här kan du titta några intressanta klip om Somaliland

Somaliland: A land in limbo

Places That Don’t Exist: Somaliland Part 1

Somaliland Part 2

Somaliland Part 3

Ancient rock paintings in Somaliland

Somaliland Part 4

Här är det BBC  journalisten,  Simon Reeve, som reser till Både Somalia och Somaliland och jämför hur Somalia befinner sig i kaos medan Somaliland blomstrar.

Här är de kommentarer folk kommenterade om just den här video klippet om Somaliland. Läs de!

Källa: BBC

Read your comments

Places That Don’t Exist was broadcast in the UK on Wednesday, 4 May, 2005 at 1930 BST on BBC Two.

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The comments published on this page reflect the balance of views we received.


Thanks for voicing my country’s desperate cry for recognition
Zack, England

I actually spent the early part of my childhood growing up in Somalia, and they were some of the best years of my life. We left in 1985, and I still look back on the warm and kind people there. This programme was fascinating, and watching the people of Somaliland brought back a lot of memories. I just really hope they can have peace with Somalia, be recognised by the International community, and that peace can return to Somalia too, so that one day I can return there, and also visit the beautiful Somaliland.
Aogan Kearney, UK

It is heartening to see a country that is striving to develop and throw off the shackles of stupid and pointless warfare. It is typical that the Rest of The World fails to reward and recognise peace with the prosperity it deserves. I would happily help this country better itself and it has earned itself at least one British friend tonight. I will find out what one middle-Englander can do to help.
Daniel Sinclair, UK

Being a Somalilander myself and growing up in the West, I felt that this was an interesting documentary, highlighting the peace and freedom that is felt in Somaliland in contrast to Somalia. Thanks for voicing my country’s desperate cry for recognition to the British public.
Zack, England

Excellent! About time more publicity is given to Somaliland. It is inexplicable that it is not recognised internationally, and needs all the support.
Jeremy Vose, UK

Thank you very much for showing this programme. I was born in Hargeisa in 1961 when my father was working for the Desert Locust Survey, so I have followed the goings-on with interest ever since. I do think that when we are fighting for freedom and democracy, the very least we, especially we British, should do is to recognise and support the wonderful efforts of the people of Somaliland in their efforts to create peace, stability and rule of law.
Charles Roffey, The Netherlands

After watching the programme presented by Simon Reeve I think that it is about time that Somaliland is recognised as an official country by the international community and even more so by the UK as her former rulers.
James Farmer, UK

Let us forgive and let us open our hearts
A brother from south

Having just watched this excellent programme on BBC Two I am amazed and appalled that countries like Somaliland do not receive the international recognition they deserve. Somaliland appears to have a more sophisticated level of infrastructure than Somalia (if one can use such a term in these circumstances) and, more importantly, a willingness to develop. This is probably borne out of the lack of recognition they have received from the international community.

I find it ironic that the UN trains the local police force but is unlikely to provide humanitarian aid to a country that clearly needs it. Out of sight, out of mind is all too easy for the Western world but too often we seem to close our eyes to countries that appear to have potential. While I appreciate there are undoubtedly a multitude of issues associated with Somaliland is it not time we gave it a chance or would foreign money do more harm than good?
James Dellborg, UK

I would like to say to brothers and sisters up in the north of Somalia: we need you and we need you now to rebuild our country and forget the past as we all have horrible stories to tell. Unity is the future. If you do not believe me, look at Europe – they used to be fierce enemies not long ago. Let us forgive and let us open our hearts.
A brother from south

Recognition of Somaliland, although under consideration by a growing number of African and Western governments, is still vigorously resisted by many members of both the African Union (AU) and the Arab League on the grounds that the unity and territorial integrity of member states is sacrosanct. For me, as long as we have peace and harmony in our land, nothing else matters.
Faisal, UK

If America has Recognized Kosovo, The AU Should Recognize Somaliland

There has been some quite interesting reaction arising from the piece in this column last week on Somaliland titled: SOMALILAND: A VIABLE STATE BUT UNRECOGNIZED.

In an SMS text message to me one reader wrote: “Rarely do I agree with what you write but today I do. The African Union as well as the United Nations must recognize Somaliland to prove that they are not rubber stamps of George W Bush. If America has recognized Kosovo, the AU should recognize Somaliland. Otherwise Somaliland should seek Iran and Russian support!” I did allow myself a little grin having read the unsigned telephone text message from a reader of this column. I have since been consulting the super information highway, the Internet and have come to discover that among frequent visitors to Somaliland of recently has been Gendayi Fraser, the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. I really do not know what this African American lady has been up to in Somaliland.

But if these visits to the little country in the Horn of Africa has been aimed at striking a quid pro quo – “become our small outpost here – and we will prop you up to gain international recognition” – fine. What matters for me as a bottom line is how leaders of Somaliland will want to play their cards with the Americans. The Americans have their interests as a nation and Somaliland leaders must know their interests as a small country! And frankly, it is not true that practically everything the Americans do is wrong: No. I was among the first who applauded the American led NATO initiative to reverse ethnic cleansing in the Balkans during the presidency of President Bill Clinton. The recognition of Kosovo is therefore a logical and appropriate response to that initiative.

But what is of remarkable misnomer here is when the international community looks away at a toddler nation born out of impossible circumstances – the disappearance of an erstwhile unitary state of Somalia into anarchy and chaos. As we saw last week, Somaliland was a British Protectorate for over 80 years while Somalia was Italian ruled.

At Somaliland independence in 1960, it went into a hasty Union with Italian ruled Somalia in the south to create a unified Somali Republic. But the eras of coups in the mid-sixties brought catastrophe to this unified Somali Republic when Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre pulled his coup. As a result of Siad Barre’s undemocratic move, there was resistance in Somaliland aimed at reasserting itself as in the days at independence in 1960. But the overthrow of Siad Barre himself in 1991 plunged Somalia deeper into further chaos, which is yet to recover.

But Somaliland has since mid-nineties reasserted itself as a separate country from the erstwhile military government of Gen. Siad Barre. The other day, I allowed myself a little research on what Somaliland government looks like. I have since discovered Somaliland is a constitutional multi-party state, comprising the President, Vice-President, and the legislature – parliament. Legislative power is vested into the House of Representatives and House of Elders (senate).

With a population of 3.5 million people, Somaliland runs competitive politics with three major political parties. The last vote was taken in 2003 and the next vote is due April this year. In the last vote, Mr. Dahir Riyale Kahin of the Unity, Democracy and Independence Party won the presidential vote over two competitors. He presides over a 27-man cabinet.

What is most instructive about Somaliland’s form of democracy is its capability to fuse western-style institutions of government with its own traditional forms of social and political organization. Its bicameral parliament reflects this fusion of traditional and modern, with the senate consisting of traditional elders and the House of Representatives consisting of elected representatives. But how has Somaliland survived without international recognition and therefore without “international donor support” most African countries enjoy? Hard information coming my way reveals that Somaliland, an essentially livestock economy is doing very well in its bilateral trade with countries such as Saudi Arabia. It has managed to make its capital Hargeisa function normally like any other city of a modern country, with working traffic lights and has put up even two universities of international standards.

Today, according to hard information, Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland is among the safest towns in Africa. But the irony here is that while there is no government worth its name in Mogadishu (Somalia) but it is the “government” of the Ethiopian occupied capital that is recognized by the United Nations, keeping a blind eye on a Somaliland government that is democratically elected and doing wonders without donor support except the efforts of the people themselves. So Somaliland is soldiering on with virtually no external help. Whilst Somalilanders in the Diaspora have heavily supported economic development, lack of international recognition has meant that Somaliland does not qualify for bilateral aid or support from international financial institutions.

But according to observers, this isolation has not however resulted in isolationism. Lack of access to external aid has forced this country of 3.5 million people to become more self-reliant than many African states. Along with self-reliance, Somaliland is succeeding to unite its people above clannish divides, which have seen its southern flanks in the name of the former Italy-ruled Somalia disintegrate and disappear as a cohesive state. As I argued in the last perspective, the very reason that Somaliland has managed to evolve as a sustainable state is an adequate reason to reward it with immediate international recognition to serve as a spur and catalysts to its southern brethren now at each other’s throats.

The same reasons that may have spurred the United States and its western allies to offer recognition to the newly born state of Kosovo cannot be contradictory to what Somaliland deserves today.

Makwaia  Kuhenga is a Senior Journalist & Author
Email: makwaia@makwaia.com

©Somaliland1991

An Oasis of Stability in East Africa

An Oasis of Stability in East Africa
Dr. Bob Arnot NBC NEWS

Unknown to many Americans, there is a Somalia that didn’t murder U.S. Rangers and drag them through the streets, where U.N. soldiers never set foot, and where there are no roving gangs of warlords. It is a land where refugees are eagerly returning, where there is a functioning democracy, where free enterprise is booming and what is more a country where they love Americans. So why can’t Somaliland get any respect?

SOMALILAND HAS accomplished everything that America ever hoped that Somalia would and more from ending clan violence to establishing a parliament. What is its reward?

Ten years after it broke away from the rest of Somalia and declared its independence, no country has yet formally recognized Somaliland. And that has caused real hardships. It cannot sign agreements with multilateral donors such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund.

It cannot receive more than token aid – for emergency and humanitarian reasons – but no meaningful bilateral development assistance from other governments let alone substantive loans to rehabilitate its dilapidated infrastructure.

Somaliland sorely lacks the extensive veterinary care it needs to guarantee its livestock are free of disease for export. It cannot drill for oil, build new industry, improve its universities or rebuild its roads. It can not create jobs for the tens of thousands of refugees returning to Somaliland’s relative stability, nor build a substantial police force or army to protect itself.

SOMALILAND HAS accomplished everything that America ever hoped that Somalia would and more from ending clan violence to establishing a parliament. What is its reward?

Ten years after it broke away from the rest of Somalia and declared its independence, no country has yet formally recognized Somaliland. And that has caused real hardships. It cannot sign agreements with multilateral donors such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund.

It cannot receive more than token aid – for emergency and humanitarian reasons – but no meaningful bilateral development assistance from other governments let alone substantive loans to rehabilitate its dilapidated infrastructure.

Somaliland sorely lacks the extensive veterinary care it needs to guarantee its livestock are free of disease for export. It cannot drill for oil, build new industry, improve its universities or rebuild its roads. It can not create jobs for the tens of thousands of refugees returning to Somaliland’s relative stability, nor build a substantial police force or army to protect itself.

DISASTROUS UNION
And what Somaliland fears most is a forced reunion with Somalia. Somaliland, a former British colony, was severely punished, after its first marriage to the former Italian colony in the south in 1960.

After that union to create what used to be known as the Republic of Somalia, tens of thousands of Somalilanders were murdered by Somali Army officers. Bodies are still found today, bound together, and buried in mass graves, with bullets through the backs of their heads. Over 40,000 men women and children were murdered in the capital city of Hargeysa when government MiG jets bombed the city.

After such a dreadful union, who would want rejoin Somalia again? As it turns out, it is almost no one in Somaliland. Somalilanders call the Somali Republic’s actions genocide, and are saying “never again” to a reunion.

But not so in the south, in the former Italian Somalia, where there is a fervent desire to reunite a greater Somalia. And it is that wish which threatens the fragile democracy in Somaliland.

Somaliland has pleaded and begged with the international community for recognition, but that plea is not based on hardship alone.

Somaliland argues that America needs a strong and faithful ally at the border of Africa and the Middle East.

Somaliland shields the soft underbelly of Ethiopia and, as a secular democratic state, is a bulwark against extremist international anarchy and terrorism. On a practical level, it offers a huge airstrip, over 13,000 feet, and a deep-water port of Berbera on the Gulf of Aden, which, the government points out, is safer for U.S.
warships than Aden, in Yemen, where the USS Cole was bombed by terrorists last October.

One of the pillars of the Organization of African Unity is that African colonial borders should not be redrawn.

QUEST FOR INDEPENDENCE
So who is opposed to recognition of Somaliland? From Rome to Cairo, there are many powerful players trying to nix Somaliland’s quest for independence:

Sudan, supported by Egypt and Libya, thinks an independent Somaliland sets a precedent for dividing warring Sudan into two independent countries, North and South.

Neighboring Djibouti senses, although Somaliland government sources say erroneously, that Somaliland threatens the need for Djibouti to continue to exist.

Islamic fundamentalist states say Somaliland forms a barrier to the solidification of their hold on Somalia and to their expansion to Ethiopia and Kenya.

Certain Arab governments who would rather see a reunited Muslim Somalia to outflank Ethiopia from south and east, to be used to secure Egypt’s unlimited use of the Nile waters and to forestall any form of future Israeli presence in the area.

France, which supports Djibouti and is desirous of enhancing its influence in the region.

And Italy, which the Somaliland government says is “still nostalgic dreaming of a formal colony whose capital is Mogadishu.”

However, the most potent argument against recognition centers on a very fine, albeit dubious, technical point. Susan Rice, the Undersecretary of State for Africa during the Clinton administration, was flatly against recognition because it meant redrawing colonial borders. One of the pillars of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) is that African colonial borders should not be redrawn.

BORDER CHANGING PRECEDENT
But here is the irony. Julius Nyerere, first president of Tanzania, in the formative stages of the OAU, pleaded against redrawing African borders so that British Somaliland would not joint with Italian Somalia. Why? The fear was that a united Somalia would be a harbinger for the emergence of Greater Somalia, which, in order to annex surrounding Somali territories, would invade Ethiopia and Kenya. (The Republic of Somalia did invade Ethiopia in 1977, and Somali raiders still attack Kenya).

Even more ironic, Nyerere redrew his own borders, joining Tanganyika with Zanzibar to form Tanzania. Yet nearly 40 years later, Nyerere’s argument is being used to prevent Somaliland from being recognized as a sovereign state even though it was, briefly, an independent state after its liberation from British.
On balance, the OAU’s doctrine on the “inviolability” of boundaries inherited from the colonial powers does not apply to Somaliland because it is situated within the boundaries of the British Somaliland Protectorate defined in 1886 when it was declared a British protectorate.
Somalilanders lament that the United States and the United Nations have had little trouble with redrawing borders in the Balkans or the former Soviet Union, but still resist to recognize their nascent republic.

PUSH FOR RECOGNITION
On the 10th anniversary of its declaration of independence, Somaliland is beginning a vigorous international campaign for recognition beginning with South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya. Somaliland’s President Mohammed Egal, has been criss-crossing the globe, appealing to any government who will listen

. ‘Our history and our identity have completely disappeared from the world for 30 years, and now we are telling the world that there is a country called Somaliland.’

– MOHAMMED EGAL
Somaliland president “Our history and our identity have completely disappeared from the world for 30 years, and now we are telling the world that there is a country called Somaliland,” Egal told NBC News. “We have to educate our friends and brothers and compatriots in the international community who we are and where we come from.”
Egal, a former prime minister of the Somali Republic until he was overthrown in a coup and jailed for 12 years, argues passionately for an independent and internationally recognized Somaliland.

But a lack of international recognition casts a long shadow over Somaliland’s future, seriously hindering economic development, strangulating the burgeoning private sector and eroding public trust in the country’s future. This, observers fear, may bring about a political downturn which undermines the republican order and ushers in social anarchy and lawlessness. That, they say, will spell a doomsday scenario in which almost anything could happen.

“Certainly the forces of darkness will gleefully celebrate the eclipse of the only secular democracy in the Somali speaking region of the Horn [of Africa] and feverishly try to fill the vacuum by establishing a Taliban-like regime,” says Saad Noor, Somaliland’s representative in Washington.

“If successful, they will hookup with fellow Islamic extremists in southeast Ethiopia and shake up the very foundation of the Ethiopian regime. Djibouti will not be safe either. The crescendo will come to a thunderous roar if the coveted southern shores of the Gulf of Aden, from the entrance of the Red Sea at Bab el Mandab to Berbera basin. falls under the control of an organization like the one that blew up the USS Cole.”

Then and only then, many fear, will the Western democracies shed a tear for the passing of Somaliland.

Dr. Bob Arnot covers Africa’s humanitarian and political issues for NBC News.

Finding Calm in the Most Unexpected Place (Somaliland)

Finding Calm in the Most Unexpected Place (Somaliland)

I have just moved out of the hotel I have been living in since I arrived and into a house with a huge compound which has bananas, papaya, guava, pomegranate and oranges

Finding Calm in the Most Unexpected Place.

I’m a self-confessed disaster junky. I studied in Northern Ireland in the eighties, worked in Cambodia when it was still the wild west and not yet back-packer heaven; in Afghanistan where I would wake at night to wonder if it was an earthquake or a rocket attack; and Angola, where every day was a battle on a different and more personal level. And now here I am in the next hardship post – Hargeisa, Somaliland. By: Louisa Norman.

Mention Somaliland to anyone and once they have stopped looking blank, the first question is usually one of these: is it safe? are you mad? or… where?. The answer to the first is; ‘absolutely’, to the second, ‘maybe’ and the third, well, it takes a while. Still that’s what you get for choosing to work in a country that technically doesn’t exist.

My fascination with this place began last year when I was asked to come to make an assessment as to whether PSI should start a programme. Until that point I was also in the ‘…where?!’ category. But as soon as I arrived at airport I knew this place was different.

This is a country where the language was not written down until 1972 and the oral tradition is still strong – which may also explain why the phone network is as cheap as it is. Social and clan relationships are paramount. The strength of the private sector is due in large part to the strength of these social relationships – no-one would dare default on a transaction, as they would be ostracised by the entire community. There are no banks for instance but the informal system of money transfer works with extraordinary efficiency and money can be transferred to and from almost anywhere in the world to anywhere in the country within 24 hours. I remember a friend telling me some years back ‘if you want to move money, trust a Somali’ and its true.

There is virtually no crime here. The same social networks that control financial transactions, also ensure that theft is in no-one’s interests either. When I first arrived here I sat down with the NGO Security Officer and asked him to tell me what crimes had been committed in the last 12 months. He sat back, put his hands behind his head, thought for a while and said ‘well…last year someone stole some solar panels’. And really that was all he could think of. So, it is fairly ironic that friends in Nairobi and Johannesburg worry about my safety. Mogadishu is geographically closer to Nairobi than Hargeisa and about a million miles away culturally from the place I experience on a daily basis.

There is a drive and sense of potential here that I have rarely come across before. With very little donor support, the country largely operates on an entrepreneurial spirit and remittances from the large Somali diaspora. The flip-side of this is that, supported by these same remittances, Khat chewing is endemic. Nothing much happens in the afternoon when most of the men are indulging in this expensive habit which can cost between $2-$20 a day.

We have a beautiful office which is featured on a local poster of ‘New Hargeisa’ (copies available on request!) and has the best IT I have ever had anywhere: fast, dependable internet, an excellent wireless network, zippy little scanners and the cheapest phones in the world. We even have power 24 hours a day provided by the local hotel. So, no more power cuts or noisy generators, no more excuses to Washington about not being able to deliver reports on time, and no more faxing the monthly financials at midnight. That’s an adjustment in itself. Now, several months after arriving, the office is slowly filling up with staff and the compound with tortoises that the guards find on the street and re-house with us.

I have just moved out of the hotel I have been living in since I arrived and into a house with a huge compound which has bananas, papaya, guava, pomegranate and oranges. The house took 2 months of fairly intense project management to renovate, but it was worth it for the garden alone. As I write this my cleaner has just walked in and handed me sweetcorn that the guards have been growing at our office. It’s a fair swap, so tomorrow I will bring in some papaya from my garden.

OK, I admit, its not paradise. There are certainly downsides: entertainment is limited so it helps to be very low maintenance; we cannot buy alcohol or retire to the bar at the end of a long day; and the small expat community is still paying the price for the murders of foreigners four years ago with an overly cautious security policy and 24 hour armed guards. This is generally not as daunting as it sounds – until you go to the beach and find yourself prancing about in a bikini while Kalashnikov-toting guards in boots and fatigues look on in amusement. At least I think its amusement. Luckily my prancing and bikini days are just about over. Still, it makes for some good stories at parties (yes, we have them too).

I came here because in my ignorance, I thought there might be some danger to feed the disaster junky in me but instead I found something else. Life is about balance and I think the disaster junky may finally and unexpectedly have found some kind of equilibrium here in this dry, dusty spot. My friends and I regularly congratulate ourselves on discovering one of the world’s more misunderstood hardship posts.

Come to think of it, I’m not sure I should have just openly admitted any of this where my boss will see it – he still thinks it’s a hardship posting.

This article first appeared on PSI Impact.

By: Louisa Norman.

©Somaliland1991

The United States government should officially recognize the independence of Somaliland

Denna  artikeln är interessant och  läsa. OBS! den är inte ny artikel.

The United States government should officially recognize the independence of Somaliland, a moderate Muslim democracy in the Horn of Africa. Such an argument may seem counterintuitive at a time when tensions are rising in the region. But I submit that it is precisely because of those rising tensions that it is time for the Bush administration to act, especially if it is truly serious about democracy promotion, counter-terrorism, and curtailing the spread of Islamic fundamentalism.

Why does Somaliland deserve U.S. recognition?

