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Issue 368 / 14th-20th February 2009

 

Suicide bombers strike in Somaliland

 

Africa's Best Kept Secret

Our Trip to Somaliland

Front Page
News Headlines

Somaliland Official Says No US Residents Being Held As Terror Suspects

Somaliland Security Forces Arrest Seven Pirates In Berbera

Pran To Export $15 Lakh Processed Agro-Food To Somaliland

A Classmate Of The New Somali PM Omer Praises President Sherif For The Appointment

Local and Regional Affairs
Lord Avebury Letter About Puntland‏

U.S. Navy, Russian Warships Seize 26 Pirates Off Somalia As Attacks Increase

U.S. Navy Seizes 7 Suspected Pirates After Attempted Hijacking
Lundin Brothers Trade Acreage
More Than 3 Million Somalis Will Need Humanitarian Aid In 2009, UN Reports
Son Of Slain Ex-President To Be New PM
IFRC: Food Crisis In Horn Of Africa Reaching Alarming Proportions
Somali, Muslim Leaders Denounce Accusations Against Religious Center

The Vanishing Somali Boys
Talks In Mogadishu, Opposition Asked To Put Down Weapons
Editorial

Somalia’s Government: An Exercise In Futility?

Features & Commentry

Somalia Stumbles Along With Sharif

Madagascar's Powerful Families Face The Vanilla Revolution

Somalia: “The Somali People Do Not Want Any More Fighting"

In Somalia, Conflict Prevents Learning

International News

 

US House Approves Obama’s $787 Billion Stimulus Plan

Buffalo Crash Kills 9/11 Widow Active In Anti-Terror Work

Ukrainian Crew Back Home After Pirates Free Ship

Missing Somali Teens May Be Terrorist Recruits

Opinion

Does Kulmiye Have A Misyar Marriage With Sheikh Sharif?

Somalia - Puntland Demography And Dhulbahante’s Fate

Somalia: Starting New Era, Or Reinventing The Wheel?

The Scheduling Of Somaliland Election


LOCAL & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

From Lord Avebury

020-7274 4617

ericavebury@gmail.com

ericavebury.blogspot.com

January 24, 2009

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your letter of January 19, following the brief discussion at question time of Somalia on January 14.

I note that contrary to public statements, there is no sign as yet of the Ethiopians completing their withdrawal, and I wonder if they have given any indication of the timetable?

Read full text...


Search and seizure crews from the U.S. Navy close in on Somali pirates before apprehending them in the Gulf of Aden

ABOARD THE USNS LEWIS AND CLARK, February 13, 2009 — U.S. Navy and Russian warships arrested 26 suspected pirates off Somalia in separate operations this week, while a maritime watchdog warned on Friday that attacks are stepping up as weather improves and pirates look to replenish their haul after releasing ships hijacked for ransom.
The latest arrests came Thursday, when an American helicopter from the USS Vella Gulf fired warning shots at gunmen in two skiffs that had opened fire and tried to board the Indian-flagged vessel Premdivya.
U.S. forces searched the skiff and found weapons including rocket-propelled grenades, then took nine suspected pirates aboard the American ship, the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said.

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CAIRO, February 11, 2009 — The U.S. Navy has seized seven suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden after a merchant ship sent a distress call saying gunmen had tried to board it from a skiff.
Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, says the Marshal Islands-flagged Polaris sent the call on Wednesday afternoon.
The USS Vella Gulf raced to the location where U.S. sailors boarded the skiff.
Christensen says the suspects were armed with AK-47s and RPGs. They will eventually be handed over to Kenya.
It was the Navy's first arrest since a new U.S. anti-pirate task force was established to deal with the escalating piracy problem in the Gulf.

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Members of the Lundin family are dealing with one another in a region where numerous finds are being made.

Last month Canada’s Africa Oil Corp pulled out of Puntland without paying its local staff (AEI 596) but the group is far from being broke: it has just debuted on six blocks in Ethiopia and Kenya. Last week Lundin Petroleum sold Africa Oil 85% of blocks 2, 6, 7 and 8 and 50% of the Adigala block in Ethiopia as well as 100% of blocks 10A and 30% of block 9 in Kenya.

The operation didn’t cost the Canadian firm a cent. It was the seller, Lundin Petroleum, which lent it the EUR 20 million needed for the transaction. Africa Oil will pay Lundin back in shares.

