11 thoughts on “Somali refugees demonstrate

  1. Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)

    Somalia: Spokesman – ‘Foreign Companies Pretending Al-Shabab Plan to Carry Out Blasts in Somalia’

    11 January 2010

    Somalia — Sheik Ali Mohamued Raghe (Sheik Ali Dere), the spokesman of Harakat Al-shabab Muajhideen has Monday discovered that they got information that foreign companies from America had arrived in the country and are planning to carry out blasts in the Somalia.

    The spokesman said that those companies wand to commit explosive activities and want to accuse and say that their actions were commited by Harakat Al-shabab Mujahideen.

    Sheik Ali Dere told reporters in a seminar of learning Sharia law in Mogadishu and concluded for the Somali traditional elders that the foreign companies were from the United States of America saying that they want to commit blasts against to the people.

    “These companies are foreigners; they were chased from more countries as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria and Iraq. Their plans failed. They have changed their names and they are in Villa Somalia, the presidential palace of the TFG. They changed their names,” said the spokesman.

    He said that one of the companies was called Black Water saying that it used to operate in Iraq and belonged by the United States of America confirming that its tasks is only to massacre the Muslims.

    He added that it failed to continue its objectives in the countries mentioned above pointing out that it had changed its name to MC with other companies saying that they were all in Villa Somalia in Mogadishu,

    “The companies want to commit explosive actions to the mosques, markets and streets which are often used by Lories and the different traffic by using the taxes who know nothing about that,” the spokesman said.

    Most of the areas planned the companies to carry out their operations are the areas under the control of TFG and the traffic from those areas to explode the mosques and then say that Harakat Al-shabab Mujahideen had committed the actions.

    Sheik Moktar Robow Ali (Abu Mansur), top official of Harakat Al-shabab Mujahideen had also talked at the area where the seminar wrapped up today disproving statement from the Kenyan government that some of Harakat Al-shabab Muhjahideen members had reached there saying that it wanted different aims.

  2. Somalia: Islamic Countries Urge US to Stop Its Air Strikes …

    Charles Kazooba

    The East African, 31 January 2010

    Nairobi — In a thorny demand made at a controversial venue, Islamic countries have asked the United Nations to halt unilateral interventions in Somalia dominated by military strikes by the United States.

    The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) wants any intervention in Somalia to be multilateral, under the stewardship of the United Nations, and to be designed to initiate dialogue among the warring factions rather than use military might. The demands were made at a meeting in Uganda, which is currently chairing the OIC, but thinks of the US as an indispensable ally in ending the crisis in Somalia.

    The week-long meeting, attended by about 500 delegates from 30 countries, also discussed the Darfur crisis in Sudan, where again Uganda has been critical of President Omar al-Bashir’s role in the region’s troubles, while the OIC has been rallying support to save him from prosecution by the International Criminal Court.

    The Parliamentary Union of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (PUIC) suggested that America’s unilateral intervention in Somalia could ultimately limit co-operation by Muslim countries until a UN arrangement is reached.

    A resolution adopted at the end of the meeting appealed for resistance to foreign occupation and aggression but left room for dialogue between Islamic and Western parliaments on major issues including the Somalia crisis and terrorism.

    “Terrorism has no race or religion. Everybody condemns it. Everybody should be brought on board. OIC is a member of the UN and has a lot of weight. We shall give support to all the people of Somalia. We support maintaining peace and stability in Somalia,” said Siddig Yousif Abu-Agla, Director of Cabinet for PUIC.

    “When the US handled the terrorism war, it was in accordance with the American policy. So we are now demanding a much broader policy under the United Nations whose actions are more binding,” said Hussein Kyanjo, a member of the PUIC Council and also a Ugandan opposition legislator.

    “We don’t want a direct intervention. The thinking is that different factions be hosted in one of the capitals outside Somalia to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis. We are avoiding a radical approach. We have been pushing the Somali MPs to identify elements in Al-Shabaab whom we can support to start the peace talks,” he added.

    The US is aware that the terrorist cells sheltering in Somalia threaten its installations in the region, especially East Africa. In order to prevent al-Qaeda establishing itself in the region, the US set up base in neighbouring Djibouti in late 2002, as part of the Combined Joint Task Force: Horn of Africa.

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201002010792.html

  3. Up to 240,000 Under Fives Malnourished – Report

    2 February 2010

    Nairobi — Somalia has one of the highest levels of malnutrition in the world, with up to 240,000 children under five affected, according to an early warning report published on 1 February by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FAO/FSNAU) and FEWSNET.

    The report comes as Mogadishu residents say the humanitarian situation has deteriorated.
    Click to learn more…

    “I honestly cannot remember when things have been so bad; it is as if all the negative things are coming together at one time,” civil society activist Asha Sha’ur said. “If the situation – both security and humanitarian – does not improve soon, we will be looking at a far worse situation than Somalia has ever faced.”

