Thursday, 31 July 2008
Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of Somalia's Islamist opposition, has called for a halt to the killing and kidnapping of aid workers stationed in the war-torn country.A total of 19 aid workers have been killed in Somalia this year, while 13 others have been abducted, according to the United Nations.
"The Somali people need humanitarian assistance - food and medicine which they cannot afford," Aweys told the AFP news agency from Asmara, the Eritrean capital on Wednesday."Killing and abduction of aid workers must stop."
Aid groups have scaled down operations in Somalia due to increased insecurity, with at least 2.6 million Somalis facing hunger because of acute food shortfalls spurred by prolonged drought, insecurity and high inflation.Aweys claimed the leadership of the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS), an umbrella opposition group, on Tuesday. He expelled Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a former head of the Union of Islamic Courts, the predominant movement fighting government forces.UN force neededHis comments came as the foreign minister representing the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia asked the UN Security Council for the deployment of a peacekeeping force.
Opposition forces frequently target the government and Ethiopian troops [EPA]
"We are hoping that the [UN Security] Council will make a decision in the coming weeks ... [and that] the UN will order some kind of international presence, either a peacekeeping force or an international stabilising force," Ali Ahmed Jama said.Fighters opposed to the government have carried out roadside bombs, mortar attacks and assassinations against the administration and its Ethiopian allies since early last year.
However, the fighters have blamed government hardliners for the wave of attacks targeting humanitarian staff.The African Union force currently deployed in Somalia has said is no longer capable of bringing stability to the country and has also called on the UN to help.
The AU mission, known as Amisom, says it lacks funding and logistical support, making it impossible to carry out its mandate on the ground.Amisom has been in Somalia since March 2007 and is currently made up of 2,600 Ugandan and Burundian troops.
Jama also said that once the UN-brokered truce deal arranged in Djibouti on June 9 by the Somali government and the opposition went into into effect, "we are hoping that violence will go down and a climate conducive to deployment will be created". He said he expected the Djibouti accord to be formally signed "within three weeks at the most".The Djibouti agreement has been initialed by the Somali transitional government and several top leaders from the main opposition alliance. However, other leading opposition leaders and military commanders, including Aweys, have rejected it, insisting that Ethiopian troops supporting the Somali government leave before peace talks can start.
http://english. aljazeera. net/news/ africa/2008/ 07/2008724143228 919407.html
Saturday, 26 July 2008
The Republic of Somaliland (North West Somalia) is situated on the tip of the Horn of Africa. Somaliland was formed in 1991 after separating from southern Somalia following three years of civil war (1988-91) but the country still awaits international recognition. The war led to the deaths of nearly 60,000 people, massive displacement of people internally and to other countries, and a near total destruction of infrastructure, communications systems, banking and all public services.
Following a period of inter-clan conflict in 1995, Somalilanders settled internal disputes using traditional peace-building methods and are now rehabilitating and reconstructing their damaged country. Demobilization of former militia fighters into a national police force and army has made the country more secure within its own national boundaries.
A stable administration was formed with a smooth transition of leadership when Dahir Rayale took over after the death of his predecessor, former President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, in May 2002. President Rayale was re-elected in April 2003 by a narrow margin of 80 votes.
Parliamentary elections were held on 29 September 2005 - the first since before the 1969 coup in Somalia that brought the dictator Siad Barre to power. More than 76-strong team of international election observers invited. Around 800,000 voters went to the country's 985 polling stations to elect 82 MPs from a possible 246 candidates. Unfortunately, this was the culmination of a gradual process: after a 2001 constitutional referendum, 2002 municipal elections and a 2003 presidential election, Somaliland now has a legislature to balance the leadership of the president, Dahir Rayale Kahin, and his UDUB party.
In recent years, a broad range of civil society organizations has emerged in response to the needs of the population and is gearing up to use newly opened democratic spaces. Women's groups are particularly active and human rights are openly discussed. The written media is also able to publish with a freedom rarely found in the region, although the government has imprisoned some journalists.
Prior to the war, Somalia was considered one of the poorest countries in Africa with 70 per cent of gross national product believed to derive from remittances sent back by people working abroad. Somaliland remains desperately poor and, given its lack of international recognition, receives little help other than minimal aid from major donors.
The main national source of government revenue - the trade in camels, sheep and goats to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. the lack of international recognition has created a culture of self-reliance among the Somaliland people, supported by relatives and friends in the Diaspora, with their remittances being a major contribution to the economy. The population has made an enormous effort to re-establish basic health and education services.
The majority of Somalilanders are pastoral nomads, although the country is in transition as it moves towards increased urbanization. Camels - the traditional currency of prestige and wealth - sheep, goats and some cattle are raised in large numbers across the plains and rangelands and provide daily subsistence and the economic backbone of the country.
An estimated 60 per cent of the population depends directly or indirectly on livestock and livestock products. Agriculture provides subsistence for nearly 20 per cent of the country's population and is practiced mostly in the east and northwest of the country where there is enough rainfall. Crops grown include sorghum, maize, fruit and vegetables. Somaliland is also a producer of frankincense.
The informal economy and trade are strong and the results can be seen in the variety of goods available within the major urban areas. There is a flourishing trade in the stimulant Kat - a woody green plant chewed mostly by the men. Unemployment is high, however, and there are few formal jobs for young people.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
We stand for making positive changes
Yusuf Saed Kalib
Sunday, 20 July 2008
This is a picture of the Internal Displaced people from South Central Somalia in Somaliland-Hargeisa re-settlements. Those people left Somalia recently due to the late developments in the Region and came to Somaliland to seek a safer place, for INGOs and UN agencies they are not considered refugees but IDPs and on the other Side Somaliland government consider them Refugees and they are asking the International community to respond to them on that basis. It is am image we see everyday at the re-settlements.