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Issue 314 / 26th January 2008
Issue 313 312 311 310 309 308 307 306

A Controversial Conference Adopts Somaliland ICT Vision 2025

Visit of Somaliland Delegation

A Human Catastrophe Unfolds In Northeast Awdal Region

Western World Cannot Impose Democracy In Africa: Ethiopian PM

Finding Calm In The Most Unexpected Place

Three killed in Somali blast near presidential palace

Somalia, Iraq And The Price Of Defeat

Despite rivals' talks, at least 12 people die in Kenyan violence

In Eritrea, UN Mission Is Running Out of Fuel, While Council Mulls Six More Months of Staying

House Church Members Flee Somaliland Amid Government Crackdown

Regional Affairs

Another 132 dead in Gulf of Aden over weekend

Somaliland President Meets With Senior US Officials

Special Report

International News

New US Commander Prepares for Africa Assignment

Looking at the bigger picture

Somali man faces city centre sex assault charge


Hasan Sh. Momin: An Ordinary Man with Extra-ordinary Insight

Kenya tourism, economy devastated by violence

Gates Says He and Bono Discussed Africa Policy and AFRICOM

'When They See Us Coming They Must Be Scared'


Getting boots off the ground

Food for thought


The Tale Of Two Cities; One Is Isolated And The Other Is Rubbish:

Somaliland’s Search For Independence Will Continue


Beyond The Empty Gestures

A Reply To Mr. Jawaan's Article

Mr. President Please Hear Me Out

Failure To Dispose Off Municipal Wastes Safely Can Cause A Huge Public Health Disaster!

What Does It Mean The Removal Of SNM History From The Curriculum?

You Can Watch A Thief, Not A Liar

Nairobi, January 22, 2008 - The deadly traffic in the Gulf of Aden continues unabated, with 132 people dying last weekend and a total of 157 people dead or missing during the first 19 days of 2008. A total of 2,452 boat people were recorded arriving in Yemen during the same period. Most of them were from Somalia.

On the 18th of January a boat carrying 135 passengers approached the coast of Yemen. Seeing lights ashore and fearing capture by the Yemeni Coast Guard, the smugglers ordered passengers to jump overboard. Those who resisted were beaten with sticks and stabbed. A large wave then capsized the boat, causing the death of 114 passengers and two smugglers.

President Rayale and Assistant Secretary of State, Ms Jendayi Frazer (Jan 2008 )

WASHINGTON, Jan 20, 2008 – A high-level delegation from Somaliland, a breakaway Somali republic, has met with senior U.S. officials to "further common interests" in regional peace, security, economic development and democratic reform, the U.S. State Department said on Sunday.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, January 24, 2008 – France has no obligation to give Djibouti evidence it has gathered in an investigation into the mysterious death of a French judge in the African country, its lawyers argued before the World Court Thursday.

What began as a potential criminal investigation in 1995 has risen to the U.N.'s highest court

for resolving disputes between nations, as Djibouti demands access to court papers from its former colonial master while France insists it has no reason to hand them over.

Nairobi, January 21, 2008 – Forces opposed to the Somali government have expanded their insurgent activities to areas that were previously peaceful and could be planning attacks in the Middle and Lower Juba regions, the African Union (AU) has warned.

"Their strategy seems to be to further weaken the TFG [Transitional Federal Government] by destabilizing as many areas as possible, fully aware that the government does not, at the moment, have the capacity to deploy significant numbers of troops in all the regions," according to a report by AU Commission Chairman Alpha Konare on 18 January.

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Congolese children show off war-themed toys made from clay in a UN refugee camp

Johannesburg, January 23, 2008 – A decade of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo is continuing to kill about 45,000 people each month - half of them small children - in the deadliest conflict since the second world war, according to a new survey.

The International Rescue Committee said preventable diseases and starvation aggravated by conflict have claimed 5.4 million lives since the beginning of the second Congo war in 1998, equivalent to the population of Denmark. Although the war officially ended in 2002, malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition continue to claim thousands of lives.

