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Monday, April 21, 2014

Somalia introduces new secure national ID and e-passport with HID Global and their partners | Government Security News

Somalia introduces new secure national ID and e-passport with HID Global and their partners | Government Security News

HID Global, the Austin, TX-based international provider of secure identity solutions, has announced that The Federal Republic of Somalia took another step toward the establishment of law and order with the launch of two new citizen ID programs: a new national ID card and e-passport. The ID documents and their supporting solutions were designed and implemented by an association of Oman’s Al Madina Group, a leading security printer and systems integrator; Ebtikart Smart System, a leading solution provider with presence in Somalia; and HID Global.
The introduction of these secure identity documents and supporting solutions will help the government of Somalia in its efforts to restore law and order, enhance economic development, and improve the standard of living for the citizens of Somalia, HID says. The national citizen ID documents improve the security situation in the country by enabling law enforcement agencies to verify citizens’ identities, while the e-passport facilitates international travel across borders. The new electronic passport is compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization standards, ensuring that Somali citizens are carrying a fraud-resistant identity document that complies with current international standards.
Al Madina Group, in partnership with Ebtikart Smart System, successfully delivered the secure e-passport and eID projects.
“We are excited for the future of Somalia and appreciate the government’s commitment to the highest international security standards,” said Sheila Jamal, president of Al Madina Group. “We look forward to a continued partnership with HID Global, whose expertise and flexibility enabled the effective design and integration of advanced secure ID technologies and systems in a short time frame.”
HID Global will manufacture and provide highly secure chip-enabled electronic passport covers and a custom national ID card with multiple security features. “We are proud to contribute to this important program and to partner with Al Madina Group, whose professional project methodology, flexibility and customer orientation has led to a seamless implementation,” said Rob Haslam, vice president of government ID solutions with HID Global.
HID Global is a trusted source for innovative products, services, solutions, and know-how related to the creation, management, and use of secure identities for millions of customers around the world. The company’s served markets include physical and logical access control, including strong authentication and credential management; card printing and personalization; visitor management systems; highly secure government and citizen ID; and identification RFID technologies used in animal ID and industry and logistics applications. The company’s primary brands include ActivID, EasyLobby, FARGO, IdenTrust, LaserCard, Lumidigm, and HID. For more information, visit www.hidglobal.com.
Al Madina Development & Supply commenced operations in 1984 and continued to expand through the eighties and into the Millennium. Al Madina offers information technology solutions, system integration, high-level security products and turnkey computer based projects. It also owns Security Printing Press - Oman, a security printing press specializing in printing security documents and secure cards.
Al Ebtikarat Smart system is a professional system integration company focused on end to end turn-key solutions. Ebtikarat has a strong presence in Somalia and aims to expand its solutions offerings to more countries in the region.

Car bomb kills Somali lawmaker en route to security conference - CNN.com

Car bomb kills Somali lawmaker en route to security conference - CNN.com

A Somali lawmaker was killed and another was injured when a bomb hidden in their car exploded while they were headed to a conference on security, officials said.

Parliamentarian Isack Mohamed Ali, popularly known as Isak Rino, was killed, and lawmaker Mohamed Ali was seriously injured, said Mohamed Abdiqadir Mohamed, district commissioner of Mogadishu's Hamarweyne district. Four passersby were also hurt.
The parliamentarians were on their way to to a national conference on security when the bomb, hidden under one of the car's seats, exploded.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
But Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said those behind the "cowardly" attack will be found.
"Somalia has today lost a committed parliamentarian who worked tirelessly to serve the people of Somalia and help rebuild our country," Ahmed said in a statement.
"This cowardly attack will not derail the progress made in Mogadishu and across Somalia. The security agencies will investigate this cowardly killing and ensure that those who carried out this attack face justice."
Source: CNN


BBC News - The investor helping Somali businesses

BBC News - The investor helping Somali businesses


Mohamed Ali Mohamed Ali, who left Somalia aged three, stands outside the Mogadishu hospital where he was born
 
