Saturday, January 26, 2008

Landmine blast wounds AU peacekeepers in Somalia

By Aweys Yusuf and Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A landmine blast wounded at least three African Union peacekeepers in the Somali capital on Saturday, witnesses and a spokesman for the AU force said.

Soldiers from Uganda and Burundi are serving as peacekeepers in Mogadishu, where the interim government faces an insurgency led by remnants of a hardline Islamic courts movement.
Captain Barigye Bahouku, the AU force spokesman, said one of their vehicles hit a landmine planted near Mogadishu's sea port.

"A number of our troops have been injured but I do not have the full details yet," he said by telephone.

A witness said at least three peacekeepers were hurt.

"I saw three wounded soldiers lying down. They were bleeding badly," local resident Mohamed Qalinle told Reuters. He said Somali government troops sealed off the site of the explosion and arrested several people.

In a separate incident, a remote-controlled roadside bomb killed one government soldier and two civilians in the Elgab neighbourhood of southern Mogadishu.
"The bomb was remotely set off when the government military vehicle was passing," a police spokesman said.

Fighting in Mogadishu alone killed 6,500 people last year, according to a local human rights group tracking the death toll.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods in what the United Nations calls Africa's worst humanitarian crisis.

Somalia has been mired in anarchy since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. The interim government's attempts to restore central rule have largely been paralysed by infighting and the Islamist-led insurgency.

Source: Reuters

Friday, January 25, 2008

Islamic finance hits its stride

Just 10 years ago Islamic financing techniques, despite being used by transport companies, were still relatively niche products compared with conventional investments, lending and leasing.
Now, as each week passes, new deals are announced and landmark transactions are closed across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and even in Europe and the United States.

With the global conventional financial community set for a relatively cautious approach in 2008 because of restricted liquidity emanating from the global credit crunch, many in the Islamic finance sector are suggesting that this year could see considerable growth for sharia-compliant financing techniques offered by Islamic and non-Islamic institutions alike.

"In general, I would say that interest in Islamic financing for the transport industry, including aviation, shipping and rail, is increasing," says Davide Barzilai, a lawyer in the Islamic finance practice at Norton Rose in London. "However, we must not forget that Islamic finance is still a small portion of the money in the Middle East region."

But the appeal of Islamic finance is not confined to moveable assets in the transport industry. There is clearly strong demand for infrastructure projects, which many in the sector say fit perfectly with the profit-sharing ethos of sharia-compliant financings.

The financing standard was effectively set high several years ago, when in late December 2005 Dubai Ports World's USD5.7 billion acquisition of P&O featured a USD2.8 billion sukuk (bond) to part-finance the deal. Law firm Denton Wilde Sapte played a major role on the financing side, advising Dubai Islamic Bank and Barclays Capital on the sukuk.

The firm also advised Dubai Islamic Bank on a USD1 billion sharia-compliant musharaka bridging facility to secure the acquisition. Law firm Clifford Chance advised the Dubai Ports Authority on this bridge facility.

More recently, large-scale projects have been financed using increasingly marketed and hence increasingly popular sharia-compliant structures.

A landmark example is the recent transaction in which the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) - a World Bank Group member - said it had provided its first-ever guarantee for sharia-compliant project financing. This is a USD427 million guarantee to support investments into a new container facility at Doraleh Container Terminal in Djibouti, which is expected to significantly improve port facilities and help the country become a major business hub in East Africa. The terminal is being developed jointly with Dubai Ports World.

Djibouti is strategically located on one of the fastest-growing east-west international shipping routes at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, the Gulf of Aden and East Africa. Development of the port and transport sector is at the heart of its poverty-reduction strategy.

MIGA's guarantees protect the investments of Dubai Ports World as well as those of the financing banks - Dubai Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and WestLB - against the risks of transfer restriction, war and civil disturbance, expropriation and breach of contract, according to the agency.

Support will total USD422 million to cover funding provided by these three banks as well as other participating banks under an Islamic project finance facility. MIGA's participation allows syndication of a significant amount of financing provided by several banks on favourable terms and conditions under an Islamic financing structure.

MIGA will reinsure USD5 million with the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) under MIGA's facultative reinsurance programme. This represents MIGA's first collaboration with ICIEC at the project level.

