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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May 17 health fair geared toward Somali population | ThisWeek Community News

Colunbus, Ohio, USA: May 17 health fair geared toward Somali population | ThisWeek Community News

The third annual Somali Health and Wellness Fair will take place this year on Saturday, May 17.
The event returns to the Global Mall, also sometimes known as the Somali Shopping Center, 2210 Morse Road.
The hours will be 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Hibo H. Noor, health program manager for the Office of Minority Health at Columbus Public Health, made the announcement at last week's North Side Health Advisory Committee meeting.
Although geared primarily to the medical concerns of the Somali population in central Ohio, the free health screenings for blood sugar, hypertension, hepatitis B, body mass index and oral health are open to anyone, Noor said.
The screenings are conducted by a team of doctors and dentists who are originally from Somalia.
Noor asked other members of the advisory panel for advice on finding someone to provide hearing testing at the May 17 health and wellness event.
Last year's fair had more than 22 tables representing groups and organizations in the health-care field, including Columbus Public Health and the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center free clinic, according to Noor.
The fair offers information on health care and insurance, nutrition, diet, physical activity, autism, epilepsy, diabetes, mental health and more, according to the flier for last year's event.
"We encourage Somalis to come," Noor said.
Management at the Global Mall and the Somali Community Association sponsor the Somali Health and Wellness Fair, along with Molina Healthcare, the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Horn of Africa Volunteer Youth Committee, Nexus Counseling Group and Columbus Public Health.
kparks@thisweeknews.com

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE (1985-14) Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Somalia: Somalia’s trajectory, Progress or Peril in Somalia?

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE » Somalia: Somalia’s trajectory, Progress or Peril in Somalia?

Progress or Peril in Somalia? Watch a Video Conversation with U.N. Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay;   Streamed live Video by U.S.Institute of Peace in Washington on Apr 22, 2014.
The Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay,  discussed the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia’s progress in executing key governance and security goals.
Speakers:
Ambassador Nicholas Kay
Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia
Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Moderator
Special Advisor to the President, U.S. Institute of Peace


Despite the optimism that surrounded President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s inauguration in 2012, Somalia has struggled to achieve key governance and security goals. A recent cabinet reshuffle and intensified Al-Shabab militant activity in Southern Somalia in particularly Mogadishu area have raised more concerns about Somalia’s trajectory. With elections planned for 2016, rapid progress is required to bolster confidence in Somalia’s government and leadership.
To address these issues, USIP is pleased to host a discussion with Nicholas Kay, the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia. As the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Amb. Kay oversees a mission charged with providing policy advice to the federal government on a range of governance and security issues and coordinating international engagement. He will provide an update on recent developments and UNSOM’s progress in executing its mandate and take questions from the audience.
This Somalia event was an originally planed of March 12, 2014
Sources: For more information about this event, visit: http://www.usip.org

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mohamed Hersi wanted to move to Muslim country to escape Canada’s ‘Islamophobia,’ terror trial hears | National Post

Mohamed Hersi wanted to move to Muslim country to escape Canada’s ‘Islamophobia,’ terror trial hears | National Post

A Toronto security guard on trial for allegedly attempting to join the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabab testified Monday he wanted to move to a Muslim country because of the discrimination he suffered in Canada, but insisted he did not support terrorism.
“I felt that throughout my time in Canada I felt a lot of discrimination, whether because I’m black or I’m Muslim,” Mohamed Hassan Hersi said. “I felt that if I lived in a Muslim country, I probably would not experience Islamophobia.”
Mr. Hersi, 28, told jurors as he began his defence that his entire clan was “hostile” to the group and its “extreme methods.”
They do tyrannical things like cut off peoples’ hands
“They do tyrannical things like cut off peoples’ hands,” said Mr. Hersi. “I don’t really like Al-Shabab.”
He insisted he was opposed to terrorism, which he called immoral and anti-Islamic. Terrorists who cited Islam to justify violence were taking the Koran out of its historical context, he added.
As the defence began presenting its case, Mr. Hersi took to the witness stand to counter the prosecution’s portrayal of him as a would-be jihadist immersed in online Al Qaeda propaganda.