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Friday, February 13th, 2009 More than three million people in Somalia, a third or more of the total population, will remain dependent on humanitarian assistance this year, according to a United Nations analysis.
So far this year, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has handed out 34,000 tons of food to some 3.4 million people every month, according to the assessment by the UN Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) on the strife-torn country, which has been riven by factional fighting and has not had a functioning central government since 1991.

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NAIROBI, February 14, 2009 — Somalia's new president on Friday named Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, a Canadian-Somali national, as the war-torn country's new prime minister.
The new premier, the son of a former president but a relative newcomer to Somalia's political scene, will face the daunting task of forming an inclusive government and restoring stability to the Horn of Africa country.
"I selected Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke to be the prime minister of Somalia and I wish him success, and I will do my best in my capacity as president to help the premier fulfill his duties," President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said, reading a statement at a special reception ion Djibouti.

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By Akwei Thompson
Washington, DC, February 08 2009 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is reporting that populations in large areas of Kenya and the Horn of Africa are now facing an exceptional humanitarian crisis that requires urgent food assistance. The IFRC says the combined effect of high worldwide food prices and a crippling drought are seriously jeopardizing the lives, livelihoods, and dignity of up to 20 million people in rural and urban communities.
The Federation’s Nairobi-based communications manager, Andrei Neacsu who just returned from northern Kenya tells Nightline’s Akwei Thompson the situation is reaching alarming proportions in some of the worst affected areas.

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By Nelima Kerre , TC Daily Planet

February 11, 2009

Leaders of the Somali and Muslim communities came out in a united front February 10 to address what they called “the inaccurate and unfair portrayal of our mosques and Imams.” Mid last year, about 20 Somali men were reported to have gone back home to fight a holy war. The Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center was rumored to be connected to their disappearance.

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By Nelima Kerré , TC Daily Planet
February 11, 2009
After the disappearances of young Somali men over the past few months, some youth complained that the negative press has resulted in repeated FBI interrogations. Samiya Ahmed, Rukia Mohamed and Sarah Qaxiya were Facebook friends with some of the missing. The authorities went to Samiya’s house with photos of the missing men asking her if she knew any of them.
“When they came to my house, it took me by shock. I have never had any encounters with the law,” said the Normandale student. “I even received a phone call the day before inauguration day asking if I know anyone who is going to bomb the inauguration,” she added.

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By Bob Collins

Filed under: Crime and Justice

February 9, 2009 Officials at a local mosque have scheduled a Tuesday news conference to confront growing rumors that they are helping to receuit young Somali men to fight on behalf of Islamic extremists in Somalia. The news conference comes after the Star Tribune asked -- but did not answer -- the question of the mosque's involvement in an article today.

Two weeks ago, National Public Radio reported on the disappearance of young Somalis in several U.S. cities and, like the Star Tribune, it seemed to implicate the Abubakar mosque in Minneapolis.

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HARGEISA, Somaliland, Feb. 10, 2009 – Authorities of Somaliland Tuesday welcomed the election of the new Somali President, a rare move by the Somaliland's officials, as the state seek independence from the rest of the war-torn Horn of Africa country.
Vice President of Somaliland, Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, said that his government can work with the new Somali administration of President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed who was elected in parliamentary vote in neighboring Djibouti where the Somali legislature held its session late in January.

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Deputy prime minister Abdallah Bos Ahmed has asked the opposition movements to put down their weapons, while also inviting them to join the government and participate in the reconstruction and stabilization of the country. Bos Ahmed stressed the importance of having the support of the opposition in what he called "a new phase for Somalia" in keeping with a similar invitation offered yesterday by the new president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who spoke of 'national reconciliation in welcoming a suggestion from the clans to mediate between the government and the armed opposition.

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Headlines

Somalia’s New Prime Minister

Somalia's Prime-minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmake

Djibouti, February 14, 2009 (SL Times) – Reports from Djibouti indicate that Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the son of Somalia’s last civilian president was chosen as Somalia’s prime minister. This does not come as a surprise since news of Omar Sharmarke’s likely appointment has been circulating for days.

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Somaliland Official Says No US Residents Being Held As Terror Suspects

Somaliland Interior Minister, Abdillahi Erro

By Alisha Ryu
Nairobi, Kenya, February 10, 2009 – Officials in the republic of Somaliland say reports it is holding more than a dozen U.S. residents as possible terrorist suspects are not true. The reports have fueled speculation that 20 Somali men who were living in the United States have been recruited by the radical al-Shabab group to destabilize Somaliland and other parts of Somalia.