MIGA's presence played an important role in mitigating perceived political risks for the banks and enabled project sponsors to raise the financing needed to make the project a reality. This is the first project that MIGA has supported in Djibouti, which joined the agency in January 2007.
"Increased liquidity in Islamic financial markets is leading to growing demand for guarantees that can support sharia-compliant deals," says Yukiko Omura, executive vice-president of MIGA in Washington, DC.

Source: Janes

Somalia: IDPs Face Harsh Life in Central Region

Hundreds of internally displaced people living in a camp in Beledweyne town are having one of the worst livelihoods.

A refugee camp in Hiiraan's provincial capital namely Daryel which hosted about 675 people of internally put out of place people are facing appalling life.

The camp which is situated on the north side of Beledweyne town the majority of the families living in are starving and poor people.

The families are together with children, women, and elders some of them have missed there sights with the famine life they are in.

Shabelle regional reporter Omar Kiyow who visited in that camp has witnessed the horrible life of that IDPs saying they are on the point of to die for the awful living they are in at this moment in time.

"I have seen with my eyes families cooking the maize's seed and the watermelon's dried fruits they collected from the markets for lack of food" shabelle's Omar kiyow said

One of the displaced mothers with seven children interviewed by shabelle's English section told that she missed her mother and father in a mortar attack hit on there home in Howlwadaag district in Mogadishu that reasoned her to flee from the capital.

The chairman of Beledweyne civil society groups Mohamed Osman Tima Jili has appealed to help these people and he warned lacking any help to those people will cause a new cataclysm.
No urgent measures to help those people are still available.

Source: Shabelle

Ma Somaliland Dadkeeda Ayaa SNM ah Mise waa dad iskugu yimid Dan

waxaan inaan xogaa u Caqli Celiyo Rabaa Dadkan SNM baa Taariikhdeeda La Masaxayaa leh.

Marka Hore In la Is Wadyiiyo Ma Somaliland Dadkeeda Ayaa SNM ah Mise waa dad iskugu yimid Dan Guud? haday Jawaabtu Haa Tahay Adeer SNM wax La yiraah Ma jirto Dadku Ku dhaqan Somaliland Waa Dad kala Gadisa Maaha Dad Qudha Waaa Samaroon, Isaaq, Harti Cid waliba Waxay Leedahay Mujaahid Ay ku Faanto Maanta Qoomiyadda Samaroon xadarad ayey fiiriyeen waa Ilaaween Mujaahidiintii SDA Ee Uu Hogaaminayey Mujaahid Xanshare Alaha Naxariistee oo Mudnayd Bulshada UU ka Soo Jeedo Iney Bartaan Ama USP oo uu Hogaamineyey Sheekh Muuse Godaad Alaha Naxariistoo Jano ha Siiyee.

Markaa Kala Saara Danta Iyo Qadiyadda Somaliland Ha Noqonin Markasta Aan wax kala Garaneyn Somaliland Waa Bulsho Kala Gadisan Siday U diideen Beelaha Samaroon Gaar Ahaan Beesha Habar Cafaan In Caruurtooda soo Kacaysa La baro wax aan La garaneyn Cida uu La shahiidey in caruurtooda lagu baro iskooladda markuu sanadku ahaaa 1996 ayana ka hirgashay magaalooyinka Borama, Saylac, Lughaya, Gabiley, Wajaale, Maanta Hadii laga Joojiyey Goboladda Intiisa Kale Waa Aqoon U soo Hoyatey Bulashada Kala Gadisan Ee ku dhaqan Somaliland.

