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SOMALIA: Puntland forces fought in Buhodle town, minister says

http://www.raxanreeb.com/2012/04/somalia-puntland-forces-fought-in-buhodle-town-minister-says/
April 3rd, 2012.

Garowe (RBC) Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland declared on Monday that Puntland forces aided Khatumo state in Buhodle fighting which killed at least 26 people on Sunday, RBC Radio reports.

The minister of fisheries and marine resources of Puntland Eng. Mohamed Farah Aden whispered the forces took part Sunday's battle to defend the region from Somaliland's invasion.

"Our forces were on high alert since we knew the military movement in the region, so on Sunday when they attacked Buhodle our forces resisted back." Mr Aden who hails from Sool region told reporters in Garowe town, the base of Puntland.

"As far as we know high ranking military officer from Somaliland was killed in the battle and our side six soldiers were killed." The minister admitted.

According to local sources Somaliland and Khatumo state forces clashed on Sunday in Las'anod and Buhodle but the minister of fisheries and marine resources of Puntland urged that Puntland forces stepped in after gunfire targeted their bases.

Las'anod and Buhodle towns had been hostile area since Somaliland military seized Las'anod town, the provincial capital of Sool region from Puntland in 2007. Meanwhile the newly established Khatumo state is fighting to dominate Sool and Sanag regions mostly under Somaliland control.

"It was planned aggression attack to seize new locations but luckily we have already got prepared and foiled their mission." Mr. Aden added.

The comment of the Puntland minister comes as the warring sides of Somaliland and Khatumo officials claimed a victory over Sunday's battle.


SOMALIA: 26 killed in northern region battle, tensions on high

April 2nd, 2012
http://www.raxanreeb.com/2012/04/somalia-26-killed-in-northern-region-battle-tensions-on-high/

Mogadishu (RBC) At least 26 people were killed while 31 others injured after heavy clashes renewed between Somaliland forces and those loyal to new born Khatumo state in two separate locations in northern Somalia regions of Sool and Togdher on Sunday, RBC Radio reports.

Local sources told RBC Radio the first battle erupted early on Sunday in Kalabeyrka village 25km south of Las'anod. At least 15 were killed.

The second battle broke out between Sooljoogto and Kalshale village, about 40km north of Buhodle town where the two warring sides confronted in January.

Officials from the two sides claim contradicting figures of casualties as they also alleged both sides for the responsibility of Sunday's deadly battles.

The defense minister of breakaway state of Somaliland, Ahmed Haji Ali Adami said Somaliland forces took the victory after they resisted back local militia whose desire is to destabilize the region.

"I cannot give full figure of loses but I can only confirm that our military chased anti-peace elements who attacked us this morning." Mr Adami said in a press conference in Hargeisa. "They attacked two directions which were Las'anod area and Buhodle area. They are secured at the moment." He added.

But interior minister of Khatumo state Yasin Ahmed Sulub claimed that Khatumo forces were in command of of the area as he noted that they arrested several prisoners from Somaliland. But Somaliland officials did not want to comment on that.

"Today the aggressors of Hargeisa regime hit bases of our troops but they were defeated as they will never return back." Mr Sulub told reporters in Buhodle town late on Sunday.

He added "the fight will never come to the end until Las'anod, the base of Khatumo state is liberated from Somaliland".

Independeny sources in the region told RBC Radio that dead and wounded soldiers were taken to Bur'o, Las'anod and Buhodle.

Local sources confirm that tensions between the two sides were still mounting high as residents in the region fear for endless wars.


Somaliland Arrest Journalists In Las-Anod

Officials Silent On Lack of Press Freedom

By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 04/03/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/3203/Somaliland_Arrest_Journalists_In_Las-Anod

Journalist Abdiwali Hassan jim'aale, Voice of Hiiraan.Police in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Somaliland have arrested and detained two journalists in Las-Anod town accusing them of reporting propaganda regarding Sunday's battle in Las-Anod and Buhodle regions. The fighting involved Somaliland forces and militia loyal to the newly declared Khatumo state in Sool region.

According to witnesses and local radio, Abdisaman Isse Mohamud (Keyse), a reporter for Universal TV was arrested for hyperbolic reporting on the Khatumo conference which occurred in Taleh on December 16 2011. Abdisamad was visiting a previously arrested colleague and Somali Royal TV reporter Ahmed Ali Farah in jail when he was also arrested. Ahmed Ali Farah who was arrested two days ago was transferred to the main prison today without any official charges against him.

"Both journalists are now imprisoned in Las-Anod. Somaliland police arrested Ahmed Ali Farah while on official duty and imprisoned him two days ago. He was transferred to the main jail today without trail. Abdisamad was arrested today and police are seeking other journalist in Las-Anod. Soon, others will fill the prison," Faisal Jama, a local journalist in Las-Anod told Somalia Report by phone.

Journalist added that, police accused the them of reporting on news about Khatumo State. They are seeking reporters of the Khatumo conference in Taleh where the newly formed state of Khatumo was declared. Somalia Report contacted Somaliland`s Chairman of Sool region Mohamud Mohamed Ali, but he chose not to immediately comment on the detention of the journalists. It is not the first time that the Somaliland administration has detained journalists in relation to information on the disputed region of Sool. Six journalists were previously arrested in January this year.

Press freedom remains an elusive goal for journalists in Somaliland.


Australia's Jacka farms into Somaliland oil block

HARGEISA, April 2 | Mon Apr 2, 2012. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/02/somalia-somaliland-exploration-idUSL6E8F28VQ20120402

HARGEISA, April 2 (Reuters) - Australian oil explorer Jacka Resources has entered into an agreement with Petrosoma Limited to take a 50 percent equity stake in an oil block in a breakaway enclave of Somalia, Jacka said on Monday.

It said the 22,000 square kilometre Habra Garhajis block -formerly known as block 26 - in southwestern Somaliland was expected to be similar in geology to basins in Yemen and Uganda where billions of barrels of oil reserves have been discovered.

Somaliland declared independence in 1991 and has enjoyed relative stability compared to the rest of lawless Somalia, which has been mired in conflict for two decades. However, although it has held a series of peaceful general elections, it remains unrecognised internationally.

"Jacka's management have held the belief for a long time that Somaliland holds great potential," Jacka's Chairman Scott Spencer said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Jacka will be the operator, the company said in a statement. The Habra Garhajis block comprises the whole of concession SL6 and parts of SL7 and 10.

Jacka will conduct a gravity survey and a minimum 500 kms of 2D seismic tests, it said.

In November, Somaliland's government said London-listed company Ophir Energy, Asante Oil and Prime Resources had signed deals under which they would have 18 months to explore, conduct seismic tests and identify wells.

Only 21 wells have been drilled in Somaliland, making it under explored even by the frontier standards of the region, where the oil and gas industries are in their infancy.

Kenya announced last week its first ever oil strike, although more drilling is needed to assess commercial viability. (Reporting by Mark Anderson; Editing by Richard Lough)


Somalia: Silanyo calls for peace after Somaliland forces clash with armed group

2 Apr 2, 2012 -http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Silanyo_calls_for_peace_after_Somaliland_forces_clash_with_armed_group.shtml

LAS'ANOD, Somalia Apr 2 2012 (Garowe Online) - Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo has asked for peace in Sool and Ayn region after his Somaliland forces and local militia clashed on Sunday, Radio Garowe reports.

Clashes sparked on two fronts in the contested areas near Las'anod capital of Sool region and Buhodle capital of Ayn region. Two regions contested by Somaliland, Puntland and the newly formed Khatumo government. Somaliland government maintains that armed militia loyal to Khatumo launched an attack on Somaliland forces.

Sources reported that at least 15 persons were killed on both sides, while Somaliland forces reportedly arrested "over 40 civilians" near Las'anod.

President Silanyo has asked for peace although he has not stated he was ready to speak to the Khatumo government but suggested peace talks with the leaders, intellectuals and clan leaders of the regions. "We are ready to hold peace talks with the regions intellectuals, community leaders, clan leaders, politicians, women groups and youth."

Somaliland has maintained its authority over contested areas by deploying forces throughout the regions. Armed resistance against the Somaliland government has been apparent since the start of the Somaliland offensive late last year.

Despite requests by the Puntland government Somaliland has failed to remove their forces from Buhodle and Las'anod.


Jacka Resources targets oil in Somaliland, exploration to start in current quarter

Monday, April 02, 2012. by Bevis Yeo. http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/27158/jacka-resources-targets-oil-in-somaliland-exploration-to-start-in-current-quarter-27158.html

Jacka Resources (ASX: JKA) has acquired a highly prospective oil exploration block in Somaliland, East Africa, that is on trend with the prolific producing basins of Yemen that hold 9.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The company will hold a 50% operating stake in the 22,000 square kilometre Habra Garhajis block, where a working petroleum system appears to be demonstrated by 9 independently verified oil seeps.

Geochemical analyses of these seeps indicate a light oil or condensate that is consistent with the oils produced in Yemen.

Jacka's partner Petrosoma has an established in-country office and team that will provide immediate operational capability.

The joint venture has scheduled an aggressive work program starting with the acquisition of a comprehensive gravity and magnetics dataset in the second quarter of 2012.

Jacka will also be required to shoot at least 500 kilometres of 2D seismic.

Habra Garhajis is 1 of 3 Jurassic rift basins in the Horn of Africa that are continuations of the Jurassic rift basins of Yemen, and its geology is expected to be very similar.

The entire East African region is the subject of an increasingly strong and competitive industry focus with companies such as BG, Ophir, ENI, Africa Oil, Anadarko, Total, CNOOC and others taking positions.

Recent finds such as Anadarko's giant 30 trillion cubic feet gas discovery in the Rovuma Offshore Area 1 in Mozambique, large gas discoveries by BG and Eni as well as an oil find by African specialist Tullow Oil have all served to fuel interest in the region.


Somalia: NUSOJ Calls On Somaliland Authorities to Release TV Journalist

National Union of Somali Journalists (Mogadishu) 1 April 2012. http://allafrica.com/stories/201204021378.html

Mogadishu - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has today made an urgent appeal to the Somaliland Authorities to release TV journalist held by the police in Las Anod District of Sool Region in northern Somalia.

According to information from Las Anod, Ahmed Ali Farah,a reporter with Somali 24 TV, was arrested on Saturday, 31 March 2012 at around 12:00 pm local time. Farah was accused of being among the team of journalists who were reporting from Taleex Conference, which culminated in the announcement of the new Khatumo State.

Abdiweli Hassan Gooni, NUSOJ Puntland Coordinator has called on Somaliland authorities to immediate release Farah, who is also stringer for Radio Daljir.

Responding to this development, NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman said the union was concerned that the Somaliland authorities had chosen to arrest the journalist for doing his work.

"It is not the journalist who organized the conference nor did he proclaim the new state. His job as a journalist was to report the event and what took place, for which he should not be arrested," said Osman.


Somaliland claims capturing officials in disputed regions

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 02 Apr 2012. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 02 Apr 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Following yesterday's fighting between Somaliland forces and others loyal to the Khatumo State in areas close to Laas Canood [Sool Region] and Buuhoodle, officials on both sides have claimed victory on the fighting.

Somaliland's Minister of Defence, Ahmad Haji Ali, said yesterday fighting resulted in both the loss of life and injury as well as destruction of property. He said the Khatumo Administration which first launched the attacks would bear the responsibility for the losses sustained in the fighting. The minister said they have seized up to nine vehicles in yesterday's fighting, four of them battle wagons and added hat they captured up 47 prisoners two of whom, he said, were ministers in the Khatumo Administration as well as three of their colonels. He said four Somaliland soldiers were killed in the fighting whereas 13 others sustained injuries.

Mahmud Farah alias Indhabur, a Member of the Federal Somali Parliament and one of the founders of the Khatumo State said it was unfortunate that an individual in a position of authority could brag of victory after attacking innocent civilians. He said Khatumo State will not stop the fighting as long as Somaliland forces are in areas under their jurisdiction.

Somaliland president yesterday urged warring sides in Laas Canood and Buuhoodle to stop the fighting and engage in dialogue.


Condemnation Against The Detention Of Somali Journalists in Lasacanod

By Ahmed Saakin. Published On: 1 April, 01 2012 - 23:03:02

Somaliland Authority in Lasanod, Sool Region has arrested Ahmed Ali Farah Who is a well known journalist in Sool,Sanag and Ayn regions,as several eye wittnesses comfirmed us that Farah arrested by the order of the governor of Sool region on Saterday at the central of Lasanod Town,they added during the arresting police forces beated and torjured the Journalist. Mr Farah, was Famous Journalist who worked for many Somali Media,such as,Radios,Televisions,including Radio Laascaanood which he worked before it was closed by Somaliland Administration after their troops occupied the Lasanod Town by late year of-2007.

After the invation of Somaliland troops into the Lasanod town Farah was working with Somalichannel TV branch in Garowe town,Puntland,and he scaped from Garowe after Puntland Authoriy ordered Ahmed to be arrested,last months he was in Historical district,Taleh where he was working for Somali Speaking TV channel Known as Royal TV.

Two days ago he went to Lasanod for visiting to his family,but he didn't get a good chance to relax with his family,members of his family attempted to free Ahmed through the negociation with the regional police commander but the governor of Sool region strongly denied their attempts.

Sool Media Association (Soma) is strongly condenmed imprisoment and the violations against journalists in lasanod and the entire whole of the country and also we call for the Somaliland authority to release immediately the detained journalist without any condition.

Ahmed Saakin Faarax. Royal TV' reporter,Lasanod. http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1789


Human Rights of Somaliland is deteriorating and detention with out trial is increasing. [video]

Published On: Sunday, April, 01 2012

The human rights record of president Siilaanyo's government reached the worse ever since the recreation of Somaliland 1991, there is a climate of repression and abuse of power, there is a wide spread crimes against humanity including the arrest of clan leaders, detention and harassment of journalists, pressmen and media, lack of freedom of speach,and illegal detention, the pattern of human rights violations are overwhelming.

Many detainees had no way of establishing the reasons of arrest or of challenging before a court even they had no protection against torture, a large number of prisoners has inhuman conditions and lack of food and medical care, even their families remain for days and months with out knowing whether the detainees relatives are alive or dead, their is a deliberate strategy to increase the climate of repression and further intimidate the population of Somaliland.

Conclusion.

President Silaanyo has made a very bad name for himself, he can be considered as the worst leader not only in somaliland but in east african presidency standard think he knows he has tarnished the image of his presidency, the human rights, internal and external foreign policy, and above all has lost the respect of Somaliland people at large.

Today our president is confused who lacks the will of proper leadership qualities and country governance, his government is destroying values, ethics, and moral standards of the Somaliland society which has been built since the independence of 18th may 1991,it looks like Siilaanyo and his regime will end up in the same way of the former dictator (Charles Taylor)of Liberia.

Yusuf Abdilahi Janale. Oslo Norway. ajanaaaale3@hotmail.com. http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1788


Somaliland clashes with Khatumo administration

Apr 1, 2012. From Bar Kulan Radio

A heavy fighting between militias loyal to the recently formed Khatumo administration and Somaliland forces has reportedly erupted in Las Anod town early on Sunday morning.

Reports say the fighting is now taking place in two different fronts, one in Waqberi, 18 km west of the town and the other one in Ga'andar area just 12 km south of the town.

It is not yet known what has really triggered the fight, but reports say the Khatumo administration has been mobilizing its fighters in order to take full control of Las Anod town.

Locals say the crunching of heavy artillery could be heard on the outskirt of the town.

The newly declared Khaatumo state is near the border with Ethiopia and is a disputed area that Somaliland seized from Puntland in 2007, though relations between the two territories have improved since.

The fighting first erupted in January after the leaders of the northern regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn decided to band together into a new state called Khaatumo and declared they wanted to be an independent region within Somalia.

Somaliland's troops have since clashed with militia fighters loyal to Khaatumo, with reports of dozens of casualties.

Somaliland which has unilaterally declared its independence from the rest of Somalia after the fall of Somalia's central government is facing resistance from a local clan which formed the Khatumo state.

Fighting between Somaliland forces and Khaatumo fighters flared up again last February near the border town of Buhoodle, after a week-long stalemate, forcing thousands to flee.

At least six people were killed and dozen others, mainly civilians, were wounded after the two groups clashed on the outskirt of Buhodle town mid last February.


Somaliland troops and separatists clash, five killed

Source: Reuters. April 01, 2012

HARGEISA (Reuters) - At least four Somaliland troops and one rebel fighter loyal to the breakaway enclave's secessionists were killed during clashes on Sunday, both sides said. TV journalist arrested in Las Anod, Sool region

Police in the northern Somali town of Las Anod, Sool region, have reportedly arrested a TV journalist under unknown circumstances.

The journalist, Ahmed Ali Farah working with a UK based Somali TV channel, Royal TV, was picked by police officer Saturday afternoon.

Officials in Las Anod central police station were reluctant to comment on the issue.

Although the reason behind the journalist's arrest still remains unknown, locals point blame finger at the area regional governor.

Bar-kulan correspondent in the region says his efforts to reach the governor for comment were futile. Farah is said to be one of the renowned pressmen in the region.

At least seven journalists were arrested in Las Anod town since the beginning of this year. Several others were reportedly forced to flee to escape arrests.

The fighting first erupted in January after the leaders of the northern regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn decided to band together into a new state called Khaatumo and declared they wanted to be an independent region within Somalia.

Somaliland's troops have since clashed with militia fighters loyal to Khaatumo, with reports of dozens of casualties.

Somaliland is an internationally unrecognised state that declared independence from Somalia in 1991.

The newly declared Khaatumo state is near the border with Ethiopia and is a disputed area that Somaliland seized from Puntland in 2007, though relations between the two territories have improved since.

"Militia loyal to anti-Somaliland groups in Buhodle and South Sool simultaneously began (fighting) in the early hours of dawn. The army repulsed attacks on both fronts," said Osman Abdillahi, a spokesman for Somaliland's defence ministry.

Abdillahi said four Somaliland government soldiers were killed and 10 injured during the fighting. Mohamed Yousouf, a spokesman for the secessionists, said one of their fighters was killed and two were injured. (Reporting by Hussein Ali Nur and Mark Anderson; Editing by Duncan Miriri and Karolina Tagaris)


Somaliland says ready to open political dialogue with TFG

By; Abdalle Ahmed. Mar 31, 2011. http://www.raxanreeb.com/2012/03/somaliland-says-ready-to-open-political-dialogue-with-tfg/

Mogadishu (RBC) The breakaway Somalia region of Somaliland declared on Saturday that they are ready to open political dialogue with the transitional government of Somalia.

Somaliland's foreign minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omar told reporters in Hargeisa airport after he returned back from tour in Brussels that Somaliland will soon appoint special team who will engage the possible talks between the two administrations.

"I think Somaliland sees a positive step any political talks between Somaliland and Somalia. It is the authorization of the president to name negotiation team. "The minister said.

"It is issue that we are willing to be fruity because of the desire of our people." He added.

Mr Omar declined media speculations which said that the talks between transitional government of Somalia and Somaliland already started.

"We are determined in contributing peaceful Somalia if our government is recognized." Omar noted.

Both TFG and Somaliland officials welcomed principally establishing first direct talks between the two sides during London conference which hosted more than fifty countries and international non-governmental organizations involving Somalia matters.

Somaliland which lies in the northwestern region of Somalia republic declared its independence from other parts of the country after warlords toppled former military regime of Somalia in 1992.


Shukri Ismail is 2011 International Crisis Group Award Winner

Hargeisa:- As members of the Board and the Management of Candlelight for Health, Education & Environment (CLHE), we are pleased to learn that Shukri Ismail, Chairperson of Candlelight, will be honored to receive, in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodhman Clinton, the International Crisis Group's (ICG) 2011 In Pursuit of Peace Award on Friday, 16th December in New York.

The award is given for her dedication and her contribution to development work and promotion of peace in some of the world's most conflict-affected regions.

Shurki is one of the founders of Candlelight and its chairperson and she (together with her team and staff) has been instrumental in making Candlelight on of the largest and most impactful organizations in Somaliland.

Also, a founding member of NAGAAD Network, the largest women network in Somaliland, Shukri has been very active campaigner for women's rights.

Shuikri is also involved in democratization, peace building. She served as a member of Somaliland Electoral Commission and a current member of African Democracy Forum committee which is based in South Africa.

She also a member of Somaliland Independent Scholar's Group - a group which follows closely the current issues arising from the democratization process and disseminates its positions papers through the media outlets.

http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/support/event-calendar/award-dinner-2011.aspx

http://candlelightsomal.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=164:shukri-ismail-is-2011-international-crisis-group-award-winner-&catid=43:news-update


SOMALIA: Drought affecting thousands in Somaliland

http://www.irinnews.org/Report/95207/SOMALIA-Drought-affecting-thousands-in-Somaliland

Some families in the western Somaliland have lost all their livestock in the current drought (file photo)

HARGEISA, 30 March 2012 (IRIN) - Officials in the self-declared republic of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, are appealing for food aid and potable water for thousands of families who have lost their livelihoods in the current drought.

"You can see from far children running to the road waving empty bottles asking you for water and bread or biscuits," Hussein Muhumed Hog, Somaliland's health minister, told IRIN.

Families in the western Somaliland areas of Garba dadar, Gargaara bari, Gerisa and Osoli have lost all their livestock and do not have regular food supplies, said Hog, adding that other families in the Gargaara and Gerrisa areas (also in the west) are now relying on food provided under the UN World Food Programme's (WFP's) food-for-work initiative, and money sent in by Somalis abroad. Ceel la helay, north of the capital Hargeisa, is also affected.

In February, WFP provided food assistance to nearly 150,000 people in Somaliland, according to Challiss McDonough, WFP's Senior Spokesperson for East, Central and Southern Africa.

Of those, almost 38,000 were mothers and children under five, with more than 18,600 others receiving family rations or vouchers under the targeted supplementary feeding programme, which provides specialized treatment for malnourished children under five, pregnant women and new mothers diagnosed as undernourished.

About 48,000 people also received food through the school meals programme; at least 42,000 received assistance through WFP'S food-for-assets programme and 8,000 others from its food-for-work activities. Food-for-work is a relief activity for communities or families recovering from shocks, while food-for-assets is considered a longer-term activity aimed at strengthening livelihoods.

"Crisis level" food insecurity in some areas

Food security in Somaliland's Awdal, West Galbeed, Togdheer and Sanaag regions is classified until June 2012 as "stressed", meaning that households have reduced food consumption, while most of Sool and southern Sanaag are classified as being at "crisis level", meaning households have significant food consumption gaps with high or above usual acute malnutrition, according to the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) - Somalia.

In the Baki area of the mid-western Awdal region, for example, the population is still feeling the effects of poor past `Deyr' short rains.

"Even the families with some livestock can't buy food due to the high prices," said Abdi-Rashid Sh. Mohamed, an elderly man in Baki. For example, to buy a 50kg sack of sugar valued at US$50, one has to sell two sheep, Mohamed said.

Some 1,800 children in the mountainous rural areas of Baki are also moderately malnourished, Ahmed Mouse Ahmed, the Baki District health officer, told IRIN, adding that expectant and nursing mothers and the elderly are similarly affected.

Malnutrition among IDPs

High malnutrition rates have also been recorded among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the area of Burco in Togdheer, according to an update by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs here global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates of 20.3 percent and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rates of 4.5 percent were reported in December 2011. The emergency threshold for GAM and SAM is 15 and 5 percent, respectively.

With reduced pasture in predominantly pastoralist regions, concern remains especially if the 2012 `Gu' (long) rains are below normal.

Rains in the northern regions of Somalia started in mid-October 2011 but as the season advanced, lessened, becoming erratic and ended earlier than expected, according to the US Agency for International Development's Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

WFP is shifting its focus from emergency assistance towards targeted programmes, including building reservoirs, wells and roads which support communities' resilience to seasonal shocks, according to spokesperson McDonough, who said that in the past year WFP had doubled the number of nutrition programmes in Somalia.

"WFP is using a more targeted approach to relief assistance for people and communities in crisis, including IDPs, using a combination of nutrition programmes and livelihood support programmes, such as food-for-work and food-for-assets, to ensure that immediate needs are met."

According to OCHA Somalia, "the overall drought situation in Somaliland is relatively less severe currently compared to the very harsh dry season at this time last year [2011] when water trucking was ongoing in almost all the regions in Somaliland."


Pirate transfer to Somaliland eases jail quandary

By Mark Anderson. HARGEISA, March 29 | Thu Mar 29, 2012

HARGEISA, March 29 (Reuters) - The United Nations has transferred 17 convicted Somali pirates to a jail in the breakaway enclave of Somaliland, the first transfers of their kind that could help resolve a dilemma over where to hold criminals seized in international waters.

International navies have been fighting a surge of pirate attacks that have disrupted a vital shipping route off the coast of lawless Somalia and deep into the Indian ocean.

But it has long been unclear where pirates captured on the high seas should be imprisoned, particularly while Somalia itself remains locked in chaotic conflict.

The first batch of nine pirates were transferred by the United Nations from a prison in the Seychelles to Somaliland on Wednesday and another eight on Thursday following a deal signed in London last month between the leaders of the two territories.

"This prisoner transfer represents an important step forward in ensuring pirates are brought to justice," said Britain's Africa minister, Henry Bellingham.

Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991, enjoys relative peace and stability, and analysts hope it might be a good site for more incarcerations in the future.

In a dusty airfield surrounded by abandoned planes and dotted with soldiers, officials from the government and the U.N. Office for Drugs and Crime watched as the nine stepped out of a plane to serve the remainder of their prison sentences.

Another flight, chartered by the United Nations with eight more convicted pirates, landed on Thursday morning.

"We sent three officers to the Seychelles to check if the pirates are who they claim. We checked through dialect and clan ties," said Mohamed Osman, head of Somaliland's Anti-Piracy Taskforce.

"There have been a number of assessment missions by the UK and the EU at the end of last year and the beginning of this year. We are expecting something to come of this," Osman said.

Funding from United Nations Development Programme helped to build a prison in Somaliland's capital Hargeisa, where the pirates are allocated a separate block away from other prisoners.

Osman said the funding, and Somaliland's increasing usefulness in the fight against piracy, would help the enclave's bid for international recognition of its independence.

"As long as states are reaching agreements and signing memorandums of understandings with us, that's a clear sign of de-facto recognition," Osman said.

Somaliland is also hoping for more funding for its own maritime police, to let it patrol its shores, particularly near Puntland, a suspected pirate haunt.

"We need nine or 10 boats so we can put three boats in each of our three sectors," said Admiral Ahmed Osman Abdi, Commander of Somaliland Coast Guard. (Editing by Duncan Miriri and Karolina Tagaris)


Seychelles: 17 Jailed Pirates Move to Somaliland

By TOM ODULA. Associated Press. NAIROBI, Kenya March 29, 2012 (AP)

The Seychelles government has transferred 17 convicted Somali pirates to prisons in Somaliland because of overcrowding in its prisons, official said Thursday.

Seychelles Minister of Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan said this is the first time pirates have been moved to Somaliland to complete their prison time.

Morgan said the tranfer of the 17 prisoners will lead to more pirate transfers in the future to the autonomous regions in Somalia of Somaliland and Puntland.

Somaliland is a breakaway northern enclave of war-torn Somalia which has a stable, elected government though it is not recognized internationally as an independent state.

According to government statistics Somali pirates make up 20 percent of Seychelles' 500-person prison population in the main Montagne Posee Prison.

More than two decades of lawlessness in Somalia has created an environment that has allowed piracy to thrive off the Somali coast. Seychelles is one of the few African countries prosecuting pirates arrested by international navies patrolling off Somalia's coastline as part of an effort to crack down on the maritime bandits.

"We have been working hard for the past two years to ensure that, while we will do our part in bringing these pirates to justice, we will no longer have to bear the burden of incarceration indefinitely," said Jean-Paul Adam, the minister for foreign affairs.


Seychelles hands over convicted pirates to Somaliland authorities

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 Mar 2012. Jowhar website, Mogadishu, in Somali 28 Mar 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Up to nine Somali pirates, jailed in Seychelles, are today being handed over to Somaliland administration.

A Somaliland official said they requested the pirates, who were given between 10 and 24 years in jail, to be handed over to them.

The official added that 10 more pirates will be relocated from Seychelles to Somaliland in the next three days.

Reports say all the pirates hail from central Somalia regions. This is the first time pirates will be imprisoned in Somaliland.

Hundreds of Somali pirates are imprisoned in foreign jails across the world. These nations want to transfer the pirates to Somalia.


Somaliland president reportedly promulgates anti-piracy law

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 Mar 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 24 Mar 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "Somaliland President Signs Anti-Piracy Law"]

Somaliland President Ahmed [Ahmad] Sillanyo issued a circular which promulgates an anti-piracy law. The law was already passed by both parliament and the Upper House and it gives the president the authority to enter into agreements with foreign countries which allows for the transfer of pirates to Somaliland jails.

According to a statement by Presidential spokesman Abdullahi Muhammad Dahir [Cukuse], the circular number was JSL/M/XERM/249-988/032012, and it enacted piracy law Lr. 52/2012.

The president also enacted the law that authorizes the transfer of pirates to Somaliland jails.


Somaliland president seeks assistance from Turkey

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 Mar 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 24 Mar 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "President Ahmed Sillanyo Meets With African Development Bank and Turkish Delegation"]

Somaliland President Ahmed [Ahmad] Sillanyo received in his office delegations from the African Development Bank and Turkey.

The Turkish delegation was led by Abdulahad Kokdagi, TIKA Somali programme coordinator, an organization an for mutual assistance that comes under the Turkish Prime Minister's office. A press release issued by Somaliland government spokesman, Abdullahi Muhammad Dahir [Cukuse] said the president stressed to the Turkish representative Somaliland's great need for assistance and expressed hope that Turkey's help will become a reality. The press also pointed out that President Ahmed Sillanyo instructed the minister of planning and the minister of water and minerals to present to the Turkish organization specific areas where Somaliland needs assistance.

During their visit, the African Development Bank delegation said they were impressed with the peace and security in Somaliland and wanted to take part in Somaliland's development.

President Ahmed Sillanyo gave the delegation a briefing on how Somaliland achieved peace, and the process it went through for nation building. He also thanked the delegation for visiting Somaliland and emphasized Somaliland's need of assistance from the international community.


SOMALILAND: Border town in a fix over water

Water is getting costlier in parts of Somaliland

http://www.irinnews.org/Report/95177/SOMALIA-Border-town-in-a-fix-over-water

HARGEISA, 27 March 2012 (IRIN) - Water scarcity in Tog-Wajale, a town straddling the border between northwest Somalia's self-declared republic of Somaliland and Ethiopia, is threatening the health and livelihoods of locals who cannot afford to buy it.

"One barrel of water [200 litres] was only 20 [Ethiopian] birr [US$1], but the price has now reached about 50 Ethiopian birr [$2.5]," said Ahmed Jama Weirah, a father of seven in Tog-Wajale. "We can't provide for our families... because our earnings are not enough to provide food and water."

The Somaliland side of Tog-Wajale has had no official water supply since 1995, following the closure of the town's only well, which had fallen into disrepair. The town's main water sources are a seasonal river that acts as the border between Somaliland and Ethiopia, and expensive pumped water from Ethiopia.

"Now the [river] water is over and we can't afford to buy imported water," said Weirah.

"While livestock have been moved further north where they can find water, townsfolk face water scarcity," said Abdillahi Omar, a resident. "Some families use less than 20 litres per day to cook meals, and they don't take a bath for several days."

Local officials told IRIN they hoped the rains would start soon, but were focusing on long-term solutions.

The dysfunctional well used to supply less than 2,000 litres of water a day, so repairing it would not provide sufficient water for the town's estimated 40,000 people (up from 10,000 in 1995), said Hashi Mohamed Abdi, the mayor of Tog-Wajale.

Currently about 20,000 litres are pumped from Ethiopia every day, "which is not enough", he said, adding that water was also trucked in from Kalabiat and Gabiley to the northeast of Tog-Wajale.

However, the future looks brighter as the European Union (EU) has agreed to fund a water project in the town.

The EU is funding water projects in several Somaliland towns, including Hargeisa, Burao, Erigavo and Tog-Wajale; the Tog-Wajale water project is due for completion in 2015.


Somaliland: Decisive year For the State

Mar 25, 2012. http://www.unpo.org/article/14075

Despite numerous challenges ahead, the country appears as a beacon of stability and development in the region.

Below is an article published by New Europe:

At times of crisis it is all too easy for people to turn inwards. We have seen it again and again, but as Europe navigates a financial balancing act the decision of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs to discuss the issue of Somaliland this week was both welcome and extremely timely. It came after Admiral Duncan Potts of Operation Atalanta reiterated the need to work with states in the Horn of Africa if gains made in combating piracy were to be secured. My government has been devoting significant resources to this common scourge and my exchange of views with MEPs sends an important message to Somalilanders and Europeans that we are partners in a common endeavour: to bring peace, stability, and prosperity to the Horn of Africa.

The London Somalia Conference held on 23 February 2012 demonstrated that this year will be a crucial one for the future of Somalis throughout the Horn of Africa. The mandate of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) will expire in August 2012 and it is unclear what will, or can, replace it. There has to be recognition from all sides of the achievements that Somaliland has accomplished and their aspiration to be a sovereign state. These reflect the determination of Somalilanders to shape their own future in what has proved an inspiration to many Somalis. But our model is our own, and just as we do not wish to propagate it, so we also do not want to see our success subsumed.

In the coming year Somaliland will continue to provide the base for United Nations food distribution operations to Somalia and its security units will provide the local basis for ongoing EUNAVFOR Atalanta and NATO Ocean Shield anti-piracy operations. Local elections will be held throughout Somaliland's districts, building upon successive polls held since 2003 that have been deemed free and fair by international observers. We will also be moving to diversify our economy and encourage private investment to take full advantage of the _175 million the European Commission is providing to foster economic development in Somaliland.

This is imperative as the demands being placed upon Somaliland and its people are growing. Pushed by instability and drought in neighbouring Somalia and drawn by Somaliland's vibrant economy, thousands of refugees and migrants make their way to the capital, Hargeisa, and other urban centres every year. The military campaigns of Siad Barre flattened cities, devastating Somaliland's infrastructure, and while mobile networks have spread like a web and international banking services are growing, key provisions such as sanitation and basic utilities are being stretched beyond their original, very limited, capacities. For this reason, and to ensure the tremendous work achieved to date is not squandered, the European Union and its Member States should continue their valuable investment in Somaliland, because every day the dividends are being seen. Business confidence is growing as key names such as Coca-Cola open operations, the diaspora continues its crucial investment in property and trade, and my government continues to push the promulgation of legal codes to encourage and protect investment. But the next step has to be to allow Somaliland formal access to international organisations so that it can obtain credit, allow its exports to be certified according to international standards, and thereby allow its traders the opportunity to realise the true worth of their talents.

Like Europe we are facing new realities and possibilities, but between a young country and an old continent I want to build a partnership based on our common outlook and the belief that we must secure for our citizens the future they deserve.


SOMALIA: Hargeisa stall demolitions infuriate traders

http://www.irinnews.org/Report/95162/SOMALIA-Hargeisa-stall-demolitions-infuriate-traders

HARGEISA, 26 March 2012 (IRIN) - Thousands of traders in Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, are incensed at having their businesses demolished in a city beautification drive, and some fear the move could lead to a crime wave.

An estimated 5,000 traders have lost their only source of livelihood, Abdillahi Hassan, a human rights activist in Hargeisa, told IRIN.

"Every small business was a source of income for a family. The local government used force destroying the buildings, as well as the property inside. For this reason a lot of families have also lost their capital," he said.

On 6 March, at least one person was shot dead and several others injured when traders confronted the police.

Zahra Hussein Ismail, 60, who had her stall bulldozed, said she now has virtually no income and fears the demolitions might lead to an increase in crime.

"I come from a family of 20. We used to get our livelihood from an eating house in down-town Hargeisa. After it was demolished we lost about 90 percent of our income. We are afraid our teenage youngsters who used to do business in the streets may become gangsters due to the closure of their businesses."

Government officials say a growing population and an increasing number of vehicles have made movement within the city difficult, hence the need to demolish makeshift stalls along crowded city streets.

Hussein Mohamoud Ji'ir, mayor of Hargeisa, told IRIN part of the project to revamp the city required the removal of makeshift stalls: "We are not accepting in the street smaller vendor-businesses."

The stallholders say they have received no compensation and that the government is not offering any alternative vendor sites, despite previous promises.


EU official lauds Somaliland's anti-piracy policy

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 24 Mar 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 17 Mar 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "EU Representative Praises Somaliland's Anti-Piracy"]

A European Union delegation led by EU representative Georges-Marc Andre, visited Somaliland last week. Before their departure from Somaliland, the delegation held a press conference at Ambassador Hotel in which Georges-Marc Andre spoke on the occasion of Women's Day about the vital role that women play in society and how in times of war and conflict it is women and children who suffer the most.

Explaining the European Union's programmes in Somaliland, Mr Georges-Marc Andre said they are focused on alleviating poverty, improving the economy and ending piracy.

He also stressed that the European Union launches programmes where conditions permit, and when one compares Somaliland and Somalia, it immediately becomes clear that Somaliland is the appropriate place to have those programmes. He also noted that the European Union assists Somaliland in many fields, including livestock exports, water resources, rural development and education.

The EU representative praised Somaliland's President Ahmad Sillanyo for his government's anti-piracy policy and congratulated him for the treaty he had signed with Seychelles which stipulates that pirates caught elsewhere would be jailed in Somaliland.


UK MP agrees to support Somaliland's quest for independence-website

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 24 Mar 2012. Credit: The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 17 Mar 12

[Unattributed report: "Parliamentarian Bahsir Tukale persuades British counterpart to support Somaliland"]

Somaliland Parliamentarian Bahsir Tukale, who is on an official visit to the UK, managed to convince UK member of parliament, Siobhain McDonagh [Labour], to support Somaliland's quest for independence.

Bahsir Tukale, along with another Somaliland parliamentarian, Muhammad Umar Jir, is in the UK to take part in a meeting of Commonwealth Parliamentarians. The meeting was attended by 30 parliamentarians including Somalilanders, and the main agenda of the meeting was to discuss how to strengthen relations between Commonwealth countries.

Siobhain McDonagh is an outspoken supporter of Sri Lankan Tamils, and as a result of Mr Tukale's efforts, she has graciously agreed to extend her support to Somaliland and to join a group of pro-Somaliland parliamentarians from the three major parties, such as Alun Michael (Labour), Tony Baldry [Conservative], and Lord Avebury [Liberal Democrat].

A dinner in honour of the commonwealth parliamentarians, including those from Somaliland, was held by Prime Minister David Cameron on 8 March; and on the next day, they were hosted by the deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.


Somaliland says willing to talks to federal government as separate country

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 22 Mar 2012. SomaliaReport.com, in English 22 Mar 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, has declared independence from Somalia's Transitional Federal Government [TFG] and is seeking international recognition. In an effort to understand their position, Somalia Report spoke to Somaliland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Abdullahi Umar.

[SR] Minister, what can you tell us about the current situation in Somaliland?

[Minister] I can tell you the country is peaceful and calm. We appreciate our national army and society who keep our region calm.

[SR] What can you tell us about the recent London conference, and did you get any support for your bid for independence?

[Minister] I believe Somaliland's attendance at the London conference was a good opportunity, because we expressed Somaliland's position on developments in the region and stability. We showed the international community how we work towards peace and development and that we are against pirates and terrorists. We asked them to support us.

[SR] What is your relationship with the Transitional Federal Government [TFG]?

[Minister] We welcome dialogue with the TFG and we will hope that our brothers in Somalia will respect us. If south Somalia will accept our independence, then we will respect them as neighbours. We want to talk like two countries. We will talk to the TFG like any two countries making agreements. We will sit at the table with them to discuss our borders, security and development.

[SR] The Somaliland president launched the Somaliland Development Corporation, saying it will help Somaliland attract foreign investment. How will this help Somaliland?

[Minister] Yes, this investment will help the people of Somaliland, and they will create jobs because Somaliland government is able to maintain the stability and security of the country. This is great opportunity for international investors to take a serious look at investing in this country, and it will also encourage the international community to identify Somaliland as independent country.

[SR] How do you see the participation of Somaliland in the June conference on Somalia in Turkey?

[Minister] In my view, it is interest of Somaliland to continue our process of introducing members of the international community to us and getting support for our independence. We also must keep proving to them that pirates do not come to our country.

[SR] How will the Somaliland administration deal with the breakaway states of Khatumo and Makhir?

[Minister] In fact, people in that area are part of our government, but there has been a misunderstanding between us, which we will resolve as soon as possible. We will negotiate with the people in that area, whether they are youth or elders, or officials that want to work towards peace in this region.

[SR] What would you like to convey to the people of Somaliland and Somalia in this interview?

[Minister] The message is simple for Somalilanders: we Somalilanders have good reasons to be proud of our common achievements. We have rebuilt our country that had been completely destroyed. We have given it institutions that are functioning and we have earned the respect of the outside world, having demonstrated that Somalis are capable of organizing themselves and of living peacefully together. We still need patience as far as recognition is concerned, but we have made energetic moves in the right direction and will continue to do this. For the Somali people: I want to say that peace is everything. Please brothers and sisters let's move towards peace and stability of the country and respect our neighbours, because this will help Somalis to regain their dignity.


SOMALIA: Foreign Minister of Somaliland addresses the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament

March 22nd, 2012. Media Release http://www.raxanreeb.com/2012/03/somalia-foreign-minister-of-somaliland-addresses-the-foreign-affairs-committee-of-the-european-parliament/

Foreign Minister of Somaliland addresses the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament

Brussels, 21 March 2012 - The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Somaliland, Dr Mohamed A. Omar, today had a meeting with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

In his statement to the Committee, Dr Omar drew attention to the contrasting fortunes of Somaliland and Somalia since the former declared independence in 1991. He spoke of "the emergence of a peaceful and democratic Somaliland through a painstaking process of reconciliation at the local level. At the same time, governance collapsed in Somalia, leading directly to the problems confronting the Horn of Africa today, namely terrorism, piracy, and hunger."

Dr Omar declared that: "Somaliland has recently re-engaged with the international community, in order to play its part in solving the ongoing challenges in neighbouring Somalia. Last month's London Conference represented an important milestone in Somaliland's diplomacy."

The Foreign Minister continued that: "the international community's focus on an inflexible and unrealistic notion of Somalia's so-called territorial unity endangers the very stability that we are all looking for. Focusing energy on the re-creation of a centralized state through a top-down approach ignores the realities on the ground, which are dictated by the decentralized nature of Somali politics."

Dr Omar added: "We offer a compelling example of peaceful and democratic nation-building through a bottom-up approach, drawing on tried and tested African methods designed to defuse disputes between neighbouring communities." Dr Omar continued: "We believe that a similar approach is needed in Somalia too, and we have offered to share our experience with our brothers and sisters in Somalia."

Foreign Minister Omar made it clear that: "Somaliland would be in an even stronger position to contribute to a stable and peaceful Somalia if Somaliland is politically recognised internationally." Aware that EU member states are significantly affected by Somali piracy, the foreign minister noted: "We are fully engaged with the international community in the fight against terrorism and piracy."

The Foreign Minister drew attention to the Communiqu‚ of the London Conference which supported "any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to establish in order to clarify their future relations." This "reinforces Somaliland's vision of a dialogue between two separate entities, Somalia and Somaliland, that can engage as equals, and marks a starting point for constructive discussions about the future relations between Somaliland and Somalia."

Referring to the generous development and other assistance provided by Europe, Dr Omar stated: "Let me once again express the gratitude of the Government and people of Somaliland to the European Union and its member states for their continued support for my country."

Dr Omar concluded by saying that: "political recognition of Somaliland's independent statehood within the borders established by the European powers in the 19th century would reinforce Somaliland's role as a beacon of peace and democracy in the Horn of Africa, and allow us to emerge as an even more effective partner for the region, for Europe, and the international community."


Somaliland officials arrested over corruption

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 21 Mar 2012. SomaliaReport.com, in English 19 Mar 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Police from Somalia's breakaway state of Somaliland detained two officials from the city council of Borame in the Awdal region on Saturday, according to Somaliland officials.

Hassan Halas Barre, a member of parliament and Mahmud Hassan Omar, an engineer sitting on Borame council, were detained by Somaliland police. Other officials, including MPs and the secretary of Borame's city council, have charges against them but have yet to be arrested. All were accused of corruption related to taxes.

Somaliland General Auditor Mahmud Aw-Abdi confirmed the detentions to Somalia Report, but would not offer details, saying, Yes, the MP and Mahmud Hassan Omar were arrested by police. We are in the process of investigating these charges and won't give you more information now, we will explain the charges later, the General Auditor said.

Somalia Report contacted police officers in Borame who were not allowed to make direct comments, but were able to speak with Borame council member Mahmud Hassan Omar while in detention. I am currently being held in the Borame police station. The police arrested me and MP Hassan Halas Barre, and they are also looking for another MP and the council secretary. They accused us of corruption. I called General Auditor Mahmud Aw-Abdi, and he told me that they will release us soon. I was an engineer for the council, and my duty was to work on construction methods. I did not take money or payments, that was not my job, Mahmud Hassan Omar told Somalia Report.

These officials have been accused of squandering money taken in taxes from Borame. Somaliland is attempting to control the spending of local administrations, including councils from different cities and regions. The government of Somaliland seems determined to send a massage about corruption to Somaliland officials.

Meanwhile, there has been a delay in the case of the former governor of Maroodi Jeex region, Ahmed Omar Haji, ex-director of minister for resettlement Ahmed Elmi Barre and former advisor of Somaliland's vice president. They were arrested a week before and charged with corruption related to theft of food aid intended for drought victims.

Dozens of family members and supporters of the accused officials gathered in front of Hargeysa courtroom on Saturday, before court officials announced at noon that the trial of these three former officials was delayed.


Somaliland told to free 64 minors held in Mandhera detention centre

March, 21 2012 -http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1745

(Sunatimes)Locals in Las Anod district, Sool region, are calling on Somaliland administration to immediately set free over 64 alleged children held in Madera detention centre.

Speaking at a meeting in Las Anod town, where over a hundred locals gathered, mainly parents and relatives of the alleged young detainees, they called on Somaliland to free their children.

They expressed concerns over the health conditions of their minors who are held in Madera detention centre run by Somaliland administration in northern Somalia.

Amina Ali Hajji Adan, a mother of a young boy held in Madera said her son was illegally detained. She called on human rights watchdogs and locals in the region to act against Somaliland's violations against their loved ones.

Locals say some of the detainees are underage children who were illegally detained by Somaliland administration, adding that their health situation has been deteriorating day after the other inside their detention camp.

Somaliland police rounded up these alleged minors on March7, 2012 following a pro-Khatumo II demonstration that was held in the town.


Somaliland vice president seeks recognition as autonomous state

DATELINE: HARGEISA March 20. http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/03/147953.html

The vice president of the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia expressed willingness Monday to seek international recognition as an autonomous state, saying independence from war-torn Somalia is the will of its people.

"It is the voice of the people that made Somaliland decide to reclaim independence," Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail told Kyodo News in an interview in Somaliland's self-proclaimed capital Hargeisa. "We who have been elected just do what our people want. What they want is to be separated."

Somaliland declared independence from the Horn of Africa country in 1991 but remains unrecognized internationally.

Abdirahman, 55, said that unlike in southern Somalia, which remains in a state of civil war, security in Somaliland is "tight," adding that the self-proclaimed republic is ready to work with the international community to fight pirates, a threat to ships from many countries sailing off Somalia.

The African Union is reluctant to see Somaliland recognized as an autonomous state because doing so might inflame separatist movements in other African countries.

But Abdirahman noted that Somaliland was an independent country before the former British colony merged with an Italian colony in the south to declare independence as Somalia. Independence from Somalia is therefore "still in line" with the AU policy of keeping borders in Africa the same as in colonial times, he argued.

Abdirahman, who assumed the vice presidency after a change of government in an election in 2010, said Somaliland has grown as a country with democracy steadily taking root but the most important thing for the people is infrastructure, such as ports, airports and roads.

"Before recognition (as an autonomous state), people are in dire need of development," he said, asking the Japanese government to help develop infrastructure, such as roads, and help resettle people displaced from their land due to severe drought hitting the region.


Sharia Law Recommended for Somaliland

Hizbullah Group: Militia in the Making?

By JD 03/21/2012

Sheikh Mohamoud Abdullah Gelle at the founding of Hizbullah Somalia

After the breakaway state of Somaliland permitted the creation of multi-parties after the official findings by a committee inquiring on the need for formation of multiple parties, a religious entity exhibiting the characteristics of a pressure group by the name of Hizbullah was created in December 2011. Somaliland which had previously balanced a combination of traditional and western institutions adopted a more democratic system of government. Political parties were previously limited to three.

Its mandate includes lobbying for the destruction of the democratic system of leadership that permits their existence in accordance with registration procedures. Aside from that, the group aims to establish the rule of Sharia law in Somaliland.

Hizbullah has called on the government of Somaliland to adopt Sharia law, according to a press release they issued on Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohamoud Abdullahi Gelle, the Chairman of Hizbullah spoke to Somalia Report regarding the press release.

"We called on the government to implement Islamic Sharia (Islamic Law), because they use a democratic system. They function like a western administrations and that is not a good system. People need to live by sharia law and the state must work with Islamic Sharia," he said.

He cited the current government's inability to adequately combat corruption as indication of the inadequacies of a democratic system.

Sheikh Mohamoud declined to explain how the group would pursue this objective in the event that the current administration fails to adopt any of their recommendations.

"They have changed ministers, lawmakers and governors. This is not a solution. Islamic law will ensure a proper system of leadership that will prevent corruption," he asserted.

A multitude of political parties have been created in Somaliland and are currently undergoing a stringent registration process for upcoming elections. Hizbullah have not made any attempts to register as a political party despite their manifesto which is aimed at reforming or replacing leadership.

"We are a religious group and we don't want to register with the government's election commission. We have no interest in being a part of the current government which is democratic. Our offices are based in mosques where we advise the public on working towards the establishment of Sharia law," he said.

In December 2011, Sheikh Mohamoud was arrested by Somaliland police for "delegitimizing the administration." He was recently released without charge.

Non-violent Pressure Group or Militants in the Making?

According to some Somaliland nationals, the group's refusal to seek office within the current leadership setup smacks of extremism and a potential towards evolving into a militia. Others belittle this alarming conclusion and believe that the group will limit itself to recommending alternative leadership in a non-violent manner.

"People have varying views about this party. Some of them believe that this will be militant group in future, while others believe that it will remain a religion based pressure group or organisation," Abdirisak, Mohamed Said, a local journalist in Hargiesa told Somalia Report.

The Somaliland government has not responded to the group's press release.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/3114/Sharia_Law_Recommended_for_Somaliland


Somalia: ADRA Diversifies Household Diets in Somaliland

Report-Adventist Development and Relief Agency International. 20 Mar 2012

For more information, contact:

John Torres, Assistant Director of Public Relations, 301.680.6357 (office), 301.680.6370 (fax)' John.Torres@adra.org

To donate to ADRA go to: Online: www.adra.org, Phone: 1.800.424.ADRA (2372)

SILVER SPRING, Md. - As a result of drought, Somalia is experiencing a wave of change in the diversity of menus that families are having on their tables. What most Somalis would have easily dismissed as fodder for their livestock is now finding its way comfortably to the dinner table. Some may think that those doing this are at a loss on their rich pastoralist menu that has been decimated by drought, but this is not the case. Families in the Awdal region discovered what it means to diversify their diets with produce from greenhouses established by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency's (ADRA) Emergency Water and Livelihood Support Program (EWLSP).

The EWLSP project was implemented by ADRA with funding from USAID/OFDA in the Awdal and Gebiley regions of Somaliland. This greenhouse initiative has witnessed hundreds of women from various women empowerment and farmer-groups embark on a journey that has not only unified them, but also equipped them with the skills and knowledge to provide and sustain the livelihoods of their families. The greenhouses, established by ADRA, are now managed and tended by the women-farmer groups, who have ownership of the produce yielded in the greenhouses. Should you visit one of the greenhouses, you will notice that the women are very enthusiastic to tend to the variety of plants in their gardens, especially with the immense support from the skilled staff at ADRA.

Plants harvested range from spinach, kale, okra, cowpeas, green grams, brinjals (eggplant), pepper, capsicum, tomatoes, onions, pawpaw (soursop), lime and many more. The women devote their time to what they have so passionately embraced, that other women groups are now following their example and establishing similar ventures on their own. Women participating in these groups have received training on how to prepare meals from the vegetables in their kitchen gardens, in addition to sell the surplus items for extra income.

These are only a few examples of the several women groups in the Awdal region that have benefited from ADRA's EWLSP's initiative. Because of this program, several hundreds of women are now improving their livelihoods with a more diverse diet and steady income from the ADRA-established greenhouses.

To learn more about ADRA's Food and Water projects , please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or visit us online at www.adra.org

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

http://reliefweb.int/node/484197


Major reshuffle in the Somaliland gov't

HARGEYSA, Somalia Mar 18 2012 (Garowe Online) - http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Major_reshuffle_in_the_Somaliland_gov_t.shtml

Somaliland president Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo has sacked 7 Ministers and 2 other government officials after previously stating that a reshuffle in his government would take place.

Last Wednesday president Silanyo sacked 5 ministers including minister of public works, labor and social affairs, sports and culture, post and telecommunications and finally the minister of finance which surprised some Somaliland citizens.

Local sources on the ground say that minister of finance Mohamed Hashi Elmi had mixed views from Somaliland citizens some who supported Mr. Elmi and regarded him as an honest man. Others demanding his sacking alleging his officials and him were corrupt. Other sources say that Mr. Elmi did not have a good relationship with other high ranking minister in the Silanyo administration.

Mr. Elmi supporters say he increased the budget of the Somaliland government but critics say that the money wasn't spent efficiently. Mr. Elmi will be replaced by former deputy speaker Abdulaziz Samale who resigned from his position so he could become Minister of Finance.

President Silanyo vowed in press release that he and his administration would fight corruption after charges of misappropriation of food were brought against 3 government officials. But it is unclear why president Silanyo has sacked these officials although tension between Silanyo and other government officials in his administration has been reported.

President Silanyo's controversial arrests have gained him criticism and support after Somaliland authorities arrested clan elder Bogor Buur Madow after arriving at Hargeysa airport. President Silanyo and his administration have yet to comment on the arrest.

Somaliland, located in northwestern Somalia, unilaterally declared independence from the rest of the country in 1991 but has not gained international recognition.


SOMALIA: Defected Somaliland soldiers join Khatumo state [Photos]

March 18th, 2012. http://www.raxanreeb.com/2012/03/somalia-defected-somaliland-soldiers-join-khatumo-state-photos/

The defected soldiers with two armored trucks have left Las'anod town of Sool region as they were warmly welcomed in Bo'ame town on Saturday afternoon.

Bo'ame (RBC) At least 50 soldiers from the breakaway Somalia's region of Somaliland have defected to the new born Khatumo state on Saturday, RBC Radio reports.

The defected soldiers with two armored trucks have left Las'anod town of Sool region as they were warmly welcomed in Bo'ame town on Saturday afternoon.

Yasin Ali who is the leading officer of the defected unit, said they decided to join Khatumo state alleging Somaliland forces of clan massacre against Sool inhabitants in the recent gun battles between Somaliland and Khatumo state.

"We could not go to tolerate this bloodshed against our people in Sool region." The officer told crowds of people in Bo'ame town.

Hundreds of local residents gathered in the streets of the town in the reception of the defected soldiers.

Meanwhile Khatumo state officials said they were expecting other members of Somaliland forces originally hailing from Sool region to defect and join their people.

Somaliland which is not internationally recognized declared its independence from Somalia in 1992.


Somaliland Arrests More Officials

Somaliland Aggressively Countering Corruption Charges

By JD 03/17/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/3090/Somaliland_Arrests_More_Officials

Current Disputed boundariesPolice from Somalia's breakaway state of Somaliland detained two officials from the city council of Borame in the Awdal region on Saturday, according to Somaliland officials.

Hassan Halas Barre, a member of parliament (MP) and Mohamoud Hassan Omar, an engineer sitting on Borame council, were detained by Somalialand police. Other officials, including MPs and the secretary of Borame's city council, have charges against them but have yet to be arrested. All were accused of corruption related to taxes.

Somaliland General Auditor Mohamoud Aw-abdi confirmed the detentions to Somalia Report, but would not offer details, saying, "Yes, the MP and Mohamoud Hassan Omar were arrested by police. We are in the process of investigating these charges and won't give you more information now, we will explain the charges later," the General Auditor .

Somalia Report contacted police officers in Borame who were not allowed to make direct comments, but were able to speak with Mohamoud Hassan Omar. "I am currently in the Borame p olice station. The police arrested me and MP Hassan Halas Barre, and they are also looking for another MP and the council secretary. They accuseed us of corruption," Mohamoud Hassan Omar. "I called General Auditor Mohamoud Aw-Abdi, and he told me that they will release us soon. I was an engineer for the council, and my duty was to work on construction methods. I did not take money or payments, that was not my job," Mohamoud Hassan Omar told Somalia Report.

These officials have been accused of squandering money taken in taxes from Borame. Somaliland is attempting to control the spending of local administrations, including councils from different cities and regions. The government of Somaliland seems determined to send a massage about corruption to Somaliland officials.

Delay in Court Hearing for Former Official

There has been a delay in the case of the former governor of Maroodi Jeex region, Ahmed Omar Haji, ex-director of minister for resettlement Ahmed Elmi Barre and former advisor of Somaliland's vise president. They were arrested a week before and charged with corruption related to theft of food aid intended for drought victims.

Dozens of family members and supporters of the accused officials gathered in front of Hargeisa's courtroom on Saturday, before court officials announced at noon that the trial of these three former officials was delayed.


Somaliland at the cost of corruption

OPINION. BY Jama Falaag. Mar 16, 2012

Can poor leadership and bad institutions cause the collapse of a country? History appears to answer this provocative question with a heretical yes. The exemplary instance is the reign of Siad Barre's regime, the era of the robber barons and rising rapacity. It was a period of rampant corruption, callousness, covetousness and covert agendas.

Can't the consequences of the past experience be an admonition for Somalis? There are evidences that history repeats itself. One good example is what happened to Siad Barre and his cronies and to all Somalis as a whole. Academics have recently drawn a striking comparison between that age and contemporary Siilaanyo Administration, which too features dazzlingly rotten structure, a new class of supper greed entrepreneurs, a clutch of crooked Ministers and a seemingly unceasing carousal of corruption scandals.

Historical analogy is tricky, but it is certainly true that Siialaanyo administration today broadly resembles the earlier Somali experience, both in the faculty of ruling behaviour and the accumulation of staggering fortunes, often through illicit means, with the attendant of widening gap between rich and poor.

What is the explanation of this? In all cases, the causal mechanism is the same. Responsibility is not a matter of conscience and conviction, nor a pledge to a future of nation building. That was true of the reign of Siad Barre's regime and it is true of the current Siilaanyo Administration.

It is fair to say, then, that corruption and greed are the only lessons the Somaliland politicians learnt from the pass Somali experiences. A superficial survey of history, from 1969 to 2012, seems to bear this out. The transformation of the Somaliland politicians is a prerequisite to the transformation of healthy administration which, in turn, is the sine quo non for the creations of a just and healthy human social order. Corruption and greed can only be contained by the right kind of mentality, which combines with conscience and conviction, vision with faith, empirical knowledge with intuition and insight, a qualitative change in the leader's perceptions, attitudes, ideas and ideals.

The current Siilaanyo administration is not cause-oriented but cash-oriented. Siilaanyo never sharpens reason or reality but hardens the hearts. He and his close aids think that they must, through one mere instant of arrogance and ignorance, be much of everything, so that all others be little of anything. The question that needs asking at this time is: Which of our grand institutions is up to the job? The legislature, which exchanges cashes for votes in the parliament? The executive, which just another name for venality? The judiciary? Or is it our vigilant fourth state which is unable to wipe the muck off its own doormat?

Obviously, none of the above. Neither the parliament nor the elders have rational protests which breed in the gut and the fully, and both of them are empty of visceral reactions to Siilaanyo's indigestible political ambiguities. Like the snake that bits its own venom, both houses prefer to ingest Siilaanyo's venom. Instead of recognizing the spirit of a movement, they prefer to wallow in the post mortem. Instead of encouraging a healthy outrage that can temper idealism with expediency, they prefer to cynically nip our fledgling civic consciousnesses in the bud. Instead of attacking Siilaanyo's personal diseases, they prefer to attack people's healthy criticism.

Siilaanyo's recent ministerial reshuffle was obviously a shame. Shamful, because Siilaanyo did not expel the ministers who misused the public funds. Naming Abdulaziz Samaale, as a minster of finance was a blunder and pathetic, a plan to bring more crooks into his own camp and cover up the corruption process. The process will be simple. A pipeline will be but between Samaale and the presidential Palace. Bundles of Bank notes will follow from the Ministry of Finance on a daily basis. Hersi, Siilaanyo's house account Manager, will receive the money and deposit it in Diigshill.

What do you think Eng Mohamed Hashi will do? Like a miser who always gloats over his gold, Mohamed will take his pen and paper and begin to calculate the national tax income. He will put his focus on Berbera Port and its revenue. He will then publish articles proving that Somaliland revenue is tree times than the Bidget he proposed this year.

The sensation gives us timeless lessons to remember. Hereunder is one that is worthy of note. There is a temptation to slack off when you feel great about what you have achieved - to forget yesterday's humiliation and insecurity to accept the illusions - that you struggle has ended. Good professional athletes or great thinking men know the danger of complacency about both in their professional and personal lives. Some reach high in their middle years and, when the adulation stops, settle into marginal careers and conditions. Some even hit the bottom. those who survive are the ones who prepare for their post-glory days. Somaliland public figures who ignore their past are like ones who stand in the rains, arguing about its wetness, while becoming drenched. If they tell to themselves they must be what they can not be is somewhere near the same thing as their becoming a failure.

The point which must be clearly understood is that the struggle of Somaliland is not over, and nation building is itself is a theatre of struggle, subject to advances and reverses as any other form of struggle. A good leader is not he who does not make mistakes, but he who admits his mistakes and redresses them. Siilaanyo does not have this kind of intelligence.

http://hornofafricanews.blogspot.com/2012/03/somaliland-at-cost-of-corruption.html


Somaliland did not surrender sovereignty by attending the London Conference

By Mohamed A Omar, Foreign Minister, Somaliland. March 16, 2012

Somaliland is re-engaging with international diplomacy related to its neighbour, Somalia. Our country has received widespread praise for its contribution to the recent London Conference. This event represented an important milestone in Somaliland's diplomacy. We participated in the conference as an equal, and we laid out our views about how Somaliland can help build peace and stability in Somalia. We are very grateful to the British Government for convening the conference and for inviting us.

It was the first time that Somaliland had ever taken part in an international conference dealing with the future of Somalia. Prior to the conference, some of our people had expressed reservations about Somaliland's participation, because they were afraid that our Government's presence in London could be misinterpreted by our international partners as endorsing an eventual return to unity with Somalia.

I believe that our government decisively addressed this issue in our statement to the conference, in which we underlined our view that our declaration of independence in 1991 is definitive. Had we not attended, we would have missed an opportunity to share this view with 55 delegations, represented at very high level.

Given these sensitivities, President Silanyo consulted widely with Somaliland's political and civil society leaders before deciding to accept the invitation to the Conference. It was important that there be a strong mandate from Somaliland's two legislative bodies, the Council of Elders and the House of Representatives. In fact, these two bodies had to change our law in order for President Silanyo to attend. This process illustrates Somaliland's democratic credentials and our culture of consultation. The overwhelming backing for participation in the conference is a mark of our people's political maturity.

The conference also provided us an opportunity to lay out our ideas about how to bring peace and stability to Somalia. We believe that attempts to find a solution to the problem of Somalia based on the de jure boundaries of the state risk undermining the very stability which the international community is seeking. Furthermore, focusing energy on the re-creation of a centralized state through a top-down approach ignores the realities on the ground, and the decentralized nature of Somali politics.

Somaliland offers a useful example in this regard, as several countries noted at the Conference. Somaliland built peace and democracy through an indigenous bottom-up approach, drawing on traditional conflict resolution methods. We believe that a similar approach is needed in Somalia, and we have offered to share our experience with our brothers and sisters in that country. We would of course be in an even stronger position to contribute to a stable and peaceful Somalia if we were recognised internationally.

The Final Communiqu‚ issued from the Conference also recognised the need for the international community "to support any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to establish in order to clarify their future relations." We believe that this clearly supports our vision of a dialogue between two separate entities, which treat each other as equals. It will, I hope, mark a starting point for constructive discussions about our relationship with Somalia, including an acceptance by the authorities in Mogadishu that our voluntary union failed long ago, and that the future stability of the region is best served by accepting Somaliland's independence.

A number of bilateral meetings between President Silanyo and Ministers from other countries took place in the margins of the conference, all of which were conducted in a spirit of mutual respect and equality. These bilateral talks provided us with the opportunity to discuss concrete ways in which Somaliland can cooperate with other governments to our mutual advantage.

While in London, President Silanyo also attended the launch of the Somaliland Development Corporation at the British Houses of Parliament. The Corporation will facilitate international investment in Somaliland for the benefit of the Somaliland people, circumventing the present problem of non-recognition by providing a transparent, accountable and enforceable means by which international investors can participate in Somaliland ventures. Somaliland was honoured that Minister Henry Bellingham attended the event. The launch was also well-attended by members of Parliament from all major political parties in the UK.

All of this demonstrates that we did not surrender our sovereignty by attending the London Conference. On the contrary, we asserted and reaffirmed our status as a sovereign and responsible regional partner, and in the process garnered significant diplomatic, economic and political support. We will build on this so as to promote further the interests of our people.

http://africanarguments.org/2012/03/16/somaliland-did-not-surrender-sovereignty-by-attending-the-london-conference-%e2%80%93-by-mohamed-a-omar-foreign-minister-somaliland/


Somaliland detains prominent traditional leader

Hiiraan Online. Ahmed Abdisamad. Friday, March 16, 2012. http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2012/Mar/23238/somaliland_detains_prominent_traditional_leader.aspx

Security forces in Somaliland detained King Osman Aw-Mohamuc known as Buur-madow after arriving at Hergeisa Airport.

King Osman a prominent Somali traditional leader had disagreements with president Silanyo on the selection of his cabinet ministers.

He has publicly denounced some ministers of Silanyo government accusing them of being extremists.

Somaliland officials did not comment on the grounds they have allegedly arrested the king but some sources say his detention is related to the differences he had with the government.

King Osman was also arrested in the United Arab Emirates without any formal charges where he lived in exile.

Outspoken Buur-madow was remembered for his success in brokering the peace agreement in Puntland during the conflict between president Abdullahi Yusuf and his rival General Ade Muse in 2003.


Somalia: Somaliland govt arrests clan elder after political comments

http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Somaliland_govt_arrests_clan_elder_after_political_comments.shtml

HARGEYSA, Somalia Mar 15 2012 (Garowe Online) - Somaliland authorities, arrested clan elder Bogor Osman Aw Mohamed Buur Madow after he landed in Hargeysa airport, Radio Garowe reports.

Somaliland police detained Bogor Buur Madow after the clan elder landed at Hargeisa airport from a trip to the United Arab Emirates.

Local sources say that clan elder Buur Madow was taken to the Somaliland intelligence headquarters in Hargeisa but contradicting reports say that he was taken to Mandherra prison.

Somaliland officials have not commented publicly on the arbitrary arrest of the clan elder, but Bogor Buur Madow is renowned for his outspoken political views.

Local journalists say the clan elder was very vocal in opposing Somaliland leader Ahmed Silanyo's participation at the London Conference on Somalia, which was held on 23 Feb 2012 and attended by Somali officials and world leaders.

Furthermore, Bogor Buur Madow was involved in political comments through the independent media and was quoted as saying it was a "political mistake" for Somaliland to engage in dialogue with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia in Mogadishu.

Somaliland, located in northwestern Somalia, unilaterally declared independence from the rest of the country in 1991 but has not gained international recognition. In recent months, Somaliland has engaged in Somalia affairs after nearly 20 years of isolation.


Khalifa Foundation completes water project in Somaliland

2012-03-15. http://www.wam.ae/servlet/Satellite?c=WamLocEnews&cid=1289998042621&pagename=WAM%2FWAM_E_Layout&parent=Query&parentid=1135099399852 WAM

Mogadishu, 15th March 2012 (WAM) -- The Khalifa bin Zayed Charity Foundation has built 20 basins in valleys at south west Hargeisa, and drilled 14 water wells at north east Hargeisa and nine water wells and watershed basins at Boru.

The water projects were carried out in collaboration with the Somali Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.

In inauguration ceremony attended by a delegation from Khalifa bin Zayed Charity Foundation and Somaliland Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Hussein Abdi Duale, Deputy Governor of Somaliland Abdi Al Ruhman Zilei, praised efforts being made by the leadership, government and people of the UAE for assisting Somali people.

He credited the Khalifa bin Zayed Charity Foundation for its positive role in saving lives of those affected drought and famine by providing food and medicine.

''The Foundation's plan to tackle water crisis in Somaliland has brought relief to hundreds of thousands of affected population there,''he added.

The UAE foundation aims to provide pure drinking water to Somalis, especially children, who were dying in hundreds of thousands of thirst and drought.

In last July, the UN appealed to over 40 international relief agencies to save three million Somalis facing death of famine and drought.


Foundation concludes water project in Somalia

March 16, 2012. http://gulftoday.ae/portal/2ebe9615-f482-407f-b094-5b066cda4a25.aspx

MOGADISHU: The Khalifa Bin Zayed Charity Foundation has built 20 basins in valleys at south west Hargeisa, and drilled 14 water wells at north east Hargeisa and nine water wells and watershed basins at Boru.

The water projects were carried out in collaboration with the Somali Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.

At the inauguration ceremony attended by a delegation from Khalifa Bin Zayed Charity Foundation and Somalia Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Hussein Abdi Duale, Deputy Governor of Somalia Abdi Al Ruhman Zilei, praised efforts being made by the leadership, government and people of the UAE for assisting Somali people.

He credited the Khalifa Bin Zayed Charity Foundation for its positive role in saving lives of those affected drought and famine by providing food and medicine.


Silanyo Shakes Up Cabinet

Somaliland President Appoints Eight New Ministers

By AWEYS CADDE 03/14/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/3072/Silanyo_Shakes_Up_Cabinet

The president of Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, fired seven members of his cabinet on Wednesday, naming eight new ministers to take their place.

A statement issued from the president's office read:

After the president reminded himself of the ninetieth article of the Somaliland Constitution ("The Powers of the President"), and after he took stock of the importance of ministries to the government, he removed the following ministers from their posts:"

Finance Minister Mohamed Hashi Ilmi
Transport Minister Isma'il Mumin Aar
Labor and Community Minister Ilhan Mohamed Jama
Communication and Postal Minister Dr Ahmed Hashi Odey
Sports, Tradition and Youth Minister Abdi Saciid Fahiye
Deputy Finance Minister Warsame Siciid Abdi
Deputy Foreign Minister Mohamed Yonis Awale.

The statement also read:

After the president realized the talent and knowledge of the following individuals, and having decided that they were suitable for the positions, he named the following to cabinet:

Abaziz Mohamed Samaale (Finance)
Ahmed Abdi Habsade (Transport-former Minister of Information)
Abdi Yusuf Du'ale Bobe (Information)
Ali Sacid Raygal (Sport, Tradition, and Youth)
Mohamud Ahmed bare Garaad (Labor and Community)
Abdulahi Abokar Osman, (Deputy Internal Security)
Osman Abdulai Sahardiid Adani, (State Finance-newly created post)
Mowlid Mohamed Ibrahim, (Deputy Foreign)

The president fired the chairman and the deputy chairman of the labor agency, Mohamud Aw Abdi Ismail and Ahmed Ali Hersi Sulub, respectively. He named Nuh Sheikh Muse Du'ale and Mohamed Omar Abdulahi as their replacements.

Although, the president did not state his reasons for firing the ministers, sources indicate that the president was angered by the "lack of talent" in his cabinet.

This is the third time that Silanyo has reshuffled his cabinet since he was elected in June 2010, but it marks his largest shake up to date.


SOMALILAND: President Silanyo fires five ministers from the cabinet in a fresh reshuffle

March 14th, 2012. http://www.raxanreeb.com/2012/03/somaliland-president-silanyo-fires-five-ministers-from-the-cabinet-in-a-fresh-reshuffle/

Hargeisa (RBC) The president of Somalia's breakaway state of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud Silanyo has fired five key ministers from the government amid in mini fresh reshuffle today, a statement from the president's office said.

The presidential decree which RBC Radio obtained a copy of it declared that the affected ministers are; Abdullahi Mohamed Samale minister of Finance, Ismail Mumin Aar minister of Public works and housing, Ilhan Mohamed Jama minister of Labour and Social Affairs minister, Ahmed Hashi Oday minister of Posts and Telecommunications as well as Abdi Said Fahie Minister of Sports and Youth.

The president also fired several junior ministers and head of civil service commission as the president immediately appointed others to replace them.

This mini reshuffle came after Somaliland police recently detained three senior government officials including the presidential adviser for corruption allegations.

Meanwhile RBC Radio in Hargeisa says firing five major individuals from the cabinet rendered by the growing tension between the president and his ministers.


Somaliland Charges Top Government Officials With Corruption

AllAfrica.com [Washington] 12 Mar 2012.

Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo sacked three top officials after they were charged for corruption, Radio Garowe reports.

According to local sources the three men were apprehended by the Somaliland anti corruption and good governance department after they conducted raids in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Among the officials caught in the raid was Haji Abdullahi Governor of Marodi Jeeh a region in Somaliland, director general in the Ministry of Resettlement and Rehabilitation Ahmed Elmi Barre and Osman Saeed Jama personal advisor to the vice president. The three men were charged with misappropriation of food aid.

The aid was allegedly taken by the officials and moved to another warehouse were investigators traced it to.

Investigations are still ongoing as Abdullahi Mohamed Dahir spokesman for the Somaliland government mentioned in his press release which was released shortly after the arrests.

Just hours away in the town of Gabilay more officials were being charged and held. Eleven MPs who were voting for a new mayor for Gabilay were surrounded by police and held. "We are 11 MPs who are being held here they surrounded us as we were about to vote for a mayor," said MP Mohamed Mahamoud Nuur who spoke to Radio Garowe.

It is unclear why the MPs were arrested the Somaliland government has yet to comment on those arrests.


Somaliland's vice president launches 30m dollars UN water project

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 13 Mar 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 10 Mar 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "Somaliland Vice President Launches UN Water Projects"]

Somaliland vice President Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail (Zayla'i) launched a UN project for improving and enlarging the capacity of Somaliland cities to deliver water to residents. The project will cost 30 million dollars and the cities currently participating in it are Hargeysa, Buro, Erigavo and Tog Wajale.

A delegation from the European Union (which is funding the project) led by the coordinator of South and East Africa, Isbel Faria De Almeida, came to Hargeysa to participate in the launching of the project. The inauguration of the project took place at Mansoor Hotel this week, and was attended by vice President Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail (Zayla'i), the Minister of Water and Mineral Resources, Eng. Hussein Abdi Du'ale, the Minister of Justice Isma'il Mumin Ar, the Mayor of Hargeysa Eng. Hussein Mohamoud Ji'ir, the Director of Hargeysa's Water Department Ibrahim Siyad Yonis, the General Director of Planning, the Mayor of Wajale, legislators and other distinguished guests.

Somaliland vice President thanked the European Union for the project and said he and his government are happy that this project is seeing the light. He further added that access to clean water is one of the basic necessities of life and that the project indicates that Somaliland has moved from the stage of humanitarian relief to that of providing basic services such as clean water and good roads.

Speaking for the European Union, the coordinator of South and East Africa, Isbel Faria De Almeida, said they are pleased to work in Somaliland and stressed that the multi-dimensional nature of the European Union's projects in Somaliland, including assisting Somaliland's democracy and elections.

The Mayor of Hargeysa, Hargeysa Eng. Hussein Mohamud Ji'ir said complaints about water shortages are usually directed at mayors, and he hoped the project will do something about those complaints.

The Minister of Water and Mineral Resources, Eng. Hussein Abdi Du'ale called the project "the biggest water related project in Somaliland for the last 20 years."


Malnourished Children Recovering Well at Somaliland Stabilisation Centre

12 Mar 2012 13:54. http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/malnourished-children-recovering-well-at-somaliland-stabilisation-centre

Source: member // Medair - Switzerland

For 22-year-old Kaltuun Husein, daily life in eastern Somaliland once centered around caring for her young children and tending the family's livestock.

But consecutive years of drought changed everything. "Before we had 80 sheep and five camels," she says. "Now we only have 10 sheep left."

In Somaliland, owning livestock such as camels, goats, and sheep provides families with economic security. A Somali proverb says, "He who does not own a camel lives under the protection of others." But drought has decimated the animal population, especially in eastern Somaliland, leaving families with very limited sources of food or ways to earn an income. "The situation now is very different from before," says Kaltuun. "Most people have lost their animals and... life is very difficult."

Last month, Kaltuun's youngest child, Hibo, fell ill. "We hoped she would get better, but she got worse and worse," says Kaltuun.

At the nearest health facility in the Sool Region where she lives , they were told that, in her condition, Hibo would need to be treated at the Stabilisation Centre in Burao city. "By the time we got to Burao, my daughter was so weak she could not cry," says Kaltuun. "I thought she would die."

At the Medair-supported Stabilisation Centre in the Burao hospital, children under five are admitted if they suffer from severe malnutrition and if they have additional complications such as diarrhoea, vomiting, or a respiratory infection.

Since Februrary 2011, Medair has been providing comprehensive support to the Stabilisation Centre. We train and supervise staff on managing children with severe acute malnutrition. In collaboration with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, we provide health staff with the equipment and medicine they need to treat children under five who are affected by severe malnutrition. This project is supported by the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Commission, the Department for International Development (U.K.), UNICEF, and private donations.

In the past few years, hundreds of sick children from all around Burao have been referred to the Stabilisation Centre. Now, with our programme expanding into new regions of Somaliland, the centre is seeing more children arriving from farther away.

"With the drought over the past year, we have seen very many sick children here," says Sayneb Husein, the senior nurse working at the centre. "They always have severe malnutrition and additional complicationsƒ_"respiratory problems are common, also gastroenteritis, which leads to diarrhoea and vomiting."

When Kaltuun arrived with her sick child, health staff diagnosed the baby girl with severe malnutrition and diarrhoea. They put Hibo on the centre's standard treatment: a course of antibiotics, vitamin A, de-worming medicine, measles vaccine, and therapeutic milk to help her gain weight.

In 2011, more than 80 percent of the children admitted to the centre recovered. "It is amazing to see life returning to a child," says Sayneb. "When they come in they are weak but by the time they leave, they are moving around and making a lot of noise."

When children are discharged, they are monitored by a community nutrition programme to ensure the families remain well supported and the children continue to gain weight.

"The smallest child I have ever seen at the centre was only a week old and weighed less than 1.8 kilograms [four pounds]," says Sayneb. "When I first saw him, I was shocked. He was so small and looked so fragile. But he got better. When I saw him gradually gaining weight, growing bigger and stronger, I was very encouraged."

Staff at the centre spend time educating mothers about healthy feeding practices. "A lot of women bring baby bottles when they come here," says Sayneb. "But we advise them that breastfeeding is the healthiest way."

After just five days of treatment, baby Hibo had gained weight and begun to show encouraging signs of recovery. "The nurses here are very skilled and they are really helping my daughter," says Kaltuun.

When Hibo's treatment began, she was unable to make a noise even when she was being injected. "Now, when she gets an injection, she cries out," says Kaltuun. "She is also moving around and playing a lot more. I am surprised that my daughter has got well so quickly. Soon I hope to take her home."

Days earlier, a fearful Kaltuun had believed that Hibo was going to die. Today she speaks excitedly about what it will be like to watch her daughter grow up. "I want to teach her and send her to school, perhaps abroad, to get a good education. My dream is for her to become a teacher."

"The Stabilisation Centre is an amazing placeƒ_"you see wonders every week," says nurse Sayneb. "Although things are very difficult in Somaliland at the moment, I am sure that the situation in Burao will get better because of the help we are receiving from Medair. The staff get good training here and I feel proud to be helping save children's lives."


For Somalia, lessons from stable breakaway north

By Peter Martell (AFP) - Mar 13, 2012

HARGEISA, Somalia - Banknotes in piles the size of desks lie on a dusty street guarded by dozing civilians -- money exchange offices in Somaliland, the northern breakaway state of war-torn Somalia.

While war rages in southern Somalia -- where regional armies and government troops battle Shebab fighters allied to Al-Qaeda -- the relative stability achieved in Somaliland offers a sliver of hope for the rest of the anarchic land.

"We are a peaceful and democratic country," said Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, president of the self-declared country which broke away from Somalia in 1991, the year the Horn of Africa nation erupted into all-out civil war.

"People have said we are an oasis of peace in the Horn of Africa," added Silanyo, who took the helm of this nation the size of England in peaceful 2010 polls.

Like Somalia's capital Mogadishu today, Somaliland's capital Hargeisa was left in ruins by bombing raids in the bloody civil war.

But while the wreckage of destroyed fighter jets still lies on Hargeisa's bumpy airstrip, the scars of the conflict are rapidly fading, as bullet-riddled ruins are replaced by a spurt of new buildings.

Traders sell plump melons and bananas from farms outside the city on bustling street corners, while women offer milk from the camels that are key to Somaliland's mainly rural and pastoral economy.

"It is not always easy, but every year there are improvements in the economy," said businesswoman Amina Farah Arshe, who runs a fleet of fishing boats and supports women entrepreneurs.

As international diplomatic, military and relief efforts focus on ending the conflict in southern Somalia, Somaliland's experience offers lessons in how to build peace, Silanyo said.

"It was not imposed by any political group, but by an agreement of all people, clans and leaders, to come together to make reconciliation and restore peace," Silanyo told AFP in his modest presidential compound.

But while Somaliland is bound together by a unifying ambition for formal independence and international recognition, southern Somalia is riven by brutal land and power struggles fueled by clan divides and religious beliefs.

"Somaliland demonstrates it is possible to build peace and stability in Somalia" if there is a "clear objective" -- in this case independence -- said Georges-Marc Andre, EU ambassador to Somalia, the largest donor here.

"In south and central Somalia however, for the time being, the interests are too diverse," Andre added.

Somaliland is certainly not without problems, but does appear to be trying to tackle them.

"The problems of sexual violence are many," said Aswan Mahmud, one of four female police prosecutors here, who focuses on violent crimes against women and children, a problem in a traditional society struggling to rebuild after war.

"In the beginning, it was tough and there was hostility from the public to my work, but things have improved ... I'll keep going because I am committed to provide better access to justice for women," Mahmud added.

But Somaliland also suffers from the spillover violence from its violent neighbours, beset by Islamist fighters as well by pirates who threaten shipping far across the Indian Ocean.

Tensions remain high with the neighbouring autonomous Somali region of Puntland over contested border regions potentially rich in oil.

Officers inside Hargesia's newly-refurbished prison are preparing cells for the transfer of 19 pirates Somaliland has agreed to host -- with more expected to follow -- captured by international navies and convicted in the Seychelles.

It is a sensitive matter for fiercely independent Somaliland, keen to win favour with the international community by showing its commitment to fight piracy, but also wary since the convicts are from Somalia.

"Their coming ... is an issue for political leaders, but we will host them here," said commander Omar Said Ali Ali diplomatically, as prisoners stared out from behind bars.

Some Western countries argue Somaliland deserves to become a fully-fledged country and thus gain access to more aid, but the African Union is wary of setting a precedent that may spur secessions across the continent.

"Even if we do not yet have the recognition of the international community we engage with the world, and we hope and expect recognition will come to Somaliland," the president added.