Earlier this year Mohamed Ali was reminded once again of the dangers of living and working in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Islamist militants attacked the presidential compound on 22 February, when his father was praying inside its mosque. Mr Ali's dad escaped injury, but nine others were killed.
"It was a very emotional moment," says the 33-year-old founder and boss of the Iftiin Foundation - an organisation that seeks to promote stability in Somalia through entrepreneurship.
That understated reaction is typical of Mohamed Ali, who was three when his parents fled the civil war and came to the US as refugees.
They settled in Columbus, Ohio, home to the country's largest Somali community, and Mr Ali was brought up in what he describes as a relatively privileged middle class home.
My family left Somalia because of the civil war, but these kids left because of a lack of employment, that's when I saw entrepreneurship as a tool for social impact”
But as he grew older he became aware of the problems many of his native countrymen and women were facing, with few resources at their disposal.
Nobody in the 50,000 strong US diaspora was a lawyer so Mr Ali decided to study immigration law at Ohio State University, and began working in the community.
But he also knew he wanted to use his skills to help Somalia itself rebuild, and so he spent several years visiting diaspora communities in Europe to find out what was needed. The idea for the Iftiin Foundation occurred during a trip to Rome.
"At the time there was no central government in Somalia, and nobody operating the embassy in Rome," he recalls.
"There were about 150 young men camped there, all illegal immigrants who had crossed the Mediterranean to get to Italy and were looking for jobs.
"My family left Somalia because of the civil war, but these kids left because of a lack of employment. That's when I saw entrepreneurship as a tool for social impact."
Too dangerous
The breakthrough came in 2010 when he received a call from the US State Department. His work in the community had been noted, and he was one of 80 young Muslim leaders invited to Washington to meet then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as part of the government's Generation Change initiative.
"It was amazingly gratifying to be noticed," he says. "When I graduated a lot of my class went into the private sector and had high profile jobs, while I just went back to my community."
The youth enterprise summit held last year at the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu
The Iftiin Foundation held a youth conference in Mogadishu last year
Inspired by the work of other young Muslim immigrants in countries such as Malaysia, Pakistan and Indonesia, Ali decided to launch the Iftiin Foundation in Somalia - even though the State Department considered the project too dangerous.
Undeterred, Mr Ali joined forces with his 27-year-old sister Sagal who was named a Champion of Change by President Obama in 2012 - and launched the foundation anyway.
"The basic idea is active capitalism - using capitalism as a tool for development rather than aid," he says. "We invest in these businesses and take an equity stake.
"Instead of just giving out grants we have a stake in their success - and their success means we are generating income that we can use to support our activity."
One of the biggest challenges is finding investors. Most Somali entrepreneurs are unable to finance debt, while Islamic law prohibits interest payments on loans.
In the absence of any government support, funding must come entirely from private sources. Some 80% of investment is in the form of remittances from Somali communities in the US or Europe.
"It's been a challenge and so far on a small scale - $5,000 to $15,000 [£3,000 to £9,000 per project]. But it doesn't take that much to start up a business in Somalia.
"We have been successful at this scale, and our hope in the next year or two is to make larger investments and engage bigger donors."
'Heartbroken'
Amber Gardens and Florists is typical of the type of business the Iftiin Foundation supports. It was launched in Mogadishu last year by Mohamed Mohamoud.
Somali security officers inspect a damaged car at the scene of an explosion near the Al Mukaram hotel in Mogadishu
Security remains a serious concern in Mogadishu
The Iftiin Foundation connected him with foreign investors and landscaping experts, and he now employs 20 people locally.
But success carries great risk in Somalia because it draws the attention of militant groups such as al-Shabab.
"One of the great effects of my business is that Somalis are buying flowers for their sweethearts on Valentine's Day," says Mohamed Mohamoud. "Organisations like al-Shabab do not believe in these sentiments - but that has not stopped me."
Mohamed Mohamoud thinks he is still the only florist operating in Mogadishu but is optimistic about the future.
"I would not be doing this if I did not believe that Mogadishu would return to its former beauty and success and I hope my business will contribute to that."
Mohamed Ali says such attitudes are common among Somali entrepreneurs - in spite of the dangers.
On New Year's Day, the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu was bombed. A few months earlier it had been the venue for a youth enterprise summit organised by the Iftiin Foundation. One of the speakers was Ahmed Jama, owner of the Village Restaurant in Mogadishu.
"Six days [after the summit] his restaurant was bombed by al-Shabab killing 15 people," says Mr Ali. "When I spoke to him, although he was heartbroken, he told me he would rebuild and reopen. He would not let terror win."
Thirsty for opportunity
To help build a wider business culture in the country, the Iftiin Foundation has joined forces with a UK-based media production company to create a TV reality series that is due to air this year.
It will follow the lives of entrepreneurs in Somalia in the hope of introducing the concept of entrepreneurship to a wider audience.
"I'm really confident this initiative can be successful," he says. "These entrepreneurs are thirsty for opportunity.
"They know the community - they have been living there all their lives - so we're not bringing in people from abroad. We're giving them the support they need to be successful."
Mohamed Ali
Mohamed Ali plans to live full time in Mogadishu
Mr Ali says the Iftiin Foundation is a project of passion - he supports himself by working as a consultant for US-based Somali non-profit organisations. But he hopes it will start making enough of a return that he will be able to move back to Mogadishu in the next few months and work there full time.
"I don't think I'm brave," he says. "Young people face worse dangers in Mogadishu every day and they go on with their lives.
"They go to work and they go to school. Their stories inspire me and keep me motivated."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Al Qaeda leader, Somalia-based terror group present new messages - CNN.com

