Please contact CPJ, Reporters without Borders, IFEX, Article 19, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International if you know a journalist in jail or injured. To benefit an informed public, in an information age and an open economy and in a democracy, citizens should fight for both.
Somaliland Cyberspace is a non-partisan, fact-based site which promotes Somaliland and sustainable development. While maintaining an ongoing archives, this space nevertheless exposes the political and cultural obstacles to achieving human dignity, freedom and environmental sustainability in an era characterized by the never-ending foreign War on Terror, expanding inequality and fundamentalism all under the threat of a climate change.
To further the understanding of these issues, here is a collection of some links and images of current interest that may be useful or fun to others as well. These include variety of matters that I watch involving the present crisis in Somalia/Somaliland region, as well as the strife in the Middle East, fundamentalist islamism, gender and human rights from a progressive point of view.
This space follows and posts alternative and uncompromising news, picking up the chatter where lamestream news media left it off and keeping certain issues alive. This space attempts to fill a void that is often and glaringly neglected. In this context, integrity, insight and intelligence are sorely lacking. Content is bold and provocative. No subject is off limits, no authority immune from criticism and no power above accountability, even a sub-clan-sponsored 'government' or the teachings of a major religion.
Read more: @JonathanMStarr, the founder of The Abaarso School in 2009
60 Minutes, The New York Times, MSNBC, BBC, and CNN are just some of the media outlets that have covered the story of Abaarso School in Somaliland. Abaarso is also the subject of a recently released book, It Takes A School, and an upcoming documentary, Somaliland, The Abaarso Story. All this attention is the result of Abaarso's extraordinary success, despite conventional wisdom believing Abaarso's results were impossible anywhere, never mind in the unrecognized breakaway country of Somaliland. Given Abaarso's achievements and modest price tag, its approach is worth a deeper dive for lessons that can be applied elsewhere.More.
Updated 2/8/2017. Expectations run high for Somalia's new president (Washington Post)
Britain's 'most hated man,' Anjem Choudary, jailed for ISIS support CNN, Updated Sept 6, 2016
What to Do to Mitigate Looming Climate Change: 10 Specific Policies
Somalia Land degradation - SWALIM Report "Land degradation is a gradual, negative environmental process accelerated by human activity, which lowers the productive capacity of land. Due to its gradual and subtle nature, in the initial stages it can go unnoticed for long periods of time. When it reaches its final stages, observable features are manifested, such as gully erosion, widespread vegetation colonisation by alien species, and agriculturally 'exhausted' soil. Traditionally, only these observable features have been used as indicators to prompt control measures."
Read more .
by Dominik Balthasar. Updated 9/10/2016.
Abstract: Past and present efforts at reconstructing a Somali state have centred on the long-standing claim that Somalis have constituted a 'nation in search of a state'. Yet, casting Somali state trajectories in a historical light, this article shows that the Somali sociopolitical construct has always been much less homogenous and united than frequently depicted. Analysing Somali state-making endeavours from the final years of colonialism in the late 1950s to the politico-territorial fragmentation of the 1990s, I argue that Somalis have not only been in search of a state, but Somali society has been characterized by the emergence of plural political identities, inhibiting the consolidation of a national identity. I propose that the identity plurality has largely hinged on the volatility and multiplicity of institutions broadcasted in the context of changing politico-territorial orders. The article suggests that political identity in Somalia has been dynamic and fluctuating during the post-independence decades, that it hinged significantly on aspects of territorial ordering and concomitant institutional structures, and that the formation of a cohesive Somali national identity has in part been hampered by the governments' inability to build and implement overarching political institutions. This carries important implications for contemporary efforts at addressing conflict and fragility in Somalia. Federalization and mini-state formation are likely to see regional identities trump its national counterpart. Yet, it might also spark a process in which political identities start overriding kinship ones, which has been a shared central policy objective of many governments of the past.
"After Somalia suffered significant setbacks throughout 2013, some important progress has been made since the onset of the new year. Most prominent is the localised withdrawal of alShabab, prompted by the joint military offensive of the Somali Armed Forces (SAF) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) launched in early March. While the security situation remains precarious, the territorial gains have pro- vided the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) with an opportunity to extend its administrative reach - a crucial precondition for meeting its long-term state-building objective and its endeav- our to hold country-wide elections by 2016."
Abstract: This chapter examines the African Union's (AU) counterinsurgency (COIN) strategies and peace approach and employs an empirical case study of the AU's most comprehensive ever peace support operation -the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). By focusing on AMISOM's strategies and experiences, the chapter will illuminate key strategic and political lessons in terms of both positive and negative aspects of this multi-dimensional force that emerged between various actors and stakeholders. The chapter considers how AMISON strove to accomplish its objectives within the framework of a wider debate about the emerging African peace and security architecture. It further provides an overview and analysis of the Somali authorities and Somali insurgent movement: harakat al-Shabaab.
Over the last 12 months, al-Shabaab has markedly increased the tempo and sophistication of its attacks on a range of soft and hard targets in Somalia, the semi-autonomous region of Puntland and in southeast Kenya. The al-Qaeda affiliate is re-taking territory it once controlled in southern and central Somalia while threatening Puntland and southeast Kenya by moving more operatives into those regions (al-Jazeera, June 8; The Star, July 16). The resurgence coincides with the 2016 withdrawal of a significant number of Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and a planned drawdown of troops with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) (African Arguments, October 27, 2016).
Somalia's tenuous progress toward stability will only be sustained if the newly elected government steps up delivery of desperately-needed services to its citizens, offering a viable alternative to al-Shabab extremists. Yet six million Somalis are at risk of famine due to drought, and the looming drawdown of the regional peacekeeping force, AMISOM, threatens to derail the country's fragile transition if the training of Somali forces is not expedited. Former Somali Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Abdirahman Yusuf Ali Aynte (Abdi Aynte) and U.S. Institute of Peace President Nancy Lindborg will discuss the challenges and potential solutions in a webcast conversation.
Since the middle of 2016, al-Shabaab has reemerged as a formidable threat to peace and security in the Horn of Africa. al-Shabaab's operations have steadily declined since Operation Linda Nchi in 2011, during which the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali Government troops recaptured territory previously under al-Shabaab's control. Although a-Shabaab continued to control large swaths of land in southern Somalia, it was not able to maintain its hold on towns or major cities until recently.
Abstract:This article, with reference to some of the biggest terrorist groups on the African continent, focuses on the challenges that nations face in combating the spread and effects of terrorism. While numerous studies have been undertaken to explain the causes, dynamics, and effects of terrorist groups, this work particularly dwells on how these groups sustain their operations. Additionally, the article implements document analysis in order to examine the challenges of addressing Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram in Africa.
Chronic conflict is preventing effective response to Somalia's prolonged drought and humanitarian crisis. This special briefing, the third in a series of four examining the famine threats there and in Yemen, South Sudan and Nigeria, urges Somalia to improve governance and promote countrywide clan reconciliation to end the war.
In contrast to the abundance of forecasts that predicted the weakening and eventual demise of al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda affiliated group is resurgent in many parts of Somalia. This resurgence is particularly notable in Puntland, a semi-autonomous part of northern Somalia where al-Shabaab has for a long time maintained a limited presence. Significantly, over the last year, al-Shabaab has steadily intensified the tempo of its operations in the area, indicating the group is focusing its efforts on expanding its presence and influence in Puntland.
Based on this study, Al-Shabaab was said to be responsible for 14,673 deaths in 4 countries from 2007 to end of 2015. Uppsala Conflict Data Program
Al Shabaab attacks since Dec 2016. Siteintel website
Abstract: Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (commonly referred to as al-Shabaab) is the largest radical Islamist organization in Somalia and one of the oldest Islamist militant groups operating in Africa. This article analyzes the effects of foreign military intervention and the ability of the group to control territory on the operational tempo of al-Shabaab's terrorist campaign. We examine the monthly distribution of attacks for 1050 successful attacks that occurred between December 2007 and December 2014 to assess fluctuation in operational tempo. A multivariate model is specified to estimate the impact of prior operational tempo, external military intervention, and the group's ability to control territory within Somalia on variation in current operational tempo. Precipitation is included in the model as a variable to control for the effect of the rainy season in sub-Saharan Africa, which potentially reduces the group's operational tempo by limiting its mobility.
During the last three decades, Somalia has become an arena of persistent conflict. After 9/11 and the escalation of the Global War on Terror (GWoT), the study of the Somali crisis has been monopolized by the Failed State Orthodoxy, a modernization approach and narrative which elaborates on the association existing between state failure and international terrorism. While the study of global security challenges generated by 'failed states' has received great emphasis, the domestic challenges produced by foreign interveners has received, so far, less systematic scrutiny.
The Islamic State covets a presence in Somalia and has for nearly two years wooed al-Shabab. Adding to its web of affiliates bolsters the image that the Islamic State tries to project of itself as a divinely favored group continually expanding in fulfillment of Islamic prophecy.
by Christopher Anzalone.November 9, 2016
A new report from Hate Speech International examines the history and evolution of the media operations of Al-Shabab, key to a better understanding of the Somali jihadi-insurgent movement.
21 NOV 2016/BY OMAR S MAHMOOD
"[T]he occupation of Qandala may demonstrate the ability of Islamic State-aligned militants to leverage Somalia's notoriously difficult clan system to their advantage. Mumin hails from the Ali Salebaan sub-clan of the Darod/Marjeteen, whose members inhabit the Bari region, and he may utilise these loyalties for support and protection in the wake of security operations by regional authorities".
Commentary. Crisis Group, 17 NOVEMBER 2016
"A stretch of Somalia's coast has been seized by Islamic State fighters who split from the country's main jihadist militia Al-Shabaab, which is aligned with Al-Qaeda. A concerted response by the Somali federal authorities is now urgently required to contain the threat."
By Alastair Leithead. 11/17/2016. BBC online.
Read more: Waiting Out the Enemy in Somalia
November 6, 2016 By Jacob Beeders.
"Work and Mandate: The Committee is supported by the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, which is also known as Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG). It is comprised of eight experts and it is based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Its current mandate was extended by paragraph 46 of Security Council resolution 2244 (2015) until 15 December 2016. (...)
The Monitoring Group on Somalia was first established by the Council on 16 December 2003 to focus on ongoing arms embargo violations. Subsequently, the Council extended and expanded the mandate of the Monitoring Group on several occasions. After the imposition of the sanctions regime on Eritrea on 23 December 2009, the name of the Monitoring Group was changed to Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea. The Group was preceded by a Panel of Experts, which was established by the Council on 22 July 2002 to generate information on violations of the arms embargo on Somalia with a view toward strengthening it."
Issued 31 October 2016.
by Christopher Anzalone.
"On October 22 a poor quality mp3 recording was posted online of Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir Mu'min pledging allegiance (bay'a) to the amir of the Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and thus switching his allegiance from the Somali jihadi-insurgent group Al-Shabab to IS. Mu'min, a longtime Al-Shabab preacher, ideologue, and leader, created a stir among jihadis and jihadi supporters online, particularly those supportive of IS, as well as analysts. In this article the symbolic importance of Mu'min's bay'a to al-Baghdadi and its potential impact will be examined in order to provide some additional context to the preacher's role within Al-Shabab and shed more light on why his departure from its ranks is significant."
Stig Jarle Hansen. Hurst Publishers. 2013, 2016. Amazon
October 17, 2016, by Stig Jarle Hansen,
"Al Shabaab has transformed into a semi-territorial organisation. The transformation has not been without losses. By losing territories, it has lost prestige, many of its foreign fighters have returned home and it has lost leaders. But it has survived the transformation."
Published on 27 Jun 2016. By Cedric Barnes
"Somalia's militant group, Al-Shabaab, has often defied its adversaries' claims that it is in decline. In recent months, however, the movement has suffered setbacks, including territorial losses, high-ranking commanders killed and defections. The Somali Federal Government (SFG) and its internal, regional and international allies need to be clear-sighted about the reasons for these, and what they can do to stop another Al-Shabaab recovery.
Al-Shabaab's set-backs - and fewer attacks by the movement during the Ramadan holy Muslim month of fasting than in previous years - are the result of three distinct and unrelated factors. First, an enhanced and largely externally directed and funded campaign including drone strikes has eliminated high-profile leaders and diminished its military capacity. Second, some of Somalia's new federal units are demonstrating greater military effectiveness, even if they and the government still rely primarily on clan-based militias. Third, the Islamic State (IS) has challenged Al-Shabaab's greatest internal vulnerability - its ideological cohesion."
Posted on http://www.rand.org. Updated Sep 13, 2016, 107 pages.
"This study examines the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency cam-paign against al Shabaab in Somalia. It concludes that, while al Sha-baab was weakened between 2011 and 2016, the group is by no means defeated and may resurge if urgent steps are not taken to address the political, economic, and governance challenges at the heart of the con-flict. In the past year, Somalia has made only halting progress on the political front, the security situation seems to be backsliding, some international donors are tiring, and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) operations have stagnated. Nevertheless, al Shabaab has lost territory, fighters, finances, popular support, and cohesion. Against the backdrop of this continued threat, Somalia's bloody past, and its history of weak governance, this progress was encouraging."
by Peter Chonka, Journal of Eastern African Studies, Volume 10, 2016 - Issue 2.Published online: 26 May 2016.
"Since 2013, media affiliates of Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujaahidiin (HSM)have been producing and disseminating online documentary-style videos presenting daily life in areas of south-central Somalia under the militant group's control. In the context of their wider jihad waged against foreign occupiers and an "apostate" Federal Government, these videos feature narratives of nationalist economic self-determination as alternatives to aid dependence and the allegedly nefarious interference of external powers in Somalia. This paper analyses the iconography of these videos in the context of the narrative politics of a fragmented modern Somalia.
By Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens and Abdihakim Ainte. 03.14.16. The Daily Beast.
Al-Shabaab, the al Qaeda-aligned militia in Somalia, is experiencing some of the most successful months of its recent history. Until recently, many had been tempted to suggest that the group was on its last legs as it faced a seemingly overwhelming military force in the form of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)-a Western-backed coalition of East African militaries tasked with fighting al-Shabaab and supporting the Somali National Army (SNA).
BY TY MCCORMICK, MARCH 9, 2016. Foreign Policy (The good news is that the Pentagon is wiping out Somali insurgents on the ground and from the air. The bad news is that al-Shabab keeps coming back stronger.)
Will the UN learn from AMISOM's experience in Somalia
by Walter Lotze and Paul D. Williams, May 10, 2016.
ABSTRACT: This research investigates the development and expansion of the al-Shabaab movement in Somalia from 2000 to 2013. Initially a marginal player in Somalia, by 2013 al-Shabaab had transformed into the most formidable armed opposition to challenge the nascent Somali government and its allies. During this time period they administered territory domestically, while expanding their tactical repertoire and geographic scope of attacks. After analyzing the historical conditions (2000-2006) from which al-Shabaab emerged, I explore the evolution of this organization through the use of historical process tracing. This entails looking for critical junctures on a global, national, and local level that had a dramatic impact on the future trajectory of the insurgency.
Abstract: This article explores the evolution and links of the Somali-based Islamist terrorist group, Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahedeen (more popularly known as al-Shabab-'the youth'). It argues that al-Shabab's attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya should be understood in the light of the group's deepening ties with al-Qaeda and its espousal of the latter's global jihad campaign. In addition, the article argues that the Westgate attack and other atrocities fundamentally demonstrate al-Shabab's willingness and increased capability to hurt targets outside its traditional Somalian base. It also suggests that the group is moving away from insurgent activity in Somalia itself and has mutated as a transnational terrorist movement, with grave consequences for regional and international security.
Abstract: This article examines how Somalis have attempted to overcome deep clan divisions through appealing to an Islamic-nationalist identity. This religious nationalism has served to bring Somalia historically and currently into conflict with neighbouring states. These conflict dynamics have been given added impetus as a result of irredentist claims by Somali state and non-state actors on the territory of neighbouring states. In recent years Al Shabaab has also attempted to mobilise Somalis through an Islamist nationalism. However, while such attempts are bound to fail largely on account of the type of Islam espoused by Al Shabaab, misdirected counter-terrorism initiatives are serving to bolster Al Shabaab's narrative and appeal.
"Ms. Bronwyn Bruton and Dr. Paul Williams bring their expertise in governance, conflict mitigation, and Africa, to this analysis of Somalia's attempts to establish security and build state institutions while facing the Harakat al-Shabaab insurgency. By every measure of state effectiveness- income generation and distribution, execution of the rule of law, and ability to provide basic human security-Somalia has little or no capability. In the aftermath of the attacks on the U.S. on 9/11, fears grew that Somalia would become a safe haven for al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliates increased. "
"This thesis addresses the question: How has Al-Shabaab's position of power across large swaths of Somalia challenged assumptions about the organizational capacities of terrorist organizations within the context of state failure? At its core, this question is composed of four parts: an assessment of the power maintained by Al-Shabaab; an evaluation of the assumptions made about the operational abilities of such groups; an understanding how organizational capacity can be measured; and an assessment of state failure's relationship to informal institutions and non-state actors. This research noted a significant shift in the capabilities of non-state actors attempting to consolidate power in Somalia as social and political contexts evolved over time. "
"This presentation explains why some terrorist groups--ISIS and Al Shabaab--become transnational threats whereas others do not. I argue that groups emerge when overlapping local struggles consolidate into one master social cleavage; and that these groups become transnational threats due to regional politics, specifically whether neighboring countries help them metastasize by weakening and destabilizing the originating country of the terrorist organization."
"Washington fears the group, which has successfully recruited members of the Somali diaspora in the United States, may strike on U.S. soil."
"Effective counter-radicalisation strategies should be based on an empirical understanding of why people join terrorist organisations. Researchers interviewed former al-Shabaab fighters and identified a complex array of reasons for why they joined the organisation. Interviewers developed a profile of typical al-Shabaab recruits and identified factors facilitating their recruitment, including religious identity, socioeconomic circumstances (education, unemployment), political circumstances and the need for a collective identity and a sense of belonging."
"Since early 2007 a new breed of combatants has appeared on the streets of Mogadishu and other towns in Somalia: the 'Shabaab', or youth, the only self-proclaimed branch of al-Qaeda to have gained acceptance (and praise) from Ayman al-Zawahiri and 'AQ centre' in Afghanistan. Itself an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union, which split in 2006, Shabaab has imposed Sharia law and is also heavily influenced by local clan structures within Somalia itself."
"This article examines Godane's tenure as al-Shabab's amir, paying particular attention to both the group's period of expansion, followed by stalemate and beginnings of its decline, the strategic outmaneuvering of his critics and rivals, and the internal purge he and his loyalists enacted in 2013. It finds that Godane was a charismatic and multifaceted leader who demonstrated both organizational capabilities and media savvy, enabling him to oversee al-Shabab's territorial and governing expansion between 2008 and 2010. His desire for sole power within al-Shabab, however, ultimately shattered the group's internal cohesion and led a number of founding leaders and prominent members to break ranks and leave. The future of the group after his death will depend on the internal cohesiveness of the post-June 2013 version of al-Shabab."
"This article traces the rise and decline of the Somali jihadi-insurgent group al-Shabab from 2006 to 2014. Particular attention is paid to the group's implementation of a philistine and coercive interpretation of Shariah in areas under its control, the political economy of insurgent violence, local governing administrations, and internal schisms and recent deadly infighting. The group's potential future trajectory is also assessed. "
"The deadly terrorist attack by Somali al-Shabab militants on an affluent shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, the commercial, diplomatic and cultural hub of east and central Africa, claimed the lives of at least 72 persons and injured over 200 people. The brazen operation, which took three full days to suppress, highlighted the growing tension between neighboring East African countries Somalia and Kenya, and indicated that sustained regional stability and development remained a tall order."