Project Title : Drought Recovery Project in Togdheer and Sahil regions of Somaliland

Candle Light Monday, 27 February 2012. Hargeisa
Project overall goal: Livelihoods and resilience of drought-prone and disaster affected populations improved.
Targeted Locations: Togdheer and Sahil regions of Somaliland
Project Perid : Jan-Dec/2012

Expected Result:

- Increased access to water for 10,140 persons (78% women and children) and 50,000 head of livestock.
- Increased income of participating persons (1,500 hhs, with total dependants of 9,000 person, 78% women and children) through cash for work on water sources rehabilitation and soil and water conservation;
- Enhance the resilience of pastoral production systems and household incomes through increase in fodder production for livestock feeding during the dry season and as a direct cash generated from its sales;
- Strengthened livelihood condition of community members in acute livelihoods and famine crisis by providing cash relief to 850 hhs. (65% women) with total dependants of 6,000 persons.
- Enhanced hygienic and sanitation conditions in the targeted locations with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality resulting from water-borne diseases by training 400 communities members (50% women);
- Targeted groups understand and apply community disaster risk reduction (CMDRR) techniques by training 400 community members (25% women);
- Enhanced economic independence of 100 women through provision of small grants for establishing and/or strengthening existing micro-businesses.

Main component activities :-

- Rehabilitate 35 berkads (in-ground cemented water reservoirs) with average water storage capacities of 300 cubic meters of water and construct 3 new ones in 20 villages. (please refer to annex I for locations and beneficiaries)
- Carry out de-silting of four (4) Ballehs (surface water catchments) using cash for work by engaging 80 community workers.
- Carry out soil and water conservation activities consisting of soil bunds and stone terracing in Wagar Mountain and Laalays areas in Sahil region. In total 100,000 linear meters of soil bunds and terraces will be erected.
- Carry out water diversions from roads in 10 locations in Togdheer through cash for work using 300 workers to do the job.
- In total 68,000 linear meters of soil bunds will be constructed through the engagement of road water diversions structures in the form of bunds are established in 10 locations.
- 15km agricultural access road is rehabilitated through cash for work by engaging 45 community workers.
- 20 water and sanitation awareness raising campaigns are conducted.
- 20 community orientations in 20 villages and settlements on governance, conflict resolution, gender participation, participatory planning, and needs identification are conducted.
- 20 orientations on CMDRR and its relationship with climate change are conducted.
- Provide cash relief to 850 households to increase their access to food, water and other basic services.
- Provide mirco-credit to 100 women in the different project sites to assist them in establishing and/or strengthening existing micro-businesses and conduct micro-credit trainings for the beneficiaries

Funded Agency: OXFAM NOVIB

http://candlelightsom.org/


Somaliland Detains Officials For Corruption

12 Somaliland MPs Accused of Dissent

By MUHYADIN AHMED ROBLE 03/11/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/3052/Somaliland_Detains_Officials_For_Corruption_

Russian 6 wheel Kamaz trucks loaded with food donated by the UAE14 Somaliland officials, including the permanent secretary of ministry of relocation and provincial commissioner of Somaliland's largest city of Hargeisa were arrested on Saturday on allegations of corruption. Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Relocation Ahmed Elmi Yare and Ahmed Omar Abdullahi, provincial commissioner of Hargeisa were accused of stealing food aid and threatening regional security. The other detained officials are 12 members of Somaliland's parliament accused of dissent in selecting an independent mayor for their town.

The senior officials were accused of stealing six big trucks carrying food aid which were donated by an unnamed Arab country. They are charged with selling the food in the markets of Hargeisa. The amount of food sold is unknown, but security officials told Somalia Report that that several tons of food were seized by the police before being delivered to the markets.

Somaliland's administration has declared a drought zone in west Somaliland, and the Arab donation was a response to the appeal for aid to help drought victims. Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Abdullahi said the government unearthed suspicions that the officials named were involved in stealing the food. Mr. Abdullahi promised that the detained officials will be brought to justice in coming days.

The fourteen officials who slept in jail last night include 12 members of parliament from Gebilay, whom the Vice President accused of creating insecurity and violence. The 12 MPs were arrested during a meeting in which they were trying to elect a new mayor of Gebilay to replace the former Mayor who resigned under allegations of creating insecurity. The charges against the 12 MPs is thought to be linked with disagreement between the central government and the Gebilay council.


Somali President to appoint a committee for talks with Somaliland

Hiiraan Online.March 09, 2012. http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2012/Mar/23136/somali_president_to_appoint_a_committee_for_talks_with_somaliland.aspx

President Sheikh Sharif of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) announced that he plans to appoint soon a committee responsible for talks with Somaliland, which has declared its secession from the rest of Somalia.

The President recalled that it is impossible to forget the central role Somaliland played in the liberation and unity of Somalia as it is also undeniable the present peace and political development prevailing in the area under its control. "The TFG is ready to appoint as urgently as possible a committee in order to start a dialogue with our brothers of Somaliland, taking advantage of the presented opportunity," President Sheikh Sharif said.

President Sheikh denied that his government is bent to destroy existing regional administrations. He continued saying that to the contrary, the Government supports their progress and unity, stressing his belief that the formation of regional administrations is a victory for Somalia.

Furthermore, President Sheikh Sharif said that his government rather than closing its door to anyone who has complain welcomes everyone who feels unfairness or exclusion. He added that it is the responsibility of the government t to search and work hard for any opportunity that can bring about the unity of all Somalia.

"These days the circulating rumors or stories that the TFG government is determined to destroy Puntland and Somaliland are baseless. We see the recognition of Khatumo State as an affair in the hands of Somalis, aimed at opening a dialogue among Somalis in order to live peace. We spoke our brothers (Somaliland and Puntland) that TFG's agenda is for rebuilding and not for destroying," President Sheikh Sharif said.

The President of Somalia made this statement at a ceremony for the celebration of March 8, the International Women's Day, which took place in Mogadishu. He lauded the role and extraordinary contribution of Somali women in the social development. It was few days ago when the President of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud (Silanyo) declared that his government will hold talks with TFG as a neighbor government.


Somaliland vice president warns nationals against Somali rebels

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 09 Mar 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 3 Mar 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland vice President Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail (Zayla'i) announced that al-Shabab members who fled the fighting in the south have entered Somaliland. He said this in an arts festival organized by Kow Media Corporation (KMC). He advised Somalilanders to be vigilant and keep an eye on strangers who show up in their midst.

The vice president also dismissed recent statements made by the President of the dysfunctional Transitional Government of Somalia, Shaykh Sharif, and said those statements don't mean much and are motivated by Shaykh Sharif's jealousy regarding the progress made by Somaliland.


Somaliland: Of Independence and Stability

SR Speaks to Somaliland Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omar

By SHIINE OMAR 03/09/2012

Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, has declared independence from Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and is seeking international recognition. In an effort to understand their position, Somalia Report spoke to Somaliland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohamed Abdullahi Omar.

Minister, what can you tell us about the current situation in Somaliland?

I can tell you the country is peaceful and calm. We appreciate our national army and society who keep our region calm.

What can you tell us about the recent London conference, and did you get any support for your bid for independence?

I believe Somaliland's attendance at the London conference was a good opportunity, because we expressed Somaliland's position on developments in the region and stability. We showed the international community how we work towards peace and development and that we are against pirates and terrorists. We asked them to support us.

What is your relationship with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG)?

We welcome dialogue with the TFG and we will hope that our brothers in Somalia will respect us. If south Somalia will accept our independence, then we will respect them as neighbors. We want to talk like two countries. We will talk to the TFG like any two countries making agreements. We will sit at the table with them to discuss our borders, security and development.

The Somaliland president launched the Somaliland Development Corporation, saying it will help Somaliland attract foreign investment. How will this help Somaliland?

Yes, this investment will help the people of Somaliland, and they will create jobs because Somaliland government is able to maintain the stability and security of the country. This is great opportunity for international investors to take a serious look at investing in this country, and it will also encourage the international community to identify Somaliland as independent country.

How do you see the participation of Somaliland in the June conference on Somalia in Turkey? In my view, it is interest of Somaliland to continue our process of introducing members of the international community to us and getting support for our independence. We also must keep proving to them that pirates don't come to our country.

How will the Somaliland administration deal with the breakaway states of Khatumo and Makhir?

In fact, people in that area are part of our government, but there has been a misunderstanding between us, which we will resolve as soon as possible. We will negotiate with the people in that area, whether they are youth or elders, or officials who wants to work towards peace in this region.

What would you like to convey to the people of Somaliland and Somalia in this interview?

The message is simple for Somalilanders: we Somalilanders have good reasons to be proud of our common achievements. We have rebuilt our country that had been completely destroyed. We have given it institutions that are functioning and we have earned the respect of the outside world, having demonstrated that Somalis are capable of organizing themselves and of living peacefully together. We still need patience as far as recognition is concerned, but we have made energetic moves in the right direction and will continue to do this.

For the Somali people: I want to say that peace is everything. Please brothers and sisters let's move towards peace and stability of the country and respect our neighbors, because this will help Somalis to regain their dignity.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/3020/Of_Independence_and_Stability


Somaliland vice president warns nationals against Somali rebels

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 09 Mar 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 3 Mar 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland vice President Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail (Zayla'i) announced that al-Shabab members who fled the fighting in the south have entered Somaliland. He said this in an arts festival organized by Kow Media Corporation (KMC). He advised Somalilanders to be vigilant and keep an eye on strangers who show up in their midst.

The vice president also dismissed recent statements made by the President of the dysfunctional Transitional Government of Somalia, Shaykh Sharif, and said those statements don't mean much and are motivated by Shaykh Sharif's jealousy regarding the progress made by Somaliland.


Somalia: `TFG ready to hold talk with Somaliland' says President Sharif

8 Mar 8, 2012 - http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_TFG_ready_to_hold_talk_with_Somaliland_says_President_Sharif.shtml

MOGADISHU, Somalia Mar 8 2012 (Garowe Online) - President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed announced that a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) committee will be set up to hold talks with the Somaliland government and other states in the north eastern Somalia, Garowe Online reports.

President Sharif who spoke at an International Women's Day conference in Mogadishu said that the TFG is ready to communicate with Somaliland and the new self proclaimed state of Khatumo. "Our northern brothers in Somaliland have accomplished many feats which we welcome and the TFG will set up a committee as soon as possible to hold talks with the Somaliland government," said President Sharif.

President Sharif raised concern from the international community by welcoming unrecognized states said that he is ready to welcome the different semi-autonomous regions operating in north eastern Somalia "The objective of the welcoming of Khatumo state officials by the TFG is to help unify Somalia but it's objective was not to bring disorder to Somalia," said President Sharif.

The London conference outcomes included discussions being held between Somaliland and the TFG but Khatumo state officials did not attend the conference due to the international community failing to recognize the region.

Although the international community has not recognized Khatumo state President Sharif has stated that it is vital to the unification of Somalia to hold talks with different regions in Somalia.


Somaliland Police Open Fire on Protesters

Demonstration For Khatumo Recognition Broken Up With Violence

By AHMED MOHAMED 03/08/2012

Las Anod: Hundreds gathered today in Las Anod, the capital of Sool region, to protest for the recognition of Khatumo State of Somalia. They were carrying Somali flags, as well as that of the newly-formed Khatumo state. As the protestors were moving through the town they collided with Somaliland police officers, who responded by opening fire on the protestors, killing one and injuring six others. Police were reported to be firing bullets recklessly into the crowd.

Police also arrested almost fifty protestors.

Khatumo state was formed two months ago in Taleeh, capital of Sool region, whose residents have opposed Somaliland's quest for statehood.

Somalia Report spoke to one of the protestors.

"We, the people of Khatumo state, we belong to the blue flag," he said, referring to the Somali national flag. "We all know the indigenous people of Khatumo, those people who were born and brought up here, will gain the victory. So there's no need to be forced to stay with those who remove themselves from the larger Somalia."

Today's protest marked the second time that Somaliland police offices have opened fire on pro-Khatumo protesters.

The protests was partly caused by the implied recognition of Khatumo state by the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) on Wednesday, when Khatumo delegates, led by President Ahmed Karaash, visited Mogadishu. The delegates met with TFG President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the Defence Minister Hussein Arab Isse, and other cabinet ministers in a closed-door session.

Khatumo state of Somalia is comprised of three regions, Sool, Sanaag, and Cayn (SSC), in accordance with the 2004 Transitional Federal Charter, which permits two or more regions to federate. Cayn is currently under the control of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, while Sool and Sanag are under the jurisdiction of the Somaliland government.

Both Puntland and Somaliland have refused to recognize Khatumo, with Somaliland officials claiming that the creation of the state was a plot to destabilize the government.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/3024/Somaliland_Police_Open_Fire_on_Protesters__


Puntland/ Somaliland Official Gunned Down

First Assassination to Occur in Newly Declared Khatumo State

By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 03/02/2012

Taleh district: Unidentified gunmen have shot and killed judge and politician Abdirashid Abullahi Igge on Thursday in Taleh district of Sool region, according to witnesses and officials from the newly declared Khatumo state.

Igge had the unusual distinction of serving as an official in both the semi-autonomous region of Puntland and the breakaway state of Somaliland. Reports say Igge had been working with the Puntland ministry of careers, employment and sport, before he was appointed a judge on the Las Anod appeals court by the administration of Somaliland.

Igge was arrested by Puntland security forces with his colleagues on August 10 of last year, and sentenced to a five-year jail term, after Puntland authorities charged him with planning to "destabilize" the region. He was released after serving only months of his sentence.

Khatumo security forces have launched an investigation into the assassination.

"We have imposed a curfew on the town because of our investigation. We don't know why Abdirashid was targeted, but we have suspects, and will continue to investigate until we capture the murderers," said Suleiman, a member of the Khatumo security forces.

Unconfirmed reports from the ground say that Mr. Abdirashid was involved with anti-Khatumo protests as well as anti-Puntland activities last year, according to the Puntland government.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the first assassination to occur in Khatumo state since it was created last month.

Puntland and Somaliland officials have yet to comment.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2974/Puntland_Somaliland_Official_Gunned_Down_


Somali Women Seek Role in Leadership

Somali Women Challenge Men Who Have Led Somalia Into Conflict

By MOHAMED NUXURKEY 03/01/2012

Somali Women in Mogadishu

Somalia's professional women have expressed their ambitions towards increasing the visibility of the role of women participating in politics, particularly in the upcoming reforms this year. As part of this, they have asked the government to establish positive plans which could allow them to contest parliamentary seats, or even ministerial candidacy in the future.

Most women in the country believe that women should take a greater role in the politics, but there are those who believe women have no place in politics, uncomfortable with a public role for women.

However, many activist women are still tirelessly working to establish a better role for women in the future of Somalia. Amongst those is the spirited woman Malyuun Sheikh Haider, who is an official in the president's office of parliamentary relations. Speaking with Somalia Report on the role of women in politics, she is very optimistic about women taking positions in the upcoming government. "We have common goals as Somali women. I think Somali women can run for president, women can be serve as prime minister. We should also be able to compete for ministerial posts, and through this we are going to receive our rights. The majority of Somali women are now educators who can also serve to govern this country," Malyuun told Somalia Report.

Somalis have differing views on women's role in the political world, but nonetheless many still think that women would somehow be preferred as leaders rather than men, because they are more inclined to seek consensus, and because of the historical inability of Somali's male leaders to form strong leadership and manage compromise. "If I speak about my views toward womens' role in politics. I am not sure how women can lead this country, because this country is already hijacked by a collaborated group of men who are all criminals, who came to power in a bloody struggle. Speaking for myself, I would give my vote to a woman," Mohamed Abdullah said in Mogadishu.

As the transitional federal government (TFG) is now facing more pressures from womens' lobbying groups in the country including the ministry of women's development to raise opportunities for women throughout the country, the current government has nonetheless employed more women than others have before. "I can say women have already effected change here in our country, which is a good start in seeking for a better and more democratic nation. Since I was appointed to this ministry, I have been working on campaigns toward increasing the role of women in political presentation or any other public sectors, such as working in government offices, holding ministerial posts, etcetera," Maryam Aways Jamaa, Minister for Women's Development and Family Care, told Somalia Report.

"Women are always appointed to this post, as minister of women's development, only. Why are women not named to other ministries? We need to have active participation in politics, we need women who could become president, or prime minister. We also need women to become a minister of foreign affairs, internal affairs or treasurer. I hope that in the next government, women will be leaders and take top positions in this government, after election reforms will be observed in Somalia which is scheduled in middle of this year. Previously representation for women was set 12 percent, but this was increased to 30 percent of women representation in the constituent assemblies, and even this is not sufficient," Maryam added.

Though nearly every senior executive position in this government has been elected from the Somali diaspora, this has also inspired a number of women from abroad to pursue political positions in Somalia. Ubah Tahliil Warsameh, a well-known Somali woman activist, told Somalia Report that it was her own aspiration when returning to Somalia after spending several years in Canada. Ubah founded a womens' union to help affected by the conflict and strengthen their connections.

"Women are essential to every nations interests. Without women, men could not be doing anything. When women's rights are neglected or denied, our country will remain mired in conflict. I hope that women can play a greater role in resolving Somalia's conflicts, and my hope is very positive for this to change. The government must let women have a chance," Ubah told Somalia Report.

Though forced into positions as breadwinners for their families during the decades of conflict that have followed from the collapse of central government in 1991, women in Somalia have hopes that their role will be better in the future.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2969/Somali_Women_Seek_Role_in_Leadership


Hargeisa Protests End in Violence

Somaliland Police Open Fire As Shop Owners Resist Demolitions

By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 03/01/2012

One person was killed and two others wounded on Wednesday after policemen open fired on protesters in Hargeisa, the capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland.

The demonstrations began after the Hargeisa city government, led by mayor Eng. Hussein Mohamed Jicir, started an operation to demolish small retail shops on the the main street of the city, as part of an urban beautification project.

"We need Somaliland to look like a suitable country, and, as its capital, we need Hargeisa to be a beautiful city. We will not allow street retailers to stay in the street. Those who are able must rent shops, the others have to use the markets, not the streets," Hussein Mohamed Jicir told Somalia Report.

Unrest broke out on the streets as angry protestors began demonstrating, shouting "no demolition," throwing stones at policemen, and burning car tires.

Somaliland police began firing live rounds at and above the heads of protestors, which resulted in the death of Ahmed Adan, 40, who was wounded in the head with a fatal shot and died in hospital. Two other young men were taken to the hospital to be treated for non-critical gunshot wounds.

"It's not fair to destroy someone's property without giving notice. They came on Wednesday morning and started demolishing our property, and after we tried to defend it they fired on us. They said they are working for the people, but they are really working for Evil," said Halima Sirad, a retailer in Hargeisa.

Large business owners in Hargeisa as well as government officials welcomed the operation.

"We welcome this step. The main street had become so congested that two cars couldn't even pass each other," Ahmed Ali Hassan, a businessmen in Hargeisa, told Somalia Report.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2966/Hargeisa_Protests_End_in_Violence_


Somalia: Somaliland President ready to hold talks with Khatumo

3 Mar 3, 2012 -http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Somaliland_President_ready_to_hold_talks_with_Khatumo.shtml

MOGADISHU, Somalia Mar 3 2012 (Garowe Online) - The Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo has stated that is government is ready to hold talks with the self proclaimed Khatumo state, Radio Garowe reports.

The Somaliland President gave an interview to BBC Somali, in which he stated that he is ready to help solve current issues in the contested areas of Sool, Sanaag and Ayn. "My government is ready to sit down with the politicians and intellectuals of Khatumo so we can reach a peaceful resolution," said President Silanyo.

Silanyo who returned to Hargeysa from the London conference said that the conference ended well and that further talks between Somalia and Somaliland will continue. "The outcomes of the conference included Somaliland and Somalia to continue holding talks but that does not mean that there will be a unification of the two," said Silanyo.

Somaliland's military has been occupying areas in Ayn for 3 months despite repeated appeals by both TFG and Puntland for Somaliland to pull out their troops from contested areas. President Silanyo has not acted on the pleas although he says he is ready to hold talks with Khatumo.

Although Sool, Sanaag and Ayn have been contested by Puntland and Somaliland for many years, after not recognizing Khatumo President Silanyo did not hold meetings with Puntland about the conflict in the contested but has decided to hold meetings with Khatumo.


Somaliland reporter arrested, beaten in custody

Feb 28, 2012

Journalist Mohamed Abdirahman was arrested and brutally assaulted while in police custody. (Omer Albashiir)

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns last week's arrest and brutal assault of Mohamed Abdirahman, a journalist in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland.

Police arrested Abdirahman, a reporter for the local news site Subulahanews, on the morning of February 21 in the northwestern town of Borama, and accused him of publishing a false story that claimed Ethiopian separatists with the Ogaden National Liberation Front had settled in the northwestern town of Lughaya, local journalists said.

While in custody, Abdirahman was beaten by four police officers with sticks and the butt of a gun until he lost consciousness, local journalists and news reports said. Police took the journalist to Borama Hospital, where he was treated in the intensive care unit for his internal injuries, according to local journalists and news reports. He was moved to Hargeisa Hospital today so he could receive more advanced treatment, local journalists said.

"This vicious attack against Mohamed Abdirahman is the latest example of the severely deteriorating press freedom climate in Somaliland," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. "Authorities must ensure a thorough and independent investigation into this crime, and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice."

Faisal Ali Sheekh Mohamed, the director general of the Information Ministry, told CPJ he was not aware of Abdirahman's case but would investigate the matter.

On February 19, two reporters for the weekly Ogaal were arrested for publishing a similar report on the ONLF. One of the journalists, Mohamed Abdi, told CPJ they were arrested on the orders of the interior minister and were taken to the Central Investigation Department in the capital, Hargeisa. Both journalists were released on Sunday, local journalists said.

Somaliland authorities have repeatedly arrested and arbitrarily detained independent journalists for reporting on cases of disputed regions in the semi-autonomous republic. Authorities arrested at least 28 independent journalists without charge in January, according to CPJ research.

http://hornofafricanews.blogspot.com/2012/02/somaliland-reporter-arrested-beaten-in.html


UK prime minister commends Somaliland's economic achievements

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 25 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "David Cameron Praises Somaliland, Welcomes Somaliland President"]

The subject of Somaliland came up in the question and answer session in the United Kingdom's parliament, on the eve of the London conference on Somalia. The prime minister praised Somaliland's achievements and upheld it as an example to others.

Here is the full exchange between the prime minister and a member of his party:

Tony Baldry (Banbury, Conservative): The children of Somalia should be able to expect a life before death. Does not tomorrow's London conference provide an opportunity to signal to the terrorists, pirates and corrupt of Somalia that we are all determined to do whatever we can to ensure stability and good governance in Somalia? Will the prime minister welcome the participation in the conference of the president of Somaliland, given its experience of peace-building in the region?

Prime Minister Cameron: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this issue. We will be welcoming the president of Somaliland to the conference. Somaliland has taken an important step forward in showing that better governance and better economic progress are possible. In many ways, it is an example that others can follow. But the conference is not about recognizing Somaliland; it is about trying to put in place the building blocks, among the international community but above all among the Somalis themselves, for a stronger and safer Somalia. That means taking action on piracy and hostages, supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia and increasing its funding and role in Mogadishu, and working with all the parts of Somalia to try to give that country, which has been more blighted by famine, disease, terrorism and violence than almost any other in the world, a second chance.


Somaliland president holds talks with UK Foreign Secretary at London conference

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 25 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "Strengthening The UK's Relationship With Somaliland"]

Foreign Secretary William Hague met President Silanyo of Somaliland on 22 February, the eve of the London conference on Somalia.

The foreign secretary and President Silanyo reaffirmed the close ties between the UK and Somaliland. They agreed that Somaliland was making progress in further embedding democracy and discussed issues of mutual interest, including cooperation on trade and to counter piracy. Over the next three years, the UK will provide up to 105m pounds in development support to Somaliland to promote prosperity, tackle poverty and consolidate progress on stability and democracy.

Speaking after their meeting, the foreign secretary said: "I am delighted to see President Silanyo in London for the conference on Somalia. Somaliland has valuable lessons to share from its own experience of building stability and democracy. I welcome President Silanyo's participation at the conference and am grateful for Somaliland's continued cooperation in the fight against piracy and terrorism."


Clan militia in northwest said planning attacks against Somaliland troops

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 25 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "Buhodle Militia Planning Attacks"]

Haatuf Newspaper reported it had received information that the Buuhoodle militia is planning attacks against Somaliland troops that are placed in the upskirts of Buuhoodle (at Sool joogto).

The Buuhoodle militia had made such sneak attack not that long ago and received strong response from Somaliland's army. Since that last encounter, the Buuhoodle militia has been collecting weaponry to mount a repeat attack on Somaliland's army positions.

However, Some Buuhoodle elders have become concerned about the violence-prone militia and are engaged in talks with Somaliland about defusing the tensions in the area.


UK prime minister commends Somaliland's economic achievements

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 25 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "David Cameron Praises Somaliland, Welcomes Somaliland President"]

The subject of Somaliland came up in the question and answer session in the United Kingdom's parliament, on the eve of the London conference on Somalia. The prime minister praised Somaliland's achievements and upheld it as an example to others.

Here is the full exchange between the prime minister and a member of his party:

Tony Baldry (Banbury, Conservative): The children of Somalia should be able to expect a life before death. Does not tomorrow's London conference provide an opportunity to signal to the terrorists, pirates and corrupt of Somalia that we are all determined to do whatever we can to ensure stability and good governance in Somalia? Will the prime minister welcome the participation in the conference of the president of Somaliland, given its experience of peace-building in the region?

Prime Minister Cameron: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this issue. We will be welcoming the president of Somaliland to the conference. Somaliland has taken an important step forward in showing that better governance and better economic progress are possible. In many ways, it is an example that others can follow. But the conference is not about recognizing Somaliland; it is about trying to put in place the building blocks, among the international community but above all among the Somalis themselves, for a stronger and safer Somalia. That means taking action on piracy and hostages, supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia and increasing its funding and role in Mogadishu, and working with all the parts of Somalia to try to give that country, which has been more blighted by famine, disease, terrorism and violence than almost any other in the world, a second chance.


SOMALIA: NUSOJ Condemns Increased Violations against Journalists in Somalia

Feb 27, 2012.http://www.raxanreeb.com/2012/02/somalia-nusoj-condemns-increased-violations-against-the-journalists-in-somalia/

Mogadishu (RBC) The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is disturbed by the increased violations against the journalists in Somaliland and Central Somalia regions.

Somaliland authorities arrested Mohamed Abdi Boosh who writes for Ramaas.com and reports for the Royal 24 TV and Hasan Omar Hassan of Ogaal Newspaper on 19 February 2012 and released on Sunday 26 February 2012 around 11:30am local time, without charges.

The journalists were accused of publishing a report of an alleged ONLF troops which entered Somaliland and were published on Somali website Ramaas.com and Ogaal Newspaper, both privately owned.

The Somaliland authorities deemed highly sensitive The journalists, Mohamed Boosh and Hassan Omar were summoned by the Somaliland's Interior Minister, Mohamed Nor Arale nicknamed Dur to his office last Sunday 19 February, 2012 and told them that "They were under arrest." The minister ordered their arrest. They were taken to CID headquarters in Hargeysa where the journalists were seriously beaten. They were held at the CID custody for two days and later transferred to Hargeysa Central Jail, according to Mohamed Bosh who spoke with NUSOJ.

"We were summoned by the Somaliland Minister of Interior to his office and we were informed that we are under arrest, later we were brought to CID detention center and filled cases against us."

Mohamed Abdi Bosh told NUSOJ by phone from Hargeysa, "We were detained at CID detention center for two days. During these two days, I was beaten by the police, hitting me until my face bled with big scar."

"I was sick with pain throughout the week I spent in jail and will go to a hospital on Monday." Mr. Bosh added.

On separate incident, Somaliland police briefly detained Mohamed Yuusuf Omar who is the Chairman of Caalami Newspaper and Mustafe Abdikarim Ali, better known as Mustafe Future who is also the editor of the Caalami newspaper, issued in Hargeysa, on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 from 11.00 am till 6:00pm in the evening at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Their detention, according to the authorities, was occasioned by a complaint filed against the newspaper by Somaliland's Minister of Justice, Hussein Ahmed Caydiid.

"We received an invitation letter from the CID to come to their offices. When we arrived at the offices, we were told that we are under arrest," Mustafe Abdulkarim Ali, told NUSOJ. "Then, they later ordered us to enter the detention room," he added.

The journalists were released late Tuesday on bail granted by SOJA, an affiliate of the NUSOJ, according to a statement released from SOJA office in Hargyesa on Wednesday 15 February, 2012

"After spending seven hours in the CID detention rooms, we were released on bail granted by Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA)," Mustafe added.

The arrest of Omar and Ali comes after the Caalami newspaper published a series of reports on alleged mismanagement and corruption in Somaliland's ministry of Justice, which apparently infuriated the minister and later led to a complaint being filed at the office of the Attorney General of Somaliland last week.

Meanwhile, NUSOJ documents two cases of arrest of a single journalist in January alone at the central Somalia town of Adado controlled by local clan based administration called "Himan and Heeb."

On 13 January 2012, militias loyal to the Himan and Heeb administration arrested Mr. Said Gabayre, who works for the Somali news website: www.dhacdooyinka.com, in the town of Adado. He was Adado custody for two days in Adado prison. During his detention, his hair was shaved, his equipments was confiscated and he was denied to be released on bail, , according to Said Osman Gabayre who spoke with NUSOJ. On 25 February 2012, he was again briefly detained and was ordered to leave the town immediately.

"We condemn the violations of harassment, intimidations and arbitrary arrest meant the silence the independent media." Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary-General said, "We welcome the release of the journalists and therefore call upon the Somaliland authorities to respect the freedom of expression and guarantee that journalists work in an environment that is free of reprisals due to their reporting, "

Journalists in Somalia work in one a very volatile environment and risk their lives to report.

For further information, please contact: National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)First Floor, Human Rights House, Taleex Street, KM4 Area, Hodan District, Mogadishu, Somalia, Tel: +252 1 859 944. e-mail: nusoj@nusoj.org.so / newsletter@nusoj.org.so. Internet: http://www.nusoj.org.so. Twitter: @NUSOJ_Somalia


Somali president said to hold "unconditional talks" with Somaliland

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 26 Feb 2012. Radio Gaalkacyo, Gaalkacyo, in Somali 1015 26 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

The president of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG), Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad, has said that his government "will soon begin talks" with the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland to discuss the political stance between the two sides, privately-owned Radio Gaalkacyo reported on 26 February.

President Sharif, who held a news conference after returning to Mogadishu from London, has said that "key issues were discussed in the London conference including a Somali solution to the conflict and political differences, adding that his government will "soon engage talks with Somaliland", added the radio.

The president has further said that his government will hold "unconditional talks" with Somaliland leaders to discuss issues that led to their rejection of the unity of Somalia.

The president's statement comes as Somaliland government attended the first conference on Somalia in more than 20 years in London.

Somaliland has declared its independent from the rest of Somalia in 1991.


Support for community education FGM project in Somaliland

Project Title : Support for community education FGM project in Somaliland

Project overall goal: The reproductive health of women in Togdheer and Sanaag has improved.

Project Period: January 2011- December 2014. http://candlelightsom.org/

Expected Result:

1. Students in selected schools are campaigning against FGM practice.
2. Religious leaders discourage FGM in their sermons and public speeches in Burao and Erigavo.
3. Members of village committees know about FGM consequences and campaign against.
4. The parents who are members of Community education committees (CECs) are campaigning against FGM practice in Burao and Erigavo.
5. Cooperation and coordination with Burao and Erigavo hospitals, line ministries, NGO and networking with anti-FGM activists in Burao and Erigavo for strengthened so that the effort to outlaw FGM is speeded up.
6. The capacity and professionalism of CLHE staff in Burao and Erigavo to deal with FGM issues is strengthened.

Main component Activities

1.Training for traditional birth attendants, community school committees, students, local gender activist and village committees.
2.Provision of clean delivery kits to trained Traditional birth attendant (TBAs).
3.Consultation meeting with religious leaders (male and female), Health workers and parents of school children.
4.Media campaigns against FGM (i.e. TV sports, journal articles, and public debates)
5.Capacity building training for the project staff to handle effective counseling and awareness raising activities.
6.Coordination meeting with project stakeholders (i.e. line ministries, other NGOs, health workers etc)

Funded Agency: International Solidarity Foundation of Finland (ISF)


Hargeisa's Water Woes Residents Say Somaliland Government Not Doing Enough

By SHIINE OMAR 02/24/2012

Residents in Hargeisa, the largest city in Somalia's breakaway state of Somaliland and the second largest city in Somalia, have complained that the government is not doing enough to get water to each village in the city. With a current population of 1,150,000 and growing fast, Hargeisa's water resources are stretched to the limit, according to residents who spoke to Somalia Report. The government argues they are doing all they can and projects are underway.

According to local officials, 45% of Hargesia residents get water regularly while 15% get rationed water on a weekly basis. The remaining 40% don't have access to water and must purchase water from suppliers who deliver it on donkey carts. Others walk long distances to buy water from wells outside the city, often into dangerous areas.

The Somaliland government has been trying to build more wells for the city, but residents complain the promises have been nothing more than talk.

"We are a family of nine living in Hargeisa. We are four brothers and three sisters and our parents. We have never received any water from the city's main water supply because our village is located in the southern part of city where there isn't any water," complained resident Mohamud Mursal.

"We have a lot of problems because we have to carry the water in jugs from the wells that are really far from here. We can never carry enough for cleaning, drinking and showers so we can't use much. We can only take a shower once a week. We have been complaining to the government and demanding they make some changes. We need the water to reach our village, but our requests fall on deaf ears," he added.

Other residents also expressed their frustration to Somalia Report.

"We are residents of Gacan Libax and this village is well known in the city. There are many residents, businesses, and schools. One day we receive water and the next day we don't. It is very unpredictable. How can we run a business or our lives when we don't have water?," asked Ayub Ma'allin Hussein, a resident of Gacan Libaax.

"We are kindly requesting that our government take immediate action to improve the water supply in the city," added Mr. Hussein.

Residents are forced to transport water on donkey carts because no alternatives remain.

"You know water is so hard to get. I live in Mooge Village of Hargeisa and my house has water supply equipment but I can't use it. Instead I use the donkey carts, which supplies water for us and some of our neighbors," said Malyun Yoonis, a resident of Hargeisa.

"One day I hope to see that our government is doing something about this. This city is growing fast and developing and the water shortage is embarrassing," she added.

Parents complained their children were forced to carry water long distances and into dangerous neighborhoods.

"I feel so frustrated when I hear about water supply because I have three children, two girls and one boy who is young. I used to send my girls to get water from the well in another village, but nowadays I stopped them from going because I feared the gangs and youth there. It is too dangerous so now I go during the day by myself and I cannot carry enough water for everyone," said Maymun Mohamed Ali, a resident of Ina Mooge village.

"We heard that the government has signed agreements with foreign companies to improve water shortage, but still nothing has changed. I wish our president would do something about this," she added.

Corruption to Blame?

An employee of the city's water supply agency who spoke to Somalia Report on the condition of anonymity said corruption was to blame for the lack of improvements.

"Some corrupt officials take money from the residents and only give them water. To do this, they will shut the water off to another village," said the employee.

Hussein Abdi Dualeh, Somaliland's Minister of Mining, Energy and Water Resources, told Somalia Report projects were underway and denied corruption was a factor.

"The European Union pledged $27.5 million to fund water infrastructure projects including building, upgrading extending the water supply systems in the four major cities in Somaliland: Hargeisa, Burao, Erigavo, and Wajale. The government has been putting a lot of effort into this and we received the final funding approval," the minister.

"We are planning to build 12 big water wells in the city," he added.

Mohamud Hussein Jiciir, the mayor of Hargeisa, confirmed improvements were being made in the city.

"The government has made a lot of effort to drill water wells to reduce water shortage in Hargeisa. It is succeeding, but it will take time. We are planning to drill as many water wells in the city as soon as possible," the mayor told Somalia Report.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2849/Hargeisas_Water_Woes


Somaliland Approves New Piracy Law

Five to 20 Year Prison Sentences For Offenders

By MUHYADIN AHMED ROBLE 02/24/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2898/Somaliland_Approves_New_Piracy_Law

The Parliament of the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland approved on Tuesday a new anti-piracy law, which criminalizes acts of piracy. The law, which the parliament had been debating over the previous few days, was passed during the parliament's session on Tuesday in the capital of Hargeisa.

This first anti-piracy law of Somaliland sentences anyone who commits an act of piracy to a prison sentence of between five and 20 years. The law also recognizes any vessel or aircraft used for purposes of piracy as the property of pirates, and, if seized, can be confiscated as national property. Suspects arrested under the law will stand trial in a Somaliland court, provided the crime was not committed in another country's territorial waters.

The law proscribes 10 to 20 year prison sentences for owners of any vessel used to carry out pirate attacks. It also clearly indicates that any Somaliland officer involved in committing acts of piracy can be sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison.

Somaliland president Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo, who is in London for the Somalia conference, is expected to sign the law when he returns.

The law has been in development since 2011.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) spent $1.5 million on a prison in Hargeisa to host about 400 inmates, mostly pirates, last year.


Breakaway Somaliland entity targets investors

By William Maclean

LONDON | Fri Feb 24, 2012. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/24/somalia-somaliland-investment-idUSL5E8DK6SV20120224

LONDON Feb 24 (Reuters) - The breakaway enclave of Somaliland, which boasts oil and gas potential, has set up a UK-linked corporation to act as an entry point for investors concerned the Somali territory's lack of international recognition would stop contracts being enforced.

On a visit to London to attend a conference on Somalia, President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo told Reuters that the purpose of the Somaliland Development Corporation was to "to attract companies and institutions which want to invest in our country."

"Since we are not a recognised country, insurance is always a difficult problem in Somaliland so if this can help with that, it would be useful."

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has enjoyed relative stability compared to the rest of Somalia, including the holding of a series of peaceful general elections, but remains unrecognised internationally.

Silanyo did not indicate what economic sectors he wished investors to target. But energy and mining minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh said in November the northern enclave had hydrocarbon potential with a geology similar to basins containing 9 billion barrels across the Gulf of Aden.

A number of big oil companies with permits to operate there left what is now Somaliland in the late 1980s and declared force majeure during Somalia's escalating civil conflict.

Several foreign banks have expressed interest in operating in Somaliland where they are keen to capitalise on its untapped market potential. Somaliland has no formal banking sector and its people rely heavily on remittances from diaspora communities in Europe, North America and the United Arab Emirates, as there are no ATMs or loan facilities.

A briefing paper distributed to journalists on the sidelines of the London conference said that despite Somaliland's "achievements in stability and democracy, international donors cannot deal directly with its government, and foreign investors face uncertainty about whether contracts - the basis of secure business - can be enforced".

The SDC circumvented the problem of non-recognition by providing "a transparent, accountable and enforceable means by which investors can participate in Somaliland ventures".

A not-for-profit company had been set up in Britain to act as the founding vehicle, with Somaliland's Minister of State Mohamed-Rashid Hassan and Britons Myles Wickstead, a former diplomat, and Jeremy Carver, a retired international lawyer, as founding directors.

The SDC is owned by an incorporated trust, the Somaliland Development Corporation Trust, the paper said.

Oil discoveries would be a cash boon to Somaliland though hydrocarbons have often proven to be a curse to African nations as the opaque nature of the industry can breed corruption.

Colonised by Britain while the rest of Somalia was under Italian administration, Somaliland declared independence in 1991 as the rest of the country disintegrated into anarchy.

But the African Union and foreign powers have not recognised Somaliland. Many in the breakaway republic suspect the African Union fears its formal recognition would trigger a flurry of secession bids across the continent. (Reporting by William Maclean; editing by Ron Askew)


Somaliland recognizes piracy as a crime, convictions to bring max jail term of 25 years

22 February 2012.http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/02/22/196357.html

Somaliland, which declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 but is still not recognized internationally, said the laws were a sign of the territory's commitment to fighting maritime attacks off Somalia's shores. (File photo) inShare.0By Al Arabiya with Agencies

Somaliland's parliament has passed legislation recognizing piracy as a crime and allowing for pirates convicted abroad to be transferred to the breakaway enclave, officials said on Wednesday.

Somaliland, which declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 but is still not recognized internationally, said the laws were a sign of the territory's commitment to fighting maritime attacks off Somalia's shores.

The two laws come ahead of a conference on Somalia in London on Thursday, at which Britain wants to push for the anarchic Horn of Africa country to play a greater role in the fight against a criminal enterprise that costs the world economy billions of dollars each year.

Somalia has lacked effective government for the last two decades, but Somaliland - which has a coastline facing Yemen - has stronger central authority.

Until now, Somaliland has had to charge suspected pirates landed on its shores with armed robbery. Under the new legislation, piracy will carry a maximum jail term of 25 years.

"The passing of these laws proves that we are willing to cooperate with the international community," Abdirahman Abdillahi, speaker of Somaliland's House of Representatives, told Reuters, referring to the fight against piracy.

Piracy in the strategic sea-lanes off Somalia has evolved from a local response to illegal fishing and toxic dumping to an international criminal enterprise.

While a fleet of foreign warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean regularly detain suspected pirates, many are quickly released because governments are reluctant to bring them to trial.

Some experts estimate up to 90 percent of captured pirates are turned loose.

Somalia lacks the judicial or prison infrastructure to try and detain large numbers.

Up to now, regional countries like Seychelles and Kenya have carried the burden of prosecuting and jailing pirates, but they insist the load must be shared.

British Foreign Minister William Hague said earlier this month the London conference should push for the transfer of convicted pirates from regional states to Somalia as well as the development of Somalia's maritime capacity.

Somaliland's Interior Minister Mohamed Nur Arale told Reuters his authorities were ready to use additional external funding to beef up its fledgling anti-piracy operations.

"We want to build the capacity of the maritime police through additional equipment and training. The more their capacity is improved, the more effective their efforts to deter piracy will be, both inland and offshore," Arale said

Meanwhile truckloads of Ethiopian and Somali troops on Wednesday captured the strategic Somali city of Baidoa from al-Qaeda allied Shebab insurgents, who vowed to avenge the loss.

"We have taken control of Baidoa without a single shot, it is a great day for the people who are now welcoming us warmly," said Muhidin Ali, a Somali government military commander in Baidoa.

Baidoa, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of the capital Mogadishu, is one of the main bases of the hardline Shebab, and its capture deals a major blow to the insurgents, who control large parts of southern and central Somalia.

"The takeover does not mean that the enemy will enjoy the city, there will be more bloodshed," said Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim, a Shebab commander.

"The areas they took will only be the graveyards of the Christian invading forces and their apostate Somali militia."

Sporadic shooting was reported on the outskirts of the town, but residents said the city was largely calm.

"We are at the center now and moving towards every corners of the town, to ensure that we are in full control," Ali added. "The enemy fled the city before our army has reached the town empty."

Ethiopian troops, who moved into southern and western Somalia in November, began a major push Tuesday towards Baidoa, which hosted the transitional parliament before Islamist rebels seized the town in 2009.

The rebels are already struggling financially and face increasing pressure from regional armies and pro-government forces. The rebels still control the southern port town of Kismayo, a major source of income.


Dahabshiil CEO: Social Entrepreneurship Is Key to Unlocking Somalia's Potential

21 February 2012. http://allafrica.com/stories/201202211569.html

The CEO of Dahabshiil, Somalia's largest private sector employer, has called for the international community to help unlock the potential of social entrepreneurship in the region, so it can stage its own recovery from issues that have plagued it for more than 20 years.

Speaking ahead of the London Somalia Conference, to be chaired by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Abdirashid Duale, CEO of Dahabshiil, Africa's largest money transfer business, said: "Somalis have high hopes that the international community will develop a concrete plan to improve the region's future.

"The key to unlocking Somalia's potential is international investment in social entrepreneurship and education. It will help Somalis help themselves by teaching them how to create new business opportunities, more jobs and a more sustainable economy. These practical alternatives will protect vulnerable Somalis, particularly younger generations, from the pressure put on them by extremist groups linked to piracy and terrorism.

"As the Somali proverb goes `the worst man is he who never sows, never consults and never economises', meaning that our communities most value those that use their minds or assets to help themselves and others."

The conference, organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will be attended by more than 40 governments and international organisations, including the United Nations, African Union, European Union and the World Bank. Somali officials, including the Presidents of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Somaliland, Puntland, Galmudug and Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaah will also be in attendance.

To be held at Lancaster House on 23 February, the conference aims to deliver commitment and coordination for a new international approach to tackle Somalia's problems of terrorism, piracy, food shortage and the political vacuum affecting the region.

Addressing an audience of Somalis at Chatham House recently, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was confident the conference would mark a turning point by "putting the needs of Somalis front and centre." Hague also emphasised that solutions must be Somali-led. "We can help get Somalia on its feet - we cannot do the running for it", he said.

Mr Duale added: "The conference addresses issues that are highly political, but if the Somali region is to be rehabilitated, then its business community - domestic and international - must be central to any agreed plan. Diaspora-led businesses in Somalia play a crucial role in bringing expertise and investment to the private sector.

"Those Somalis with the most at stake, who understand the many complex issues first-hand, tend to be those who live and work within the region. In pursuit of sustainable development, stability and effective government, multi-lateral organisations such as the African Union, UN, EU and World Bank need to find ways to help these various groups play to their strengths."

Dahabshiil, which handles the majority of the $1.6bn remitted to Somalia by its diaspora, has a long history of partnership with international organisations, supporting development initiatives and providing financial services to 95% of NGOs operating there. Dahabshiil Group spans money transfer, banking and telecoms, and employs around 5,000 people within Somalia itself, across regional and clan lines.

As part of a wide-ranging corporate social responsibility programme financed by 5% of its annual profits, the company funds the main hospital in Mogadishu and is a major donor to healthcare programmes throughout the Horn of Africa. At the height of last year's drought, Dahabshiil donated over US$200,000 to the relief effort and called for other businesses to follow suit. The firm contributes to infrastructure projects and makes regular donations of cash and equipment to schools and universities throughout the region.

Mr Duale believes that alongside business growth it is imperative that Somalis have access to a good education. He said: "There are now ten universities in Hargeisa and an increasing number of young people are choosing to pursue further education within the Somali regions instead of leaving. It is vital that we, alongside the international community, continue to make strenuous efforts in education as it will play a vital role in the development of a sustainable economy."

It is increasingly recognised that the Somali youth represent a great challenge both in the diaspora and in the region itself. The international community has already stepped-up its efforts to engage disenfranchised young Somalis in the UK, Mogadishu and elsewhere, with part-government funded organisations such as the London Somali Youth Forum playing a particularly active role.

Referring to recent actions of a Minnesota bank in the US, which stopped money transfers to Somalia in fear of prosecution under US anti-terror laws, Mr Duale expressed his concern for those who rely heavily on remittances to survive.

He said: "Annual remittances to the Somali region are greater than funding from international aid. The flow of financial and human resources between the diaspora and the domestic population is crucial to sustained development, and the international community should not obstruct the efforts of Somalis to help themselves, whether it's by sending money or by travelling to and from the region."

Following the global media's recent focus on the international impact of piracy and terrorism, Mr Duale was keen to highlight the effect on day-to-day business in the region itself.

"The threat of piracy and insurgent groups translate to increased business costs, such as insurance, shipping and internal security for firms trying to operate in these areas. Greater stability and continuity in the Somali government is a prerequisite to any long term solution. The conference must lay the foundations for this, as businesses are currently at the mercy of the government's constantly changing nature and its lack of effective authority."

Looking ahead, Mr Duale believes that to secure a brighter future for all Somalis it is imperative the international community help to build better infrastructure - citing roads and hospitals as necessary sources of investment. He also believes that Somalia would benefit from greater UN involvement, including closer collaboration with the private sector and greater investment from Turkey, the Middle East and other members of The Arab League.

Mr Duale also welcomed the recent aid from international donors, but said further humanitarian support is still required.


Making money in Somaliland: meeting Abdirashid Duale, CEO, Dahabshiil

- By Magnus Taylor. February 20, 2012

Abdirashid Duale is CEO of Dahabshiil and a proud Somalilander. Dahabshiil is one of the biggest international money transfer companies in the Horn of Africa and I caught up with him between trips (his, not mine) between London, Hargeisa (the capital of Somaliland) and Dubai - where Dahabshiil has its second main office. Duale himself is a representative of Somalia's most successful export - its energetic business community; running offices from multiple international locations, and making money in what are pretty difficult circumstances. Positioned in the Northern part of the Somali region, knowing how to refer to Somaliland can difficult - it claimed independence in the early 1990s and has run its own affairs (quite successfully) since, despite receiving no official recognition from international bodies such as the UN. This is a major sore point for the Somaliland population, and could prove a bigger challenge at the upcoming `London Conference' on Somalia's future than its convenors perhaps realise.

If the best motivator for innovation is necessity, then Dahabshiil is a perfect example of this maxim. Whilst the company was founded in 1970 by the present CEO's father as an import-export business, it would be fair to say that its present structure and focus only developed after the start of the Somali civil war. Duale tells me that during the civil war they "more or less we lost everything." This forced the family to reinvent the business, adapting to the restrictions, and opportunities, of the political environment. The move towards money transfer was motivated by the flight of thousands of Somalis to Europe, America and the Middle East, who still wanted to maintain contact with their families in Somalia. Money transfer therefore became both a business opportunity and a lifeline, and for isolated communities, particularly in the South, this is what it remains.

Able to operate in environments deemed too challenging for its international competitors, the company also undercuts the market - its business model is based upon making many thousands of small transactions, and gaining a reputation for speed and reliability. As Duale states, "as Africans we know the African market very well." Dahabshiil is, in many of the least secure regions of Southern Somalia, a more constant presence than the local administration, which have, over the past 2 decades, changed hands with a violent and destabilising rapidity. However, Duale also states that it is the people who live in these areas, not the administrations, that Dahabshiil serves - irrespective of the nature of their government, people still have the same aspirations for a normal life including healthcare, education, electricity and housing.

It is reasonably well-known that Dahabshiil's main Somali competitor (Al-Barakat) was shut down through anti-terrorist measures taken by the US government post-September 11th 2001. The story goes that Dahabshiil profited greatly from the space this left in the Somali money transfer market. However, Duale explains that regulations enforced after 2001 made it harder to run the business in Somalia. The company had to be better regulated, with staff trained to take measures that prevent potential financing of suspected terrorist organisations. Not ending up like Al-Barakat is clearly a matter of some importance to Duale, who with a smile, asserts - "compliance is number 1.in fact, we aim to be extra-compliant!"

Dahabshiil is an example of how the entrepreneurial strata in Somali society has survived the country's long-running upheaval. It combines diaspora expertise and money with a particularly strong desire to support communities back home, and in doing so to make a healthy profit in an underdeveloped business environment. Duale tells me that the diaspora are the biggest source of investment in Somalia where, particularly in the more stable regions, the housing and construction sectors are booming. Flights back to Hargeisa, and even to Mogadishu, are frequently booked out, as diasporans, and globe-trotting Somali businessmen fly in to visit extended families and check up on their investments - not the image we normally get of the country.

The business community in Somalia lies at the heart of any effective programme to develop the country. Duale says that "Government can learn a lot from them, and they already contribute a lot." He is proud of Dahabshiil's record in CSR initiatives, but perhaps more significant is the manner in which it provides money transfer services to humanitarian and other international development organisations including the UN, Save the Children and Oxfam. When I ask whether the `business community' has been invited, in significant numbers, to the `London Conference' he says "I think not", which probably betrays everything you need to know about how, in the words of BBC Africa Editor Mary Harper, we `get Somalia wrong.' Listening to the experiences of more people like Abdirashid Duale would probably help us to do the opposite.

Magnus Taylor is Managing Editor, African Arguments Online.

http://africanarguments.org/2012/02/20/making-money-in-somaliland-meeting-abdirashid-duale-ceo-dahabshiil-%e2%80%93-by-magnus-taylor/


Somaliland: Women's Leadership for Peace and Security in the greater horn of Africa

20 February 2012

NAGAA Network hosted the G-40 conference in Hargeisa on 10-14th February 2012 as the first ever kind of meeting. The Women's Leadership for Peace and Security in the Greater Horn of Africa project was launched in 2009. Through a partnership of the Club de Madrid (CdM), Isis Women's International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Group of 40 Women Leaders (G40), the project seeks to maximize the participation and contribution of women in national and regional dialogue and decision-making on peace and security issues in the Greater Horn of Africa, under the UNSRC 1325 framework.

The G40 is a community of teachers, humanitarian workers, lawyers, grassroots peace activists, researchers, political scientists, business professionals, historians, social workers, human rights defenders and journalists that bring fresh thinking to crisis prevention and recovery in the Greater Horn of Africa and push new ideas into action through the communal forces of women's networks and constituencies in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia (Puntland and South Central), Somaliland, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.

From the 10-14 February 2012, the G40 met in Hargeisa to turn their attention to women and peace building in Somaliland. The mission will be led by P.M. Kjell Magne Bondevik, Club of Madrid Member, and former Prime Minister of Norway. The mission seeks to build capacity, analyze policy and practice from a gender perspective and engage relevant decision makers on issues pertinent to the women of Somaliland. The engagement therefore channels the voices of the Somaliland women, backed by the voices of women from the Greater Horn of g processes. Africa, for maximum impact on current peace building processes.

In particular, the aims of this high level mission are:

1. For the G40 to dialogue on the Somaliland situation, identifying key issues and actors in relation to strengthening peace

2. For Somaliland women, with the support of the G40, to highlight key ways in which they can support peace building processes and o give voice to the concerns of the women of Somaliland;

3. To engage authorities, traditional leaders, private sector, NGO's, international organizations on these issues to see how together with the G40 they can work together to deliver a positive peace for, particularly women in Somaliland.

4. For the G40 to further develop capacity (on mainstreaming gender and on early warning systems) and to strategize on how they take their work further.

The conference was organized by NAGAAD Network and it was held in Ambassador Hotel. It took four days of discussion for the women in G-40 and finally the fifth day; it has been invited potential government heads including a set of ministers, the chairman of the Somaliland parliament, member from the house of elders, civil society organizations and gender activists.

The G-40 read out their recommendations to the government, IGAD and more so to particular ministries including minister of labor and social affairs, parliament and more so to the religious affairs.

In the conference, there have been potential women leaders who are mainly from NAGAAD members who have really contributed a lot to the realization of gender equality in Somaliland.

The conference has ended in good harmony and the member of G-40 really appreciated how it was organized and also the peaceful environment in Somaliland.

http://www.nagaad.org/lag/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82:womens-leadership-for-peace-and-security-in-the-greater-horn-of-africa&catid=31:news&Itemid=46


Women Building Peace in Somaliland

http://www.clubmadrid.org/en/noticia/women_building_peace_in_somaliland

February 15, 2012G40 women leaders group from the Greater Horn of Africa High Level Mission in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Kjell Magne Bondevik, the former Prime Minister of Norway and a member of the Club de Madrid, presided today over a round table discussion in Hargeisa (Somalia) to hear the recommendations for peace and security in Somaliland from the G40, a group of women leaders in the Greater Horn of Africa.

Hargeisa, February 15th, 2012 - The G40 group, formed in 2009 as part of the Club de Madrid's project, "Women's Leadership for Peace and Security," is comprised of representatives from women's organizations and defenders of human rights. These women come from seven countries in the Horn of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somaliland, South Central and Puntland (Somalia), Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. Their goal is to work together to promote peace and security at a regional level.

The recommendations of the G40 summarize the strategic interests of women in Somaliland, and are directed towards the Somaliland authorities, religious leaders, the regional African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the international community and civil society. Recommendations included request for governmental gender-sensitive budgeting and a quota of 25 percent female representation in government structures and parliament, as well as committees of reconciliation and peace negotiations. The G40 recognizes the valuable contribution of religious and traditional leaders in the peace process and have urged these leaders to defend women's rights and recognize the state of women's rights in Somali culture and in Islam. Also discussed and included were G40 Recommendations recognizing the need to raise awareness of the negative effects of piracy and the consumption of chat, and highlighting the importance of maintaining a neutral stance on clan issues while peace negotiations are in process.

The Vice President of the government of Somaliland, the Speaker of the House, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, the Ministers of Planning and Religion, the First Lady and the mayors of neighboring cities attended the round table discussion led by former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. The discussions highlighted the importance of stability and peace for the maintenance of developmental processes and women's roles as active agents in society.

Although considered a de facto State, not yet recognized by the international community, Somaliland has used a democratic process since 1991, which is a model of transition from the traditional clan system to a democratic, multiparty, and bicameral system. Since the last presidential election of 2010, the region has maintained stability and participatory development processes, making it stand out from neighboring regions. These trends are partly due to the high degree of government accountability to citizens, which stems from the purely local tax collecting system.

Nevertheless, this society still faces major challenges such as the absence of international recognition and foreign investment, high unemployment, low salaries for civil servants that could lead to an inefficient and corrupt system, lack of infrastructure, piracy and exploitation of resources, border conflicts and disputes of land ownership and violent extremism, which seem to affect all of Somalia's regions.

The Club de Madrid's project-sponsored trip to Hargeisa, titled "Women's Leadership for Peace and Security," was the ninth mission to take place since the project began in 2009 in the Greater Horn of Africa and in the Andean region. The mission was launched with support from the Australian (AusAID) and Belgian Governments, in conjunction with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS, South Africa) and Isis-Women International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE Uganda). Former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik reiterated the project's goals to those in attendance, emphasizing the need to encourage the participation of women and to recognize women's contribution in the political process of peace building in the context of the international commitment to Resolution 1325 of the United Nations Security Council.


Somalia: Ex-Somaliland president rejects Buhodle war, London conference

18 Feb 18, 2012 - http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Ex-Somaliland_president_rejects_Buhodle_war_London_conference.shtml

HARGEYSA, Somalia Feb 18 2012 (Garowe Online) - Former Somaliland President Dahir Riyale rejected the Buhodle invasion by Somaliland President Mohamed Ahmed Silanyo, Garowe Online reports.

Dahir Riyale former Somaliland President and leader of the opposition party UDUB spoke to VOA on Thursday said that he felt that the recent offensive by Somaliland troops in the contested region of Ayn.

"The war in Buhodle had no purpose and usually war without purpose is lost," said Mr. Riyale.

Somaliland troops attacked Buhodle last month but were repulsed by local forces opposed to Somaliland's secession from Somalia. Although the fighting has subsided, military tensions remain high in the region.

Mr. Riyale was asked about the announcement of a self proclaimed Awdal state, a region within Somaliland, "I think that these states are part of the political disputes in Somaliland. Awdal region is where Somaliland was born."

Mr. Riyale was asked about the upcoming London conference on Somalia, in which Somalia's leaders will be attending, including Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo. Mr. Riyale did not welcome President Silanyo's decision to attend the London conference.

"My position did not change and I don't think that Somaliland should attend this conference," said Riyale during the VOA interview.

President Silanyo has come under criticism after a botched attempt to capture Buhodle a city that shares a border with Ethiopia. President Silanyo recently fired his two of Somaliland's highest military officials and has yet to pull out his troops despite recent appeals to withdraw from the region by the Puntland government and local clans.


Somaliland local government election likely to be postponed

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 15 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 11 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "Local Government Election Likely To Be Postponed"]

As the date for holding local government election draws nearer there are no signs that the election would not be held on the scheduled date, and it is more than likely that it will be postponed.

The elections are supposed to be held in April this year, and if they are postponed it will be the second time it happens.

The electoral commission has not yet addressed the issue. Neither has it suggested another date. Postponement of the local government election will mean changing the dates of the parliamentary and presidential elections. Another complicating factor is that the five-year term of the electoral commission will also expire soon.

It seems that the only thing the election commission knows is extending deadlines rather than producing results.


Somaliland president reportedly returns from visit to Ethiopia, Djibouti

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 15 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 11 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report: "Somaliland President Returns Home After Visits To Ethiopia And Djibouti"]

Somaliland President Ahmad Silanyo returned to Somaliland's capital after brief visits to Ethiopia and Djibouti.

A press release issued by Somaliland government said that while in Ethiopia, Somaliland president discussed with the Ethiopian government security, trade and education issues. They also talked about the need to evaluate the security of the region with special attention to certain destabilizing events taking place in the area.

They also agreed to cooperate on preventing and opposing all those who might try to harm the peace and security of the two neighbouring peoples of Somaliland and Ethiopia.

Somaliland's president was accompanied by the minister of foreign affairs, Dr Muhammad Abdullahi Umar, the minister of interior, Muhammad Nur Arale (Dur), the minister of the presidency, Hirsi Ali Haji Hasan, the president's secretary Ali Ahmad Ali, Somaliland's representative in Ethiopia, Adan Nuh Dhule and his deputy, Ayanle Salad Diriye.

Before he left for Ethiopia, President Ahmad Silanyo denied that any wrinkles had developed in relations with Ethiopia and said his visit to Ethiopia was part of the long-standing exchange of visits between officials in the two countries. The warm welcome he received in Addis Ababa seems to confirm what he said.

On his way back to Somaliland, President Ahmad Silanyo stopped in Djibouti where he held talks with Djibouti's government and met with President Ismail Omar Guelleh.


SR Interviews Somaliland Defense Minister

Ahmed Haji Ali Adami Discusses Khatumo State, London Conference, Pirates

By SHIINE OMAR 02/15/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2801/SR_Interviews_Somaliland_Defense_Minister

As battles heat up between Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia seeking independence, and the newly established state of Khatumo, Somalia Report interviewed Somaliland Defense Minister Ahmed Haji Ali Adami to discuss the security situation of the region as well as their anti-piracy efforts and their goals for the upcoming London Conference on Somalia.

Thank you for giving an interview to Somalia Report.

You are welcome.

Mr. Minister, what can you tell us about the security in Somaliland?

The security of the whole country is quite safe. Somaliland is one of the most peaceful countries in East Africa. We appreciate our people who have taken a big part in making this a peaceful and developed country.

We heard that Somaliland government is preparing to fight pirates and will improve their marine forces. What is your comment on this?

Yes, we are. We have cleaned pirates from our region and we are preparing to fight wherever else they are in our country because everyone knows that pirates are responsible for the violence.

Somaliland has been battling the militia from the newly formed state of Khatumo state. What can you tell us about that fighting and what is your comment about this state?

We are unhappy for what happened in that area. There are people in that area who are a part of Somaliland and happy to work with us and toward peace in this region, but there are also people who are creating insecurity and have their own agendas. They are misleading the people. Fortunately we are negotiating with elders and locals to persuade them to work towards peace and developing their regions. We will comment on the negotiation after we reach the final agreements.

What can you tell us about casualties on your side as a result of the fighting in Buhodle? We also heard that the Khatumo militia captured armed vehicles from your forces and arrested others. Is this true?

You know when two parties fight, fatalities happen. I don't want to comment how many casualties there were from our side, but I can tell you they seized armed vehicles, but we took them back. They did not arrest any of our soldiers.

What is your message to that people in Buhodle district and the Khatumo militia?

I would like to say that only that peace is important for life. People in that area are peaceful. Don't accept those with their own agendas.

You recently visited your hometown in Sanaag region, including Erigavo and Badhan districts. We heard that people in Badhan protested your visit. What can you tell us about that?

I honestly laughed. That is propaganda. Badhan city is my hometown and where my people live. How can they possibly be protesting my visit? I was warmly welcomed and I was there for days and having meeting with elders and locals to work together how to develop that region as well as social services and security issues.

Why did you go to Sanaag?

Because it's my region. I wanted to understand what is happening with security and development.

Can you tell us about any development projects the Somaliland government has done since you were appointed to this position?

Yes, we have built schools, hospitals and drilled wells for water in Erigavo, Badhan, Dhahar including Hingalol districts. We also improved the security of that region.

As you know, the British government will host conference on Somalia in London on February 23rd. There was some debate whether or not Somaliland would attend. Now it seems you are. What is your agenda?

Yes, we will appear as another government (not part of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government) and I will also attend that conference. I'm one the representatives of (Somaliland) President Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo's delegation. Our two big agendas are:

First, we want to tell those governments who were invited to this conference and the British government that the Somaliland government is ready to work towards peace and we need help with development.

Secondly, we also wants to tell them that TFG needs more support, but it shouldn't be all about military support. This gives the wrong perception to the people of Somalia that the international community only cares about military and security issues and not the people.

What is your message to both the people of Somaliland and Somalia?

My advice to the people of Somaliland is this: we have a peaceful country which has a lot resources so kindly take your part in developing this country and towards peace and respect your neighbors.

My message to the people of Somalia is this: I want to tell them that Somaliland is unhappy with what is going on in southern Somalia because we are brothers and sisters. We have one religion, one language, but we are two countries who have borders so please work towards peace and forget about what happened at the past. Respect your neighbors. Do not disturb your neighbors because this can make mistrust and I hope this year to be the best for them and the year they regain their dignity. Thanks for speaking to Somalia Report.

You are welcome.


Somaliland Students Left Waiting

Corruption Plagues Turkish Scholarship Program

By AAH 02/15/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2798/Somaliland_Students_Left_Waiting_

Somali Students

Complaints over corruption cases in the ministries of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia have been on the rise, as many people are concerned over fraud, particularly within the Ministry of Education.

Students from the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland, in particular, have decried corruption that they claim is present in the awarding of Turkish educational scholarships.

The Turkish government, which seems to have made the re-building of the Somali capital a national mission, has awarded hundreds of scholarships for Somali students to study in Turkish educational institutions.

After having passed local examinations administered by Turkish, TFG, and Somaliland officials in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, the 60 students have come to Mogadishu to receive the fruits of their studies.

Zamzam Du'alle is one of these students. She told Somalia Report by telephone that President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali had visited the Somaliland students in Mogadishu hotels and promised them the first available spots in Turkey, a commitment that has not been fulfilled.

"Many scholarship opportunities have opened up, while the president and prime minister have not come back under our roof," she said.

An official in the Ministry of Education involved with higher studies told Somalia Report, on the condition of anonymity, that there is much corruption surrounding the awarding of scholarships.

He said many scholarship opportunities allocated to the local Somali students are acquired through bribes.

"The lists of scholarship recipients were not selected through evaluation tests, they were selected though other procedures, like the politically based 4.5 clan formula, as well as bribes," he said. The 4.5 tribal formula is the same clan-based system used to apportion Somali members of parliament (for every placement allocated to each of Somalia's four major clans, half a placement is allocated to all minority clans combined).

Some sources have suggested that the cost of obtaining a scholarship falls in the range of $8,000 to $10,000, an enormous sum in Somalia.

Mohamed Abdi, a Ministry of Education official involved with higher studies, claimed that there was no corruption surrounding the awarding of scholarships, either to Somaliland or other students.

He said a quite number of students from Somaliland had already reached their universities in Turkey, while the others are waiting for upcoming openings.

Some of the students from Somaliland had gathered in Mogadishu and vowed if they did not get any results from the TFG leaders, particularly the president and the prime minister, they may go back to their homes.

Officials in the Turkish embassy in Mogadishu expressed the belief that the corruption surrounding the awarding of scholarships will decline, now that the Turkish envoy to Somalia, Cemalettin Kani Torun, has expressed annoyance that the scholarships were being handed out based on the 4.5 clan formula.

This is not the first instance of complaints over corruption and misconduct in the TFG Ministry of Education.

Last year, Somali students living the Kenyan refugee camps complained of fraud in the Turkish higher studies application process.


Somalia:28 dead bodies found on northern Somalia Beach

15/02/2012. http://www.mareeg.com/fidsan.php?sid=23036&tirsan=3

LASQOREY ( Mareeg.com)- At least 28 dead bodies were found this morning on lying on a Beach in Lasqorey town of Sanag region in northern Somalia, officials said on Wednesday.

Yusuf Jama'a Dibad, the district commissioner of Lasqoray town in the disputed region of Sanag region in northern Somali Media by phone that his security forces discovered 28 dead bodies on the beach of Agado area, just 70-Km away from Barri region.

Mr.Dibad added that these dead bodies were among many Somali migrants who have had their ferry boat which was heading to Yemen capsized this week at the coast of Lasqorey town of Sanag region. Most of the people who died did not know how to swim.

He said residents have come out this morning and buried all dead bodies whose indentities have not been discovered on graves in Agado villages of Sanag region.


Somaliland: International Women's Conference Held In Hargeisa

A high level international conference was organized by the First Lady of Somaliland, in collaboration with the Club of Madrid, to discuss issues related to women's rights.

Feb 12, 2012. http://www.unpo.org/article/13888

Below is article published by Somaliland Press:

The First Lady of Somaliland Amina Sheikh Mohamed Waris inaugurated an international conference on the theme of "Women's Leadership for Peace and Security in the Greater Horn of Africa" on Friday in Hargeisa.

The high-level mission held in the premises of Ambassador Hotel brought together 40 women known as G40 from 8 countries that make up the Greater Horn of Africa. The objective of the conference was to help women to adopt an action plan to enhance the status and role of women in the region. Supported by the Club of Madrid, an independent non-profit organization of more than 80 democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 56 countries, the G40 deliberated on the issues of crisis prevention, democracy, security, development and leadership.

Amina Waris welcomed the community of women of teachers, humanitarian workers, lawyers, grassroots peace activists, researchers, political scientists, business professionals, historians, social workers, human rights defenders and journalists to Somaliland. She said Hargeisa was honored to host such event and called for concrete action against all forms of discrimination against women.

First Lady Amina noted that Somaliland was stable and democratic nation that provided opportunities for women during her keynote address to the delegates. She pointed out that while the number of women participating in government were still low, nonetheless Somaliland had three women in Parliament, two in key ministerial positions in the government and one as a deputy minister.

The G40 on their side thanked the First Lady and the government of Somaliland for their warm welcome and declared that it was evident to them that Somaliland is a peaceful, law-abiding democratic country.

The plan drawn here on Friday is based on the recommendations of series of meetings held in the Ethiopian capital, Kampala, Djibouti and Nairobi under the leadership of Club de Madrid Members Valdis Birkavs (Latvia), Kjell Magne Bondevik (Norway), Kim Campbell (Canada) and Mary Robinson (Ireland). The Club's Horn of Africa initiatives are funded and supported by the governments of Australia, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Iceland.

According to the Club de Madrid, the participation of Sudan's 2010 presidential and parliamentary elections, assessing the Somali Constitution Committee during the Drafting Process and the preparation of Somaliland's elections were some key achievements by G40. The organization stated the project was for three years (2009-2012) and discussing women's issues and increasing women's participation in society "from the grassroots up" was its main agenda.

The conference, which saw delegates from Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the two Sudans, Somalia and Somaliland is expected to conclude after five days.


A Diamond in the Rough? Africa's Newest Central Bank Opens in an Unexpected Location

Vijaya Ramachandran.Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development, World Bank

Posted: 02/15/2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vijaya-ramachandran/somaliland-central-bank_b_1273269.html This post was co-authored by Ross Thuotte.

Last week, lawmakers in Somaliland (Somalia's northern, semi-autonomous region) reportedly established Somaliland's first central bank. The measure will pave the way for foreign commercial banks to start operating in Somaliland by 2013, providing much-needed financing support for Somaliland's private sector businesses. Simultaneously, the donor community (represented by multilateral institutions and both Danish and U.S. aid agencies) has expressed a strong interest in Somaliland. Two questions arise: How can international donors further support Somaliland's businesses and what can they learn from the parliament's new central bank?

Somaliland claimed independence from Somalia in 1991 and has since formed its own parliament, government, schools, infrastructure, and health care systems. Certain sectors have flourished even in the vacuum of a strong central government presence, including telecommunications, mobile banking and money transfer services, and livestock trading. Despite Somalia's problems, Somaliland's private sector has grown and prospered. A 2010 CGD working paper highlighted how businesses made major contributions to Somaliland government and non-government institutions -- despite the lack of international intervention.

But as the international community enters the scene, how can they most effectively support private sector businesses in Somaliland and relatedly, in other African fragile states? In a forthcoming report entitled "Supporting Private Business Growth in African Fragile States" we present a three-pronged framework to increase the effectiveness of private sector assistance in Africa's most challenging environments. The framework defines three criteria:

1.Identify and target the most severe constraints to business growth. In African fragile states, the most frequently cited constraints to businesses are electricity, roads, and access to finance.
2.Invest in sectors with proven track records. Successful sectors vary widely across African fragile states.
3.Align project goals with stated aims of the host government. Government priorities also vary widely, but often parallel the needs of private business.

Applying this framework to Somaliland's central bank, we find that the parliament's intervention aligns with all three targets. The central bank will 1) help alleviate business' need for finance, 2) promote a successful sector via mobile banking and money transfer services, and 3) help achieve government priorities. The impact of the new central bank may already be evident -- investors are taking risks in Somaliland, and their actions can pay large dividends. Stay tuned!


A new way: Somaliland's statebuilding

Anne-Marie Brinkman, 13 February 2012. http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/anne-marie-brinkman/new-way-somalilands-statebuilding

Diplomats, aid workers and their governments agree that local capabilities are the baseline and drivers of change, but apparently find it impossible to act in a way that reflects this in day to day situations.

About the author

Anne-Marie Brinkman is an independent consultant and manager focusing on the interfaces between development, security and governance in support of change for individuals, organizations and communities.

I met the army officer and USAID employee at Columbia University. They both have a wealth of experience, a true motivation to serve their country and the desire to support the Afghan government and people. They came to talk about the way civil-military US coordination has improved. They stressed how hard it still is despite the progress to get things done and achieve results. They mentioned how it was often easier to work with the Afghans then among their fellow countrymen and women. They highlighted the fact that the Afghans rule their own country, even if United States staff or citizens thought they did, or aspired to do. But although they acknowledged this fact, their statement and ideas swirled around the impact they could make with more money, more coordination, and more staff.

I have encountered the same type of discussions many times in East Africa over the last couple of years. Diplomats, peacekeepers and aid workers talk about the way the local government or civil society should change: how they can receive the necessary sums of money to increase capacity and support their development, and how their human rights record or their advocacy efforts can improve. The foreign development community tries to develop blueprints to speed up building peace, develop statehood or improve free speech.

At the same time, multiple studies, evaluations and long standing general research clearly indicate that change only works if there is local ownership, and if the local context and capabilities are taken into account. Assessments need to indicate what local people wish for and need, not what the outside world sees as an opportunity. Local history, culture, behaviour and perspectives need to inform action plans, not ideas and solutions that work in the West. Local capabilities and capacities are the baseline and drive forward the required change, while expert advice can be supportive at best. Most diplomats, aid workers and their governments agree on paper and in meetings rooms to all these principals and ideas. At the same time, they apparently find it impossible to practice as they preach in every day situations.

A couple of months ago, I had a frank discussion with two ministers from Somaliland and some of their staff. They expressed their concern on a certain development programme and their promise to the international community to fulfil certain agreements and tasks. The responsible ministers had brought the proposed agreement to the government for approval, and it had been signed. But now they felt uncomfortable, as they had the idea that they had forgotten to ask Parliament for permission. Or could they maybe bypass Parliament in this case? And what would happen if they did ask Parliament for approval and they did not approve of the agreement? Could they go back to the international community and say they could not fulfil their former commitments? What followed was a basic discussion on the `Trias Politica' separation of powers, various parliamentary and presidential models, and governance and public administration in general.

What struck me most afterwards is the fact that representatives of a young, not even recognized state were eager to discuss the principals of statehood. Even without being a formal state, Somaliland is a player on the international stage. They have a constitution, have held successful democratic elections and developed the government and institutions they need to run a decent state. This is a significant task in one of the most unstable regions in the world. Somaliland has most basic functions and institutions in place, although they need to be further developed, as in so many other countries around the world. But what they also need is the chance to share knowledge and ideas internally within ministries, among staff and civil society, and inform the wider public before they can take successful next steps. They need to share values and understand how they see their democracy functioning in the long run. Of course they might want experts from abroad to take part in their discussions. But they would need then to agree among themselves on working arrangements. In due time, via trial and error, they would find a system that would work for them, just as has happened in the United States, the United Kingdom or The Netherlands over time.

To make this happen a Somaliland-led and inspired process focussed on statehood and governance needs to take off. Years of a United Nations-run governance programme for Somalia has not brought this about. The type of activities that are required would easily have fit in the UN Somali Assistance Strategy or the EU strategy for Somalia. But it would have meant letting go of huge strategic frameworks, and more important, of already agreed concepts of what democracy looks like and how it needs to operate. It would require slowly letting a Somaliland way of democracy emerge, and supporting this with only small amounts of funding and limited amounts of international expertise.

I would love to see some meetings emerge in Somaliland, slowly spreading from inside key ministries to all of government, and via NGOs to the general public. It would create the opportunity to develop a Somaliland approach to democracy and governance, a Somaliland `Contrat Social', and the Somaliland interpretation of what signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights actually means in daily life. There could be bilateral and multilateral discussions between Somaliland and international partners concerning their perspectives and ideas, and the way they implement them and put them in practice. Girls and boys, women and men in Somaliland could play a role in voicing their opinions, their concerns, and be aware of the rights they have in their country and as part of the global community. Development programmes could take off without hordes of international experts providing power point presentations and log frames to explain what the strategy needs to be. Somaliland could share their Constitution and adapt their laws according to their own new insights and wishes.

I know this can work. I designed and ran a law reform programme in which Somaliland drafted new laws, based on their own Constitution and law practice. Somaliland lawyers sat down to amend laws, with minimum support provided by example texts and one legal expert. The process wasn't ideal, could have been better and needs to be improved. But as the first example of its kind it created trust and opened the way for next steps. If the aid and development community, diplomats and all those involved in `supporting development' would spend some time letting go of the traditional ways of working, and focus instead on what is available and needed in local situations, the lives of many people would improve significantly. If we learn the lessons of Somaliland's way of state building, solving major challenges might become easier than it has proven to be so far.


Somalia: Somaliland to Attack on Buhodle Town - Official

13 February 2012 Buhodle - Military officials under the self-declared state of Somaliland vowed to attack on Buhodle town in Togdher region, days after a week of quietness in the front line between Somaliland forces and clan militia based in the town.

Colonel Abdirashid Dhunkal Hirse, one of Somaliland forces told Shabelle Media by phone that his army is advancing towards Buhodle city from 7-Km area to remove local clan militias. He stated that Somaliland is committed attacking on Buhodle as long as it fully regains the whole region.

Mr. Hirse denied statement from Puntland leader Abdirahman Farole in which he accused Somaliland of igniting war at Buhodle city and elsewhere in SCC region of northern Somalia. Farole said, "We warn that if Somaliland continues its violent aggressions against Buhodle town that a new civil war might erupt in northern Somalia.' This statement followed after Somaliland forces launched last week an attack on Buhodle city that left dozens of people dead, including civilians and soldiers from the invading Somaliland army and SSC rebels in Togdher region of northern Somalia.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201202131396.html


Somaliland Ready to Combat Piracy

State Purchases Speed Boats to Stem Piracy and Illegal Fishing

By JD 02/13/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2777/Somaliland_Ready_to_Combat_Piracy

The break-away state of Somaliland purchased speed boats in an effort to secure its waters and stem piracy and Illegal fishing. Somaliland's minister for fishing, Abdulahi Jama Geeljire handed over the new speed boats to staff of the ministry during a ceremony today.

The transfer ceremony was held in Berbera- Sahil region and presided over by Minister Abdulahi Jama Geeljire who addressed the public and explained the aims of purchasing these speed boats.

"I am glad to be here today and would like to inform you that we purchased these two speed boats. We need to maintain the security of our seas and fight against illegal fishing vessels including piracy. These two speed boats should help our staff within the ministry," he said.

The speed boats were purchased by the Somaliland government.

"These speed boats were purchased by the government in an effort to secure our sea. Soon we shall purchase more. We intend to give priority to developing the fishing, livestock and agriculture sectors this year. 30% of government income will be spent on these ministries," added Mr Geljire.

Regional officials from Sahil, led by the Deputy Governor of Sahil, Khadar Ali Elmi, and other staff members also attended the ceremony.

Local fishermen in Somaliland welcomed the news and the government's effort to ensure security,

"We appreciate and welcome these efforts, we also encourage our government to keep it up and hope to get more speed boats soon," said Abdi Ali, local fishermen in Berbera.

Fish Marketing

Meanwhile Somaliland's officials from the Ministry of Fishing also announced that they are seeking new markets for Somaliland fish produce. The Minister for Fishing informed local officials and fishermen in Berbera.

"As you know, I went to China to establish positive trade ties and new markets for our fish products. I was there one month and I was working to get a market for our produce," said the minister.

Piracy is now an issue of great concern for all Somalia administrations and governments including the International community. Somaliland finally joins in the fray to stem this dangerous and costly enterprise.


PetroTrans negotiates to extend Somaliland port

By Mark Anderson. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/13/somaliland-port-idUSL5E8DD4VG20120213

HARGEISA Feb 13 (Reuters) - PetroTrans, a Chinese oil and gas producer could conclude preliminary negotiations with Somaliland for the extension of the key port of Berbera by the end of this year, but has scrapped plans to build a liquefied natural gas facility.

Philip Hirschler, a legal adviser for PetroTrans, said from London the firm planned to extend Berbera port's container and mineral export services following an agreement it signed with the government of the breakaway enclave of Somalia last August.

The Horn of Africa has been attracting increased investments in exploration by foreign oil firms, due to its proximity to east Africa, where oil has been discovered in Uganda and natural gas found in Tanzania.

The Hong Kong based company had planned to build gas pipelines from the field and at least two trains and LNG tankers for possible export of the product.

"Some of the project that was initially proposed such as the LNG facility, could not go into Berbera because it would be impossible to get any insurance on the facility," Hirschler said.

"We're still talking about (developing) a container port, a dry cargo port, and a mineral export port, once there's sufficient minerals development in Ethiopia or further west."

Ali Omer Mohamed, General Manager of Berbera port, told Reuters he expected the completion of preliminary negotiations with PetroTrans on Berbera's extension by the end of this year.

"I expect studies, contracts and agreements to be finished this year," Mohamed said.

PetroTrans signed four petroleum exploration and production sharing agreements with the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines in July 2011, paying $130 million for the rights to explore Blocks 3, 4, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17 and 20 in the Calub and Hilala Gas fields in the country's eastern Ogaden region.

Somaliland is an internationally unrecognised state that declared independence from Somalia in 1991, and hopes the deal will create thousands of jobs, raise its profile and attract more investments into the region.

Hirschler said PetroTrans had approached neighbouring Djibouti on whether it could build an LNG facility there, but discussions were still in an early stage. Djibouti serves as a port for its landlocked neighbour Ethiopia.

Hirschler said PetroTrans was also negotiating with South Sudan's government to build an oil pipeline from South Sudan oilfields to the Port of Djibouti.

South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan last year, said on Thursday it was considering building an oil pipeline through Ethiopia and Djibouti. South Sudan produces about 350,000 barrels of oil per day and exports via Sudan to a Red Sea port. (Editing by James Macharia and James Jukwey)


Berbera port director Jailed in Ohio while carrying $75,000$ Cash and $ 430,000 in checks [video]

Feb 11, 2012.http://waagacusub.com/news/11.02.12.1ramaax.htm

The Waagacusub website reports that the Berbera port director, Mohamud Ali Ramaax, was jailed in an Ohio airport while carrying $75,000 Cash and $ 430,000 in checks. He told the police that the money belongs to him and he brought it into America to deposit it.

More details here.


Somaliland Police beat a woman untill her fetus aborted, A Freedom watchdog, WFF urges urgent action.

Date: 11-02-2012

Subject: Urgent action needed

Sir/Madam,

Waagacusub Freedom Foundation (WFF) is making this urgent statement to turn the attention on Ayanle Said Khalif and his wife Ruqiyo Mire Mumin who were tortured, illegally detained by the Somaliland police forces in Borama town.

Khalif is a supporter of newly announced Awdal State of Somalia, a regional state announced by the Somalis in Borama who are against the Somaliland's secession from the rest of Somalia.

Ayanle was in jail for three months because of his believe that he is a Somali not a Somalilander, he was released this week and he was arrested after 48 hours when he gate interview to Waagacusub News network's Online Radio and website.

