Monday, June 30, 2008

ICRC: Attacks on aid workers in Somalia are 'incredible'

GENEVA — Attacks on Somalia's government officials, journalists and aid workers have risen to an "incredible" level in the Horn of Africa nation, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday.
But Pascal Hundt, the ICRC's outgoing head of delegation for Somalia, said the neutral agency is taking enough precautions to be able to continue providing food, drinking water, medical services and other help to hundreds of thousands of Somalis. more.... also Gunmen kill prominent elder in central Somalia. Well-known Traditional elder Yasin Ali Barre aka Fitilig was killed last night in Galkayo [the provincial town of Mudug Region, central Somalia on Monday night residents said.
He was among the well known traditional elders in the region.
He was killed by two men who masked their faces as he came out from a telephone sub station, while some other reports say he was coming from a tea shop.
This is not the first time that people have been killed in Gaalkacyo.
Recently planned assassinations carried out by al shabaab who masked their faces have taken place in the town. Reasons behind the killings remain unknown. The group, also known by its French name Medecins Sans Frontieres or MSF, has withdrawn international staff amid the humanitarian crisis because of violence from an Islamist-led insurgency against the Somali government and its Ethiopian military allies.
Violence against civilians has come from all sides, MSF said in a teleconference with reporters in New York. Internal refugees are crammed into unsanitary shelters while prices for rice and corn have tripled since the start of 2008.
"Every time we think that it can't get much worse, it does. ... We feel we have reached a new low," said Nicolas de Torrente, executive director of MSF in the United States."Aid workers are increasingly targeted in Somalia, kidnapped, killed," he said.

Ethiopian with TFG troops and Terrorist insurgents clash in central Somalia Hawiye town

Fighting has erupted between Ethiopian troops and insurgents in Guri el District [central Somalia] at dusk. The Ethiopian troops went to the district yesterday. The fighting, in which heavy weapons were used, was heard within the Guri el town [Galgudud Region], as well as its environs. The fighting occurred on the outskirts of Guri el, where Ethiopian and TFG troops set up a base yesterday. The casualties of the fighting are unknown. Terrorist Insurgents attacked the Ethiopian troops at dusk.Local residents camped on the outskirts of Guri el District, that they fled the town following the fighting between the two sides.Guri Ceel District Commissioner Ali said he was currently in Dhusa Mareb [the HQ of Galgudud Region has detailed the incident .Reports say that the fighting started at dusk and stopped at the moment. It lasted for a half an hour. The fighting took place in an area where Ethiopian & TFG troops are based.

Somali Foreign Minister Criticizes Eritrea

Somali Foreign Minister Ali Ahmad Jama urged leaders of the African states who will meet in the Sharm al-Sheikh resort on the Red Sea coast the day after tomorrow to support his country's efforts the secure the deployment of international peacekeeping for Somali Foreign Minister Ali Ahmad Jama urged leaders of the African states who will meet in the Sharm al-Sheikh resort on the Red Sea coast the day after tomorrow to support his country's efforts the secure the deployment of international peacekeeping forces to bring about peace and stability. In statements to Al-Sharq al-Awsat on the sidelines of meetings to prepare for the African Union summit, Jama said: "We hope that the Africans will support the deployment of UN forces and participate in them. Somalia needs urgent Arab and international support at this stage." He accused Eritrea of playing a bad role in the Horn of Africa and funding the Somali opposition. Contrary to expectation, he refrained from leveling any criticism at the Arab League and its member states. Currently, there is argument in many Somali circles whether the Arab League is playing a positive role to end the Somali crisis and whether its secretary general, Amr Musa, is making mediation efforts, like the efforts that he made with regard to the political crisis in Lebanon. Jama said: "I do not want to make a comparison between the developments in Lebanon and Somalia. However, we hope for more Arab support for the peace agreement and contribution to the restoration of security and stability." He added: "We do not want to enter the game of trading accusations. What is important is to focus on the future. Also, it is important for the Arab League member states to intervene and extend more support and backing to their Somali brothers." Jama affirmed to Al-Sharq al-Awsat that people affiliated with the Al-Qa'ida organization are still in Somalia and work to block any attempt to achieve security and stability in the state that has been torn by a grinding civil war since 1991. He added that these people do not want good for Somalia and work to take advantage of the political and security chaos to secure a safe haven in the country. However, he asserted that his government, in cooperation with various world states, seeks to curb what he termed this subversive activity. He said groups that do not want peace and stability to be achieved sought to assassinate Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf and senior government officials more than once. The Somali foreign minister said: "Of course, their goal is well known. They want the chaos to continue and seek to undermine any attempt to achieve stability and national reconciliation. We have lost many Somali personalities who returned from abroad, volunteering to contribute to supporting national action." Earlier,Terrorist AL SHABAAB, which is on the US list of terrorism, claimed responsibility for three assassination attempts, which Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf suffered over the past two weeks. The Somali foreign minister criticized a recent call by Abu-Yahya al-Libi, one of the Al-Qa'ida leaders, on the Somalis to reject the UN-sponsored agreement that was recently signed in Djibouti between the leader of the Somali opposition alliance who is based in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, and the Somali prime minister, Col Nur Hassan Hussein (Adde). The Somali foreign minister said his government is not interested in disagreements within the opposition some leaders of which signed the agreement and others refused to sign. He added: "I do not want to interfere in personal disagreements between the oppositionists. However, we know that the leader of the opposition alliance and the president of the alliance's central committee approved the agreement on behalf of the majority of the alliance. Besides, the majority of the Somali people and most of population of the capital, Mogadishu, support this agreement." Jama noted that this agreement is not a personal matter and that its aim is to achieve reconciliation in Somalia. He said the leader of the opposition alliance, Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad, took a bold, difficult, and sound decision in the interest of security and stability in Somalia. The Somali foreign minister accused Eritrean President Isaias Afworki of playing a negative role in the Somali crisis. He also accused him of extending financial aid and providing weapons for the opponents of the transitional authority, which Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has led since 2003. He said: "Eritrea plays a bad role, not only in Somalia, but also in the Horn of Africa. It suddenly created a border problem with Djibouti. We know that the Eritreans supply the opposition with money and weapons, and this fact is mentioned in a recent report by the UN Security Council on the current situation in Somalia."