"Media reports regarding recent attack on the West Gate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya have brought to light a significant aspect of Al Shabaab's global operations; it's ability to recruit membership from the United States. The organization's recruitment campaign is believed to be a well-established and successful operation. The campaign has also become the center of an ongoing, widespread investigation by the United States federal government."
"The evolution of Al-Shabab's media arm provides a window into the group's overall maturation as an insurgent movement that has endorsed key elements of Al-Qaeda Central's ideology while still focusing primarily on waging a domestic insurgency inside Somalia."
Executive Summary: Al-Shabab, or "the Youth," is al-Qaeda's formal affiliate in East Africa. Established in the late 1990s, the Somali-based terror group seeks to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state in the country that it hopes will ultimately expand to Al-Shabab encompass the whole Horn of Africa. Al-Shabab controls much of the southern Somalia region and small pockets in Kenya and Ethiopia along the Somali border. In areas under the group's control, al-Shabab imposes its strict version of sharia (Islamic law), prohibiting activities like listening to music or shaving one's beard. The group predominately conducts attacks targeting the Somali government and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
al-Shabaab's hierarchy structure
ABSTRACT: The article outlines how this phenomenon has taken place in Somalia over the past twenty years by looking at two related phenomena: (1) the rise to prominence of al Shabaab, a group that, unlike its predecessors, follows a global jihadist ideology, and (2) the arrival of foreign fighters, particularly from Western countries, attracted more by global jihadist ideology than ethnic ties or nationalist sentiments.
Abstract: Al-Shabaab appears today as an offspring of al-Qa'idah: a Jihadist organization that is articulating a project beyond Somalia to fight Western interests and set up Islamic States in the region. Its growth has pushed Somalia again into the headlines to the extent that Western states and their allies in the region have been developing security policies to contain and eradicate it.
On Sep.1, 2014, [7th of Dhul-Qa'dah 1435 Hijri] Ahmed Godane, the "Sheikh of the Slaughterers," was killed inside a small vehicle at an encampment just north of Barawe, where al-Shabab trains its fighters, by U.S. drones and bombs. The Pentagon confirmed today he died as a result of the airstrike.
"Godane's removal is a major symbolic and operational loss to the largest al-Qaida affiliate in Africa and reflects years of painstaking work by our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals," a White House statement said. "Even as this is an important step forward in the fight against al-Shabaab, the United States will continue to use the tools at our disposal - financial, diplomatic, intelligence and military - to address the threat that al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups pose to the United States and the American people," it added.
On the same day, the Somali president extended a 45-day amnesty to al Shabaab militants who renounce violence. "While an extreme hardcore may fight over the leadership of al-Shabab, this is a chance for the majority of members of al-Shabab to change course and reject Godane's decision to make them the pawns of an international terror campaign," he said in a statement. "Those who choose to remain know their fate. Al Shabaab is collapsing," the Somali president said, adding: "I say to the members of al Shabaab: Godane is dead and now is the chance for members of al Shabaab to embrace peace."
From 2008 to 2014, Ahmed Godane, 37, a native of Somaliland, north of Somalia, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, was a major target of the Horn of Africa's War on Terror, as the U.S. placed a $7 million bounty on him in 2012. The State Department declared al-Shabaab a terrorist organization in February 2008. A year later Godane pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida. In September 2013, Godane had publicly claimed al-Shabaab was responsible for the deadly Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, that left 67 people dead one year ago, claiming it was revenge for Kenyan and Western involvement in Somalia.
The killing of Godane, the Somalia's most notorious insurgent - an unusually shadowy figure associated with bombings, assassinations and the beheading of local critics, will deal a major blow to al-Shabab as a cohesive and viable fighting force against the Somali government and its Amisom peace-keeping forces. The airstrike removed a key fugitive and cracked the mythic status he held among followers. It takes away a co-founder of that group who was a symbol of the group's murderous agenda region-wide. Godane's highly personalized style had weakened the Shura council that chose him to lead the group in 2008, following the asassination of his predecessor, Hashi Ayro. His brutal purges last year against potential rivals and critics eliminated experienced leaders such as Ibrahim Mecad 'afghani', his long-time friend, Omar Shafik Hammami, also known by the pseudonym Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki,an American no less, and Hassan Dahir Aweys, following a harrowing escape from the al-Shabab's grip, and who is now safe enough to be serving a house arrest in Mogadishu, his clan hometown.
His declared successor, whose real name is Mahad Omar Abdi-Kareem aka Ahmad Umar, whose nom de guerre is Abu Ubaidah, literally meaning the Undeterred, but was the unassuming al-Shabaab representative, or 'waali' to Bay and Bakool regions, was reported not to have the brutal character and charisma Godane had and may not be able to keep al-Shabaab together for long. Such fragmentation is possible in the absence of a leader with Godane's experience and ruthless approach to dissent. Similar to Godane, he is either from Somaliland, or from Khelafo, in eastern Ethiopia. Regardless, it's only a matter of months or few years he too will be killed by another U.S drone or missile, but somethings don't easily change.
In addition, true to the kind, following the Godane's death, al-Shabaab, while confirming this strike, also stated that it remains aligned with al-Qaida, according to the Site intelligence group, that monitors statements by Islamic militant groups. "The leadership also renews its pledge of allegiance to al Qaeda and its leader, Sheikh Ayman al Zawahiri, may Allah protect him," the statement reads. "Avenging the death of our scholars and leaders is a binding obligation on our shoulders that we will never relinquish nor forget no matter how long it takes," also said the al-Shabaab statement, according to SITE.
"Al-Shabab is not al-Qaida"
While the al-Qaida appears to have a principal strength of surviving the killing of Osama bin Laden, al-Shabab, as a regional affiliate, is in a different situation. It lacks the numerous and independent supporters and donors that Al-Qaida has had that bolstered it despite the demise of its spiritual and tactical leader. Bin Laden was unusual in the sense of being able to stitch together local and regional militant groups worldwide and pushed them to act on their own initiatives. Al-Qaeda-spawned militants are now insinuating themselves into many conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Levant countries, Yemen, Chechnya and parts of Africa, where, while they are wreaking havoc, they have been holding off government troops and are being targeted endlessly by U.S. drone strikes.
Al Shabab today is also buckling under an expanded military campaign that has been slowly degrading its fighting abilities and income-earning potential. They have to take all of their operatives and weapons, their leaders, their training camps, take away their safe havens. The current Operation Indian Ocean is on the verge of liberating Barawe, a key coastal port and the most jihadi-friendly town, due to its large ethnic Arabian population, to stanch the militants' earning potential as they have exported illicit charcoal and other contraband and used it to import sugar, weapons, pick-up trucks and fuel from Yemen, Kenya and other places.
Ultimately, similar to Gaza's Hamas militant group, al-Shabab's future may be determined more by popular revolts and backlash among war-weary Somalis than by the demise of its leaders. If a significant number of Somalis sees strong legitimacy in the new government, that it maintains relatively less corrupt image, respects its own laws and pronouncements, conducts somewhat free and fair elections, provides improved security and basic public services, that will have far greater impact on the future of jihadism than the killings of key leaders who become victims of drone airstrikes.
Dr M.Bali. 6 Sep, 2014
Read more:Here's What We Want. June 23, 2016
Cold Specks - Bodies At Bay (Official Video)
6/2/2016. Cold Specks Is Reconnecting With Her Somali Roots-Okay Africa
Report "focuses on the right to freedom of opinion and expression in Somalia in the context of the country's democratic transition. The report assesses progress since 2012 and the challenges to creating democratic space for Somali citizens on key processes, such as the constitutional review, State formation and the electoral process. 2016 is a critical juncture in Somalia's political transition, ahead of the expected 2020 "one person, one vote" elections. Freedom of expression plays a central role in building democratic states and in time of political transformation."
From the old archives
Mark T Jones. @MarkTJones500:
"I look forward to the day when trees, shrubs & even telephone wires in Somalia are free from litter". Photo by MTJ
Somalia National Army Captain Iman Elman spoke about the threat of African jihad. Fighting terror: "It's an assault on our civilization, on our humanity". More
These are re-occuring images from the social media posted by the same account. Despite all the rhetoric of patriotism and compassion, it appears like a veiled clan screed. It's also classic case of sour grapes. Not surprise that no citation or link was offered beyond making these self-serving statements and propaganda.
The Mogadishu regime is far from being perfect in anything, including its handling of the constituent regions, so any number of faults can be found in this particular agreement with Puntland. Morever, even its own functionality not to mention its legality since its own making in 2012 is open to question. But this tirade sounds all one-sided and self-serving.
However, the point #3 is valid and could be even helpful, especialy for maintaining peace in northern Horn of Africa, that both the SFG and Puntland shouldn't support the narcissist thug Ali Ghalayd and his Khaatumo's rag tag militia. Whether they consider themselves to be either from Somaliland or Puntland, they should seek internal and peaceful solutions to their grievances.
For those who want to delve into this issue, the following articles discuss the broad features of the said agreement:
1. 2016: Agreement Between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Government of Puntland State of Somalia 2. Analysis: Puntland and the Somali Government Reach an Election Deal. What's Next?
"Somalia Prime Minster: "I'm Committed To Outlawing Female Genital Mutilation". "Ninety five percent of girls there undergo the procedure.
Ifrah Ahmed left Somalia at 17 because of the escalating war.
Mona Eltahawy: 'I remember being worried sick that I'd been cut'. Photograph: Cindy Ord/Getty Images
RAHILA GUPTA 19 January 2016
'Traumatised into feminism,' Mona Eltahawy speaks of her decision to unveil and understanding that 'Muslim women's bodies are the medium upon which culture is engraved, be it through headscarves or cutting.' More
Abstract: Somali women are at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Anxiety and perceived stigmatization toward female genital cutting (FGC) further fuels an atmosphere of miscommunication and distrust, contributing to poorer health outcomes. While the attitudes and experiences of Somali refugee women toward healthcare are widely known, the views of Somali refugee men are largely unknown. This study examines the perspectives of Somali men toward FGC and women's childbirth experiences in one refugee community in the USA.
The Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) and Somali Financial Institutions (SFIs) are taking crucial steps to modernize national payments systems. Supported by the World Bank, the CBS and private financial institutions are streamlining their efforts to strengthen the inter-bank payment, clearing and settlement systems in Somalia.
Albayrak Holding played a big role in Somalia's economic resurgence as the Turkish company was credited with increasing employment and diversifying markets.
"On June 21, 2017, the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) management approved a 12-month SMP covering the period May 2017-April 2018, following Somalia's successful completion of its first SMP since the end of the civil war. The program is designed to help economic reconstruction efforts and to start establishing a track record of policy and reform implementation. We are encouraged by the authorities' commitment and by the pace of reforms to restore key economic and financial institutions, and welcome their efforts to keep the program on track.
The fund said the economy was forecast to expand by 2.5 percent in 2018 and 3 percent in 2019, while inflation was seen falling to the range of 2.0 to 2.5 percent in the same period. IMF projects Somalia's economy to grow 1.8 percent this year -- lower than its February forecast of 2.5 percent -- compared with 2.4 percent in 2016.
Abstract: In this paper the impact of exports and imports on the economic growth of Somalia over the period 1970-1991 was investigated. The study applied econometric methods such as Ordinary Least Squares technique. The Granger Causality and Johansen Co-integration tests were also used for analysing the long term association. By using Augmented Dickey-Fuller (ADF) and Phillip-Perron (PP) stationarity test, the variables proved to be integrated of the order one 1(1) at first difference. Johansen test of co-integration was used to determine if there is a long run association in the variables. To determine the direction of causality among the variables, both in the long and short run, the Pair-wise Granger Causality test was carried out. It was found that economic growth does not Granger Cause Export but was found hat export Granger Cause GDP.
Somalia is a global leader in the export of goats and sheep, and livestock trade generates about 40% of the country's gross domestic product.
In this paper,Somalia and the IVTS active there,known as Hawala, will be examined to answer this question.This paper will argue that western regulatory approach triggered a series of phenomena which had mostly positive impacts on the development sphere of Somalia and on the idea of development it self.
After nearly three decades in the economic and political wilderness, Somaliland, the self-declared country that broke away from Somalia in 1991 at the start of its deadly civil war, remains unrecognized by the outside world. Nestled on the southern shore of the Gulf of Aden, this small fragment of Somali-inhabited territory boasts its own currency, a reasonably effective bureaucracy and a trained army and police force, checking off nearly all of the boxes of an independent nation. It enters into legal contracts with foreign corporations and participates in diplomatic operations with the United Nations, the Arab League, and the European Union.
Somaliland, a self-declared republic in East Africa, faces high illiteracy and has an economy ravaged by a civil war. But it might just become the first cashless society on Earth.
Abstract: Governments worldwide have acknowledged the impact of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) on job creation, improvement of people's standards of living and hence an overall impact on the economy. The important role played by the informal sector in most economies in less developed countries is now recognized by governments and international agencies. However, enterprises in the informal sector continue to encounter various barriers that prevent them from attaining their full potential. This study sought to establish the factors that influence the performance of MSEs inhargeisa city. It attempted to identify the extent to which the socio- cultural background of the entrepreneur influences the performance of an MSE and how performance of MSEs is associated with the characteristics of the business. It also examined the Government Policy and Legislative processes that influence the performance of the MSE sector.
HARGEISA- Authorities in Somaliland, along with the World Bank, have launched the first round of funding in the Bank's flagship job creation program, the Somali Business Catalytic Fund (SBCF). The fund will support 150 to 200 businesses, with one third of grants to businesses in Somaliland. The first round will provide grants to 35 enterprises in Somaliland, creating 946 jobs. Approximately 3,500 jobs (of which 30% will be dedicated to women) will be created through the SBCF across the Somali peninsula by June 2018. The SBCF operates on the basis of strict eligibility conditions and careful appraisal. It is built on the lessons of a similar fund established in Somaliland by the World Bank called the Somaliland Business Fund in 2012-2015.
The main type of data used in this study is secondary data, the empirical analysis is conducted by using annual data on foreign direct investment and economic growth in Somalia over the periods from 1980 to 2015s and unit of data is measured by millions of dollar currencies since Somali currencies is not working a well, after 1991th when central government was destroyed. we had collected data from SESRIC organization. Organization of Islamic countries forum especially statistical, economic and social research.
If the government attempts the modernization of tax administration in Somaliland it will contribute adequate and timely revenue collection through the enforcement of tax law; therefore the government gives a good service delivery to the citizens; and then the government intervenes and balances the public economics of the country. In developing countries improving tax administration is the matter of poor functioning of their government and every country needs to generate enough revenue. Most African countries have a revenue administration, but it is not functioning well to produce adequate revenue collection and to finance government expenditure.
Abstract: The objective of the study was to establish the involvement of vulnerable women and youths in innovative livestock by-products value addition to create alternative employment opportunities and diversify wealth creation livelihood activities through DFID funded SEED programme being implemented by FAO Somalia in the security fragile state of Somaliland that has few options of formal employment opportunities. The study focused on the processes and achievements of the SEED programme towards deriving maximum benefits from livestock by-products instead of concentrating on meat production and consumption only. During the programme intervention, an initial forty beneficiaries of various trade skills and academic levels were selected through SOMDA for capacity development with Competency Based Training (CBT) skills.
It is fair to say that Somalia was not top of the agenda at this year's annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Finance ministers and central bank governors were too busy chewing the fat over the state of the global economy and the threat posed by cybercrime to pay much attention to a poor country with a population of 14 million people in the Horn of Africa. Or, indeed, pay it any attention at all.
After more than two-and-a-half decades of crippling conflict, Somalia faces the considerable challenge of rebuilding its economy and institutions. This process took an important step as Somalia's President signed into law a Communications Act providing the tools to regulate a sector that, until recently, had made only a limited, formal contribution to the Somali Treasury, but could potentially contribute as much as 11% of Somalia's GDP.
ABSTRACT: Somalia currently faces large-scale food insecurity, arising from the drought and poor rainfall conditions prevailing across much of the country. Following four consecutive seasons of poor rainfall and low river water levels in large swaths of the country, a severe food crisis has hit in 2017. The drought has led to near total crop failures and reduced rural employment opportunities, widespread shortage of water and pasture, and consequent increases in livestock deaths, which have in turn stretched the country's coping mechanisms to the brink. Food access diminished rapidly among poor households as staple food prices rose sharply and livestock prices dropped significantly as people engaged in forced sales to cope with the effects of the drought.
Taking into account the lessons we learned from the implementation of the New Deal Compact for Somalia, we developed a comprehensive results framework, monitoring and evaluation component as well as an implementation plan for the NDP. Taken together, these strategies are meant to ensure proper and measurable application of the NDP over the next three years. Our projection is that, if properly implemented, the NDP will trigger a healthy economic growth of about 3%-5%.
The AfDB has briefed donors on its new Country Brief for Somalia and the status of the Multi-Partner Somalia Infrastructure Fund (SIF). The briefing was chaired by Gabriel Negatu, Director General of the Bank's Eastern Africa Regional Centre. Representatives from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, UK DfID, USAID, High Commission for India, Delegation of the European Union to Somalia, and the French, Danish and Finnish Embassies participated in the meeting.
On June 21, the management of the IMF completed the second and final review under the first Staff-Monitored Program (SMP)  with Somalia, and the Managing Director of the IMF approved a new SMP covering the period May 2017-April 2018.
With economic growth gathering pace, Somalia's capital Mogadishu is considered a beacon of hope for the fragile post-conflict state. New businesses, returning diaspora, and an energetic younger generation all contribute to growing prosperity and confidence. But this optimism, directly tied to the private sector and Somalia's celebrated entrepreneurial spirit, is somewhat superficial considering the massive structural and infrastructural challenges that must be addressed to grow the economy in a sustained, robust manner.
ABSTRACT: This study examines determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Somalia, measured FDI inflow. Used time series data obtained from World Bank and SESRIC for a period of 41 years that is 1970-2010. Augmented Dickey-Fuller test was used for the unit root test and ordinary least square statistical technique was used to assess the degree of influence the variables have on each other.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS: (1)Puntland and other Somali regions are using new procedures to recruit young graduates (2)University graduates joined as interns or volunteers while waiting for posts to open up (3)More women are working in parts of the civil service than was once the case in Somalia
Abstract: The dollarization phenomenon has been widespread among the East African countries for many decades. This trend results in several consequences that might be either beneficial or harmful to these countries and their likes. The objective of this research was to empirically examine the causes, consequences and the future scenarios of dollarization in one of the leading regional countries such as Somalia. The research used a survey of over 100 respondents and applied descriptive statistics and t-tests to achieve the above objectives.
Abstract: Somalia has suffered enormous instability and civil war in the last three decades, which have impacted the population as well as the economy of the country. Although Somalia is the one of the most impoverished and corrupt nations in the world, it has registered small growth in recent years. The people of Somalia are entrepreneurial by nature and have established business firms both outside and inside the country. This paper aims to investigate empirically the causal relationships between economic growth and variables such as exports (X), foreign aid (FA), government expenditure (GE), gross capital formation (GCF), and foreign direct investment (FDI).
The roadmap and guidance in this booklet have been developed through consultation between government and development partners. It builds on a process of dialogue, monitoring and collective target setting that has evolved over the past three years in Somalia. The first UCS roadmap was presented to the High-Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) in Copenhagen in November 2014. The second version, which included a monitoring of benchmarks, was shared at the HLPF in Istanbul in February 2016.
Somalia faces numerous challenges on its quest for peace, stability, and economic prosperity. The recent drought and famine will test the countrys resilience to provide humanitarian assistance and will require help from the international community. The governments recent policies demonstrate its strong commitment to improving the state of the country and Somalis livelihoods.
Source: Somalia Multi Partner Fund The first edition is titled Transition amid Risks. Like others, the Bank is encouraged by the progress that Somalis have made in the last three years to rebuild their country. Against immense challenges, reforms to economic and public finance management are setting new standards of accountable governance and sustainable development for Somalia. These changes are essential if the country is to generate the investment, services, and jobs that its youthful population need.