Ayanle's house was attacked Wednesday night, he was taken back to the jail, but the forces had beaten his wife Ruqiyo Mire Mumin until the fetus in her womb come out dead.

The Somaliland Police accused Khalif and his wife of having Somalia and Awdal State flags in their rooms and were announced as the enemies of Somaliland.

Khalif is in jail without legal charges, he is suffering with the heavy wounds caused by the forces the time they arrested him late night from his house, while his wife Mumin is suffering from the pain of the torture and the pain of the unusual delivery of the death fetus.

Ruqiyo Mumin can be reached from this mobile number +25224456742, while a neighbor is reachable from this number +19256593117 if Mumin's phone is offline.

Mumin urgent medical assistant, while her husband Khalif needs urgent international intervention to get his freedom back.

Sincerely yours, Nawal Isse. Chairman, WFF http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1677


Somaliland President Sacks Military Chief

Mohamed Abdulahi Xasan Jidhif Fired Amid Battles with Khatumo

By JD 02/09/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2751/Somaliland_President_Sacks_Military_Chief

Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silaanyo) reshuffled his security officials by sacking the chief commander of military forces, Mohamed Abdulaahi Hassan Jidhif, and replacing him with Isma'il Mohamed Hassan Shaqale, according to an official statement.

Sources close to President Silanyo told Somalia Report that reshuffling comes after Jidhif and President Silanyo disagreed on security affairs during a meeting on Wednesday night in Hargeisa.

An official in Hargiesa who requested anonymity said the rift came about after Somaliland's military troops failed to enter Buuhoodle and seize, which is now in the control of the newly established Khautmo state militia.

Local residents who spoke to Somalia Report also confirmed the decision.

"We heard this decision this evening and people are talking about this tonight. Some of the people welcome the change while others oppose it, but everyone knows it is related to Buuhoodle fighting," said Abdurisak Mohamed, a resident of Hargeisa.

Somaliand troops attack Khatumo militia fighters in late January and the militia fought back by attacking Somaliland forces late yesterday.


Sanaag Elder Warns Somaliland to Stay Away

Somalia Report Interview with Aqil Fasial Abdillahi Fatah (Faisal Dhere)

By SHIINE OMAR 02/10/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2754/Sanaag_Elder_Warns_Somaliland_to_Stay_Away

Aqil Faisal Abdillahi Fatah (Faisal Dhere), a well known traditional elder in Sanaag

In effort to understand the current state of Sanaag, a region disputed by Somalia's semi autonomous state of Puntland and the breakaway state of Somaliland, Somalia Report interviewed Aqil Faisal Abdillahi Fatah (Faisal Dhere), a well known traditional elder in Sanaag.

Mr. Faisal, you are one of the most famous traditional elders in Sanaag region. What can you tell us about the situation of Sanaag?

The situation of the region is calm and peaceful now. As you know this region has been one of the most peaceful regions in Somalia since the government collapsed, but we have had some difficulties like the drought. We have had support from the Puntland government so now the security is good and there is a lot of development happening. The Diaspora and locals have started to reinvest in all districts and village in the region and we are now building facilities for the University of Makhir in Badhan city.

There are a lot of people who are complaining that pirates and smugglers in Elayo, Dur Duri and Gacan villages are burning trees and making charcoal to sell illegally. What can you tell us about this?

Yes, let me tell you first about each of these.

Pirates - There were some pirates who were based in Sanaag region, but we have put in a lot of effort to fight them. After we got support from the locals and the Puntland government, we were successful in wiping them out from our region.

Smugglers - Unfortunately there are some people who take people across the sea at night, which are far from the districts and villages that our security forces can patrol. We are planning to reach there and fight them as soon as possible.

Charcoal - We have prepared quality forces to fight those who are burning down the trees, with help from the Puntland government, NGOs, and the local community. In fact, in the coming days we will attack those people who are burning down the trees, especially in the coastal areas and area of Dhahar district.

We heard that some of the local community had meetings in Kenya and called on those communities in Sanaag, Haylaan and Bari regions to renew Makhir state of Somalia, which was first announced in Badhan in 2007. Why do you think the state failed to thrive and what do you think of this new campaign?

I heard this from media, but I can tell you the people in those regions are part of Puntland state and are happy to move towards peace. If there are some people who are not happy with this, they can create new parties within the government. There is no need to renew to Makhir state. It will just cause more insecurity. If they join us, we will work with them towards peace.

Somaliland and Puntland dispute this region. What are your comments on that?

Let me tell you something. This region is not disputed. The government controls most of the region which is primarily inhabited by people from the Warsengali clan (sub clan of Darod). The people in this region are from the same tribe as the people who live in Puntland. We are part of Puntland so we want to warn the Somaliland government to stay on their own land and not interfere in other clans and respect their neighbors.

There has been major fighting between Somaliland forces and the militia which is loyal to Khatumo state in Buhodle. How do you see this fighting?

I am sorry for what is happening in that area. My advice is this: the Somaliland government must move out of that region and leave those people alone. If they ignore our advice, we will join that fighting because we are part of their community. The residents of Buhodle are our people so I want to inform Somaliland that we do not want fighting because fighting kills. We need peace.

You are from the same tribe for Sheik Mohamed Said Atom who has militia forces in Galgala and have been battling Puntland forces. What can the traditional elders from his clan do to get him to accept peace and work with Puntland?

I really don't have any contacts with him since he ignored the process that elders and Puntland officials began to move him towards peace. He is a terrorist and we will help the government fight him.

How do you see the drilling oil in Puntland?

I am very happy for this because this process will help out Somali people. We encourage peace and development.

As you are aware, the British government will hold a conference on Somalia in London. How do you see that conference because British government used to be colonizers?

If the British government wants to support and help Somali people to regain their dignity and pride, I don't have any problem and I will support them.

What is your advice to the Somali people?

My advice to Somali people is this: we are one people. We are and brothers and sisters. We are are tired of fighting. Please, let us come together and find a way to the help our people and our country.


Somaliland: A Nation of Stability, Without Sovereignty

February 6, 2012 in Africa, The World Today.http://arizonamun.org/mundi/2012/02/somaliland-a-country-of-stability-without-sovereignty/

By Chelsea Sweeney

Somalia is the world's best example of a failed state. Warring clans forced the president out of power in 1991, and no subsequent leadership has succeeded in holding the country together. Despite the support of the United Nations and African Union troops, the current transitional government controls nothing but a small area of the capital. The surrounding area is under the power of Islamic militants such as al-Shabab, and invading Kenyan forces are creating even more destruction trying to remove the militants from power. On the coast, pirates are a dangerous force, threatening all who sail in the surrounding waters. When famine hit the entire Horn of Africa last year, thousands died or were forced to flee, as aid was hindered by both militants and an ineffective government.

It would be easy to consider Somalia a lost cause, doomed to never find a successful solution to its turmoil. But there is hope within the little-known nation of Somaliland. Amid the chaos destroying the majority of the country, Somaliland is a relatively peaceful region, and could even be seen as an example for all of Africa. Somaliland declared its independence in 1991, forming its own constitution, government, and currency. They established an effective police force, and the president gained power as a result of free and fair elections. Somaliland is not a perfect country, with much of the economy funded by remittances from citizens living abroad. But poverty and unemployment are problems that arguably every country faces in some amount, and Somaliland is otherwise very successful. The stability of Somaliland makes it appear as if the mayhem ruining Somalia is occurring thousands of miles away.

Somaliland is practically functioning as an independent state, yet there has been almost no international recognition of it as a sovereign country. It is not for lack of trying, as Somaliland is working hard to prove they deserve independence. There is historical precedent for this request, as Somaliland was originally a separate British protectorate. They were granted independence for a short time in 1960, before joining the former Italian colony of Somalia to create the present-day country. Now that the central government in Mogadishu is no use, Somaliland hopes to turn back the clock and restore their previous sovereign status.

But the wishes of Somaliland are being ignored. The African Union and Western countries are focusing their attention on other states-in-waiting such as Palestine, or the newly independent country of South Sudan. Their reasoning is understandable, for the African Union cannot simply redraw borders on demand. Giving in to every separatist group would only create more problems, as a passion for secession does not necessarily lead to an effective government. But Somaliland is different. They do not simply want to secede for ethnic or religious reasons. Their functioning government and stable society is being brought down by the dead weight of Somalia's transitional government. If they are granted independence, they will continue to thrive as they have in the past, only with greater status on the world stage.

The new country of Somaliland would be even more successful than South Sudan, as many institutional frameworks already exist and run effectively. The biggest obstruction to their otherwise reasonable demands for independence would be their neighbor, Puntland. This area is another autonomous region that functions independently of the rest of Somalia, only they are not arguing for independence. The border between Puntland and Somaliland is being disputed by various ethnic groups living between the two areas. If this problem is able to be resolved, Somaliland is ready to join South Sudan as the newest sovereign state emerging from Africa.

This post reflects the author's personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United


Puntland leader gives Somaliland ultimatum to withdraw from disputed regions

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 09 Feb 2012. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 09 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Puntland Administration has given Somaliland an ultimatum to withdraw their forces from town of Laas Canood, [in disputed] Sool Region and expressed concerns over fighting in Buuhoodle.

The leader of the Puntland Administration, Abdirahman Shaykh Muhammad Farole, has spoken on recent tensions and clashes in town of Laas Canood. Puntland leader said everyone has the right to decide their future and that politicians who are after power were responsible for the political instability and town's continued occupation [by Somaliland forces]. Abdirahman Farole asked Somaliland to withdraw their forces from the town before the commencement of the planned conference in London. He also urged the international community to only invite groups that are in support of peace to the conference.

Puntland leader also said they strongly condemn the fighting in town of Buuhoodle, Togdheer Region between Somaliland forces and local residents and urged the Somaliland administration to be cautious not to turn this conflict into a civil war. There have been clashes between Somaliland forces and residents of Buuhoodle following the formation a regional administration. Many innocent civilians have been killed in the fighting.


Djibouti leader holds talks with Somaliland president

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 09 Feb 2012. ADI news agency website, Djibouti, in French 8 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

The head of state, Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh, on Wednesday [8 February] received the president of Somaliland, Mr Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo, who was leading a large delegation from his country.

President Silanyo, who arrived in Djibouti today and was welcomed at the airport by Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita, was accompanied, in line with his working mission, by a strong delegation including the minister for presidential affairs, Mr Hirsi Ali Hadji Hassan, and that of the interior, Mr Mohamed Nour Arreh.

Among the members of this delegation, is also the wife of the Somaliland head of state, Madam Amina Waris Cheick Mohamed.

Bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation were at the centre of discussions between President Guelleh and the leader of Somaliland during their meeting held at the Presidential Palace.

"My working visit to Djibouti precisely gives us the opportunity to strengthen our relations further", said Mr. Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo in a statement to the press at the end of his talks with the head of the Djiboutian State.

Many other issues of common interest were raised on the same occasion, the two parties having reaffirmed their commitment to work towards the maintenance of peace and security in the region.

Asked about the participation of his country in the London Conference to assist Somalia to turn the page of the endless fratricidal war and chaos, President Silanyo indicated that Somaliland will participate effectively in these sessions following an invitation from the host country.

"This, however, does not mean that we are giving in , in any way whatsoever, to what for many years have been our dearest desire, that of having access to the international recognition and our place in the concert of nations", he continued.


Puntland leader gives ultimatum to Somaliland with Sool region war

09/02/2012. http://www.mareeg.com/fidsan.php?sid=22956&tirsan=3

GAROWE (Mareeg.com)- The leader of the semi-autonomous state of Puntland Abdirahman Shiek Mohamud Farole, has called on Somaliland administration to withdraw its soldiers from Las-anod town, the capital of Sool region in northern Somalia. As fierce fighting between Somaliland troops and SSC rebels as residents looms in northern regions of conflict and drought-ravaged country in the horn of Africa, Puntland leader urged Somaliland officials to stop violent aggressions in Sool region, specially Las-anod town and not to take part the upcoming London conference on Somalia.

Mr. Farole lastly asked the International community and the hosting London conference UK to invite the meeting only peace loving Somali leaders. He warned Somaliland for igniting `civil war' in the country. This statement followed after soldiers from Somaliland have once again attacked on residents in Buhodle town of Togdher region, north of Somalia which left tens of civilians dead.


Somaliland clashes with secessionists

By Mark Anderson. Feb 9, 2012.http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/09/somalia-conflict-idUSL2E8D9BN420120209

HARGEISA Feb 9 (Reuters) - The breakaway territory of Somaliland is battling its own secessionists in a dispute that has raised tensions with neighbouring Puntland, in an area of Somalia usually more peaceful than the rest of the country.

The fighting first erupted in January after the leaders of the northern regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cyan decided to band together into a new state called Khaatumo and declared they wanted to be an independent region within Somalia.

Somaliland's troops have since clashed with militia fighters loyal to Khaatumo, with reports of dozens of casualties. Puntland's President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole stepped into the row on Wednesday, accusing Somaliland of creating chaos.

"It is unfortunate that Somaliland is sowing seeds of insecurity in the peaceful towns of Puntland at a time the world is solving the entire country's violence," he told reporters, calling for Somaliland to pull its troops back.

The newly declared Khaatumo state is near the border with Ethiopia and is a disputed area that Somaliland seized from Puntland in 2007, though relations between the two territories have improved since.

The chairman of Khaatumo's foreign relations forum, Osman Hassan, has said unless the dispute is resolved "it is bound to escalate into a wider regional conflagration as other clans related to one side or the other take sides".

Both Somaliland and Puntland have enjoyed relatively stability compared to the rest of the Horn of Africa country and international mining and oil exploration firms are prospecting in both regions.

The fighting also comes ahead of a conference in London on Feb. 23 bringing together heads of government and international organisations to discuss ways to end the instability in Somalia.

Somaliland is an internationally unrecognised state that declared independence from Somalia in 1991.

Fighting between Somaliland forces and Khaatumo fighters flared up again on Wednesday near the border town of Buhoodle, after a week-long stalemate, forcing thousands to flee.

"Somaliland's national army has repulsed the attack by the Khaatumo militia, which attacked them in the early hours of the morning (on Wednesday), after the arrival of reinforcements," Somaliland's Minister of Defence Ahmed Ali Adami told Reuters.

Adami said three government soldiers were killed and 12 wounded in Wednesday's fighting.

Mohamed Yousouf, a member of Khaatumo's new administration, told Reuters by phone from Buhoodle, they had lost six fighters and 11 were wounded. He said they had captured four Somaliland soldiers, while seven of their fighters had been seized.

"Somaliland and Puntland claim that the Khaatumo region is part of their territory, but we want to be an autonomous region that is part of the Federal Republic of Somalia," he said.

"We have had no communication with the government in Puntland at all," Yousouf said. (Additional reporting by Hussein Ali Noor in Hargeisa and Abdiqani Hassan in Bosasso; Editing by David Clarke)


SOMALIA: Fighting displaces thousands in Somaliland

Some of the Buuhoodle IDPs. http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=94821

HARGEISA/NAIROBI, 9 February 2012 (IRIN) - More than 1,000 families (about 6,000 people) have been displaced from the town of Buuhoodle and nearby villages in eastern Somaliland after heavy fighting on 8 February between the Somaliland Army and clan militias loyal to the newly created Khatumo State, locals told IRIN.

The area has been disputed, with both the self-declared republic of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia, and the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland in the northeast, claiming them.

Khatumo State was established on 12 January by clans from the area that want to remain part of the larger Somalia.

Abdi Farah Abdulle, an elder in Buuhoodle, told IRIN that people had been moving from the area for fear of being caught in the fighting since 26 January when the first clashes erupted. "But after yesterday's fighting, many families have left the town. This morning many more are leaving. I saw many families using whatever means they can to get out."

Abdulle said most of the displaced fled the nearby villages of Sooljooto, Maygagle and Shangale. Most of the displaced were living in the open with no proper shelter, he said.

He said the area had been suffering from severe water shortages before the clashes. "These families have gone to areas with few or no water points. One drum [200 litres] of water costs around 120,000 shillings [about US$4], an amount the vast majority cannot afford."

Abdulle said the movement of people was still ongoing, since the armed groups were still facing each other.

A local journalist told IRIN the fear in Buuhoodle and nearby villages was that fighting could resume any time.

He said many of those displaced were in areas difficult to access. "So far no aid has reached them and some are living in the open."

He said no fighting had taken place in Buuhoodle since 8 February but the frontlines were only 18km from the town.

Exact casualty figures were not available. "We have seen 10 dead and 20 injured but those are the ones who reached the town. We don't know how many have died on the frontlines," the journalist said.

Dialogue

Abdillahi Jama Geeljire, Somaliland's Minister of Fisheries and Ports, told IRIN that Somaliland forces had not initiated the clashes. "Our forces were attacked by a clan militia and had to defend themselves."

Geeljire said the Somaliland authorities would do whatever was necessary to end the conflict through dialogue. "We are offering them to discuss whatever grievances [they have] and cease their hostile activities."

He said Somaliland would do whatever was necessary to make sure "no more blood of our people [Buuhoodle residents] is spilled".

He did, however, warn that Somaliland would defend its territory. "Somaliland is capable of defending its territorial integrity and we will do so if forced."

He said the conflict had the potential to spread and destabilize the whole region - "something we don't want to see but those who are behind these attacks must cease and desist".


Somali newspaper doubts upcoming UK conference to "boost" Somaliland "interests"

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 08 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 4 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Although it may be premature at this point to pass judgment on the coming London conference, nevertheless, we will not be going out on a limb if we said the early signs leading up to the conference should give cause for concern to Somalilanders. The signs we are talking about are the UK's latest diplomatic moves all of which are meant to boost the TFG but with not a single gesture towards Somaliland.

In addition to organizing the conference to help the TFG, the British government has already sent its foreign minister to Mogadishu, designated an ambassador for Somalia and promised to open an embassy there when that becomes feasible. Of course the United Kingdom has the right to take steps to safeguard its interests, and if it has come to the conclusion that it serves its interests to provide more support for the TFG, that is its prerogative. But just as the United Kingdom has interests, so does Somaliland.

By pressuring Somaliland to attend a conference that it has packaged to help the TFG and that disregards Somaliland's interests, the British government essentially wants Somaliland's government to act against the interests of its own people and to help another entity, an entity that claims sovereignty over Somaliland. Not only that, but as we go to press, the British government has not provided Somaliland with any new diplomatic or political incentives that we know of, in order to overcome its reluctance to attend the conference (it also stands to reason to assume if the United Kingdom is unwilling to offer Somaliland real incentives to go to go the conference, it is less likely to take such initiatives once Somaliland is already in the conference). We are not talking here just of issues of protocol or process but also of policy, for Britain has not initiated any new, positive policies towards Somaliland whereas by its own admittance, it is pursuing a more vigorous policy towards the TFG.

These are the disturbing early signs coming from London even before the conference has started, and Somalilanders have good reasons to be concerned not only about this conference, but also about the new direction of Britain's policy which seems to punish Somaliland for preventing its territory from becoming a base for pirates and terrorists and rewards those who allowed pirates and terrorists to thrive in their enclaves.


Ten killed as Somaliland forces, local militia clash in northwestern Somalia

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 08 Feb 2012. Radio Gaalkacyo, Gaalkacyo, in Somali 1015 8 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

At least ten people were killed and 20 others injuries following heavy fighting between Somaliland forces and fighters loyal to SSC administration [Sool, Sanag and Ayn regions] in Buuhoodle District of Togdheer Region, northwestern Somalia, privately-owned Radio Gaalkacyo reported on 8 February.

Some of the injured who are reported to be in "serious conditions" were taken to Gaalkacyo's main Hospital where they are being treated, added the source.

The fighting started after SSC fighters carried out attacks against Somaliland army bases at Hagoogane locality near Buuhoodle District.

The two sides used different kinds of weapons, including heavy machine guns.


"Heavy fighting" between Somaliland forces, local militias erupts in northwest

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 08 Feb 2012. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 8 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

"Heavy fighting between local militias and Somaliland forces is said to have erupted this morning in Meegaagle area in Cayn Region", northwestern Somalia, reports privately-owned Shabeelle website.

According to local residents who spoke to Shabeelle, the fighting broke out after "Somaliland forces attacked the local militia group. The various types of weapons including mortars were used in the fighting and the casualty figure is not yet known", adds the source.

The fighting comes as mobilization of forces was being felt in Sool, Saanag and Cayn regions in the recent past. The regions are disputed between Somaliland and Puntland and the local residents want autonomy from both the regional administrations.


Ethiopian premier, visiting Somaliland president discuss ties

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 08 Feb 2012. ENA website, Addis Ababa, in English 8 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Addis Ababa, 8 February: The Somaliland president has told Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia that Somaliland gives high place to Ethiopia and has strong desire to further consolidate its relations with Ethiopia.

While conferring with Prime Minister Meles here on Tuesday [8 February], the Somaliland president, Ahmad Muhammad Mahmud, said Somaliland is keen to further strengthen its all-round relations and cooperation with Ethiopia. He said his country is very much satisfied with the excellent relations it has with Ethiopia.

The president also mentioned that the country [Ethiopia] plays significant role in the east African region.

According to a spokesperson of the [Ethiopian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two leaders discussed on bilateral issues and issues of mutual concern such as regional peace and security, trade and economic affairs. They also deliberated on the implementation of the agreements in which they have signed earlier.


UK deputy envoy to Ethiopia arrives in Somaliland to discuss London conference

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 08 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 4 Feb 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

[Unattributed report "UK Deputy Ambassador To Ethiopia Arrives in Somaliland"]

The United Kingdom's deputy ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr Chris Allan, arrived in Somaliland for the second time in three weeks. In addition to meeting with government officials, this time, he also met with opposition politicians Faysal Ali Warabe and Ali Waran Adde.

The visit seems to have something to do with the United Kingdom's efforts to persuade Somaliland to attend the London conference. Somaliland has a policy of not attending conferences on Somalia, in order not to give the impression that it is part of Somalia, and, also, so it would not be dragged to Somalia's chaos. But Somaliland also values its historic relations with the United Kingdom which has organized the conference. The invitation to the conference has brought these two considerations into conflict.


Deadly Fighting in Buuhoodle

Somaliland Battles Khatuma State Militia

By SHIINE OMAR 02/08/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2733/Deadly_Fighting_in_Buuhoodle

At least eight were killed and more than 12 people injured after heavy fighting broke out in Sool-joogto and Meygaagle near Buhodle district, between Somaliland forces and militia loyal to Khatuma state of Somalia, according to residents and officials.

Omar Jama Saleiman, a spokesman for the newly formed state of Khatumo, told Somalia Report that the fighting began at 4:00am local time on Wednesday after Khatuma forces attacked Somaliland forces based in Sool Joogto, 28km north of Buhoodle.

"We attacked them because we asked them to move out of our land but they ignored us. The fighting involved heavy shelling and we killed several of their soldiers and wounded others. We also captured three armoured vehicles including six of their forces and they are in Buhodle now. We will display them to the media as soon as possible," he said.

He added that three of their fighters were killed in the fighting and six others were injured.

"We have taken them to Galkayo and Buhoodle hospitals to receive treatment," said Mr. Saleiman.

Yahye Ali, a resident in Burcoa district of Togdheer region of Somaliland, a break-away state of Somaliland, confirmed to Somalia Report that 12 Somaliland residents were casualties of the battle arrived in Burcoa hospital to receive treatment.

"However, no one could confirm the actual number of deaths and injuries," he said.

Somaliland Defense Minister Ahmed Haji Ali Cadami told the local media that Khatumo militia ambushed Somaliland forces at 4:00am local time, catching Somaliland forces off guard.

"We had more casualties and several of our forces were rushed to Burcoa city hospitals. They also seized weapons and vehicles, but fortunately our forces were able to defend themselves and killed dozens of militia and reclaimed their weapons and vehicle. They also captured several fighters of the Khatuma militia," he reported.

He added that the Somaliland government was displeased with the incident since they have been seeking peace in the area by negotiating with locals on how to reconcile with the militia. However, the militias were creating insecurity to aggravate Somaliland's attempts to end the conflict, as expressed in President Ahmed Siilaanyo's statement to the press.

Conflict between Somaliland and the militias loyal to Khatumo has increased since the latter's declaration of regional autonomy with Somaliland attacking Khatumo's militia in late January.

Meanwhile, another fight broke out between Somaliland and Khatumo state at Gambare near Tukaraq village east of Lascanod District. Detailed reports are still pending.


Somalia: Puntland leader warns of 'new civil war' as Somaliland forces attack Buhodle

http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Puntland_leader_warns_of_new_civil_war_as_Somaliland_forces_attack_Buhodle.shtml

BUHODLE, Somalia Feb 8, 2012 (Garowe Online) - The President of Somalia's Puntland government has sent a strong warning to Somaliland forces after an attack on Buhodle city left dozens dead, Radio Garowe reports.

Local sources and witnesses report that Somaliland forces launched an attack on Buhodle on Tuesday, after a week of quietness in the front line between Somaliland forces and clan militia based in Buhodle.

At least 18 wounded persons mostly fighters and 3 dead persons were brought to Buhodle health centers, locals added.

There was no casualty figures on the Somaliland side, but locals stated that Buhodle clan militia seized 3 armed trucks from Somaliland troops, who retreated from the front line. Around midday Tuesday, Somaliland forces had gained reinforcement from nearby military camps and the fighting had subsided by early afternoon hours.

It was Somaliland's second attack on Buhodle since January 2012, when over 80 Somaliland soldiers were killed in day-long battles.

Puntland's warning

Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, addressing the launching of Puntland's constitution in the state capital Garowe, told the crowd that Somaliland's continued aggressions in Buhodle area will not be tolerated.

"We condemn Somaliland's aggression on Buhodle and we demand Somaliland immediately withdraw from Las Anod town," said President Farole, adding: "We warn that if Somaliland continues its violent aggressions against Buhodle, that a new civil war might erupt in northern Somalia."

President Farole continued, saying: "It is unfortunate that an administration which claims to support peace [Somaliland] is now attacking peaceful areas.

Speaking about Khatumo political group, Puntland's leader said that "politicians who failed in Somali politics should not seek positions with the blood of civilians."

Continuing, he said: "No one should listen to failed politicians who want to create instability. Those politicians who were there when fighting erupted in Buhodle in January and then those same failed politicians fled to Ethiopia."

Khatumo is a self-declared "state" in Somalia, following the conclusion of the Taleh conference attended by politicians and elders from the Dhulbahante clan that resides in Las Anod and Buhodle areas. Somaliland and Puntland claim ownership over Sool and Sanaag regions, home to Harti communities who share kinship with Puntland clans.

Somaliland and Puntland regions have enjoyed relative stability since the 1990s, but the threat of instability has lingered over the region since Somaliland forces militarily seized control of Las Anod in October 2007.


SOMALIA: London conference "an opportunity" for Somaliland

Quest for recognition

http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=94809

HARGEISA, 7 February 2012 (IRIN) - More than two decades after it unilaterally asserted its independence from the rest of Somalia, Somaliland plans to lobby hard at a major conference in London in February for something it has sorely lacked since its inception: international recognition of its sovereignty.

"Somaliland will attend because 44 nations will be there and those are the ones we need to lobby and explain why Somaliland should be recognized; we see it as an opportunity," Abdillahi Jama Geeljire, Somaliland's Minister of Fisheries and Ports, said.

The London Conference, hosted by the UK government, is expected to bring together "senior representatives from over 40 governments and multi-lateral organizations... with the aim of delivering a new international approach to Somalia", according to a statement posted on the website of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Geeljire said: "Somaliland was invited on equal terms with those nations that will participate; it is a golden opportunity for our country and will give us the exposure we need to present our case. It will provide Somaliland with the opportunity to share with our Somali brothers our experience and how we achieved the peace and stability we enjoy today and they are searching for."

The larger Somalia has been embroiled in conflict since 1991 and has not had a functioning central government since then. One of the aims of the conference is to help pave the way for a permanent administration to replace the transitional one whose mandate expires in August.

The meeting's agenda, which does not include the question of Somaliland's sovereignty, covers issues such as root causes of Somalia's conflicts, counter-terrorism, piracy and humanitarian coordination.

Mixed reactions

Somaliland's attendance required overturning a legal ban on participating in such international meetings. During a 5 February joint session of the bicameral parliament in Hargeisa, 101 legislators approved the change, with just three voting against it.

"It is a mistake and we should not be there [at the London Conference]," said Ahmedyassin Sheikh Ali, one of the MPs.

Ali said Somaliland had thrived in the past 20 years "because we stayed away from those conferences [about Somalia] and we should have done the same this time around".

He said parliament's decision was a "mistake equal to the one we made in 1960" - when the momentarily independent Somaliland, previously a British territory, chose to merge with the rest of Somalia, which had recently gained independence from Italy.

Ali added the best outcome from the conference would be a decision by the representatives of Somaliland "to reject any decision that will in any way drag us into the Somalia mess."

Mohamed-Rahsid Muhumud Farah, a veteran Somaliland journalist, told IRIN the conference should be about the Somalis talking directly to one another. The London Conference, he said, was a stage "where the UK government will dictate and the Somalis will have very little say".

"The only conference Somaliland should attend should be one where Somalis talk, whether they agree to separate or reunite does not matter, but they should be talking," Farah said.


Somaliland Intends to Attend London Summit

Shift in Policy Seen as Somaliland Seeks to Demonstrate Independence

By AWEYS CADDE 02/05/2012

President Silanyo meeting with elders, in black tie at centreSomalia's semi-autonomous region of Somaliland has declared that they will attend the upcoming summit which the British government will host in London on 23rd this month, discussing the current situation of Somalia. Somaliland Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omar has expressed their readiness to join the conference, after the three Somaliland political parties and the government agreed upon the issue.

Speaking to local media on Saturday night, the minister stated that 80% of Somaliland's people supported participation in the meeting, which he said will help Somaliland to express their intention and to demonstrate to the world their independence.

"It's clear that this meeting will give special attention and opportunity to Somaliland people. Somaliland will take part in the meeting just as other countries are taking part, in order to deliver our opinion towards security issues, fighting against terrorism and how to get aid for the Somaliland people. Also, Somaliland will showcase to the countries taking part in the meeting of our self-reliance," said the minister.

Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyo recently said that they will open discussions with the different sectors of Somaliland people and the three political parties in the country, while some people are asking themselves why they should participate in a conference on Somalia since they used to reject similar invitations before.

The foreign minister has convinced people of the importance of this conference and that this conference is different from those that came before, because now Somaliland can express their independence and desire for recognition from the world.

Somaliland experts believe that the conference is vital for the future of Somaliland, when you look at the preparation and the way Britain is determined to help Somalia.

"It's one of the biggest opportunities for the Somaliland government since they declared their independence from Somalia. They can tell the world that they are an independent nation, that they have implemented democracy. Two presidential elections have safely taken place over the last 10 years, so the world must understand what the people of Somaliland want," Prof Isma'il Kayse, a Somaliland political analyst, told Somalia Report.

Britain Renews Their Interest in Somalia

British minister for African Affairs Henry Bellingham has recently stated that they will give priority to resolving the crisis in Somalia, which has suffered war for more than 20 years and the reason why his government is holding a meeting for Somalia is to help the Somali people.

"I hope one of the reinforced issues in the meeting should be the support of the AMISOM troops, the TFG forces, and human rights and justice agencies. Another agenda should be for the international community to work closely with the Somali people. We hope to have a strong united stand against piracy and terrorism," he said. "The British government has taken part in alleviating the problem in Somalia, and the existing problem has directly affected us. UK has offered humanitarian aid worth $90 million and the meeting which will take place in London will be one which will open the eyes of the world towards Somalia," he added. Almost 40 countries and international agencies will attend the meeting, while the Britain government renewed her interest for Somalia after naming their ambassador for Somalia and at the same time on Thursday the Britain secretary of foreign affairs William Hague visited Mogadishu.

The Somali's Transitional Federal Government (TFG), the semi autonomous state of Puntland, pro-government Islamic moderate militias of Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaah (ASWJ), Galmudug regional state, Somaliland and other Somali administrations were all invited to London conference and there are massive preparations for that conference.

Somaliland's Attendance

One of the most interesting issues is that the Somaliland administration is for the first time attending a conference on Somalia, since they were previously opposed to conferences with the Somali leaders and discussing their independence. They believe that they are an independent government from the rest of Somalia and that no negotiations are needed on that issue.

Somaliland seems to have drawn back from their strong stand, while they see they can forward their political ambitions and their independence in front of the international community, by taking advantage in participating in the meeting discussing the Somali affairs.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2705/Somaliland_Intends_to_Attend_London_Summit


The case against General Mohamed Samantar is finally going to trial

The Center For Justice and Accountability

Feb. 03, 2012. http://cja.org/article.php?list=type&type=85

I am writing to share some exciting news. After over seven years of litigation, which has featured two appeals, including one that went all the way to the Supreme Court, and travel to six countries ranging from the U.S. to Djibouti to Somaliland, with stops in Italy, England, and Switzerland - our case against General Mohamed Samantar is finally going to trial.

As you may know, this is the first case to go to trial that will seek to hold any member of the former Siad Barre regime responsible for the countless atrocities that were inflicted on innocent civilians in Somalia in the 1980s. During the 1980s, General Samantar served as the highest ranking military official in the country and held the positions of Defense Minister, First Vice President, and Prime Minister. He was Siad Barre's right-hand and the commander of the armed forces that unleashed the campaign of terror.

For more on the case, click here.

Along with pro bono co-counsel Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, we are very honored to represent our four clients who have persevered in their effort to seek justice.


Sexual Violence on the Rise in Somaliland Camps

SOS Children's Villages Canada. February 03, 2012

With drought and economic hardship worsening frustrations, sexual and gender-based violence is on the rise among displaced persons in Somaliland.

In the self-declared independent country of Somaliland, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is on the upswing among displaced populations. Cases of domestic abuse are also increasing.

Hargeisa is the capital of Somaliland, hit by drought and economic hardship, which community workers think led to frustrations running high, fuelling domestic violence.

Much of the country's population remains dependent on remittances transferred from abroad, though the national income is also reliant on duties from goods passing through the port of Berbera on the Gulf of Aden.

Further inland, Hargeisa's Stadium camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) holds 30,000 men, women and children-5,000 families.

Aid workers are working in Stadium and other camps to address the problem, facilitated by the lack of police patrols and poor lighting that leave women and girls vulnerable.

The Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation Somaliland has been running SGBV prevention programmes with the help of funding from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

The group has generally handled 15-20 SGBV cases each month, about 180-240 cases annually. But, last year, 500 cases of domestic violence alone were processed, said the group's Shukri Osman Said.

The group also works to help disabled persons, while connecting victims of violence with health care and legal aid.

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia after the ousting of dictator Siad Barre in 1991. The struggle to secede was marked by tens of thousands of deaths and the destruction of entire villages. While Somalia has been without an effective central government for about two decades, Somaliland retains a working political system, a police force and its very own currency. Still, the country, its government and institutions remain formally unrecognized.

Overall health indicators remain low with only 200 doctors and unregistered midwives to meet the needs of the population. According to the UN Children's Fund, maternal mortality rates there are among the worst in the world.

Ensuring that all children have the benefit of life-saving immunizations and sanitation has also been a challenge. Vaccine-preventable illnesses account for one fifth of child mortality cases.

Less than half of the population has access to safe water and sanitation. Respiratory infections and malnutrition/diarrhea each continue to account for about two-fifths of child deaths.


Action needed to save mothers and children in Somaliland

Feb 03, 2012 11:49 AM

Despite its comparative stability, Somaliland still faces huge development battles, particularly in health.

Somaliland is one of three distinct areas which make up Somalia. South and central Somalia is ruled by the Transitional Federal Government, with large areas controlled by militant Islamist groups. The north-eastern region of Puntland is home to a third of Somalia's population and was declared an autonomous state in 1998. And in the north, there is Somaliland, an autonomous state since 1991. Unlike Puntland, this region would like to become independent as the Republic of Somaliland.

With its peace and functioning democracy (three parliamentary elections have been held since 1991), Somaliland is home to many refugees from the southern and central parts of the country. Around half a million displaced Somalis have fled there, putting extra strain on public services such as education. Somaliland's Education Ministry estimates one in ten of the state's primary school children come from south-central Somalia.

Health services are also struggling to cope with the influx, especially since the healthcare system was already in desperate need of investment and trained staff. According to the office head of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the capital Hargeisa, there are barely more than 100 doctors working in the state and only around the same number of qualified midwives. This severe shortage of medical personnel is a key reason why Somaliland has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world, as well as extremely high infant and child mortality rates.

73 infants (less than 1 year) die for every 1,000 live births in Somaliland. Over a quarter of infant deaths in Africa occur within the first 28 days of a child's life. Many of these deaths can be avoided when mothers and newborns are cared for by trained midwives. Skilled attendants can also drastically reduce the number of deaths among mothers from complications such as haemorrhaging, eclampsia and obstructed labour. According to the UNICEF representative, Somaliland's women have a 1 in 15 risk of dying through maternity-related causes.

With poor health services and widespread poverty, 117 children out of every 1,000 die before they reach the age of five. In a recent report by IRIN, the head of Somaliland's National Health Management Information System (NHMIS) within the Ministry of Health explained that children in the state were particularly prone to respiratory infections, which accounted for two-fifths of child deaths. He estimated another two-fifths were caused by malnutrition and acute watery diarrhoea. Illnesses due to poor hygiene and infected water are particularly common, since little more than 40% of the state's population have access to safe water and proper sanitation facilities. Somaliland's government is committed to doing all they can to reduce infant and maternal deaths and tackle communicable diseases. But health officials admit more action is needed and as soon as possible.

http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/charity-news/action-needed-to-save-mothers-and-children-in-somaliland


Minister faults Somali prime minister's depiction of Somaliland as regional body

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 01 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 28 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland foreign minister, Dr Muhammad Abdullahi, repudiated the Prime Minister of Somalia's characterization of Somaliland as a regional government just like Puntland.

The foreign minister added that Somaliland's government is still discussing the invitation to Somalia conference and it is none of the business of Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali or his government.

Dr Muhaammad Abdillahi went on to say whether Somaliland goes to the conference will depend on the consultations that Somaliland's government is making with the people of Somaliland, and will be guided by Somaliland's interests. He also added that it is wrong to compare Somaliland with the many small regional administrations of Somalia or even to compare Somaliland with the weak Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

Abdiweli's statement is seen by many Somalis as an attempt to raise the status of Puntland by making it equivalent to Somaliland, at the same time it lowers Somaliland status to that of a regional administration rather than an independent country.

Abdiwel Mohamed Ali hails from the Puntland region. Before he became prime minister, he was a Puntland activist, and since he hooked up with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, he has continued to promote Puntland's interests at the expense of other Somalis.


Somaliland to pass central bank law within 3 weeks: cbank

Thu Feb 2, 2012 http://af.reuters.com/ By Mark Anderson

HARGEISA (Reuters) - Somaliland's central bank governor said on Thursday parliament is expected to pass a law within three weeks that will formerly establish a central bank, paving the way for foreign commercial banks to start operating in the self-declared country by 2013.

Somaliland, a breakaway state in the northeast of Somalia, remains unrecognised internationally. It has no formal banking sector and its people rely heavily on remittances from diaspora communities in Europe, North America and the United Arab Emirates, as there are no ATMs or loan facilities.

"We expect to finalise the (Central Bank) act within a maximum of three weeks," Abdi Dirir Abdi told Reuters in an interview in the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa.

The act was brought before parliament in November 2011.

"The Commercial Banking Act will follow in the next six to 12 months," he said. That legislation will allow foreign commercial banks to be set up in Somaliland and offer credit and cash withdrawal facilities.

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has enjoyed relative stability compared to the rest of Somalia.

Several foreign lenders have expressed interest in operating in Somaliland where they are keen to capitalise on its untapped market potential.

"We are still awaiting the regulation. Once it is passed we will open a head office in Hargeisa and branches in five cities in Somaliland. We are ready to open immediately," said Saad Djama, a representative of Djibouti-based Banque pour le Commerce et l'Industrie-Mer Rouge in Hargeisa.

"This is a good market. The business in Somaliland is free, the rate of taxation is also very cheap," Djama said, referring to limited government interference in the business sector.

Djama said his bank currently catered to about 60 customers, mostly companies and non-governmental organisations. He hoped that number would rise to 1,000, once full branches are opened.

Yemeni state-owned bank CAC, Djibouti-based Salaam African Bank, and Banque de Depot de Credit Djibouti, a subsidiary of Switzerland-headquartered Swiss Financial Investments, have all approached Abdi about commencing operations in Somaliland.

"I think (the presence of foreign banks) will enhance our mobile banking system. But banks will bring in cash machines (ATMs) also," Abdi said.

"We are eager to issue licences to commercial banks so that the economy will pick up, because people will have access to credit."


SOMALIA: Mortality rates among world's highest in Somaliland

http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=94782

Edna Adan University Hospital, the main health facility in Hargeisa, Somaliland: Somaliland has one of the worst maternal mortality ratios in the world

HARGEISA, 2 February 2012 (IRIN) - The self-declared Republic of Somaliland is grappling with high child and maternal mortality rates, malnutrition and inadequate medical personnel, health officials told IRIN.

"Somaliland has one of the worst maternal mortality ratios in the world, estimated to be between 10,443 and 14,004 per 100,000 live births," said Ettie Higgins, head of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) field office in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland.

"The infant mortality rate is 73/1,000 while the under-five mortality [rate] is about 117/1,000. Fully immunized children represent a mere 5 percent. Environmental sanitation is highly challenged," she said.

"There are a little over 100 doctors in the country, both in the public and private sectors, and about the same number of registered midwives," Higgins explained.

"Maternal mortality is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age; it is caused mainly by haemorrhage, puerperal sepsis, eclampsia and obstructed labour," Higgins said, adding that women in Somaliland had a one in 15 risk of dying of maternal-related causes.

Child mortality

Abdillahi Abdi Yusuf, head of Somaliland's National Health Management and Information System (NHMIS) in the Ministry of Health, said acute respiratory infections accounted for 40 percent of child mortality in Somaliland, while acute watery diarrhoea and malnutrition accounted for another 40 percent.

"Diseases that can be prevented through vaccination, such as polio, diphtheria, tetanus, TB, measles and whooping cough cause 20 percent of children's mortality in Somaliland," Yusuf said.

According to NHMIS statistics, in 2011 "acute respiratory infections [excluding pneumonia] were the highest [cause of] morbidity in Somaliland's public health centres". Other leading causes included "anaemia, urinary tract infections, watery diarrhoea, pneumonia, skin diseases, eye infections, trauma and burns, sexually transmitted infections and bloody diarrhoea".

According to a UNICEF/Ministry of Health Multi-Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), diarrhoea is the second-highest cause of morbidity and mortality in Somaliland due to poor sanitation and low rate of access to safe water supplies.

"In Somaliland, only 42 percent of the population have access to latrines and 41 percent have access to safe water supplies," the survey said.

Yasin Nur Tani, a private doctor in Hargeisa, told IRIN: "I used to receive about 20 patients daily, complaining of different ailments; the most common disease is upper respiratory tract infections in all ages while skin disease is second and diarrhoea comes third. These are then followed by acute gastritis, intestinal parasites, gynaecological and obstetric diseases and other non-communicable diseases including hypertension and diabetes."

Somaliland health authorities, in collaboration with international aid workers, conduct a weekly surveillance of communicable diseases and take action as soon as possible.

"The Ministry's focus on the communicable diseases control programme identifies the control and the prevention of those diseases contributing to the highest burden of disease in the country; these include malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, HIV/AIDS, meningitis and vaccine preventable diseases," a report by the Health Ministry states.


Visiting US envoy holds talks with Somaliland officials

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 01 Feb 2012. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 28 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

The US representative to Somalia, James Swan, arrived in Somaliland this week. Mr Swan held talks with Somaliland officials.

After the talks, Mr Swan gave a press conference at Ambassador Hotel. He said this is his first visit to Somaliland since 1996 and that he has noticed change and progress. He pointed out that his country has good and direct relations with Somaliland officials and that he had an opportunity to meet with Americans who work with Somaliland ministries and the community on democracy and progress. He praised the peace and security in Somaliland and stressed that his government will do more towards defeating al-Shabaab terrorists.

Asked about his government's position on the coming London conference for Somalia and the likelihood of Somaliland's participation in it, he said when it comes to Somaliland's participation, that is something for Somaliland's government and people to decide, but his government strongly supports the conference.


Anti Somaliland demos staged in disputed town

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 Jan 2012. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 28 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Demonstrations in opposition to Somaliland's interference in [disputed] Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn Regions have been held in town of Baran in Sanaag region. Demonstrators in the town were shouting anti Somaliland slogans and blamed the administration for inflicting suffering on residents of three regions. Residents of the town of Baran said they were determined to challenge the Somaliland Administration in its plan for these three regions.

One of the demonstrator told Shabelle they were disappointed with the Somaliland operations in these regions and called upon the Puntland Administration to intervene in the conflict and support residents. Traditional elders in the town who also took part in the demonstration said they were condemning recent visit by Somaliland minister of defence in these disputed regions.


Somalia: World turns blind-eye to Somaliland's savage aggressions [Editorial]

29 Jan 29, 2012 - http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Editorial_29/Somalia_World_turns_blind-eye_to_Somaliland_s_savage_aggressions_Editorial.shtml

GAROWE ONLINE EDITORIAL | What is painfully clear to all Somalis is the international community's deafening silence on Somaliland's savage attacks against Buhodle.

It is the painful sight of the young children. Some boys and girls look as young as 6 or 8 years of age. They were wounded during Somaliland's savage aggression against Buhodle district - military aggressions that began in February 2011, then again in May 2011, and now during the first month of 2012. The repeated Somaliland violent onslaught targeting Buhodle district and its inhabitants - including the mothers and their children - has forced thousands of nomadic clansmen to take up arms and courageously defend their liberty and their right to self-determination.

In the Noble Qur'an, Allah Almighty asks: "For what crime was she killed?" (81:9)

Indeed, those children did not commit any crime, perhaps other than to belong to a particular clan and region of Somalia that has become a target for Somaliland. In looking at the heart-breaking photographs of wounded civilians transferred to a hospital in Puntland's city of Galkayo, one aches to comprehend the reason and cause that motivates Somaliland's deep hatred and inherent complexities that lead to the committing of war crimes against civilian populations in Buhodle. In October 2007, when Somaliland seized Las Anod city, the situation was different: Las Anod was betrayed by her own sons, who allowed Somaliland forces to march in to the city and displace upwards of 50,000 civilians, according to UN estimates.

But in Buhodle, despite bribing local officials, Somaliland has failed to infiltrate Buhodle society in a similar fashion to events in Las Anod. Each time the bribing effort failed, Somaliland provided even more bribes hoping that the situation would magically transform into the Hargeisa regime's favor. When all the exponentially increasing bribes did not bring results, Somaliland's tyrannical leaders who engaged in the 1990s genocides in northern Somalia could not believe their eyes - that the people of Buhodle are willing to die to defend their liberty and their right to self-determination. No man on earth has a right to impose a political or religious idea on any person or community.

It was the people of Somaliland, who in the 1980s, led the SNM struggle to liberate the northwestern cities of Hargeisa and Burao from the iron grip of the Barre dictatorship. The SNM and its supporters claimed the right to self-determination. Today, as if that memory was irrelevant, it is Somaliland's SNM leadership that has overlooked recent history and is now behaving in manner similar to the Barre regime. If Somaliland had warplanes, it can be argued that Somaliland would have conducted airstrikes against Buhodle.

The reason for Somaliland's repeated attacks against Buhodle is easy for any Somali to understand. The Isaaq-dominated Somaliland regime cannot fathom - and indeed their ego cannot accept - that a single Darod sub-clan (Dhulbahante) is able to face-off against the entire might of the Isaaq-dominated Somaliland forces. In all of Somaliland's savage attacks on Buhodle, Somaliland forces lost again and again - both manpower and equipment. We send our condolences to the young Somali men who were sent to their graves in Buhodle by power-hungry SNM politicians in Hargeisa who are still thirsty for the spilling of more blood in order to satisfy their ego damaged by inherent complexities.

In Somali minds, this reading of Somaliland's war losses damages the morale and self-perception of being "better" than fellow Somalis - and particularly the Darod whom Somaliland falsely brands as the foot soldiers of Barre dictatorship. Still, the resentment, enmity, hostility and hatred goes back even deeper into history, dating back to the anti-colonial struggle.

What is painfully clear to all Somalis is the international community's deafening silence on Somaliland's savage attacks against Buhodle. What Somaliland could not accomplish with policy, they will never accomplish with a gun. Every community in Somalia is armed. Despite all efforts to look like a "nation" it is very clear to Somalis what clans the families of deceased soldiers belong to. All Somalis fully know about the funerals at Somali homes in Hargeisa and Burao. All Somalis fully know what clan resides in Hargeisa and Burao. A few hired politicians, such as the unashamed warmonger from Las Anod Mr. Ahmed Abdi Habsade, will never constitute a legitimate representative of the aspirations of Dhulbahante people. The likes of Mr. Habsade is of lesser value than how Somaliland views the Isaaq politicians who are part of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia.

The international community is recommended to immediately intervene and demand Somaliland stop its savage aggressions. The people of Buhodle have proven with their blood that they do not wish to be part of any separation from Somalia. That separation can never come at the high cost of blood and violent imposition where people's liberty and self-determination is taken away.

Secondly, Somaliland is reminded that the people of Buhodle are part of a larger Somali community that resides all over Somalia - in neighboring Puntland, in Galgadud region of central Somalia, and the Jubbaland regions of Somalia's deep south. What is happening in Buhodle quite clearly is a clan war - and if this clan war does not cease immediately, then this clan war might expand and ignite a bigger war that destabilizes the entire Somalia - and particularly Puntland-Somaliland regions of northern Somalia that have experienced stability for years.

Thirdly, the shameful warmongers who post online opinions and false information to mislead the world are reminded that the truth can never be hidden or silenced. Somaliland's savagery in Buhodle is now exposed - and history will demand answers.

And finally, Somaliland's SNM leadership has failed the people of Somaliland. International recognition as an independent country is not coming. Every time Somaliland loses politically, the Hargeisa regime changes the people's focus to the historic "enemy" - indeed a perceived enemy - to the east. This is shameful politics in the 21st century. There is now growing concern that battle losses, both politically and militarily, is widening internal discord in Hargeisa as Somaliland's aging leader Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo allows his ultra-powerful clan-cousin Mr. Hersi Haji Ali Hassan and allies like SNM warmonger and Kulmiye party chairman Mr. Muse Bihi to conduct a policy of extremist violence to settle old scores. Internal discords include the ongoing dispute between Somaliland President Silanyo and Vice President Abdirahman Abdullahi Saylici, a dispute attributed to Mr. Hersi and which is widely reported by Somaliland media, and even compared to the notorious TFG political disputes.

The world should pay attention.


Somaliland opposition leader says gov't has no relations with international community

http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Somaliland_opposition_leader_says_gov_t_has_no_relations_with_international_community.shtml

HARGEYSA, Somalia Jan 29 2012 (Garowe Online) - A prominent opposition party leader in the Somaliland government Faisal Ali Warabe who spoke to reporters said that Somaliland does not have good relations with the international community and the Somaliland government needed to adjust to the new Somalia, Radio Garowe reports.

Faisal Ali Warabe chairman of the Justice and Welfare Party of Somaliland (UCID) who spoke to reporters said that Somaliland government needed to adjust to the changing political outlook of Somalia. "We have to adjust to the changes in politics around us so Somaliland does not collapse politically," said Mr. Warabe.

When asked about the international relations Somaliland has the opposition leader responded Somaliland has no real international relations with the international community.

Mr. Warabe spoke about the upcoming meeting in UK, where different autonomous regions in Somalia and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia are invited to meet in London on the 23 of February. Mr. Warabe stated that if Somaliland attends the conference or not, is not important what is important that Somalia comes out of the meeting with a unified policy.

According to reports Somaliland has been courted by many UK officials to join the different states in Somalia that are attending the meeting in which issues such as security, political process, and international cooperation will be discussed.

Mr. Warabe who gave a 10 minute interview, spoke about the Puntland government, Somaliland's neighbor to the east. Mr Warabe said, "Puntland is leading the Somali national politics. The TFG Prime Minister is from Puntland. Farole [Puntland President] is hosting a national conference in Garowe."

Somaliland's policies in the contested areas of Sool, Sanag, and Ayn have caused much controversy lately, resulting in protests and battles that led to many deaths in the contested areas. Somaliland also had problems in the region of Awdal which was a region of Somaliland for many years, recently declared itself as a state of Somalia.


President is injured in Buhodle fighting

Published On: January, 28 2012.http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1654

The armed militias from Somaliland were conquered and their escaped militias went into Qorulugud town while the Dhulbahante's militias got aid from rural areas.

Mogadishu (Sunatimes) Colonial Mohamed Yusuf Indhashel, one of the three presidents of Khatumo State of Somalia was injured during Buhodle fighting between armed men from Somaliland and Khatumo State but one we glance deeply both of them are from Isak and Dhulbahanre clan.

Colonial Indhashel is a Somali Dutch who used to live in Delft city in Netherlands. It's confirmed that he was fired on the head while he was fighting at the front fighting zone at the same time he wound is uncomplicated.

During the Buhodle fighting, 28 people from Dhulbahnte clan were killed as well as 18 peaple included these are from one of the three sub-clans from Dhulbahante clan. In addition, over 20 people from this clan were wounded and all of them were taken into Buhodle town.

32 from Isak clan were killed throughout the Buhodle fighting while 19 of these troops are from Habar-jeclo sub clan and there are 9 troops werearrested as prisoners. As it's confirmed 39 troops from Somaliland were injured during the Buhodle fighting.

Vehicle belongs to Isak clan was taken over during Buhodle fighting which was provisions car, as well as weapon vehicle was burnt after they took its gun.

Armed men from Isak clan was defeated after they fired into Buhodle city so Somaliland's militias were overpowered by armed militias led by Ahmed Karash, one of the commanders ofKhaatuma State of Somalia, also a famous official and provisions' vehicle were taken over.

The armed militias from Somaliland were conquered and their escaped militias went into Qorulugud town while the Dhulbahante's militias got aid from rural areas.

The armed men from both sides are getting collecting weapons so it's confirmed that fighting can erupt another bitter fighting again.

The foreign and interior ministers of Somaliland have gone to Addis Ababa/Ethiopia as emergence and it's reported that their traveling is aimed to persuade Ethiopian authority ceasing its support to Khaatuma State iyo Awdal State.

It seems that Somali region authority in Ethiopia giving a hand to Awdal state of Somalia since Ogaden, Gadabursi and Dhulbahante clans have power in Somali regions in Ethiopia.

It's confirmed that the urgent traveling of two ministers into Ethiopia is aspired talking with the Addis Ababa authority do not allow the Awdal state's president, Rashid Aw Nur Hersi to use Jig-jiga airport after the welcoming troops has left from Awbarre city inside of Ethiopia.

The relation between Ethiopia and Somaliland is deteriorating after the President Silanyo had rejected to resign radical ministers since Ethiopian government has suspicions these ministers are members of Al shabab group.

Presidential minister and foreign Ministers of Somaliland had met in Cairo the great religious leader in Egypt and this caused enormous distrust.

By Dahir Alasow


Clashes leave eight dead in Somaliland

Press TV (Iran) Jan 27, 2012

At least eight people have been killed after troops from the self-declared republic of Somaliland launched an attack on local militiamen in the Buhodle district, Press TV reports.

The conflict erupted on Thursday as Somaliland forces launched an attack against bases of militia fighters, who have recently formed the new regional state of Khatumo, on the outskirts of Sool-Joogto village in the Buhodle district.

Fierce skirmishes broke out in the aftermath of the assault and heavy weapons -- including artillery and machine guns -- were used in the fighting. The gun battle forced local residents to flee their homes.

A total of eight people were killed and several others wounded during the clashes.

Somaliland, situated in northwestern Somalia, unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Horn Africa country in 1991.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The Somali government has struggled for years to restore security but efforts have not yet yielded results in the African nation.


Puntland rejects formation of new administration in disputed Somali regions

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 27 Jan 2012. Somali Puntlandpost website in Somali 27 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Puntland Vice President, Abdisamad Ali Shire, has angrily spoken on the Khatumo Two conference which was recently concluded in the town of Taleh. The Puntland vice president while speaking on the outcome of the meeting said they were initially optimistic about the conference hoping that it would be used as an opportunity to unite the clan and liberate [disputed town of] Laas Canood. He said his administration was expressing regret at the fact that a self appointed group manipulated the conference and deviating it from the original plan.

"The clan is part of Puntland and they will forever remain so unless and until they choose to withdraw in the same way that they joined the administration initially. We know that the Khatumo conference was spearheaded by individual that have become known for putting their own selfish interests before that of the people," said the Puntland vice president.

"This so called Khatumo State is just like any of the irrelevant administrations that have been impulsively formed such as Caseyrland and Galbeedland," said the Puntland vice president with the grin. The vice president while cautioning clans in Sool Sanaag and Ceyn Regions said they should not allow to be displaced by an individual who will not help settle them down in the end.

Speaking on attack by Somaliland on town of Buuhoodle, Abdisamad Ali Shire said it was an unnecessary provocation and added that Somaliland has forgotten the problems they faced in the 1980's and how difficult life was for their people back then. He said it was wrong for Somaliland soldiers to inflict a similar suffering on the residents of Buuhoodle.


Khatumo Seeks Peace, Vows to Fight Somaliland

Somalia Report Interview with Khatumo President Ahmed Ali Osman Karaash

By SHIINE OMAR 01/27/2012

On January 11th , 2012, the new state of Khatumo was formed by leaders of the Dhulbahante clan (sub clan of Darod) from Sool, Sanaag and Cayn (SSC) regions, who declared their intention to break away from Somaliland and Puntland, which both claim sovereignty over the disputed territory.

Somaliland, also a breakaway state in Somalia, has since rejected the decision and sent troops to attack Khatumo militia bases on Thursday, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 90 Somaliland soldiers. Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in Somalia, also expressed their disappointment with the new state, but has not responded militarily.

In an effort to learn more about Khatumo, Somalia Report interviewed its new president Mr. Ahmed Ali Osman Karaash.

Thank you for speaking to Somalia Report.

You are welcome.

Who created this state?

The community of these regions as well as Diaspora and local citizens.

You are the new president of Khatumo. How do you see this position?

I can't say that I am happy to be in this position because there is a lot of responsibility, but I'm happy to work with my family and towards peace in these regions.

We know that there have been a lot of problems in these region. How do you intend to resolve that?

Yes, there are more things that need to be resolved. My plan is to create peace and development and we will work with anyone in Somalia who wants peace.

How did the people in the Sool, Sanaag and Cayn react to the news of the new state?

Honestly I am sure that everyone in these regions are so happy about this announcement because they want peace and their own regional autonomy.

We know there is some areas which Khatumo will not handover to Somaliland. How does your government plan to keep control of those areas?

Yes, it is true that we want to tell first Somaliland that we need peace and for these regions to be calm. We will ask them to move out of our regions. You know the Somali state are clans so we do not need one clan to control another clan.

Recently heavy fighting broke out between Somaliland and the militia which supports your government in Buhodle district of Togdher region. Who started this fight?

Everyone knows that Somaliland forces started the fighting. We ask them to stop. We want peace.

If Somaliland does not accept peace, do you plan to fight?

As I told you, we need peace but if they ignore peace then, yes, we will fight them to get our land and our people.

Does your government have military forces and police to face Somaliland or to ensure the security in these areas?

Yes, we have police and security forces and we also registering them right now.

Do your forces have the ability to defend these regions?

Yes, because we have very experienced officials who worked for the Somalia government before the civil and were trained them.

How many military forces do have?

I do not want to publish that in the media, but I can tell you that we have enough forces.

Where does your government expect to get income ?

You know, we are we new state and have not started taxing yet, but we will. The Diaspora supports us now.

What are the natural resources in these regions?

We aware that there are a lot of resources in these regions including oil and livestock.

You were Puntland's former aviation and ports minister. Why did you resign your position and what was the conflict between you and Puntland government?

Yes, it is true that I was a minister in Puntland, but after I saw that our regions had no development or rights, I decided to resign that position and work to my family take part in developing these region.

You can tell us about Khatumo's relationship with Puntland?

We are neighbors and we are families so our relations are not that bad. If they will work us, we will work with them too.

Does the TFG recognize your government?

Yes, TFG officials are aware of our meetings and recognize our state.

TFG officials did issue a statement that they welcomed this new born state so how do you know?

I just told you that they recognized us and are aware about our meetings, but we are waiting for TFG officials to officially welcome us.

Do you have any relations with neighboring countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti?

Yes, we have reliable relations with all these countries because they know that we respect them and we need them to work us towards peace in the region.

What do you expect you can change in Somalia?

We are expecting more and we are sure that if the Somali people trust one an other that they can succeed with anything.

What is your message to Somali people?

My message to Somali people is this: we are brothers and sisters and we also have one religion, one flag, one country. We are one people so we need to work towards peace to ensure the stability of the country. We know that if we trust each other and have patience, we can succeed and everyone can live comfortably. I also want to tell also Somalis to support our country

Thanks, Mr. President, for your interview.

You are welcome.


Somalia: Somaliland sustains heavy losses in Buhodle after counter offensive

27 Jan 27, 2012 - http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Somaliland_sustains_heavy_losses_in_Buhodle_after_counter_offensive.shtml

BUHODLE, Somalia Jan 27 2012 (Garowe Online) - Over 31 Somaliland soldiers were killed , while 43 others were seriously injured in a counter offensive launched by local militia, some 30 kms north of Buhodle, the capital of Ayn region.

Reports say 23 local militia were killed, while 21 others were injured in the 3 hour battle launched by Somaliland at about 4:00 pm Thursday evening.

The militia led rapid response squads in a counter offensive that thwarted the Somaliland attack and destroyed 2 Somliland armed trucks and other military hardware.

The fleeing Somaliland soldiers abandoned a logistics truck laden with food rations for the Somaliland infantry and mechanized units. The truck is now under the custody of the regional security forces in the Buhodle district.

Meanwhile, residents were enraged that the G6 delegation led by former Somalia Premier, Ali Khalif Galeyr and former IMF official Ali Isse Abdi, did not take part in the intervention, although the G6 delegation's - escorted by 12 armed trucks - visit coincided with the attack by Somaliland forces.

A Buhodle citizen who wanted to remain anonymous attributed the G6 attitudes towards the clashes as a response to their recent loss in election for the Khatuma Presidency. The G6 lost the bid for the presidency to the popular politician Ahmed Karash, the former Puntland Minister for Civil Aviation and Airports.

Other residents were weary of the G6 presence in Buhodle , as rumors of a G6 - Somaliland alliance remained in circulation.


Somalia: Why Britain should rein in Somaliland leaders

January 27th, 2012.http://www.raxanreeb.com/?p=129650

Renewed fighting in the northern Somalia between forces of Khaatumo and Somaliland administrations shows the fragility of peace agreements between clans more than twenty years after the collapse of state in Somalia. Unlike traditional clan wars the current war in Northern Somalia is a political one. Somaliland regards the ex-British border between the two provinces (North and South that united to form the Somali Republic in 1960) a basis on which its secession argument is based. Somaliland uses words such as sovereignty when it orders its militias ( known to its supports as Somaliland Army) to attack unionist towns such as Buuhoodle or to open fire on peaceful demonstrators waving the Somali flag in Las Anod town of Sool region.

Although Khaatumo and Somaliland are names of two administrations, the war is between armed men from Dhulbahante and Isaaq clans. Britain ruled the Northern Somalia territories until June 26 1960 and maintains links with that part of Somalia. Britain recognises the Transitional Federal Government and the territorial integrity of Somalia, has provided significant assistance to Somaliland during and after elections in 2010 and is, according to Human Rights and Democracy: The 2010 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report, Britain " the largest bilateral donor" to Somaliland.

Somaliland's insistence on and misuse of the term sovereignty is the cause of armed confrontations and the attack on Buuhoodle by Somaliland's clan forces two weeks ago. These attacks cause widespread human rights violations that merit investigations. As the date of the British-organised Somalia Conference in London draws closer, Britain can play a major role in reining in Somaliland political and traditional leaders who have declared war on peaceful, unionist towns. Britain has a moral obligation to address the renewed clan warfare and work towards bringing together the two administrations to resolve political problems peacefully. By doing that Britain will send a clear message that it is not taking sides in clan warfare and that human rights violators will be brought to justice. Silence is not an option.

Liban Ahmad - libahm@gmail.com


MPs ask Federal Government to intervene in clashes over disputed Somali regions

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 25 Jan 2012. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 25 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somali MPs that hail from [disputed] Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn Regions have today held a meeting in Mogadishu in which they asked senior Transitional Federal Government of Somalia [TFG] officials to intervene in the situation in these regions. The formation of the Khatumo Administration has affected residents of these three regions.

Haji Abdi Muhammad Ali, a member of the Federal Somali Parliament told the media that Somaliland Administrations is causing a lot of problems for civilians in these regions and urged the TFG to support residents whom he said were struggling to up the national flag in these regions. The MP also urged residents of these regions to continue with the demonstrations and opposition to the Somaliland administration and stick to their plan of forming their own independent regional administration which will come under the TFG.

There have been clashes in Sool Sanaag and Ceyn Region ever since the formation of an administration that is independent from both Puntland and Somaliland were announced. Somaliland forces who were defying the formation of the new administration in these areas and local militias in these region have on several occasions in recent weeks clashed in a number of towns in the region.


86 Dead as Somaliland Battles Khatumo Militia

Somaliland Attacks Khatumo Bases in Fool-Joogto Village

By AWEYS CADDE 01/26/2012

Khatumo Militia After Fighting Somaliand Forces UPDATE: Khatumo militias claimed victory and killed 86 Somaliland soldiers and captured more than 30 soldiers, according to militia leader Abdirisak Fanah who spoke to Somalia Report this evening.

At least six fighters were killed and more than ten were injured as the military of Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland fought against local militias that recently formed the new regional state of Khatumo in Fool-joogto village, 30km north of Buhodle district in Ayn region, on Thursday afternoon, locals said.

The fighting erupted when Somaliland forces attacked the militias' bases on the outskirts of Fool-Joogto village, where the two sides fought more than one hour. Both sides used heavy gunfire, including artillery and machine guns.

"The fighting started at noon. I can confirm that six people were killed, including two from the militia and the others from Somaliland," local resident Gurey Ahmed Adawe in Buhodle told Somalia Report, adding that the fighting effected the area and forced the residents to flee their homes.

"The local militias displayed two military vehicles which they captured from Somaliland as well as two Somaliland officers they took as prisoners," he stated.

Suldaan Mahad Saleban Roble, a traditional leader in Buhodle district, accused Somaliland forces of "massacring" the civilians of Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions and forcing them to break away from Somalia.

"We belief in Somalism and we don't want to break away from the other Somali regions, but SNM militias (the former name of Somaliland when they rebelled against Somalia's military government in the 1980s) want to force us to join them and divide Somalia, but they don't know that the world of the dictator is over," he said.

Roble urged the international community and the United Nations to intervene and vowed they will fight against Somaliland until they eradicate them from Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions.

Tensions remain high in the three regions and residents are expecting fighting to erupt any moment as Somaliland is deploying more troops to the area. At the same time, the local militias are preparing for a massive battle against Somaliland.

No immediate comments were available from Somaliland authorities.

Recently, Darod sub-clan of Dhulbahante clan that reside the regions met in Taleh district and formed the new regional state of Katumo. Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, however, vowed he would never allow Somaliland to be divided.

Two weeks ago, Somaliland military forces failed to seize Buhodle and were forced to flee by the local militia.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2624/86_Dead_as_Somaliland_Battles_Khatumo_Militia


Puntland condemns rival Somaliland over attacks on protesters in disputed town

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 25 Jan 2012. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 25 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Puntland has expressed concerns over the move in which Somaliland forces deliberately killed civilians who were staging demonstrations in opposition to their administration in [disputed] town of Laas Canood, Sool Region. Puntland vice president, Abdisamad Ali Shire, while speaking to the media in Garowe said his administration was quite concerned about developments in these regions and was condemning Somaliland force's attack on civilians in Laas Canood. General Abdisamad said Somaliland will be held accountable for the massacre of innocent civilians by forcing them to support their administration.

Residents of Laas Canood recently staged demonstration in support of an administration recently formed in these regions and Somaliland forces in the town fired live ammunition at the demonstrators causing death and injury. Tension is high in Laas Canood as counter demonstrations in support of the Somaliland Administration are also being planned in town.

Mahmud Jama Muhammad, a resident of the town said clashes with the Somaliland forces started civilians brought in from other parts of Somaliland and into Laas Canood attempted to stage counter demonstrations in support of Somaliland administration. The situation is slowly normalising in Laas Canood although the tension still remains.


Somalia: Protesters refuse Somaliland authority in Sanaag

24 Jan 24, 2012 - http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Protesters_refuse_Somaliland_authority_in_Sanaag.shtml

BARAN, Somalia Jan 24 2012 (Garowe Online) - Protesters who are against Somaliland's authority in the region of Sanaag lined the streets of Baran chanting "Somalia is one", Radio Garowe reports.

Hundreds of protesters with boards and banners crowded the streets of Baran capital of Sanaag region on Tuesday to protest Somaliland's authority in the region which is hotly contested by both the Puntland and Somaliland governments.

According to Mohamed Saeed Dabayl Governor of Sanaag the citizens were protesting recent demonstrations in which Somaliland supporters had conducted in Somaliland and the arrival of Somaliland officials in Baran, the protesters chanted "Long live Puntland state, Somalia is one nation."

Mr. Dabayl told reporters that Sanaag citizens want to be a part of Somalia and do not want further divides in the Somali nation.

Ugaas Hassan Jama Dhegood a clan leader in Sanaag who took part of the demonstrations told reporters that citizens of Sanaag do not want any authority that is against the unity of Somalia. He went on to add that Sanaag is a part of Puntland state of Somalia and its people are Puntlanders.

In related news Somaliland forces opened fire on protesters on Saturday in the city of Las'anod capital of Sool region killing 2 and injuring 12.

Somaliland government is unpopular in Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions where they have militarily occupied lands. Although Puntland officials have asked Somaliland forces to leave the contested the lands there has been no comments made from the International community.

Puntland and Somaliland have had a territorial dispute since 2003 over the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Ayn. Although the three regions were hotly contested Las'anod was under Puntland rule until 2007 after Somaliland forces captured Las'anod and have occupied it ever since.


Somalia: In Past Week in Somaliland, 25 Journalists Arrested, Four Still Held and TV Station Closed

16 January 2012. Reporters sans FrontiŠres (Paris) http://allafrica.com/stories/201201162423.html. press release

Reporters Without Borders is worried by events of the past week affecting the media in the breakaway northwestern territory of Somaliland, in which a total of 25 journalists were arrested and a television station, HornCable TV, was closed in Hargeisa, the territory's capital.

The organization accuses the authorities to trying to intimidate the media and calls for the release of four journalists still being held illegally.

"This wave of arrests of journalists is without precedent in Somaliland," Reporters Without Borders said. "We are disturbed by this crackdown and by the president's readiness to brand a media as a 'nation destructor.' This will further intimidate journalists who already have to cope with tough conditions in this region of Somalia. We urge the authorities to free the four journalists still being held and to reopen HornCable TV without delay."

When HornCable TV employees demonstrated outside the presidential palace in Hargeisa yesterday in protest against the station's closure, they were attacked and beaten by members of the Somaliland Special Protection Unit and eight of them were arrested. The eight detainees, all journalists, were Nimco Sabriye, Hamsa Ali Bulbul, Mohamed Gurashe, Abdirahman Sheik Yunes, Ayan Diriye, Nimo' Diriye, Hodan Ali Ajabi and Safiya Nuh Sheikh.

Thirteen other journalists from various media who went to help their detained colleagues were then also arrested. HornCable TV's owner was summoned to the president's office later yesterday and interrogated. The detained journalists, who included six women, were taken to police headquarters in Hargeisa and were finally released today on interior minister Mohamed Nour Arale's orders, after being held for more than 24 hours.

HornCable TV was closed on 14 January when around 100 policemen arrived in seven armoured vehicles, ordered all the staff to leave and sealed the doors. The transmitter was disconnected soon afterwards. The officer in charge of the raid, Mohamed Du'alle, admitted he did not have a warrant but said he was acting on orders from superiors. Mohamed Abdi Sheik, HornCable TV's East Africa director, was briefly detained during the operation.

In an address to parliament earlier the same day, Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyon described HornCable TV as a "nation destructor" and accused it of broadcasting anti-government propaganda.

The government's anger was reportedly aroused by the station's coverage of a tribal meeting in Taleh district of Sool region, in which representatives of various tribes announced the creation of an autonomous administration in the region. The interior minister confirmed that this was the reason, and said the station's licence had been withdrawn for "anti-Somaliland propaganda."

The four journalists who are still detained were arrested in series of incidents from 8 to 11 January.

Ali Ismail Aare, a reporter for the weekly Waheen, was arrested on 11 January for taking photos of a service station and a building belonging to Somaliland Vice-President Abdirahman Abdilahi. Mohamed Omar Sheikh, a reporter for the weekly Saxafi, was arrested the same day for writing articles that were deemed likely to create conflict in the Awdal region.

Abdqani Hassan Farah, a Universal TV reporter in Las Anod district of Sool region, was arrested with two colleagues from HornCable TV and Somaliland TV on 9 January. The other two were freed after a few hours but Farah, also known as Gadari, is still being held on a charge of "exaggerating reports of a meeting that created instability in the Sool, Sanag and Eyn regions." It was a meeting of the Taleh tribes the day before. His arrest was reportedly arranged by Sool's governor on the orders of Somaliland information minister Ahmed Abdi Habsade.

On 9 January, Somaliland police also prevented four journalists from attending the laying of fibre-optic cable by SomCable Ltd that will enable the territory to be connected with the outside world via Djibouti. It has been the source of a great deal of controversy as it was authorized by the previous government and rejected by the new one.

Finally, Yusuf Abdi Ali, a reporter better known as Indho Quruh who works for London-based Royal TV, was arrested without a warrant in the Borame district of the city of Awdal on 8 January after being accused by a local NGO, Africa Youth Development Association, of making false allegations of corruption and management problems in local development projects. He is still being held in the Borame district police station. He has not been charged and has not been able to see a lawyer.

This is the list of 21 journalists who were arrested on 15 January and were freed the next day:

1. Mohamud Abdi Jama, editor-in-chief, Waaheen newspaper 2. Mohamed Omar Abdi, editor-in-chief, Jamhuuriya newspaper 3. Ahmed Aden Dhere, reporter, Haatuf newspaper 4. Mohamed Said Harago, head of news, Berberanews 5. Najah Adan Unaye, director, Hadhwanaagnews 6. Suhur Barre, reporter, HornCable TV 7. Abdiqani Abdullahi Ahmed, reporter, Hadhwanaagnews 8. Mohamed Ahmed Muse, reporter, HornCable TV 9. Mohamed Fayr, reporter, Geeska Africa newspaper 10. Saleban Abdi Ali Kalshaale, reporter, Waaheen newspaper 11. Khalid Hamdi Ahmed, reporter, Waaheen newspaper 12. Nimo Omar Mohmed Sabriye, presenter, HornCable TV 13. Hamsa Ali Bulbul, reporter, HornCable TV 14. Mohamed Ahmed Muse Kurase, reporter, HornCable TV 15. Abdirahman Sheik Yunes, presenter, HornCable TV 16. Ayan Diriye, reporter, HornCable TV 17. Nimo' Diriye, reporter, HornCable TV 18. Hodan Ali Ajabi, reporter, HornCable TV 19. Safiya Nuh Sheikh, presenter, HornCable TV 20. Ahmed Abdirahman Hersi, news editor, HornCable TV 21. Jama Omar Abdullahi, reporter, Waaheen newspaper


The joys of investing in Somaliland

BBC, 24 January 2012.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16603523

Mr Yusef says potential profits are higher in Somaliland than London

"How are you going to make money in a country that doesn't even exist?" That was probably the question that many people had at the back of their minds when Mohammed Yusef told them he would invest in Somaliland.

Others perhaps did not even know Somaliland had declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and that, in spite of not having been recognised internationally, it does have - unlike Somalia - a working political system and a strong business sector.

Mr Yusef of course knew. Although he now manages a very successful investment firm in the United Kingdom, Invicta Capital Limited, he has always kept in touch with the land where he was born six decades ago, while it still was a British protectorate.

"If what my parents say is true, I always had a mentality for trade, for business, and it's not inconsistent with the family history because the family originated from a fishing village on the Gulf of Aden," he told the BBC's series African Dream.

"My great-grandfather was one of those people that would trade with Aden."

Mr Yusef was educated in the UK where he trained as a solicitor and practiced as a commercial lawyer before starting his own law practice specializing in commercial law, copyright and media law in London.

In 1999 he founded Invicta, a private equity firm providing finance for the media, commercial property and renewable energy sectors which, according to its website, has raised over œ1.4bn ($2.3bn) of investment capital.

Minding the gap

His Somaliland business is handled through a company called Prime Resources which has a staff of nine people in Hargeisa, the capital.

Mohammed Yusef
- Age: 60
- First business venture: buying and selling a film library
- Trained as a solicitor
- Practiced as a commercial lawyer before founding his own law practice in London
- Founded Invicta Capital in 1999
- His Somaliland business is handled through a company called Prime Resources
- Prime has a staff of nine people in Hargeisa

According to him, the firm has invested in mining, and oil and gas exploration and is about to embark on a $40m exploration programme. It is also evaluating business opportunities in Somalia in the agricultural and property sectors.

"When I first started looking at investment in Somaliland even my professional colleagues would say: 'You're mad. This doesn't make any sense'," he remembers.

"Not only did they confuse Somaliland with Somalia but it does have the problem of being an unrecognised country," he told the BBC's Mary Harper.

"But actually nobody ever made money from following the herd and the most money is often to be made where there is a mismatch between what people perceive to be the place and the reality of what it is, and Somaliland is exactly in those kinds of circumstances where there is a huge gap between the reality and the perception."

"So actually there is a method to my madness and it isn't inconsistent with the basic principles of business: Go find yourself a situation that nobody else has spotted and be prepared to hang on in there while everybody else catches up."

"There is no inconsistency between what we look for when we invest in an opportunity here [in London] and what we look for over there, except that the potential rewards in Somaliland are far greater, ironically."

The Hollywood connection

Mr Yusef's first business venture was buying and selling a film library.

"I was lucky in that I knew who my buyer was going to be, so it was one of those crazy situations where I knew I could buy for X and sell for Y," he said.

"In many ways, it's the worst first lesson to have in business because you run away with the idea that business is actually quite easy."

However, this experience was probably helpful to him when, later, he decided to specialise in structured film financing.

Invicta has been involved in the financial side of many successful film projects, including Wallace & Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Da Vinci Code and James Bond's Casino Royale.

Although now he manages big money, Mr Yusef says that he started with very little.

"I had enough capital to pay the rent of an office for six months. I think it was enough to pay the secretary and assistant. That was it.

"But it didn't take much. It never takes much. Not having money is never really the obstacle, it's the excuse."

'Fascinating people'

Mr Yusef says that for him one of the most exciting things about his business is meeting people.

"You meet fantastic people, even the ones you don't like. They're fascinating".

"The biggest driver for people in business, if you look at it, is the creative drive, to create something from nothing and step back and say: 'That was nothing then, look at it now'"

He believes that it is often easier to get to know others in stressful situations because they cannot "keep their pretences up for very long".

He also takes delight in the intellectual challenges offered by his job.

"Every situation is different from the last. And the mistake often made is to assume 'Oh, I know how that story is going to end'. So there's always that tension - positive stress is what I call it - that keeps one going," he says.

"After a while, it may sound a bit glib to say this, the money motive isn't the main driver. Once you've reached a certain level of security - you've paid the mortgage if you still had one and taken care of the basics of life, and you can afford one or two luxuries - people who accumulate businesses and business interests just to make more money are a little bit unwell, I think.

"The biggest driver for people in business, if you look at it, is the creative drive, to create something from nothing and step back and say: 'That was nothing then, look at it now'. I'm sure that's the key motivator for most people who are successful in business."

And what advice would he give to someone who wants to start in business?

"Control your fear and never give up because you will fail more than you succeed, and I think that's the thing that my father taught me more than anything else, and that's that ultimately you will prevail if you take your losses as well as your successes and learn from the losses. We learn nothing from success and everything from failure.

"I think the thing that separates the natural businessman and, let's say, a business consultant, is the tenacity that is required. Many people give up on their dreams and their ideas faster than they should, and even when they do fail, they should figure out why they failed and then look for the next opportunity."

African Dream is broadcast on the BBC Network Africa programme every Monday morning.


Puntland VP Speaks On Somaliland Violence Against Protesters

AllAfrica.com [Washington] 22 Jan 2012.

Puntland Vice President Gen. Abdisamad Ali Shire asked the Somaliland government to end the violence that has forced people to flee their homes in provinces of Sool and Ayn, Radio Garowe reports.

Vice President Gen. Abdisamad spoke at a conference in Garowe to promote journalism in Somalia, the VP took the opportunity to speak about the violence that was occurring in Las'anod as 2 people died and 12 were wounded after Somaliland forces fired on protesters on Saturday.

Vice President Gen. Abdisamad asked the Somaliland forces to leave the hotly contested lands. "After the blatant violence against inhabitants of those lands, the Puntland government is asking the Somaliland government to pull out their forces from Ayn and Sool," said VP Gen. Abdisamad.

The Somaliland forces attacked the city of Buhodle capital of Ayn region last week killing 7 and injuring 15. Somaliland government is unpopular in Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions where they have militarily occupied lands in order to extend their government rule.

Puntland and Somaliland have had a territorial dispute since 2003 over the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Ayn. Although the three regions were hotly


NAGAAD established a new office In Erigavo (SANAAG Region)

21 January 2012 07:11

View the pictures here

On 16th January 2012, a group of NAGAAD and Board of directors launched the third nationwide office in Erigavo the capital city of Sanaag region. The aim of this new office is to serve to the Far East regions of the country since Burao office is doing a lot of work in Togdheer region.

The mayor of Erigavo Mr. Ismail Haji Nour was given the launching remarks and vowed the importance of this new office since NAGAAD is a national women's network that serves the interest of women in all aspects of life. Yes this is not the first time NAGAAD has reached Erigavo, but has been operating through its member organizations and starting from today this will be the center for their regional operation with close collaboration of the local authority and as well its member organizations and public at large.

The executive director of NAGAAD Network Ms Nafisa Yusuf Mohamed welcomed the participants of the launching ceremony and invited their mutual cooperation with NAGAAD since it serves the interest of women with not discrimination. In Erigavo, it is very important to have a regional office since this is the largest region of the country where women are also plays an active role in the development of the region. Continuing her remarks, Ms Nafisa informed the participants that your collaboration is very important and would have appreciated if we sustain towards a tangible changes where the rights of women respected in the region through political participation and access to all forms of life support.

A group of board members also welcomed the participants and vowed their potential participation of all the initiatives of NAGAAD. They have narrated that NAGAAD is theirs and will continue its interest throughout.

The ceremony was concluded in good form where participants also appreciated the initiative and vowed full support and collaboration.

http://www.nagaad.org/lag/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81:nagaad-established-a-new-office-in-erigavo-sanaag-region-&catid=31:news&Itemid=46


Somaliland Police Kill 6 Demonstrators

Sool Independence Protest Ends in Bloodshed

By QANCIYE FARAH ILMI 01/21/2012

At least six people were killed and more than 10 others were injured when Somaliland troops fired on demonstrators in Lasanod in the Sool region of Somaliland, according to eyewitnesses.

Abdifatah Juge, a Lasanod resident who spoke to Somalia Report, said, "The police opened fire, killed six people and injured more than ten others. 20 people were arrested and tortured, including old men and women."

