Friday, March 28, 2008

In Somalia, a Government on Life Support

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The trouble started when government soldiers went to the market and, at gunpoint, began to help themselves to sacks of grain.

Islamist insurgents poured into the streets to defend the merchants. The government troops got hammered, taking heavy casualties and retreating all the way back to the presidential palace, supposedly the most secure place in the city. It too came under fire.

Mohamed Abdirizak, a top government official, crouched on a balcony at the palace, with bullets whizzing over his head. He had just given up a cushy life as a development consultant in Springfield, Virginia. His wife thought he was crazy. Sweat beaded on his forehead.
“I feel this slipping away,” he said.

By its own admission, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia is on life support. When it came here to the capital 15 months ago, backed by thousands of Ethiopian troops, it was widely hailed as the best chance in years to end Somalia’s ceaseless cycles of war, chaos and suffering.
But now its leaders say that unless they get more help — international peacekeepers, weapons, training and money to pay their soldiers, among other things — this transitional government will fall just like the 13 governments that came before it.

Less than a third of the promised African Union soldiers have shown up, the United Nations has shied away from sending peacekeepers any time soon and even the Ethiopians are taking a back seat, often leaving the government’s defense to teenage Somali troops with clackety guns who are clearly overwhelmed.

The Islamists have been gaining recruits, overrunning towns and getting increasingly bold. The new prime minister, credited as the government’s best — and possibly last — hope, is reaching out to them, and some are receptive. But it is unclear whether he has the power within his own divided government to strike a meaningful peace deal before it is too late.

The looming failure is making many people here and abroad question the strategy of installing the transitional government by force. In December 2006, Ethiopians troops, aided by American intelligence, ousted the Islamist administration that briefly controlled Mogadishu, bringing the transitional government to the city for the first time.

The Bush Administration said it was concerned about terrorists using Somalia as a sanctuary. The hunt for them continues with a recent American cruise missile strike aimed at a terrorist suspect in southern Somalia, but it missed, wounded several civilians and promptly incited protests.

Many Somalis, European diplomats and critics in Congress also question the State Department’s decision this month to label a Somali resistance group a terrorist organization, which many fear will only boost its profile among the increasingly disillusioned populace.

“The policy has failed,” said Representative Donald M. Payne, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa and global health. “Were Baghdad-izing Mogadishu and Somalia. Were making people feel wrongly treated and pushing them toward more radical positions.”
In recent weeks, the Islamists have routed warlords and militiamen who have been absorbed into the government forces but are undermining what little progress transitional leaders have made with their predatory tactics, like looting food. After 17 years of civil war, Somalia’s violence seems to be driven not so much by clan hatred, ideology or religiosity but by something much simpler: survival.

“We haven’t been paid in eight months,” said one government soldier named Hassan. “We rob people so we can eat.”

Nur Hassan Hussein, the prime minister, did not deny government troops were robbing civilians. “This is the biggest problem we have,” he said in an interview in late March.
But, he said, he does not have the money to pay them. Each month, more than half of government’s revenue, mostly from port taxes, disappears — stolen by “our people,” the prime minister said.

That leaves Mr. Nur with about $18 million a year in government money to run a failed state of 9 million of some of the world’s neediest, most collectively traumatized people.
And failed state may be a generous term. In many ways, Somalia is not a state at all, but an ungoverned space between its neighbors and the sea. Sometimes it seems that if anything binds this country together, it is scar tissue.

Take Hassan Ali Elmi, who was blinded by a bullet in 1992 and has been living ever since in a cell-like room in the gutted former ministry of public works. His son tugs him into town to beg for the equivalent of a few pennies a day, which buy less and less. At night, he lies on a thin foam mattress and waits for the shooting to stop. It doesn’t.
“All Somalia, all gun,” he says.

