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Issue 412/ 19th - 25th December 2009


Suicide bombers strike in Somaliland

Africa's Best Kept Secret

Our Trip to Somaliland

Front Page

News Headlines

Local and Regional Affairs

Kenya Border With Somalia To Remain Shut

Ethiopia's Ogaden And Oromo Dissidents Demonstrate Against Meles In Copenhagen

Ministers From IGAD Signed A Regional Policy Framework For Livestock Sector Development

Eritrean Athletes Given Interim Asylum In Kenya, Standard Says

Somalia's Shabaab Loot UN Compounds

Suspected Somalia Pirates To Be Freed By Dutch Navy


The Question Yusuf Garad Will Never Ask

Features & Commentary

International News


Meeting With K’naan, The Somali Celebrity Rapper

Muslims, Beyond The Headlines

People living with HIV are shunned by family and friends

Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 19, 2009 – When a young HIV-positive woman recently passed away in Hargeysa, capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, none of the women in her family volunteered to carry out the traditional Islamic rite of washing the body before burial.

“Her clothes are still hanging where she died because people think they can be affected if they touch them,” said Abdillahi Omar, a man in his 40s. Eventually, a group of HIV-positive women volunteered to wash the woman’s body.

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On the final day of UN climate talks in Copenhagen, African leaders have renewed calls for a legally binding deal to fight climate change.

Sweden's PM Fredrik Reinfeldt (L), European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso (2ndR), Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi and AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping (R) give a news conference in Copenhagen, 16 Dec 2009

London, December 19, 2009 – “The developing countries have the most to lose if there are no concrete result of our discussions. We are therefore the most concerned that we arrive at a successful outcome." - Nafi Ali Nafi, Sudanese presidential assistant
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Dead maize field in Kenya, 05 Oct 2009

Nairobi, Kenya, December 19, 2009 – Aid group Oxfam says millions of people across East Africa are fighting for basic survival after another consecutive rainy season failed. The next rains are not expected in many of the hardest-hit areas until April - although there is no guarantee these will come either.
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Uganda Bans Female Genital Mutilation

Nairobi, Kenya, December 19, 2009 – The Ugandan parliament has banned the controversial practice known as female genital mutilation, or FGM. The traditional rite - which critics decry as inhumane - is still carried out across much of the region.

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Abdirahman Kwaral (C), a Somali journalist working for a local TV station is tended to as he is admitted into a local hospital after he was injured in a suicide bomb explosion in Mogadishu, 03 Dec 2009

Nairobi, Kenya, December 19, 2009 – Many analysts predict Somalia in the coming year will continue to be engulfed in violent power struggles that could determine whether Somalia unites under a central government or breaks up into competing regions.

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Mombasa, Kenya, Dec 19, 2009 – The government of Kenya said on Friday that the Kenya Somalia border would remain closed following fresh threats issued by militant groups in the lawless country.

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Demonstration outside the Bella Center, the venue of the U.N. Climate Conference in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, December 19, 2009 – Dozens of Ethiopian Diaspora members of the Oromo and Ogaden communities demonstrated against the participation of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
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Ministers and other government officials, responsible to livestock development and regional relations from Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Sudan and Uganda, and the Executive Secretary of IGAD at the signing event.

Djibouti, Dec 19, 2009 - Member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have adopted a regional policy framework on animal health in the context of trade and vulnerability, which will lead to regional economic cooperation and integration in the livestock sector.
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The Eritrean national team before the start of the match against Tanzania, which was held in Nairobi. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

By Sarah McGregor

Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 19, 2009 – The United Nations granted temporary asylum to 12 Eritrean soccer players who didn’t return home after playing a match in Kenya this month, the Standard said, citing unnamed officials.