Mohamud Gele, a Lasanod elder, spoke out defiantly, "We are sorry to see our beloved people killed by Somaliland forces, but the strike will continue until the government allows the people of Sool region independence. We are calling on the government to stop the agonizing mistreatment of our people."

In recent weeks there has been conflicts between Somaliland government and the people of Sool, who have been seeking autonomy and identify with southern Somalia. This conflict has been violent in the past, and Somaliland troops have been willing to shoot protesters. Somalialand officials have yet to comment on the incident.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2587/Somaliland_Police_Kill_6_Demonstrators


Kenyan Deputy Speaker urges Somaliland to withdraw forces from disputed regions

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 19 Jan 2012. Jowhar website, Mogadishu, in Somali 0000 18 Jan 12

Kenyan Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Farah Ma'alin, has today visited Hargeysa and held talks with Somaliland President, Ahmad Muhammad Silanyo as well as ministers in his administration. The Kenyan deputy speaker said his visit was a private one.

He said he requested the Somaliland leader to end clashes in the town of Buuhoodle and that President Silanyo of Somaliland accepted his proposals.

"We do not believe in bloodshed. We are ready to mediate. We spoke to the president and he has accepted my proposals. We know him to be a peace loving individual," said Farah Ma'alin. He said he urged President Silanyo to have Somaliland forces withdraw from battle grounds and that he accepted the proposal.

Asked whether he has spoke to residents of Buuhoodle where preparation for more fighting are being made, the Kenyan deputy speaker said telephone lines have been cut off but if possible, he would like to travel there and was asking traditional elders and intellectuals there to support peace and an end to the hostilities. It was just last Sunday [15th of December] that Somaliland forces launched attacks on the town of Buuhoodle where they were engaged in fighting by local militias in the town.


Somalia: Somaliland forces kill 2, wound 12 protestors in Las Anod

http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Somaliland_forces_kill_2_wound_12_protestors_in_Las_Anod.shtml

LAS ANOD, Somalia Jan 21, 2012 (Garowe Online) - Security forces in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland opened fire on protestors Saturday in Las Anod, capital of Sool region, Radio Garowe reports.

According to witnesses, Somaliland forces opened fire on protestors who had blocked the tarmac road with stones and tires. The protest began after Las Anod locals were informed about to truckloads of persons from Burao town, who were transported to Las Anod to stage pro-Somaliland protests.

"Locals were opposed to Burao persons pretending to be Las Anod residents in order to stage pro-Somaliland protests," said a journalist in Las Anod. At least 2 persons were killed and 12 others wounded when Somaliland forces opened fire on the protestors, the journalist added.

It is not the first time that Somaliland forces opened fire on anti-Somaliland protestors in Las Anod.

Somaliland forces have militarily occupied Las Anod town since October 2007, when Puntland security forces withdrew from Las Anod. The Somaliland administration remains deeply unpopular in Sool and Sanaag regions, as Somaliland forces frequently use force to impose Somaliland's separatist policies on communities in Sool and Sanaag regions.


Silanyo Accepts London Conference and his deputy resigns

Published On: January, 21 2012 - http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1646

Mr Silanyo added his speech "the British government wants to establish a compulsory Somali government, and we are facing strong pressure".

Hargeisa (Sunatimes) The Britain government has made pressure towards president of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyoto participate the Somali conference for Somali factions which will be held on February 23, 2012 in order to establish for coalition government for all Somalis.

British Diplomatic official for Somalis issues have confirmed us to night that the Somaliland authority will take part the Somali conference which will be held in London while there is disagree between the Somaliland officials.

This diplomatic who requested us not to mention his name said that the acceptation from Silanyo resulted after the Britain government had informed him that they will be stopped the financial support.

"The two first messages, the Somaliland authority didn't response but they accepted the message which sent to them was to clarify their vision for the conference, so they said that they agree the conferences and its consequences: said the British diplomatic.

The diplomatic who work at the British embassy in Kenya and Ethiopia confirmed that the Awdal state and Khatumo states of Somalia will take part the conferences.

The UN representative for Somali, Ambassador Mahiga has said to waagacusub.com through phone "the Somaliland authority lost its confidences for the international community after the Klashale conferences, therefore its necessary to take part the London conference in order to suggest their view".

President Silanyo has met with all the Somaliland parts in closed meeting, and he has informed to them that he has faced pressure to take part the London conference. Thus he asked them to suggest ideas for the London conference but the main important this to get solution for the Khatumo state of Somalia which was established in Taleh city.

This Silanyo's meeting with the leaders of the Somaliland parts which was talking about the security, and the presidential Minister was president but the interior Minster was absent so it was legal for his participation since he was in Hargeisa. "I think that we have to take part the London conference in order to display our vision, but some Diaspora cautioned as well as others encouraged us for his participating" Said Mr. Silanyo while he was addressing his opinion towards the London conference.

Mr Silanyo added his speech "the British government wants to establish a compulsory Somali government, and we are facing strong pressure".

The British envoy for the Somali issues Mr. Matt Baug has expose yesterday through internet one of the British foreign Minsters and he posted the Agendas of the London conference for the Somali parts which will be held on February 23, 2012, read at here.

Mr. Ahmed Silanyo glances to Great Somalia but he could face difficulties to accept the Garhajis clan since they were massacred while they were supporting to Abdurrahman Tur.

On the other hand, it was reported that the deputy of Somaliland president Mr Abdurrahman Saylici has said that he will resign his position after he was despised by the Presidential Minster, Hersi Haji Ali who has power beside of the Silanyo president.

Abdurrahman Saylici didn't take part the Minster's conference of Somaliland and he informed to a peace delegations that they presidential rule in under specific ministers and he indicated Hersi Tooriile.

"I have no power, I became a person who sets at the office without meaning, my power rule is under the order of Hersi Haji Ali, the disorder and the despise effected all things, for example I don't take part the issues of the country because of they meets as secret in a room, thus I will take a decision and I will share things with my clan" said Mr. Abdurrahman Saylici.

The Qarannewsas written, the disagreed of the Somaliland presentation that he didn't able to take part the ministers meeting which was holding room next his office.

Abdurahman Saylihi is from Gadabursi clan and he support the Awdal state of Somalia at 85% but it's unknown that he will joint to Awdal authority after his resignation.

The Waaheen press has stated "the disagreed of Somaliland presidential officials is exist yet and important sources say that the peace delegations went to the deputy president and they came back failures".

President Silanyo tries to resign the presidential Minster but he had faced demands from the owner of Dahabshil, Mr. Mohamed Said Duale (Dhigshil) and he was the person who paid much money to win Silanyo to be President of Somaliland. The Ethiopian government stopped its relation with Somaliland after Ethiopia irritated president Silanyo after he rejected to resign some ministers whose radicals including; The presidential Minster, Mr Hersi Haji Ali (Tooriile), the finance Minster, Mohamed Hashi (Kaligi sahane) The m interior Minster, Mr Mohamed Arale Nur (Dur) and Religion minister, Mr. Khalil Abdullahi.

It seems, Ethiopia full of activity plans to support to authorities of Khaatumo State of Somalia who believes Great Somalia visions.

By Abdisalan Abdulle


Puntland, Somaliland Prepare to Fight Pirates

Puntland, Somaliand Train and Deploy Anti-Piracy Forces

By JD, SHIINE OMAR 01/20/2012.http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2575/Puntland_Somaliland_Prepare_to_Fight_Pirates

Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland accelerated their efforts to fight against pirates and human smugglers by sending their newly establish Puntland Marine Police Force (PMPF) to Qaw village, 30 km west of the port of Bosaso. Officials told Somalia Report that the deployment kicks off the largest anti-piracy campaign to date in Puntland's coastal regions.

The mission, which commenced on 15 January, was authorized by Puntland President Farole, the Minister of Security, Mr. Khalif Isse Mudan, and the Mayor of Qaw, Mr. Abdi Rashiid Habibi, according to a press release from the PMPF.

"The PMPF is a key component of Puntland's aggressive, multi-pronged anti-piracy strategy," said Abdirizak Ahmed, Counter-Piracy Director in the Ministry of Maritime Transport, Ports and Counter-Piracy. "These activities enhance security in the region and provide much-needed humanitarian support to the people of Puntland."

The PMPF underwent a six-month training course near Bosaso airport and have been supplied with boats and trucks, according to Puntland officials.

"These troops will fight pirates and those who illegally transport migrant people from Puntland to Yemen," Abdirisak Mohamed Mohamoud (Hidig), the coordinator of Puntland's maritime police, told Somalia Report by telephone.

While this group of anti-piracy forces will remain at their base in Qaw village, Mr. Hidig explained that they plan to deploy more troops to the pirate hubs.

"It's beginning now. There will be another group of maritime police that we will send to pirate bases on land, including Bargaal and Eyl. We are trying our best to fight pirates on land," he said.

Mr. Hidig would not comment on the number of troops, boats or vehicles deployed, but told Somalia Report that the Puntland government planned these anti-piracy operations in Bari region after pirates began to hijack commercial boats that were trying to make their way to Bosaso, affecting local businesses.

Puntland President Farole has been a critic of pirates and has vowed to wage an anti-piracy war by implementing a series of security operations resulting in a number of arrests. Today, Puntland holds nearly 300 pirates in its jails.

Funding for this project, according to Mr. Hidig, came from the Puntland government.

"No else one supported the PMPF. They are Puntland made and Puntland trained by government money, but I cannot tell you how much it cost," he explained.

The PMPF has been involved in humanitarian operations, including a massive food and water supply program across southern Puntland during the drought last year, and fighting the massive fire that ravaged the Bosaso market. The PMPF plans to continue its support for local communities during its current deployment.

"In addition to conducting security operations, the PMPF was tasked by President Farole to assist the people of Qaw by repairing the roof of the local school, restoring electricity to the town, and fixing critical components of the town's water supply," according to the PMPF press release.

Puntland Development

While trying to secure the region from pirates and smugglers, Puntland is also attempting to rebuild its cities by investing in infrastructure projects and social programs, with the support of the United Nations.

Puntland today announced they are investing $1.2 million in projects and programs in Caluula of Bari region, Eyl of Nugal region, and Jariban of Mudug region, according to a statement from the Puntland Interior Ministry.

Abdikarim Kayton, chairman of Jariban district, confirmed that Puntland has agreed to help his city. "We will use the money to improve schools, create healthcare programs, and begin infrastructure projects like rebuilding the road. We also plan to help fight the priates or anyone that tries to cause insecurity in our region. These funds will also be used to create jobs for the youths and local residents," the chairman told Somalia Report.

Somaliland

Meanwhile, the breakaway state of Somaliland is also playing a new role in anti-piracy operations, according to local officials, although the region does not host any major pirate hubs.

Somaliland officials confirmed to Somalia Report that 300 maritime police officer have been trained to fight pirates and protect commercial vessels and shipments near the port of Berbera and surrounding coastland villages.

"We trained 300 maritime police who will fight against pirates. They finished eight months of training and now they are ready to fight any insecurity on Somaliland's sea. Our mission is to secure the seas," Ahmed Aw-Jama, the commander of Somaliland's maritime forces, told Somalia Report by phone.

Funding for the program and equipment was the Somaliland government, according to the official who refused to comment on the cost.

"Somaliland's marine police have boats, cars and weapons all paid for by the Somaliland government. No other organization supported us to create the marine police. Our troops have been deployed to three bases in Saahil region," said the commander.


Somaliland: 2 Television Journalists released, 1 still held in Police custody in the town of Boorama

Source: National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)http://www.modernghana.com/news/372519/1/somaliland-2-television-journalists-released-1-sti.html

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 18, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the release of 2 Television Journalists in the police custody in the towns of Erigabo of Sanaag region and Boorama of Awdal region on Tuesday making the total journalists released within 2 days to 24 and urges the release of the journalist who is still in custody in Boorama without bring him to court and allow the Television to resume its operations.

Somalisat Television reporter, Abdirisaq Haghi Ahmed who was arrested by Erigabo Police on 14 January, 2012 for allegedly taking interviews from youth supporting the recent Taleex conference and Royal TV reporter Yusuf Ali who was arrested on January 8, 2012 and after spending two days in CID custody was transferred in Boorama jail on January 10, 2012, after a court in Boorama charged him to remain in jail for 45 days. He was was arrested for writing a story over alleged corruption of the regional projects of Awdal region.

The release of Abdirisaq Haghi Ahmed of Somali Sat TV follows after police found enough evidences that the journalist could appear before court, upon which, Sanaag regional Police Chief, Hasan Ismail Yusuf ordered his release on Tuesday 17 January, 2012. He was scheduled to appear in Court today..

Whereas, Royal TV reporter Yusuf Ali better known as "Indho Qurux" was released on Tuesday 17 January, 2011 from jail. His release came after the journalist met with anti-corruption commission in the jail over the alleged corruption he wrote about that led to his arrest, according to Mohamed Abdi Boosh of Royal Television reached by phone from Hargeysa.

Both journalists worked for privately owned televisions and were released on Tuesday 17 January, 2011 without charges.

However, Ali Aareye, Waheen Borama Correspondent, who arrested on January 12, 2012 for allegedly taking photographs on petrol station owned by the vice president, Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail better known as Saylici is still in custody and was not brought before court.

"We welcome the release of our colleagues and reiterate our call for the release of Ali Aareeye, who is still in detention for six days without bringing him to court." Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, "We demand from the Somaliland authorities to stop its measures in trying to silence the media and at the same time respect the freedom of expression as enshrined in the Somaliland constitution."

Somaliland authorities released 22 journalists who were detained in a string of arrests against journalists in Somaliland for the past week.

21 one of them were detained on Sunday for making protests in front of the Presidential palace in Hargeysa followed by arrests and closure of Horn Cable Television, meanwhile Abdiqani Hassan Farah Gadari, a universal TV reporter who was detained on January 9. 2012 in the town of Laas-Anod was released on Sunday 16 January, 2012

24 Journalists have been released on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, but the the television licence is still under suspention. Journalists in Somalia are at risks for their reporting resulting deaths, torture, arrests, intimidation and death threats.


Somaliland Clamps Down on Press, TV Station Shut Down Four journalists remain in detention, 21 released

By Alex Johnston

Epoch Times, January 17, 2012.http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/somaliland-clamps-down-on-press-tv-station-shut-down-177607.html

Press freedom groups are raising alarm bells over an unprecedented clamp down on journalists in the breakaway territory of Somaliland on the Horn of Africa. Over the p.ast week, 25 members of the press were arrested, including 21 who were demonstrating outside of the presidential palace in the capital, Hargeisa, over the shuttering of a local television station, Horn Cable TV.

Although 21 journalists have now been released, the station remains closed and four people are still in detention.

Horn Cable was shut down over the weekend after Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyon, the president of Somaliland who came to power in July 2010 called the station "nation destructor," according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Somaliland is an unrecognized and self-declared de facto state that broke away from Somalia.

When journalists with Horn Cable initially held protests, they were beaten and were attacked by presidential security forces and eight were arrested on the spot, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

As word spread, 13 other journalists from the station and other media groups joined the protest, were arrested, and the head of Horn Cable was brought to the president's palace and interrogated.

Omar Faruk Osman, the head of NUSOJ, said that the union is "relieved that Somaliland authorities have granted 21 of our colleagues their freedom," according to a statement. "They committed no crime that warrants this unjust detention."

Eleven of the 21 who were detained are employees with Horn Cable and the rest belonged to other media outlets, including the editors-in-chief of two newspapers.

Worrying New Trend

RSF called the arrests and shuttering of Horn Cable a worrying trend for press freedom in the region.

"This wave of arrests of journalists is without precedent in Somaliland," said the media watchdog in a statement.

"This will further intimidate journalists who already have to cope with tough conditions in this region of Somalia," it added. "We urge the authorities to free the four journalists still being held and to reopen Horn Cable TV without delay."

On Jan. 14, approximately 100 Somaliland police officers went to the office of Horn Cable TV in armored vehicles, ordered the staff to leave, permanently sealed the doors and disabled the station's transmitter. The officer in charge said he did not have a warrant but said his superiors told him to carry out the raid.

President Siilaanyon on the same day made a public address and accused Horn Cable of disseminating anti-government propaganda. Later, the interior minister said the station was shut over its broadcast of "anti-Somaliland propaganda," according to RSF.

There is growing concern over the four journalists who remain detained. They were arrested in several incidents between Jan. 8 and Jan. 11, according to NUSOJ. The union said that currently, "this number of journalists in jail is [the] largest number ever detained in the history of Somalia."

A reporter for the weekly Waheen publication, Ali Ismail Aare, was arrested during that time span for photographing a building and service station belonging to the vice president, the union said. Another reporter, Mohamed Omar Sheikh, who works for the Saxafi weekly, was arrested for producing articles that were deemed sensitive by the government.

Universal TV reporter Abdqani Hassan Farah was arrested for "exaggerating reports of a meeting that created instability in the Sool, Sanag, and Eyn regions," according to RSF. London-based Royal TV reporter Yusuf Abdi Ali was arrested for making false allegations about management problems and corruption in Somaliland's development projects.

In the past year, the Somaliland Journalist Association, via the Somaliland Press news portal, said the government attempted to file lawsuits against various media groups operating locally in an attempt to stifle press freedom.

Somaliland is located within Somalia, a country with no central government since 1991, and is governed by the Republic of Somaliland, maintaining some relations with foreign governments. However, the African Union and the United Nations do not recognize it as a sovereign state.


Press Freedom Under Pressure in Somaliland

Journalists Detained After Protest Released

By AWEYS CADDE, MOHAMED ODOWA 01/17/2012

For Somaliland journalists, it has been a terrible start to the New Year, as dozens of media professionals have been harassed, arrested and intimidated over the past days by the Somaliland police and security forces. Hargeisa administrative officials, led by President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, are facing strong condemnation from the Somali community both home and abroad, as well as international press freedom groups.

The Somaliland government is using sweeping unconstitutional laws to crack down on journalists after it accused independent media outlets in the region of reporting biased news that undermines the integrity of Somaliland and criticizes its rulers.

In the last few days security forces have detained 25 journalists, according to the media sources in Somaliland. Included among them were more than 20 editors, directors and press defenders from various media houses, who were detained in Hargeisa on Sunday while they were holding a rally near State House in protest against the closure of a popular local TV station, Horn Cable TV.

In an address to the Somaliland parliament on Saturday, President Silanyo labelled the privately owned independent Horn Cable television as a threat to the sovereignty of Somaliland, due to its spreading of anti-government propaganda. The station denied the allegations.

In the past months, authorities have applied laws unjustly to detain independent journalists, in an attempt to eliminate the few voices critical of the administration. The state has no clear evidence against any of the detained journalists or the banned TV station, according to Somaliland media defender Mohamed Rashid.

"Aiming at increased detention and attacks against the media, the police raided and shut down the offices of the Horn Cable Television, ordering its staff to leave the headquarters," said Mohamed Rashid.

Systematic Curtailment of Media Freedoms

According to the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), since the 2010 election the Somaliland government has issued several criminal defamation suits against the independent press, shuttered a popular broadcaster, and has now detained the largest number of journalists at one time in Somalia's history.

"Never in the history of Somalia have so many journalists been rounded up and detained without any due process," CPJ's East Africa consultant Tom Rhodes told Somalia Report.

"These moves are far removed from the pledge of President Ahmed Silayano to uphold press freedom and show a leadership tolerant of criticism," he said.

According to the secretary general of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Mohamed Ibrahim, every Somaliland journalist who writes on political issues is currently under a shadow of fear.

One Somaliland journalist was detained last week over reporting on corruption in a local NGO, but the rest the reporters have been held on charges of writing articles or airing news about the Khaatumo II conference in Taleh Village last week.

The meeting was organized by elders, politicians, business people and the traditional leaders from Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn (SSC) regions.

"It was aimed at building a new regional administration for SSC inhabitants, but that would be unacceptable to the Somaliland leader," Somali political analyst Abdifitah Jama told Somalia Report.

Khaatumo II participants were largely Somali nationalists from the Dhulbahante clan who strongly oppose the separation of Somalia. But Somaliland leaders are arguing that the Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn regions are part of its territories as it declared independence from greater Somalia in 1991

Intimidations to press freedom like those which occurred on Saturday and Sunday will not aid Somaliland in its bid for independence.

"In order for Somaliland to attain independence the government must show its citizens and the world that they uphold the rule of law and respect press freedom," said Mr. Rhodes.

"We had the right to invite independent media houses to report on our Khaatumo II conference in Taleeh, and for that the journalists like those working for Horn Cable TV were harassed by a weak Silanyo administration in Hargeisa. It should not get involved in our quest for the establishment of a new regional state in the SSC regions," a well known elder in Taleh, who asked not be named, told Somalia Report.

Six of the journalists detained on Sunday were female, although most of them were released after 24 hours on the orders of Somaliland interior minister Mohamed Nour Arale.

According to the Paris based international press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders, four other journalists still being held in Somaliland jails illegally.

Viewers Furious

Not only are people interested in watching news and politics on Horn Cable TV, but there are also many other residents in Somaliland, mostly youths and families, who love to watch a Turkish drama series translated into Somali.

"None of my kids slept with joy the last few nights because they wanted to watch the show Musalsalka Caasi," Shugri Ahmed, a mother of seven kids, told Somalia Report.

"We appeal to our leaders to lift the ban over the TV station in Hargeisa," she added.

Detained Journalists Released

Somaliland forces today released the remainder of the journalists arrested on Sunday, sources have told Somalia Report.

Some of the journalists arrested were working for local newspapers in Hargeisa, some work for TV stations, while others work for websites.

Barkad Osman, an independent journalist in Hargeisa visited the detained journalists while they were in prison and told Somalia Report.

"Today at noon when we visited the journalist in the prison, we were told that they were badly mistreated and tortured by the security forces when they were arresting them, they used huge sticks to beat with them and threw them in vehicles like criminals."

Another journalist described his escape. "I was one of the journalists who went to the presidential house to demonstrate, we were fired on and all the protesters were arrested but luckily I escaped," Keyse Jiirdiil told Somalia Report.

The minister of internal affairs of Somaliland Mahamed Nuur Araale held a press conference and talked about the closure and arrest of the Horn Cable TV.

"The government has withdrawn the permission they had given the TV station to work in the country," Mr. Araale said, adding that the journalist demonstration was not legal, and that is why they were arrested.

A senior journalist, Abdisalam Gabeyre spoke to Somalia Report.

"We shall not stop the service we are doing for our people. Arresting or torturing us will not create fear in us, we shall continue doing our jobs until we fulfill the expectations which our community has of us. We are sending a clear message, the leaders of Somaliland must protect the freedom of the press and release all the journalists they have arrested and to reopen Horn Cable TV," he added.

This was the first time large numbers of journalists have been arrested in the same time, which can only deepen the conflict and lack of trust between the press and the government.

Names Of Those Arrested

Partial list of names from the journalists arrested on Saturday and Sunday:

Hamse Ali Bulbul, Head of News at Horncable TV
Hodon Ali Ajabi, Horn Cable TV
Nimo Omar Mohamed (Sabriye), Horn Cable TV
Mohamed Kuraase, Horn Cable TV
Abdirashid Eynte, Horn Cable TV
Mohamed Omar Abdi - (Irro), Editor of Jamhuuriya Magazine
Harago, Editor of Berbera news-website
Najah Aden Unaye, Director of Hadhwanaag news-website

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2541/Press_Freedom_Under_Pressure_in_Somaliland


Somalia: Fighting continues in Buhodle

http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Fighting_continues_in_Buhodle.shtml

BUHODLE, Somalia Jan 17 2012 (Garowe Online) - Fighting continued early Tuesday after there was a pause in the clashes between Somaliland troops and residents of Buhodle on Monday, Radio Garowe reports.

Recent reports from local sources in Buhodle say heavy artillery and gunfire was heard 25 kms north of Buhodle, there have been no confirmations on the deaths that have resulted in the fighting.

Somaliland troops attacked Buhodle from three different fronts, shelling the town with heavy artillery on Sunday, the fighting led to 7 dead and 15 injured.

The Somaliland troops who are in the hundreds have been spotted in the outskirts of Buhodle and have been attacking the town from there since Sunday.

Puntland Government released a statement condemning the Somaliland military action in Buhodle defining the action as a "naked aggression".

The Somaliland troops have attacked Buhodle before with prior attacks in February and May 2011.


Somaliland Releases 22 Journalists, Urged to Release the Rest and Allow the Television to Resume Operations

http://www.raxanreeb.com/?p=127748

Hargeisa- January 17th, 2012 (RBC) The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the release of the 22 journalists who were detained by the Somaliland authorities in a systematic media crack down campaign that continues the second week and appeals the release of the three other journalists still held without charges and allow the Horn Cable television to resume its operations.

The Somaliland authorities released 21 journalists on Monday 16 January, 2012 without any further condition and their names are written here below as confirmed by the Somaliland Journalists Association.

HORN CABLE TELEVISION (Editors, Reporters, Presenters and Newscasters)

1. Hamsa Ali Bulbul, Head of News Programs
2. Ahmed Abdirahman Hersi, News Editor
3. Nimco Mohamed Sabriye, Presenter
4. Nimco Diirie, Producer
5. Ayaan Diirie
6. Hodan Ali Ajabi,
7. Safia Sheik Nuh,
8. Suhur Barre,
9. Mohamed Ahmed Kurase
10. Abdirahman Sheik Yonis

NEWSPAPERS (Editors and Reporters)

11. Mohamoud Abdi Jama (Xuuto), Editor in Chief of Waaheen Newspaper
12. Mohamed Omar Abdi, Chief Editor of Jamhuuriya Newspaper
13. Khaalid Hamdi Ahmed, Reporter of Waaheen Newspaper
14. Jama Omar Abdullahi, Reporter, Waaheen newspaper
15. Saleban Ali Kalshaale, Reporter of Waaheen Newspaper
16. Mohamed Mohamoud Haybe, Reporter of Geeska Africa Newspaper
17. Ahmed Adan Dhere, Reporter of Haatuf Newspaper

ONLINE NEWS WEBSITES (Reporters)

18. Najah Adan Unaye, Hadhwanaagnews
19. Abdiqani Abdilahi Asparo, Hardhwanaagnews
20. Mohamed Said Harago, Berberanews.

FREELANCE

21. Muse Siyad Ali - Freelance reporter

The journalists were arrested on Sunday January 15, 2012 by Somaliland police, some of whom severely beaten during a protest at the presidential palace which the journalists were demanding from Somaliland authorities to stop its attacks against the journalists and the media station.

The journalists' protests follows after the Somaliland police raided the offices of the privately owned Horn cable televisions on Saturday evening, forcing all the media workers and the journalists to leave, followed by a week long campaign of arrests by the Somaliland police.

The journalists were released by Col. Mohamed Saqadhi Dubad, Somaliland Police Chief with the orders of the Somaliland Minister of Interior, Mohamed Nor Arale better known as Duur after meeting with journalists leaders led from Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA), a NUSOJ partner. During the meeting, the Somaliland Interior Minister, Mr. Arale agreed the release of the journalists who were detained on Monday unconditionally. Though, the television still remains under suspension.

In a separate incident, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) learned that Somaliland police detained Abdirisaq Haghi Ahmed, a SomaliSat Television, a privately owned Television that broadcasts via satellite on 14 January, 2012 around 8:00am local time in the town of Erigabo of Sanaag region. Mr. Ahmed was arrested after he interviewed youth that was in support of a recent Taleeh conference that announced its own independent regional state, which infuriated the Somaliland authorities and led to the major journalists' detentions.

However, Ali Aareye, Waheen Borama Correspondent, who arrested on January 12, 2012 for allegedly taking photographs on petrol station owned by the vice president, Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail better known as Saylici is still in custody. He was supposed to appear in court on Saturday and Sunday, but delayed to Tuesday.

Meanwhile, A court in the town of Boorama ordered Royal TV reporter Yusuf Ali who was arrested on January 8, 2012 to remain in jail for 45 days on January 10, 2012, until the police investigations are completed, which is unlawful and even contrary to the Somaliland constitution and the Somaliland Media law.

"We call for the Somaliland authorities to respect the freedom of expression and free the journalists illegally kept in custody without charges immediately or put them before fair court, while we welcome the release of the 22 journalists released." Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, "Keeping journalists more than 48 hours is a total violation to the basic human rights principles and therefore stop its campaign in silencing the independent press.". In another development, Somaliland Police released Abdiqani Hassan Farah Gadari, a universal TV reporter on Sunday 16 January, 2012. Gadari was detained on January 9. 2011 in the town of Laas-Anod, after he was accused of reporting a conference which the Somaliland authorities were not happy with it.

He was released after 8 days in custody without charges. Gadari informed NUSOJ before he was arrested that his arrest was ordered by the Somaliland minister of information through the Mayor of the Las-Anod town, numbering the total of released journalists on Sunday and Monday to 22.


Somalia: TV Station Raided, Journalists Detained

16 January 2012. International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House (Toronto)
press release
http://allafrica.com/stories/201201170211.html

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has lashed out at Somaliland for the latest bout of repression of media freedom following "unwarranted" closure of private television network, arrest of 9 media practitioners, and "illegal" detention of eight reporters.

On 14 January, at around 6:45pm, Somaliland police stormed the main headquarters of HornCable TV in Hargeisa and sealed the offices. The police threw out the staff. Two production studios of the television network in Haregisa, which were not in the same building of the headquarters, were also closed down.

At around 8:15pm on Saturday, the police also descended on the TV's broadcasting station and shut down the transmitter after realising that the broadcast was still continuing. The police forcefully entered the transmitting station and forced the news off the air. Nearly 100 Somaliland police soldiers with seven armoured vehicles executed this abrupt action, according to Abdullahi Wayab, editor-in-chief of HornCable TV, who spoke to NUSOJ in Hargeisa. Police officers have been re-routing traffic away from the area, Wayab added.

The police unit, which was led by an officer with the name Mohamed Du'alle, informed the management of HornCable TV that the police could not show a warrant but they were acting on higher orders. During this operation, the police briefly arrested Mohamed Abdi Sheik, East Africa Director of HornCable TV.

Horn Cable TV journalists told NUSOJ that Somaliland authorities are furious over reports aired by the TV station about a tribal meeting in the Taleeh district of Sool region, in which tribal politicians and elders announced an autonomous administration. The station is also allegedly broadcast views of people who criticized the Somaliland administration for not preventing this meeting from taking place. Somaliland claims to control Sool, Sanag and Eyn regions.

This attack comes after Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud Silanyo addressed the two chambers (House of Elders and House of Representatives) of Somaliland parliament on January 14. Silanyo made a tempestuous reference to HornCable TV in his speech as being a "nation destructor".

NUSOJ views the law enforcement body as backward and illegal, who without any court order, arrogates to themselves the right to seal offices, shut down broadcasting and throw out journalists and thereby hampers the practice of independent journalism.

On the morning of 15 January 2012, journalists from HornCable TV staged a peaceful protest in front of the Somaliland presidential palace, where the presidential guard beat up protestors and arrested eight journalists. The names of the arrested journalists are: Ms. Nimco Sabriye, Mr. Hamsa Ali Bulbul, Mr. Mohamed Gurashe, Mr. Abdirahman Sheik Yunes, Mr. Ayan Diriye, Ms. Nimo' Diriye, Ms. Hodan Ali Ajabi, Ms. Safiya Nuh Sheikh. Further to this brutal repression, Farhan Haji Ali Ahmed, owner of HornCable TV, was summoned by the Somali Presidency for questioning.

"We roundly condemn this despicable act of barbarity against HornCable TV and its journalists. We denounce in particular the speech to Silanyo which maligned the station," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "We express our firm support for the management and the media workers of HornCable TV".

NUSOJ calls on the Somaliland authorities to respect the internationally recognised standards of freedom of expression and freedom of the press it purports to uphold, and to cease all further acts of harassments and intimidations against journalists and media houses.

"Operations against private media continue to go hand in hand with sustained harassment, intimidation, arrests and persecution in Somaliland since August 2010," said Ahmed Mohamud Mohamed, NUSOJ Secretary for Labour Issues, who is also news editor of HornCable TV in Bossasso, Puntland. "This act is a blatant misuse of powers by authorities".

The wave of media repression has resulted in four journalists being detained in Borame and Las Anod. Mohamed Omar Sheik, reporter for Saxafi newspaper, is detained in Borame for publishing reports creating confrontations in Awdal region. Ali Ismail Aare of Waheen newspaper is detained in Borame for taking a picture of a petrol station allegedly owned by Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Abdallahi Ismail Saylici.

On 9 January 2012, Somaliland police arrested Abdqani Hassan Farah, nicknamed Gadari, who is a reporter for Universal TV in the Las Anod district of Sool region, northern Somalia. Farah is being detained without charge.

On 8 January, Royal TV reporter Yusuf Abdi Ali, publicly known as Indho Quruh, was arrested by Somaliland police in Borame district. Borame police stated that they received a complaint against the journalist alleging that he falsely reported on "corruption by humanitarian NGOs," who expressed annoyance about the journalist's news report to police. Ali is being detained at Borame central police station. The police secretly took Ali's case to district and got permission to detain him up to 45 days to conclude their investigations.

NUSOJ calls on Somaliland's top leaders, including President Silanyo, to remove police stationed at the offices of HornCable TV, to release all detained journalists including those detained in Borame and Las Anod, and to allow the media to operate freely and without fear of repercussion.


Somaliland forces, local militias clash in disputed regions

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 16 Jan 2012. Jowhar website, Mogadishu, in Somali 0000 16 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Heavy fighting broke out in the town of Buuhoodle, [in disputed] Ceyn Region between Somaliland forces and local militias which resulted in the loss of life and injury. Somaliland forces launched the attack on the town and made a surprise entry in armoured vehicles.

Somaliland Minister for information, Ahmad Abdi Haabsade who hails form Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn Regions said they launched an attack on the Buuhoodle in which they captured the town and managed to disperse the local militias that were there. Asked whether they sustained any losses in the attack, the minister said they have not lost any soldiers in the fighting but that four sustained light injuries. He said their forces have been coming under attack in the last two nights and had mortars fired in their positions.

Meanwhile, a commander for the local committee in Buuhoodle named Abdirazak Haji Bakeyle said they have managed to oust Somaliland forces from the town and have defended themselves from the attacks.

"As I speak to you, am in centre of Buuhoodle. We have ousted Somaliland forces from the town and we inflicted unexpected losses on them having ambushed the town. They have killed vulnerable civilians, 12 in total among them six children and three women," said Abdirazak Haji Bakeyle. He said the town was attacked by armoured vehicles this morning and following the ensuing battle, the sound of the gun battle could still be heard in locality of Shangale which is in the outskirts of Buuhoodle having ousted their rivals. Heavy losses were sustained on both lives lost and property as many houses were destroyed in the fighting and the town's fuel market burnt down after it was hit with mortars. Civilians in the town have also been displaced.

The situation in the town is now calm although militias from other parts of the Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn Region continue arriving in Buuhoodle for reinforcement.


MPs from disputed regions urge government intervene in conflict with Somaliland

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 16 Jan 2012. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 16 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somali MPs that hail from [disputed] Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn Regions have asked the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia [TFG] to take part in the ongoing fighting in Buuhoodle.

MPs that hail from these regions have today held a news conference in Mogadishu in which they angrily spoke on the ongoing clashes between Somaliland forces and local militias in Buuhoodle. Haji Abdi Muhammad, an MP, said Somaliland forces attacked Buuhoodle where they caused a lot of problems for residents. He said attempts to fly a flag other than the Somali one in these regions would not succeed and urged the TFG to intervene in the ongoing clashes in Buuhoodle.

Haji Muhammad said the attack on Buuhoodle is being led by individuals who are self serving from Sool Sanaag and Ceyn Regions. He said Somaliland forces that attacked the town also abducted a number of traditional elders and intellectuals. Following the conclusion of the meeting in Taleh in which an independent administration under the TFG which is separate from both Somaliland and Puntland was formed, there have been concerns over breakout of fighting in these regions which are now under Somaliland.


Somaliland forces say they control Buuhoodle town

BBC Monitoring Newsfile [London] 16 Jan 2012. Haatuf, Hargeysa, in Somali 16 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

The Somaliland national army stationed in the frontline at Kalshaale yesterday morning hit hard at the anti-peace Buuhoodle militia following the unprovoked attack launched by the militia the previous evening. The national army has now taken full control of Buuhoodle town.The national army crushed the anti-peace militia and captured three of their tanks and burnt down six battlewagons and a fuel tanker.Reports say that during the fighting five anti-peace militiamen were killed and 12 others injured. The national army are reported to have sustained the injury of three soldiers.[Passage omitted].


In past week in Somaliland, 25 journalists arrested, four still held and TV station closed

Published on Monday 16 January 2012. http://en.rsf.org/somalia-in-past-week-in-somaliland-25-16-01-2012,41685.html

Reporters Without Borders is worried by events of the past week affecting the media in the breakaway northwestern territory of Somaliland, in which a total of 25 journalists were arrested and a television station, HornCable TV, was closed in Hargeisa, the territory's capital. The organization accuses the authorities to trying to intimidate the media and calls for the release of four journalists still being held illegally.

"This wave of arrests of journalists is without precedent in Somaliland," Reporters Without Borders said. "We are disturbed by this crackdown and by the president's readiness to brand a media as a `nation destructor.' This will further intimidate journalists who already have to cope with tough conditions in this region of Somalia. We urge the authorities to free the four journalists still being held and to reopen HornCable TV without delay."

When HornCable TV employees demonstrated outside the presidential palace in Hargeisa yesterday in protest against the station's closure, they were attacked and beaten by members of the Somaliland Special Protection Unit and eight of them were arrested. The eight detainees, all journalists, were Nimco Sabriye, Hamsa Ali Bulbul, Mohamed Gurashe, Abdirahman Sheik Yunes, Ayan Diriye, Nimo' Diriye, Hodan Ali Ajabi and Safiya Nuh Sheikh.

Thirteen other journalists from various media who went to help their detained colleagues were then also arrested. HornCable TV's owner was summoned to the president's office later yesterday and interrogated. The detained journalists, who included six women, were taken to police headquarters in Hargeisa and were finally released today on interior minister Mohamed Nour Arale's orders, after being held for more than 24 hours.

HornCable TV was closed on 14 January when around 100 policemen arrived in seven armoured vehicles, ordered all the staff to leave and sealed the doors. The transmitter was disconnected soon afterwards. The officer in charge of the raid, Mohamed Du'alle, admitted he did not have a warrant but said he was acting on orders from superiors. Mohamed Abdi Sheik, HornCable TV's East Africa director, was briefly detained during the operation.

In an address to parliament earlier the same day, Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyon described HornCable TV as a "nation destructor" and accused it of broadcasting anti-government propaganda.

The government's anger was reportedly aroused by the station's coverage of a tribal meeting in Taleh district of Sool region, in which representatives of various tribes announced the creation of an autonomous administration in the region. The interior minister confirmed that this was the reason, and said the station's licence had been withdrawn for "anti-Somaliland propaganda."

The four journalists who are still detained were arrested in series of incidents from 8 to 11 January.

Ali Ismail Aare, a reporter for the weekly Waheen, was arrested on 11 January for taking photos of a service station and a building belonging to Somaliland Vice-President Abdirahman Abdilahi. Mohamed Omar Sheikh, a reporter for the weekly Saxafi, was arrested the same day for writing articles that were deemed likely to create conflict in the Awdal region.

Abdqani Hassan Farah, a Universal TV reporter in Las Anod district of Sool region, was arrested with two colleagues from HornCable TV and Somaliland TV on 9 January. The other two were freed after a few hours but Farah, also known as Gadari, is still being held on a charge of "exaggerating reports of a meeting that created instability in the Sool, Sanag and Eyn regions." It was a meeting of the Taleh tribes the day before. His arrest was reportedly arranged by Sool's governor on the orders of Somaliland information minister Ahmed Abdi Habsade.

On 9 January, Somaliland police also prevented four journalists from attending the laying of fibre-optic cable by SomCable Ltd that will enable the territory to be connected with the outside world via Djibouti. It has been the source of a great deal of controversy as it was authorized by the previous government and rejected by the new one.

Finally, Yusuf Abdi Ali, a reporter better known as Indho Quruh who works for London-based Royal TV, was arrested without a warrant in the Borame district of the city of Awdal on 8 January after being accused by a local NGO, Africa Youth Development Association, of making false allegations of corruption and management problems in local development projects. He is still being held in the Borame district police station. He has not been charged and has not been able to see a lawyer.

This is the list of 21 journalists who were arrested on 15 January and were freed the next day:

1. Mohamud Abdi Jama, editor-in-chief, Waaheen newspaper 2. Mohamed Omar Abdi, editor-in-chief, Jamhuuriya newspaper 3. Ahmed Aden Dhere, reporter, Haatuf newspaper 4. Mohamed Said Harago, head of news, Berberanews 5. Najah Adan Unaye, director, Hadhwanaagnews 6. Suhur Barre, reporter, HornCable TV 7. Abdiqani Abdullahi Ahmed, reporter, Hadhwanaagnews 8. Mohamed Ahmed Muse, reporter, HornCable TV 9. Mohamed Fayr, reporter, Geeska Africa newspaper 10. Saleban Abdi Ali Kalshaale, reporter, Waaheen newspaper 11. Khalid Hamdi Ahmed, reporter, Waaheen newspaper 12. Nimo Omar Mohmed Sabriye, presenter, HornCable TV 13. Hamsa Ali Bulbul, reporter, HornCable TV 14. Mohamed Ahmed Muse Kurase, reporter, HornCable TV 15. Abdirahman Sheik Yunes, presenter, HornCable TV 16. Ayan Diriye, reporter, HornCable TV 17. Nimo' Diriye, reporter, HornCable TV 18. Hodan Ali Ajabi, reporter, HornCable TV 19. Safiya Nuh Sheikh, presenter, HornCable TV 20. Ahmed Abdirahman Hersi, news editor, HornCable TV 21. Jama Omar Abdullahi, reporter, Waaheen newspaper


25 Journalists Detained in Somaliland

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 16, 2012/African Press Organization (APO) http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/25-journalists-detained-in-somaliland-213421.html

On Sunday, 15 January 2012, journalists of HornCable TV, Jamhuuriya Newspaper, Waaheen Newspaper, Geeska Afrika newspaper, Bulsho TV and Sahan newspaper staged a peaceful protest in front of Somaliland presidential palace, where the presidential guard beaten up the protesting journalists and arrested on the spot 8 journalists who all work for HornCable TV. The names of arrested journalists are: Ms. Nimco Sabriye, Mr. Hamsa Ali Bulbul, Mr. Mohamed Gurashe, Mr. Abdirahman Sheik Yunes, Mr. Ayan Diriye, Ms. Nimo' Diriye, Ms. Hodan Ali Ajabi, Ms. Safiya Nuh Sheikh. Further to this brutal repression, Farhan Haji Ali Ahmed, owner of HornCable TV, was today summoned at Somali Presidency for questioning.

Following arrest of HornCable TV journalists, police hunted down other journalists who took part the protest and arrested journalists from Jamhuuriya newspaper, Waaheen newspaper, Geeska Africa newspaper, Bulsho TV and Sahan newspaper. At around 10:30pm, the total journalists in jail were 21, including 6 female journalists who are all detained at Hargeisa central police station.

Somaliland Minister of Interior, Mohamed Dur Arale, announced decision of his ministry to revoke the operating license of HornCable TV, stating that any work of HornCable TV in Somaliland is "illegal" from yesterday.

At around 4pm local time, Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo met owner and chairman of HornCable TV, Farhan Haji Ali Ahmed, at the presidency with the presence of Hersi Haji Ali Hassan, Minister for Presidential Affairs and Deputy Speaker of Somaliland parliament, Abdiasis Mohamed Samale. It was reprodly agreed that the journalists will be released and HornCable TV will be allowed to carry out its operations. But even after this meeting the crackdown continued and journalists are still in jail in this morning.

Mohamed Omar Sheik, reporter of Saxafi newspaper, Ali Ismail Aare, reporter of Waheen newspaper and Yusuf Abdi Ali, reporter of RAAD TV are detained in Borame district of Awdal region. Abdqani Hassan Farah, reporter of Universal TV is detained in Las Anod district of Sool region. In the history of Somalia, this number of journalists was not detained.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) considers the detained journalists to be media professionals arrested solely for their journalistic work, advocating for media freedom and exercising their fundamental human rights of freedom of expression - and calls for their immediate and unconditional release. This number of journalists in jail is largest number ever detained in the history of Somalia.

NUSOJ calls on Somaliland President and Minister of interior for the immediate and unconditional release of the 25 journalists detained in Hargeisa, Borame and Las Anod.

"Once more we urge the Somaliland Authorities to end systematic harassment and intimidation of journalists and all media workers by the police and other Somaliland security organizations," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General, who asked the Somaliland Ministry of Interior to reissue operating license of HornCable TV and allow the television network to operate freely.


Somalia: Somaliland army attacks Buhodle

15 Jan 15, 2012 - http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Somaliland_army_attacks_Buhodle.shtml

BUHODLE, Somalia Jan 15 2012 (Garowe Online) - There are reports of heavy fighting in the town of Buhodle located in Ayn region after the Somaliland army bombarded the town of Buhodle early Sunday morning, Radio Garowe reports.

Local sources in Buhodle say that Somaliland troops have attacked the city from three different fronts, shelling the town with heavy artillery destroying buildings in Buhodle.

Hundreds of heavily armed Somaliland troops were spotted in the outskirts of Buhodle early Sunday morning, heavy artillery was heard all morning throughout the city, there have been no confirmations on the death toll.

Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo expressed his distraught to his Parliament on Saturday when tribal leaders met in Taleh. President Silanyo addressed a joint session Saturday and stated that he was ready to flush out separatists. He ordered an emergency meeting with his army chief, and Defense Minister among other officials.

Buhodle is located on the border between Somalia and Ethiopia and is a commercial hub. Somaliland have tried to seize the hotly contested city of Buhodle before, in May 2010 the Somaliland army clashed with local authorities leaving 13 dead and 33 wounded.


Somalia: 12 Dead, 20 Injured in Northern Battle

Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu) http://allafrica.com/stories/201201161799.html. 15 January 2012

Buhodle - At least twelve people were confirmed killed and more than twenty others wounded in a heavy fighting between the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland military and a local tribal militia in Buhodle town in Togdher region of northern Somalia, reports said on Sunday.

Reports also indicated that the deadly combat flared up, after heavily armed soldiers loyal to Somaliland administration moved into the town of Buhodle early Sunday morning, targeting on a local tribal militia already stayed and controlled of the town.

Faisal Farah, one of tribal militias officers said, four of their combat fighters were killed and eight others wounded during the war.

For his part, the minister of information for the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland, Ahmed Abdihabsade said, his troops managed to capture the town of Buhodle from the clan fighters after offensive. He added that four soldiers from attacking Somaliland have been hurt in the battle.

Crackle of gunfire and thud of mortars used by both warring sides could be heard nearby villages and far from the battle zone of Buhodle town that forced residents to flee from their houses in fear of harm from the fierce fighting with shells, according to residents.

The tribal militias in Buhodle town are trying to defend separatists gathering in nearby town of Taleeh which is aimed to declare the formation of a semi-autonomous state of Somalia. All causalities were reported to be on both sides.

The independent reports from the Buhodle say, Somaliland forces are re-grouping an area 10-km from the town and preparing to launch a counter-attack to retake it from the tribal militia that are still handling the control of Buhodle town.


Somaliland Shuts Down Horn Cable TV Station

Hargeisa Channel Accused of Spreading Dissent and Division in Somaliland

By NOOR ALI FARAH 01/14/2012.http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2535/Somaliland_Shuts_Down_Horn_Cable_TV_Station

The broadcast offices of Horn Cable Television in Hargeisa were ordered closed on Saturday by the Somaliland administration after President Mohamud Ahmed Siilanyo announced that Horn Cable was broadcasts dissent against his government and dividing Somaliland. Somaliland armed forces entered the headquarters for the TV station and ordered a shutdown. According to recent reports, the troops are still surrounding the building in Hargeisa, where some of the TV workers remain. Horn Cable presenter Hodan Ali, who is in the locked-down building, told Somalia Report by phone, "our international station continues to broadcast, but the local station was shut down by the government. As yet we don't know why." Mohamed Ilig, the director of Horn Cable TV, said that a number of soldiers entered the broadcasting headquarters and instructed him to shut down the TV broadcast immediately, "so we shut down the local broadcast," he told Somalia Report. "Here, there is a law we have to follow. But we are gravely worried about how this administration has acted, to close the doors of a main broadcast in a democratic land without evidence is not something to take lightly."

Horn Cable Television reported recently on a conference held in Sool by politicians, traditional elders, religious leaders and civil society members of the Sool, Sanaag and Buuhood regions who have voiced their views on tradition, the economy and public policy. At the end of that conference a regional government was announced which was opposed by the president of Somaliland. President Siilanyo voiced his anger at a meeting with the Somaliland representatives on Saturday, saying, "The conference in Sool is separating Somaliland, and those who declared an administration independent from Somaliland will lead the country into devastation."

In his speech, he said that Horn Cable is participating in the division of Somaliland, but he did not directly order its closure. However the administration has often been in conflict with media groups present, and journalists have been jailed many times in recent years, some of them are still in prison, and some radio stations have been shut down before. The journalists at Horn Cable have not been harmed as yet, but they are concerned, as well as the residents of Hargeisa.

The Somaliland government has yet to make a public comment, but the administration of Horn Cable said they are seeking an official explanation.


26 Journalists Detained in Somaliland

Journalists Detained After Protest Against Closure of HornCable TV Station

By AWEYS CADDE 01/15/2012.http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2541/26_Journalists_Detained_in_Somaliland

Security forces for the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland arrested more than 25 journalists after a demonstration held in front of the presidential building in Hargeisa, expressing their anger over the closure of the independent Horncable TV by Somaliland security forces on Saturday.

Some of the journalists arrested are working for local newspapers in Hargeisa, some work for TV stations, while others work for websites. They are being held in the central jail of Hargeisa.

Barkad Osman, an independent journalist in Hargeisa visited the detained journalists in prison and told Somalia Report, "Today at noon when we visited the journalist in the prison, we were told that they were badly mistreated and tortured by the security forces when they were arresting them, they used huge sticks to beat with them and threw them in vehicles like criminals."

Another journalist described his escape, "I was one of the journalists who went to the presidential house to demonstrate, we were fired on and all the protesters were arrested but luckily I escaped," Keyse Jiirdiil told Somalia Report.

The minister of internal affairs of Somaliland Mahamed Nuur Araale held a press conference and talked about the closure and arrest of the HCTV and said that "the government has withdrawn the permission they have given the TV to work in the country," adding that the journalist who demonstrated were not legal, and that is why they arrested.

Recently, the Somaliland administration has been angry at reporters since the government is against covering the conference going on in Teleeh and the new independent administrations which are being established, declaring themselves distinct from Somaliland.

A senior journalist, Abdisalam Gabeyre told Somalia Report, "We shall not stop the service we are doing for our people. Arresting or torturing us will not create fear in us, we shall continue doing our jobs until we fulfill the expectations which our community has of us. We are sending a clear message, the leaders of Somaliland must protect the freedom of the press and release all the journalist they have arrested and to reopen Horncable TV," he added.

This is the first time large numbers of journalists have been arrested in the same time, which can only deepen the conflict and lack of trust between the press and the government.

Names Of Those Arrested

Partial list of ten names from the 26 journalists arrested today

Hassan Mohamed Yussuf, President of Somaliland Journalist Association (SOLJA)
Mohamed Abdi Hassan (Ilig), Director of Horncable TV
Hamse Ali Bulbul, Head of News at Horncable TV
Hodon Ali Ajabi, Horn Cable TV
Nimo Omar Mohamed (sabriye), Horn Cable TV
Mohamed Kuraase, Horn Cable TV
Abdirashid Eynte, Horn Cable TV
Mohamed Omar Abdi - (Irro), Editor of Jamhuuriya Magazine
Harago, Editor of Berbera news-website
Najah Aden Unaye, Director of Hadhwanaag news-website


Somaliland closes Horn Cable TV, arrests journalists

BBC Monitoring Media [London] 15 Jan 2012. NUSOJ website, in English 15 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has today [15 January] lashed out at Somaliland for [the] latest bout of repression of media freedom following "unwarranted" closure of private television network, arrest of nine media practitioners, and "illegal" detention of eight reporters.

On Saturday, 14 January, at around 6.45 p.m., Somaliland police stormed the main headquarters of Horn Cable TV in Hargeysa and sealed the offices. The police threw out the staff. Two production studios of the television network in Hargeysa, which were not in the same building of the headquarters, were also closed down.

At around 8.15 p.m. on Saturday, the police also descended on the TV's broadcasting system and shut down the transmitter after realizing that broadcasting is still continuing. In this move, the police forcefully entered the transmitting studio and made off-air the news night. Nearly 100 Somaliland police soldiers with seven armoured vehicles executed this abrupt action, according to Abdullahi Wayab, editor-in-chief of Horn Cable TV, who spoke to NUSOJ in Hargeysa. Police officers have been re-routing traffic away from the area, Wayab added.

The police unit, which was led by an officer with the name Muhammad Du'alle, informed the management of Horn Cable TV that they have no warrant to show the management of the television network but have superior orders. During this operation, the police briefly arrested Muhammad Abdi Shaykh, East Africa director of Horn Cable TV.

But Horn Cable TV journalists told NUSOJ that Somaliland authorities are furious at the reports by the TV station on a tribal meeting in Taleeh district of Sool region, in which tribal politicians and elders announced an autonomous administration. The TV is also reported that to have broadcasted views of people criticizing Somaliland administration for not preventing this meeting to take place. Somaliland claims to control Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn regions.

This attack comes after Somaliland President Ahmad Muhammad Mahamud Silanyo addressed on Saturday the two chambers (House of Elders and House of Representatives) of Somaliland parliament. Silanyo made a tempestuous reference to Horn Cable TV in his speech as being a "nation destructor".

NUSOJ views as backward and illegal [the] move of the law enforcement body, who without any court order, arrogates to themselves the right to seal offices, shut down broadcasting and threw out journalists and thereby hampers the practice of independent journalism.

Sunday morning, 15 January 2012, journalists of Horn Cable TV staged a peaceful protest in front of Somaliland presidential palace, where the presidential guard beaten up the protestors and arrested eight journalists who all work for Horn Cable TV. The names of arrested journalists are: Ms. Nimco Sabriye, Mr. Hamsa Ali Bulbul, Mr. Muhammad Gurashe, Mr. Abdirahman Shaykh Yunes, Mr. Ayan Diriye, Ms. Nimo' Diriye, Ms. Hodan Ali Ajabi, Ms. Safiya Nuh Shaykh. Further to this brutal repression, Farhan Haji Ali Ahmad, owner of Horn Cable TV, was today summoned at Somali presidency for questioning.

"We roundly condemn this despicable act of barbarity against Horn Cable TV and its journalists. We denounce in particular Silanyo speech to Horn Cable TV which maligned the station," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ secretary-general. "We express our firm support for the management and the media workers of Horn Cable TV."

NUSOJ calls on the Somaliland authorities to respect the internationally recognized standards of freedom of expression and freedom of the press it purports to uphold, and to cease all further acts of harassments and intimidations against journalists and media houses.

"Operations of private media continue to go hand in hand with sustained harassment, intimidation, arrests and persecution in Somaliland since August 2010," said Ahmad Mohamud Muhammad, NUSOJ secretary for labour Issues, who is also news editor of Horn Cable TV in Bossasso, Puntland. "This act is a blatant misuse of powers by authorities."

The wave of media repression has resulted in four journalists to be in detention in Borame and Las Anod. Muhammad Omar Shaykh, reporter of Saxafi newspaper, is detained in Borame for publishing reports creating confrontations in Awdal region. Ali Isma'il Aare of Waheen newspaper is detained in Borame for taking a picture of a petrol station allegedly owned by Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Abdullahi Isma'il Saylici.

On 9 January 2012, Somaliland police arrested Abdqani Hasan Farah, nicknamed Gadari, who is a reporter for Universal TV in the Las Anod district of Sool region, northern Somalia. Farah is being detained without charge.

On 8 January, Royal TV reporter Yusuf Abdi Ali, publicly known as Indho Quruh, was arrested by Somaliland police in Borame district. Borame police stated that they received a complaint against the journalist alleging that he falsely reported on "corruption by humanitarian NGOs", who expressed annoyance about the journalist's news report to police. Ali is being detained at Borame central police station. The police secretly took Ali's case to district and got permission to detain him up to 45 days to conclude their investigations.

NUSOJ calls on Somaliland top leaders, including President Silanyo, to remove police stationed at the offices of Horn Cable TV, release all detained journalists including those detained in Borame and Las Anod, and to allow the media to operate freely and without fear of repercussion.


7 Journalists Arrested in a Week, 3 Still Held in Somaliland

Committee to Protect Journalists. Press Release. January 14, 2012

New York - The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the recent spate of arrests of independent reporters in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland.

At least seven journalists have been arrested since last week, with three still in custody without being charged, local journalists said. According to Somaliland's constitution, a judge can authorize police to hold a suspect without charge for up to 21 days for further investigations.

"The spate of arrests sends a chilling message to the Somaliland press and demonstrates the government's intolerance of independent and critical reporting," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. "Arrest and detention should not be the knee-jerk response of the authorities to reporting. The journalists should be charged or released immediately."

Somaliland authorities have detained Royal Television reporter Yusuf Ali (also known as "Indho Quru") without charge in the northwestern town of Borama since Sunday based on a complaint filed against him by the Africa Youth Development Association (AYODA), a local NGO, news reports said. The journalist had reported on the group's alleged misuse of funds, local journalists said. On Tuesday, a magistrate approved a police petition to extend Ali's detention for an additional 45-day period pending investigations, Royal TV reporter Mohamed Abdi Kahin, also known as "Bosh," told CPJ. He also said the court session lasted only minutes and that no witnesses were present.

On Wednesday, authorities in Borama detained Ali Ismail Aare, a journalist with the independent weekly Waheen, the Somaliland Journalists Association (SJA) reported. Aare was arrested after he took photographs of a gas station and building belonging to Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Abdilahi, which residents complained was built incorrectly and encroached upon roads in the town, leaving no room for traffic or pedestrians, according to local journalists. Barkhad Mohamoud, SJA's executive member, said taking photographs of an edifice owned by a public official is not a criminal offense under Somaliland law, according to local journalists. The journalist has not been charged yet, news reports said, but he is expected in court on Saturday.

On Monday, Somaliland police arrested Abdiqani Hassan Farah ("Gadari"), a reporter for Universal TV in the Las Anod district of Sool region, news reports said. Local journalists said Farah had reported on a clan dispute.

Four other journalists were also arrested in Somaliland in the past week, but detained for only a short time. On Wednesday, Borama police's Criminal Investigation Department detained for questioning Mohamed Omar Sheikh, a reporter with the independent weekly Sahafi, Omar later told CPJ. The arrest was based on a complaint filed by members of the public regarding interviews published in Sahafi by Omar of members of the Somali diaspora calling for the Awdal region to separate from Somaliland. Police released Omar on bail on Thursday morning, he told CPJ.

Last week, Somaliland police arrested three journalists from private broadcasters Horn Cable TV, Somaliland TV, and Universal TV in the disputed Las Anod region of Somaliland for allegedly supporting youth groups who pose a threat to security in the region, according to local reports. Police released all three journalists the following day, local journalists said. Source: CPJ


3 Journalists Jailed Without Charges in Somaliland

January 13th, 2012. http://www.raxanreeb.com/?p=127070

HARGEISA- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is extremely troubled by continued attacks against journalists by Somaliland police following the further arrest of two journalists in the town of Boorama on Wednesday 11, 2011 and Universal TV Reporter held without charges for the fourth day in the town of Las-Anod of Sool region.

Ali Aareye, Waheen Borama Correspondent and Mohamed Omar, Saxafi Correspondent, were arrested on Wednesday noon around 1:00pm local time respectively by the Somaliland police in the town of Boorama of Awdal region. The journalists were detained at the CID in Boorama since Wednesday. However, Mohamed Omar, Saxafi Correspondent was released on Thursday, 12 January, 2012 without charges. It was not immediately known the reason behind his arrest.

Waaheen and Saxafi are both independent newspapers issued at Hargeysa, Somaliland.

However, Ali Aareye, Waheen Borama Correspondent, was arrested on Thursday noon for allegedly taking photographs on petrol station owned by the vice president, Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail better known as Saylici, according to Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA), a partner to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

He was supposed to appear in court on Thursday, but was postponed till Saturday.

Meanwhile, Abdiqani Hassan Farah Gadari, a universal TV reporter in Laas-Aanod is still held at the Central Station of Las-Anod in Sool region for the fourth day without bringing him to court. . Gadari informed NUSOJ before he was arrested that his arrest was ordered by the Somaliland minister of information through the Mayor of the Las-Anod town. He still remains in jail without bringing him to court.

NUSOJ is concerned by the apparent attempts of intimidation against the journalists by the Somaliland police providing that It is not crime to take photographs to a petrol station and is a clear violation against the freedom of expression and calls for the Somaliland authorities to stop the rampant arrests against the journalists and jailing them without charges.

"The string of arrests against the journalists by the Somaliland police without warrants is an apparent intimidation against journalists in covering news stories critical to their administration," Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, "We demand from the Somaliland authorities to immediately release the journalists or bring them before fair court."

Meanwhile, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and its partner organization, the Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) have been trying to secure a lawyer for the Royal TV reporter Yusuf Ali who was arrested by Somaliland police in the town of Borame on January 8, 2011 after he allegedly wrote about corruption over the regional projects of Awdal region implemented by local NGO. A court in the town of Boorama ordered the journalist to remain in jail for 45 days on January 10, 2012, until the police investigations are completed, which is unlawful and even contrary to the Somaliland constitution and the Somaliland Media law.


New Mini-State Created in Somalia

Khaatumo II Conference Results in Further Balkanization

By ABDIRASHID MUSE 01/11/2012. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2503/New_Mini-State_Created_in_Somalia

The Khaatumo II conference of Dhulbahante clan leaders held since January 5 at Taleeh fort in Sool region has culminated in the proclamation of a new semi-autonomous region in northern Somalia.

Delegates at the Taleeh conference from the Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions announced that the new administration will function independently from the semi-autonomous regions of Somaliland and Puntland, a senior spokesman of Khaatumo conference said.

Conference spokesman Adam Abdullahi Shuuriye told the local and international media that delegates of the Khaatumo Conference had unanimously agreed to the establishment of a semi-autonomous federal region in the northern administrative districts of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn (SSC).

"The delegates of Khaatumo II conference unanimously supported the formation of their own administration which will function as a federal state of Somalia," Mr. Shuriye announced late yesterday.

"The delegates will discuss the name and administrative structure of the new state on Wednesday," he added.

The Sool, Sanaag and Cayn regions are disputed by Puntland and Somaliland, but the local community and the Dhulbahante diaspora have been organizing conferences in the region and abroad to discuss self-determination. In a high level October 2009 meeting in Nairobi, for instance, prominent Dhulbahante leaders declared the creation of "The Unity and Salvation Authority of the SSC Regions of Somalia."

While the three regions lie within the British colonial mandate of Somaliland, the Dhulbahante belong to the Darod clan family that inhabits Puntland. In 2007, Somaliland forces invaded Sool, occupying its capital of Las Anod and causing a rift amongst Dhulbahante clan elders, some of whom remained loyal to the Puntland administration.

Following the takeover, the Northern Somali Unionist Movement (NSUM), a diaspora network opposed to the Somaliland administration, formed a military wing, the Sool Sanaag Ayn Army (SSCA), which Somaliland officials have designated a terrorist organization.

There were fears that SSCA elements would hijack the conference and strong-arm other Dhulbahante leaders into accepting self-determination, but the outcome appears to have been an expression of majority will.

The Somaliland and Puntland administrations, which were strongly opposed to the conference, have yet to comment on its outcome. It remains to be seen if the creation of an SSC statelet will destabilize already tense Puntland-Somaliland relations.

The creation of a new independent administration creates further difficulties for the UN-sponsored 'Roadmap to end the transition,' whose recent consultative conference in Garowe lacked the participation of key non-state actors, such as Somaliland and elements of Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa (ASWJ). While the roadmap process seeks national reconciliation amongst competing polities, Somalia appears only to be fragmenting further.

In another development, the president of Awdal State, Abdirashid Nor Hersi, arrived in Mogadishu on Tuesday to a cordial welcome from TFG officials.

Mr. Hersi has told local media that he was going to meet with top TFG leaders.

The Awdal State, inhabited primarily by the minority Gadabursi clan, is an autonomous region recently declared by members of Awdal's anti-Somaliland diaspora community.


Journalists arrested in Borama town

January, 12 2012 - http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1631. By Fadumo Farah. Borama(Sunatimes) Somaliland police have arrested three local journalists in Borame town of Awdal State of Somalia, since Tuesday morning, reports say.

Reports say two Somali journalists were arrested on Wednesday while the third one was arrested on Tuesday under unknown circumstances.

The journalists, Ali Ismail Are and Mohamed Omar Sheikh, work for Waaheen and Sahafi newspapers respectively, while Yussuf Indo-quruh is a reporter for a Somali TV channel, Royal TV.

The reasons behind their arrest are yet to be known but reports say that the TV journalist, Yussuf Indo-quruh, was arrested after an aid agency allegedly lodged a case against him. But the nature of the case still remains in the dark.

The area administration has not yet issued any statements regarding the arrest of the three journalists in Borame.

Associated Somali Journalists ASOJ Condemns Somaliland administration, ASOJ Says " Somaliland became too dark and deteriorating the situation of Somali Journalists who works area of Borama and Las-ano town of Sool region.


Edna Adan Maternity Hospital: Maternal Health Poses Another Major Challenge for Somalia

Roopa Gogineni January 11th 2012. VOA.http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=53674&pageid=24&pagename=Society

Edna Adan Maternity Hospital

Two decades of civil war in Somalia have made the country one of the most dangerous places in the world for a woman to give birth. The World Health Organization says Somalia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. In southern Somalia, the situation is grave, and the recent famine has made the health crisis for mothers and infants even worse. In camps for internally displaced people in Mogadishu, women give birth in their tents. If there are complications, they are either taken to the clinic in the camp or, if the resources exist, transported to one of Mogadishu's three hospitals.

At the Medina Hospital, which focuses on trauma and emergency maternal medicine, nearly 200 women give birth every month. The director, Dr. Mohamed Yusuf, says the famine is straining the hospital's already limited capacity. "A lot of people who are IDPs today, you can imagine how they are malnourished while they are in pregnancy," Yusuf said. "And the premature delivery is frequent here, and not having an incubator is another problem." A lack of equipment in Somalia is endemic. There are no neonatal facilities in the south. And without respirators or incubators - caring for premature babies is difficult. The closest incubator can be found 846 kilometers north in Hargeisa, the capital of the autonomous region of Somaliland.

In Hargeisa, Edna Adan Ismail, a British-trained midwife and the former first lady of Somaliland, established a private maternity and training hospital in 2002. She believes training is the key to improving healthcare, but that is just part of the challenge. Both her hospital and Medina Hospital are understaffed because they cannot compete with salaries offered by international organizations. "The biggest pirates of the staff that we train are the international organizations working in the Horn of Africa and Somaliland," Ismail said. "When we are training these nurses and midwives, they don't support you because they say 'Oh no no. This is not in our budget,' and as soon as you've trained them, then they offer them salaries and they steal them from you."

Another challenge facing medical providers in Mogadishu and Hargeisa is the Somali custom rooted in Islam that requires a man's consent to treat female patients. Often the father or husband will disagree with the doctor's recommendations for surgery. In emergency situations, this negotiation can be time-consuming and often fatal. "They just say she will deliver by the will of God, so let's just wait," said Dr. Nimo Abdi Hasan from Medina Hospital. "Sometimes they refuse C-section, so we just wait until they allow. If they don't allow, we just discharge the patient, tell them to take them somewhere else because we can't have death on our hands if we can do something." Edna Adan Ismail believes it is a permanent feature of Somalia society that must be worked around. "That is our custom; that is our culture," she said. "The husband is the person who is responsible for that woman and he should give consent because he is going to be footing the bill anyway. So even when she can afford to pay for herself, the custom is that the husband approves."

World Health Organization figures show that maternal and infant mortality rates in Somaliland have improved since its decision to break away from Somalia in 1991. Experts says the rest of Somalia has been left behind because it has not had a functioning government for near two decades. While Somaliland has an unrecognized but functioning government, has worked to develop state institutions to provide public services and a government-run hospital.


NUSOJ Protests the Unjust Order Against Television Reporter by Boorama court in Somaliland

http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/nusoj-protests-the-unjust-order-against-212762.html

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 11, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) protests the unjust court order against Royal Television reporter by Boorama court, followed by string of arrests of journalists in different towns in the regions controlled by Somaliland last week, worsening the already deteriorating press freedom in Somaliland.

The Court ordered Yuusuf Ali better "Indho-Qurux", who is the correspondent of the Royal Television in the town Boorama to stay in jail for 45 days on Tuesday 10 January, 2012 around 11:30 am local time. The court said that he will re-appear in court after 45 days, according to Mohamed Abdi Boosh of Royal Television reached by phone from Hargeysa, adding that there were no evidences or witnesses presented to the court.

According to Boosh, there has been negotiations for his release and were planning to travel to Boorama, before they heard the surprise and unjust sentence.

"We were planning to travel to Boorama today, but postponed when we heard the unjust sentence handed down to our colleague." Mohamed Abdi Boosh who works for the Royal Television told NUSOJ by phone from Hargeysa, "There were no evidences displayed at the court and it was a matter of minutes when the court released their sentence."

The police had requested 45 days the journalist to remain in jail untill the investigations against his complete are completed, which contravenes the Somaliland constitution which allows three weeks and the Somaliland media law and was immediately transfered to Boorama Central Jail, according to journalists.

Ali was arrested on Sunday January 8, 2012 and It is not yet clear the reasons behind his arrest. However, journalists believe Ali's arrest is related to an article he wrote about alleged corruption on regional projects in Awdal region last week.

"We protest the unjust court order handed down to our colleague and call for the Somaliland authorities to reverse their decision and give the journalist's freedom back." Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, "This contravenes the Somaliland Justice system and call for the Somaliland authorities to respect the freedom of expression and the press and regulations set for it."

This follows string of other attacks against journalists this week in Somaliland.

On January 9. 2011. Abdiqani Hassan Farah Gadari, a universal TV reporter in Laas-Aanod was detained on by the Somaliland Police.

Gadari informed NUSOJ before he was arrested that his arrest was ordered by the Somaliland minister of information through the Mayor of the Las-Anod town.

It is not yet clear the motive behind his arrest and remains in custody.

On January 4, 2012, Somaliland police arrested Abdirahman Ali Duale, Horn Cable reporter, Abdiaqani Hassan Farah Gadari and Barkhad Joon, Somaliland National TV and they were released after 8 hours in detention in the Las-Anod central police station


Somalia's refugees return home to rebuild the country's education system

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/somalia_61267.html

c UNICEF Somalia/2011/Pflanz. Ali Abdullah fills in a survey form at Koossar Primary School in Burao, Somaliland. It is part of a European Union-supported project to improve education in the country.

By Mike Pflanz

SOMALILAND, Somalia, 10 January 2012 - Ali Abdullah stands at the front of the class asking students their ages, how long they take to walk to school, whether they are orphans, and whether any have learning or development needs.

Mr. Abdullah, headmaster at Koossar Primary School, is one of thousands of teachers conducting an unprecedented primary school census, helping produce the first comprehensive, government-led survey on the state of northern Somalia's schools.

"Before, the Ministry of Education did not have this correct data about school facilities. It was just theoretical information, guesses really," he said. "Now when you have the right information, you can show how many students there are, what items are lacking like text books or latrines, and the ministry can then go to the Ministry of Finance and donors and show what really is there and what is needed."

The survey, to be repeated yearly, is part of a broad effort to rehabilitate and improve the country's education system - from the inside out.

Rudimentary systems

Years of civil war have left government agencies with few trained administrators. For the education ministries in semi-autonomous Somaliland and Puntland, this means school systems have been rudimentary, and improvements have been makeshift.

Many schools lack electricity, running water, text books and toilets, and do not have enough desks or chairs. Teachers' training is limited, and their salaries are largely dependent on community contributions.

"These are very basic things that sound like they should be automatic, but in Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia, they are not," said Isabel Faria de Almeida, Head of Rural Development, Social Services and Infrastructure at the Delegation of the European Union in neighbouring Kenya.

"If the ministry doesn't know how many teachers it has, how can they run a system? If they don't know what financial resources they need, or how many school books they have to print, or how many pupils are attending schools, then they don't know the needs," she said.

Bringing experts back

To create lasting improvements, the European Union, UNICEF, the CfBT Education Trust and the Africa Education Trust have designed an innovative programme to increase capacity at the country's education ministries. Central to the strategy is bringing professional Somalis living abroad back to their home country to work alongside senior education ministry staff, passing along their expertise.

Hassan Suleiman is one of 10 technical advisors to return to Somalia. He is supporting the Somaliland Ministry of Education and Higher Education through the Integrated Capacity Development for Somali Education Administrations (ICDSEA) programme. ICDSEA focuses on planning and policy, human resources, financial management, quality assurance, and gender equality.

"There has been a realization that the institutional capacity in terms of skills, knowledge, structure - all aspects - is not enough to deliver an adequate education system," said Mr. Suleiman, who grew up in Britain after fleeing the Somali war. "We have relied on international consultants to produce nice policy documents, but they are just shoved on a shelf because the skills have not been there to implement them."

Amina Osman, another technical advisor, grew up in Uganda. She working in Puntland, harmonizing the many different curricula used, and is working to ensure the consistency of end-of-term exams. Meanwhile, Abdirahman Mohamud, from Kenya, is running tests on a software package that will organize the data from the primary school census.

Each of the 10 advisors are shadowed by two trainees, Somalis hired from within Somalia who will become professional managers at the Ministry.

Once the security situation improves in the south, a similar scheme is planned for the education ministry in Mogadishu.

Reaching girls

One morning at the Ministry of Education in Garowe, Puntland, Sahro Koshin stood before a crowd of officials to help launch a scholarship fund for girls. Ms. Koshin, who grew up in Holland, is working to increase girls' school attendance.

"Teachers are not taught about gender issues," she said. "In a typical class you will find girls on one side and boys on the other, and the teacher is always addressing the boys, showing in an unspoken language that the girls should keep quiet and the boys should answer."

Turning around these ingrained prejudices will "take time", she admits. But the situation will improve if gender equality factors into all aspects of education policy.

"We believe that supporting Somalia's authorities to build their own systems, as well as develop their own policies and competent staff, is the only way to ensure that all Somali children will have the opportunity to access a quality education," said UNICEF Representative in Somalia Sikander Khan. And girls are sure to benefit.

"One example of this is the girls' scholarship fund that UNICEF has supported the Ministry of Education Gender Units to establish," he continued. "In its first year, the fund will give over 450 deprived girls the means to attend school, and hopefully with additional support, will give hundreds more of Somalia's most deprived girls the opportunity to go to school in future years."

"Increasing the capacity of managers here, to plan everything for the future, that is the only way to make sure things do not remain the same," said Abdulkadir Yusuf Nur, Acting Director General of Education for Puntland. "It will work, I know. Soon, we will be standing on our own two feet."


Journalists detained, barred from traveling in Somaliland

http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/journalists-detained-barred-from-travel-212680.html

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 10, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) expresses deep concern over perpetual attacks against journalists by Somaliland police who continue to arrest and detain reporters. Some of the journalists have also been barred from traveling around Somaliland to cover stories.

On Monday, 9 January 2012, Somaliland police arrested Abdqani Hassan Farah, nicknamed Gadari, who is reporter of Universal TV in Las Anod district of Sool region in northern Somalia.

Farah's arrest happened at around 9:30am, local time, after he aired a news report about clan meeting in Taleh town in Sool region, the night before the arrest. Somaliland police accused the journalist of "exaggerating reports of a meeting that was creating instability in Sool, Sanag and Eyn regions".

Farah was informed that his arrest was ordered by Somaliland Minister of Information, Ahmed Abdi Habsade. The order was executed by the Governor of Sool Region who called the journalist to his office only to order the police who were already waiting, to arrest him.

In a separate incident, reports from Borame indicate that on Monday, Somaliland police barred 4 journalists from traveling to cover the laying of the fibre-optic cable by SomCable Ltd, which is supposed to connect Somaliland via Djibouti and Red Sea. The deal for SomCable Ltd to implement this Internet cable project was allegedly sanctioned by the former Somaliland government but has reportedly been rejected by current government.

On Sunday, 8 January, Royal TV reporter, Yusuf Abdi Ali, publicly known Indho Quruh was arrested by Somaliland police in Borame district, the regional capital of Awdal. Borame police indicated that they received complaint against the journalist alleging that he falsely reported "corruption by humanitarian NGOs" who expressed annoyance about the journalist's news report to police. Ali is being detained at Borame central police station without trial.

"These latest arrests and continued detention of Farah and Ali are uncalled for and illegal since there is no legal basis that warrants their arrest and subsequent detention. We condemn this move by security agencies and call for their immediate and unconditional release," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

NUSOJ deplores the illegal arrest and detention of the journalists without warrants of arrest and court rulings. "This is pure intimidation meant to scare journalists from reporting on sensitive issues. The authorities must not bar journalists traveling to cover events and gather news and we ask them to end the restrictions" added Osman.


Somaliland Police arrest Television Journalist in the town of Boorama

By: National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) 09/01/2012 08:59 GMT.http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/somaliland-police-arrest-television-jour-212471.html

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 9, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the arrest of the Television journalist by the Somaliland Police in the town of Boorama on Sunday around 11:30 local time.

Journalist Yuusuf Ali better known as Indho-Qurux, who is the correspondent of the Royal Television in the town Boorama, was arrested on Sunday without warrant by Somaliland police in Boorama, according to local journalists.

The Arrest of the journalist has been confirmed by a colleague journalist, Mohamed Abdi Boosh, who also reports for the for the Royal Television by phone from Hargeysa.

"It is really disappointing, Yusuf Ali was arrested without a warrant and he staying in custody tonight." Journalist Mohamed Abdi Boosh told NUSOJ by phone from Hargeysa.

It is not yet clear the reasons behind his arrest. However, journalists believe Ali's arrest is related to an article he wrote about alleged corruption on regional projects in Awdal region.

"The Arrest of is an absolute voilation and we condemn it in the strongest terms possible." Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, "We call for the Somaliland authorities to immediately release the journalist and respect the freedom of the press."

Secretary General of Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA), Mohamed Rashiid also condemned the arrest of the journalist and demanded from Somaliland authorities to release the journalist from custody without condition.

Journalists in Somaliland have been subject to police brutalities - arrests, intimidations and harassment, among others.


Patience and Care: Rebuilding nursing and midwifery, in Somaliland (PDF)

2nd December 2011

Download paper here (PDF)

Somaliland's maternal, infant, and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world. A rudimentary health system already beset by under-investment and neglect collapsed completely during the final years of a civil war which ended in 1991.


Amnesty:Somali Famous elder detained in Dubai.

January, 05 2012 -

Boqor Osman Mohamoud's relatives have not been informed of the reasons for his arrest, his location and whether he has been charged with any offence. They fear that he could be in very poor health, as he needs regular medication for conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure.

URGENT ACTION

SOMALI MAN DETAINED IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Somali national Boqor Osman Mohamoud was arrested by security forces in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 17 November 2011 and is now being held incommunicado in conditions amounting to an enforced disappearance. He has not had access to relatives or lawyers and he could be at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

Boqor Osman Mohamoud (also known as Buurmadow),aged about 45, is a traditional elder from the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in north western Somalia. Through his role as an elder, he has been involved in peace mediation in local conflicts in that region. He holds dual Somali and Ethiopian citizenship, and has the right to reside in the UAE, where his wife lives. He was arrested when he landed at Abu Dhabi airport in the UAE, on his return from a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Boqor Osman Mohamoud's relatives have not been informed of the reasons for his arrest, his location and whether he has been charged with any offence. They fear that he could be in very poor health, as he needs regular medication for conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure. Four days after his arrest he was brought back to his home in the UAE by six plainclothes officials thought to be members of the UAE security forces. The officials seized some files and his computer, but did not allow him to take any of his medication. It is not known whether he is receiving medication from those holding him.Relatives present at his home at the time were not allowed to speak to him or enquire about the reason for his arrest or his place of detention. His family has been unable to contact him and he has received no legal or consular support. In December 2011, Amnesty International wrote to the UAE authorities seeking clarification for the reasons for his arrest and urging that he be granted access to his family and a lawyer of his choice. No response has yet been received.

Please write immediately to the UAE authorities in Arabic, English or your own language:

Urging the UAE authorities to reveal the whereabouts of Boqor Osman Mohamoud (Buurmadow), and to disclose the reason for his arrest and his current legal status to his relatives;

Calling on them to ensure that, while detained, he has access to the medication that he needs, and any other necessary medical care, as well as to a lawyer of his choice and his relatives;

Calling for assurances that he is being protected from torture or other ill-treatment while in detention;

Urging them to either charge Boqor Osman Mohamoud with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and try him in accordance with international fair trial standards or to release him immediately.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 FEBRUARY 2012 TO:

Vice-President and Prime Minister
Minister of Interior

Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Lt-General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan

Office of the Prime Minister. Human Rights Directorate. POB 2838, POB: 398, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Dubai, UAE. Fax: +971 4 3981119

Salutation: Your Excellency. Email via website:http://www.uaepm.ae/en/communicate/index.html
Salutation: Your Excellency And copies to:Minister of Justice
Dr Hadef bin Jua'an Al Dhaheri, Ministry of Justice, Al Khubirah, Sector 93, Street 5, P.O. Box 260, Abu Dhabi. Fax: +971 2 6810680, Salutation: Your Excellency,

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

SOMALI MAN DETAINED IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, following the collapse of Siad Barre's government. Somaliland's independence has to date not been recognized by any government or international body. The Republic of Somaliland has its own government and enjoys a degree of stability compared to South and Central Somalia, which has no functioning central government.

Boqor Osman Mohamoud (Buurmadow) is an elder. In Somalia, elders play an essential role in traditional governance structures, including in the implementation of customary law, local politics and in mediating conflicts.

There is a longstanding pattern in the UAE in which people arrested by Amn al-Dawla (State Security) officers are kept in solitary confinement and later face unfair trial. Amnesty International fears that the effective enforced disappearance of BoqorOsman Mohamoud fits this pattern.

For example, UAE national `Abdullah Sultan al-Subaihat was arrested on 8 February 2007 by Amn al-Dawla (State Security) officers in the Emirate of `Ajman where he lived. After months of incommunicado detention, he was tried unfairly, then convicted of"obtaining secret information on state security" and sentenced to a prison term. During a court session on 10 September 2007, he was said to have complained that he had been tortured while detained by Amn al-Dawla officials. He claimed that the torture methods they used included being beaten by a hosepipe all over his body, sleep deprivation, being forced to carry a chair on his head every day for two weeks, and threats of sexual assault. Amnesty International is not aware of any investigation ordered by the court into these torture allegations.

Sudanese businessman Al-Sadiq Sediq Adam Abdalla has been missing since November 2007. He had previously been arrested and held for two days in September 2007. The UAE authorities have never clarified his fate, despite queries from his family, the UN's Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and appeals from Amnesty International.

In August 2008, Amn al-Dawlaofficials arrested Naji Hamdan, a US citizen, at his home in the UAE. He was held incommunicado for three months at a secret location, then tried unfairly. Naji Hamdan was tortured and ill-treated in detention. On 15 June 2009, at his first appearance before the State Supreme Court, he declared that signed confessions being used as evidence against him were false and had only been signed as a result of the torture inflicted upon him. In November 2009, hewas handed down a prison sentence equalling the time he had already served, and was deported the day after the verdict was delivered.

Although most individuals suspected of political offences in the UAE are held incommunicado in undisclosed locations after their arrest by Amn al-Dawla, a few political detainees have been allowed to make brief and limited phone calls to their families.

Following their release or during their trials, some have spoken of the torture or other ill-treatment they have been subjected to.