First and foremost, it is important to recollect that, after achieving independence from British colonial rule on June 26, 1960, Somaliland was duly recognized as a sovereign entity by the United Nations and thirty-five countries, including the United States. Several days later, on July 1, the independent country of Somaliland voluntarily joined with its newly independent southern counterpart (the former UN Trust Territory of Somalia that was a former Italian colony) to create the present-day Republic of Somalia.

Somalilanders rightfully note that they voluntarily joined a union after independence, and that, under international law, they should (and do) have the right to abrogate that union, as they did in 1991. Examples abound in the second half of the twentieth century of international recognition of countries that have emerged from failed federations or failed states, including East Timor, Eritrea, Gambia, and the successor states of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The same legal principle should be applied to Somaliland.

The political basis for Somaliland’s claim is that the voluntary union of 1960 was derailed in 1969 by a military coup d’etat in Mogadishu that ushered in more than two decades of brutal military rule under the dictatorship of General Mohamed Siyad Barre. Himself a southerner, Barre destroyed the foundations of the north-south democratic compact, most notably by unleashing a murderous campaign (bordering on genocide) against northern civilians that resulted in more than 50,000 deaths and created over 500,000 refugees as part of a widening civil war during the 1980s.

Even after Barre was overthrown in 1991 by a coalition of guerrilla armies, including the northern-based Somali National Movement (SNM), northern expectations of a government of national unity were dashed when southern guerrilla movements reneged on an earlier agreement and unilaterally named a southerner president, which in turn was followed by the intensification of inter and intra-clan conflict in the south. Nearly thirty years of unfulfilled promises and brutal policies ripped the fabric of the already fragile north-south political compact.

A “point of no return” had been reached for Somalilanders intent on reasserting their country’s independence. In May 2001, a popular mandate was given to dissolving the union, when a resounding number of ballots cast (97 percent) in a national Somaliland referendum favored the adoption of a new constitution that explicitly underscored Somaliland’s independence.

Somaliland deserves recognition if the Bush administration is truly sincere about promoting democracy in the wider Middle East. In sharp contrast to southern Somalia where instability and crisis have reigned and in fact intensified in the last fifteen years, Somaliland has established a democratic polity that, if recognized, would make it the envy of democracy activists in the Muslim world. The essence of Somaliland’s successful democratization was captured by U.S.-based International Republican Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy in convening a September 2006 panel discussion on Somaliland.

They wrote that “Somaliland’s embrace of democracy, its persistence in holding round after round of elections, both winners and losers abiding by the rules, the involvement of the grassroots, the positive role of traditional authorities, the culture of negotiation and conflict resolution, the temperance of ethnicity or clan affiliation and its deployment for constructive purposes, the adaptation of modern technology, the conservative use of limited resources, and the support of the diaspora and the professional and intellectual classes are some of the more outstanding features of Somaliland’s political culture that are often sorely lacking elsewhere.”

Somaliland also deserves recognition from a purely U.S.-centric national security perspective. The Somaliland government and population embody a moderate voice in the Muslim world that rejects radical interpretations of Islam, including that espoused by various portions of the Council of Somali Islamic Courts (CSIC) currently in control of Mogadishu and its environs.

It would serve as a bulwark against the further expansion of radical ideologies in the Horn of Africa by offering a shining example (along with Mali and Senegal and other predominantly Muslim Sub-Saharan African democracies) of how Islam and democracy are not mutually exclusive, but rather mutually reinforcing. Somaliland leaders are also eager to cooperate with the Bush administration in a variety of counter-terrorism measures, including working with the Combined Joint Task Force—Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) based in Djibouti. They are currently prohibited from doing so due to U.S. legislation that prevents cooperation with unrecognized Somaliland authorities.

The critiques of the pro-independence position are numerous, but don’t stand up to close examination. One strand of thought is that Somaliland is not economically viable. This position is reminiscent of claims made by Europeans during the 1950s with respect to their African colonies, with the aim of delaying independence throughout Africa. In any case, the argument is belied by Somaliland’s creation of a highly self-sufficient, well-functioning economy even though it has no access to the economic benefits that would come with statehood, such as access to loans from international financial institutions.

A second critique, typically offered by African policymakers, is that recognition of Somaliland will “open a pandora’s box” of secessionist claims throughout Africa. However, as in the case of Eritrea, which gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, the Somaliland case does not call into question the African mantra of the “inviolability of frontiers” inherited at independence. The north-south union followed the independence and recognition of both the British and Italian Somali territories, and its dissolution therefore would constitute a unique case of returning to the boundaries inherited from the colonial era.

Others, especially those connected to UN efforts throughout the Horn of Africa, argue that recognition will derail the UN-sponsored “building blocks” approach to national reconciliation that includes the reconstitution of a central government in Mogadishu. This approach, however, has been an utter failure, as witnessed by the short-lived Transitional National Government (TNG) and its replacement by a Transitional Federal Government (TFG), the authority of which extends little beyond the town of Baidoa. What authority it has is largely due to the intervention of Ethiopian troops opposed to the further expansion of the Islamic Courts. It is time to recognize that the UN-sponsored “building blocks” cannot be stacked together to create a reunified central authority in Mogadishu.

A fourth critique claims that the “time is not right” for recognition because it will further intensify the widening crisis between the Islamic Courts and the TFG, and between their respective regional and international supporters. This argument has been heard repeatedly in the last fifteen years whenever efforts at reconstructing a unified central government were thought to be on the “verge of success.” Success has proved elusive over all this time, however, and it is now clear that southern Somalia will remain in crisis regardless of what is done with respect to Somaliland recognition.

The most dire prediction of some Somali watchers is that the Islamic Courts movement will emerge victorious in the current conflict, assert its control over all Somali territories outside of Somaliland, and then threaten open warfare with Somaliland to bring it back into the Somali fold. If this should happen, it will likely be too late for the United States or others to intervene in a timely and effective manner to prevent Somaliland’s absorption into an Islamist Somalia. This reality makes recognition all the more urgent.

One of the more nuanced critiques of recognition is that loyalty to Somaliland in its eastern districts of Sanaag and Sool is contested, especially among the Warsengeli and Dhulbahante clans, and that any movement toward independence would potentially require the redrawing of Somaliland’s eastern boundary – which the leadership in Hargeysa ( Somaliland’s capital) is unwilling to entertain.

It is important to reiterate that Somaliland’s current boundaries are those of the original British Somaliland Protectorate created in 1884 and the independent country recognized by the international community beginning on June 26, 1960, and therefore have a solid legal basis under international law. The 2001 referendum provided an unequivocal popular basis for the independence claim. One way of resolving this issue, as was done with Eritrea in May 1993, would be to hold a territory-wide, UN-sponsored and internationally monitored popular referendum on independence that would be binding. If, as would be expected, pro-independence forces prevailed, those unwilling to live under Somaliland rule would have to make hard decisions about whether to continue living in Somaliland. .

A final critique involves the concept of “African solutions for African problems.” Proponents contend that the United States should wait for African countries led by the AU to first recognize Somaliland. This approach is the topic of a thought-provoking International Crisis Group report, “Somaliland: Time for African Union Leadership,” published in May 2006, and was publicly endorsed by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer in a presentation on November 17, 2006 at the annual meeting of the African Studies Association.

Although Frazer’s statement that the United States would recognize Somaliland if the AU acted first was welcomed by specialists on Somaliland, it is unclear when or if a AU recognition process will actually unfold. The encouragement of African action should not become the basis for inaction on the part of the United States.

The time for U.S. recognition of Somaliland is now, not only because it is right, but because it is in the interests of the United States. Recognition of Somaliland, followed by expanded engagement by Somaliland with the international community, would serve as a powerful lesson for other countries within the region (not least of all southern Somalia) of the benefits associated with the creation and consolidation of democratic systems of governance. Somaliland would become a model to emulate, and the United States would be congratulated for undertaking a proactive policy in support of a moderate, Muslim democracy.

Peter J. Schraeder is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. He writes on African politics and U.S. Africa policy.

©Somaliland1991

en historisk dag för både president Obama och amerikanska folket

I natt kl 3.00 svensk tid kom beskedet, om att amerikanska representanthuset har sagt ja till omdebatterade allmän sjukvårdsreformen, som har pågått nästan ett års tid nu i Washington. Det var oklart in i det sista om det skulle bli ja eller nej. Men President Obama spelade skickligt taktik, när han kom överenskommelse med de demokrater som var tveksamma till förslaget och fick de på sin sida. Republikarerna var bittra över resulatet. 219 sag  ja mot 212. Det här var en av president Obamas val frågor, som han drev under president valet i USA 2008. Nu kan han andas ut, för att han lyckades att få demokraterna i representanthuset  att rösta ja till förlaget.  Det blir historisk dag för president  Barack Obama, Han har lyckast driva in i det sista en sjukvårdsreform , som många tidigare presidenter i USA inte lyckade genomföra, från president Theodore Roosevelt , John FK Kennedy, Nixon, Harry Truman och inte minst Bill Clinton. För många människor i Europa är det här  obegripligt att världens mäktigaste land både ekonomisk och millitär, att  över 47 miljoner amerikaner  inte har tillgång till sjukdvård förutom akut. Det är absurt. Jag förstår att många amerikaner är arga på Obamas sjukvårdreform, men på långsiktig om 10-15 år kommer de som är  arga nu eller är motståndare till allmän sjukvårdförsäkring att tacka för president Barack Obama för det. Det ligger i människans natur att vi ogillar stora förändningar både små och stora, men när det kommit i gång, kommer  folk att gilla det.

Lycka till President Barck Obama

©Somaliland1991

This article is about Somaliland’s fanatical, hasty unification with Somalia in 1960

OBS!

Jag vill bara meddela här till våra kära läsare på Somaliland1991, att denna artikel är ett år gammal, men den är väldigt intressant att läsa.

Ibrahim Hassan Gagale.

[This article is about Somaliland’s fanatical, hasty unification with Somalia in 1960 and how Somalia doomed the union with political deprivation (1960-1982) and atrocities (1982-1990). It also states reasons of why the union is not revivable. In this article, North is referred to Somaliland and South is referred to Somalia as used in the three decades of the union.]

A union, when it is about countries, is an act of uniting two or more countries with the objective of enhancing strength and advancing common interest. However, any union succeeds only if its initiative is fully deliberated, its constitution is well- thought of and defined and all sides respect and abide by it with real commitment to put it forward. The voluntary unification that took place between Somaliland and Somalia on July 1st, 1960 was driven by chauvinism (Blind patriotism) from the part of Somaliland people who failed to foresee that such hasty act in Africa without deliberations on possibilities could result in devastating consequences as happened in the 1980s. The successive, South-centered governments throughout the history of the union clearly indicated that Somalia was not ready for the unity but just took advantage of the fanatical patriotism of the North which carelessly threw its independence to unwelcoming place.

In the thirty years of the union (1960-1990), Somaliland people have learned a lot from Somalia that dismisses any chance of reviving the doomed union in the future. The following past actions of Somalia that failed the union and make it impossible to revive in the future are:-

When the first government was formed in 1960 for the New Republic of Somalia, emerging from former British Somaliland and former Italian Somalia, the South took the president, Mr. Aden Abdulle Osman (1960-1964), the prime minister, Mr. Abdirasheed Ali Sharma`arke, the ministers of foreign affairs, interior, finance, Commander of the National Armed Forces, and the National Police Chief. The union parliament was sham too for the South taking unfair number of seats. This political hijack by the South was the first political blow to the power-sharing of the freshly formed union. Mr. Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, who was prime minister of the North at the eve of unification, was denied of the premiership which he had as a right after the South took the presidency. President Aden Abdulle Osman was re-elected in 1964 (1964-1967) and repeated the same political blunders by giving the prime minister to Mr. Abdirizak Haji Hussein (South-born) and other major cabinet posts to the South again.

The North was treated as an ordinary region in Somalia like Mudug or Benadir ignoring the fact that the North became independent state, taking independence on June 26, 1960, before the South, which became independent on July 1st, 1960, and that the North initiated the unification of the two newly independent countries in the Horn of Africa. The political betrayal and humiliation by the South angered the politicians, traditional leaders, intellectuals, business community as well as military officers of the North. This deep resentment influenced North-born young military officers, at the command of Hassan Kayd, to lead the unsuccessful military coup in Hargeisa on December 10, 1961 to reclaim independence and dignity of the North from the South-breached union. Instead of addressing the grievances that led to the Northern mutiny and starting national dialogue for reconciliation, president Aden Abdulle Osman immediately transferred South-born military to North and North-born military to South to suppress and repress Northern people socially and politically to punish them for the rightful military mutiny. The Southern troops turned Northern Regions into semi-colony with no freedom at all. Northern people were forced to travel to Mogadisho for school certificates (Even middle school certificates), passports, healthcare, business licenses etc.

In such situation of political deprivation and lack of investment in the North, General Siad Barre (South-born) overthrew the civilian government of the shaky union through bloodless coup on October 21, 1969 dissolving the constitution and the parliament immediately after the assassination of president Abdirasheed Ali Sharma`arke (South-born) on October 15, 1969. Many people believed that president Abdirasheed (1967-1969) was murdered for giving prime minister post to the North and that is why General Siad Barre toppled Egal`s two-year old government too (1967-1969). President Abdirasheed gave the prime minister to the North to control the damage inflicted on power-sharing by president Aden Abdulle Osman. General Siad Barre ruled Somalia for 21 years with iron-fist dictatorship (1969-1990) that curtailed all civil liberties. He continued the political deprivation and suppression of the North and strengthened the political domination of the South.

Worse than South-centered civilian governments, General Siad Barre grossly breached the agreement of the union which was shared between the North and the South only by making it a union shared by all Somalis in the five Somali-territories (Somaliwein) in the Horn of Africa. He gave special political and military privilege to the Ogaden tribe inhabiting in Western Somalia (Occupied by Ethiopia) and in Somalia Northeastern Region (Occupied by Kenya) thus adopting refugees as citizens and making citizens, especially those in the North, as second class citizens. General Bile Rafle, born in Somali Galbeed, became the governor of Hargeisa and Burao in the 1970s, and General Aden Gabyow, born in N.F.D, Kenya, became once the minister of defense of the then Republic of Somalia. These citizen-turned refugees widely participated in the atrocities and displacement of the central tribes in Somaliland (Isaaq Clan) during civil wars. Northern officials in South-owned governments were symbolic and powerless. Their posts were intended to mislead Northern public perception to believe in power-sharing that did not exist. If the Northern officials in the government had real power, they would prevent injustices and crimes committed against the North.

During the disastrous union, Darod and Hawiye clans dominated the government. Isaaq clan (The biggest clan in the North) was alienated throughout the union to eliminate political rivalry from North. It was also political hostility focus for challenging the hijacked union. The middle clans and the minorities were not in the radar of the political system of the union. Southern governments also practiced “divide and rule” policy in the North turning native clans against each other politically before the civil wars and finally arming them against each other during civil wars.

After all talks and negotiations between Northern leaders and Siad Barre`s regime to reverse the anti-North policies failed, the Northern people had no choice but to challenge the unabated injustices of the South with armed resistance. A group of Isaaq emigrants living in London founded the Somali National Movement (SNM), with political and military wings, in April 1981 to overthrow Siad Barre`s dictatorship. The military wing of SNM waged relentless attacks against Southern troops of oppression, suppression, and repression based in the North. It launched its first operation, operating from bases in Ethiopia, in February 1982 against the government troops. These military operations of SNM successfully continued and devastated the government troops until the major offensive of SNM in 1988. Claiming that all Isaaqs were supporters of the SNM guerrilla movement, Siad Barre`s government unleashed all sorts of human rights abuses against them such as killings, detentions, rapes, torture, unfair trials, confiscation of private properties, curfews and checkpoints in cities, towns, villages and rural areas in the North. Constraints on freedom of movement and employment and business discrimination against Isaaq were also common. Even Isaaq community living in the South suffered the same human rights abuses equally. Siad Barre also sent Northern prominent leaders and politicians such as Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, Omar Arteh Qalib, Ismael Ali Aboker, top military officers and scholars to prison arbitrarily.

The military wing of SNM launched major offensive against government forces based in Hargeisa and Burao in May 1988 destroying most of the troops and arsenal stationed there and crippling Siad Barre`s administration in the North. In Response to SNM offensive, Siad Barre declared all-out war against Isaaq clan and started bombarding Hargeisa and Burao brutally and indiscriminately with artillery, tanks and war planes, some of them piloted by mercenaries from former Rhodesia, forcing the population of these cities to flee into Ethiopia for sanctuary leaving Hargiesa and Burao in ruins. Tens of thousands of civilians were murdered, massacred or executed summarily. In July 1989, Forty-seven (47) people, mainly from Isaaq clan, were slaughtered at Jasiira Beach near Mogadisho by Siad Barre`s Red Berets. In February 2000, the bodies of more than 700 people were discovered in mass grave near the Airport of Berbera. Other mass grave sites were also found at Malko Durduro in Hargeisa, near Burao, Gabiley and Erigavo. These mass graves held Isaaq victims of massacres and mid-night executions carried out by troops loyal to Barre`s regime in the years 1988 and 1989. It was brutal military campaign of ethnic cleansing against the entire Isaaq clan. In January 1991, the heroic armed struggle of SNM and USC finally ousted Siad Barre and his dictatorship simultaneously in the North and in the South. Siad Barre fled the country on January 26, 1991.

Having seen the political deprivation and atrocities against the North and its people, the Northern Congress held in Burao on May 18, 1991 unanimously proclaimed the withdrawal of the North from the union with the South and reclaimed its independence of June 26, 1960 renaming itself: Somaliland Republic. The referendum held in Somaliland on May 31st, 2001 reaffirmed Somaliland sovereignty from Somalia. Somaliland is not a secessionist or breakaway region from Somalia as anti-Somaliland groups claim. It just withdrew from the union it joined as an independent state on July 1st, 1960 after it failed in the hands of Somalia. Djabouti became independent state in 1977 and rejected to join the union after witnessing how the South mistreated the North. Somaliland, Somalia and Djabouti are independent with equal status and legitimacy.

The Somaliland people shall not revive the doomed union with Somalia for the following 7 (Seven) reasons:

1 – The above history of political deprivation and atrocities committed against Somaliland people during the union have no justification or excuse at all.

2 – Somalia does not admit those injustices and heinous crimes against Somaliland people. It purposefully denies or covers them up by claiming that the people of Somalia suffered equally. What they do not want to hear is that they were responsible for the injustices and atrocities in Somaliland but the destructive civil wars in Somalia were self-inflicted. President Aden Abdulle Osman and General Siad Barre can not be blamed for the injustices and crimes against the North alone because they were supported by Southern politicians, military commanders, troops and tribes loyal to Siad Barre`s regime.

3 – Any federal government shared with the tribes inhabiting in the central regions of Somalia (Mudug and Galgudud) is unlikely to survive long because they are power-obsessed, self-aggrandizing and uncompromising. Some of these tribes hijacked the union in the first decade of its age, some other supported and defended Siad Barre`s brutal dictatorship and another is blamed for the endless anarchy and violence in Somalia.

4 – Somalia still believes in government shared by Somaliwein (Government for all Somalis from Somalia, Somaliland, Djabouti, Somali Northeastern Region (Kenya) and Western Somalia (Ehtiopia). This is no man`s government that leads to political chaos and socio-economic setbacks. Somaliland belongs to Somalilanders only.

5 – The place is Africa where democracy, fair elections and rule of law are not respected. Chronic tribalism, brutal dictatorships and crippling corruptions are common and normal practice of the day. Any federal government can be easily overthrown at any time by military coups, just like General Siad Barre did, with the immediate dissolution of elected parliament and constitution. No one can guarantee or trust that this will not happen again.

6 – Neither Somaliland people nor the people of Somalia can afford to have another risky unity that leads to brutal dictatorship or despotic turned-elected governments that plunge both peoples into other violent, atrocious civil wars. They need to have separate, safe, sisterly states with mutual relations like the 18 Arab countries that also share religion, language and culture but living in peaceful, prosperous independent states. Both nations must reject blind patriotism that led them to devastating civil wars in the past.

7 – The place is Africa where the laws of the jungle rein, where tribalism and localism are more important than nationalism and patriotism and where poverty and ignorance drive people to seek living in tribal corrupt or dictatorial governments instead of making sacrifices and hard work for better life and for self-sufficiency.

The critics of Somaliland independence, who advocate for reviving the disastrous unity, are either blind or indifferent to these political betrayal and appalling atrocities in this article. Their reckless, chauvinistic approach for unity must be rejected by Somaliland.

Ibrahim Hassan Gagale.

Ibrahim_hg@yahoo.com

February 19, 2009

Rageh Omaar: journalism with passion

Rageh Omaar: journalism with passion

By Wana Kalala
Sun 21 Mar. 2010, 16:10 CAT   [226 Reads, 0 Comment(s)]

BEFORE joining the Witness team at the launch of Al Jazeera English, Somali-born reporter Rageh Omaar worked for the BBC for over 12 years. An international correspondent covering stories from all over the world, he reported on the Kosovo War, and the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict. He was named BBC’s Developing World Correspondent and then in 2001, as the BBC’s Africa Correspondent.

After 9/11, the Oxford-trained journalist was the only TV correspondent from a Western media house to report from inside Kabul, Afghanistan during the bombing of the city and Taliban forces.

It was, however, his coverage from Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 which brought him worldwide attention.