Abstrakty: The state is often considered a necessary condition for the existence of social order and economic development. However, except for the group of developed countries, most states are incapable of providing services which are commonly attributed to them. In this paper an approach, according to which the state is the best possible form of political organisation, is confronted with the case of stateless Somalia. Without government since 1991 this country provides an opportunity to investigate the emergence of institutions and supply of public goods in a stateless society. Using the comparative institutional approach the situation in Somalia is compared with the period before the collapse of the state as well as with the situation in other countries of the Horn of Africa region, showing a relative economic improvement after 1991.
"States' are largely imaginary constructs. What matters in politics is accumulating as large a 'political budget' as possible: the discretionary funds that any leader can spend on buying support, both in votes and guns. In contrast, 'the public budget is a sideshow'. In the hierarchy of the political marketplace, everyone is both a buyer of smaller players and a seller to bigger ones: 'Violence is a means of bargaining and signalling value within the marketplace."
1.Female worklessness rates are higher than males by an average of 11 percentage points.
2.Female worklessness differs dramatically between countries: female worklessness among those born in Nigeria is four percentage points higher than for men, whereas it is 56 percentage points higher for those born in Bangladesh.
3.There are also differences in worklessness between countries: overall, 14% of those born in South Africa were workless compared to 66% of those from Somalia. Read more
End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. Nov 11, 2016.
"The MPF is one of the funding windows established under the Somalia Development and Reconstruction Facility (SDRF), the framework guiding implementation of the Somali Compact. Administered by the World Bank, the fund provides a platform for coordinated financing for sustainable reconstruction and development in Somalia with a focus on core state functions and socio-economic recovery"...."The Recurrent Cost and Reform Financing (RCRF) Project is an initiative instituted to support the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States to provide credible and sustainable payroll while establishing the foundations for efficient budget execution and payroll systems for non-security sectors."
"The World Bank and IMF estimates Somalia's GDP at about $6 billion in 2015 which is six times the pre-war period (1985-1990) average of US$1 billion. Consumption remains the key driver of GDP with Gross fixed capital formation accounting for only 8% of GDP in 2015. The economy is highly dependent on imports with the share of exports to GDP being only 14%. Imports account for more than two thirds of GDP, creating a large trade deficit, mainly financed by remittances and international aid."
"Somaliland has accomplished a tangible economic and political reconstruction since its secession in 1991. This study aims to shed light on the international trade pattern of Somaliland and its export/import components. Livestock is the major export of Somaliland accompanied by its byproducts i.e. hides and skins while the country heavily depends on imports of food, fuel and manufactured products. Although livestock trade considerably contributes to the economy, it faces a number of challenges and losses due to the absence of financial system, dependency on single foreign market and multiple taxation. Saudi Arabia is the leading destination of Somaliland livestock exports followed by Yemen, UAE and Omen. On the contrary, imports originate from neighboring countries, Gulf countries, South East Asia and beyond."
"The formal financial sector consists of the central bank, six banks with provisional licenses, and nine licensed money transfer firms. The sector is small and nascent while there is reportedly a large informal sector. The central bank of Somalia (CBS) faces challenges in building financial sector supervision due to technical and human resource constraints. The economy is predominantly dollarized and cash is scarce, particularly in lower denominations.
Somali banknotes are not readily available, creating problems for the poorest. The 2014 current account deficit is estimated at US$644 million (11.3 percent of GDP). Trade consists mostly of exports of livestock to Gulf Cooperation Council countries and imports of foodstuffs from neighboring countries and the Indian subcontinent. The trade and income deficits were US$2,663 million and US$450 million, respectively, partially covered by remittances of US$1,333 million and other transfers of US$1,137 million. The deficit was financed by foreign direct investment of US$434 million, especially in telecommunications, electricity, and hotels, and donor capital transfers of US$150 million".
Abstract: In this article, we address cross-border trade from the perspectives of state institutions and their agents, on the one hand, and private merchants and pastoralists, on the other. It will be shown that at times their agendas strongly conflict, but in other situations workable accommodations and policy interpretations are found even while acknowledging the illegality of the actions. Because of the extensive border zones in the Horn with few custom posts and banking facilities, the state often has no recourse but to turn a "blind eye" to cross-border trade.
Abstract: This study focused on market participation and producers' knowledge of the indigenous livestock grading and pricing system applied to small ruminant marketing in Somaliland. Data were collected from a random sample of 144 men and women producers in three livelihood zones: Hawd pastoral, West Golis pastoral and Togdheer agro-pastoral zones. Results confirmed the importance of small ruminants as sources of income in producer households. Knowledge about the grading system was generally widespread, and this was important for market participation. Factors that significantly influenced market participation were number of animals kept, gender of sales/decision maker, age of household head and livelihood zone.
"The Somali National Development Plan (NDP) covers the fiscal period 2017 to 2019. It is the first NDP crafted by the central government of Somalia since 1986. The NDP builds on the solid foundations laid by the New Deal Compact for Somalia, which articulated national priorities between 2014-2016."
"GEEL will expand small-and-medium-sized enterprise access to investment opportunities, increase the availability of key business services, and support improved business policy and regulation. The project also will stimulate private investment in high growth industries such as agriculture, fisheries and renewable energy, and will boost employment potential for youth and women in regions previously inaccessible due to security concerns."
"The Somali Economic Forum (SEF) is an international and independent organization committed to fostering private sector development and economic growth in Somalia. SEF aims to do this through the facilitation of investment and producing detailed research into economic & financial trends within Somalia."
"Somalis face a daunting development challenge to overcome the legacy of two decades of sustained conflict and fragility-but substantial progress is now being made. The new government inherited a dysfunctional economy facing high levels of poverty and inequality, a youth bulge, high unemployment, and large infrastructure gaps. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) has embarked on a process of structural, legislative, and institutional reform. The economy is starting to respond: Somalis are returning from abroad to invest, shops are opening, and the property market is booming. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank estimate Somalia's GDP at about $5.7 billion in current dollar terms in 2014.
"ABSTRACT: This DIIS-GOVSEA working paper reviews key debates within economic anthropology and related academic disciplines explaining how economic life is governed in areas of limited statehood. The paper briefly introduces some of the origins of economic anthropology before going into deeper discussions of a number of key debates within the field. The literature review and discussion is organised on the basis of six major themes that shed light on this research question: 1) embeddedness and economic transformations, 2) property governance, 3) informal and popular economies, 4) debt and money, 5) borders and cross-border trade, and 6) authority, governance and economic regulation.
Abstract: Despite ongoing conflicts, Somalia's economy has evolved considerably since the disintegration of the central state in 1991. However, our knowledge and understanding of how transnational Somali economic life is organised and how it influences political dynamics remains limited. As part of the research programme "Governing Economic Hubs and Flows in Somali East Africa" (GOVSEA) this working paper provides an overview of the existing literature on the subject. This paper presents a summary analysis of key features of the Somali economy and proposes a periodisation of the evolution of Somali business between 1991 and today: from the heavily informalised economy of the 1980s, the violent markets of the early 1990s and the subsequent 'duty-free shop' period, to the emergence of a more regulated economy with a significant development of multi-clan shareholder companies since the mid-2000s.
"The contribution of this article is to provide an overview of economic recovery in Somalia that is largely absent from the academic literature. We collate and summarise the most recent quantitative statistics available and match these against qualitative information, including government reports and economic analysis. Our primary conclusion is a positive one; for the first time in more than two decades, Somalia's economy is finally beginning to recover. Growth has returned. New market opportunities are being generated. The trade structure is diversifying and confidence is rising among investors, the diaspora and donors. To be clear, this trajectory is fragile. Political uncertainties and the looming arrival of oil exploration are threats that we discuss in this regard. Nonetheless, our primary thesis is that the five years since the establishment of the Federal Government has been, on balance, a positive period for economic reconstruction in Somalia."
"With leaders from more than 50 countries and international organisations due to gather this week for the London Conference on Somalia, BBC Africa analyst and Somalia specialist Mary Harper argues that Somalia's business leaders offer reasons to hope for the war-torn country's future."
7 nations bombed by U.S lately: Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq Libya.
Greg Greenwald asks four integral questions to the legitimacy of the US airstrikes in Somalia.
10 March, 2016. More-Intercept
Following the September 11, 2001 when the planes-transformed into rockets pummeled into the World Trade Center towers and damaged the Pentagon, Washington declared and still waging a war on "terror". Osama Bin Laden was inevitably found and killed around 10 years after the fact. In any case, the way the war on terror has been directed has prompted numerous voicing worries about the effects on basic liberties which has created a culture of fear in America, the mounting costs of the extra security centered changes that enormously enriched the security entrepreneurs and military contractors, the ramifications of the invasions and wars of choice in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan,Somalia, Yemen and that's just the beginning on a war whose enemy is without fixed identity and terrain. In this context, terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare -- political intimidation through the killing of handful of targeted terrorists but also more unarmed non-combatants and the terrorizing of entire societies because of their religion and politics.
(8/25/2016). The increasing pace of US airstrikes in Somalia. Source: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Note: Casualties are the average of low and high estimates. Could America's War on Terror creep across Africa? * 8/5/2016. Obama Has Relied on the Flimsiest Rationale for Launching Attacks on Countries Across the Planet by Sarah Lazare.
* 8/29/2016. Noam Chomsky: How Obama Has Ushered in 'a New Era of International Terrorism'
Number Of Iraqis killed since U.S invasion in 2003: "1,455,590".
Number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq: 4,801
"We're going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran.." More
* 8/8/2016. Obama Expands the ISIS Bombing Campaign to a 4th Country, the Media Barely Notice What began two years ago as "limited" air strikes in Iraq now includes Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya - all with little public debate.
Estimates fluctuate about the monetary costs of the War on Terrorism. One evaluation suggests around three trillion dollars. Be that as it may, in the event that one incorporates the yearly defense spending plans, homeland security costs subsequent to 2001, veteran affairs, and the added interest on principal obtained for military spending, the cost jump to a cosmic eight trillion dollars. Utilizing 2010 statistics figures about the quantity of families in the United States, this compares to about $70,000 owed by each American family. This is almost twofold the size of the national income. Joined with the stagnation of working class salaries, the swelling of health, public education, and fuel costs, and record low tax income from upper income families and companies, the white collar class now bears the heaviest weight of financing the war and its results. More.
"It's just that our country's $598.5 billion war machine is so ubiquitous that few people even think twice about its role in our children's lives.But we should. It isn't just that the current wars are less about "democracy" than about oil and empire. It isn't just the body count, though that is staggering: Researchers at the Costs of War Project at Brown University estimate 92,000 deaths in Afghanistan, 26,000 of them civilians, with more than two-thirds of Afghans now experiencing mental health problems. At least 165,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the Iraq warsince 2003. US drone strikes have also killed about 3,800 people in Pakistan, most of them civilians. That's in addition to the estimated 6,800 US soldiers and 7,000 contractors who have died, not to mention that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have filed nearly 1 million disability claims with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. More
Somali sense of humor towards international community
8 March, 2016. Legacy Center: Overview of corruption, underlying causes and its impacts in Somalia
More on Yasmin Kahin
Feb 18, 2016. Somalia Post-Deyr 2015/16 Food Security and Nutrition Outlook, Issued on 17 February 2016
29 May 2016. Recent update on crisis: Somalia: Overview Situation Report (as of 30 April 2016)
An image critical of the 4.5 formula that frequently appears on the social media.
This comment reviews parts of the political debate on power sharing and war termination, in a peculiar state where an ancien regime is long gone 25 years ago. This touches on some key features of long-running peace-building that is now finally focused on actual power sharing as basis of state-building in Somalia. These remarks belie any belief in power sharing as a miracle formula, which is rare in failed states, particularly, in Africa, but bringing together different issues should only lead to further debate. What is meant by power sharing? Who has to share power with whom and who can still be excluded from equal sharing arrangement? A major point of contention in the following discussion centers around limited power seats reserved for certain marginalized clans and caste groups, while none of the four major groups are contesting or complaining about the allocated shares.
Defenders of power-sharing generally claim that ethnic groups could be integrated into institutional arrangements which would in turn guarantee a meaningful participation in political power. Observers of power-sharing arrangements as the core element of post-conflict peace frequently base their arguments on the work of the Dutch political scientist Arend Lijphart on consociational democracy.
They assert that power sharing would basically maintain a strategic distance from further secessions and convey more prolific answers for conflicts in plural social orders. The cases of ethnic and different parts of society could be coordinated into institutional courses of action which would thus ensure a significant support in political power. This would maintain a strategic alternative from all the more excessive options of a completely fledged war. "Spheres of autonomy" for the distinguished gatherings would be a necessity as would be proportional representation and some veto rights.
These inquiries are fundamental as power sharing can be constrained to just a certain ranges of administration, as power might be shared between an existing administration and just hand-picked rebel groups (as in Afghanistan), or as radical developments involving a stateless vacuum, comprising of a unbelievable environment of no peace, no war, where all political groups are in a state of generalized opposition to each other, and that typically the regular citizens are frequently forgotten.
In Somalia, where all of this is happening following a state collapse of over two decades ago, and that is bordered by a stable secessionist state, Somaliland, in what had been the northern regions, which complicates state-building in Somalia. In addition, Somali government operates under the shadow of international intervention directed against a deadly terror group, al-Shabab, who similar to the Taliban, is fighting for Islamic rule, and who is the main spoilers of the existing peace process, which they see as unjust and imposed from outside.
What the 4.5 power-sharing means is about sharing power on the basis of 4 major clans (Hawiye, Dir, Darood and Digil-Mirifle) and a cluster of about six minor or marginalised groups (i.e., Gaaljecel, the Banadiris, the Somali Bantus, Gabooye/Baidari/Madhiban, Barawans, and Bajuni, etc). The total representation alloted to the latter groups will be equal to half the representation of the one of major clans, or namely 31 parliamentary seats. These seats are divided up among the minority clans (which includes both ethnic minorities like the Bantu "Jareer Weyn" and Bajuni and "livelihood" minorities who are considered caste groups, as explained by John Kirk.
The Isaaq clan, notably, finally wasn't included as they don't reside in southern Somalia, but the Mogadishu's strategy, long pushed by the Darood and Dir clans, still called for including a handful of token representatives as a part of seats which are allocated to the Dir clan. More than anything else, this issue alone played a major role in the delay in moving negotiations from Sodere-Ethiopia, Arta-Djibouti, Mbagathi-Kenya, to the Baidua-Mogadishu conferences. For example, the current Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omer Ghalib and several other shenanigans were hand-picked to serve as the clowns of that mythic Dir-Isaaq representation. Somaliland government does not recognize their activities and representation, although recently, in an attempt to deprive Mogadishu's courtship with its former politicians, the government issued an amnestyto Somaliland politicians and clan chiefs now based in Somalia, although it is unlikely they will give up their political ambitions.
Back to the so-called 4.5 power sharing, in practice, the 4.5 system formed the foundational basis to the recent caucus-style elections of interim legislative bodies of federal Somalia, SW Somalia, Galmudug and Jubba states and the future Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle state. The political convention since 2000, when the Arta conference adopted the 4.5 power-sharing system, Somalia's two highest political offices, president and prime minister, have been held by only two Somali clans. In practice, this means that a Darood or Hawiye president must select a Darod or Hawiye prime minister. The remaining 2.5 (Dir,Digil and Mirifle and minority clans) have been excluded by the rotation convention. The logic follows that the speaker of parliament is to be conventionally held by a member of Digil Mirifle.
Unlike anywhere else, the assembly and cabinet representatives were based on clan membership. The National Constituent Assembly would consist of total of 135 representives, or 30 elders drawn from each of the country's four major Somali clans and 15 from a coalition of minority groups based on the 4.5 formula. This body is supposed to choose the first of 275 new legislators, who are tasked with electing the president, the speaker and two deputy speakers.
The 275 members of the parliament would consist of equal 61 members from each of the four major clans, while the remaining groups together received a total of thirty-one seats. In short, according to the transitional charter of 2012, the federal assembly would consist of eventual 275 member bicameral parliament, including of an upper house seating 54 members.
Notably, it also earmarked 30% of the National Constituent Assembly consisting of women in order to mitigate universal male domination in political leadership common in Somalia. This was based on the recommendations of the UN Beijingconference on women in 1995, which delegates called on, among many recommendations, all governments to have women represent 30% of their governments' ministers and of other appointed members in similar bodies.
Throughout Africa, women are less likely to become cabinet ministers or randomly appointed legislators where ethnic 'big men' incumbents use such appointments to build patronage-based alliances with politicians or 'ethnic patrons', who act as advocates for tribal constituencies - a role that women are often not well-placed to play as they are less suited to recruit supporters and deliver votes in order to ensure widespread support. Thus, sidelined into poltical cheerleading and supporting marginal political roles in ruling groups and holding a junior state functions, females have had limited chances to participate in the allocating of state resources and claiming definitive political credit for doing as such. Accordingly, women by and large do not have the traditional political followings expected to effectively negotiate themselves into bureau positions as ethnic benefactors.
Overall, the system produces a rough proportionality by dispensing with voting altogether: the random selection of representatives from the populace segments as once used in ancient Rome, known as sortition. Conversely, the more commonly used system of party-list proportional representation, is where political parties define candidate lists and voters vote for a list. The relative vote for each list thus determines how many candidates from each list are actually elected. This system, however, is not currently possible in Somalia as there are no political parties in existence.
The reason behind the voting for a party list in this sytem is that the delegate-based majority-rule government can't work appropriately without political parties. Political parties give the vehicle to the electorate to express their various interests and allegiances through vested parties and offering voters distinctive political choices. They likewise are key organizations for comprehensive investment and responsible representation, reacting and conveying to the requirements of the general population.
"Condemnation of the 4.5 arrangement"
In emerging public discourse, although there's total condemnation of this temporary system, and there's also a dearth of in-depth analysis, most of it happens to be negative. This paper offers a minority group's perspective lambasting the 4.5 formula for what they called it an apartheid system of representation. It fails, though, to point out how electing legislative assemblies and filling up cabinet posts using a fixed set of representatives from various groups could create a more segregated society. The society is already famously segregated enough along clan and sub-clan lines. And, for example, in the war-torn Iraq, the new legislative assemblies and the cabinet were allocated to party groups based on sectarian and ethnic memberships, like Sunis, Shites, Kurds, while certain seats were reserved for the marginalized groups, such as Turkeman, Yazidis, Assyrians and Chaldeans, etc.
As an illustration, as in the October 2005, a general election was held to elect the permanent 275-member Iraqi Council of representatives. The elections took place under a list system, whereby voters chose from a list of parties and coalitions. 230 seats were apportioned among Iraq's 18 governorates based on the number of registered voters. Throughout this process coming in the end of the civil war there, an increased social and public segregation was the least of Iraq's problems.
In addition, this account singles out that one clan family, the Digil-Mirifle, a diverse group of agro-pastoral-urban communities, was a main beneficiary as to have been elevated to a major clan status under the 4.5 formula. This is absurd in that, in a mainly pastoral society that endlessly highlights differences within a myriad groups structured along genealogies, how could some geographical cohesive unity within disparate groups be considered a bad thing? This particular and generally peaceful clan family consists of much amalgamated groups, who practice both the patrilineal cleavages as well as some stable and unique farming settlements and residential communities, where district-based representation could take root more easily.
Another piece characterized this arrangement as 'crude and simplistic' solution for a socially complex society. This formula is blamed entirely for the lack of emergence of cohesive political class representing the totality interests of various groups, although it was only during the Arta conference of 2000 that this formula was first discussed. What would be an alternative option to share power among social groups in a bitterly divided society?
The Somali political dilemma has many roots but it's also mainly about yearning for or demanding a 2 levels of representation at once: Individual level of voters casting their votes and that of social groups wanting to be represented along side all other groups -proportionality and balance- which seems to be the more important one. After all, the pervasive quest for group recognition is central pillar of the clan identity.