Markaa Waxaan Odhan Lahaa Dadka Tiradda Yar ee aaminsan In SNM iney Wax Xoreysa Adeer Taasi Niyadda ka Saara OO Raaca Ilbaxnimada Beelaha Kale Ee ku Nool Somaliland. La Jaan qaada umadda oo Cadiifada Joojiya hana ilaawina reer walba oo somaliland ku nool inuu ku faano mujaahid u halgamey ha ahaadaan beelaha harti oo ku faana SDF ha ahaato Beelaha Samaroon oo Ku faana SDA & USP Hana Ilaawina Iney Cid Walba Mujaahid Leedahay Laakiin Ilbaxnimada Aduunku Ay Is badashay lana jaad aduunka aqoon Yaridu ma Wanaagsana - ineyna Ini Reebin Waa Iga Dar daaran

Samatar Hamse

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Reykjavik's Geothermal Investments Hold Great Promise For East African Republic

Reykjavik, Iceland, Jan 24, 2008 - (ABN Newswire) - Agreements announced at the World Energy SummitAbu Dhabi and Reykjavik, Iceland, January 23, 2008 - Two agreements between Iceland and the Republic of Djibouti can help the East African country replace its current diesel-generated electricity with green electricity.

The agreements were announced at the World Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi.First, Iceland's Minister of Industry HE Ossur Skarphedinsson and HE Mohamed Ali Mohamed signed an agreement on energy cooperation where the countries will share expertise to support Djibouti's course towards energy sustainability.Second, the CEO of Reykjavik Energy Invest (REI) Mr. Gudmundur Thoroddson, Djibouti's Minister of Energy HE Mohamed Ali Mohamed, and the CEO of the Djibouti Energy Company Mr Djama Ali Guelleh announced the signing of an agreement on the financing structure for the Djibouti Asal Rift Geothermal Project. As part of the Asal Project, REI intends to build a geothermal power plant, which is estimated to start production in 2012.

The plant will supply Djibouti with green electricity, replacing its current diesel-generated electricity.REI's projects in Djibouti are part of the company's US$150 million commitment to investments in geothermal energy in Africa announced by Bill Clinton and President Grimson at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York in 2007.In an address at the World Energy Summit, the President of Iceland, HE Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, discussed the global impact of climate change and how geothermal energy can be one of the solutions to global warming. The President also discussed how Reykjavik Energy Invest's projects in the Republic of Djibouti will transform the country's energy sources from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.Comments: HE Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland: The cooperation between Djibouti and Iceland will help transform the oil-based energy system of Djibouti to clean, geothermal-based energy.

This cooperation could become a landmark in the clean energy future of East Africa.HE Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister of Energy, Iceland: Djibouti today generates all its electricity through the combustion of imported fossil fuels, which is similar to Iceland in the middle of the last century. Today, however, Iceland generates all its electricity from sustainable sources. The country has become largely independent of fuel import for domestic usage. We hope to share our experiences with Djibouti and help transform the energy sources used there.Mr. Gudmundur Thoroddsson, REI's President and CEO: REI is currently taking important steps towards significant investments in Djibouti. The signing of this agreement brings us one step closer to supplying green energy to Djibouti.

We are pleased with the excellent relationship that we have had with HE Mohamed Ali Mohamed and the government of Djibouti, and with the professionalism of the energy authorities in the area.- ends-For further information, contact:Gudmundur Thoroddsson, CEO Reykjavik Energy Invest, Phone +354 516 6000 Runar Hreinsson, Director of Public Relations, Mobile Phone: +354 822 2516, e-mail: runar.hreinsson@rei.isAbout Reykjavik Energy Invest Reykjavik Energy Invest (REI) ( / is the Reykjavik Energy (Orkuveita Reykjavikur) international business development and investment arm. Reykjavik Energy Invest focuses on creating partnerships to develop geothermal areas. The company invests in geothermal exploitation rights; develops, constructs and operates geothermal fields; and seeks to acquire geothermal plants currently in operation. Reykjavik Energy is the world's leading authority in the utilization of geothermal energy.

Over the past 60 years, the company has consolidated its leadership by supplying a large portion of the Icelandic population with geothermal water for domestic heating and by gradually developing new steam fields for power production.LINK:
Source: ABN News

Indian trade fair organised in Djibouti

DURBAN: Marking the growth of economic ties between India and Djibouti, a first-ever Indian trade fair is being held at the capital of the east African nation. The four-day long fair which started from January 21 is organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

At least 14 Indian companies are participating in the event displaying various consumer goods. Inaugurating the event, Ambassador of India Gurjit Singh said India considers Djibouti an important partner in the "Horn of Africa" and the bilateral trade has risen by 72 per cent in 2006.