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Somaliland Security Forces Arrest Seven Pirates In Berbera

Hargeysa, Somaliland, February 14, 2009 – The Somaliland National guard based in the city of Berbera apprehended 7 Somalia pirates from the Somali state of Puntland - the pirates were believed to be highly armed and were planning carrying out attacks in the Gulf of Aden through the red sea shipping lines.
The Somaliland national guard successfully halt their nasty operations, after the special Coast guard forces received a tip from the Somaliland intelligence agency, the Puntland men have been followed for weeks before their arrests were made in Somaliland waters.

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Dahir Riyale Kahin, President

Hargeysa, Somaliland Feb 14, 2009 – The vice president of Somaliland has told a Monday press conference that his comments on Somali unity were misunderstood.
Mr. Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, Somaliland's vice president, told the press conference in Hargeysa that his comments were directed to new Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed as a "warning" not to interfere with Somaliland affairs.

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Dhaka, Feb 7, 2009 – PRAN Export Ltd, a local private company, will export processed agro-food products worth US$15lakh to Hadrawi Trading Establishment of Somaliland over the next one year.
An agreement to this effect was signed between PRAN Export Ltd, a concern of the PRAN-RFL Group, and Hadrawi Trading Establishment at National Press Club in the city on Sunday.

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Prof. Abdihakim Y. Khaire

Hargeysa, February 13, 2009 — A Somaliland Political Analyst and a Classmate of the New Somali PM Omar praises President Sherif for the appointment:
“The right choice for the right job at the right time,” that is how Professor Abdihakim Yusuf Kheire has described the appointment of the New Somali PM Mr. Omar A/Rashid Ali Sharmarke in an exclusive interview SomalilandPress Today in Hargeysa.

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DUBAI, February 13, 2009 – An al Qaeda leader, in a video released on Islamist websites on Friday, urged Somali militants to step up attacks against Somalia's new moderate government, which he dismissed as U.S.-backed.
"Aim your arrows towards them..., direct your battles against them and intensify your campaign against them," Abu Yahya al-Libi said on the video. He called for a jihad, or holy war, against the new government of Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a moderate Islamist who was elected late last month as president.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

US House Approves Obama’s $787 Billion Stimulus Plan

Barack Obama said that approval of the stimulus plan was "critical"

New York, February 13, 2009 – The US House of Representatives has approved President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan, which is now being voted on by the Senate.
The process will go on for several hours to allow a senator who is away from Washington to return to the capital and cast his vote.
The $787bn (£548bn) plan failed to get any Republican backing in the House.
Earlier on Friday, Mr Obama said that Congressional approval of the stimulus plan was "critical".
If the Senate backs the package of tax cuts and spending, designed to rescue the ailing US economy, the president will be able to sign it into law.

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Buffalo, February 14, 2009 – Thursday's upstate plane crash claimed 9/11 activist Beverly Eckert's life, but left untouched her legacy of helping to better guard the nation against terror strikes, fellow advocates said Friday.
Eckert, of Stamford, Conn., was among the 50 killed when Continental Connection Flight 3407 out of Newark crashed into a house. She was traveling to Buffalo to present a scholarship that she set up after her husband, Sean Rooney, died in the 2001 attacks.
"She continued to participate in the life of our school community" after her husband's death, school president John Knight said. "She did everything she could to take this tragic event of Sean's passing and have something positive come of it," Knight said. "She loved Canisius High School, and we loved her."

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Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, left, greets the crew members of the Ukrainian ship MV Faina at Kiev's Boryspil International Airport, Friday, Feb. 13, 2009. The Ukrainian cargo ship Faina which was hijacked by Somali pirates with its 20-man crew, and carrying tanks and other heavy weapons was released Thursday Feb. 5, 2009, after pirates received an airdropped ransom of $3.2 million.

By MARIA DANILOVA
KIEV, Ukraine, February 13, 2009 — Twenty tired, joyful sailors stepped off a plane into the arms of tearful wives and loved ones Friday after months in the hands of Somali pirates who hijacked their ship and its cargo of heavy weaponry.
The celebration at Kiev's airport ended a long and frightening ordeal for the surviving crew of the MV Faina — 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and a Latvian — and a nail-biting wait for their relatives back home. Pirates seized the Faina off the Horn of Africa on Sept. 25 and released it last week, speeding off in skiffs with a $3.2 million ransom dropped to the deck by parachute.

