11/02/09 (B485-B) Shabelle – Au moins trois morts dans de violents accrochages dans le district somalien de Bakool entre des forces gouvernementales et des islamistes. // Government soldiers and Islamists fight in south-western town (En Anglais)

At least three people were killed when Islamist insurgents of al-shabaab and government soldiers fought near Hudur district in Bakool region south-western Somalia, witnesses said on Tuesday.

The fighting started after Al-Shabaab Islamist group from Baidoa attacked bases of government soldiers near Hudur.

Residents say the dead were all combatants from the warring sides who were using heavy gunfire. The sound of artillery gunfire could be heard around the town.

People in the area have started to flee from villages near Hudur where the opposing factions are confronting. Clan elders have failed to mediate between the government soldiers and the Islamist insurgents of al-Shabaab.

Al-shabaab has seized Baidoa, the former seat of the transitional parliament, after the Ethiopian forces withdrew from the town last month.

Residents in Wajid district say, communications of Hudur town have been cut and it is difficult to get detailed stories from the fighting areas.

Government ministers who were ousted from Baidoa were amassing troops in Hudur town and said they were planning a big offensive against al-Shabaab to recapture Baidoa.

By: Ahmednor Mohamed Farah

10/02/09 (B485) Shabelle (En Anglais) 13 membres de l’Administration du district de Warher ont été tués dans l’est de l’Ethiopie lors de l’explosion d’un engin qui visait la voiture dans laquelle il voyageait. Land mine kills 13 people in Ethiopia

Thirteen Somalis have been killed in Wardher town in eastern Ethiopia after a land mine targeted a car they were traveling, witnesses told said on Monday.

The car was traveling from Wardher district to Galladi town in the eastern region of Ethiopia settled by Somalis, when the blast targeted. The dead and the wounded were clan elders and members of Wardher administration who were traveling the car at the time of the bomb attack.

No group has claimed the responsibility of the land mine attack, but residents say anti-Ethiopian government elements have been increasing in the region in recent days.

Unknown figure of wounded people have been taken to Wardher town. Residents have expressed concern about the incident.

07/02/09 (B485) Shabelle – Les Tribunaux islamiques appellent le peuple Somali à prendre les armes pour se protéger des assassinats qui sont commis par des groupes dans la capitale. //ICU calls for Somali people to take weapon to protect them selves (En Anglais)

Sheik Abdirahin Isse Adow, the spokesman for the operations of the Islamic Courts Union, has called for the Somali people to take weapon to protect the assassinations of the armed groups in the Somali capital Mogadishu, Al Jazeera News channel interviews him on Friday night.

The spokesman has suggested for all the companies, the clerics, businesses, and all parties of the Somali society to take their guns to defend themselves from the aimless killing that the armed groups target to the important people of the Somalia.

Sheik Abdirahin said in the interview that the Somali people had overthrown and defeated the dictatorship of the revolutionary regime, the function leaders and also the Ethiopian troops asserting that the people can defend those who accustomed to kill the Somali people who are claiming Islam.

“The ones who murder the people are not Mujahidiin (Islamist fighters) but they are using the Islamic name to commit crimes. So we are calling for all the parties of the Somali population to take the weapon until the security situation of Somalia returns calm,” he said.

The statement of the spokesman Sheik Abdirahin Isse Addow comes as unidentified armed men with pistols shot and killed deliberately by Horn Afrik radio director Said Tahliil Ahmed in Bakara marked recently.

07/02/09 (B485) Shabelle – L’un des porte-paroles des insurgés somaliens demande une enquête sur l’assassinat du directeur de la station Horn Afrik. Insurgent official calls for Somalis to investigate the killing of Horn Afrik director (En Anglais)

Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal, one of the Somali Islamist insurgents in the Somalia capital Mogadishu has called for the Somali people on Saturday to investigate the assassination of Horn Afrik radio director Said Tahliil Ahmed.

Deceased Said Tahliil Ahmed, Horn Afrik radio director was killed on Wednesday by unidentified militias in the open air market of Bakara in Mogadishu after all the local radio directors were called to attend a conference by members of the Islamists.