This year, the forty-three-year old is to front a new series for Al Jazeera called The Rageh Omaar Report, which begins on March 24. In this exclusive interview, Omaar talks about his expectations and hopes for the new programme, and offers advice to upcoming journalists.

What motivated you to start the Rageh Omaar Report?
It really didn’t need much motivating because it was an offer that I think every journalist dreams of, which is to be given your own programme to explore the issues and the stories that you’re passionate about, that are largely ignored by the mainstream western media. I’ve returned to the Balkans, Bosnia to look at how the ethnic war in Bosnia has scarred that region and continues to do today. And also to re-tell the story of how Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader evaded justice from war crimes for so long. I’ve just come back from Zimbabwe, looking at Zimbabwe very differently, not like the one-sided view that’s been done in the Western media quite a lot, but trying to explain Zimbabwe from all sides. We’ve spoken to the opposition and to ZANU-PF. We’ve spoken to indigenous black farmers who’ve benefited from land reform and white farmers who have lost everything, and looking at the land issue in a historical context. So these kind of stories and many more to come is a great personal opportunity and professional opportunity, and as I said it’s the kind of thing all journalists dream of.

What issues do you want to explore in Africa when you start your programme?
The most important thing I want to do, given that how sometimes one dimension and clichéd the coverage of issues in Africa, is not to come with any agenda. I don’t want the Rageh Omaar Report to say, you know, ‘we’re going to do this kind of reporting in Africa or that kind of reporting’. I just want to look at specific issues and countries and deal with them individually because I think one of the problems that I learnt before my years at Al-Jazeera, working in mainstream media, is that often a lot of the West both journalists and even politicians look at Africa as though it is one country and one place. You know Zambia is the same as Nigeria, and Nigeria is the same as Ethiopia, and Ethiopia is the same as Mozambique. Africa is like one place with all the same, similar problems you know, war and hunger and HIV. So I want to do reports on Africa to try and explain individual countries and societies undergoing difficult and sometimes hopeful change, but within their context, so that they’ll be interesting to an African audience. I know that people in Zambia and in Southern Africa are engaged in and are involved in what is happening in Zimbabwe, but that’s not true if you were to talk of viewers in maybe Ghana or Ethiopia or Mauritania. So I’d like people in those countries in Africa to be able to watch it and see hopefully a more intelligent, a more levelheaded but still journalistically strong and brave reporting from Africa. I want to approach the continent in all its complexities, as individual societies and think that there’s one theme to African problems.

Which specific countries are you looking at on your programme? How did you gain the courage to venture into Kabul at the risk of your life to cover the stories?
In terms of the new programme, it’s quite challenging the new programme because we don’t just want to be, it’s not a background story. We want the stories we cover to be relevant and newsworthy. Which is why we’re doing Zimbabwe now and we’ll certainly be looking at my own country Somalia which is a big hot issue, regionally in the continent and internationally. We’ll be looking at many other sorts of issues. I think we really want to explore America and America under Obama, and how it relates with the world, I think that’s very important, how it relates to Africa, the Muslim world. I think especially for a channel like Al-Jazeera, it’s very important to examine and look at America and its role in the world, but how Americans explain their policies and their role in the world and vice versa. So that’s a big topic, I think especially from a non-Western international news organisation’s point of view, like Al-Jazeera, because of course the other big international news channels, BBC, CNN are Western, but to have Al-Jazeera as a way for America to engage and how its engaging with the world is very important, in Africa and elsewhere. So very broad issues really, and timely issues.

In terms of why did I go to Kabul with the Taleban, I was the only news television journalist working for Western news agency, Al-Jazeera Arabic was there. I think, like someone said, it’s like a cat, curiousity. In journalists I think the one element that is indispensable (is) you’ve got to have a natural curiousity: what’s happening there? What’s really going on? Because also as dangerous as it was, because I was Muslim, because I was not white, I think that was an advantage. I was able to engage with the militia leaders and other people, and they saw me differently, and that’s why they decided to take me and only a few other non-Western colleagues into Kabul, and to have the privilege to see the last moments of the fall of Kabul with the Taleban before NATO and its allies took the city.

Will you cover Iraq? How does present-day Iraq compare with the Iraq of 2003?
I think it’s very important. Of course it’s different in some ways, and not different in others. The main thing I think we have to remember is that many, many tens of thousands of Iraqis have died for the country to get to where it is today. We’ve obviously just had elections in Iraq and I read a very interesting headline; it read ‘Iraq condemned to democracy’. And I think that was a very telling headline, you know, because there are elections, but politics is not time democratic. You have militia leaders and a lot of people who have sectarian politics, the insecurity is still there but still it’s not the place it was in 2003, 2004. But Iraq is still very fragile, it’s going to take a very, very long time for you and for me to be able to take a ride in Baghdad and walk around and talk to all Iraqis and see the country differently.

I think it’s been very, very incremental changes, and there have been important developments, there is a thriving press and so forth, but we can’t describe Iraq as a full democracy in a way that someone in the West would understand it.

And also there is a sectarian fault line in Iraq. It’s very different to the kind of Iraq we were all told was going to emerge from the invasion and occupation. If everyone had said in 2003, “by going into Iraq, we’ll have six, seven years of bloodshed and upheaval, but at the end of it, we’ll have relative democracy, but still authoritarian and sectarian division,” would everyone have said, “yes, let’s go in”? I don’t think so.

What do you think are some of the challenges journalists are facing and do you see any countries in Africa where great strides have been made to allow journalists to practice their profession freely?

I think the profession has changed out of all recognition in the last 10 years.

Because, I think especially in electronic media, the ability to get into it has become more accessible. To have television cameras and editing equipment and software and computers is possible now. You’ve got television stations, and really good journalism blogs, and newspapers and production, the standards are out of this world. I just think one has to be much braver because of the political context in a lot of Africa to be able to practice the profession freely. I think journalism succeeds not only because you have the ability to do it, but also because you have the support of society and government to practice it freely. You’ve got to have that. So that’s a big challenge in a lot of different places. There are far too many places in Africa where, look at my own country – journalists who write articles about al-Shabaab which is the militant group in Somalia – they’re often threatened and killed. That’s a real problem. …the profession is doing incredibly well, but it also needs support and help.

Do you think the media has portrayed your country specifically Somalia in a fair light, considering most of the images we see have to do with what you’ve mentioned terrorist groups, pirates, lawlessness…?

I think you’re right. Somalia has become a cliché. You know, everybody talks about Somalia as a failed state, no government for 20 years and then whenever anyone gets interested in Somalia, Western interests or Westerners are involved; you know the piracy. The piracy is a symptom of what’s happening in Somalia and to Somalis. But we have to be honest; this has been done by Somalis to Somalis, there’s no getting away from that, you know. And Somalia is in a catastrophic state, but I think the West needs to realise and is beginning to realise now, especially with the support of the transitional government is that there’s only going to be a Somali solution to this, with help from the outside, with help from countries in the region, from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Djibouti, Ethiopia, many others. But its only going to be Somalis that can effectively…at the end of the day. So of course these things are happening I can’t deny, no Somali can deny, but I think that like the rest of Africa, it’s hard to see in the Western media beyond the cliché.

Looking at where you have come from as a journalist, what advice can you give to upcoming journalist today in Africa?

I think journalism as a profession, whether you go from the UK or wherever, it’s tough, because sometimes it’s a closed shop. You need a lot of persistence. It can seem like it’s hard to get ahead. But the advice I’d give first of all, you’ve got to know what kind of journalism you want to practice.

Don’t have like just pipe dreams and say “Oh, I want to be in the media.” What is it that you’re passionate about? Is it sport? Is it politics? Is it like social commentary? You’ve got to know what is it that you’re passionate about.

Be very direct because you won’t get any editor giving you any advice or a chance, unless you’re very clear about what you’re good at. You’ve also got to develop a tough character because news is fast-paced, you need to be able to write well. But persist. You got to have persistence, I think that’s the main thing because it’s a tough, tough business to break into; it’s not easy to get into. But you’ve got to persist.
_____
Source: Sunday Post Online

Delegation efter delegation besöker just nu i Somaliland

Som vi kunde berätta tidigare inlägg här,  har delegation efter delegation från  andra länder som besöker just nu i Somaliland har avlöst varandra de senaste dagarna.  En delegation från Yemen var i  Somaliland, för att normalisera relationen mellan två länderna. Igår kom en till  delegation från Ryssland. Och det här är också första gången sedan Somaliland tog tillbaka sitt självständighet från Somalia, 1991, som detta besök sker nu. Det ironiska är att de tidigare stater som hade goda relation med diktatorn eller regimen Siyad Barre, som bistått med honom både vapen och ekonomisk står nu kö i Somaliland, för att etabalera någon slags normal relation med Somaliland. Vi har tidigare sett här att, Yemen vill öppna en handels kontor (handelsattarche) i Somalilands huvudstad Hargeisa. Samma sak vill ryssarna nu att göra affärer med Somaliland. Det här ett tecken på att   Somaliland är ett land  där,   investerare vill/vågar  investera med sina pengar i Somaliland. Det här är  början till stora investeringar  som kommer att göras i framtiden i Somaliland.

©Somaliland1991

Somaliland to head delegation to US – Foreign minister visits Ethiopia Somali region

Somaliland to head delegation to US – Foreign minister visits Ethiopia Somali region
By Samson Haileyesus
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia- A high-level Somaliland delegation headed by Abdullahi Duale, Somaliland’s foreign minister is to visit to Washington uS, SSI has learnt. The visit comes in response to an invitation extended by President Obama’s administration.

Minister Duale who had last week held consultations in Addis Ababa with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Karl Wycoff on security, bilateral relations and the region at large. Minister Duale also noted that besides consulting over issues of mutual interest the two sides had discussed at length on the preparations being made for the visit of a Somaliland delegation to the US slated for the end of this month.

“These discussions are not new in fact they are follow up of the consultations I had with Johnnie Carson, United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs at the sidelines of the African union Summit. We’ve also discussed on issues related to the democratization process in Somaliland and the upcoming elections. I’ve relayed to the deputy assistant secretary my government’s commitment towards holding free, transparent and secure elections. I have also raised our concerns on security in the region and have requested the US and our friends from the region that the issue of development is of paramount importance to us all and that we need support from the international community in regards to developing infrastructures that would help in bringing about further democratization in Somaliland.

“we cannot east democracy or good governance we need development in our infrastructure to help our people investment in social projects such as roads, schools and health care services. These investments will not only help in benefiting the population but also ensures peace and prosperity”, stated Duale.

Besides the meeting with Assistant Secretary Wycoff Minister Duale held consultations with the Norman Ling, British ambassador to Ethiopia; the EU delegation; and with Dr. Tekeda Alemu, Ethiopia’s state minister for foreign affairs.

Dr. tekeda is a good friend of Somaliland and we always have good discussions when we meet and we also compare notes on regional issues as well as bilateral ties.. Ethiopia is our key partner is the region. Obviously we have discussed with him on the possibility of sending Ethiopian observers for the upcoming elections in Somaliland. We also would like the African Union, IGAD, the Eu and other African nations to come and observe the elections”, said Minister Duale.

The Minister also stated that Somaliland had nothing to hide terming its as ‘you get what you see in Somaliland’
The minister also lauded the efforts made by the South African electoral commission that has observed elections in Somaliland starting from the referendum on Somaliland’s elections.

Following his meetings in Addis Ababa the minister had also time to visit Jijiga with the president of Ethiopia’s Somali region, President Daud Mohamed Ali, which he said Somaliland enjoys good relations with.

The minister also took the opportunity to praise the work being done by President Daud Mohamed Ali in regards to eh construction of roads, schools and health centers in the region saying “ the president and his team showed fantastic leadership and I really would like to congratulate him in the development t works that have been made in region five in regards to social infrastructures such as water, health and roads and I was really interested in the work being carried out there”

Sources:  The Sub-Saharan Informer 2010

Somaliland foreign minister calls for a two-tracked intervention for Somaliland, Somalia

Somaliland foreign minister calls for a two-tracked intervention for Somaliland, Somalia //
//
By Samson Haileyesus
ADDIS ABAB, Ethiopia- Abdillahi Duale, Somaliland’s minister of foreign affairs has called on the international community to look towards a two-tracked solution while dealing with Somaliland and Somalia.“The international community needs and ought to come up with a two track approach for Somaliland and Somalia – these are absolutely two different equations, two different sets of situations, two different sets of circumstances the realities on the ground are absolutely different and differ immensely in magnitude and in reality so what we said to them is that they come up with a two tracked approach and that it is morale thing to do, the pragmatic thing to do. One track for Somalia and that is stabilizing Somalia and that is what the international community was trying to do since 1991 but to no avail from Djibouti conference I in 1991 to the last Djibouti conference Djibouti III. This is what the international community has been doing we appreciate and encourage the engagement but on the other hand what we want is for the international community to come up with is another track for a sustained development of Somaliland- sustained infrastructure development of Somaliland, sustained development of the institutions of Somaliland we have not been a burden to the international community…we did this through our resources, investments and energy.

“We are very happy that we have a bottom up approach that we have built in this country which is enormous we have the institutions in place, the constitutions in place this is what the international community wants to see a nations that s functioning that is exactly what we have done. The international community is committed in Afghanistan and Iraq all of these places now in Yemen it is another serious scenario which we have discussed what we are saying that there needs to be a track that sustains the development of Somaliland and the enhancement of Somaliland. This is not much to ask really as far as we are concerned. There has to be a comprehensive two tracked approach even today in Yemen we believe what is happening and the engagement in Yemen is okay it is fine but what happens in Yemen will have a serious impart in the region including homeland, we are saying the international community has to put into the consideration the impacts in Yemen they have to come up with another approach while looking into the situation in homeland and the rest of the neighboring countries”, said Minister Duale.

Minister Duale in his brief visit also spoke with donors and fellow African countries.

“I came her this time is for the au summit as you are well aware of we have been pushing the case of Somaliland and how Somaliland can be assisted. I met among others some European colleagues and also the Americans particular importance is the meeting I have had ambassador Johnnie Carson, US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs and UK Minister for Africa, Baroness Kinnock these were the most important meeting that I have had with major donors both meetings went very well we discussed bilateral issues both leaders are not new to the issue of Somaliland. Ambassador Johnnie Carson has been a student of Africa for a long time he has worked in various African countries we have known him for quiet some time this is not the first time that I met him so we have discussed particularly with him bilateral issues as a follow up to my last meeting last year in Washington d.c. where he received me cordially along with his entire team we discussed the progress Somaliland has made for the upcoming elections, the security situation in Somaliland and the wider region and we have discussed in depth including Yemen the issue of terrorism, security the issues concerning Somaliland. So we have had friendly fruitful discussions I must say and we say eye to eye on the regional geopolitical situation”, explained minister Duale.

The minister also note that the he had also met with his Ugandan and Swaziland counterparts and had been invited to visit the two nations in a bid to bolster ties.

On Vuk Jeremié, Serbia’s foreign minister’s call on African nations to learn lessons form the Serbian experience regarding Kosovo minister Duale stated that he was astonished at the comments.

“I was really flabbergasted and surprised when the Serbian foreign minister was given a platform to lecture to the African leadership. I tell you we were in that conference as you know but it was a very disturbing message and I think it is a very bad legacy a young foreign minister from Serbia coming to Africa at this august conference and lecturing them and telling them to take the experience of Serbia with regards to kosovo I thought that was in poor taste. I don’t really know as an African who let this young foreign minister come and lecture to the African heads of state? Was it the responsibility of the commission? Was it the responsibility of the chairman of the commission? Was it the responsibility of the president of the AU at the time? Whose responsibility was it? This is something that I really was flabbergasted. What lessons ought to be learnt form Serbia for god’s sake? I think Africans have their own experience the experience of Somaliland is of paramount importance I wish they have invited us and explained the success story  of homeland.. Africa has values, great leaders, great ideas and a lot of good ideas do come form Africa”, stressed Minister Duale.

The Sub-Saharan Informer, January 2009

Telesom unveils solar-powered mobile system in Somaliland

Telesom unveils solar-powered mobile system in Somaliland //
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By agencies
HARGEISA, Somaliland— Telesom, one of the major telecommunications carriers in Somaliland announced on Thursday the launch of the first environment-friendly and cost-effective solar-powered mobile system in the country.

Mohamed Isaaq, Marketing Director, Telesom Consumer said, Telesom was translating consumer demands based on the fact that 80% of the people in Somaliland are pastoral communities who live without electricity or live in areas with unreliable access to power.

He added that Telesom wanted all people to stay connected in all areas of life and that nomadic groups were aware of the ticking time bomb that comes with their lifestyle. Mr. Mohamed cited, many nomads were already using their services but discovered some flaws in the system such as unable to recharge batteries.

Mr. Mohamed said, they were the first company to unveil this services in the country and the system was custom made for them by an international firm.

Mohamed said that the mobile came at a fixed price of $30 US-dollars.

The company has already given out 25 mobile phones for trials and said so far it has been successful.
Farah Sugal, Innovation Director (regional), said Telesom already had huge customers in the rural area but many were frustrated because they would often send their mobiles to big towns just to recharge. He said the process would often take days and some times weeks, and this was a huge problem to the network.

This is not the first time Telesom has unveiled new system to the country, in 2009, it launched the ‘ZAAD‘ services – mobile banking, making it the first African fully owned company to do so and the fifth in the world after Smart, MTN, Vodafone and Zain. ZAAD services also includes mobile remittance – an important lifeline for millions of Somalis in East Africa.

Telesom was recently invited to the Summit of the African Union (AU) on the theme; ‘Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Prospects and Challenges for Development’ in the Ethiopian capital. Telesom showcased their services and products such as SMS, mobile banking and others that they have deployed in this unrecognized Somaliland.

Telesom is one of the leading and most respected names in Somaliland, which not only continues to bring innovation and connect this unrecognized republic but also contribute to the development of the community.

Telesom funds many of the leading high learning institutions in the country as well as underprivileged students, funds and sponsors social events and brings awareness. They also contribute to the rehabilitation of roads and are currently the main investor of Borama-Dilla highway.

There is no official telecommunication regulatory body in Somaliland but all operators cooperate with Somaliland Telecom Operators Association where they agree on fixed prices and provide the information to the Ministry of Information.

The main telecommunication competitors in the country are Telcom, Telesom, Somtel, Africa Online (internet), Soltelc and NationLink. Fierce competition among the operators has driven consumer costs down for instance an international mobile call is as low as $0.30 per minute or less, six times lower than most African states.

The Sub-Saharan Informer, February 2010

2009 Human Rights Reports:Somalia/Somaliland


Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

March 11, 2010

Somalia* has an estimated population of seven million. The territory, which was recognized as the Somali state from 1960 to 1991, was fragmented into regions led in whole or in part by three distinct entities: the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Mogadishu; the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in the northwest; and the semiautonomous region of Puntland in the northeast. The TFG was formed in late 2004, with a five-year transitional mandate to establish permanent, representative governmental institutions and organize national elections. In January an expanded Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) extended the TFG’s mandate until August 2011. For the first time, the Transitional Federal Institutions were all located in Mogadishu after the TFP relocated from Baidoa in February.

A political process to establish peace and stability in the country progressed as the TFG and the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia continued to implement the terms of the Djibouti Agreement, signed in August 2008; however, significant problems remained. The withdrawal of Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) opened the political space for elections and the establishment of a new TFG administration led by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. The TFG assumed control of some of the strategic positions in Mogadishu formerly occupied by ENDF personnel, but other antigovernment groups, including al-Shabaab, moved into many of the former ENDF sites in the South Central Somalia. Fighting by TFG troops, allied militias, and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces against antigovernment forces, terrorist groups, and extremist elements increased and resulted in widespread human rights abuses, including the killing of thousands of civilians (estimates vary widely), the displacement of more than one million persons, and widespread property damage, particularly in Mogadishu. The larger clans had armed militias at their disposal, and personal quarrels and clan disputes frequently escalated into killings. Targeted assassinations continued. While roadside bombings became less frequent, there was an increase in suicide bombings reported during the year. There were eight suicide bombings that targeted TFG officials and offices and AMISOM installations. Civilian authorities allied with the TFG gained some control over security forces in Mogadishu but did not maintain effective control of the security forces in other areas. Elected civilian authorities in Somaliland and Puntland maintained significantly more control over security forces in their respective regions.

The TFG’s respect for human rights improved. It appointed a human rights focal point and participated in international efforts to encourage better human rights practices; however, the poor human rights situation deteriorated further during the year, especially in the areas controlled by al-Shabaab and allied extremist groups. Also contributing to the worsening picture was the absence of effective governance institutions and rule of law, the widespread availability of small arms and other light weapons, and continued conflicts. As a consequence, citizens were unable to change their government through peaceful, democratic means. Human rights abuses included unlawful and politically motivated killings; kidnappings; torture, rape, amputations, and beatings; official impunity; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; and arbitrary arrest and detention. In part due to the absence of functioning institutions, perpetrators of human rights abuses were rarely punished. Denial of fair trial and limited privacy rights were problems, and there were restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, and movement. Discrimination and violence against women, including rape; female genital mutilation; child abuse; recruitment of child soldiers; trafficking in persons; abuse of and discrimination against clan and religious minorities; restrictions on workers’ rights; forced labor, including by children; and child labor were also problems.