His neighbors are recently displaced people living in cardboard huts that crumble in the rain. Aid organizations say that more than half of Mogadishu’s estimated one million people is on the run.
Many of the same elements that lined up in the early 1990s to create a famine are lining up again — war, drought, displacement, skyrocketing food prices and aid workers pulling out. The United Nations World Food Program said on Thursday, in a warning titled “Somalia Sinking Deeper into Abyss of Suffering,” that the country was the most dangerous in the world for aid workers.

Most Somalis don’t argue with that. They say Mogadishu is more capriciously violent than it has ever been, with roadside bombs, militias shelling each other across neighborhoods, doctors getting shot in the head and 10-year-olds hurling grenades. Police officials say that many insurgents are actually hungry children paid a few dollars for their work.

In the shrinking zone that the government controls in southern Mogadishu, a couple of buildings have been splashed with a fresh coat of paint and new immigration forms at the airport ask travelers for their name, purpose of journey and caliber of weapon. Girls wearing bandanas dribble basketballs in a gym. Men sell fish by the seaside. A beat of life goes on. But north Mogadishu is another story.

“It’s like `Mad Max’ out there,” said Abdi Awaleh Jama, an ambassador at large, pointing from the presidential palace north toward the expanse of huts and ruins stretching into the distance.
In the rat-tat-tat of nightly machine gunfire, people are beginning to hear the government’s death knell. Many residents have mixed feelings about this. They contend that the government has enabled warlords. They say, almost without exception, that things were better under the Islamists. But they fear what lies ahead.

“We’re getting addicted to anarchy,” said Dahabo Abdulleh, a fuel seller.
Mr. Nur, a former Red Crescent official who became prime minister in November, is trying to peel away moderate Islamists from militant ones and get them to negotiate. He is making concessions to business leaders, who are widely suspected of financing the Islamists out of clan allegiances, and allowing them to form their own protection force. United Nation officials are trying to boost Mr. Nur’s prospects by providing $14 million to pay key government salaries and fix up ministries.

“This is urgent,” said William Paton, the acting United Nations coordinator for Somalia. “They are on thin ice.”
Government officials say much of the resistance is simply spoilers who are deeply invested in the status quo of chaos, like gun runners, counterfeiters and importers of expired baby formula.
But some of the men believed to be the biggest spoilers are part of the government. To get clan support — and just as crucially — more militiamen, transitional leaders have cut deals with warlords like Mohammed Dheere, now Mogadishu’s mayor, and Abdi Qeybdid, now police chief. These are the same men that the C.I.A. paid in 2006 to fight the Islamists, which backfired because the population turned against them, mostly because of their legacy of terrorizing civilians.

Hassan, the government soldier, says he has been in one of these warlord militias since he was 8. He toted his first Kalashnikov at age 10. He cannot read or write. He has thin wrists, a delicate face, empty eyes and a wife and two children to feed, which is why he said he routinely sticks people up.

“We are losing,” he said.

He said many of his friends were defecting to the Islamists because that was the only way to survive.

The Islamists have briefly captured several towns in recent weeks, freeing prisoners, snatching weapons and then melting back into the bush. Gone are the beards and the checkered scarves they used to wear. Many, like a young man named Elmi, are clean shaven and favor crisply pressed suits.

Elmi, who like Hassan said he could not reveal his last name, said business owners have sold gold, real estate and sheep to raise money for the Islamists. Elmi said he was part of the battle at the market on March 20 that began with the looting, and that the government lost three trucks, which was corroborated by government soldiers.

“We were there because we are everywhere,” Elmi said.
Mr. Abdirizak, the government official, buried some of the victims of that battle, young government troops who were slipped into graves behind the presidential palace in the moonlight.
One soldier was named Abdi Rashid. He had been wounded in another firefight about a month ago, and according to Mr. Abdirizak, “he shouldn’t even have been out there that day. It’s just that we don’t have enough guys.”

Abdi Rashid was shot in the heart at the market as the Islamists surrounded government troops. His last words to his friends, who wanted to carry him to safety, were, “Get out of here, get out of here.”

Mr. Abdirizak fell silent.

“I’m not sure how long I’ll stay,” he finally said. “ I want to help. But I didn’t come here to get killed.”