Al Qaeda leader, Somalia-based terror group present new messages - CNN.com

Familiar terrorist groups, familiar threats, familiar boasts and grievances -- all in new messages tied, either directly or indirectly, to al Qaeda.
Two videos and one audio link have come to light in recent days that suggest that the world's most recognizable terrorist group is still active, at least in online postings.
The audio is a question-and-answer session purportedly involving al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri that was published Friday on the radical Islamist website Hanein. While CNN has not verified the authenticity of the tape, the voice is similar to al-Zawahiri's from previously authenticated recordings.
In a wide-ranging, nearly hour-long interview with al Qaeda's media arm, known as al-Sahab, al-Zawahiri touches on everything from drones to Syria to Egypt. He insists that al Qaeda is holding strong 13 years after the United States launched its "war on terror" following the September 11, 2001, attacks.
"The upper hand is for the one who does not withdraw from his land," al-Zawahiri says. "Who has withdrawn from Iraq, and who has not? Who has withdrawn from Afghanistan and who has not?"
Al-Zawahiri adds that even U.S. President Barack Obama knows al Qaeda "is expanding."
"Al Qaeda is scattered in all the Islamic world and among the oppressed," he said.
That analysis is relatively peaceful compared with the chilling words uttered in a newly discovered video from Al-Shabaab.
Among its threats: "We will blow you up, until we finish you off."
Members of the Somalia-based, al Qaeda-linked militant group also use the video to reflect on one of its most memorable, deadliest attacks to date -- the four-day siege last September of an upscale Nairobi, Kenya, indoor shopping center that ended with at least 67 killed.
That Westgate Mall attack may have been one of the bloodiest tied to Al-Shabaab, but it won't be the last, men featured on the video suggested.
"It's not that Westgate was enough," they say. "There are still hundreds of men who are wishing for such an operation."
Peter Bergen, an authority on terrorism who interviewed the late Osama bin Laden and is a CNN national security analyst, said that this Al-Shabaab threat has to be taken seriously.
"We certainly can't dismiss their ability to carry out those kinds of terrorist attacks," Bergen said.
The two messages come on the heels of another one that got attention this week showing what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
In the middle of that video clip, the man known as al Qaeda's crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi is the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, which is considered the most dangerous al Qaeda affiliate.
In a speech to the group, al-Wuhayshi makes it clear that he's going after the United States, saying "We must eliminate the cross. ... The bearer of the cross is America!"
The video started appearing on jihadist websites recently, drawing the attention of U.S. officials and global terrorism experts. U.S. officials say they believe it's authentic.
They believe the highly produced video is recent. With some fighters' faces blurred, there is worry it signals a new round of plotting.