Beyond gaining of individual voting rights, or universal suffrage, how could social groups, who otherwise share basic commonalities like language, ethnicity and religion, as well as being proud of sharing a common Samaale tribal heritage, but, due to prolonged statelessness, are still organized as a separate and rival patrilineal-based clans and sub-clans, could share power after 25 years of war?
Also, how could measures of incremental democracy, however small and cosmetic, and within a particular clan culture, however large it's imagined to be, be mixed together, in an evolving fashion, in building of a working nation-state like those found throughout the rest of Africa?
Finally, is Somalia and its constituent states ready for one person, one vote system? That system of modern representation, meaning, at least legislatively, one based on district-based voting system, that of sending elected representatives to a local, regional and national assemblies is not currently feasible. It will take decades of community-building efforts and sustainable economic development for such a system of representation to take root.
In the meantime, regular and timely elections starting with electoral districts (also known as a constituency, ward, electoral area or electorate) which is a territorial subdivision for electing members to a legislative bodies ranging from village councils to regional and national parliaments, using any feasible and working formulas, will go long ways to entrench local community identities and residential group interests that would eventually overlap clan identities, which are socially fine and useful but politically problematic.
"Nominated Ministers and Their Clans". Goobjoog. 28 January 2015. The above article shows how the current government leader, PM Sharmarke, the fifth appointee to the post since the end of TFG government in 2012, has used the Prime Ministerial power of ministerial selection and portfolio allocation within the context of the 4.5 power-sharing. It consists of 20 members, whereby each of the major groups receiving four portfolios and shows that the four or five marginalized groups sharing four posts. In this context, above all other considerations, the president and his prime minister are using cabinet appointments to send a strong signal about what social groups they wish to prioritize or which issues they will give more prominence during their mandate, all based on the formula.
The second consideration is striking out a balance between cabinet post constraints and the power sharing expectations. Specifically, it shows the significance of his use of patronage in terms of not only proportionality (numbers), which is the main focus of the formula, but also about portfolio distribution or prestige within the cabinet and expectations in the future reshuffles (renegotiation of numbers and prestige).
Political observers are thus mainly left to consider political background and educational experiences important in regard to ministerial positions since the skills and abilities acquired within the previous political or professional careers might be transferred into the cabinet. With regards to educational level, ministers' degree is considered to matter in the type of portfolio which ministers are appointed, since education may shape ministers' skills, knowledge, and their performance in cabinet.
An image from a social media account critical of current junta
"Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future." - Robert H. Schuller
Recent backgrounder to 2010-12 famine in Somalia
Al Shabaab terrorists display the bodies of over 100 Kenyan soldiers they killed in El Ade, Gedo, Somalia on Jan 15, 2015 in the worst attack ever on Amisom forces. Details are still sketchy, but it looks like this: Al Shabab attacked the Amisom base in dawn when four suicide car bombs rammed into the gates and followed by heavy exchange of gunfire. When the dust settled down the next day, Al Shabab claimed 100 KDF were killed, and as many as 19 kidnapped. Another 29 soldiers were found wounded in the sprawling base.
The attack team on El Adde base was notably named after Saleh Nabhan, a Kenyan and former Al Qaida leader in East Africa, who was killed in a U.S. drone attack on September 15, 2009 in Barawe.
War on Terror
The false and racist war on terror simply produces more terror. But the Zionist lobbyists and policy makers in Washington from the War Party, who represent the interests of Israel and Jewish lobby AIPAC, have been pushing these wars since 1996, long before the 9/11 terror attacks, and who are running the foreign policies behind the facade of U.S government. They will never see or care about these pictures even if merely pushed aside as 'human collateral' nor do they care to understand why it keeps happening again and again. This state of affairs will continue as long as the War Party is projecting its power in foreign affairs for all, and as long as the Zionist-owned mainstream media covers up for them and that most victims are either Africans or Muslims and none are Jewish.
Al-Shabaab's Nabhan Brigade Resurfaces and Raids AMISOM Base in Somalia Three things we learned from last week's al-Shabaab attack in Somalia
8 March, 2016. Israeli War Lies Fall as Corporate Media Falls "A new film narrated by Roger Waters, The Occupation of the American Mind, traces the rise of Israeli war propaganda in the United States. This propaganda, which has skillfully swayed U.S. public opinion in support of Israeli wars and occupations, has in fact been not so much a matter of skill as a matter of control."
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. The Israel Lobby
John J. Mearsheimer & Stephen M. Walt. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
6 Jewish companies control 96% of the world's media
Feb 12, 2016. For the cheapest mobile call in Africa, go to Somalia
The Mail and Guardian Africa published on 6 January 2016 an article titled "10 Predictions on Africa in 2016: How Trends Shaping the Continent Are Likely to Play Out" by Christine Mungai. More.
Highlights of the piece involves China, including the rise of China's military presence along Africa's busy maritime routes, with Djibouti serving as the first base, and the decreasing demand for Africa's raw materials due to China's recession, tops the economic news, followed by impending rash of the usual currency devaluations.
"War on Terror"
The growing costs of the War on Terror from Somalia, Nigeria to Mali and the changing of terror groups' tactics from open confrontation into asymetrical attacks, including the use of children as bomb conduits in marketplaces and government buildings, are expected to rise.
In Nigeria's worst case, the Boko Haram conflict is the deadliest in that the insurgency had spread over into neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, and UNICEF reporting that this has meant the closure of more than 2,000 schools and the disruption of over a million children's schooling, according to aljazeera. Overall a six-year insurgency is said to have killed 17,000 and displaced more than 1.5 million people.
Nigeria's new president Muhammadu Buhari, the first Muslim elected since the insurgency began in 2009, is the latest political sensation, with some hoping that his administration could seriously launch meaningful negotiations with the Muslim rebel group. Without stating specifics, he claimed at year-end some success in defeating the insurgency and serious changes as to how the conflict is being managed.
But the group's new tactics only highlight their usual modus operandi and that the problem is multi-generational and that no defeat of terror is in sight anywhere."The number of dead and victims are rising, economic activities have been crippled in affected areas, the number of refugees and displaced persons are ever increasing," Paul Biya of Cameroon said recently, according to Daily Trust. "We cannot allow this cancer to spread, we must pool our resources and forces and share our experiences."
Meanwhile, in 2016 will have East Africa watching its other main terror group - al-Shabab - following reports that the Somali-based Islamist group has split into two factions, loyal to al-Qaeda and ISIS, respectively. 2016 is unlikely to bring any truly decisive developments in altering the present crisis in Somalia and Kenya, but expect Al Shabab to go on the offensive whenever possible to prove its continued relevance, and both Kenya and Somalia remain vulnerable to such attacks, due to their highly corrupt regimes and incapable security sectors.
"Will elections matter in 2016?"
Michael Bratton, in his book Voting and Democratic Citizenship in Africa summarized political issues in Africa are usually seen starting from the top. Writers and social researchers alike tend to concentrate on the deeds-and offenses-of African presidents and the circle that encompasses them. The blended political history of postcolonial Africa, for instance, is regularly composed as far as the authority of remarkable people such as Mandela, Mugabe, and Museveni. In these countries where the Big Men dominate the state and the economies, will the outcomes be any different in elections scheduled in 2016?
The interesting election in Nov 2015 of President John Magufuli- aka "The Bulldozer" in Tanzania and the launching of his unprecedented anti-corruption campaign, as he had promised, was the most dramatic political event in 2015. "He was for many years minister for works, supervising execution of mega projects worth trillions of shillings, but was never implicated in any corruption scandal," Joseph Warioba, a former prime minster and veteran CCM politician, told AFP news agency.
Will his election set the tone for the upcoming 17 elections that are scheduled in Africa for 2016? The main ones to watch include Zambia, where President Edgar Lungu will face re-election. In Uganda, the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, a political dinosaur who has been in office since 1985, is facing a real election of sorts but observers expect he looks set to win the election but they expect a more contentious process this time around. Be that as it may, young people still seek after change as the nation braces for a possibly vicious race. Furthermore, as the February date of the races nears, people are worried about the possibility that there will be flare-ups of violence such as in 2011 when business and ordinary life was paralyzed for a considerable length of time aferward.
In April 2015 challenges broke out after the ruling party reported President Pierre Nkurunziza would look for a third term in office. Protestors claimed Nkurunziza couldn't keep running for a third term in office but the country's high court concurred with the President (albeit some of its members had fled the country at the reason of its vote).
An attempted overthrow on 13 May failed to oust Nkurunziza who came back to Burundi and started purging his legislature and courts and captured a few of the coup leaders, who subsequently recieved life sentences.
Following the failed overthrow, dissents however proceeded and more than 100,000 individuals had fled Burundi by 20 May bringing about a humanitarian crisis.
The deepening of the political crisis in war-torn Burundi and the refusal of the recently re-elected Pierre Nkurunziza to accept the inclusion of African Union peacekeepers in preventing ethnic wars between the majority Hutus and the Twa and Tutsi minorities, and who declared such intervention as a provocation to war, makes it a flash-point to watch .
"In July of 2013, Pope Francis visited the tiny island of Lampeduso off the coast of Italy. He offered mass on an altar made from a small wooden fishing boat which had brought refugees to the island. In a homily during the visit Francis said "Immigrants dying at sea, in boats which were vehicles of hope and became vehicles of death.... When I first heard of this tragedy a few weeks ago...I felt I had to come here today, to..." More
Measuring Poverty in 60 Minutes to Help Somalia Address Data Deprivation
Illegal fishing off Somalia 'risks return of piracy'
8/15/2016. Illegal fishing along the Somali coast. As piracy is contained, Somali fishermen again compete with illegal vessels in their waters
"Latest installment of cabinet lineup in Mogadishu"
Updated Feb 5.
On the third attempt, 66 accessories to crime were appointed in the pretext of achieving the impossible fantasy of clan proportionality and balance through the so-called 4.5 power-sharing formula. The apparent outcome is a frenzy of pursuit of personal interests that form the basis of the greasy patronage politics that played a major role in the state collapse in Somalia. Somali PM appoints cabinet
Related: Silanyo Drives Somaliland into Black Hole
It looks messy and chaotic, but I would choose constitutional anarchy anyday in the face of the alternative reality, the place of volatile, armed anarchy and complete legal vacuum. The remedy for constitutional anarchy is more constitution but an armed anarchy needs no solutions as it leads to complete collapse of state institutions and the rise of all-around factional tensions. In a parliamentary anarchy, the spoilers vie for another vote on the floor of the assembly or await a higher court decision, which is what's lacking here, as you can also see in even the more mature Somaliland process. The alternative is the starting of fresh fighting that leads to transformation of statelessness into increasingly irregular fighting forms that was the byword for Somalia since 1991.
Despite the vote-rigging or vote-buying allegations, as charged by the UN's Nicholas Kay, pushing for lawful process of secret ballot voting by the elected representatives and a transparent and peaceful politicking based on one-man one-vote are badly needed. This will usher a new political order based on majority rule, which is less likely to happen in a politically unstable environment.
The reported cancelation of the Copenhagen conference in 19 and 20 November that was designed to support the New Deal Compact, endorsed by the Somali government and international partners at the Brussels Conference in September 2013, should serve as a wake-up call for the dueling factions to end the stalemate and respect both the majoritarian decision and minority's rights.(The two realities go hand in hand).
The Compact serves as the best hope for a road map towards implementing the peace-building process in Somalia, and to steer it away from fragility and toward stability and sustainability in a bid to achieve its goals in the so-called Vision 2016 process. In both regions, the enemies of peaceful, political process include grasping leadership, bad governance, weak or non-existing judicial structures, growing insecurity even in and around state buildings, corruption, rising poverty and unequal access to power that lead to mounting frustrations among various factions.
In Somaliland, Silanyo's tactic is seeking of a term extension which, if passed, will be a replay of Guurti council's three-year extension for the Riyale presidency as it happened in 2007. By this time, all parties should accept that it is the voters who should elect their government once every five years, in this case, come June 2015. The unelected Guurti Council should stay out of election processes and the House, which is just a law-making body, apparently doesn't have the authority to elect a president. The Supreme Court should stay independent of political squabbles unless there are authentic constitutional disputes.
Thus, we appeal to the key donors and international organizations to keep the pressure on Somaliland by cutting off any assistance or imposing travel bans and economic sanctions in the event of presidential coup as it happened in 2007.
In Somalia, the front-line states, who provide the bulk of Amisom troops, key donors and the international community should pressure the government to respect in principle the prime minister's authority to form his cabinet of executive ministers, with the president having a limited, consultative role rather than excercising a veto power over the prime minister's choices for a cabinet that will be ratified by the House. Then in their hybrid system - unstable semi-presidentialism type of government in which a president exists along with a prime minister and the Cabinet both accountable to an assembly and a president- both the Cabinet and the House of delegates then reserve the right, using a simple majority vote, to issue a motion of no confidence against sitting prime minister or president. (Due to its disruptive nature, there should be a limit of one motion of no confidence in any given year. Inexprienced politicians could use it to force compliance rather than seek compromise). However, Somalia currently lacks an elected national assembly and a constitutional court with strong powers of constitutional or judicial review. Still, the current parliament forms the best foundations for the Somali owned, inclusive Vision 2016 process, which is the center-piece of the entire "New Deal" Compact process.
HSM, the 8th and current president of Somalia should remember these comments he made at Wilson Center in Sept 2013: "It is the duty of my government to prove the skeptics wrong: to lay the foundations for a Federal Republic of Somalia that will be strong, stable, and united, and in which the principles and practices of democracy are realized at all levels of government."
The basis and foundation of government are not who holds presidential, premiership or speakership positions, but the citizens' rights to vote in regular elections. This is too one of the most important tools citizens have to influence the policies the government adopts.
In this era of internet and smart phone communications, people today have an unprecedented access to information. Regardless of which political personalities involved, Somalis everywhere should use the communication tools to insist upon the basic rights of their fellow countrymen to choose their governments in free and fair elections.
"Use the real power in your hands"
M.Bali. 29 Sept, 2014
High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF)
"Africa's democratic transition is back in the spotlight. The concern is no longer the stranglehold of autocrats, but the hijacking of the democratic process by tribal politics.".
"Examining Somali poetry, songs, publications, as well as interviewing key Somali officials on their time in the 1990s, Kapteijns provides an excellent account of the ethnically-or clan-based-violence that became so prevalent in Somalia in 1990 as the Siyad Barre regime collapsed. This account is significant because it discusses the clan-oriented nature of the violence frankly without subscribing to the fixed categories that leaders used to mobilize violence and provides important discursive links between the way that elites spoke and the changes in the nature of violence at that period."
"Gabaygan tooyasho iyo toogobeel waxaa curiyey Abwaan Sacad Axmed Xasan-roodhiile. Gabaygu wuxuu ka hadlayaa siyaasaddan qabyaaladda ku dhisan iyo saamaynta xun ama taban ee ay ku yeelatay bulshadda Somaliland, sida ay hogaanka qaranka iyo asxaabta siyaasiga ahiba ugu fashilmeen inay dadka qabyaaladda ka saaran oo ka guuran geeddi dheer. "
"Abstract: Genealogy is both a tool for organizing people on the day to day political level, and an intellectual scheme for understanding human history. This article looks at the conception of genealogy that the Somalis have inherited from their past and examines the ways in which it has been rejected, manipulated and theorized in recent times, especially since the civil war."
Abstract: Somali society has long since been considered ethnically homogenous. The better known pastoral-nomadic section of society was perceived as representative. Politics and economy throughout the twentieth century were controlled by 'majority' clan members. 'Minority group' members were generally marginalized and sometimes even oppressed and exploited; during the civil war from 1991 onwards, they became easy victims for majority group militias. Previously respected religious or occupational 'castes' also fell victim to the general insecurity and lawlessness during that period. The civil war not only had enormous negative consequences for minority group members; in some cases, it increased the self-consciousness of minority groups and led to the formation of new identities that, in combination with international organizations and their human rights policies, provided members of certain groups with chances for resettlement or made them actively demand more rights.
Somali society understands itself through context of a 'segmentary lineage system', known more colloquially as the Clans provide a sense of group identity, organize sub-national distributional politics, and govern a host of traditional intra-ethnic social and political relations. Area experts have often asserted that the inability of any leader in the post-Cold War era to credibly commit to managing intra-clan distributional politics to mutual benefit explains the outbreak and persistence of Somalia's war.
"Offering an introduction to clanism and tribalism in the Gulf of Aden area, Dr Lewis uses these concepts to analyse security in Yemen, Somalia, Somaliland and the broader region. This historical overview of conflict in each country, and the resulting threats of piracy and terrorism, will benefit both the casual reader and student of development."
Abstract: Based on in-depth oral interviews carried out in Mogadishu,Somalia, and countries neighboring Somalia in 2009 and 2013,our purpose in this study is to map the nature of prejudice and hate discourse used by Somalis against the Bantu Jareer and the Yibir, Gabooye, and Tumaal communities in Somalia. The hate discourse used against the Yibir, Gabooye, and Tumal outcast communities is premised on assumptions of their supposed unholy origin and their engagement in occupations and social activities that are despised by the so-called Somali noble groups. The prejudice and hate discourse against the Bantu Jareer Somalis is derived from their African origin and alleged African-like physical characteristics in comparison with the features of other Somalis.
Abstract: A myth can either be a false belief or an idealised conception. This introduction demonstrates why 'Somalia' is both.
ABSTRACT: This article explores recent controversial and flawed book, Clan cleansing in Somalia: The ruinous legacy of 1991 by Kapteijns (2013) and, by closely assessing through critical and content analysis, reveals how and why the book is a new myth in the making (Malkki, 1995). Using fictional works (novels) as a basis to construct a non-fiction work, Kapteijns uses violence as a tool to arrest the political opponents of the clan with which she affiliates herself by turning to literature on the anthropology of violence. The article argues that Kapteijns's book fails to offer a backdrop on how the 'cleansing' was evolved in the first place. The article contributes to the knowledge of African conflicts in general and of Somali conflicts in particular. Its purpose is threefold; first, it critiques the methodology used to analyse the 1991 clan convulsions by interrogating the aims and objectives of the author. Second, it examines and clearly articulates the 'where' and 'why' of the 1991, with its different players and protagonists. Third, it questions the claims purportedly made in the book and offers different critical perspectives of each side of the conflict.
"The publication of Clan Cleansing in Somalia: The Ruinous Legacy of 1991 by Lidwien Kapteijns has triggered bitterness among Somalis. The reason is because the author argues that the Hawiye clan aided and abated by the Isaq clan adopted a policy that defined the Darod clan as an enemy targeted for elimination and expulsion from Mogadishu between January 28, 1991 and December, 1992."
An interactive clan network map laying out the genealogy of the Darod clan family in Somalia. Originally documented by Prof. Dr. G.J.(Jan)Abbink of Leiden University.
Abstract: This is a report for administrative officials in the Somali country. It is concerned with the Somali political institutions which Lewis shows to be based on the lineage system. In the sections included here, Lewis discusses kinship, lineage alliances, adoption and genealogical fictions, the position of Asian immigrants, the separate status of Sab bondsmen, the construction of the total genealogy, descent from Arabia, deviant claims of Arabian descent, and independent Arabian clans of sheikhs and teachers.
"After a journalist-therapist witnessed the politically instigated tribal animosity that rocked Kenya in 2007/2008, the result was this ground-breaking theory of prejudice. This eye-opening narrative derives its conceptual power from its capacity to be applied in practical, real-life interventions. The book is non-technical and quite reader-friendly. It is ideal for leaders, policy makers, social theorists and opinion shapers."