Source: NewYork Times

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Uganda: Somali, Zanzibar, Djibouti Presidents Arrive

Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf, Zanzibar's Amani Abeid Karume and Djibouti's Sem Ismail Omar Guelleh

BY Henry Mukasa FOUR heads of state arrived yesterday to attend the official opening of the Gadaffi National Mosque and thanksgiving prayers.

Presidents Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi), Sem Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Amani Abeid Karume (Zanzibar) and Abdullahi Yusuf (Somalia) were invited by Libyan leader Maummar Gadaffi, who is on a four-day visit in Uganda. Gadaffi funded the completion of the national mosque at Old Kampala hill.

Abdullahi was the first to arrive at 9:00pm on Monday night. Karume, the chairman of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council, is also the vice- president of the Republic of Tanzania. He landed at Entebbe yesterday afternoon.

Guelleh landed at dusk and was received by the Third Deputy Prime Minister, Kirunda Kivejinja.
In the evening, Entebbe Road witnessed a flurry of activity as the Police escorted various convoys to and from Entebbe airport.

As Guelleh was being driven to Munyonyo resort, his convoy met a long procession of ambassadors' cars at Kitubulu as they headed to State House Entebbe for a state banquet.
At Kitala, Guelleh was driven past the convoy of President Yoweri Museveni, who was heading to Entebbe to meet his guests.

Today, the presidents of New Guinea, Kenya, Rwanda and Chad are expected to join their colleagues. Sources said Gadaffi sent several aircraft to various African countries to ferry Muslims for the mosque inauguration and the prayers at Nakivubo Stadium.
Meanwhile, Madinah Tebajjukira reports that Gadaffi has blasted African leaders who have not prioritised the interests of their people, especially the marginalised women and vulnerable children.

Meeting women leaders from various institutions at Serena Hotel in Kampala, Gadaffi said African leaders should perceive the change sweeping through Africa as a social rather than a political one.

"The thinking of African leaders is directed towards election and political parties. They have no time to think about the youth, women, families and children. An African woman should think about herself and do something instead of paying attention to politicians," he implored amid chants of "Allahu-Akbar."

"You can have a dialogue with an African leader thinking he is thinking at the same level with you, yet he is thinking about future elections," he added, to more chants of "Allahu-Akbar, the president of the people."

"You are all aware of the situation and reality of Africa today. It's shifting from one position to another, and I wish it could be a social one to include the women, children and the youth," Gadaffi said. He repeated his earlier comments that African leaders are distracted by imminent elections, and whether their constitutions allow them more terms. "This is a problem."
He explained that the electoral system was copied from western countries and was not suitable to the African culture and environment.

"We have imported western systems and we have changed Africa. We are now grounded on political problems."

He cited the post-election violence that gripped Kenya after the disputed presidential elections last December.

About 1,000 people were killed in the ethnic clashes that followed.

Source: New Vision

Sunday, March 16, 2008

War rally marks Iraq anniversary

Hundreds of anti-war protesters have staged a demonstration in Glasgow marking five years since the start of the conflict in Iraq.

The Scottish demonstration is part of a day of action in a number of cities throughout the UK and abroad.

The rally heard calls for troop withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as opposition to possible action against Iran.

Among the marchers was Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon died in Iraq.

Military families She was leading a contingent of military families demanding that troops be brought home.
Mrs Gentle said: "The military families are here today to say this is five years and over the last five years we've lost a lot of our armed forces.

"It's five years now and it's time our boys came home and for Gordon Brown to set a date and say this is when they will be out of Iraq.

"We hope that he starts helping the families and injured and those with combat stress and the veterans."

Representatives from organisations including Solidarity, the Communist Party of Britain, EIS and Unison also took part in the march.

The demonstrators set off from Blythswood Square and marched to Glasgow Green for a rally with speakers including Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn.
Ms Sturgeon said: "Five years ago, thousands of people marched through the streets of Glasgow to say no to an illegal war in Iraq.

"Five years on, people across Scotland and now the party of government in Scotland still say no to this illegal war.

