30/07/08 (B458) Garowe Online / Somaliland : des membres du Parlement se prononce en faveur d’une destitution du Président du Somaliland pour violation de la consitution et haute trahison. MPs call for Somaliland leader’s impeachment (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Lawmakers in Somalia’s separatist republic of Somaliland have launched serious accusations against President Dahir Riyale, including charges of violating the region’s constitution and high treason.

Legislators in Somaliland’s lower house of parliament, the House of Representatives, met Sunday in the capital Hargeisa, where 43 MPs opened debate on Riyale’s livestock export deal with Saudi Arabian company al Jabberi.

Under that agreement, al Jabberi has exclusive rights to export Somaliland livestock from the port of Berbera. But the deal has angered local traders and lawmakers, some of whom have openly called for Mr. Riyale’s impeachment.

"If the House of Representatives wants to gain the confidence of those who elected them, then President Riyale must be impeached," MP Said Elmi Roble said, according to a report by Somaliland newspaper Jamhuuriya.

The lawmakers cited Article 11 from the Somaliland Constitution, which states: "…the national economic policy based on the principles of free market."

The MPs argued that the al Jabberi deal provides a "monopoly" on livestock export for the Saudi company, while neglecting the commercial interests of local traders.

The Somaliland leader was also accused of ‘high treason,’ which is an impeachable offense under Article 96 of the breakaway republic’s constitution.

Somaliland, in northwestern Somalia, has its own government and the region enjoys relative peace but has not been recognized internationally since unilaterally declaring independence in 1991.

27/07/08 (B458) GAROWE ONLINE Accompagné d’une délégation, dont le Ministre du Pétrole, le Président du GNT, Yussuf qui retournait pour la première fois depuis 14 mois, dans son pays natal, s’est adressé au Parlement du Puntland et abordé les sujets de la sécurité, des ressources naturelles et de la prochaine élection du Président du Puntland. ‘Puntland elections on time’: Somali president (Info lecteur – En Anglais)

The president of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) addressed the Puntland Parliament on Saturday, in a remarkable speech that delved into issues of national security, natural resources and the upcoming presidential elections in Puntland, Radio Garowe reported.

Regional officials led by Puntland leader Adde Muse, Members of Parliament, traditional elders and civil society welcomed Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf and his federal government delegation, which included Oil Minister Mohamud Ali Salah, at the airport in Garowe, capital of the northeastern State of Puntland.

It was the Somali leader’s first trip to his home region of Puntland in more than 14 months, as the region’s security and economic woes worsened.

During his 40-minute speech to parliament, President Yusuf focused primarily on security in Puntland and was noticeably critical of the Muse administration’s failed policies on local security.

« The assassinations in [Puntland] towns is aimed at destroying Puntland, » President Yusuf said, suggesting to the crowd that the perpetrators’ goal is to destroy the TFG by creating instability in Puntland, where Yusuf’s interim government enjoys most domestic support.

« If you want peace, establish a power to be feared, » Yusuf said, warning: « But if you want to be harassed everyday, then forget security and focus on the economy and exploration for oil and minerals. »

The Somali leader spoke about his tenure in Puntland (1998-2004), saying that there were « seven regions » under Puntland control when he left, but that « some regions are now missing, » an indirect reference to Somaliland’s takeover of disputed Sool region last year.

President Yusuf spoke briefly about the issue of natural resources, which remains a controversial topic in war-torn Somalia.

Since 2005, Puntland leader Muse has made it his top policy to pursue exploration of the region’s unproven oil and mineral reserves, despite opposition from local clans, local MPs and TFG Oil Minister Salah.

According to the Somali president, the State of Puntland has the authority to continue ongoing exploration activities in the region.

However, President Yusuf underscored that it is the « exclusive responsibility » of the Federal Government to manage production of the country’s natural resources and ensure profit-sharing for all Somali peoples.

Analysts say that the Somali President’s statement is consistent with the federal constitution, but strongly contradicts a Puntland oil law that divided the regional parliament in March.

Further, President Yusuf expressed his dissatisfaction with a new constitution for Puntland, which has been condemned by lawmakers and traditional elders, but enjoys tacit support from Muse.

