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Issue 496/ 30th July - 05th August 2011


Africa's Best Kept Secret

Our Trip to Somaliland

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Front Page

Somaliland News

News Headlines

Somaliland Journalist Association Elects New Leaders

House Of Representatives Debates Mining Law

Worldremit Launches Online Money Transfer To Ethiopia

South Sudan Becomes African Union's 54th Member

Local and Regional Affairs

Former Kenyan Minister To Face Trial On Corruption Charges

UN Report Says Eritrea Planned Attack On AU Summit

UN: One-Third of Somalis Needing Aid Are Children

IOM Provides Coastguards From Somaliland, Puntland And Djibouti With Lifesaving Rescue At Sea Skills To Protect Vulnerable Migrants

HEALTH: Addressing Mental Illness Stigma In Somali Diaspora

EU To Send Further €27 Million To Fight Famine In East Africa

Three African Troops 'Killed In Mogadishu Fighting'


UCID’s Leaders Need To Come Back To Their Senses

Features & Commentary

While Somalia Stagnates, Somaliland Flourishes

Somaliland: The Former British Colony That Shows Africa Doesn't Need Our Millions To Flourish

Birding In Somaliland: A Trip Report 

Learning From Somaliland: Top Down Versus Bottom Up

After South Sudan, Should Somaliland Be Africa's Next New State?

International News


Why Norway, Why In This Way?

Can I Get A Little Piracy?

Key To Ending Piracy Rests Ashore


UN Monitoring Report On Somalia, Eritrea

By David Clarke
Nairobi, Kenya, July 30, 2011 – A U.N. Monitoring group report seen by Reuters on Thursday said Eritrea was behind a bomb plot in Ethiopia and that the Red Sea state bankrolled Somali al Shabaab rebels.
The report also said networks run by Kenyans in east Africa's biggest economy were channeling funds to al Shabaab fighters in Somalia.
Following are some other highlights from the report:
Somali rebel group al Shabaab earns money from taxation and extortion; commerce, trade and contraband; diaspora support and external assistance, the report said.

Read full text.

Photo: AFP
Islamist fighters loyal to Somalia's al-Qaida inspired al-Shabab group perform military drills at a village in Lower Shabelle region, some 25 kilometers outside Mogadishu (February 2011 file photo)

Nairobi, Kenya, July 30, 2011 – One of the biggest obstacles to providing aid to Somalia has been the heavy hand of the al-Qaida linked militant group al-Shabaab, which has so far dictated which aid groups are allowed in and which are banned. But some analysts say the crisis has actually weakened the militant group.
On July 6, al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Rage announced to the world that the militant group would lift a ban on foreign aid to Somalia to help victims of the worst drought in a generation.
Two weeks later, they reversed the decision. This time, Rage said the ban would remain, but the group would allow those humanitarian groups who had previously worked in Somalia.

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Nairobi, Kenya, July 30, 2011 – Kenya's High Court has ruled that former industrialization minister Henry Kosgey should face trial over charges he illegally imported cars into the country.
Kosgey has denied the charges.
He is one of four ministers in the Kenyan government to either step down or resign since 2010 over graft charges. Kosgey is also chairman of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement Party.

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Nairobi, Kenya, July 30, 2011 – A United Nations report says the Eritrean government planned a large scale attack on an African Union meeting earlier this year in Addis Ababa.
The U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea says that if the attack was executed as planned there would have almost certainly been civilian casualties.

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Photo: AFP
A severely malnourished Somali child receives Oral Rehydration Salts at Mogadishu's Banadir hospital on July 28, 2011

The United States has eased restrictions on funding food appeals for famine-hit Somalia, as warnings grew of a hidden hunger crisis in Eritrea.

Nairobi, Kenya, July 30, 2011 – The United Nations children's agency says about one-third of Somalis in need of aid in the drought-struck southern part of the country are children.
UNICEF said Friday that some 1.25 million children are among the 3.7 million Somalis in urgent need, as the country experiences its worst drought in 60 years.