Political parties are not formally permitted in the UAE; political dissent is not readily tolerated and there are severe restrictions on freedom of expression and association. Online discussion forums and political websites have been closed down or their access from the UAE blocked by the authorities. On 9 March 2011, over 130 civil and political rights activists in the UAE petitioned the President of the UAE to introduce universal, direct elections.

In April 2011 five UAE residents - the "UAE5" - were arrested. In June 2011, they were tried unfairly before the Supreme Court on criminal defamation charges relating to articles calling for political reform and others critical of some UAE government policies posted at an online forum. Amnesty International considered all five - Ahmed Mansour, a human rights activist and blogger; Nasser bin Ghaith, a university lecturer and advocate of political reform; and online activists Fahad Salim Dalk, Ahmed Abdul-Khaleq and Hassan Ali al-Khamis - to be prisoners of conscience. While held, they were targeted in a campaign of vilification on social networking sites. On 27 November 2011, Ahmed Mansour was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, while the other four received two year prison sentences. All five were released the following day after a presidential pardon, inadvance of the UAE's national day, on 2 December 2011. Despite the pardon, they still have criminal records, which should be overturned.

Name: Boqor Osman Mohamoud (Buurmadow)
UA: 2/12 Index: MDE 25/001/2012 Issue Date: 5 January 2012
http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1617


Jonathan Starr's Somali Good Deed

January 05, 2012.http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/jonathan-starrs-somali-good-deed-01052012.html

The founder of Flagg Street Capital now runs Abaarso Tech, a nonprofit that helps prepare Somaliland students for top-tier schools in the U.S. and U.K.

By Patrick Adams

Starr, here meeting parents of his students in Hargeissa, Somaliland, says generating revenue helps donors measure the NGO's success Frederic Courbet for Bloomberg Businessweek

By the time he was 27, Jonathan Starr had written a book about value investing, made his first million, and founded his own hedge fund, Flagg Street Capital, in Cambridge, Mass., not far from his hometown of Worcester. He had a fat Rolodex and a bright future in finance-only he was burning himself out. "I'm obsessive by nature, but I wanted to be obsessed with something else," he recalls.

In 2008, Starr took a trip to Somaliland, his uncle's home country, which had been devastated by civil war and was struggling to rebuild. (Although it declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, Somaliland is still internationally recognized as an autonomous region of the state.) A year later, with some $500,000 in savings, Starr founded Abaarso Tech, a nonprofit organization that helps prepare the country's brightest boys and girls for top-tier institutions in the U.S. and U.K. (Abaarso, the school's location, means "drought.") The institution is also designed, he says, to run like a business: Students pay what they can, while several revenue-generating programs-English courses, a school of finance, and an executive MBA track-make up for the shortfall in tuition.

Starr, 35, works at Abaarso all but three weeks of the year, along with two dozen teachers. "He was fanatical about investment philosophy, and he's fanatical about what he's doing now," says Anand Desai, a former colleague at SAB Capital Management. Next year, Starr will administer the first official SAT exam in Somaliland history. "We're making great progress," he says. "And soon we'll have some test scores to prove it."

Starr's Best Advice

1. Burn your ships

You aren't going to make progress in the developing world without running into a lot of roadblocks and uncomfortable situations. To succeed, you can't even consider packing up and going home.

2. Manage on the ground

You have to be able to see what works and what doesn't and to adapt quickly. Otherwise you'll spend years running plays that have no chance of succeeding.


SOMALIA: Boqor Osman Mohamoud detained in United Arab Emirates: Amnesty says

January 5th, 2012. http://www.raxanreeb.com/?p=126008

Boqor Burmadow has been known for his efforts to reconcile between rival Somali clans in northern region.

Dubai (RBC) Famous Somali traditional elder Boqor Osman Mohamoud [better knownas Burmadow] was arrested by security forces in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 17 November 2011, Amnesty International said today in a press release.

"Boqor Osman Mohamoud was arrested by security forces in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 17 November 2011 and is now being held incommunicado in conditions amounting to an enforced disappearance". Amnesty said in its press release.

"He has not had access to relatives or lawyers and he could be at risk of torture or ill-treatment". The statement added.

Burmadow, originally from the break away region of northern Somalia (Somaliland)was detained from Dubai airport shortly after he returned back from Makka, Saudi Arabia for pilgrim, sources close to the elder's relative in Hargeisa told RBC Radio.

The elder has been known for his efforts of reconciliation for rival clans in northern Somalia after the collapse of Somalia's former central government in 1991.

He has been living in exile for the last years after Somaliland administration issued a warrant of his arrest.


Ethiopian troops take across Prof Galeyd to Somaliland by force

January, 04 2012

Although it's the first time in the history Somali politician who believes Great Somalia to go throughout in Somaliland territory, indeed Prof Ali Khalif Galeydh seems that he has support from Ethiopian troops and his clan named Dhulbahante.

Taleh (Sunatimes) Former Somali Prime Minister, Prof Ali Khalif Galedh had across through some villages and towns in Somaliland while he was taken by Ethiopian polices.

Prof Ali Khalif Galeydh with some officials including former minster of mass media Mr. Abdikarim Ali Omar has arrive at Taleh district in Somalia in order to take part the conference of Dhul-bahante clan called Khatumo 2. This conference will talk about political issues because they are going to establish autonomy which independent from Somaliland and Puntland.

Moreover, talked to the Somali media after he reached at Taleh town and he stated that the conference welcomes all the Great Somalia, this speech seems that Mr Galeydhwants to annoy for Somaliland Authority.

Although it's the first time in the history Somali politician who believes Great Somalia to go throughout in Somaliland territory, indeed Prof Ali Khalif Galeydhseems that he has support from Ethiopian troops and his clan named Dhulbahante.

By the way, the minister of interior of Somaliland Mr Mohamed Nur Arale (Dur) has threatened that they will attack the conference while he was talking to the Somali VOA. "The Somaliland minster's is dream because of we would like to consult our interest so if they attack us they will fail" Said Dr Galeyd after waagacusub.com asked how he felt when he hear the threatening from Duur,Somaliland minster of interior.

By AbdiSalan Abdulle. http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1614


Somaliland arrests three local journalists in disputed northwest town

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 03 Jan 2012. Radio Bar-Kulan, Nairobi, in Somali 1600 2 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

"Somaliland police have arrested three local journalists in Laas Caanood District" of Sool Region, northwestern Somalia, for allegedly "assisting groups perpetrating violence in the district", UN backed Radio Bar-Kulan reported on 2 January.

"The three arrested journalists are working for Horn Cable TV, Universal TV and Somaliland TV respectively".

A Somaliland police officials said "the three journalists were supporting youths who are a threat to the security of the district", adds the source.


Somali clan said planning to form new administration in disputed regions

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 03 Jan 2012. Jowhar website, Mogadishu, in Somali 0000 03 Jan 12/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Preparations for the meeting of clan members that hail from [the disputed regions of ] Sool, Sanaag, and Ceyn continue as delegates that are to take part in this major meeting that is to be held town of Talex flock into town.

A function to welcome traditional elders, academics and politicians from the region who are arriving in Talex for the meeting has been held in the town. This meeting is being closely monitored after prominent Somali politicians some of whom are former senior government officials joined the talks, the security of the venue where it is being hosted having been tightened.

Former Transitional Federal Government of Somalia [TFG] prime minister Professor Ali Khalif Galeyr and the former minister for information, posts and telecommunication, Abdikarin Hasan Jama have also joined these talks said to be discussing the future of the Dhulbante sub clan [of Darod] which predominantly resides in Sool Sanaag and Ceyn Regions. Professor Ali Muhammad Galeyr said the Dhulbante sub clan will be discussing its future in this meeting whose outcome, he added, is being closely followed by the entire Somali public.

There are reports that the main reason for this meeting is the formation of a single regional administration for clans in Sool Sanaag and Ceyn Regions which has been in discussion for a while now. Both Somaliland and Puntland Administration who have in the past fought over control of these regions are weary of these talks and are keeping a close eye on its outcome. Somaliland has said it would oppose any decision that threaten its existence and rejected the talks. Reports also indicate that the former TFG minister of information, posts and telecommunication, Abdikarin Hasan Jama'a plans to re-launch himself in Somali politics and is vying for the position of the president of the new regional administration is to be formed.

Abdikarin in his time as a former director of the Somali Presidency, Villa Somalia, managed to secure meeting between officials of the Sool Sanaag and Ceyn [SSC] rebel group and President Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad marking the beginning of the conflict between the TFG president and the leader of the Puntland Administration, Abdirahman Farole.


Somaliland: End Forced Return of Refugees

Authorities Deport 15 Refugees, 5 Asylum Seekers to Ethiopia

January 4, 2012

Somaliland should be protecting, not trampling on, the most basic rights of refugees. The authorities should immediately account for this group's forcible return and issue a public reassurance that refugees and asylum seekers won't be deported in the future.

Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch (Nairobi) - The Somaliland authorities should cease forcibly returning refugees and asylum seekers to possible persecution in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 28, authorities returned 20 Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers in violation of the fundamental international refugee law prohibition against "refoulement," the forcible return of anyone to persecution or to a place where their life or freedom is threatened.

The Interior Ministry confirmed the deportations at a January 1 news conference. Shortly before they were deported, an international humanitarian worker met the group on December 28, at the immigration office in Wajale, on the border with Ethiopia.

"Somaliland should be protecting, not trampling on, the most basic rights of refugees," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "The authorities should immediately account for this group's forcible return and issue a public reassurance that refugees and asylum seekers won't be deported in the future."

Local sources told Human Rights Watch that police arrested the group on December 22, during a meeting between refugee leaders and Somaliland officials at the Interior Ministry in Hargeisa. They were discussing the situation of about 1,000 Ethiopians camped on premises known as the Social Welfare Centre, run by an international nongovernmental organization for refugees and migrants in Hargeisa.

The group was initially detained at Hargeisa's central police station. Local lawyers working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) visited the group in detention. On December 28, police told the lawyers the group had been transferred to an undisclosed location, UNHCR said.

UNHCR said that fifteen members of the group were registered refugees and five were registered asylum seekers.

At the January 1 news conference, Somaliland authorities threatened further deportations, saying that refugees and others currently occupying the Social Welfare Centre would be deported if they did not vacate the premises. No date was given for future deportations.

Somaliland ended all registration of asylum seekers in 2008. UNHCR estimates that at least 20,000 undocumented foreigners are in Somaliland, including unknown numbers of Ethiopians and others who want to claim asylum. International law prohibits the deportation of anyone seeking asylum prior to a fair determination of their status.

Large numbers flee Ethiopia to escape persecution every year. Previously returned refugees have been detained by the authorities. Torture is common in Ethiopia's prisons. Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, after the demise of Somalia's last functioning government. No country has recognized Somaliland's claim of statehood. Human Rights Watch takes no position on whether Somaliland should be internationally recognized as an independent country.

http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/04/somaliland-end-forced-return-refugees


LITERACY AND NUMERACY GRADUATION FOR 1200 YOUTH AND ADULTS IN BURAO

02 January 2012
For more pictures, check: Nagaad Network, Hargeisa.

Nagaad Network has been implementing an integrated project(2009-2012) entitled "Enhancing women's participation in both rural and urban level decision making at all levels of society in Togdheer region''. The project was funded by International Solidarity Foundation (ISF) who is a long-term donor of NAGAAD since 2001. The project targets 30 villages in Togdheer region for enhancing gender equality in the decision-making of the region in question.

On 2009, NAGAAD registered 1522 students and out of those 1027 graduated (679 females and 348 males). On 2010, the network also registered 1500 students where 890 of the graduated (537 female and 353 male). The number of drop outs were quite a lot and this was because there recurrent and long-lasted droughts where many people move around in pursuit of pasture and water.

On 31 December 2011, Nagaad network organized the graduation ceremony for 1200 literacy and numeracy graduates where 801 of them were females while 399 are male. In the graduation ceremony, the executive director of NAGAAD Network, Togdheer Governor, Mayor of Burao District, Regional Officer for the ministry education and police commanders, and Ministry of labor and social affairs also participated.

The Executive Director of the Network Ms Nafisa Yusuf Mohamed deeply elaborated the mandate of the Network. She has highlighted this literacy and numeracy program is grounded to NAGAAD's education theme where the Network will offer such and similar initiatives in the region and entirely in the country. She also thanked to ISF country coordinator Ms Airi Kahara for her contribution to the development process of the country specifically Togdheer and Sanaag in which they have been funding for the last recent years.

There were also respective speeches from the mayor, the governor, and other officials that have proved potential encouragement for the students and also appreciated the work of NAGAAD Network and the donor (International Solidarity Foundation).

In conclusion, the scenery was very beautiful where traditional elders from the respective villages, students themselves, and the entire participants of the graduation were very happy and vowed sustainability as far as the education service is concerned. The graduation was concluded in a very responsive atmosphere with full appreciation.

http://www.nagaad.org/lag/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79:literacy-and-numeracy-graduation-for-1200-youth-and-adults-in-burao&catid=31:news&Itemid=46


Somalia: Khaatumo conference unsettles Somaliland ruling elite

January 2nd, 2012. http://www.raxanreeb.com/?p=125378

Somaliland Minister for Interior, Mohamed Nur Arale, told the London-based Universal TV that Somaliland administration supported the Khaatumo conference currently being held in the historic town of Taleex but that it will not allow anti-Somaliland politicians to manipulate the meeting. "We will not accept any anti-Somaliland declaration because malcontents with Somali flags are now attending the meeting," Arale said.

Nearly one year ago a meeting for diaspora groups of Sool and Sanaag and Cayn Diaspora (Consultative Conference of Beesha Dhulbahante ) was held . A 14-point declaration based on six principles was issued. Three of the principles are:

- Unity and territorial integrity of Somalia
- Democratic self-governance and the abiding rights to resistance against aggression
- Peaceful political dialogue in managing conflicts

The first principle is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1863 (2009) while the second and third principles emphasise peaceful resolution of conflict rather than clan warfare.

Somalilad Minister for Interior called some participants in Taleex conference qaran-dumis ( elements bent on destroying the nation). Somaliland administration prides itself on being a good example of governance while many parts of Somali were affected by civil war but the language of its Interior Minister shows that Somaliland feels unsettled by a conference for people who don't subscribe to secession.

Nearly 14 months ago Somaliland administration of president Ahmed Siilaanyo mishandled Kalshaale incident (Somaliland Government Erred on Kalshaale Decree) by ordering his troops, known to him as national army, to be on the side of his clansmen , a decision to which Declaration of the Consultative Conference referred as "war campaigns waged against our people." Somalia's political turmoil is partly fuelled by reluctance and refusal to candidly discuss political problems in a non-dogmatic and bigoted approach. Somaliland administration will be undermining its achievements if it continues poking its nose into meeting for leaders of clan that supports peaceful coexistence and political unity of Somalia.

Liban Ahmad.libahm@gmail.com


Gomaa Welcomes Cooperation With Somaliland

AllAfrica.com [Washington] 29 Dec 2011.

Egypt's Mufti Ali Gomaa has welcomed cooperation with Somaliland to boost Sharia and justice research.

In a meeting with visiting Somaliland Presidential Affairs Minister Hirsi Ali Haji Hassan on Wednesday 28/12/2011, Gomaa said the Egyptian Ifta House is willing to contribute to promoting the moderate teachings of Islam in Somaliland.

He made it clear the Ifta House is ready to offer support in training and guidance to correct wrong ideas about Islam.


NAGAAD ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY (GA CONFERENCE)

Tuesday, 27 December 2011
http://www.nagaad.org

On 24th December 2011, NAGAAD NETWORK held the annual general assembly at Crown hotel. In this GA meeting all the 46 member organizations participated where 16 of them came from the regions where they do operate accordingly. The Network BOD organized the conference in a very attractive and responsive manner where the participants proved ahead and towards developed women's network. This is because the network started its operation from scratch in 1997 with few member organizations and the 2011 GA meeting, developed network was the paramount feature.

The BOD members of the Network took the led as one of their core responsibilities and prepared a platform of convenience and responding organizational atmosphere. Prior of the meeting day, all concerned member organizations were invited and informed where in case those from the regions may get sufficient time to arrive to the capital city and also provide transportation (dynamic bus) to those in need.

On Thursday 24th, member organizations attended the session at around afternoon and the essence of the meeting started with beautiful environment. The chairlady opened the session and welcome all the member participants. Before the official assembly, there were attractive talk shows depicting the achievements of the Network since last year. There were also other events which appeared from the projector.

The chairlady Mrs Kaltun presented the achievements, lessons learnt, challenges and opportunities of the network to the member participants. Common Pot Fund Policy was also discussed with Nagaad's member organizations and also what have been done so far since last year (2010). Member organizations themselves showed very much interest and shared their achievements and milestones respectively.

In conclusion therefore, this General Assembly was very different and unique since there were potential and tangible achievements realized by the Network secretariat. Fundraising has been strongly built and this has led the development of the Network where NAGAAD's visibility became more popular than before. The member organizations themselves also shared a lot in reference to their respective operations and agreed mutual cooperation between the two. Participants also appreciated the financial contribution of various donors such as Oxfam Novib, HBF, ISF, Progressio, CARE, UNDP, TS, UN Women, etc and also EC, USAID and DFID who are the central providers of all these funds.

http://www.nagaad.org/lag/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=78:nagaad-annual-general-assembly-ga-conference&catid=31:news&Itemid=46


Somalia: Stuck in Somaliland

Posted on December 26, 2011
Mark Anderson, Hargeisa, Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Ethiopian asylum seekers in de facto independent Somaliland are increasingly feeling unsafe in their host country. But returning to Ethiopia is not an option.

In 2006, Tesfy Assefa fled Ethiopia after having been accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an organisation deemed a terrorist group by the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front.

His father had been killed and his mother beaten in front of him. Leaving Harar in the middle of the night, he found a ride to Jijiga and then caught a minibus to Wojale, the border town between Ethiopia and Somaliland, before arriving in Hargeisa, the Somaliland capital.

He has lived there ever since. "I could never go back to Ethiopia, my life would be in danger," he says, now aged 28. "I worry for my wife and my son. But here it's dangerous now, too."

Subsistence allowance

Assefa is one of a group of 1700 Ethiopian political refugees living in Hargeisa. Initially, life here wasn't all that bad. Most of the asylum seekers were living in ordinary houses. Others were housed at the Social Welfare Centre under the care of the NGO Save the Children.

They were all protected by international law, and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) gave a number of them a subsistence allowance. Early this year, however, UNHCR stopped providing cases with assistance, the idea being to stimulate people to integrate more in Somaliland society.

Some of the group found steady work upon arriving in Hargeisa, taking advantage of their good education in Ethiopia. They found jobs as teachers, construction workers, waiters or cooks. The most successful asylum seekers even managed to assume positions of power as businessmen or financial managers.

Religious divide

But many still were not suitable for employment, as they were poorly educated or not educated at all. Adding to the already strained relationship between Ethiopians and Somalis is a religious divide between the Orthodox Christian belief of the Oromos and the deep Islamic values that shape Somaliland's society.

Zubir Mohammed, a 36-year-old teacher, arrived in Hargeisa in 2007, after he was caught collecting money for the OLF. He says that there are many problems amongst the group:

"We have no clean water, no toilets, no food and no security. The police have started to arrest us because they want us to leave. But we have nowhere else to go."

Hospital withholds treatment

Several weeks ago, local authorities passed a law banning undocumented foreign workers from being employed in the semi-autonomous republic. Mohammed says he was making good money working at a private school, but since the law has been passed he has stopped going to work.

"When I started three years ago, I was making 230 euros a month. But then there was a conflict between the Ethiopian and Somali owners of the school, and they began to see me only as Ethiopian. They cut my salary to 115 euros, but in fact they haven't paid me at all."

A few days ago, Mohammed's daughter gave birth in the grounds of the Social Welfare Centre. The Hargeisa Group Hospital refused to admit her, despite her being sick with diarrhoea, and was forced to give birth at the centre. Two days ago, Mohammed's granddaughter died from untreated sickness.

Intimidations

As hostilities from the general public increase, the group has accused the local authorities of refusing to protect them. Ahamed Mohammed says the police outside the Social Welfare Centre gave him a black eye because he tried to leave the compound to find food for his baby daughter. Other asylum seekers claim that such attempts to intimidate them are part of the wider society's desire to force them out.

"I cannot return to Ethiopia, but every day I feel more unsafe in this country," says Mohammed. "The only solution is that the world starts paying attention to us and our terrible situation. We urge Human Rights Watch and UNHCR to take action and protect us."

Virtually all of the asylum seekers have given up hope of a future in Somaliland. As each day passes, more people in the group are planning to escape to a third country, whether through legal or illegal means.

Source: Radio Netherlands. http://allafrica.com/stories/201112260212.html


Editorial says formation of extremist party poses threat to Somaliland's peace

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 23 Dec 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 17 Dec 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC.

Two ugly events took place recently in Somaliland: the murders in Seemaal and the announcement of the formation of an extremist religious party called Hizbullah. The government's response to these two events, however, was a study in contrast. In the case of the murders in Seemaal, the government took immediate action and mobilized substantial resources to handle the situation, and rightly so. But in the case of the announcement of the formation of an extremist religious organization called Hizbullah (the Party of God) in its capital, there was no government response to speak of. It is not clear why the government decided to keep quiet and to do nothing regarding the matter of Hizbullah, but there is little doubt that this new organization poses a threat to Somaliland's peace and security. All one has to do is listen to its leaders speak for a couple of minutes, and one will quickly conclude that this organization has no loyalty to Somaliland' s independence or political system. Actually, it is not just that they do not have any loyalty to Somaliland, they want to abolish Somaliland's constitution. The irony here is that these people are trying to take advantage of Somaliland's recent decision to allow political parties in order to establish themselves, but their intention is nothing short of dismantling Somaliland. The attack on the constitution is only the first step. This is the same tactic that the Islamic Courts, which later showed its true face as al-Shabab, used to gain power in the south.

Hizbullah and other like-minded groups and individuals should be told that Somalilanders are very much aware of such tactics and will not allow their country to become another South Somalia. They should also be told that yes Somalilanders do believe in freedom and fair competition, but anyone who wants to participate in Somaliland's political process must adhere in words and deed to Somaliland's constitution.

Somaliland's government should have been the first to send this message, but, so far, it has not. Many people are wondering why? We are still waiting for Somaliland government's response to this dangerous development.


Mindesta Options First Mineral Exploration Permits Issued by Republic of Somaliland

OTTAWA, CANADA, Dec 19, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Mindesta Inc. ("Mindesta" or the "Company") /quotes/zigman/5974887 MDST 0.00% wishes to announce that it has decided to focus its efforts on mineral exploration in East Africa, and in particular the Republic of Somaliland and Ethiopia, as it believes the region has very attractive geology and an improving political environment. As initial steps in executing this strategy, the Company has appointed C. Tucker Barrie Ph.D., P. Geo. as Vice President, Corporate Development and has entered into an option agreement to earn up to an 80 per cent interest in, and ultimately acquire 100% of, the first two mineral exploration permits issued by the Republic of Somaliland.

Dr. Barrie has 20 years of experience in mineral exploration with expertise in VMS and Ni-Cu-PGE deposits, as well as orogenic gold and porphyry Cu deposits. He has authored 40 publications, is an adjunct professor at two Canadian Universities, and is a recognized expert with a great deal of practical experience in the Arabia/Nubian Shield. Mindesta intends to acquire additional permits based on Mr. Barrie's extensive contacts and expertise in the region.

Option Agreement

Mindesta has entered in an option agreement with Nubian Gold Corporation ("Nubian"), a privately owned Ontario company, which holds title to two 2,000km2 mineral exploration permits, Arapsyo and Qabri Bahar, which are the first two ever issued by the Republic of Somaliland. Under the option agreement, Mindesta can earn a 50% interest in both permits by incurring total exploration expenditures of $2 million within two years and can increase its interest to 80 per cent by completing a bankable feasibility study. Mindesta is required to make an upfront cash payment of $100,000 to Nubian as compensation for expenses incurred, and the first $750,000 of exploration expenditures represents a firm commitment. Mindesta also has the option to acquire all of Nubian's remaining interest in the permits at fair market value at any time after incurring the first $750,000 of exploration expenditures.

The Nubian Shield encompasses parts of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Somaliland and is host to many major mineral deposits including Bisha in Eritrea, Sukari in Egypt, and five gold/base metal mines in Saudi Arabia that are owned and operated by Ma'aden Gold, the state mining company. Somaliland has over 30,000km2 of exposed Precambrian rocks. Extensive sampling and mapping by the British, US and Russians in the 1970s identified a number of areas that are anomalous in gold, copper, lead, zinc and nickel. Nubian's permits cover the most prospective areas and it initiated a stream sediment, prospecting and sampling program in September, 2011 to define potential drill targets. Results are expected in the first quarter of 2012. The program is being supervised by Remi Bosc who has 15 years of experience as a mineral exploration, resource and mining geologist in Europe, Africa and south-east Asia. He started his career with the French Bureau of Geological and Mining Research ("BRGM") and was project geologist during the discovery of the Tasiast deposit in Mauritania.

Gregory Bowes, CEO of Mindesta stated that: "Our announced plan to distribute Mindesta's investment in Northern Graphite Corporation to shareholders by way of a pro rate dividend in kind closes one chapter in the Company's history and the option agreement with Nubian is the beginning of another. While the new strategy is not without risk, the Company has achieved first mover status in an area of the world which we believe has very attractive geology and an underappreciated political situation. After the record date for the dividend, Mindesta plans to raise additional financing for its exploration activities and will investigate seeking a listing in Canada subject to the completion of all corporate and regulatory requirements and approvals."

Gregory Bowes, CEO and a director of Mindesta, is a major shareholder of Nubian and therefore the option agreement with Nubian represents a related party transaction. The transaction was approved by all of the independent directors of the Company with Mr. Bowes abstaining from voting. The independent committee approved the transaction following a review of, among other things:

1. A geological report by Mr. Tucker Barrie who visited the permits and who is a Qualified Person under NI 43-101.
2. A budget and work program proposed by Mr. Remi Bosc who visited the permits and is a Qualified Person under NI 43-101.
3. Similar joint venture agreements relating to early stage exploration projects in Africa.

The potential acquisition of the balance of Nubian's interest in the permits would be subject to a fairness opinion and to a shareholder vote.

About Somaliland

The Republic of Somaliland is located on the Red Sea between Djibouti to the west, Somalia to the east and Ethiopia to the south. Somaliland is a former British colony that gained its independence in 1960 and became a member of the United Nations. Somaliland subsequently agreed to join Italian Somaliland, in an informal partnership that was never ratified by their respective parliaments, to form the greater "Somalia". Following the collapse of the Somalia government in 1992, Somaliland withdrew from the partnership and reasserted its independence. While the rest of the world has not yet officially recognized Somaliland's "re-independence", the Company anticipates this will happen based on the fact that Somaliland has held three free, fair, and non-violent elections, it jails pirates and extremists, and it is one of the few functioning democracies in Africa and the Middle East.

About Mindesta

Mindesta is a junior exploration company that trades on the OTCBB and is an SEC registrant current on all 10k and 10Q filings. The Company has approximately 8.9 million shares outstanding.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by the use of statements that include words such as "could", "potential", "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "plan", "likely", "will" or other similar words or phrases. These statements are only current predictions and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our or our industry's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Contacts: Mindesta Inc. Gregory Bowes CEO. (613) 241-9959
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mindesta-options-first-mineral-exploration-permits-issued-by-republic-of-somaliland-2011-12-19-71220?reflink=MW_news_stmp


Somaliland Police Detain Islamist Leader

Sheikh Gelle Accused of Undermining Government

By JD 12/19/2011

Somaliland Billboard Promoting Int'l Recognition

On Monday, police from Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland detained Shiekh Mohamoud Abdulahi Gelle, who had formed an Islamist political party in Hargeisa last week named Hizbullah, senior officials told Somalia Report.

Shiekh Mohamoud Abdullahi Gelle, speaking at the opening ceremony for his party in Hargiesa last week, gave his Islamist party the name 'Hizbullah' (Party of God), and declared that the aim of the party would be to govern Somaliland under Islamic law, not by democratic ideals. He also said that his party is religious and not political. A Somaliland police officer confirmed to Somalia Report that police had detained Sheikh Gelle in Hargiesa. "Police arrested and detained Shiekh Mohamoud Abdulaahi Gelle. He is free to create a new party, but he delegitimised our administration, and is creating insecurity," said a police officer in Hargeisa who cannot be named. Officers said that a trial will be held as soon as possible. Under the Somaliland constitution, it is prohibited to form a political party based on religious ideology.

A witness in Hargeisa told Somalia Report that Sheikh Gelle was taken by police from his Qur'anic school where he was teaching, and brought to Koodbuu police station.

Hizbullah members condemned the state's action against their chairman in a statement released on Monday, demanding that the government release Shiekh Gelle.

"We are saddened that the government detained our chairman Sheikh Gelle. We request the state to release the chairman without any conditions. We are a religious party and our aim is to control the whole state according to the Islamic religion," wrote a spokesman of Hizbullah Party, in a press release today. "To arrest our chairman is not fair, it's far from justice. He is not a criminal. I would like to ask the government: if you want to control your region under Islam, is that a crime?" he added.

There have been dozens of new political parties announced in Somaliland in recent months, and the deadline to form parties is December 28th. Elections are planned for early 2012, and only three parties will be selected to run for office.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2366/Somaliland_Police_Detain_Islamist_Leader


Somaliland forces arrest suspects over plot to carry out attacks

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 17 Dec 2011. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 17 Dec 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. Text of report by privately-owned Somali Shabeelle Media Network website on 17 December

Somaliland forces have this morning conducted security operations in Laas Caanood town, Sool Region.

Reports from Laas Caanood say security operations are under in the town in which a number of people including businessmen have been arrested.

Security officials said the operations follows an intelligence report received that group of people have come to commit insecurity acts in the town.

The number of arrested people suspected to be behind the insecurity acts in the town remains unclear. The suspects were taken to a police station in the town.

A number of Somaliland officials have been assassinated in Laas Caanood in the past. Laas Caanood has remained relatively peaceful in recent past.

Credit: Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 17 Dec 11


Somaliland Forms Women's Political Party

NDP Banking on Somaliland Womens' Votes

By SHIINE OMAR 12/17/2011

A new coalition political party, the National Democratic Party (NDP) with a woman leader, has been formed in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland.

The new party represents several other political parties in the country and is expected to get much support from Somaliland women.

In an exclusive interview with Somalia Report, Fawzia Adam, the leader of the new party, said her party intended to work with other social movements and interested parties in Somalia before the next elections.

A founder member of Hargeisa University and a political activist in the bullet-ridden Horn of African nation, Adam ran as an independent presidential candidate in the 2003 Somaliland elections attracting a paltry 37 per cent of the total presidential votes

But this time round, she says she is optimistic.

"As NDP leader, I will ensure that my party wins the next general elections and I am hopeful that I will be the first woman president of this country," she told Somalia Report.

She said that if elected, she would prioritize enhancing Somalia's tainted education and health sectors as well as developing the country's dilapidated infrastructure.

Faisal Ali Warabe, the leader of UCID, another political party allied to NDP, welcomed the move saying it would encourage Somali women to take part in the country's political process.

"The NDP will put the national interest before our political ambitions and will work hard to establish democracy in our country," she said.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2344/Somaliland_Forms_Womens_Political_Party


MPs condemn UN envoy for allegedly backing Somaliland's recognition bid

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 13 Dec 2011. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 13 Dec 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. Text of report by privately-owned Somali Shabeelle Media Network website

Somali MPs have held a meeting in Mogadishu in which they condemned recent statement by the United Nations Special Envoy to Somalia, Augustine Mahiga in which he said Somaliland was worthy of recognition.

The MP accused the UN envoy to planning to break the country into regions and asked the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia [TFG] to make urgent decisions against the UN envoy to Somalia. Muhammad Abdi Yusuf, an MP who was among those that addressed the meeting condemned the UN envoy over statements he made in Hargeysa during a recent visit and said he is the Somali people's enemy.

Abdi Hashi, another MP said a decision needs to be made on Mahiga as he is more of a hindrance than help he said. MPs attending the meeting agreed that the unity of Somalia as whole was of great importance and non negotiable and urged the government to safeguard the unity of both the public and the country as a whole and work on efforts to bring together the entire nation.


Somaliland minister rejects alleged media suppression

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 13 Dec 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 10 Dec 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. Text of report in English by Somali newspaper The Somaliland Times website on 10 December

Somaliland Minister of Information, Ahmad Abdi Habsade strongly defended Somaliland government from charges that it suppresses the media. Explaining his government's policy, he said they respect the freedom of the press, but at the same time he also warned against the media's spreading of baseless news. He particularly called on the media to show restraint in times when incidents occur that could lead to tribal conflict.

The Information Minister condemned the killings of three individuals that took place in Seemaal, and appealed to the communities of Gabiley and Awdal regions to keep the peace. Mr Habsade had just come back from Sanaag Region where he went to mediate between feuding clans. Haatuf newspaper caught up with him as he got back and gave it a brief interview in which he made the above statements.


Somaliland Officials Meet with UK, Wales Parliamentarians

13 December 2011 10:10 NewBusinessEthiopia.com

Officials of Somaliland, the nation which still didn't get recognition as an independent nation from the United Nations and the African Union so far, have made an official visit to the United Kingdom (UK) and Wales and met with their parliamentarians.

Ahmed Omar Haji Abdillahi, Governor of Hargesia Region and Chairman of Somaliland Governor Association, is among the officials who talked to the parliamentarians of UK and Wales during his tour of the UK Somaliland Communities, according to the press statement Wales Somaliland Communities dispatched to the media.

During the two weeks long visit , the Somaliland delegations held talks with Rt. Hon. Alun Michael, MP and Chairman of UK Parliament - All Party Parliamentary Group for Somaliland, Rt. Hon. Peter Hain, MP and Shadow Wales Secretary of State, Mr. Kevin Brennan,MP and all four Cardiff Assembly Members namely Mr. Vaughan Gething, AM, Ms. Julie Morgan, AM, Mr. Mark Drake, AM and Ms. Jenny Ruthbone, AM and all with large constituent from the Somali Community .

The Somaliland Delegations briefed the Parliamentarians and Somaliland Community members on the current situation of Somaliland using documentations such Somaliland Five Year Plan, Somaliland Vision for 2030 and from their first hand knowledge of the situation of Somaliland. The Delegations attended the Labour Party, Annual Muslim Eid Party, as well Banquet hosted by the Somaliland Community members for their honour of the visitors from Somaliland.

"We are delighted by warmth welcome and reception from all sections of the Somaliland Community of Wales, youth, Community elders, and women's and their elected Parliamentarian Members in Wales and UK Parliament,' said Rt. Hon. Ahmed Omar Haji Abdillahi, Chairman of Governor Association and Mr. Osman Saed, Somaliland Vice -President Advisor.

"We in Somaliland value the friendship between Wales and Somaliland based on century old historical settlement and we appreciate Wales Somaliland Community for their extra ordinary support to their homeland. The Delegation strongly advocated in maintaining and further developing an effective and long lasting mutual partnership between our two countries institutions both Parliaments and Governments and our people and we fully endorsed the Somaliland community crucial role in acting play as Ambassadors for the UK and Somaliland in an ever changing world."

Somaliland declared independence in 1991 after the overthrow of Somali military dictator Siad Barre. Leaders of the Somaliland argue that even though Somaliland appears to fulfil all the requirements of statehood, the lack of international recognition has been preventing it from establishing its position in the world as an independent nation.

In the wake of birth of Southern Sudan as independent republic, Somaliland hopes that the African Union and international community will follow suit to recognize the efforts made by Somaliland people in maintaining functioning government and flourishing democracy in the region.

In the leaked cables the United States acknowledges the Somaliland government is in control of the region. However, they have withheld recognition to Somaliland on grounds that the African Union should determine the question of Somaliland's independence.

In turn, the African Union refuses to recognize Somaliland based on fears that doing so would lead to a series of claims of secession by other territories in Africa.

Moreover, the African Union believes that recognizing Somaliland would create further instability in Somalia by introducing "a new dynamic into Somalia and its warring factions, thus threatening current efforts to establish peace and stabilize peace within the country. Furthermore, the African Union further basis its position on their history of upholding the borders demarked following colonization to deter tribal claims of secession."

http://www.newbusinessethiopia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=666:somaliland-officials-meet-with-uk-wales-parliamentarians-&catid=13:regional-politics&Itemid=6


Two killed as rival Islamist groups reportedly clash in northwestern Somalia

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 12 Dec 2011. SomaliaReport.com, in English 12 Dec 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC Text of report in English by US-registered Somali news website Somalia Report on 12 December

Two people were killed and four others wounded when two rival groups of the Islamist insurgents Al-Shabab exchanged fire with each other in Taleeh District of the Sool Region [northwestern Somalia], locals said on Monday.

The fighting occurred late on Sunday, witnesses told Somalia Report. The clash broke out after militant fighters from Sool Region fired at other members of the Al-Shabab from Garoowe, Puntland's commercial city. "We can't talk about this yet," a local resident, who witnessed the clash, said.

According to police sources, a local prominent businessman and another person were killed during the fighting, while four people, among them a journalist, sustained serious wounds. "We are now investigating the cause of the differences," a police source said.

Majority of the inhabitants of Sool Region belong to the Dhulbahante (Daarood) clan whose members are divided over if the region lies in Puntland or Somaliland. Other members claim that the region should have its autonomy. "Both groups were from the region. The group that killed the businessman comes from Garoowe while the other group that started the shooting hails from Taleeh area," a resident in Sool Region who did not want to be named told Somalia Report.


Somaliland leader replaces military commander

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 12 Dec 2011. Jowhar website, Mogadishu, in Somali 0000 12 Dec 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC Text of report by privately-owned Jowhar news portal

The Somaliland President, Ahmad Muhammad Silanyo, has today dismissed and replaced the region's military commander, General Nux Ismail.

A decree was issued at the office of the Somaliland leader in which the Commander for the Somaliland military was dismissed. General Muhammad Hasan has been appointed as the new commander and is expected to take over from his predecessor. The spokesman for the Somaliland presidency, Abdullahi Muhammad Dahir Cukuse announced the dismissal of General Tani but refrained giving reasons for his dismissal.

General Nur Ismail Tani has been in the position for the last eight years and served under the previous administration led by President Dahir Riyale Kahin. The reason for his dismissal from the position is not yet known. The current Somaliland administration which has been in office for one and a half years now has in recent times been appointing new armed commanders in the national forces.


Journalists' leader arrested, registration of media houses suspended

By: National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) 08/12/2011 14:12 GMT

MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 8, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) denounces the arrest and brief detention of Hassan Mohamed Yusuf, Chairman of Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA).

Yusuf was arrested on Wednesday, 7 December, around 09:40am inside Hargeisa District Court by police from Somaliland's Criminal Investigations Department (CID), led by colonel Dahir Abrar Muse, while he was attending hearing of defamation case against him and Hargeisa Star newspaper where Yusuf used to be Editor-in-chief.

The complainant is Somaliland's Minister for Presidential Affairs Mr Hersi Haji Ali Hassan who claims that he was "defamed" after the newspaper reportedly published last year an article on misappropriation of half a million US dollar by the Minister. Yusuf refuses the responsibility of the publication of this article, as he was that time out of the Country for medical reasons in Djibouti

NUSOJ was reliably informed that Somaliland Attorney General Hassan Adan ordered arrest of SOLJA chairman after the association strongly condemned Aden's recent decision to temporarily suspend the registration of new private media houses in Somaliland.

"The continuation of defamation cases against journalists in Somaliland is a major obstacle for free press. We denounce the arrest and detention of Hassan Mohamed Yusuf," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

Hassan Mohamed Yusuf, who currently works for Radio Hargeisa, was freed after more than 2 hours of detention at the CID headquarters, according to fellow journalists.

NUSOJ joins SOLJA in demanding the end of suspension of registration of new private media houses by Somaliland's Attorney General.

Provided by PR Newswire: http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/somalia-journalists-leader-arrested-207500.html


NAGAAD Conducted an Assessment on Interested Women Candidates for the 2012 Local Government Elections.

Hargeisa. 07 December 2011

The first democratic Local Government elections is expected to be held on mid 2012 in a political atmosphere of party campaigns. Women representatives in the local government institutions were almost zero where there are only two females out of 285 seats. This was total discrimination and yet women are majority of the population and even the voters. In addition to that, those councils diverted their responsibilities into political scheme and they have never narrated a single legislative policy for the local governments since they were the first group elected.

NAGAAD Network was in a process of assessing the women candidates for the coming local government elections. To achieve this trend, the executive director organized two groups each contained three to collect the data. One group was allocated to work on Maroodijeex and Awdal regions and the other group was allocated to the rest of the regions (Sahil, Sanaag, Togdheer and Sool). A group contained member from BOD and two other staff from the secretariat conducted two day assessment in Borama the capital city of AWDAL region. The group recorded so far six candidates from different political parties including those newly announced.

On 23rd November, 2011 another group also conducted the same data collection in four regions (Sahil, Sanaag, Togdheer and Sool). The assessment proved that women have potential interest to participate in the coming local government elections. In Erigavo and Burao, there were women political aspirants who have motivated interest for both local government and parliamentary elections.

During the process, it has been organized to fill simple questionnaires depicting the respective political parties in which they belong, the municipality, the possible voters for women, their expectations and whether they have been given relevant training to campaigns. The questionnaire was also included how women candidates target in reference financial resources.

After talk shows and simple interviews with women candidates, Nagaad also organized traditional dances as public gathering to support the selected candidates in question. In Borama and Erigavo, the best traditional dances in Somaliland was conducted and recorded. At the sight, women candidates vowed women's support and encouraged others to join. For the case of Borama all candidates were given brief introduction by themselves and also why are they contesting for the coming local government elections highlighting the needs of the community in particular women and children.

The traditional dances as well the respective speeches of the candidates were aired out in the local media. This has been watched by the public from TVs, and also listened from radios. Upon the release of the information, there are other women candidates who have been inspired by the news and again called for registration.

In conclusion, NAGAAD aimed at this assessment to realize the preliminary number of women political aspirants and also take clear intervention to show public that women have potential interest in the decision making and the development process of Somaliland at large. The number will increase from to time as we approach towards the local government elections on 2012.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 December 2011 08:32 ) http://www.nagaad.org/lag/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75:nagaad-conducted-an-assessment-on-interested-women-candidates-for-the-2012-local-government-elections&catid=31:news&Itemid=46


Somaliland Presidential guard Hits Haatuf Reporter on the Face at Hargeysa Airport

http://www.starafrica.com

MOGADISHU, Somalia, November 30, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the continued harassment against the journalists in Somaliland, after one of the Somaliland's presidential guards slapped a reporter for the independent newspaper, Haatuf, on the face on Monday morning around 11:00am local time, amid celebrations to welcome President Siilaanyo' return was underway at the Hargeysa airport.

Journalist Naasir Adan Nawaa, a repoter for an independent Newspaper paper, Haatuf, based in Hargeysa, was trying the cover the event, when one of the presidential guards attacked and slapped him on the face, singling out among dozen journalists at the airport, according to local journalists.

"I don't know why this policeman attacked me in the midst of the dozen journalists," Naasir Adan Nawa told NUSOJ, "I was taking photographs when the policeman hit me unexpectedly on the face."

"It was around 11:00am on Monday morning, It was expected the president to arrive from Djibouti." Mr. Nawaa added.

Somaliland is a relative safe regions of nothern SomaliaUnprecedented attacks against journalists have been one of the biggest challenges the journalists face, sometimes facing arrests, intimidation, legal procedures etc. The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the act and calls the Somaliland Authorities to cease the attacks against the press.

"Slapping the Journalist's face on duty by presidential guard is inhuman and deliberate act of abuse," Mohamed Ibrahim, the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists said, "We demand from the Somaliland authorities to end the impunity and call upon to cease the attacks against the journalists." On Oct. 27, 2011, Mohamed Abdi Kahin, who works for both a Somali new website Ramaas and Royal Television 24 respectively, was seriously beaten by Somaliland police at Shacabka neighborhood in Hargeysa, in proud daylight. The police accused the journalist for taking recently published photographs.


One killed as Somaliland soldiers clash in Sool Region

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 29 Nov 2011. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 29 Nov 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC Text of report by privately-owned Somali Shabeelle Media Network website on 29 November

A confrontation involving Somaliland army that caused death and injuries has occurred in Laas Caanood, Sool Region.

According to reports from Laas Caanood, a battle involving Somaliland army erupted in a locality under Laas Caanood District.

Local residents said the confrontation broke out following quarrel over arms. The fighting resulted in death and injuries.

One person is reported to have died and three others injured. All the casualties were the soldiers involved in the gunfight. Tension is still high in the town as the soldiers take up positions.

More Somaliland soldiers were sent to Laas Caanood to intervene between the rival soldiers. Somaliland government has so far not issued any statement regarding the incident.


Somaliland Soldiers Fight Amongst Selves

One Dead, Three Injured in Sool Battle

By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 11/29/2011

At least one soldier was killed and three others injured when Somaliland forces fought amongst themselves for unknown reasons in a small village called Yagori, 60 kilometers north of Las Anod in Sool region, officials and residents said.

"Two sections of Somaliland troops - groups of seven and nine - fought in Yagori village on Tuesday," Keys Ahmed Hajji, Somaliland Governor of Las Anod District, told Somalia Report. "It's not clear why they fought, but we are investigating."

Unconfirmed reports from the locals say the fighting was clan-related.

Sool is part of the Sool, Sanaag and Cayn region, which is disputed by Puntland, Somaliland and a separatist movement.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2153/Somaliland_Soldiers_Fight_Amongst_Selves


Edna shares her humanitarian vision with TED

Image Caption: The hospital has trained some 200 nurses and 150 midwives; Ismail hopes to multiply this effect. (ednahospital.org)Nov 28, 2011 - 14:10

If an elderly woman can build a hospital, everyone has the potential to move humanitarian mountains if they put their mind to it, says Edna Adan Ismail.

Ismail is a former foreign minister of Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia. swissinfo.ch talked to the 74-year-old director and founder of Somaliland's first teaching hospital following her talk on Sunday at the TEDxRCý event in Geneva.

The TEDx talks were held ahead of the four-day International Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which opened in the western Swiss city on Monday. The meeting takes place every four years aimed at strengthening international humanitarian law and humanitarian action.

TED is a global non-profit organisation devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading". Leading thinkers and personalities are filmed giving a 15-minute talk which is broadcast free on the internet. TEDx is a programme of local, self-organised events.

swissinfo.ch: At the age of 60 why did you decide to build a hospital at Hargeisa in Somaliland using your life savings and pension?

Edna Adan Ismail: Health and hospitals has been my business all my life. The biggest motivation came from my father, who was the first Somali doctor and the father of healthcare in my country - I refer to him as the African Albert Schweitzer. From a young age I wanted to build the kind of hospital my father would have liked to have worked in.

At 60 you are fit, healthy and your whole life and career are behind you and there is a big need - a whole lot of suffering around you. So I just said, `I'm going to roll up my sleeves and see what I can do about it'.

Of course, I underestimated the challenge. It's not just about building a hospital but to run it, equip it, replace what's broken, train health workers and set standards.

But I love it. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't hesitate. I feel that whatever it is I've given was material, while what I get in return, one life saved, has no measure, no size. It's something far bigger than anything I've given.

The hospital has also given me life. I work seven days a week and still deliver babies. I used to live there when I was foreign minister. I'm a hard-headed woman.

swissinfo.ch: What impact has the hospital had?

E.A.I.: We'll be ten years old in March and it's given life to an entire country. Every midwife in Somaliland has had to do a refresher course with us. We've developed a nursing training curriculum which is used nationally and a midwife training programme which has been replicated and used in neighbouring Somalia. It's become a curiosity; people want to come and see what an old woman has done.

swissinfo.ch: TED conferences are about presenting great ideas to peacefully change the world for the better. What are your next big plans?

E.A.I.: I have two burning ambitions. One is to multiply the number of community midwives working in my country to about 1,000. Of course we need doctors but we can't wait eight or nine years, and when we get doctors they don't like going to villages.

The other is to start a school health programme, as we have 250,000 children going to school and there is no scheme. If I had ten arms I would use six dealing with the midwives and four with the school programme.

swissinfo.ch: Education is extremely important to you, isn't it?

E.A.I.: The hospital may get run down and a window may fall out, but what will always remain behind is the knowledge we leave with the midwives, lab technicians, pharmacists and university students.

I was 16 and a half when I won a scholarship to go to England [to train as a nurse] and it is that knowledge at a young age and that training which is helping me today. Without that I might have been just another nomad woman and wouldn't have been able to encourage or inspire other women.

swissinfo.ch: In your speech you said, `If I can build a hospital at 60, any of you can do it'. Is that realistic?

E.A.I.: People come to me and say they want to do something, but can't build a hospital. I tell them size has nothing to do with it.

I tell them, `Go to where your grandparents were born or parents met. Find a school near there that maybe has a leaky roof and fix that. Or maybe the school doesn't have a toilet for girls - so go and build them'. These are just small things. You then learn about your potential; and then maybe next time you can do something bigger.

But we don't all need to start with hospitals. Try and measure your potential against the challenges and say this is a big problem but if I take a small hammer and chisel there will come a time when we can overcome this problem. Don't try to move a mountain, just try to make it a little bit smaller.

Simon Bradley in Geneva, swissinfo.ch. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/foreign_affairs/Edna_shares_her_humanitarian_vision_with_TED.html?cid=31654080


Helping displaced people survive in the barren hills of Somaliland

Report-IFRC. 28 Nov 2011

By Thorir Gudmundsson, Director of International and Domestic Operations, Icelandic Red Cross

Thorn bushes, bundles of cacti and parched gravel, lots of gravel; that's now home for Hinda Muse and her husband Ahmed Mohamoud and their three children on a barren hillside outside of Hargeysa, Somaliland.

They were evicted from a plot in Hargeysa 23 days ago and now need to live in the newly-established Sheikh Omar Internally Displaced People's (IDP) camp, a place that has no running water, no electricity and hardly a road. Water is trucked in by the Somaliland Ministry of Education.

But Hinda and Ahmed are in an optimistic mood. They have just received assistance in the form of trapaulin, blankets, a jerrycan, a bucket, mosquito nets and a hygiene parcel.

"We need the tarpaulin, especially, because when it rains our roof leaks," says Hinda.

That much is quite clear. Her two square metre hut uses a mixture of plastic bags, garments and paper to cover the walls and ceiling. They are fortunate, if you can use the term for Somali IDPs, because they do have shelter and Ahmed has a job in town distributing water on a donkey cart.

"We used to be nomads but our animals died from disease and drought," Hinda says. Asked if she expects to go back to a nomadic lifestile, the reply is a fervent "No." They prefer city life.

Fadma Abdullah is less fortunate. She arrived in the camp seven days ago with her husband and five children. They still don't have a shelter so they have been sleeping rough, in the open.

The tarpaulin, two 4x6 metre sheets of plastic, means the difference between sleeping on the ground without a roof over their heads and being sheltered from the elements.

Somalia Red Crescent volunteers ensure the distribution goes smoothly. Each family's allotment is neatly stacked and everybody's registration paper is checked at the entrance to the distribution area.

This is an example of people-to-people assistance across continents. Funding for the relief items is provided by the Icelandic Red Cross from its clothing business. Customers who purchase used clothes in Red Cross stores in the country know that the proceeds will be used for humanitarian assistance.

Somaliland declared independence two decades ago and while it has yet to achieve international recognition, it is a rare spot of relative tranquility in the collapsed state of Somalia.

While Southern and Central Somalia carry the brunt of the East Africa food crisis, Somaliland has not escaped the effects of recurrent droughts and political violence. Large parts of its capital Hargeysa were destroyed in the Somali civil war as were its only cement factory and important infrastructure. And now there is the drought.

There have always been droughts, wreaking havoc on the lives of East Africa's nomads.

In these conditions, the operations of the Red Crescent present the very image of order in the midst of chaos. In the Hargeysa branch, young volunteers crowd a small room to learn first aid. A great majority of them are girls.

They are all secondary school or university age, but actually many of them come from the IDP camps and belong to families who constitute a considerable part of the Red Crescent's beneficiaries.

In another room, only the low-murmuring hum of computers disturb the silence. Here, more young Red Crescent volunteers are studying, in this case to use computers.

"These young people sign membership agreements and get the opportunity to learn important skills," says Hargeysa branch chairman Ahmed Issa Mohamoud. "Then, they become volunteers. We have their phone numbers and whenever we require them we can send an SMS and they show up."

It is an ingenious method of recruiting volunteers, used in one way or another by many Red Cross Red Crescent societies the world over. These are not paid volunteers, but in the conditions of general poverty in Somaliland, the skills they acquire are precious indeed.

Back at the Sheikh Omar IDP camp, the youth volunteers prove their mettle. Under the midday sun, some 390 stacks of relief material have been placed in neat rows and behind each stack there is a member of the beneficiary family. As dignitaries make their speeches, it is decided the beneficiaries have waited long enough. Men and women pick up their new belongings and immediately head for the hills. It is a rough existence, but it just got a little bit easier.

http://reliefweb.int/node/461687


Somaliland president, visiting UK minister discuss regional security

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 22 Nov 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 19 Nov 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC.Text of report in English by Somali newspaper The Somaliland Times website on 19 November

[Unattributed report: "President Ahmed Sillanyo Meets British Minister"]

Somaliland President Ahmad Muhammad Muhamud (Silanyo) met in London with British minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham. They discussed mutual cooperation in the area of security in the Horn of Africa region. They also reviewed the status of bilateral relations between the two countries and British aid to Somaliland.

Somaliland's president is currently on an unofficial visit to Britain. Somaliland is a former protectorate of Britain and the two countries have long historical relations.


SOMALIA: Unemployment fuels youth exodus from Somaliland

http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=94285

Rampant unemployment in Somaliland has prompted thousands of young people to leave the territory every month

HARGEISA, 22 November 2011 (IRIN) - A high unemployment rate in the self-declared independent Republic of Somaliland, especially among school-leavers and university graduates, has fuelled an increase in migration, with hundreds of young people embarking every month on a perilous journey to Europe through the Sahara Desert, officials said.

"In the months of August, September and October, about 3,500 young men and women from Somaliland went through Ethiopia, to Sudan, then to Libya and on to cross the Mediterranean Sea on their way to western Europe," Abdillahi Hassan Digale, chairman of the Ubah Social Welfare Organization, who works for the International Office for Migration (IOM), told IRIN.

According to Somaliland's National Development programme - which was launched in October - total employment (comprising self-employment and paid employment) among the economically active population is estimated at 38.5 percent for urban areas and 59.3 percent for rural and nomadic areas. The weighted average national employment rate is estimated at 52.6 percent.

Unemployment among the youth, which stands at 75 percent, is much higher than the average. Unofficial estimates show that at least 65-70 percent of Somaliland's 3.5 million people are younger than 30.

A study carried out in December 2010 by the Somaliland National Youth Organization (SONYO), with Oxfam-Novib, indicated that out of 800 people interviewed, only 25 percent were employed.

"On the issue of employment, participants were asked if they had any type of employment, paid or unpaid; 75 percent indicated that they had none," according to the study.

"This was, in a way, to be expected because youth between the ages of 15-22 could still be in school or university... Only 25 percent of the youth stated that they had some employment. Some 43.1 percent of the employed group were engaged in business, 40.6 percent were employed in the private sector, whereas 14.4 percent were employed in the public sector. Of those employed, 77 percent were confident that they had job security."

The study identified the business sector as the biggest employer of the youth, noting, however, that the sector was not well formalized or regulated.

"The youth who worked for this sector were mostly unsatisfied with the remunerations they received for the work they did; 69.1 percent of the unemployed youth had been unemployed for more than three years despite the fact that 53.2 percent of them had skills for different trades," the study indicated. "Lack of employment opportunities prevents them from putting their energies and creativity to good use and thereby fulfilling their ambitions. This leaves them with a sense of frustration and hopelessness that drives some of them to take desperate measures.

"Each year, hundreds decide to try their luck against all odds, by getting to the shores of Europe, crossing continents, deserts and dangerous seas. Most of them do not make it and many perish on the way."

Idleness

According to the study, lack of sports and recreational facilities, venues for cultural activities as well as opportunities for internships and doing voluntary work increase the youth's desperation and feeling of alienation.

During election campaigns in 2010, many young people supported the now ruling party KULMIYE (Solidarity), because one of its campaign platforms was job creation for the youth and free primary education.

In his acceptance speech after the 20 June 2010 elections, President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo said: "The winners are our young generation who will never undertake illegal immigration and will never die in the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life and employment."

In a statement on 25 October, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Ilhan Mohamed Jama said the government had taken certain measures to ensure the youth had better access to work, in particular, issuing a directive to employers to give priority to citizens. He said there were many foreigners working in Somaliland yet they did not have work permits.

The ministry has since set up a team to monitor illegal workers in Somaliland.

"We have now nominated a monitoring team to register the foreign workers in Somaliland and to assess their status, because our mandate is to give job opportunities to our citizens," said Abdil-Kadir Da'ud, director of the ministry's Labour Department. "Only 40 foreign workers are registered with our ministry but the exact number will be known upon completion of our monitoring.

"We have also urged international aid agencies to advertise job vacancies in Somaliland locally and we have notified them that we will not accept [the] hiring of foreign workers for vacancies that Somalilanders can do."

Locals ignored

Zainab Ali Mohamed, chair of Marwo Youth Organization, said: "About 104 international NGOs and UN agencies are now working on different projects in Somaliland; but instead of seeking locals to help in implementing the programmes for which they source funds from donors, about 60 percent of their staff are foreigners. This has had a negative impact on Somaliland youth, many of whom are left with no choice but to leave the country in search of a better life."

However, some local NGOs say illegal migration by Somaliland youth decreased in October, compared with August and September 2011.

Ubah's Hassan said youth migration decreased in October due to increased awareness-raising campaigns by IOM and its Mixed Migration Program partners.


Somaliland: Warring Clans Agree to Peace Deal

Move Aimed at Ending Violence in Erigabo, Sanaag

By AHMED HASSA KHAYRE 11/21/2011

100 elders from two clans, Dhulbahante and Isaaq, have signed an agreement to end clashes in Erigabo, at a meeting in Erigabo town in the disputed region of Sanaag.

Fifty elders were selected from each the southern and northern Erigabo clans to sign an agreement to end the clashes without conditions. They further agreed to forget what happened in the past and to work towards peace and stability.

The ceremony was attended by the Somaliland delegation led by the minister Mohamed Nur Aralle, the council elders of Somaliland, traditional elders delegations from Sol and Togdher regions, the two clans, and local officials.

Mr. Aralle welcomed the agreement and thanked the elders who helped bring peace to the region.

"I and my delegations won't leave here until we ensure the security of the region and see that stability is being restored as part of the peace agreement," he said.

Somaliland's Information Minister Ahmed Abdi Habsade welcomed the agreement and sent the two clan militia a message of unity. He said that the four clans in Erigabo should act as one for the stability of the region.

The agreement comes 15 days after a heavy battle between clan militias, which killed at least ten people, including district police chief Shine Yasin.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/2084/Warring_Clans_Agree_to_Peace_Deal


Somaliland parliament suspends use of existing voters' cards

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 17 Nov 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 12 Nov 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. Text of report in English by Somali newspaper The Somaliland Times website on 12 November

Somaliland parliament passed a motion in which it suspended the existing voter-registration list which was used for the presidential election. The parliament's motion also says the coming municipal election would take place without voter registration.

Thirty four parliamentarians voted for suspending the previous voters registration list, 9 voted against suspending the registration list, and 4 abstained. Similarly, 37 parliamentarians voted for conducting the municipal election without voter registration, 5 voted against having an election without voter registration and 5 abstained. Also, 42 parliamentarians voted for a new voter-registration before the parliamentary and presidential elections takes place and 5 abstained.

The motions by Somaliland's parliament has thrown a monkey's wrench into Somaliland's coming elections, the first of which was supposed to be the municipal elections, which the election commission had set to occur in April 2012


VC4Africa extends tech support to Somaliland

Venture capital funding for tech moves to new capitals

By Rebecca Wanjiku | Computerworld Kenya | 14 November 11

A year after a group of venture capitalists partnered to form Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa), their move to back a lab in Somaliland comes as a sign that tech entrepreneur funding in Africa is moving beyond traditional hubs like Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos and Accra.

"We see ventures coming online in Congo, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Southern Sudan and Somaliland; it shows there is an entrepreneurial appetite on every corner of the continent," said Ben White, VC4Africa founder.

The group is backing Somaliland's first software incubation and testing labs. VC4Africa matches entrepreneurs with VCs. Entrepreneurs register their apps and businesses with VC4Africa to receive feedback and potential funding from venture capitalists within the organization. VCs working with VC4Africa include eVa Fund, Acumen Fund, Ashoka Change Makers, East Africa Capital Fund and In Return Capital.

Somaliland and its capital, Hargeisais, are relatively peaceful relative to the more famous war-torn Somalia and its capital, Mogadishu. Because of the similarity in names, Somaliland is often mistaken as hostile and unstable, but the country is served by fiber optic cable and telecom costs are relatively affordable compared to other countries and major cities such as Nairobi and Addis Ababa.

"The region is quite stable, energy and Internet provision are above average and you have a young and graduated workforce which is hungry to prove their skills," said Saskia Reus, head of international partnerships at VC4Africa.

The lab in Boorama, Somaliland, is being formed in partnership with ExtendedBits, a local software company. VC4Africa has already connected the company with RLabs in South Africa, to allow developers in the two companies to exchange ideas and improve on software and testing.

"There is tech talent in Somaliland and graduates are quick to learn principles of software testing," said Hassan Giire, founder of ExtendedBits. "Somaliland has one of the cheapest telecom rates and the infrastructure is good."

Giire said the company is ready to deliver high quality testing and enhance on-the job training in order to attract bigger outsourcing contracts in Europe.

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/network-wifi/3318238/vc4africa-extends-tech-support-somaliland/


Somaliland government rejects media suppression claims

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 10 Nov 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 5 Nov 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC.Text of report in English by Somali newspaper The Somaliland Times website on 5 November

Somaliland government said this week it has no policy of suppressing the media and that any attempt to prevent the media from doing its job would violate the principles on which the country was founded.

The statement was part of the response of the Somaliland government spokesman Abdullahi Muhammad Dahir [Cukuse] to questions that were put to him by Haatuf Newspaper about police attacks on reporters.

The government spokesman also added that the government was not aware of the cases of government abuse of reporters that were mentioned in the media organization SOLJA's [Somaliland Journalists Association] press release and that SOLJA had not informed the government about those cases.

The Somaliland media organization SOLJA had issued a press release in which it catalogued a list of violations of the freedom of the press last week which was published in some of the newspapers.


SOMALIA: Migrants targeted in Somaliland

http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=94182

Somaliland officials have expressed concern over an increase in the number of illegal immigrants

HARGEISA, 10 November 2011 (IRIN) - Migrants in Somaliland, especially those from Ethiopia, have increasingly come under attack since the government in the self-declared independent state in September ordered employers to fire all "illegal foreigners" as part of its commitment to expelling them from the territory, according to rights organizations.

"Many of those targeted for attack in the past one-and-a-half months live in the eight IDP [internally displaced persons] camps in Hargeisa," said Abdillahi Hassan Digale, an official of the Ubah Social Welfare Organization, which champions the rights of minorities and IDPs. "We have recorded 23 cases of violations, mostly by security groups [young men hired by the community to provide protection services] in these camps. They ask for bribes from the migrants; if they don't pay up, they are threatened that the police will be notified of their presence in the country."

Digale said most of the illegal migrants targeted were employed as watchmen, domestic servants, rubbish collectors, construction workers, farm hands or latrine diggers.

An estimated 90,000 illegal migrants, mostly Ethiopians, were thought to be in Somaliland by the time the government issued the directive.

On 25 October, the government announced that foreigners working in Somaliland without permission from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs would be relieved of their jobs and urged employers to prioritize citizens for work.

Human rights organizations estimate that about 45,000 illegal migrants have left Somaliland since the government directive but those remaining were living in difficult circumstances, with some hiding in their homes for fear of deportation. Others have been camping outside the Social Welfare Centre - run by the international NGO Save the Children with funding support from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR - fearing attacks and deportation.

Digale told IRIN: "Only 50 percent of the total estimated number of illegal immigrants has left Somaliland while the 50 percent who remain continue to suffer human rights violations in their settlements, afraid the police could deport them or the citizens could attack them. Already, some have not been paid, despite working for their employers for a month-and-a-half. Others have been beaten by members of the local communities."

Abdi-Hakim Mohamed Elmi, an Ethiopian working as a construction worker in Hargeisa, told IRIN his employer had confiscated his tools and refused to pay him for two days' work.

"Three weeks ago, I worked on a construction site in 150-ka street in Hargeisa, earning 70,000 Somaliland shillings [US$12.70] per day; when I was not paid for two days, I decided to report to the Dalodho police station but I was told there was no-one to follow up on my case," Elmi said. "I have not gone back to the construction site since then because I am afraid my employer could hurt me."

Khadir Abdalla, from Ethiopia's Oromiya region, who lives in the Dami IDP settlement in Hargeisa, was attacked 11 days ago by a group of young men in the camp.

"I used to collect trash in the local government area," he said. "A group of young men came to my home one day and asked me to come out. They asked why I was not adhering to the government directive to leave Somaliland. I told them I would go but, instead, they started beating me using sticks and punching me. They took whatever I had. I did not report them to the police because I was afraid... I would be deported."

Ahmed Yare, another Oromo Ethiopian in the Cakaara IDP settlement, said: "Young men came to my house 19 days ago and asked why I had not left the country. I told them I did not have the fare to travel. They beat me up, injuring me in the head before they left."

Rights violations

Ahmed Mohamed Said, chairman of Somaliland's Counter-Trafficking Network - an umbrella body of local NGOs working with the International Office for Migration (IOM) - said it had registered about 50 cases of human rights violations in the past three months, mainly targeting watchmen, domestic workers, latrine diggers, street sweepers and beggars.

"We submitted these cases to IOM who provided the victims with psycho-social support, rehabilitation and food aid," he said. "There are networks of human traffickers supplying labour from Ethiopia and south-central Somalia; when someone arrives in Somaliland, these middle men link them up to potential employers on condition that he will give up a portion of his salary to them."

Ahmed Elmi Barre, director-general of Somaliland's Ministry of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Re-integration, told IRIN the ministry had not received any reports of human rights violations against Ethiopians in Somaliland.

However, rights groups say at least 30 Ethiopian Somalis were arrested 20 days ago in the border town of Lawya-addo. But Mohamed Muse Bu'ul, governor of the region of Selel - from where Lawya-addo is administered - told IRIN the arrests were for security reasons.

Bu'ul said: "We know in the region, there are about 450 foreign workers; arrests can happen for security reasons... A year ago, Somali militia who are members of ONLF [Ogaden National Liberation Front] landed in Somaliland's western coast; for this reason it is our duty to keep an eye on the security matters in the area."


Clash With Ethiopians in Somaliland

Locals Battle Police over Preacher Arrests By AWEYS CADDE 11/08/2011. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1978/Clash_With_Ethiopians_in_Somaliland

At least one Ethiopian was killed and three other were injured as residents fought Ethiopian police forces in Bali-dhiig district of Tog-Dher region in the breakaway region of Somaliland on Monday, local residents and an official said.

According to local resident Abdihakin Kamarun, the fighting erupted after Ethiopian forces entered the border district and tried to detain religious leaders and Islamic teachers, surrounding and investigating two schools and one mosque.

"About 80 Ethiopian police entered our distinct and tried to do what they want, but civilians fought against them," he told Somalia Report, adding that he saw the dead body of an Ethiopian.

The chairman of Bali-Dhiig district confirmed the fighting.

"We received information that two Ethiopian vehicles entered Bali-Dhiig and surrounded the mosque and Islamic school; we don't know the reason why, but will investigate and ask the government," he told Somalia Report.

In early October, Ethiopian forces entered Bali-Dhiig and detained six religious leaders, including five Pakistani citizens.

This is the second time that Ethiopian troops have entered Somaliland over the last 40 days, and many believe this intervention will damage relations between the two countries following a July agreement on mutual respect and security cooperation.


Deadly fighting breaks out in northwestern Somalia

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 07 Nov 2011. SomaliaReport.com, in English 6 Nov 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. Text of report in English by US-registered Somali news website Somalia Report on 6 November

At least three people died and two others were injured when Somaliland forces fought against a clan militia in Ceerigaabo District of Sanaag Region [northwestern Somalia] on Sunday [6 November] with both sides using heavy artillery and machine guns.

Fighting began when Somaliland Minister of Information Mr Ahmad Abdi Habsade tried to visit the house of a clan militia member to offer condolences for Shine Yasin, a district police chief, who was assassinated on Wednesday in Ceerigaabo District by members of the Isaq clan.

Once the minister arrived, the clan militia began firing at the official and his delegation.

Col Muse Jama Dalaf, a police officer in Somaliland's Sanaag Region, confirmed to Somalia Report the deaths of three people. "Yes, the clan militia started firing against the policemen and killed at least three people. The situation is not good. They are using heavy weapons," said the colonel.

Witnesses also confirmed the fighting. "The fighting started at 12:00 p.m. local time and I saw the bodies of two men in the war zone. The fighting is still on going and I can hear the sound of gunfire and heavy weapons from both sides," Muhammad Muse, a witness in Ceerigaabo told Somalia Report.

Over the last two days, clan militias (Dhulbahante-sub-clan of Harti) have been regrouping inside Ceerigaabo District to seek revenge against Somaliland soldiers for the death of Shine Yasin.

Credit: SomaliaReport.com, in English 6 Nov 11


Programme summary of Somalia's Horn Cable TV news 1900 gmt 6 Nov 11

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 07 Nov 2011. Horn Cable TV, Hargeysa, in Somali 1900 6 Nov 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC 1. 19:02 Headlines
2. 19:03 Three people were killed and three others have sustained injuries after Somaliland troops, clan militia clashed in Ceerigaabo District of Sanaag Region . Video footage shows troops firing, injured people at hospitals (covered).
3. 19:06 Vice-president of Somaliland calls on residents to take part in strengthening peace, security during performance of Id prayer in Hargeysa. Video footage shows people performing prayers, president talking to the people.
4. 19:09 Somaliland officials congratulate the public on occasion of Id Adha. Video footage shows officials talking to the media.
5. 19:12 President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh praises government's achievement in restoring security, peace in Mogadishu. Video footage shows President Guelleh talking to hundreds of people during Id-al-Adha festival.
6. 19:16 President of Transitional Federal Government of Somalia Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad visits camps of displaced people in Mogadishu to assess situation after performing Id-al-Adha prayer with hundreds of people at mosque in Mogadishu.
7. 19:18 Reports on Muslims in Kenya including Somalis perform their prayers in Nairobi, Kenya. Video footage shows Somalis in Nairobi performing prayers.
8. 19:21 Influential Islamic cleric of Somaliland calls on government to implement justice, strengthen peace and security following the performance of Id-al-Adha in Hargeysa. Video footage shows the cleric talking to hundreds of people.
9. 19:25 Reports on Muslims including Somalis celebrating Id-al-Adha in London. Video footage shows people performing their prayers.
10. 19:31 Reports on hundreds of people celebrating Id in Hargeysa, Burco, Boorama, Gibiley, Berbera towns in Somaliland. Video footage shows people celebrating.
11. 19:42 Senior Islamist leader Shaykh Hasan Dahir Aweys says Al-Shabab to step up war against government, AU forces during Id prayer at Ceelasha Biyaha locality in Lower Shabeelle Region, southern Somalia.
12. 19:44 International aid agency Islamic Relief donates livestock to displaced families in Boosaaso port town, northeastern Somalia, on the occasion of Id-al-Adha. Video footage shows official of the aid agency briefing the media about the donations.
Credit: Horn Cable TV, Hargeysa, in Somali 1900 6 Nov 11

Three killed after Somaliland troops, clan militia clashed in northwest

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 07 Nov 2011. Horn Cable TV, Hargeysa, in Somali 1900 6 Nov 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

"Three people were killed and three others have sustained injuries after Somaliland troops and clan militias clashed in Ceerigaabo District of Sanaag Region", northwestern Somalia, privately-owned Horn Cable TV reported on 6 November.

The fighting erupted after "clan militias attacked government ministers and officials holding meeting to soothe tension between rival clans in the district".

Somaliland troops have said that they "arrested 15 militiamen during the fighting" and said that they "took control of Ceerigaabo District", adds the source.

Somaliland's interior minister has told Horn Cable TV that the fighting "has now ended and the situation is under the control of the government".

Delegation of ministers and MPs from Somaliland recently arrived in Ceerigaabo District in a bid to reconcile rival clans that clashed in the area.

Located in northwest Somalia, Somaliland enjoy relative peace compared to southern regions of the country and unilaterally declared independence from the rest of the country in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally.

Credit: Horn Cable TV, Hargeysa, in Somali 1900 6 Nov 11


Opinion: A lesson in stability from Somaliland

Recognition of Somaliland will have positive consequences for the Horn of Africa.

Ali Mohamed. November 7, 2011 11:40

An elderly Somali sits in a camp for Internally Displaced People in Galkacyo, Somalia, during a visit by UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres on Dec. 3, 2010. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)LEWIS CENTER, Ohio - Last month Al Shabaab, the Somali fundamentalist Islamist group with ties to Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for a deadly truck bombing in Mogadishu in which more than 85 Somali students died as they waited in line to see if they had won scholarships to study in Turkey.

Somalia arguably is the world's most ungovernable country, and a graveyard for many of the United Nations' unsustainable policy initiatives.

But in reality Somalia is three different entities: Somaliland, Puntland and south central Somalia, where the current humanitarian disaster is unfolding.

Somaliland, the northern territory of Somalia, has shown itself to be a lawful and productive nation. Somaliland's order contrasts dramatically with the rest of Somalia, which has collapsed into clan-driven violence, terrorism, piracy and lawlessness.

The chronic instability in Somalia highlights that America and the West must find a new pragmatic approach which reflects the new reality on the ground.

Luckily, an overlooked partner for peace and stability already exists - Somaliland, which re-declared its independence in 1991. It was briefly independent in 1960.

Right now the United States is expending vast resources supporting a fictional Somali government led by Sheik Sharif Ahmed. While for political reasons, the Obama administration has refused to support and recognize a source of strength in the area - the stable, functioning and democratic entity of Somaliland, which stands for freedom and democracy.

I believe recognizing democratic Somaliland would have positive consequences not just for Somalia, but for the whole Horn of Africa region. It offers a platform to stabilize southern Somalia, a bulwark against radical forces in the region and a reliable partner to combat the piracy that is the scourge of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian ocean.

What role are the Fed other central banks and the Bank of International Settlements playing in destroying economies and...

Somaliland's success shows the world that Somalis have the ability to manage their own affairs, reconcile various clans, compromise and govern themselves, with little or no outside help.

Somaliland as an example that could provide the rest of southern Somalia's rival clans an incentive to stop fighting among themselves in the interest of their own citizens, to reach out adversaries for the sake of ending the civil strife, and to begin moving toward good governance.

If southern Somali clans used the Somaliland model, they could develop a more stable society, which would start to alleviate the heavy burden the Somali refugees had on its neighbors, especially Kenya, which is hosting more than 600,000 people who have fled the current famine and the violence in southern Somalia.

Granting full diplomatic recognition for Somaliland would help it rebuild its shattered economy. With a stable economy, Somaliland would become stronger and be able to provide more resources for education, health, agriculture, water and economic development, which would improve the livelihood of its people, especially for young people.

This would be bad news for Al Shabaab, which controls much of central and southern Somalia, because its Al Qaeda-style extremist ideology would diminish.

More deadly drone attacks or proxy African troops alone will not dismantle or defeat Al Shabaab in Somalia.

Somalia's chronic instability is causing piracy to thrive in many small ports in its coastline, and is costing the world economy billions every year.

Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in eastern corner of Somalia, is the hub of the pirates that now plague much of the Gulf of Aden and the north Indian Ocean.

But Somaliland, which has a nascent coast guard that has cracked down on piracy on its 585 miles of coastline, is willing to contribute significantly with the United States and the West efforts to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden - one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

If it were to become a member of the international community, Somaliland would be able to equip and modernize its counter-piracy operations and could become a reliable partner to the international community in eliminating piracy.

Recognizing Somaliland would not be the negative step some US State Department diplomats, particularly those who are experts on Africa, think it might be. I believe if America were to take the lead, many other countries would quickly follow.

It is time for President Barack Obama to lead the world and do the right thing by accepting the viable and sustainable solution - an independent and sovereign Somaliland.

Anything else would mean keeping the status-quo: more terrorism and chaos in Somalia, which could threaten the whole region. And for democratic Somaliland it would mean unjust delay for its diplomatic recognition and fewer resources to develop its economy. It would also leave the country to fend for itself from menacing piracy and extremism.

Ali Mohamed is co-founder of the Horn of Africa Freedom Foundation, a grass-roots level organization advocating for the advancement of freedom and democratic values for the indigenous people of the Horn of Africa.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/opinion/111107/opinion-lesson-stability-somaliland


Somalia: Turning mirrors into windows

Report-CARE. http://reliefweb.int/node/457440. Nov 4, 2011

Zeinab Abdillahi, 23, was born in the village of Ina Cunaaye, Somaliland. She and her eight younger siblings were delivered by a traditional birth attendant in their parents' two-room stick and papyrus hut. Ina Cunaaye is poor and remote, and with droughts for most of the year water is precious and people sometimes have to search for miles to find it. Many families like Zeinab's struggle to feed their children.

From a very young age, Zeinab wanted to learn, although her experience of school was limited to what she heard from the occasional visitor. Until 2003 there was no primary school in Hawd, and her family could not afford to send her away to school. Finally, when she was ten years old, her father had enough money to send her and her brother Mohamed to live with their uncle in the nearest town, Hargeisa, an hour away on a rough road.

Her face takes on a radiant hue as she recalls her first day of class, even though they had to sit on dusty floors on upended tin cans. She was so impressed by her teachers that she wanted to join this profession, to inspire children to rise above the poverty that she and her siblings faced.

Zeinab worked very hard, and despite missing a year when her father could not afford her fees, she finished Class Eight in 2005. By then she was 18, and in keeping with Somali culture, she began receiving her first suitors. Zeinab did not feel ready to marry. She knew she could stay single if she contributed financially to her family. So she took a job as a hotel receptionist, and later worked for her uncle in his photo studio. Every little bit she earned, she sent to her family. She was quite literally buying time. She managed to stave off the pressure to get married, but the only opportunities to further her education cost money she did not have.

With each passing year, Zeinab felt her dream slipping away. Finally in 2008 she returned in defeat to her family home. Unable to continue her own education, she taught her younger siblings to read and write.

"I woke up every morning to the same routine of making injera and sugar, to washing clothes outside with the rest of the girls, making lunch and dinner and then repeating the process all over again," she recalls. "Most of my age mates had married by then. But to me, getting married without a proper source of income and education was just bringing more mouths to feed into a world where it was already difficult enough to find food."

It was difficult to remain steadfast with each passing month. Then one evening, while the entire neighborhood was gathered around the radio, she heard an announcement that made her heart race. The broadcaster was calling for qualified young people to train for the teaching profession under a CARE program called Strengthening Capacity of Teacher Training (SCOTT). Hardly able to believe it, Zeinab sent her application. For the 20 days it took to get a reply, she prayed and hoped and thought of nothing else.

The aim of SCOTT is to increase access to basic primary education in Somaliland, where many teachers are untrained and under-trained and the system cannot cope with rising school enrollment. Through the project, CARE targets untrained teachers currently serving in schools, and new entrants to the profession, particularly women. CARE provides school-based training and short-term college-based training, where teachers learn child-centered, participatory teaching skills, as well as the subject matter they will teach. CARE works with government ministries and teacher training institutions, to ensure that they can sustain the improvements over the long term.

Zeinab knew she was a good candidate, but when she got a positive response and was asked to report to the University of Hargeisa to begin training, she finally believed in miracles.

Though she is confident and straightforward, Zeinab can be a little reserved. But when she steps up to the flipchart to do a demonstration for her classmates, she loses her inhibitions and emits an inner radiance that lights her pretty face to a glowing perfection.

Since the beginning of the project, she has visited her village several times, where she continues to educate her 12-year-old brother and 10-year-old sister, and teaches village children how to read and write. She hopes to instill in them the conviction that if they want something badly enough, then with hope, it is within their grasp. Teaching others, she says, makes her feel like she is repaying the kindness of the strangers who provided her a chance when she needed one.

The SCOTT project has been ongoing in the regions of Sool, Sanaag, and Hargeisa since June 2005, and is now in its third phase. Zeinab is one of 27 participants currently being trained at the University of Hargeisa. CARE pays for their training and scholastic materials, and gives them a small allowance. Zeinab says she would have been happy just to be trained to be a teacher. The additional support, she says, that allows her to help her family with no disruptions to her education, is simply icing on an already rich cake.

She is a reminder of the quote, "The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." With CARE's support, Zeinab has taken the light that shines naturally within her, and turned it outward, where it promises to blaze a brighter future for many more young lives.


Deadly Fighting Breaks Out in Sanaag

Somaliland Fights Clan Militia in Erigabo

By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 11/06/2011

At least three people died and two others were injured when Somaliland forces fought against a clan militia in Erigabo (Eergabo) district of Sanaag Region on Sunday with both sides using heavy artillery and machine guns.

Fighting began when Somaliland Minister of Information Mr. Haabsade tried to visit the house of a clan militia member to offer condolences for Shiine Yasin, a district police chief, who was assassinated on Wednesday in Erigabo district by members of the Isaaq clan.

Once the minister arrived, the clan militia began firing at the official and his delegation.

Colonel Muse Jama Dalaf, a police officer in Somaliland's Sanaag region, confirmed to Somalia Report the deaths of three people.

`'Yes, the clan militia started firing against the policemen and killed at least three people. The situation not good. They are using heavy weapons,`' said the colonel.

Witnesses also confirmed the fighting.

`'The fighting started at 12:00PM local time and I saw the bodies of two men in the war zone. The fighting is still on going and I can hear the sound of gunfire and heavy weapons from both sides,`' Mohamed Muuse, a witness in Erigabo told Somalia Report.

Over the last two days, clan militias (Dhulbahante-sub-clan of Harti) have been regrouping inside Erigabo district to seek revenge against Somaliland soldiers for the death of Shiine Yassin.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1966/Deadly_Fighting_Breaks_Out_in_Sanaag_


Somaliland imposes night curfew in eastern town following inter-clan clashes

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 04 Nov 2011. Text of report by privately-owned Somali Shabeelle Media Network website on 4 November

The Somaliland authority in Cerrigabo District of Sanaag Region [eastern Somaliland] imposed a night curfew on the town following inter-clan clashes.

The curfew went into effect last night following inter-clan clashes in the district. The curfew would continue for several days and it is not known when it would end.

The local district administration, the military officers and police held a meeting and discussed the security situation of the town, and the implementation of the curfew. The officials have agreed to tighten the security of Ceerigabo town and bring inter-clan revenge to an end.

The officials said that the government will not tolerate any insecurity act to take place in the town, adding that the government will take action against those they suspect out to cause insecurity in the district. The officials have also said that there are ongoing operations to beef up security and pursue those behind the clashes.

The fighting in Ceerigaabo, which caused deaths and injuries, happened after a Somaliland official was killed in the town.

The Somaliland government is trying to calm the tension resulting from the clashes.

Credit: Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 4 Nov 11. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 4 Nov 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC


Somalia: Somaliland Police Officer Gunned Down in Northern Region

3 November 2011. Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu) http://allafrica.com/stories/201111040319.html

Eri Gabo - A Somaliland police officer was gunned down by unknown and heavily armed men in the center of Eri Gabo town of Sanag region in northern Somalia.

Witnesses and officials said the gunmen escaped from the scene shortly after the shooting.

But, the murder of the officer sparked tension and clash between armed men and Somaliland forces inside the town.