Mogadishu, January 25, 2008 - Three Somali soldiers were killed Friday when Islamist insurgents attacked a military air base south of Mogadishu and made away with weapons, an army official and an insurgent leader told AFP.

A group of insurgents attacked and briefly seized control of the base at Baledogle, around 90 kilometres (55 miles) west of the capital.

Main Developments

According to hospital reports, on 17/18 January, over 150 people were treated for injuries and an unconfirmed number, including children, killed. There were several mortar and rocket attacks which mainly targeted Villa Somalia, the airport and Hodan district. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that over 1,700 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) were forced to leave Hodan and Daynile districts during the week. An unknown number of IDPs also left Wardiigley, Hawl Wadaag, Haliwaa, and Yaaqshiid districts of Mogadishu.

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Guled Hussein25
Mogadishu scene

Mogadishu, Somalia, 25 January 2008 - An African Union (AU) delegation led by the AU Peace and Security Commissioner, Ambassador Said Djinnit visited Mogadishu, Somalia on Wednesday to express the support of the AU to the new Somali government and to pay tribute to troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

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Borama-Dilla road prevents Hassan Sh. Momin’s honoring in Hargeisa

ABU DHABI, January 26, 2008 – Djibouti government decided to award the highest medal of culture posthumously to Hassan Sheikh Momin, a celebrated Somali playwright who died in Oslo on 16th January 2008, when his body arrives at Djibouti airport Today (Saturday morning, 26 January 2008), according to Hashi Abdillahi Orrah, Djibouti President’s Advisor on Cultural Affairs.

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Nairobi, KenyaTensions remain high in Somalia’s disputed northern Sool region after violent clashes last week between troops from the self-declared autonomous Puntland and Somaliland provinces, according to United Nations humanitarian workers in the fractured Horn of Africa country.

While there is no confirmation of internal displacement of civilians due to the latest fighting, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered some 1,240 people from Sool in Yemen since the start of this year. UNHCR also reports that some 20,000 have been newly displaced from Mogadishu, Somalia’s battle-wracked capital, in recent weeks due to ongoing violence.

Nairobi, Kenya, 23 Jan 2008 - Mercy Corps' work in Somalia ranges from helping fishermen increase their yields to teaching new conflict-management skills to building vital transportation links. In three districts of southern Somalia, a major Mercy Corps "cash-for-work" program is giving people the opportunity to earn money; helping communities build and repair infrastructure; and teaching local groups to set priorities, make plans and implement projects in the absence of strong government support.

Inherent in all this work is a fundamental question for all international actors in Somalia: How do you help a failed state succeed?

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So you want to protest?

Nairobi, Kenya, 24 January, 2008 - A Month after its disputed presidential election, Kenya remains deeply divided and unstable. Politically motivated killings, hackings and gang rapes continue in the towns and in volatile country districts. The economy is faltering. The latest bigwig to attempt to mediate between the government of President Mwai Kibaki and the opposition Orange Democratic Movement of Raila Odinga is a former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, who arrived in Nairobi on January 22nd. “We have not come with a solution. We are here to insist on a solution,” he announced.

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ICT conference delegates, at Maansoor Hotel Hargeysa

Hargeysa, Somaliland, January 26, 2008 (SL Times) – A vision to guide Information Communication Technology in Somaliland until the year 2025 had been adopted at a controversial 3-day conference held in Hargeysa during last week.

The conference envisioned a “Somaliland that is ICT driven, built upon good governance, an enabling infrastructure, universal access for all, heightened skill development that is aligned to local environment and ethics as embodied in participatory regulatory frameworks which all contribute to the socio-economic, cultural and technological growth of Somaliland”.

Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington , DC
January 20, 2008

A high-level delegation from Somaliland, led by President Dahir Kahin Rayale, departed Washington January 19 after an eight-day visit. While here, the delegation met with senior officials of the State Department

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“Rains have left many people falling to mysterious illnesses never seen or heard of before”

Borama, Somaliland, January 26, 2008 (SL Times) – The fact finding team sent by Awdal regional authority last week to inspect the extent of devastation caused by the unusually cold rains, held a press conference in Borama, capital of Awdal region.