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GENEVA, Switzerland, July 30, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Coastguard s from Somalia’s Puntland, Somaliland as well as Djibouti are taking part in an innovative IOM training programme to equip them with the necessary skills to assist and protect irregular migrants and asylum-seekers traveling at great risk through Somaliland, Puntland and Djibouti en route to Yemen and the Gulf States.

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Photo: East London Mosque
There is a lack of data specifically relating to mental health in the Somali community in London

London, UK, July 30, 2011 – Post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems experienced by Somalis who fled their country to settle in the UK, according to Abdi Gure, a community development worker for Mind, a mental health organization based in Harrow, north London.

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Drought has killed livestock and left Somalia’s land no good for growing crops - 11 million people are at risk from starvation in the world’s worst famine in 20 years

Nairobi, Kenya, July 30, 2011 – The European Union is sending €27.8 million to fight famine in Somalia, according to a 23 July announcement made by International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.

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An African Union soldier keeps check on a crowd of newly internally displaced people in Mogadishu (AFP/File, Abdurashid Abdulle)

Mogadishu, Somalia, July 30, 2011 — Three African Union troops were killed and dragged through the streets in Mogadishu Friday as fighting erupted between pro-government forces and Islamist rebels, witnesses said.
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National Electoral Commission Sets Election Dates

Hargeysa, Somaliland, July 30, 2011 (SL Times) – Somaliland National Commission issued a press release in which it announced the dates of the coming municipal, parliamentary and national elections.

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Somaliland Journalist Association Elects New Leaders

The new SOLJA elected leaders

Hargeysa, Somaliland, July 31, 2011 (SL Times) – The fourth general assembly meeting of the Somaliland Journalist Association (SOLJA) elected a new executive committee on the third its three-day GA gathering which was held from 29th to 31st July 2011 at Ambassador Hotel, Hargeysa.

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UCID Party Splits

Hargeysa, Somaliland, July 30, 2011 (SL Times) – UCID party has split into two camps, one led by the Chairman of the party, Faysal Ali Warabe, and the other led by his deputy, Adan Mohammed Mire ( Waqaf).
The split began with the announcement of the deputy chairman and other top UCID officials that they had sacked Chairman Faysal Ali Warabe.

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President Sillanyo Visits Awdal, Gabiley

Borama/Gabiley, Somaliland, July 30, 2011 (SL Times) – The President of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohammed Mohamoud (Sillanyo), went on a short visit to Awdal and Gabiley this week. While in Awdal, the president took part in a graduation ceremony at Amoud University.

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Saudi-Emirates International Veterinary Delegation Arrives In Somaliland

Berbera, Somaliland, July 30, 2011 (SL Times) – A delegation from the Saudi-Emirates International Veterinary Quarantine Management Company (SEIVQMC) arrived in Berbera this week.

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House Of Representatives Debates Mining Law

Hargeysa, Somaliland, July 30, 2011 (SL Times) – Environment and Natural Resources subcommittee of the House of Representatives of Somaliland has concluded a three-day workshop in which the committee members reviewed the Mining Code and Mining Regulations Bill of the Republic of Somaliland.
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London, UK, July 30, 2011 --  WorldRemit, a leading online money transfer business, has launched an online money transfer service that enables the Ethiopian diaspora to send money back home using a variety of payment options including debit cards, credit cards and Interac Online (Canada).

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Las-Anod, Somaliland, July 30, 2011 – Hundreds of families from south-central Somalia who have sought refuge in the independent Republic of Somaliland lack food, shelter and water, say local officials.

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Aid agencies blocked from helping millions

Dubai, July 30, 2011 – A petrol tanker belonging to the United Arab Emirates hijacked by Somali pirates on July 16 has been released, state news agency WAM reported on Thursday.
Seventeen sailors from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sudan, Myanmar, Kenya and Somalia were on board the tanker, according to WAM.
The MV Jubba 20, a laden tanker, was released yesterday "without any ransom payment or giving any concessions," WAM said.