According to Mogadishu-based human rights organizations, the TFG showed some improvements in its human rights practices: it was not responsible for politically motivated killings, executions, or disappearances. Allegations against its security forces decreased, and its police and prison personnel were generally responsive on human rights problems. This improvement occurred amid an overall deterioration in the human rights situation of the country, including in Somaliland and Puntland.

In a July report, the international nongovernmental organization (NGO) Human Rights Watch stated that the “Somaliland administration committed human rights violations and generated a dangerous electoral crisis.”

In March 2008 the UN Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia (UNIE) noted that despite the overall deteriorated situation, incremental improvements in human rights awareness were taking place in some areas of the country. UNIE’s September 17 report to the UN General Assembly accused extremist groups of fueling violence by dashing opportunities for peace presented by the Djibouti peace process and the withdrawal of ENDF personnel, and by not taking advantage of the opening provided by the TFG’s adoption of Shari’a (Islamic law).

Members of antigovernment groups, extremist groups, and terrorist organizations like al-Shabaab, some of whose members were affiliated with al-Qa’ida, committed an increasing number of egregious human rights violations, including killings of TFG members and civilians; kidnappings and disappearances; attacks on journalists, aid workers, civil society leaders, and human rights activists; restrictions on freedom of movement; and displacement of civilians.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From:

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

There were some reports that the government or its affiliated militia committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, but fewer than during the prior two years.

Fighting between TFG forces and its allied militias against antigovernment groups resulted in at least 1,000 civilian deaths in the south central region, particularly in Mogadishu. Political killings and assassinations also occurred (see section 1.g.).

Politically motivated killings by antigovernment groups, extremist elements, and terrorist organizations resulted in the deaths of approximately 10 senior TFG officials, fewer than in previous years (see section 1.g.).

Prominent peace activists, clan elders, and their family members became targets and were either killed or injured for their roles in attempted peace-building. There were no reports of government involvement in these killings, but the government neither identified nor was able to punish the perpetrators. Reports indicated that al-Shabaab and its affiliated militias were behind many of these killings. On January 1, al-Shabaab killed Abdullahi Abdi Egal, a National Reconciliation Commission member in Baidoa. He is believed to have been targeted for his role as a commissioner and for his association with the TFG. On March 30, gunmen killed Abdurrahman Mohamud Jimale “Shifti” and two others in Mogadishu. On April 15, unknown gunmen killed Abdullahi Isse Abtidoon, a member of Parliament (MP), in Mogadishu. Both Shifti and Abtidoon were actively involved in peace and reconciliation efforts between the newly reconstituted TFG and opposing extremist groups. On August 16, masked armed men killed Omar Ali Alasow “Fiasco,” an aid worker and former army colonel, in Mogadishu. On September 7, assailants killed Ali Ahmed “Irro,” a prominent Mogadishu elder and spokesman for the pro-TFG faction of Hawiye elders. Irro was consistently critical of al-Shabaab and allied extremists for their violent activities. Also on September 7, al-Shabaab militia beheaded Ugas Adan Nur Matan “Madobe,” a traditional elder in the Bakool Region, for allegedly making telephone contact with a TFG official. On several occasions, al-Shabaab leaders issued death threats against anyone working for or suspected of having links with the TFG. On April 20, gunmen pursued and shot at Ahmed Diriye, a prominent clan elder and spokesperson. Diriye escaped the assassination attempt and blamed al-Shabaab for the attack. As in all previous killings of peace activists, the perpetrators had not been arrested by year’s end.

Unlike in previous years, there were no reports that the government summarily executed persons during the year and no reports that excessive force by the TFG resulted in the death of demonstrators.

Use of excessive force by Somaliland government forces resulted in the deaths of demonstrators during the year (see section 2.b.).

There were no reports of government forces deliberately killing street children. Some children were caught in crossfire during fighting between forces.

Throughout the year militants periodically fired mortars at Villa Somalia, the presidential palace in Mogadishu. On February 22, al-Shabaab fired upon peacekeepers, resulting in the death of 11 Burundian soldiers. On July 11, al-Shabaab mortar attacks on Villa Somalia killed three AMISOM peacekeepers. Several other mortar attacks on the president’s residence landed in surrounding neighborhoods, causing civilian deaths, injuries, destruction of property, and displacement. Al-Shabaab instigated clashes with the TFG in Mogadishu–these were most intense in May and June, killing an estimated 500 persons and displacing another 250,000 from their homes. In the second half of the year, al-Shabaab launched almost daily attacks on TFG-controlled areas, and local human rights organizations held the group responsible for killings, injuries, torture, and abuse of the civilian population. Resultant AMISOM and TFG counterattacks involving street combat and mortar attacks also caused civilian deaths.

On April 27, a mortar attack on the parliament building in Mogadishu killed a police officer and three school children and wounded several other persons. On May 17, mortar attacks on the police academy killed and wounded civilians in the vicinity. On September 11, groups associated with al-Shabaab launched mortar attacks on a disabled veterans home, killing an estimated 11 and wounding 20; al-Shabaab claimed responsibility.

During the year fighting among armed moderate and extremist religious factions, as well as between extremists, caused hundreds of civilian casualties and displacements. In January, for example, clashes between Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a (ASWJ), a historically nonpolitical moderate Islamic organization, and al-Shabaab in Galgadud Region killed an estimated 100 persons and displaced 160,000. On October 1, clashes in Kismayo between al-Shabaab and Hisbul Islam, armed antigovernment groups that had previously been allied against the TFG, killed an estimated 30 persons and wounded 100.

Senior members of the TFG were killed. On March 11, General Ubaid Ali was killed in a roadside explosion in Mogadishu’s Shibis District. General Ali served as head of security for two former prime ministers. Two of Ali’s security guards and his brother, riding with him, also were killed.

On June 18, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb explosion at a Beledweyne (Hiraan Region) hotel. The explosion, which destroyed the hotel, killed an estimated 40 persons and wounded 100. Among those killed were prominent TFG political and security officials, including Minister of National Security Omar Hashi, clan elders, and community leaders.

On December 3, a suicide bombing of Benadir University’s graduation ceremony at Hotel Shamow in Mogadishu killed 22 persons, including three TFG ministers. Minister of Health Qamar Aden Ali, Minister of Education Ahmed Abdullahi Sheikh Mohamed “Wayel,” and Minister of Culture and Higher Education Ibrahim Hassan Addow were killed along with graduating medical students, professors, journalists covering the event, and graduates’ family members. The explosion also wounded more than 60 persons.

During the year Puntland officials were also killed. On April 26, gunmen killed Yasin Said Hussein, governor of Puntland’s Karkaar Region, while he was on a mission to mediate between two warring subclans. On April 29, the Puntland Intelligence Service chief in Mudug Region was killed by a roadside bomb in Gaalkacyo Town. On August 5, unidentified gunmen killed Puntland Minister of Information Warsame Abdi Shirwa when they opened fire on his car in Galkayo. The minister was part of a team preceding the Puntland president’s planned trip to address residents on security issues.

Other TFG officials were injured. Minister of the Interior Abdikadir Ali Omar was wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near Bakara market; also his assistant was killed and one of his guards was wounded.

Islamic extremists trying to impose strict social edicts killed several persons.

During the year unknown assailants killed several prominent persons.

During the year unknown assailants killed two journalists and media owners (see section 2.a.).

Attacks on humanitarian workers, NGO employees, and foreign peacekeepers resulted in deaths during the year (see section 5).

During the year hundreds of civilians were killed in inter- or intraclan militia clashes. The killings resulted from clan militias fighting for political power and control of territory and resources, revenge attacks, banditry and other criminal activities, private disputes over property and marriage, and vendettas after such incidents as rapes, family disagreements, killings, and abductions. With the breakdown of law and order, authorities investigated very few of these cases, and there were few reports that any of the cases resulted in formal action by the local justice system.

Tension remained high in Galkayo with intermittent gunfights between clan militias. After a July 20 clash in Galkayo, several prominent persons were killed in retribution attacks.

Between July and September, intraclan conflict in Harar Dhere, Mudug Region, resulted in the deaths of an estimated 20 persons and injuries to numerous others. On August 5, intraclan fighting killed five persons; on September 6, six others were killed in the same area. These deaths followed the collapse of clan elders’ conflict mediation efforts. During the year recurrent intraclan conflicts caused several deaths along the border of Hiraan and Middle Shabelle regions.

On August 12, a land- and water-related dispute between two subclans in Ufweyn and Qandala districts of Puntland’s Bari Region resulted in the killing of five persons and wounding of several others. The dispute further escalated, killing an estimated 40 persons and wounding several others during the year. In late September President Farole visited the areas of conflict to bolster conflict mediation efforts by local political and traditional leadership. On October 21, a delegation of Puntland elders and government officials led by President Farole returned to Ufweyn with a set of binding resolutions for all parties to the conflict.

In April five persons were killed in disputes over the El-Berdaale farming land in Gabiley, Somaliland. More than 100 clan elders went to Kalabeyd, used traditional mediation strategies, and brokered a ceasefire. In a related incident on July 11, unidentified militia members stopped travelers along the Borame-Gabiley road; they took 10 hostages and summarily executed four of them. Somaliland authorities did not make any arrests in connection with the killings. Clan elders sought to capture and hand over the suspects to police.

No action was taken against members of the security forces or militias who committed killings in 2008 or 2007, and there was no progress in the investigations of killings reported in previous years.

Land mines throughout the country caused numerous civilian deaths (see section 1.g.).

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances, although cases could easily be concealed due to continuing chaos in the country. Abduction as a tactic in clan disputes or to attain political ends was less frequent. The Somali NGO Safety Preparedness and Support Program reported a decreased incidence of kidnapping, in part because of fewer international staff in the country.

During the year there was a decrease in kidnappings by militia groups and armed assailants who demanded ransom for hostages. The majority of reported kidnappings were in the southern regions, especially in areas surrounding Mogadishu, where ransoms allegedly funded purchases of weapons and ammunition. Seven aid workers and NGO workers were kidnapped during the year (see section 5).

Maritime piracy and the kidnapping of crews declined in the first half of the year in the Gulf of Aden as a result of international antipiracy efforts and seasonal winds that reduced all offshore maritime traffic; however, piracy increased in the second half of the year and continued to complicate humanitarian efforts to provide essential commodities to thousands of IDPs (see section 1.g.).

During the year there were no investigations or actions taken against the perpetrators of any kidnappings. Several persons who were abducted in 2008 were released. On January 15, kidnappers released Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi, a local journalist kidnapped with two foreign journalists in August 2008 along the Mogadishu-Afgoye road; the two foreign journalists were freed on November 25. On August 12, captors freed six international aid workers kidnapped in November 2008 in Dhusamarebb, Galgadud Region. On October 3, kidnappers released three international aid workers kidnapped on July 18 from the Kenyan border town of Mandera and held in undisclosed locations in Somalia.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) prohibits torture. The Puntland Charter prohibits torture “unless sentenced by Islamic Shari’a courts in accordance with Islamic law.” Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of the use of torture by the TFG, Puntland, or Somaliland administrations. Various clan militias and al-Shabaab continued to torture their rivals and civilians. Observers believed that many incidents of torture were not reported.

Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of persons assembled at food distribution centers being killed or injured.

Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of police raping women; however, there continued to be reports of militias using rape to punish and intimidate rivals. Rape was commonly perpetrated in interclan conflicts.

There were no reports of action taken against TFG and Somaliland government forces, warlord supporters, or members of militias responsible for torturing, beating, raping, or otherwise abusing persons in 2008 or 2007. Unlike in previous years, Puntland police took action against a police officer for abuse. On August 26, in Garsor District of Mudug Region, local authorities arrested a police officer for using excessive force that resulted in the death of a businessman who refused to pay his license tax. Similarly, on September 27, police in Bossasso arrested a police officer who was implicated in the death of a civilian.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison conditions remained harsh and life threatening in all regions. Overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions, lack of access to health care, and inadequate food and water persisted in prisons throughout the country. Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and pneumonia were widespread. Abuse by guards was common. Detainees’ families and clans generally were expected to pay the costs of detention. In many areas prisoners depended on food received from family members or from relief agencies.

According to Mogadishu-based human rights organizations, TFG prison conditions improved and wardens were generally responsive on human rights problems. There were far fewer prisoners and detainees held in TFG prisons than in previous years. There were an estimated 400 prisoners held at Mogadishu central prison, the only TFG-operated prison during the year. The reduction in the number of TFG prisoners was largely due to a reconciliation policy that did not emphasize arrests and a lack of capacity to detain those who sought to undermine or attack the government. United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Somalia supported local partners to institute judicial and rule of law reforms. Through such initiatives as the UNDP-supported Police Advisory Committee, authorities released more than 5,000 prisoners in the previous two years.

Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of TFG-allied militias operating detention centers. Antigovernment groups, extremist elements, and clan leaders reportedly continued to operate detention centers in which conditions were harsh and guards frequently abused detainees. Al-Shabaab and affiliated extremist armed groups operated dilapidated detention centers in areas under their control in the south and central regions. Thousands of prisoners were incarcerated in inhumane conditions for relatively minor offenses such as smoking, listening to music, and not wearing the hijab. For example, on July 19, al-Shabaab in Baidoa jailed 20 women for disobeying the decree requiring them to wear the hijab. In October al-Shabaab flogged women in Mogadishu for not wearing the hijab, and on October 25 arrested 20 women and detained them in Bakara market. The women were released after three days, some after paying a fine of 600,000 Somali shillings ($15). Unlike in previous years, there were no reports by human rights organizations and civil society leaders in Mogadishu of the existence of makeshift detention centers in Mogadishu where prisoners were held during and after episodes of heavy fighting.

In prisons and detention centers, juveniles frequently were held with adults. The incarceration of juveniles at the request of families who wanted their children disciplined continued to be a major problem. Female prisoners were separated from males. Particularly in the south central region, pretrial detainees were often not separated from convicted prisoners.

The Puntland and Somaliland administrations permitted prison visits by independent monitors. The September 17 UNIE report described conditions at Puntland’s Garowe central prison as “terribly bad.” According to UNIE, this was due to lack of capacity to hold large numbers of prisoners rather than intentional abuse. A project of Somaliland and the UNDP resulted in the formation of an independent prisoner monitoring committee. The UNDP also extensively trained the prison custodial corps on a variety of human rights problems. There were no visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross to prisons in Somaliland or in the rest of the country during the year; however, a prisons conditions management committee organized by the UNDP and composed of medical doctors, government officials, and civil society representatives continued to visit prisons in Somaliland. During the year the UNDP managed a program to improve Somaliland prisons by building new facilities and assisting in training wardens and judicial officials.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

In the absence of enforced constitutional or other legal protections, the TFG, militias allied with it, and various clan militias across the country continued to engage in arbitrary arrest and detention, and there was no system of due process. Although precise figures were unobtainable, local human rights organizations and international organizations reported that, although there were fewer arrests than the previous year, the TFG continued to arrest and detain persons, most of whom were quickly released; however, there were allegations that detainees were subjected to beatings, other mistreatment, and torture. Reports by NGOs and other international organizations indicated that mistreatment continued during the year.

Al-Shabaab militias across the south central region arbitrarily arrested persons and detained them without charge.

Role of the Police and Security Apparatus

The police were generally ineffective, underpaid, and corrupt. With the possible exception of approximately 2,000 UN-trained police known as the Somali Police Unit, members of the TFG titular police forces in Mogadishu often directly participated in politically based conflict and owed their positions largely to clan and familial links to government authorities. There were fewer allegations that TFG security officials were responsible for extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate firing on civilians, arbitrary arrest and detention, extortion, looting, and harassment than in the previous two years.

In Somaliland an estimated 60 percent of the budget was allocated to maintaining a militia and police force composed of former soldiers. Abuses by police and militia members were rarely investigated, and impunity remained a problem. Police generally failed to prevent or respond to societal violence.

The Puntland police force was not paid on a regular basis. Puntland’s armed militia was not aligned with the TFG armed forces, although the TFG prime minister and the Puntland president began negotiations for collaboration in the security sector and over the formation of a coordinated Somali National Army.

Arrest and Detention

Judicial systems were not well established, were not based upon codified law, did not function, or simply did not exist in most areas of the country. The country’s previously codified law requires warrants based on sufficient evidence issued by authorized officials for the apprehension of suspects; prompt notification of charges and judicial determinations; prompt access to lawyers and family members; and other legal protections for the detained; however, adherence to these procedural safeguards was rare. There was no functioning bail system or the equivalent.

Arbitrary arrest was a problem countrywide.

During the year authorities in Somaliland and Puntland arbitrarily arrested journalists during the year (see section 2.a.); however, unlike in previous years, TFG forces did not arrest journalists, NGO workers, or UN employees (see section 4.).

Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of TFG-allied militia arresting persons at random and demanding “bail” from their family members as a condition for their release.

There were no reports of TFG police detaining persons without charge.

There were reports of politically motivated arrests in Somaliland. On April 4, Somaliland police arrested two Hargeisa mosque imams, Sheikh Ahmed Dayib Aden and Sheikh Abdullahi Mohamud. Police arrested Aden after morning prayers for comments made in Friday sermons about the upcoming presidential election. Somaliland authorities did not offer specific reasons for the arrests, and on April6, both clerics were released without charge. On April 14, Somaliland police arrested clan elder Boqor Saleban Hassan for attending a rally organized by an opposition group on the previous day. On August 20, the opposition party UCID and KULMIYE Borame District party chairmen were arrested for allegedly fomenting insecurity by organizing unauthorized demonstrations. On August 21, the two leaders were released without charge. There were reports that arrested persons were sometimes held for extended periods while awaiting trial. Militias and factions held pretrial detainees without charge and for lengthy periods.

Authorities in the country arrested or detained numerous persons accused of terrorism and support for al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab and other extremist elements arrested and detained persons. For example, on March 26, al-Shabaab militia in Baidoa violently dispersed local residents during a peaceful demonstration against al-Shabaab’s March 24 orders banning trade in and consumption of khat. Al-Shabaab forces arrested approximately 50 persons, mostly women, during and after the demonstrations.

On April 9, one person was killed and three others wounded after al-Shabaab opened fire on khat traders in Dinsor town, Bakol Region. On May 18, al-Shabaab Merka and Bardhere administrations banned youth from playing soccer. On May 19, following the ban, armed al-Shabaab militia arrested several young persons playing soccer at the main field in Merka. The youth were released after 12 hours with warnings not to play games again. This ban followed an earlier edict banning movies and watching soccer games on television. On June 13, the al-Shabaab administration in Kismayo outlawed watching movies on DVDs, television, and even storing pictures on cell phones. Al-Shabaab issued a stern warning that it would raid the homes of persons suspected of violating the ban. On August 16, al-Shabaab militias arrested and flogged a young man for allegedly storing “obscene” pictures on his cell phone.

On July 19, the Hisbul Islam administration in Afgoye, Lower Shabelle, arrested nine prominent traditional elders. The elders’ arrest was linked to their involvement in holding “Istun,” a traditional ceremony popular with the local community. Earlier the Hisbul Islam administration banned the tradition and warned that anyone contravening the ban would be punished. The elders were released on July 20, after being held overnight in prisons in Afgoye.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The TFC provides for an independent judiciary, but there was no functioning judicial system for the TFG to administer. The TFC outlines a five-year transitional process that includes the drafting of a new constitution to replace the 1960 constitution that was in force prior to the 1991 collapse of the Barre regime; however, for many issues not addressed in the Charter, the former constitution still applies in principle.

The TFC provides for a high commission of justice, a Supreme Court, a court of appeal, and courts of first instance; however, in practice no such courts existed. Some regions established local courts that depended on the predominant local clan and associated factions for their authority. The judiciary in most areas relied on some combination of elements from traditional and customary law, Shari’a, and the penal code of the pre-1991 government. On May 13, President Sharif ratified a parliamentary bill establishing Shari’a nationwide; however, by year’s end there were no official institutions charged with the administration of Shari’a. On August 5, President Sharif established a military court for members of the TFG armed forces, but this court did not operate in practice. In areas that al-Shabaab controlled, Shari’a was applied; however, there were no trained Shari’a judges to preside over cases, resulting in uneven and at times draconian sentencing. For example, on January 28, in Kismayo, a man’s hand was amputated for stealing three sacks of fishing nets. On March 9, four male youths ages 15-18 were sentenced to death for raping an 18-year-old girl. Their sentences were commuted to a public flogging of 100 lashes each, since none of the boys had been previously married.

The Somaliland constitution provides for an independent judiciary; however, the judiciary was not independent in practice. The Somaliland constitution is based on democratic principles, but the region continued to use laws that predate the constitution, some of which contradict democratic principles. Functional courts exist, although there was a serious lack of trained judges and a shortage of legal documentation to build judicial precedence. Untrained police and other unqualified persons reportedly served as judges. International NGOs reported that local officials often interfered in legal matters and that the Public Order Law in Somaliland was often used to detain and incarcerate persons without trial.

The Puntland Charter provides for an independent judiciary; however, the judiciary was not independent in practice. The Charter also provides for a Supreme Court, courts of appeal, and courts of first instance. These courts functioned, although they lacked the capacity to provide equal protection under the law.

Traditional clan elders mediated in and resolved intra- and interclan conflicts throughout the country. During the year, in Somaliland traditional elders intervened during political disputes between the government and opposition political parties. Clans and subclans frequently used traditional justice, which was swift. Traditional judgments sometimes held entire opposing clans or subclans responsible for alleged violations by individuals.