Somalia recalls envoy to Kenya - rest-of-the-world - News - StarAfrica.com

Somalia recalls envoy to Kenya - StarAfrica.com

Somalia has recalled her ambassador to Kenya after the controversial arrest of its consul in Nairobi.Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Planning, Mahad Mohamed Salad confirmed in a news conference in Mogadishu on Sunday that the Somali government was recalling its envoy Ali Nor Mohamed to review diplomatic relations with Kenya in the wake of the arrest.
“The government decision is related to the arrest of Somalia’s consul to Kenya Siad Shireâ€� Salad declared, accusing the Kenyan government of disrespecting Somali diplomats and nationals living in that country.
The Somali’s Ambassador to Kenya Ali Nur Mohamed told reporters upon his return to the country that he was in Mogadishu to consult with the government over the next course of action.
The Kenyan government has not commented on the reason for Shire’s arrest or the Somali govenrment’s decision to recall her ambassador.
The recall comes weeks after hundreds of Somalis were arrested in Nairobi in connection with the bombing of the city by suspected al-Shabaab insurgents.
The Somali militants who had claimed responsibility for two bombs which killed several people earlier in April said the attacks were in retaliation for Kenyan involvement with peacekeeping operations under AMISOM in Somalia.
The Nairobi suburb of Eastleight known as Little Mogadishu has a burgeoning population of Somalis fleeing the unrest in their country which has witnessed 23 years of civil strife since the overthrow of Siad Barrie in 1991.

Stowaway’s Story Reflects Somalia’s Family Disintegration

Stowaway’s Story Reflects Somalia’s Family Disintegration

The story of a Somali-American teen stowaway who survived a freezing 5 1/2-hour flight from California to Hawaii while hidden in the wheel well of a jetliner has made news since shortly after his discovery April 20.

But for the Somali communities in the diaspora, the teen's case is a reminder of huge challenges facing immigrant families ravaged by civil wars, poverty and unemployment. People in such situations are sometimes willing to take desperate, daring and calculated risks.

What led 15-year-old Yahya Abdi to jump a fence at San Jose International Airport and stow away on the jetliner bound for Maui?

According to unidentified law enforcement officials, the teen, who lived with his father, had argued with relatives and was trying to reach his mother in Somalia. In reality, she lives in an Ethiopian refugee camp that is home to about 10,200 displaced Somalis, a United Nations official told the Associated Press.

In two separate VOA interviews, both parents mentioned that extreme homesickness might have prompted Yahya to attempt the dangerous trip.

Abdullahi Yusuf, Yahya’s father, spoke to VOA's Somali service in an exclusive interview last week.

 “He was always talking about Africa, where his grandparents still live,” Abdullahi said. “... We all wanted to go back, but due to the security and living conditions there we could not go back.”

Speaking to VOA Somalia Service from Sheed Dheer, the refugee camp, Ubah Mohamed Abdullahi said her son was homesick. She blamed the father for their son undertaking the dangerous journey.

As she talked, the mother expressed shock. She said she burst into tears when she heard the news of her son’s trip and miraculous survival.

“I felt bad that he risked his life,” she said. “I was told that he did this because of me.”

More than 21 years of lawlessness and civil war have forced thousands of Somalis to leave the country. Most of them say either they would have been caught in the cross fire or starve to death if they had stayed at home.

Abdinur Sheikh Mohamed, an education consultant with Ohio State University, said that the search for a better life abroad has disrupted some families.

“The family structure was broken in general by the process of looking for a second home,” he said. “Refuges in general go through these difficulties in bringing all these families together.

The U.S. has a reunification process for family members scattered across the world, but it takes a long time, he said.

Hashi Shafi, executive director of the Minneapolis-based Somali Action Alliance, said the California teen’s story is only one example of many fractured Somali families.

