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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

allAfrica.com: Kenya: Somalia Doesn't Need to Alter Kenya Border

allAfrica.com: Kenya: Somalia Doesn't Need to Alter Kenya Border

THIS case makes Migingo Island look like a storm in a tea cup.

Somalia believes its border with Kenya should follow the same diagonal direction as its border where it reaches the Indian Ocean.
This would put gas exploration licences awarded by Kenya off Lamu under Somali jurisdiction.
Historically the maritime boundaries of East African nations have followed the line of latitude for 200km straight out into the ocean, rather than continuing the line of the land border.
And this is how it should continue. There would be absurd consequences if this was changed.
If Kenya followed the same argument, so that its southern border with Tanzania continued at the same angle, Pemba Island would become part of Kenya.
Now the International Court of Justice will hear the case between Somalia and Kenya in 2015 and 2016.
This is long overdue. A lot of money is involved. There are hydrocarbon deposits all along the coast from Mozambique up to Yemen.
But Somalia does not need to fear. Its has a long coastline and will still have more gas deposits than Kenya even if it loses the case.
There is no reason for Somalia to grab half of Kenya's exclusive maritime economic zone.

Pirates backed by international criminal networks, claims author | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

Pirates backed by international criminal networks, claims author | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

An intricate web of criminal gangs, tribal clans and international finance networks that help Somali piracy survive is the subject of a new book written by a Dubai-based consultant.
First-time author Andrew Palmer says in The New Pirates that it would be a mistake to write off pirates as a spent force.
“Piracy is an international criminal activity and needs to be considered in the same way as drug smuggling or human trafficking and involves a complex international network of financiers,” he said.
“Somali piracy could reactivate itself. It wouldn’t take very much for it to become an increasing force again. If we saw a change in the circumstances in Somalia that would be the case for a resurgence in Somali piracy.”
Extensively researched, the book delves into the history of piracy, examines the causes, explores possible solutions, details hijacking cases and their impact on families.
The International Maritime Bureau recorded 217 attacks from Somali pirates in 2009.
But recent IMB numbers show a decline, with nine incidents reported until August this year, 15 cases last year and 75 in 2012. Deadly attacks continue off West Africa with South-East Asia and the South China Sea also identified as hotspots.
Mr Palmer said not all cases were reported.
“Shipowners are reluctant to advise insurers of problems where no claim is made due to the perception that attacks are bad publicity.”
The book outlines strong support systems from clan leaders and investors that give pirates access to weapons and GPS equipment. He explains how locals are subcontracted to guard and feed captives, negotiators speak foreign languages and financial backers move and invest ransom money.
While there are no “one-shot solutions”, he believes studying criminal networks could impact piracy.
“This isn’t really a book about people in small boats hijacking ships, that is just what people read in the newspapers,” Mr Palmer said. “International criminality and the way in which the governments administer people in failed and near-failed states, how they operate; that’s what I find very interesting. Piracy is ultimately an expression of international criminal behaviour and not merely in Somalia.
“Underneath it all is a complex interaction of systems and networks that I’ve tried to get to grips with. The problem is international criminal networks are large and extraordinarily powerful.
“It will be unlikely we can eradicate them but we need to understand their operations, how they function and work out systems that will at least reduce their influence.”
The book also mentions the suffering of sailors on a vessel held longest by pirates, MV Iceberg, which was bound for Jebel Ali but hijacked in March 2010, and the MV Albedo, which was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden in November 2010 after leaving Jebel Ali Port.
“UAE shipping unfortunately has suffered along with the shipping of many other countries. It has been extremely difficult for the crew as so many suffered at the hands of the Somali pirates,” he said.
Mr Palmer is the chief executive of Idarat Maritime Ltd, a consultancy that provides solutions to shipping lines, operators of oil rigs and installations, to safeguard assets. He lives and works in Dubai and London and conducted much of his research in the UK where he met Somali and other politicians.
Advising continued vigilance, Mr Palmer believes the world will continue to face challenges posed by piracy. No amount of high-tech armaments can banish piracy, he said.
“I think we are, unfortunately, going to see a general increase … the South China Sea could well see a rise in piracy again. Historically this was the worst pirate centre and it still happens today that tugs are taken and crews killed.”
Earlier this year, merchant ship-owners were warned against complacency in believing Somali pirates had been defeated, amid growing attacks and skirmishes at sea.
The most recent incident occurred in August, when two skiffs approached a tanker headed for Fujairah. The attempted attack in the Gulf of Aden was foiled by the ship’s armed guards. It was one of several pirate sightings this year in the Arabian Gulf region.
“It would require only one successful attack to encourage others to revert to this activity,” said P Mukundan, director of the International Maritime Bureau.
“The threat from Somali piracy has not gone away. There are reports received by the IMB which indicate that pirates are still operating, although in smaller numbers. It is therefore important that all vessels continue to remain vigilant.”
The New Pirates will soon be available in the UAE.
Source: The National