The trade volume has increased by 45 per cent in 2007 and today it is about $310 million, he said. "This is indeed a significant enhancement and we are happy at the growth of our relationship with Djibouti," he added.

Source: Economic Times

AU Delegation in Somali Capital

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Insurgents launched mortars at the airport as an African Union team left Somalia Wednesday, killing a 13-year-old boy and wounding three others, witnesses said.

Hours earlier, mortars also were launched at the presidential palace just after Said Djinnit, head of the AU Peace and Security Council, and other officials had a meeting there, witnesses said. A spokesman for Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf said none of the weapons landed inside the compound.

Djinnit said as he arrived Wednesday that the one-day visit is a show of support for the government, which is battling an Islamic insurgency that has killed thousands of civilians over the past year.

"On the other hand we want see the welfare and the work of our troops, who are doing (a) wonderful job here on our behalf," Djinnit told journalists in the capital, Mogadishu.
As Djinnit was leaving, a mortar landed on a home near the airport, said Mohamed Yusuf, a relative of the boy who died.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since clan-based warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other, sinking the poverty-stricken nation of 7 million people into chaos.

Its weak transitional government, backed by Ethiopian troops, is struggling to quash an Islamic insurgency. Uganda and Burundi have sent peacekeepers to Somalia, officially as the vanguard of an 8,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force. But no other countries have sent reinforcements so far.

The AU has come under attack before in the capital.
Source: AFP

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Anagoo Ka Tirsan Jaaliyada Reer Awdal Ee Ku Dhaqan Wadanka "Malaysia"

INAA LILAAH WA INAA ILEYHI RAAJICUUN:Anagoo Ka Tirsan Jaaliyada Reer Awdal Ee Ku Dhaqan Wadanka "Malaysia" Ee Cariga Asia, Waxaan Tacsi u Diraynaa Qoyskii & Qaraabadii & Asxaabtii Iyo Dhamaan Inta Ku Hadasha Afka Soomaaliga Amase Af Carabiga, Tacsidan Oo Ah Tacsi Lama Ilaawaan ah Qof Walboo Somali ah Maskaxdiisu Aysan Marnaba ka Maqnaani Doonin Ayuu Ahaa Alle ha u Naxariistee Marxuum XASAN SHEEKH MUUMIN GORAD.....

Prof. Maxamad muuse jibriil
Prof. C/kariim sh. Cilmi talan
DR:C/rassaq axmad qaalib
Eng.Qumane jaamac qumane
Dr. fahad cabdalla axmad
Abdihakeem Ahmed Ali Miigane ( Cabdi Fadxi )
C/qani maxamad c/laahi (abuwalad)
C/kariim xuseen miigane.
Maxamad muxumad caynaan
Faarah siciid daahir
Jaamac cumar maxamuud (rooje)
C/laahi xaaji siciid maxamuud
C/fataax maxamuud cige
Raage barkhad maxamuud
Maxamad c/laahi axmad
C/salaam c/laahi axmad
mawliid cumar mumin
Ramadan xuseen maxamuud
Xasan aadan cali
Axmadnuur cali muxumed
C/rasaaq axmad qaalib
Idiris habane cismaan
Maxamad mustafe muuse
Maxamad c/raxmaan barkhad
C/laahi bashiir sh. Faarah (borneo)
Sh. Mukhtaar ibraahim diiriye (ma dhibe)
C/raxmaan muuse Bile
C/salaam mustafe ibraahim.
Guleed khadar x.xuseen
C/wali cumar cali
badri maxamad cali ( barwaaqo)

Waxa Kale Oo Aan Tacsidan u Diraynaa Dhammaan Dadka Reer Awdal Iyo Ummada Somaaliyeed Oo Dhan Meel Kasta Oo Ay Joogaanba. Xasan Sheekh Mumnin Ma Uusan Ahayn Oo Keliya, Abwaan Ee Waxa Uu Ahaa Taariikhyahan, Aqoonyahan, Gabyaa Mu"alif, Iyo Hogaamiye Bulsho Oo Ay Adag Tahay Sida Loo Iloobi Karo Amase Lagaga Kaban Karo Marxuumka Illaahay Janadii Fardowza Ha Ka Waraabiyee Aamiin Aamiin Aamiin !!
Ilaahay Samirka Ha Inaga Wada Siiyo, Isna Janada Ilaahay Ha Ka Waraabiyo.
Inaa Lillah Wa Inaa Ilaahi Raajicuun.