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World Urged To Help Stabilize Somalia

Nairobi, Dec. 19, 2009 – A UN-backed international meeting on Somalia has called on the world community to support initiatives aimed at stabilizing the Horn of Africa nation which has had no central government for almost two decades.
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Somalia's Shabaab Loot UN Compounds

Mogadishu, Somalia, December 19, 2009 — Somalia's Al Qaeda-linked Shabaab overran and looted UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) compounds in the western town of Baidoa, humanitarian sources and witnesses said Friday.

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Suspected Somalia Pirates To Be Freed By Dutch Navy

Amsterdam, December 19, 2009 – The group of suspected Somali pirates detained on a Dutch warship will be released because no country has agreed to prosecute them.
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UN: 74,000 Africans Crossed Gulf Of Aden In 2009

GENEVA, December 19, 2009 -- The U.N. refugee agency says a record number of Africans fleeing war, droughts and poverty have crossed the Gulf of Aden into Yemen this year.

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U.N. Experts Get Threats In Inquiry Into Somalia

Nairobi, Kenya, December 19, 2009 — United Nations experts investigating whether Somali businessmen are funneling aid money to terrorist groups have recently received death threats warning them to stop their work, according to United Nations officials.

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Carter Center Says Sudan Voter Registration Largely Successful, But Significant Challenges Remain

Khartoum, Sudan, December 19, 2009 – The Carter Center has released its evaluation of Sudan’s voter registration process, which ended December 7th. It says registration was largely successful, despite logistical and security problems.
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UN Says Children In Somalia Making Strides Despite Humanitarian Crisis

Geneva, December 19, 2009 – The U.N. Children's Fund reports it is achieving significant results for millions of Somali children despite the humanitarian crisis gripping the country. While facing enormous difficulties, UNICEF says it has been able to save many children's lives through immunization, special feeding and other assistance programs.

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Report: Islamic Terror Rising As Al-Qaida Fades

Washington DC, December 19, 2009 – Targeted by drone strikes in Pakistan, al-Qaida is losing ground and financing even as attacks by Islamist groups are on the rise, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press.

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Somaliland Forces Nab Explosives Near A Road That Connects Between Sheikh And Burao

Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 19, 2009 (SL Times) – Somaliland Police forces have seized a sack full of explosives left near a bridge that connects between Burao and Sheikh in Sahil region.

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Human Rights Organizations And Journalists Address Corruption And Human Rights

Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 19, 2009 (SL Times) – Somaliland human rights organizations and the union of Somali journalists (USJ) issued last week a report accusing the government of Somaliland of corruption and human rights violations.
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Eng. Bashe Abdi Gabobe Defends Kulmiye

Eng. Bashe Abdi Gabobe, Kulmiye’s Campaign Manager for the western regions

Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 19, 2009 (SL Times) – In an indication that the political campaign is heating up in Somaliland, Kulmiye party came under fire from the ruling UDUB party.

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Osman Sheikh Abdi Appointed Minister Of Minerals And Water

Eng. Osman Sheikh Abdi

Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 19, 2009 (SL Times) – Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin appointed Osman Sheikh Abdi Sheikh Muhammad as the minister of minerals and water. The new minister replaces the former Minister of Minerals and Water, Qaasim Sheikh Yusuf who passed away. Speaking to the press at the ministry, the new minister praised the deceased minister for the good job he had done while he was in charge.
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Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 19, 2009 (SL Times) – The city of Hargeysa started a campaign to clear the city’s streets of illegal structures. Many of these structures are not only an eye sore and hazardous to the health of the city’s residents, they also, as explained by Hargeysa’s Mayor, constitute a security threat since no one knows who is inside them.

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Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 19, 2009 (SL Times) – In an article for the Somali language newspaper Haatuf, Abdirahman Nur Ahmed (Hiiraan) drew attention to the worsening problem of huge amounts of garbage strewn in Hargeysa’s streets. Abdirahman Nur Ahmed touched on the traffic congestion that the vehicles transporting food aid from Berbera to Ethiopia had created in Hargeysa. He also blamed much of this problem on bus conductors and their assistants who do not park their vehicles in specific areas marked for parking but instead park in vital city streets thus blocking traffic.

