Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Somalia News Update: Puntland After Four Years Under President Farole

Somalia: Puntland After Four Years Under President Farole

December 12, 2012
by Horseed Media
By: Da’ud Omar

On the 26th April 2009 President Farole issued his report on his first 100 days in office. In it can be found the following.

“President Abdirahman Farole assumed responsibility to lead the State for the coming four years.”

“The Government will complete the democratization process so that Puntland can hold free and popular elections by 2013. The New Administration plans to allow the establishment of multiple political parties within the next two years in order to achieve the prospect of good governance and finalize the institution-building process.”

“The Puntland Charter guarantees the freedom of the press and the New Administration will ensure that the charter, which is currently under constitutional review, retains the clause upholding the freedom of the press. The independent media serves as the bridge between the public and the government, and the New Administration will continue to strengthen ties to the independent media to engender an environment of free expression with respect to local laws, human rights and good governance.”

“The New Administration fully understands and appreciates the value of peace and security.”

“Production in Puntland is very low, due to a number of critical factors, such as lack of Investment.”

So from the statement from the Office of the President on the 26th April 2009 it can be seen that President Farole was to be in office for four years. Within that four years in preparation for the next elections people needed to be registered to vote and political parties formed to introduce the multi party structure.

But as we can see nothing was done until President Faroles last year prior to the end of his elected period. Remember there was nothing stopping President Farole from standing for election for a second term and being re-elected. Should the people believe he was worthy?

But instead President Farole manipulated the system and gave himself an extra year. At the same time threatening to arrest and imprison any who were against him. This included any potential Presidential candidates and members of the media who spoke against his government.

Forming his own political party which he claimed to be all of his government. It begs the question to ask if ‘all’ his government were happy to be told they were now members of his political party?

Not only changing the four year period of government as only two other political parties have registered within the last month the time to allow registration has been extended. Plus the registration fee halved from $15,000 to $7,500. No doubt the difference in the fee has been returned to those parties who paid the original fee?

But more manipulation is under way. Whilst President Farole moves around he is well aware of the security threat to him, after all there is increased activity by Al Shabaab against the citizens of Puntland. To the extent that he requires around 200 soldiers and at least 17 mounted with heavy machine guns to protect him.

The same protection from the likes of Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda for any potential candidate running against President Farole it would seem is being forbidden. Do not the citizens of Puntland require security from terrorism as well?

Does not the Barri Regional Governor take his orders from the President?

In the last four years security within Puntland has become worse regarding both criminal and terrorist activity. Not including the continued unrest along the border between Puntland and Somaliland.

In 2009 both the Interior Ministry and Puntland Intelligence saw the threat from Al Shabaab even before it joined with Al Qaeda and wanted to take action against it. But before this was done the heads of both departments were sacked by the new President. So nothing was done and the threat increased to where we are today.

Today we have a growing threat from these terrorist groups who are making a firmer base in the Galgala mountains. Thus threatening both Puntland and Somaliland. Yet some say that the mistrust between Puntland and Somaliland has been made worse by President Faroles own actions. Yet this confrontation with Somaliland has just gone to help both Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda by allowing them to become stronger whilst the military resources are not focused on the real threat to Puntland and Somaliland.

Peace, Security, Investment. All are pillers supporting Puntland. Yet none are truly inplace.

Before you have people and companies willing to invest there must be security which provides a peacefull envirenment for people to live and work.

Currently there is no security on the borders of Puntland nor within the country. Not only have we seen an increase in terrorism but also by the manipulations of the present President we see a divide now between the government and the people. When all the Clans write to the President saying he no longer has the popular support of the people of Puntland you would expect a President who is responsible for the state of the country to listen.

President Faroles time as President for four years ends in January 2013! He, himself has stated this in his 100 Days Report of 26th April 2009.

Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)

Somalia: Somali Government Conduct Security Operations in Jowhar

11 December 2012

Mogadishu — Reports from the town of Jowhar, which has recently fallen under the control of Somali federal government with a help from the African union forces, say that Somali government forces are conducting security operations there.

Government forces are reported to be carrying security operations throughout all the neighbourhoods of the town.

Jowhar was a stronghold for the Al Qaeda linked group of Al Shahab for three years before they fled the city few days ago after Somali government forces backed African union troops advanced to it.