Siyaad Barre's home-grown extreme example of nepotism:
"Abstract: Genealogical reckoning has always been a prominent aspect of Somali social organisation long characterised as a 'segmentary' lineage-based political system. Beyond this ethnographic foundation there was also a widely-held view that the Somali nation-despite the inherent 'republicanism' of the segmentary system-did at least possess a distinctive and inclusive 'national' genealogy. However for a decade now-following the collapse of the unified state of Somalia-authors have been re-examining the basic assumptions of the Somali nation. True to the traditions of the segmentary system they describe, a younger generation of scholars has challenged their elders and these youthful revisionists have uncovered the ethnic and even 'racial' complexity of the Somali state and questioned the dominant national genealogical discourses. This article asks that the dominant genealogical framework of Somali studies be taken back to its local contexts, and that descent by lineage (or indeed race) should be seen as only one part of the repertoire of political legitimacy in Somalia."
"In this article I analyse Somali political institutions in terms of clanship (tol) and contract (heer). By the latter term I mean the explicit contracts, or treaties of government, which are the foundation of all formal political units among the northern pastoral Somali. In conclusion, I examine the significance of Somali political structure in the light of Maine's celebrated dictum that the 'movement of the progressive societies has hitherto been a movement from Status to Contract'"
Excerpts from Gerald Hanley's. "Warriors: Life and Death Among the Somalis".
Quotes from Gerald Hanley. "Warriors: Life and Death Among the Somalis". More
More on Google books .
What would change if there were more women in politics?
Not only do women make up 70% of voters in Somaliland they also overwhelmingly voted President Muse Behi into office during the November 2017 elections...This was stated Somaliland Member of Parliament Baar Saaed who happens to be the only woman legislator in the country while decrying the few positions women were appointed to in the President Behi cabinet.
For the first time in its history, the self-declared republic of Somaliland has passed a law against rape...In the past, a victim's family could force them to marry their rapist to avoid being shamed... Rapists now stand to face at least 30 years in prison.
Abstract: This paper examines gender and enterprise in fragile refugee settings. Building on previous research in Afghanistan, it analyses refugee women's evolving economic lives and enterprise initiatives and related social dynamics in refugee communities. Case studies look specifically at two Islamic refugee contexts: Nairobi, Kenya (Somali refugees), and Irbid and Zarqa, Jordan (Syrian refugees). The discussion spotlights the precarious nature of refugee women's new practices and work norms under forced and strained circumstances, without a process of negotiation with male family members. In the case of longer-term refugees (Somalis), it describes new collective agency among refugee women, boosting support for new practices.
In a country which has only recently started making renewed headway against patriarchal traditions, 23-year-old Hamdi Mohamed Ali is passionate about education for girls and women's rights.
Hopes are high in Somaliland after a largely peaceful presidential election in November 2017 ushered in a new government pledging to launch development initiatives to improve the lives of Somalilanders. Abdijalil Dahir Aqarshe and Jordan Street argue that the Sustainable Development Goals - or SDGs - have a crucial role to play in supporting this shift and bringing together seemingly disparate development efforts.
Summary: Women play crucial roles before, during and following conflicts, yet their participation and the acknowledgment of that role has been with mixed result and slow progress. This paper looks at the role of women in conflict resolution and conflict prevention and in particular their role in mediation processes and election observation in Africa. It gives an overview of the African Union's commitments and policies to enhance and support the role of women in mediation, looking in particular at the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the African Governance Architecture (AGA).
It is hard being a woman all over the world but it is much more harder in some regions, especially in Africa. Somali women have been facing some hardships just like other women in the continent of Africa.
Women's underrepresentation and lack of access in the ICT Sector is a global issue and it is no different in Somaliland, a conference on this issue has been organized in Hargeisa by Hayaan Haween, a platform designed to address issues that directly and indirectly affect women's lives.
Background: Globally over half million women of reproductive age (15-49 years) die every year as result of pregnancy and childbirth complications, and 300 million women endure from debilitating injuries. Barriers to accessing skilled birth attendant services are many. In Somalia, one out of six women received appropriate care due to lack of accessible basic and obstetric emergency care resulting into high levels of maternal mortality and morbidity. About 55.5%, of pregnant mothers prefer to deliver at homes instead of health facilities and the availability and accessibility of traditional birth attendants influenced their choices. This study determined factors influencing access to skilled birth attendants by women.
Abstract:School enrolment and attendance for adolescent girls is a key priority for education sector in most developing countries. In Somalia, this is even more prominent given the low enrolment rate of girls and the gender specific challenges that the girls face. Girls in Somalia often remain absent from schools during their menstrual periods due to lack of hygiene facilities and the social stigma in using the facility where they exist. Girl Friendly Space (GFS) has been adopted as a means to mitigate these challenges. Despite strong narratives of the effectiveness of the GFS, there is lack of evidence on the impact of GFS on reducing school absenteeism. By using secondary data, this study explores the potential effects of GFS on reducing school absenteeism. The study indicate that having GFS in schools can reduce the likelihood of adolescent girls being absent from school in the past month by about 15 percentage points.
Abstract: Women's participation in maritime piracy activities has spanned throughout the centuries and across the globe. However, women as perpetrators of contemporary maritime piracy have yet to receive academic attention. Based on ethnographic research conducted in Somalia, this exploratory study expands upon current understandings of Somali piracy by examining four roles women fulfill in the onshore infrastructure: relationship facilitators,resource dealers, care workers, and financial investors. It draws from piracy studies and utilizes a feminist countertopographies approach to analyze how these roles can aid in (re)conceptualizing Somali piracy as a gendered activity that enables the active participation of women.
Abstract: In Somaliland, women's perceptions of barriers to accessing antenatal care is sparsely described, particularly with regard to marginalized women. The aim was to investigate perceptions of barriers to accessing antenatal care from the perspective of pregnant women living in Internal Displaced Persons camps. Individual semi-structured interviews with fifteen women were conducted and analysed using content analysis. The overriding theme was "With knowledge and support, women can attend antenatal care". The findings highlighted that to obtain antenatal care, it is crucial for women to have knowledge and trust regarding antenatal services, a supporting environment, and ways to overcome practical barriers, such as patient fees and long waiting hours.
REPORT from United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia. Published on 09 Nov 2017.
Mogadishu - Luul Mohamed Osman was an established hotelier before the civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991, forcing her to seek refuge in Italy. She returned to her country five years ago, to pick up the pieces and start afresh.
More than 70 women are training under a programme implemented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Puntland State government, in a bid to help develop the fish sector in Somalia.
Horndiplomat-For the first time In Somaliland women are half of the educated labor force and earn the majority of advanced degrees. The number of boys and girls graduated this year was equal the only difference was girls outperformed boys in every field the top student of almost every university was a girl, But while women are doing spectacularly well in universities, in the workplace it's an opposite picture. Women are stalling out, and the higher they go, the harder it gets, for decades we have focused on giving women For the choice to "go to school" we have celebrated the fact that women have the right to make this decision and rightly so.
Yetnebersh Nigussie, disability activist and human rights lawyer, on growing up blind in Ethiopia -and scooping the 'alternative Nobel'.
The almost three decades of violence in Somalia have engendered a climate of extreme insecurity for women and girls as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has become "normalized". In 2015, over 7,439 cases of SGBV were reported in the Mogadishu (South Central) region alone. And, in 2014, more than 75% of the 5,000 cases reported involved physical assault, rape, and sexual assault. These estimates, however, are not entirely accurate or reliable as many cases of SGBV are never reported for reasons such as: extreme social stigmatization, reprisals from perpetrators, retribution from communities, lack of faith in the justice system, or fear of being arrested.
With more than a third of Somalia's population now facing starvation, new statistics show that in addition to hunger, many women in Somalia are at risk for being raped... The reported cases of rape and sexual violence in drought-affected areas are on the rise, in what UNICEF calls another troubling consequence of the crisis.
A group of 30 Somali legislators are undergoing training in leadership and gender-equality meant to equip them with new skills and knowledge, needed in advancing gender-equality and women empowerment in Somalia....Somalia's senate has 54 members, while the House of People has 275 members. Out of 275 members, 26% are women, compared to 14% women representation that they had in 2012.
As in any emergency, women are most affected by the drought in Somaliland. There is much that Australia could learn from how they respond to the disaster.
Despite threats from extremists, a league tries to stay on the court. By Alexis Okeowo. Sep 11, 2017. New Yorker.
In Kenya's largest refugee camp, a young Somali mother lives in hiding amid constant death threats from her ex-husband. With U.S. refugee resettlement frozen, all her efforts to leave the country have so far been in vain. Ayaan tells us her story in her own words.
In conflict and post-conflict settings, the international community operates with a Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. One of its aims is to increase women's political participation, where an underlying assumption is that increased participation leads to more inclusive societies and more sustainable peace. During and after war, gender roles are often deeply contested as part of larger societal transformations and uncertainties. In Somalia since the 1960s, gender roles and expectations have undergone substantial changes, influenced by the political system of the time, the women's movement, civil war and religious transformations. The international community's role in these societal transformations should not be over-estimated.
High maternal mortality rate, regular rape and female genital mutilation (FGM), and limited access to healthcare facilities for women make Somalia, one of the worst countries for females to live in.
ABSTRACT: In conflict and post-conflict settings, the international community operates with the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda supporting gender equality. During and after war, gender roles are often deeply contested as part of larger societal transformations and uncertainties. In Somalia since the 1960s, gender identities and roles have undergone substantial changes, influenced by contemporary political systems, the women's movement, civil war and religious transformations. The international community's role in these societal transformations should not be over-estimated. Life history research with Somali women shows that debates on women's roles in the public sphere are taking place irrespective of the international agenda.
According to a recent study carried out by Transparency International, Somalia was deemed to be the most corrupt nation in the world. The economic and political instability of Somalia has made it the site of many human rights violations, particularly against women. Females are underrepresented in the workforce as well as education. In fact, slightly over 1/3 of the students at the primary school level are girls, and very little progress has been made in this regard.
Mogadishu - When Nura Ahmed (not her real name) abandoned her home in Wargedow, Lower Shabelle region, to escape the drought, she did not envisage she would become a victim of rape. However, everything changed one evening after the 33 year-old woman and her neighbours decided to flee Wargedow in search of food and water.
People seldom motivate girls to go to school or be educated.In Sahra Jaamac's home country, girls marry at a very young age - her younger sister got married at 16. But this fall, Sahra is headed back to Brandeis University to start her sophomore year studying Neuroscience.
Religious scholars in Puntland on 11 May 2017 approved the Somali language version of the book "Family Planning in the Legacy of Islam" and proceeded to develop behavior change communication (BCC) messages advocating for the uptake of birth spacing.
The number of women joining military and police ranks across Africa is rising. As part of our "Women and Jihad" series, we meet the female peacekeepers in Somalia who are taking on al-Shabab, both on the front lines and in the battle against extremist ideology.
For more than 26 years, Somalia has been torn apart by conflict. The country was without a permanent central government for over two decades, and today the fledgling Federal Government of Somalia battles deep discontent as it works to establish stability. Years of unrelenting war, drought and famine have bred violence and corruption throughout the country. Thousands spend their youth as child soldiers, and violent sexual abuse is considered normal and goes largely unreported. It is in this grim environment that mother and daughter Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman fight for human rights. (Aurora Prize)
Background: Screening rates for breast and cervical cancer for Muslim women in the United States are low, particularly for first-generation immigrants. Interpretations of the Muslim faith represent some of the barriers for breast and cervical cancer screening. Working to understand how faith influences breast and cervical screening for Somali women, and working with the community to identify and utilize faith-based assets for promoting screening, may lead to life-saving changes in screening behaviors.
According to Fatima Moolla, a specialist in African literature and orature, From a Crooked Rib is considered the first African novel by a male author to highlight the experience of women from a woman's perspective, at a time when, according to Maya Jaggi, African fiction was more focused on colonial hegemony and the emerging nationhood in the continent.
Asha Noor is a racial justice and human rights activist, peace building and conflict resolution specialist, educator and writer. She serves as the Advocacy and Civic Engagement Specialist for the national TAKE ON HATE program.
This year, 135 traditional leaders selected 14,025 delegates. They in turn elected 275 MPs and 54 senators to sit in the lower and upper houses... The 30% quota for women candidates is admirable but thus far it's not been achieved. Current figures suggest that female representation is closer to 25%. Despite failing to reach the one-in-three quota, the current figure is still 10% higher than the 14% achieved in 2012.
Summary: This report presents the findings of research on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in Mogadishu and south central Somalia. The research aimed at deepening understanding on some of the main issues regarding SGBV in Somalia. It sought to explore the linkage between SGBV and conflict, and understand why, despite the current period of relative peace, Somalia, and in particular south central Somalia, is still witnessing extraordinary high levels of SGBV.
REPORT from Norwegian Refugee Council Published on 18 Apr 2017- Small business grants are turning Somali womens lives around in Mogadishu, as they become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses.
Presenter: Dianne Penn. 2 Feb 2017.'Women should be able to "leapfrog" into evolving world of work.'
Abstract: Women and political participation is become hot issues nowadays on the world agenda. In Somalia, particularly in Somalia, women participation in Politics were very low. The study sought to investigate the determinants of women participation in Politics, with especial focus on Garowe district, the selected two objectives of the study are clan based political positions share, and cultural factors, while emphasizing how each of these two variables determines women participation in Politics.
"The key thematic areas that AMISOM has engaged in support for women participation in nation building are the role of women in countering violent extremism, ending female genital cutting/mutilation, women's political participation and mobilizing like-minded organisations to create collective effort for maximum results."
"Raped, abused and subjected to genital mutilation, many women suffer terribly in Somalia, an unrepentantly patriarchal country shown by successive surveys as one of the worst places to be female. " A quota reserving 30 percent of parliamentary seats for women in current elections is supposed to help bring change and place at least a share of political power in female hands - but it faces stiff resistance."
"[W]omen's political representation in Somalia is a matter that goes beyond the hotly debated gender quotas which are often championed by international donors and other peacebuilding actors. In post-war Somalia, women believe that the question of political representation is closely linked to the recognition of women's ongoing contributions to society. For many women, the contemporary post-war Islamic discourses in Somalia have eroded some rights previously guaranteed-if imperfectly-by the prewar state. Such discourses today have also constructed a new ideal version of Somali women in an Islamic society which largely dispossesses them from public life."
'Somalia is struggling to meet the 30 per cent quota for women in the ongoing elections as local and security agencies remain vigilant to ward off threats by the Al-Shabaab to disrupt the polls... So far, both the elections of the Upper House or the Senate, and of the National Assembly have produced only only 18 per cent women MPs.'
"This article describes findings from a research project on the impact of war on Somali men. It asked what are the expectations associated with masculinity and manhood, how they have been affected by war and state collapse, and what implications does this have for women and children and for society more widely. The study found that the core ideals of Somali manhood are both highly exacting and largely unachievable in the current economic and political climate, with implications for a wide variety of relationships. The findings do not challenge the patriarchal nature of Somali society, but do suggest that patriarchy works differently for different groups of men. The article places these findings in the context of feminist understandings of men, power, and violence, and argues for a policy shift towards a gendered political economy approach to the transformation of gender relations in conflict settings."
Suad Abdi, Somaliland Country Representative for Progressio, describes the barriers and challenges faced when trying to prevent and eliminate violence against women in Somaliland.
'This study seeks to identify challenges faced by IDP women living in urban settlements to exercising their HLP rights, and offers realistic and practical recommendations for agencies to better understand and support displaced women's HLP rights, and enable them to find durable solutions. Part II will look at women's HLP rights in the various systems used for land management in Somalia, with emphasis on how marital property and inheritance feature under customary and religious regimes.'
"FAO's fisheries activities in Somalia are working to include women in specialized training that will help strengthen fisheries activities in the Horn of Africa nation, while simultaneously creating sustainable employment in the sector for both men and women, and allowing women, with their newly developed skills, to play a key role in Somalia's strengthened fisheries sector."
"During her struggles to conceive a child, Fartun Weli tried with difficulty to find infertility resources in the Twin Cities that reflected her perspective as a Somali woman. So in 2010, Weli started the Isuroon infertility and health issues project to examine the effects of infertility on mental health and stress levels in Somali women."
"The participation of women in all spheres of life is crucial to the advancement of society; anything less creates a deficiency in the development of humanity. The call for gender equality must include the increased participation of women in security and democratic governance processes, which ultimately rely on the participation of the entire society. Women are the backbone of Somali society and the engine of the community, and as such it is pivotal that the upcoming election in Somalia increases women's political participation."
"Minorities are estimated to form one third of the population of Somalia, however, they are rarely considered in policy design. Minorities as a whole are marginalized and invisible. Minority women are even more sidelined and excluded. Unlike majority clans (such as the Darod, Hawiye, Dir and the Rahanweyn) minority groups do not benefit from a traditional clan structure that affords them some degree of protection, regardless of the conflict."
Abstract: This paper will address the notion of desire in Ken N. Kamoche's "Secondhand Wife" and Nuruddin Farah's A Naked Needle; it will be centered on the idea of men's and women's sexual desire as caught between being controlled and willing to be free. Desire will be studied as being controlled by the tribe in Kenya and Somalia, which channels men's and women's desire into pre-made forms. These channels of desire approved by the tribe are contested in Kenya and Somalia by both men and women. Desire is then situated between collective manipulation and individual freedom.
"MOGADISHU, Somalia - After Maryam was gang-raped in a camp for displaced people in 2012, she tried to report it to the police. She was still bleeding heavily when she arrived at the station, but instead of assisting the pregnant mother of six, the officers demanded that she go home and clean herself up. But first, they made her scrub her blood off the floor. She never filed an official report, lost her baby, and was raped again five months later."
As of January 2015, UNHCR reports indicate an estimated 1.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia, a country that has endured over 20 years of armed conflict and devastating drought conditions, and that has been labeled as one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. Similar to many other countries, land is important as both a resource for livelihood and a symbol of status; and strong arguments have been made that competition for land and other natural resources were an underlying cause of the civil wars. The various systems and rules that are used to manage and control access to land are a complex mosaic, bearing markers from the various pieces of Somalia's history: "Xeer," the customary rules and traditions used by Somalia's clan-based society; "Western" style laws from the periods of colonialization by the Italian and British, as well as the predatory rule of the Barre regime; and the steady influence of Islam throughout the country's tumultuous history.
This study is commissioned by Somaliland Women Network (NAGAAD) with the aim of assessing the public perceptions about women's role in the election process in Somaliland. In doing so this study has set out to identify the factors that could impact on the public perceptions about women's role in the electoral process and the related issues that may tend to impeded women's political participation in the democratic process. In other words this study has examined the challenges and threats faced by women voters and candidates during the election periods in the country in order to find ways of addressing those challenges before the incoming elections.
The increasing conflict over access to land resources in terms of farming, agro-pastoral and pastoral livelihood systems as well as urban lands means that women and minorities' have not been faring out well with huge implications on their future access, use and control of land resources affecting their livelihoods. In the rural areas individuals are putting up thorn or wire fences and claiming commonly owned grazing lands for their own. At the same in the urban areas property speculators have taken advantage of the weak land governance and used all means to illegally grab lands belonging to individuals and communities (often those with low social capital and clan status - women and minority groups).
"When women are included in peace processes, there is a 20 per cent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least 2 years, and a 35 per cent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least 15 years."
"Abstract: More than twenty years of statelessness and related insecurity, including the proliferation of armed groups, the fragmentation of politics along clan-based lines, economic disruption and large scale population displacement, have had dire consequences on the rights and protection of women and young girls in Somalia; resulting in an increase in gendered patterns of violence as disillusioned and armed young men have been turning against women and girls with impunity.Implicated are Africa Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM)peacekeepers, government soldiers and some men within Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Mogadishu, with allegations that tantamount to protector turning to perpetrator and exploiter."
"The research objectives were; to establish how early marriages, roles in Society and domestic labor, Poverty and attitudes of parents towards secondary school education influence girls' retention rate in secondary schools of Qardho District, Karkar Region, Somalia."