"All of us opposed to this war must continue to campaign for it to come to an end, for an end to the loss of thousands of lives and for our troops to come home safely."
Other cities participating in the worldwide protest organised by the Stop the War Coalition include London, Washington, Beirut, Sydney and Seoul.

The Glasgow march was organised by the Stop the War Coalition Scotland.

Source: BBC

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rice oo abaal marisay gabar Soomaaliyeed

Farxiyo Faarax Ibraahim, oo ah gabar Soomaaliyeed, ayaa toddobaadkan ka mid noqotay sideed dumar ah oo la guddoonsiiyey billada caalamiga ah ee dumarka lagu tilmaamo geesiyaasha.

Abaal marintaasi ayaa munaasabadaasi maalinta haweenka dunida waxaa bixiya Xoghayaha Arrimaha Dibadda ee Mareyakanka, Condoleezza Rice, oo siisa haween ay u garato ineey qeyb weyn ka qaateen sare u qaadidda tayada nolosha haweenka caalamka.
Gabadhan oo 25-jirka ah, ayaa billadan ku muteysatay olole ay kula dagaallameysay gudniinka fircooniga oo ay ka wadday xeryada qaxootiga ee Ifo ee ku taalla wgobolka Waqooyi Bari ee waddanka Kenya.

Saacado kaddib markii ay billada ka soo qaadatay xarunta wasaaradda arrimaha dibadda ayeey Farxiyo u warrantay wariyaha BBC ee Washington, C/raxman Caynte, oo ka waraystay sababta ay ku muteysatay billadan.

Farxiyo waxay dadaal dheer u gashay sare u qaadidda tacliinta gabdhaha. Waxay sheegtay in ololeheeda ay kala qeyb galeen qaybo badan oo kamid ah bulshada Soomaalida ee xeryaha qaxootiga.

Farxiyo Faarax ku rajo weyn tahay ineey dadaalkeeda u gudbiso qeybaha kale ee dalka Kenya.

BBC Somali

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jacaylka Ayaa u Daran

Jacaylka waxaa udaran
Danayste dugaaga iyo
Damiir laawaa udaran
Nin dumarkuun daba laloo
Diraca siidayninoo
Haday isoo doon tidhaa
Damnaha uqaniinayoo
Dockale kawaree gayiyo
Ninkii dibjiraa udaran

Jacayl doqonbaa udaran
Dabeecad xumaa udaran
Miduu degta saaranlaa
Damaashaad iyo farxado
intuu dul uridi lahaa
damnaha naaxidha lehee
damqaaya qofkuu jeclaa
ninkii dabrayaa udaran

durmaan ninka qaatayee
dawaynin dhaliisha taal
dulqaadna uyeelaniyo
dabbaal nin ahbaa udaran
dalboole xunbaa udaran
diktaa toorbaa udaran
diciif nin ahaan jiroo
daayin ugargaaray iyo
nin darajaan helay lebaa
jacaylka runtii udaran

dabshaan aarsanayiyo
damac baahsanaa udaran
daruufta ayaa udaran
qofku doortay oo yidhi
adigaan kudoorbiday
naftaydiina deeqdee
ninku diganayaa udaran
ruux bilaa dareenoo
kuduryaaya sheekiyo
nin difaacinbaa udaran

ninka dira diraalaha
kadab qaadanayiyo
nin ladiray ayaa udaran
isku dayasho raadliyo
nin daryeel oqoonoo
dalaaq jecel ayaa udaran

doog ubax lamoodiyo
durdur lagu haraad baxo
dubka oo iftiimiyo
gabadh diirku dadan yahay
damnuhuna madaw yihiin
sanku soodulyaaloo
daamankuna casaan yahay
ilkeheegu dabar yahay
dookheegu adi yahay
kaka duubayee naca iyo
ninka daayabaa udaran

daalim beenwadaa udaran
kuwa dayr fadhiistoo
diin haysanbaa udaran
habla diib ismariyoo
waqti kaadilaayoo
lilma daadiyaa udaran