French journalists escape from abduction attempt in northeastern Somalia

Reports from Bosaso town the provincial capital of Puntland semiautonomous say that it has been failed a kidnapping attack on two French journalists in the town Sunday police said.
The bodyguards of the journalist and the kidnappers have exchanged with additional gun fire that prevented the assailants from the abduction of the journalists.Kidnappings have been on the rise in Somalia, which has not had a functioning government for more than 15 years.
No further details on that incident are availible. In the past week alone, five people have been abducted. A German couple, their son and a French yacht captain were kidnapped Monday off the Gulf of Aden and pirates were demanding a $1 million ransom. A Somali employee of the U.N. refugee agency was taken June 21 outside Mogadishu. ALSO in mogdisho..The deputy district commissioner of Hamar Jajab District in Mogadishu was wounded after an armed group opened fire at her home on Saturday morning residents said.The incident was confirmed by Hamar Jajab District Commissioner Qorleh, who told Mareeg online that his deputy was injured, and rushed to AMISOM [African Union Mission in Somalia] Hospital in Mogadishu.He added that her condition was improving.The incident is part of attacks against officials of Banadir region's administration.Hamar Jajab District commissioner accused insurgents of being behind today's attack. al-shabaab today abducted workers of WFL agency which is based in Lower Shabelle Region. The workers who are all Somali nationals left Marka town and were heading towards Aden Adde International Airport from where they were intending to fly abroad. However, on reaching Afgoi District 30km north of Mogadishu the workers were abducted. The Italian agency is involved in water development activities.No further details on that kidnapping are available

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Somalia invites Russian firms to develop uranium deposits

Somalia hopes Russian companies will take part in the development of uranium deposits, and oil and natural gas production, the Somali ambassador to Russia said Friday.
"Today we say: let's cooperate. Somalia is a very rich country, this is the main basin of oil and gas on the territory of the Horn of Africa," Mohamed Handule told a RIA Novosti press conference.Handule said prospecting for uranium deposits had been carried during the Soviet era."Somalia believes that production of this uranium is a prerogative of Russian firms, stemming from former intergovernmental agreements with the U.S.S.R.The ambassador also referred to a project to build a space center in Somalia. "A space center in Somalia could be used as an international space center, a site that could supplement Baikonur," he said, adding that rockets with telecommunications satellites on board could be launched from there.
The Baikonur space center, built in Kazakhstan in the 1950s, was first leased by Russia from Kazakhstan under an agreement signed in 1994 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russian officials have repeatedly said Russia will continue to use the Baikonur launch site until at least 2050.
Source: RIA Novosti, Russia

Somali Islamists snatch Danish, Swedish aid workers: UN

MOGADISHU (AFP) - Islamist militants kidnapped a Dane and a Swede working for the United Nations and a Somali aid worker when the fighters seized control of a town Saturday, several sources told AFP. Local residents and aid workers said the insurgents attacked the town of Hodur, 370 kilometres (235 miles) west of the Somali capital Mogadishu, around 4:30 am (0130 GMT) but then withdrew. more...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Breaking News: Zenawi Asres passes way