According to SL Times Awdal region reporter, Muhamad Omar Sheekh, the team consisting of the regional authority, MPs, officials from the two ministries of Health and Resettlement travelled to N/East of Awdal region after reports that 5 days of continuous cold rains that brought death, illnesses and loss of livelihood for thousands of nomadic families and farmers.

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Meles Zenawi
The Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi

LONDON, January 26, 2008 — Trying to impose democracy in Africa is wrong, Ethiopia's prime minister said Friday, contrasting Western attitudes to countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe to policies towards oil-rich Gulf states.

In a rare British newspaper interview, Meles Zenawi warned for example against imposing sanctions on Kenya to try to force the country to resolve the deadly standoff triggered by disputed elections.

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"There is a drive and sense of potential here that I have rarely come across before"

By Louisa Norman

I’m a self-confessed disaster junky. I studied in Northern Ireland in the eighties, worked in Cambodia when it was still the wild west and not yet back-packer heaven; in Afghanistan where I would wake at night to wonder if it was an earthquake or a rocket attack; and Angola, where every day was a battle on a different and more personal level. And now here I am in the next hardship post - Hargeysa, Somaliland.

A Somali soldier stands among abandoned houses in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, Somalia, 26 January 2008 - A bomb exploded Saturday near the palace of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed in Mogadishu, killing three Somalis including a policeman, witnesses said.

The explosion struck a police vehicle, killing the officer and two civilians who were walking nearby, said Farah Hasan Sahal, an eyewitness.

Somaliland minister of Planning Ali Abdi Ibrahim (photofile)

The following interview with the Somaliland minister of Planning Ali Abdi Ibrahim was published in the October 6, 2007 edition of Tanzania’s Guardian newspaper.

The former International Labour Organization (ILO) East Africa Office Director, Ali Ibrahim, now the Minister for Planning and Coordination in Somaliland has earned the region special honor and his name has been given to the permanent UN agency’s International Conference Hall of the Dar es Salaam-based ILO East Africa’s regional-Kazi House.

Former Puntland governor for Sool region, Mr Ibrahim Jama Dad

Bosaso, January 26, 2008 (SL Times) – Early this week, Police in Puntland’s town of Bosaso surrounded Hotel Guul where Puntland’s former governor of Sool, Ibrahim Jama Dad was staying. According to Puntland’s Police Commander, Abd al-Aziz Ga’may, the former governor (Ibrahim Jama Dad) possessed a lot of government property including weapons and a car which he had refused to give back to Puntland’s authorities. Ibrahim Jama Dad was also accused by some Puntland officials of having facilitated and colluded with Somaliland in its takeover of Las Anod a few months ago.

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By Cinnamon Stillwell

One of the claims critics of the war in Iraq like to make is that American involvement there is somehow prohibiting it from pursuing the war on terrorism on a wider scale. Yet even as U.S. troops continue to fight in Iraq, another front has opened in the war on terror. Somalia has become the latest battleground in the struggle between freedom and tyranny or, more specifically, the spread of radical Islam throughout the African continent.

NAKURU, Kenya, 26 January 2008 - Ethnic fighting killed at least 12 people in Kenya's Rift Valley and uprooted thousands more yesterday, undermining hopes of an end to weeks of unrest.

The violence, and a denial by opposition leader Raila Odinga that he would agree to serve as prime minister under President Mwai Kibaki, followed the first meeting between the two rivals since a disputed Dec. 27 election triggered a political crisis.

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UNMEE, without fuel

UNITED NATIONS, January 25 - UN peacekeepers in Eritrea have been without any fuel deliveries since December 1. Friday in front of the Security Council chamber, UN envoy Azouz Ennifar told reporters that unless the situation changes, a decision to leave the country would have to be made in February. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has suggested to the Council that the UNMEE mission should only be extended for a month. The goal of this short extension would be to send Eritrea a message.

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Somaliland National Army
The republic has its own armed forces

HARGEISA, Somaliland, 24 January 2008 -- Members of a house church in the breakaway Somali republic of Somaliland have fled to neighboring Ethiopia after hearing that the government wants to arrest them as part of a crackdown on evangelical Christians, an influential human rights group said Thursday, January 24.