A resident in the town told Shabelle media network that government forces are seen moving around the town.

Somali government forces are expanding their control in much of South and central after Al Shabab weakened militarily and also lost the support of the public because of their violent conducts including assassinations, suicide attacks and targeted killings against key figures in the society.

Radio and electronic media edge out newspapers in Somalia

By Majid Ahmed in Mogadishu
December 11, 2012

"Print media is declining day after day," Abdullahi Mohamed told Sabahi. "A few years ago, there were more than 50 daily, weekly and monthly newspapers published in Mogadishu alone, but now there are only three daily newspapers in the city."

Mohamed, former editor at the Ayaamaha newspaper, which folded five years ago, said print media outlets in Somalia are at their weakest point in decades.

The three remaining newspapers in Mogadishu are political publications Xog Doon and Xog Ogaal, and Horyaal Sports.

Among the prominent Mogadishu newspapers that went out of print over the past years are Qaran, Mogadishu Times, Sana'a, Shabelle Press, Ayaamaha, Mandeeq, Sky Sport, Goal, The Nation, Dalka, Panorama, Aayaha Nolosha, Codka Xuriyada and Xidigta Maanta, according to Mohamed.

"Since radio stations spread throughout Somalia in 2003 and the golden age of print media disappeared, we now find ourselves in the age of audio and electronic media," he said.

Mohamed Ahmed, chairman of the board of directors for independent newspaper Xog Doon, said the proliferation of radio stations has devastated print media.

"Somalis always prefer to follow events on the radio," he told Sabahi. "Print newspapers come out late at night and report on events of the previous day. They are no longer a source of news because readers have to buy a newspaper, while they could get the news for free."

Ahmed said companies are turning to radio and online advertisements, rather than paying for print ads. "Advertising revenues used to cover a large portion of the cost of print newspapers, but now advertisers' preference for radio ads has resulted in lower revenues for newspapers," he said.

Issa Farah, a former editor for Dalka, which shut down in early 2012, said the print media sector in Somalia is suffering from a multitude of financial problems.

"After years of being in business, dozens of newspapers in Somalia went under because they could not continue operations due to financial difficulties," he told Sabahi. "They were not able to survive in light of increasing cost of production and a decline in advertising revenue."

"With the absence of high-quality printing presses in Somalia, some Somali newspapers had to be printed in Nairobi and would then have to be transported to Somalia, which made newspaper circulation a very slow and costly process," he said.

However, Farah said he has hope for a resurgence of newspaper circulation in Somalia.

"If print media gets the right support and the National Somali Printing Press is re-opened, we will witness a new print media revolution," he said. "As a result, [print media] will be able to fulfil its vital duty for the Somali people and will continue to have substantial value even with the development of electronic journalism."

To stay competitive with electronic media and to attract readers, Farah said newspapers should not focus on news alone, but offer analysis, literature and opinion pieces.

Mohamud Hussein, a former professor of languages at Somali National University, said the decline in print media could have an adverse effect on the Somali language, as it plays a large role in its development and use.

"Electronic media in Somalia, especially Somali websites, are not subject to editing as are print media, which could negatively impact the quality of language," he said. "People browsing Somali websites can easily observe the magnitude of grammar and spelling mistakes made by contributors to those websites."

Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)

Somalia: Outbreak of Diarrhea Kills Seven in Lower Shabelle Region

11 December 2012

Mogadishu — Reports from lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia say that an outbreak of diaarhea has killed in different small communities in the region.

The outbreak of the diaarhea is reported in communities like Dudumo gadud, Madax Marodi, Sahan weyn, Saha Yarey and other lager communities like Yaqbari weyne and Yaqdomar all in lower Shabelle region.

Residents in those parts of the province who spoke to Shabelle Media Network say, the outbreal can related to the extreme warm weather which comes at this part of the season.

According to residets in those areas plagued by the diarrhea, there are no medical centres where the affected patients can seek for the treatment of the disease which is easy to cure but without medical help can otherwise be deadly.

Families, who have children with diarrhea and who spoke to Shabelle media network , have called for help and medical assistance from the government federal government of Somalia and medical and relief organizations inside the country.

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