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Issue 249 / 28th October 2006
Issue 248 247 246 245 244 243 242 241
 
Index
Headlines

The Somaliland Government Denies Leaning Towards One of Somalia’s Factions

We Will Unify All Somali People Including Somaliland, Ethiopia And Kenya: Turki

Shari'ah Law To Be Applied In Somaliland - President Rayale

Why Islamic Courts Can't Win War Against Govt

UN’s Annan Urges Restraint In Somalia

Filming Lands Somali Journalists In Trouble

Written Answers

Regional Affairs

Held For Arms Smuggling

Somaliland Pushes For Recognition As Tensions Rise

SA, Somali Traders Meet To Solve Conflict

Editorial
Special Report

International News

U.S. Urges Somalia's Neighbors Not To Interfere

Georgia Trial Believed To Be First In U.S. Over Genital Cutting

U.N. Report Says Somalia Deteriorating

Germany Is Right To Take On A Global Role

Somalia: Up to 12 Countries Could Be Sucked Into Conflict

Camp Falcon : What Really Happened?

A Courageous Man Speaks Out - Hugo Chavez at the UN General Assembly

Islamist Radicals Still On The March In Somalia

Fears Of Jihad In Horn Of Africa

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

A Land In Limbo

Rwandese Business Leaders are keen to invest in Somaliland

Coffee And Controversy In 'Little Mogadishu'

Women Face Increasing Violence In Iraq, Afghanistan And Somalia, Senior U.N. Official Says

OUT OF SOMALIA

Standoff In Somalia

Perilous Somalia Stories Worth Risk, Sacrifice

Food for thought

Opinions

Threat Of A Regional War Looms

A Revolutionary Momentum: Time To Choose Between Freedom And Holy Dictatorship

Silencing The Watchdog

Somaliland and ICU war inevitable or wishful thinking of reactionaries?

Islamophobia, Terrorism and Fragmented Immigrant Communities

Open Letter to Eng. Mohamed Hashi


LOCAL & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

SAN'A, Yemen October 27, 2006 – Three Australians and a Dane have been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle weapons to Somalia, a security official said last night.

All four are Muslims and have been studying at the Islamist Iman University, which is run by Sheik Abdul-Majid al-Zindani. The US lists al-Zindani as an Al-Qaeda supporter.


Addis Ababa , Ethiopia, October 23, 2006 – Granting recognition to Somaliland is the only way the relative stability in that country can be saved, Somaliland's foreign minister Abdillahi M. Duale said Thursday.

Duale made the statements upon concluding his visit here.

Sana’a, Yemen, October 21, 2006 – At least 126 East Africans died or disappeared while crossing shark-infested waters to Yemen in recent weeks, sometimes after being thrown overboard by smugglers, said the United Nations refugee agency on Friday.

"Passengers on one boat reported that five Ethiopians were beaten by the smugglers, thrown overboard and attacked by sharks," said Ron Redmond, a spokesperson for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


SA, Somali Traders Meet To Solve Conflict

Cape Town, October 23, 2006 – Africa Unite, an organization working to bring people of different backgrounds together, has done exactly that in Masiphumelele in Cape Town, where South African-born and Somali traders have come together to form a single business forum.

This follows the wave of attacks on Somali businesses in Masiphumelele, near Kommetjie, last month.


Egypt Concerned Over Recent Escalation Of Somali Conflict -- Abul-Gheit

CAIRO , Oct 22, 2006 – Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit expressed on Sunday his country's concern over the recent developments in Somalia and the attempts of warring parties to control more positions by force.


MOGADISHU Oct 26, 2006 – Somalia's government accused rival Islamists of abducting three lawmakers on Thursday but the movement said instead that it had stopped them from reaching the government's base to protect them from Ethiopian troops there.

The move appeared to be another step to isolate the Western-backed government, based in the provincial town Baidoa. The Islamists effectively flank the administration on three sides and have stopped fuel shipments reaching its sole outpost.