Trial Procedures

Without a functioning judicial system, there were no standard trial procedures in the southern and central regions. The TFC provides for the right of every person to legal proceedings in a competent court. The TFC states every person enjoys the presumption of innocence, the right to be present and consult with an attorney at any time, and adequate time and facilities to prepare a defense. The TFC provides a guarantee of free legal services for individuals who cannot afford them. While not explicitly mentioned in the TFC, there was a presumption of the right to a public trial and jury, rights pertaining to witnesses and evidence, and the right of appeal. Most of these rights were not respected in practice and did not exist in those areas that applied traditional and customary practices or Shari’a.

With the support of UNDP programs addressing judicial reform, Somaliland registered some improvement, except in cases of a political nature. Defendants generally enjoy a presumption of innocence, the right to a public trial, and the right to be present and consult with an attorney in all stages of criminal proceedings. Defendants can question witnesses and present witnesses and evidence on their behalf and have the right of appeal. Somaliland provides free legal representation for defendants who face serious criminal charges but are unable to hire the services of private attorney. Authorities in this region did not recognize the TFC and continued to apply the Somaliland constitution and pre-1991 laws.

In Puntland, as in most other areas, clan elders resolved the majority of cases using traditional methods; those with no clan representation in Puntland, however, were subject to the administration’s judicial system. In this system, as outlined in Puntland’s constitution, defendants enjoy a presumption of innocence, the right to a public trial, and the right to be present and consult with an attorney at all stages of criminal proceedings. Defendants can question witnesses and present witnesses and evidence on their behalf and have the right of appeal. As in the other regions, the constitution states that free legal representation is provided for defendants who cannot afford an attorney; in practice these rights were not respected.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

There were no official reports of political prisoners or detainees, although some arrests and detentions, especially in Somaliland, appeared to be politically motivated. On September 12 and 13, there were reports that Somaliland authorities arrested and detained more than 100 persons, including several opposition leaders, after four persons were killed during the September 12 public demonstration in Hargeisa.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

The inability of the judiciary to handle civil cases involving such matters as defaulted loans or contract disputes encouraged clans to take matters into their own hands and led to increased interclan conflict. There were no lawsuits seeking damages for, or cessation of, a human rights violation. With the breakdown of the rule of law and the lack of a coherent legal system or effective government, individuals were not afforded adequate protection or recourse.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

The TFC provides for the sanctity of private property and privacy; however, looting, land seizure, and forced entry into homes continued in Mogadishu and elsewhere with impunity. The Puntland Charter and the Somaliland constitution recognize the right to private property; the authorities did not generally respect this right in practice.

On July 7, TFG-allied militia looted and forcefully extorted money from small-scale traders in Mogadishu’s Wadjir District.

During the year there were fewer cases of TFG forces extorting money from taxi, bus, and truck drivers transporting goods; however, on June 8, TFG soldiers at a checkpoint near Afgoye killed a driver after he did not pay the checkpoint fee they demanded.

g. Use of Excessive Force and Other Abuses in Internal Conflicts

Killings

Fighting during the year between TFG and allied forces against al-Shabaab and Hisbul Islam in south central regions resulted in the deaths of at least 1,000 persons, according to the Somalia-based Elman Human Rights Organization. An estimated 3,500 others were injured, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that more than one million civilians were displaced, some for the first time and others after several earlier occurrences, as a result of conflict during the year. All parties to the conflict employed indiscriminate lethal tactics. Antigovernment and extremist groups, particularly al-Shabaab, were responsible for launching mortar attacks from hidden sites within civilian populated areas and using civilians as human shields. In addition, such groups conducted suicide bombings, used land mines and remote controlled roadside bombs, and conducted targeted killings of journalists, aid workers, and civil society leaders. Al-Shabaab conducted almost daily attacks against the TFG and AMISOM, resulting in significant civilian casualties. TFG and AMISOM forces responded to these attacks, which sometimes resulted in shelling of civilian populated areas. The international NGO Human Rights Watch accused all parties to the conflict of indiscriminate attacks, deployment of forces in densely populated areas, and a failure to take steps to minimize civilian harm. As a result homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, and other infrastructure were destroyed in Mogadishu. Since the collapse of the government in 1991, tens of thousands of persons, mostly noncombatants, have died in interclan and intraclan fighting. No action was generally taken against those responsible for the violence.

For example, on January 12, armed opposition groups launched an attack against TFG troops in Mogadishu. As a result, 12 civilians were killed and more than 30 wounded. Similarly on January 14, al-Shabaab launched an attack on the presidential palace resulting in 21 civilians killed and 30 injured.

On January 26, four civilians were killed and 10 wounded in an exchange of gunfire in Baidoa as al-Shabaab forces tried to take control of the town.

On January 16, in Waberi District, Banadir Region, TFG forces attacked civilians, resulting in nine deaths. On June 17, in Mogadishu, armed opposition groups and the TFG exchanged mortar rounds, resulting in the death of 15 and injuries to 32 civilians. On October 22, mortar exchanges between TFG forces, supported by AMISOM, and al-Shabaab in Mogadishu’s Howlwadag and Hodan districts killed an estimated 30 civilians and wounded 70. AMISOM and TFG forces were responding to al-Shabaab mortar attacks on the airport during the departure of President Sharif and his delegation.

Al-Shabaab and other extremist groups summarily executed an unknown number of persons, whom they accused of spying for the “enemy”–the TFG and AMISOM–in Mogadishu, Bay, Bakol, the Lower and Middle Jubas, the Lower and Middle Shabelles, and the Galgadud and Hiiraan regions. On January 16, al-Shabaab publicly executed by firing squad Abdirahaman Haji Mohamed “Waldire” after an al-Shabaab court convicted him of espionage and apostasy. Ahmed was a prominent Juba region politician and militia leader. He was arrested on January 5. On September 28, al-Shabaab publicly executed two young men in Mogadishu after an al-Shabaab court found them guilty of espionage. Similarly, extremist armed groups in the Jubas, Bay, and Bakol regions arrested and beheaded several persons they accused of spying. On March 19, al-Shabaab militia beheaded two ASWJ clerics in Balad, Middle Shabelle.

In July al-Shabaab from Bay and Bakol regions beheaded an elderly disabled man after removing his eyes. Al-Shabaab reportedly fitted the man’s spectacles on his dismembered head and displayed it in the open. On December 14, Hisbul Islam militia in Afgoe, Lower Shabelle, executed a man accused of committing adultery. The man was buried waist-deep and pelted with stones until he died. Militia leaders rounded up members of the community to witness the punishment.

Roadside bombings, suicide attacks, and armed raids targeting TFG officials and sympathizers as well as civil society groups continued throughout the year. Antigovernment and extremist groups were responsible for numerous killings of government officials and police. Politically motivated killings by al-Shabaab and its affiliates resulted in the deaths of several TFG officials and members of the Banadir regional administration, including district commissioners and their deputies, and security and court officials.

For example, on April 16, al-Shabaab militia reportedly killed Sharif Mohamud Hassan “Kariye,” a TFG-allied militia commander, in Hodan District when they opened fire on his vehicle, also killing two other persons accompanying him. On April 23, Abdi Mohamud “Dhabaney,” Hodan district commissioner, escaped unhurt after a landmine attack that blew up his car and wounded three others. On June 17, militia associated with al-Shabaab killed Colonel Ali Said, Banadir region police commander, during fighting between TFG troops and al-Shabaab in Mogadishu. On September 26, Mohamed Nur, TFG deputy police commissioner, died from injuries sustained during a September 17 suicide attack against AMISOM headquarters in Mogadishu. None of the assailants were identified by year’s end. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for several attacks against the TFG and its supporters during the year.

During attacks on TFG troop positions in Mogadishu and elsewhere, al-Shabaab summarily executed security officers. For example, on June 16, al-Shabaab extremist militia elements attacked TFG troops positioned in Galgalato, a village on the outskirts of eastern Mogadishu, and summarily executed by decapitation nine TFG soldiers.

There were no reported cases of TFG security forces killing civilians whom they suspected of planning attacks or giving information to antigovernment forces, as was common in previous years; however, several civilians were killed or injured during clashes between members of TFG’s security forces and affiliated militia in parts of Mogadishu. For example, on July 30, two civilians were killed and five wounded when they were caught in a cross fire during clashes among TFG police officers at Zobe in the KM5 area of Mogadishu. On August 3, six persons, including two TFG soldiers, were killed when TFG-affiliated security forces exchanged fire at KM4 in Mogadishu. On August 12, several civilians were killed during clashes between two TFG armed militia groups affiliated with the police and regional security. These clashes reportedly occurred when security forces intervened to prevent their colleagues from engaging in criminal activities such as looting and extortion.

Unlike in previous years, during the year security forces did not kill persons waiting for food aid.

No action was taken against security officials responsible for civilian deaths during the year.

During the year attacks on Ugandan and Burundian troops participating in AMISOM increased. Al-Shabaab killed nearly 120 persons and injured 200, mostly civilians, in eight suicide car bomb attacks against TFG and AMISOM targets during the year.

For example, on January 24, a suicide car bomb explosion targeted an AMISOM convoy near its Mogadishu base at Maka-al-Mukarama road and reportedly killed at least 16 persons and wounded approximately 40. Among the casualties were 13 passengers in a bus near the explosion site. An ensuing gunfight between AMISOM and armed gunmen reportedly caused most of the injuries. On February 22, another suicide car bomb attack inside the AMISOM base killed 11 and wounded 19 peacekeepers. On April 24, a suicide car explosion killed 10, including six TFG police officers outside the police academy in Mogadishu. Police guards at the entrance detonated a suspicious car before it could enter the police training school compound, averting more casualties.

On September 17, al-Shabaab suicide bombers killed 21 persons, including a dozen AMISOM peacekeepers, and wounded several others. Five suicide bombers in two cars laden with explosives drove past security guards at AMISOM headquarters and detonated inside the compound. The December 3 suicide bombing at the Benadir University graduation was the deadliest suicide attack. It killed 22 civilians, including three TFG ministers, and wounded as many as 50 other civilians.

Land mines throughout the country resulted in human and livestock casualties, denial of access to grazing and arable land, and road closures. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported a continued proliferation of mines and ordnance during the year, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries from land mines. Antipersonnel and antivehicle land mines, most of them remotely controlled, were frequently deployed by antigovernment groups against TFG forces, its allied militia, and civilians.

For example, on January 2, in Hodan District, Banadir Region, a land mine exploded, killing seven civilians.

On January 9, a land mine killed four civilians in Mogadishu. Ahmed Abdullahi Magan, the TFG’s Garbaharrey district commissioner, was killed in a landmine explosion along Bulla Hawa-Garbaharrey road, as were three other officials in the same car. On March 15, Ahmed Hassan “Da’I,” Wadajir district commissioner, was wounded by a targeted remote-controlled land mine near Mogadishu’s international airport. The explosion killed Hassan’s driver and wounded two of his security guards. On June 1, a roadside explosion against a TFG police car killed six police officers and wounded three civilian passersby. On June 7, a roadside explosion blew up a civilian car in KM4, killing three occupants and wounding three after missing its target, a TFG police car.

Attacks on and harassment of humanitarian, religious, and NGO workers resulted in numerous deaths.

Numerous children were killed while playing with unexploded ordnance (UXO). For example, on February 24, a UXO killed two children and wounded three from the same family in Biya Adde, Middle Shabelle. On July 8, a UXO killed two children in Ganjaroon village, Lower Juba. On June 14, a land mine killed at least one child and wounded five in Dharkenley District, Mogadishu.

Police officers and local administrators also were killed by land mines. For example, on June 1, a remote-controlled roadside bomb struck a TFG police car and killed six officers on board and wounded three civilian passersby. On June 30, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a landmine explosion targeting a TFG vehicle in Waberi District in which five TFG troops on board were killed. On November 1, a remote-controlled roadside bomb killed Osman Yusuf Nur, Somaliland’s Sool Region military commander. The explosion wounded two military personnel and two civilians. Somaliland security arrested five persons who remained in custody at year’s end.

Physical Abuse, Punishment, and Torture

On June 25, al-Shabaab insurgents carried out double amputations on four young men in Mogadishu, cutting off their right hands and left feet as punishment for theft. A hurriedly convened al-Shabaab Shari’a court found all four men guilty and promptly carried out the punishment without allowing any form of legal representation or appeal. The four victims were allegedly al-Shabaab deserters, and the robbery charge was reportedly part of a ploy to use them as an example. Al-Shabaab carried out numerous other amputations as punishment for theft in Kismayo, Merka, Wanlaweyn, and Qansaxdhere.

Al-Shabaab carried out these amputations and other violent physical punishments in front of community members whom they forced to attend.

Extremist groups devised a new form of torture of their victims involving crude weapons to cause physical and psychological harm. For example, al-Shabaab militia reportedly burned plastic that they molded into sharp tools, the tips of which were used as torture instruments. The tool was pierced into the skin repeatedly to elicit information. On several occasions during the year, al-Shabaab used this method to torture TFG members and individuals suspected to be sympathetic to the government.

On August 10, the al-Shabaab administration in Merka began removing residents’ gold and silver teeth, alleging that they are a sign of vanity and against Islam. There were numerous reports of al-Shabaab identifying persons in the street and using unsterile tools to remove the teeth.

Child Soldiers

The recruitment and use of children in militias and other fighting forces was a longstanding practice in the country and continued during the year. Without established birth registration systems, it is often difficult to determine the exact age of persons, including recruits to armed groups. Children continued to be recruited into militias by the TFG and its allied forces. An October UN report, The Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Forces or Armed Groups in the Somali Conflict, indicated that while all parties recruited children, the TFG was not systematic in its practice. The TFG reportedly targeted older children between the ages of 14 and 18, while extremist opposition groups recruited younger children into their militias. During the year the TFG improved its recruitment practices and formal troop training to stop child soldier recruitment. New forces, trained in Uganda and Djibouti, were thoroughly vetted, and underage soldiers were purged from the units that were formed once the soldiers returned to the country.

Children were recruited, as well as forcibly conscripted, more often by clan militias and antigovernment groups. The July report of the UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict cited the TFG, Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a, al-Shabaab, Hisbul Islam, clans, and the Puntland regional administration as having continued recruitment of children into their militias. For example, on July 30, it was reported that al-Shabaab near Baidoa was recruiting children as young as eight years old to train in Labatan Jirow and Daynuunay, former TFG bases. UNICEF monitors identified children between the ages of 13 and 17 who were recruited and used as child soldiers. Because of the risk in intervening directly with militia groups, UNICEF protection partners engaged in low-profile condemnation of child recruitment while undertaking public education of youth to empower them to decline offers by any of the armed groups. In some administrations in the country, like that of Jowhar, authorities committed to demobilize child soldiers with UNICEF’s assistance; however, no progress was made.

The TFG pledged to address child recruitment when ministers signed the Paris Commitments in February 2007; however, children were enlisted into TFG forces. During the year all parties to the conflict continued to recruit child soldiers. UNICEF continued its public outreach program with radio broadcasts to highlight the problem of child soldiers.

Al-Shabaab conscripted children into armed conflict and military operations in addition to using them to plant roadside bombs and other explosive devices. According to the UN, al-Shabaab recruited children as young as eight from schools and madrassas and trained them to plant bombs and carry out assassinations for financial reward.

On May 30, TFG police arrested 11 minors who had been kidnapped in the Lower Shabelle Region and forced by al-Shabaab into its militia fighting force. In Kismayo, Baidoa, and Merka, al-Shabaab obligated boys 15 years of age and older to fight as “mujahedeen” or face death. Al-Shabaab killed an estimated 16 teenagers after they refused recruitment as al-Shabaab fighters.

The Somaliland constitution contains no minimum age for recruitment into the armed forces, but there were no reports of minors in its forces; however, an inadequate system of birth registration made it difficult to establish the exact age of recruits.

Other Conflict Related Abuses

Security problems complicated the work of local and international organizations, especially in the south. During the year attacks on NGOs, looting, and piracy disrupted aid flights and food distribution. As a result of killings, kidnappings, threats, and harassment, some organizations evacuated their staffs or halted relief food distribution and other aid-related activities.

During the year piracy off the coast continued; the International Maritime Bureau identified the country’s territorial waters as the most dangerous in the world. Pirates conducted 47 successful hijackings and 167 unsuccessful attacks on vessels off the Somali coast, an increase over the previous year despite increased international attention. Fewer incidents occurred in the Gulf of Aden, because of increased patrols, but there were more attacks further offshore. Most of the ships continued to be brought into the waters off the coast of Puntland and held near the coastal town of Eyl. Fueled by lucrative ransoms, Eyl developed a burgeoning industry to support the pirates and their hostages. Following ransom payments that in some cases reached several millions of dollars, the hijacked vessels were released. In each instance crews were held hostage until ransom was paid.

During the year Puntland security forces made some progress against pirates operating along its coast, raided some hideouts, arrested several suspected pirates, and sentenced some to long jail terms. Clan elders and religious groups began sensitization efforts in Puntland’s coastal towns to demobilize pirates and discourage youths from becoming pirates. Through these efforts an estimated 100 pirates renounced piracy. Despite the Puntland government’s efforts against pirates, prominent persons linked with piracy circulated freely and lived ostentatiously in Puntland cities. At year’s end 12 vessels and 263 crew members remained in the custody of Somali pirates.

The TFG continued to improve its treatment of humanitarian agency personnel and appointed a minister of humanitarian and emergency assistance to better liaise with UN agencies and NGOs. While the relationship improved, the TFG was unable to prevent attacks against UN and NGO personnel. Attacks on aid workers were fewer than the previous year, in large part because many NGOs and aid organizations had withdrawn their staff from the country. According to a July UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) report, access difficulties resulted in instances of humanitarian organizations withdrawing, temporary suspensions of programs in certain areas, or delays in the delivery of humanitarian assistance; however, the report stated humanitarian access was generally good in Puntland and Somaliland. UNOCHA reported a general reduction of violence against aid workers during the year, mainly because there were so few workers in the country. UNOCHA noted a marked shift from attacks on humanitarian personnel to raids by al-Shabaab on UN and NGO compounds, offices, and warehouses, in which they looted humanitarian supplies, food, equipment, vehicles, and other assets. The deteriorating security situation and continued targeting of national and international relief workers presented significant challenges to humanitarian operations in The country. During the year 10 aid workers were killed and 7 kidnapped and released. At year’s end 10 persons who were kidnapped in 2008 remained captive. Relief agencies continued to operate with significantly reduced or no international staff. Aid agencies increasingly relied on national staff, which was equally under threat, and partnerships with local implementing organizations to deliver relief assistance to vulnerable beneficiaries.

On January 6, three masked gunmen shot and killed Ibrahim Hussein Duale, an employee of the World Food Program. At the time of his death Hussein was monitoring a school feeding program in Yubsan village, Garbahare. On March 19, the al-Shabaab administration in Burdubo arrested one of the gunmen, and in a five-day hearing an al-Shabaab Islamic court tried and convicted him after he pled guilty to Hussein’s murder. The convicted killer paid Hussein’s family 100 camels to avoid being executed.

On March 16, gunmen abducted four UN staff on their way to an airstrip in Waajid, Bakol Region. The four were released on March 17 after clan elders and local administrators intervened on their behalf.

On April 19, unknown gunmen killed Omar Sharif, a local aid worker in Merka, as he left a mosque after evening prayers.

Also on April 19, unknown armed men abducted two international aid workers—a Belgian doctor and Dutch nurse–working with international NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) near Rabdhure, Bay Region. They were released on April 28 through the efforts of local elders. In June the MSF closed its programs in Bakol Region, citing security reasons.

On May 17, al-Shabaab raided the UNICEF compound in Jowhar, stealing and destroying tons of essential nutritional and medical supplies and cold chain equipment–including immunizations for infants, children, and expectant and lactating mothers. On July 20, al-Shabaab militiamen in Bay Region raided the UN agency compound in Baidoa, stole several vehicles, many computers, and expelled three UN agencies. Earlier in the year, al-Shabaab shut down the operations of two international aid organizations in regions under its control.

In early August armed militia groups affiliated with al-Shabaab attacked and occupied at least five NGO compounds in Jilib and Jamaame districts in Middle and Lower Juba regions. There were no aid workers injured in the attacks, but militia looted computers, vehicles, and other equipment, causing several NGOs to suspend humanitarian operations.

On August 17, several gunmen attacked a UN World Food Program (WFP) compound in Wajid, Bakol Region. Guards at the compound fought off the attackers, killing three.

There were some developments in kidnapping cases from 2008. On August 11, kidnappers released four Action Contre la Faim staff, including two pilots, kidnapped from Dusamareb airstrip in November 2008.

In October 2008 simultaneous explosions in Hargeisa targeting the UNDP, the Somaliland Elections Commission, and the Ethiopian embassy, as well as Puntland administration offices in Bossasso, killed 20 persons and injured 37. On May 28, the Hargeisa regional court arraigned 14 suspects in the attack.

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

The TFC and the Somaliland constitution provide for freedom of speech and press; however, there were instances of violence including murder, harassment, arrest, and detention of journalists in all regions of the country, including Puntland and Somaliland. The Puntland Charter provides for press freedom “as long as journalists respect the law”; however, this right was not respected in practice. Journalists engaged in rigorous self-censorship to avoid reprisals.