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 30, 2011 – The African Union has admitted the newly independent nation of South Sudan as its 54th member.
The AU says it has received the required number of votes supporting the South Sudan's admission to the Pan-African body.

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Libya: Murder Of Rebel Commander Threatens Split

Rebel forces chief commander Abdel Fattah Younes speaks during a rally in the rebel-held city of Benghazi, Libya Photo: AP

Western diplomats were scrambling to prevent a damaging split in the Libyan opposition on Friday after its top commander was killed, possibly by his own side.

Benghazi, Libya, July 30, 2011 —  The mysterious murder of Gen Abdel-Fattah Younes threatened to set off damaging infighting amongst the rebel movement just days after being officially recognized by Britain.
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Norway Mourns, Buries Massacre Victims

Oslo, Norway, July 30, 2011 – Norwegians have honored the memory of the 76 people killed in last week's bombing and shooting rampage, as the first funerals were held one week after the attacks that traumatized the country.

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Then and now ... Naomi Jacobs as a teenager in 1992, left, and now

Manchester, UK, July 30, 2011 – A WOMAN hit by devastating amnesia told yesterday how she went to bed as a mum aged 32 and woke thinking she was still 15.

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By Jonathan Manthorpe

As Somalia descends into another of the troughs of violence and famine that have marked this ultimate failed state for 20 years, just over its northern horizon is one of the most successful new countries in Africa.

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A primitive rock painting, of a galaxy of colorful animal and human sketches to adorn the caves in the rocky hills of this arid wilderness in northern Somalia, in Laas Gee.
PHOTO BY: Tony Karumba

By Ian Birrell

The Summer Time restaurant was buzzing. On the dusty road outside, new four-wheel drive cars fought for space with smart saloons. Inside, waiters in bow ties rushed about serving spicy chicken, camel milk and piles of spaghetti.

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More like a small automobile than a bird, the kori bustard, although by no means a Somali endemic, was a trip highlight. It is said to be the heaviest flying bird. We saw several, stalking the plains, including an enraged male, its feathers bristling as it marched away from an unsuccessful confrontation with a rival.

By Richard Fleming

Birdwatchers come in all shapes and sizes, from grannies who venture no further than the bay window view of their garden feeder to list-crazed maniacs who will risk bullets, kidnappings and divorce in their quest for new species.

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By Michael Anderson

Part 1 of 3 applying lessons learned in Somaliland to Afghanistan

During my time at CENTCOM, I developed a process for quantitatively comparing every country in the world based on econometric data, surveys, and social indicators. Rather than compete with Brookings, Freedom House, or the Global Peace Index, I used them as sources in my model. In my stability spectrum, Afghanistan was typically the 2nd or 3rd least stable country in the world.
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Somaliland has been seeking international recognition since it declared independence from war-torn Somalia in 1991. It is relatively stable and has organized several peaceful elections. After the independence of South Sudan on 9 July, Somaliland's government would like it to be Africa's 55th country. Join in the debate below.

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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 Recognitionn

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.

Download the report here: The Report


UCID’s Leaders Need To Come Back To Their Senses

Political parties, like any other institution, have to either develop and move forward, or stagnate and decay. Unfortunately, too many Somalis have the mistaken notion that one can happily stay in the same spot for a long time, when the truth is, life itself is based on movement, and one cannot, metaphorically speaking, stay in the same spot; even when it seems that one is staying in the same spot, one is actually moving backward. Movement is a principle of life (Sunnat al-hayah in Arabic), a principle summed up by Heraclitus’s aphorism “You could not step twice into the same river”.

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Why Norway, Why In This Way?