Monday, October 20, 2014

Nothing happens unless decreed by Allah (in the Book of Decrees) | IqraSense.com

Nothing happens unless decreed by Allah (in the Book of Decrees) | IqraSense.com

Assalamu-Alaikum and Greetings !
Today, you can review some of the Quranic verses about the importance to have faith in the fact that Allah has decreed all matters of our lives. This faith should help us in accepting undesirable outcomes and not to feel overly sad about them believing that whatever happens is from Allah. As Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi mentions in the commentary of some of the verses related to this topic that we believe that both the good and the bad are from Allah and instead of losing hope, we should instead put our trust in Allah and should be content and happy regardless of the final outcome.
The commentary also highlights another Quranic verse that reflects the attitude of a Muslim in tough circumstances, when he or she is supposed to say (as mentioned in the Quranic verse):
“Allâh (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).” Quran (Surah Aal-e-Imran, Verse 173)
Read the entire message at the link below and share it with others as well.

 

Allah's Decree in All Matters of Good and Bad


Nothing happens unless decreed by Allah (in the Book of Decrees)

The following verses from the Quran show that nothing happens unless ordained by Allah. That includes the good and the bad. The commentary also shows the attitudes that a Muslim needs to adopt in times of hardship and difficulties.
In Surah At-Tawba Allah gives His servants the assurance of His protection. He Says:
islam on Nothing happens unless decreed by Allah (in the Book of Decrees)
Say: “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Mawla (protector).” And in Allah let the believers put their trust.)
Quran (Surah Tawba, Verse 51)
In Surah Hadid, Allah (SWT) Makes it more explicit that He decides what is to happen in our lives and that He has a purpose for it. He says:
islam on Nothing happens unless decreed by Allah (in the Book of Decrees)
No calamity occurs on earth nor in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.
In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.
Quran (Surah Hadid, Verses 22,23)
Ibn ‘Abbâs narrates:
(The saying:) “Allâh (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us)” was said by Ibrâhîm (Abraham) when he was thrown into the fire; and it was said by Muhammad (s) when they (i.e. hypocrites) said (as mentioned to us in the Quran),
islam on Nothing happens unless decreed by Allah (in the Book of Decrees)
“Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them,” but it (only) increased them in Faith and they said: “Allâh (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).” Quran (Surah Aal-e-Imran, Verse 173)
(Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol.6, Hadîth No.86).
Ibn ‘Abbas also narrates: Once I was behind the Prophet (s) and he said:
O boy, I will teach you a few words:
(a) Be loyal and obedient to Allâh [worship Him (Alone)], remember Him always, obey His Orders. He will save you from every evil and will take care of you in all the spheres of life.
(b) Be loyal and obedient to Allâh, you will find Him near (in front of you) i.e. He will respond to your requests.
(c) If you ask, ask Allâh.
(d) If you seek help, seek help from Allâh.
(e) Know that if all the people get together in order to benefit you with something, they will not be able to benefit you in anything except what Allâh has decreed for you. And if they all get together in order to harm you with something, they will not be able to harm you in anything except what Allâh has decreed for you. The pens have stopped writings [Divine (Allâh’s) Preordainments]. And (the ink over) the papers (Book of Decrees) has dried.
This Hadith is quoted in Sahih At Tirmidi.
In Tafheem ul Quran, Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi states the following:
“In contrast to the man of the world, whatever the man of God does, he does it to please Him and trusts in Him and not in his own powers nor in material resources. Therefore he is neither exultant over his success in the cause of Allah nor loses heart by failure, for he believes that it is the Will of God that is working in both the cases. Therefore he is neither disheartened by disasters nor is filled with conceit by successes. This is because he believes that both prosperity and adversity are from Allah and are nothing but a trial from Him. Therefore his only worry is to do his best to come out successful in His test. Besides, as there are no worldly ends before him, he does not measure his success or failure by the achievement or failure of his ends. On the other hand, the only object before him is to sacrifice his life and wealth in the Way of Allah, and he measures the success or failure of his efforts by the standard he achieves in the performance of this duty. Therefore if he is satisfied that he has done his best to perform this duty, he believes that he has come out successful by the grace of God, though he might not have been able to accomplish anything from the worldly point of view; for he believes that his Allah in Whose cause he has expended his life and wealth will not Iet go waste the reward of his efforts. As he does not depend on the material resources only, he is neither grieved if they are unfavorable, nor feels exultant when these are favorable. His entire trust is in God Who is the controller of all the resources; therefore he goes on doing his duty even under the most unfavorable circumstances with the same courage and perseverance that is shown by the worldly people unfavorable circumstances alone. That is why Allah asked the Holy Prophet to say to the hypocrites, “There is a basic difference between you and us in regard to the conduct of affairs. We believe that both the good and the bad are from Allah: therefore the apparent result does not make us happy or sad. Moreover, we depend on Allah in our affairs and you depend on material resources: so we are content and happy in all circumstances.”
Reflections on this verse:
  • Allah decides whatever happens on earth and in our lives.
  • This realization should comfort us that the administration of the whole universe is in the Hands of the Supreme Almighty, and our responsibility is only to lead life as He has directed us to.
  • Trust in Allah is the most important aspect of our Faith. Obedience should follow trust.
  • Supplications should be offered to Allah Alone, for all decisions are in His Hands.
  • Regret about what we missed of fortune is pointless, because if it had been destined for us, we wouldn’t have missed it.
  • Complaining about the situation or experience intended for us, however disagreeable, is also futile, for we couldn’t have escaped it whatever we might have done to avoid it.
  • Whatever good man meets with and whatever hardship he suffers in the world, are pre-ordained by Allah.
  • A true believer is he who does not lose heart in affliction and is not puffed up with pride in good times.
  • Rewards promised by Allah can be attained only if we take active part in the conflict with kufr, for that is the criterion which distinguishes true Muslims from hypocrites.
  • It is the character of a hypocrite and disbeliever that he is puffed up with pride when Allah favors him with His blessings, behaved boastfully and shows stinginess when called upon to spend in the cause of the same God Who blessed him, and also counsels others to be stingy like himself.
  • We should not entertain the delusion that our intelligence and efforts excelling those of others, made us worthy of our good fortune.
  • Pride is a vice that Allah wants us to discard.
References: (Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Tafhim al- Qur’an by Sayyid Abul Ala Moududi)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Federal prosecutors recognized In D.C. - dailypress.com

