Monday, February 28, 2011

Expats Return To Somalia In Hopes Of Aiding Change

A Somali girl in Mogadishu. The city was once a beautiful, seaside tourist town, but two decades of civil war has left it in ruins.

Part 1 of a four-part series 

H.E. Mr. Abdulkareem Jama, Somali Minister of Information, Post and Telecommunications


Somalia has not had an effective central government in two decades of civil war.
A new Cabinet took office in November in the capital, Mogadishu, and it's loaded with Somali-Americans. Some have given up quiet lives in the U.S. suburbs to try to turn around one of the world's most dangerous countries.
Abdulkareem Jama is the Somali transitional federal government minister of information, posts and telecommunications. He used to work in IT management for Congressional Quarterly Press. Jama grew up in Mogadishu before the war, when it was a beautiful seaside city.
Like many Somalis, he left, eventually settling in Northern Virginia. One day, Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed asked him to join Somalia's transitional government.
"I told my wife and she thought I was nuts," Jama says. But they talked it over and decided he should return and try to make a difference. Jama is one of eight Somali-Americans in the Cabinet of 19.

Their task is overwhelming.
Foreign Policy magazine puts Somalia at the top of its list of failed states. Transparency International calls it the most corrupt. Jama says the new government is trying to change that.
Ships arrive each day at the port of Mogadishu carrying cars, televisions and emergency food. But the port had never collected more than $900,000 a month in taxes because of graft. Jama says the government reshuffled the port administration and — voila — monthly revenue jumped to $ 2.5 million — a record.
But changing habits in Somalia is hard.
Jama says he recently received bids on a building renovation project for $2.6 million. "The gentleman told me this includes my cut," he says. "I said, 'OK, what exactly is that?' He said it's $1,080,000. You get 40 percent usually. I said, 'Wow.' "
Jama says the government will consider the bid — minus the kickback.
Moving to Mogadishu has turned Jama's life upside down. He used to live in a four-bedroom, red-brick colonial. Now, he sleeps in a walled compound guarded by soldiers with machine guns.
"Our view here is of the Indian Ocean, and when you open the window, you get a nice breeze," Jama says.
And the steady sound of mortar and rifle fire.
Enlarge Frank Langfitt /NPR A Mogadishu street scene as viewed from an African Union armored personnel carrier. The vehicles are paid for by the United States.
A Mogadishu street scene as viewed from an African Union  armored personnel carrier. The vehicles are paid for by the United  States.
Frank Langfitt /NPR
A Mogadishu street scene as viewed from an African Union armored personnel carrier. The vehicles are paid for by the United States.
Two decades of violence has left Mogadishu in ruins. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, the new prime minister, left in the 1980s. He returned last fall from the suburbs of Buffalo, where he worked for the New York State Department of Transportation.
"After 20 years of civil war, I could not recognize the areas that I grew up because of the destruction," Mohamed says. "My old house is where al-Shabab controls now."
Al-Shabab is a ruthless group of Islamist insurgents, who are affiliated with al-Qaida. They're trying to topple the government and create a strict Islamic state.
The main thing standing between the government and collapse is 8,000 African Union troops. But Mohamed says the government is making progress, building its own force to provide security.
"We mobilized our troops and boost their morale and pay salary, which has not happened before — and give them a sense of purpose," Mohamed says.
Government soldiers are accused of robbing people in the streets and selling ammunition to the enemy.
E.J. Hogendoorn, who works for the International Crisis Group, which monitors Somalia, says Mohamed and his Cabinet are the most technocratic the country has ever seen. But he says they lack the political skills to rally Mogadishu's various factions and effect real change.
"You need to have a constituency and you need to know your constituency quite well. And — I hate to say it — but if you've been living in Buffalo for 20 years, you're not going to have those contacts with people on the ground," Hogendoorn says.
Enlarge Frank Langfitt /NPR Mohamoud Nur returned from London last fall to become the mayor of Mogadishu. This month, he tried to hold a cultural festival in town, only to have a warlord send in gunmen to shoot up the crowd.
Mohamoud Nur returned from London last fall to  become the mayor of Mogadishu. This month, he tried to hold a  cultural festival in town, only to have a warlord send in gunmen to shoot up the  crowd.
Frank Langfitt /NPR
Mohamoud Nur returned from London last fall to become the mayor of Mogadishu. This month, he tried to hold a cultural festival in town, only to have a warlord send in gunmen to shoot up the crowd.
Americans aren't the only ones returning to try to help Somalia. Mohamoud Nur, the mayor of Mogadishu, lived in London before he took this job five months ago.
Among other things, Nur has put in street lights, to encourage businesses to stay open after dark. Earlier this month, he tried to hold a cultural festival with singing and dancing. After so much carnage, he wanted to cheer people up.
But it didn't work out as he had planned.
A pickup truck with a machine gun on the back pulled up and opened fire on the crowd. Four people were killed and 16 more were wounded. The government arrested Mohamed Dhere, Mogadishu's former mayor, a powerful warlord and political spoiler.
Prime Minister Mohamed says this marks a new era of accountability.
"We're investigating who did what and definitely we will bring them to justice," he says.
It's also another test for a government that has little legitimacy with the people of Mogadishu. Somalia's government wasn't elected but created by a peace process, and its mandate ends in August.
Hogendoorn says unless it shows real progress by then, the United States should pull its support and look elsewhere for a solution to Somalia. npr
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic
Somalia

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