can also come from home and can also be psychological. As some Somalian women stand up to their husbands, crushing violence can follow. Because of this, women of Somalia can face violence both inside and outside the family structure. Conflict in Somalia has also brought women untold violence where personal safety is at a minimum. "Sexual violence remains intolerably high," said Mr. Martin Briens Deputy from the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations during a recent formal February 2012 statement to the UN General Assembly.

OP-ED

Wardheernews - The author, Hassan Abukar comments about the tragic suicide bombing at the Somali National Theater and predicts more to come as al-Shabaab loses more grounds against TFG-AMISOM forces in Somalia but irreversible gain against the Islamic militants. "Fortunately, the recent blast, though tragic, is nothing but a hiccup in the slow but steady progress Somalia has recently made. Perhaps, it will provide a lesson for many that the road to progress is strewn with setbacks. The process of reforming the country, indeed, is daunting but Mogadishu residents will remain undaunted in sustaining the current positive changes."

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

Somali President Sharif Ahmed met with the chief commanders of AMISOM forces in Mogadishu and discussed how to escalate the security operations against al-Qaeda linked militias in Somalia. At the meeting, the president emphasized that it’s necessary to immediately liberate the regions that Al-Qaeda militias control in Somalia. The commander of the African Union troops in Somalia told the president that all their troops are ready and waiting order from TFG top officials in order to librate those regions under the control of al-Shabaab.

Somali Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan and high level delegates paid an official visit to Baidoa town of Bay region on Saturday. The parliament speaker was accompanied by the Chief Somali Police Sharif Shekhuna Maye, cabinet ministers and lawmakers. Former MP Sheikh Aden Modobe praised the TFG's recent TFG's military offensives against al-Shabaab in Bay and Bakol regions.

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

Al-Shabaab Mujahideens have distributed more 1,600 goats to 320 families in Kunturwarey district of Lower Shabelle region on Saturday. According al-Shabaab officials in Lower Shabelle, each family received five goats. This distribution of livestock is a party of large development project intended to help the poor Somali people.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

Christian Ethiopian troops shot and killed two civilians in Eelshid village of Galgadud region on Saturday. The Ethiopians injured four civilians after opening fire on a large crowd of people. Al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters also ambushed a convoy of Ethiopian troops heading to Elbur district and the Mujahideen inflicted loses on the enemy.

Al-Shabaab Mujahideen Administration of Bay region on Friday concluded training for hundreds of new Mujahideens who are committed to participating in the fighting against infidels in Somalia. Al-Shabaab officials in Bay region presented the newly trained youths to the public and they were urged to fight till they secure victory or die.

Radio Kulmiye - An independent radio station

A large number of Somali migrants believed to be trying to cross the Turkey border were intercepted in the northwestern province of Edirne on Friday. According to reports, police detained 75 illegal migrants, most of the Somalis in large-scale operations in the towns of İpsala and Meriç and the village of Bosnaköy. The other illegal migrants are believed being Palestinians and Myanmar.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

The former parliament speaker Sheik Aden Mohammed Nur warned the public about deadly attacks in the capital, by al-Shabaab fighters. Speaking to Shabelle Radio, Mr. Nur stated that al-Shabaab has no mercy upon Somalis, so that the public should be careful about the blasts and attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country. "You are aware of that Al-Shabaab fighters have killed many senior Somali government officials and civilians after storming their houses in El-Berde town of Bakol region last weekend and they are committed to and ready to kill civilians. So, I’m calling on the Somali people to be aware of risks," he said.