Somali journalist jailed for interview

This video says about itself:

Somali Canadian demonstration against US air bombardment in Somalia, held in Toronto on jan 20 , 2007.

A court in Somalia‘s semi-autonomous region of Puntland has jailed a journalist for interviewing a Muslim leader with ties to al-Qaeda-inspired fighters, local media and an international watchdog have said: here.

Rift threatens Somali government: A rift between Somali president and prime minister might lead to the weak government’s downfall: here.

U.S Imperial Offensive: Stalled in Asia, Swarming Over Africa: here.

8 thoughts on “Somali journalist jailed for interview

  1. Garowe Online (Garowe)

    Somalia: Ethiopia – 10 People Killed As Ethiopian Troops Clash With Somalia Clan Militia

    17 August 2010

    At least 10 people have been kiled and 30 others injured in heavy fighting between Ethiopian troops and Somali militia that erupted in Ethiopian-controlled Somali region of Ogaden, Radio Garowe reports.

    The clashes broke out after Ethiopian troops attacked Jeed village of Shillaabo region in Ethiopia, sources said.

    “Ethiopian federal police attacked our village this morning, after three of their soldiers were killed yesterday at Fadhi-garaadle village,” said one of the Jeed village elders.

    He said that the death included Ethiopian soldiers, adding that villagers started to flee from their houses for fear of more fighting between the two sides.

    Two month ago, Ethiopian security forces and Somali militias clashed in another village near the Ethiopian-Somali border, leading to the death of twenty people while dozens others were injured.

    Ethiopia withdrew its forces from Somalia in early 2009 after spending two years to back the UN-backed transitional government in ousting then Union of Islamic Courts that controlled most parts of the country including Mogadishu.


  2. UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

    South Africa: Troop Request for Somalia is Likely to Fall On Deaf Ears

    19 August 2010

    Johannesburg — South Africa is unlikely to deploy soldiers in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as it did “not believe” in the political direction being followed to resolve the conflict, and there was no exit strategy, an analyst said.

    The South African Cabinet was to make a decision on 18 August as to whether troops would join the peacekeeping mission, which is expected to last more than three years, but an indefinite national strike by public sector workers – with the army on standby to provide essential services – has delayed the decision, Henri Boshoff, head of the Peace Missions Programme at the Institute for Security Studies, a Pretoria-based think-tank, told IRIN.

    Peacekeeping commitments in Burundi, which ended on 30 June 2009, meant South Africa had previously declined to participate in AMISOM, but on 23 July 2010 AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping requested South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana and Guinea to send troops to Somalia to bolster AMISOM.

    Ping’s plea for support came shortly after suicide bombers from Al-Shabab, a non-state Somali group, killed 76 people in attacks in Kampala, capital of Uganda, after assaults on Ugandan and Burundian troops by Al-Shabab militia in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

    The peacekeepers in Somalia were operating under a “limited mandate” and had failed to bring stability to Mogadishu, which had resulted in daily artillery duels and firefights “inflicting thousands of civilian casualties by indiscriminately shelling neighbourhoods”, Boshoff said.

    “Simply increasing AMISOM’s size is unlikely to succeed unless accompanied by a political solution. Parallels could be drawn with the Afghanistan situation, where the United States and NATO countries have been involved in fighting the Taliban since 2001,” he noted in a 30 July 2010 research note, Somalia: To Intervene or Not.

    Simply increasing AMISOM’s size is unlikely to succeed unless accompanied by a political solution

    “The recent surge of United States and NATO forces (Coalition Forces) has had perverse results; instead of stabilising the situation and bolstering the legitimacy of the Afghanistan government, attacks on the Coalition Forces and government structures have increased,” he commented.

    In Afghanistan this had led to a strategy to “collaborate” with the Taliban in trying to find a solution, and conflict resolution in Somalia would only be achieved “in talking to the Islamic Courts, Al-Shabab and the warlords”, Boshoff told IRIN.

    “The first reaction by the South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to the AU’s request for South Africa to send troops was that Somalia’s is a political problem, and that deploying military forces in isolation will not be the solution.”


  3. The Monitor (Kampala)

    Somalia: Army Ready to Send 10,000 to Somalia

    Tabu Butagira

    31 August 2010

    Karamoja — Uganda is set to send thousands of its reserve troops for deployment to Somalia if the US government provides promised funding for the mission, the Chief of Defence Forces has said.

    Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, in an interview in Kotido District on Thursday, said: “We can even call up to 10,000 [reservists] but that will depend on whether the United States supports us or not.” A final decision on the matter is yet to be taken, he stressed, but it will be anchored on “our conclusive talks” with President Obama’s administration.