qaarkala danaystoo
duunyadu isku keentoo
kala daran ayaa udaran
balan daahda baa udaran
dirir badan ayaa udaran
duca qaada aabiyo
inkar ha iga doonine
kadal doorsabaa udaran

dulli gaabsanbaa udaran
dalagii aad beertaba
ka, uduulsha xididkiyo
xaasid daran ayaa udaran
saaxiibad daas qudha
aad kudana wadaagtaan
sirna aad kadaahayn
kudafirta ayaa udaran
dakhar keentabaa udaran

ilaahbaa deeq baxshee
da,wayne xishooninoo
haduu doob yari yidhaa
yartaan kaadoonayaa
iikeen lacag doolariyo
dadkaagu ayay yihiin
nin daa,imsadaa udaran
da,daa tidhibaa kadaran
daliil niman haysanoo
dookhbaaa ihayuunle,oo
dunuubna samaynayaa
jacaylka runtii udaran

gabadh dayma quruxlana
nin dadkiisa uga go,ay
hadaydiidabaa udaran
doox kala martaa udaran
dhisma daar ayaan helay
jacayl dhaafsataa udaran

c/fataax daahir cige

jacayloow dhab iisheeg?

Jacaylkani dadkii dhibay
Dhalintii kutaagsaday
Dhakafaar wareer baday
Ayaa dhoogta nagu baray
Halka laga dhutinayiyo
Dhaliilaha ayaa baray
Dhrin dhirin ninkii wada
Dhabbaraad usahan taga
Muxuu dheel halaw baday

Anoo dhega adaygayn
Dhawr su,aalo iga maqal
Horta dhega maleedahay
Dhadhankaa siduu yahay
Madhafuuja adagoo
Dadka dhalan rogaa tahay
Dhaan dhaamiyaa tahay

Kolay kaama dheeriye
Midkuu dhaw ayaan ahay
Dhabarbaan wadaagnaa
Dherigaan kukulanaa
Dhoofka waan isku raacnaa
Ubaxaan isu dhiibnaa
Kolkol waan kudhawraa
Dhibta kaa ilaashaa
Dartaabaan udhididaaa
Dhimashada ilaawaaa
Kollay iima dhigantide
Dhagax uun bal igadaa

Horta dhaqan islaam iyo
Dhaar iyo is,aaminid
Wali dhiisha laga helo
Dhay ma igu siisaa
Misa waad dhaliishaa
Dhunkaal baad isiisaa
Toloow dhumuc maleedahay
Dhuuxana majabisaa
Dhanbaalada jacaylkana
Madhigtaa halkoodii
Dhaxantana mabi,isaa
Midab dhiin maleedahay
Dhabanada casaaniyo
Dherer muuq maleedahay

Dhayaha ku,eegtaaa
Dharxan tood maduushaa
Misa dhooba ciidliyo
Dhorfog baabad leedahay
Wali dheef ansheegiyo
Dhir aad beertay maan cunin
Goormaad dhib caysaa

Kuwa kuu dhareershee
Kuudhiiba taladana
Uma dhega nuglaatide
Dharbaaxaad kuqaada
dhayalbaad kudhaaftaaa
dhimashaad usababtaa

dhamac kulul miyaad tahay
dhisma adag miyaa tahay
caday dhilan miyaa tahay
dhool cadeeye maad tahay
dhaaya nuurshe maad tahay
dhudhun jabiye maad tahay
dhidib guri miyaa tahay
misa dhoqonjo qudhuniyo
dhuxul madaw sidaa tahay
misa dheemanbaa tahay
xariir iidhalaashiyo
dahab dhiibsan maa tahay

madharaar ayaad tahay
mise dharan sunaa tahay
horta dhaxal gal maad tahay
wax ladhawro maad tahay
ladhoodhoobo maad tahay
dhab loosheego maad tahay
mise dhicis ayaad tahay
dhala jabaysa baa tahay