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Al-Shabaab Beheads Two Men; Hizb Al-Islam Stones A Man To Death And Whips A Woman

BARBARIC: Alleged adulterer Mohamed Abukar Ibrahim is buried shortly before he's stoned to death.

Mogadishu, Somalia, December 19, 2009 (SL Times) – Two young men were slaughtered with a knife and cut into pieces by al-Shabaab in the Karan neighborhood of Mogadishu.

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Beheadings In Puntland

Galkayo, Somalia, December 19, 2009 (SL Times) – Three southern refugees were killed in Puntland’s town of Galkayo. Two of the victims were beheaded while the third was shot. The men are southern refugees from the Bay and Bakool region who came to Puntland to escape the war in their region.

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Two Of Sheikh Sharif’s Parliamentarians Wounded

Mogadishu, Somalia, December 19, 2009 (SL Times) – A bomb thrown at a hotel in Mogadishu wounded two parliamentarians as well as nearby pedestrians. The parliamentarians lived in the hotel. One of the parliamentarians was reported to have been seriously injured.
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World Leaders Reach Deal On Climate Change In Copenhagen

President Barack Obama says that the world's will to address climate change "hangs in the balance" and insists any deal must include transparency among nations.

By Juliet Eilperin, Anthony Faiola and Debbi Wilgoren

Copenhagen, December 19, 2009 -- World leaders reached a climate deal Friday night, according to an Obama administration official and other sources familiar with the talks. They said the deal provides a means to monitor and verify emissions cuts by developing countries but has less ambitious climate targets than the United States and European governments had initially sought.
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Democracy In America: Alienating Muslims

Muslim community in US Capital

New York, December 19, 2009 – One factor that has limited the number of terrorist attacks by Muslims on American soil has been the generally patriotic and highly-assimilated nature of America's Muslim community. But the New York Times reports some Muslim leaders are becoming reluctant to cooperate with the FBI, due in part to efforts by FBI informants to solicit young men to join terrorist sting operations and other high-pressure tactics.

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Hacker attacks cost public companies $1.6 million in lost share value. For Twitter, it's the firm's reputation that's at risk.

After a hacker attack in August, college student Joy Troy checked a Twitter page at the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles. A new attack by hackers Dec. 17 redirected users to a page from a previously unknown group called the Iranian Cyber Army.

By Laurent Belsie 

Toronto, December 19, 2009 – Thursday night's cyber attack against the Twitter microblogging service was no routine assault to bring down a website. It was a sophisticated online blitz –perhaps part of an online Iranian cyber campaign – that could prove costly for social media networks.

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Saudi Arabia is set to punish 75-year-old woman with 40 lashes, imprisonment and deportation for being in the company of a young man she once breastfed

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 19, 2009 – A 75-year-old woman is set to be given 40 lashes, imprisoned for four months and deported to Syria after Saudi religious police caught her in the company of a young man she once breastfed and who claimed to have been bringing her bread.
Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, 75, and two younger men, known only as Hadyan and Fahad, were found guilty of violating a sex-segregation law known locally as khilwa.

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The Copenhagen climate change summit had been meticulously planned to produce a streamlined agreement. Instead, it turned into an epic struggle over the shape of a future world economic order

US president, Barack Obama (right) sits down for a 55-minute session with the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, during the final hours of talks at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen. Photograph: Pete Souza/AFP/Getty Images

By Suzanne Goldenberg and Allegra Stratton

Copenhagen, December 19, 2009 – The world leaders invited to dine by Queen Margrethe supped on turkey and mushy peas, and were serenaded by the Danish Royal Life Guards bands playing George Harrison's Here Comes the Sun.
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Mr. Abdillahi M. Duale, Somaliland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs – Interview

Abdillahi Mohamed Duale, Somaliland Foreign Minister

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 19, 2009 – Somaliland is a self-declared state lying between the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
It got its independence in 1991 from the rest of Somalia. In 2003, the people of Somaliland endorsed a constitution. In a referendum held the same year, they proved to the world that they no more want to live with the rest of Somalia. However, Somaliland did not yet get due recognition from the international community. Kaleyesus Bekele of The Reporter spoke with Somaliland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Abdillahi M. Duale. Excerpts:

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Muhammed Yassin Abdel Llahi, Ununley. Muhammed clearly does not want to leave the village. "What would we do? Beg? For now, we can only pray for rain. With a few days of rain, everything can be good again," he told me.