Mr. Bilal said that the murderers should be pursued and bring before the court and sentence what the Sharia law orders to follow adding that the people should protect those who commit such brutal actions and crimes against the Islamic law.

The statement of Mr. Bilal comes as the spokesman of Islamic Courts Union Abdirahin Isse Addow called for the Somali people earlier to take their weapon to defend themselves from those who accustomed hunting the people.

07/02/09 (B485) Shabelle : HRW critique Ould Abdallah, l’envoyé spécial des Nations unies, à propos de ses déclarations “irresponsables” contre les journalistes et salariés de la presse en Somalie. // UN official criticized for remarks on Somali journalists (En Anglais)

The New York-based international Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday accused the UN special envoy for Somalia Ahmedou-Ould Abdallah of making irresponsible statements against Somali media workers.

The accusations followed the February 2, 2009, roadside bomb attack on a vehicle carrying Ugandan soldiers of the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in which at least one soldier was wounded.

Local media and other accounts reported that the troops reacted by firing indiscriminately on civilians in the area, killing at least 13 Somalis many or all of whom were civilians.

AMISOM officials and the UN special representative of the secretary-general for Somalia, Ahmedou-Ould Abdallah, denied that the African Union troops killed any civilians.

In a February 3 interview with the Voice of America, Abdallah said: “What happened is to divert attention from what is going on here, and as usual to use the media to repeat Radio Mille Colline, to repeat the genocide in Rwanda.

He also suggested a one-month moratorium on any kind of reporting on the conflict in Somalia.

HRW said the remark essentially compared Somali journalists who reported on the incident to the infamous Radio Mille Collines, which was used to incite participation in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, was disturbing.

It said many Somali journalists have risked their life.

29/01/09 (B483) Guelleh au secours de son copain ??? Le Cheik Sharif, leader de l’ARS et probable vainqueur de la prochaine course à la présidentielle somalienne.

_________________________ Shabelle avec Reuters (En Anglais)

Le nouveau leader somalien a besoin d’être soutenu, selon les déclarations du Président de Djibouti. // New Somali leader will need support, says Djibouti president

Somalia’s new president will need a stronger mandate and international financial backing to stand a chance of bringing stability to the Horn of African nation, the president of neighbouring Djibouti said.

President Ismail Omar Guelleh, whose nation is hosting Somali reconciliation talks and a presidential election this week, said the international community must stump up money to build a viable local police force.

“He can do it, provided he is given some support … If there are some changes to the constitutional charter, and if he’s given the financial resources, he can stabilise the country.”

The 61-year-old president, who has ruled the country of some 800,000 people since 1999, was speaking to Reuters late on Wednesday in the colonial-era presidential palace that overlooks the city’s port, the mainstay of its economy.

The two frontrunners at the moment for Friday’s Somali presidential election are Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein and Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the moderate Islamist leader from the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS).

The new president’s first challenge will be to bring security to Somalia after 18 years of fighting between feuding clans, warlords, Islamist insurgents, government troops, African peacekeepers and the Ethiopian army.

A force of 3,500 African peacekeepers controls part of the capital Mogadishu, but elsewhere in Somalia militias and Islamist fighters hold sway.

The biggest threat to the government since the Ethiopians pulled out this week is a hardline group of Islamist fighters known as al Shabaab that wants to impose a strict version of Islamic law throughout the country.

But Guelleh said many in al Shabaab were just clan-driven bandits with no ideology other than to steal or kill — not warriors for a hardline Islamist cause as often portrayed.

“They know nothing about religion, just how to kill,” he said. “Now, they are hiding behind al Shabaab.”

Some diplomats have been pushing for a 10,000-strong local police force, and Guelleh said many young militia fighters would probably join up if given the chance.

“Once they have an institution that tells them ‘you are going to be paid, you are going to have a salary, you will be able to get married’, most of them — except the most hardline who will need to be fought — will join with the government.”