US-based International Christian Concern (ICC) with Website said the pastor of the church in Somaliland's capital Hargeisa stayed behind. ICC said the pastor, who it wrongly identified as Mohammed "for security reasons", is being monitored around the clock by Somaliland security officials since his release last year from prison, where he was reportedly tortured by security personnel.  

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By Ali A. Mazrui

25 January 2008

Kenya should be flattered, rather than insulted, by the amount of international attention it has received from the African Union, the European Union, the United States, other African leaders and the indefatigable Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

If the crisis in the DRC had received half the attention that Kenya has attracted since the December 2007 election, two million Congolese lives might have been saved. If the DRC has been the most neglected African crisis of this 21st century, the Kenya crisis has been the most responded to internationally.

International News
The U.S. military hosted an international exercise last week to help prepare the new commander of a coalition task force in East Africa for his deployment. The commander says his main goal is to help East African countries solve their own problems. VOA's Al Pessin reports from the Pentagon.

The Pentongon, 25 January 2008 - The exercise, involving hundreds of U.S. troops and several African liaison officers, was designed to help Rear Admiral Philip Greene and his staff prepare for their new assignment.

January 26, 2008

Looking at the bigger picture. That’s how one of these Victorians, James Murphy, describes how he views what he does.

It is a characteristic of all nine profiled that they see beyond the personal in what they do. They look to the welfare of others, strangers in a common land. They take pride in what they do, and they take pride in being Australian.

Leeds, UK, 25 January 2008 - Somali man appeared in court charged with sexually assaulting a 18-year-old student after allegedly trapping her in his car in Leeds city centre.

Mustafa Botan, who Leeds Magistrates' Court was told is from Somalia in east Africa but then lived in Denmark for 12 years before coming to England, is charged with sexual assault by touching and false imprisonment.

Somaliland Map
Map of Somaliland

Now that President Dahir Rayale Kahin and his delegation are back from their eight-day visit to the United States and the dust has settled, it is time to do some quick assessment.

One of the first questions that was raised about the president’s trip was whether it was official or not. The answer to this question is that it was unofficial in that no formal invitation was issued, but when you look at what the president did in Washington, who he saw and what was discussed, it was for all intents and purposes an official visit. This is probably what President Rayale meant when he said he had an implicit invitation “si dadban.” The confusion was caused by the fact that Somaliland is not recognized, which meant that protocol did not allow the United States to issue an official invitation, as head of state, to President Rayale. But there is no doubt that the President was invited, otherwise, how he could have had all of those meetings with US officials without an invitation, or at least, prior arrangement?

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Special Report

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.


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.

By Dalmar Kaahin, Ottawa, Canada

For, after its contributors’ hidden agenda behind their staunch anti-Somaliland attitudes and their nuisance lip services to Somali unity was revealed recently, the editors of the website changed their tactics. They have now republished old anti-Somaliland articles from 1994. As it seems, for, desperate times call for desperate measurers.

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By Abdulkadir Idan, London, England

To suppose that Somaliland and Somali Lander’s will surrender their international right to independence because of a few externally perceived set backs is not only a insult to the intelligence of readers but for people who have any basic common sense. The recent trip to Washington and London although being dismissed by Somaliland’s enemies as a lost opportunity, was actually the beginning of a greater goal.

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By Mohamud Tani

The enemies of Somaliland rejoiced on the answers given by a U.S State Department spokesman. On the contrary the people of Somaliland rejoiced that the most prominent journalists in Washington were asking the spokesman about the big news of the day: The presence of the President of the Republic of Somaliland in Washington. Whether the American Government was denying that it was on the verge of recognizing Somaliland or not, the very fact that the U.S Government is being suspected by the journalists on taking that step was a great news for Somaliland as well as a great diplomatic victory for President Rayale Kahin.

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Beyond The Empty Gestures

By Hamza S. Yusuf

Somaliland’s continued efforts at self-governance, political maturity and economic regeneration has won it laurels in various quarters, and caused a flurry of activity and debate more recently.