“I know a lot of  young kids in Minnesota who have been struggling with life lately," Shafi said, "and when you talk to some of them, they tell you that they are missing their mother whom they haven’t seen for 10 to 16 years.”

Learning a new language and a new culture can be challenging.

Abdi Salan Sharif Adam, who teaches English as a second language for Minneapolis Public Schools, said academics are difficult for many Somali children.

“Some students will come to the school system having missed many years of schooling, and they start at an old age, a grade that is higher than their academic level,” he said. “There is always discrepancy between their educational ability and the levels they are placed.”

Abdi Salan blamed family disintegration for some problems within the Somali-American community.

“We do notice that many families do not have the entire family together,” Abdi Salan said.

Uncertain identity complicates things. Abdi Salan said students wonder, "Who am I? Am I Somali? Am I Muslim? Am I American? All These questions are not clear to many of the students and they guess and take different conflicting messages.”

Huge numbers of young African immigrants, among them significant portion of Somalis, risk their lives in search of a better life in Europe and U.S.
But for many of them, reality turned out to be far removed from their hopes.

Sa’id Gure took a long, perilous journey from Somalia through the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Mexico before reaching the United States. The 20-year-old said he misses his parents and siblings.

"I believe that one of life's greatest risks is never daring to risk,” he said. “But when you constantly feel homesick and all your loved ones are not around you, I do not know how a young person can control his feelings. I think missing your family is a pain that can lead one to risk his life."

Monday, April 28, 2014

From Libya to Lampedusa: Life in Italy for Somali Refugees

From Libya to Lampedusa: Life in Italy for Somali Refugees

They call them Ciyaalka Badda or children from the sea. This phrase is used when referring to the young Somali refugees who come by boat from North Africa.

The expressions of the eight young Somali men leaning against the wall outside Termini station tell a complex story. They are caught in the midst of a political turmoil. Trapped between one country that disregards their existence and another whose very existence is in question, they struggle to find their place in the world.
Since the collapse of the government over two decades ago, Somalia has become the second largest refugee producing country in the world. In the last ten years, there has been an influx of African refugees and migrants to southern Europe. Using Italy as a mere transit point, their goal is to reach the rest of Europe. However, many do not make it past Italian territory.
It is their hands that tie them to Italy.
Due to the Dublin II Regulation, asylum-seekers must wait their application process in the country of first entry. A comprehensive finger print system (EURODAC) alerts immigration officials of illegal migrants in the European Union. This procedure was put in place to prevent the same applications from being examined by several EU member states. With very little social support from the Italian government and a backlog of the asylum applications, refugees often find themselves in a limbo as they spend their days waiting.

Deeqa sits outside her temporary home at a hotel in Frosinone, Italy.


 The problematic nature of the European Union asylum system is that while each member state has the same policies and laws in regards to Dublin II, the practical application of these policies varies from country to country. The results are disastrous for refugees as there have been countless human rights violations across Italy.
Though many asylum-seekers are given humanitarian protection in Italy, they are without basic necessities of life. Facing overcrowded shelters, they find themselves on the street.  Having only arrived in Italy ten days prior, one 18-year-old Somali refugee describes the risky journey that many take in hopes of reaching Europe:
 “On our way here, we travelled on a raft that had three holes for nine days, there were 104 people travelling without food and water,” says Hassan.
Outside a small café in Frosinone, Italy, Hassan chats with the group of young Somali refugees he is living with. They talk about learning the Italian language and their plans to migrate to other European countries. Hassan is one of the youngest of the group and is eager to begin his new life. Like many Somali refugees, Hassan fled the two-decade long civil war and left behind his family for the opportunity to get them out of poverty.
“I left my family back home in search for a job and some peace,” says Hassan.
However, for 23-year old Deeqa, the illusion of Europe has become apparent.
“I thought it would be land of opportunities where I could make something of myself and help my family. I see boys and girls suffering here, people are thrown into jail, the pool of agony and discomfort is not worth it. The trouble and suffering that I have experienced on my way to get to Europe was not worth it,” says Deeqa.