By: Bashir Goth

The following poem marks the terrorist attack that shocked the Norwegian people on July 22nd, 2011.
Why? A question with no answer
As no answer fills the void
No answer rises to decipher
Why Norway, why in this way?
Why terror strikes without a thought
Why it devastates, demolishes, devours
Why it raises hell that ends in naught?
But why Norway, why in this way?
Oslo is mourning, Utoeya is bleeding
Innocence is defiled, paradise betrayed
Common sense is for answers pleading
Why Norway, why in this way?

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My Memories Of Somaliland 1957 – 1960.

By Barry Scowen

It was in the summer of 1957 that my Mother and I were met at Hargeysa airport by my father and his newly found friends; he had only been in Somaliland for a few weeks, his first venture outside the U.K. since returning from action during WW2 in the Western Desert. I distinctly remember although quite warm the difference in temperature it was compared with landing in Berbera en-ruote from Aden as we traveled into Hargeysa, and for a boy from the countryside of East England life looked to me as though I had been transported back to biblical times it was a whole new world, one I was to become to love and one which still holds many fond and happy memories.

After a few days my Father took us to where he had taken up temporary residence a small village called Gabaliee where he was putting the final touches to a new boys’ school. After turning off the main road we eventually arrived at the village and met the local people, I assume it was the head man who explained the excitement that our arrival had caused as my Mother and I were the first white woman and child to arrive there in living memory. To us it seemed quite strange that with the amount of Europeans living only an hour’s journey away in Hargeysa no-one had visited their village before -I did however understand the longer I was in Somaliland, most Europeans were there to help themselves not there to help the local people –shame on them.

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Arab Countries Should Step Up To Save Lives In Somalia

Imagine a country with the longest coastline in Africa, bordering some of the busiest sea lanes in the world. Imagine this country has very wealthy neighbors just across the water, and a history of commercial links to faraway places as an old Silk Road trading post. If geography is destiny, then this country is fortunate indeed.

Alas, few would consider Somalia fortunate today. Drought-stricken, wracked by nearly 20 years of civil war, in the grip of Al Qaeda-linked extremists in the south and warlords and pirates in other parts of the country, Somalia is considered the epitome of a failed state. And now its 10 million people face the worst famine in 60 years.

When natural disaster and governance disaster intersect, it does little good to focus on how geography or regional aid could come to the rescue.

What matters is the facts on the ground: a vicious cycle of civil war, violence, banditry and warlordism coupled with a debilitating drought that has already killed tens of thousands in the past few months and threatens the lives of nearly one million children.
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Can I Get A Little Piracy?

Brent Lewin for National Post
Jay Bahadur had planned to fly to Somalia to cover local elections as a freelancer, but ended up embedded with the country's high-profile pirate crews.

By Jessica Hume  

Jay Bahadur’s plan was simple. Fly to Somalia to cover the March 2009 elections in Somaliland as a freelancer, then come home to Toronto and hopefully find a job in journalism.

He studied Somalia a bit as an undergrad at the University of Toronto, and after graduating in 2007 he enrolled in a freelance journalism course; he figured he could work the trip into the class somehow.

Things did not go according to plan — but, in retrospect, they probably couldn’t have worked out better.

For a class assignment on how to pitch freelance stories, Mr. Bahadur assembled an idea — to embed with the pirates of Somalia — and handed in his homework. It was October 2008. He left for Africa in January 2009. And today, he is on tour promoting his debut non-fiction book, Pirates of Somalia.

“My plan was to go to Somalia without any contacts, find my way to a pirate base and talk my way in,” he says with a laugh. “It didn’t work out that way.”
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Key To Ending Piracy Rests Ashore

What pirates capture is useless without a land base to sell it

By Joshua Philipp
‘Historically speaking, no one has ever been very successful attacking pirates 500 miles off the coast.’ 
—Mark Hanna, University of California, San Diego

Somali coastguards patrol off the coast of Somalia's breakaway Republic of Somaliland on March 30. As piracy has flourished and turned increasingly violent, an unprecedented 17 countries are prosecuting pirates yet Somali jails have borne most of the burden. (TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
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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. .