Abdihakeem Ahmed Ali Miigane ( Cabdi Fadxi )
Emial --->

Taariikhdiisii Qorantay; Abwaankeennii Qummannaa.

Aabaha Fanka iyo sugaanta iyo aqoonta Soomaaliyeed, isla mar ahaantaana ah, Abwaanka abwaanada soomaaliyeed, Xasan Sh Muumin (Raxmatullaah Calayhi). Taariikhdiisu horey ayay u qornayd, haatana ka dib geeridii naxdinta lahayd ee inaga qaaday, dib ayay u qorantay oo waa la wada qiray inuu ahaa “simply the best”.

Waanu ku faraxsannahay inaynu maqalnno in aaska Abwaan Xasan (AUN), uu ka dhici doonoo dhulkiisii Hooyo iyo hooygii uu ku soo barbaaray ee Boorama. Taasi waa sharaf iyo tix galin la siiyay rabitaanka marxuunka oo jeclaan lahaa inay xabaashiisu noqoto dhulka Hooyo. Iyo sidoo kale qaddarin la siiyay intii aadka u jeclayad oo sidaasi rabtay oo aynu dhammaanteenba ka mid nahay.

Maalinta la aasi doono Marxuuunka oo barrito ah (Arbaca), sida wararku sheegayaan (,waxa kale oo an jeclaan lahayn in Calanka Somaliland marka laga bilaabo isla maalintaas iyo labada cisho ee ku xigta (3 Cisho), isagana hoos loo dhigo, oo lagu sharfo marxuunka.

Waxaynu hambalyo iyo bogaadin kal iyo laab ah u diraynaa walaalaheen Ururka GURMAD, oo iyagu noqday kuwii ugu horreeyay ee tix galiyay codsigayagii ahaa in garoonka Boorama loogu magac darro magaca Abwaanka (Garoonka Xasan Sh Muumin: Hassan Sh Moumin Stadium).

Heesaha iyo gabayada iyo murtida lagu xusuusan karo Abwaan Xasan, way badanyihiin oo waa sida Badweyn ruuxba meel kaga jiro, culuuntiisuna waa maktabad (Library) an la wada madhin karin. Arrimaha ugu mucjisada badan ee Abwaan Xasan(AUN) lagu xusuusan karo waxay ahayd in hees kasta iyo riwaayad kasta oo uu sameeyo ay noqonayeen kuwa ugu sarreeya ee lagu xuso baalasha ugu horreeya ee fanka iyo suugaanta Soomaaliyeed.

Innagu waxaynu ku celcelinaynaa heestiisii lagu qoray Af-soomaaliga oo taariikhda baalka ugu sarreeya kaga jirta, qoraalka af-soomaaliga la'aantiisa waxba maynu qiri karneen, qiimaha abwaan leeyahay. Heestaasi ayaynu hal bog (page) oo ka mid ah, halkan ku soo qori doonnaa sidii ay ahayd. Kadibna isla halkaa bog ayaynu dheeganaynaa oo aynu ku dabaqaynaa taariikhda Abwaanka, kuna xusaynaa aaskiisa. Waana sidan:

Taariikhda qarada weyn
Afkeenii ka qatanaa
Qaayaha u leeyahay
Dunida ka qarsoonaa

Qorraxbaa u soo baxdoo
Mugdigii ku qoofalnaa
Daahii ka qaaddee

Qalinkaaga ii dhiib
Erayada an ku qoro
Qumaantina uga bogo

Afkii qalaad ha moodin
Carrabku qaldi maayee
Sidii caanaha u qudh-qudhiyaay.

By: Hassan Sh Moumin.