Federal prosecutors recognized In D.C. - dailypress.com

Four federal prosecutors were recently given Attorney General Awards for their work securing convictions in several Somali pirates' cases, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin L. Hatch, Justice Department Trial Attorney Paul G. Casey and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla and Brian J. Samuels were each awarded The John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation.
That was for their prosecution of 14 sea-based Somali pirates and one land-based Somali pirate leader in the capture and murders of four Americans aboard the sailboat Quest off the coast of East Africa on Feb. 22, 2011, according to the release.
The prosecutors were recognized during a ceremony last week in Washington, D.C. Samuels is based in Newport News, working out of the federal prosecutor's office in Oyster Point.
A 2013 capital trial in Norfolk against three Somali pirates did not lead to the death sentences that prosecutors had sought — but did result in 21 life terms for each defendant. The group's on-shore negotiator — said to be the first Somalia-based pirate leader ever brought to the U.S. for trial — got 12 life terms.
The other 11 pirates pleaded guilty and were also sentenced to life behind bars.
"This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to obtaining justice for victims of piracy affecting the United States and the international community, and it sends a strong message that Somali pirates and their land-based leaders are not beyond the reach of U.S. and international law," Dana J. Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, said in the news release.
Mother calls seven-year sentence inhumane
The mother of a woman sentenced last week to seven years in prison in the death of a 75-year-old man called the sentence inhumane.
Jennifer Mangum, 40, was convicted in Newport News of aggravated involuntary manslaughter and DUI maiming in the death of Charles Kent Stitt Sr. in his Kiln Creek home.
"We're in shock," said Patricia White, Mangum's mother. The judge "has sentenced my daughter honestly to die. … He gave her a death sentence. He wants her to die, and I don't know why. … You're putting a girl in jail because she made a huge mistake for seven years?"
Stitt and his wife, Sharon, were in the kitchen of their Timberneck Lane home when Mangum's car crashed through their house at 3:45 p.m. on May 27, 2013. Stitt's wife was injured in the crash. Mangum's blood-alcohol content was 0.27 at the time — more than three times the legal limit.
Mangum suffers from severe liver disease as a result of alcohol use. White said Newport News Circuit Judge H. Vincent Conway Jr. should have sentenced her daughter to house arrest because of her condition.
Conway said he had struggled to see a just decision in the case but ultimately said that despite Mangum's declining health, she must be held accountable for her actions.
"None of us is perfect, and you have struggled with a number of issues," Conway said during the hearing. "At the same time, I think regardless of our difficulties, you deal with the problem — you don't kill your neighbor. … The question for the court is, 'What is justice?' And while as a human being I would like to do everything to support Ms. Mangum … the question is what is justice for Mr. and Mrs. Stitt?"
Newport News double murder trial set to begin
A murder trial is scheduled to begin in Newport News on Tuesday for a Hampton man charged with killing two teens in 2008.
Floyd Taybron, 21, is charged with killing Barry Eugene Richardson, 16, and Keon Otis Flemming, 15, in the Dec. 30, 2008, shooting on 35th Street. Prosecutors say three people shot at the two teens in a gang dispute, with Richardson managing to fire two shots back before he died.
The jury trial, expected to last four days, will be heard before Newport News Circuit Judge H. Vincent Conway Jr.
Taybron, who was 16 at the time of the homicides, is the second of three defendants slated to go to trial in the double slaying. Last month, Marcus T. Williams, 23, was convicted of two first-degree murder counts and other charges, with a jury recommending he get two life terms, plus 23 years. Another man, Tyrone D. Batten, will go to trial early next year.
Before their arrests, Taybron and 20-year-old Tyrek Allen, of Newport News, were named as two of the "most wanted" fugitives by the Newport News and Hampton police.
Allen was found guilty of murder in the July 2010 killing of Dantrell Belle in Newport News, and was sentenced to 59 years. Belle, 22, of Newport News, was shot multiple times on 36th Street.
Peter Dujardin and Ashley K. Speed cover courts and crime for the Daily Press. Dujardin can be reached by phone at 757-247-4749, and Speed can be reached by phone at 757-247-4778.

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Somalia: Presidency in Somalia

The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Somalia: Presidency in Somalia