The print media consisted largely of short, photocopied dailies published in the larger cities and often affiliated with one or another of the factions. Several of these dailies were nominally independent and published criticism of political leaders and other prominent persons.

In Somaliland there were seven independent daily newspapers: Geeska Africa, Ogaal, Jamhuriya, Haatuf, Waahen, Sahansahan, and Maalmah’a) There was also one government daily–Maandeeq–and two English-language weekly newspapers–Somaliland Times and The Republican. There were three independent television stationsHorn Cable TV, Horn Cable, and Somaliland Space Channel, and one government-owned station, Somaliland National TV. Although the Somaliland constitution permits independent media, the Somaliland government has consistently prohibited the establishment of independent FM stations. The only FM station in Somaliland was the government-owned Radio Hargeisa. The independent media suffered increased harassment from the Somaliland government, especially in the period preceding the presidential elections that had been scheduled for September 27.

Most citizens obtained news from foreign radio broadcasts, primarily the BBC’s Somali Service and the Voice of America’s Somali Service that transmitted daily Somali-language programs. There were reportedly eight FM radio stations and one short-wave station operating in Mogadishu. A radio station funded by local businessmen operated in the south, as did several other small FM stations in various towns in the central and southern parts of the country. There were at least six independent radio stations in Puntland. Conditions in the country precluded a full accounting of all media; there were numerous small, relatively unknown local FM radio stations throughout the country. On March 28, in Kismayo, al-Shabaab opened an FM radio station.

The relationship between journalists and the TFG improved, and unlike in the previous year, journalists did not receive direct threats from the TFG; however, opposition elements, especially al-Shabaab and other extremists, continued to harass journalists, and the overall climate for freedom of speech and press deteriorated. Journalists reported that al-Shabaab threatened to kill them if they did not report on antigovernment attacks conducted by al-Shabaab. Reporters also remained under threat if they published criticism of the government. The Kismayo al-Shabaab administration continued to enforce rules for journalists, including a requirement to refrain from reporting news that undermined Islamic law.

Journalists and media organizations in all regions reported harassment, including killings, kidnappings, detention without charge, and assaults on persons and property. Most experienced field reporters and senior editors had fled the country due to direct threats from antigovernment groups. During the year nine journalists were killed in targeted or collateral incidents.

There were two targeted killings of journalists during the year, compared to one such killing in 2008. On February 4, HornAfrik Mogadishu director Said Tahil Ahmed was killed while walking with nine other media leaders to a meeting with al-Shabaab representatives. On June 7, Shabelle director Muktar Mohamed Hirabe was killed in Bakara Market. Al-Shabaab reportedly instigated both of these killings.

Seven journalists were killed during the year as a result of cross fire, stray bullets, and proximity to the December 3 suicide bombing in Mogadishu in which three journalists were killed. There were no arrests in connection with any killings or attempted killings of journalists during the year.

Numerous journalists were arrested and detained during the year, but unlike in previous years, there were no reports that the TFG ordered such arrests. For example, on January 23, Muhammad Hasan Haji Abukar, a Holy Koran Radio reporter, was reportedly arrested by al-Shabaab authorities in Baidoa and tortured; they also confiscated his equipment. On April 18, al-Shabaab arrested Mohiddin Hassan Mohamed of Shabelle in Baidoa; he was released a day later. On August 22, the al-Shabaab administration of Gedo Region ordered Radio Markabley to fire two journalists and submit to edicts issued that day.

Journalist arrests and detentions increased in Somaliland. On February 26, in Hargeisa, Somaliland authorities arrested Mohamed Abdi Guled, editor of the privately owned weekly Yoo’l; he was released on March 20. On March 29, Ahmed Suleiman Dhuhul, a member of the executive committee of the Somaliland Journalists Association and producer of Horyaal private radio, was arrested for trying to report on a meeting of the upper house of Somaliland’s parliament to debate the extension of the mandates of Somaliland’s president and vice president. On July 13, in Hargeisa, two Radio Horyaal journalists were arrested after reporting on a clan conflict over land rights. On July 29, Somaliland authorities ordered the closure of Horn Cable TV and arrested its chief editor. On August 4, Somaliland.org Web site reporter Foosi Saleban Awbiindhe was arrested in Burao after writing a report on corruption involving the governor. He was freed on August 26.

There were also several incidents in the Puntland region during the year. For example, on March 26, in Bossaso, security forces arrested Jama Ayanle Siti, a reporter for Laas Qoray newspaper and its Web site, and Abdiqani Hassan, a freelance reporter. On March 30, also in Bossaso, Jama Ayenle Feyte was sentenced to two years in prison after being accused of defamation and disseminating false information about the Puntland authorities. On August 25, Voice of America reporter Mohamed Yasin Isaq was arrested in northern Galkayo after releasing a report on the failure of the Puntland administration to curb growing insecurity in the town. On December 21, Puntland security forces again arrested Isaq, held him for 17 days, and released him without charge.

Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and Australian photojournalist Nigel Brenan, who were kidnapped in August 2008, were released on November 25 in Mogadishu, reportedly after ransoms were paid by the journalists’ families. On January 17, Abdifatah Mohammed Elmi, who was kidnapped with Lindhout and Brenan, was freed.

The British and Spanish journalists who were abducted in November 2008 in Bosasso were released on January 4. They were held captive in an unknown location in the Puntland region.

Several broadcasting stations were closed during the year. At least two radio stations were closed by Islamic administrations. On April 9, al-Shabaab closed Radio Mandeeq after it broadcast news about a clan dispute. On April 27, the al-Shabaab administration in Baidoa closed Radio Jubba and detained three journalists. They were freed the following day after an agreement that the station would no longer broadcast music. On September 30, al-Shabaab ordered the closure of Radio Warsan, a local FM station in Baidoa, and detained the radio’s director, Hilal Sheikh Shuayb. He was reportedly arrested for failure to obey al-Shabaab’s order for radio stations to stop airing advertisements with music and to broadcast the call for prayer. He was released after two days in detention.

Journalists reported continued pressure from al-Shabaab and opposition elements to provide favorable reporting for each side, with threats of reprisal if reporting was perceived to be critical of them. Unlike in previous years, there were no reports that the TFG pressured journalists to produce positive reporting.

Internet Freedom

Somalia has some of the lowest cost telecommunications and Internet services in the region. There were no government restrictions on access to the Internet; however, opposition elements in Mogadishu reportedly closely monitored Internet use and were believed to be the authors of anonymous e-mail threats to local journalists. Media outlets continued to create Web sites associated with their broadcast operations, resulting in a proliferation of news-oriented Somali language Web sites. According to International Telecommunication Union statistics for 2008, approximately one percent of the country’s inhabitants used the Internet; however, independent researchers have noted that this figure may be higher because Internet users frequently accessed the technology in cybercafés and other public centers and Somalia’s country domain was not in use.

Academic Freedom and Cultural Events

There were several functioning universities–three each in Mogadishu, Somaliland, and Puntland. Dozens of others existed only in name. Authorities imposed restrictions on academic freedom, and academicians practiced self-censorship. In Puntland a government permit was required to conduct academic research.

During the year there were fewer attacks on schoolchildren, teachers, and schools across the country. Unlike in previous years, TFG forces were not responsible for any of these attacks. Al-Shabaab, other antigovernment groups, and ordinary criminals were responsible for targeted attacks. There were no developments in the August 2008 incident in which TFG security forces stormed the Somali Youth League primary and secondary school and the Imam Shafi’i Primary School in Mogadishu.

Al-Shabaab and armed militia associated with the former Union of Islamic Courts attacked schools and killed teachers and education workers. For example, on February 18, unknown armed militia forcefully entered Yusuf Kownayn school in Mogadishu’s Wadajir District. The militia reportedly robbed, beat up, and harassed teachers and students.

There were no official restrictions on attending cultural events, playing music, or going to the cinema, although the security situation effectively restricted access to and organization of cultural events, except in al-Shabaab-controlled areas.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Freedom of Assembly

The TFC, the Somaliland constitution, and the Puntland Charter provide for freedom of assembly; however, a ban on demonstrations continued, and the lack of security effectively limited this right in many areas. Security force use of excessive force to disperse demonstrators resulted in numerous deaths and injuries.

On several occasions Somaliland security personnel prevented opposition political parties from meeting with supporters and from holding public rallies. For example, on April 6, Somaliland police prevented opposition supporters from holding peaceful processions to commemorate Somalia National Movement Day. Police fired in the air and would not allow party leaders to address their supporters. Security agents often prevented opposition parties from organizing public gatherings and demonstrations.

On September 12, Somaliland security forces used excessive force when they killed four demonstrators and wounded many others during a peaceful protest in front of the parliament. Police and military personnel shot in the air to disperse hundreds of demonstrators, mostly youth, gathered to press authorities to reopen parliament. Police also arrested more than 100 persons in the incident. On September 13, the Somaliland Regional Security Committee (RSC) sentenced without due process 40 of those arrested to six months in prison. At years’ end most of these persons were still detained. In its July report on Somaliland, Human Rights Watch accused the RSC of perpetrating gross human rights violations, stating the RSC routinely incarcerated persons, including juveniles, without any pretense of respecting the due process provided for in Somaliland’s constitution.

There were no updates on the April and May 2008 killings of demonstrators in Somaliland and Mogadishu, respectively, and neither the TFG nor the Somaliland administration took action to punish the police perpetrators.

Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of use of excessive force by security forces in the south and central regions against persons assembled at food distribution centers.

Freedom of Association

The TFC provides for freedom of association, and unlike in previous years, there were no reports that the TFG restricted freedom of association.

The Puntland Charter provides for freedom of association; however, the Puntland administration continued to ban all political parties.

The Somaliland Constitution provides for freedom of association, and this right was generally respected in practice; however, in July 2007 Somaliland authorities arrested three opposition politicians who were planning to form a new political party. These persons were released in December 2007. President Riyale stated that he issued an official pardon; however, their judicial record was not cleared, and the leaders remained effectively blocked from participating in the electoral process as candidates for any party.

Legislation governing the formation of political parties in Somaliland limits the number of parties allowed to contest general elections to three. An ad hoc commission nominated by the president and approved by the legislature was responsible for considering applications. The law provides that approved parties obtaining 20 percent of the vote in a general election are allowed to function. There were three approved political parties.

c. Freedom of Religion

Although the TFC provides for religious freedom, this right was widely ignored in practice. The TFG generally did not enforce legal restrictions or protections concerning religious freedom.

On May 10, the TFG ratified legislation to implement Shari’a nationwide. In practice the TFG does not have the capacity or mechanisms to implement the legislation uniformly.

Militia groups, particularly those associated with al-Shabaab, often imposed a strict interpretation of Islam on communities under their control. There were reports that individuals who did not practice Islam in line with al-Shabaab’s interpretation were discriminated against, and several nonobservant Somalis may have been killed.

The TFC, Somaliland constitution, and Puntland Charter establish Islam as the official religion. Somalis are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims of a Sufi tradition. There also is a very small, extremely low-profile Christian community, in addition to small numbers of followers of other religions. The constitutions and Charters governing the various regions provide the right to study and discuss the religion of one’s choice; however, in practice freedom of worship for non-Muslims was respected only for non-Somalis. Conversion from Islam is not allowed in any of the three regions. The TFG and the Somaliland and Puntland administrations did not have the capacity to enforce freedom of worship. The number of adherents of strains of conservative Islam and Islamic schools supported by religiously conservative sources continued to grow.

In Puntland only Shafi’iyyah, a moderate Islamic doctrine followed by most citizens, is allowed in public religious expression. Puntland security forces closely monitored religious activities. Religious schools and places of worship must receive permission to operate from the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs; such permission was granted routinely to schools and mosques espousing Shafi’iyyah.

In Somaliland religious schools and places of worship must obtain the Ministry of Religion’s permission to operate. Proselytizing for any religion except Islam is prohibited in Puntland and Somaliland and effectively blocked by informal social consensus elsewhere. Apart from restrictions imposed by the security situation, Christian-based international relief organizations generally operated freely as long as they refrained from proselytizing; however, there were reports that a few Somalis who converted to Christianity were killed by al-Shabaab and allied extremist groups during the year.

Societal Abuses and Discrimination

During the year, in the Bay and Lower Juba regions as well as in Mogadishu, al-Shabaab extremists killed several prominent clerics, most belonging to ASWJ. For example, on February 7, a religious scholar was shot and killed near his home in the Medina district of Mogadishu. In religiously motivated violence, al-Shabaab destroyed the tombs of revered ASWJ Sufi clerics and killed clerics, civilians, and government officials of Sufi orientation. For example, on March 28, in Barawe District, Bay Region, al-Shabaab forces destroyed five graves of famous clerics and removed their remains. On May 5, near Kamsuma village,in Kismayo District, al-Shabaab forces destroyed 10 graves of famous Islamic scholars. On June 10, in Bardhere town,in Gedo Region, al-Shabaab destroyed an undisclosed number of Sufi graves. In targeted assassinations, members of al-Shabaab killed TFG officials and allies whom they denounced as non-Muslims or apostates. On January 1, Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim “Elbuur,” a prominent religious leader, was killed by unidentified gunmen in Elasha Biyaha, an internally displaced persons (IDP) settlement on the outskirts of Mogadishu. Sheikh Mohamed was shot outside a mosque after evening prayers. He was reportedly targeted for his moderate views and condemnation of violence.

On April 5, in Jamame town in Lower Juba Region, a Koranic school teacher was beheaded by armed opposition group members. Al-Shabaab bombed cinemas, attacked persons whom they asserted were not behaving “appropriately,” and banned all sporting events. On September 21, al-Shabaab killed two ASWJ clerics in Lower Shabelle Region when they opened fire on a congregation gathered for Eid prayers to mark the end of Ramadan.

Women were disproportionately affected by Islamic extremists during the year. In March al-Shabaab issued a decree mandating that women wear the hijab outside of the home; any woman found not wearing the hijab would be arrested and face punishment.

Non-Sunni Muslims often were viewed with suspicion by members of the Sunni majority. Non-Muslims who practiced their religion openly faced societal harassment. Those suspected of conversion faced harassment or even death from members of their community.

In April 2008 a worshipper was stabbed in a mosque in Somaliland after two groups clashed over differences in interpretation of Islam. There was no new information about this case.

The small Christian community kept a low profile. There were no public places of worship for non-Muslims. Christians, as well as other non-Muslims who proclaimed their religion, faced harassment or even death. On July 10, al-Shabaab beheaded seven persons in Bay Region after accusing them of converting to Christianity and spying for the TFG. On July 27, al-Shabaab reportedly beheaded four Christians after kidnapping them in Merka, Lower Shabelle. The four victims were working for a local organization caring for orphans and were killed after they reportedly refused to renounce Christianity. On September 15, al-Shabaab extremists killed Omar Khalafe after they found him in possession of several Bibles.

There is no known Jewish community in the country, and there were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.

For a more detailed discussion, see the 2009 International Religious Freedom Report at www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf.

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons

The TFC and the Puntland Charter provide for freedom of movement; however, this right continued to be restricted in some parts of the country. Checkpoints operated by the TFG and its associated militias decreased. Checkpoints operated by armed militias, clan factions, and groups associated with al-Shabaab and its affiliates inhibited passage and exposed travelers to looting, extortion, rape, and harassment, particularly of civilians fleeing conflict. In the absence of effective governance institutions, few citizens possessed the documents needed for international travel.

There were no reports of armed clan factions operating checkpoints during the year. Puntland security forces dismantled ad hoc checkpoints by armed clan militias. According to a report by UNOCHA, al-Shabaab established checkpoints at the exit/entry routes of the towns under its control for security reasons. There were no reports of checkpoints between towns or within towns, as was common in previous years.

The law does not prohibit forced exile; however, none of the authorities used forced exile during the year.

During the year there were no organized repatriations to any region.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

UN agencies estimated that since January 2007 more than 900,000 persons had fled their homes in Mogadishu and its surroundings as a result of targeted attacks by al-Shabaab and continued conflicts between TFG forces and antigovernment groups, especially al-Shabaab. The Somalia office of the UNHCR, based in Kenya, estimated that there were 1.5 million IDPs in the country as a result of internal conflict, flooding, droughts, and other causes going back to the early 1990s but with much higher numbers in recent years.

Many of the newly displaced lived without basic services, primarily settling on the Afgoye corridor between Mogadishu and Baidoa. Militia groups, aligned with both sides of the conflict, had restricted access during food distributions. The deterioration in security severely restricted the movement of aid workers and the distribution of urgently needed assistance to IDPs. Increased targeting of aid workers, “taxes” on humanitarian aid, and al-Shabaab’s expulsion in August of three UN agencies made it more difficult to deliver basic services. During the year Puntland authorities in Galkayo and Garowe forcibly repatriated Somalis from the south and central regions who were accused of being responsible for increased insecurity in the region. In December Puntland residents attacked IDPs from the south and called for their expulsion from Puntland, forcing IDPs to close their businesses. The attack followed president Faroole’s media comments accusing persons from the south of contributing to the rise in insecurity.

Protection of Refugees

The 1990 constitution and TFC do not include provisions for granting asylum or refugee status in accordance with the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol. The country signed the African Union Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of the Refugee Program in Africa in 1969, but neither ratified it nor deposited it. The TFC states that political asylum may be granted to persons who flee their or another country because of political, religious, and cultural persecution; however, there was no official system for providing such protection. The authorities provided some protection against the expulsion or return of refugees to countries where their lives or freedom would be threatened (complete with new standard language as applicable), and in practice the authorities granted refugee status or asylum. The UNHCR reported that at year’s end there were 2,960 refugees and 18,600 asylum seekers in Somaliland and Puntland, an increase over 2008. Human rights organizations estimated there were as many as 1.75 million displaced due to conflict, food shortages, and inflation. An additional 3.76 million citizens were in need of humanitarian assistance; however, insecurity in the south and central regions limited the access of UN and international aid workers. UN agencies reported that 10 humanitarian workers were killed during the year. Somaliland authorities cooperated with the UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations in assisting refugees and asylum seekers. The UNHCR estimated that during the year more than 60,000 citizens attempted more than 900 illegal boat crossings from Somaliland, Puntland, and Djibouti to Yemen, resulting in at least 273 confirmed deaths. By the end of September, there were 50,486 recorded new arrivals in Yemen, a 50 percent increase over the number of arrivals during the same period in 2008. The UNHCR estimated that 158,000 Somali refugees were in Yemen at year’s end.

In 2007 the Kenyan government closed its border to all traffic to and from Somalia, although it later allowed humanitarian relief supplies to enter Somalia on a case-by-case basis. Despite the border closure, during the year 55,658 asylum seekers made their way to the already overcrowded Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya through the porous border. In the same period, an estimated 20,000 asylum seekers entered Ethiopia, bringing the number of Somali refugees there to more than 40,000. The sudden influx of 11,000 Somalis to Dolo Ado in southeastern Ethiopia led the UNHCR to establish a fourth refugee camp. By the end of the year, the Bolkamayo camp in southeastern Ethiopia had already reached its 20,000 refugee capacity. The UNHCR estimated that at year’s end it was providing humanitarian assistance and protection to more than 541,600 Somalis in Kenya, Yemen, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Uganda, an increase over 2008.

During the year there continued to be reports that Somali women, girls, and in isolated cases men were raped in refugee camps in Kenya.

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government

On August 19, the TFG parliament approved the implementation of martial law in the country for three months; however, in practice martial law was not implemented in any area.

In the absence of effective governing institutions, citizens could not exercise the right to change their government. In January, through the Djibouti Process, the parliament was expanded, and it extended the TFG mandate until 2011, to prepare the country for national elections. Unlike in previous years when clan leaders operated as de facto rulers in most regions under the nominal control of the TFG, much of the country fell under the rule of armed militias, many associated with the al-Shabaab terrorist group. Although al-Shabaab often collaborated with clan leaders in the areas it controlled, many clan leaders continued to face opposition from intraclan groups and political factions.

Elections and Political Participation

The TFG was formed in late 2004 and early 2005 following two years of negotiations in Kenya led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. The TFC is the legal framework for the transitional federal institutions of parliament and government, which operated under a five-year mandate originally scheduled to expire in 2009; however, the TFP, under the Djibouti peace process, extended the initial mandate by another two years until 2011. In 2004 the clan-based TFP elected Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, the former president of Puntland, as transitional federal president, and he then appointed Ali Mohammed Gedi as prime minister. Gedi resigned in October 2007. In November 2007 President Yusuf appointed Nur “Adde” Hassan Hussein as prime minister. In 2008 Yusuf attempted to remove Prime Minister Hussein, first by supporting a no-confidence parliamentary vote and then by dismissing him through a presidential decree. Both plans backfired, and in December 2008, after significant discord within the TFG, Abdullahi Yusuf resigned. Speaker of Parliament Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur became interim president following Yusuf’s resignation. The TFC stipulates that the interim president remain in office for 30 days until the parliament selects a new president.