Taariikhdiisii qoratanyoo
Abwaankeenii qummannaa
Qiimaha u leeyahay
Ummaddiisii qirataye

Hadday geeri qaadayna
Qofna illaawi maayoo
Qalbigayaguu ku noolyahee

Qabrigaaga Alloow
Kuu Qaqbooji Iilkoo
Qolkii Janno ku gee

Aqalo qurux lihiyo
Qaaliyadii Firdoowsaad
Ku Qudh-qudhi caanaha

By: Cabdiqani Yuusuf Caateeye

Monday, January 21, 2008

Somali government vows to halt violations of press freedoms

MOGADISHU (AFP) — Somalia's new government on Monday pledged to put an end to a crackdown against journalists in the Horn of Africa country and vowed to restore press freedoms.

Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein made the promise as he was taking part in a national press freedom day ceremony in the capital Mogadishu.

"I am taking this opportunity to say that the government promises to make sure violations against the free press are over. We will improve the relation between the media and the government," he said.

The prime minister made his first appearance in Mogadishu over the weekend.
The Somali capital has been wracked by violence between Ethiopian-backed government forces and Islamist insurgents, forcing the government to remained hunkered down in the town of Baidoa.

Somalia's newly-appointed information minister, Ahmed Abisalam, also a co-founder of the Somali media corporation Horn Afrik, also attended the Mogadishu ceremony.
"The important thing is to set a up a committee linking between the government and the media so that there will not be violations against the free press

"I hope that incidents in which journalists are deprived of their rights are a thing of the past, we don't want any struggle between the government and the media," he added.

Several Horn Afrik journalists were killed or wounded in 2007 as the government cracked down on media houses suspected of sympathies with the Islamist insurgents.

According to the Somali Coalition for Free Expression, which co-organised the press freedom day Monday, issued a report detailing violations against the media in 2007.

"At least eight journalists were killed, five wounded and 42 others were arrested in the 2007. Four of them are still detained by the Somali government in Mogadishu,"

the report said.

UN court to hear Djibouti's claims over French judge's death

THE HAGUE (AFP) — The United Nations' highest court will take up Monday a complaint by Djibouti that France violated an agreement by not passing on details of its probe into the alleged 1995 murder of a French judge.

The case of judge Bernard Borrel's death in Djibouti has strained relations between France and its former African colony which is home to France's largest military base abroad.
The International Court of Justice, based in The Hague, will not go into the circumstances of Borrel's death but instead focus on Djibouti's complaint that France did not hand over the Borrel case files when asked.

According to the Red Sea state, France's refusal to release the files violates a 1986 agreement between the two countries about mutual assistance in criminal matters.

The charred body of the judge, who had been advising Djibouti's justice ministry, was found in a ravine near the capital in 1995. He was apparently killed by a shot to the head.

While initially explained away as a suicide, French magistrates investigating at the request of Borrel's widow found that the death may well have been a case of murder.

His widow Elisabeth Borrel believes her husband was killed by Djibouti agents and that France helped the Djibouti authorities to cover up the crime. Djibouti maintains his death was a suicide.
A French court issued international arrest warrants in 2006 for Djibouti's chief prosecutor Djama Souleiman and the head of the country's secret service, Hassan Said.

In its complaint to the ICJ, Djibouti has also asked the court to withdraw those arrest warrants, arguing the men are internationally protected Djibouti nationals. Both Souleiman and Said are close to President Ismael Omar Guelleh.

Source: AFP

Mortar Rounds Land Inside Somali Palace

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Mortar shells landed inside the Somali presidential palace Sunday during a news conference announcing the prime minister's move to the capital.
Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, who was appointed in November, said that he and his team of 18 ministers moved from the relatively safe city of Baidoa to Mogadishu to concentrate on security and reconciliation.

"You have welcomed us," the prime minister said, shortly before eight mortar rounds landed in the area.

Sa'id Mohamud Dhore, a nearby resident, said that six mortars landed inside the compound and two outside. The area was immediately cordoned off and it was unclear whether there were any casualties.

On Thursday, at least 20 people were killed in the Somali capital when Islamic militants fired mortar shells and guns, sparking crossfire with Ethiopian troops and their Somali government allies.

A radical Islamic group that was driven from power a year ago by a Western-supported offensive is making a significant comeback in Somalia and the government can do little to stop it, government officials say.

Thousands of Somalis died in fighting last year between Islamic insurgents and the Somali government and their Ethiopian allies. The insurgents had briefly taken control of the capital and much of the south before the Ethiopian troops pushed them back on behalf of the shaky transitional government in December 2005.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when rival warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then fought each other for power.