Col. Abdirashid Dhunkal, Somaliland official, told Shabelle Media Network that the armed confrontation erupted after the gunmen entered the town of Eri Gabo opened fire killing one Somaliland officer.

Dhunkal added that they killed three of the armed men, whom he accused them of being SSC guerrilla, and three 4 injured.

He noted they also seized seven of them. The official spelled out they burn down two of their battle wagons while confiscated 5 of those cars.

Calm returned to the town and normal lifestyle started, according to Dhunkal who stated they are committed defending the town from anyone attacks.


Deadly clashes hit Ceerigaabo town in Somaliland

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 03 Nov 2011. SomaliaReport.com, in English 2 Nov 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC Text of report in English by US-registered Somali news website Somalia Report on 2 November

At least six people, including a senior Somaliland police official, have been killed and several others were injured in Ceerigaabo district of Sanaag region during fierce fighting between the locals and soldiers loyal to the breakaway Somaliland administration, witnesses told Somalia Report on Wednesday evening.

The clashes erupted after Shine Yasin Xin Finin, Fiqi Fuliye district's police chief, was gunned down near Eergabo district earlier in the day, according to residents.

"Shine Yasin died after being shot in the head in Ceerigaabo. He was assassinated around 7pm local time. The police chased the men and exchanged gunfire, but the men escaped. Two civilians were injured and one is in serious condition," Ali Abdi Hurre, the Chairman of Sanaag Region Somaliland, told Somalia Report.

The fighting allegedly broke out two hours later as a result of the assassination.

"The fighting broke out at 9:00pm (local time) and seems to be spreading into the city where a freelance militia is trying resist a hundred troops from the Somaliland administration," Ceerigaabo resident Ahmad Nur told Somalia Report.

"We believe this fighting was in revenge for the killing of Jama Ahmed Ali, a officer of Daallo police station, in Eergabo who was killed in August," added Mr. Ali.

Eergabo, the regional capital of Sanaag and divided in two, hosts two major clans, the Harti sub-clan (Dhulbahante and Warsangeli )and Isaack, which continually fight each other. Their new tactics, officials say, is to target officials from the other clan.

"Yes, they are hunting elders, officers, and businessmen between the Dulhanate and Isaaq clans. We fear that fighting and targetting well-known people among these clans might spread from urban locations to pastoral areas. That will be very risky," said Ahmed Awad Farah, a traditional leader in Ceerigaabo.

The control of Fiqi Fuliye is disputed between the self-declared Republic of Somaliland and its neighboring semi-autonomous state of Puntland. Disputes and between Puntland and Somaliland administrations over the control of Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn regions have increased in recent years.

Credit: SomaliaReport.com, in English 2 Nov 11


Somaliland's Booming Arms Business

Guns Freely Available in More Peaceful Region

By MUHYADIN AHMED ROBLE 11/02/2011.http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1920/Somalilands_Booming_Arms_Business


Buying a Gun in Somaliland

For the last twenty years, Somaliland has been enjoying far more stability and peace than southern Somalia, but that doesn't mean you can't get your hands on some serious hardware if you are inclined toward mayhem.

Hargeisa's densely populated and labyrinthine arms market of Irtoogte, which means Sky-Shooter, offers everything from bombs to machine guns. As you enter the market, the competitive brokers scurry and jog alongside, offering good deals on whatever you need. The babble of voices rises everywhere as buyers, sellers and brokers haggle.

Arms seller Mohamed Ahmed sits among a group of men in an iron shack. He is the main dealer of AK-47s, and most of the men working in the market are subordinate to him. Every few minutes his mobile rings with queries about his prices.

Mohamed was a taxi driver seven years ago. Now he is a wealthy man. In front of the other men, his answers are tight and short. It is only when he motions me outside that he begins to open up.

"This place is risky for journalists....if they got to know that you are a journalist you will be in trouble," he says as we walk through the market before arriving at a tea shop.

He silently opens a room next to the shop, and we enter into a gun nut's heaven. AK-47s and Russian pistols line the walls.

"The government is aware of this business, but they don't know how it goes," he says. "We buy from those who are tired of the gun, and sell to those who want one. It's a free market."

"We mostly sell three types of AK-47, and two types of pistol, the Tata and another one locally known Dhabannacas," he adds.

Somaliland suffered attacks by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab in 2008, which hit the presidential palace, United Nation Development Program offices, and offices for the Ethiopian government. The attack killed twenty eight people and injured forty others, and was carried out by the first known American suicide bomber, Shirwa Ahmed from Minneapolis. Since then, the Somaliland government imposed a law against terrorism and began to register arms. The law also said that anyone who wants to buy a gun must register with the police. However, Mohamed said the government and police don't get involved.

"We sell arms to anyone, but sometimes we ask the buyer to come with someone we know," he says. "We are not police ... it is not our job to register the arms."

"We buy the arms from local owners ... there are no new arms coming to the market," he says. "We mostly sell old arms. When Somalia's government collapsed in the 90s, people looted all the military equipment."

While Mohamed is adamant that guns are not coming in from outside, other dealers say that weapons come in from southern Somalia. There are suspicions that weapons are making their way in from Yemen and Eritrea.

The best-selling items are the four types of Russian-made AK-47. Mohamed said the prices run from $500 to $850 for the newest model, known locally as Daba-laab. Handguns go from $1000 to $1300. The Hargeisa market is more expensive than Mogadishu, where you can buy a brand-new pistol for almost half the price, and the new Kalashnikov comes in at least $50 cheaper.

"Business is good," says another arms dealer, speaking on condition of anonymity. "If you buy three pistols, you can sell them again in hours."

While the arms dealers are pleased with themselves and their business, residents are concerned that the government is doing nothing to curb the deadly trade. According to a newspaper editor, who wished to remain anonymous, the police and intelligence community are involved in the trade.

"Some of the arms in the market are Somaliland army equipment, and they also sell their ammunition," he says.

None of the arms dealers would name the people they worked with or discuss their customers.

Somalia Report repeatedly attempted to contact the appropriate government ministries and police officials, but we were repeatedly refused comment.

It is common to see armed civilians walking the streets of Hargeisa, Many of them come from rural areas to sell their guns in the market.

Ali Warsame is a herdsman who came to sell his AK-47 to feed his family and livestock.

"A hard drought hit the countryside, and people and animals are dying, so I am came to sell my gun to buy food and water," he says.

Arms trader Mohamoud Aw Jama said many people were selling their weapons in face of the drought. He says the main clients are business people and companies, which control their own security. One businessman, who didn't want to be named, said he say no problem in the arms trade.

"The market is not a big deal," he says. "Not everyone can afford to buy guns as it is expensive, so only business people use the market."

Asked if al-Shabaab members can get arms from the market - as many analysts have warned - to carry out attacks in the city, he says he believes the group doesn't shop there for fear of coming under suspicion.


Deadly Clashes Hit in Eergabo, Sanaag Region

Police Chief Assassinated as Clan Warfare Breaks Out in Somaliland

By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE, MOHAMED ODOWA 11/02/2011

At least six people, including a senior Somaliland police official, have been killed and several others were injured in Eergabo district of Sanaag region during fierce fighting between the locals and soldiers loyal to the breakaway Somaliland administration, witnesses told Somalia Report on Wednesday evening.

The clashes erupted after Shiine Yasin Xin Finin, Fiqi Fuliye district's police chief, was gunned down near Eergabo district earlier in the day, according to residents.

''Shiine Yasin died after being shot in the head in Eergabo. He was assassinated around 7pm local time. The police chased the men and exchanged gunfire, but the men escaped. Two civilians were injured and one is in serious condition,'' Ali Abdi Hurre, the Chairman of Sanaag Region Somaliland, told Somalia Report.

The fighting allegedly broke out two hours later as a result of the assassination.

"The fighting broke out at 9:00pm (local time) and seems to be spreading into the city where a freelance militia is trying resist a hundred troops from the Somaliland administration," Eergabo resident Ahmed Nur told Somalia Report.

"We believe this fighting was in revenge for the killing of Jama Ahmed Ali, a officer of Daallo police station, in Eergabo who was killed in August," added Mr. Ali.

Eergabo, the regional capital of Sanaag and divided in two, hosts two major clans, the Harti sub-clan (Dhulhante and Warsangeli )and Isaack, which continually fight each other. Their new tactics, officials say, is to target officials from the other clan.

''Yes, they are hunting elders, officers, and businessmen between the Dulhanate and Isaaq clans. We fear that fighting and hunting well-known people among these clans might spread from urban locations to pastoral areas. That will be very risky,'' said Ahmed Awad Farah, a traditional leader in Eergabo.

Control of Fiqi Fuliye is disputed between the self-declared Republic of Somaliland and its neighboring semi-autonomous state of Puntland. Disputes and between Puntland and Somaliland administrations over the control of Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn regions have increased in recent years.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1939/Deadly_Clashes_Hit_in_Eergabo_Sanaag_Region


Two Pirates Bribe Way out of Jail

Publicity Hungry Farah Ismail Idle Among Escapees from Berbera

By JD 11/02/2011

Two Somali pirates, including one of Somalia's most famous and ineffectual seafaring criminals, have escaped from Berbera Jail after bribing their prison guards, officials and residents in the Somaliland port said.

The two escapees - bumbling and publicity-hungry Farah Ismail Idle and Abdirashid Ismail Haji - and another six individuals were the first Somali pirates sentence to prison terms by Somaliland in 2008.

"Two pirates escaped from Berbera jail, and we are investigating how they escaped: I don't want to talk deeply this case, we heard they escaped after paying a bribe, and we will investigate," a police officer in Berbera told Somalia Report.

Idle is still in Berbera, while Abdirashid Ismail Haji went to Puntland and joined his old friends (pirates) in Bari region, residents said.

Pirates used some of the ransom from the MV Dover to release these two pirates from Berbera Jail, according to a member of the pirate group that received $3.8 million for the vessel.

"As a number of them are relatives of these two escaped pirates, they were planning how to get their relatives released," Mohamed Ahmed told Somalia Report. "I heard last night that Farah and Abdirashid got out, it is good news."

Ahmed said that more than $100,000 was paid to secure the release of the two men. On October Somaliland officers denied that a number of pirates had escaped jails in Hargeisa.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1937/Two_Pirates_Bribe_Way_out_of_Jail


Ethiopia, Somaliland agree to enhance relations

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 01 Nov 2011. Text of report in English by state-owned Ethiopian news agency ENA website

Addis Ababa, 31 October: Ethiopia and Somaliland vowed to work closely towards ensuring peace and stability in the region.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed [Mohamud Silanyo] held discussion on various issues including peace and stability, bilateral and regional concerns here on Monday [31 October].

The two leaders have also discussed as to how jointly work to prevent the piracy along the Indian Ocean.

After the discussion Somaliland President Ahmed told journalists that his administration has put in custody dozens of suspected terrorists engaged in piracy and investigation is under way. He said the two sides are working to further enhance their relation in which he said "in a good shape".

PM [Prime Minister] Meles on his part lauded the efforts of the Somaliland administration for its commitment to fight against piracy. The premier said Ethiopia is resolute to work with Somaliland to ensure peace and stability in border areas, according to an official from the ministry of foreign affairs.

Credit: ENA website, Addis Ababa, in English 31 Oct 11


Somaliland says has huge, unexplored oil potential

Tue Nov 1, 2011

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The break-away African nation of Somaliland has huge hydrocarbon potential but is virtually unexplored, an African oil conference heard on Tuesday. Hussein Abdi Dualeh, Somaliland's mining and energy minister, said the country was off investment radar screens not least because many people did not even know it existed.

But he told delegates at the annual Africa Oil Week series of conferences that geography and geology highlighted its oil and gas potential.

"There is very high potential for considerable reserves of hydrocarbons in Somaliland but it is one of the least explored countries in the region," he said.

He said even by the East Africa's under explored standards, Somaliland was a frontier with only 21 wells drilled.

But he noted that the geology of Somaliland was similar to oil-rich areas across the Gulf of Aden.

East Africa have yet to produce a commercially viable oil source but gas discoveries off Mozambique and Tanzania have prompted lots of interest though the region remains largely unexplored.

Oil discoveries would be a cash boon to Somaliland though hydrocarbons have often proven to be a curse to African nations as the opaque nature of the industry often breeds corruption.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been formally recognised internationally.


Somaliland says open for oil business, pirates beware

Tue Nov 1, 2011 5:04pm GMT

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The break-away territory of Somaliland is open for hydrocarbon business and has a message for investors worried by its rough neighborhood: this is not Somalia and pirates here go to jail.

Hussein Abdi Dualeh, the minister of energy and mining, said it was unfair to lump Somaliland with lawless Somalia, where pirates have captured oil tankers and headlines.

"We have no navy to speak of but what deters pirates is the prison sentences they get, 25 years or more. We have been successful in catching them with limited resources," Dualeh told Reuters on the sidelines of an African oil conference.

"We have over 100 pirates in our prisons," he added.

Dualeh earlier told the conference that Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been formally recognised internationally, had seen almost no exploration but had huge potential with a geology similar to basins containing 9 billion barrels across the Gulf of Aden.

He said three firms -- London listed company Ophir Energy, Asante Oil and Prime Resources -- had just signed deals with his government under which they will have 18 months to explore, conduct seismic tests and identify wells.

Ophir has a track record in the region with gas discoveries off the coast of Tanzania.

Only 21 wells have been drilled in Somaliland, making it under explored even by the frontier standards of the region, where the oil and gas industries are in their infancy.

The minister said a number of big oil companies with permits to operate there left what is now Somaliland in the late 1980s and declared force majeure during Somalia's escalating civil conflict. "We are talking about the big boys like Chevron, Conoco. We asked them to come back for years but they would not. Now it's a clean slate," he said, adding they must reapply for permits or concessions.

"It's been over 20 years so they no longer have a legal interest in Somaliland," he said.

Offshore East Africa has yet to produce a commercially viable oil source but gas discoveries off Mozambique and Tanzania have prompted great interest.

Oil discoveries would be a cash boon to Somaliland though hydrocarbons have often proven to be a curse to African nations as the opaque nature of the industry can breed corruption.

Dualeh said he had recently been to Norway and preferred its oil revenue model to Nigeria's, where tens of billions of petro-dollars have been stolen or squandered over the decades and oil dependency has undermined other sectors of the economy.

"Norway is a model we can at least aspire to ... they have managed to protect their other sectors without letting oil crowd them out," he said.


The National Union of Somali Journalists demands a stop to brutality against journalists in Somaliland

Posted on October 31, 2011. By: National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) demands a stop to brutality against journalists in Somaliland MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 31, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of...

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 31, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has strongly condemned the ongoing brutalities against independent journalists in Somaliland.

Journalist Mohamed Abdi Kahin, nicknamed Boosh, who works for Ramaasnews, an online news website, and Royal TV, a private TV station, was brutally beaten on Thursday, 27 October 2011 by Somaliland police in Hargeysa city after the police accused him of taking pictures from "protesting women".

On 19 September, police in Hargeisa had beaten up and briefly detained Mustafe Sheik Omar Ghedi, editor of Saxafi newspaper, in Hargeisa after police saw him taking pictures of poor people who were resisting forceful eviction by Somaliland Local Government in Goljano village.

"We demand that the authorities in Somaliland immediately stop this uncalled for brutality and repression against journalists and that action immediately be taken to punish those who beat up and brutalise journalists," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

The union expressed concern at the apparent increased intolerance of freedom of expression which had seen ordinary citizens intimidated for airing their views through the media.

Jama Elmi Said, an ordinary citizen, who published an article on Waheen newspaper in September 2011 was beaten in Hargeisa's main market on 12 October by the police. He was victimized for expressing his view in the media.

Last week, a group of Members of Somaliland House of Representatives have publicly announced that they have prepared a draft media bill, which they intend to table in the House of Representatives in a bid "to control the unethical and irresponsible print media of Somaliland", according to one of the members who spoke to the media.

The journalists' community in Somaliland have strongly opposed this bill due to lack of consultations with media stakeholders and the journalists and whose content remain unknown, but the Bill is potentially dangerous to media freedom. Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) has expressed its opposition to the move and warned members of House of Representatives against tabling the said Bill.

"We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in Somaliland in making sure this bill is not tabled in the House of Representatives because there has been no consultation with media stakeholders and there are serious doubts if it meets the international standards of freedom of expression," added Osman.

Somaliland has in the past six months experienced recurring attacks on journalists, which have included beatings, arbitrary, arrest, criminal charges of defamation and slander against journalists perpetrated by senior government officials including ministers.

http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/the-national-union-of-somali-journalists-199535.html


Somaliland Police Beat Journalist in Hargeysa

By: National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)

http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/somaliland-police-beat-journalist-in-har-199119.html

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 28, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) strongly condemns the violations against journalist which continues in Somalia as Somaliland police has beaten seriously a Television journalist in Hargeysa.

Mohamed Abdi Kahin aka Boosh, who works for both a Somali new website Ramaas and Royal Television 24 respectively, was seriously beaten by Somaliland police on Thursday Oct. 27, 2011 at Shacabka neighborhood in Hargeysa, in proud daylight. The police accused the journalist for taking recently published photographs.

"When I was seriously beaten, I requested them to take to the police station." Mohamed Abdi Kahin told NUSOJ, "But they refused me to file even my case to the police."

"We condemn the strongest terms possible and call for the Somaliland authorities to investigate the case thoroughly and stop the harassment of the journalists and the obstruction of the freedom of the expression." Mohamed Ibrahim, the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists said, "It is unlawful and inhuman to beat a journalist or any other human what so ever the circumstance might be and the violations against journalists in Somaliland has to end."

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) documented at least a dozen press freedom cases in Somaliland. NUSOJ asks for the United Nations, Human rights Organizations and press freedom groups to intervene the worsening and the climate for journalists in Somaliland and the rest of the Somalia.


Children Detained in Somaliland Failed by Juvenile Justice Law

24/10/2011 - http://www.soschildrensvillages.ca/News/News/child-protection-news/child-rights-news/Pages/Children-Detained-Somaliland-Failed-Juvenile-Justice-Law-073.aspx

Child rights activists are expressing concern over a law which they say is failing children and leaving them unprotected in Somaliland.

Officials in the self-declared independent Republic of Somaliland say that there is an average of 200 children detained each month by police for minor offences and are not charged properly under the juvenile justice law.

Khadar Nour, a child protection activist in the Somaliland capital, these children "end up being detained with adults because there are no rehabilitation centres for children or prisons for children".

Somaliland passed a juvenile justice law in 2007 which puts the age of criminal liability at 15. It limits the maximum punishment for someone as young as 15 to 15 years, and prohibits corporal punishment, life imprisonment and the death penalty. The law also sets out guidelines for the protection of a child's rights and a child's participation during court proceedings.

However, many are saying that the new law has not been implemented properly due in part to a lack of resources and a lack of understanding the law by government officials. According to an assessment conducted in August by Somaliland's ministry of justice, just 5 percent of the average 200 children detained monthly are processed though the judicial system.

This means that for the most part children are often arrested and freed arbitrarily. Many of the total of the 104 children in prison were there for offences such as theft, possession of illicit drugs and rape.

The assessment also found that more than half of Somaliland's police stations did not apply the juvenile justice law.

Admen Aidid Hussein, the Minister for justice, stated that "This law... calls for the establishment of children's courts, children's pre-trial detention centres and children's rehabilitation centres."

He added that the law had been held up primarily by a lack of funds for implementation, and by the need for training of police officers, social workers and other staff required to implement it.

Traditionally, criminal cases against children in Somaliland are dealt with by clan elders, with the clan, and not the child, taking responsibility for the crime. The 2007 law aims to protect the rights of children in accordance with international human rights law in a way that harmonizes the provisions of secular, Sharia and customary laws relating to children in conflict with law.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child remains the most widely recognized and ratified international child rights document. Article 37 (d) of the convention states that "Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action."


71 youth girls graduated from [with?] various professional skills by NAGAAD

http://www.nagaad.org. Hargaysa. 25 October 2011

NAGAAD Network supports youth girls by offering technical training courses as part of Nagaad's theme of education. Nagaad has been serving for the public in the last 14 years and all along it proved true to provide skilled women with various technical knowledge in Somaliland. These include; advocacy trainings, scholarships, provision of literacy programs for the rural settlements, professional courses, etc.

Since February, 2011, Nagaad has been training 80 girls as part of boosting their skills subject to employment opportunities in the country and their level of education. The trainees contained university graduates and those who failed to do formal education. Nagaad designed to organize and provide professional courses such project planning and management, financial management, mobile repairing and food catering.

For the university graduates, they were trained with project planning and management and financial management. For those missed schooling/drop outs, they were given mobile repairing and food catering. The training was funded by EDC (Education Development Center) as part of USAID funding.

The training was very successful, where students earned both practical and theoretical knowledge in reference to their respective courses. By 11th October, 2011, the graduation ceremony for the trainees was held at Crown Hotel where officials from government, telecommunication companies, CSOs, public, parents and also EDC officials represented.

The trainees who have excelled in the exams were given some gifts and the scenery was very beautiful. The executive director of Nagaad Network offered every body's certificate where students got delighted. The other representatives present at the ceremony also vowed as positive and historic.

The graduation ceremony became an outstanding. Representatives from telecommunication companies promised that they will work closely with Nagaad and provide internship for the mobile repairing students. Other civil society organizations also vowed that they will provide maximum assistance when needed.

In conclusion, the training was very useful where they were given practical information and vowed that it will be helpful for their respective jobs. The training also gave inspiration and encouraged many of them to have serious job seekers.


SOMALIA: Failing law leaves children unprotected in Somaliland

Activists say unless the juvenile justice law is implemented, children in conflict with the law will continue to face arbitrary justice (file photo)

http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=94054

HARGEISA, 24 October 2011 (IRIN) - Child rights activists have expressed concern over the stagnation of a juvenile justice law in Somalia's self-declared independent Republic of Somaliland, where officials say an average of 200 children are detained every month by police.

According to Khadar Nour, a child protection activist in the capital, Hargeisa, children are regularly detained for minor offences and "end up being detained with adults because there are no rehabilitation centres for children or prisons for children".

Somaliland passed a juvenile justice law in 2007 but is yet to implement it due to what government officials say are financial constraints and lack of knowledge of the law by the responsible institutions and their staff.

The law puts the age of criminal liability at 15, and requires that punishment be proportionate to the circumstances of the child and the gravity and nature of the offence. It limits maximum punishment to 15 years and prohibits corporal punishment, life imprisonment and the death penalty. The law also sets out protective measures relating to the child's record, and ensures clear child participation and child rights during proceedings.

But according to an assessment conducted in August by Somaliland's ministry of justice, just 5 percent of the average 200 children detained monthly are processed though the judicial system; children are often arrested and freed arbitrarily.

Ahmed Ismail Ali, director of child protection in Somaliland's ministry of justice, said at the time of the assessment, a total of 104 children were in prison for offences such as theft, possession of illicit drugs and rape.

"Out of the total [number of children in prison], 10 percent were female; 59 percent of all children in prisons were convicted by courts mainly for rape, drug [possession] and gang-related offences as well as other minor offences, while the remaining 41 percent are on remand," Ali said, quoting the assessment. "During trial, it was learned that 46 percent of those convicted were subjected to arbitrary detention."

Police fail to apply law

The assessment found that more than half of Somaliland's police stations did not apply the juvenile justice law.

"This law... calls for the establishment of children's courts, children's pre-trial detention centres and children's rehabilitation centres," said Ahmed Aidid Hussein, the minister for justice, adding that the law had been held up primarily by a lack of funds for implementation and the training of police officers, social workers and other staff required to implement it.

However, officials with the UN Children's Fund in Hargeisa told IRIN the institutionalization of children was not ideal, and ways should be found to keep them within the community rather than in rehabilitation centres.

Traditionally, criminal cases against children in Somaliland are dealt with by clan elders, with the clan, and not the child, taking responsibility for the crime. The 2007 law aims to protect the rights of children in accordance with international human rights law in a way that harmonizes the provisions of secular, Sharia and customary laws relating to children in conflict with law.

"I appeal to international and UN partners engaged in juvenile justice to commit themselves to contribute to the establishment of these institutions without which juvenile justice cannot be implemented," Hussein said.


Somaliland: French Delegation Signals Increased Cooperation

Oct 20, 2011. http://www.unpo.org/article/13367

French Ambassador to Djibouti Rene Forceville met with President Siilaanyo to discuss economic assistance and trade relations between the two nations.

Below is an article published by JSL Times:

Somaliland's President Mr. Ahmed Mohamoud Siilaanyo met with a French delegation today [20 October 2011] that is on a short visit to Somaliland. The meeting took place at the presidential office in Somaliland's capital of Hargeisa. Somaliland president briefed the delegate about the general situation in the country.

According to press release issued from the presidential spokesman Mr. Abdilahi Mohamed Daahir `Cukuse,' Somaliland president Mr. Siilaanyo held a high level meeting with French delegation. The meeting was held at the office of the president today as the press release states.

The French delegation is headed by the French ambassador to Djibouti Mr. Rene Forceville.

The ambassador stated that the main aim of their visit was to enhance and upgrade the cooperation and the bilateral relation between Somaliland the French government.

The ambassador further added that his government is keen on assisting Somaliland with development and enhancing private trade.

Somaliland president took the opportunity to brief the delegate about the general situation in the country and the genuine peace and stability that Somaliland has achieved.

The president added that Somaliland has achieved miracles when it comes to maintaining security on the ground and its territorial waters and it is now working hard on achieving genuine development.

Somaliland president hailed the French delegate's arrival to Somaliland and he seized the chance to demand that the French government as well as the international community provide assistance to Somaliland when it comes to the underscored achievements.

Somaliland president was accompanied by the planning and development Dr. Sacad Ali Shire and the foreign affairs secretary Dr. Mohamed Rashid Sh. Hasan.

The French ambassador to Djibouti Mr. Rene Forceville was accompanied by Renu Morechaux from the French defense ministry and the first secretary at the French embassy to Djibouti, Alexdener Jabet.


Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Post Gu 2011 -Northwest Regions

Technical Series Report No VI. 42
October 8, 2011. pages 88-100

http://www.fsnau.org/downloads/FSNAU-Post-Gu-2011-Food-Security-Technical-Series-Report.pdf

4.3.8 NORTHWEST REGIONS

Overview

The food security situation in the livelihoods of Northwest indicated a mixed trend. The situation has deteriorated in pastoral livelihoods of Togdheer, Sool and Sanaag regions due to two consecutive seasons of poor rains (Deyr '10 and Gu '11) and the harsh Jilaal dry season, while the pastoral livelihoods of W Galbeed and Awdal regions have improved, owing to normal rains received in the last two seasons. Currently, the total population in crisis in Northwest is estimated at 215,000 people, which is equivalent to 79 percent increase in the number of population in crisis from Deyr 2010 (120,000 people). Out of the total population in crisis, an estimated 50,000 people are in HE, while 165,000 people are in AFLC. About 77 percent of the population in crisis are concentrated in the rural areas. Sool Plateau pastoral remains in HE due to significantly reduced livestock assets and high indebtedness. On the other hand, pastoral livelihoods of Hawd, Nugal Valley and East-Golis deteriorated to AFLC due to significant livestock losses (small ruminants) during previous harsh Jilaal dry season. However, all agropastoral livelihoods in the Northwest region remain in BFI as in the Deyr 2010/11 due to good crop and livestock performance in the last two seasons.

The food security situation in the key pastoral livelihoods of Hawd (Togdheer and Sool regions), Nugal Valley, Sool Plateau and East Golis-Guban has deteriorated primarily as a result of drastic asset losses during the Jilaal season, limited milk production and increased debt levels. However, localized normal rains received this Gu season improved the rangeland conditions, which enhanced livestock body condition (average) and increased prospects for opportunistic normal migration. Furthermore, the acute water crisis experienced during last Jilaal has ended and water prices have returned to normal in most of the pastoral livelihoods. Reproduction and production (milk) is well below average as a result of poor conception of small ruminants during Deyr 2010 and medium camel abortions due to pasture and water stress during Jilaal season. Additionally, deaths of small ruminants during previous Jilaal season has led to a further decrease in herd sizes in these livelihoods and the herd size projections (Dec.11) are 45-56 percent of baseline levels in Nugal Valley, Sool Plateau and Hawd (Togdheer and Sool regions). Additionally, the poor households in these livelihoods reportedly resorted to selling of breeding animals as a distress coping strategy in order to access food and income. However, the herd size of the poor in the pastoral livelihoods of Hawd of Hargeysa and West Golis/Guban is anticipated to improve at the end of December 2011 (119% of baseline in Hawd of Hargeysa and 222% of baseline in West Golis) owing to medium lambing and high camel calving rates.

Crop establishment in the agropastoral livelihoods is below average (36% of last year and 86% of PWA) due to below normal Gu 2011 rains. Nonetheless, this is expected to improve between August and September 2011 owing to the ongoing good Karan rains. In most markets in Northwest regions (Hargeysa, Borama, Burao and Lasanod), local cereal prices (white sorghum) showed an increasing trend due to lack of cereals trade from Southern Somalia and Ethiopia as well as limited locally produced cereal stocks. The price indicate an increased trend in July and August 2011. In addition, the imported cereal prices are also higher compared to a year ago, hence the decreased purchasing power of poor households across the region.

The Post Gu 2011 integrated nutrition situation analysis shows mixed trends in the nutrition situation in Northwest livelihoods with most livelihoods showing significant deterioration while others indicate either sustained or improved situation compared to the Deyr 2010/11 situation. The nutrition situation for the West Golis and Nugal Valley livelihoods has significantly deteriorated from Serious phase in Deyr 2010/11 to Very Critical levels while that of Sool Plateau population has declined to Critical levels from the Serious levels in the previous season. The deterioration recorded in the respective livelihoods is mainly attributed to reduced milk access at the household level which resulted from abnormal seasonal livestock out-migration patterns, hence reducing milk availability and consumption in the area. Elevated morbidity levels, including the outbreak of measles, acute watery diarrhoea and dengue fever reported in these livelihoods have also contributed to the high levels of acute malnutrition. The populations in the agro-pastoral and East Golis/Gebbi Valley livelihood zones show a sustained Serious nutrition situation since Deyr 2010/11. On the other hand, the population in the Hawd livelihood illustrates the best nutrition situation in the country having improved from the Serious levels in Deyr 2010/11 to the current Alert phase. This is attributed to improved milk access following positive rainfall performance in the area, particularly in Hawd of Hargeisa.

EFFECTS ON LIVELIHOOD ASSETS

Natural Capital

As a result of localized normal rainfall (100-125% LTM) received this season, rangeland conditions (pasture, browse and water) have improved in the key pastoral livelihoods of Hawd, Sool Plateau, Nugal Valley, Golis- Guban with exception of some pockets in these livelihoods. This has resulted in average livestock body condition for all species with the exception of lactating camel that have not yet recovered from the impact of Jilaal. Acute water crisis experienced during last Jilaal since ceased and prices of water returned to normal (0.2 USD per jerrycan) in the pastoral livelihoods. Cereal crop establishment and projection estimates are below average as result of poor rainfall performance this Gu season. However, crop production is expected to be higher than the establishment projections due to favorable ongoing Karan rains that provided opportunities for second cycle of maize planting and improved the conditions for standing sorghum crops.

Physical Capital

In most parts of Northwest regions, road infrastructure is good with the exception of Golis/Guban/Gebi and Nugal Valley livelihood zones, where poor roads contributed to the high transportation costs, particularly during the rainy seasons. Some boreholes in Qabri-Huluul, Caynabo, Xingalool, Awrbogeys, Baraagaha Qol that serve large populations during critical periods are currently not functional, while most berkads in Hawd, upper Nugal, Sool Plateau and agropastoral areas hold limited water due to aging and lack of maintenance.

Social Capital

In this season, the traditional social support to the poor is weak in the key pastoral livelihoods of Sool Plateau and Nugal Valley, Hawd and East Golis due to drastic reduction in asset holding. However, the poor are still relying on social support like Kaalmo and Amaah (food on loan, food and cash gifts). Similarly, in the agropastoral areas the traditional social support to the poor in the form of Zakat has dramatically reduced due to limited cereal crop harvest in late July 2011.

Human Capital

Access to education services in most rural livelihoods in this region is limited due to inadequate infrastructure and lack of professional staff. However, school attendance in the pastoral livelihoods of eastern regions in this season has increased due to normal pastoral migration pattern compared to last Deyr 2010 where school attendance was disrupted by the abnormal migration. The results of the nutrition surveys conducted in July 2011 among West Golis population report a GAM rate of 22 percent (18.9-25.4) and a SAM rate of 5 percent (3.4-7.5) indicating a significant deterioration from Deyr 2010/11. Similarly, results from an assessment done in the Nugal Valley livelihood indicated a GAM rate of 23.2 percent (18.5-28.1) and a SAM rate of 6.7 percent (4.4-10.0), showing a significant deterioration from Deyr 2010/11 results. In Sool Plateau livelihood, results indicate a Critical nutrition situation with a GAM rate of 15.9 percent (13.6-18.4) and a SAM rate of 4.0 percent (2.9-5.4) reported in the current assessment. This is a significant deterioration from the Alert levels in Deyr 2010/11. A nutrition survey conducted in the East Golis livelihood reported GAM rate of 12.7 percent (8.5-16.9) and SAM rate of 1.1 percent (0.0-2.7) while an assessment in Northwest agro-pastoral livelihood recorded a GAM rate of 11.5 percent (8.5-15.4) and SAM rate of 0.6 percent (0.2-1.9) indicating a sustained Serious nutrition situation since Deyr 2010/11 in both livelihoods. The results of the July 2011 assessment in Hawd livelihood in Northwest regions reported a GAM rate of 6.2 percent (4.3-8.8) and a SAM rate of 0.3 percent (0.1- 1.4) which indicate an improvement from a Serious levels in Deyr 2010/11.

Financial Capital

From the analysis (SLIM data), the number of rural people accessing loans has increased in Togdheer (34%) and Sool (5%) regions from June to August 2011, but slightly declined in Sanaag region (4%) due to lack of repayment of previous debts. Livestock asset holding has further decreased due to high death levels of small ruminants during the harsh Jilaal season and poor conception in Deyr 2010. As a consequence, the herd sizes are far below baseline levels in Nugaal Valley, Hawd of Toghdher and Sool regions. Projection for livestock herd sizes for the next six months (Dec.'11) as percent of baseline are as follows: Hawd Pastoral (Togdheer and Sool regions) - 93 percent of camel and 40 percent of sheep/goat; Hawd of W/Galbeed - 119 percent of camel and 167 percent of sheep/goat; Sool Plateau - no camel and 56 percent of sheep/goat; Nugal Valley - no camel and 45 percent of sheep/goat; W/Golis/Guban - 213 percent of camel and 80 percent of sheep/goat, East Golis - 173 percent of camel and 45 percent of sheep/goats. Livestock holding in agropastoral livelihoods of Northwest regions are projected as follows: camel (slightly above baseline) 105, cattle- 96 percent (near baseline) and sheep/goat 84 percent (slightly below baseline) in the same period. In most agropastoral livelihoods the poor households do not have cereal stocks, therefore, highly dependent on market purchases. Access to farm labour is also limited due to below average crop establishment, although expected to improve after Karan rains. However, the daily labour wage remained the same in June 2011 compared to a year ago and the same trend was maintained in July and August 2011. The average debt levels of poor households in pastoral livelihoods of Hawd, Nugal Valley and Sool Plateau increased compared to Gu 2010 (400 to 500 USD). This high indebtedness is mainly attributed to increased prices of trucked water for human/ livestock consumption and food on loan during Jilaal season.

EFFECTS ON LIVELIHOOD STRATEGIES

In a normal year, 60-80 percent of poor pastoralists' food needs are met through market purchases (mostly rice, wheat flour, sugar and vegetable oil). The remaining 20-40 percent of their diet comprises of livestock products, such as milk and meat available from own production. Additionally, livestock sales are the major source of income (50-65%) for the poor pastoralists, supplemented by income from employment (25-30%), as well as from livestock product sales (15-25%). The middle and better-off pastoral households generally earn most of their income from livestock and livestock product sales. Own production, including crop and livestock products, is the main source of food for poor agropastoralists (86%). Income is derived from labour/self-employment (75%), livestock sales (14%), crop sales (4%), as well as fodder and grass sales.

Food and income sources of the poor in key pastoral livelihoods of Sool plateau, Nugal Valley, Hawd of Burao and Lasaanood districts and East Golis have deteriorated due to below average milk production which is a consequence of medium rate of camel abortion and limited saleable animals owing to the drastic asset reduction during Jilaal season. Conversely, the food and income sources of poor households in pastoral livelihoods of Hawd of Hargeisa and West-Golis have improved in the current Gu 2011 season due to improved own production and increased herd sizes.

Food Sources

Own Production: in the affected pastoral livelihoods of Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool regions, camel milk for consumption is below average due to low camel calving rate, while in the agropastoral, access to cattle milk is average as a result of medium calving. Given the below average crop establishment in agropastoral livelihoods, low Gu/ Karan 2011 harvest is expected. However, good Karan rains between August and September 2011 is expected to improve Gu/Karan harvest. The overall crop harvest projection is estimated at 17,000MT (sorghum 96% and maize 4%), which is below normal and the lowest harvest since 2005 (36% of Gu/Karan 2010, 86% of PWA and 68% of the 5-year average of 2006-2010). In Awdal, cereal production is 122 percent of PWA and 124 percent of 5-year average, while in Togdheer, cereal production is 44 percent of PWA and 28 percent of 5-year average. In W. Galbeed cereal production is 81 percent of PWA and 63 percent of 5-year average. Generally, there is lack of cereal stocks amongst the poor households in the agropastoral livelihoods and they entirely depend on market purchases. However, amongst the Togdheer agropastoralists, there is improved food access as a result of some crop harvests in late August 2011.

Market Purchase: in most markets of Northwest zone, availability of local cereals is below normal at increased prices because of limited cereal inflow from southern Somalia and Ethiopia. Therefore, the purchasing power of the poor is affected considering that prices of white sorghum have also increased (17% to 26%) in June 2011 compared to same month last year and the previous six months (5% to 47%) (Figure 54).

In June 2011, the ToT of cereal to labour wage decreased in the main markets of Hargeysa (20%), Borama (14%), Burco(10%), and Lacanood (29%) compared to a year ago and Jun5 2 to August 2011 (from 10kg to 8kg) (Figure 55). In Northwest main markets, rice price increased in June 2011 (10% to 17%) compared to June 2010 and the trend continued in August 2011 due to decreased supply from Berbera port. Consequently, the ToT of local quality goat to rice declined from June 2011 to August 2011 in the affected livelihoods of Northwest zone. Namely, the ToT declines are observed in Burao (from 56kg to 36kg/head), Ceerigabo (from 35kg to 30kg/head) and Lascanood (55kg to 51kg/ head) Markets. Furthermore, the prices of imported staple food commodities have also increased compared to a year ago, rice (7%), sugar (8%) and vegetable oil (16%) in June 2011 to June 2010 (Figure 56).

In June 2011, the ToT of cereal to labour wage decreased in the main markets of Hargeysa (20%), Borama (14%), Burco(10%), and Lacanood (29%) compared to a year ago and Jun5 2 to August 2011 (from 10kg to 8kg) (Figure 55).

In Northwest main markets, rice price increased in June 2011 (10% to 17%) compared to June 2010 and the trend continued in August 2011 due to decreased supply from Berbera port. Consequently, the ToT of local quality goat to rice declined from June 2011 to August 2011 in the affected livelihoods of Northwest zone. Namely, the ToT declines are observed in Burao (from 56kg to 36kg/head), Ceerigabo (from 35kg to 30kg/head) and Lascanood (55kg to 51kg/ head) Markets. Furthermore, the prices of imported staple food commodities have also increased compared to a year ago, rice (7%), sugar (8%) and vegetable oil (16%) in June 2011 to June 2010 (Figure 56).

Income Sources

In most agropastoral livelihoods, income from crop sales is limited due to below average crop establishment. However, this situation is expected to improve in the harvest period of November 2011. Income from milk sales by the poor wealth group is meager across the livelihoods due to low calving rates, although income from livestock sales has slightly increased this season. However, poor pastoral households in Sool, Sanaag and Togdheer regions have limited income from livestock due to limited number of saleable animals (local and export quality). The local quality goat prices have increased in June 2011 in Ceerigabo (15%) and Burao markets (24%) compared to Gu 2010, with a decreasing trend noted between July and August 2011, due to increased supply from better-off and middle household to repay debts.

Similarly, income from gum and frankincense collection in East-Golis has declined due to the poor rainfall performance this Gu season, but is expected to improve from September onwards.

Livestock exports of sheep/goat, camel and cattle at Berbera port from January to June 2011 (721,946 heads) was 25 demand from Arabian Gulf states. This has contributed some income to the middle and better-off households who are more engaged in livestock sales for export while the poor in the main urban areas of the Northwest regions engage in labour activities related to livestock exports. In the first half of the year 2011, exports of chilled meat from Burao abattoir ceased as a result of increased demand in live animals trade from Arabian Gulf states.

Coping Strategies

Overall, the traditional social support to the poor in Sool Plateau, Hawd, Nugal valley and East-Golis have declined due to reduced saleable animals as result of livestock death (small ruminants) during Jilaal season. The poor currently rely on distress coping options such as loan and cash gifts. Other options employed by the poor households include bush product sales, charcoal burning and distress sales of breeding animals. In Sool Plateau livelihood, humanitarian interventions by international agencies mitigated the situation and saved lives of the most vulnerable households in this livelihood zone.


Somalia's woes: Hope is four-legged and woolly Salvation for the world's most utterly failed state depends more on private enterprise than international aid

Oct 15th 2011 | BERBERA AND BOSSASO | The Economist. http://www.economist.com/node/21532293

WHERE there are beasts, there is life, goes a saying in Somalia. Half of its people depend on livestock for their survival. This year they will export record numbers of animals. That seems improbable given that a famine is raging in south Somalia, which has seen over a million animals die of hunger and thirst. But the grazing in other parts of Somalia, especially the north, has been excellent and demand for livestock from abroad has never been higher. After banning Somali sheep and goats for many years, for allegedly being diseased, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia has once again declared them welcome.

For the first time since the collapse of Somalia as a unitary state in 1991, Saudi and Lebanese traders have ventured into the local livestock markets. Goats are mainly exported to Mecca for the annual haj pilgrimage. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that $250m-worth of animals will leave the port of Berbera and its more ramshackle rival, Bossaso, in the seven weeks before the haj in early November.

In the livestock market in Hargeisa, capital of the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland, sweaty goatherds press in on Adan Ahmed Deria, a trader. Hundreds of camels are being loaded onto lorries. Mr Deria nods to show that the price is fixed. "God willing," he says, "I will buy 800,000 goats and sheep this year." That is $52m of business, in cash, in a country where the economy has apparently collapsed.

Trade is set to grow further. Saudi Arabia wants to double its livestock imports from Somalia by 2013. The herders face fierce competition from Georgia, China and Paraguay, but halal butchers value the quality of Somali animals, which are raised by nomadic Muslims.

Somalis have hardly begun to tap the value of their animals. With about $50m in international help they could invest in watering stations, encourage communities to cure animal skins, make soap from bone marrow and fashion buttons from camel bone. They might also usefully improve transport by, say, building bridges over rivers prone to flooding, which would cut out rapacious middlemen.

Though the region suffers from rampant piracy, it mainly affects international shipping rather than locals. Last month pirates captured a livestock ship in the waters off Bossaso; they were killed within hours by irate traders and herders. Meanwhile, hijacked foreign freighters litter the coastline undisturbed.

As parts of the economy grow, Somalis increasingly look to the diaspora for loans. Its members are prominent in gold and metal markets across Africa. Many excel at moving goods and money around. The once thriving fishing industry would be helped by investment in refrigerators, as would frankincense cultivation, which employs 10% of the workers in Puntland, a breakaway region in the north.

None of this is to deny that the situation in south Somalia-the country's breadbasket-is anything other than dire. UN figures yet to be published suggest that 80,000 people may already have died as a result of the famine. More are certain to follow them to the grave. According to Somali aid workers from the hungriest areas, the situation is bad but improving. Forecasts for the coming rains are promising. Showers have already arrived in some places. Recovery will be a struggle, but apocalypse looks less likely now.

An American celebrity campaign, entitled "F--- famine", emphasises that famines are man-made. That is unhelpfully vague but not necessarily wrong. In Somalia famine results from the strictures imposed by the al-Qaeda-linked Shabab militia, which controls large parts of the south. A drought has strained the entire region. But Kenya and Ethiopia have dealt with it much better than the ignorant and petty Shabab. They have been kicked out of Mogadishu, Somalia's ruined seaside capital, by African Union (AU) troops paid by America and the European Union.

The Shabab are not yet defeated, but they have lost a lot of ground and support. The story of a 23-year-old farmer, Ahmed Mohammed, is typical. He fled his village of Bulamerer on the Shabelle river along with his heavily pregnant wife and one of their children. They left two other children behind in the village with Mr Mohammed's mother and his teenage brothers and sisters. The family's goats died of hunger. He fears his children might suffer the same fate. Still, he says he will not return home until the Shabab have gone.

The fighters take a third of the harvest as taxation, ban singing, whip the men to prayers, force the women to cover their faces, and violently break up any gathering of four or more people. The village school is run by the Shabab, but only those loyal to their cause are allowed to attend. Echoing the suggestion that the famine is at least in part man-made, Mr Mohammed claims he and others were denied access to river water for their crops.

Now on the defensive, the Shabab have taken actions as desperate as they are deadly. On October 4th they arranged a suicide bombing in Mogadishu which killed over 100 people. Most were students queuing up for scholarships to Turkey. The bomber, a teenager, recorded an interview before the attack in which he said of the victims, "They never think about the hereafter and about harassed Muslims."

The target of the bombing was education-hope itself-but also the Transitional Federal Government. It is supported by the AU troops in the capital. The prime minister, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, wants to finish off the Shabab and has said "this is the time to intervene" and that the "cowards" should not be allowed to regroup. An offensive led by the AU and transitional government troops this week hammered Shabab positions on the edge of Mogadishu. Publicly, donor countries say the government is the best bet to run the country. Privately, they lambast it. Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the lacklustre president, has extended his mandate by delaying elections to next year, to nobody's satisfaction. Venal and inept, his government surely needs to be replaced. But with what?

The International Crisis Group, a research and lobby group, argues that a "European style centralised state, based on Mogadishu, is almost certain to fail". Somali elders talk of free-spirited nomads "vomiting up" orders made far away. Devolving power to towns and clans-the linchpin of Somali society-would be better. But that too is risky. South Somalia has several separatist groups and Puntland has at least three separatist insurgencies which result in almost daily assassinations of officials and an indefinite delay in potentially lucrative oil exploration. Somaliland in the far north is different again. Despite a dependency on qat, a mild stimulant imported from Ethiopia, which accounts for a third of imports, or $160m a year, it has a maturing government and four successful elections behind it. Many Western diplomats now think it deserves full independence. Ethiopia might agree. It needs a stable Somaliland to pipe gas from a newly found field in the east to the coast.

The non-Shabab parts of Somalia have every chance of seeing strong economic growth. The diaspora remits $1 billion or so a year. That could finance badly needed investments. Yet often the money comes with strings attached. Some benefactors engage in what is known as "PlayStation politics" in which they attempt, as in video games, to control affairs in their homeland remotely. Or pillage it: "Where there is money, there is funny," says Abdiwahid Hersi, the director of Puntland fisheries.

Take the spiny lobster. Puntland used to catch 2,000 tonnes of these each year. But predatory fishing practices have destroyed stocks. Last year, the catch was only 167 tonnes. Next year, the spiny lobster may be gone forever. With it goes another chance for a better life in coastal communities tempted by piracy.

Further economic growth in northern Somalia is dependant on law enforcement-an unlikely prospect. A group of mercenaries is suspected of having landed a shipment of arms and equipment at Bossaso this month. Could they be paid to clear out pirate dens and save the spiny lobster? Somalis laugh at the thought.

But with north Somalia recovering somewhat, while the south is mired in famine, one conclusion is inescapable. The Somalia of the past is gone. The southern breadbasket has fallen too far behind. Even though it may slowly be freed from extremist control, Mogadishu will only ever be the capital in name. The country's economic centre of gravity has shifted to the Arab-facing north. Bossaso has grown from 50,000 to 1m people since 1991. Hargeisa has expanded even faster. The best hope for the south is that some of the dynamism spreads.


Eating in the Horn of Africa: camel, goat and ... spaghetti?

by Sean McLachlan
Oct 13th 2011. http://www.gadling.com/2011/10/13/eating-in-the-horn-of-africa-camel-goat-and-spaghetti/

When my wife and I went to the Horn of Africa last year for our Ethiopia road trip, we were eagerly looking forward to a culinary journey. We weren't disappointed. Ethiopian food is one of our favorites and of course they make it better there than anywhere else!

While it came as no surprise that the food and coffee were wonderful, the cuisine in the Horn of Africa turned out to be more varied and nuanced that we expected. The two countries I've been to in the region, Ethiopia and Somaliland, have been connected to the global trade routes for millennia. Their national cuisines have absorbed influences from India, the Arab world, and most recently Italy.

Ethiopians love meat, especially beef and chicken. One popular dish is kitfo--raw, freshly slaughtered beef served up with various fiery sauces. I have to admit I was worried about eating this but I came through OK. Chicken is considered a luxury meat and is more expensive than beef. One Ethiopian friend was surprised to hear that in the West chicken is generally cheaper than beef.

Ethiopian booze is pretty good too. Tej is a delicious honey wine and tella is a barley beer. They also make several brands of lager and one of stout.

I've also spent time in the Somali region of Ethiopia and Somaliland. Living in arid lowlands rather than green and mountainous highlands, the Somalis have a very different cuisine than the Ethiopians. A surprising staple of Somali cooking is pasta. Actually on second thought it isn't so surprising. The former Somalia was an Italian colony for a few decades. Italian food is popular in Eritrea and Ethiopia as well and makes for a refreshing change from local cuisine. Some Somalis are still pastoral nomads, moving through the arid countryside with their herds of camels and goats much like their ancestors did centuries ago. Pasta is a perfect food for nomads--compact, lightweight, nutritious, and easy to prepare.

The only downside to eating pasta in the Somali region is that Somalis, like most Africans, eat with their hand. I made quite a fool of myself trying to eat spaghetti with my hand!

Goat is a popular meat in the Somali region and is served in a variety of ways. I love a good goat and have eaten it in a dozen countries. It's tricky to cook, though, and can easily be overdone and end up stringy and flavorless. Good goat, however, is one of the best meats around. For some expert opinion, check out Laurel Miller's fun post on the cultural aspects of eating goat.

While goat is the main meat for Somalis, what they really like is camel. These ships of the desert are expensive, so camel meat is usually reserved for special occasions like weddings. Wealthy, urban professionals eat it fairly regularly, though. At the Hadhwanaag Restaurant and Hotel in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland, expert chefs slow-cook goat and camel in clay ovens that look much like tandoori ovens. The meat comes out deliciously tender and fragrant. Lunch at the Hadhwanaag was easily one of my top five meals in Africa.

Oh, and don't forget Somali tea! A mixture of black tea, spices, and camel's milk, it's almost identical to Indian chai. The perfect pick-me-up after a long day seeing Somaliland's painted caves or looking for your next edible ride at the camel market.

The Horn of Africa has an unfair reputation for warfare and famine. This is because it only gets on the news when something bad happens there. It makes a great adventure travel destination, though, and the determined traveler will find fascinating sights, friendly people, and great food. With any luck I'll be back there in 2012!


Somaliland court sentences seven pirates to jail term

BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 12 Oct 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 8 Oct 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. Text of report in English by Somali newspaper The Somaliland Times website on 8 October

Seven pirates were given five year jail sentences in Somaliland's coastal city Berbera. The Somali pirates were apprehended by Somaliland's coast guard earlier this year. The sentencing was confirmed to the media by judge Usman Ibrahim Dahir. The judge also said that one of the pirates admitted that they were engaged in piracy.

Somaliland courts have sentenced more than 80 pirates to jail in the last few years.

Credit: The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 8 Oct 11


Somaliland to extradite alleged OLF, ONLF operatives to Ethiopia

Posted by Daniel Berhane on Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Somaliland is to extradite hundreds of Ethiopians, unofficial reports indicated.

Somaliland is a breakaway northern territory of Somalia. Somaliland declared independence almost two decades ago, it has not achieved international recognition. Though there had been a few unofficial reports of instance of extradition, in the past, Somaliland often resisted as it complicates clan relations. Especially, in case of ONLF, which consists the Ogaden clan of Somali people.

As reported in this blog in mid-September, Somaliland official claimed that: `After evaluating the status of the illegal immigrants, we realized that these people have no benefits for the country; on the contrary, they are a problem in terms of security,..For this reason, the government of Somaliland has given a month's notice to all illegal immigrants to leave the country. Those who do not leave will face legal charges and be deported.'

The officials also said: `We recognize only 1,772 Ethiopian refugees out of 80,000 to 90,000 illegal immigrants in Somaliland. And the decision will affect those of every nationality living in Somaliland illegally.'

Noting that the decision will affect Ethiopian, to whom most of the illegal immigrants belong, this blog commented: `given the Somaliland's government reliance on Ethiopia for diplomatic and security support, it is unlikely that the decision to deport would be taken without the knowledge, if not consent, of the latter'.

It seems now that, however, the large-scale deportation may not take place. Rather, it was a show staged to camouflage the extradition of a few hundred individuals.

Recent reports claim that Ethiopian officials formally requested, in early September, Somaliland President Mahamoud (aka Silanyo) for the extradition a long list of Ethiopians residing in his territory. Most of whom are suspected of involvements in the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). The two organizations claim to be fighting to end `colonialism' in the southern and eastern parts of Ethiopia, according to the mission statement posted on their officials websites. The Ethiopian government and IGAD, the Horn of Africa's regional bloc, recently proscribed the two organizations as terrorists.

Subsequently, Somaliland's police arrested some 250-350 Ethiopians, most, if not all, named in the list provided from Ethiopia. It is not clear if the Somaliland officials are done with the arrest and when they will deliver them to Ethiopian officials.

It is noteworthy that the Somaliland signed a tripartite agreement with Ethiopia and and China last august. The agreement was said to be on oil, gas, and logistics, concerning the gas and oil pipelines to be built from eastern Ethiopia to the Somaliland port, Berbera. It is not clear how far the agreements, subsidiary documents, involve security matters, especially arrangements for extradition.

http://danielberhane.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/somaliland-to-extradite-alleged-olf-onlf-operatives-to-ethiopia/


Somaliland, time for some people's diplomacy

Oct 9, 2011.http://horseedmedia.net/2011/10/08/somaliland-time-for-diplomacy/

By: Khaalid Hassan.H. Mahamoud(Msc)

Since Somaliland's independence in 1991 its main foreign policy objective is to achieve international legal recognition. Because Somalia no longer exists as a state and the current TFG and its predecessors did not have the legal authority from which Somaliland could reclaim its sovereignty and legal nationhood, it rather focused on campaigning and lobbying Western, African countries and international institutions for its cause. Many of these countries and international organisations now generally accept that Somaliland is a de facto State and that it has demonstrated the will, determination, cohesion, stability and political maturity that is required for international recognition. This leads to many bilateral relationships and development support for Somaliland, but it did not lead to the hoped international recognition as an independent state.

The international campaign for recognition turned out to have other effects as well. Because Somaliland successfully distant itself from the chaos in Somalia but also distanced itself from other Somali's. Many Somali's in Somalia and throughout the world perceived Somaliland's independence aspirations as hostile and counterproductive to the peace and reconciliation aspirations of Somalia. Ethiopia's early support for Somaliland's independence added more resentment to those questioning its claim for independence. And finally, concerns of internal political division and tribal politics in Somaliland, particularly in the regions of Sool, parts of Sanaag and sometimes in the Awdal region which surfaces from time-to-time although the latter has different concerns compared to that of the first two. This has created further negative implications to Somaliland's bid for international recognition.

Over the years Somaliland's diplomatic focus shifted from Ethiopia to the Republic of Djibouti and Kenya. A positive step for gaining a balanced support in the greater region. However Somalia remains the only legal authority from which Somaliland could reclaim its sovereignty from and Somali's from Somalia are the stakeholders who can grant Somaliland it's wish for recognition. Somaliland needs to gain grass root support from their Somali brothers in Somalia and abroad. Somaliland to show to the Somali public that its independence aspirations and Somalinimo go hand in hand, that it has genuine desire for fraternal and friendly relations, that it is concerned with the fate of Somalia and wishes to contribute to the peace, reconciliation and development efforts in the region. Last week a Somaliland delegation led by prominent poet Mohamed Warsame Hadraawi was send to Mogadishu to deliver aid to famine stricken families. The funds were raised by the people of Somaliland in solidarity and sympathy with their starving brothers and sisters in Somalia. This kind of initiative shows goodwill to all Somali's and above all demonstrate Somaliland's political maturity. And with enough goodwill from the Somali's it may one day lead to recognition by their brothers from Somalia. This kind of recognition is much more preferred and desired then recognition from any other foreign country.

Even though Somalia no longer exists as a state, still diplomacy towards Somalia is much needed. Traditional diplomacy, the interaction between governments, would be ineffective as the TFG mandate doesn't have a lot of support in Somalia and its mandate is ending by next year. So this would not have the added value needed in this case. But Somaliland could achieve its goals by using Public Diplomacy rather than traditional diplomacy. In international relations public diplomacy or people's diplomacy, broadly speaking, is the communication with foreign public to establish a dialogue designed to inform and influence public attitudes and perception. It is practiced through a variety of instruments and methods ranging from personal contact and media interviews to the Internet and educational exchanges. Somaliland should use Public diplomacy by effectively communicating with Somali publics around the globe through the use of mass media and through dealings with a wide range of nongovernmental entities(educational institutions, religious organizations, clan and ethnic groups) and influential individuals (business people, singers, writers) for the purpose of influencing the Somali public perceptions towards Somaliland. Even through sports and other social/cultural activities like music events and youth exchanges could be used to promote understanding of Somaliland's case.

It involves not only shaping the message that Somaliland wishes to present, but also analyzing and understanding the ways that the message is interpreted by the public and developing the tools of listening and conversation as well as the tools of persuasion. With public diplomacy Somaliland would encourage understanding; listens and engages in dialogue; objectively displays national achievements and international goodwill to a broad Somali public. As shown last week by Hadraawi's humanitarian visit to Moqadishu.

One of the most successful initiatives which embody the principles of effective public diplomacy is the creation of the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg after the second World War. It's original purpose was to facilitate dialogue and function as a catalyzer for greater understanding between Europeans who first perceived each other's as hostile after the World War. The Centre has been established as a residential and educational training and meeting Centre for the implementation of the Council of Europe's youth policy. The Centre hosts around 150 activities, training courses, study sessions, consultative meetings and symposia dealing with development of youth in Europe. For more than 40 years the Centre played a key role in promoting and shaping its youth's view towards fundamental values like equality, human rights, rule of law, democracy, discrimination against minorities, social exclusion, development and the unity of the continent.

Public diplomacy is seen as one of the most crucial tools in the practice of diplomacy today. And by using some people diplomacy Somaliland could strengthen its case and at the same time create better understanding, peace and cooperation among the Somali people in the Horn of Africa.

By: Khaalid Hassan.H. Mahamoud(Msc) Former Policy Officer at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and previously worked with the International Labour Organisation in Somalia/Somaliland. Currently Member of Delft City Council in the Netherlands


Somaliland: the country without mail

by Sean McLachlan (RSS feed) on Oct 9th 2011

Today is World Post Day, celebrated every October 9 to mark the anniversary of the foundation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874. More than 150 countries celebrate this day honoring something that's so vital to our lives but is generally taken for granted.

In Somaliland they aren't celebrating, because they don't have a postal system. No other country recognizes Somaliland as a nation and therefore it can't get membership in the Universal Postal Union. Somaliland is the northern third of former Somalia and declared independence in 1991. After a bloody war of independence it developed a government, law enforcement, a viable economy, and infrastructure while neighboring Puntland became a haven for pirates and southern Somalia was torn apart by warlords and terrorists.

When I was traveling in Somaliland last year I was based in Hargeisa, the capital. Unlike much of the region, the lights stayed on around the clock, the streets were safe, and businesses were thriving. When I visited the central post office, however, I found an empty ruin.

So what does a country without mail do to get, um, mail? Courier services are widely used, and there's broadband Internet in the capital. In fact, they had the fastest Internet connection I've ever seen in Africa! Some Somalis told me the lack of a postal system actually encouraged the development of Internet Service Providers.

Still, it would have been nice to have been able to send postcards to my friends from this nation that doesn't officially exist. Of course I didn't actually see any postcards for sale, because there was no way to send them. With the rest of the world recognizing the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, which doesn't even control all of Mogadishu, it doesn't look like we're going to be seeing any postcards from Somaliland anytime soon. Filed under: Festivals and Events, Africa, Somalia

http://www.gadling.com/2011/10/09/somaliland-the-country-without-mail/


New Political Party Formed in Somaliland

Waddani Party is the Fourth in the Breakaway State

By JAMA DEPERANI 10/07/2011. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1722/New_Political_Party_Formed_in_Somaliland

The establishment of Waddani, a new political party, was formally announced in Somalia's northern breakaway region of Somaliland, during a ceremony in Hargiesa on Thursday evening.

This will mark the fourth political party in Somaliland since the breakaway government last month approved a law to allow for a multi-party system. Other parties include the Kulmiye party, which is currently in control, and the two opposition parties of Udub and Ucid.

More than 600 hundred participants including government officers and opposition parties attended the ceremony, according to journalist Abdirisak Mohamed who spoke to Somalia Report.

The new political party was created after members of UCID party had internal conflicts and broke away to form Waddani, according to the new Waddani chief, Abdurahman Mohamed Abdulaahi (known as Cirro), who also serves as Somaliland's Parliament Speaker.

"We declared this new party for different reasons, but mainly because of conflicts which affected UCID about rules," Mr. Abdulaahi told Somalia Report.

"The rules did not allow the chairman to be elected more than twice. We hold elections every five years and Chairman Faysal Ali Waraabe needs to be chairman third time, but the rules wouldn't allow it. That is why we moved away from the UCID party and formed our own," he added.

Waddani has at least 250 members with at least 17 of the members, including the chairman, defecting from the UCID party. The new party also includes members of the government and will be a formidable force, according to the chairman.

Officers of the new party told Somalia Report that they will be on the side of its citizens through backing development and infrastructure improvements.

"If we win the next election we will realize our dream, a dream that Somaliland will be an independent country, recognized by international community," aid Mr. Abdulaahi.

UCID is still made up of influential political members including the Chairman Faysal Ali Waraabe, a well-known politician. Faysal was elected twice as Chairman of UCID. It is the only party yet to lead the state.

In August, Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabose, Somaliland's Interior Minister quit to establish his own new party.

Somaliland's last presidential election was June 26, 2010, and the next election will be June 26, 2015.


Somalia. No Easy Way Out: Traditional Authorities in Somaliland and the Limits of Hybrid Political Orders [pdf]

Report-Danish Institute for International Studies

DownloadPDF (266.26 KB).

The point of departure for this paper is the fact that Somalia has been without effective state institutions since 1991. Markus Virgil Hoehne explores how moderately effective state-like institutions have been rebuilt in Somaliland and Puntland in northern Somalia over the past two decades. These institutions do not enjoy international recognition and are limited in power and scope. Moreover, the paper shows how alternative forms of authority exercised by so-called non-state actors have gained prominence during the process of state-formation.

A particularly important category of non-state actors in northern Somalia are traditional authorities. In the northern Somali setting, these are family or clan heads. Traditionally, they follow norms of culture and their legitimacy is embedded in social relations among and between their and other groups. However, they do not act in a political vacuum. In the contemporary (northern) Somali setting they have to engage with and are influenced by militias, religious activists, civil society groups and the existing state-like institutions. This brings about a complex mixture of `traditional' and `modern' elements of politics and leads to shifts in modes of legitimacy.

The paper is based on long-term fieldwork in Northern Somalia, where the author has followed the contested process of state formation. It was initially presented at the 1-3 November 2010 conference on Access to Justice and Security. Non-State Actors and Local Dynamics of Ordering, organized by DIIS researchers Helene Maria Kyed and Peter Albrecht.

http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/DIIS%20WP%202011-18.sk%C3%A6rm.pdf


7 Pirates Sentenced in Berbera

Unknown Group Seeks Revenge, Terrifies Town with Threatening Letters

By AWEYS CADDE 10/06/2011

Berbera Court. Convited Pirates

The high court of Sahil region in Bebera of the breakaway state of Somaliland has sentenced seven Somali men to five years in prison each for committing acts of piracy including hijacking ships and commercial boats.

According to the chairman of Sahil High court, Osman Sutan Inrahim, the suspects were caught by Russian anti piracy troops and delivered to the Somaliland security forces on July 10th, 2011.

"When we realized those men were involved with piracy operations, hijacking ships, commercial boats and taking several ransom, the court sentenced them five years in prison each," the judge said, adding that they can appeal the sentence over the next 30 days.

The convicted men are Mohamud Aden Hersi, Abdifatah Cali Dahir, Mohamed Omar Mohamed, Hussein Mohamed Sa'id, Mohamud Salad Isma'il, Jama Mohamed Farah and Abdirisak Abdulahi Shire.

According to the residents, fear gripped the city after an unidentified group scattered warning letters on the streets last night, threatening to carry out revenge against Berbera's administration.

"The papers said they will targeted all government offices and the public places," Layla Hirre, a local journalist told Somalia Report.

On June 6th, the Sahil High court sentenced five Somali pirates to eight years to prison.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1712/7_Pirates_Sentenced_in_Berbera


Somalia: `Somaliland aid to Mogadishu non-political issue': Silanyo

2 Oct 2, 2011 - http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Somaliland_aid_to_Mogadishu_non-political_issue_Silanyo.shtml

The leader of Somalia's separatist region of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo has criticized leaders of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), saying that the delivery of humanitarian aid to Mogadishu was "non-political issue," Radio Garowe reports.

Somaliland President Silanyo said TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed "should not mistake our [Somaliland] humanitarian aid to Mogadishu as our desire to re-unite with Somalia. We have independence and we are not re-uniting."

TFG President Sharif and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gas have publicly commented that Somaliland is part of Somalia, but owned the door for future talks with Somaliland's separatist leaders on reunification.

No country has recognized Somaliland's independence since 1991.

Last week, a group of civilians from Somaliland flew to Mogadishu to delivery US$750,000 cash donation for humanitarian purposes. The group was led by Somali poet Ibrahim Hadrawi, whom President Silanyo criticized for Hadrawi's nostalgic pro-unity comments upon arrival in Mogadishu.


SOMALIA: Somaliland in first humanitarian mission to Mogadishu

03 Oct 2011.Source: IRIN

HARGEISA, 3 October 2011 (IRIN) - A humanitarian delegation from the Republic of Somaliland donated relief aid for 9,000 drought-displaced families in the Somalia capital, Mogadishu, during a visit on 30 September, the first such visit since the region declared unilateral independence from the rest of the country in 1991.

"We plan to distribute food for 9,000 families and medicine for four hospitals," said Hasan Abdi Awed, chairman of Somaliland's Chamber of Commerce and leader of the eight-member delegation. "The food we are distributing will last the beneficiary families for one month."

Awed said the Somaliland government had announced in late August that it would participate in the international efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Somalia, which has been hit by famine and drought across most of its south-central regions.

Mohamed Shugri Jama, a spokesman for the delegation, told a news conference in Hargeisa before the visit: "We collected about US$700,000 donated by the people and the government of Somaliland, and we have split into two delegations, one will be in Mogadishu distributing the food aid there, while another will go to the refugee camps [in Dadaab] in Kenya."

Receiving the Somaliland delegation at the Mogadishu international airport, the governor and mayor of Mogadishu, Mohamed Ahmed Nur Tarsan, said: "We are glad to receive the delegation from Somaliland, which is here in response to the humanitarian crisis. It is not the amount of their contribution that matters but their empathy is more important."

Somaliland [ http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=89706 ], in the north of the country, is a former British protectorate that joined Italian Somaliland to form the Republic of Somalia in 1960. In 1991, the northwestern region declared its independence from the rest of Somalia and has enjoyed relative stability and peace unknown in Mogadishu.


Northerners will never join the rest of Somalia, says Silanyo

Published On: Saturday, October, 01 2011. http://www.sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1403

Addressing reporters in Hargeisa on Thursday night, Silanyo ruled out any political significance of their visit to the south.

Hargeisa (Sunatimes) The president of the Somali breakaway region of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud Silanyo has affirmed that they will not soften their political stand and rejoining the rest of the Somalia.

He said the recent delegation from his region that has delivered humanitarian aid in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, was purely on humanitarian ground and has nothing to do with politics.

Addressing reporters in Hargeisa on Thursday night, Silanyo ruled out any political significance of their visit to the south, saying that they will not negotiate for their secession from the rest of the country.

He was responding to criticism from opposition parties in his region and an alleged assertion from the Somali president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

He said it was their responsibility to come to the aid of their brothers in the south who were suffering and thanked Somaliland people.

He said the southerners should not view their generosity as political come back of the northerners.

Silanyo criticised the assertion by some leaders of two main opposition parties in Somaliland, UDUB and UCID especially Feisal Ali Warabe who alleged that Silanyo was softening his stands as far as the region's separation from the rest of Somalia is concerned.

The regional president said such accusations amounts to insult aimed at misleading Somaliland people. He urged locals not to listen to baseless accusations from the opposition parties.


Somalia famine victims said to receive relief aid from breakaway region

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 Sep 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 24 Sep 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Text of unattributed report in English entitled "Somaliland sends aid to Somalia's famine victims" by Somali newspaper The Somaliland Times website on 24 September

Somaliland government announced that two delegations will leave with aid to Somalia's famine victims. One delegation will deliver aid in Mogadishu and the other delegation will take aid to the refugee camps in Kenya.

The Minister of commerce, Abdirizaq Khalif Ahmed, said the Somaliland government had raised $700,000 for famine relief in Somalia. He also revealed that the money was largely collected inside the country with the exception of 0.5 per cent which came from the diaspora.

The delegation to Mogadishu includes Muhammad Ibrahim Warsame (Hadrawi), Jamal Aydid Ibrahim, Sheikh Muhammad Shugri Jama and Ahmed Muhammad Adan.

The delegation to Kenya's refugee camps is composed of Sh. Khaliil Abdillahi Ahmed, the minister of commerce, Sheikh Muhammad Ahmed Adan and Muhammad Shigri Dagal.

Credit: The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 24 Sep 11


Freedom in the World Country Report. Somaliland (2011) Capital: N/A
Population: 3,500,000
Political Rights Score: 4
Civil Liberties Score: 5
Status: Partly Free

Ratings Change

Somaliland's political rights rating improved from 5 to 4 due to the successful conduct of a long-delayed presidential election and the peaceful transfer of power from the incumbent to his leading rival.

Overview

In a long-delayed presidential election in June 2010, incumbent Dahir Riyale Kahin lost to his leading challenger, Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud "Silanyo," and power was transferred peacefully to the new president. International observers declared the balloting a success, but overdue legislative elections were postponed once more.

The modern state of Somalia was formed in 1960, when the newly independent protectorates of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland agreed to unite. In 1969, General Siad Barre took power, ushering in a violent era of clan rivalries and political repression. Barre was deposed in early 1991, triggering a fight for control between armed militias divided along clan lines. The current Somaliland, largely conforming to the borders of the former British Somaliland in the northwestern corner of the country, took advantage of Somalia's political chaos and declared independence later that year.

In a series of clan conferences, Somaliland's leaders formed a government system combining democratic elements, including a parliament, with traditional political structures, such as an upper house consisting of clan elders. The first two presidents were appointed by clan elders. In 2003, Dahir Riyale Kahin became Somaliland's first elected president; although he won by less than 100 votes, the runner-up accepted the outcome. Direct elections for members of the lower house of parliament were held for the first time in 2005. The president's United People's Democratic Party (UDUB) won the most seats, with the Peace, Unity, and Development Party (Kulmiye) and the Justice and Development Party (UCID) following close behind. While the 2003 and 2005 elections did not meet international standards, there were no reports of widespread intimidation or fraud.

In 2006, Riyale violated the constitution by postponing elections for the upper house and extending its term by four years. His decision set a precedent for other constitutional breaches. Local and presidential elections were repeatedly delayed, provoking a political crisis that lasted until 2010.

At the heart of the dispute was a failure to compile an electoral roll that was acceptable to all sides. The process was mishandled by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and plagued by fraud. Registration was almost derailed by coordinated suicide bombings in Somaliland's capital, Hargeisa, in 2008, which killed at least 23 people. Somaliland officials blamed the Shabaab(Arabic for "the youth"), the Islamist militant group that controlled much of central and southern Somalia. The presidential election was postponed twice more in 2009. An opposition motion to impeach the president led to brawls in the parliament as well as street protests. The police responded to the protests with live ammunition, killing four people.

A transitional agreement was eventually reached between the parties, clearing the way for the presidential election to take place. After several more delays, the poll was finally held in June 2010. Kulmiye leader Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud "Silanyo" won just under 50 percent of the vote, easily defeating Riyale, who took 33 percent. Turnout among the roughly one million eligible voters was about 50 percent, having been affected by the nonparticipation of some residents living in Sool and Sanaag, a disputed area on the border with Somalia's semiautonomous region of Puntland. Monitors from Europe and the United States identified some irregularities but declared the vote to have been free and fair. Silanyo was sworn into office in July. While the presidential election was a success, the long-overdue legislative elections were postponed again in September.

Poverty is rife in Somaliland, and the government struggles to provide basic goods and services to the population. Conditions are exacerbated by the limited access to foreign assistance and international loans that stems from the territory's lack of diplomatic recognition as an independent state, though the successful presidential election was expected to strengthen Somaliland's campaign for recognition.

Political Rights and Civil Liberties

According to Somaliland's constitution, the president is directly elected for a maximum of two five-year terms and appoints the cabinet. The presidential election of June 2010, originally scheduled for 2008, resulted in the smooth transfer of power from the UDUB party to the main opposition group, Kulmiye. While the outcome was peaceful, the campaign was conducted amid considerable political tension. The opposition accused incumbent Dahir Riyale Kahin of using public money to fund his campaign. There were also some outbreaks of violence. The Shabaab threatened to stop the vote, and in June Somaliland's police claimed to have disrupted a terrorist plot in the city of Burco. In addition, militia groups supporting Puntland's claims to Sool and Sanaag attacked polling stations, killing four people. Fake voting cards were found to be in circulation on election day, and there were some reports of underage voting and ballot-box stuffing. The NEC made credible efforts to address most complaints. Domestic and foreign election monitors found that the vote generally met international standards and that its outcome reflected the will of the people.

Members of Somaliland's 82-seat lower house of parliament are directly elected for five-year terms, while members of the 82-seat upper house (Guurti) are indirectly elected by local communities for six-year terms. Both houses extended their terms in September 2010, arguing that Somaliland could not organize another election so soon after the presidential poll. The Gurti voted to increase its term by another three years, having originally been due for elections in 2006. The House of Representatives, whose elected term was to expire in December 2010, gave itself an extension of two years and eight months. Both decisions were made with the apparent blessing of the new president, Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud "Silanyo."

Somaliland's constitution allows for a maximum of three political parties, and parties defined by region or clan are technically prohibited. Nevertheless, party and clan affiliations tend to coincide.

Corruption in Somaliland is a serious problem. There were persistent accusations that Riyale's government improperly diverted millions of dollars in public funds. Upon taking office, Silanyo set up a good governance and anticorruption commission with a mandate to tackle the corruption problem.

While freedoms of expression and the press are guaranteed by Somaliland's constitution, journalists face interference and harassment. Three reporters were arrested in June 2010 for taking photographs of a house displaying the Kulmiye party flag; they were released without charge later that month. Riyale's government displayed little tolerance of independent media and banned private broadcasters from operating inside Somaliland. The new administration followed suit. In October, the satellite broadcaster Universal TV, which operates from Britain, had its license suspended. It had been accused of favoring the interests of Puntland. The main radio station is the government-run Radio Hargeisa. There are seven private daily newspapers in Somaliland in addition to the state-owned Mandeeq, though they have limited circulations. While Somaliland has a small number of online news sites, they have limited reach within the territory because of low internet penetration. Nearly all Somaliland residents are Sunni Muslims, and Islam is the state religion. Proselytizing by members of other faiths is prohibited. Academic freedom in Somaliland is greater than in neighboring Somalia. The territory has at least 10 universities and colleges of higher learning, although none are adequately resourced.

Freedom of association is constitutionally guaranteed, and both international and local nongovernmental organizations operate without serious interference.However, the country's political crisis and precarious security situation was used as a justification to ban public demonstrations in 2009. While restrictions were eased in 2010, police used heavy-handed tactics against protesters in Hargeisa and Borama shortly after the new government took office in July. The UDUB opposition accused police of firing live ammunition into a crowd of demonstrators, though there were no reports of injuries.

According to the constitution, the judiciary is independent, and the laws cannot violate the principles of Sharia (Islamic law). In practice, the Riyale government bypassed the courts and used secret security committees to try many defendants without due process. A report compiled for the House of Representatives in March 2010 revealed that of the 765 inmates at Somaliland's main prison, 300 had not been charged with any offense but were being detained on the orders of the authorities. Upon taking office, Silanyo pledged to uphold the rule of law and implemented reforms at the Ministry of Justice to reduce executive interference in the judiciary. A pledge to release all prisoners who had not been charged with a crime, apart from those suspected of terrorism or theft, had not been fulfilled by year's end.

The judiciary is underfunded, and the Supreme Court is ineffective. Somaliland has approximately 100 judges, most of whom do not have formal legal training. Somaliland's police and security forces, while more professional than those in Somalia, have at times used excessive force.

Societal fault lines are largely based on clan. Larger, wealthier clans have more political clout than the less prominent groups, and clan elders often intervene to settle conflicts.

While society in Somaliland is patriarchal, women have made modest advances in public life. Silanyo appointed two women to his 20-member cabinet in July 2010. As in the rest of Somalia, female genital mutilation is practiced on the vast majority of women.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=363&year=2011&country=8189


Heavy Rain kills Dozen in Somaliland

Twelve Others Remain Unknown

By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 09/27/2011

Flood Village

At least 12 people are reportedly killed after flash floods triggered by days of heavy torrential downpour hit parts of Somalia's northern breakaway region of Somaliland.

The floods wrecked havoc in villages in between Djibouti and Somaliland countries where people and their animals were swept away by floodwater.

According to resident of Somaliland capital city of Hergeisa, some 12 people were killed after their cars were washed away.

"Floods has caused the deaths of 12 people in Agabar Valley, and there are others who were not found their body'' Abdirisaq Hajji, a resident in the hargaisa told Somalia Report.

Hajji Added that the total of the passengers were 24, 12 others are still remaining unknown.

Somaliland`s First Aid agencies have arrived on the scene and they are still busy to rescue the passangers.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1656/Heavy_Rain_kills_Dozen_in_Somaliland


Puntland Chides Somaliland over Al-Shabaab

Somaliland Denies Links with Al-Shabaab

By SUCAAD MIRE 09/27/2011

Authorities in the semi-autonomous state of Puntland are accusing Somaliland of training and prodding members of the militant group al-Shabaab.

Officials from the Sanaag Region have strongly criticized the breakaway state of Somaliland for harboring the Islamist fighters and providing them with military training in parts within its territory in order to terrorize the government of Puntland.

"The truth is Somaliland gives military training to a number of al-Shabaab members in their regions and we know it," Governor of Sanaag Region, Mohamoud Said Nur (Dabaylaqor) told Somalia Report via a telephone interview.

Nur claimed the training was being conducted in several areas within Somaliland, including Togdheer region and Godmo Biyo Cas residence.

However, Somalia Report could not independently confirm such claims.

Puntland officials argued that once they are trained, the Islamist fighters would be sent over by the Somaliland authorities to launch assaults against Puntland.

"Somaliland uses these alshabaab members to destroy Puntland, interfere with the peace and stability that our regions continue to enjoy," the governor said.

Early this year, Puntland's former Minister for Security, Yusuf Ahmed Kheyr, told the local media that Somaliland was actively involved in training the al-Shabaab in their region and that it planned to send the group to Puntland regions to cause chaos.

But in a quick rejoinder, Somaliland's Minister for Ports, Abdulaahi Jama Osman (known as Geeljire) refuted the claims saying his government had no links with the militant group, which is allied to the infamous global al-Qaeda terrorist network.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1653/Puntland_Chides_Somaliland_over_Al-Shabaab


Somalia: Somaliland Delegation Deliver Aid to Famine Hit People in Mogadishu

Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu) http://allafrica.com/stories/201109250103.html. 24 September 2011

Mogadishu - A Somaliland delegation led by prominent poet has arrived in Mogadishu to deliver aid to famine stricken families in conflict torn capital on Saturday.

Members of Benadir regional administration led by Mogadishu mayor Mohamed Ahmed Nur Tarzan, some of Somali MPs and famous singers have warmly and cordially welcome the Somaliland delegation at Mogadishu international airport.

The Mogadishu mayor said that he was very pleased to see and welcome the Somalilanders spearheaded by Somalia's well-known poet Mohamed Warsame Hadrawi, thanking for their visit to Mogadishu and their sympathy with their starving brothers and sisters in Somalia.

Speaking to the media, the famous poet Hadrawi said that he was very happy in visiting Mogadishu to help famine victims.

The spokesman of Somaliland delegation Mohamed Shukri Jama said the Somaliland people have sent 13.5 tonnes of food aid destined to assist the famine displaced people in the capital.


Somaliland Captures Senior Al-Shabaab Leader Deputy Director of Amniyaat (Assassinations) Captured in Berbera

By JAMA DEPERANI 09/23/2011.http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1630/Somaliland_Captures_Senior_Al-Shabaab_Leader

Ise Sulub Ige, al-Shabaab's Deputy Director of Amniyaat (Assassinations), was captured in Somaliland's Berbera district, according to the Somaliland officers.

The police chief of Sahil region, Abdurahman Mohamed, confirmed they captured the al-Shabaab leader while speaking to local media.

"Yes, we captured this man after we suspected him. He is al-Shabaab's Deputy Director of Amniyat. He has used three different names since he was in Berbera and now we transferred him to jail," the chief of Berbera prison (known as Cidheere) told Somalia Report.

Somaliland officers told Somalia Report that the Berbera court will charge the suspect, who hails from Somaliland clans, next week.

Meanwhile Somaliland officers are conducting operations to find more members of al-Shabaab, according to Mohamed Abdulaahi, a journalist in Berbera.


Al-Shabaab's Amniyad brigade second-in-command arrested in Somaliland

Published On: Friday, September, 23 2011 - http://www.sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1383

Police say the man will soon be arraigned in court for his alleged militancy

Berbera (Sunatimes) Somalia's breakaway administration of Somaliland has arrested Al-Shabaab's Amniyad brigade second-in-command at the Port city of Berebera, reports say.

Amniyad is a special brigade of the militia group tasked with security and intelligence.

Somaliland's Sahil police boss, Abdirahman Mohamed confirmed to the media that they arrested the militant man whose name was not made public.

But well informed sources close to the area police told Bar-kulan that the man is Isse Sulub Ige, who is believed to be one of the fugitive militia leaders fleeing Southern Somalia. Ige I said to be second commander of the group's security apparatus, the Amniyad.

Police say the man will soon be arraigned in court for his alleged militancy.

If confirmed, his arrest will weaken the already ailing militant group militarily and morally as it will be a victory for the Somali government battling the outlawed group.

The group has in the recent months suffered financial and leadership crisis as well as losing important figures including the Comoros born Fazul Abdllah Mohamed who was killed in the Somali capital earlier this year.

Its leader, Ahmed Godane, has recently criticized some of his colleagues for giving up hope of victory and abandoning the struggle against the government and African peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu.

