Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, prime minister of Somalia
Mogadishu, Somalia - A country whose very name is almost enough of an introduction, Somalia's reputation of unfathomable violence and desperate poverty is known around the world. In decades of civil war, it has been described as a "failed state" - a lawless home to gangs of pirates and murderers who terrorise those too impoverished to flee to foreign lands.
But there is more, so much more, to this land and these people than tales of fear and terror. While no one in this country below the age of 30 has any memory of functioning state institutions - police, schools or garbage disposal - this is a nation that has never given up on the dream of peace and stability.
Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed is an economist from southern Somalia. When civil war broke out here in 1991, he sought refuge in Canada, where he became a widely respected analyst for the Bank of Canada, OPEC, and assorted UN agencies.
He had no political experience when, in December 2013, it was announced he would be taking the reins of the east African nation as its new prime minister. He spoke with Al Jazeera's James Brownsell about his priorities for the country, development, infrastructure - and donors who don't make good on their promises.
Al Jazeera: You've been in this role since December. You're getting a feel for it, you're settling in - what do you wish to accomplish during your term in office?
Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed: Well, we want to accomplish our "Vision 2016", which consists of three milestones. The first milestone is to have the federal states formed; Somalia's constitution is that of a federal country. The second is to have the constitution reviewed - and that people vote to accept the revised constitution. And the third is to prepare the country for elections.
But as we are doing this, the security conditions must allow this to happen - so we have to reform the security sector. We have to defeat al-Shabab and kick them out of the country, and we have to allow our citizens to feel safe to undertake their normal lives. These are the things we want to accomplish.
AJ: By 2016?
Ahmed: By 2016. This is very ambitious, but we are working very hard.
AJ: You're an economist, and economists tend to deal with mathematical problems and quite abstract issues - but now you have real-world problems, as opposed to theoretical maths, to deal with. How does your background as an economist help you in your current position?
If nothing else, politics is about engagement.
- Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, Somali prime minister
Ahmed: Well, I am an economist, but I am a development economist, and I have been involved in community work and development. And that allows me to really understand something about how to engage with the people in the community.
If nothing else, politics is about engagement. It allows you to align your objectives with those of the community, and this is what I am doing. So I don't see a big difference between when an economist is involved in the development of a community and the job of a politician.
AJ: Villa Somalia [the headquarters of the Somali government] has an international reputation for political turmoil and for people not staying in their office for very long. It does seem to be a case of Somalis wanting quick results, even though the change that's required here is massive. How long do you think you'll get? How long do you think you'll last?
Ahmed: For now I plan to stay until 2016, and I hope I will stay until then.
AJ: People want results quickly. Do you think you will be able to deliver tangible results quickly?
Ahmed: We are already delivering some tangible results. In the security sector, we have been able to liberate some major towns - nine major towns have been recovered so far - and we want to continue this process and liberate all the remaining by the end of the year, 2014.
But we are also building institutions. We have confirmed the onward plan for the government's institutions, which we are implementing and have started work on. We are also doing some mega-political conciliation efforts, and we have been able to achieve major conciliation results among sectors of the community, and we are working very hard to settle questions of the state through the regions. So this is an effort to ensure political inclusivity and the smoothing of relations between certain brethren. And we are achieving good results in this effort.
AJ: Moving on, part of the efforts in reconstruction and security is giving young people alternatives to a life in piracy or al-Shabab. What do you see as the best opportunities for developing those alternative routes?
Ahmed: These alternatives are real. We have a minister dedicated to promoting alternatives and job alternatives for young people. Sports is also another opportunity - a way to spend time wisely, rather than taking the guns and using them. I was in Geneva and we talked about this problem.
AJ: With the ILO [International Labour Organisation]?
Ahmed: Yes, with the ILO - this gives us the opportunity to create jobs for young people, and we are trying to have bilateral arrangements to get some jobs created. We are also using our own resources to create jobs. We have been able to put farmers back to work by helping them clear the land and build irrigation canals. These are the projects we are working on. We are in the process of creating as many jobs as we can.
AJ: How do you seek to develop the infrastructure of the country? You mentioned irrigation channels, but in terms of telecommunications, road building - how do you see that developing over the next few years?
Ahmed: It is very important, but communications is purely a private sector. We have some of the cheapest telecommunications rates in the world, so this is something that is relatively advanced. We plan next to develop flood control infrastructure, building new canals towards the farming lands.