Remittances: the huge cost to Africa in money transfer fees | Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Remittances: the huge cost to Africa in money transfer fees | Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

The world’s poorest region is burdened with the world’s highest money transfer fees. That’s the finding of a new report on remittances from ODI.
These excess fees cost the African continent $1.8 billion a year; enough money to pay for the primary school education of 14 million children in the region.

This is because workers are paying an average of 12% in fees to transfer money back to relatives in sub-Saharan Africa. To put that in context, a worker sending $200 home to provide for a relative’s education would incur a $25 fee.
 
 
The global community pledged to cut remittance charges to 5% by 2014, yet this ‘super tax’ shows there is a long way to go.
Our report urges governments to increase competition in money transfer remittances and to establish greater transparency on how fees are set by all market operators.

Executive summary

Remittances – the money sent home by migrant workers – play a vital role in Africa. They help to pay for health, education and productive investment in agriculture. During periods of crisis they provide a financial lifeline. For many economies in the region, remittance transfers now occupy an important position in the balance of payments. Yet Africa is failing to secure all of their potential benefits. No region faces higher charges for remittance transfers.
In effect, Africa’s diaspora face a ‘remittance super tax’ that hurts families and holds back development.
There is no justification for the high charges incurred by African migrants. In an age of mobile banking, internet transfers and rapid technological innovation, no region should be paying
charges at the levels reported for Africa. In this report we argue that market concentration in the global money transfer industry, financial regulation in Africa, and high levels of financial
exclusion are driving up costs.
Remittances to Africa are rising. In 2013, transfers to the region were valued at $32 billion, or around 2% of GDP. Projections to 2016 suggest that remittances could rise to over $41 billion. With aid set to stagnate, remittances are set to emerge as an increasingly important source of external finance.
Charges on remittances to Africa are well above global average levels. Migrants sending $200 home can expect to pay 12% in charges, which is almost double the global average. While the
governments of the G8 and the G20 have pledged to reduce charges to 5%, there is no evidence of any decline in the fees incurred by Africa’s diaspora.
Remittance corridors
within Africa have some of the highest charge structures in the world. Migrant workers from Mozambique sending money home from South Africa, or Ghanaians remitting money from Nigeria can face charges well in excess of 20%.
Why does Africa face such high remittance charges? That question is difficult to answer because of the highly opaque nature of remittance markets and the complex range of products
available. Much of the relevant commercial information needed to establish detailed structures is unavailable.
However, three factors combine to drive up charges. The first is limited competition. Global markets are dominated by an oligopoly of money transfer operators (MTOs) and regional markets by a duopoly: Just two companies – Western Union and MoneyGram – account for an estimated two-thirds of remittance
pay-out locations in Africa. As in any market, limited competition is a barrier to cost reduction and efficiency gains. Second, there is evidence of ‘exclusivity agreements’ between MTOs, agents and banks. These agreements restrict competition in an already highly concentrated market.
Third, financial exclusion and poor regulation in Africa escalate costs. Few Africans have access to formal accounts (which limits access to pay-out providers) and most governments require payments to take place through banks, most of which combine high costs with limited reach and low efficiency.
No measure would do more to strengthen the development impact of remittances than a deep cut in charges. Cutting the ‘remittance super tax’ would enable Africa’s diaspora to make a bigger contribution the region’s development. It would also strengthen self-reliance. Unlike aid, remittances put money directly into people’s pockets, providing a source of investment and support for consumption.
In this report we estimate the additional finance that would be generated under a range of charge-reduction scenarios. We build these scenarios by comparing current charges in Africa with two benchmarks: the current global average charge of 7.8% and the 5% target charge set by governments. We treat the gap between current charges and these benchmarks as indicative of the lower- and upper-bound estimates for the ‘remittance super tax’.
Converting that gap into financial terms, we estimate that Africa is losing between $1.4 billion and $2.3 billion annually as a result of high remittance charges.
Tracing this implicit loss through the remittance system is a hazardous enterprise. Africa’s diaspora is linked to families, friends and communities through a complex web of intermediaries. The commercial terms on which MTOs interact with African banks are not widely available. Similarly, the real costs associated with regulatory compliance, foreign currency trade, agent fees and other dealings are largely unknown.
Despite these limitations it is possible to derive some indicative figures. Using market share (as defined by share of payment outlets) as a proxy for indicative shares in the ‘remittance super
tax’, operations involving MTOs would account for between $807 million and $1.3 billion of our estimated global loss. As market leaders, Western Union and MoneyGram would account for $586 million of the revenue loss associated with the gap between African and world average charges.
Detailed research for the United Kingdom identifies a number of distinctive features of the remittance market for Africa. As in other remittance-sending countries, the charges incurred by Africa’s diaspora are high relative to global average charges.
Using one of the major remittance channels – credit/debit cardto- cash – we identify what appears to be an ‘Africa charge’ – a consistent fee of around 8% for Western Union applied across countries regardless of the size of the market, regulatory costs or market risk. The same analysis conducted for credit/debit card
remittances through MoneyGram reveals that there are marked variations in the charges applied by the two major MTOs in the same country. This is suggestive of limited competition or market segmentation
within the receiving country, and imperfect consumer information. Evidence from the UK identifies foreign
exchange conversion fees as a significant, and often arbitrary, share of overall costs – information on these fees is not always provided to consumers in a readily accessible form.
As one of the largest sources of remittance transfers to Africa, the UK contributes to the loss of finance through high charges.
Some $5 billion was remitted to Africa from the UK in 2012. Reducing average UK remittance costs to the global average.
 