Adwa, Ethiopia - The father of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Ato Zenawi Asres, passed away on Thursday, June 27, 2008.Ato Zenawi was an administrator of the Adwa woreda (district) during his life. He also served as a freedom fighter during the Ethiopian civil war against the Government of Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam.As the father of 14 children, including Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Zenawi Asres lived a life under monarchy, military and social democracy, thus, embodying the true meaning of an Ethiopian elder -- a living encyclopedia.Ato Zenawi's funeral will be held today, Friday, June 27, 2008 in the City of Adwa, his hometown. Family, relatives and friends will be in attendance.

news. somalia

Terrorist Hassan Dahir Aweys criticized Saudi Arabia for backing the peace deal between the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) and the Somali government. The deputy leader of the ARS rejected al Qaeda's criticism of the peace accord. The African Union said Nigeria would deploy forces to Somalia. Four Europeans were kidnapped from a yacht off the coast of Somalia.The Islamic Courts have taken control of Beletwein in central Somalia after Ethiopian forces withdrew. Heavy fighting was reported between Shabab and Ethiopian troops in Guri El. Shabab ambushed a convoy of a senior police commander in Baidoa.


June 26th, 2008 - Washington, D.C. - “I am very pleased to join the Somali and Djibouti communities of Minnesota in celebrating the independence days of their respective homelands. Today is the celebration of independence day for Somalia, which was made official in the year 1960. It is also is the kick-off for Somali week here in Minnesota, which was established to recognize the important contributions that have been made to our state by the Somali community. The members of the Djibouti community also celebrate the independence of their homeland on June 27th, to mark the event in 1977 that brought the country into existence. As the celebration of these historical events takes place, I am reminded of the hope that we all have for peace in the region. Congratulations to all members of the Somali and Djibouti communities in Minnesota during this special week.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peace Deal Shot To Pieces

June 26, 2008: In Mogadishu, the Islamic radical refuse to join the peace deal recently hammered out, unless the Ethiopian troops withdraw. But Ethiopia will not pull its troops out until the Islamic radicals give up on their efforts to take control of Ethiopia's Ogaden province (long in dispute between the two countries). The peace deal calls for Ethiopian withdrawal once a UN peacekeeping force is in place. That might take a while .... more

Kismayo Port Official Gunned Down .Three children killed in Kismayu town attack

Kismayo, - An official working for the port of Kismayo, in Somalia's south, was shot and killed Tuesday by a group of unidentified gunmen, witnesses said. The victim was identified as Mahad Adan Arabey, the treasurer of the port of Kismayo. Two other civilians were wounded in the crossfire when the attackers indiscriminately opened gunfire at a crowded place. The killers escaped immediately. An elder in Kismayo suggested that the late Arabey's murder is linked to a series of "revenge clan killings" that have taken place recently.
Kismayo, the country's third-largest city, .also
Three children killed in Kismayu town attack
Unknown armed groups have killed three young children in an attack was beleaguered on trader’s house in the port city of kismayu on Thursday night residents said.
Several witnesses said that two other children and their mother wounded in that attack.
The motive for the attack is unknown, but the gunmen may have been attempting to kidnap a businessman who was in the area.
Residents in the area where the incident took place said that gunmen had been hanging around all the night, and many people had been suspicious of them.
A witness said he thought the gunmen did not plan to attack the house, but were waiting for a businessman to pass by in the hope of kidnapping him.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

AU says Nigeria will send peacekeepers to Somalia

KAMPALA (Reuters) - The Nigerian military has sent a reconnaissance team to Somalia and is expected to deploy troops there soon as part of an African peacekeeping force, a spokesman for the force said on Tuesday.
The African Union had planned to send 8,000 soldiers to the capital Mogadishu to support the U.N.-backed interim government, which faces an insurgency by Islamist rebels. more..

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why anarchy in Somalia threatens rest of the world.