In August 2008 the leaders of the TFG and the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS) signed the UN-brokered Djibouti Agreement and agreed to cease all armed confrontation, ensure unhindered humanitarian access, and work toward a durable peace. The Djibouti Agreement set the stage for the formation of a unity government in January 2009. Between January 22 and 24, members of the TFP relocated to Djibouti from the previous seat of parliament in Baidoa to take part in the election of a new TFG president. On January 26, while in Djibouti, the TFP adopted an amendment to the TFC to both extend the TFG’s initial five-year mandate by an additional two years and allow for the expansion of the number of MPs from 275 to 550 to accommodate 275 new MPs from ARS under the Djibouti Agreement. On January 31, the expanded TFP elected Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed– who was until then ARS executive chairman–as the new TFG president. The election was considered free and fair, and it attracted more than a dozen candidates, including former prime minister Nur Hassan Hussein. On February 13, while in Djibouti, President Sharif appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as the new TFG prime minister. On February 20, Prime Minister Sharmarke formed his first government with 36 ministers. On February 23 and 26, President Sharif and Prime Minister Sharmarke relocated to Mogadishu. It was the first time that the TFG and TFP were based in the country’s capital since the TFG was formed.

Somaliland has a constitution and bicameral parliament with proportional clan representation and an elected president and vice president. Somaliland authorities have established functioning administrative institutions in nearly all of the territory they claim, which is the same as the Somaliland state that achieved international recognition briefly in 1960 before entering into a union with the former Italian colony of Somalia. In a 2001 referendum, 97 percent of voters supported Somaliland independence.

Elected in April 2003, President of Somaliland Dahir Riyale Kahin initiated several actions to postpone elections for the fourth time and extend his term in office. Beginning in 2006 Riyale initiated a process to extend the mandate of the unelected upper house of parliament, the Guurti, for four years. In April 2008 the Guurti postponed presidential and local elections and extended President Riyale’s term in office for an additional year. After successful international mediation, the major political parties agreed to hold presidential elections in April 2009 after a national voter registration process under which each Somaliland citizen would receive a national identity card. On March 3, the National Electoral Commission announced that presidential elections would be held on May 31; however, on March 28, the Guurti voted to postpone the elections and extend President Riyale’s term in office to September 27. The political impasse deepened, and on August 29, police closed the parliament building. In March and September, opposition political parties protested the decision to extend Riyale’s term despite an earlier agreement not to allow any further extensions, and in September legislators tabled an impeachment motion in parliament. During a demonstration on September 12, Somaliland police fired into a crowd gathered in front of the parliament, killing four demonstrators and wounding others. Police arrested and detained more than 100 persons. An extrajudicial process resulted in an estimated 40 persons being sentenced to six months in prison. The deadlock was broken on September 25, when the Guurti unanimously endorsed a six-point memorandum of understanding (MOU) produced by the international community to move the electoral process forward. The Guurti announced that President Riyale’s term in office would end one month after elections were held. On September 30, the president and the two opposition political party leaders signed the MOU. On October 4 and 5, to begin implementing the MOU, all members of the National Electoral Commission resigned and President Riyale appointed a new commission, endorsed by all stakeholders. At year’s end no date had been set for the elections.

In 2007 Somaliland opposition figures Mohamed Abdi Gaboose, Mohamed Hashi Elmi, and Jamal Aideed Ibrahim were released from prison after serving three months on charges of founding an illegal organization and creating instability. At year’s end the three leaders’ political rights had not been fully restored. They were able to register to vote, but they were not allowed to participate in the electoral process as candidates for any party.

In 1998 Puntland declared itself a semiautonomous regional government during a consultative conference of delegates from six regions that included traditional community elders, the leadership of political organizations, members of local legislative assemblies, regional administrators, and civil society representatives. Puntland has a single-chamber quasi-legislative branch called the Council of Elders, which has played a largely consultative role. Political parties were banned; however, on June 29, the Puntland parliament endorsed a constitution allowing the establishment of multiparty democracy in two years. The new constitution, which is subject to a public referendum, limits the number of political parties to three. On January 8, the council elected Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud “Farole” as Puntland’s president. The former president, General Mohamud Muse Hersi “Adde Muse,” who was one of several candidates, conceded defeat and peacefully handed over power to the new president. Parliamentary representatives are seated by their respective clan elders in the six administrative regions, and the same 66 representatives announced in December 2008 by Puntland’s election and ratification commission remained in office. On January 1, the new members of Parliament were sworn in. On January 17, President Farole appointed 16 ministers, including three from the previous administration, to form a new cabinet.

Some Puntland cabinet ministers maintained their own militias, which contributed to a general lack of security. As part of the election process, each presidential candidate was required to pay a $5,000 qualification fee and each vice presidential candidate a $2,500 fee. Some of these funds were used for security during the elections.

Somaliland and Puntland continued to contest parts of Sanaag Region, as well as Sool Region and the Buhodle Ddistrict of Togdheer Region during the year. Both governments maintained elements of their administrations in Sanaag and Sool regions, and both governments exerted influence in various communities. During the year there were no renewed hostilities in Las Anod, Sool Region. In January militias suspected of being from Puntland killed four Somaliland officials–two civil and two military–who were registering voters in Widhwidh, Sool Region. Unlike in 2008, there were no reports of population displacement due to conflict between Puntland and Somaliland. Somaliland forces remained in control of Las Anod, although Puntland forces threatened attack and had reportedly expanded their security presence in surrounding areas.

There were 37 women in the expanded 550-seat TFP; there were only seven women selected as MPs out of the additional 275 MPs that were appointed when the ARS entered the TFG. The number fell short of the TFC requirement that at least 12 percent of parliamentary seats be reserved for women. Among the 39 ministers and six state ministers appointed in February and August, there were only three women ministers. Minister of Health Qamar Aden Ali, who was killed in the December 3 suicide bombing, was not replaced.

In the Somaliland government of 28 ministers, a woman held the post of gender and family minister, and two women were elected to the 82-member lower house of parliament.

In Puntland there have never been any women on the Puntland Council of Elders. In December there were two women selected as representatives to the 66-member parliament, down from five in the previous parliament. Asha Gelle was reappointed minister of gender and family and as in the previous administration was the only female minister in the new Puntland administration. In January three women deputy ministers were appointed to the cabinet out of a total of 22 deputy ministers.

There were 60 members of the minority Bantu and Arab ethnic groups in the TFP and four in the TFG cabinet. There were no members of minority groups in the Somaliland parliament and cabinet. There are 136 distinct subclans in Puntland, 46 of which were represented in the Council of Elders. These are the largest subclans, and each has one to four representatives in the 66-member parliament. The other subclans do not necessarily consider themselves “minorities,” and most thought they were represented within the larger Darod/Harti clan and the parliament.

Section 4 Official Corruption and Government Transparency

Official corruption was endemic throughout the country, although the TFG took measures during the year to limit corruption. For example, the TFG appointed a commission to oversee port revenues, resulting in a significant increase in funds for the treasury. The law does not provide criminal penalties for official corruption, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Corruption existed in almost every transaction in the country, and there is no regulatory or penal framework in place to combat it. This is true even in the provision of humanitarian assistance. The 2009 World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators reflected that corruption was a severe problem. Government officials in all three regions were not subject to financial disclosure laws.

There were no laws providing for public access to government information.

Section 5 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights

A number of domestic and international human rights groups operated in some of the country, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases; however, security considerations constrained their ability to operate freely. In contrast with previous years, government officials were responsive to their views, although the TFG had limited capacity to implement human rights programs. There was also an increase in al-Shabaab’s targeting of civil society groups, peace activists, media, and human rights organizations. The Mogadishu-based Dr. Ismael Jumale Human Rights Center (DIJHRC), Elman Peace and Human Rights Center (EPHRC), Peace and Human Rights Network (INXA), Isha Baidoa Human Rights Organization in the Bay and Bakol regions, KISIMA in Kismayo, Coalition of Grassroots Women’s Organization (COGWO), and other local human rights groups were active during the year, although less than previously because of the increased targeting by al-Shabaab. The DIJHRC, EPHRC, and COGWO continued to investigate and document human rights violations, study the causes of the continuing conflict in the Mogadishu area, and conduct human rights monitoring. The Mogadishu-based National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) continued to advocate for media freedom throughout the country. The Mogadishu-based Center for Research and Dialogue, several women’s NGOs, and other civil society organizations also played a role in promoting intraclan dialogue in Puntland and parts of the south central region.

Somaliland human rights organizations accused authorities of meddling in their internal affairs and fomenting conflict among them.

During the year attacks and incidents of harassment of humanitarian, religious, civil society, and NGO workers resulted in at least 10 deaths. Unlike in previous years, TFG officials did not accuse NGOs and civil society organizations of siding with opposition groups and exaggerating human rights abuses committed by TFG forces, nor did the TFG intimidate and arrest NGO workers; however, on numerous occasions during the year al-Shabaab administrations in Bay, Bakol, and Gedo regions ordered local and international NGOs to register and pay “taxes,” threatening serious consequences for noncompliance. Al-Shabaab militia raided and looted humanitarian supplies and equipment from NGO compounds in Bay, Bakol, Middle Shabelle, and Middle Juba regions. In March al-Shabaab ordered all international aid agencies to leave Bay and Bakol regions and ordered all local NGOs to register. After public protest, this decision was reversed, but two international aid agencies were expelled. On October 7, militia groups associated with al-Shabaab dropped leaflets at Medina Hospital warning the International Committee of the Red Cross, which operates the hospital, to immediately stop its work. The leaflets, which accused the hospital of being a TFG institution, also warned the hospital administration and staff to cease operations and vacate the hospital or face unspecified consequences.

Somaliland authorities ordered NGOs operating in Somaliland to present their programs and budgets to the authorities or cease operations.

There were numerous occurrences of looting, hijacking, and attacks on convoys of WFP and other humanitarian relief shipments during the year. On January 2, al-Shabaab militias broke into and looted relief food rations from the WFP warehouse in Merka, Lower Shabelle Region.

There were no developments in cases of attacks on aid workers, human rights observers, and international NGOs reported in previous years.

Section 6 Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons

The TFC prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender or national origin; however, societal discrimination based on clan and ethnic origin, violence against women, and widespread abuse of children continued to be serious problems. The Somaliland constitution and the Puntland Charter prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender or national origin, but these rights were not respected in practice.

Women

Laws prohibiting rape exist; however, they were not enforced. There were no laws against spousal rape. There were no reports that rape cases were prosecuted during the year. NGOs documented patterns of rape perpetrated with impunity, particularly of women displaced from their homes due to civil conflict or who were members of minority clans. Police and militia members engaged in rape, and rape was commonly practiced in interclan conflicts. Traditional approaches to dealing with rape tended to ignore the victim’s situation and instead communalized the resolution or compensation for rape through a negotiation between members of the perpetrator’s and the victim’s clans. Victims suffered from subsequent discrimination based on attributions of “impurity.” Women and girls in IDP camps were especially vulnerable to sexual violence, contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS. In March 2008 the UNIE reported that in Mogadishu and Kismayo IDP women and girls, particularly those belonging to minority groups, were increasingly becoming the targets of sexual violence by youth gangs. In Somaliland gang rape continued to be a problem in urban areas, primarily by youth gangs, members of police forces, and male students. Many of these cases occurred in poorer neighborhoods and among immigrants, refugee returnees, and displaced rural populations living in urban areas. Many cases were not reported. According to UNIE’s October report, sexual violence, including gang rape of teenage girls, was on the rise. In the report, UNICEF monitors reported 11 rape cases in IDP camps in Puntland and 13 cases in Somaliland camps; victims included mentally and physically handicapped children.

Domestic violence against women remained a serious problem. There are no laws specifically addressing domestic violence; however, both Shari’a and customary law address the resolution of family disputes. The UNIE reported that “honor” or revenge killings continued. No statistical information was available on the extent of domestic violence. Sexual violence in the home was reportedly a serious problem, linked to general gender discrimination. Women suffered disproportionately in the country’s civil war and interclan fighting.

Prostitution is illegal, and there were no statistics on its prevalence. Sexual harassment was a problem, but there were no laws, data, or government programs to address it.

In the country’s overwhelmingly patriarchal culture, women do not have the same rights as men and are systematically subordinated. Polygamy is permitted. Under laws promulgated by the former government, girls and women could inherit property, but only half the amount to which their minor and adult brothers were entitled. Similarly, according to Shari’a and the local tradition of blood compensation, anyone found guilty of the death of a woman must pay half the amount that would be payable to the aggrieved family if the victim were male.

Women do not have the right to decide freely the number, spacing, and timing of their children and often faced discrimination, coercion, and violence when they attempted to exercise these rights. In part because of cultural sensitivities, there was limited information about and access to contraception. With inadequate health care, women rarely had skilled attendance during childbirth or essential obstetric and postpartum care. In Somaliland and Puntland, international programs ensured that women were equally diagnosed and treated for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. There were limited programs in the southern and central regions.

Women’s groups in Mogadishu, Hargeisa (Somaliland), Bossaso (Puntland), and other towns actively promoted equal rights for women and advocated the inclusion of women in responsible government positions, and observers reported some improvement in the profile and political participation of women in the country.

Children

In the absence of functioning central authority, births were not registered in Puntland or southern and central Somalia. The failure to register births was not a key factor in the denial of public services. Birth registration was taken seriously in Somaliland for hospital and home births; however, limited government capacity, combined with the nomadic lifestyle of many persons, caused numerous births to go unregistered. In Somaliland some public services may not be available to children who were not properly registered.

During the year UNICEF reported that more than 60 percent of schools in Mogadishu were closed and the remaining schools operated with reduced enrollment and attendance, as many parents withdrew their children because of security concerns. Since the collapse of the state in 1991, education services have been partially revived in various forms, including a traditional system of Koranic schools; public primary and secondary school systems financed by communities, foreign donors, and the administrations in Somaliland and Puntland; Islamic charity-run schools; and a number of privately run primary and secondary schools, universities, and vocational training institutes. Few children who entered primary school completed secondary school. There was a continued influx of foreign teachers to teach in private Koranic schools and madrassas. These schools were inexpensive and provided basic education; however, there were reports that they required the veiling of small girls and other conservative Islamic practices not traditionally found in the local culture.

There was no formal system of state-provided medical care for children; however, children were generally treated for life-threatening illnesses and injuries at hospitals, even if their families could not afford to pay. Boys and girls had equal access to these services.

Child abuse and rape were serious problems, although no statistics on its prevalence were available. A 2003 UNICEF report noted that nearly a third of all displaced children reported rape as a problem within their families, as did 17 percent of children in the general population.

Children remained among the chief victims of continuing societal violence. Child protection monitors verified that hundreds of children were killed or injured during the year as a direct result of conflict.

Militia members raped children during the conflict and departure of civilians from Mogadishu.

The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) was widespread throughout the country. As many as 98 percent of women had undergone FGM; the majority were subjected to infibulation, the most severe form of FGM. In Somaliland and Puntland, FGM is illegal, but the law was not enforced. UN agencies and NGOs tried to educate the population about the dangers of FGM, but there were no reliable statistics to measure the success of their programs.

Children were occasionally enlisted in the TFG security forces. Antigovernment groups routinely recruited and used child soldiers (see section 1.g). The practice of “asi walid,” a custom whereby parents placed their children in prison for disciplinary purposes and without any legal procedure, continued. Many of these juveniles were incarcerated with adults. Close to 100 of the estimated 400 prisoners in the TFG-operated Mogadishu central prison were children detained at the request of their parents or guardians for truancy and disobedience.

A UNICEF monitoring trip at the beginning of the year revealed that many children were imprisoned in Somaliland, most without passing through the court system, usually for disobedience to parents or for petty crimes. UNICEF and the UNDP started a project to provide the children with legal assistance, and many were released. The juvenile justice program also educated justices and lawyers about human rights problems for children.

Child prostitution was practiced; however, because it was culturally proscribed and not reported, no statistics were available on its prevalence. Child prostitution, like all other forms of prostitution, was legally prohibited in all areas. In most cases regional authorities imprisoned persons from five to 15 years for this crime. In al-Shabaab areas, the penalty may be flogging or even stoning to death. There is no formal statutory rape law or minimum age for consensual sex. Child pornography is not expressly prohibited.

Trafficking in Persons

The TFC does not explicitly prohibit trafficking. In February 2008 Puntland authorities announced that persons who were caught engaging in human trafficking would be punished by death. During the year Puntland authorities combated human trafficking. For example, on February 15, Puntland police raided the small coastal hamlet of Marera, seized three boats, and arrested 12 suspected traffickers. On July 2, Puntland authorities arrested six Yemeni in Zaylac District for trafficking. On July 24, Bosasso police arrested six human traffickers and dispersed 84 persons who were attempting to use the trafficker’s services. In December, off the coast of Bossaso, the Puntland coast guard arrested four human smugglers whom they also suspected of piracy. At year’s end they remained in detention pending a continuing investigation. The seven human traffickers who were arrested in April 2008 in the Maydh District of Sanaag Region were prosecuted through Puntland’s court system. One person was released and the other six were sentenced to prison terms of three to six years.

There are no laws against slavery or forced or involuntary prostitution. Information regarding trafficking in the country was extremely difficult to obtain or verify; however, the Somali territory was known to be a source, transit, and possibly destination country for trafficked women and children, and there were reports of trafficking during the year. Human smuggling was widespread, and there was evidence that traffickers utilized the same networks and methods as those used by smugglers. Dubious employment agencies were involved with or served as fronts for traffickers, especially to target individuals destined for the Gulf States. Somali women were trafficked to destinations in the Middle East, including Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, as well as to South Africa, for domestic labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Somali men were trafficked into labor exploitation as herdsmen and menial workers in the Gulf States. Somali children were reportedly trafficked to Djibouti, Malawi, and Tanzania for commercial sexual exploitation and exploitative child labor. Ethiopian women were believed to be trafficked to and through the country to the Middle East for forced labor or sexual exploitation. Small numbers of Cambodian men were trafficked to work on long-range fishing boats operating off the coast of Somalia. Armed militias reportedly also trafficked women and children for forced labor or sexual exploitation, and some of those victims also may have been trafficked to the Middle East and Europe. Trafficking networks were reported to be involved in transporting child victims to South Africa for sexual exploitation.

Puntland was noted by human rights organizations as an entry point for trafficking. The UNIE reported that trafficking in persons remained rampant and that the lack of an effective authority to police the country’s long coastline contributed to trafficking. Various forms of trafficking are prohibited under some interpretations of Shari’a and customary law, but there was no unified policing in the country to combat these practices, nor was there an effective justice system for the prosecution of traffickers.

Because of an inability to provide care for all family members, some persons willingly surrendered custody of their children to persons with whom they shared family relations and clan linkages. Some of these children may have become victims of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. At various times, political authorities in the regional administrations of Somaliland and Puntland expressed a commitment to address trafficking, but corruption and lack of resources prevented the development of effective policies and programs. Some officials in these administrations were known to facilitate or condone human trafficking. No resources were devoted to trafficking prevention or to victim protection. There were no reports of trafficking-related arrests or prosecutions. Somaliland and Puntland officials were not trained to identify or assist trafficking victims. NGOs worked with IDPs, some of whom may have been trafficking victims.

Persons with Disabilities

The TFC, the Somaliland constitution, and the Puntland Charter all prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities.

The TFC states that the state is responsible for the welfare of persons with disabilities, along with orphans, widows, heroes who contributed and fought in defense of the country, and the elderly.

The Somaliland constitution notes that the state is responsible for the health, care, development, and education of mothers, children, the disabled, persons who have no one to care for them, and mentally handicapped persons.

The Puntland Charter safeguards and advocates for the rights of orphans, disabled persons, and whoever needs the protection of the law.

There are no laws in any of the three areas to ensure building access.

In the absence of functioning governing institutions, the needs of most persons with disabilities were not addressed. Several local NGOs in Somaliland provided services for persons with disabilities. Associations of persons with disabilities reported numerous cases of discrimination to the UNIE.

There was widespread abuse of persons with mental illness. Without a public health infrastructure, there were no specialized institutions to provide care or education for the mentally ill. It was common for such persons to be chained to a tree or restrained within their homes.

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

More than 85 percent of the population shared a common ethnic heritage, religion, and nomad-influenced culture. The UNIE estimated that minority groups constitute approximately 22 percent of the population. In most areas members of groups other than the predominant clan were excluded from effective participation in governing institutions and were subject to discrimination in employment, judicial proceedings, and access to public services.

Minority groups and low-caste clans included the Bantu (the largest minority group), the Benadiri, Rer Hamar, Brawanese, Swahili, Tumal, Yibir, Yaxar, Madhiban, Hawrarsame, Muse Dheryo, and Faqayaqub. Intermarriage between minority groups and mainstream clans was restricted by custom. Minority groups had no armed militias and continued to be disproportionately subject to killings, torture, rape, kidnapping for ransom, and looting of land and property with impunity by faction militias and majority clan members. Many minority communities continued to live in deep poverty and suffer from numerous forms of discrimination and exclusion.

For example, in Galkayo in September 2008, militiamen from the Omar Mohammud subclan shot and killed a taxi driver. The driver was from the Marehan clan, and most residents reported that the killing was clan-linked. There were no developments in this case.

Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Sexual orientation is considered a taboo topic, and there is no public discussion of this issue in any region of the country. There were no reports of societal violence or discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Other Societal Violence or Discrimination

Persons with HIV/AIDS continued to face discrimination and abuse in their local communities, and by employers in all parts of the country. UNICEF reported that persons with HIV/AIDS were subjected to physical abuse, rejected by their families, and subjected to workplace discrimination and dismissal. Children with HIV-positive parent(s)) also suffered discrimination, which hindered prevention efforts and access to services.