He said it made no sense for donors to pay a fortune for peacekeeping troops when plenty of Somali policemen could be hired for $100 a month: a much cheaper option than the forces sent to Sudan’s Darfur region or Democratic Republic of Congo.

Guelleh also said it would be better to concentrate power with the president and make the prime minister more of an assistant, like the vice president in the United States.

“He has to be given a mandate and they should put an end to the state with three heads,” Guelleh said, referring to the roles of president, prime minister and parliament speaker. “The president must be given the chance to turn things around.”

The previous government was hamstrung by constant feuding between former President Abdullahi Yusuf and the prime minister. Yusuf was accused of blocking peace efforts and quit in December, triggering the election process.

Somalia now has 550 members of parliament, a number some politicians feel is simply too unwieldy for a country of 10 million people that has lacked central government since 1991.

Guelleh’s country, like Somalia’s other neighbours Kenya and Ethiopia, has taken in thousands of Somali refugees from the anarchy and conflict of the last 18 years.–

29/01/09 (B483) Shabelle : les candidats à la Présidence somalienne mettent la denière touche à leurs programmes respectifs avant l’élection par le Parlement. // Presidential contenders to display their political agendas before the MPS

The Somali presidential candidates in Djibouti are going to display their political agendas before the newly inclusive parliamentarians of Somalia, officials told Shabelle radio on Thursday.

Reports from Djibouti say that the candidates are in their last preparation for the election and want to bring their profiles and political agendas before the legislatures in Djibouti to succeed the presidential election due to be held in Djibouti on Friday.

The two front runners, Nur Hassan Husein known as (Nur Adde), the prime minister of the transitional government and Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, the chairman of the Alliance for the Re-libration of Somali are supposed to come before the parliament and explain their agendas about the election on Thursday.

Both men have great support from the sides they are representing, the TFG and ARS in Djibouti and expected to face challenge for the post of the nation’s presidency.

There are other candidates including Mohamed Qanyare Afrah, a former warlord who was once the candidate of the TFG established in Kenya in 2004.

The presidential election committee named by the Somali parliament speaker Sheik Aden Mohamed Nur said they are too busy for the election and told reporters that each candidate will be given 5 minutes to address before the legislature.

28/01/09 (B483) Coucou, les revoilà ??? Déjà !! Les éthiopiens seraient-ils en train de revenir en Somalie, par une autre porte, pour éviter les attentats qui les avaient durement touchés et avec le soutien de l’ARS ? (2 articles en Français et en Anglais)

_____________________________ Note de l’ARDHD

Depuis l’annonce du retrait total de l’Ethiopie, nous avons toujours émis des doutes sur la sincérité de Meles Zenawi … Depuis une semaine, les informations étaient contradictoires : d’un côté le gouvernement de Zenawi affirmait haut et fort que les troupes avaient évacué totalement le territoire somalien et de l’autre nous recevions des nouvelles sur leur présence dans certaines villes.

Aujourd’hui, ces articles laissent penser que les Ethiopiens se sont retirés du territoire somalien, mais qu’ils se sont regroupés à la frontière, prêt à foncer de nouveau vers la Somalie, avec le soutien de l’ONU et peut-être aussi de l’UA.

Comme cela, les militaires éthiopiens pourraient continuer à intervenir en Somalie, tout en évitant les attentats qui les ont durement touchés quand ils étaient installés sur place.

______________________________ 2 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Des centaines de soldats éthiopiens accompagnés par quelques parlementaires somaliens ont rejoint la ville frontière de Luuq dans la région de Gedo au Sud Ouest de la Somalie. Les communications ont été coupées quand les troupes éthiopiennes ont inversti la ville. // Ethiopian troops reach border town

Hundreds of Ethiopian troops accompanied by some Somali MPs have reached in the border town of Luuq in Gedo region in southwestern Somalia, witnesses told Shabelle radio on Tuesday.

Reports from the town say that the telecommunication of the town has been cut when the Ethiopian soldiers with a lot of military trucks reached the town early on Tuesday.

The Ethiopian troops departed Baidoa and were heading to the border between Somalia and Ethiopia in the region.