    Ali Sheikh Yassin, deputy chairman of the Mogadishu-based Elman Human Rights Organization (EHRO), said many business people had fled the city due to increasing insecurity.

    “These were the people who used to create jobs,” he said.

    “It was not much but it allowed many displaced poor people to supplement what little aid they got. Now that is not possible.”

    More than two-thirds of malnourished children were in south-central Somalia, the report said.

    “Although we are seeing some positive indicators in terms of the lifting of the livestock export ban and improved crop and livestock production in southern parts … the food security and nutrition situation in central regions remains in crisis, where 70 percent of the population require assistance,” said Grainne Moloney, FSNAU’s interim chief technical adviser for Somalia.

    Severely malnourished

    One in six children was acutely malnourished and in need of specialist care. “One in 22 is severely malnourished and at a nine times increased risk of death compared to well nourished children,” the report said.

    In south-central Somalia, which has seen significant clashes between Islamist insurgents and government forces, one in five children were acutely malnourished, it said.

    Food Insecurity in Somalia

    * NEWS — Somalia: My Farm “Is Full of Mines”
    * DOCUMENT — Somalia: Continuing Humanitarian Crisis Affecting 42% of the Population

    Civil society activist Sha’ur told IRIN that high food prices, lack of employment opportunities and reduced humanitarian aid had contributed to the crisis. A 50kg bag of maize which was selling for the equivalent of US$12 two months ago was now going for $30, she said.

    EHRO’s Yassin said the situation in the city had deteriorated in the last two weeks. “We had a few weeks when some people actually returned to their homes from the camps, but that has now been reversed by fighting in the past week.”

    Up to 45 people had been killed and at least 152 injured in fighting between government forces and insurgents in the last week, he said.

    [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

  4. Garowe Online (Garowe)

    Somalia: Mogadishu Residents Flee Planned Govt Offensive

    6 February 2010

    Hundreds of residents have started fleeing the embattled Somali capital of Mogadishu as government forces and hard-line militant fighters prepare for an all out war.

    The massive exodus was witnessed in the areas under the control of the militants where residents expressed great fear over the imminent battle between the two sides.

    “We are fleeing from Huriwa area, which we lived in since the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops early last year. We heard that the area is under attack and preparing to leave for the central parts” said a lady who added that at least 10 families have left the area on Saturday.

    The areas which saw massive exodus include the northern districts such as Hodan, Wardhigley and Yaqshid, which are largely under the control of the militants.

    Al-Shabaab has deployed thousands of its fighters in the neighborhoods in preparation for the planned government offensives.

    Meanwhile, Somalia’s pro-government armed group Ahlu Sunnah Wal-Jamaa announced that it is planning to carry out attacks on the southern region of Gedo in the coming days.

    Sheikh Abdirahman Al-Azhar said the plan is to oust Hizbul Islam and Al-Shabaab from the region, adding that recent attack on border town of Balad Hawa was test run to determine the military capacity of their rivals.

    “We must take the control of the region and liberate the people. The recent attack on Balad Hawa was a test. We discovered the ability of our enemy,” he said.

    Al-Azhari however refutes reports that his group is getting backings from Ethiopia, saying the group’s fighters are well-trained and equipped.

    “We don’t receive any help from neighbours, Kenya and Ethiopia, which we can cross their borders whenever we want. We are getting the backing of the residents who welcome our initiatives,” he noted.

    His sentiments come after government officials based in Dolow, a Somali border town near Ethiopia vowed to recapture the southern regions of Jubba from Al-Shabaab.

    Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991 when warlords toppled the regime of President Mohammed Siad Bare.

  5. Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)

    Somalia: More Ethiopian Troops Reach in El-Berde in Southern Region

    7 February 2010

    More heavily armored Ethiopian troops with many Somali transitional government soldiers have reached at El-berde village in Bakol region in southern Somalia, witnesses told Shabelle radio on Sunday.

    Reports say that the Ethiopian troops were accompanied by officers of both the Somali and Ethiopian governments according to the residents in the village adding that the Somali soldiers were those who were trained in the Somali region under the control of Ethiopia.

    The real aim that the troops poured into the village was unclear so far.

    Local elders and residents confirmed the arrival of the Ethiopian and Somali government soldiers in El-berde village in southern Somalia.

    We had had contacted with the transitional government officials in Bakol region to know more about the troops reached there, but was too difficult to get them.

    The people in the region expressed concern about the Ethiopian troops with the Somali government soldiers and have the fears of possible fighting that breaks out in the region.