In an audio message sent to the media on the eve of Eid, Ahmed Godane said his fighters would keep up attacks against government troops and foreign peacekeepers despite the retreat.

The militant leader who down played his group's military weakness, claimed that they neither abandoned the fight nor weakened and promised to launch a new phase of fighting against TFG and Amisom, which he said will prove their military capability.

His comments showed the divisions within the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group's ranks as government forces and African Union peacekeepers battled them in the capital, ultimately forcing them to withdraw from most of their bases there.


Harassment and attacks on journalists in Puntland and Somaliland

Published on Friday 23 September 2011. http://en.rsf.org/somalia-harassment-and-attacks-on-23-09-2011,41047.html

With growing concern, Reporters Without Borders has registered at least eight serious press freedom violations ranging from arbitrary arrest to shooting attacks on journalists in the past two months in the semi-autonomous northeastern region of Puntland and the breakaway northwestern territory of Somaliland. In most of these cases, there has been no investigation and no one has been punished.

"When attention is turned to Somalia, it tends to focus on the ruined capital of Mogadishu, where fighting continues and where two journalists were killed this summer, and the south, dominated by Islamist militias opposed to the transitional government," Reporters Without Borders said. "But very violent attacks on journalists are also taking place in the north, in Puntland and Somaliland.

"We urge the local authorities to stop this escalating violence by bringing those responsible for these attacks on journalists to justice. Each region must guarantee a favourable climate for media personnel, one in which they can work without fearing for their safety, without being arrested and without being forced to censor themselves."

Violence and impunity in Puntland

Hassan "Anteno" Mohamed Ali, a reporter with privately-owned Voice of Peace radio, sustained serious gunshot injuries to the chest yesterday when three unidentified individuals fired on him at close range in a caf‚ opposite the radio station in Bossaso. His condition is said to be critical.

Horriyo Abdulkadir Sheik Ali, a journalist with Radio Galkayo, was also seriously injured when unidentified individuals fired on her as she was returning to the radio station in Galkayo on 14 September. She was taken to the city's medical centre with four gunshot wounds to the stomach, chest and hand, and underwent an operation.

The premises of Galkayo-based Radio Daljir were damaged on 26 August by a bomb that also injured a security guard. The attack came almost exactly a year after Radio Daljir journalist Abdullahi Omar Gedi was fatally stabbed on 31 August 2010.

Reporters Without Borders urges the Puntland authorities to do whatever is necessary to ensure that those responsible for these extremely violent attacks are brought to justice and to guarantee the safety of the region's journalists.

Abuse of authority in Somaliland

In Somaliland, journalists are harassed by the police and judicial authorities, who take their orders from government officials. Abuse of authority, police violence and arbitrary arrest are all common.

On 12 September, an appeal court in Hargeisa gave Abdifatah Mohamud Aidid, the editor of the newspaper Saxafi, a week to pay a fine of 700 US dollars in a libel case brought by air transport and civil aviation minister Mohamed Ashi Abdi in January. Aidid was convicted by a local court on 30 April.

Somaliland's authorities have had the independent daily Waheen in their sights for months. One of its journalists, Saleban Abdi Ali, was badly beaten by members of the police Special Protection Unit in Hargeisa and detained for several hours on 10 September after he tried to cover the installation of the new interior minister, Mohamed Nur Aralle. In a further example of the lack of respect for journalists, an officer defended the treatment that Ali had received by citing the newspaper's "offensive" stories about government officials.

Ahmed Muse Mohamed, a Waheen reporter also known as Sagaro, was detained on 5 September at the police station in Buro, in the region of Togdheer, on the orders of Buro governor Yasin Mohamed Abdi. There was no arrest warrant and no other legal formalities were respected. On 7 September, he was taken before a judge, who ordered him held in pre-trial detention for week.

Finally freed on bail on 12 September, he is still facing prosecution in connection with an article about disputes between sports ministry officials and the local authorities, including the governor, who accused the newspaper of twisting his words. Other newspapers that carried similar reports were left alone.

Ali Ismail Aare, Waheen's correspondent in the Awdal region, was also detained for several hours on 5 September by the local authorities, who did not press any charges.

Mahad Abdillahi Farah, a reporter for the Hargeisa-based daily Ogaal, was detained for seven hours on 6 September by members of the Criminal Investigation Department in Buro.

Local sources told Reporters Without Borders that a total of six newspapers - Saxafi, Ogaal, Hatuf, Waheen, Hargeisa Star and Yool - are currently the target of legal proceedings in Hargeisa.

Deadly Mogadishu

The two journalists killed this summer in Mogadishu were Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, a visiting Malaysian cameraman with Bernama TV who was fatally shot on 2 September, and Farah Hassan Sahal, a presenter with privately-owned Radio Simba, who was killed by three shots fired at close range outside the station near Bakara Market on 4 August. No one has so far been brought to justice for these two murders.


Somaliland Delegation to Visit Mogadishu in Historic Trip

VOA News. September 22, 2011.http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Somaliland-Delegation-to-Visit-Mogadishu-in-Historic-Trip-130366508.html

Somaliland plans to send a delegation to Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday, in what would mark the breakaway region's first official visit there in more than 20 years.

During a news conference Thursday, Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Saylici downplayed any political significance, saying the trip is purely humanitarian.

The delegation plans to deliver money to help Somali drought and famine victims. Somaliland's trade, industry and tourism minister, Abdirisaq Khalif, said his region's people have raised $700,000.

A second delegation from Somaliland will visit Kenya's massive Dadaab refugee complex near the Somali border on Saturday. Dadaab is home to more than 400,000 Somali refugees.

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991, but is not recognized by any nation. The region runs its own affairs and has existed in relative peace and stability for two decades.

Somalia, in contrast, has been wracked by 20 years of chaos and conflict since warlords overthrew dictator Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991.


Sada Mire: Uncovering Somalia's heritage

By Stephanie Hegarty.BBC World Service. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14592866

Sada Mire and rock art at Dhambalin

Sada Mire fled Somalia's civil war as a child, and lived as a refugee in Sweden. But now she is back in the Horn of Africa as an archaeologist, making some incredible discoveries.

Sada Mire is only 35, but she has already revealed a dozen sites that could be candidates for Unesco world heritage status.

She has a fellowship in the department of art and archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and is head of the department of antiquities in the breakaway territory of Somaliland, in the north-west region of Somalia. She is the only archaeologist working in the region.

It's a remarkable journey for a girl who fled Mogadishu in 1991, aged 14, as Somalia descended into the chaos of civil war.

Driving her forward is the urge to uncover and preserve a cultural heritage that has been systematically looted, both in colonial times and more recently by warlords trading national heritage for guns.

align=left hspace=20 Sada Mire travels with armed guards

The region has proved to be rich in archaeological wonders, which Sada Mire has been logging for the last four years with a team of 50 helpers.

She has recorded ancient rock art at 100 sites, medieval Islamic towns, and pre-Islamic Christian burial sites.

More than 1,000 such sites, she estimates, are still out there waiting to be put on the archaeological map of Somaliland.

The most stunning of Ms Mire's discoveries is a vast series of rock art sites in Dhambalin, outside the seaside town of Berbera.

The brightly coloured and beautifully preserved rock paintings, depicting domesticated animals, could be up to 5,000 years old.

Men are depicted riding on the back of some of the animals, or with raised arms, as if worshipping the cattle.

Wild animals such as giraffes - which no longer exist in this rocky, arid climate - also appear, suggesting a shift in weather patterns since the paintings were made.

"We all agree that this is an important discovery," says Lazare Eloundou Assomo, chief of Africa at the Unesco World Heritage Centre.

But as Somaliland is not recognised by the UN, and Somalia has not ratified the 1972 World Heritage Convention, there is no question of the site getting world heritage status in the near future. Sweden

To begin her study, four years ago, Sada Mire made a journey she had both dreaded and waited for, for many years - back to a region that held so many memories for her.

Rock art at Dhambalin

  • Cave paintings at Dhambalin are the only example of ancient images of sheep in the region
  • The discovery of standing stones at burial sites suggests that there have been many religions in the Horn of Africa - and that its people did not all come from Arabia
  • One Islamic ruin has yielded pottery from the Chinese Yuan dynasty, dating it back to the 13th Century - and suggesting that trade routes across the Indian Ocean developed much earlier than previously thought

She was brought up in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and still vividly remembers the first bomb, which exploded as she was watering the flowers outside her family home.

Within weeks, she was fleeing with her siblings and her mother on top of a relative's lorry, dodging bandits who threatened to attack and rape refugees. Her mother had to sell jewellery along the way to buy food.

"We felt like zombies," Ms Mire says. "We were just a herd, we were just going wherever not thinking about anything, but [my mother] kept us together and was able to keep us safe."

Together with her twin she eventually made it to Sweden, where they joined an older sister and were granted asylum.

Arriving in the north of the country in the dead of winter, with snow and ice all around, was like stepping into a different world, she says.

As she learned about her new home, she also became acutely aware of the lack of historical knowledge of Africa, before slavery and colonialism. Unearthing the history of her homeland became her key objective. Dignity

Start Quote

When I tell people the importance of a site and its significance for world heritage - it gives them dignity and pride”

End Quote Sada Mire

So far, her work has been limited to Somaliland which, unlike the rest of Somalia, remains relatively peaceful.

Even so, travelling between towns she employs guards armed with AK-47s. The roads themselves are treacherous, and landmines and deadly snakes litter the countryside where many of the archaeological sites are found.

Some sites are also now secured by armed guards, to prevent looters.

The country as yet has no museums.

"She is working under incredibly difficult conditions," says Dr Andrew Reid of University College London - Ms Mire's PhD supervisor.

Ancient burial near the city of Burco

The burial site near the city of Burco pre-dates the arrival of Islam

"One of the problems Sada has had to deal with is how to define mobile, nomadic heritage. In Somalia they carry cultural heritage in their heads. It's not something you can point to and say, 'Isn't this a fantastic building?' Their cultural heritage is much more difficult to define."

Sada Mire regards national heritage as a human right, crucial to a nation's sense of itself even during a time of conflict and famine.

"When we find sites and I am able to tell local people about the importance of the site and the potential that can come from it - its significance for world heritage - it gives them dignity and pride," she says.

She spends her time between digs, appearing on TV and in front of local communities to explain the value of the sites she is charting and has set up a non-governmental organisation, Horn Heritage, to fund her work.

"Our culture is very oral, so people need to hear from somebody and they repeat it," she says.

"People immediately feel that they have something, a resource. They can say, 'We may not have a lot but if we can take care of this site, we have something.'"

Sada Mire spoke to Outlook from the BBC World Service. Listen to the interview here.


Somaliland: A Reliable Partner in Combating Piracy

Morgan Roach. September 20, 2011

Piracy off the Horn of Africa increases every year due to constant instability in the region. In 2008, 111 vessels were attacked. Since the beginning of 2011, there have already been 188 attacks. Every year worldwide piracy costs the shipping industry billions of dollars in rerouting, ransoms, and many other related expenses. These costs are then passed on to the consumer.

To curb piracy, the international community is working with regional partners to stabilize the region. Somalia's U.N.-appointed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has proven largely incapable of establishing law and order outside of parts of the capital city of Mogadishu. Constraining piracy is well beyond the limited capabilities of the TFG. By contrast, the government of Somaliland, the autonomous state in northern Somalia, is a more promising partner even though it is not recognized by the U.N.

Somaliland is a unique region of stability in Somalia. The state re-declared its independence in 1991 (it was briefly independent in 1960) and formed a government based on representative democracy. In 2001, Somaliland reaffirmed its independence through a constitutional referendum. For the most part, the region has been spared the conflict and instability that has afflicted the rest of Somalia and contributed to the lawlessness that allows piracy to prosper.

Piracy and terrorism threaten Somaliland's relatively peaceful society. Somaliland has taken an active role in working with the international community not only to protect its citizens but also to increase its presence on the world stage. Earlier this month, Somaliland's anti-piracy committee met for the first time to assess appropriate measures for government action. The purpose of the committee is to examine the ways in which Somaliland can work at an international level to counter piracy.

In the past few years, Somaliland has increased its cooperation with regional neighbors including Puntland (another semi-autonomous region in Somalia) and the TFG. Somaliland's adherence to the Djibouti Code of Conduct led to the creation of the Kampala Process under which anti-piracy laws (including those related to prisoner transfers) were drafted. In November 2010, Somaliland built a maximum-security prison (with the help of the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime) to relieve the burden of regional partners lacking the capacity and/or will to incarcerate pirates. As of last March, there are approximately 350 suspected and convicted pirates being held in Somaliland and Puntland.

Somaliland's lack of international recognition poses major challenges to its involvement in combating piracy. International recognition could help increase foreign direct investment and improve economic development. As piracy becomes more frequent, more ransoms are paid and pirates become wealthier. Pirates then invest this money into sophisticated fortification for operating bases, out-resourcing local authorities. With a stable economy, Somaliland would be able to devote more resources to combating piracy.

At a public event last week at the International Republican Institute, Dr. Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, Somaliland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that the U.N. arms embargo on the region has severely affected Somaliland's ability to modernize its counter-piracy operations and combat terrorism.

Somaliland has the potential to be a major asset to the international community in combating piracy. In seeking international recognition, the government wants to be included in the U.N. Security Council's reports on Somalia and is working towards more involvement in international forums. With so few willing and able governments in the region, Somaliland should be encouraged in these efforts.

Morgan Roach

As the humanitarian crisis in southern Somalia threatens millions of lives, Somalia's little-known northern neighbour, Somaliland, is doing so well that its government recently offered to send aid across the border. That a small and relatively poor country that is also suffering from the ongoing drought would be in a position to help Somalia is itself remarkable; that Somaliland achieved this position without being officially recognised by the international community as a sovereign nation - and thus without being eligible for international assistance - is truly impressive.

But have Somaliland's accomplishments come in spite of its ineligibility for foreign assistance, or because of it? Somaliland's success - providing peace, stability and democracy in a region where all are scarce - is in large part due to the fact that the government has never received foreign aid. Because Somaliland's government cannot access funding from the World Bank, IMF, or other major donors, officials were forced to negotiate with citizens and business leaders for financial support. This negotiation created the responsive political institutions that, in turn, have allowed the nation to fare relatively well in recent years and in the current crisis.

Somaliland was part of Somalia until 1991, when it seceded during the country's civil war. When Somaliland first declared independence, its government was built around a single clan and lacked accountable political institutions. Business leaders eventually agreed to provide funds, but not until the government agreed to develop representative and accountable political institutions (a concession that politicians made only out of necessity, as it weakened their own grasp on power).

In one notable incident, the government was forced to implement democratic reforms in exchange for tax revenues from Somaliland's main port. These revenues total less than $30m a year - a fraction of the more than $100m the government would have received from aid organisations if Somaliland had been eligible for international assistance. It is difficult to imagine that the owners of the port would have been able to exact the same concessions if the government had other funding options.

As a result of these negotiations over tax revenue, Somaliland has become an exceptional democracy. It has held multiple presidential, parliamentary and district-level elections. It has seen multiple peaceful handovers of power, including to a minority clan. It even survived a presidential election that was decided by an 80-vote margin without resorting to violence.

While the government's limited finances prevent it from providing an ideal level of public goods, the stability it has ensured has led to an economic revival, massive gains in primary schooling, and significant reductions in infant mortality. It has also been able to facilitate a strong response to the current food shortages, which is evident in this World Food Programme map of the current incidence of famine. To be sure, there is still much work to be done but, in context, Somaliland's accomplishments are, in the words of Human Rights Watch, "both improbable and deeply impressive".

Of course, one might wonder whether Somaliland's experiences can be generalised. In fact, the idea that government dependency on local tax revenues makes it more accountable has a strong historical pedigree. Political scientists and historians have long argued that the modern, representative state emerged in medieval Europe in large part as the result of negotiations between autocratic governments that needed tax revenues to survive inter-state conflicts and citizens who demanded accountability in return. Only recently, though, have development professionals have begun to recognise the implications of this line of research for modern development policy.

Certainly, not all foreign assistance is bad. Aid has clear benefits against which the potential harms discussed here must be weighed on a case-by-case basis. In a country like Nigeria, where the government has ample access to oil revenues, foreign assistance is unlikely to affect the relationship between citizens and the government. In many countries, though, aid is the largest single source of government revenue; there are 16 sub-Saharan countries in which the ratio of foreign assistance to government expenditure is greater than 50%, and in 10 of those, this ratio is greater than 75%. If these aid levels damage the quality of governance in recipient countries - as Somaliland's experience suggests they may - then it might be the case that, in the long run, less money may actually do more good. http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/aug/26/somaliland-less-money-more-democracy/print


Ethiopian rebels threaten China, Somaliland over gas, oil pipeline

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 25 Aug 2011. Ogaden National Liberation Front website, in English 24 Aug 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Text of press release in English entitled "Unholy tripartite deal between China, Ethiopia and Hargeysa Administration" issued by the Ethiopian rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) published on official website of Ethiopia's rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front on 24 August

The recently publicized deal between China, Ethiopia and the northern Somalia regional administration of Hargeysa [Somaliland] regarding building a refinery in Berbera port of Somalia, a gas pipeline for Ogaden [southeastern Ethiopia] gas and oil, and a proposed road through Ogaden Somali territory is a pipe dream that will not go beyond the drawing boards of those who hatched it.

The regime of [Prime Minister] Meles Zenawi, with the help of such groups as the Hargeysa administration is committing genocide in Ogaden by embargoing the people of the Ogaden at a time of famine and denying them trade while using aid as a weapon of war. Tens of thousands are perishing due to this and the war crimes committed by Meles Zenawi army (the so-called Ethiopian National Defence Forces).

Since the Chinese company is aware that Ethiopia is committing those crimes, the decision to assist Meles Zenawi to exploit forcefully Ogaden resources, constitutes an act of war against the Ogaden people.

Therefore, after extensive consultations with all sectors of the Ogaden society, the Ogaden National Liberation Front [ONLF] and the Ogaden people have decided to undertake all necessary measures to defend their resources and territory against all involved in this unholy alliance against the people of Ogaden. Such measures will include diplomatic and legal action and if necessary armed resistance.

ONLF requests the international community to assist the Ogaden people in rebuffing this new threat that could reignite the Cold War again in the Horn of Africa. Hundreds of thousands of Ogaden people lost their lives due to the cold war of the sixties and seventies.

[Issued by] The Ogaden National Liberation Front
Credit: Ogaden National Liberation Front website, in English 24 Aug 11


Food Security Situation Deteriorating in Somaliland; International Medical Corps Teams Delivering Emergency Nutrition Relief in Sool & Sanaag Regions

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/food-security-situation-deteriorating-in-185697.html

With famine already affecting five zones of southern Somalia, the food security situation in many areas of Somaliland - the autonomous, generally more stable region to the north - has now reached critical levels and is rapidly deteriorating. Having worked since 1991 in the region, International Medical Corps teams on the ground are already reaching severely malnourished people with lifesaving nutrition interventions in Somaliland as well as within Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

East Africa has experienced two consecutive dry rainy seasons which has caused extensive crop failure, high livestock mortality and skyrocketing food prices. Coupled with ongoing conflict in Somalia, a humanitarian crisis has unfolded in the region, with the UN reporting more than 390,000 children at risk of starvation.

With support from UNICEF, International Medical Corps is implementing an emergency nutrition program in the Sool and Sanaag regions of Somaliland to mitigate the effects of drought and improve the nutritional status of children under the age of five. Through six Outpatient Therapy (OTP) sites and four outreach teams covering areas where there are no static OTP sites, International Medical Corps is reaching severely malnourished children with nutrition screenings, supplementary feedings of nutrient-dense foods, and medications. The program also includes health and nutrition education that emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding and healthy hygiene and sanitation practices.

International Medical Corps teams have delivered nutrition supplies including ready-to-use foods and nutrition equipment such as height boards and weighing scales to local health centers in Somaliland. Trainings were also conducted for Ministry of Health staff on community mobilization, nutrition screening, micronutrient supplementation, vaccination and referrals. In addition, community health workers were trained on management of acute malnutrition and identification and referral of severe acute malnutrition; community nutrition workers were trained on community management of acute malnutrition; and health care providers and volunteers were trained on provision of nutrition education. As a result, International Medical Corps-supported sites screened a total 10,356 children for malnutrition in the region and admitted 630 children with severe acute malnutrition to the OTP program since its inception in May. International Medical Corps is also preparing to launch nutrition and water/sanitation/hygiene programs in Galgaduud region in Somalia.

As thousands of Somalis are fleeing across borders in search of food, water and other basic necessities, International Medical Corps is also providing a multi-faceted response throughout East Africa. Near Dolo Ado in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, more than 118,500 Somalis are seeking shelter and basic resources in refugee camps.

In Kobe camp, a UNHCR assessment has found death rates have reached alarming levels among new arrivals with an average of 10 children under the age of five dying each day.

International Medical Corps, in partnership with the Ethiopian Government's Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), has scaled up supplementary feeding services for malnourished people, including the provision of nutrient-dense therapeutic foods. To date, approximately 5,000 children and pregnant and lactating women have undergone nutritional screening and were referred to the appropriate level of therapeutic care.

International Medical Corps teams also constructed 136 latrines/washrooms with 200 more planned and have launched a hygiene campaign to thwart the spread of communicable disease in the overcrowded camps. Following reports of suspected cases of measles, measles messaging is being integrated into community outreach work at Kobe to ensure children exhibiting related symptoms are referred to local health clinics for further support.

At Kambioos refugee camp in Kenya, a part of the Dadaab Complex which is today the largest refugee camp in the world, International Medical Corps is also preparing to implement a health post with nutrition services and a maternity center.

For more detailed information about International Medical Corps' drought and famine response throughout East Africa, please visit: http://internationalmedicalcorps.org/page.aspx?pid=1348

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, International Medical Corps' mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

SOURCE International Medical Corps


Somaliland Seizes Three People for Allegedly Robbing People

AllAfrica.com [Washington] 24 Aug 2011.

The security of the self proclaimed republic of Somaliland have seized at least three persons charged with being bandits and accustomed to rob the civilian people traveling inside Sool region north of Somalia.

Reports said the operations conducted by the security forces of Somaliland took place inside and outside of Las Anod town on Tuesday night.

Some of the bandits were said to have escaped thought three captured and taken into custody.

After several gangs escaped, the forces opened fire and that caused the injuries of several civilians.

Officials of Somaliland at the region said they will continue their operations battling against stick-up and armed robbery.


Food Security Situation Deteriorating in Somaliland; International Medical Corps Teams Delivering Emergency Nutrition Relief in Sool & Sanaag Regions

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/food-security-situation-deteriorating-in-185697.html

With famine already affecting five zones of southern Somalia, the food security situation in many areas of Somaliland - the autonomous, generally more stable region to the north - has now reached critical levels and is rapidly deteriorating. Having worked since 1991 in the region, International Medical Corps teams on the ground are already reaching severely malnourished people with lifesaving nutrition interventions in Somaliland as well as within Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

East Africa has experienced two consecutive dry rainy seasons which has caused extensive crop failure, high livestock mortality and skyrocketing food prices. Coupled with ongoing conflict in Somalia, a humanitarian crisis has unfolded in the region, with the UN reporting more than 390,000 children at risk of starvation.

With support from UNICEF, International Medical Corps is implementing an emergency nutrition program in the Sool and Sanaag regions of Somaliland to mitigate the effects of drought and improve the nutritional status of children under the age of five. Through six Outpatient Therapy (OTP) sites and four outreach teams covering areas where there are no static OTP sites, International Medical Corps is reaching severely malnourished children with nutrition screenings, supplementary feedings of nutrient-dense foods, and medications. The program also includes health and nutrition education that emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding and healthy hygiene and sanitation practices.

International Medical Corps teams have delivered nutrition supplies including ready-to-use foods and nutrition equipment such as height boards and weighing scales to local health centers in Somaliland. Trainings were also conducted for Ministry of Health staff on community mobilization, nutrition screening, micronutrient supplementation, vaccination and referrals. In addition, community health workers were trained on management of acute malnutrition and identification and referral of severe acute malnutrition; community nutrition workers were trained on community management of acute malnutrition; and health care providers and volunteers were trained on provision of nutrition education. As a result, International Medical Corps-supported sites screened a total 10,356 children for malnutrition in the region and admitted 630 children with severe acute malnutrition to the OTP program since its inception in May. International Medical Corps is also preparing to launch nutrition and water/sanitation/hygiene programs in Galgaduud region in Somalia.

As thousands of Somalis are fleeing across borders in search of food, water and other basic necessities, International Medical Corps is also providing a multi-faceted response throughout East Africa. Near Dolo Ado in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, more than 118,500 Somalis are seeking shelter and basic resources in refugee camps.

In Kobe camp, a UNHCR assessment has found death rates have reached alarming levels among new arrivals with an average of 10 children under the age of five dying each day.

International Medical Corps, in partnership with the Ethiopian Government's Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), has scaled up supplementary feeding services for malnourished people, including the provision of nutrient-dense therapeutic foods. To date, approximately 5,000 children and pregnant and lactating women have undergone nutritional screening and were referred to the appropriate level of therapeutic care.

International Medical Corps teams also constructed 136 latrines/washrooms with 200 more planned and have launched a hygiene campaign to thwart the spread of communicable disease in the overcrowded camps. Following reports of suspected cases of measles, measles messaging is being integrated into community outreach work at Kobe to ensure children exhibiting related symptoms are referred to local health clinics for further support.

At Kambioos refugee camp in Kenya, a part of the Dadaab Complex which is today the largest refugee camp in the world, International Medical Corps is also preparing to implement a health post with nutrition services and a maternity center.

For more detailed information about International Medical Corps' drought and famine response throughout East Africa, please visit: http://internationalmedicalcorps.org/page.aspx?pid=1348

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, International Medical Corps' mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. SOURCE International Medical Corps


Puntland Sentences 4 Somaliland Officials

Somaliland Officials Get 10 Years for Creating Insecurity, Illegal Intervention

By AHMED ABDI 08/24/2011

Disputed Taleh District and Potential World Heritage Site (@Somalia Report)

The high court of Garowe in Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland has today sentenced four Somaliland officials to ten years in prison for creating insecurity and illegal intervention into Puntland's territories. The officials were part of Somaliland convoy heading to disputed Taleh district in Puntland's Nugal region when they were arrested on August 10, 2011.

The convoy was attacked by Puntland troops in Arroley area which is located between Taleh and Las Anod districts. Two people were killed including Somaliland's chairman of education for Taleh district. Three Somaliland vehicles and 19 people were seized.

Las Anod District Court Commissioiner Salad Ismail Mohamud, Sol education ministry official, Mohamed Ali Artan, Las Anod district court official, Abdirashid Abdullahi, and Said Ali Shire were sentenced to serve ten-year jail terms, according to Nugal Regional Court Commissioner Abdin Nor Jama Hussein.

The court has also sentenced four soldiers serving as armed guards of the officials, Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, Mohamud Ahmed Adan, Mohamed Ali Shire and Mohamed Ahmed Warsame, to five years in jail each.

The court has pardoned one man, whose name has been shortened to Sharmarke, who was among the Somaliland delegates, but was determined to be an innocent civilian.

The court ordered the police to confiscate three vehicles with Somaliland license plates which were seized with the officials.

Somaliland administration has earlier called on Puntland to release the officials unconditionally, and said that the delegates were ambushed, cornered and kidnapped by a group of army bandits from Puntland. Puntland Information Minister Ahmed Ali Askar denied the allegation and said that the delegates violated their territories and were punished accordingly.

The Somaliland delegation wanted to visit disputed Taleh district, which Puntland has proposed to be recognized as a World Heritage Site as it was the headquarters of the Darvish Resistance Movement led by Sayid Mohamed Abdulle Hassan.

This is the first time that a Puntland court has convicted Somaliland officials.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1438/Puntland_Sentences_4_Somaliland_Officials


Somalia: Puntland court sentences Somaliland officials to 10 years

24 Aug 24, 2011 - GAROWE ONLINE

A court in Somalia's Puntland state has sentenced four officials from Somalia's separatist region of Somaliland to 10 years in prison, Radio Garowe reports.

On Wednesday, the First Degree Court of Garowe city of Puntland proceeded with criminal hearings for eight men, including officials of Somaliland administration.

The defendants were charged with illegally entering parts of Puntland and planning to commit political sabotage in favor of Somaliland, according to court documents.

After presentations by the prosecutor and defense lawyers, court judge Abdinur Jama Hussein sentenced four Somaliland officials to 10 years jail-terms.

The officials were identified as follows: Mr. Salad Ismail Mohamud, mayor of Las Anod; Mr. Saeed Ali Shire and Mr. Mohamed Ali Artan, officials of Somaliland's education ministry; and Mr. Abdirashid Abdullahi, judge of Las Anod appeals court.

Another four soldiers, who were all arrested on the same day, were sentenced to serve 5-year sentences in Puntland jails. A ninth man, identified as Sharmake Ali, was released after the court found him "not guilty" of the criminal charges.

The three vehicles the Somaliland officials were traveling in were ruled over the Puntland police.

On Aug. 11, Puntland security forces arrested 19 persons who traveled from Las Anod to Taleh district, also part of Sool region. In a press release, Puntland's government blamed Somaliland Information Minister Ahmed Abdi Habsade for "provocation" and accused him of planning to stir insecurity in the area. READ: Puntland Responds to Somaliland Provocation at Taleh District

Las Anod is the capital of Sool region, which is disputed between Somaliland's separatist administration and the Puntland state government in northern Somalia. In 2007, Somaliland forces violently seized control of Las Anod and have subsequently appointed pro-Somaliland officials to high positions, although terrorist groups have carried out multiple assassinations against Somaliland officials in Las Anod in recent years.

Somaliland's separatist administration has not responded publicly to the court ruling of its officials in Puntland. Somaliland claims ownership over Sool and Sanaag regions whose inhabitants are from Puntland clans, thereby leading to 'border' fighting between Puntland and Somaliland, regions in northern Somalia.

Puntland considers itself as part of a future federal Somalia, while Somaliland unilaterally declared independence in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally.

http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Puntland_court_sentences_Somaliland_officials_to_10_years.shtml


Somaliland Closes Offices of Opposition Party

UCID Offices Closed Until Infighting Resolved

By MUHYADIN AHMED ROBLE 08/22/2011.
http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1424/Somaliland_Closes_Offices_of_Opposition_Party

The supreme court of Somaliland on Monday closed the headquarters and offices of the opposition party, UCID (Ururka Caddaalada Iyi Daryeelka or Justice and Welfare Party), because of infighting among the party's leaders which erupted on July 24th when the executive committee of the party sacked its leader Faysal Ali Waraabe.

Faysal Ali Waraabe, who found the party and was its only presidential candidate since the party was established, refuted the committee's demand.

On Sunday Somaliland's security forces surrounded the headquarters of UCID in Hargeisa and refused to allow anyone from the party to enter until the disagreement is resolved. The security detained supporters of Faysal Ali Waraabe who tried to enter the office with force.

The decision to close headquarters and all the offices was signed by Supreme Court Chairman Yusuf Ismail Ali and three other judges and is meant to convince each side to come together and solve their disagreement.

Chairman Waraabe accused Parliament Speaker Abdirahman Mohamed (Cirro) of being behind the conflict. Weeks ago, Mr. Cirro asked the chairman to transfer the leadership of the party as Somaliland's president and former Kulmiye party leader Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyo did. Mr. Waraabe refused.

Police Commander Shot

Meanwhile, the commander of Somaliland police in Erigaabo, Jama Garma-qaate, was shot and killed in the city on Sunday by one of his own policemen who escaped, according to local media reports.

A large number of armed police were brought to city which is under curfew to search the murderer. Neither the local nor the central administration would comment about the murder.

This killing was unusual for the city which is relatively safe as compared with other Somaliland regions.


Al Maktoum aid targets thousands in north of Somalia

Maey El Shoush. Aug 23, 2011.http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/al-maktoum-aid-targets-thousands-in-north-of-somalia

The operation will be coordinated from Hargeisa and Bosaso. From Hargeisa, the relief package will cover the cities of Borama and Burao. From Bosaso, donations will go to those in need in Galkacyo (pictured above), Garowe and Gardo.

DUBAI // Six thousand families in Somalia will soon receive enough food to survive for three months thanks to a donation by the Al Maktoum Foundation.

Rice, sugar, oil and flour will be sent to the northern part of the country, where many of the hungry are arriving.

Foundation officials said many international aid agencies were already working to alleviate suffering in the south.

"Places like Somaliland are receiving little attention, but this needs to change immediately because there are too many displaced people there and surrounding areas," said Hamdan Mohamed, the cultural adviser at the Al Maktoum Foundation.

"This is a critical situation because people are fleeing the south and aid organisations must also focus their attention to places they are heading."

The first phase of distribution was set to begin last night and continue until Friday. The next phase will begin after Eid.

The Al Maktoum Foundation is the personal charity of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.

"Sheikh Hamdan is very affected by this situation," said Mr Mohamed. "It is not strange to see this type of charitable act from him. Wherever there is a problem, an emergency or a disaster that requires relief, Sheikh Hamdan acts immediately - like he did during the floods in Mozambique, the Asian tsunami and the crisis in Darfur."

The Al Maktoum Foundation has operations across Africa and two offices in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, and Bosaso.

"From Hargeisa, the aid will also cover the neighbouring cities of Borama and Burao. From Bosaso, we will be able also to help people in Galkacyo, Garowe and Gardo, for example," said Mr Mohamed. The two centres will reach a combined 6,000 families.

Al Tayeb Abdalla, the head of the Al Maktoum Foundation's office in the northern port city of Bosaso in Puntland State, said there were about 400,000 displaced people seeking refuge in nearby camps.

Speaking from Bosaso, Mr Abdalla said: "The camps are full, diarrhoea is a big problem and disease is spreading. Doctors, medical supplies and clean water are in dire need."

Once a month, for three months, families will receive 25 kilograms each of rice and flour, 10.5 litres of oil and 12.5kg of sugar. The value of the donation was not disclosed.

"Because of the sheer number of those displaced, we have to focus first on the most needy - including children, elderly and the sick," Mr Abdalla said.

He said it was not unusual for his team to see between 30 and 40 people living in the same makeshift shelter built from plastic or straw.

The cramped quarters means disease can spread quickly.

"Most men have either died or fled, leaving the woman alone in responsibility. They are looking after children, taking care of elders, the sick and bringing supplies. They are carrying a heavy burden," Mr Abdalla said.

Mohamed Ahmed Ismail Mohammed, the general manager of the Al Maktoum Foundation in Hargeisa, said strict measures had been taken to ensure the food was safe for consumption.

"We made this very clear to the agricultural company supplying the food items because we are helping around 3,000 families here and in 11 neighbouring areas. That is around 18,000 individuals," said Mr Ismail Mohammed of the help being coordinated from his office. "People in Somalia are already suffering the consequences of war and fighting. There are already too many displaced, too many injured and too many orphans. They have truly suffered."

The crisis in the Horn of Africa has led to the death of tens of thousands, and millions more have been displaced and are suffering from malnutrition in what the UN describes as a "humanitarian catastrophe".


Somalia: Somaliland interior minister resigns to launch opposition party

18 Aug 18, 2011 - http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Somaliland_interior_minister_resigns_to_launch_opposition_party.shtml

The interior minister of Somalia's separatist region of Somaliland has resigned on Thursday, hours after Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo returned to Hargeisa from a trip abroad, Radio Garowe reports.

Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabose, Somaliland's interior minister, told a press conference in Hargeisa that he has officially resigned from his post.

Reports attributed to Dr. Gabose's office say the former interior minister plans to "launch a new opposition party." In 2007, former Somaliland President Dahir Riyale arrested Qaran political party leaders, including then-party chairman Dr. Gabose.

Somaliland's constitution was recently changed by the parliament to allow the formation of new political parties. Until recently, only three political parties - the ruling Kulmiye party, and the opposition parties UDUB and UCID - were allowed to operate in Somaliland.

Dr. Gabose, who was the personal doctor of former Somali dictator Gen. Mohamed Siyad Barre, is well-known in Somaliland politics.

His resignation comes days after Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo inked agreements with Chinese firms, a move seen as dangerous in the eyes of Western powers.

Western powers are deeply suspicious of China's investments in Africa, as the world's most populous country seeks raw materials in African countries.

Neighboring Puntland State of Somalia has oil deals with Australian and Canadian firms, thereby enjoying positive relations with the West.

Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally.


Somaliland in port deal with China businessmen

Aug 19, 2011

HARGEISA Aug 19 (Reuters) - Somaliland has struck a deal with Chinese businessmen to extend its Berbera port as well as TO build a refinery and new roads in the breakaway northern enclave, its president said.

Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo said Somaliland, which declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been formally recognised internationally, said the new deal would boost its economy and strengthen ties with Horn of Africa neighbours.

In a statement issued late on Thursday, Silanyo said he met businessmen in Hong Kong who are experienced in financing and building infrastructure projects in developing countries as well as Ethiopian leaders during a fortnight-long trip.

He said details of the deal and how the projects will be funded would be disclosed soon.

The projects include the expansion of Berbera Port and pipelines for natural gas and fuel to Ethiopia. A refinery will also be built at the port, as well as a road linking Berbera to Wajale, a town on the Ethiopia-Somaliland border.

Somaliland is helping a global fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean which has turned busy shipping lanes off the coast of the conflict-wrecked state of Somalia into some of the world's most perilous waters.

The Somaliland leader has said in the past his region had no interest in reunification with the rest of Somalia, which is grappling with a famine and is struggling to quash an Islamist rebellion that has hampered the delivery of food aid across swathes of its southern and central regions.

(Reporting by Husein Ali Nur; Editing by James Macharia and Jason Neely)

http://af.reuters.com/article/ethiopiaNews/idAFL5E7JJ06G20110819


Somaliland to Help Somalia for First Time

Government Salaries Slashed to Pay for Relief Aid

By MUHYADIN AHMED ROBLE 08/18/2011


Displaced Family in Somalia

The breakaway region of northern Somalia, Somaliland, is making its first ever offer of aid to Somalia where millions are suffering from the effects of famine and drought gripping much of the country.

Somaliland created an emergency humanitarian committee consisting of six ministers to create a public awareness campaign and organize a fund-raising drive.

Somaliland Finance Minister Abdirisaq Khalif Ahmed announced on Thursday that the committee will cut 30% from ministers' salaries, 20% from members of parliament (MP), and 10% from the army and government staff to help pay for the relief effort.

"All these are meant to help our brothers in Somalia. It's the first phase of our work," said Mr. Abdisisaq Khalif.

Somaliland's 162 MPs and elders earn $1,500 per month, and each will donate $300 towards the relief effort for a total of $48,600.

Although the amount earned by Somaliland's cabinet members is unknown, the president earns $11,500 per month while the vice president earns $8,500 per month. If the president and his vice president contribute 20% each month it will be $4,000 each month.

The emergency humanitarian committee created last week will be joined by by members of Somaliland elders' house, parliaments and clerics to expand the committee's work, according to Somaliland Defense Minister Ahmed Haji Ali.

Minister for Religion Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi Ahmed asked all Somalilanders to contribute to the program. He also urged the Imams of mosques in Somaliland to address the drought during Friday prayers.

"We told the Imams to make the public aware of our campaign and to encourage them to contribute," said Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi.

In its first week, Somaliland's emergency humanitarian committee received $3,640 in donations from Somalis living in Saudi Arabia.

Despite the good intentions, officials from Somaliland have yet to explain how, where and when the funds will be distributed to help Somalis.

Somaliland, which declared independence in 1991, has not relationship with Somali government which insists that Somaliland is part of its federal system. Somaliland had not yet received international recognition.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1388/Somaliland_to_Help_Somalia_for_First_Time?PHPSESSID=9386e5519948985082cc0538819a50b9


Government Officials Sentenced in Hargeisa

Former Finance Director and Orphanage Director Guilty of Stealing Funds

By AWEYS CADDE 08/16/2011

A high court in Hargeisa, the capital of Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland, on Tuesday sentenced officials from the previous Riyale Administration Ibrahim Amin Gadiis, the former director of the finance ministry, and Abdirisak Abdulahi Mohamed Kildi, the former director of the national orphans center, to five years in prison for corruption and stealing funds.

The court ordered Ibrahim to refund the ministry US$18,000 (110,000,000 Somaliland shillings) and Abdirisak to refund US$18,000 (107,000,000 shillings) which he stole from the orphanage center.

The chairman of the court, Abdirahman Jama Hayaan, declared the men guilty.

"After the court heard their cases and witnesses and evidence were presented, the court convicted the men and sentenced them to five years in prison and ordered them to refund the money they have stolen from the nation," said the chairman.

Relatives of the sentenced men protested outside the court and complained that injustice has been done, and requested the government re-investigate the cases.

Security at the court was tight this morning as polices forces were crowded around the court and roads leading to the court were closed completely during the trial.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1379/Government_Officials_Sentenced_in_Hargeisa?PHPSESSID=499026334e897f4ab1b4feac6a9df741


Captured Somaliland soldiers, officials arraigned before Puntland court

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 17 Aug 2011. Somali Puntlandpost website in Somali 17 Aug 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Prisoners who were recently arrested from the [disputed] town of Taleh [in Sool Region] by the Puntland Paramilitary were today arraigned before the high court in Nugaal Region which is located in Garowe. Those arraigned in court were nine in total, among four officials in Sool Region and five Somaliland soldiers.

The judge read out the charges against the men whom he said were accused of destabilising the town of Taleh at the time of their arrest by Puntland's paramilitary.

The senior judge at the court, Abdinur Jama, upon reading out the charges against them postponed the hearing to next Sunday [the 21rst of August].

The judge then held a news conference in his office in which he took questions from reporters who wanted to know why only nine of the suspects were arraigned in court and not the rest of the captured prisoners. The judge then explained: "The prisoners that were arrested were 19 in total. One died of injuries he had sustained; seven others were released by the government having been found innocent of any wrong doing. One of three vehicles they were travelling in at the time of their arrest has also been released and the rest will be sentenced this coming Sunday." The judge said the case against these prisoners is pending a major review which is expected to be finalised by Sunday.


Ethiopia, Somaliland, China to sign agreements on gas, oil, logistic deals

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 17 Aug 2011. Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, Addis Ababa, in English 15 Aug 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland, Ethiopia and China are expected to sign trilateral agreements on gas, oil and logistic deals in the days ahead.

According to a presidential press state, the Somaliland delegation met with Chinese investors and government representatives on Saturday [13 August]. The statement said a number of topics including economic and trade cooperation, as well as mutual activity were discussed.

Just last month, Hong Kong-based PetroTrans Company Ltd signed a deal with the Ethiopian government to purchase gas and oil over a 25 year period. The Chinese company will invest close to 4bn dollars in developing oil and gas reserves in blocks 3 and 4, 11 and 15, 12 and 16, and 17 and 20 in the Ogaden region.

John Chine, chairman and president of PetroTrans, told reporters in Addis Ababa that his company plans to build oil and gas pipelines from the Ogaden basin to the Somaliland sea port of Berbera. He revealed they will also build processing facilities in the town over the next three years.

Today, the Somaliland government re-echoed Mr Chine's words-finally revealing that China will export oil and gas finds from Berbera. They added as well as building these key infrastructure for gas and oil, the Chinese government has given the green lights to expand the port. They said once completed the port will be able to serve the entire East African region.

Berbera port sits on a strategic location at the mouth of the Red Sea and at the centre of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The government in Hargeysa might lease it to Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH). The Ethiopian Shipping Lines (ESL) might also become one of the main shareholders. ESL announced this week that it has placed an order for nine additional vessels from China at a cost of 293m dollars. The vessels might be used in Berbera.

The port is expected to become the main port of Somaliland and Ethiopia, a landlocked nation ever since its former territory of Eritrea declared independence. Somaliland believes if Berbera is managed by China, it will exceed its rival neighbour Djibouti once given a full face-lift since 90 per cent of goods in Africa are from China.

Road and rail networks that will connect Berbera to Ethiopia and other key infrastructures and networks in the region will be part of the project.

The statement finally said Somaliland, Ethiopia and China will sign the agreements in well organized reception in the Chinese capital. It is not clear if the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles will sign on the Ethiopian side. He is currently in China as well to attend the opening ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen.

"The project, the biggest investment in the country yet, is anticipated to contribute significantly to the country's social and economic progress," the statement said.

Experts believe Berbera port will become an important trading hub for Chinese traders in the region. It could provide services as both a transit port for the region and an international transshipment and refuelling centre.


Officials from Somali regions of Ethiopia mediate between rival clans

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 17 Aug 2011. Somali Puntlandpost website in Somali 17 Aug 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

A conflict between the clans of Isaaq in eastern part of Burco [Togdheer Region, Somaliland] and the Dhulbante clan in the locality of Balliga Gadaale which is 15 kilometres away from town of Buuhoodle [disputed region of Ceyn] has been successfully resolved following intervention by officials from the Somali self governing regions of Ethiopia.

The conflict between the two clans first started after the Isaaq clan in Burco built water reservoirs in the area, a move seen by the Dhulbante clan as an expansionist tactic. Officials of the Somali self governing regions of Ethiopia have in recent months been travelling to Buuhoodle to mediate in the conflict between the two clans over the locality of Baaliga Gadaale which used to be grazing land.

Some of the officials from the Somali regions of Ethiopia who mediated in the conflict between these two clans include the governor for Dhagaxbuur region and his deputy, the governor for Wardheer and his deputy, the head of politics for these two regions as well as district commissioners of the towns of Danood, Bookh and Gashaamo all of whom travelled to Buuhoodle to mediate in the conflict between the two clans.

Member of the Dhulbante clan welcomed some of the decisions made in the mediation talks some of which have been rejected by the Isaaq clan. The following decisions were made in the meeting.

1. That the water reservoirs built in Balliga Gadaale be demolished and the land be left the way it was given that it was grazing land to start with.

2. That the machinery to be used in demolishing these water reservoirs be taken to the site and action taken against anyone that opposes it.

According to sources at the talks, majority of the clan members involved in the conflict accepted the decision although the individuals that built the water reservoirs that first prompted the conflict are said to have been quite disappointed by the decision. The Dhulbante clan in Buuhoodle has been insisting that the area be left as grazing land.


Somaliland's Awdal Region MPs hold talks with constituents in Boorama

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 15 Aug 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 13 Aug 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Four members of Somaliland parliament, from Awdal region, met with their constituents in Boorama. The meeting took place at Rays hotel, and its main purpose was to strengthen communication between the parliamentarians and their constituents and to hear directly from citizens about the issues that concern them.

The decision to meet with the constituents was made by the parliament at large which, in an earlier session, instructed its members to go back and meet with their constituents in order to collect information, ideas and issues that citizens want parliament to act on.

The parliamentarians were Ahmad Yasin Shaykh Ali Ayanle, Ahmed Barkhad Ubsiye, Ahmed Madar, and Abib Abdi God.

Elder Hasan Weyd said in the meeting, "If you did not go there for personal gain, you should speak for the people you represent, and push for a census because we want portioning to be based on the size of the population."

Shaykh Muhammad Ali suggested that Awdal parliamentarians should unite and leave behind a historic legacy for the next generation. He also said that they had recently met with the president and told him that the school syllabus should not only talk about the S.N.M but should also include SDA and USP and others, but they have not heard from the president. Shaykh Muhammad Ali urged the parliamentarians to pursue this issue with the president.


Editorial says US showing 'Total disregard' for Somaliland's interests

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 15 Aug 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 13 Aug 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

The reports coming from southern Somalia of thousands of people starving, or on the brink of starvation, are grim indeed. It is only right that Somaliland should do whatever it can to alleviate this situation. Somaliland has already taken thousands of refugees from Somalia, opened its ports for relief supplies, and has set up a committee to coordinate aid to Somalia. But as Somaliland takes part in this international humanitarian effort, it is important that Somaliland should make clear to the international community, especially the US, that they cannot use humanitarian relief as an excuse to deny development aid to Somaliland. Why are we saying this? Because after two decades of US policy towards Somaliland, the record is now clear that despite all the sweet rhetoric with which it is wrapped, this policy, in concrete terms, is to extend to Somalis the sort of assistance that prevents mass starvation but not much beyond that. This is not to belittle the importance of humanitarian assistance or show ingratitude but to make the point that there is something wrong with a policy that says Somalis can only qualify for humanitarian assistance even when their most urgent need is for development assistance, rather than humanitarian assistance, as is the case in Somaliland.

The worst culprit in this regard which for two decades now has been using humanitarian assistance as an alibi is the US. In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary Don Yamamoto, summed up the extent of US assistance to Somaliland this way: "in Somaliland, our funding was used to build collaborative and strategic partnerships between government institutions, private sector and civil society that then worked jointly to identify priorities for a small grants programme. We are also providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance to improve fiscal transparency."

So, after twenty years, US assistance is still limited to small grants and advising the ministry of finance. This is not all either, for even in the area of security, the US has shown an almost total disregard for Somaliland's interests. How so? All one has to do is look at the recently released Pentagon's Terror Aid Funding Package, which does not mention any assistance to Somaliland but points out that the US plans to build the armies of Uganda and Burundi to the point of providing them with drones to fight terrorism in Mogadishu.

Another indication of US disregard for Somaliland's interest is that successive Somaliland governments, and even some American diplomats, such as former Ambassador to Ethiopia, David Shinn, had suggested to the US that it open a liaison office in Somaliland but the US government did not comply with that request.

The question then becomes why is this happening? The answer to this, in a nutshell, is because the US has probably calculated that Somaliland has no alternative but to accept whatever shabby treatment it gets from the US. In other words, the reason the US is pouring millions of dollars into the armies of Uganda and Burundi is because if it did not do so, the Burundians and Ugandans will not fight al-Shabab, whereas Somaliland will always deny al-Shabab a foothold in their territory. It is this sort of ruthless calculation that drove Pakistan, despite receiving substantial US assistance, to begin to look for leverage in its relations with the US by warming up to Iran, Russia and China. President Sillanyo's visit to China is a welcome step in that direction.


Somaliland's minister condemns Puntland's armed attack on country's officials

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 15 Aug 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 13 Aug 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland Minister of Information, Ahmed Abdi Habsade strongly condemned Puntland's armed attack on peaceful Somaliland officials which resulted in the murder of the chairman of education in Sool, Hasan Muhammad Dahir.

Habsade said that the unarmed Somaliland officials were on their way to visiting their communities in Taleex when they were viciously attacked by armed men belonging to Puntland. One person was killed in the attack, some were wounded, and others were kidnapped and are being held by Puntland. Habsade said this in a press conference that he held in the ministry of information.

The Somaliland minister of information further noted that Puntland, through its actions, had destroyed the freedom of movement between Somaliland and Puntland. He urged Puntland to immediately release the people it kidnapped, and to take responsibility for what happened, and, if it refuses to do so, Somaliland would respond.


Abaarso Tech, run like a business, brings top-notch education to Somalia

Jonathan Starr founded Abaarso Tech in Somaliland to unlock the potential of the country's brightest boys and girls.

Muna Siciid Salaat, age 12, is a student at Abaarso Tech in Somaliland, where students are immersed in English and other disciplines with the hope that they will become a new generation of leaders in a country besieged by drought and famine.

By Patrick Adams, Dowser.org / August 15, 2011

[This is part of a Dowser.org series highlighting innovations and possibilities for action for the famine in Somalia. Most news frames the famine and political conflict as nearly unsolvable; we're examining the on-the-ground measures that can help - from the large scale and political to the local and preventative.]

At the start of every semester, Mohamed Abdirahman fills the back of his rattletrap station wagon with fresh fruit and vegetables and hauls it all to a tightly secured compound on the outskirts of the aptly named village of Abaarso (Somali for "drought") where his teenage son goes to school.

"Just about everyone finds a way to pay something," says Jonathan Starr, who several years ago quit a career in finance and used the millions he made on Wall Street to conduct an experiment in education on the parched, windy plains of western Somaliland, a mostly stable, autonomous region of Somalia.

Mr. Starr, 35, wanted to find out what happens when you immerse Somaliland's brightest boys and girls in a "culture of English" with plenty of books and computers and a staff of dedicated teachers from some of the best schools on the planet. Abaarso Tech, the nonprofit organization he cofounded in 2008, is designed to do just that.

It's also designed, he says, "to be run like a business with the Somali people as both shareholders and customers." And it's in this respect that the former financial executive has most pointedly parted ways with convention, bringing a level of accountability to aid work that its critics have long found lacking.

"Two key elements necessary to make aid work are feedback and accountability, the absence of which have been fatal to aid's effectiveness," wrote the economist William Easterly in his 2006 book "The White Man's Burden," a brazen assessment of the failings of foreign aid.

Echoing Easterly, Starr recently asked readers of the Wall Street Journal to imagine if Marriott operated without any revenue or room-rate data. "Suppose it remitted money to cover salaries and other expenses, without knowing if any of it was producing a product for which customers were willing to pay.. You don't have to run a Fortune 500 company to know how quickly such a system would run amok."

Yet, he wrote, when it comes to international aid, that's precisely the system in place.

"Without revenue or other customer satisfaction metrics, NGO executives and donors have no way of knowing whether employees on the ground are providing a product of value to their impoverished `customers.' " He says that's because those executives aren't on the ground themselves.

Starr, on the other hand, is on the ground year round. From the office he shares with a staff of 18 teachers, he can watch his students play soccer on a sandy pitch and the guards as they pace the length of a nine-foot security wall with their Kalashnikovs and two-way radios, holdovers from the Somali civil war.

That war began in the mid 1980s, when dissident groups rebelled against Siad Barre, Somalia's Soviet-backed military dictator. In 1988, Barre's air force bombed Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, as well as several other towns, devastating the country's infrastructure, including many of its schools.

And perhaps none was a greater loss than the once-renowned Sheikh Secondary School.

Founded by the British when Somaliland was still a protectorate of the crown, Sheikh was for many years the country's premier prep school and a veritable pipeline to higher education abroad. As such, it produced many of the leaders of current-day Somaliland society, including the president, H.E. Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud Silanyo, and several members of his cabinet.

But Sheikh is no longer what it was. Abandoned after the war, it was closed for more than a decade before being reopened by an Austrian charity in the late 1990s. Then, in 2003, the school's headmaster and his wife, both highly regarded educators, were gunned down by members of the violent Islamist rebel group Al Shabab. Ever since, Sheikh has struggled to recruit teachers, and only a handful of graduates have gone on to universities overseas - none of them in the US.

Abaarso Tech, with its goal of preparing students for top-tier institutions in the US and UK, aims to fill that gap, and to do so with a focus on financial sustainability. The school's 100 students, selected from among the top 250 scorers on Somaliland's national 8th grade exit exam, pay what they can, while revenue-generating programs like adult English courses and an undergraduate school of finance make up the shortfall in tuition.

And whereas other recent Western-led efforts to educate African children have spared no expense - Oprah Winfrey's $40-million Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa features, among other extravagances, a yoga studio and a beauty salon, and the manager of Madonna's recently aborted $15-million all girls' academy in Malawi made what auditors described as "outlandish expenditures on salaries, cars, and office space," according to the New York Times - Starr economizes wherever possible, most notably on staff salaries.

Abaarso Tech teachers, who have included Ivy League graduates, PhDs in physics and chemistry, and professional engineers, are paid just $3,000 a year - proof, he argues, of the primacy of passion, not money, in creating positive change.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2011/0815/Abaarso-Tech-run-like-a-business-brings-top-notch-education-to-Somalia/


Somaliand deserves sovereignty

August 13, 2011
By Timothy A. Ridout
WASHINGTON
http://www.projo.com/opinion/contributors/content/CT_newsomali13_08-13-11_9IPM1ON_v6.4c738.html

Somaliland, in northwestern Somalia, is not experiencing famine. Nor will it. Like southern Somalia, Somaliland has been hit hard by drought and there are food shortages, but famine will not occur. It is a functioning democracy and, as economist Amartya Sen has explained, democracies do not have famines.

Despite being independent since 1991, Somaliland is not a legally recognized state. Although it fulfills every objective measure of statehood, recognition has been prevented by political calculations. International recognition is always a political affair, but Somaliland's claims to sovereignty are too strong to ignore.

That Somaliland has built a functioning state while the former Somali state remains nonexistent 20 years after its collapse gives Somaliland a legitimate claim to sovereignty. Its government has domestic authority and control, and it provides public services. Somaliland meets the Montevideo Convention's criteria for statehood: a permanent population, a defined territory, government, and the capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

However, Somaliland's strongest claim to self-rule is that its people were brutalized by the Somali state between 1988 and 1990.

Even before the Somali civil war began in 1988, Mohamed Siad Barre's regime repressed specific segments of Somalia's population. Those of the Isaaq clan-family, who comprise roughly 70 percent of Somaliland's population, were among the most harshly treated.

Repression turned into brutality in May 1988. In retaliation for an attack on Hargeisa and Burao by the rebel Somali National Movement, Barre bombed these major cities nearly to dust, killing thousands of civilians. For the following 18 months, the Somali state waged total war against the Isaaq and other northern clans deemed to be enemies of the regime.

Suffering by the Isaaq and other northern clans has been etched into Somaliland's national psyche. To this day, a MiG fighter is enshrined in the center of Hargeisa, a monument reminding Somalilanders of the days when its own government rained down fire from above.

It is from this period of state-sponsored terror that Somaliland draws its most convincing claim to the right to self-determination. When a government systematically slaughters its own people, it loses every right to govern them.

If Siad Barre's regime had been quickly replaced by one that respected the rights of all Somalis, perhaps also undertaking truth-and-reconciliation efforts, Somaliland probably would have remained part of Somalia. However, 20 years of chaos in the south have ensued, and there is no end in sight.

Many also note that Somaliland enjoyed five days of statehood in 1960. The British Protectorate of Somaliland gained independence on June 26 and was recognized as a sovereign state by 35 countries before it merged with Italian Somalia on July 1, 1960. This is significant because the African Union generally seeks to maintain the post-colonial boundaries inherited by African states. Although the African Union recently acquiesced to South Sudan's independence, it is not eager to embrace more state fragmentation.

However, many argue that Somaliland merely dissolved a voluntary union between two separate states and therefore does not constitute redrawing post-colonial borders.

This argument has merit, but Somaliland's victimization, combined with the fact that it has built a functioning state, is sufficient to justify recognizing Somaliland as a sovereign state.

The principle that the territorial integrity of existing states should be maintained is a potent article of faith in the international system. It is not unshakable, but recognition is usually a contentious affair. Many leaders fear disintegration and chaos if every separatist group believes it can easily form its own state.

But think of the success Slovenia and Croatia have enjoyed since breaking away from the war-torn former Yugoslavia. Neighbors can obviously still engage in conflict, but permitting self-determination can reduce tensions because hostile groups will no longer have to fight over political control of a shared state.

Drawing the lines of new states is always difficult because different groups within the same territory often have different allegiances. Indeed, Somaliland's eastern regions of Sool and Sanaag have mixed loyalties. Members of the Darood clan-family form a local majority in these regions, and some would prefer to join neighboring Puntland, an autonomous region of Somalia that is dominated by Darood.

Although Somaliland's Darood were included in the peacemaking process and most supported the declaration of independence, many do not feel that Somaliland's government protects their interests. Sporadic fighting has broken out between local militias and Somaliland's army as well as between Puntland and Somaliland. The conflict has remained low-intensity, but Somaliland's government needs to negotiate with Puntland and local Darood to reach an acceptable resolution.

The international community should not immediately recognize all entities that declare themselves independent states. Doing so would create volatility. Each case should be considered based on a combination of the claim's merits, how long the claim has endured, and of the claimants' capacity to self-govern. Negotiated splits are usually the best option, but when oppressed groups take it upon themselves to win independence through force of arms and then build functioning states, who are we to say that they do not exist?

Timothy A. Ridout ( timothy.ridout@tufts.edu), a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, is managing editor of the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs.


Somaliland's Military is a Shadow of the Past

New Recruits and Military Personnel Lack Formal Training

By ABDI HUSSEIN 08/13/2011

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cSomalia Report Somaliland Coast Guard

The work-force of the current Somaliland military is estimated at 28,000 with several divisions based in regions within Somaliland, notably Shimibirale in Sanaag, Lowiya'adho in the Djibouti Border, Burao, the second biggest city and Lasanod in the disputed region of Sool. A sizeable number of military personnel and its top-ranking commanders are based at the military headquarters in Somaliland's capital, Hargeisa.

The Somaliland military is led by General Nuh Tani, a former general of the defunct Somali Army. He was re-appointed to the same position by President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo late last year having served the Somaliland military also on a similar capacity under the previous administration of Dahir Rayalle Kahin.

Up until 2009, when cases of piracy grew at the Somaliland coastline and led to hostages being held at the waters, which geographically fall under Somaliland, the Somaliland military was composed entirely of army personnel. The surge in piracy and illegal fishing at Somaliland coast led to the formation of a navy unit, which operates from Bula Har and Las Qoray areas. The unit, which is still in its infancy, has succeeded in apprehending hundreds of suspected pirates, who were later arraigned in Somaliland courts and sentenced to jail terms.

The navy unit has also benefited considerably from support ranging from provision of equipment and training from the British government. Among the equipment they received include speed boats mounted with guns, brand new pick-ups and trucks that can withstand the harsh conditions in the Somaliland coastline.

Based at the port town of Berbera is a diving center run by foreign divers with the primary goal of training the Somaliland navy. The center has been in operation for nearly two years.

The Somalia Air Force base which was based at the Hargeisa Airport collapsed immediately after the civil war in 1990. Its pilots and technicians, majority of whom were foreigners, mainly from South Africa fled and the remaining aircrafts all of which were Russian-made remain in a state of disrepair or were vandalized.

As a reminder of the atrocities committed by former Somalia ruler, Mohamed Siad Barre, a downed MIG-21 fighter jet was mounted in the middle of Hargeisa town. By international standards, the Somaliland military can be considered as a rudimentary outfit, which continues to use outdated equipment. All of its army personnel are from Somaliland.

But by local standards, the military in Somaliland stand above those of it neighbor. The Puntland and TFG in terms of cohesiveness, organization and command structure albeit few cases of desertion that occurred earlier this year from members of the Dhulbahante sub-clan in the disputed region of Sool.

The soldiers, who deserted and joined the outlawed group SSC accused the Somaliland military of killing their fellow clan members during Somaliland military offensive in the town of Buhodhle.

Equipment

When the former ruler Barre was ousted in 1990, Somaliland inherited or took over all the military equipment, hardware and facilities that were within the territories of present day Somaliland. They include tanks, armed personal carriers, transport trucks and water tankers. Also taken over were missile launchers, a cache of ammunitions that included grenades, F1s and missiles.

However, the equipment has outlived their usefulness and either they need a replacement or a major facelift.

Somaliland is still under the UN Arms embargo, partly because it is considered part of Somalia, and therefore is not permitted to purchase firearms. Due to its lack of international recognition, the semi-autonous region of Somaliland cannot be supported formally with military hardware, like some of her neighbors, including Djibouti. As such, it is only left with the option of repairing and modifying the arms that are in its possession.

Among the divisions within the Somaliland military include the artillery brigade, infantry and mechanized brigade as well as the tanks brigades. All the equipment at the brigades are Russian-made and they include BM-21 mobile rocket launchers, BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, BTR-50 armoured cars, T-34 medium battle tanks and few T-55 main battle tanks.

There are several old transport trucks and water tankers still being in used, and most recently, the business community in Somaliland donated a number of civilian transport trucks such as Isuzu FSR, which were modified to carry soldiers and foodstuffs. However, insiders within the Somaliland army indicated that authorities often received arms from Ethiopia and Yemen through the port of Berbera. When the arms are being off-loaded, sources said, civilians are asked to vacate the port, adding that this mostly happened at night.

The military source also said some arms and military supplies intended for Puntland were seized early this year from an aircraft that was forced to land at Hargeisa airport after experiencing fuel shortage.

Also confisticated were arms including mortars transported in two boats by members of the outlawed Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) from Eritrea. The arms caches were netted in Mar-Mar Mountains, in Awdal region close to the Djibouti border. The Somaliland military also runs a medical unit, mainly staffed by trained female nurses. They use an ambulance obtained from the defunct former Somalia army.

Recruitment and Training

Somaliland military still lacks a clear-cut recruitment and training policy. The recruitment process is not consistent and competitive. It is uncommon to see a recruitment exercise being conducted publicly.

The current military personnel comprise combatants from Somali national movements, and soldiers who fled from the former President Siad Barre's regime.

Prior to and in the aftermath of the Somali civil war, there existed numerous rag-tag armies or armed clan militias just like in many parts of Somalia. In early nineties, they would set up check-points and extort money from the local communities. But in 1992, the late President Egal who also was the first Somalia Prime minister, through a consultative process with clan elders demobilized the armed groups and integrated them into one outfit that is now the current Somaliland military.

But due to lack of funds and imposition of arms embargo, the guns in use belong to the individual soldiers themselves. Before joining the army, both former combatants and new recruits, are required to report for an agonizing recruitment process with their guns. A similar process is observed in other disciplined forces, including the police. Since a big chunk of the army were either Somali national movement members or served under the Barre regime, the soldiers have never received any formal training or refresher courses on modern-day warfare. Similarly new recruits lack long-term and quality training to serve properly in the military. This is because the army lacks the money and other resources needed. It also lacks a proper recruit training school.

But Ethiopia has on several occasions trained certain numbers of Somaliland Army, including senior commanders.

Ranking

Despite being in existence for two decades, Somaliland military lacks the normal ranks one will find in a modern military unit. For instance, there are no titles such as corporals, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, majors, and colonels. As soon as he took power, the Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo formed a committee, chaired by the defense minister, to look into the matter and come up with a proper ranking system. However, although the committee has completed its work and handed over its findings to the president and the military commander, its recommendations are yet to be implemented. Some say the main reason why the government shied away from adopting the new report is because of lack of funds. A military source who sought anonymity said the government feared that implementing it would translate into increased salaries for members of the disciplined force, something the government may not afford.

Salary

Currently, with the exception of a handful of military commanders, every military personnel takes home a monthly salary of $100. The monthly pay was revised from $50 some four months ago, following a pledge made by President Silanyo when he assumed power.

A similar increment was extended to members of other forces, like the police.

Analysts estimate that every year about 30% of Somaliland meager budget goes into paying and maintaining the Somaliland armed forces.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1299/Somalilands_Military_is_a_Shadow_of_the_Past_?PHPSESSID=86e623f639e856ea6cef8bf249a28c65


Somaliland: Police Arrest a Dozen Suspects in Swoop

Youth and Women Among Those Apprehended

By AWEYS CADDE 08/13/2011

Somaliland security forces have arrested more than 10 people, among them women, in Las'anod district of Sool region, for allegedly posing a security threat to the region, local residents said on Saturday.

The arrests come in the wake of a massive search operation mounted over the last 24 hours, following increased cases of alleged assassinations and roadside bomb attacks against Somaliland administrative officials in the region.

"Nearly 13 people were detained and taken to custody last night," said Farah Iidle, a journalist in Las'anod, who added that the police had searched through hotels, houses and business centers.

He said most of those who had been apprehended were youth and women.

The Somaliland authorities have declared a high security alert across the region, after fresh threats were issued warning the government to withdraw their forces from the area. Police have since increased their search operations.

Both Sool and Sanaag regions are at the center of a bitter battle between Somaliland and Puntland, with each side claiming ownership of the regions. But the local militia, called Sool Sanag Ceyn (SSC), demanded that both Puntland and Somaliland should vacate the disputed areas.

Last week, Puntland military forces attacked a delegation from Hargeisa, heading to Taleh district in Sool region, killing one person, and detaining 12 others.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1356/Police_Arrest_a_Dozen_Suspects_in_Swoop?PHPSESSID=86e623f639e856ea6cef8bf249a28c65


SA, Tanzania don't recognise Somaliland

Sapa | 13 August, 2011 15:21

South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane adjusts earphones.

South Africa and Tanzania are not yet ready to recognise Somaliland and believe it should not be split off from Somalia according to the foreign ministers of Tanzania and South Africa.

This emerged following bilateral talks between Tanzanian foreign affairs minister Bernard Membe and South Africa's international relations and co-operation minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Pretoria on Saturday.

Membe said that he would be meeting a delegation from Somaliland within the next two weeks, but would not comment on the details of the talks until they had happened.

Both Membe and Nkoana-Mashabane said they would prefer to see Somalia remain as a single country.

Nkoana-Mashabane said: "Somaliland at the moment in our memory is part of Somalia. We do not want to encourage the disintegration of countries. For now in line with the AU we are not in the business of not disbanding, dismantling and dismembering countries."

In May Somalia's breakaway Somaliland state celebrated 20 years since it split from the rest of Somalia. To date no country has officially recognised the former British protectorate in the north of Somalia despite the fact that it has enjoyed relative stability unlike the rest of Somalia which has been plagued by famine and war.

Referring to Somalia, Membe said the growing threat of piracy was a concern.

He said that in the past year there had been 27 attacks by Somali pirates on ships destined for the country's main port of Dar Es Salaam. The additional security required to protect shipping was pushing up the prices of consumer goods.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2011/08/13/sa-tanzania-don-t-recognise-somaliland


Somalia: Somaliland, Puntland Battle in Northern Town

10 August 2011
Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)

Las Anod - Fierce fighting between the self-declared republic of Somaliland and the semi-autonomous state of Puntland on Wednesday took place in Taleh area in Sool region of northern Somalia, officials said.

The fighting has broken out as Puntland forces ambushed a Somaliland delegation in Taleh area which is close to Garowe, the capital of Puntland.

At least three people have been killed and seven others injured during in the armed confrontation.

"Early this morning, an incident occurred in the area of Taleh District of Puntland State of Somalia, between Puntland Defense Forces and an armed convoy led by Somaliland MP Saleban Yusuf Ali Kore, who was accompanied by an armed soldiers and some civilians" said a statement from Puntland.

During the clash, the two parts have used both heavy and light weapons as the crackling machine gun fire could be heard at Taleh area and its suburbs.

Puntland Defense Forces arrested 19 persons including military commander Mohamed Dhodi and seized three vehicles, according to the Puntland statement.

However, Somaliland has not released any comments about the incident so far.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201108110847.html


Somaliland, an oasis of stability, deserves its independence

GARY GEDDES
Globe and Mail
Aug. 10, 2011
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/somaliland-an-oasis-of-stability-deserves-its-independence/article2124344/

When I came out of the Internet caf‚ in a cavernous basement onto the dirt road in downtown Hargeisa, a small creature brushed my leg and shuffled ahead. It was a baboon, sidling toward a small table of fruit attended by a middle-aged woman. Without turning, the baboon reached over its head and plucked a banana from the table, skipped 10 feet out of range and rested on its buttocks to enjoy the fruit, carefully peeling back the skin in three perfect sections, which it chucked over its shoulder into the street. A quiet scene, obviously repeated so often that the victimized merchant didn't even protest. This was not the Somalia of piracy, kidnapping, executions, warring militias and famine the world is now hearing about daily.

The news from Somalia is distressing beyond words, thousands starving, those still mobile shuffling toward refugee camps inside Kenya. The tally of children dead from starvation and disease is 29,000 and mounting. Thousands more are being detained by the radical Islamic group known as al-Shabaab (meaning "the Youth" and modelled after the Taliban), which is anxious not to be outflanked by foreign aid agencies but has little to offer in the way of supplies.

While everything possible should be done to bring food, water and medical aid to these desperate refugees and internally displaced people, besieged by both man and nature, it's worth pausing to think about the northern Republic of Somaliland, an oasis of stability in the midst of mayhem and chaos.

Somaliland has just completed 20 years of peaceful co-existence as an independent nation, with elected representatives, schools and a functioning judicial system. The northern region was under British rule until it gained independence in 1960 but quickly joined the greater Somalia, thinking, perhaps, that there might be strength in numbers and more bargaining capacity with the great powers.

This proved true, briefly, until Siad Barre overthrew the elected government, reintroduced clan-based privileges and alliances, tried to play off the Russians against the Americans, and began a disastrous war to regain the Ogaden grazing lands ceded by the British to Ethiopia and still a major bone of contention.

When I was in Hargeisa, the capital, in the spring of 2009, it was recovering from three bomb attacks by radical outsiders trying to destabilize the country. But the streets were safe, the markets bustling and a major poetry event and a Festival of the Camel were in progress. Much of the GDP was provided by relatives abroad, but the country was, by African standards, a model state, with the rights of women and children slowly improving. While the international community still refuses to recognize this new state, it's worth remembering, as Mark Bradbury reminds us in Becoming Somaliland, that it's more embracing of fairness and liberty than most of its African and Persian Gulf neighbours.

Many nations that might lead the way in recognizing Somaliland have been reluctant to encourage separatist movements. It's not difficult to imagine how Russians, Americans, Chinese and even Canadians might have viewed this not-quite-vibrant upstart throwing off the shackles of a brutal dictatorship. Hargeisa had been ignored and finally bombed by Siad Barre's regime, suffering more than 50,000 casualties. Humanitarian workers were thrown into jail and writers driven into exile or rebellion. During my trip to the coastal city of Berbera, with two armed guards to keep me company, I saw an obsolete tank abandoned beside the road, its barrel trained on some invisible enemy in the sky, and in the harbour, the rusting hulks of sunken ships rested at improbable angles in the sky-blue waters of the Gulf of Aden.

African nations, their borders arbitrarily carved by European colonial powers, were equally reluctant to encourage breakaway sentiments in the political units they had inherited, although tribes and ethnic groups had been torn asunder by the political and economic ambitions of foreigners, many of whom are still key players in the scramble for African loot. But now that South Sudan has achieved independence through a nationwide referendum, this may pave the way for Somaliland to make its own case in the international arena.

It would be great if Canada took the initiative and made the first move in this direction, a long overdue act of largesse to compensate for the travesties of the 1993 Somalia affair, when Canadian soldiers tortured and murdered a Somalia teenager named Shidane Arone. But that's another story.

Gary Geddes is the author of Drink the Bitter Root: A Writer's Search for Justice and Redemption in Africa.


Puntland Captures Somaliland Delegates

Clashes Break out Over Disputed Sool, Sanaag and Cayn Region

By MOHAMMED HUSSEIN, MOHAMED ODOWA 08/10/2011

Puntland security forces have arrested Somaliland officials, including a lawmaker, after a gun battle near Las Anod in the disputed Sool region.

The two breakaway regions both lay claim to the Sool, Sanaag and Cayn region, and have previously clashed over the region.

After a skirmish, heavily armed Puntland troops arrested 19 delegates in Taleeh district. Lawmaker Saleban Yusuf Ali, Las Anod district court commissioner Salad Abdi, and Somaliland's military commander of Taleeh district, Faarah Dhoodimeer, were among those seized, sources said. However, some sources say that Yusuf Ali escaped and is safe. Four Somaliland officials were injured in the clash, and all those arrested were taken to Garowe.

The Puntland authorities accused the delegation of illegally intervening in its territories.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1330/_Puntland_Captures_Somaliland_Delegates


In a Failed State, a Path to Success

August 9th, 2011
By Patrick Adams

This is part of a series highlighting innovations and possibilities for action for the interlocking problems in Somalia. Most news stories frame the famine and political conflict as near unsolvable; in this series we'll examine the on-the-ground measures that can help - from the large scale and political to the local and preventative.

At the start of every semester, Mohamed Abdirahman fills the back of his rattletrap station wagon with fresh fruit and vegetables and hauls it all to a tightly secured compound on the outskirts of the aptly named village of Abaarso (Somali for "drought") where his teenage son goes to school.

"Just about everyone finds a way to pay something," says Jonathan Starr, who several years ago quit a career in finance and used the millions he made on Wall Street to conduct a experiment in education on the parched, windy plains of western Somaliland, a mostly stable, autonomous region of Somalia.

Starr, 35, wanted to find out what happens when you immerse Somaliland's brightest boys and girls in a "culture of English" with plenty of books and computers and a staff of dedicated teachers from some of the best schools on the planet. Abaarso Tech, the nonprofit organization he cofounded in 2008, is designed to do just that.

It's also designed, he says, "to be run like a business with the Somali people as both shareholders and customers." And it's in this respect that the former financial executive has most pointedly parted ways with convention, bringing a level of accountability to aid work that its critics have long found lacking.

"Two key elements necessary to make aid work are feedback and accountability, the absence of which have been fatal to aid's effectiveness," wrote the economist William Easterly in his 2006 book "The White Man's Burden," a brazen assessment of the failings of foreign aid.

Echoing Easterly, Starr recently asked readers of the Wall Street Journal to imagine if Marriott operated without any revenue or room-rate data. "Suppose it remitted money to cover salaries and other expenses, without knowing if any of it was producing a product for which customers were willing to pay.You don't have to run a Fortune 500 company to know how quickly such a system would run amok."

Yet, he wrote, when it comes to international aid, that's precisely the system in place. "Without revenue or other customer satisfaction metrics, NGO executives and donors have no way of knowing whether employees on the ground are providing a product of value to their impoverished `customers.'" He says that's because those executives aren't on the ground themselves.

Starr, on the other hand, is on the ground year round. From the office he shares with a staff of eighteen teachers, he can watch his students play soccer on a sandy pitch and the guards as they pace the length of a 9-foot security wall with their Kalashnikovs and two-way radios, holdovers from the Somali Civil War.

That war began in the mid 1980s, when dissident groups rebelled against Siad Barre, Somalia's Soviet-backed military dictator. In 1988, Barre's air force bombed Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, as well as several other towns, devastating the country's infrastructure, including many of its schools. And perhaps none was a greater loss than the once-renowned Sheikh Secondary School.

Founded by the British when Somaliland was still a protectorate of the crown, Sheikh was for many years the country's premier prep school and a veritable pipeline to higher education abroad. As such, it produced many of the leaders of current day Somaliland society, including the president H.E. Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud Silanyo and several members of his cabinet.

But Sheikh is no longer what it was. Abandoned after the war, it was closed for more than a decade before being reopened by an Austrian charity in the late 1990s. Then, in 2003, the school's headmaster and his wife, both highly regarded educators, were gunned down by members of the violent Islamist rebel group Al Shabaab. Ever since, Sheikh has struggled to recruit teachers, and only a handful of graduates have gone on to universities overseas-none of them in the US.

Abaarso Tech, with its goal of preparing students for top-tier institutions in the US and UK, aims to fill that gap, and to do so with a focus on financial sustainability. The school's one hundred students, all of them selected from among the top 250 scorers on Somaliland's national 8th grade exit exam, pay what they can, while revenue-generating programs like adult English courses and an undergraduate school of finance make up the shortfall in tuition.

And whereas recent other Western-led efforts to educate African children have spared no expense-Oprah Winfrey's $40-million Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa features, among other extravagances, a yoga studio and a beauty salon, and the manager of Madonna's recently-aborted $15-million all girls' academy in Malawi made what auditors described as "outlandish expenditures on salaries, cars and office space," according to the New York Times -Starr economizes wherever possible, most notably on staff salaries; Abaarso Tech teachers, who have included Ivy League graduates, PhDs in physics and chemistry, and professional engineers, are paid just $3,000 a year-proof, he argues, of the primacy of passion, not money, in creating positive change.

http://dowser.org/in-a-failed-state-a-path-to-success/


Somaliland starts legal proceedings against private newspaper

MOGADISHU, Somalia, August 9, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is alarmed by the increasingly worsening climate of harassment and intimidation that the Somaliland authorities have imposed on the private media.

According to information received by NUSOJ, Hargeisa regional court started legal proceedings against top management of Hargeisa Star newspaper on behalf of the Somaliland Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Presidential Affair as well as the Director of Berbera Seaport.

The Hargeisa Regional Court started the hearing of this case on Thursday, 4 August. The accused individuals are Mohamed Abdirahman Garyare, Chairman of Newspaper, and Said Ismail Gurase, Editor-in-chief of the newspaper, and the new chairman of Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) Hassan Mohamed Yusuf who was that time the editor-in-chief of the newspaper.

"We are very concerned at a surge in legal proceedings against journalists and private newspapers in Somaliland," said Omar Faruk Osman. "Somaliland must stop reducing journalists and the private press into silence".

On 6 August, the court hearing continued. Somaliland Presidential Affairs Minister Hirsi Ali Haji Hassan said, through the regional prosecutor, that the newspaper published last month a news report, which cited "mismanagement of more than 500,000 American dollars by the Minister Hassan".

Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs, is saying through the regional prosecutor that the newspaper staffers hacked in his email and obtained sensitive information which the newspaper published last week. But the newspaper argues that the Minister provided them the information they published.

Ahmed Yusuf Dirir, director of Berbera seaport, also complained that the newspaper published "false news" regarding reports stating that businessmen are complaining about services and the director demanding illegal money from businessmen.

The regional prosecutor is asking the judge to force the newspaper to provide evidence for their news reports.

"Somaliland authorities are doing everything they can to suffocate the key impulses of journalists and to make life difficult for the private print press," added Omar.

The court hearing is still continuing as the two Ministers and the Director of Berbera seaport are accompanying Somaliland President Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo to a trip to China.

http://www.starafrica.com/en/news/detail-news/view/somaliland-starts-legal-proceedings-agai-182748.html


Sada Mire, Archaeologist Hero of Somalia

Author:B. T. Newberg — Aug 08, 2011 at 10:43 am

Sada Mire

Move over Indiana Jones. There's a new hero in town.

Actually, this one's a heroine.

(Image credit: Sada Mire at Academia.edu)

In a country with no government, decades of war, and a terrible famine, Sada Mire braves the chaos. She is the only archaeologist still working to save Somalia's ancient heritage.

Las Geel rock art near Hargeysa

The rock art at Laas Geel displays the imagination of a pastoral people from some 5000-11,000 years ago. Paintings of cattle with no heads and enlarged udders share a curious parallel with European Venus figurines, such as the famed Venus of Willendorf, which show women with minimized heads and exaggerated bosoms. Both, apparently, are symbols of fertility.

(Image credit: SomaliHeritage.org)

Mire works in Somaliland, a breakaway republic in the north that has managed relative peace for some years, though visitors are still required to travel with guards packing AK-47s. Since the territory is not yet internationally recognized, UNESCO is unable to step in. The site is under the jurisdiction of the transitional government in Mogadishu, whose effective power extends little more than a few city blocks. Thus, Mire finds herself alone in her quest.


image credit: Sean McLachlan

Forced to flee Somalia as a child, Mire has returned in an effort to save these monuments from destruction. Dangers include looters working the antiquities market, as well as herders who unwittingly smoke-damage the images by building fires under the rocky outcroppings. Mire strives to preserve the ancient relics, or at least document them before they disappear.

Does this qualify Sada Mire as a hero? For her courage, tenacity, and commitment to ideals, I would say yes.

In this, Mire joins a number of other heroes of war-torn Somalia, such as gynecologist and refugee camp leader Dr. Hawa Abdi, recently lauded as Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine, and her daughter Dr. Deqo Mohammed, who strives to save Somali boys from becoming child soldiers.

It may be a dark time for Somalia, but there are those striving for a new dawn. Profile image for b-t-newberg

B. T. Newberg is a writer, photographer, artist, teacher of English as a Second Language, and student of life. He has lived in England, Malaysia, and Japan, and currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/sada-mire-archaeologist-hero-of-somalia/


Somalia: Revisiting Africa's Indifference to Somaliland's Quest for Self-Determination

Timothy Walker
8 August 2011
Institute for Security Studies (Tshwane/Pretoria)

Amid the independence celebrations in Juba, South Sudan, on July 9, many observers might have overlooked the presence of representatives of Somaliland, a territory that hopes to imitate South Sudan's example soon.

An autonomous self-declared territory that broke away from the Republic of Somalia in 1991, Somaliland recently celebrated twenty years of independence despite not being recognised as a sovereign state by any state or international organisation.

Since the 1990s, many African states have regarded the thought of an independent Somaliland with a marked indifference that in some cases bordered on hostility, despite the territory fulfilling many of the criteria listed in agreements that define statehood, particularly the Montevideo Convention of 1933.