Sources from the town say the Ethiopian troops are accompanied by some of Somali MPs and the former Mogadihsu mayor Mohamed Omar Habeb who has recently been released by the Ethiopian troops.

Mohamud Sayid Aden, an MP said that some other parliamentarians were with him.

It is not clear why the Somali MPs are following with the Ethiopian soldiers, but sources indicate that they are with the Ethiopians for security reasons after Islamist hardliners captured the seat of the parliament.

The administration of Luuq town has called for the people in the town to be away from areas where the Ethiopian soldiers are in.>

It is very difficult to get further information in the town since the telecommunication is out of line.

________________________ 1 – African Manager avec PANA

L’Ethiopie prête à renvoyer des troupes en Somalie, selon Jean Ping

L’Ethiopie est prête à renvoyer ses troupes en Somalie, si l’occupation du siège du Parlement à Baidoa par le groupe islamique Al Shabab se poursuit au cours des prochains mois, a annoncé, mardi, le président de la Commission de l’Union africaine, Jean Ping.

L’Ethiopie a achevé le retrait de ses troupes en Somalie et le président de la Commission de l’UA a déclaré que la situation dans ce pays était moins grave qu’initialement redouté, suite au retrait des troupes éthiopiennes.

Le groupe d’opposition somalien, l’Alliance pour la Re-libération de la Somalie (ARS), a pris les positions précédemment occupées par les troupes éthiopiennes, a révélé M. Ping à la presse.

“Nous avons des raisons d’être optimistes. Nous avons vu les troupes de l’ARS occuper les positions laissées vacantes après le retrait des Ethiopiens. Ce n’était pas prévu, mais l’accord de Djibouti est appliqué sur le terrain. C’est la raison pour laquelle nous sommes optimistes”, a déclaré M. Ping lors d’une conférence de presse.

Le ministre éthiopien de la Communication, Bireket Simon, a déclaré n’avoir aucune information sur l’intention du gouvernement éthiopien de revenir en Somalie après le retrait de ses troupes.

Cependant, le Premier ministre éthiopien Meles Zenawi a déclaré lors d’une conférence de presse auparavant qu’il ne serait pas surpris qu’Al Shabab tente de profiter du retrait des troupes éthiopiennes et essaie de prendre le contrôle des zones et autres positions laissées vacantes après ce retrait.

La Mission de l’Union africaine en Somalie (AMISOM) est largement sous-financée. Le président de la Commission de l’UA a indiqué que des discussions étaient en cours pour le déploiement d’une Mission de maintien de la paix des Nations unies en Somalie.

La décision de déployer cette mission a été reportée jusqu’en juin pour permettre au Royaume-Uni et à la France de considérer leur position au sein de cette force.

Les deux Etats, selon M. Ping, ont cependant accepté le principe du financement des opérations de l’AMISOM en Somalie pour lui permettre de maintenir effectivement l’ordre sur le territoire somalien.

Le groupe Al Shabab a effectivement pris le contrôle de Baidoa lundi, plusieurs heures après que le dernier contingent des 3.000 soldats éthiopiens quitte cette ville, qui sert de siège au Parlement et abrite également la présidence, laissée vacante par l’ex-président Abdullahi Yusuf, parti se réfugier au Yémen.

M. Ping a déclaré que les troupes de l’Union africaine n’occupaient pas tout le territoire somalien et qu’elles ne se trouvaient pas à Baidoa quand les militants islamistes ont pris le contrôle de l’Etat régional.

“Nous n’occupons pas tout le territoire. Le fait que Baidoa soit occupé ne nous surprend pas. Nous nous y attendions avec le retrait de l’Ethiopie”, a déclaré M. Ping. “L’Ethiopie a annoncé qu’elle prendrait des mesures (pour chasser les militants) si la situation perdurait”, a-t-il ajouté.

Par ailleurs, le Yémen a accepté de financer la formation de 10.000 soldats somaliens sur le terrain pour en faire des professionnels et de prendre des mesures pour stabiliser la Somalie après 18 ans de guerre.