dhaqaaqaa siduu yahay
dhugdhugtaan maqlaayee
wadnihii dhibaysana
ma,adaa dhabtii wada
masun dhuuban baatahay
misa midha dhawaadloo
dhereg keenabaa tahay
madhanaan qadhaadhoo
dheg dilaaciyaa tahay
misa dhay macaanoo
lagu dhaatabaa tahay

wacays dhaantadiisii iyo
dhawr kaloo shabaabiba
wali way dhibsanayaan
dhinaantani warkaagee
baldhabtiina noosheeg
runta maanta noo dhiib

c/fataax daahir cige

jacaylkiyo lammaanaha

Laba dookh mideeyoo
Kala ladin ayaa jira
Isku ladan ayaa jira
Kala lumin ayaa jira
Laamaha jacaylkee
luuqyada kuyaalee
laydhu ay lulaysana
kaleexaystabaa jira
malab leefabaa jira
lidkood diidabaa jira
lambarkooga haystoo
libin keenabaa jira

laqabsada aduunkoo
cilmi laastabaa jira
loobogay ayaa jira
kalaalaadin qayrkood
meel sare kuloolama
layaqaanabaa jira
cidii laacda maradooda
laqas ula timaadana
luqun jara ayaa jira
lawga jabiya baa jira

liibaanta diintana
luxud geeyabaa jira
lacag eeginbaa jira
liis kasaaraybaa jira
hadal laxansanlaa jira
luuq fiicanbaa jira
looqiray ayaa jira
shaydaan wax lumiyana
lalegdama ayaa jira
aan laloodinbaa jira

balantooda laabtiyo
meel kuladhay ayaa jira
kalaas gaadhaybaa jira
guurkana labeentii
laba qaybtamaa jira
aroos lootumaa jira
cadaw leexshabaa jira
nacab liidiyaa jira
farxad lula ayaa jira
love ka muujiyaa jira

loosacab tumaa jira
waalidkood ulisaa jira
laban siiyabaa jira
isku lada ayaa jira
liin wada cunaa jira
laba qaad talaabada
isla laydh tagaa jira
da,doodoo labaatana
caqligoogu laan sare
laba boqolsadaa jira

mala maanahaygaa
toloow may ilegtahay
laylkaan utoosaa
lilaahaan ujecelahay
kama laba labeeyeen
inaan reer layeeshee
laaxawla qarkeed
iga leexsan abid kood

Prof. C/fataax Daahir Cige

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Somali Islamist Fighters Seize 2nd Town

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Islamist insurgents killed five government soldiers while briefly taking a strategic town in central Somalia, police and residents said, the second such seizure within 24 hours.

The attack late Thursday took place in Belet Weyne, near a critical road junction that links Somalia to the border with Ethiopia. Hundreds of troops are stationed at the junction, which is also Ethiopia's main supply route.

"They launched a surprise attack on the town from different directions, facing pockets of resistance from government forces and immediately took the control of the police station, the prison and a hotel government regional officials were using," said a police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The town's police chief, Col. Abdi Aden, confirmed that five government soldiers had been killed.
Local resident Duniyo Ali said the fighters had retained control of the town for about three hours before voluntarily withdrawing. The area was now calm, she said.

Also Thursday, residents said Islamists had seized Hudur, a strategic southwestern Somali town that lies along the road leading from Ethiopia into Somalia, without firing a shot.

Islamist fighters have vowed to wage an Iraq-style war on the shaky Western-backed transitional government after Somali troops supported by their Ethiopian allies chased the Islamists from power in December 2006.

The Islamists had seized control of much of the south and the country's capital, Mogadishu, which they had held for six months.

Since the Islamists launched their insurgency, thousands of Somalis have been killed. Somali government troops and officials come under daily attack and the U.N.-backed administration is viewed by many Somalis as corrupt and ineffective. The impoverished country is riven between warring clans and awash with weapons.

The U.S. has linked the militiamen to al-Qaida. On Monday, the U.S. launched a missile strike in a Somali town along the Kenyan border, targeting a suspect in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Source: AP