Somalia is burning, but the world would rather not see. The country has over the years become synonymous with chaos.
However, recent developments in the country should get many of us very worried.
When news broke that one of the most brutal terrorists in the war-torn country, Aden Hashi Ayrow, had been killed along with several of his lieutenants, commentators were quick to pronounce it a major step towards saving the country.
In Nairobi, diplomat Mohammed Aden said that Ayrow's death “will definitely weaken al-Shabaab”, referring to the ferocious Islamic militia. On the surface, the diplomat's assessment appears reasonable. Ayrow's death, in a pre-dawn strike on the small town of Dusa Mareb, removed a long-time terror chief responsible for the jihadists' recently intensified insurgency, which has claimed dozens of people. Lately, Somalia President Abdullahi Yusuf has come under repeated attacks, often escaping by a whisker. Upon Ayrow's death, Somali jihadists quickly vowed to continue the fight under new leadership. “Dying is an honour at the moment,” Shaykh Hassan Dahir Aweys, a former mentor to Ayrow, was quoted as saying. Al-Shabaab group spokesman Mukhtar Ali Robow has been similarly defiant. He said: “We are warning the enemies of God that we will stay on the same path like the departed… the true path of jihad.” Mr Robow's threat is all the more frightening in light of his group's definition of jihad that, judging by its attacks, includes killing and kidnapping humanitarian aid workers.
Recent examples include the kidnapping of two men working on a UN-funded water project and a roadside bombing that killed employees of Médecins Sans Frontières, which forced the group to withdraw from Somalia. One interpretation of these actions is that al-Shabaab's objective is to destabilise Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and allied Ethiopian forces by fostering chaos to the point where the population will call on al-Shabaab to save them.
In this respect, there is a similarity between the indiscriminately violent hit-and-run tactics of al-Shabaab and terrorists in Iraq. In any case, at this point, the strategy of the jihadists appears changed little following Ayrow's death. Jihadists also appear to expect the terrorist group to reform. The challenge for those who oppose terrorism in East Africa, as elsewhere, is that terrorism respects no borders. It is an international phenomenon that relies on international means to replenish its ranks. Nothing demonstrates this better than jihadists' use of the Internet. There is no subtlety about it. Recently, an Internet forum carried instructions on “how to become a member of Al Qaeda”. In addition to adhering to the identity, ideology and objectives of Al-Qaeda, candidates are told that they must prepare “physically, scientifically and spiritually”. Jihadists can join either an existing group or “pursue a solitary path”. To them, almost any act can be justified by jihad. Somalia may be a failed state, but it is a net exporter of extremism and insecurity. Therefore, the world, especially neighbouring countries, must do more to help Somalia

Monday, June 23, 2008

news somalia


Senior al Qaeda leader Hassan Dahir Aweys said he was taking control of the opposition front called the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia. Three Somali soldiers were killed in a bombing in Mogadishu. Ten Somalis were wounded at a bombing in a theater in Baidoa. A Somali peace activist was killed and the leader of a UN agency was kidnapped.Hassan Dahir Aweys criticized Saudi Arabia for backing the peace deal between the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) and the Somali government. The deputy leader of the ARS rejected al Qaeda's criticism of the peace accord. The African Union said Nigeria would deploy forces to Somalia. Four Europeans were kidnapped from a yacht off the coast of Somalia.

envoy of the Somali President arrived in yeman

An envoy of the Somali President arrived Sunday evening in Sana'a, conveying a letter to President Ali Abdullah Saleh from his Somali counterpart Abdullah Yusef Ahmed. Upon his arrival in Sana'a airport, Somali Minister of Education and Culture Aideed Abdullah al Kahf said to Saba the letter included the mutual cooperation ties between the two countries, and means of boosting and improving them, in addition to getting acquire President Saleh with the latest developments in Somalia. He will hold talks with officials of education and higher education and culture ministries on educational and cultural cooperation fields and possibilities to sign agreements on these fields. source sabanet

Qaeda urges Somali insurgents to fight on-Web video

An al Qaeda leader said a U.N.- brokered peace deal between the Somali government and some opposition figures was worthless and called on Islamist insurgents in the Horn of Africa nation to fight on.
"Do not accept anything less than an independent Islamic state, that does not recognise the legitimacy of international (law) ... and does not look to the East or to the West," Abu Yahya al-Libi said in a video posted on pro-al Qaeda websites on Sunday.
Libi praised hardline Islamists for rejecting a June 10 peace deal between Somalia's interim government and some opposition figures, saying he said "was not worth the paper it was written on".
"A withdrawal of occupying Ethiopian forces and their replacement with any other forces, be they from the African Union or the United Nations or under any other ... entities, does not change the situation," said Libi, who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
The deal was rejected outright by hardline Islamists in exile and the insurgents on the ground, and experts have warned it was likely to have little impact on the violence.
Those who rejected the pact included Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys and Sheikh Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki -- both on the U.S. and U.N. lists of al Qaeda associates.
Islamists who opposed the U.N.-led Djibouti talks have refused to meet the Western-backed government face-to-face until Ethiopian troops leave Somalia.
Since early 2007, insurgents have been carrying out near-daily, Iraq-style attacks on Somali and Ethiopian security forces. The Ethiopian forces are fighting with the government against the insurgents.
al-Qaida spokesman has urged Islamist militants in Somalia to fight a United Nations peacekeeping force slated to be deployed there.
In a 19-minute video posted on a militant Web site Sunday, Abu Yahya Al-Libi also urged Muslim extremists to set up an Islamic government in Somalia. The Somali government and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia agreed this month to "end all acts of armed confrontation" within 30 days and remove Ethiopian troops once a U.N. peacekeeping force is deployed. Al-Libi is one of the most visible faces of al-Qaida on the Internet, and has released five statements this year.He gained fame for escaping from Afghanistan's notorious Bagram prison in 2005.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Uganda trains Somali police force