Read full text...
US To Join IGAD Somali Suicide Bomb Probe

Nairobi , October 27, 2006 – The United States would be allowed to join investigation into the suicide bomb attack which targeted Somali interim leader Abdillahi Yusuf, a Kenyan official affirmed here Thursday. The Somali government has put forth a formal request for detailed investigation into the attempted assassination last month which, Kenya, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), said was on track to undertake the assignment.


Washington , October 26, 2006 – There have been many opinions about the make-up and goals of the Islamic Courts Union, formally known as the Council of Somali Islamic Courts.

Among those following developments in Somalia is regional analyst Mathew Bryden. From Nairobi, he told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua that a clearer picture of the Islamists has emerged over recent weeks, describing the ICU as a broad umbrella organization with many different parts and agendas.


Baidoa-Based Government Urged To Release Three Journalists Arrested By Its Troops

Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders today called for the immediate release of three journalists working for privately-owned radio stations who were arrested yesterday near the southern city of Baidoa by militias loyal to the transitional federal government after they filmed evidence of the presence of Ethiopian soldiers on Somali territory.

Read full text...
 

Addis Ababa October 24 2006 - The African Union is ready for a controversial peacekeeping mission in Somalia but nowhere near implementing an intended 4 000 troop expansion of its stretched Darfur force, a top official said on Tuesday.

"African countries are willing to give any amount of troops for peacekeeping ... (but) I'm telling you, that might be impossible," peace and security director Geofrey Mugumya said of the proposed increase to the 7 000-strong AU force in Darfur.

Read full text...

Addis Ababa October 25 2006 - Ethiopia's tiny neighbor Eritrea has nearly 10 000 soldiers and militia inside a UN buffer zone on their disputed border in a "flagrant" breach of a ceasefire, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said.

His figure was far higher than the 1 500 soldiers the United Nations last week accused Asmara of moving to the border where a 1998-2000 war killed more than 70 000 people and left the Horn of Africa neighbors on bitter terms.

Read full text...
Somali men charged with piracy in court in Mombasa, Kenya
The men said that they are fishermen, not pirates

MOMBASA , Kenya October 26, 2006 -- Ten Somali pirates face the death penalty after being convicted of hijacking an Indian-based ship by a Kenyan court on Thursday.

The pirates, who were captured by the U.S. Navy after seizing the vessel, the Safina Al Bisaarat, will be sentenced next Wednesday, said Magistrate Beatrice Jaden.

Read full text...
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Addis Ababa , October 25 2006 – Ethiopia is "technically" at war with Somalia's Islamists after their declarations of jihad against Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on Tuesday.

The Ethiopian leader, in an interview with Reuters, also for the first time put a rough figure - "a few hundred at most" - on the number of armed military trainers controversially sent over the border to help Somalia's isolated interim government.

Read full text...

NAIROBI , October 27, 2006 – Reconciliation talks between Somalia's Union of Islamic Courts and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) due in Sudan on Monday will go ahead as planned, according to Kenya’s ambassador to Somalia, Mohammed Afey.

Read full text...

NAIROBI , Kenya, Oct. 27, 2006 – Thousands of foreign troops in Somalia could lead to "an all out war" between Somalia's transitional government and an Islamic group that controls much of the country, according to a confidential U.N. report obtained by The Associated Press.


 
Headlines

The Somaliland Government Denies Leaning Towards One of Somalia’s Factions

Hargeysa, Somaliland, October 28, 2006 (SL Times) – Somaliland president Dahir Rayale Kahin denied on Thursday that his government was inclined to back one of the main antagonists in Somalia’s conflict.

Mr. Rayale’s statement came after a group of thirty members of the House of Representatives on Thursday accused the Somaliland government of leaning towards the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia which is involve in a power struggle against it’s rival, the Mogadishu-based Islamic Courts Union.


Britain's 'Friend In The Horn Of Africa' Pleads For Statehood

By David Blair in Hargeysa

Hargeysa, Somaliland, October 27, 2006 – In the harsh terrain of the Horn of Africa, torn by decades of war, a peaceful Muslim democracy with a pro-Western government has emerged on the territory of a former British Protectorate.