Introduction


Economic remittances from migrants are an important and growing source of finance for Africa. These remittances representa source of opportunity and, for many, a financial lifeline during periods of hardship. Yet Africa is failing to realise the full potential of remittances.
Migrants from Africa, the world’s poorest region, face the highest charges on remittances. At an average of just over 12%, these charges are almost double the global average (excluding Africa). If remittance charges were reduced, there would be a double benefit: the overall flow of transfers would increase and a greater share of the transfer would reach the intended beneficiaries.
The excessive charges levied on African remittances raise wider questions. Migrant workers make enormous sacrifices to secure the higher income that comes with changed location. They bring far-reaching benefits to destination countries, generating economic growth, meeting demand in labour markets and creating more diverse societies. Many take considerable risks in moving to higher-income countries. Yet the international community and Africa’s own governments are failing to support their efforts to improve their lives, support their families, and promote self-reliant development.
This paper makes the case for putting remittances at the centre of international cooperation on development. It is divided int four parts. The first looks at the level of remittances to Africa and at the drivers of migration. Part 2 provides a summary overview of evidence on the benefits of migration. Part 3 looks at the high costs of remittances to Africa, examining underlying global and regional remittance-market structures and highlighting the domination of two global money transfer operators (MTOs).
While there is no evidence of collusive pricing or other cartel-type behaviours, the remittance market is characterised by limited competition, restrictive business practices and extensive rentseeking.
Part 4 looks at strategies to increase the development impact of remittances. While highlighting a wide range of potentially innovative options – including diaspora bond issues and partnerships between diaspora and local governments – it offers a simple message: namely, no measure would have a greater impact than deep cuts in the costs of intermediation.
To read full report go to: http://www.odi.org.uk/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/8901.pdf

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Good News for Remittance-Makers to Africa - By Richard Dowden

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Good News for Remittance-Makers to Africa - By Richard Dowden