  6. Desperate Somalis turn to prostitution in Yemen

    Ulf Laessing

    ADEN, Yemen

    Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:38pm EST

    * Yemen getting tougher with Somalis on Qaeda fears
    Tue, Feb 9 2010
    * Q+A-Outside powers meddle in Yemen at their peril
    Fri, Jan 22 2010

    ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) – Somali refugee Saada hates what she does but can see no other way to feed her six children — working as a prostitute in the southern Yemeni city of Aden.

    World

    “My life is rubbish, but what can I do? I have to work and make some money,” said the woman in her 30s, sitting with other Somali women in Aden’s Basateen slum district.

    Like many others, Saada fled to Yemen to escape the chaos, clan warfare and famine that has plagued Somalia since warlords toppled President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 — only to face another struggle for survival in impoverished Yemen.

    She has spent 10 months in Yemen living on U.N. handouts and turned to prostitution eight weeks ago to send money to the relatives at home who are looking after her children.

    Saada gets no money from her first husband, who divorced her and went to work in Saudi Arabia. Her second husband was badly wounded in fighting in the anarchic Somali capital Mogadishu.

    “So now I am on my own,” she said.

    Yemen hosts 171,000 registered refugees, mostly Somalis, according to UNHCR figures for December, up from 140,300 a year earlier. Many more unregistered Somalis are thought to roam there, most of them hoping to move to richer Gulf countries.

    The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR helps Somalis on arrival, but many in Basateen say they struggle to make ends meet.

    Alysia, another divorced Somali woman driven into prostitution, said she had paid smugglers to take her on the perilous voyage across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen. “I have to take care of my son. I have to buy him milk,” she said.

    The port city of Aden has a more freewheeling atmosphere than elsewhere in Yemen, a conservative Muslim society.

    While alcohol is hard to come by in the capital Sanaa, a few restaurants and beach clubs serve drinks in Aden, luring some weekend tourists from austere Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia.

    In Aden’s Tawahi seaside district, prostitutes work in cheap hotels or clubs which have adjacent “motels.”

    “The main reason for prostitution is poverty, the unemployment of refugees,” said Alawiya Omar at the Italian aid organization Intersource, which is working in Basateen, home to about 40,000 Somalis and Yemenis with Somali ties.

    Together with UNHCR, the group helps victims of domestic and sexual violence and tries to educate refugees about the dangers of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

    “Awareness of the dangers of getting infections is not high,” said Halima, a Somali woman who helps provide health care for prostitutes and advises them about safer sex.

    “There are courses for the women, but many don’t bother to show up even if they get some money or free food on that day,” she said, sitting in a makeshift house where she lives with her husband, other families and some livestock — all crammed together with flies buzzing around.

    “My life is a mess. Sometimes men don’t pay me. I would do anything else but what?” asked Najma, 34, another Somali sex worker.

    (Editing by Alistair Lyon and Janet Lawrence)

  7. AFRICA: 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

    The year 2010 holds great significance for Africa in particular and for the world in general. A large number of African nations gained independence from the oppressive and de-humanizing colonial rule in 1960 after long drawn liberation struggles. This is the time to celebrate the 50th anniversary and AAPSO sends greetings and best wishes to each one of these nations on this joyous occasion. The hard-won independence made the peoples masters of their own destiny. It presented the leadership with the opportunity to build up the nations following the common will. Thus, it is also the moment to look back and take stock of the achievements over the last five decades, not forgetting for a moment that the task of reconstruction and the building of a peaceful, progressive and stable future was not a cake-walk for the nations that were robbed of precious natural resources and human dignity by foreign powers for almost two centuries.

    While this retrospection is important on their part for the nations celebrating their 50 years of independence, the world community is also trying to comprehend as to what political independence has meant to them and in what way Africa has responded to the challenges of abject poverty, backwardness and many more dismal features that were inherited from the subjugated past. It will be useful to note that in this age of ever-shrinking boundaries no nation can afford to live in isolation; and that developments internal to a nation are bound to have impact on the global scale. The independence won fifty years ago by the African nations is primarily the sweet fruit of sacrifices made by the people in liberation movements. But even at that time it had a global context as they received unwavering support from the peace loving people from all over the world. One would like here to recall some of the major international events like the Bandung Conference 1955, which went a long way in creating world opinion for the end of colonial rule and built up pressure on the imperialist powers to pack their baggage; and at the same time laid the foundation for the solidarity of the third world.

    The situation today in most of the African countries looks gloomy today, as the continent suffers from many maladies. The many-faceted specter of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease, indebtness and sectarian wars looms large and it appears that the political freedom and national sovereignty has not lead to economic self-reliance and equal opportunity regime. The people have not been able to gain control of the abundant natural resources and harness them for the general welfare for all. They are rather caught between the devil and the deep sea. At the one hand there are colonial masters in the new disguise and on the other is the failed body politic. Authoritarianism seems to be the order of the day and democracy remains a distant dream. The international financial institutions prescribe remedies that are worse than the disease itself and the US, through AFRICOM is spreading its tentacles. The claim about the annual growth rate of 5% achieved in 2009 is only an illusion as the fruits of this progress have not reached to the masses.