By Louis Belanger

Oxfam International Spokesman in New York

Posted: December 19, 2009

I went to Somaliland, the north western part of Somalia, back in November this year. Going across this arrid region, I witnessed the droughts that are now destroying a centuries-old way of life, that of semi-nomadic herders.

November rains that were expected to ease the hunger crisis in East Africa have failed yet again in some of the worst hit areas, including Somaliland. The worsening of the conflict and the drought has left 3.6 million people - nearly half of the country's population - in need of aid.

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New York, December 19, 2009—2009 has been the bloodiest year for media professionals killed in the line of duty worldwide since 1992, and has seen the highest death toll for journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa in this decade, according to an annual analysis of media fatalities worldwide released today by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
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Our Trip to Somaliland

Africa's Best Kept Secret

People & Power - Best Kept Secret - 28 Oct 07- Part 1

People & Power - Best Kept Secret - 28 Oct 07- Part 2

Somaliland Deserves International Recognition

I traveled to Somaliland in June of this year at the end of 2 difficult years of my life......
It was a little intimidating being there at the start (Somaliland is an unrecognized state within Somalia) but I found a people consumed with demonstrating their civility and peacefulness, in very testing circumstances.
Having been there and spent time with the Somalilanders, I believe Somaliland deserves International Recognition of its Independence and that Countries that will not accept the de facto separation from the mess that is Somalia need to be pressed for a fuller explanation as to why they wont support 20 years of peaceful growth in a very difficult region.

Somaliland Electoral Laws Handbook
By Ibrahim Hashi Jama

Lessons For Somaliland From Kenya's Post-Election Violence

Role Of The Media In Somaliland Elections - New Report Published

Dr. Nicole Stremlau is Co-ordinator of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy and a Research Fellow in the Centre of Socio-Legal Studies

report examining the role of the media in the upcoming Somaliland elections in the light of lessons learned from Kenya, has been published in September 2009.

The report explores issues of media policy during post-election violence. We examine the case of Kenya, where 1,133 people were killed after the 2007 elections, to distill lessons for Somaliland’s upcoming elections. There are indications the elections in Somaliland will be highly contentious and that the media will have an important role in either exacerbating or alleviating political violence.

The intended audience for this report is journalists and policymakers in Somaliland as well as concerned international observers. We also expect that the issues drawn out here will be relevant for other countries in the region that are grappling with upcoming elections that have the potential of being highly contentious.

Download the report here: The Report or go to original source:

Ayaan Needs Facial Reconstruction

Here is the transcript of the forthcoming video where Edna Adan appeals to the world to get help for a young woman whose face was destroyed when she was shot - shot in the face when she was only two years old!

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The Question Yusuf Garad Will Never Ask

The killing of students, teachers and politicians at a graduation ceremony in Mogadishu’s Shamo hotel elicited widespread condemnation, and rightly so. But in the midst of that wave of condemnation there were also attempts to find answers to burning questions such as who was behind it, and why did it happen?

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1969 Military Coup In Somalia

By Dr. Mohamed-Rashiid Sh. Hassan – Part V

The instability of the state structure in Africa primarily comes from the actions of the leaders of the state itself who are supposed to reinforce its stability.
A close look at the political behavior of the military regimes in Africa, strange as it may seem, shows that they undermine their own achievements in the previous years of their rule. They gradually destroy the very tools which they could increase the capabilities of the state.
During the first years, the military power base rested on seven major organizations which they set up immediately after seizing power:

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Corruption Kills Human Rights And Erodes Democracy

By Ahmed Arwo
Democracy is the best possible system of government, but there is a dangerous disease that eats its body alive bit by bit. Corrupt elite worldwide poison the system with ill gotten money, buying votes in a different level of the society. In election they do bribe the public with fictitious programmes if not direct cash; in Parliament they silence the critic with its venom. Families are adulterated and children lose their decency. It is a sordid and cancerous disease that leaves no one untouched.