analysis
Very good news on Wednesday when Barclays Bank agreed to give Dahabshiil, the Somali remittance company, sufficient time to find another way of transferring money from the UK and elsewhere to Somalia before closing its account with them.
Up to $2 billion a year is sent from Somali exiles to their families back home, mainly through Dahabshiil. With much of the country destroyed by war, this inflow keeps millions of Somalis and their families alive, drives what business there is and enables more Somalis to stay and rebuild the country rather than seek exile.
Under international money transfer rules, Dahabshiil can collect money from Somali families in the rest of the world and dispense it from shops in Somalia, but only a bank can transfer it across borders. That is what Barclays have been doing for 15 years. In October last year however the bank decided to stop handling Dahabshiil money on the grounds that there was too much risk of money laundering and terrorism. The US government and other countries have cracked down on this in recent years.
Dahabshiil can account for every penny sent and collected but admit that of course it cannot account for how it is spent, although all large amounts are double checked and anything suspicious is reported. When Barclays made the announcement, Dahabshiil went to court to seek an injunction against the bank and got a stay of execution. Now Barclays has said they are prepared to wait until Dahabshiil has found an alternative.
That is extremely important for Somalia. Somalis are brave travellers and one of the most entrepreneurial peoples in the world. In 2006 during the brief period when peace broke out Mogadishu, the capital, was transformed with people moving around, exiles returning, goods shifting and businesses beginning to flourish. The population started wearing watches and jewellery in the street; simple everyday actions they had been unable to perform for almost 15 years. But the violence returned and since then, despite Somalia now having an internationally recognised government, the pendulum has swung back to more repression and terrorism. Al Shabaab remains a threat and pro-islamist funding from Saudi Arabia has poured into Somalia. Without remittances that money would have become even more powerful.
But even before Shabaab started, when the whole of Somalia was engulfed in clan warfare, the remittance system worked well. Of course - as with anywhere else in the world - there were armed guards for the carriers, but the remittance transporters and shops had a certain immunity. I have a memory of Bosaso a decade ago outside a remittance shop: a pick-up with a heavy calibre machine gun on the back, known in Somalia as a technical, three gunmen with AKs and a man carrying half a dozen mail bags of cash into the small but fortified shop. Since then the temptation to steal the remittances of thousands of ordinary people has been resisted by even the most cynical gunmen.
If Dahabshiil had been prevented from making the transfers, Western countries would be paying hundreds of millions more for emergency food aid and there would still be pictures of starving Somalis beamed around the world. As it is, schools are open in some areas, teachers getting paid, businesses operating and the economy ticking over.
By coincidence the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has launched a report on the importance of remittances generally in Africa and revealed that it costs almost twice as much to send money to Africa than anywhere else in the world. ODI reckons just over £1 billion is lost to Africa because of overcharging transfer fees. It blames weak competition, concentration of market power and flawed financial regulation for these high charges and suggests that the two market leaders - Western Union and MoneyGram - account for two-thirds of remittance transfers giving them some $586 million as a remittance 'super tax', part of it through "opaque foreign currency charges".
This seems particularly weird when you think that Kenya, a neighbour of Somalia, has the world's most highly developed mobile phone banking system and the technical cost of transfers is negligible. Is it just because it is Africa? I made a quick check on Western Union's prices this week. This revealed that to send £200 online to Thailand costs £12.50, to China £6.90, £4.90 to Venezuela and £9.90 to send to the same amount to Uganda (Dahabshiil charges £12, but £10 to Somalia) and most other African countries (as well as the United States).
Enforcing international laws against price fixing internationally is not easy. Last week I heard from someone in Uganda who found that £60 in a savings account in an international bank had disappeared over two years. Why? Bank charges, online charges etc, it was explained. But the customer had not touched the money in that time or used the online service. My understanding is that a savings account means you are lending the bank money and most savings accounts pay an interest rate. Not in Uganda apparently. There the basic rules of capitalism are reversed by the bank. They charge you for borrowing and investing your money. Sounds like theft to me.
A few years ago I found myself in casual conversation with the chairman of a very big bank that had decided to open in South Africa. That's good I told him, bank charges and interest rates in South Africa - and even more in the rest of Africa - are at ridiculous levels. Who can afford a loan or a mortgage in most African countries? A new competitor would bring down the price of banking, I suggested enthusiastically. "And why would we want to do that?" he said with a smile and a steady eye. Because - I might have answered - a lower cost of banking and money transfers would encourage more people to bank their salaries and remittances. You would win in the long term. The present cost is ridiculous. But I kept quiet.
The ODI blames 'exclusivity agreements' between the money transfer companies, their agents and banks that restrict competition and drive up prices. African financial regulations also favour banks over other remittance payment options, but ODI argues they should do more to secure a better remittance deal for their citizens. It also encourages governments and their regulatory authorities in sending countries to do more to promote competition and encourage innovation.
Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society and author of Africa; altered states, ordinary miracles. Follow Richard on twitter@DowdenAfrica