During his Garowe speech, the Somali President said that « now is not the right time » for Puntland politicians to debate about a new constitution while rising insecurity threatens the regional government.

He also suggested that Puntland wait for completion and ratification of a new Federal Constitution, which will become the law of the land across Somalia.

Puntland elections

Somalia’s leader said he advised Puntland President Muse against extending his four-year term, suggesting that such a development would reignite civil war in the region.

« The [Puntland] elections must be held on time, » President Yusuf stated repeatedly to the crowd’s cheers.

The Somali leader suggested that the political atmosphere in Puntland today is « similar to tensions » that led to the 2002 civil war between himself – when he was the disputed governor of Puntland – and President Muse, the region’s current ruler.

He advised Muse and the Puntland government to avoid such a scenario and to « allow the people to freely elect whoever they want » for president in January 2009.

National reconciliation

A second round of reconciliation between the TFG and an Islamist-dominated opposition group known as the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) will conclude « by the end of July » in Saudi Arabia, when the two sides are expected to finalize the details of a « security agreement, » according to President Yusuf.

« We have already established Joint Political and Security Committees » to steer implementation of the UN-brokered Djibouti Agreement, he added.

The Somali leader acknowledged that there is « some opposition » to the Djibouti Agreement, but remarked that « they are in the minority. »

Eritrea-based Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who is on the U.S. and U.N. terror lists, has opposed the Djibouti Agreement on grounds it provides « no guarantee » that Ethiopian troops will withdraw from Somali soil.

31/05/08 (B450) Garowe online : « pluie » d’obus de mortiers sur l’aéroport de Galkayo au Puntland, sans faire de victimes mais de gros dégâts matériels aux bâtiments – Il n’y avait pas d’avions présents sur le tarmac – On pense que les obus auraient été tiré d’une zone hors de la juridiction du Puntland – Somalia: Mortars rain down on airport in Puntland (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

GALKAYO, Somalia May 30 (Garowe Online) – At least two loud explosions were heard Friday morning across the Somali town of Galkayo, part of the semiautonomous region of Puntland, residents and officials said.

There were no reports of any casualties, but witnesses said the explosions caused some damage on buildings at the airport in Galkayo.

There were no planes on the ground at the airport during the time of the attack.

Dahir Aflow, the governor of Mudug region, confirmed to Radio Garowe from his Galkayo office that the explosions were caused by mortars, but said he will give a detailed response when the ongoing investigation is concluded.

Galkayo residents speculated that the mortars originated from the southern part of town, which is outside the jurisdiction of the Puntland administration.

The town of Galkayo lies on the border area between the northeastern state of Puntland and Somalia’s central regions, which are dominated by the Hawiye clan that formed the core of the Islamic Courts movement and is now believed to be backing the insurgency.

Much of central and southern Somalia remains a lawless land, despite the presence of thousands of Ethiopian troops backing the country’s UN-recognized transitional government.

In February, Islamist rebels were blamed for a deadly explosion in the Puntland port city of Bossaso that killed more than 20 Ethiopian migrants.

The Islamists have also been blamed for a recent string of assassinations in Bossaso targeting members of the Puntland Intelligence Service (PIS), a government arm with ties to Ethiopian and U.S. intelligence communities.

31/05/08 (B450) Garowe online : Des insurgés somaliens kidnappent l’un des Chefs de guerre les plus importants de Mogadiscio, pendant un voyage qu’il effectuait entre Mogadiscio et Baïdoa. Il a été relâché rapidement ensuite. Somalia insurgents briefly kidnap former Mogadishu warlord. (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

MOGADISHU, Somalia May 30 (Garowe Online) – A man considered to be one of the Somali capital’s most notorious warlords was kidnapped Friday by Somali insurgents as he traveled between the inland town of Baidoa and Mogadishu, sources said.

Osman « Atto » Ali, now a member of the Somali parliament, was not traveling with armed guards when he was captured by suspected insurgents manning a checkpoint.

An unidentified individual who spoke on behalf of Islamist insurgents waging war on Somalia’s interim government told a Mogadishu-based radio station that the group decided to release the ex-warlord after consultations.

MP Atto was captured in the town of Lego, in Lower Shabelle region. According to the Islamist spokesman, Atto was traveling to Mogadishu when he drove by a checkpoint manned by Islamist gunmen.

