Media MONITOR:Print
20 April 2012 Daily Media Roundup
04/20/2012
Somalia News Highlights: The UN Special Envoy to Somalia unexpectedly traveled to Somaliland to mediate the disputed TFG-Somaliland talks; Burundian troops seized the Dayniile airstrip from al-Shabaab; the Italian Ambassador to Somalia visited Eyl in Puntland; an al-Shabaab prisoner mysteriously escaped from a Kenyan prison; Tanzanian defense forces arrested 12 Somali pirates in Tanzanian territorial waters; a Somalia and Kenya maritime border dispute jeopardizes oil explorations in the disputed waterways; the Somali president fired the labor and sports minister at the urging of the prime minister; TFG forces shot and killed a senior al-Shabaab leader in Mogadishu; three TFG soldiers were killed in clashes among TFG forces; al-Shabaab claimed to have briefly recaptured Qansah-Dhere town of Bay region; al-Shabaab facilitated the escape of hundreds of prisoners from Mogadishu Central Prison; Abud-Waq district elders condemned the arrest of the prime minister's guards in connection with a suicide blast; TFG soldiers were accused of killing an interpreter for the Turkish embassy in Mogadishu.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Amiir Nuur - The pro-al-Shabaab website claimed that Sheikh Aweys Hassan spoke about the large cache of weapons al-Shabaab Mujahideens seized yesterday in a 60-meter deep pit in a house on the outskirts of Mogadishu. Speaking at Friday prayers in Lafoole Mosque, Sheikh Aweys claimed that the weapons did not belong to him and were likely hidden by the disbanded Hizbul Islam group. He vowed to uncover the owners and expose them publicly. Somali Language

POLITICS

Somaliland Sun - The decision by Somaliland to withdraw from proposed talks with Somalia have elicited prompt reaction from the UN. The UN's reaction is in the shape of Ambassador Augustine Mahiga the body's special representative for Somalia/Somaliland who jetted into the country this afternoon in an unscheduled visit that he (Mahiga) later clarified on. Ambassador Mahiga further stressed on the importance of the talks hoped Somaliland which is held in high esteem by the international community will rescind its decision to withdraw from the talks with Somalia.

Garowe Online - The Italian Ambassador to Somalia Andrea Mazzella paid an official visit to Eyl district of Puntland after attending the Puntland's Constitutional event at Garowe City. During his visit to Eyl, the Italian Ambassador met with the administrators, traditional elders, women and various sector of Eyl community and Mr. Mazzella has expressed the interest of the Italian government of this historic fishing community, especially socio-economic development programs. Somali Language

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

Garowe Online - AMISOM’s Burundian contingent last evening launched an operation to secure outstanding areas of the Banadir distict of Somalia which extremists have been using to target the population in the capital, Mogadishu. Brigadier General Audace Nduwumunsi, the AMISOM Deputy Force Commander, said the operation was necessary to deny the extremists a platform to target the people of Mogadishu. "The international community has mandated AMISOM to secure Somalia so its people have the opportunity to select a form of government that is best suited to them. By securing the strategically important Daynille airfield, we have made a big step towards making this a reality and helping create the necessary conditions for reconciliation and reconstruction," he said.

The Star - Police in Garissa are investigating the mysterious disappearance of a terror suspect who escaped. The disappearance of the al shabaab suspect was exclusively reported by Star yesterday. North Eastern police boss Leo Nyongesa said a probe had been launched to establish how the suspect, identified as Mburugu Kirema alias Nurdeen, escaped under police escort. He however denied allegations that the suspect was a dangerous terrorist in charge of training. The police boss said Mburugu who hails from Majengo in Nairobi was arrested in Somalia after he surrendered to Kenyan soldiers who handed him to Liboi police station before appearing in Garissa court.