We also have plans to have donors help us. Turkey has been with us with significant improvements to roads in Mogadishu, but we want to extend this beyond the capital to connect the roads to major towns. This is an ongoing process, but we want to see some more results soon.
AJ: Do you find [your efforts are] hampered by donors at conferences pledging billions, but then not seeing the actual money?
Ahmed: This is an issue, and we have had a history of donors making pledges, and the delivery not being impressive - not even satisfactory.
But we also have played our part in the problem, in the past, by not having transparent financial mechanisms. So in the last few months, we have made significant progress in improving our financial governance of development.
We had the council of ministers endorse new directors of the central bank. We have also taken steps to have an auditor general to oversee our national transactions, and an economy based on competition, so we will have some level of competence and integrity to our financial institutions - which we hope will help allow us to attract funds from donors.
So, if we are doing our part, we hope that the donors will also do their part... We are hoping that they will deliver, but we are still waiting.
AJ: You mentioned earlier the federal nation. How do you see the future of federalism developing? Somaliland wants to be treated as its own independent nation, just to give the example of one region. How do you see the future of federalism in Somalia?
Ahmed: Federalism is inherent in Somali culture. Somalis have always been independent-minded and through centuries have wanted to manage their own affairs. Now Juba and Puntland are getting greater autonomy and we hope other regions will follow soon. My government supports this, and we hope that full federalism will happen - it should happen, as part of the 2016 plan.
AJ: Going back to the donors - what's your message to the international community?
Ahmed: My message is this: Deliver on your promises. Number two, trust the government and empower the government to manage donor resources in cooperation with you.
What we have is this: Money for Somalia is spent in Somalia, but we don't know how it happens - it happens through NGOs and ways that are hidden, or at least that are invisible to us.
So we want donors to work closely with us and empower the government, and be accountable to the development process of this country. We are accountable to the people, and we want to be partners with the donors.
We want to be able to set priorities and the way in which we implement the projects, so that those priorities are based on the real needs - so we are spending the resources as effectively as possible. Aid effectiveness is something we want to see happen, from priorities to implementation to monitoring. This is what we want the donors to consider.
Follow James Brownsell on Twitter: @JamesBrownsell
Thursday, July 10, 2014
BREAKING: Somali govt presented this suspect as facilitator of the Al Shabaab's Presidential palace attack.EU condems attack on Somali presidential palac
attackers's main target was to kill PM Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed according to the Govt radio. Somali
EU condems attack on Somali presidential palac
Kay: Somali security forces need the support of the people
US condemns terrorist attack on Somali presidential compound
Somali PM sacks security chiefs following presidential place attack
Somali Prime Minister appoints new National Security Minister
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Today is a day of celebration, a day for Somalia to look towards the future
2014-07-01— The Prime Minister of Somalia H.E Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed wishes the great people of Somalia, both in the country and those abroad, a happy 54th Somalia Independence Day.
H.E. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said:
“Today is a remarkable day for Somalia, which officially received its independence in the year 1960. I would like to wish all Somalis a happy Independence Day. The Federal Government of Somalia will continue the work of rebuilding this nation that fought hard to achieve independence and we will stay steadfast on our vision of a prosperous and stable Somalia. We honour the men and women who gave us this opportunity to forge our own destiny and to ensure our nation lives up to its best potential.
“This day reminds Somali people across the globe of the immeasurable bravery of the men and women who continue to fight for peace and justice. Somalia faces a daunting set of challenges that can be achieved with strength and unity. This day inspires Somalis all over the globe to gather as one against those who seek violence while commemorating all that was achieved by our forefathers 54 years ago.
“Today is a day of celebration, a day for Somalia to look towards the future. It is a day we renew our solemn duty to Somalia and the Somali people to live up to our promises. Somalia is a blessed land with extraordinary people who have suffered too long; I reaffirm my commitment to uphold the principles of peace and justice and to serve the great people of Somalia to the best of my ability.
“To the extraordinary men, women and children in Somalia and across the globe, celebrate today and commit to a great future for Somalia. Celebrate while working towards a day when Somali children will live a life free of poverty and accomplish all their dreams. Celebrate this day for the Somali women who are the strength and backbone of this nation. The Federal Government of Somalia looks forward to rebuilding this great land, forging unbreakable bonds with our Somali brothers and sisters and reaffirming our commitments to the great Horn of Africa.”