Somaliland emerged in a context of state-level disintegration and inter-clan conflict, but this did not prevent the formation of a government that has proved relatively acceptable and representative of the territory's inhabitants. It has held two presidential elections: one in 2003 that brought Dahir Riyale Kahin to power and one in 2010 in which incumbent Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo emerged triumphant. International monitors assessed the 2010 elections and observed that they were relatively free and fair, although several problems with the process were identified. The 2010 presidential elections were in fact supposed to have occurred in August 2008. Somaliland has, however, set itself a precedent of a peaceful transfer of power between elected heads of the executive branch of the government.

As an entity that, arguably, has all the trappings of a state and that provides more human security for its inhabitants than many of the recognised states on the continent, the response towards Somaliland appears to make little sense when one regards the welcome accorded to South Sudan. While the African Union (AU), and its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), made the inviolability of inherited colonial borders a key principle of pan-African relations, Somaliland's search for greater self-determination can be justified on the basis that, unlike South Sudan, it has been recognised as an independent state in the past, even if just for three days after it gained its independence from Britain in 1960 and before it chose to unify with the south (a former Italian colony) to form the Somali Republic.

Representatives of Somaliland have been making concerted efforts at increasing their country's visibility and have increased their political contacts not just at the regional and continental level, but now also at the global level For instance, the recent offer by President Silanyo to host United Nations (UN)-backed prisons for captured pirates has been seriously considered by various countries. Somaliland has attempted to establish international relationships, mostly of an informal nature, but the increase in links on both sub- and supra-state level, particularly in the Horn of Africa region, means that there is a possibility of countries proceeding to unilaterally recognise Somaliland. Moreover, the recent celebrations marking twenty years of independence in Somaliland and among its sizeable diaspora in cities such as London, appear also to have given an added impetus to the attempts at attaining international recognition and aid.

Somaliland's greatest assets that could help it secure international recognition and support are its strategic location bordering the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa, and its deep-water port of Berbera. The future prosperity of the country arguably centres on Berbera, and on the industrialisation and development that would occur if regional and international investment increased. A commitment to use the port in combatting piracy or to assist patrols in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean would require supporting facilities, factories, storehouses and infrastructure. Berbera therefore has the potential to become a thriving hub of international trade and a centre for security in the region. Such moves could also interest Ethiopia, which has been landlocked since the 1990s and is reliant on Djibouti for much of its imports and exports. In addition Berbera was used as a naval port during the Cold War. However, Somaliland at present cannot guarantee that it can secure the inland areas through which goods can move cheaply enough to appeal to investors and businesses, meaning that at present the expense and risk involved in investing and utilising this route remain unappealing.

Somalilanders have managed to build their state without access to resources, funding or aid, a task that they have carried out impressively. This contrasts with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia, which is almost totally dependant on foreign support and which has not been assisted by the massive amount of aid in establishing sovereignty over the country. The answer to Somaliland's isolation must therefore be located in international relations theory - and in the imaginations of those in power in states that could face secessionist claims or the irredentist policies of their neighbours should such a transformation of the African geopolitical map gather momentum. The fear that a successful secession would lead to similar calls across the continent, fracturing tenuous stability and possibly causing internecine conflicts, can also be located in Morocco and Western Sahara, Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cabinda in Angola.

While there is much to admire about Somaliland, there is still need for caution. Its quest for recognition does not warrant unbridled enthusiasm. The region has frequently clashed with its neighbour Puntland, itself a relatively stable territory that also seeks to secede from Somalia. The clashes have revolved around border demarcation and there is a danger of the conflict intensifying. Within Somaliland itself, inhabitants of the Adal state also seek to declare their autonomy.

Broadly looking at the case of South Sudan and Somalia, the criteria for statehood seem to be inconsistently applied. It appears that geopolitical ideas play a much more prominent role than legal principles such as the Montevideo Convention, a situation that blurs legitimate and compelling cases for self-determination such as that of Somaliland. The AU, therefore, needs to critically reflect on the topic of self-determination, particularly that of Somaliland, in order to give its people a fair chance of participating in international and global relations.

Timothy Walker is an intern with the African Conflict Prevention Programme of the ISS

http://allafrica.com/stories/201108081476.html


Somaliland President Flies To China

Visit Aims To Lure Chinese Investors

By SOMALIA REPORT 08/07/2011

The president of the semi-autonomous state of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo will travel to China on Sunday for talks with Beijing officials.

Speaking to reporters at Hargeisa airport, the president's spokesman, Abdullahi Mohamed Akuse, said Silanyo had received an official invitation from the Chinese government, adding that the bilateral discussions would center on economic ties between China and Somaliland.

This is the first time the president will be visiting the Asian giant economy.

During his week-long visit, aides said he will discuss with Chinese officials issues ranging from foreign investment, trade and development to Somaliland's energy resources.

The president will seek help from the Chinese authorities on how to develop projects for mineral exploration and agriculture inside Somaliland, said the spokesman.

According to Somaliland officials, the president is also seeking assistance from Beijing to improve water and sanitation services, as well as develop infrastructure, such as better road networks.

The president is accompanied by four cabinet ministers and the manager of Berbera port.

Meanwhile, President Silanyo has held discussions with Ethiopian officials when he made a stopover in the Ethiopian capital en route to China. The talks centered on security issues affecting the two sides, aides said.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1313/Somaliland_President_Flies_To_China?PHPSESSID=ec80ad1fd90791cd4163d3f397137d0d


Somaliland troops seize weapons, explosives in northwestern disputed town

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 05 Aug 2011. Radio Gaalkacyo, Gaalkacyo, in Somali 1015 5 Aug 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

The forces of the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland have seized criminals with explosives and weapons in Laas Caanood town, the provincial capital of Sool Region, northwestern Somalia.

Governor of Sool Region, Muhammad Mahmud Ali, told the media that the security forces of Somaliland in the region have seized several criminals with weapons and explosives who were responsible for the explosions and killings in the town, adding that they will be brought before court. The governor further said that the men were seized during massive security operations in the town, saying that the security crackdown will continue until stability is restored.

Meanwhile, Information minister of Somaliland Ahmad Abdi Habsade, said that Somaliland will take every possible measure in improving security of Laas Caanood town.

It is not the first time that Somaliland troops have seized weapons in Laas Caanood town, northwestern Somalia.


Rebel group members said flee to Somaliland

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 28 July 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 23 Jul 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. [Unattributed report: "Al-Shabab Start Arriving in Somaliland"]

The recent blows inflicted on Al-Shabab by American drones in Kismaayo and AMISOM forces in Mogadishu, have led some Al-Shabab members to flee southern Somalia and re-locate to their place of origin.

As a result, some Al-Shabab members who are originally from Somaliland have come back to Somaliland.

Eyewitnesses have confirmed this to be the case in several parts of Somaliland, including the capital, Hargeysa.

Among Al-Shabab members who were seen in Somaliland was the deputy chairman in charge of the collection of zakat charities, who is originally from Togdheer, but was said to have been in Hargeysa a few days ago.

The government has not made any public comments on the issue.


SOMALIA: Hundreds of drought-displaced seek shelter in Somaliland

The drought-displaced families lack food, shelter and water (file photo)

LAS-ANOD, 29 July 2011 (IRIN) - Hundreds of families from south-central Somalia who have sought refuge in the self-declared independent Republic of Somaliland lack food, shelter and water, say local officials.

Most of the 276 families (about 1,650 people) are in the town of Las-anod in Sool region, neighbouring south-central Somalia.

"At least 10 families arrive in Las-anod daily; some pass through to other towns in Somaliland but many remain here," Khadra Mohamed, secretary-general of Somaliland's internally displaced persons (IDP) organization, told IRIN. "Some of the new arrivals are [staying] with conflict-displaced Somalis who have been living in the town for the last several years. These people have no food or shelter.

However, Mohamed said, local communities have been providing food aid to the new arrivals.

"These families have little access to health services, some of them lost their children during their long journey to Somaliland," Mohamed added.

Abdillahi Jama, governor of Sool region, told IRIN: "Those arriving are registered by local NGOs who inform us weekly. In the past three days, for example, between 10 and 20 families have arrived in Las-anod. Most end up living with families who have been displaced by past conflict in south-central Somalia, expanding the number of people per IDP family to 10-20.

"We collect some assistance from the local people and encourage them to help, because they are our brothers and sisters displaced by the drought," Jama said. "Our capacity is limited and we can do little to help them."

Zainab H. Mohamoud, head of the Gashan Women's Umbrella Organization, said in Buroa, Togdheer region, several families had fled drought; some went to Hargeisa and others to the town of Buhotle in Buhotle region.

Mohamoud told IRIN that at least 23 families from south-central Somalia reached Buroa, 70 people had reached Buhotle and 12 went to Hargeisa.

Meanwhile, in Nairobi, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) issued a statement on 29 July appealing for immediate life-saving interventions for an estimated one million Somali children, the majority in southern Somalia.

"The children of southern Somalia desperately need our help; too many of them have already died and many others are at great risk unless we act now," said Rozanne Chorlton, the UNICEF Somalia representative. "Families shouldn't have to leave their homes, mothers and their children shouldn't have to endure days of perilous journey in search of food and water and then face a life of uncertainty in a camp. All our energy should be focused on saving lives."

According to UNICEF, an estimated 1.25 million children across southern Somalia, 640,000 of them acutely malnourished, urgently need life-saving interventions.

To reach children as quickly as possible, the agency said, it had, with its partners, mounted a massive scale-up of its operation and was using "all avenues available" to get supplies into the region.

So far, UNICEF has airlifted supplementary feeding supplies for 65,000 children to the drought-affected regions of southern Somalia.


While Somalia stagnates, Somaliland flourishes

By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun July 27, 2011

As Somalia descends into another of the troughs of violence and famine that have marked this ultimate failed state for 20 years, just over its northern horizon is one of the most successful new countries in Africa.

Somaliland broke away from Somalia after the old dictator, Siad Barre, was ousted by clan warlords at the end of January 1991, and has since quietly constructed a robust, functioning state that is also the only vibrant Islamic democracy in the broader region of North Africa and the Middle East.

But Somaliland is not recognized internationally as an independent nation, which may, perversely, largely account for its success.

The country's 3.5 million people and its large diaspora of exiles and emigrants in Europe, North America and the Gulf States have had to rely on their own resources and are immensely proud of their accomplishments.

Non-recognition also means they have been spared the manipulative outside interference that has often only made matters worse in Somalia to the south. Even so, it has not been an easy ride creating Somaliland. There have been border wars with Puntland to the southeast, another breakaway region from the old Somalia, and creating an economy with traction has been a struggle.

A major element in the economy, according to the World Bank, is the estimated $1 billion overseas Somalilanders remit each year to their families at home.

Otherwise Somaliland survives on a simple economy based on the export of beef cattle and camels to the Middle East.

Other exports include frankincense and myrrh.

But now, with the so-far successful secession of South Sudan from Sudan this month, the question of international recognition of Somaliland as a nation state has again emerged.

In theory international recognition would provide the diplomatic and economic links that would allow Somaliland to take the next leap in its development.

However, there are strong feelings in neighbouring governments that if ever a functioning administration can be put in place in Somalia, Somaliland must be reunited with the south.

Most countries in the Horn of Africa contain regional minorities harbouring separatist instincts.

The governments fear that recognized independence for Somaliland, building on the South Sudan precedent, will start a cascade of independence movements.

Even the European Union is divided on the matter because the two old colonial powers, Britain and Italy, disagree sharply on the future of Somaliland. Britain supports recognized independence, Italy doesn't.

Britain established a protectorate over what it called British Somaliland in 1888 when it signed treaties with the local sultans.

But London's only interests were to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden, supply beef to regional outposts and curtail slavery.

When London gave Somaliland independence in 1960, the new country decided to unite with the former Italian Somaliland, which got independence from Rome six days later. It was a decision Somalilanders have spent many years regretting, especially after Maj.-Gen. Siad Barre seized power in the southern capital of Mogadishu in 1969.

In the early 1980s, the Somali National Movement was formed by members of the Isaaq clan, the largest in Somaliland, and by 1988 it controlled most of the region.

But Barre's retribution was murderous.

At one point in 1988 his air force carpet-bombed the northern capital, Hargeysa, killing tens of thousands of men, women and children and sending about 300,000 refugees into neighbouring Ethiopia.

But the northern civil war was the beginning of a gathering uprising that eventually ousted Barre in 1991.

In May that year Somaliland declared its independence.

Somaliland was led until 2003 by presidents selected by councils of clan leaders, but in that year Dahir Riyale Kahin was elected in a direct popular ballot.

Kahin was defeated by Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo last July in elections judged by international observers to be largely free and fair.

Somaliland has an executive presidency and a two-chamber parliament. The lower house is made up of directly elected members from the three main political parties and the upper house is composed of elders selected by the half dozen tribal clans.

Even so, democracy in Somaliland is not perfect, but it has the attributes of being entirely homegrown; far more representative, open and accountable than most African countries can claim; and unique among entirely Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/While+Somalia+stagnates+Somaliland+flourishes/5164743/story.html#ixzz1TKgwh2Rp


Somaliland: The former British colony that shows Africa doesn't need our millions to flourish

23rd July 2011
By Ian Birrell

The Summer Time restaurant was buzzing. On the dusty road outside, new four-wheel drive cars fought for space with smart saloons. Inside, waiters in bow ties rushed about serving spicy chicken, camel milk and piles of spaghetti. Families and groups of friends queued for tables at the entrance.

A father eating with his four sons stopped me for a chat about football. As we spoke, a group of women swathed in bright robes wafted by, talking with cutglass English accents.

City of Hope: The capital Hargeisa was, two decades ago, in ruins and obliterated by bombers sent up from its airport by a vindictive dictator and littered with mines

City of Hope: The capital Hargeisa was, two decades ago, in ruins and obliterated by bombers sent up from its airport by a vindictive dictator and littered with mines.

A health worker toured the tables, pushing tickets for a $20-a-head charity fund-raiser.

Another man greeted me as I left. Five minutes later, he had invited me to a family wedding the following night and I accepted.

I could not have been made more welcome as I watched comedians, poets and traditional dancing. This, incredibly, was Somalia: the world's most failed state, notorious for bloodshed, chaos, piracy, Islamic fundamentalists and hostility to Westerners.

Or that, at least, is where I was according to the UN. In reality I was in Somaliland, an unrecognised republic that has broken away in the north.

This tiny, impoverished, little known nation – a former British protectorate that still serves bananas in lumpy custard for pudding – is offering the rest of the world a salutary lesson.

Two decades ago, it was shattered as it emerged from Somalia's civil war. The capital Hargeisa, which I visited last week, was in ruins, obliterated by bombers sent up from its airport by a vindictive dictator and littered with mines.

Colourful: A woman in Somaliland in traditional dress

Colourful: A woman in Somaliland in traditional dress

Hundreds of thousands were killed, millions driven from their homes. Today it is an astonishing success story for a country that officially does not exist and sits in one of the most chaotic corners of the world.

Denied international help, the people of Somaliland made their own peace, disarmed their militias and created a unique system of government, one that fuses Western-style democracy with African traditions.

The nation has its own president, parliament, passports and currency. It has fair elections – including one that left two presidential candidates just 80 votes apart but was resolved by courts, not conflict – plus free speech and a belief in free markets that is clearly paying off.

It is also a conservative Muslim country that is pro-Western, retaining a special affection for Britain, which ruled it for 80 years before granting independence in 1960.

Five days later, its leaders merged with Italian Somalia in the south, a union they rapidly regretted.

The people take great pride in their enforced self-sufficiency since separation. 'The key to our success was the lack of foreign influence,' said Abdirahman Abdillahi, Speaker of the parliament.

'It was all done by Somalilanders alone.'

This story is all the more remarkable given Somaliland's location: its neighbours include Somalia and also Ethiopia and Eritrea, two repressive regimes that have had endless border skirmishes and a full-blown war.

Yemen, also in meltdown, is just over the Gulf of Aden. Now, amid growing recognition of its success, this nation of four million is being hailed as the place that proves development aid does not work.

Last week, on his brief trip to Africa, David Cameron defended his controversial policy to raise spending on overseas aid while cutting spending at home, adding that the Coalition was bolstering support for troubled states.

'By 2015 we'll be putting nearly a third of all our aid into conflict states,' he said. 'The aid sceptics are wrong. Aid is essential.' Critics, though, suggest aid encourages a dependency culture and undermines governance, since politicians are not obliged to respond to citizens' needs.

Instead, they fritter away cash on weapons or stash it in personal bank accounts. Somaliland proves the point. Its fledgling government receives no direct aid since it is unrecognised.

Instead it has had to rely on tax revenues, ensuring it has developed an inclusive, transparent and accountable political system in contrast with so many other developing nations propped up by foreign donors.

Days gone by: The British colonial past of Somalia

Days gone by: The British colonial past of Somalia

It is highlighted in a new paper by Nicholas Eubank, a political economist at Stanford University in the US, who said Somaliland's history offered unique insights into the downside of current levels of foreign aid.

His paper shows how politicians were forced into 'revenue bargaining', accepting checks on power that laid the basis of political stability.

He pointed to a dispute over the port of Berbera, a trade hub for landlocked Ethiopia, which the government tried to take by force from a small clan.

'I'm not a huge believer in foreign aid. How many countries have moved ahead and developed with international aid? It is not the formula for development. There's an aid lobby that feeds on this. For every dollar put in by taxpayers, so little gets to the intended destination. The aid groups feed off the photo ops. I hate to say it, but they love starvation.' Hussein Abdi Dualeh.

Having failed, but needing the revenue, it entered discussions that led to the inclusion of all clans in representative government. With aid money, the sums involved would have been too small to bother with – or it would have spent more on armed forces, and crushed the smaller clan.

Eubank estimated that in the previous year, for example, the government would have had at least œ44 million in foreign aid if getting the level given elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa – more than twice its annual revenue.

His theory that Somaliland benefited from lack of international support was backed by all the key figures I met there last week. Among them was Hussein Abdi Dualeh, the energetic minister for mining, energy and water.

He took the post last year, leaving behind his family and a wellpaid job in Los Angeles to return to a country he last saw devastated two decades ago. 'My coming here was part of the effort to come up with a new way of governing,' he said.

'It was a hard sell to my three kids, but what could be more rewarding than the chance to leave a real and tangible legacy? 'Given our resources and the state of the country, it is remarkable what we have achieved, especially since we are in such a rough neighbourhood.

'We were left to rely on our own resources. During that time we were given space to sort out our own issues. There could be no complacency or relying on other countries to give us aid or help.'

Would he like to see aid flood in now? 'I'm not a huge believer in foreign aid. How many countries have moved ahead and developed with international aid? It is not the formula for development.

'There's an aid lobby that feeds on this. For every dollar put in by taxpayers, so little gets to the intended destination. The aid groups feed off the photo ops. I hate to say it, but they love starvation.'

Indomitable spirit: Ian Birrell meets Dr Edna Ismail Indomitable spirit: Ian Birrell meets Dr Edna Ismail

There are once again desperate appeals for emergency aid to feed people amid famine in the Horn of Africa, especially in Somalia.

But even the aid lobby admits the root causes include political chaos in one of the world's most conflict riven regions, just as in the Ethiopian famine that sparked Live Aid.

Having survived the flight to Somaliland on a Russian jet more than 50 years old, sitting on a broken seat and sweltering without air-conditioning, I met up in Hargeisa with Khadar Ali Gaas.

Proud: A young Somaliland woman holds her national flag

Proud: A young Somaliland woman holds her national flag

He had spent three terrifying months trapped there during the civil war before walking to Ethiopia, then fleeing to Europe. He was back for the first time in 12 years, joining the exiles who flood back in the summer.

'This city has grown so much,' said Mr Gaas, who is a chauffeur in London. 'Then there was war damage everywhere, while now there is almost none.'

As he showed me round Hargeisa, avoiding goats splayed out in the shade and a pair of swollenbottomed monkeys sauntering down the street, it was clear life remains a struggle.

Donkeys haul water tanks – the official supply system was built 40 years ago for 200,000 people, today there are nearly five times that number.

Traders try to sell stacks of shoes, ancient electronics and bushels of the stimulant qat. More than half the population is nomadic; two-thirds rely on livestock for their income – which explains why cows mooch nonchalantly down the main roads of Hargeisa and there is a daily camel market.

Even a printing executive flying to China for three months confessed to me he had dried camel meat in his bag to sustain him there.

One of the MiG jets that destroyed the city sits on top of a memorial to independence, with its gory murals of fighters with limbs chopped off.

The many youths hanging around underlines the high unemployment: some say four out of every five adults is jobless. Yet women feel safe enough to sit in front of stalls laden with gold jewellery until 10pm, and men peer over walls of bank notes at open-air currency exchanges.

Signs proclaim that weapons must be registered. Somalia's capital Mogadishu, of course, is notorious for gun-toting militia.

In Hargeisa, private business, often funded by the flow of remittances from families that fled abroad, is thriving. The place hums with construction work – the buildings going up include a shopping mall – and everyone seems to clutch a mobile phone.

Billboards advertising rival networks vie with those warning against human trafficking. One young man stopped to talk with my companions, then drove off in his gleaming white Jeep.

Self-declared: Somaliland people protest in London as they try to get international recognition for their currently unrecognised state

Self-declared: Somaliland people protest in London as they try to get international recognition for their currently unrecognised state

He had been given œ2,500 by his sister to escape the civil war, but could not get out. So he started a construction business and is now a millionaire. Khader Hussein did escape, but returned ten years ago from Britain.

'There was absolutely nothing here. I asked myself what I could do to help and decided to open a hotel.'

He ploughed more than œ1 million into creating the upmarket Ambassador Hotel by the airport.

'Everyone thought I was a madman,' said Mr Hussein, who is also an opposition MP.

'Now my hotel supports 400 families.' But no one epitomises the nation's indomitable spirit more than Edna Adan Ismail, or Dr Edna, as everyone knows her.

Controversial: David Cameron, on last week's brief trip to Africa, defended his controversial policy to raise spending on overseas aid while cutting spending at home

Controversial: David Cameron, on last week's brief trip to Africa, defended his controversial policy to raise spending on overseas aid while cutting spending at home

This inspirational woman, who trained as a nurse in London and was married to the country's first president, decided to build a hospital when she retired from the World Health Organisation aged 60.

She sold her Mercedes and put all her savings and pension into a maternity hospital which opened nine years ago.

It has slashed maternal death rates in a land where being pregnant is a mortal risk, expanded into emergency care and been acclaimed Africa's best hospital.

Now aged 74, she lives above the hospital and works all hours. She has set up satellite units around the country – one to prevent women dying in transit to her hospital from Ethiopia – and is focused on training new health workers and pharmacists.

She relies on just two full-time doctors and 17 trained nurses and midwives; there are only 369 nurses in the entire country.

She shows me a library used for lectures and pristine rooms, a stark contrast with dilapidated hospitals too often found in Africa. A passing trainee nurse receives a gentle clip on her veiled head and a rebuke.

'She was wearing the wrong shoes, all click-click on the floor, but she's a good girl really,' Dr Edna tells me. Her hospital symbolises how Somaliland rose from the chaos and carnage.

'Our choice was to lie down and die, or rely on what I call people power to rebuild our nation. 'It's been good for us. When the infrastructure was totally destroyed, if outsiders had said, "Here's the money to rebuild yourselves and to set up institutions," it would have built into us a dependency culture.

'Instead, through trial and error we found what worked.'

Reconciliation involved conferences at which elders, intellectuals and ordinary people slowly sorted out differences to agree a system of government.

Malnourished: This picture of a child from southern Somalia on the floor of Banadir hospital, in the country's capital Mogadishu, is in stark contrast to what Ian Birrell witnessed in Somaliland

Malnourished: This picture of a child from southern Somalia on the floor of Banadir hospital, in the country's capital Mogadishu, is in stark contrast to what Ian Birrell witnessed in Somaliland.

There is a US-style president and an elected House of Representatives, plus an upper house of elders to ensure all clans have a voice.

There were outbreaks of fighting before a permanent constitution was agreed in 2001 by 97 per cent of voters.

The peace process is estimated to have cost less than œ60,000, against the huge sums poured in for years in the attempt to impose peace on Somalia, much of it ending up in the pockets of warlords and Islamist groups.

Britain is increasing aid to Somalia, recently branded the world's most failed state.

Somaliland's nascent democracy is not perfect. There has been concern over judicial detentions, and disputes over voter registration delayed presidential elections that were finally held last July. But in a region of failed states, communal violence, brutal repression and brazen electoral fraud, even Human Rights Watch said Somaliland's accomplishments were 'improbable and highly impressive'.

Journalists have been jailed also, but the new government promised to stop such behaviour.

The chief editor of Jamhuuriya, the oldest paper, was arrested two weeks ago after criticising the attorney-general. 'It was a setback,' said Mustafe Sa'ad, the paper's manager.

'But at least when we rang the government to complain, they did not know about it and got him out straight away.'

There are also fears that increasing amounts of indirect aid – while still far lower than levels in most developing countries – are weakening the emphasis on tax collection.

But in a region of failed states, communal violence, brutal repression and brazen electoral fraud, even Human Rights Watch said Somaliland's accomplishments were 'improbable and highly impressive'.

Now the focus is on winning international recognition, which would allow access to capital markets and encourage foreign businesses to invest. Hopes have been boosted by the birth of South Sudan, which ended the African Union's ban on breaking the old colonial borders, although what passes for a government in Somalia remains opposed.

'Recognition has always been a priority,' said Amina Weris Skeik Mohamed, the first lady, as we talked over fizzy apple juice in the presidential palace.

'We are fighting the same enemies as you and share the same values of peace, democracy and humanity. Recognise us, and we could do so much more together.'

The palace was attacked three years ago, reportedly by Al-Shabaab, the Islamic militia in Somalia. Security is tight: I watched as her husband's convoy prepared for a trip, with two identical cars supported by three trucks filled with troops and heavy artillery at the back.

I asked why she thought they had been attacked. 'Because we are friends of the infidel,' she said with a smile.

Surely it is time for us to reciprocate this friendship and recognise the astonishing achievements of this courageous country.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2018055/Somaliland-The-British-colony-shows-Africa-doesnt-need-millions-flourish.html?ito=feeds-newsxml


Two Somaliland officials killed in disputed town

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 21 July 2011. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 21 Jul 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Armed groups have in the last few hours killed senior officials of the Somaliland Administration in [ the disputed town of] Laas Canood, Sool Region. Security forces in the town have since conducted operations in which they arrested a number of people believed to be responsible for the killing of these officials.

Reports reaching us from Laas Canood indicate that two Somaliland officials have been killed in the town since last night. Armed groups are said to have shot dead unnamed senior official of the Somaliland Administration as well as a female member of the local administration's intelligence services named Dahabo Elmi Tuute. The armed groups that carried out the killing are said to have fled from the scene of the attack a short while afterwards. The reason for the killing of these Somaliland officials in Laas Canood is not yet known, however, an operation to find the killers is now underway in the town.

Some 10 people among them businessmen suspected of being involved in the killing of these officials have so far been arrested by local forces conducting security operation in the town. Officials of the Somaliland Administration in Laas Canood are often targeted with explosion attacks and organized killings. Today's killing of these officials comes at a time when a meeting to discuss security in these regions has recently been concluded in Garowe, Nugaal Region.


Elder accuses Somaliland authorities of insecurity in disputed region Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 20 July 2011. Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 20 Jul 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Traditional elders in [disputed] Sool Region have accused the Somaliland administration of being responsible for the increased insecurity in Laas Caanood, the provincial capital of Sool Region.

Sultan Muhammad Abdullahi, a prominent traditional elders in Sool Region spoke to Shabeelle while in Laas Caanood and accused the Somaliland government of being responsible for the insecurity in the region.

The elder said Somaliland administration in collaboration with some from Sool Region continue to inflict suffering upon residents of this region. The elder also accused Transitional Federal Government of Somalia [TFG] officials from Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn regions of turning a blind eye to the plight of the residents of these areas and ignoring the suffering inflicted to them by the Somaliland government. The elder urged government officials in these areas to do something about the challenges residences of these areas face.

Incidences of organized killings and explosion attacks targeting officials of the town have become quite frequent in Laas Caanood. Majority of the elders from Sool Region blame the Somaliland administration for these attacks.


Protecting Somaliland's endangered cave paintings

Young archeologist works to save prehistoric rock paintings in war-torn Horn of Africa.

Haley Sweetland Edwards. July 19, 2011 07:08

1 / 5A primitive rock painting, of a galaxy of colorful animal and human sketches to adorn the caves in the rocky hills of this arid wilderness in northern Somalia, in Laas Gee.

PHOTO BY: Tony Karumba

HARGEISA, Somaliland - Follow an unmarked dirt road to a dry riverbed in the scrubby, northwestern Somali plains and in the shadows, beneath the sandstone outcroppings, are remarkably well-preserved paintings. They date back between five and 11,000 years and cover the rock walls in streaks of white and black and barbeque sauce red.

White stripes highlight a warrior's clothing, the point of his spear and the curve of an ancient cow's udder.

This is Somaliland's Laas Geel. Anywhere else in the world such cave paintings would undoubtedly be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but here - in the unstable Horn of Africa - it's in danger of being swallowed up by decades of war, political unrest, drought, poverty and neglect in a region that most of the Western world has left for dead.

And that's where Sada Mire, a young London-educated Somali archeologist, enters the scene. As the only Somali archeologist working on the ground in greater Somalia, and one of only a handful of academics worldwide focusing on the region, she is trying to almost single-handedly identify and protect what's left of Somali heritage. And she's doing it without adequate funding, resources or a qualified staff.

Although Mire is originally from Mogadishu, the young archeologist now heads up the Department of Antiquities for the unrecognized republic of Somaliland, a breakaway region in northern Somalia. While visitors to Somaliland are still required to travel with guards armed with AK-47s, the breakaway republic's de facto government has been able to maintain a relative peace for nearly 17 years, creating a platform from which the preservation of Somali cultural heritage may begin - if it's not too late.

"Protecting these cave paintings is very, very important to us. This is our history. It's who we are." ~Abdirisaq Wabre Roble, Somaliland's former Minister of Tourism and Culture "A whole country's history is almost gone already," said Mire, who received her doctorate from the University College London last year. "So much has been destroyed already. Boxes of documents, Bibles, scrolls, coins, swords, knives, traditional art, jewelry, beads - all of it is gone forever." The entirety of the former Somali National Museum in Mogadishu was looted in the period before 1979, and no museums or archival spaces exist today, she said.

"We don't even have complete records of what we once had," Mire said. "The only thing we can do is try to protect what's left."

Mire has been able to survey sites from the Ethiopian border to Berbera, a port on the Gulf of Aden - all of which is under the auspices of the de facto Somaliland government - but it's still too dangerous, even for her, to work in Somalia itself.

In the last half-century, troves of archeological artifacts have been removed from Somalia, first by the Italians and British who colonized the region in the first half of the twentieth century and then, after independence, by impoverished Somalis themselves, driven to sell artifacts for a handful of U.S. dollars to feed their families.

When Somalia descended into civil war in 1991, the problem worsened as warlords began "systematically looting" archeological sites to fund the war, Mire said. In some places, historic buildings, like the Mogadishu Cathedral, were destroyed by mortars and bombs. In other places, buildings have been deconstructed, stone by stone, by locals to build corrals for their goats or houses for themselves.

In Laas Geel, local herders, unaware of the historic significance of the rock paintings, used to take shelter in the rock outcroppings, lighting campfires that destroyed some of the ancient images.

"The thing is to get there before it's all destroyed, to preserve at least a record of what was there," said Geoffrey King, a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, who worked with Mire when she was a graduate student.

Modern-day Somalia spans a region where first generation Muslims, traveling from Arabia by boat, would have landed in Africa in the seventh century, King said. "This time period has never been studied in much of this region, so protecting what we have is beyond important."

Mire's work so far has focused on educating locals, and especially the respected elite - sheikhs, elders, community leaders - who live near important heritage sites and who can act as unofficial custodians and protectors. "It's not an ideal solution, but it's a start," Mire said. The rock art at Laas Geel, the most well-known of the heritage sites in Somaliland, is the only archeological site in greater Somalia that employs guards, at the expense of the Somaliland government.

Mire's next priority is to establish antiquity laws in Somaliland that would prevent the sale of remaining artifacts to rich collectors abroad - a task that will require that she essentially write legislation for a country that does not yet exist. Unrecognized by the international community, the territory does not qualify for traditional avenues of funding or protection from institutions like UNESCO, and its laws are toothless in an international context, as it is still officially under the auspices of long failed Mogadishu in Somalia proper.

Mire will face "incredible challenges from every direction" since most international institutions' bureaucracies are not equipped to work with unrecognized or failed states, said Andrew Reid, an archeologist at the University College London's Institute of Archeology, who is familiar with working in sub-Saharan Africa.

But Somaliland's former Minister of Tourism and Culture, Abdirisaq Wabre Roble, isn't daunted. He says Mire's work is vital, both culturally and for the economy of the semi-state.

"Laas Geel is a national monument. People from all over come to see the paintings there," he said in an interview last year. "Protecting them - and all the other sites around Somaliland - is very, very important to us. This is our history. It's who we are."

And then, echoing Mire's wildest dreams, he mused, "Maybe soon we'll even have a museum."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/110718/somaliland-cave-paintings-hargeisa


Somalia: Somaliland Officer Gunned Down in North

Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu) http://allafrica.com/stories/201107182405.html.18 July 2011

Las Anod - A female Somaliland officer was gunned down Sunday night by armed gunmen in a northern Somalia town.

Dahabo Ilmi, an officer in Somaliland's criminal investigation department, was killed at the center of Las Anod, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of Hargeisa, the capital of the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland.

Witnesses said three masked assailants armed with pistols conducted the assassination, which was the first of a female officer in Somaliland.

Somaliland police started search operations, although it is unclear if anyone was arrested in connection with the assassination.

No statement about the officer's killing was immediately available from authorities.

In April, masked men armed with pistols shot and wounded three people including a Somaliland police officer in the same town.

Since Somaliland took control of the Sool region from Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland in 2007, more than 12 Somaliland officials including police, military and intelligence officers have been killed in the region. It is source from AHN.


Telesom deploys 3G network (Somaliland)

On 07.15.11, In Mobile, By Editor.

Telescom is a telecom operator based in Somaliland. It has announced the launch of its third-generation network in the autonomous region, according to sources. High speed mobile broadband and videocalling are the highlights of the 3G network unveiled.

According to Telesom managing director Mohamd Salah Abdi, their 3G network service in Somaliland will facilitate video and audio streaming, video chat and high speed internet service for customers. In addition, it will offer advanced mobile broadband services to not only Telesom consumers but also to the business community in Somaliland.

http://wirelessfederation.com/news/82824-telesom-deploys-3g-network-somaliland/


Telesom launches 3G network in Somaliland

Friday 15 July 2011

Somaliland-based operator Telesom has introduced a 3G network in the autonomous region, SomalilandPress reports. Telesom offers services on the 3G network such as mobile broadband and video calling. Telesom was also the first to launch a mobile banking offer in the area, with the ZAAD service started in late 2009. In February 2010 it followed with the inauguration of the country's first solar power site.

http://www.telecompaper.com/news/telesom-launches-3g-network-in-somaliland


Editorial advises Somaliland to reframe foreign relations

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 11 July 2011. The Somaliland imes website, Hargeysa, in English 9 Jul 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. [Editorial: "Time for Paradigm Shift in Somaliland-EU Relations"]

Here we go again. Another high level international figure talks big about helping Somaliland but delivers little. The official in question this time is the European Union's Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, who came to Somaliland this week. Mr Piebalgs praised Somaliland's democracy as a model for IGAD countries, highlighted the European Union's aid to the country and promised more assistance in the future. But despite the glowing language the reality is that as IEWY News put it, "On-going, mostly multi-year EU-funded programmes in Somaliland currently amount to approximately 62 million." The key word here is multi-year, which means that this is not assistance for one year but assistance over several years. So what all this talk about helping Somaliland amounts to is 62 million Euros over several years. Though Somalilanders appreciate every penny of assistance they get, and do not want to sound ungrateful, the fact is that this is very little assistance.

Part of the problem is in the way the assistance is framed. The predominant narrative has been, and still is, that Somaliland deserves assistance because it is a democracy in a region ruled by autocracies. Although this narrative has helped in establishing Somaliland's political credentials and garnered sympathy for it among enlightened world opinion , it has some serious shortcomings, chief among which is that it makes it seem as if the European Union and the rest of the international community are helping Somaliland for altruistic reasons, namely, Somaliland's adoption of a democratic form of governance, when the reality is that the European Union is helping Somaliland because it is in its vital interests to do so. For anyone who doubts this, all they have to do is look at how much in tears and treasure the terrorism of Mogadishu and the piracy of Puntland is costing western governments and businesses.

The conceptualization of Western assistance to Somaliland as some sort of altruistic humanitarian assistance explains why it took Mr Piebalgs a whole year to come to Somaliland. It explains why after twenty years of peace in Somaliland, the European Union is just now beginning to set up a study of the Berbera corridor. It explains why the European Union has not had any meaningful development programme in Somaliland. It is a conceptualization that has worked well for the European Union and the international community because it allows them to morally feel good about themselves and actually do little for the country, so they have no incentive to change it.

Since it is Somaliland that is getting the short end of the stick, then Somalilanders must initiate the necessary re-conceptualization of their interaction with the international community. While still upholding their democratic form of government, Somalilanders must re-frame their foreign relations in terms of security and economics. The reason is simple: security and economics are arenas for mutual benefits, whereas democracy is a one-way street (the strong democracy helps the weak democracy).

Somaliland has a strong case that it is not getting a free ride and is contributing to both the security and economies of western countries. The biggest current threat to western security interests is terrorism; Somaliland plays an important role in fighting terrorism. Another threat that has been menacing western economies is that of piracy; Somaliland has prevented its land and seashores from becoming bases for pirates which has saved western citizens and governments millions of dollars.

Looked at in this light, it becomes clear that Somaliland is paying its dues and meeting its end of the bargain, whereas the European Union and the international community want something for nothing or next to nothing. This situation cannot go on. Time for a paradigm shift in Somaliland-EU relations.


Somaliland leader meets UK foreign minister in Ethiopia

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 11 July 2011. The Somaliland imes website, Hargeysa, in English 9 Jul 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. [Unattributed report: "Somaliland President Meets British Foreign Minister"]

Somaliland President Ahmad Muhammada Mahmud Silanyo met with the United Kingdom's foreign minister William Hague on Friday in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

According to a press release by the office of the spokesman of Somaliland government, the two sides discussed the security situation in the Horn of Africa, but the main item of the discussion was how Somaliland could be become one of the recognized nations of the world.

The British foreign minister expressed his admiration, as well as the admiration of the international community, for the peace and progress of Somaliland, and how Somaliland achieved what it achieved through its own efforts. He also said that the international community should take those achievements into account.


EU official pledges to invest additional development funds in Somaliland

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 11 July 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 9 Jul 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC. [Unattributed report: "Somaliland: EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs Announces More Support for Stability and Regional Cooperation"]

During a visit to Somaliland, the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced on Wednesday that the European Union is considering to provide around additional 175 million in EU support to Somalia, including to Somaliland.

In his speech before the Somaliland Parliament, Mr Piebalgs said: "The European Union welcomes the contribution that Somaliland is making to peace and good governance in the region. It is an encouraging example of peace, democracy and stability. This is why we will invest additional development funds as security and the socio-political conditions favour sustainable development."

Additional EU support in Somaliland will focus on areas to foster economic development, education and governance.

During his visit, Commissioner Piebalgs met President Sillanyo and delivered a speech to the House of Representatives in Hargeysa. Commissioner Piebalgs underlined that Somaliland is an example of stability and democracy which will hopefully encourage others to promote broader political dialogue, development and integration. He stressed that Somaliland has a role to play in economic integration and development in the Horn of Africa region.

Mr Piebalgs encouraged Somaliland to stay engaged in international efforts to curb piracy, and commended the efforts of the Somaliland coast-guard, police and judiciary.

The EU Development Commissioner discussed the political, social and economic situation of Somaliland during a meeting with members of civil society and the business community. He commended the constructive role played by the Somaliland Diaspora and reiterated the importance of the European Union's engagement with Non-State Actors -including civil society and the private sector -in its development efforts.

Commissioner Piebalgs concluded his visit to Somaliland with a tour of Berbera Port and a livestock quarantine facility, where he also met the principal and students of the EU-supported Sheikh Technical Veterinary School.

More information

The EU allocated an ongoing five-year support package for Somalia of 212 million (between 2008 and 2013)

EU aid in Somaliland is mainly focused on the following areas:

o Economic development including infrastructure: The EU has allocated 19 million to rehabilitate and expand urban water infrastructure in several cities across Somaliland. Further areas of infrastructure support will be identified under the increased package.
o Education: With strong EU assistance, school enrolment has already grown from 38.6 per cent in 2006 to an estimated 60 per cent in 2010. Somaliland's Education Ministry will be supported by technical experts provided by the EU to develop a sustainable solution for the recently-announced Free Primary Education Policy.
o Governance: The EU is already the main donor in major UN programmes assisting the public sector, police, courts, democratic institutions, electoral processes and civil society in Somaliland. Responding to the clear political commitment that Somaliland has demonstrated towards public sector reform, this assistance will be intensified and expanded, especially in the area of public finance management.


Mohamed Said Guedi: A businessman close to the Djibouti presidential couple has won a contract with the Somaliland authorities to link the territory by optical fibre.

The Indian Ocean Newsletter. July 11, 2011

The businessman Mohamed Sa‹d Guedi (MSG) has purchased the old civil protection building situated in the centre of Djibouti City for the sum of FDJ 50 million (about _200,000). The civil protection service will move to its new barracks situated to a locality known as "sans-fil" (wireless) just opposite the premises of the national police force.

Mohamed Sa‹d Guedi intends to renovate this building so that it can house the headquarters of his company Somcable. This firm has won the contract from the neighbouring government of Somaliland to connect this self-proclaimed independent territory to the undersea optical fibre cable that runs along the coast of East Africa (Read below). Work on laying the optical fibre is almost complete on the section between Hargeisa and Berbera. Somcable will supply optical fibre to Somaliland via the State-owned company Djibouti Telecoms.

This may be one of the reasons behind the choice of replacement for Ali Abdi Farah from his post of Djibouti minister for information and communication. His successor since last month, Abdi Houssein Ahmed, is an Issak, as is the Djibouti First Lady and a fair number of Somaliland inhabitants.

The new President of the self-proclaimed independent territory of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud known as Silanyo, has just confirmed a decision by his predecessor Dahir Rayale Kahin, awarding the firm Somcable headed by Mohamed Said Guedi the contract to connect the territory to one of the undersea optical fibre cables reaching East Africa. The work will require investment estimated at $30 million and Somcable has already contacted the firms Sagemcom and Alcatel Lucent France. The connection will probably be to the Seacom cable from Djibouti via a land link.

Somcable had competed for this contract with another company, Dalkom Somalia owned by Mohamed Ahmed Djama, a businessman backed by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The latter had wanted the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) to land in Mogadishu. To be sure, Dalkom is a partner in the African consortium West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) which owns a 28% stake in EASSy.

But as the situation in Mogadishu was not conducive to the EASSy cable landing there, the head of Dalkom turned his attention to Berbera in Somaliland. Finally, both EASSy and Seacom landed in Djibouti.

Another company called Small Globe Solutions unsuccessfully tried to convince the EASSy promoters to have their cable connect directly to Somaliland. This firm is linked to the British company Small Globe Ltd which was founded in April 2010 by several businessman of Somalian descent: Ahmed Nur Amin from Cardiff, plus AbdikarimAli, Mahdi Ahmed-Jama and Mahmoud Abdi from London.

Giving Somcable his contract adds force to Mohamed Said Guedi`s trading empire, which already has the upper hand on importing cigarettes into Djibouti via its subsidiary Business Royal. He has good relations with Djama Mahamoud Haid, the governor of the Banque Centrale de Djibouti and the brother of Ismail Omar Guelleh`s wife.


Somaliland: Africa's 56th country at the doorsteps

Abdulazez Al-Motairi. July 12, 2011 "If South Sudan and Eritrea could gain sovereignty, so will Somaliland" Somaliland President Mohamed Siilaanyo said.

Somaliland President was officially invited to attend the 1st independence day of South Sudan, and Juba administration received the president with head of state reception and Somaliland flag was flying high in Juba. This is very courageous step that acknowledges the status of Somaliland, and towards better cooperation between Hargiesa, Somaliland and Juba, South Sudan in the future.

Hundreds of South Sudanese danced in the streets on Saturday for a joy and to mark their long-awaited independence, a hard-won separation from the north. There is a lot of uncertainty waiting this fractured region. The people of South Sudan lived under gun point from 1953, in which they started their armed struggle against their former compatriots in North Sudan. The regime in Khartoum used all means of discrimination against citizens in the south, as they were regarded "Second Class citizens".

On 9th July 2011 will always remain in the hearts of every South Sudanese because it is the day that defined their existence with defined territory. The oil deposits in South Sudan attracted the attention of the western countries, who later led the disintegration campaign of Southern Sudan from Khartoum.

Today, Somaliland is in very similar situation to that of South Sudan and asking for self-determination with all conditions of statehood fulfilled. Somaliland case could be much stronger than that of Juba because it was an independent for four days upon an agreement signed between Britain and Somaliland.

Somaliland case of independence neither violates the A.U's charter, nor UN's definition for statehood. Its borders are defined by the A.U's Article 4 that respects the borders inherited from the colonial powers. Somaliland has democratic and liberal system of governance. It hosted free and fair elections under independent observer, and opposition won. The peaceful and civilized power transfer in Somaliland after election results caught the world in surprise.

Somaliland permanent population and it not only controls its territory, but it also practices democracy and the rule of law through the country. Furthermore, Somaliland engages other nations bilaterally.

Somaliland was not the first country that unconditionally united another, and as the hasty union went from jubilant to disastrous abandoned that unity. Egypt and Syria, Senegal and Gambia, Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau, and Senegal and Mali all renounced their original commitment to unity and reverted to their colonial borders, and today Somaliland is not an exception.

On 26th June 1960, Somaliland was formally recognized as the Republic of Somaliland by UN and other 35 countries including Britain, Israel, Egypt and USA.

However, Somaliland united with Italia Somalia (Today's South Somalia) to bring all Somali speaking people in horn of Africa (Djibouti, parts of Ethiopia and Kenya). This unity created an illegal territorial expansion policy by regime in Mogadishu, which resulted instability in the region.

"In 1960, I took a country - Somaliland - with a viable economy and budget of 2.5 million pounds to Mogadishu" he continued "Our Somaliland's previous existence, history and everything else has been eliminated and erased" Late President of Somaliland Mohamed H. Ibrahim Egal said.

After realizing infertility of the unity, Somaliland demanded their lost sovereignty from Mogadishu administration in 1963, and regime responded with indiscriminate killing, displacement, ethnic cleansing and bombardment.

Between 1979 and 1991, Mogadishu regime used all means of force to silence freedom demands of self-determination. The citizens of Somaliland were not given their share in power and public services, as they were regarded "Second Class citizens" just like South Sudanese counterparts. The regime air-bombed the cities and villages in Somaliland leaving 500,000 people dead in less than 6 months during 1988. The militias loyal to Mogadishu regime committed rape, killed children and displaced more than 2 million civilians.

UN received the displaced people from the major cities like Hargiesa, Burco, Berbera and Erigavo in refugee camps in eastern Ethiopia, who fled the indiscriminate killing by militias loyal to Mogadishu administration.

Thousands of children died from dehydration and other diseases in the camps, where an estimated asset worth millions of dollars was destroyed and looted by the militias.

Somalilanders formed an armed freedom fighting group called SNM (Somali National Movement) in 1979; they continued fighting Mogadishu administration until Dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre was terminated in 1991.

SNM headquarter was located in Addis Ababa nearby the office of SPLA. Both SNM and SPLA were fighting for freedom. Finally, SNM defeated the regime and re-declared Somaliland on 18th May 1991.

Somaliland is facing growing hostile by terrorist groups and piracy. The terrorist group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility of bomb attack on Somaliland Presidential Palace, UN Office and Ethiopian Embassy in Hargiesa. Somalia pirates are another threatening factor to Somaliland's sea trade.

Somaliland is cooperating with AU, USA and Britain over ending the piracy on high-water, and thousands of pirates are in Somaliland jails.

Finally, recognizing Somaliland will benefit the region, Africa and international community on security, good governance and promoting democracy. Somaliland established one of the best democracies in the region without outside help. Somaliland will help the world in ending the anarchy in Somalia. Somaliland is ready to contribute its experience in democracy and state building with their counterparts in Juba.

By Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi


BRITISH NAVY IN DANGEROUS ACTION OFF NORTHERN COAST OF SOMALIA

Written by ECOP-marine. AFRICA 11 July 2011.

British Royal Navy warship entangled in domestic affairs skirmish.

A British warship allegedly having the commander of the Somaliland navy and some of his soldiers on board attracted on Saturday serious military fire when it came close to the shore off Laasqoray, the coastal town of Warsangeliland at the Somali shores of the Gulf of Aden. From the foreign warship reportedly one amphibious vessel and two commando boats were launched with the intent to land on the beach.

Local officials, observers and media reported the incident as an unprecedented provocation and attack on the sovereignty of Somalia and specifically of the Warsangeli territory.

Reports indicated earlier last week that a British warship had come to Somaliland's port city of Berbera where President Ahmed Silanyo reportedly met British officials on board the vessel.

The ship is believed to be a patrol ship that is part of the western-led anti-piracy initiatives along the coasts of Somalia.

While neither EU NAVFOR nor the British navy reported the incident, security forces of Somalia's breakaway region of Puntland confirmed that they had fired towards a British warship near the coast.

The political background is the long-standing fight between the former British colony of Somaliland in the Northwest of Somalia, which today prefers to be an independent, though internationally not recognized breakaway republic and Puntland, the federal regional state of Somalia, located to the north-east.

Between these two blocks, the land of the Warsangeli and further south the Dulbahante homeland form a buffer zone, which regularly sees skirmishes over the control for these areas, which also contain oil- and other mineral concessions, being fought over between the two blocks.

Somaliland and Puntland are engaged in this long-standing border dispute particularly along the borders of the Sool, Sanaag and Ceyn regions located in the central north of Somalia since 1992.

The latest incident now involved a British naval vessel on a mission with an obviously pro-Somaliland agenda which was countered by forces loyal to the Puntland government as well as by those of the local Warsangeli governance.

The provincial commissioner of Sanaag region, Mohamud Dabayl said the war ship sailed towards Laasqoray, a strategic port town in the North of Somalia which is part of a territory disputed by the Puntland and Somaliland authorities.

"The ship appeared to have been misdirected and its captain may have been told that Laasqoray would be part of Somaliland. It was sailing towards Laasqoray" Dabayl told the local media in Bosaso.

He said Puntland authorities fired warning shots after it emerged that the warship entered their territory without prior notification, an issue regional officials said is a violation of territorial sovereignty and international law.

"Our security forces fired warning shots towards the ship because it was sailing through the coast of Puntland. The warning was to tell the crew that they were not in the territorial waters of Somaliland" he added.

According to the local Hiraan media, the regional commissioner said Puntland security personnel had arrested one person from the ship who was waving the flag of the self declared republic of Somaliland at the time when the warning shots were fired.

Local observers reported that though heavier weapons including RPGs and also small arms fire were directed against the British naval contingent and three of the Somaliland soldiers, who had landed from the British ship on the beach, were arrested, nobody got hurt.

http://www.international.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1489:british-navy-in-dangerous-action-off-northern-coast-of-somalia&catid=36:news&Itemid=74


Somalia: Puntland Condemns Provocative Incident at Las Korey

10 Jul 10, 2011 -http://www.garoweonline.com/

PRESS RELEASE| On 9 July, Puntland security forces at Las Korey coast fired warning shots on unidentified foreign soldiers who landed on the coast using small boats and an amphibious Armed Personnel Carrier (APC).

The foreign soldiers withdrew to the sea without firing back.

Puntland Government sources later revealed the foreign soldiers had disembarked from a British Royal Navy warship and were accompanied by Somaliland military officers, including a man identified as Berbera-based Somaliland Coastguard commander Admiral Ahmed Aw Osman.

British naval personnel landed on the Las Korey coast without the permission of Puntland Government. It has since been revealed that the British naval warship was misled by Somaliland authorities, who provided false information that Las Korey town is controlled by Somaliland forces.

The incident created high tensions inside Las Korey town, as Puntland security forces fired warning shots.

The Government of Puntland strongly condemns the actions of Somaliland authorities that potentially compromise the peace and stability of northern Somalia.

This act of foreign public opinion manipulation is unacceptable for good neighborly relations and mutual coexistence to strengthen regional security and stability.

Furthermore, the Puntland Government welcomes the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Royal Navy's immediate and direct communication with Puntland officials to clarify this regrettable misunderstanding.

Finally, the Government of Puntland calls on Somaliland authorities to respect neighborly relations and to refrain from similar actions in the future, as Somaliland has previously attacked Puntland regions.


Examples of EU Projects in Somaliland

Mariah Jen. 6 July 2011. http://www.iewy.com/29781-examples-of-eu-projects-in-somaliland.html

Development aid from the European Commission

On-going, mostly multi-year EU-funded programmes in Somaliland currently amount to approximately _62 million. There are 63 projects ongoing: 27 projects in the governance sector amounting to _21.9 million; 13 projects in the education sector, amounting to _11.2 million; 13 projects in support to economic growth amounting to _15.1 million; and 9 projects worth _8.5 million in other sectors (health, water and sanitation) and EU Flight Operations worth _5.3 million.

EU support to governance and security

The Interpeace-implemented Democratisation programme (different components worth a total a total _3.4 million) supported the delivery of a free and fair presidential election which was held in Somaliland in June 2010. The EU contributed to half of the costs of the elections. Currently, the project enhances and further consolidates the institutional and professional capacities of the National Electoral Commission and provides substantial technical assistance to support parliamentary and local elections to be held in Somaliland.

Support to the legislative Sector in Somaliland: through the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA) the EU offers training, workshops, seminars and study visits for parliamentarians and parliamentary staff with the objective to create an environment that fosters knowledge sharing of the democratic process. The programme (worth _1.26 million) has been actively supporting legislative institutions since 2004. It has also provided equipment and built a new plenary hall for Somaliland's parliament in Hargeisa that was inaugurated in 2011.

EU support to education

The EU `Education Programme' aims at contributing to the development of a sustainable, cohesive education system through the provision of relevant services to the entire population. The Somaliland Ministry of Education is supported with training and technical assistance. Access to primary and secondary education is improved through the construction and rehabilitation of schools and the training of new teachers; and Somaliland youth have a better chance of finding jobs through vocational education and training.

More than an estimated 80 percent of Somalilanders are currently illiterate. With EU support, around 180,000 adults and children in Somaliland have been trained since 2008 and have been given the opportunity of an education. EU support to this sector amounts to _36 million (Somaliland component) over a 6-year period.

The Accelerated Primary Education Support Programme: implemented by a consortium of NGOs, the programme (worth _2.1 million) increases access to quality primary education for school age children (including girls) from poor and marginalised communities. Key results of this programme so far include the construction and refurbishment of 90 new permanent classrooms in formal schools and training centres, the renovation of 40 classrooms already existing and the review and update of text books and curricula in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and training for 70 head teachers on inclusive and gender sensitive planning and management of schools.

EU support to health

Safe Motherhood in Hargeisa: 972 mothers delivered their babies safely in health facilities supported through the EU-funded Health Poverty Action (HPA) project. This is an extraordinary accomplishment in a context where more than half of pregnant women deliver without the presence of a trained health worker and face the risk of death or disability due to pregnancy-related complications. Up until 2009, there was no functional hospital referral system for obstetric emergencies in Somaliland. With EU funding (_2,1 million) HPA successfully established a maternity referral system including free transportation and free obstetric health services for indigent mothers in Hargeisa and has helped more than 2,800 mothers since its inception. In 2010, HPA developed and aired 13 radio programmes on positive health seeking behaviour. The uptake of modern family planning devices is also on the increase. This is a result of sustained efforts to promote health education through radio programmes, outreach theatre as well as counselling by trained nursing staff.

Training Human Resources for Health: implemented by the Tropical Health and Education Trust in partnership with Kings College Hospital in London, this project (worth _585,000) provides training to health professionals addressing the human resource development needs of the health sector and effectively contributing to saving lives. 31 medical students have been assisted with skills-based, interactive and participative teaching tools. It is also expected that almost 500 students enrolled in the academic year 2010-11 will benefit from effective training methodologies and clinical development in areas of need.

The EU and the Millennium Development Goals

Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide a framework, both global and local, for the entire international community to work together towards a common end: making sure that human development reaches everyone, everywhere. Despite the inherent difficulties, Somaliland can already report considerable achievements which are the result of EU-funded initiatives in the period 2004-2010:

MDG 1 Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
- almost 10,000 Somalilanders benefitted from technical and vocational education and training
- 35,580 Somalilanders targeted with unconditional cash transfers

MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
- 13,000 primary school teachers were trained and of these 4,000 were fully certified
- 100 schools were built or rehabilitated
- 75,000 pupils were enrolled in primary education (with a ratio of 6:4 of boys and girls)

MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality & Empower Women
- 7,800 new female students were enrolled in secondary education
- 60 scholarships were awarded in Somaliland for female trainees

MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality & MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health
- 3,700 births were attended by skilled health personnel
- 101,000 consultations took place on reproductive health

MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
- 600,000 Somalilanders benefited from improved drinking water
- 300,000 Somalilanders benefited from training and various activities of awareness raising for improved hygiene and sanitation

EU support to economic development

The EU supports agriculture and livestock production and marketing. It also promotes initiatives aimed at reducing unemployment and underemployment in urban areas through labour-intensive infrastructure projects and job creation. Interventions mobilize local expertise and labour potential by contracting small and medium-sized enterprises and, with that, promote private sector development in various fields including energy, electricity and water services. EU-funded projects also support Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as supplementary and innovative means in the provision of public services.

An Irrigation project (worth _2.5 million) in the Awdal Region (Somaliland) will start in July 2011, implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The project aims to raise agricultural productivity and net incomes of poor rural households in Somaliland by providing an integrated package of support covering irrigation, agricultural advisory services, marketing and post-harvest support and technical assistance in the framework of private-led economic development.

The Somali Animal Health Services project (worth _1.5 million) provides training and technical assistance to various institutions in Somaliland which provide animal disease surveillance. The project helped developing the Somaliland Veterinary Code and trained staff in the use of commercially produced rapid diagnostic test kits for key trade limiting animal diseases.


Somaliland suspends flights of Air Djibouti

By: Abdalle Ahmed. July 7th, 2011.http://www.raxanreeb.com/?p=102723

HARGEISA (RBC) The authorities of Somalia's break away region of Somaliland on Thursday suspended flights of air Djibouti from Somaliland airports, the aviation minister announced.

"Following complains from citizens in Hargeisa about the Air Djibouti's lack of functioning Air conditioner. We made investigation as we found that the planes used by the company were not appropriate ones" Somaliland's aviation minister Mohamud Hashi Abdi told reporters in Hargeisa.

"So today we declare that Somaliland government suspended Air Djibouti from operating in local airports until they fix the technical problems facing their planes" he added.

The aviation ministry also fined the local staff of Air Djibouti in Somaliland but the authorities did not take back license from the company, the aviation minister confirmed.

"This concerns the safety of our people if we do not take it serious". The aviation minister replied when asked if Somaliland had other reasons for the company's suspension.

There are no comments from the management of the company.

Air Djibouti, the national airline of Djibouti had at least seven flights inside Somalia each week including Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland.

The company's fleet consisted of Airbus A310 aircrafts but had been using small jets for inside Somalia flights.


Veils come off in Somali "Paradise for Women"

By Eva Krafczyk Jul 7, 2011.http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1649682.php/Veils-come-off-in-Somali-Paradise-for-Women

Hargeisa, Somalia - Fatimah Ibrahim has dedicated herself to women's rights in her Somali homeland. The head of a non-governmental organization in Hargeisa, capital of the breakaway republic of Somaliland, she champions better educational opportunities for girls and women and improvements in their legal status.

But not only that.

'Women also have the right to look good and be pampered a little, don't they?' Ibrahim asks with a mischievous smile.

The women's rights activist has become a businesswoman on the side by opening a beauty salon.

'Janno Dumar' ('Paradise for Women') is written on the wall enclosing the salon grounds, which are totally off limits to men. All of the employees and customers are women. This is the only way the small spa-like enclave can hold its own in the Muslim country, where foreign women must also wear a veil and headscarf in public.

Somalia does not immediately suggest itself as a spa destination. While Somaliland is by and large peaceful, Ibrahim's salon would be shut down immediately and accused of being Westernized and un-Islamic in south-west Somalia, where radical Islamic groups control the countryside. In Somaliland, too, the lives of many women are anything but intact.

'There's domestic violence but it's not reported to the police,' Ibrahim says. 'And if a married woman goes to the police after being raped, she's seen as an adulteress, not a victim, and hauled before court.'

Once the women are by themselves in the salon, the veils come off. They sip tea and coffee, nibble on sweets and giggle.

Leila, 25, flops into a comfortable, upholstered chair with her legs apart. She would never dare to sit that way in a cafe in the presence of her father or one of her brothers. But she remains wary even behind the walls of the 'Paradise for Women,' declining to give her last name or allow herself to be photographed.

'It's a good thing there's a place like this for us women,' Leila says after leafing through several fashion magazines. Although she could never wear the clothes pictured on their pages on the streets of Hargeisa, she enjoys imagining how she would look in them.

'The men have their cafes and rounds of khat,' she notes, referring to a popular narcotic plant whose leaves are chewed. 'Usually all that women can do is to get together with girlfriends in private homes. Here we've got our little domain.'

Leila's girlfriend Hamida, soon to be a bride, is shown clothes in the salon's showroom for her big day. She wants as much glitter, ruffles and candy colours as possible. Some of the necklines are quite revealing and would likely be seen only by the female wedding guests and groom.

Hamida needs to book her beauty treatment in time, too, because the wedding would be preceded by many hours of massaging, plucking, hairdressing, putting on makeup and, of course, applying henna dye.

'One has to plan on an entire day at least,' asserts Emem, a make-up artist.

Malika does not have that much time to spare. She allows herself two hours of relaxation, though, and has her hands, feet and forearms painted with intricate henna patterns. The scent of incense hangs in the air. Malika lays on a chair, eyes half-closed, while the make-up artist applies a thick paste of henna from a tube and places a fan closer for faster drying.

'No, I'm not going to a wedding or a party,' Malika says. 'Today I'm simply indulging myself. I've got enough obligations to my husband and family.'


Somaliland: EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs announces more support for stability and regional cooperation

Mariah Jen. 6 July 2011

Brussels - During a visit to Somaliland, the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced today that the European Union is considering to provide around additional _175 million in EU support to Somalia, including to Somaliland.

In his speech before the Somaliland Parliament, Mr Piebalgs said: "The European Union welcomes the contribution that Somaliland is making to peace and good governance in the region. It is an encouraging example of peace, democracy and stability. This is why we will invest additional development funds as security and the socio-political conditions favour sustainable development."

Additional EU support in Somaliland will focus on areas to foster economic development, education and governance.

During his visit, Commissioner Piebalgs met President Silanyo and delivered a speech to the House of Representatives in Hargeisa. Commissioner Piebalgs underlined that Somaliland is an example of stability and democracy which will hopefully encourage others to promote broader political dialogue, development and integration. He stressed that Somaliland has a role to play in economic integration and development in the Horn of Africa region.

Mr Piebalgs encouraged Somaliland to stay engaged in international efforts to curb piracy, and commended the efforts of the Somaliland coastguard, police and judiciary.

The EU Development Commissioner discussed the political, social and economic situation of Somaliland during a meeting with members of civil society and the business community. He commended the constructive role played by the Somaliland Diaspora and reiterated the importance of the European Union's engagement with Non-State Actors - including civil society and the private sector - in its development efforts.

Commissioner Piebalgs concluded his visit to Somaliland with a tour of Berbera Port and a livestock quarantine facility, where he also met the principal and students of the EU-supported Sheikh Technical Veterinary School.

The EU allocated an ongoing five-year support package for Somalia of _212 million (between 2008 and 2013)

EU aid in Somaliland is mainly focused on the following areas:

Economic development including infrastructure: The EU has allocated _19 million to rehabilitate and expand urban water infrastructure in several cities across Somaliland. Further areas of infrastructure support will be identified under the increased package.

Education: With strong EU assistance, school enrolment has already grown from 38.6 percent in 2006 to an estimated 60 percent in 2010. Somaliland's Education Ministry will be supported by technical experts provided by the EU to develop a sustainable solution for the recently-announced Free Primary Education Policy.

Governance: The EU is already the main donor in major UN programmes assisting the public sector, police, courts, democratic institutions, electoral processes and civil society in Somaliland. Responding to the clear political commitment that Somaliland has demonstrated towards public sector reform, this assistance will be intensified and expanded, especially in the area of public finance management.

http://www.iewy.com/29779-somaliland-eu-commissioner-andris-piebalgs-announces-more-support-for-stability-and-regional-cooperation.html


Somaliland security arrests editor of Jamhuriya newspaper

By: Abdalle Ahmed. July 5th, 2011.http://www.raxanreeb.com/?p=102467

HARGEISA (RBC) Somaliland security forces on Monday detained Mohamed Omar Irro the editor of independent Jamhuriya newspaper published in Hargeisa, the capital of Somalia's break away region.

Mr. Irro was taken from his office by uniformed officers from Somaliland's Criminal Investigation Department [CID] on Monday morning while he was in his daily work.

"They called for investigation first but then we were told he was arrested with the order of attorney general" one of Jamhuriya staff told RBC Radio with anonymity condition because of security reasons.

Mr. Irro's relatives had not been given a chance to see him as he is now taking his second night in CID special detention in Hargeisa.

The arrest of the editor came after the newspaper published this week an article about Hargeisa local government paid huge sum of money to the attorney general for his special interest.

Meanwhile, The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) expresses deep concern over the arrest of the editor of Jamhuriya newspaper and demanded for immediate release.


Somaliland jails 10 people in Las Anod town

Jul 03, 2011 By Hassan Osman.http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/9571388-somaliland-jails-10-people-in-las-anod-town

HARGEISA - The forces of the breakaway republic of Somaliland have jailed more people during operations conducted in Las Anod town of Sool region in north Somalia on Sunday according to witnesses.

Locals said that the captured at least 10 people were including traditional elders, clerics and young men and jailed in prison in Las Anod town where the Somaliland troops continued operations for the past hours.

Reports say that operation followed an attack injured Nadifo Mohamed AliAli known as (Ol-ujog), a chairperson of the women of Sool region as the gunmen reportedly escaped from the spot where the attack happened fortnight.

There is no comment over the operations from the officials of the town as the operations still continue in different neighborhoods of the town. There has been calm situation in Sool for the past recent months.


Is there a spin doctor in the house?

Simon Allison,Opinionista. July 2, 2011. http://www.freeafricanmedia.com/opinionista/2011-06-28-is-there-a-spin-doctor-in-the-house

In May Somaliland celebrated its independence. It's not surprising if this fact passed you by – the lack of a government communications unit means the country missed out on getting its story told in the international media. Much as we might deride the heavy-handedness of certain government spin doctors on the continent, the fact is they perform a vital function in facilitating government-press relations.

Last month, the little breakaway republic of Somaliland celebrated 20 years of de facto, if not legal, independence from Somalia. The country has a lot to celebrate, particularly in the context of the complete breakdown of the state next door. Where Somalia has civil war and pirates, Somaliland has a functioning government, a thriving business community and, those most elusive of commodities in this part of the world, peace and security. I was in Hargeisa for the independence day celebrations, covering them for one of the major newswires.

It wasn’t easy. Despite the fact that the events were pointedly directed at the international community, with long speeches outlining why Somaliland should be recognised as an independent country, and huge banners printed in English, French and Arabic rather than Somali (so the international community could understand, I was told), there was almost no international media coverage of the events. And it’s not as if there was no news hook. It was the opportunity for some rare good news to come out of Somalia, on a significant day for the country, with plenty of good images and the opportunity for good interviews. Every publication I spoke to about the events was keen on covering them in some form or another.

And the Somaliland government wanted coverage - it really did. Cabinet ministers would come up to me, shake my hand and thank me for being at the events. My presence was so exciting that the state-run TV interviewed me for their news bulletin, and I was front-page news the next day in one of the newspapers, misspelled name and all – that or there was another bloke with bad hair running around Hargeisa named Seminal Elson, who looks a lot like me and holds similar views. Everybody wanted to help. Thing is, no one knew how to.

Media management, particularly in today’s frenzied media environment, is an art form, and it is one that most governments get wrong, sometimes spectacularly (South Africa’s chief government spokesman Jimmy Manyi being the best current example of this). But there are a few basics that every government should observe if it wants to retain even a modicum of control over the stories being published. And by control, I’m not talking about censorship, but rather the ability to exercise the rights that every government, institution or individual should have: to have their side heard, clearly and fairly, to be given the chance to put their position across, to correct facts and provide relevant information.

To do this, somebody in the government has to be responsible for the media. This was Somaliland’s problem. While the ministers and the civil servants were all enthusiastic about my presence, none of them really knew how to go about getting me what I wanted (facts, interviews, access), which meant that getting hold of this stuff was a lot more difficult than it should have been. Moreover, the government was working to its own deadlines and didn’t really take news deadlines into account. For example, after much pushing and prodding, I eventually got myself an interview with Somaliland’s President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo. The only problem was, the interview was four days after the independence day celebrations so the news hook had been lost, and the interview was picked up by only a handful of publications rather than the significant number who would have used it if they’d received it on independence day itself.

Having said that, Somaliland was lucky it received any coverage at all, having taken no steps to make sure the international media even knew about the event. Again, not because they didn’t want to, but because no one in government – people who are all specialists in their own fields, and doing a pretty good job by most accounts – was familiar with the processes by which media attention is generated. Doing so would not have been difficult: A press release takes about 10 minutes to write and it’s a pretty fundamental part of how most media outlets operate. Unless the media know something is happening, they can’t report on it. And, given Somaliland’s rather obscure location, and how difficult it is to get here, the government should have been on top of providing international journalists with materials to help them cover the story – photos from the day, audio and translations of speeches, basic historical information, telephone interviews and so on. These are the basics organisers of most international events will arrange to make it as easy as possible for journalists to cover a story, and Somaliland – for which media coverage is a vital part of its quest for international recognition – needs to drastically up its game.

In short, it needs a media office, headed by a media officer who understands how journalists and the media operate. Although government spin doctors are frequently derided in the press, particularly when they overstep their remit and start trying to manipulate the news rather than merely facilitate it, they perform an essential function in any government or institution that wants to get its story out there and are vital in allowing journalists to do their jobs. As I was shunted from office to office around the government buildings of Hargeisa, I wished dearly for a spin doctor who had the authority to get things done, and who understood that what I needed – quotes for my story and a good location for my photographer – was also in the best interests of a government desperate for international attention.

Somaliland missed a trick because of its nonexistent media management. The question is: How many other stories are being missed because governments don’t know how to communicate with journalists? South Africa's Manyi is fond of complaining that journalists don’t bother covering all the good things the government is doing. He’s missing the point. The news priorities of overworked journalists and editors are first and foremost what is interesting, and secondly what is easy to cover (it shouldn’t be so, of course, but too often it is). This is a particular problem for African governments, whose media management is often unsophisticated. Governments who want better coverage need to improve their communication with the media. A great example of this is Rwanda, which has so mastered the art of public relations that the country enjoys a stellar reputation in the developing world. No coincidence, this; the country employs a high-powered London public-relations firm to burnish its image, and the results have been impressive. In a 2009 report, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative noted that Rwanda has an excellent PR apparatus that has been successful in “persuading the key members of the international community that it has an exemplary constitution emphasising democracy, power-sharing, and human rights which it fully respects”.

Rwanda, of course, is the other extreme. The report went on to note that “the truth is, however, the opposite” of its projected image. Rwanda’s slick PR hides a multitude of sins, but it nonetheless demonstrates how important it is for governments to have a proper media team for getting stories out. And as for how those stories are covered – well, that’s where good journalism is supposed to come in. FAM


Somaliland, Ethiopia Sign a Security Treaty

Deal To Fight Terrorism and Promote Trade

By AWEYS CADDE 07/02/2011. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1077/Somaliland_Ethiopia_Sign_a_Security_Treaty

Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Somaliland has signed a security treaty with Ethiopia, government officials said Saturday.

Officials from both sides meeting in Diridhawa in Ethiopia this week signed the deal to promote peace and security between the two countries.

The Somaliland foreign ministry said in a statement that both sides held a two-day meeting, which was attended by top officials from Somaliland and Ethiopia. The Somaliland delegation was led by foreign minister Dr. Mohamed Abdulahi Omar, the main military leader Nuuh Ismail Taani, police commander Mohhamed Saqdhe Dubad and national security chairman Mohamed Nuur Hirsi. Their Ethiopian counterparts included security minister Tsegaye Berhe, head of the military Major General Abraha Mariam and the president of Somali residents in Ethiopia Abdi Mohamuud Omar.

According to the statement, Ethiopia and Somaliland have agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism, tighten security on common border and to ease movement of people and goods to promote trade.

"There are problems caused by the terrorists in the Horn of African countries, and we want to prevent all these, in order to secure long lasting peace and security," said Dr. Omar.

Dr. Omar said this was a major achievement and hoped that the treaty will lead to improved security, particularly in Somaliland.

Dr. Omar and Mr. Berhe signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments.

Ethiopia and Somaliland have cordial relations. Ethiopia is among the few countries to accept passports of breakaway Somaliland. It has also opened an embassy in capital Hargeisa, although it does not recognize it as an independent state from Somalia.


A land in need of recognition

PATRICK MAZIMHAKA AND GREG MILLS: ANALYSIS Jul 01 2011 00:00

Mail & Guardian Online.http://mg.co.za/article/2011-07-01-a-land-in-need-of-recognition/

Fifty years ago the protectorate of Somaliland gained independence from Britain. Five days later, on July 1 1960, it elected to join Italian Somalia in a union. The marriage did not work; Somalia descended into military dictatorship, civil war and chaos. In 1991, Somaliland elected to go it alone, establishing the conditions for peace through a home-grown Islamic democracy.

But still it remains without recognition by the international community, despite fulfilling legal norms for recognition. Somaliland has defined borders, a functioning government and armed forces capable of defending its people. It is also relatively stable, especially when compared to Somalia.

What Somalilanders have achieved they have done so with hardly any international assistance -- a salutary reminder that local ownership really does work. How long they can sustain these achievements without recognition is anybody's guess. What is certain, however, is that Somaliland will not be able to build on them and consolidate its development unless its current isolation is broken.

And if issues of global governance -- including terrorism, health concerns, piracy and the environment -- require effective states as local implementing agencies, then it makes sense to strengthen Somaliland. The most cost-effective way of doing so is through recognition.

Somaliland's problem is that, unlike the split-up of Czechoslovakia or the secession of Eritrea, its original marriage partner, Somalia, does not agree to a divorce. In the past decade several strong voices have urged them to relent, even if not explicitly. South Africa's then-department of foreign affairs concluded in 2003 that "it is undeniable that Somaliland does indeed qualify for statehood, and it is incumbent on the international community to recognise it".

The African Union, which has sent two missions to Somaliland, in 2005 and 2008, has said it fulfils many of the aspects of state recognition. "Objectively viewed," the 2005 report states, "the case should not be linked to the notion of 'opening a Pandora's box'" -- the source of African misgivings about the recognition of new states on the continent.

Recognition would help to solve some of the territory's social and economic challenges. The capital Hargeisa is heaving at the seams; built for 150 000 people, it now houses closer to one million. The harbour at Berbera appears busy to the visitor. The nearby airport, built as a Cold War staging post by the Soviets with one of the longest runways in Africa (it was once designated by the United States as an alternative landing strip for the space shuttle), is slowly being rehabilitated and is accommodating a trickle of flights.

But the infrastructure elsewhere is rickety. The 60km of freshly paved road from Jijiga in Ethiopia's Somali-populated Ogaden region, running eastward towards the Somali border at Tog Waajale, contrasts with what lies ahead.

Tog Waajale's dirt streets are festooned with the Somali national flower, the plastic bag. Goats feed on mounds of rubbish and snot-nosed children and idle youths hassle for a hand-out. Once through the ropes slung across the track denoting the border, the next 20km in Somaliland is tough going -- a series of mud roads criss-crossing their way through a multitude of dongas over the flat, bleak terrain in which there is scarcely a knee-high tree in sight.

This road, and Ethiopia's connection with the port of Berbera on the Gulf of Aden, could do with some planning and finance. But, given Somaliland's limited means, this is likely to come only from development assistance -- and that is unlikely without the international recognition Somaliland lacks.

The economy is stable, if poor, and is based on livestock farming and exports (more than half), remittance or money transfers (about $800-million annually) and telecommunications. To this mix can be added port and customs charges at Berbera, and the tax on the $180-million annual khat industry (approximately 12%).

Total Somaliland government income is estimated at -$50-million, although it has plans to increase this to above $100-million through more strictly and strenuously applied taxes. GDP is estimated at $350 per capita for Somaliland's 3.5-million people, which is higher than Tanzania ($280), Eritrea ($190) and Ethiopia ($100).

Somaliland's socioeconomic challenges are formidable, to be sure. The number of young people enrolled in primary and secondary education has increased in recent years, but only one girl is enrolled for every three boys. Economic growth rates are not rising fast enough to deal with the backlog in development and the devastation caused by the civil war. The expectations of Somaliland's increasingly globalised youthful population are not being met.

The speaker of the house, Abdirahman Abdillahi, notes that between 60% and 70% of the population is unemployed, and more than half of youths are without opportunities to "go further in their studies or find a job". This "could be a time bomb" for radicalisation, he says, and university professors agree that the veil is more on view than ever before.

Somaliland's President Ahmed M Mahamoud Silanyo says recognition of the territory is a key element in dealing with these obstacles to development and will be overcome "even if we have to wait for 100 years". Or as a prominent Somaliland businessman puts it: "A lack of jobs goes hand in hand with a lack of hope, which creates terrorism and gets us back to square one. The West," he said, "cannot worry about terrorism and then not recognise Somaliland."

There are other problems that will not disappear with formal -recognition; in some cases, they might indeed be exacerbated by it.

One of these is the national addiction to khat, the amphetamine-like leaf said to cause excitement and euphoria that is chewed by an estimated 20% of the population. Not only does this divert as much as $450 000 daily into a consumptive habit, it also results in laziness, contributing to an already low rate of productivity. "It is a chronic social, health and economic problem," says the minister of planning, "one of the most important that we need to address." It has also created an exceptionally powerful khat-trading elite.

It is also necessary to bring more women into social and political life. Unless Somaliland's more iniquitous customs and traditions are tackled, the country will not take off. There are just three women among the 164 members of the two houses of Parliament. The practice of female genital mutilation is ubiquitous; an estimated 95% of young women suffer.

Whatever the benefits to Somaliland, recognition from regional states and the international community, would illustrate that African borders, far from being sources of insecurity, can be a source of stability and enhanced state capacity. In that respect, recognition of Somaliland would certainly be an African game changer.

Patrick Mazimhaka is the former deputy chair of the Commission of the African Union and chairs the advisory board of the Brenthurst Foundation; Greg Mills directs the foundation. They have both recently been in Somaliland.


Puntland militia attacks convoy of Somaliland officials in disputed regions

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 30 June 2011. AllPuntland.com website in Somali 30 Jun 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Reports reaching us from [disputed] region of Ceyn indicate that Puntland militias in the area attacked a convoy of vehicles guarding a Somaliland delegation that attended recent controversial talks in Widhwidh, Ceyn Region.

The District Commissioner for Widhwidh told Allpuntland the militias also attacked a base belonging to Somaliland forces in the region which resulted in the loss of life and injury. The district commissioner said Puntland militias that launched the attack have so far not sustained any losses.

Meanwhile, Puntland's District Commissioner for the town of Widhwidh denied reports that the Somaliland Administrations has taken control of the town. He said there are no Somaliland forces anywhere in the town and that it is fully controlled by Puntland forces.


Djibouti appionts new envoy to Somaliland

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 30 June 2011. AllPuntland.com website in Somali 30 Jun 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullahi Muhammad Umar, has said the Djibouti government has appointed a new ambassador for their administration.

The minister also said Somaliland has reopened its consular office in Djibouti which has remained shut for a long time now and that re-establishment of these bilateral relations between Somaliland and Djibouti would benefit their respective economies. The minister also said they have opened similar offices in Kenya as well but did not state whether the Kenyan government was planning to open a similar one in Somaliland.

Somaliland's Foreign Affairs minister also said he held talks with the UK representative to Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss relations with the British government.


Al-Shabab defector claims arms being imported through Somaliland,Puntland

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 30 June 2011. Somali Puntlandpost website in Somali 30 Jun 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Suldan Umar Muhammad, a traditional elder who said he was a member of the Al-Shabab Movement, has today held a news conference in Nugaal Hotel in Garowe, Nugaal Region [North Eastern Somalia] and said he has now withdrawn from the group and claimed that he has learnt of some of the group's secrets.

The traditional elder said he has learnt of some of the group's secrets including how it operates and those that assist them with funds. He said Al-Shabab forces are trained by foreign commanders in southern Somalia regions and that they are funded by the Somaliland Administration which he claimed gives a lot of money to the group. It is very unusual for Al-Shabab defectors to make some of the claims made by the traditional elder. Suldan Umar said the Al-Shabab Movement is an evil force that is determined to work on the demise of the people and the country in general.

Asked what exactly he did for Al-Shabab, the traditional elders said he holds foreign passport which enabled him to easily procure light firearms for the group from foreign countries and were imported through Puntland and Somaliland. The elder asked the Puntland administration to closely monitor the activities of Al-Shabab members operating in the region. The elder also said he has held private meeting with senior Puntland officials and explained to them the reasons for his defection from the group which he said were mainly due to the suffering they subject civilians to.

A number of youth that belonged to the militias group loyal to Shaykh Muhammad Si'id Ataam has in the recent past defected to the Puntland Administration side assisting the armed forces with intelligence which proved useful in fighting these militias in Galgala.


Hargeisa High School Exams Sold in Market

By AWEYS CADDE 06/29/2011

Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Somaliland faced embarrassment today as high school exams were found up for sale in local markets last night, sparking protests and walk-outs from students who were undergoing their third day of exams.

A group of students demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Education building and marched around the streets of Hargeisa, shouting anti-educational administration words.

"We don't want corruption! Don't lose our future! Down with the education ministry and school administration," shouted the students.

Ahmed Hassan Daar, a journalist in Hargeisa, told Somalia Report that many students were able to purchase history and business exams were found in local markets last night, but the reasons for protesting were dubious.

"After the ministry of education learned that blank exams were being sold in the markets, they changed all the examinations. The students learned the tests had been changed and that is actually why they are protesting," said Ahmed.

Regardless of the reasons, teachers are equally upset about the cheating. "After I saw the corruption and problem facing the future of the students, I decided to leave the job. I will never come back unless they change the situation," said Ismail Madar, one of the high school teachers in Hargaisa who spoke to Somalia Report.

The director of Somaliland's anti corruption department, Mohamed Hassan Said, told the local media that the police arrested a high school manager suspected of leaking the exams and that an investigation is on-going.

No comments were available from ministry of education or national exams office. Approximately 15,500 students are taking their graduation exams across Somalialand this year.

http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/1058/Hargeisa_High_School_Exams_Sold_in_Market


Somalia: Somaliland's legislatures vote in favour of sacking chief judge

Anonymous. BBC Monitoring Africa [London] 29 June 2011. The Somaliland Times website, Hargeysa, in English 25 Jun 11/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

A majority of Somaliland's legislature voted in favour of confirming the president's decision to sack Somaliland's chief judge, Mohamad Hirsi Ismail Omane.

This took place in a joint session of Somaliland's upper and lower houses this week in Hargeysa.

Sixty seven legislators voted for terminating the chief judge's tenure, fifty two voted against it, and ten were silent. Mr Omane had more support in parliament than in the Upper House.