The former warlord-turned-parliamentarian was later released, but he has not spoken publicly about his ordeal yet.

Sources in Baidoa told Garowe Online that MP Atto has been under house arrest in Baidoa for months, partially explaining his long absence from the political scene.

Islamist guerrillas seized control two towns today – the coastal town of ‘Adale, in Middle Shabelle region, and Lego, which is a strategic town on the road that connects Baidoa to Mogadishu.

Somali and Ethiopian troops who routinely pass through the Lego area have been ambushed numerous times by insurgents.

31/05/08 (B450) Garowe online : l’opposition somalienne divisée sur le chef qui la représentera aux discussions de Paix qui doivent reprendre à Djibouti. Somalia’s leaders divided on peace talks delegation chief (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

MOGADISHU, Somalia May 30 (Garowe Online) – Somalia’s interim President Abdullahi Yusuf and his Prime Minister, Nur “Adde” Hassan Hussein, are deeply divided on who should lead the government delegation at the peace talks in Djibouti, confidential sources tell Garowe Online.

Prime Minister Nur Adde has proposed his deputy, Information Minister Ahmed Abdisalan, to head the Somali government’s delegation at the UN-sponsored peace talks in neighboring Djibouti City, set to reopen tomorrow.

But President Yusuf has opposed the Prime Minister’s choice, according to reliable sources in the capital Mogadishu.

It is not clear why the Somali President opposes the naming of Information Minister and Deputy PM Ahmed Abdisalan, but the controversy has surfaced with less than 24 hours remaining for the beginning of peace talks with opposition leaders led by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, formerly the Islamic Courts’ chief executive.

Sheikh Sharif, now chairman of the Eritrea-based Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), has backed the peace process with Yusuf’s interim government.

But other opposition leaders, namely Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, have dismissed the ongoing peace process and have suggested that the ARS will soon replace Sheikh Sharif.

In turn, Sheikh Sharif publicly criticized Sheikh Aweys for issuing statements contradictory to the ARS leadership, while condemning the Eritrean government for “creating divisions” among Somali opposition leaders.

Information Minister Abdisalan, who belongs to the same clan as Sheikh Aweys, has been attempting to bridge the gap between President Yusuf’s Ethiopian-backed government in Mogadishu and armed clans opposed to his rule.

Unconfirmed reports said President Yusuf himself will head to Djibouti and represent the government at the peace talks, which is expected to attract senior UN officials.

26/05/08 (B449) Garowe Online : Le représentant des Nations unies est confiant dans le succès des discussions pour la paix en Somalie – Somalia: UN Envoy – Peace Talks Will Succeed (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Kenneth Oduor
Nairobi, Kenya

The United Nations Special Envoy to Somalia, Mr. Ahmedou Ould- Abdallah, has expressed his optimism that UN-backed peace talks between the Somali interim government and its opposition would succeed despite initial setbacks.

In an exclusive interview with Garowe Online from his Nairobi office, the Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General said that the peace talks will succeed due to the good will and support it was receiving from the Somali community in the Diaspora.

« The UN Security Council has shown commitment and the Somali people have communicated who are very patriotic and would wish to see Somalia prosper again, » Mr. Ould-Abdallah said.

Asked about the framework he has for the conclusion of the ongoing peace talks, he said that it would not be easy to give a framework as bringing peace would take some time. He further stressed that it would be unrealistic to expect Somalia to recover overnight.

Mr. Ould-Abdallah suggested that the conclusion of the peace talks would only come about if the Somali people forgive each other and focus on the reconstruction of their war-ravaged homeland.

« I believe once the Somali people forgive each other, it would give them the opportunity to move forward. I want them to concentrate on the political and economic reconstruction of Somalia, » said the UN envoy.

He strongly stated that he is against any violation of human rights when asked about allegations of atrocities committed by Ethiopian troops in Somalia.

« I am against any violations against human rights and those not respecting international laws against the violation of human rights should be sanctioned, » he stressed.

Asked about the recent statements by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys that he would spearhead the expulsion of Ethiopian troops from Somalia and form an Islamic state, the UN Special Representative said that many Somalis are committed to a peaceful process and he would not answer to what he termed as personal statements and internal wars.