SENIOR police officers from war-ravaged Somalia are undergoing a one-month course in Uganda.Internal affairs minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda on Monday officially opened the training for the 83 station commanders of the Somalia Police Force at Jokas Hotel in Bweyogerere, near Kampala.The course, conducted by the Uganda Police, is aimed at imparting into the officers skills of managing police stations. It is funded by UNDP-Somalia.According to Felix Ndyomugyenyi, the acting commissioner for human resource development, the course covers community policing, crime management and investigation, conflict, case file and records management, ethics and integrity, command and control and gender mainstreaming.The officers, he added, would be attached to Police stations to practice what they learnt in class.Ndyomugyenyi urged them to gather as much information as possible to take back home.Rugunda said the training was to consolidate ties between the two countries and enhance mutual knowledge-sharing.In 2007, Uganda sent a peacekeeping mission to Somalia under the auspices of the African Union and the United Nations. There are 1,600 Ugandan soldiers serving there."If one part of Africa is in problems, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that it is supported to become peaceful," Rugunda noted.The minister recalled that in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Horn of Africa was progressive but became a failed state in 1991 after dictatorial President Siad Barre’s death.He was, however, happy that it had begun to recover. "We are confident that the people of Somalia will unite their country and make economic progress the way Uganda has done. The Police are critical in this process."The Police chief, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, said the training was an opportunity for the Uganda Police to learn from their counterparts how to check suicide bombers and urban terrorism

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ethiopian come with our consent and leave through an agreement

In statements exclusive to Al-Jazeera during his visit to Djibouti, the Somali president was deeply critical of some Arab countries, including Qatar, saying that they work against the interim government.Begin President Yusuf recording, in Somali dialect with voice-over Arabic translation he said: I want to tell the government of Qatar that the day will come when the Arab people hold accountable all those who helped destabilize Somalia.“The Qatari Government can rectify its policies towards us, and his includes the hostile rhetoric used in its media outlets, starting with Al-Jazeera” Yusuf irately said. Speaking of Ethiopian troop’s controversial arrival in Somalia president Yusuf has declared that his government’s consent is the cause of the Ethiopian’s arrival.“Ethiopian forces came to Somalia through an agreement with the interim government, and they will leave the country also through an agreement” he emphasized “As far as the interim government is concerned, there are no obstacles to the implementation of the Djibouti agreement, for we are committed to it, and so is the opposition, which - with a few exceptions that still reject the agreement - announced that it would honour the agreement and wants peace in the country” he lastly said.Ethiopian troops have been in Somalia for 18 months since helping the government oust the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) that ruled much of Somalia in 2006. The country has experienced almost constant civil conflict since the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre's regime in January 1991. Last week's deal was signed by a top Islamist leader, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and Prime Minister Nur Adde, but another Islamist leader has promised to continue fighting. The three-month ceasefire provides for Ethiopian troops to leave the country within 120 days.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