A Reply To Mr. Jawaan's Article

By Hassan O. Hussein

Mr. Abdillahi Jawaan in his recent article called Mr. Sillanyo the "Mandela of Somaliland”. I was surprised by Mr. Jawaan's hypocracy.

Mr. Jawaan of today was the Jawaan of yesterday who stole votes from Sillanyo for Rayale. Let me ask Mr. Jawaan that when he was stealing the rightful votes of Mr. Sillanyo for Mr. Rayale

By Abdi Ibrahim

Mr. President I know its a bit out of line sending you a letter through this way but its the only way I think I might get in touch with you. I know you have advisors and so on but I doubt if any are any good or are simply too afraid to point this out to you but I think you should know this.

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By Noah Arre

As urbanization continues management of wastes (both solid and liquid) is becoming a major public health and environmental problem in countries like Somaliland. The concern is serious particularly in major cities.

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By Mohammed Dahir Ahmed

History which is what happened in the past is very important because it helps us to understand the present. If we listen to what history has to say, we can come to a sound understanding of the past that will tell us much about the problems we face now. The history we teach our children plays an important role in shaping their values and beliefs.

By Yusuf Deyr

In ancient Korea, when parents reach an advanced age and become too frail to work; their sons would carry them up to the high mountains, isolated to die there. Part of a tradition known as Koryojang. The young generation of Somaliland who followed the dispersion of the Somalilanders after the mass – graves. Believe much that they can’t get along with the remnant cadre of that old regime of the old vampire Siyad Bare.

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A tribute to Hasan Sh. Momin

By Mohamed A. Awale

Gode halaq miyaad tahay
Hadba marada ii gala
Gabaldaye miyaad tahay
Haba gees u jeesada ,
Godad layntu waa maxay
Waad iga gardaran tee…
Gabaldaye by Hasan Sh. Momin

It is very sad to hear that the great Somali composer and social critique of Hasan Sh. Momin is no longer with us. He passed away in Norway last week, but he left behind mountains of linguistic, cultural, social and nationalistic paradox for Somali race and its history

American Tourists view a pride of lions in Masai Mara Game Reserve in January.


SAMBURU, Kenya — Lounging by the hotel pool in one of Kenya's storied nature reserves, Debbie Shillito sees one small advantage to the travel warnings issued after a presidential election here sparked violence.

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Bono smiles during appearance at World Economic Forum, 23 Jan 2008
Bono smiles during appearance at World Economic Forum, 23 Jan 2008

, 25 January 2008 - Besides gaining worldwide fame as the lead singer of the rock group U2, Bono has become prominent as an activist for humanitarian causes, particularly in Africa. His fame and activism have gained him entrée to the offices of many world leaders, including President Bush.

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By Khadija Bradlow

South Africa, Rustenburg, January 19, 2008 - Call it fatalism, resignation or sheer naivety, but Osman Adam (46) says he doesn’t waste much time pondering over what he will do when armed thugs break down his door. A highly probable eventuality, considering that just two weeks ago the previous owner of the store he now manages in Kroondal, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Rustenburg in the North West, died in a pool of blood in the doorway in which he now stands.

I. Introduction

In the communiqué on the situation in Somalia adopted at its 80th meeting held on 18 July 2007 [PSC/PR/Comm(LXXX)] , Council decided, inter-alia, to extend the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for an additional period of six months. In the press statement adopted by its 104th meeting held on 20 December 2007

Take me out of here quick

Jan 24th 2008

MOVING troops across southern Afghanistan usually involves a giddy mountain-hugging flight in a transport helicopter—preferably escorted by a mean Apache attack helicopter. Despite the risk from old-fashioned ground fire, particularly in narrow valleys, a ride in a chopper is still better than land travel on ambush-ridden or non-existent roads.

Food for thought


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


Editor in Chief: Yusuf Abdi Gabobe. Assoc-Editor: Rashid Mustafa X Noor

Assist-Editor: Abdifatah M Aideed

Somaliland Times Web Editor : Rashid Mustafa X Noor (2005)

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Hits since 25/02/2003

Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Somaliland Times unless specifically stated.