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Burhan Hassan, in 2005, after having received a certificate from the Abubakar mosque in Minneapolis. When he went missing, he was a senior in high school. By all accounts, he was a good student and was supposed to graduate on time in May. His mother wanted him to go to medical school. He disappeared Nov. 4, calling his mother two days later to say he was in Somalia. Courtesy of Osman Ahmed

By Dina Temple-Raston

Minnesota, February 5, 2009 Just hours before President Barack Obama took the oath of office, the FBI had word from overseas of a possible terrorist attack. The threat was linked to a Somali hard-line jihadist group called al-Shabab, or The Youth.

The threat came at a time when the FBI was focused on what looked like a massive recruitment effort of young men from Somali communities in the U.S. As many as two dozen of them have disappeared from Minneapolis alone in the past year.

Federal agents are worried these young men are training in Somalia and could end up returning to the U.S. to launch a terrorist attack.

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FEATURES AND COMMENTERY

Mohamed Egeh Killeh

TO: THE AMERICAN CONGRESS

From: Somaliland Ecological Society (SES) LNGO,

Hargeysa, Somaliland

Contact: Mohamed Egeh Killeh

Mail mekilleh2@yahoo.com

Mob: 00252-2-4459235

Tel: 00252-2-517826

Date: February 12, 2009

Before the collapse of the Military Regime of Siyad Bare in 1991, it was the government’s intention to establish a national park within Bushbush Game Reserve, 1975 -1976.

The writer was counterpart to the UNDP/FAO funded development project: FO/DP, SOM/72/012 of “strengthening of forestry and wildlife management project”.

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Nairobi, Feb 11, 2009 -- A controversial comment by the top U.N. envoy to Somalia "motivates" those who have carried out recent fatal attacks against journalists in the war-torn country, the head of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said Wednesday.
Earlier this month, the U.N. special representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, compared the role of Somalia's media with the infamous Rwandan radio station that was used to incite participation in the 1994 genocide in that country.

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Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed Sharif

DJIBOUTI, February 12, 2009 – Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was recently elected President of Somalia at a parliamentary meeting in Djibouti. Before returning to Mogadishu where he will appoint a prime minister and form a government, Ahmed talked to IRIN about the challenges ahead. Below are excerpts:
IRIN: What are the biggest challenges facing your administration?
Ahmed: The biggest obstacle is trying to get people to believe and have hope again that things can and will get better. The people have suffered and are still suffering. They have been divided. Rebuilding the unity of our people and nation will be one of our biggest challenges. Every time they were hopeful, they were knocked back again. We must keep this hope alive.
We also face the task of building government institutions from scratch. We are basically broke and the country broken. All these in my opinion are obstacles we will have to deal with urgently.

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In Somalia, Conflict Prevents Learning

African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) military tanks patrol the streets of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, February 9, 2009

By HENRY OWUOR in Nairobi
February 10 2009
In Summary
NGO says many parts of Somalia have no schools and in some of the few child-friendly centers, where children can learn, girls are rewarded with one kilogram of cooking oil if they consistently attend school for 23 days.
Somalia has no government-run schools especially in the south central area that includes Mogadishu, an NGO has said.

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Our Trip to Somaliland

Africa's Best Kept Secret

Somaliland Electoral Laws Handbook
By Ibrahim Hashi Jama

EDITORIAL

Somalia’s Government: An Exercise In Futility?

The selection of Sheikh Sharif as Somalia’s president and the appointment of Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke as prime minister has brought an end to speculation about the holders of Somalia’s top government jobs. The line up is now clear, and is made up of two moderate sheikhs (Sheikh Sharif as president, Sheikh Adan Madoobe as speaker of parliament) and a western educated prime minister. All of this, plus Sheikh Sharif’s numerous conciliatory announcements may give some, particularly the international community, a sense of optimism about Somalia’s future.

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ANNOUNCEMENT

A presentation about Somaliland by Professor Fredrick Michael Lorenz and Jamal Gabobe

Title: Supporting the Unrecognized Government of Somaliland: Developing State Capacity and the Rule of Law.

Location: University of Washington, Law School, William H. Gates Hall, Room 117.

Date: Feb.25, 2009

Time: 12:30-1:20 pm

OPINION

Does Kulmiye Have A Misyar Marriage With Sheikh Sharif?