Somaliland has its own flag, anthem, currency, army and elected government – yet the country of 3.5 million people does not appear on any map. By seizing de facto independence from Somalia 15 years ago, Somaliland escaped the anarchy engulfing its southern neighbor.

Read full text...

Analysis

Professor Iqbal Jhazbahay of South Africa used to call Somaliland “ Africa’s best kept secret.” Later, as more and more people came to know about the country and its ability to survive against great odds, the professor changed his description of Somaliland to “ Africa’s best kept secret, no more.” It looks like this trend, of major institutions and important personalities around the world calling attention to Somaliland, is continuing. The latest in this regard was The Washington Post which in an editorial (Oct.18, 2006) called for the United States to grant diplomatic recognition to Somaliland.


MOGADISHU, Oct. 24, 2006 – Somalia's Islamists said Tuesday they had stationed troops within 40 kilometers of Baidoa, the seat of the country's fragile interim government, and plan to seize the town. Islamist militia commander Hassan Abdulle Hersi, commonly known as Hassan Turki, did not say when the Islamists intend to attack Baidoa, but told reporters that the Islamists will move on to capture the semi-autonomous Puntland region and breakaway republic Somaliland to create a "unified" Somalia.

"Our forces advanced to Baidoa, and we are 40 kilometers away. Our main agenda is to seize Baidoa, then we will capture the Puntland and Somaliland regions," Turki said.


BBC Monitoring

Hargeysa, Somaliland, October 24, 2006 – [Presenter] President Dahir Rayale Kahin of Somaliland has, for the first time, said Islamic shari'ah law would be applied in Somaliland.

President Rayale’s remarks come at a time when Somaliland Muslim scholars have called on the president to make his stand clear regarding shari'ah. Muhammad Abdulle Elmi from Hargeysa has more on this.

Nairobi , October 23, 2006 – Unless the next round of talks between the Union of Islamist Courts (UIC) of Somalia and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) – scheduled for October 30 in Khartoum – builds on the uneasy calm that the feuding groups maintained during Ramadan, it will not achieve much.

Talks between the rivals on September 2 ended in a stalemate after the Transitional Government accused the Islamic Courts of having links with the Al Qaeda terrorist organization; in turn, the Islamists accused the Transitional Government of being a stooge of the Ethiopian government.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 21, 2006 – Somaliland’s Minster of Foreign Affairs Mr. Abdillahi M.Duale called Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) a dangerous threat to democracy and urged Ethiopia and other ‘friendly’ countries for recognition.

At the press conference held yesterday at the Sheraton Addis Hotel, Duale who has been in Addis Ababa for the past few days said that his country which has been carefully engaged in a process of nation building which included reconciliation, demobilization, institutional building, and formation of a secular constitution, multiple political party system and encouragement of free market economy for the past fifteen years is facing a great threat.


U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (UN photo)
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan

New York , October 26, 2006 – U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is calling on Somalia’s neighbors to avoid provocative acts amid reports that foreign troops in the country could trigger “all out war.”


Nairobi , October 26, 2006 – Three Somali journalists found themselves at daggers end of their government after they had filmed the presence of Ethiopian soldiers on Somali territory. The alleged presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia, there to aid the transitional government to fight the Jihadist movement, could endanger popular support for authorities.

Read full text...

Uk foreign policy on independent Somaliland

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Photo of Mark Simmonds
Mark Simmonds (Boston & Skegness, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on an independent Somaliland; and if she will make a statement.

Read full text...

International News

WASHINGTON, October 26, 2006 – The United States on Thursday urged Eritrea and Ethiopia not to stoke up tensions in neighboring Somalia but adopt a "constructive approach" to the shattered Horn of Africa nation.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States was closely watching what was happening in Somalia, where the interim government accused Islamists of abducting three lawmakers on Thursday.