Most of the Ciyaalka Badda met on a boat from Libya to the Italian island of Lampedusa. Having left behind all they knew, the uncertainty has brought them closer together.
“We are Somali people, it is the norm to converse and talk with one another even if we are strangers, we treat each other like siblings, we are all facing the same struggles,” says Deeqa.
These struggles may just be the beginning for this group according to Mohamed, a refugee who has lived in Italy for the last five years.
 “I think it is worse now…the ones coming in now have it much harder. Before, we would wait up to six months to get documents. But now, people are in those reception camps for a year. The process is much longer to get documents.”
This vulnerable population is exposed to other hardships as the cases of mental illnesses have increased. Some young asylum-seekers have turned to alcohol as a means of coping with their reality. Somali refugees in Italy struggle to even find support from their own embassy. The Republic of Somalia Embassy on Via Dei Villini was abandoned in 1991 after the fall of the central government. Squatters have used the former embassy, from time to time as shelter.

The former Somali embassy, once home to more than 120 refugees, has since been closed off.


The Somali Ambassador to Italy and his staff work out of another space. Many of the young Somali refugees expressed their frustration at the lack of support by embassy representatives. For demoralized refugees who have given up the wait for Italian documents, new challenges emerge. It is impossible to leave the country without a Somali passport. These passports can only be issued by the embassy; however, they cost 150 euros each. When asked why the passports were not accessible to Somali nationals who are desperate to leave the country, employees pointed to the cost of manufacturing the passports in the Middle East. Since it is impossible for these individuals to return the same way they came, this puts refugees (who could barely meet basic needs) in a compromised situation.
With news of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s arrival to Italy, as part of a Europe tour, the young group quickly turn their conversation to Somalia. Hassan shares his message for the Somali President.
“Clean up the country and we will come running back Insha Allah (God willing).”
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud sat down for an interview in late September to discuss the plight of Somali refugees in Italy.
“The refugee life is a very difficult life, whether it is in Africa or Europe or wherever.”
“For the time being, our focus is directed towards refugees living in the neighboring countries of Somalia. There are 1 million Somali refugees registered in the UNHCR who are living in the neighboring countries, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen these four countries 1 million.”

When asked about possible solutions to the refugee problem, the president discussed a potential partnership with the Italian government.

“We have been discussing this with the Italian government to train these young boys and girls in different sectors, some of them make security people as police officers to train them, some of them to train as technicians and then bring back to Somalia but with skills so that they can be a force for reconstruction of the country and they can have a better life when they go back to Somalia.”
As for Deeqa, she hopes to be granted legal documents so she can begin working to support her family and bring her children over. She hopes to make something of herself in this new land.
“I would not go back to Somalia because I have left for a few reasons…I have experienced a lot of pain and prison and I have not yet accomplished what I came here for. God willing I have patience until I do what I came for.” Deeqa
Each year, thousands of refugees and migrants make the perilous journey from Africa to Europe.
Living at the Border is a multimedia project that documents migrant and refugee stories in Italy. To learn more, visit www.livingattheborder.com
Asha and Roda are Somali-Canadian documentary filmmakers and researchers based in Calgary. You can connect with them via twitter: @ashasiad/@ro_siyaad

Standard Digital News - Kenya : Envoy summoned over Sh25 billion drug haul

Standard Digital News - Kenya : Envoy summoned over Sh25 billion drug haul

Kenya: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned Australian High Commissioner to Kenya over the seizure of a huge heroin haul off the Kenya Coast by Australian Navy valued at Sh25 billion.

Ministry officials say the envoy is expected to meet with Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed among other Kenya senior State officials and explain if he has any information about the matter. Details on the summoning were scanty but sources told The Standard that Kenya was in the dark on the seizure of the one tonne of heroin on a suspicious sailing boat.