National reconciliation commission calls Alshabab(Terrorist group ) for talks

Somalia’s national reconciliation board has called for talks with Alshabab Islamic group to sort out the violence raging in Somalia.The chairman of the committee Islamel Mo,alin Muse told Shabelle that Alshabab group is imperative for Somalia’s squaring off process.“We ask for them to accede to coming to the talks table, because they are political group” Muse said in the interview” it would be most excellent them to agree to the offer” It’s yet unknown whether Alshabab will accept the talk’s with TFG’s suggestion. He also had over Alshabab not to violate the truce accord that the government and Amara based Rliberation of Somalia opposition group jointly signed in Djibouti.He added that no solution can come with the point of gun except talks saying that the leaders of Alshabab ought to call their fighters for cessation of hostility.The remarks from the national reconciliation commission comes following Alshabab rebuffed the outcome of Djibouti talks.Al-Shabab, the UIC's youth wing whose fighters have been behind much of the violence against the Ethiopian and Somali government troops, has also distanced itself from the upshots of Djibouti talks. Of the Somali Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys has rejected a UN-brokered, three-month ceasefire deal signed by Somalia's government and an opposition bloc. He promised to continue fighting until all foreign troops left the country. The deal was signed by another top Islamist leader, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and Prime Minister Nur Adde. Aimed at ending years of conflict, it provides for Ethiopian troops leaving Somalia within 120 days. Mr Aweys, the founder of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) that ruled much of Somalia in 2006 before being ousted by Ethiopian forces backed by Somali government troops, is a member of the opposition alliance based in Eritrea. He is seen as the more hardline leader of the courts and has never supported the peace talks by the western countries."We shall continue fighting until we liberate our country from the enemies of Allah," he told Shabelle radio.Alshabab fighters are still waging deadly attacks against against the Ethiopian and government troops.

Sweden contributing 3 million to peace efforts in Somalia

Sweden is contributing SEK 3 million to support the continuing peace efforts in Somalia under UN leadership. After mediation by the UN, Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberalisation of Somalia (ARS) were able to agree on a ceasefire on 9 June. more..

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

opposition to meet world community members in Kenya

Several members of Somali Reliberation of Somalia opposition group are expected to hold crucial meeting with officials from world community in Kenyan capital Nairobi Tuesday officials said.
The outline of the assembly was reported to plead their case to the world community over the outcomes of the Djibouti peace talks they signed truce agreement with the transitional government. Sources close to the ARS’s senior officials in Kenya say that the leading officials including the chairman of the alliance Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the chairman of the central committee will put forward the world community officials to support the truce accord signed in Djibouti.
Elsewhere Somali prime minister Nor Hassan Husein Nor adde is in Nairobi as some reports say that the premier will separately meet with the members from the world community to give details about their truce agreement with the opposition groups. The two sides of the government and the ARS agreed on the termination of all acts of armed confrontations to come into force 30 days from the signing of the agreement for an initial period of 90 days, renewable.The main opposition demand has been that Ethiopian soldiers helping the government fight Islamist rebels quit Somali soil.The deal also planned for Ethiopian forces to leave within 120 days, but that their withdrawal was conditional on "sufficient" U.N. troops being deployed before that.A six-week peace conference in the capital Mogadishu last year produced various pacts but had no visible impact on an Iraq-style insurgency of roadside bombings, ambushes and assassinations. A contingent of 2,200 African peacekeepers has made little headway stemming the conflict and the United Nations is reluctant to intervene until security improves.
Hopes had dimmed at the Djibouti talks after members of the opposition rubbished other opposition figures who took part. For days, the delegations also refused to meet face-to-face to discuss ways of ending 18 years of conflict, and only met directly at Monday's signing.
The violence in Somalia has triggered a humanitarian crisis that aid workers say may be the worst in Africa, with at least a million refugees in a nation torn by constant civil conflict since the 1991 toppling of a military dictator by warlords. Both sides are due to meet again in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, late next month


Puntlanders Welcomed General Abdullahi’s Presidential Bid


It is, unfortunately, a matter of public knowledge that our Somali State of Puntland is in a deplorable state: its unity is shattered; its economy is in shambles; its territory is violated and partly occupied; its resources are squandered; its crimes are rising; kidnappings and piracy have combined to put it in the international headlines; and its people have been left to fend for themselves when it comes to safety and security. The list of its ills is in fact endless. more..

Peace Deal Is Dead On Arrival

June 17, 2008: The Transitional National Government (TNG) has approved the new peace deal signed in Djibouti last week, with the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS). But a radical faction of the Islamic Courts Union (the ICU, which is part of the ARS) refuses to go along. That means at least ten percent of the clan warriors in southern Somalia are still officially at war with the world, and many of the other gunmen in the region are willing to break the truce, if the payoff is large enough. However, one thing the peace agreement does do is further isolate the Islamic radical factions.

