02 Jun 2011 – Daily Monitoring Report

Key Headlines:

  • Somali minister warns against attacking main Mogadishu market
  • TFG/AMISOM reassure Bakara traders urge extremists to leave market
  • Government officials visit captured areas
  • Child casualties rise dramatically in latest fighting in Somalia’s capital – UN
  • US says Somalia needs governance to defeat piracy

Titres Principaux:

  • Un ministre Somalien prévient de possibles attaques contre le marché principal de Mogadiscio
  • Le GFT/AMISOM rassurent les commerçants de Bakara et appelle les extremistes à quitter le marché
  • Des représentants gouvernementaux visitent les endroits récemment pris en contrôle
  • Le nombre d’enfants victimes de combats augmente énormément lors de récents affrontements à Mogadiscio selon l’ONU
  • Les Etats-Unis affirment que la Somalie nécessite une gouvernance afin de contrer la piraterie


TFG/AMISOM reassure Bakara traders, urge extremists to leave market

02 Jun – Source: AMISOM – 372 words

The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, jointly with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), have assured the business community in Mogadishu of their commitment to the protection of lives, livelihoods and property within Bakara Market.

In recent weeks, Somali government forces, supported by AMISOM troops, have undertaken military operations to bolster security in areas surrounding the market and to eliminate the threat to the population posed by Al Qaida linked extremist insurgents within it.

“Securing Bakara Market itself remains one of our top priorities, since the insurgents use it as a base from which to launch attacks against the population and our forces in other parts of the city, while hiding behind women and children within it,” said TFG Defense Minister, Abdihakim Mohamoud Haji-Faqi. “They also extort from businesses in the market to fund their brutal terrorist campaign against the Somali people.”

“We have no interest in interfering with the legitimate business operations within the market. On the contrary, we wish to facilitate normal trade by eliminating the predations of the extremists and reopening the roads which they have kept closed to business and civilian traffic,” he added, saying the government was keen to see normal business resume at the Market once the extremists had left.

AMISOM Chief of Staff, Col. Innocent Oula, made clear that the joint forces were doing their best to avoid a confrontation within the Market, which is the Somali capital’s main commercial hub. “While our joint forces are indeed close to the market, we have left a clear route open to the extremists to withdraw. We urge them to take advantage of this and spare the Somali people any more suffering,” he said.

“What happens now is in their hands. If they refuse to leave, however, we will be left with no option other than to force them out,” he said adding that “any plans to do so will be undertaken with the greatest care to ensure minimal harm and damage to lives and property.”

AMISOM and government forces are closing in on the strategic market from 3 directions, leaving an escape route to the north-east open to the militants. The AU force has also designated Bakara a no-fire zone for its artillery and mortar units.


Somali forces, al shabaab battle in the capital

02 Jun- Source: Shabelle- 105 words

Bitter combat between Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeepers and al Shabaab fighters on Thursday morning broke out in parts of the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses said.

The fighting is said to have erupted after al Shabaab fighters launched attacks on military bases manned by Somali army and AMISOM forces in Mogadishu’s Warshadaha Street.

At least two people were confirmed dead and three others injured after in Thursday fighting. Heavy gunfire and artillery shelling which the two parts are exchanging could be clearly heard in the neighborhoods of the war-torn Mogadishu. No comments were immediately available from the two warring sides so far.


Government officials visit captured areas

02 May – Source: Somal National TV – 83 words

Somalia’s Defense Minister and cabinet ministers visited military bases which the TFG forces captured from al Shabaab. This is the second visit of the Defense Minister, Abdihakim Fiqi paid to the frontline. The Defense Minsiter praised the TFG soldiers and promised to improve their living conditions and get better treatment for those wounded.

“We are ordering our honorable troops to help us restoring security and stability in Mogadishu, and they must full fill their duty at the frontline or in military bases,” Fiqi said

Delegates flew to Kampala for International Contact Group summit for Somalia

02 Jun- Source: Mareeg- 123 words

High delegations from the TFG, the semi-autonomous region of Puntland and Galmudug State have departed to Kampala, the Ugandan capital where the International Contact Group plan to hold their summit to discuss more on Somalia for the coming hours.