Crew from the HMAS Darwin boarded the wooden boat east of Kenya and discovered 46 sacks of heroin hidden among bags of cement. It is believed the vessel found with the haul is one of two notorious vessels used for illegal trade along the East African Coast and is partly owned by Kenyans. The two boats, according to our sources, are said to be predominantly used along the East Africa coast and have been tracked from Somalia. It has also emerged that the Kenya Government was kept in the dark over the operation to seize the drug to limit any prospects of information leaking out. The drugs consignment was seized by the Royal Australian Frigate—HMAS Darwin—and destroyed at sea

Multiple source in the maritime sector say the boat carrying the heroin was being monitored by the international naval forces operating in the Indian Ocean for almost a year. The Australian Department of Defence said the vessel was seized by the Australian Navy 27 nautical miles off Mombasa but our sources say that the exact point of arrest was less than 30 nautical miles off Malindi or Lamu. “The vessel was between Somali and Kenyan waters and the plan was to load the consignment into the second vessel that was stationed at the same point,” said the source.

Reports indicate that although Kenyan authorities are adamant that the heroin was seized out of the country’s territorial waters, maritime sources indicate in unconfirmed reports that the seizure was actually inside the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which is 200 nautical miles long. Kenyan police patrol up to 12 nautical miles into the Indian Ocean but Kenya Navy is required to operate the remaining part of the 200 nautical miles. The navy is, however, largely handicapped, as it cannot make arrest if there is no police officer on board.

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE (1985-14) Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Kenya: Somalia diplomat’s arrest as an ‘agressive’ and unwanted move

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE  » Kenya: Somalia diplomat’s arrest as an ‘agressive’ and unwanted move

The House speaker of Federal Somali parliment has strongly condemned the arrest of its Somali embassy consular to Kenya Siyad Mahmoud Shire who was held in a police detention for several hours on Friday.
The Somali diplomat was snatched from his home in Nairobi, Kenya when heavily armed police officers raided his diplomatic and secure home and then took him on a military armoured vehicle.
Several other Somali diaspora and business community leaders who were with him at the time in his private home were also detained, according to the Somali Embassy in nairobi.
The Somalia Extraordinary Ambassador to Nairobi,  Mohamed Ali Nor Ameriko (Somali-canadian) talk to Geeska Afrika Online and told about the accident by phone. The Ambassador was extremely deplored about the arrest of the diplomat and embassy consular by the local Kenyan police and that he has sent a complaint letter to the ministry of interior of Kenya on the incident.
The Leader of Somali parliament Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawaari termed the Somali diplomat’s arrest as an ‘agressive’ and unwanted move by Kenyan Government to signal threats against Somalia, Somali People and IGAD security.
“It is an irregular act and absolutely against international diplomatic rules that security forces raid the home of such high profile diplomat” Somali parliament speaker said on Saturday.
“We will not accept such intelerable attacks by Kenyan security on our diplomatic mission—I urge the cabinet to send an urgent complaint letter to Kenya and ask why their forces have done such barbaric raid and arrest of the Somali consular” the Speaker accentuated.
“We don’t want to play the bilateral relations between the two countries, but we are telling Kenya that Somali government will not accept the continuation of such arrests against our people” the speaker continued.
Somalia Minister of Information Mustafa Dhuhulow told HAN & Geeska Afrika Online By Phone that, the Somali Prime Minister and the government are strongly denouncing the incident where Kenyan Police officials have detained the Somali consular in Kenya.
“Cabinet of Ministers in today’s an extra-ordinary meeting have unanimously decided the order of returning Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya Mohamed Ali Noor for discussion and consultation on the incident. Kenya’s police actions are despicable and can’t be tolerated. Kenyan Foreign Ministry is required to give more clarification and clear explanations on why such brutal acts against diplomats are happening in Kenya”,said Dhuhulow.
The Somali diplomat and the Embassy consular in nairobi, Kenya H.E.Siyaad Mahmoud Shire was finally released on Friday evening after a marathon efforts by the country’s ambassador to that country Mr. Mohamed Ali Nur (Ameeriko).

