Media MONITOR:Print
5 June 2012 Daily Media Roundup
06/05/2012
Somalia News Highlights: Turkey Takes Lead in Rebuilding Somalia; Governor of Sanaag Warns Somaliland to Stop Attacks; Somali Exodus Continues Amid Conflict and Poor Rains; With Militants Gone, Somalis Return To Mogadishu; Puntland Maritime Forces Pursue Pirates; Foreign Vessels are Increasingly Looting Fish from Somalia Waters, Somali official Says; Horn Petroleum Spuds Second Shabeel Well; 5 Shabaab Fighters Defect to ASWJ, Receive Pardons; Al-Shabaab Detains 30 People in Middle Shabelle; Ethiopian Forces Ambushed by al-Shabaab in Galgadud; Al-Shabaab Claims TFG Forces Looted Property in Elasha Biyaha; Shabaab Claims to Have Killed 10 TFG Troops in Afgoye;Tanzania Agrees to Send Jailed Somali Immigrants Home; Uganda Arrests Shabaab Terror Suspect; ASWJ Kills Shabaab Fighters in Guri-el and Elbur Districts.

POLITICS

The Christian Science Monitor - Turkish workers have flooded Somalia - a country many have long considered too dangerous to work in - to rebuild it and burnish Ankara's image as a regional player and powerful force in the Islamic world. When delegates from 57 nations gathered in Istanbul last week to discuss bringing peace and stability to Somalia, one country’s efforts got special attention: Turkey. Analysts say Ankara’s humanitarian and peace-building drive is part of a campaign to bolster its status as an emerging regional power. But how effective Turkey’s involvement in Somalia will be remains in doubt. "Turkey’s role can be helpful but it’s not going to be decisive," says Ken Menkhaus, a political scientist and Somalia expert at Davidson University in North Carolina. "The prospects for peace and stability in Somalia are being driven by much bigger factors than individual countries playing facilitating roles."

Garowe Online - Mohamed Said Nur, Governor of Sanaag region, gave a stark warning to the Somaliland government, that Puntland will protect its people from attacks by the breakaway region, Radio Garowe reports. Governor Nur who held a press conference while visiting Bossaso, said that the attack by Somaliland naval forces on engineers visiting the port city of Lasqoray on Friday, was a blatant attempt to incite confrontation by the Somaliland government. "We are asking those who are committing these attacks for whatever reason to stop, Lasqoray is not a contested area and any attacks on its people or administration will not be allowed," said Governor Nur.

SECURITY/AL-SHABAAB

Trust AlertNet - A year ago this June, desperate Somali refugees began pouring into neighbouring countries, driven from their homes by conflict, human rights abuses and the worst drought in decades. This latest chapter has been another stark reminder of the Somali population's tragic and prolonged suffering spanning more than twenty years. Today, many challenges remain. Continuing conflict and poor seasonal rains are still forcing people to flee their country although at lower levels than we saw last summer. In the first four months of 2012 some 20,000 Somalis sought refuge in neighbouring Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen (on average 40,000 Somalis fled their homeland each month between June and September of 2011).

NTD Television - After two decades of anarchy and civil war, some peace and quiet finally returns to Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu. Deka Cantar Adbikarin is a Somali citizen who lived most of her life in Canada. She says that Somalia is now safe enough for people like her, who left the country because of the war. "There are a lot people coming back here now and it is probably the safest time to be in Somalia, and it's a very exciting time because of the election. There is a lot going, people are coming to rebuild again and to bring our country back together."

MARITIME

Garowe Online - Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) entered the coastal district of Bargaal after reports that Somali pirates were holding ships they captured in the district's coast, Garowe Online reports. A regiment of the PMPF arrived in the coastal district on Monday night and conducted operations to locate pirates that may have docked seized ships in the districts coast. Residents of Bargaal last week requested that the Puntland government take action about the reports of pirates entering the district. The regiment which left the district of Hafun on Monday, has been after a group of pirates that reportedly were operating in Bargaal, a district in Bari region.

Raxan Reeb - The commissioner of Bandar beyla district in Somalia’s northeastern region of Puntland said foreign vessels are increasingly coming into Somalia waters and continue looting the fish as they also dump toxic wastes into the seas, RBC Radio reports. "In the night we can see huge number of lights which are foreign fishing vessels operating in our coast," Eng. Sa’id Adam Ali told local media on Monday. "They use very sophisticated underwater lighting systems to lure the fish. The commissioner of Bandar Beyla district made clear that foreign fishing vessels operate with drift nets to steal large number of the seafood. “Even those who claim of counter piracy forces are looting our seafood," the commissioner added.