Prime Minister’s Media Office
Tel: +252 615327526
Monday, June 30, 2014
MOGADISHU, Jun 29 – Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab militants have warned they will step up attacks in the Somali capital Mogadishu during the holy month of Ramadan, which started on Sunday.
In an audio message released on the Al Shabaab-controlled station Radio Andalus and also on an Islamist website, the group’s commander in charge of Mogadishu operations, Sheik Ali Mohamed Hussein, said the time had come when violence will be at a peak.
His statement came just a few hours after the Somalia government deployed dozens of heavily armed police on key streets and roads in Mogadishu to counter attacks.
“The attacks will increase and explosions will continue, Mogadishu will remain a frontline and even worse than ever,” said Sheik Ali Mohamed Hussein.
“Everything that is related to devotion to Allah including Jihad must be intensified during the holy month of Ramadan and to ensure this objective, the Mujahedeen fighters will scale up strikes on the enemy,” he added.
The Prime Minister of Somalia sends his salutations to the people of Somalia and to our brothers and sisters within the Muslim Ummah on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadhan. H.E Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed fervently hopes this Ramadhan brings happiness, success and peace to the Somali people and the entire Ummah. , said his government will do whatever it takes to stop the threats posed by the group during the holy month.
“I want to tell you that we have outlined a plan called ‘break your fast in peace’ to deter violence. We know the violent elements are planning to obstruct people from peacefully practising their worship but we will counter them with force so that people will fulfil their religious obligations in peace,” the pm said.
Dozens of policemen armed with machine guns were seen manoeuvreing in the main streets of Mogadishu searching civilian transport.
Somalia police spokesman Kasim Ahmed Roble said the Lido beach, a public space where Mogadishu residents gather, will be closed during Ramadan.
“We are putting a lot of effort into ensuring security during Ramadan. The reaction unit was created under the government Ramadan security plan and we will continue pursuing the violent elements to stop them from going ahead with their violence as planned,” he said.
“There is no need for gatherings at the Lido … the beach will be closed down for entertainment during Ramadan so that people will not need to come,” he added.
Despite the government’s assurances, many residents still remain fearful.
“The idea of deploying police to conduct search operations is good and helps reduce attacks but I believe that Al Shabaab will still manage to hit key targets during Ramadan. They have vowed and these guys are good at keeping their word,” said one resident from Mogadishu’s Waberi district, Hassan Osman.
Another, Ahmed Yusuf, said: “We are really worried. You cannot be relaxed simply because there is police out there when you know the threat is more sophisticated and real.
“Al Shabaab wants to scale up violence during Ramadan and that is what they do every year. You never know when they will strike and you can be among the casualties.”
Bismillah Rahmani Rahim
The Prime Minister of Somalia sends his salutations to the people of Somalia and to our brothers and sisters within the Muslim Ummah on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadhan. H.E Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed fervently hopes this Ramadhan brings happiness, success and peace to the Somali people and the entire Ummah.
A time for self-reflection and devotion through prayer and fasting, Ramadhan is also an occasion when Muslims around the world reaffirm their commitment to their families and communities. Furthermore, Ramadhan offers Muslims a chance to practice self-cleansing and increase their good deeds. Here in Somalia, we must remain united and build strong bonds during this blessed month and focus on the good we can create. The Prime Minister also extends his best wishes to the SNA and Police Force who have sacrificed their well-being in the face of senseless violence.
Muslims around the globe should hold tight to the rope of Allah, the rope of peace and the rope of mercy. H.E Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed desires that all calamities and misfortunes cease during this blessed month and that it may be continuous. Peace, mercy and justice are necessary in Somalia when people across the globe continue to suffer from senseless conflict and violence. This sacred time reminds us of our universal obligation to pursue peace and to uphold the dignity of the Somali people and mankind.
Prime Minister’s Media Office
Tel: +252 615327526
Despite military gains against Somalia’s Islamist group Al-Shabaab, the insurgents’ defeat will remain elusive until the Somali government and its international partners address longstanding social – often clan-based – grievances through parallel local and national processes, as the basis for the revival of conventional governmental authority.
To combat the entrenched, highly adaptable extremist group Al-Shabaab, the Somali Federal Government and its allies must better imitate the group’s core political strengths. The focus on military campaigns with little emphasis on encouraging political settlements in liberated areas is handing the initiative back to the insurgents. In its latest briefing, Somalia: Al-Shabaab – It Will Be a Long War, the International Crisis Group looks beyond Al Shabaab’s extremist face and explains why the group remains resilient in south-central Somalia.While Al-Shabaab remains the focus for international actors, it is just one of several obstacles on the road to peace and stability. And unlike many of its rivals in south-central Somalia, the group still offers practical solutions to clan conflicts and minority representation, simple but effective governance and justice structures, and basic social services, including religious instruction in areas with scant primary education.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Muslims around the world will begin fasting from SUNDAY JUNE 29, 2014 and for a whole month thereafter, however, for some it will begin only if the moon is sighted.