Georgia Trial Believed To Be First In U.S. Over Genital Cutting

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Oct. 27, 2006 – The trial of an Atlanta-area father accused of circumcising his 2-year-old daughter with scissors is focusing attention on an ancient African practice that experts say is slowly becoming more common in the U.S. as immigrant communities grow.

Khalid Adem, a 31-year-old immigrant from Ethiopia, is charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children. Human rights observers said they believe this is the first criminal case in the U.S. involving the 5,000-year-old practice.

Read full text...

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct. 27, 2006 (AP) -- There are thousands of foreign troops inside Somalia and their presence could lead to "an all out war" between Somalia's transitional government and an Islamic group that controls much of the country, according to a confidential U.N. report obtained by The Associated Press.

The report dated Oct. 26 cites diplomatic sources in estimating that "between 6,000-8,000 Ethiopians and 2,000 fully equipped Eritrean troops are now inside Somalia supporting" the internationally recognized government and the Islamic group known as the Council of Islamic Courts.

Read full text...

Over 60 years since the end of the Nazi dictatorship, Germany is putting the past behind it to formulate a sharper sense of its international commitments.

It has taken Germany a long time to emerge from the shadow of the second world war - and with good reason. The post-Nazi taboo on the use of force was first ignored when the Federal Republic re-armed and joined Nato back in 1955. The rationale then was the need to defend western Europe against the Soviet Union, whose tank divisions were poised (in theory at least) to sweep across the continent through the Fulda Gap in the German Democratic Republic. Still, as the cold war ended in silent collapse rather than shooting, the ghosts of German militarism were safely laid for 35 years.

Nairobi , October 23, 2006 – As another regional war in Somalia becomes ever more imminent, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda and, to some extent, Tanzania are among some 12 countries playing active roles in the conflict, says a new report prepared for the US State Department.

The report - Somalia: Regional Involvement and Implications for US Policy - which The EastAfrican has obtained, says that unlike Ethiopia and Kenya - who have some justification for getting involved - Uganda and Eritrea's interest in the conflict has more to do with regional adventurism and the desire to achieve goals extraneous to the conflict.

Camp Falcon explosions. Photo : Al Jazeera

Iraqis and Americans must read the information below. They must watch the two videos. And then they, and people over the world, must ask the U.S. government for a full and open explanation of what happened at Camp Falcon, Baghdad, on the 10th of October 2006.

Read full text...

Hugo Chavez chooses his authors, political and social thinkers well, and there's no one better than Noam Chomsky. In his dramatic and courageous speech yesterday to the 61st UN General Assembly, Chavez held up a copy of Chomsky's 2003 book Hegemony or Survival (which I've read and quoted from before).

J. Peter Pham

By J. Peter Pham, Ph.D.

While recent crises in other parts of the world have pushed them even farther from the headlines, the Islamist radicals who took control of the sometime Somali capital of Mogadishu in early June – far from being content with consolidating their holdings – continue to advance across the country. This is just as I warned they would in my Congressional testimony earlier this year.

JOHANNESBURG , South Africa, Oct. 27, 2006 - Four months after Islamists seized the Somali capital of Mogadishu, promising a return to order and peace in war-ravaged Somalia, the Horn of Africa country and its neighbors sit at the brink of a new and potentially deadly conflict.

Read full text...
Somaliland Map
Somaliland map
Hargeysa Bridge Committee web Link http://www.hargeysabiriij.com

Editorial

The burning of copies of Haatuf editions on October 13, 2006 in Buroa by a group of fanatics led by Mubaarag M. Diiriye, had unleashed a considerable furor within and outside Somaliland. The incident was condemned by the country’s two journalists association; the Somaliland Society For Independent Journalists and Writers and the Somaliland Journalists Association. Local media institutions, both private and public, editorialized their anger and outrage at the burning of the publication.

Commenting on the incident, the internet-based Awdalnews said “The truth haters can only burn papers but the truth will fly away with the wind”.