Since 1960 independence, Somalia has had 8 internationally recognized presidents; President Aden Adde, President Abdirashid, President Siyad Barre, President Ali Mahdi, President Abdiqasim, President Abdullahi Yusuf, President Sheikh Sharif & the current President Hassan Sheikh. All, except President Siyad Barre, have served Somalia only in 1 term presidency. President Siyad Barre has served as Somalia’s president for 21 years and he remains as the most productive president in Somalia’s history. This 1 term cycle is the focus of this paper. It is not a coincidence that the only Somali president to have served more than 10 consecutive years is the most productive president in Somalia’s history.
Being a president of any country is a hard work. Being a president of a poor country with meager resources is harder work. Being a president of a poor country with zero resources and with nonfunctioning institutions is extremely difficult task. The job of a president is not like any other job where you can hire candidates with prior experience or candidates who have educational qualifications for the job. For example, you can hire a doctor who has never been a doctor so long as that doctor has medical school certificate. But you can’t hire a candidate for presidency by requiring prior presidential experience. Some countries, like the US, have constitutional limitations and will not even allow a candidate to seek the office after serving two terms. Therefore, the position of presidency, as hard as it is, is often filled by individuals with no prior experience. But most countries have functioning systems in place and new presidents have easier transition to govern their nations. But Somali presidents do not have the luxury of using readymade templates. We give them short time to perform, fault them when they fumble and fire them.
New presidents need time to learn the office, time to foster relationships, & time to lobby for the country’s future. For Somalia, president’s fist 30 days is often spent seeking a prime-minister that is in-sync with the president’s vision & mission for the country. First half of the first year is often spent with such logistical set ups. And most of the last year in office is often spent in campaigning for reelection. So in reality, a Somali president’s actual job performance is on 3 years or less. After appointing a prime-minister, the president then spends days and nights helping the prime-minister to come up with ministers that would form the government. In theory, the Somali prime-minister handpicks his/her ministers, but in practical reality Somali presidents have been responsible selecting future ministers. After the government is formed, the Somali president starts to build international relationships. The president starts to travel to neighbouring countries; Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti. We have seen Somali presidents start to foster relationships while participating African summits, UN summits, and EU & Arab League conferences.
 Lately, Somali presidents have started their job in the disadvantage position of being named as the President of the World’s Most Corrupt Nation. Clearly, the Somali president must work harder to earn the trust of the international community. The UN makes this task harder by having Jarat Chopra of the Monitoring Group behave as the predator praying on innocent naïve & new administrations. President Hassan has just completed his first two years in office and so far Chopra has been barking louder and louder accusing the administration corruption and outright criminality. Although President Hassan has never personally been incriminated any corruption or illegal act, but his most senior aides have been Chopra’s victims. President Hassan has been spending significant amount of his time fending off these unsubstantiated corruption allegations. With two years in office, President Hassan is presiding over his second government with his second prime-minister; and the word on the street is that the president has erred in choosing the current prime-minister and is currently working on to replace him. These trial & errors are part of the job and will continue.
Two years on the job, through no fault of his own, President Hassan has actually worked as president in probably less than six months. Instead of representing Somalia in the world stage luring investors, instead of representing the federal government in Somalia nurturing mentoring federal states, the president has spent most of his time wheeling and dealing to get parliamentary support for local staffing issues. The president has made excellent progress in the world stage where he has succeeded building on his predecessor’s Turkish connection and strengthening ties with our neighbours, the US, the EU, the AU, and the Arab League. With the help of AMISOM, the president has made remarkable progress by liberating much of the Southern and Central Somalia from Alshabab. As the President of Federal Somalia, President Hassan has visited Garowe, Baladweyne, Jowhar, Marka, Baidoa, Kismayo, & Barawe. The president needs more time shoring up the federal states and lobbying for Somalia in the world stage.
 Like any other president, President Hassan has established and fostered a working relationship with his counterparts in the world stage. To establish a rapport with a foreign leader takes time and 4 year-term filled with intergovernmental disputes is not enough time. Leaders need considerable time to earn the mutual trust between each other. President Hassan and his predecessors have been complaining the international community’s hesitation to fulfill pledges to fund Somalia. But who would want to invest a temporary leader who doesn’t know anything first and gets kicked out after learning the job? The Somali president needs more than mere 4 years. Just when we think the president has finally taken us through the corner, it will be the end of the term and Somalia will once again have another rookie president. For over thirty years, Somalis have been the unfortunate victims of having to be governed by amateurish presidents. Why do we have to suffer in such a 1 term cycle of self-inflicted predicament for so long?
There are ranges of options for us to stop this 1 term cycle presidency. One option is to have a longer term parliament, perhaps a federal parliament that serves 10 year time which will elect a president for a 10 year term, with a mandatory midterm vote of confidence. Another option is to keep the current 4 year term extended to a 6 year term and encourage the parliament to reelect the president. Currently, many MPs or their spouses serve in the cabinet. Many other MPs who are not serving in the cabinet openly campaign to table motions of no confidence against the prime-minister and sometimes against the president in the hopes that they may have a shot in being called to serve in a future government. Members of Parliament should be given more perks such as increased salaries, vehicle-villa allowances, more powers, travel privileges and duty free exemptions at the ports of entry. The privileged MPs should be burdened with a condition that bars them & their close family members from serving in any cabinet position. This condition will remove any incentive MPs may have in removing and electing a new president in every 4 years.
But in the meantime, let us start with this president with the current parliament. President Hassan is not a bad president nor is he an ideal president. But he is our current president and we have to work with the cards we are dealt. He has come a long way, from being a stubborn idealist president & matured into an attentive pragmatic realist leader. No doubt the president has more room to grow and more grounds to cover. We are the beneficiary when our president reaches his full potential. Let’s stop this unfortunate and counterproductive 1 term cycle. We need to show political stability and mature leadership to the world. Let’s extend the president’s current term and amend the constitution to extend the presidential term of office for future presidents.
Sources: Mohamed “Dudishe” Abdulle: dudishe@yahoo.com , Toronto, Canada