The information minister of Somalia Abdikarin Hassan Jama has explained more about the meeting and said that high delegation led by the Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed had been attending the meeting that would be discussed more about the policy, economic, security and the achievements of the government for the past recent months.

The International Contact Group often hold their summit twice in every year and talk about Somalia, but its unclear what results would come out from the meeting.


Somali minister warns against attacking main Mogadishu market

01 May – Source: Radio Shabelle – 154 words

The Ministry of Commerce of the TFG has warned government forces against destroying the goods and property in Bakaaraha market of Mogadishu.

The TFG’s minister of Commerce and Industry, Mahmud Abdi Ibrahim aka Garweyne, who spoke to some media outlets in Mogadishu said Bakaaraha market is the one of the biggest centres of business in the country.

He said every Somali need to take the responsibility of protecting the goods and property in the market. The minister specifically asked the commanders of the government forces based near the market to take the extra responsibility of protecting the goods in the market.

He warned against shelling the market, saying that it will result in the destruction of the goods in the market, as he put it.

Twenty held in overnight Mogadishu security crackdown

02 Jun- Source: Shabelle- 126 words

In an attempt to curb the rampant insecurity in Somali government controlled areas in the capital, the security forces on Wednesday night conducted a major security crackdown.

At least 20 people have been seized by the security forces of Somali interim government in connection with destabilizing parts of the seaside Mogadishu.

Most of the security operations have taken place in the sea-resort districts of Hamarweyne and Hamar-jajab.

The police chief of Benadir region, Mohammed Ahmed Malin told Shabelle Media Network that some of the captured ones are suspected in destabilizing the security while the others had been using very bad drugs called (Alak).

He also spelled out the seized a number of guns during the operations and all were taken to the police station in Hamarweyne.


Ahlu Sunna will not attend UN conference in Mogadishu

02 Jun – Source: Radio Shabelle – 98 words

Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a a pro-government fighters announced that they will not attend the UN conference in Mogadishu scheduled for June 12th of this year.

The Chairman of ASWJ advisory council, Sheikh Omar Abdukadir Adan, said that ASWJ is not ready to attend the UN conference for three fundamental reasons.

First, we are not invited to attend the meeting, second, Mogadishu is not safe place to hold such meeting and its known, and thirdly, we don’t see this meeting will make a difference or be productive for Somali people. Therefore, we don’t ascribe to become stakeholders in this meeting.

Newly taken police stations rejuvenated

02 Jun- Source: Radio Bar-kulan- 131 words

The government of Somalia is planning to marshal police force in the areas it has recently taken from Al-shabab, as said by an officer in the police.

Police spokesman Barise said in an interview with Bar-kulan that they discussed deployment of police and gearing forward the secuirty in the new areas in a meeting high ranking police officers had with the minister for security and internal affairs, Abdishakur Shiekh Hassan Farah.

The minister asked the police commanders to deploy police force in the new areas the government captured of Hodan and Hawl wadag to maintain security and peace.

The minister pleged the refurbishment of police stations which got wrecked in the fighting. These measures by the ministry of security and internal affairs alongside the police force are meant to safeguard the security in those areas.

Militants claim “spies” are among MSF at Dayniile Hospital in Bakara

02 Jun – Source: Radio Kulmiye – 84 words

Dayniile hospital, one of the three biggest hospitals in the Somali capital, reported it would halt work for a month after disagreements between al Shabaab and MSF France who provide medical assistance to the hospital.

A Doctor at Dayniile hospital said “we regret to inform the Somali people that the hospital will not admit new patients from June 1 to July 1. Al shabaab refused to allow MSF staff to serve as supervisors at the hospital, there can be spies among the staff, he added”.

South African gunmen reportedly kill Somali journalist in Johannesburg

02 Jun- Source: Radio Gaalkacyo- 97 words

South African gunmen “armed with pistols have shot dead” a Somali journalist in Johannesburg. The reporter, who was identified as Zaki and works for Somalia’s Horn Cable TV, was “on duty when the gunmen opened fire at his car while in Johannesburg”. The gunmen reportedly wanted to “rob his car”.

An eye-witness told the media that the gunmen immediately “escaped after shooting the journalist and police are now investigating the incident”, added the source.