Condemnation also came from the opposition’s UCID (Justice and Welfare Party) and even from the Somaliland Administration which hardly a day goes by without it being criticized by Haatuf.

EDITORIAL: 2

Somaliland ’s Foreign Minister Is Right And His Critics Are Wrong

In the last few weeks, Somaliland’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Abdillahi Mohammed Duale was subjected to intense criticism from certain quarters for: (a) saying Somaliland is a secular country; (b) describing the Islamic Courts of Mogadishu as a threat to Somaliland and the Horn of Africa region, (c) promoting Somaliland’s relationship with Ethiopia. The intensity and persistence of the criticism, however, does not change the fact that the foreign minister is right on all three counts and his critics are wrong.

Read full text...

Special Report

REPORT ON OIL & GAS POTENTIAL
IN SOMALILAND

By Prof. M. Y. Ali

In this paper, seismic, well, and outcrop data have been used to determine the petroleum systems of Somaliland. These data demonstrate that the country has favourable stratigraphy, structure, oil shows, and hydrocarbon source rocks.


REPORT ON FAMILIARISATION TOUR TO SOMALILAND

In November 2005, the Centre for Human Rights began investigating the possibility of a third destination for the LLM field trip. The reasons for increasing the number of field trip destinations to include Somaliland include the following:

Somaliland is a state in the making; it would be ideal for students on the programme to have a first hand experience of this.

Read full text.
Opinions

Threat Of A Regional War Looms

By Kurt Shillinger

When the transitional federal government (TFG) of Somalia sits down for the next round of peace talks with its Islamist rivals in Khartoum on Monday, the main objective will be to hash out the terms of an arrangement to share power. But much more is at stake. The clouds of regional war are darkening.

In the past few weeks, the Consultative Council of Islamic Courts (CICC), the Islamist faction that seized control of Mogadishu on June 5, has rapidly extended its reach across the south, capturing the port of Kismayo and Burhakaba, an important staging point on the corridor between Mogadishu and the government’s stronghold of Baidoa. These points form the critical triangle of terrain that has been fought over repeatedly by rival armed militias since the collapse of Somalia’s last viable central government in 1991.

Dr. Abdishakur Sh. Ali Jowhar

A storm is gathering in Somaliland these days, a terrible storm of instability and disorder. The previously solid political ground has started to shake. It trembles with every sneeze of the Sheikhs down south. People move quicker as if expecting an imminent calamity. There is vigilance in the air. Mothers hold their children a bit tighter. Men are more on edge.

Read full text...

Silencing The Watchdog

By Bashir Goth

After banning music, concerts, cinemas, home videos, mixed gender singing in wedding ceremonies and even watching international sports on satellite television, the Islamist clerics in Mogadishu have now decided to deprive the Somali people of their last window of freedom, the free press.

In an attempt to create a supine media that applauds their onslaught on the freedoms of the people, the Wahhabist-oriented Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) have proposed draconian regulations aimed at purging the press of telling the truth. The war-weary and famine ravaged Somali people could not help but to turn a blind eye to the Islamists initial encroachments on their personal freedoms.

By Abdulkadir J. Dualeh

An inevitable war between the ICU and Somaliland is a fantastic tale dramatically weaved together by analysts who seem to be good fictional writers than informed sources. The theory that the ICU is encircled by enemies massing in the north, south and west are, at best, ill-informed and ,at worst, a deliberate scheme to incite apprehension and distrust..

It is unlikely any outside force will be able to militarily challenge the preeminence of the religious forces in the south for the short term. Demography, rather than geography is the critical element in the outcome of events in the south and whether ICU continuous to succeed or not. The south has never been more united under one leadership.

Read full text...

By Liban Ahmad, London, UK

Jack Straw’s comments on the veil also known as niqab have reinvigorated the debate about diversity and the role of Muslim community in tackling the threat from terrorism .The reaction to the British Labor politician’s comment were varied. In the eyes of a prominent conservative MP, it underscores how sensitive ‘Muslim community’ has become to criticism.

Read full text...