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weekly Statement : Progress of the Somali Government | Diplomat News Network

Weekly Statement : Progress of the Somali Government | Diplomat News Network

The Minister of Information of the Federal Government of Somalia, Mustafa Sheikh Ali Duhulow, today addressed the media, providing an update on the progress of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) over the last week. The Minister discussed various issues: the President’s visit to Barawa; the progress made in education in Somalia; the situation in El-Bur; the imminent prospect of Somalia attracting huge investment as a result of the President’s meeting with MEDEF in Paris; the progress of Operation Indian Ocean; the celebration of Somali flag day and the justice reform in Somalia.
The Minister of Information began by speaking on the historic visit to Barawa by the President of Somalia: “Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, visited Barawa district on 11 October 2014. Barawa was one of the areas recently recovered as part of Operation Indian Ocean and it was formerly a key stronghold of Al-Shabaab. Residents of the area welcomed the President with jubilation, coming out in huge numbers and showing their satisfaction at the end of Al-Shabaab tyranny. The residents sang patriotic songs throughout the President’s visit. Traditional Elders in the area spoke to the President and detailed their urgent needs: humanitarian assistance and medical supplies, both in desperately short supply as Al-Shabaab had looted all the medical equipment from the local hospital.
The President congratulated people in the area for the part they played in removing Al-Shabaab from the area. The President promised to look at the requests from the elders as a matter of urgency and confirmed that the FGS and AMISOM already plan to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the area. In support of this, the President appealed to Somalis in the Diaspora to help support the people in the area. The President went on to note that Barawa is one of oldest cities in Somalia with a history of modernization and a proud Islam tradition and that all Somalis should ensure that the city will be one that revitalizes the historical image of Somalia.
The President also stressed the importance of young people from Al-Shabaab renouncing violence and joining the peace process to help in the rebuilding of the nation. The President finally declared that the export of charcoal is illegal and the FGS will halt Al-Shabaab’s practice of exporting charcoal to fund their campaign of terror.”
The Minister of Information spoke on progress in the education sector: “I am very pleased to see that after lying dormant 24 years, the Somali National University has resumed classes. This is a clear sign that the education sector in Somalia is progressing.
The Minister of Information spoke on the dire situation in El-Bur: “On 14 October 2014, a delegation from the Ministry of Interior & Federal Affairs, AMISOM and the UN visited El-Bur district in Galgadud region, one of the areas recently recovered from Al-Shabaab. The delegation met with officers from the Somali National Army and AMISOM who provided an update on the current situation in the area. The aim of the visit was partly to further the political outreach program and partly to assess the needs of the communities in the area with a view to providing the appropriate basic services. The delegation visited key infrastructure sites such as the hospital and to their surprise found an empty hospital with no medical equipment and no beds: Al-Shabaab looted the hospital as they left the city, leaving the people dangerously without medical care. The delegation also witnessed the dire situation in the villages surrounding the town and noted that it faces one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of recent times.”
The Minister of Information spoke on the imminent prospect of Somalia attracting huge investment as a result of the President’s meeting with MEDEF in Paris: “On 15 October, the President of Somalia met with representatives of the MEDEF institution in Paris during his official visit there. Around 6,000 investment companies are members of MEDEF and they have representatives around the globe: 800,000 international firms are members of MEDEF, working in work in Africa and in other continents. The President encouraged these companies to invest in Somalia as the country moves towards peace and stability. Somalia is strategically located and has significant natural resources.
The President assured these companies that Somalia is open for business and will honour all agreements that are in the interest of the people and the nation. Somalia has the potential to provide an economic boost not only to Somalia but also to the region and to the companies themselves. Dr Ali Said Faqi, the Somalia Ambassador to EU who organized the meeting, stated that this meeting would enhance the relationship between France and Somalia.
This is a clear sign that Somalia is moving forward and that the huge progress on the ground presents huge opportunities for investors.”
The Minister of Information praised security forces’ success as part of Operation Indian Ocean: “Somali National Army and AMISOM Operation Indian Ocean continue to roll back groups Al-Shabaab as well as stabilizing newly recovered areas. Security forces in Bakol region advanced recovered villages in Wajid and Tiyeglow districts from Al-Shabaab on 14th October 2014. Somali National Army and AMISOM continue to mount operations in South & Central Somalia. The operation is going very well with the forces denying Al-Shabaab the opportunity to reoccupy recovered areas by maintaining the pressure on them. The aim of these operations are to ensure that all newly recovered areas are free from terrorists so that the people in those areas can enjoy peace and stability, which in turn could help people to start new lives without fear or threat from terrorists. These stabilization process is progressing very well overall in all the newly recovered areas including recent liberated areas such as Barawa and Adale.”
The Minister of Information spoke on the celebration of the Somali Flag Day: “On 12 October 2014 the country celebrated the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the Somali flag in 1954. The President and the Speaker of the Parliament attended one of the events in Mogadishu to celebrate Somali Flag Day. Events also took place across all the regions of Somalia. The Speaker and the President highlighted the importance of the Flag Day and stated that the flag has a special significance as our grand fathers sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the country and establishing a flag that the world recognizes as the symbol of the independence of the country. Both leaders highlighted the importance of celebrating this historic day for Somalia and encouraged young people and children to hear our history, particularly the sacrifices that Somalis have made during the struggle to obtain independence. These celebrations are vital as they counter the narratives of terrorists groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Al-Shabaab who are uniformly against patriotism, nationalism and tradition.”
The Minister of Information finally spoke the Justice reform in Somalia: “5 day National conference on the reform of the justice sector was concluded on 17 October 2014 in Mogadishu. Participants included Lawyers, experts, civil society member, religious leaders and intellectuals from most of regions in Somalia. The aim of the conference was to review the current justice system and to advance the reform of the sector. The Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs thanked participants and stated that this conference is part of the consultation process that the ministry has been involved for some time. Justice is very important to the development of the country.
The outcome of the conference included the urgent need to identify roles and responsibilities of Federal and regional courts, participants stressed the urgent need to establish the constitutional court of the country. Participants also requested the parliament to approve the outcome of the conference. The Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs stated that the outcome of the conference will be a pillar to the development of the justice sector in Somalia. The Minister stated that the ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs will continue to consult with all key stakeholders in the development of the justice sector in Somalia, which is important for the confidence building of the nation.”