Somali journalists were disappointed with the killing and called on the government of South Africa to bring to justice those behind the killing.


Somali journalists killed with impunity

01 Jun- Source: All Africa – 140 words

Somalia is the world’s second most murderous country for journalists, says the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

In its annual “Impunity Index” – which identifies countries “where journalists are slain and killers go free” – the CPJ says there have been 10 unsolved murders of journalists in the last 10 years. Nearly 60 journalists have fled the country, and those who have stayed “practice extreme selfcensorship to survive.”

Somalia has the worst impunity rating in Africa. Internationally, it ranks second only to Iraq. Recording one of the unsolved murders, the CPJ reports that one of the victims was Sheikh Nur Mohamed Abkey, who was tortured and shot in May 2010.

“Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the murder of Abkey, one of the country’s most senior journalists, in reprisal for his work at state-run Radio Mogadishu,” says the CPJ.


Bodies of UPDF soldiers flown home

02 May- Source: Daily Monitor – 242 words

The bodies of two UPDF peacekeepers killed in Mogadishu by Somali insurgents on Monday were brought home on Tuesday. The army Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, said yesterday they were working on burial modalities with the families of the fallen soldiers.

However, he refused to reveal the identities of the dead but said one hailed from Adjumani and the other from the central region. He promised to reveal their full identities today. African Union peacekeepers denied they had lost eight soldiers in the attack that has brought the total number of Ugandan soldiers killed in Somalia to 45.

“Who said we lost that number of soldiers? We lost two soldiers on Monday in an al-shabaab attack, one was injured,” Capt. Chris Magezi, the spokesperson of the Ugandan contingent, said yesterday.

Maj. Paddy Ankunda, the spokesperson of African Union Mission for Somalia, said four suicide bombers, driving a saloon car, disguised as government soldiers attacked Amisom positions at Shakala on the Makka Mukarama Road. He said the four attackers were also killed.



Militants say suicide bomber was Somali-American

2 June- Source: AP – 247 words

The militant group al Shabaab said the man who carried out a suicide bomb attack on a base in Mogadishu this week was a Somali-American.

Al Shabaab said on its website Thursday that a 25-year-old man named Abdullahi Ahmed was the suicide bomber who attacked an African Union peacekeeping base in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, on Monday, killing two AU troops and one government soldier. Ahmed was said to have moved to Somalia from Minnesota two years ago.

The Internet report purported to quote Ahmed before his death saying that he wanted to carry out the attack because of abuses by Christians of Muslim countries.

If the report is confirmed, Ahmed would become at least the third Somali-American to have carried out a suicide bombing in Somalia.

Somali Islamic insurgents — some of whom have links to al-Qaida — have been recruiting young Somali men in America and other countries amid fears that insurgents could use the men to attack foreign targets.

The first known American suicide bomber in Somalia, Shirwa Ahmed from Minneapolis, blew himself up in October 2008 in the northern breakaway republic of Somaliland as part of a series of coordinated explosions that killed 21 people.

In September 2009, insurgents including an 18-year-old from Seattle, drove two stolen U.N. cars into an AU base and detonated them. Twenty-one people were killed.

At least 20 Somali-Americans are believed to have joined al Shabaab. U.S. authorities have warned that a Somali-American who seeks training from al Shabaab could return to the United States to carry out an attack.


Child casualties rise dramatically in latest fighting in Somalia’s capital – UN

31 May – Source: UN News Centre – 333 words

Violence in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has driven the number of child casualties to a new high, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today, noting that the main cause of children’s deaths were burns, chest injuries and internal haemorrhage resulting from blasts, shrapnel and bullets.

Of the 1,590 reported weapon-related injuries in May alone, 735 cases or 46 per cent were suffered by children under the age of five, compared to only 3.5 per cent in April.

“This is the highest number of injured children that has been reported since the beginning of this year,” said Marthe Everard, WHO’s representative for Somalia, in a press release. “Many children are suffering from very severe wounds, burns and other injuries due to bullets, blast injury and shrapnel.”

Fighting intensified in March, especially around the sprawling Bakara market. For many internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other civilians in Mogadishu, the market is one of the cheapest places to rent accommodation.