By Ahmed M.I. Egal
There has been a spate of reports recently in the Somaliland press that a contingent of Kulmiye supporters from the UK attended the recent Djibouti conference that elected Sheikh Sharif Ahmed as President of Somalia. In addition, it has also been reported that this contingent held at least one secret meeting with the new President of Somalia, and that the two sides have agreed to meet again in Mogadishu in early April. This date is significant in that it is immediately after the Somaliland elections which are scheduled for end-March 2009. The reports continue that the two parties have reached a secret agreement that if Kulmiye wins the upcoming Presidential elections, they will agree to a form of federal structure uniting Somaliland & Somalia.

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Somalia - Puntland Demography And Dhulbahante’s Fate

By Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi
My latest article titled ´Puntland Parliament Appoint Pirate President´ about manner that president was elected and demography in Puntland. I highlighted the Majeerteen tribe makes about 60% of total population of "Puntland", which triggered anger between the readers and many emails criticized the statistics demanding correction of number of population in "Puntland".
However, after these angry emails on the "Puntland" demography, I did research on the matter and referred many books, including surveys by foreign writers like John Anthony Hunt – Geologist and Writer in beginning of 20th Century. Hunt, was Governor of Somaliland Protectorate and traveled across land called today "Puntland". Hunt surveyed the population of both British Somaliland and "Puntland" between 1940 and 1950. Britain ruled "Puntland" during aforesaid period after defeating Italy.

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Somalia: Starting New Era, Or Reinventing The Wheel?

By Dalmar Kaahin

The same Islamic Court Union I.C.U that U.S.—Ethiopia coalition toppled and accused of having ties with Al—Qaeda in 2006 came to power in January 2009, not because from the barrel of a gun, but because of a popular vote.

However, the U.S. and the International community continue driving a wedge between Somali groups. The West shamelessly continues dividing the Somali factions into moderates and extremist. In June 2008, I have predicted dividing the I.C.U along moderates and extremist will not only undermine the Somali liberation efforts but will also complicate any future peace conferences.  Read the article entitled, “U.S. Wins Dividing the Islamic Court Union”

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Bottom - Up Approach For Somali Conflict

Abdirahman Ibrahim Abdillahi
We need a man who is capable to negotiate with his opponents and also capable to reach a tangible peace. A leader with charisma is in the need of the hour; should sheriff have the support of the larger sections of the Islamic court enthusiasts then he should utilize their backing to improve the security situations and rule of the law of the country.
The people of Mogadishu should learn from the past and correct the past mistakes because they alone are responsible for what is happening in Mogadishu and they alone are capable to shut their differences. To make things easier Mogadishu city dwellers should understand better or learn as much about the other peoples concerns or situations. The people of Mogadishu must realize that they bear great responsibility for the failure of the Somali state. And for that the people of Mogadishu must spearhead any rescue mission to Somali crisis.

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 Dr. Terry Lacey
Indonesia has become a net oil importer, has left OPEC and lacks the refinery capacity to optimize downstream use of its own oil. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and state oil and gas company Pertamina recently announced ambitious plans to build two new refineries and expand a third.
Just one new refinery at Banten will cost at least US$4.2 billion, accounting for about one quarter of the new installed capacity, so the whole package will easily cost US$15 to US$20 billion, between 2010 and 2015, with final cost estimates yet to be announced.

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By Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
What the Vice President of Somaliland, Ahmed Yussuf Yasin, said in the Udub press conference held in Hargeysa on February 8, 2009 was both shocking and appalling and amounts to treason against Somaliland independence and international recognition. The treasonous statements of the Vice President, Ahmed Yussuf Yasin, and the suspension of Somaliland Passport by Djibouti Authority subsequently following the recent meeting held in Djibouti between Dahir Riyale and Nuur Adde clearly show a plot against Somaliland sovereignty devised in the meeting.

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The Scheduling Of Somaliland Election

Ahmed Ali Ibrahim Sabeyse

Without going into the full details of the laws regulating the timing of the elections, the National Elections Commission, in consultation with the national political parties and the donor nations that finance Somaliland elections, is the sole authority that recommends the exact timing of any election. Whether an election is moved forward, held on a previously agreed upon date, or rescheduled is the sole prerogative of our National Elections Commission. 