fighting kills six in somali capital mogadishu

At least six people have been killed in gunfire and weaponry fighting rocked in Somali capital later Tuesday witnesses said.Three of the deceased people were killed in Labadhagah area close to the main Bakara market while three others died in Sinay village at the same time as four others wounded at the spot after stray mortar landed on their house according to eyewitnesses.
The fighting has started after armed Islamic fighters assaulted at Ethiopian troops newly based at Florence junction in Wardhigley neighborhood in Mogadishu where sudden clash started.
Several missiles that the Ethiopian troops fired From Aslubta military base in Mogadishu also hit in the main Bakara marker although no causalities were reported.
The situation has returned to calm, as the both warred side’s causalities remains unknown.
Else where Ethio-Som troops are stop over in Heliwa district in Mogadishu after they conducted operation in the similar locale today. Also additional minutes lasted fighting has erupted in the vicinity of SOS and Ex control areas later than armed Islamic fighters launched mortars into Ethiopian troop’s army base where sudden fighting erupted.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Headed of ARS Sheikh Sharif Arrives in Nairobi

Mogahdish, Somalia (HOL) - Reports we are receiving from Nairobi, Kenya, say that a delegation headed by the leader of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) Shiikh Shariif Shiikh Axmed has arrived there late yesterday afternoon. Among the members of the ARS delegation is the chairman of the Alliance’s Central Executive Committee and former speaker of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Parliament Xasan Shiikh Aadan. Sources say that Mr. Aadan is in Nairobi to meet with high level UN representatives and other regional and international ambassadors interested and involved in the Somalia situation. Our sources tell us that the meetings the Alliance members will hold with the UN and other regional and international representatives are related to how the recent peace agreement between the ARS and the TFG signed in Djibouti can be implemented. Also present in Nairobi is the TFG Prime Minister Xasan Xuseen (Nuur Cadde) who has been holding talks with the UN and other regional and international representatives related to the implementation of Djibouti peace agreement. The arrival of the two delegations in Nairobi precedes a meeting expected in the near future to take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the two sided are expected to formally sign the Djibouti peace agreement.

French firm signs deal to combat Somali pirates: CEO

CARCASSONNE, France (AFP) — A private French military firm has signed a contract with Somali authorities to boost security off the country's coast, plagued by high-profile piracy in recent years, the chief executive said Saturday. Pierre Marziali, CEO of the firm Secopex, said the deal would "strengthen maritime business" off Somalia. The deal, estimated to be worth between 50 million to 100 million euros (75-150 million dollars) annually for the next three years, comes in the wake of the hostage-taking by Somali pirates of a French luxury yacht, the Ponant, in April. After a week-long stand off, all 30 crew members were released unharmed, but French special forces swooped on the fleeing pirates, capturing six and retrieving some of the ransom money paid."Our core business is primarily in the US," Marziali told AFP, before adding that the "Ponant affect played a part" in signing the deal with the Somali authorities. According to Marziali, the contract amount will depend on an audit of existing facilities in Somalia, and will be to set up a "unified coastguard, creating a comprehensive coastguard information system" and form a special bodyguard for Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. "These measures mean we can offer a concrete response to any armed attack," he said, adding that any pirate attack would be met with "a return of fire." "The economic facet of this contract is also important for Somalia, victim not just of pirates but also the victim of huge pillaging of its natural fish stocks off its coastline," the Secopex boss added. His firm was capable of mobilising up to 2,000 people from around 40 trades, including divers, translators, pilots and nurses, he said. Secopex, founded in 2003, is involved in providing private security, bodyguards, and security advice and auditing .The branch based in Carcassonne, southern France, specialises in private military services to sovereign states.

UN-Saudis say Somalia truce a 'breakthrough'

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah regards a Somalia truce deal reached last week as a "breakthough" and will invite rival factions to an official signing ceremony as soon as possible, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday. more.

Kenyan leader decries prevailing insecurity in Somalia

APA-Nairobi (Kenya) Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on Saturday said that the prevailing security situation in Somalia is worrying and greatly endangers regional peace, security and stability, noting that violence continues, and there is an increase in attacks targeting foreign nationals, local and international non-governmental organizations, the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia and members of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.
The President said that the continuing insurgency has embraced violence as a means of unseating the Transitional Federal Government and scaring away the African Union peacekeeping mission.
“As a region, we cannot accept those who use violence - pirates and kidnap syndicates to continue killing and kidnapping people”, said Kibaki while addressing the 12th ordinary Assembly of the Inter-government Development Authority on Development (IGAD) heads of state and government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The president seized the opportunity and urged the United Nations Security Council to step up its involvement in the Somali Peace Process until the situation fully stabilizes.
“In particular, it is critical that the United Nations Security Council urgently considers transforming the (African Union Mission to Somalia) AMISOM into a United Nations Peacekeeping Mission”, said the President in a Presidential statement issued to the press in Nairobi on Saturday evening.
The President noted that the the current number of 2,613 troops falls far below the 8,000 strong force needed to effectively enforce peace in Somalia.
“While appreciating the pledges made by African countries to deploy troops to AMISOM, and in light of the prevailing security challenges in Somalia, I urge Benin, Ghana and Nigeria to deploy their troops without further delay”, noted the Kenyan leader who now is the outgoing chairman of IGAD. more .... East African Nations Call for UN Peacekeeping in Somalia