Source: AP

At least 82 migrants drown off Yemen

At least 82 African would-be migrants, mostly Somalis, have drowned off Yemen after their wooden boat capsized in choppy waters as it neared the end of its voyage from Somalia, Yemeni officials said.

The incident occurred a few kilometres off the town of Ahwar in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan on the Gulf of Aden late on Friday, the officials said.
They said local fishermen rescued 30 passengers and recovered bodies of 22 others after the boat ran into rocks and capsized.

Survivors told authorities there had been about 140 people aboard the boat.

"Around 60 bodies washed up on shores of Ahwar today (Sunday) and up to 28 people are still missing," a local official in Ahwar told Deutsche Presse-Agentur in Sana'a by phone.

Hundreds of Somali and Ethiopian migrants die every year making the dangerous crossing of the Gulf of Aden to Yemen on small boats run by smugglers operating from Somali ports.

Last year, more than 113,000 people, most of them Somalis, made the perilous voyage to Yemen, with over 1,400 deaths, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Since the outbreak of civil war in Somalia, Yemen has become a magnet for refugees fleeing violence and drought and a gateway to the oil-rich countries of the Arabian Peninsula and to Europe.

Yemen is the only Arabian Peninsula country that is a signatory of the 1951 Geneva Convention and 1967 protocol on the status of refugees.

Source: AAP

Sunday, January 20, 2008

In Somalia Refuge Rapes Left to Clan Justice

By Zoe AlsopWeNews correspondent
The Somalia town of Galkayo is known as a refuge from the violence to the south. But girls and women who are separated from their clans know little safety: An 8-year-old was raped and her mother must keep working with the man who did it.

GALKAYO, Somalia (WOMENSENEWS)--The man who raped 8-year-old Amina still keeps his shop a few hundred meters from the stick-and-rag shelter where she lives with her mother and three baby sisters. Her friends know what to do when they see him.

"If we see him, we run and hide," said Amina, who four months ago fled Mogadishu with her family for a camp called Bulo Kontrol on the outskirts of the central Somali town of Galkayo.
Chubby-cheeked with a stubborn tilt to her chin, the child in her olive green abaya hasn't got much more than a tough front and swift feet to protect her.

Until the early 1990s Galkayo was little more than a gathering point for camel-herding nomads.
That changed in 1991 when dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was driven from power and Somalia's civil war flared up. Members of a powerful sub-group of the Darod clan left Mogadishu to build a city of their own here, bringing their militias with them.

Today this dusty town on the dividing line between restive central and southern Somalia and the relatively peaceful autonomous state of Puntland serves as a beacon of stability. Here a densely packed warren of low stone buildings is spiked with delicate minarets of mosques gleaming white and blue in the desert sun. A handful of schools, small businesses and a brand new hospital testify to a steady trickle of remittances from relatives overseas.

But in a society where the power of one's clan is the only real guarantee of safety, it can be extremely risky for girls and women such as Amina and her mother who have lost the protection of elders and their entourage of militias.

Rapes Unchecked in Camps

Last year the United Nations, together with dozens of local organizations, conducted a survey on rape in Galkayo's nine settlements, which hold tens of thousands of displaced people.
"Rape is rampant," said Hawa Aden, chair of the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development, who helped conduct the survey. "We have been saying this for quite some time. But since 2006, the more people come, the more it happens. And not only the rape; it is the camps themselves that are dangerous."

In interviews with Women's eNews, women and girls who fled Mogadishu for Galkayo in recent months and did not want their real names used--including Amina and her mother--described rape, robbery and beatings as they traveled through militia checkpoints blocking roads out of the city and as they settled in camps far from the clan connections that once might have afforded some security in the south.

Galkayo's reputation for stability nonetheless continues to draw people from all of Somalia's five main clans.

"Everybody knows of Galkayo as a peaceful place," said Madina, who arrived in Galkayo last month and is from the minority Somali Bantu group.

