Media MONITOR:Print
26 April 2012 Daily Media Roundup
04/26/2012
Somalia News Highlights: The Somali prime minister criticized the international community for failing to uphold it's financial commitment for the UN Roadmap initiative; the US is committed to African anti-terrorism efforts in East and West Africa; Al-Qaeda linked militants said the American-born terror leader, al-Amriki, is alive to counter rumors on his death; the outgoing AMISOM commander called on the unity of the Somali people to uproot al-Shabaab from Somalia; Somaliland's democratization process was weakened by fraud surrounding the registration of political parties; Somali immigrants are forced to fight for warring factions in Yemen including Al-Qaeda; a Somali-British group was organized to protest the UK's renewed interest in Somalia; the current Somali president declared his candidacy for the next presidential election; AMISOM's new commander announced the deployment of AU forces to newly liberated towns of southern Somalia; the most senior al-Shabaab leaders met in the port city of Kismayo over allied advances; al-Shabaab claimed to have killed seven Burundian soldiers in Mogadishu and two Kenyans in Gedo region; al-Shabaab sent an ultimatum warning to Sierra Leone against its expected troops deployment to Somalia; and three bodyguards of an al-Shabaab leader surrendered to TFG allied forces.

COMMENTARY ON ISLAMIC WEBSITES

Somali Memo - The pro-al-Shabaab website claimed that an American officer narrowly escaped death during an attempted al-Shabaab attack at Maslah Military Camp in Mogadishu. The American officer was with the commander of the infidel African troops who was touring the military base as the al-Shabaab Mujahideens started shelling the base. Somali Language

POLITICS

Garowe Online - Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas said funds from the international community for the implementation of the Roadmap have delayed, Garowe Online reports. Prime Minister Gaas spoke about the accomplishments of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that included the Garowe, Galkayo and Mogadishu agreements and the completion of the Somalia constitution. "The TFG has accomplished many major achievements that has pushed Somalia towards the direction of democracy," said Prime Minister Gaas. Despite those achievements and the upcoming deadline for a new parliament by August Prime Minister said that the international community who have kept a watchful eye on the accords but have delayed much needed funds to complete the agreement by the deadline. "Although the international community approve of the agreements and are conscious of the deadline there has been a delay in funds," said Prime Minister Gaas.

US State Department - Porous borders and weak security institutions have heightened the threat posed by violent groups in East and West Africa, and the United States is working with countries in both regions to counter the threats, not only by empowering their security forces, but also by promoting better governance, human rights practices and economic opportunities, a senior State Department official told U.S. lawmakers. In his prepared remarks for an April 25 House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Don Yamamoto said African countries affected by groups such as al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Lord’s Resistance Army must lead the response to terrorism. "Our regional partners have consistently emphasized that Africa’s security is the responsibility of the Africans themselves and it is vital that the United States and other partners maintain supporting roles," he said.

Somaliland Press - After a decade, the Somaliland electorate is heading to the polls to elect candidates for the local elections. Nine political parties would contest for the upcoming election; however, the process the un-elected registration commission selected the political parties was flaw, questionable and un-democratic, and it could undermine our fledging democracy. In addition, the three existing political parties lack transparency, accountability, and internal democracy in their party structure. There are no laws governing political parties' registration and financing. There are also no term limit for the party leaders and transparency over the fundraising and the financial contributions the parties receive.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

Shabelle - The African Union peacekeeping forces serving under AMISOM umbrella in Somalia called on Somali people to amalgamate fighting against Al-Qaeda linked insurgents of al-Shabaab. General Fred Mugisha, the outgoing force commander of AMISOM announced on Thursday that al-Shabaab still poses major threat inSomaliaso that the people should come together as to eradicate the militants from the entire country soon. "I warn Al shabab and Al Qaeda to continue the aimless killing and deadly attacks against innocent civilians inMogadishuand as well as areas under their control in Somalia," said Mugisha.

Associated Press - An Al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group says its American commander who was feared dead in early April is still alive. Al-Shabaab militants released a statement on their website Thursday saying Omar Hammami is in "areas under the control of Islam." The group denied he had been killed. Hammami, an Alabama native, issued a video last month saying he feared his life was in danger because of disagreements he had with other militant leaders.