allAfrica.com: Kenya: Police to Prosecute Maalim for Incitement

allAfrica.com: Kenya: Police to Prosecute Maalim for Incitement

It emerged yesterday that police will charge former deputy Speaker Farah Maalim with incitement as National Assembly Majority Leader Adan Duale defended himself over claims that he incited members of the Somali community over the ongoing security swoop.
Maalim yesterday appeared before officers of the Anti-terrorism police unit in Nairobi where he was questioned over remarks that the Government was sponsoring some of the terror incidents in the country. He declined to record statements with the police.
He made the remarks on Wednesday during a television interview on Citizen TV.
The former Lagdera MP has strongly criticized the police operations in Nairobi and Mombasa targeting illegal immigrants. He has claimed that the police were targeting members of the Muslim community.
Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and President Uhuru Kenyatta have denied the allegations and maintained that the operation was targeting terrorists.
Maalim arrived at the ATPU offices in Upper hill shortly after 11am and was verbally questioned by Police Superintendent Josphat Bwonya. He was escorted by his lawyer Harun Ndubi. And after an hour with the investigators, Maalim confidently walked out and told journalists that he had opted to remain silent.
Head of ATPU Boniface Mwaniki declined to comment on the investigations. Sources however said the investigators were by last evening compiling a report to be handed over to the Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko with the recommendations to charge Maalim.
"We are also looking to see if we can add some more charges," said an officer in the CID. Maalim has denied links the Al Shabaab.
During the TV interview, he alleged that government knew more than it was saying about the recent terrorist attacks and wanted to blame Somalis to distract attention.
"It's rubbish for anyone to claim that I have links to al Shabaab and that my bank account has been investigated. I do not have any money to cause any concern. I'm a simple ordinary Kenyan who struggles to make ends meet," said Maalim.
The former MP was summoned questioning soon after he finished a live talk show on Citizen Television about Operation Usalama Watch.
"I am not worried about the summons and they will not cow me. I believe the approach the government has taken in its quest to fighting terror will not yield fruit but will escalate the situation," he said.
"It is also aimed at profiling the Muslim and Somali community and to serve as an economic sabotage to the enterprising Somali people," he said.
"We will support war on terror but not a reckless government which has no idea of how to tackle the threat," he added.
Meanwhile, Duale yesterday blamed quacks for poor translation of the recent comments he made in his own Somali language that has ignited heated debate between the Christian and Muslim religions in the country.
Duale said that what he said during a recent public rally in Nairobi's Eastleigh area was translated out of context. The translation aired by a local Television channel claimed that Dualle had called terror groups to target other areas like Machakos because they had limited terror attacks.
"It is a pity that some media Houses (not Radio Africa Limited) are using quacks to translate for them tapes for political propaganda," Duale said yesterday at parliament buildings.
Duale made the comments at a time when the government has initiated a campaign to crackdown and flush out suspected terror suspects and illegal immigrants in the country.
The government's crackdown in Eastleigh that is dominated by Kenyan Somalis comes at a time the country is facing increased terror attacks by individuals with links to Somalia based Al Shabaab terror group.
"It is important that the Eastleigh business community and residents cooperate with the security agencies in the country to limit acts of grenade attacks among civilian Kenyans by exposing crucial information. That is why the same cant happen in other areas like Machakos and this is exactly what i said.
The leader of majority said that just like any other leader, he has every right to champion and protect the rights of their people.
"I am a national leader and I stand for national security. Acts of Al shabaab terror group and others should be condemned by any peace loving Muslim. My constituency in Garissa has been hit by the terror group so hard that over 69 people have lost their lives between 2011 and 2013. Over 20 percent of the votes I received in my constituency in the last election were christian," he said.
He vowed to continue championing the interests of all the religions from acts of aggression just like he is steadfast in defending the jubilee government on the floor of the House.