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Somaliland: Through Ballot Or Bullet, President Kahin Won’t Give Up Power

By Dalmar Kahin
Surely, President Dahir Rayale Kahin signed a Six Point Agreement with the opposition party leaders, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Sillanyo of KULMIYE and Faysal Ali Warabe of UCID in October 10, 2009. And as predicted, Somaliland riots subsided as fast as they exploded. Luckily, at least a workable solution was reached. But was Mr. Kahin buying time to consolidate his power?

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My Letter To the British Prime Minister

By Ahmed Abdi Isse, UCID Party International Secretary for Cooperation

Date 16th November 2009

Dear Right Honorable Prime Minster, Mr Gordon Brown

Re: The Somaliland presidential election scheduled to take place on 29 July 2009 had failed for the third time and is threatening the stability of the country.

I would like to introduce first myself as a British Citizen of Somaliland decent living in Leytonstone.   I am a father of five children and belong to the one of the Somaliland political parties called Somaliland Welfare and Justice Party. It is an opposition party and act on my capacity as an International Cooperation Shadow secretary. In our country Britain, I am a strong supporter of the labor party.

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Meeting With K’naan, The Somali Celebrity Rapper

Written by: Adnan Abdi,
Hargeysa, Somaliland

When I woke up this morning (December 15, 2009), I wasn’t expecting to meet with K’naan, the shining Somali star and well-known rapper. Several days ago, I heard the rumor from a guy in my work place. But I considered that as mere gossip.
May be it was a divinely pre-determined moment, but right after when I arrived at my workplace, I experienced these inner thoughts: why don’t you go and find out if the news of K’naan coming to Hargeysa was a fact.

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Muslims, Beyond The Headlines

The Open Society Institute's report on Muslims in Europe paints a picture that we're not used to seeing in the papers

By Samia Rahman

Of the various things to come out of the Open Society Institute's report on Muslim communities in Europe, including disturbing information about the level of discrimination they face, I'm not at all surprised to read that Muslims living in Britain appear to be the most patriotic. According to the research, on average 78% of Muslims in the UK consider themselves to be British, compared with 49% in France and 23% in Germany.

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Analysis: Mapping Somalia Warring Factions

Somali Islamist fighters (Reuters's photo)

By Mohamed Yusuf Abshir

Somali Political Analyst

Somalia suffered a lot from the oppressive, communistic military dictatorship of Gen. Mohamed Siyad Barre form 1969 to 1991.

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K’NAAN A Light In The Tunnel

By Omar M. Mohamed
The football loving world – players, trainers, and fans alike – are following closely with interest the opening ceremony on June 11, next year and the Official FIFA 2010 World Cup song performance by a 31 year old dark, slim artist from a country notorious for violence and suicide bombers. That country is Somalia, and K’naan is the artist whose song “waving flag” was chosen to be the FIFA World Cup song.

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The greatest strength of America is that people want to live there

ANNANDALE, VIRGINIA AND DALLAS, TEXAS, December 19, 2009 – AT ONE of the many Korean restaurants in Annandale, Virginia, a waitress cracks a raw egg into a sizzling tofu-and-oyster stew.

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Somaliland Times Newspaper: Publisher Haatuf Media Network, Published in Hargeysa, Somalilandnd

Editor in Chief: Yusuf Abdi Gabobe.

Assist-Editor: Abdifatah M Aideed

Somaliland Times Web Editor, Media and Technology specialist: Abdullah Mohamed Ahmed

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Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Somaliland Times unless specifically stated. .