    Top US diplomat for Africa, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, who was in Kampala to attend the African Union summit held days after the July 11 terrorist attacks, promised increased support to the AU Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (Amisom).


    Uganda presently has more than 4,000 troops in Mogadishu, ostensibly to support Sheikh Sharif’s Transitional Federal Government that most African countries appear reluctant to directly support in its quest to rein-in myriad fighting groups, including the al Shabaab the US classifies as a “terrorist” group. Gen. Aronda, in the Thursday interview conducted at the UPDF 405 brigade headquarters in Nakapirimoru, made clear they require military hardware, armoured vehicles and helicopters and money for salaries.

    Financial issues

    “We don’t want to overstretch our budget by calling up our [reserve] forces and then we have to even pay [their] salary,” he said, adding: “To my knowledge, America has undertaken to support that undertaking; that when we call up [the reserves], they will do this. But we will be waiting and see what happens.”

    Defence and Military Spokesman, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, yesterday said there are more than 100, 000 members under the Uganda National Reserve Forces that is commanded by Maj. Gen. Levi Karuhanga.

    The reserve force comprises former soldiers who left active service within the past five years; Chaka Mchaka graduates (para-militarily graduates) and retired Special Police Constables.

    “Ordinarily, reserve forces do their own things,” Lt. Col. Kulayigye said, “But when there is a disaster or emergency, they are called up to augment the regular army.”

    Yesterday, Ms Joann Lockard, the public affairs officer at the US Mission in Kampala, said she is aware of promised American assistance to Amisom but has no specific details. “I don’t believe any specific commitments have been made yet,” she said.

    On Thursday, Gen. Nyakairima said inadequate financing by the international community and failure by other countries to put troops on the ground could compel Uganda to re-think its continued presence in the Horn of Africa.


  4. Garowe Online (Garowe)

    Somalia: President Sharif Fires Military Chief After Missing Weapons Scandal

    6 September 2010

    The president of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Sheikh Sharif Ahmed fired the country’s top military chief Monday due to allegations that he ‘sold weapons’ illegally, Radio Garowe reports.

    According to inside sources, Gen. Mohamed Ghelle Kahiye was accused by TFG President Sharif of being “responsible” for tons of weapons missing from the government’s military facilities in Mogadishu.

    “The President fired the military chief and several subordinates, after a scandal surfaced linking him [Gen. Kahiye] directly to tons of weapons missing from military facilities,” said a senior military official in Mogadishu speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Government investigators found that Gen. Kahiye and a number of his staff and subordinates were involved in the missing weapons scandal, which included reports that the weapons were sold to anti-government forces, such as Al Shabaab militants.

    Since President Sharif’s election in early 2009, the U.S. government has provided direct military aid to the TFG by donating tons of military equipment to the besieged interim government in Mogadishu, backed by more than 6,500 African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM).

    Mogadishu’s residents have often accused AMISOM troops of shelling civilian areas, a development Al Shabaab and other militants have exploited to turn the public against the government and its AMISOM allies.

    President Sharif is expected to appoint a new military chief soon, the sources added.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of TFG troops in the few areas under government control have mutinied due to “nonpayment of salaries,” according to local reports.

    Residents said TFG troops stopped the flow of traffic along several roads including the strategic Maka al Mukarama Road that connects the presidential palace Villa Somalia to the city’s airport, which is a major base for AMISOM peacekeepers.

    The troops withdrew to their bases later Monday, but President Sharif has not spoken publicly about the mutiny.

    Somalia’s interim government, created in 2004 and renewed in 2009, has failed to bring law and order to Mogadishu. Much of southern Somalia remains firmly in the hands of Al Shabaab and allied militants, like Hizbul Islam.

    The Islamist groups, some of whom are affiliated with Al Qaeda, have vowed to continue the insurgency that began in 2007 until they overthrow the Western-backed TFG and install an Islamic government in Mogadishu.

    In northern Somalia, the sub-national governments of Somaliland and Puntland function independent of Mogadishu and have brought a measure of security and governance to the regions they administer.

    Somalia’s last effective national government collapsed in 1991, setting of a civil war and dividing the country deeply along clan lines to date.


  5. Two weeks of fighting kills 230

    Somalia: Fighting between guerillas and Ugandan and Burundian soldiers propping up the weak UN-backed government has killed more than 230 people in the past two weeks, UN officials have reported.