Since the beginning of Islam, there have been debates as to what constitutes moon sighting. Some interpret that there has to be a minion to declare that they have seen it themselves with their own eyes, where some others do not accept the holiday unless they have seen it themselves. In the United States, there is an organization that monitors moon sighting called the Hilal committee. At one time it was acceptable if the moon was sighted elsewhere, but now, each group has to have their own moon sighting.
Politics runs deeply in our communities, be it a temple, synagogue or a church, and mosques are no different. A few scientifically-inclined-Muslims have adopted NASA's calculation, believed to be precise. However, four different traditions are operative concurrently; i) Strictly Calendar, ii) NASA and iii) Sighting with bare eyes and iv) Sighting by others in the community.
The NASA-oriented and the calendar-group misses out the fun, joy and exhilaration of waiting and watching the needle thin moon on the horizon. The whole family gets out on the roof tops, or higher grounds, some even climb electric poles, and a few will drive out where they can see the sky without obstacles, kids would climb up on parent's shoulders, and a few run from place to place shouting in excitement, did you see? It is like the belief in Santa Claus, angels and other myths; each tradition fulfills one's emotional needs and every one becomes sentimental. After all, if celebration does not have the excitement, it is less of a celebration.
America's spirit of freedom touches every soul, no matter what religion or tradition they follow. American Muslims are no different, they prefer to have a pre-set date to start fasting and the celebration called "Eid" (pronounced as 'Eeed'). The idea is for them to take a day off from work or get an optional day off for their children from the schools. Always, the joy multiplies when the family and friends celebrate it together. They prefer not wait for the moon to show up to the bare eyes.
The conflict is the same every where on the earth. Each group subscribes to one of the four systems mentioned above. America is no different; you will find celebrations on one or three different days in any given city. The Sunnis, being the largest group has the greater division within, while the Shias, Ismailis, WD Mohammad, Bohra and Ahmadiyya follow the pre-determined dates. The consensus may be attributable to having central spiritual leadership in all groups except the Sunni. However like the American public wishes to see Republicans and Democrats drop the party lines and focus on what is good for America, the Muslims also wish they could celebrate the Eid on one single day. It ain't going to happen; it is human to disagree.
It is against the spirit of Ramadan to denigrate, diminish and devalue other practices. The essence of Ramadan is to become humble, simple and free from ill-will, anger, meanness and hate.
Let's fill our hearts with goodwill and honor Ramadan by saying "Eid Mubarak" or Happy Eid to every one who celebrates on a different day in the same town. The essence of Ramadan is joy and let's not prick any one's bubble; God has not signed a pact with any one behind others back, let's rejoice the differences of interpretations. If you want to celebrate every day, go to every celebration.
In the spirit of Ramadan, I pray that Ramadan gets into our hearts and minds and make us embrace all factions of Muslims without undermining their tradition and further pray that we treat every human on the earth with dignity, respect and care.
That is indeed the wisdom expressed in Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of God, is the best in conduct. God Knows and is Aware of everything you do." There is no promise of 72 virgins for martyrs, terrorists or suicide bombers anywhere in the Quran.
Executive Director of Terror Free Somalia Foundation
Falls church Virgina USA
B.O BOX 1426 LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA 22041
Designation of Al-Shabaab
The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.
- Legendary Somali singer Saado Ali Warsame gunned d...
- Somali PM: Donors must deliver on promises
- SNTV OO WARBIXIN KA DIYAARISAY DHAGAR QABIHII WEER...
- SNTV OO WARBIXIN KA DIYAARISAY DHAGAR QABIHII WEER...
- BREAKING: Somali govt presented this suspect as fa...
- Somali PM sacks security chiefs following presiden...
- Somalia's National Day
- 54th Somalia Independence Day
- ▼ July (8)
- ► 2013 (483)
- ► 2012 (782)
- ► 2011 (1124)
- ► 2010 (2302)
- ► 2009 (2843)
- ► 2008 (1071)
Al-Qaida in Somalia. ...
We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa
The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.