10/05/09 (B498) Nouvelles de somalie …. (4 articles en Anglais)

___________________________ 4 – Medeshi (En Anglais)

Un nouveau rapport publié par Enough Project du Centre américain pour le progrés, signale que la Somalie doit affronter des difficultés plus graves que la seule piraterie. // Somalia Faces Problems More Critical than Piracy, says New Report

By Joe DeCapua Washington D.C

A new report makes recommendations on what the international community should do to help bring peace to Somalia. Beyond Piracy: Next Steps to Stabilize Somalia is published by the Enough Project, part of Center for American Progress in Washington.

The report finds piracy to be the « lowest order of threat » to Somalia, the region and the United States. Davidson College political science professor Ken Menkhaus is one of the authors.

« It’s clearly a second order threat compared to the main security issue in Somalia, which is the state of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the status of the Shabaab insurgency and the growing al-Qaida presence in support of Shabaab. That’s really of much greater long-term importance both to the Somalis, to the United States and to the region than piracy is, » he says.

Menkhaus says the piracy problem should be addressed, but adds, « If it’s privileged in US policy or global policy, it could come at a cost of a more coherent strategy toward that first order threat, which is the increased al-Qaida activities and Shabaab’s continued strength in southern Somalia. »

The ENOUGH Project report makes a number of recommendations to improve security, such as supporting local efforts.

« The Somalis can do that. They have done that… It’s important not to address the security needs of the Transitional Federal Government as something that has to become a ward of the international community. The international community can provide support, but this has to be locally owned and it has to be primarily locally funded if it’s going to work, » he says.

With al-Qaida and al Shabaab are on the US terrorist list, how does the United States address that issue in Somalia?

Menkhaus says, « I think the key here is how we define Shabaab. Shabaab is not an organization in which you are a hard and fast member. This is more of a Somali dynamic where there are concentric circles of affiliation. And I think some flexibility on the part of the United States and other external actors as to how a terrorist organization and how individuals are defined is very important. »

Change in affiliation and loyalties can happen among the various groups in Somalia. Menkhaus says, « There are lots and lots of people who have re-hatted themselves in Somalia in various ways, including Shabaab (members), who in fact are not indoctrinated into hardcore jihadist ideologies. They can be brought into this broader Transitional Federal Government. They should be. »

He agrees with the current approach of the TFG to reach out to the many different groups in Somalia. But he says there should be certain conditions if they join with the TFG.

« They obviously cannot be making the territorial claims on neighbors. They have to respect the security of neighboring states and not be interested in harboring foreign al-Qaida terrorists, » he says.

The report also calls for an end to impunity by supporting Somali efforts to seek justice for war crimes.

« War crimes in Somalia have been a plague for 20 years. The past two years have been especially brutal. And of course there are many potentially culpable parties to that, including the old transitional federal government, including the insurgents, including the Ethiopian occupying forces…that all has to be looked at. Ultimately, the dispensation of war criminals is a matter for the Somali people to decide, » he says.

The report recommends international support for Somali efforts at transition and good governance. Menkhaus says, « This is one of the things that the international community in general can do and has to do in a supporting role in Somalia. Transitions are very difficult things to achieve. We have a lot of experience internationally with transitional governments from Congo to a host of other places. And we can bring that expertise to the Somalis. »

He says Somalis must remember the « principle task » of the TFG is to, among other things, write a new constitution to ensure Somalia has a legitimate government.

___________________________ 3 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Des religieux somaliens condamnent les récents combats dans Mogadiscio. // Somali clerics condemn the fighting in Mogadishu

The Somali cleric’s association has condemned Saturday the fighting which started in Mogadishu on Thursday.

The chairman of the Somali clerics Sheik Bashir Ahmed Salad described the wars that restarted in Mogadishu as unfortunate.

The clerics have met in Gurgurte hotel in Mogadishu on Saturday and said that they sent committee to the government and the Islamist rebels to negotiate with them.

Sheik Bashir said they agreed with Hizbul Islam to stop the hostility and work for the interest of the people.

Sheik Bashir has also talked about accusations from al-Shabab which accused the clerics

That they were partial, but Sheik Bashir said that they are working for the peace and the interest of the people.

___________________________ 2 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Un tribunal islamique du Port de Kismayo a condamné un homme, accusé de vol dans une maison, à avoir la main droite coupée. // Islamists say they cut off thief’s hand

A court in the port of Kismayu which Islamists control has sentenced a man to be his right hand cut off, witnesses and officials said on Saturday.

Mohamed Omar Ismail, was accused of stealing clothes, bags, and furniture from a house in Kismayo.

Hundreds of people came to a park in the centre of the town where the man’s hand was cut off.

He is the second man that the court in Kismayu sentenced to cut his hand off.

___________________________ 1 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Le Cheikh Ali Med Hussein des milices islamiques Al Shebaab dénonce les religieux somaliens qui ont refusé de se rendre dans les zones de Mogadiscio qui sont controllées par son groupe. // Al-shabab denounces Somali clerics

Sheik Ali Mohamed Hussein, an agent for the Islamic organization of Al-shabab in Banadir region has denounced the Somali clerics on Saturday that they sought refuge from what he described “the enemy of the people”.

Sheik Ali accused the Somali clerics for not coming the Mujahidin (Islamist fighters) controlled areas in the Somali capital Mogadishu saying that they are in the areas of what he called the enemy adding that the clerics made security guards for the troops against the Islamists.

The agent also accused the Somali clerics for not advising the people who are in the areas of the Islamist forces pointing out that it will not be good for them if they do not halt that.

No comment has come out from the Somali clerics so far and the statement of Al-shabab group comes as the Somali clerics were meeting with the rival sides of the Somalis recently in the Somali capital Mogadishu.