"Summary: This report presents the findings of research on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in Mogadishu and south central Somalia. The research aimed at deepening understanding on some of the main issues regarding SGBV in Somalia. It sought to explore the linkage between SGBV and conflict, and understand why, despite the current period of relative peace, Somalia, and in particular south central Somalia, is still witnessing extraordinary high levels of SGBV."
Ministry of Justice, Progressio Somaliland.Published 2010
"This publication has come at an opportune time when Somaliland is going through a period of socio-economic and development reconstruction. Somaliland recognizes that a true democratic nation is built on the solid foundation of the principle of equality of all people, and that any form of discrimination hampers the pace of development. In pursuit of this aim, gender inequality must be seen as a major obstacle to socio-economic and political development. "
"In 2011, a Thomson Reuters poll found that Somalia was ranked among the top five most dangerous countries to be a woman. Fewer than three years later, Human Rights Watch concluded that two decades of civil conflict in the country had created a large population of civilians vulnerable to sexualized violence, in a report titled "Here, Rape is Normal. "
"Abstract-This article explores the role of Somali women in the twentieth-century history of modern Somalia. This includes exploring the role of women in the decolonisation and post-colonial movements and gender changes during the military dictatorship. The article examines women's social movements that made some significant changes in Somalia over the past seventy years, even though these have not paved the way for fruitful results. In demonstrating that the current attempts to position themselves in political circles by Somali women has its roots during the decolonisation and post-colonial successive Somali governments, the article argues that women failed to benefit from their feminist agenda as the notion of governmentality changed on the way from democratisation to the dictatorial military regime."
"This article will define narrative participatory photography and offer a framework for future arts-based research initiatives within the diaspora. I will situate this project among other arts initiatives in the Somali diaspora as important sites for the research of Somali experiences of diasporic identity. Finally, a photo-essay of selected work from the exhibit offers an example of this methodology at work and presents the way in which this research study engages cultural and religious identity amongst young Somali women in the diaspora."
"This case study looks at women's role in conflict resolution and peace building in Somalia. It gives an overview of women's sociopolitical status in recent Somali history and examines issues relating to Somali women in war and peace, including the impact of war on women and women's contributions towards peace."
'The Orchard of Lost Souls' by Nadifa Mohamed. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 352 pages. More
"This paper examines the United Nations discourse on the prevention of sexual and gender- based violence (SGBV) in conflict and post-conflict situations. In particular, it assesses how far the discourse challenges/reinforces prevailing conceptions of femininity and masculinity. Gender is hereby determined by sociocultural norms and perceptions of femininity and masculinity, while discourses reproduce such gendered experiences. This paper presents an analysis of the language used in Security Council resolutions, particularly the contrast between thematic resolutions (Women, Peace, Security) and country-specific resolutions (the cases of Somalia and the DRC)."
"Somali women have been facing formidable challenges and complain about marginalization in politics but they in turn played a pivotal role in securing peace deals between warring forces on the ground. Among the stumbling blocks are cultural and strict religious beliefs, lack of distant goal, psychological backwardness, rape and domestic violence."
"Somalia's provisional constitution provides for the establishment of a national human rights commission. A draft law is currently before parliament. Given the devastating human rights abuses throughout the 20-year civil war and limited rights monitoring and reporting, the establishment of a robust and independent commission is an important opportunity for the new government to demonstrate a concrete commitment to break with the past and ensure the rights of all Somalis are a priority."
"The passivity that is thrust upon women in conflict, particularly in media coverage, reeks with patriarchal and racist notions of brown and black women being incapable of speech. To illustrate the presence of women only "beyond the circle of worshippers" is to deny the active presence of Somali Sufi women asworshippers, and their agency over their own spiritual selves."
Abstract:"Somali society can be characterized as patriarchal 'to the bone'. Despitetremendous political and economic changes in the 20th century, and fromcolonial to post-colonial rule, the situation of women changed only minimally. Infact, some authors argue that women enjoyed even less independence from male'wards' during the democratic and later revolutionary governments from 1960 to1991 that were promulgating modernization and gender equality, at leastrhetorically. Paradoxically, the most substantial changes regarding genderrelations that led to a considerable empowerment of women in the social,economic and political sphere were triggered by the tragedy of civil war and statecollapse. Women had to bear the brunt of the fighting. But they also became actively involved in armed conflict as combatants, motivators of their men andalso as peace-makers."
"Excluded from the all-male arena of clan-based politics, women have directed their collective political acumen and agency into the civil society space that opened up after state collapse. Indeed some women would argue that Somali civil society organisations' engagement in peace work did not start until women took a dedicated leadership role."
Lund: Media-Tyrck (2011): 200-229.
"Women have very limited opportunities to participate in formal Somali peace processes. But Faiza Jama describes how they have provided critical leadership in civil society peace initiatives in Mogadishu and elsewhere to reduce violence and create conditions for dialogue, by demolishing checkpoints, demobilising militia, monitoring human rights and interceding between belligerents."
"This study examined the relations among acculturation, domestic violence, and mental health in 62 married refugee women from Somalia. Refugees from Somalia constituted the largest group of refugees entering the United States in 2005, and little is known about the presence of domestic violence in this group. The results showed that women who reported greater ability to speak English also reported more experiences of partner psychological abuse and physical aggression. Experiences of more psychological abuse and physical aggressions also predicted more psychological distress. Implications for future research and psychological services are addressed."
"This powerful memoir portrays the life-altering transformation of a feisty nomad girl who undergoes genital excision. Crippled with rheumatism as a result of the cutting, Fadumo Korn, who once freely roamed the deserts of her native Somalia, is sent to live with a wealthy uncle, brother to the Somali president. She enters a world of luxury underpinned with political instability and cruelty, but receives an invaluable education. Korn eventually moves to Germany for therapy and recounts her life there-her marriage, the birth of her son, and her involvement in the movement to end genital cutting-with warm and inspiring humor."
"The book aims to reflect the experiences and perceptions of Somali women in and about war. It seeks to contribute to our understanding of the conflict in Somalia, and hence of conflict as a phenomenon. Describing war entirely through the eyes of women, the commentaries and testimonies show just how cataclysmic the Somalia conflict was for men, women and children, and for Somali society in general. The experiences of war described in this book are often shocking, but they appear to have been similar in different regions of Somalia, and for different clans and other social groups, despite the differing political and social contexts. Compare, for example, Habiba Osman's account of the fighting around Baidoa and during the fall of Mogadishu with that of Shukri Hariir in Hargeisa in 1988."
"The study assessed the level of women participation which was found to be very low, with notable exceptions in advocacy (health, education, peace and security) and small and micro enterprise economy. This has been attributed to the war effects predisposing women to take action as well as increasing their resilience and adaptability."
January 2014. This report was prepared by Legal Action Worldwide (LAW)
"Somali women face many of the same challenges as women have in other conflict and post-conflict societies. This Guide looks at the experiences of five other African and Muslim countries: Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and Malaysia. The experiences of these countries provide insight into how African and Muslim-majority countries have approached issues of customary law, Sharia law and women's rights in the context of post-conflict situations, political transitions and/or international and domestic pressure for change".
Prepared By the UNDP/UNPOS Joint Constitution Unit, this Guide Book is designed to aid the Somali people to become familiar with the contents of the Provisional Constitution that entered into force on August 2, 2012. The Provisional Constitution proclaims the family to be the foundation of Somali society, protects motherhood and childhood, and recognises a child's right to care - see Article 28 and 29. Another significant feature relating to Somali society is the special attention paid to traditions and cultural practices, which the state has a particular duty to promote if they have a positive effect, or to eliminate if they have a negative effect, on Somali society - see Article 31 (1).
"This report looks at Somali women's experiences with conflict, peace, violence, insecurity and state rebuilding. It uses an approach geared towards gender-just peacebuilding to understand the ways in which Somali women have fulfilled their role as agents of change, while navigating the challenges posed by women's exclusion from many forms of public life (government, civil society, universities, open markets etc)."
"They've been called the "saints of Somalia." Doctor Hawa Abdi and her daughter Deqo Mohamed discuss their medical clinic in Somalia, where - in the face of civil war and open oppression of women - they've built a hospital, a school and a community of peace."
Between 100 and 140 million women and girls have undergone mutilating operations on their external genitalia, suffering permanent and irreversible health damage. Every year, two million girls are subject to mutilation, which traditional communities call "female circumcision" and the international community terms "female genital mutilation" (FGM), or "female genital cutting" (FGC). FGM/FGC inflicts serious physical, psychological and sexual complications on women and girls.
"The cultural context and experiences of women in Somaliland provide insight into both specific and universal challenges to the fulfillment of the human rights of all Somali women. For instance, the collapse of the central government eliminated legal protection of the human rights of women. In the same way, the prolonged war adversely affected their socioeconomic situation. As part of their survival strategies, women assumed heavier economic responsibilities for themselves, their children, their parents and in many instances for their spouses. This enhanced the responsibilities of women within families but did not necessarily translate into overall improvement in the realization of their rights."
"This report accounts the efforts by Somali women to rebuild confidence and create networks across Somalia. The report is a compilation of documents presented at the Seminar entitled Conflict Resolution: Confidence-building and Peace Enhancement Among Somali Women, held in Hargeisa, Somaliland,in March 2001. The seminar brought together national and international women activists to develop a programme for women's peace-building activities in the country."
The UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000) recognized that war impacts women differently, and reaffirmed the need to increase women's role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution. In particular it expresses the importance of mainstreaming gender considerations and the rights of women, including through consultation with local and international women's groups. The UN Security Council subsequently adopted four additional resolutions on women, peace and security: 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009) and 1960 (2010). Taken together, the five resolutions represent a critical framework for improving the situation of women in conflict-affected countries.
This document sets forth governments' commitments to enhance women's rights. Member states reaffirmed and strengthened the platform in 2000 during the global five-year review of progress, and pledged to accelerate its implementation during the 10-year review in 2005 and the 15-year review in 2010. The Commission on the Status of Women has been responsible for organizing and following up the world conferences on women in Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995).
'Queen Arawelo: The Original Feminist & What She Taught Women.' More .
"Written with complete conviction from a woman's point of view, Nuruddin Farah's spare, shocking first novel savagely attacks the traditional values of his people yet is also a haunting celebration of the unbroken human spirit. Ebla, an orphan of eighteen, runs away from her nomadic encampment in rural Somalia when she discovers that her grandfather has promised her in marriage to an older man. But even after her escape to Mogadishu, she finds herself as powerless and dependent on men as she was out in the bush. As she is propelled through servitude, marriage, poverty, and violence, Ebla has to fight to retain her identity in a world where women are "sold like cattle." Description
"The status of women in nomadic society is determined by pastoral values, which permeate all aspects of life in Somalia. Unlike in other nomadic societies, pastoral values are not peripheral, but are central to the self-identification of Somalis. Nomadic women also have a central--albeit subordinate place in the patrilineal nomadic family."
The study analyses the barriers to women's effective integration in the workplace and the market place in order to inform stand-alone interventions on women's economic empowerment as well as effective gender mainstreaming into UNDP's projects that aim to increase sustainable livelihoods opportunities and improve natural resources management amongst Somali men and women, thus stimulating the private sector.
Policy recommendations can be summarized as follow: Step up reform and establishment of legal and regulatory frameworks for the private, financial and energy sectors; focus on enterprise development where economic growth is guaranteed, which should lead to employment for both men and women; foster public-private dialogue that can help women voice their interests and concerns with the private sector; encourage and support the collection of sex-disaggregated data on women in the private sector to better guide policy formation by key stakeholders; conduct in-depth surveys on women-owned medium enterprises, and promote inclusive value chain analysis or research to help identify innovative business opportunities for women.
The following program recommendations encourage rigorous gender mainstreaming practice, and focus on specific actions to enhance women's economic empowerment: shift economic empowerment activities away from the micro enterprises to the 'educated risk takers', and provide comprehensive business development support services to women representing the small and medium size industries; identify gaps in the technical skills of educated women who want to enter the job market or startup a business.
The study covers all regions of Somalia, while examining: the legal framework for women's access to economic resources; the present situation of women in the private sector including existing opportunities; challenges faced by women in accessing economic resources or engaging within the private sector; and impact of ongoing women's economic empowerment initiatives in improving women's socio-economic status as well as contribution to development.
Business women interviewed and articulated the resulting impact as follow: i) it heightens the profile of not only individual business women, but also umbrella organizations representing business women, ii) women have better access to business information, iii) female board members have the best interests of business women at heart and "Can fight battles on our behalves" and iv) having female board members provide women "access to powerful people like the President and other senior officials in Ministries".
Notice boards, websites and the printing media are not necessarily the modes of communication women use to access the job market and therefore excluded; although more and more female youth are graduating with tertiary educational qualifications, their lack of any job experience counts against them; When women are short-listed for positions, they struggle to pass the standard tests conducted by companies as they lack in English language and technical skills required for certain positions; appointments are routinely clan-based; a structure that systematically discriminates against women in Somalia.
Perceptional challenges even if companies would find women with all the required technical skills, interviews with private companies, individuals, female students offered a range of intangible reasons for the absence of women as technical, administrative or managerial staff in the private sector: maternity leave requires extended absence from employment which companies cannot afford; large private companies are unfriendly environments, and not conducive work places for women; women are fundamentally not good at decisionmaking, and hesitant to manage male colleagues.
Some challenges show similarity with those experienced by women trying to enter the private sector as employees, namely i) time constraints - women bear an unequal burden in reproductive tasks, ii) mobility hampers women as managing a larger business can require extensive traveling), the real business world is reserved for men and a intimidating space for women.
The high figure for South Central is explained by the large number of small grant recipients who are benefitting from financial support by NGOs, and the fact that women's main source of income in South Central is donor aid. There is unfortunately no concrete evidence from studies or surveys that the much larger contribution by donors in South Central to boost women's economic situation, has had any considerable impact on women's economic advancement.
Reasons provided for pursuing a political careers were i) women are concerned for the "women and children in their community and feel they have an obligation to address issues" related to both groups, ii) they realized that "most functions of council members are anyhow performed by women, so we can also do it" and iii) they believed that "women needs to be represented by women".
Reasons for staying out of politics include the cultural bias against female political participation and leadership in government - "a bias held by women as well as men - and of the traditional belief that women should not take elective posts reserved for men" were stated as the major reason for women's hesitancy to enter politics.
Discussions with prominent political activists and business women confirmed that the next obstacle is to convince political parties to put women forward as candidates, as the clan system remains inimical to political inclusivity and women's participation in politics.
"Women's desire to be taken seriously as political players is undermined by the scarcity of women who have the time, resources and forbearance to attempt a career in politics", but whether cost and the failure to secure votes for the unsuccessful female campaigners will deter women from standing for election in future remains to be seen.
The representation of women in public-private business mechanisms such as the Chamber of Commerce can make a difference to business women and women's business associations/networks.
The following set of criteria can assist in avoiding training and supporting the "Wrong" group of women:: Identify information and knowledge seekers; select self-confident personalities who are able to network successfully; Identify women who have demonstrated persistence and are goal orientated; identify women who are willing to take calculated risks or ones with sound business plans; mandate training baseline data: implementing partners should be mandated to conduct analysis or baseline measures of competency done prior to any business training.
Engage women in charcoal production and alternative energy programs: it will have an economic benefit through women earning incomes, a social benefit through attitudinal transformations about women in the workforce, and environmental benefits via the work itself.
Women lack assets as collateral to obtain loans; financial institution discriminates against women borrowers; women exhibit higher risk aversion.
What is the proportion of women's representation in the Somali private sector compared to men? What is labour/employment representation of women in sectors? What sectors are women businesses predominately found in? What are the typical micro, small or medium enterprises women manage? What are the reasons for women entering these sectors?
What are the perceptions of Somali society about women's involvement in the private sector? What are the male perceptions about the sectors women work in? What are the perceptions of men about women running business that normally reserved for men? Why are there so few women represented in the larger commercial business in Somalia? What in the perception of the key private sector players that would improve the chances of them engaging women?
What is the measurable impact of current women's economic empowerment initiatives? What impact has women's economic empowerment had on growth and employment? What positive impacts has the Somaliland Business Fund or DAI matching grant program had on women's economic empowerment? What impact has other small grants, credit facilities or matching grants projects had on women's economic empowerment? What are the typical mistakes made by women's economic empowerment initiatives?
By M.Bali, May 18, 2015.
There is no a national strategy for Somaliland youth employment, there is no awareness on vacancies required by various institution to apply, even if they were to apply they are not having the minimum requirement to fulfill unless they are among the few well educated, optimistic and committed to get a job.
Young people under 30 years of age represent an essential part of the Somaliland Republic's population (60%). For 4 million (approx.) citizens in Somaliland only two million futures. Children and young people have specific needs that need to be taken into account in the process of their preparation for a societal and working life. They belong to the most vulnerable groups in the society and they are also a precious source of its development.
The arresting images of young women and men in white T-shirts and red ribbons tied around their heads clearing debris at the 14 October bomb blast site in Mogadishu was uplifting to victims of the heinous terror attack against innocent civilians. The young women and men who came together under the umbrella group "Gurman Qaran" (National Emergency in English) volunteered in the search and rescue operations and led a blood donation campaign for the victims injured in the attack that killed more than 300 people.
Abstract This article explored the range in teacher expectations held for Somali Bantu refugees using content analysis of one-on-one interviews with teachers who taught Somali Bantu students at an elementary school in Chicago.
ABSTRACT: Civic participation today is increasingly multi-sited, operating in, between and across specific locations. Growing numbers of people experience multi-sited embeddedness, which I understand both in the sense of belonging to and engaging in multiple communities. In this article, I focus on those who left Somalia as young children or were born to Somali parents in exile, and ask what motivates these young people to return or turn to the Somali region.
Working with the government in Somalia, the civil society, young people and youth-serving organizations, UNFPA Somalia is scaling up efforts to ensure reproductive health services and supportive programmes are available to young people who are marginalized or hard to reach. The 13 young health professionals went through a three-day training from July 31 to August 2 aimed at improving their knowledge in birth spacing and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and to strengthen their capacity in providing SRH information and services to the youth and adolescent.
Abstract: "Education is a basic human right, as well as a precondition for peace, prosperity and justice to return to Somali citizens on a lasting basis." How can education services in fragile and conflict-affected settings sustain education results and help break the cyclical patterns of conflict that lead to massive reversals in development, including in education? This field note presents the case of the review of the curriculum framework in Somalia, a UNICEF-supported education intervention that intentionally engaged with the drivers of conflict. The note outlines how this mainstream education intervention with a widened focus on building youths' civic participation, can help to build a capacity for peace at various levels (individual, group, and policy) in terms of substance and process.
Abstract: Few empirical impact studies have been conducted on reintegration initiatives that go beyond traditional disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR), let alone programmes that focus on at-risk youth. This article examines a non-traditional reintegration initiative conducted in Somalia between 2011 and 2015 which included elements of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). The project illustrates the 'relational sensibility approach' which is an alternative peacebuilding approach to the 'liberal peace' approach. It emphasises the identification of specific local challenges and responding practices, dialogue and hybridity. Findings indicate that in the Somali context social and political rehabilitation is at the core of successful integration efforts, and that such rehabilitation is a prerequisite for economic rehabilitation.
Abstract: Since 1991 the break out of Somali civil war, the Somalis young generation met with several challenge for their potential selfdevelopment, such as shortage of recognized higher education attainment, limited employment opportunities, and internal security concerns. Puntland youth have been faced like this challenges as well as the rest of Somalia youth, therefore to get a better life and pass these unhopeful consequences of live constraints, both Puntland and other Somali youth prefer to cross Somalia borders illegally in search of a better life and improved economic prospects.
The Public Sector Capacity Injection Project (CIP) is a joint approach to capacity building in Somalia. Administered by the World Bank through the Multi-Partner Fund (MPF), the project enables the government to fill critical capacity gaps in the civil service.