OIL EXPLORATION/PUNTLAND

RIGZONE - Africa Oil Corp. announced the commencement of drilling operations at the Shabeel North well in Puntland, Somalia, the second well in the current drilling campaign. The well is being operated by Horn Petroleum Corp. ("Horn") in which Africa Oil holds an interest of approximately 51 percent. Horn holds a 60% working interest in the Dharoor and Nugaal Valley Production Sharing Agreements ("PSA's") along with working interest partners Range Resources (20%) and Red Emperor (20%). The Shabeel North well is targeting Upper Cretaceous Jesomma sands which had good oil and gas shows in the Shabeel well 2.17 miles (3.5 kilometers) to the south. Horn President and CEO David Grellman stated, "The Shabeel North well will test the same reservoirs that appear to be oil bearing in the nearby Shabeel well.

OP-ED

Hiiraan Online - The author, Muse Yusuf hails the recently concluded Istanbul Conference for Somalia in comparison to that of London Conference. "In my view, the Istanbul Conference is a genuine event organised by a neutral mediator with the best interest of Somalia and its people at its heart. This is because the host cannot be accused of ambitions of neo-colonialism agenda, as it cannot be associated with Somalia’s dark colonial history."

RADIO ROUNDUP

Radio Mogadishu - A pro-government radio station

Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa (ASWJ) officials in central Somalia pardoned five al-Shabaab fighters after they surrendered to the group and turned over their weapons. The defectors promised to work with the ASWJ and fight against al-Shabaab. ASWJ officials called on other al-Shabaab fighters to surrender and lay down their weapons.

Al-Shabaab militias detained more than 30 Somali people in Mahadaay district of Middle Shabelle region on Monday afternoon. The detained people, including traditional elders and traders, were accused of having relationships with the TFG. After the allied troops seized ground from al-Shabaab, the militias increased the harassment of the civilians.

Radio Andalus - A pro-al-Shabaab radio station

Dozens of pro-Ethiopian militias were killed and others were injured as heavy fighting between al-Shabaab Mujahideen and the militias took place in Galgadud region on Tuesday. The fighting erupted when the Mujahideen ambushed a convoy of pro-Ethiopian militias who came from El-bur and were heading to Guri’el district. Al-Shabaab Mujahideen spokesman Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Muscab told the Islamic media that they burned three military vehicles, one civilian vehicle and killed infidels.

The pro-infidels militias who recently captured Elasha Biyaha village in the outskirts of Mogadishu started to loot the properties of the local Somali people. The militias forcefully unlocked the business stores in the village and took everything.

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

At least ten TFG soldiers were killed as al-Shabaab Mujahideen fighters launched hit and run attack on TFG bases in Afgoye district of Lower Shabelle region on Monday night. Locals told Radio al-Furqaan the fighting continued more than two hours and the Mujahideen briefly controlled the district. One of the residents in Afgoye told Radio al-Furqaan that he saw the bodies of four TFG soldiers early on Tuesday.

Radio Shabelle - An independent radio station

Somali president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said Tuesday that his government is planning to bring all illegal Somali asylum seekers in Tanzanian jails back to their home country as soon as possible. Upon his arrival in Mogadishu from Tanzania, the president said he held talks with his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete who agreed to deport all illegal immigrants back to Somalia. These comments from Somali president came as many asylum seekers fled from the conflict in Somalia are still being held in Tanzanian detention centers. The immigrants are facing poor living conditions in the jails.

Radio Bar-Kulan - An independent radio station

Uganda arrested a man believed to be a member of al-Shabaab who was part of a cell planning terror attacks in Nairobi and Kampala. The suspect, identified only as Hussein, was seized as he tried to sneak into Kenya at the Busia border crossing, police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said. However, Ms Nabakooba could not provide details about the suspect, saying she was yet to get briefing from the Counter Terrorism Police head, Mr John Ndingutse. By press time it could not be established whether Hussein is linked to the attack in Nairobi last week in which one person was killed and 35 others were injured.

ASWJ on Tuesday claimed it inflicted heavy casualties on al-Shabaab militant fighters in a clash that erupted in Guri-el and Elbur districts. The pro-TFG groups claimed victory after launching attacks on militant bases in these districts. Speaking to Radio Bar-Kulan, ASWJ’s executive committee chairman, Mohamed Yussuf Hefow, claimed they killed dozens of militants and injured over 20 others during the operation. Meanwhile ASWJ’s Elbur security boss, Abdi Mohamed Hassan, said ten people were killed in fierce fighting between them and al-Shabaab.