    The story Inside Africa Today is a tale of misery and misfortune. We have regretfully watched the voice of reason being given the short shrift; and civil wars, inter-ethnic and inter-tribal conflicts erupting on the smallest pretext in many parts of the continent. Thousands and thousands of precious lives have been lost in these sectarian battles and millions have been rendered homeless. Not a single year has passed in the last five decades when the blood was not shed or hapless people were not forced to leave their homes and hearths running for dear life and seeking shelter elsewhere under sub-human conditions. The genocide of Rwanda is a case in study. Even when such extremities are not committed, violation of human rights appears to have become the norm, rather than exception and corruption reins supreme. Violence and killings, trafficking of women and girls, use of child-soldiers, slavery in a new garb and exploitation are all over there to see. Many kinds of diseases have only worsened the state of affairs. Although apartheid has been formally done away with, it subsists nonetheless, in other manifestations. It will be too easy to blame the western powers for this dismal situation, and indeed it suits many to do so, but now is the day, which calls for some introspection and take remedial action.

    AAPSO takes cognizance of the fact that Africa, far from being the Dark Continent is the land of gold- both in terms of human capital and physical wealth. The people of Africa are brave and resilient and are waiting in the wings to play a role complementing to their abilities and qualities on the world stage. They are also the owners of abundant natural resources that used judiciously is bound to bring economic prosperity for all and ensure a safe future for their children.

    AAPSO played a significant role in raising the world opinion against colonial rule, gave full support to national liberation movements and always opposed hegemonic foreign powers. To this end, it convened several international gatherings and never missed an opportunity to voice its concerns for Africa on international fora. Each of its eight Congresses held so far, as well as its constitutional bodies has firmly reiterated AAPSO’s support to African struggle for freedom, justice, stability and peace in the continent.

    01-02-2010

  8. Violence sees rise in asylum-seekers

    Somalia: The UN refugee agency has reported that it is preparing Kenya, Ethiopia and the Yemen for an influx of Somalian asylum-seekers following fighting in Mogadishu that has killed 24 people since Wednesday.

    UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said that residents have been streaming out of the capital amid rumours that pro-government forces are planning a major offensive against rebels.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/86754

  9. US aid policy hurts poorest, UN warns

    Somalia: US restrictions ostensibly designed to stop militants from diverting aid are hurting humanitarian operations in the wartorn country, UN officials warned on Wednesday.

    Top UN humanitarian official for Somalia Mark Bowden said Washington had failed to furnish UN agencies with any evidence indicating that food aid was being diverted to Islamists fighting the UN-backed Somali government.

    “What we are seeing is a politicisation of humanitarian issues,” Mr Bowden declared, adding: “The options for a lot of Somalis look pretty bleak.”

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/87006

  10. UN News Service

    Somalia: Nearly 20,000 Somalis Have Fled Capital So Far This Month, UN Reports

    19 February 2010

    Nearly 20,000 people have been uprooted from their homes in the Somali capital by renewed clashes between the forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and opposition groups since the start of February, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

    Earlier this week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed its alarm at the toll the fighting has taken on civilians, with at least 50 reportedly having been killed and over 100 others injured.

    Over half of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) have managed to escape Mogadishu, while others are stranded in relatively safer areas of the capital.

    The agency started distributing non-food items – blankets, plastic sheeting, sleeping mats and kitchen sets – to 18,000 uprooted people in villages surrounding the town of Dhuusamarreeb, in central Somalia, where close to 30,000 people were forced from their homes by violence at the end of last month.

    Earlier this week, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden expressed grave concern at the latest surge in clashes in Mogadishu, noting that “civilians continue to bear the brunt of conflict and insecurity in the country.”

    The worst of the latest fighting between Government forces and al-Shabaab militiamen is reported to have occurred on 10 February, when 24 people died and nearly 160 others had to be hospitalized with war-related injuries.

    The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has revised upwards the number of people it is assisting from 2.5 million to 2.8 million, but is slightly reducing the volume of food distributions based on improving assessments of the overall food security situation in the impoverished Horn of Africa nation.

    For its part, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with the Ministry of Health in the semi-autonomous Puntland region on an immunization scheme for 3,200 children under the age of one in the town of Bossaso.

    It is also providing plumpy nut, a ready-to-eat formula to prevent acute malnutrition of vulnerable children, to over 300 children in 10 sites, including settlements for IDPs in Bossaso.

  11. Pingback: New film on immigrants and austerity in Greece | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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