MARITIME

Daily News - Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) and the Spanish Navy have arrested 12 Somali pirates at Ukuza Island near Mafia in the last two days. Naval Operations and Training Officer (NOTO) of TPDF Col. Abdallah Mwemnjudi told reporters in Dar es Salaam on Thursday that the army also rescued six Sri Lankan nationals suspected to be the owners of the two boats that were found with the pirates. Col Mwemnjudi noted the army discovered the presence of the two foreign ships in Tanzanian Indian Ocean waters since Tuesday, saying after being informed on the presence of the pirates, the army informed their Mozambican and South African counterparts. "The investigations indicated that the pirates who come from Benediri village in Mogadishu in Somalia, have been in the country since April 17, this year," said Col Mwemnjudi, adding: "The pirates were found with the schedules of the ships to dock in Tanzanian ports," he stated that the exercise was supported by the Spanish.

OIL EXPLORATION/MARITIME CONFLICT

Reuters - A row between Kenya and Somalia over their maritime border may deter multinational oil companies from exploring for oil and gas offshore east Africa, and a Somali official warned that the argument could escalate. The two coastal nations disagree over the location of their boundary line in the Indian Ocean. At stake are their legal claims to sell rights for exploration and collect revenue from any discovery. Kenya recently identified eight new offshore exploration blocks available for licensing, and all but one of them are located in the contested area. "The issue between Somalia and Kenya is not a dispute; it is a territorial argument that came after oil and gas companies became interested in the region," Abdullahi Haji, Somalia's minister of foreign affairs, told Reuters in Mogadishu.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed fired Labour, Sports and Youth Minister Mohamed Muhyidiin Sheikh Mursal and appointed Mohamud Jirde Hussein to replace him. A statement from the president’s office said the president fired the minister after a suggestion by Prime Minister Abdiweli Ali.

The Somali National Forces on Thursday shot and killed one of the most prominent leaders of al-Qaeda in Somalia, Dahir Abu Basma, after his group attacked military bases between Mogadishu and Afgoye. Military experts said this is a huge loss to al-Qaeda militias.

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

At least three TFG soldiers were killed and others were injured when two pro-TFG militias fought in Howlwadaag district of Mogadishu on Friday. In another incident, tensions remain very high in Beledewyne district after one ASWJ fighter was killed as two ASWJ groups fought over bribes in Beledeweyne town of Hiiraan region. Locals indicated that the people and transports have stopped all movement in the city.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

Al-Shabab Mujajhideen fighters seized Qansah-Dhere district of Bay region on Thursday night. Locals told Radio Andalus the Mujahideen remained in the district for more than two hours and spoke to the residents in the public arena. The Mujahideen vacated the district after they fulfilled their aim. (Editor’s note: Al-Shabaab routinely claims to have seized territory only to vacate it shortly thereafter as part of a ‘tactical move’.)

Al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters armed with automatic weapons and grenades attacked the central prison of the pro-infidels militias in Mogadishu on Friday, freeing 80% of the prisoners, including al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

Somali elders from Abud-Waq town in central Somalia condemned the recent arrest of a number of security guards from the prime minister’s office in Mogadishu in connection with the bomb blast at the national theater. Yasin Jama’a Kirkire, a peacemaker living in Abudwaq town, said the imprisonment of the guards from Abudwaq was a politically motivated move and asked for the men to be released. "Somali PM Abdiweli Mohammed Ali and Puntland leader Farole both are accountable for the arrest of theses guards who are currently being questioned in custody in Mogadishu. We will not leave a stone unturned to this cruel and discriminate act," he said.

Radio Kulmiye - An independent radio station

Somali government troops have been accused of assassinating Yusuf Sheikh Hussein, an interpreter for the Turkish embassy in Mogadishu. Witnesses say a gunman wearing a military uniform shot Mr. Yusuf in Village Street close to the embassy building in KM 4 area. The Turkish embassy has not yet spoken about the killing of their translator. A man who described himself as brother of Yusuf told Radio Kulmiye that his brother died from being shot by a man in a uniform.