Garowe Online - Reports were released of Iran and Saudi Arabia both accusing each other of recruiting and training Somali refugees in Yemen as fighters, Radio Garowe reports. Analysts who spoke to Garowe Online say that Somalis illegally entering countries when apprehended are occasionally used for purposes of the authorities who caught them rather than be sent back to their countrty or jailed. In Libya accusations of Somalis fighting for former dictator Momar Gaddafi led to the killings and imprisonment of many innocent Somalis. There were reports of reprisals against Somalis that were allegedly fighting for former President of Yemen Ali Abdullahi Saleh. Analysts say more reports of Somalis fighting for insurgent groups or against could further insinuate the reprisals.

DIASPORA/BRITISH POLITICS

Mareeg - The Hands Off Somalia campaign began in early 2012, initially in reaction to the British government-hosted conference on Somalia on February 23, but has a larger set of demands including opposing criminalisation of the Somali community in Britain. The Hands off Somalia! campaign is made up of both Somali and non-Somali people, who believe that they must act now to prevent Somalia becoming the next target for Britain to bomb in the way it has done to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, to stop corporate plunder of Somalia’s natural resources and to highlight the discrimination, criminalisation and social exclusion faced by Somali people in Britain.

MEDIA

Press TV - This is over 2-minute video on the announcement of the Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed as a presidential candidate for the upcoming elections in Somalia, but many indicate their distrust of the current leaders. The Somali president claims that his biggest achievement is the stabilization of Somalia and deserves to be re-elected than any other presidential hopefuls.

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

African Union officials and AMISOM commanders said they will expand their operations in Somalia and will reach recently liberated regions in southern and central Somalia. The deputy AU representative in Somalia Wafula Wamunyinyi, the former AMISOM commander General Fred Mungisha, and the new AMISOM commander General Andrew Guti held a press conference in Mogadishu and said new AMISOM police forces will come from Nigeria and Uganda to support those from Kenya and Burundi. Fred Mungisha repeated that Ethiopian troops leave the country as soon as possible, since they are not part of AMISOM.

Reports from Kismayo town of Lower Jubba region indicate that the top al-Shabaab leaders met to discuss the difficult time that they are facing due to the advances by allied forces. Somalia’s al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, his deputy Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansuur, Fu’ad Mohamed Khalaf Shongole, Hassan Dahir Aweys and other officials attended the meeting, according to sources close to the group.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

The hit and run attacks and planned assassinations against the infidels and their workers are increasing day after day in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters on Wednesday night attacked the infidels’ bases in Dharkinlay district and gained new ground before they pulled out late last night. Military sources indicate that at least seven Burundian soldiers were killed in Mogadishu over the last 24 hours. Also a pro-infidel security official was shot and killed in Yaqshid district. Gunmen also threw grenades on the pro-infidels militias’ base in Karan district, killing several fighters.

Reports from Gedo region indicate that at least two Kenyan military vehicles were burned and dozens of infidels were killed as the Mujahideen ambushed a convoy of Kenyan vehicles in between Dhamase and El-Adde villages on Thursday. The Mujahideen forced the enemy to stop their journey. Lower Jubba and Gedo regions become the graves of Kenyan infidels since they invaded Somalia.

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

Al-Shabaab Mujahideen officials have sent their last warning message to Sierra Leone’s government which wants to send its troops to Somalia. The spokesman of al-Shabaab Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage warned the people that they will see their boys scattered on the streets in Somalia. He told them that to learn what is happening to Ethiopian, Ugandan, Burundian and Kenyan troops at the hands of al-Shabaab.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

Al-Shabaab fighters, including three body guards of al-Shabaab leader in Lower and Middle Juba regions Sheikh Hassan Yacquub Ali, surrendered to TFG troops in Qoqani district of Lower Jubba on Thursday. The fighters were carrying weapons and driving a Helix Surf Toyota. A TFG military officer Colonel Ahmed Abdulahi told Radio Bar-Kulan that they welcomed the fighters.