Media MONITOR:Print
12 April 2012 Daily Media Roundup
04/13/2012
Somalia News Highlights: The Somali president states TFG will assist in Puntland's fight against al-Shabaab; Somali PM urges the public to stop speculation on the National Theater blast, wait for results of ongoing investigations; Christian station asserts al-Shabaab wants to eliminate Christians from Somalia; Somali pirates acquire new sophisticated weapons from Libya; TFG Defense Minister, after Addis Ababa conference, asserts additional AMISOM troops will deploy to expand fight against al-Shabaab; Al-Shabaab claims to destroy Ethiopian military vehicles in Galgudud region; Al-Shabaab claims to kill three TFG soldiers in hand grenade attack in Baidoa; Governor of Banadir claims that certain TFG leaders were involved in the National Theater suicide bombing; Al-Shabaab arrests 25 khat sellers in Kismayo and demolish vendor stalls.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab website published a lengthy commentary on the suicide attack at the Mogadishu National Theater, the infighting among the groups loyal to the Somali president with the Somali prime minister (PM). It depicts the National Theater bombing as an inside job, since many of the Somali PM's closest cabinet ministers and advisers did not attend the event. It also implicates the President of Uganda, Yoweri Moseveni, who is described as being dissatisfied with the Somali PM and his cabinet ministers who awarded security operations to Western companies and Somalia oil explorations to Halliday Finch Company. The website claims the Ugandan president has complained: "How they could award business tenders to Western companies when Ugandan and African troops are shedding their blood for Somalia?" (Editor's Note: Banadir's governor has also claimed "the National Theater attack was an inside job", as other Somali media outlets also reported.) Somali Language

POLITICS

Shabelle - Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed said on Thursday that his government is ready to help Puntland administration based in northern Somalia to assure security. "We are committed as the Somali government and Puntland administration to clean out al-Shabaab militants, tied with al-Qaeda, out of every position they have in the country. There is a military plan set up to launch offensives against the militants who are regrouping in the Galgala mountains range in north-east Puntland. God willing, we will defeat them," the Somali president told reporters in Mogadishu.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

Bar-Kulan - Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has called on the public to stop speculation ahead of the highly-awaited findings of the investigation into the recent blast in Somalia’s national theatre in Mogadishu, where six people were killed and dozen others injured. Ali dismissed rumours that individuals who are not members of the al-Shabaab militant group were responsible for the attack, insisting that the militant group is to be blamed for the attack. He noted that it was important for people to wait for the finding of the investigators, who are expected to table their findings soon.

CBN News - Somalia's Islamist terror group al-Shabaab wants to rid the Muslim country of all Christians and is specifically targeting Christian converts from Islam. Al-Shabaab recently joined with al Qaeda and wants Sharia law implemented in the country. An al-Shabaab video that swept the Internet in September 2008 shows the brutal beheading of 25-year-old aid worker Mansour Mohammed. His crime? Mohammed converted to Christianity in 2005.

MARITIME

Reuters - Somali pirates have acquired sophisticated weaponry, including mines and shoulder-held missile launchers from Libya, and are likely to use them in bolder attacks on shipping, a senior maritime security analyst said on Thursday. "We found that Libyan weapons are being sold in what is the world's biggest black market for illegal gun smugglers, and Somali pirates are among those buying from sellers in Sierra Leone, Liberia and other countries," said Judith van der Merwe, of the Algiers-based African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

Somali Defense Minister Hussein Arab Isse returned from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after attending a security meeting with participation by the African nations contributing troops to AMISOM peacekeepers in Somalia. Speaking to Radio Mogadishu, the defense minister stated the security meeting focused on the deployment of more pledged African troops, and the expansion of AMISOM security operations throughout southern Somalia to totally eliminate the Al-Qaeda linked militants from the Somali nation. It is also decided in the meeting that all Somali troops will be trained in Somalia and not in neighboring African nations.

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

Al-Shabaab mujahideen attacked an Ethiopian military convey between Dhusamreeb and El-Bur in Galgudud region this afternoon. The mujahideen succeeded in burning enemy military vehicles in the attacks in the Galgudud region of central Somalia.

Radio Andalus - A al-Shabaab-supporting radio station

Details emerge about the hand grenade attacks on TFG-supporting militias in Baidoa. Al-Shabaab mujahideen attacked TFG soldiers with hand grenades at Baidoa Bank, and three infidel-supporting militias were killed in the attacks.

Radio Kulmiye - An independent radio station

52 years after the foundation of the Somali national army, which is commemorated every year on April 12, throughout the country. The celebrations for the army anniversary is one of the major events for the Somali government. PM Abdiweli Mohamed Ali sent congratulations to the soldiers in the country. PM Abdiweli said Somali troops are the defenders of our country. "They are heroes, they deserve to be rewarded for what they have done for the nation, since the foundation of the national army there have been great achievements, including the recent liberations of some regions in our country, they are holding back al-Shabaab fighters."

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

On Thursday, the TFG Governor of Banadir Mohamud Ahmed Nur (known as Tarsan) accused some TFG officials of involvement in the deadly suicide bomb blast at the National Theater in Mogadishu last week. While chatting on PalTalk with Somali youths living outside the country, the governor cast suspicion with regards to the attack on some officials in Somali government. He wrote: "there is a suspicion that TFG members could be behind the attack." "People have asked how the female attacker who carried out the explosion crossed the security barrier of the national theater without checking or scanning by the guards. Who is she and where she was from? To answer these questions, it should conduct a full investigation soon," said Tarsan.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

The al-Shabaab militant group has arrested 25 people in the port city of Kismayo in Lower Juba, and the militants have demolished scores of stalls used by khat traders. Armed militants on Thursday descended on the makeshift structures in the city where the narcotic khat leaves are sold, and rounded up 25 local khat traders, which sparked outrage from business owners and residents in Kismayo. Abdirahim Mudey, an al-Shabaab leader in Kismayo who led the demolition team, stated that they demolished the khat stalls after owners failed to comply with an al-Shabaab order banning the sale of the narcotic commodity in the city.