    The continuous fighting started on August 23 after the militant al-Shabab group announced a “massive” war against the 6,000 African Union peacekeepers.

    The UN says some 230 people have been killed, 400 wounded and at least 23,000 displaced since fighting began.


  6. UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

    Somalia: No High School, No Hope in Gedo

    8 September 2010

    Nairobi — Primary school is a dead end for many children in Somalia, particularly in the southwestern Gedo region where many end up jobless, joining a militia, or emigrating.

    Years of civil conflict, following decades of colonial neglect, have produced grim educational statistics: nationally, about one in five children of primary school age actually goes to school, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Less than half go on to secondary school, an essential step for those wanting to attend university in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, or in the city of Kismayo.

    Until an escalation in clashes between Islamist insurgents and Transitional Federal Government forces in 2009, a high school diploma opened doors in Somalia’s burgeoning telecommunications and other business sectors.

    The headmaster of the 500-pupil primary school in the Gedo town of Buur Dhuubo, 480km southwest of Mogadishu, is pessimistic.

    “Some of them will finish primary school but they don’t have a chance for secondary school here,” said Abdi Haji.

    In Gedo, a region with more than half a million inhabitants, there is only a single secondary school.

    “Most of the boys will stay in the town, return to the countryside, migrate to countries such as Yemen or join a militia,” Haji said.

    More and more children were dropping out because “they see the ones who have finished school idling on the street. It is unfortunate but after eight years they hit a dead end.”

    Job opportunities barely exist in Gedo, Haji noted, adding that many youngsters joined armed groups such as the TFG forces, Islamist insurgents or criminal gangs.

    One civil society worker who deals with children told IRIN that children in Mogadishu were able to avoid recruiters because schools were more numerous and the city large enough to make encounters with recruiters less common.

    “But in a place such as a small town in Gedo, if the child is not in school he would be a prime target for recruitment into armed groups,” he said, asking not to be identified.

    “Sometimes the children join these armed groups out of wanting to belong to something and they provide three meals a day,” he added.

    According to a UNICEF statement released in May 2010, “recent reports indicate that children as young as nine years of age are being used by multiple armed groups across Somalia, and that some schools are being used as recruitment centres”.

    Determined to learn

    Despite the lack of opportunity, students in Gedo are keen to continue their education.

    “I finished primary school [in Buur Dhuubo] in 2007 and up to now I can’t go to secondary school,” said Mohamed Farah Dahir, 17. Some of his friends have travelled to Yemen, others have joined militias.

    “I have been approached by a militia but I told them I am going off to school in another town,” he said.

    Kheyro Muhumud Abdullahi’s three children have completed primary school but are now idle.

    “I don’t want my boy to go to Yemen or join a militia or my two girls getting married at an early age,” she said, adding that she could not afford to send them to school elsewhere.

    Abdullahi said she was hoping “someone will build a school here, so I don’t have to worry about my children”.

    Aden Abdullahi, in Luuq town, told IRIN the problem of uneducated youth is “killing our country”.

    “Without an educated youth Somalia will never recover,” said the deputy head of Luuq primary school. “The choice is the pen or the gun. I want our youngsters to choose the pen and have a decent opportunity for a normal life,” he added.

    Barlin Mohamed Hashi, 18, completed primary school in 2006 and has been at home since then. “I am at home doing nothing; I am fighting off men who want to marry me.”

    But she was not ready to get married yet. “I want to continue with my education and become a gynaecologist,” she told IRIN. There was a great need for doctors in her community, she said.


  7. Radio France Internationale (Paris)

    Somalia: Moderate Islamists Quit Somali Government

    Alexandra Brangeon

    26 September 2010

    A moderate Islamist party has pulled out of the Somali government days after the country’s prime minister quit. The Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca announced on Saturday that it has withdrawn from the administration, with whom it signed a power sharing deal in March.

    The militia’s spokesman, Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf said the group had left because the government had failed to meet certain agreements reached when they agreed to join.

    The group also accused the government of planning to abolish it.

    Berouk Mesfin, Somali specialist at the Institute of Security Studies, says Ahlu Sunna has always had an uneasy relationship with the Transitional Federal Government, having assumed the TFG would give them some of the top government and military positions.

    “Their focus was on getting into an alliance with an internationally-backed government, that they would also get some funding and more support,” he says, “but the mainstay of Ahlu Sunna is Ethiopian support, so they didn’t have that much need for the alliance.”

    Ahlu Sunna added that it would continue fighting against the al-Shebab and Hizbul Islam in the areas they control.


  8. Pingback: NATO arrests Afghan journalists | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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