UN: Somalis Need Food, Not Just Security Improvements

UN: Somalis Need Food, Not Just Security Improvements

The United Nations envoy in Somalia is warning that political and security improvements are not enough to stop hunger and stave off a worsening humanitarian crisis.
At least one million Somalis are at risk of starvation, according to UN officials.
Failed rains coupled with recurrent drought and conflict have further worsened the country’s protracted humanitarian crisis.
“Today, we have confirmation of the worsening of the food security we have now predicted for few months. Food security is once again a key concern for Somalia, as we had it before. Over 1 million people in the country face acute food insecurity, up to 20 percent compared to 6 months ago. This brings the total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance or livelihood support to over 3 million people," said Philippe Lazzarini, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia.
In the southern Somali town of Baidoa, drought has affected animal trade. Traders at the market say that it’s no longer business as usual for them.
And as pasture is depleting and riverbeds such as these ones are drying up, thousands that rely on this trade for survival fear a renewed humanitarian crisis in the region. 
The image is the same in Elbur, in central Somalia. Water wells have run dry. UN officials recently visited the town to assess the humanitarian situation.
“The general situation was that we had identified six regions that were stricken by the drought, and two of them most severely suffered from water shortage, that is Gedo and Galgadud," said Abdi Ahmed Mohamed, Somalia's agriculture minister.
UN officials say that 250,000 children are among the one million people in need, with 50,000 believed to be on the brink of death if immediate assistance is not provided.
Somali authorities say that the response has been positive compared to the previous famine period. But officials warn that children and the elderly remain at risk.
“The disasters, including drought - those who suffer the most are the weakest.  It’s the children and the elderly people who suffer the most," said Mohamed.
The top UN envoy to Somalia, Nicholas Kay, recently told the UN Security Council that the humanitarian situation has deteriorated despite recent gains.
This, he said, has been worsened by al-Shabab terrorists' decision to impose a blockade on most towns they have lost to Somali and African Union soldiers.
A devastating famine in 2011 claimed a quarter million lives, according to the UN.  But now, the UN, the government and its international partners are raising alarm early enough to avert the country from falling victim to a second famine in four years.