Since the beginning of this year, more than 3,900 patients injured in the conflict have been admitted to three main hospitals within Mogadishu. Civilians are particularly vulnerable when fighting flares up because most of the clashes occur in the streets.

“Service delivery is hampered by accessibility issues, poor infrastructure and an insufficient number of health facilities,” said Dr. Everard. “Wherever health facilities are operating, they often lack very basic and essential medicines, supplies and equipment, operational and logistical support.”

In response to the high child casualties, WHO trained 50 doctors and nurses in Mogadishu’s Banadir Hospital on how to treat burns and chest injuries in children.

The agency has also provided the hospital with a trauma treatment kit and two operating theatre kits, including an operating table, operative lights, surgical instruments, medical supplies, drums and sutures.

UN humanitarian agencies and their non-governmental organization (NGO) partners have requested $58.8 million to fund health services in Somalia this year, but only $9.4 million or 16 per cent of the appeal has been received.


US says Somalia needs governance to defeat piracy

01 Jun – Source: AP – 335 words

A top U.S. commander Wednesday said piracy in Somalia can only be defeated if the international community helps restore governance in the poor, lawless African country.

Adm. Robert Willard, chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, said navy patrols alone cannot stop the hijacking of ships if pirates’ bases onshore are allowed to operate without interference. The international community is spending millions of dollars a day maintaining a flotilla of warships to protect key shipping lanes off East Africa.

“The organizers, the funders are the central problem … but the international community has been unable to determine how to tackle the problem onshore,” Willard told a regional forum in Malaysia.

“Clearly, one thing is to help Somalia recover from being the ungoverned state that it is,” he said. “Unless the international community goes to the root, and not the far end of the problem, it won’t be solved.”

Somalia has not had an effective government since 1991, when warlords overthrew a longtime dictator and then turned on each other, plunging the country into chaos and anarchy. A transitional government, established in 2004 and backed by about 9,000 African Union troops, has been fighting Islamist insurgents.

Last year, pirates seized 53 vessels and captured a record 1,181 hostages, almost all of them off the Somali coast. Some 30 ships and more than 600 hostages are still in pirates’ hands.

Pirates are becoming increasingly violent in retaliation to navy interference in their multimillion dollar trade. Earlier this year pirates killed four American hostages while U.S. Navy warships were shadowing the hijacked yacht, the first time pirates had done that.

The U.N. Security Council last month demanded that Somalia’s feuding president and parliament reach agreement quickly on holding elections by August when the mandate for the country’s transitional government ends.

Somali lawmakers — who in February unilaterally extended their own mandate by three years — have been vowing for months to hold a presidential vote despite the president’s objections. The president wants to extend his term for a year without a vote.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jYnRUkx6Mv7wHXCuH9Nmdlacwdw? docId=2bfdd4d4940e4927bfab45ef6b86a8ed

South Korea jails Somali pirate for 15 years

01 Jun – Source: AP – 350 words

A Somali pirate was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday after he was found guilty of hijacking a South Korean-operated ship in the Arabian Sea.

Abdulahi Husseen Maxamuud was the fifth and final gang member to be sentenced after four others were given long jail terms last Friday.

They were seized when South Korean navy commandos recaptured the chemical carrier Samho Jewelry in a daring raid on January 21, six days after it was hijacked.

Lawyers said earlier that Maxamuud would be tried separately because he would plead guilty. But on Wednesday he denied major involvement in the hijack, Yonhap news agency reported from the southern port city of Busan.

“I sincerely apologise for what happened… I was not involved in the crime because I was just the cook,” the agency quoted him as telling judges, adding he had tried to restrain the other Somalis. The court cleared him of the attempted murder of the ship’s captain but convicted him of maritime robbery and other charges. It said he deserved a heavy penalty because he was involved in piracy and showed little repentance.

Prosecutors had demanded life imprisonment. The trials were the country’s first attempt to punish foreign pirates. Eight pirates were killed in the commando raid and five arrested.

All 21 crew — eight South Koreans, two Indonesians and 11 from Myanmar — were freed unhurt apart from Captain Seok Hae-Kyun, 58, who is still recovering in hospital after multiple operations.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jYnRUkx6Mv7wHXCuH9Nmdlacwdw? docId=2bfdd4d4940e4927bfab45ef6b86a8ed

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