Section 7 Worker Rights

a. The Right of Association

The 1960 constitution allows workers to form and join unions, and the TFG respected this right; however, due to the civil war and clan fighting, the only partially functioning labor union in the country was the journalist association NUSOJ. Other unions existed in name but engaged in no activities during the year. The Puntland Charter and the Somaliland constitution also protect workers’ freedom of association; however, labor laws were not enforced in the country, resulting in an absence of effective protection for workers’ rights.

The Somaliland Trade Union Organization (SOLTUO), formed in 2004, claimed to have 26,000 members representing 21 individual unions. SOLTUO claimed to be democratic and independent, but there were no activities undertaken by the SOLTUO during the year.

The TFC allows unions to conduct their activities without interference and grants workers the right to strike. In practice there were no reports of workers attempting to strike.

b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Collective bargaining is protected by laws in Somalia, Somaliland, and Puntland, but they are generally not enforced.

Wages and work conditions in the traditional culture were established largely on the basis of ad hoc arrangements based on supply, demand, and the influence of the worker’s clan.

The TFC allows unions to conduct their activities without interference and grants workers the right to strike. There were no reports of antiunion discrimination.

There are no export processing zones.

c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The pre-1991 penal code and the TFC prohibit forced or compulsory labor, including by children; however, there were reports that such practices occurred. It could not be confirmed whether, as had been reported in 2005, local clan militias or other armed militia forced members of minority groups to work on banana plantations without compensation. It also could not be confirmed if in Middle and Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle, Bantus were used as forced labor, as in previous years.

d. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment

The pre-1991 labor code and the TFC prohibit child labor; however, child labor was widespread.

The recruiting and use of child soldiers was a problem (see section 1.g.). Young persons commonly were employed in herding, agriculture, and household labor from an early age. Children broke rocks into gravel and worked as vendors of cigarettes and khat on the streets. UNICEF estimated that from 1999 to 2005, 36 percent of children between the ages of five and 14 were in the workforce–31 percent of males and 41 percent of females. The actual percentage of working children was believed to be higher. The lack of educational opportunities and severely depressed economic conditions contributed to the prevalence of child labor.

In Somalia the Ministries of Labor and Social Affairs and Gender and Family Affairs were responsible for enforcing child labor laws. In Somaliland it was the Ministry of Family and Social Development, and in Puntland it was the Ministry of Labor, Youth and Sports. In practice none of these ministries enforced these laws.

e. Acceptable Conditions for Work

Although the TFC and the Somaliland constitution both include provisions for acceptable working conditions, there was no organized effort by any of the factions or de facto regional administrations to monitor acceptable conditions of work during the year. There is no national minimum wage. There was no information on the existence or status of foreign of migrant workers in the country. With an estimated 43 percent of the population earning less than 40,000 Somali shillings (less than $1) per day, there was no mechanism to attain a decent standard of living for workers and their families. During the year high inflation, continued insecurity, and other factors significantly decreased the standard of living in all areas of the country. By year’s end 3.5 million Somalis required emergency humanitarian assistance.

*The United States does not have diplomatic representation in Somalia, and U.S. government personnel were not permitted to travel regularly into any of the territory of the former state of Somalia during the year. This report draws in large part on non-U.S. government sources.

Dawladda Koonfurta Afrika oo Somaliland ku Tilmaantay Qaran ka soo Ifbaxay Qaaradda oo u Baahan in Casharadeeda Meel lagu Qorto

Dawladda Koonfurta Afrika oo Somaliland ku Tilmaantay Qaran ka soo Ifbaxay Qaaradda oo u Baahan in Casharadeeda Meel lagu Qorto

South Africa Government

Cilmi-baadhistani waxay raad-raacaysaa taariikhda iyo guulaha samaynta qaran iyo dhismihiisa, waxaanay daboolka ka qaadaysaa guusha sheekada qaran ka soo ifbaxay Afrika oo samaysmay”

“Cilmi-baadhistani waxay muujinaysaa qaabka cajiib ah ee dad Afrikan ahi u abuuri karaan ama u samayn karaan waddankooda, taas oo dadku xudun u yahay horumarka”

Wariika Madaxtooyada Koonfur Afrika

Johannesburg (Jam)- Dawladda Koonfur Afrika ayaa markii ugu horreysay ku tilmaantay Somaliland qaran ka soo ifbaxay Qaaradda Afrika oo u baahan in lagu daydo.

Wasiirka Madaxtooyada Koonfur Afrika Mr. Collins Chabane ayaa khudbad qoraal ah kaga hadlay Somaliland, waxa uu sheegay in Somaliland tahay dal jira oo wanaag ku soo kordhiyey qaaradda Afrika, isla markaana Koonfur Afrika ay ka baranayso casharo badan.

Khudbadan oo ahayd qoraal Wasiirka Madaxtooyadu ugu talogalay inuu ka jeediyo xaflad lagu qabtay magaalada Johannesburg oo lagu soo bandhigay buug si ballaadhan uga hadlaya taariikhda Somaliland iyo waxay qabsatay, kaas oo uu qoray Safiirka Somaliland ee dalka Koonfur Afrika Prof. Iqbal Jhazbhay, kaas oo uu ugu magac-daray, ‘Somaliland: Dal Afrikan ah oo u Halgamaya Qaranimo iyo Ictiraaf Caalami ah.’ Haseyeeshee Wasiirka Madaxtooyada oo ka baaqday xafladaasi ayaa waxa khudbadiisa xafladaasi ka akhriyey Welile Nhlapo oo ah nin safiir reer Koonfur Afrika.

Khudbada Wasiirka Madaxtooyadu kaga hadlay Somaliland oo ahayd mid dheer oo ku qoran luuqada Ingiriisiga oo aannu idiin soo koobnay waxay u qornayd, ayaa uu ku yidhi; “Sidaynu wada ognahay Somaliland waxay ka baxday midnimadii Soomaaliya waqtigii ay gumaystaha ka qaateen xornimada, waxaana iminka jira saddex dal oo Soomaaliya ah oo lagu kala magacaabo; Soomaalida Muqdisho, Somaliyada Jabuuti iyo Somaliland-ta Hargeysa.

Maantana waxaynu u dabaaldegaynaa warbixin faahfaahin iyo macluumaad badan ka bixinaysa Somaliland ilaa waqtigii madaxbannaanideeda oo ku saabsan taariikhdeeda iyo dadaalkeeda aqoonsiga ay kaga raadinayso beesha caalamka.”

Mr. Collins Chabane waxa uu daboolka ka qaaday in buugaas laga qoray Somaliland ee dalkiisa lagu soo bandhigay uu iftiimiyey muhmal badan oo ka saarnaa Somaliland, isla markaana lagu xardhay duruus ku saabsan dhismaha qaran horumara.

“Cilmi-baadhistani waxay raad-raacaysaa taariikhda iyo guulaha samaynta qaran iyo dhismihiisa, waxaanay daboolka ka qaadaysaa guusha sheekada qaran ka soo ifbaxay Afrika oo samaysmay. Annagu haddii aannu nahay Koonfur Afrika waanu naqaanaa caqabadaha ka horyimaada dhismaha qaran, in laga takhaluso sharciga midab-kala-sooca oo lagu beddelo shuruuc horumar leh, caqabadaha ka horyimaada in awoodda la saaro maamul-wanaaga, xoojinta istaarijiyad qorshaysa iyo qiimaynteeda.

Cilmi-baadhistani [buuga Somaliland laga qoray] waxay ina gayeysiinaysaa in aynu dib u xasuusano taariikhda halganadii gudaha wax u muuqda isku daygii ugu muhiimsanaa ee dib-u-qaabayntii gumaystaha ee madaxbannaanida. Sidoo kale, cilmi-baadhistani waxay muujinaysaa qaabka cajiib ah ee dad Afrikan ahi u abuuri karaan ama u samayn karaan waddankooda, taas oo dadku xudun u yahay horumarka,” ayuu khudbadiisa ku yidhi Wasiirka Madaxtooyadu.

Wasiirku waxa uu ammaan u jeediyey safariika Somaliland ee dalkaas Prof. Iqbal Jhazbhay ee isagu buugaasi qoray, kaas oo uu ku sheegay inuu yahay aqoonyahan halyey ah oo qabtay shaqo muhiim ah.

“Dhammaantayo waxaannu soo dhawaynaynaa oo dhiirigalinaynaa daraasadan, anaga oo sheekhadan Afrika [Somaliland] ku eegayna indho Afrikan, halkii aannu ka eegi lahayn raadadkii taariikhda gumaystaha.

Horumarka ay samaysay Somaliland ee u horseeday barwaaqadu waa mid lala dhaco, waxaanuna haysanaa aqooyahano Afrikan ah sida Prof. Iqbal oo qoraya wax badan oo horumarka qaaradda ku saabsan.”

“Dhammaanteen [Afrika] oo xitaa Koonfur Afrika ku jirto waa in aynu sawiranaa casharada iyo khibarada Somaliland ee ku saabsan dhismaha iyo horumarinta dal, taas oo ka jawaabaysa baahida bulshada,” ayuu yidhi Mr. Collins Chabane.

Gebogabadii waxa Wasiirku ka hadlay qadiyadda madaxbannaanida Somaliland iyo sida dawladdiisu u aragto, waxaannu yidhi; “Qadiyadda madaxbannaanida iyo helitaanka ictiraafka caalamka ee Somaliland, dabcan waa arrin u taala beesha caalamka. Warbixintii Guddigii Xaqiiqo-raadinta ee Midowga Afrika ka diyaariyeen Somaliland 2005-tii waa arrin meesha ku jirta, taas oo ku talisay in arrintan loo eego si furan oo taxadir xaqiiqooyin taariikheed leh.

Dawladda Koonfur Afrika rabitaankeedu waxa weeye in laga helo nabad iyo barwaaqo gobolka Geeska Afrika, isla markaana degaan xaaladaha Sudan iyo Soomaaliya.”


Jamhuuriya Online

Chinese Businessmen Conclude Somaliland Visit

Chinese Businessmen Conclude Somaliland Visit
Hargeysa, Somaliland, March 13, 2010 (SL Times) – A group of businessmen concluded their visit to Somaliland and flew back to China on March 7th. The visit Chinese delegation’s visit was in response to a visit to China by Somaliland’s Minister of Aviation, Mr. Ali Muhammad Waran Adde and the Mayor of Hargeysa, Eng. Hussein Ja’ir. Speaking to the press at Berbera Airport, Mr. Waran Adde said that they discussed with the Chinese delegation how to strengthen relations between the two countries in various fields. He noted that the Chinese businessmen have been all over the country and explored business opportunities in fisheries, the port, and minerals.
Mr. Warn Adde explained that China is a rising power in world affairs and it wants Somaliland to be its entry point to the Horn of Africa.

Source: Somaliland Times

Speech by Minister Collins Chabane on the occasion of the book launch on Somaliland by Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay, University of South Africa (UNISA)

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Speech by Minister Collins Chabane on the occasion of the book launch on Somaliland by Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay, University of South Africa (UNISA)

11 March 2010

The speech was read on behalf of the Minister by Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, Presidential National Security Advisor
Professor Louise Molamu, Registrar of the University of South Africa
Professor Rosemary Moeketsi, Executive Dean of Human Sciences
Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay, Author of the Book we are launching today, and his wife Naseema Docrat
Distinguished ambassadors and high commissioners
Professor Chris Landsberg of the University of Johannesburg
Dr Nomfundo Ngwenya of the South African Institute of International Relations
Invited guests
UNISA community
Ladies and gentlemen

We are today at the University of South Africa (UNISA), a leading long distance learning institution with footprints across the continent, to launch an academic study of one of the countries in the Horn of Africa, Somalia with particular emphasis on Somaliland. This study by one of the sons of Africa, Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay has been titled “Somaliland: An African Struggle for Nationhood and International Recognition”.

UNISA as it is known, has been at the forefront and a pioneer of African studies for many years and is the only African university with a learning centre in Addis Ababa and many learning centres across South Africa.

In November last year, we had gathered again in this very same university, on the occasion of the International Sudan Studies Conference under the theme “The future of Sudan to 2011 and beyond: African dimensions of peace, stability, justice and reconciliation”. The conference was convened to examine what had happened with the comprehensive peace agreement and where it is taking Sudan, which is currently preparing for democratic elections, marking the progress of the African people towards peace and stability.

Both these gatherings about countries of the Horn of Africa, demonstrates the commitment of the South African government, the country and its people in building a better Africa and a better world. The prosperity of Africa will translate into a better Africa and a better world and South Africa remains committed to this objective.

President Jacob Zuma, since he came into office, has consistently emphasised the importance of a government that is responsive and caring to its people and implementation orientated. This was demonstrated with the establishment of the planning and monitoring and evaluation ministries in the Presidency. The aim is to ensure that the state is firmly focused on its mandate and deliver to its citizens, but most importantly that we build a developmental state which responds to people needs.

This government has placed central to its priorities, improvement of healthcare, job creation, rural development, the fight against crime and most importantly education. We need to ensure that our education system produces learners who can fill the skills gap in the country and help us build a prosperous developmental state. The education system should provide technical skills to the economy but equally important academics like Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay, who can also assist the continent in properly documenting and preserving our history including that of the continent.

As the ministry, we have a responsibility to ensure that we monitor and evaluate the work of government and make sure that government meets its developmental objectives. Our work, we believe, will ensure that government remains firm on its priorities and build a governance system which is driven by people’s needs.

Somaliland as we know it today has emerged from breaking away from the union government following independence from its colonial past. There are now three states out of Somalia, namely Somalia of Mogadishu, Somalia of Djibouti and Somaliland of Hargeisa. Today we celebrate a detailed and highly informative study of the Somaliland since independence, its history and its quest for international recognition.

The study traces the history and successes of state formation and state building and looks at the emerging success story in Africa of state formation. We as South Africans know the challenges pertaining to state building, from need to undo apartheid laws and replacing them with more progressive laws, more recently the challenges of focused and coordinated governance, strategic planning and monitoring and evaluation. The study takes us through a historical journey of the internal struggles in what was viewed as the most successful attempt at re-drawing of colonial demarcation at independence. The study is a classical way of how African people can create and construct its own state, through a people-cantered approach to prosperity.

Professor Jhazbhay in putting together this important work, he has conducted interviews with among others, former heads of state, ministers, diplomats, Somali studies experts and other academics such as heads of research institutions that are highly knowledgeable and well respected.
This study should be welcomed and encouraged by all of us, as we preserve the real story of Africa through African eyes, than the historical colonial approach. The progress made by Somaliland to lead its state to prosperity is commendable and we owe it to African academics like Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay to further enhance the study of our own continent. We should all of us, South Africans included, draw from the lessons and experiences of the Somaliland to build a developmental state that is responsive to people’s needs.

The issue of independence and international recognition of Somaliland is, of course, a matter which the international community is ceased with. The African Union report following the fact finding mission to Somaliland conducted in 2005 is a case in point. It is a demonstration of the complexities and difficulties in addressing the Somali issue. The report makes the observation and recommendation that the issue should be discussed and addressed in an objective manner taking into consideration historical facts. Somaliland’s destiny must be determined in the broader process of resolving the bigger Somali issue. A piecemeal approach would set us up for later conflicts. The Transitional Federal Government has firmly stated that Somaliland is part of Somalia and its destiny is to be determined by all Somalis.

The South African government is of the view that there should be peace and prosperity in the Horn of Africa as is continually ceased with the situation in Sudan and the Somali issue is of no exception. Today let us all welcome this study, the work of Professor Jhazbhay and let it be our reference as we address the Somali issue. This book strengthens the case for all of us to educate ourselves and fellow Africans about our history, our experiences and our commitment for a better Africa and a better world. Because of our past, South Africans do not focus much on broader African challenges to the extent that they do, their focus is on Zimbabwe, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union of which tend to dominate our media headlines.

We need to educate our nation that it moves beyond usual suspects which includes Europe, America but start to focus on Africa in particular on areas such as the sub-regions of Southern Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, North Africa and the Horn and East Africa and also include Asia.
We need to take such studies into our classrooms and newsrooms to educate societies of Africa and showcase good success stories and similarly challenges we face in developing a better and prosperous Africa.

I thank you.

Issued by: The Presidency
11 March 2010
Source: The Presidency (http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/)

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Israel was prepared to recognize the breakaway territory of Somaliland, which split from Somalia in 1991, as an independent nation.

TEL AVIV, Israel, March 9 (UPI) — Israel is struggling to keep its diplomatic friends in Africa as Iran makes a determined effort to expand its influence there, making the continent an emerging theater in the Iran-Israel confrontation.

But these days the Jewish state has a new ally, Kenya, which wants Israeli help to fight the growing menace of jihadist terrorism emanating from war-torn Somalia, Kenya’s northern neighbor where jihadists linked to al-Qaida are active.

Israel is also seeking a foothold in the turbulent Horn of Africa to guard the approaches of the Red Sea. This is a vital shipping route and the access to the Arabian Sea for missile-armed Israeli submarines to target Iran should hostilities erupt.

It is also used by Iran to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip via Sudan and Egypt.

The Kenyans have suffered three major attacks by al-Qaida in recent years — the suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi on Aug. 7, 1998, and twin attacks Nov. 28, 2002, in Mombasa, the bombing of a hotel frequented by Israelis and a missile attack on an Israeli airliner.

Kenyan Minister of Internal Security George Saitoti asked for Israeli counter-terrorism assistance when he visited Jerusalem in February.

According to media reports, he told Israeli leaders: “The jihad is taking over Somalia and threatening to take over Kenya and all of Africa. No one is more experienced than you in fighting internal terrorism.”

These reports said the Israelis responded by saying they were prepared to consider establishing a joint force with Kenya to guard its northwestern border to prevent terrorist infiltration.

Somalia’s al-Shebab Islamist movement, which is fighting a Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu, has repeatedly threatened to attack Kenya for allegedly training Somali troops.

According to the Jamestown Foundation, a U.S. think tank that monitors jihadist militancy, “The talks with Kenya appear to be part of a growing Israeli interest in the Horn of Africa.”

In early February, Yigal Palmor, spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, reportedly told the Somalia media that Israel was prepared to recognize the breakaway territory of Somaliland, which split from Somalia in 1991, as an independent nation.

If that happened, Israel would be the first country to recognize Somaliland, which is strategically located on the Gulf of Aden.

There have been reports, all unconfirmed, that Israel has its eye on setting up a naval outpost at the port of Berbera to monitor the approaches to the Red Sea. The Soviet military established a naval port there in 1969 during the Cold War, along with an airfield capable of handling all types of military and cargo aircraft.

Last June, one of the Israeli navy’s German-built Dolphin class submarines, reputedly able to carry nuclear-armed missiles, transited the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean into the northern end of the Red Sea for “exercises.” That was generally seen as a warning to Iran as Israeli warships usually have to take the long route from the Mediterranean via the Cape of Good Hope to reach the Red Sea.

Two Saar 5-class missile ships followed in July to beef up the Israeli presence in the waterway.

According to several Internet reports, two more Israeli warships passed through the canal in recent weeks into the Red Sea. Israel’s Defense Ministry declined comment.

In the 1950s and ’60s, Israel cultivated links with many of the post-colonial African states because they provided considerable diplomatic support in the United Nations and other internal forums, usually in exchange for military and agricultural support.

That changed amid a swell in pro-Arab sentiment following the Middle Eastern wars of 1967 and 1973.

More recently, Iran has been buying off some of Israel’s erstwhile allies in a systematic effort to spread Tehran’s influence in the Third World.

Last year, Mauritania, one of the few Arab League members to have relations with Israel, told it to close its embassy in the capital, Nouakchott, after Iran moved in.

Iran’s clout in central and west Africa is also heightened by the presence of large and influential communities of Lebanese Shiites who are generally sympathetic to Hezbollah.

They dominate the diamond trade in the region, which provides considerable funds for the Iranian-backed movement.

However, in recent months, Israel has been building military and intelligence links with Ethiopia, Nigeria and other African states.


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Source: United Press International (UPI)

En kinesisk delegation besöker just nu i Somaliland

En grupp av kinesiskt näringsliv är just nu i Somaliland. De hade möte med president Dahir Rayaale.  Den här är fösta gången en stor delegation från Kinas närinsliv besöker i Somaliland. Kina som utvidgar sina affärskontakter i Afrika. Afrika behöver Kina och Kina behöver Afrika. Kina har de senaste åren satsat/inversterat Afrika med oehört mycket pengar. Kina har ökat sitt bistånd till Afrika avsevärt mycket. T.ex. Kina håller på att bygga den Afrikanska Unionens högkvarter i Addis Abeba, Ethiopien. Kina har skänkt den till Afrika. I Somaliland vill de också inverstera, ett kinesiskt företag ska bygga ut Egal Internationella flygplasten i Hargeisa.  Somaliland luftverk ministern Ali Waran Ade och Hargeisas borgmästare, Ji´ir besökte för några veckor sedan  den kinesiska bygg företagets kontor i Kina, för att förhandla färdigt där.

den kinesiska delegationen samtalar med president Rayaale.

Somaliland1991