Madina said she left Mogadishu with three of her six children after insurgents broke into her house and forced her younger sister to carry a paper-wrapped parcel past a group of Ethiopian soldiers. The gunmen detonated the bomb by remote control, killing Madina's sister and then ran, leaving the enraged Ethiopians to trace the bomb to her family.
"Mogadishu is the worst," she said.

No Safety in Fetid Camps

But the fetid camp where she and her family share the tiny shelter of a generous stranger--a man in his 30s who gave his name as Hassan--is hardly safe, particularly for minorities like her.
"I was very sorry after my wife went out to use the toilet. She was raped by a gang," said Hassan. "I saw and I could not say anything because I would have been killed. You can't try to fight with them with sticks. Unfortunately they have guns. Our wives are being used by them."
Many gangs carry knives in case they come across a girl who has undergone female genital mutilation and then had her vagina stitched nearly shut to safeguard her chastity, a custom of many families here.

A woman is only as safe as her clan is formidable.

Aliya, a 55-year-old woman from Bulo Kontrol whose name has been changed, is certain that the man who pushed through the cloth door of her rag hut to rape her in early December knew that she was not from a powerful clan.

"I don't think they would have raped me if I were Majertan," she said, referring to one of the most powerful sub-clans in Galkayo.

Though two of her nephews tried to chase the man, neighbors warned them not to. Shaming the men could only bring more trouble to the camp.

Even if they had caught him, nobody can remember that a rapist has ever been convicted in a Galkayo court.

Influential Relatives

The man who raped Amina was charged with robbery and taken to jail for a couple of days. Though a minority himself, the man had been born in Galkayo and had influential relatives, who quickly let the child and her neighbors know they'd best stop talking about rape.

Amina's mother cannot afford to run. Work is scarce for displaced people who live in Galkayo. She still depends on the man who raped her daughter for the dime a day he pays her for the rubbish she collects from the town's roads. She sees him every day.
"When I see him, I cry," she said.

Recently a local women's group offered to rent a house for the family so they would not have to live next to the man. But Amina's mother does not dare move away from the few people she knows here. Two of her children have already died of malnutrition. Her neighbors are the only protection she has.

"I already know the people who live around my hut," she said. "Sometimes I'm away and they take care of my children; they provide food when we have nothing to eat. I have priorities."
Most days, Amina has to watch her younger sisters while her mother works but, twice a week, she attends a religious school, where the teacher has agreed to waive her fees. As her mother speaks, she makes her way seriously through the Arabic alphabet, her small fingers punctuating the curling script from right to left with wobbly dots.

Is her mother sure this is the best place she can find for her children?

"I have my doubts. If I can go some other place I would go happily," she said. "But I fled Mogadishu and I don't feel any place in Somalia is better than this place now. My hope is that my girls would go to school and learn something so they can survive."

Zoe Alsop is a freelance journalist based in Kenya. In December she traveled to Galkayo on assignment for Women's eNews.

Women's eNews welcomes your comments.
Source: E-mail us at

Final Burundian peace-keepers leave for Somalia: spokesman

BUJUMBURA (AFP) — The final members of the first battalion of Burundian soldiers to be deployed in Somalia as part of an African Union peace-keeping force left Bujumbura for Mogadishu Sunday, the Burundian army said.

The 210 soldiers -- the final element in a deployment of 850 soldiers -- were expected to arrive in war-torn Somalia late Sunday, nearly a month after the start of the deployment process.
The first Burundian soldiers arrived on December 24. They had been delayed for several months due to lack of supplies.

The commander of the Burundian forces, General Juvenal Niyoyankana, was among those making the trip Sunday.

Burundi is expected to deploy a total of 1,700 soldiers in Somalia, alongside around 1,600 troops from Uganda who have been in the capital Mogadishu since March.

"A second battalion of 850 troops is ready to go, although they are waiting for the right equipment," a Burundian army spokesman said.

"We would like to thank the US in particular, for giving us nearly all our uniforms, transport, all-terrain vehicles and radios," he added.

The African Union peace-keeping force in Somalia will ultimately number around 8,000 soldiers, in an attempt to stabilise the Horn of Africa country wracked by civil war for the past 16 years.
The capital, Mogadishu, has seen almost daily gun battles between Islamist insurgents and Somali and Ethiopian security forces.

Source: AFP