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Islamists Claim Attack Targeting Somali President

Mogadishu, — The main Islamist insurgent group in Somalia claimed an attack targeting President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed as he was preparing to fly out of the country, according to a Internet statement on Friday.
" terror al shabaab launched a surprise attack on Thursday against the convoy of the apostate Abdullahi Yusuf... as he was heading to Mogadishu airport," said the statement published on a website used by radical groups including Al-Qaeda.
The president escaped the ambush but insurgents then fired mortar bombs at the airport, disrupting his travel, said the statement, whose authenticity could not be verified.
"Fighting erupted between the mujahedeen and the presidential guard, Ethiopian crusader forces and African Union mercenaries on the road to the airport," it added.
An African Union peacekeeper had said that three mortar shells exploded at Mogadishu airport on Thursday as Yusuf's plane was preparing to take off for Addis Ababa, but that no-one was injured.
However, five civilians were killed in the fighting on Thursday between Islamist insurgents and Somali forces, which are backed by Ethiopian troops

US freezes Kuwait charity assets over Somali islamist's funding

The United States Treasury Department on Friday froze the assets of a Kuwait-based charity for allegedly supporting and funding Al-Qaeda, the government said in a statement.
The decision applies to the Kuwaiti headquarters of the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), and specifically to any assets the group holds under US jurisdiction. It also bars US persons from any transactions with the group.
"RIHS has used charity and humanitarian assistance as cover to fund terrorist activity and harm innocent civilians in several countries mainly Somali islamist group Called Al-Itihad, often in poor and impoverished regions," said Stuart Levey, under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
The US government applied similar measures to RIHS offices in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2002 "based on evidence of their support for Al-Qaeda," the Treasury statement said.
"At that time, there was no evidence that the Kuwait-based RIHS headquarters knew that RIHS-Afghanistan and RIHS- Somalia-Pakistan were financing Al-Qaeda. Since that time, however, evidence has mounted implicating RIHS-HQ in terrorism support activity."
The US government said that the group's senior leadership, which managed daily activities, was "aware of both legitimate and illegitimate uses of RIHS funds."
RIHS offices have also been closed or raided over suspicions of terror ties by the governments of Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, and Russia.

BREAKING: Toledo Terror Trio Guilty on All Charges

It’s been a bad month for jihadists in the Buckeye State. This afternoon, a jury found three Toledo men, Mohammad Amawi, Marwan El-Hindi, and Wassim Mazloum, guilty on all charges of plotting to kill US soldiers overseas. Amawi and El-Hindi were also convicted of distributing information regarding explosives to terrorists. This follows last week’s guilty plea by Columbus Al-Qaeda member Christopher Paul to charges of joining and fighting with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Bosnia, and training jihadists from Central Ohio and Europe to kill Americans at home and abroad. .more...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Letter to the members of the Somali Diaspora

Nairobi, 12 June 2008

Asalaam Aleikum

At the outset, I would like to thank you all for your patriotic support for the Somali peace agreement which was initialed in Djibouti on 9 June 2008. I received many phone calls and emails expressing backing for the agreement and the consensus that was reached between the Parties.
There is still much work to be done. Your country would sincerely appreciate your help in persuading the international community that they will now need to provide full practical support as promised. This is especially true if we are to ensure that the Parties keep to their promises particularly for setting up an international stabilization force and ensuring humanitarian access. The Parties themselves called for the international community to provide adequate resources for the Agreement.
We will be working hard to organize the Joint Security Committee and the High Level Committee as well as the conference on political cooperation, Justice and Reconciliation and the one on Reconstruction and Development outlined in the Agreement. These are crucial for the success of the peace efforts.
There are high hopes that this will be the beginning of Somalia regaining its sovereignty, independence and pride.
As many of you will recall, in the past it was Somalia that was instrumental in helping reconciliation between Bangladesh and Pakistan after the 1971 war with Sheikh Mujibur Rehman being brought to Lahore in the Somali Foreign Minister’s plane to attend the Organization of Islamic Conference summit in Pakistan. It also helped to broker peace between Tanzania and Uganda. We would like to see Somalia regain its role as a responsible, respected nation that can act as peace maker.
We have had a long dark night which has lasted 18 years. We must now all do our best to put this nightmare behind us and look forward to a new beginning.

Yours Faithfully,

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah