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 – 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.

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.

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) Shabelle : Bien que des témoins aient déclaré que les forces éthiopiennes avaient pris le contrôle d’une ville de passage à la frontière somalo-éthiopienne, les autorités éthiopiennes déclarent qu’elles ne retourneront pas en Somalie … (A suivre – Note ARDHD) // Ethiopia rejects returning to Somalia despite Islamists’ comeback (3 articles en Anglais)

________________________________ 3 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Les Troupes éthiopiennes bloquent tout le trafic routier dans les villes frontières entre la Somalie et la région de somalie en Ethiopie. // Ethiopian troops halt traffic movement

The Ethiopian troops have halted the movement of the traffic and people in the border towns between Somalia and Somali regional state in Ethiopia, witnesses told Shabelle radio on Wednesday.

Drivers have confirmed the Media that the Ethiopian troops have conducted operations in Feer-feer, Mustahil and Qurac Joome towns in the Somali regional state in Ethiopia and caught many people during their operations halting all the circulation of the traffics and people in the border towns around Hiran region, in central Somalia.

Locals say that the telecommunication in the towns has been cut when the Ethiopian soldiers with a lot of military trucks reached there early on Wednesday.

Residents say the Ethiopian troops departed from Somalia and entered in the border between Somalia and Ethiopia where the soldiers have made many bases.

It is not known why the Ethiopian troops have refused movement of the trucks as reports from Hiran region say that more Lorries carrying many goods are currently halted in the region.

The residents have expressed fear for the entrance of the Ethiopian soldiers in over there and it is unclear how long will the Ethiopians be in that area.

________________________________ 2 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Ethiopia on Tuesday ruled out sending its troops back to Somalia after hardline Islamists took over Baidoa, the seat of the country’s parliament, following Addis Ababa’s pull-out at the weekend.

Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin, accused al-Shabab of using Ethiopia’s presence in Somalia as a pretext for a campaign of violence that has left an estimated 16,000 people dead.

« Now that Ethiopian troops are completely out of Somalia, so they have a different agenda, leading Somalia to the verge of fragmentation. And they are leading Somalia down the drain. They must not be allowed to lead Somalia into that disaster, » he said.

At the same time, the foreign minister emphasized that Ethiopia has no intention of returning to Somalia after failing to bring stability to a country that has been without a functioning government since 1991.

« I don’t think Ethiopian troops are ready again to step into Somalia. That is ruled out. But we will do everything by strengthening AMISOM [the African Union Mission to Somalia] and the Somali institutions to fight anarchy and these terrorist acts inside their country, » he said.

Earlier in the day, Africa’s top diplomat, African Union Commission chief Jean Ping spoke confidently of adding Ugandan and Nigerian battalions to the AU’s 3,500-strong peacekeeping mission in Somalia. AMISOM is working alongside 10,000 Somali security service personnel. But the combined force controls little more than a section of the capital, Mogadishu.

Ping shrugged off the fall of Baidoa to al-Shabab, saying it had been expected.

He described security conditions as « less serious » than expected.

_________________________________ 1 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Les troupes éthiopiennes sortent de Somalie. // Ethiopian troops out of Somalia

Thousands of Ethiopian troops with a lot of military trucks and tanks crossed the border out of Somalia on Wednesday officials and witnesses told radio Shabelle.

Ethiopia invaded Somalia in 2006 to oust the Islamic Courts Union since then its troops have been protecting the Somali, weak transitional government in Mogadishu and Baidoa for two years.

The Ethiopian troops completely departed from the Somali capital Mogadishu on 15 January 2009, but pulled back to Baidoa where radical Islamists took control of it after the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops.

The Ethiopian troops accompanied by some Somali MPs and the former Mogadishu mayor Mohamed Omar Habeeb known as Mohamed Dheere reached in the border town of Luuq in southwestern Somalia yesterday.

Residents say the Ethiopian troops crossed the border between Somalia and Ethiopia.

Thousands of Somali civilians have been killed and millions displaced during the two year of Ethiopian occupation.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin, ruled out Tuesday the return of Ethiopian troops to Somalia and accused al-Shabaab of using Ethiopia’s presence in Somalia as a pretext for a campaign of violence that has left an estimated 16,000 people dead.