The Somaliland Youth Peer Education Network (Y-Peer) is expanding its presence to be able to reach more young people with peer-to-peer education to promote healthy life styles, youth participation, civic engagement and leadership in the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV prevention.
The Public Sector Capacity Injection Project (CIP) is a joint approach to capacity building in Somalia. Administered by the World Bank through the Multi-Partner Fund (MPF), the project enables the government to fill critical capacity gaps in the civil service. And a central part of it is the recruitment of skilled and qualified personnel for cross-cutting government functions.
Baidoa, 16 June 2017 - Hundreds of children in the South West state of Somalia joined other youths across the continent in marking the Day of the African Child amid guarantees from the government that their rights will be protected.
The publication covers 2013/14 EMIS data and is a complete enumeration of Primary education including Integrated Quranic Schools, Alternative Basic Education and Secondary education. This publication contains analytical summaries of students, teachers, schools, learning materials and facilities as well as examination results of grades 8 and 12. The data are further disaggregated by region, gender, level of education, locality (urban vs. rural), authority (MoEHE/Government vs. Non-Government).
The publication covers 2013/14 EMIS data and is a complete enumeration of Primary education including Integrated Quranic Schools, Alternative Basic Education and Secondary education. It contains analytical summaries of students, teachers, schools, learning materials and facilities as well as exam results of grades 8 and 12.
UNDP's first Youth Global Programme for Sustainable Development and Peace - Youth-GPS (2016-2020), is a 5-year global programmatic offer on youth empowerment, designed to sharpen the organization's response to the challenges young people face worldwide, boost the implementation of UNDP's Youth Strategy 2014-2017, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security.
ABSTRACT: Student performance has paramount significance in any education system since it measures mostly the overall achievement of schools. The purpose of the study was to determine the institutional factors influencing students' performance at General Secondary Examinations in public secondary schools in Hargeisa Using survey design, the study selected 11 head teachers, 33 teachers, and 220 learners from 11 public secondary schools in Hargeisa City. Data were collected through questionnaires developed by the researcher. Linear regression analysis were used to test the relationship between selected institutional factors and student performance at General Secondary Examinations at p<0.05. The findings showed that teacher characteristics have not significant influence on student performance but instructional materials and school facilities have significantly influenced student performance at p<0.05. Therefore, resource abundance is crucial factors in improving student performance. Educational policy makers should consider these factors when establishing educational policies.
Critical Choices: Assessing the Effects of Education and Civic Engagement on Somali Youths' Propensity Towards Violence REPORT from Mercy Corps Published on 30 Nov 2016
Understanding what works to reduce violence, including violent extremism, is a key priority for many policymakers. Despite this need, to date there is very little research evaluating the effects of development programs on violence reduction. To address this knowledge gap, Mercy Corps undertook a rigorous impact evaluation of a 5-year stability-focused youth program in Somalia known as the Somali Youth Leaders Initiative (SYLI).
The Somali population is young, according to the 2014 Population Estimation Survey. More than half of the population is aged less than 20 years and 75.1 percent is below 30 years old.
"Somaliland is a country with a significant youth population, which increases in size year on year, and it is the youth who have the biggest burden of the socio-economic problems that exist within Somaliland. These social challenges may well contribute to the violence and social turmoil. Violence committed by young men, in particular, is a significant public problem that Hargeisa residents encounter on a daily basis. Young people in Hargeisa are both victims and perpetrators of physical assault-related injuries. These behaviors may result in mental health problems, highrisk sexual behavior, rapes, hopelessness and school dropout amongst the youth population."
This report aims to provide an objective analysis of the available data and information to create an accurate picture of the current situation in the country.
ABSTRACT: In response to critiques of the extraverted and mimetic nature of post-colonial education have come various efforts to decolonize Africa's universities. At first blush, the University of Hargeisa's Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies' (IPCS) stated commitment to teaching indigenous knowledge appears to follow this trend. In practice, however, IPCS has established itself as an intentionally 'modern' Institute valued by staff and students alike for the 'extraverted' globally oriented education it provides.
52 percent of Somali youth are illiterate. http://www.opendataforsomalia.org/
Survey on youth migrations. 8/16/2016.
"2016 -For UNICEF Somalia, 2015 was a year of highs and lows. We saw positive progress for children and their rights but also the devastating loss of four of our colleagues in an attack in Puntland."
Abstract: Provision of education and other basic services in fragile and conflict-affected contexts can be an important means of building positive peace. However, service provision suffers when government is absent or too weak to carry out this function. In such circumstances, the peace-building function of education may be lost unless other means of provision are developed. UNICEF supported education in Somalia in 1996- 2010 as part of its mandate. Though it was not the only international agency working in education in Somalia, UNICEF took a leading role for much of the early crisis period. Facing variable instability and a lack of functioning government, especially in the south-west (central/south zone), UNICEF took advantage of shifting opportunities to educate thousands of children and adults. The agency's longstanding presence and focus on children, families and communities gave it unusual credibility.
"The study investigated major educational challenges facing Somalia in its posttransitional era. It took place in the Benadir region and focused entirely on formal basic schooling, or the K-12 education system. Qualitative research methods were used, and data were collected through interviews with 32 participants and document analysis... The study found that Somalia is facing complex and multidimensional challenges in the areas of curriculum, teacher training, school infrastructure, lack of public education, unregulated private education, school finance and untrained educational professionals."
2015 - The publication covers 2013/14 EMIS data and is a complete enumeration of Primary education including Integrated Quranic Schools, Alternative Basic Education and Secondary education.
June 16, Day of The African Child. In Somalia, 49% of children between the ages of 5 and 14, are victims of child labor.
The Somali Youth Charter was developed by young Somali women and men who were involved in the production of the Somalia Human Development Report 2012.
This study examines the role of social identity (acculturation and gender) in moderating the association between discrimination and Somali adolescent refugees's mental health. Participants were English-speaking Somali adolescent refugees between the ages of 11 and 20 (N = 135). Perceived discrimination, trauma history, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive symptoms, and behavioral acculturation were assessed in structured interviews. Fourteen in-depth qualitative interviews and 3 focus groups were also conducted.
"The purpose of the study is to find out the effects of youth unemployment in Mogadishu. The study will find out answers to the following research questions: (a) What are the effect(s) of unemployment among the youths in Mogadishu? (b) What is the youth dream with regards to employment opportunities in Mogadishu?"
"Most research conducted on Somalia has aid tendencies. No research was conducted on the relationship between perception and public employment. The issue of public employment in Somalia has become unexplainable because the nation has obtained a top position in the index of failed states. This study investigates the true nature and inconsistencies found in employment markets in the public sector. The results would assist public managers as well as other stakeholders who dare to contribute to the development of a fair and a gainful employment schemes open to all. A survey of final-year students found that there is a significant correlation between the public employment practices and the public's dissatisfaction with and lack of support to the government."
"The Somali diaspora has been one of the most important drivers of economic recovery in Somalia. Khadra Elmi explores the complex ties of Somali diaspora youth in Britain to their home country. Some young Somalis are susceptible to radicalisation. But many more are constructively involved in responding to humanitarian needs in Somalia. This positive engagement is something that can be harnessed to bring new and fresh approaches to Somali peacebuilding."
First population census since 1975. More
It is important to say that there is no single factor that prevents western-style democracy from flourishing in Africa, but a myriad of complicated and interwoven economic, social, cultural, historical and political factors. Having said that, controversionally, in Ethioipa, the main problem is tribal and confessional. Habesha groups like Amhara, Tigray and Gurage, who speak in semitic languages and who are mainly Christian, bitterly oppose the Oromos, a cushitic group who are confessionaly mixed and a majority, especially around Addis Ababa, the capital, where they call it Finfin in Oromo language.
The Habeshas are consumed by stopping the Oromos, who after having failed to gain power through military means, could win a majority of votes in a legislature that would allow them to rewrite the rules in order to gain real some majoritarian power, which terrifies the Habesha groups, if there were free and fair elections.
The strategy of blocking them seems to be working today by denying any semblance of opposition in legislative elections. However, in the long-run, blocking them could backfire on Ethiopia itself just as it happened in Eritrea 20 years ago, who ended up breaking away from Ethiopian rule in 1991, after Eritrea was denied autonomy and democracy by the central goverment.
Democracy is thus held captive due to this tribal struggle and it will take generations for it to take hold in such a dire place. For democracy to work, the maxim is that governments have to build institutions that are accountable to the citizens.
It's worthwile to mention it, in addition, that the nature of foreign aid that dominates the economies and foreign affairs of these poor countries, makes it difficult, if not impossible, for democracy to take roots. The structure of international aid whose awarding is contingent upon addressing or being engaged in waging of foreign interests and campaigns against such things like communism or terrorism makes African governments accountable to donors first and to citizens second, or none. Thus the natural evolution of democracy that's inherent in human development gets short-changed.
Updated May 6, 2015. Elections, Ethiopian style (No visible opposition allowed to even participate)
Updated 6/21/2016. The 'Ethiopia rising' narrative and the Oromo protests Oromos have been the victims of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks in the hands of security forces.
8/15/2016. Ethiopia: Why the Oromo Protests Mark a Change in Ethiopia's Political Landscape
"The Oromo protest movement has started to change the political landscape of Ethiopia and shaken the regime's foundations. Erupting like "a social volcano", it has sent ripples through the country with different groups changing their attitudes and standing in solidarity with the Oromo. The support of the Ahmaras has been particularly significant as they are the second largest ethno-national group in Ethiopia."
by John Aglionby in Gondar, FT, 4 February 2016
The Ethiopian regime has acted on its threat to crush any threat to its economic model.
Six soldiers burst into Beckham's dormitory at Gondar university in northern Ethiopiaone evening without pausing to question the student.
"They grabbed me and beat me so hard, I'd have preferred it if they had killed me," the undergraduate says of the November raid.
Beckham's crime was to share with the world, via a diaspora network, how 104 other Ethiopian students had been detained for complaining about conditions on campus.
Despite the beating, the smiling Ethiopian, who is studying applied science, considers himself lucky because he is still alive.
Beckham was held in a police station rather than a military camp, unlike many of the tens of thousands of people detained under a state of emergency imposed last October to contain anti-government protests.
"After a few weeks the police let me go. They seemed to sympathise with our cause," says Beckham, who asked to use the name of his favourite footballer for fear of reprisals.
Beckham is among hundreds of thousands who joined protests over the past two years in the biggest threat to the ruling Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Frontsince it seized power 26 years ago. The autocratic government has responded with force, sending troops and police to break up protests, in which more than 500 people have been killed, imposing the state of emergency and rounding up tens of thousands.
It has vowed to crush any threat to its economic model, which has been lauded by development experts and helped lure billions of dollars to one of Africa's best-performing economies. Yet the protests have underlined the fragility of the economic success. They spread from Oromia region in the centre to the northern highlands around Gondar, for generations the seat of imperial power, drawing in Ethiopia's biggest ethnic groups, the Oromo and Amhara.
Human rights groups, domestic and foreign, have documented repeated and widespread abuses by the security forces. They also reported increasing use of violence by the opposition, particularly before the emergency was imposed.
Alarmed by a wave of protests, the regime has answered as the Chinese did in 1989 - with bullets
Protesters' grievances include a lack of democracy, repressive rule, limited job opportunities and the dominance of the Tigrayan ethnic group, which accounts for 6 per cent of the population, in the state and ruling coalition.
"We have no freedom and no prospects unless we join a party in the EPRDF," Beckham says. "We need change and so we have to fight for it however we can."
Raised in the city of Ambo, 120km west of Addis Ababa in Oromia, Beckham, who is in his 20s, has experienced the manner in which the EPRDF crushes dissent.
The unrest began in early 2014 when the government announced it wanted to extend the capital Addis Ababa into Oromia. Locals considered it a land grab and protested.
"In Ambo 72 people were killed on one day," Beckham says of a demonstration in April 2014. "I was there and saw them shot [by soldiers]."
The authorities say the highest number of fatalities in Ambo on any day during that period was eight.
Stung by the level of anger, the government offered to negotiate with the Oromo over the Addis Ababa master plan. No deal was reached and 18 months later, in November 2015, protesters took to the streets again.
Beckham was then studying in Gondar, 730km north of Addis Ababa, but rushed back to Ambo after his 16-year-old brother was killed by soldiers in one of the first protests.
"He had been shot once in the heart and hit on the head with a stick," he says. "It was difficult to identify if it was him or someone else because he was beaten so badly."
The capital expansion was scrapped but the protests morphed into a wider anti-government movement and spread north.
A further source of discontent was the annexation of Welkait, once part of Amhara, into Tigray more than two decades ago. Protests flared in Gondar in July after Tigrayan police tried to arrest Demeke Zewdu, a former colonel and leader of the self-styled Welkait Committee, which has agitated for the area's return to Amhara.
"About 300,000 people took to the streets of Gondar when they tried to arrest Colonel Demeke and everything went from there," says a university lecturer who asked to be called Sufi Seid. "For about 20 days shops did not open as a sign of protest and demonstrations continued."
"In Gondar and a couple of other towns that I know of about 120 people were killed and many many were arrested," says a caf owner.
Hailemariam Desalegn, the prime minister, said in November the death toll since November 2015 might be 500. His ministers admit that more than 20,000 have been detained. Activists say those are huge underestimates.
The emergency has brought a semblance of calm to Gondar, although grenade blasts rocked two hotels last month and violence has been reported in nearby towns.
"The protests have not gone away. People are just waiting because they don't want to get into trouble," Beckham says. "And nothing is being done to address the roots of the problem. So some people are now fighting back with weapons."
How Blogging is Held Hostage by Ethiopian Politics
Sweden-Residing Somali Woman Leaves Islam after Reading the Koran-video "I didn't know what I was a part of. I didn't know who Mohammed was. I didn't know who Allah was. So, when I found out, I was upset. I was sad and I was disappointed," she recalled.
9 March, 2015. Same woman Mona Walter discussing international women's day.
The name "camel" comes from Arabic 'gml', meaning "beauty". Camels are found throughout Africa and Arabia and but they are held in the highest esteem in Somalia and Somaliland where about a half of the entire camel population in the world today are thought to reside. For one, Somalis have 46 different words for the camel.
Having said that, with so many camels around, Africa can use few more mobile camel libraries to reach more people in rural areas.
Turkey's top religious body allows toilet paper!
Time to End the 'Zabiha' halal slaughter
THIS IS NOT A CONTAINER, IT'S A PRISON.
A journalist is captive in this container. Dawit Isaak, a journalist with Swedish and Eritrean dual nationality who used to work for the Eritrean newspaper Setit in Asmara, is spending his 5,000th day in prison today. Thousands of others are reportedly suffering in such Eritrean prisons since the national crackdown in 2001.
U.N. Accuses Eritrea's Leaders of Crimes Against Humanity-NY Times
Updated 6/24/2016. On June 8, a special U.N. commission released a report accusing the leadership of Eritrea of crimes against humanity. The report linked below accused Eritrean leaders of crimes against humanity including torture, rape, murder and enslaving hundreds of thousands of people and called for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court. Mike Smith, the UN rights commission's chair, suggested that between 300,000 and 400,000 people were kept in enslavement in Eritrea under the guise of military conscription.
In response, Eritrea tried to deflect attention from the press coverage on the UN report by falsely telling the U.N. Human Rights Council that its neighbor Ethiopia was planning to launch a full scale war against its territory. See VOA article.
UN report: Report of the commission of inquiry on human rights in Eritrea-pdf
This video looks at the human rights and the detention facilities in Eritrea. It includes interviews with Claire Beston, Amnesty International researcher and Kidane Isaac a former prisoner who escaped.
Ex-Muslims' Islamophobia: Few comments on the case of Ayaan Hersi Ali 2015.
Some of the Current Realities
An Example of Capital punishment under hardline Islam
*Sep 27, 2015. A Woman, 33-year-old Safiyo Ahmed Jumale, was stoned to death in Barawe, Somalia for suspicion of adultery or polyandry. More "The woman married four husbands and confessed to the crime. I questioned her several times while she was in prison and she told me she was mentally fit. All the four husbands were questioned and they have confirmed that they had married her," Islamic court judge Sheik Mohamud Abu Abdullah told the gathering. ... More .
Read more:http://knowing-islamic-doctrines.blogspot.com/2011/01/hadith-on-muslim-women.html . Read more:What The Holy Qur'an And Traditions Say About Woman And Social Life.
Hadith collections: - Sahih Bukhari --- Abu Dawud --- al-Tirmdhi Qur'an translation by Yusuf Ali by Muslimaccess
Abstract: The paper aims to break the myth of Muslim women being oppressed, passive, and neglected part of society, imprisoned in four walls and more focus is on association between religion and women's position. Paper offers a brief overview of the Islamic concept of modesty as enshrined in the Quran and the socio-cultural contexts in which the concept was introduced. The paper makes brief deliberation on the on the status of women from Islamic perspective. The attempt has been made to cover not only the spiritual but also social, economic as well as the political aspects. The paper aims to build a cohesive, global moment of Muslim women that will reclaim women's rights.
The role of women in Islamic societies remains a highly charged political and cultural issue. Women's issues are vital in the shaping of modern debates on democracy in predominantly Muslim countries...What this study illustrates is the vast difference between seven nations with large Muslim populations and how those differences affect views on the rights of women. This paper will examine whether the respondents support gender equality and to what degree.
[I]slamic countries have argued for the application of the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights that is in line with Islamic principles... This allows Islamic states to make overtures of granting legal rights to women and minorities but also to claim limitations due to the Shar?'ah."
Within Islam, there are two broad, overarching interpretations of what constitutes women's rights: Moderate interpretation and Islamist interpretations... moderate Muslims view the Quran as an evolving text whose values and messages transcend the specificity of the era in which they were written to inform any society.
The purpose of this paper is to write about women mentioned in Islamic sacred texts, the Qur'an and Hadith. When talking about women, the Holy Qur'an tells us about the individuals, including Queen of Sheba, Maryam, Maryam's mother, the mother of Moses, etc. The Holy Qur'an talks about women when explaining the regulations concerning inheritance, marital life, divorce and other such issues. Most of the women in the Qur'an are represented as either the mothers or wives of certain leaders or prophets, except Maryam who is a subject on her own; even her son Isaa (Jesus), a prophet, is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an as the son of Maryam or son of Mary.
The essay considers whether the international human rights system is indeed universal and can contain all the different cultures, religions and sexes. It also considers whether the International Women's Rights, as they stand today, are compatible with the Quranic women's rights; and if so, why violations of Women's Rights take place in Islamic states.
For almost fourteen centuries, Muslim men and women believed, or have been led to believe, that beating wives is a permitted act in Islam and the Quran has been used to support this physical violence against women. Permissible violence against women has mainly been justified on the basis of the Quranic verse 4:34. Since its revelation, there has been a long time challenge to explore the real meaning of the verse.
'Can Islam, so often seen as justifying the subordination of women in the Arab world, actually be deployed to empower them? In recent years, a group of scholars and intellectuals have made just such a claim, arguing that a progressive reinterpretation of Islamic scriptures can be used to change the patriarchal values that, in their view, undergird regimes of female disempowerment.'
Amina Wudud was born under the name of Mary Teasley and grew up in Maryland in the US. Her father was her spiritual mentor and Amina became a feminist advocate for the equal roles of men and women in family, religious functions and society. Her rise to fame resulted out of her leading a Friday prayer in front of a 100-people-large Muslim group. In this research, she will present her perspectives as the author of "Qur'an and Women: Reading the sacred text from a woman's perspective".
Why gender-based equality of human rights tends to perform at a lower average in the predominantly Muslim countries than the rest of the global set of countries? Is the discrimination against women a distinctively problem of the Islamic culture? This article explores the causal mechanisms linking Islam to women's rights at the country-level! It seeks to empirically examine the impact of Islam on women?s attainment of their rights in light of the state?s political behavior! Islam is utili"ed variably by state regimes in their attempt to maintain control over their populations.