By Hassan Ahmed, UK

This is not the first time that you publicly display the presentation of your traditional push and pull politics.

Mr. Hashi, according to your recent press conference, you have stressed hugely on how the government is handling the foreign investments in the country, such as the cement factory, gypsum factory and, Coal Powered Electricity Plant, simply they are all your favorite subjects.

Read full text...

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

A Land In Limbo

Somalia
The real Somalia - a far cry from peaceful Somaliland

It was an innocent slip of the tongue but my host visibly winced. Earlier today, I made the great mistake of referring to the country I'm now in as " Somalia". I was legally correct and any map of the world shows the town where I'm staying - a place called Hargeysa - as being firmly inside Somalia.

But Hargeysa is also the capital of the enclave of Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia and seized de facto independence 15 years ago.

Read full text...
Jawaahir Sheikh Madar with the First President of Zambia : H.E. Dr. Kenneth Kaunda

On 17th October 2006, I was invited as a Somaliland Representative to the Rwandese Community meeting with H. E. the President of Rwanda, Dr. Paul Kagami. It gave me an excellent opportunity to meet with the Rwandese Business Leaders, some of whom are keen to invest in Somaliland [a few of them will be visiting Somaliland in the very near future] as well as with H. E. President Kagami. I sought his support to our cause and he asked that we carry this forward in the near future.

ADDIS ABABA , Oct 26, 2006 – It's not hard to start an argument in the cafes of the Ethiopian capital's "Little Mogadishu" district.

Mention politics back home -- or the threat of war between Ethiopia and Somalia's Islamists -- and the shouting starts.

"The Islamic Courts are al Qaeda. Ethiopia should go in and get rid of them -- now!" exclaims Osman Nur, a 64-year-old carpenter and refugee from Somalia's Puntland region, with a thump that rattles the coffee cups on his table.

UNITED NATIONS, October 27, 2006 -- Women are facing increasing violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, especially when they speak out publicly to defend women's rights, a senior U.N. official told the U.N. Security Council.

Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of the U.N. Development Fund for Women, called on for fresh efforts to ensure the safety of women in countries emerging from conflicts, to provide them with jobs, and ensure that they receive justice, including compensation for rape.

A struggle to keep people and hope alive

14-year old Khadija Hassan Aden

DADAAB-No one dies here.

Not officially anyway. Death in this overcrowded refugee camp for victims of Somalia's civil wars means a family loses one of its precious food-ration cards, so the bodies of the old and sick are quietly taken in the night and buried in the sandy soil.

The graves, marked only by a slight bump in the earth and a few sticks, go unrecognized by visitors as the camp's makeshift cemetery.

As Islamist forces and interim government troops allegedly backed by Ethiopian forces battle for control of key towns in Somalia, observers fear a region-wide war and question the Islamists control over jihadist forces.

Islamist forces and Somali interim government troops said to be backed by the Ethiopian military have reportedly taken up defensive positions around the town of Bur Haqaba, sparking concerns of a region-wide war that could see Ethiopian rival Eritrea come to the military aid of the Islamists.

By David Walmsley

Our job is to bring the news home to you. Over the years, the Toronto Star's newsroom has sent reporters and photographers to outrageously dangerous places, for the sake of getting an independent view of history in the making. In Afghanistan, there are dramatic stories that few in Canada had much reason to read about or be concerned about before 9/11. But now we find Canadians, in particular soldiers with families in southwest Ontario, putting their lives on the line. Reporting these stories is dangerous, important work.

Read full text...
Food for thought

By Damian O’Connor

Between 1901 and 1920, British-led forces were involved in a series of campaigns to defeat militant Islamists operating in the interior of what was then British and Italian Somaliland.

Read full text...

         

Somaliland Times Newspaper: Publisher Haatuf Media Network, Published in Hargeysa, Somaliland

        

  Editor in Chief: Yusuf Abdi Gabobe. Assist-Editor: Abdifatah M Aideed


Somaliland Times Webmaster : Rashid Mustafa X Noor (2005)

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