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FEATURES AND COMMENTERY

Somalia Stumbles Along With Sharif

J.Peter Pham, PhD

February 12, 2009

Somalia headed the list last month in my annual review of what would likely be Africa’s most significant conflicts or flashpoints this year. At that time, I observed:

For the third year in a row, New Year’s Day finds the greatest threat to African security to be the chaotic conditions prevailing in the territory of what was, until 1991, the Somali Democratic Republic. As difficult as it is to imagine, the internationally-recognized “Transitional Federal Government” (TFG), the fourteenth such attempt at a national framework for governance since the dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre fled from the presidential palace seventeen years ago this month, is even weaker now than it was just one month ago when I described its authority here as “largely notional,” since its writ barely extended beyond a few blocks in Mogadishu and in the provincial town of Baidoa where the rump legislature has been holed up.

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Ken Menkhaus

Author: Ken Menkhaus
Feb 9, 2009
President Barack Obama has inherited a dangerous and fast-moving crisis in Somalia—one with profound implications for regional and international security. While some within the new administration will be tempted to continue to place short-term counterterrorism goals ahead of a more comprehensive strategy approach as was done during the Bush administration, the shortcomings of this approach are abundantly clear: violent extremism and anti-Americanism are now rife in Somalia due in large part to the blowback from policies that focused too narrowly on counterterrorism objectives. The new U.S. national security team must make a clean break by defining and implementing a long-term strategy to support the development of an inclusive Somali government.

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By LEN WENGRAF
February 13 - 15, 2009
U.S.-BACKED Ethiopian troops withdrew from their remaining positions in Somalia at the end of January, bringing an end to a two-year occupation carried out in the guise of the "war on terror."
The Ethiopian Army invaded Somalia in December 2006, overthrowing the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) government and installing the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Two years later, approximately 10,000 people have lost their lives, and 1.1 million Somalis were turned into refugees, the victims of Ethiopian occupiers and an ongoing civil war.
From the beginning, the TFG, though backed by the U.S., was weak, maintaining control in only a small area of the capital of Mogadishu, and some regions of western Somalia. Several thousand African Union troops--including U.S.-trained Ugandan forces--ostensibly bolster the TFG, to little effect. The U.S. also intervened directly in Somalia with sporadic air strikes.

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By Greg Mills
February 11, 2009
Over the past fortnight, violence in Madagascar has flared, leaving over 100 dead, with supporters loyal to opposition figure Andry Rajoelina and looters clashing with the police and military under President Marc Ravalomanana.
On the face of it, Rajoelina, the mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, known to all as "TGV", is angry because the president closed down his Viva television and radio stations late last year for having aired a speech by former (now exiled) president Didier Ratsiraka.

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Tony Iltis
6 February 2009
Somalia is often cited by Western politicians and journalists as the archetypical “failed state”, with no functioning state since the collapse of the last central government in 1991, and with power contested by warlords, Islamists, clan militias, armed criminal gangs and even pirates.
In this mainstream media narrative, military intervention by the West or Western proxies is justified both to lessen the suffering of the country’s people and prevent neighboring countries from being destabilized. Indeed, the existence of such “failed states” has become one of the main justifications for Western militarism.

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JOHN CHERIAN
Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed of the Islamic Courts Union is sworn in as the new President of Somalia following the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops.

THE election of Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed as the new President of Somalia is being viewed as a welcome development on the African continent. His election comes two years after Ethiopian forces occupied the capital Mogadishu and ousted the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) from power.

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by Bob Collins

February 12, 2009

There are few relationships on the planet these days worse than the one between the Somali community in the Twin Cities and news organizations which don't know how to cover it. There's plenty of fallout following coverage in the last week of rumors/allegations that a Minneapolis mosque had something to do with the disappearance of young Somali men. On Thursday night, the Minnesota News Council sponsored a panel to try to repair the damage that the story, and other coverage of Somalis, has caused.

The panelists were:

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Somali refugees in the Hagadera camp, in Dadaab, Kenya (E. Hockstein | UNHCR)

Lee Wengraf analyzes the situation in Somalia after Ethiopian forces have withdrawn
February 9, 2009
U.S.-BACKED Ethiopian troops withdrew from their remaining positions in Somalia at the end of January, bringing an end to a two-year occupation carried out in the guise of the "war on terror."

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

    


     

Editor in Chief: Yusuf Abdi Gabobe.


 

Assist-Editor: Abdifatah M Aideed


Somaliland Times Web Editor, Media and Technology specialist: Abdullah Mohamed Ahmed

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