« Let us respect the integrity of Somalia and its people but I cannot comment on personal and internal wars and opinions, » Mr. Ould-Abdallah.

He dismissed allegations by South Africa’s UN envoy that neighboring countries were arming militias in Somalia.

« Many people are looking at Somalia from the past and not present. Some people are simply moving us from the agenda. At the moment my priority is peace in Somalia but not what people say, » he added.

The envoy said that people should remember that war is normally easier to get than peace.

« Many people have interest in Somalia for selfish reasons. On allegations of people acquiring arms, it is not my problem because anybody can get arms but what is important is peace, » he reiterated.

He further accused the international media of distorting facts and information from Somalia to further the agenda of those who do not want to see peace return to the Horn of Africa country mired in 18 years of anarchy.

Mr. Ould-Abdallah called on the media to cease from reporting issues that would be controversial.

The envoy thanked young Somalis for showing considerable positive interest in their country.

« Young Somalis are sending us emails saying they are very happy with the efforts we are making to bring peace, » Mr. Abdallah said

23/05/08 (B449) Garowe online. L’ancien Gouverneur « débarqué » par les autorités et le nouveau Gouverneur nommé récemment pour le remplace, affirment tenir légitimement le poste de Gouverneur d’une région au centre de la Somalie ! Somalia: Row Over Governorship in Central Region (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Two men are both claiming to be the « legitimate » governor of Hiran region, in central Somalia.

Yusuf Daboged, the former Hiran governor, has refused to officially hand over his authority to newly-appointed Gov. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed, who is more popularly known as « Dhagoweyne. »

Both officials are in Beletwein, the provincial capital of Hiran, where both men are claiming they are running the regional government’ s day-to-day operations.

Mr. Daboged, himself an Ethiopian-backed former warlord, has accused Gov. Mohamed Dhagoweyne of « surrendering the region » to Islamist-led insurgents.

According to Daboged, four out of the Hiran’s five districts are in the hands of anti-government rebels, who have repeatedly attacked government posts and Ethiopian army positions across the region.

But Gov. Mohamed Dhagoweyne has indicated that Mr. Daboged is « refusing » to accept the authority of interim Prime Minister Nur « Adde » Hassan Hussein, who appointed Dhagoweyne as Hiran governor last month.

Daboged has maintained that he is the legitimate governor because he was appointed by Abdullahi Yusuf, president of Somalia’s transitional government.

After Mogadishu and Baidoa, the town of Beletwein has the largest concentration of Ethiopian troops deployed in central and southern Somalia.

24/05/08 (B449) Garowe online : le Maire de Mogadsicio, Mohamed Dheere, est accusé par les conseillers municipaux de soutenir les rebelles islamiques. Somalia: Mogadishu Mayor Accused of Aiding Insurgents (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Senior members of Mogadishu’ s municipal government have raised serious accusations against Mayor Mohamed « Dheere » Omar, a former warlord who enjoys intimate ties with the Ethiopian government.

Mohamed Dhagahtur, the deputy mayor for social affairs, and Abdifatah Shaweye, who is deputy mayor in charge of security, issued the joint statement to the press Wednesday in the Somali capital.

Both deputy mayors launched scathing accusations linking Mayor Mohamed Dheere to the ongoing insurgency that has virtually crippled Somalia’s transitional government since early 2007.

« We have informed [transitional] Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf at Villa Somalia [presidential compound] and he [President Yusuf] has accepted all our messages regarding insecurity in the Somali capital and the role of Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Dheere, » Mr. Dhagahtur told journalists today.

The deputy mayors accused Mohamed Dheere of aiding insurgents by providing them weapons, while specifically linking the mayor of Mogadishu to a guerrilla attack on a key checkpoint south of the capital yesterday that killed three government soldiers.

Also today, the deputy mayors co-chaired a meeting with 13 district commissioners from across Mogadishu, where they informed the commissioners that President Yusuf has pledged to « change » the current Mogadishu government.

Mayor Mohamed Dheere has not responded publicly to any of these accusations, but observers are quick to point that he enjoys the backing of Ethiopia’s army generals deployed in Mogadishu.