"Since this paper is based on the non-empirical, literature based study, the revealed knowledge; Quran and the Sunnah are taken as the main source of discussions on the topics of women rights in Islam, and further added the knowledge of scholars in the related area. And the Islamic literature points out that there is no discrimination against women in Islam. Men and women are being created equal in the spiritual sense. Intelligence, education and knowledge of women are no inferior to those of men. Though, women are excused from performing certain responsibilities based on their nature, and biological build up, women have extra advantages in terms of economic rights. They have freedom of choices as men do regarding their carrier, marriage, and even divorce if it is with the valid reason."
The most important verse, 4.34, is in "Al-Nisa" chapter in the Koran concerning treatment of women in Muslim society.
Quranic Verse 4.34 as seen below appears to hang like a dark cover over the status of females in Islam. This verse 4.34 serves as basis for Islamic law as it allows and encourages domestic violence against women, when a husband suspects nushuz (disobedience, disloyalty, rebellion, ill conduct) in his wife. It has been misconstrued, misjudged, abused, turned, misshaped and manhandled to legitimize the misanthrope states of mind that appear to overrun the issue of women, in spite of the remarkable freedom and inspiring that Islam concurred females in earlier years. To better comprehend this verse inside the setting of the message of the Qur'an and the theory of Islam, one needs to take a gander at some basic standards and the general rationality of Islam, just from inside that enormous picture would we be able to get a comprehension of what the verse implies.See the wikipedia entry above for more commentary.
9/1/2016. Saudi Arabia Is the Most Gender-Segregated Nation in the World 10/4/2016. Saudi Women Push for Full Rights, Demand End to Guardianship System-Truth-out
A787 Royal Brunei Airlines flight landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in March 14, 2016 piloted by three Muslim Women. A bit ironic that a plane priced at $200 Million with 300 passengers was being piloted by 3 women to a country which won't let them drive a car.
15 worst countries for women
Read more: Sustainable Development Issues and Readings
Following decades of an exclusive, albeit inevitable, focus on humanitarian assistance, the new NDP provides an opportunity for Somalia and its international partners to embark on a long term developmental trajectory, with a focus on durable solutions to long standing challenge in a range of areas, from dilapidated infrastructure to the dearth of social services and the plight of displaced people.
The effort to embed the SDGs into the country's first NDP in decades may seem at first as purely aspirational, in light of the many severe challenges that Somalia still faces, including an incomplete political transition, on-going insurgency and immense humanitarian needs.
Over the last four years and in the face of tremendous odds, Somalia and the international community have built a robust development architecture, based on the New Deal Compact, with Somali led financing mechanisms and aid coordination structures, which now culminates in the NDP and provides the space for meaningful planning and policy making around the SDGs. The NDP, who will guide national and international development efforts for the next three years, is built on six thematic pillars: Consolidating peace, security and Rule of Law, institution building, rapid inclusive and sustainable economic growth, social capital, restoring and protecting strategic infrastructure, and building national resilience.
The government has made various efforts to raise awareness about the UNDP and its priorities and to address questions and uncertainties from the public, for example via day-long Twitter chats, hosted by the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.
The SDGs have been mainstreamed throughout the NDP, in accordance with context-relevant priorities that have been identified through consultations on federal, regional state and community level, including with civil society and youth and women's groups in particular.
In an important improvement from the Compact, the NDP will be equipped with an M&E Framework, developed by a dedicated task force, which will translate relevant indicators from the SDG M&E framework into the NDP. This 'translation' will be selective and incremental, to reflect Somalia's unique situation and constraints.
As a result, and differing from the SDG's framework, which will measure outcomes with impact indicators, the NDP will use process indicators, which will take precedence over impact level indicators in the coming years.
The introduction of the 29-page content,
"Changing Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," states, "We are set out to free humankind from the oppression of neediness and need and to mend and secure our planet." It proceeds with, "We are resolved to make the strong and transformative strides which are earnestly expected to move the world onto an economical and flexible way. As we set out on this aggregate voyage, we vow that nobody will be abandoned."
What are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals? The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), formally known as Transforming our reality: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are an intergovernmental set of yearning goals with 169 targets. The Goals are contained in section 54 United Nations Resolution A/RES/70/1 of 25 September 2015. The Resolution is a more extensive intergovernmental assention that, while going about as the Post 2015 Development Agenda (successor to the Millennium Development Goals), expands on the Principles settled upon under Resolution A/RES/66/288, prominently known as The Future We Want.
Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development United Nations General Assembly 21 October 2015
Crisis after crisis is being caused by a failed ideology. But it cannot be stopped without a coherent alternative. by George Monbiot. Updated 4/16/2016.
Economist Richard D. Wolff has long been warning the US public that the capitalist machine is one of the biggest scams in history. In this interview, Wolff discusses why many people are beginning to distrust capitalism and warm to socialism.
Neoliberal economic policy will eventually pressure U.S. citizens to emigrate just as it caused millions to leave Russia, the Baltic States and now Greece in search of a better life, economist Michael Hudson tells The Real News Network's Sharmini Peries.
An archives of history of human rights in Somalia/Somaliland region and more .
Where did human rights come from? The idea of human rights has existed under a few names in European thought for a long time, at any rate subsequent to the reign of King John of England. After the ruler disregarded various old laws and traditions by which England had been administered, his subjects constrained him to sign the Magna Carta, or Great Charter, which specifies various what later came to be considered as human rights. Among them were the privilege of the congregation to be free from legislative obstruction, the privileges of every single free native to possess and acquire property and be free from immoderate charges. It set up the privilege of widows who possessed property to pick not to remarry, and set up standards of due procedure and uniformity under the steady gaze of the law. It likewise contained procurements restricting pay off and official unfortunate behavior.
Likewise, the political and religious conventions in different parts of the world declared what have come to be called human rights, approaching rulers to govern fairly and sympathetically, and portraying limits on their control over the lives, property, and exercises of their natives. Interestingly, in the late 1700s two upheavals happened which drew intensely on this issue.
In 1776 the vast majority of the British settlements in North America declared their autonomy from the British Empire following a report which still mixes sentiments, and verbal confrontation, the named "U.S. declaration of Independence" (see below), which is paraphrased as declaring that humans hold certain truths to act naturally apparent; that all men are made equal, that they are supplied by their maker with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, freedom and the quest for satisfaction, and in 1789 the general population of France ousted their government and set up the primary French Republic. Out of the unrest came the famous "Declaration of the Rights of Man." Read more.
A Hargeisa court has sentenced two Haatuf journalists, Yusuf Abdi Gabobe and Ahmed Ali Igeh, the Haatuf newspaper owner and editor, to between three and four years in prison on defamation charges, including "spreading false news" in reporting of corruption allegations, deemed by the government a "baseless accusations". The judiciary has dealt a shocking blow to the principle of free speech after the two journalists for Haatuf were sentenced to charges of insulting the name and the family of the president. Haatuf has strenuously rejected the charges against its journalists and maintains their innocence. The defence maintained that the journalists were wrongly arrested and that the prosecution had failed to prove any of the charges against them. This latest sentencing brought widespread criticism that the verdict was a blow to freedom of expression.
The verdict also stoked fears that Somaliland's continued crackdown on dissent wouldn't be limited to activists and opponents of the regime. While Somaliland's president Ahmed Silanyo has been promoting himself through a public-relations campaign abroad, he has ratcheted up the suppression of critical voices within his own party and country. Since 2011, the current government sought to stifle public debate with the closure of media outlets and arrests of journalists. Hubaal and Haatuf newspapers and Universal Tv were closed off and two journalists from Haatuf were kidnapped in May 12, 2014 and held in detention for three weeks.
The European Union Human Rights Working Group, on Press freedom, while welcoming the initial release on bail of Haatuf journalists, appealed to the Somaliland authorities to lift restrictions on Haatuf media, as well as Hubaal media(August 29, 2013) and Universal TV (Feb 4), which were shut down earlier this year to continue their operations. It called for fair and transparent trials following a civil procedure, and not a criminal procedure, for journalists accused of defamation, in accordance with the Somaliland Press Law and with international standards. They requested that the government take appropriate measures for the protection of human rights defenders, journalists and the security of citizens. The journalists believe that amendments brought to the deeply flawed Press Act of 2004give law enforcers broad powers of arrest and are restrictive to freedom of expression.
The current persecution of Haatuf journalists recalls that of Hubaal newspaper. In April 2013, Mohamed Ahmed Jama 'Aloley', a manager of Hubbaal newspaper, suffered a broken arm and a gun-shot wound when his office was attacked by two off-duty policemen. Further bodily damage was averted when the office colleagues came to his rescue, by restraining his attackers, according to the media. The reason for the attack was unclear, but the police never arrested the suspected shooter and the case was reportedly closed. However, Hubaal described the attack as a "targeted-shooting incident." Aloley was seen as a thorn in the side of the current leader, as the publication printed several scathing articles on alleged corruption and nepotism in Somaliland. And while Somaliland in the north often promotes itself as safer and more respectful of human rights than the rest of Somalia, it has been sharply criticised by rights groups for infringing on free speech. HRW accused the government of arbitrarily detaining journalists, activists, and political opposition figures, and its prosecution of journalists for insulting or defaming public figures.)
As a civil society we find these sentences are not compatible with democracy but that it is wrong for journalists to be arrested and persecuted so arbitrarily in connection with their work. We also condemn the arbitrary treatment the Haatuf received from the police, who damaged some of their professional equipment. This was the latest attack on media figures, which seems to have been designed to eliminate critics of the regime. The two journalists were arrested and leading two news websites were completely blocked (April 9) in order to silence critics. Their kidnapping and blockage of their websites also sent an intimidatory message to all other owners and journalists. The human rights defenders recommended that the government should adopt a holistic protection approach that looks at the legal, psychological and physical protection measures and the creation of an enabling environment for the exercise of freedom of expression.
The Haatuf employees are paying with their lives for their commitment to media pluralism at a time when corrupt elements within the government stop at nothing in an attempt to impose silence. It is high time for the government to implement concrete measures to protect working journalists and arrest those responsible for these attacks, so that they cease to act with complete impunity.
Somalia/Somaliland region is ranked 174th of 180 countries in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information and its protagonists.
RSF indicates that the levels of poverty and authoritarianism are higher in the Horn of Africa than anywhere else in Africa. "Civil liberties are collateral victims", according to RSF. The various factions are waging an all-out information war that has been exacerbated as usual by the approach of the up-coming presidential election. It appears that almost all attacks were directed against journalists when they were covering corruption allegations, clashes between political parties, rivalry and in-fights between political cadres, and clashes between the police and political parties.
Five months ago, Human Rights Center released a report documenting a surge of attacks on journalists in Somaliland - including by government forces - since President Ahmed Silanyo took office in 2010. The government has taken no measures to address these attacks. The latest steps against Hubaal and Haatuf could be a harbinger of further crackdowns on free media coverage in Somaliland.
Journalists are protected as civilians under international humanitarian law. UN Security Council Resolution 1738on the safety of journalists in conflict situations, adopted in December 2006, condemns attacks on journalists in conflict zones. The UN General Assembly resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, adopted in November 2013, "condemns unequivocally all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers, such as torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention." It also urges "member States to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers (...) and to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice."
Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Somalia is a state party, likewise affirms, "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice." Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, to which Somalia was also a state party, requires Somaliland to protect the freedom of expression and the rights of all to receive information.
On May 30, 2014, a Somaliland: Press Release by the Human Rights Working Group on Press freedom reads: "The Human Rights Working Group, a group of international partners comprising the European Union, its Member States, Norway, Switzerland and the United States, wishes to express its concern over the forced closure of the newspapers Haatuf and Somaliland Times, and of the website of Haatuf."
"Focus on Haatuf and Hubaal newspapers"
On May 13, 2014, Haatuf reporters were arrested for criminal defamation, according to NUSOJ press release. The charges were brought by two government ministers. Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Hussein Abdi Duale and Minister of Interior, Ali Mohamed Waran Ade accused Haatuf newspaper of spreading false information. Meanwhile, the journalists were denied bail. On Tuesday, a judge postponed indefinitely a bail hearing for the two defendants, according to news reports.
One of the defence lawyers told media that he had not been allowed to visit his clients in prison and was therefore unable to properly prepare their defence. "I have repeatedly tried to see my clients but my requests were denied," he said, hinting that he might cease to represent them if access continued to be impossible.
The proceedings against these two journalists violate Somaliland's own laws, especially the 2004 press law, which decriminalizes media offences and which, according to the Somaliland constitution, takes precedence over the harsh Somalia's penal code. This judicial farce is compounded by a conflict of interest, since the two government ministers named in the offending article are so far the only people to have testified.
"Defamation" is a catch-all term for any statement that hurts someone's reputation. Written defamation is called "libel," and spoken defamation is called "slander." Defamation is not a crime, but it is a "tort" (a civil wrong, rather than a criminal wrong). A person who has been defamed can sue the person who did the defaming. (For in-depth information on defamation claims, check out )
These allegations are an attempt by the government to intimidate and silence the reporters. The journalists have been jailed for just doing their jobs -- and for a less obvious one, the implication that any criticism of the government could lead to a jail term. This just shines a spotlight on the nasty underbelly of Somali political life. This is not the first time the award-winning investigative journalists have been targeted by those threatened by their reporting. Governed by a leader Reporters without Borders has called an authoritarian "predator of press freedom", as were the case of both of his predecessors, Somaliland holds a dismal record for freedom of speech and information. Somalia/Somaliland region is ranked 176th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. (To be honest, it is worth reading Max Fisher's article on why it is hard to make absolute statements about the relative data collected by Reporters Without Borders.)
Apparently, these charges against them are clearly fabricated and punitive in nature. The reporters believe that the case is "clearly politically motivated" and revenge for their publishing stories about the "dark side of a ruling political party"- involving public funds from the oil prospectors misused in UK and California. The ministers, on their part, said the journalists had not provided any evidence to support the allegations, the reports said.
Yet what is happening in Somaliland and elsewhere is alarming. Fear of prosecution creates a chilling effect on reporters, resulting in self-censorship that is just as stifling as direct censorship by journalists, which is indeed a horrendous prospect for any democracy.
Advocates, politicians, and human rights defenders are expressing outrage over the accusations of defamation being directed at journalists in Somaliland. The government's argument that the law prohibits publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public should be deleted from statute books because publishing false news is an ethical issue and not a legal matter.
As a civil society, we express concern for the safety of the journalists, contending that Haatuf has been the target of consistent and sordid attacks by the government because of its investigative journalism. We call for the government of Somaliland to uphold its commitment to media freedom - and to stop harassing journalists. We appeal to Hargeisa to release Haatuf reporters.
Here we advocate free press, universal and independent Internet access, unregulated media ownership, vibrant public media and responsible journalism. We have to work in our online communities and in Hargeisa to fight for policies that protect all acts of journalism . "I shall be honored to go to jail. "Under a dictatorship, the detention cell is a place of honor".-- Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (Philippines).
Lets not forget other reporters who paid the ultimate prize. 55 journalists were killed in Somalia/Somaliland region since 1992. Hundreds of others were wounded or were forced into exile. For some background in Somaliland, see HRW. "Hostages to Peace: Threats to Human Rights and Democracy in Somaliland" (2009) and The Chained Constitution: The Occurrences of Human Rights Violations in Somaliland [pdf] (2013)
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers". -- Article 19. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Fight for your rights to know and communicate, regardless of which one, such as ina hebel (a son of so and so) in power. Keep informed about breaking news in the fight for a free press. Free speech rights need constant, vigilant protection. From your keyboard, please support #FreeThePress hashtag. Government censorship protects you from actual reality. Without free press, a state is just a sham entity, which needs to be saved. Without it, other fundamental rights, like the right to vote, would wither and die.
A free press plays a important role in sustaining and monitoring a healthy democracy, as well as in contributing to greater accountability, good government, and economic development. In established democracies the freedom of the press covers invasion of privacy, free expression, access to government information, prior restraint, commercial speech, libel, and slander. Independent, free and pluralistic media are central to good governance in democracies that are young and old.
There is a direct link between freedom of speech and vibrant democracy, which are lacking in many countries. The newly founded democracies around the world are attempting to develop and guarantee press freedoms in their constitutions. The press faces many challenges, such as imprisonment and execution of journalists, closure of press facilities, censorship and restraint of publication, and other economic and ethical pressures.
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." - Lord Acton (1887).
Learn more what journalists go through to bring you the news that people take for granted. Check the "Ten Ways to Repress a Journalist", by Amnesty.
"Freedom of the press cannot be limited without being lost." - Thomas Jefferson.
To maintain fairness on both sides, the public is also accountable to call out instances of irresponsible conduct by the reporting press. "Freedom of the press" does not equate to "license of the press". The exercise of this right or any right enshrined in the any bill of rights, indeed, comes with an equal burden of responsible exercise of that right. The recognition of a right is not free license for the one claiming it to run roughshod over the rights of others. Journalists bear the burden of writing responsibly when practicing their profession, even when writing about public figures or matters of public interest. Journalists are not storytellers or novelists who may just spin tales out of fevered imaginings, and pass them off as news. There must be some foundation to their reports; these reports must be warranted by facts. 1947 Hutchins Commission's landmark report called the press to serve the society that has accorded it that freedom. "The freedom of the press can remain a right of those who publish only if it incorporates into itself the right of the citizen and the public interest," the commission wrote.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell.
"Concluding remarks on human rights"
The human rights page here documents the evolving human rights conditions, stretching back to 1992, in the Somali horn of Africa.
Both the human rights and the sustainable development pages have seen extensive updates both in content and functionality.
The human rights page shows the evolving picture of human rights protections and discourse since 1991 in Somali horn of Africa. Despite its halting progress and many imperfections, this is the story of striving, in the midst of adversity, to take forward the idea that countries recovering from conflict can be governed on the basis of respect for the human rights of all, without discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, sex, language, religion, or related prejudices.
Despite the crisis contingent in the waging of the US War on Terror, where we got the unfortunate moniker "security-development nexus" and the growth of Islamic religious right and the AMISOM's interventions, recent political innovations wouldn't have been possible if there wasn't an increased awareness of the fundamental role of human rights in any political reconciliation. Such included the holding of a series of elections in Somaliland, the holding of peace conferences within Somalia proper, the acceptance of the secret ballot, the use of the so-called 4.5 power-sharing formula, and the growing condemnations of sexual violence.
It is through these combined changes that hold promise that this post-conflict society to stabilize and normalize toward durable solutions and sustainable peace. This however long post-conflict period offers a window of opportunity to deliver peace dividends, provide basic security and public services, and build confidence in the political process, and strengthen core national capacity to lead peace-building efforts thereby beginning to lay the foundations for sustainable development . Please contact CPJ, Reporters without Borders, IFEX, Article 19, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International if you know a journalist in jail or injured.
By M. Bali.Oct 18, 2014
"I'd rather die standing up than live on my knees."
- Stephane Charbonnier(1967-2015)
Richard Francis Burton.
First Footsteps in East Africa; or, An exploration of Harar. by Richard Francis Burton. (1856)
Translated and presented by B.W. Andrejewski and I.M. Lewis, Somali Poetry: An Introduction. Claredon, 1964. 167 pages.
Links on selected commentary and poems in Somali and English on the web"
This website advocates the building up a constitutionally liberal government, reserving all personal liberties not expressly delegated to government by the constitution to the people, emphasizing strong local governments, self-government and self-rule, while restricting government powers to only those enumerated in the constitution and maximizing individual rights and liberty as originally envisioned and established through the Somaliland constitution that was passed through referendum in 2001.
Aside the constitionalism, governments are works in progress and the following two famous and divergent comments define some of the traditional political principles on uses and abuses of state power within today's political spectrum:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." The Declaration of Independence, In Congress, July 4, 1776
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?" Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981 (full speech)