Teen Stowaway Was Desperate to See Mother: Reports - NBC News

Teen Stowaway Was Desperate to See Mother: Reports - NBC News

He was young, displaced and frustrated, and he wanted nothing more than to reunite with his mother in their native Africa.
The 15-year-old Somali boy had been arguing at home, and in the kind of impulsive move that teenagers make, he hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport last Sunday and clambered into a wheel well of a Hawaii-bound jetliner.
He survived the trip, and he has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.
But his desperation and frustration — borne from a life in a new country and new culture, all of it without his mother — is becoming apparent through interviews with friends, family and law enforcement agents.
"What people need to understand is that these young teens are coming from a country torn by a civil war with no basic education and suddenly put in these high schools or elementary schools where they have a cultural shock," said Talha Nooh from the Muslim Community Association, where the family were members.
"This whole thing should be looked at in the context of a teen who is emotionally attached to his mom and grandparents," Nooh said. "The father is working 24 hours a day to take care of family here and other family members in the horn of Africa."
A United Nations official told The Associated Press that the boy's mother, 33, lives at the Sheder Refugee Camp in Ethiopia, which houses about 10,200 displaced Somalis.
Speaking with Voice of America radio from a refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia, the teen's mother, Ubah Mohamed Abdullahi, said her son had recently learned that she was alive after being told by his father she had died.
"I know he was looking for me, and I am requesting the U.S. government to help me reunite with my kids," she told VOA. She said her ex-husband took their three children to California without her knowledge, and that she hadn't heard from them since 2006.
But community members said the parents had gone through a difficult divorce and that there are differing versions of what their children were told. The family is working with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to help communicate with medical providers, law enforcement, social workers and the media.
The boy's father, Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi, told VOA his son had struggled in California schools; school district officials confirmed the boy came to the U.S. four years ago. His father said before that, his son had very little education in Africa.
"He was always talking about going back to Africa, where his grandparents still live," he told VOA, speaking in Somali. "We want to go back, but due to the current living conditions we can't go back."
A teenage friend in California, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak for the family, said the boy was quiet, shy and religious, sorely missing his mother.
"Every day he was telling me: 'I miss Somalia, I miss my mom,' " the friend said. "He just wanted to see his mom."
Source: The Associated Press

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Somali mother sets up center to help the homeless - CCTV News - CCTV.com English

Somali mother sets up center to help the homeless - CCTV News - CCTV.com English

Years of conflict have had terrible effects on Somalia’s children. Many have lost their parents and ended up the streets. One Somali mother from the diaspora has set up an orphanage to help them and people with disabilities.

Hundreds of orphaned children live in the streets of Mogadishu, taking shelter in abandoned buildings and often abuse drugs. This centre though has now become a refuge, a place where street children can call home. The centre holds more 200 children.

Halima Mohamed, a mother of 10 came back from the diaspora to reach out to orphans and the homeless children of Mogadishu.

Somalia’s long conflict had heavy toll on children; they were killed and maimed, and thousands left on the streets and in IDP camps. For now though, it’s mothers like Halima who are making the difference for them

Here, they receive basic read and write lessons, and at times Halima becomes their teacher.

Somalia has since 2007 been in the United Nations list of countries that recruit children for combat. But centres like this one gives them hope for prospects of better future.

Standard Digital News - Kenya : Somalis: Kenya is our home too and we are not a security threat

Standard Digital News - Kenya : Somalis: Kenya is our home too and we are not a security threat

When Operation Usalama Watch began nearly a month ago in Nairobi's Eastleigh estate, a tinge of sadness came over Hussein Guleid, a prominent businessman there.
He is a Kenyan in every sense of the word, just like his father, who served the Kenyan people with loyalty as a police officer until his retirement. But when hundreds of policemen descended into Eastleigh ostensibly to weed out terrorists suspected to have taken refuge there, a feeling of despondency descended upon him.
"I saw the way those people's lives have been torn apart and I thought to myself this could easily have been my own fate," Mr Guleid says.
The security operation has elicited a lot of reactions: Support for it from the Government and a majority of Kenyans and condemnation from the civil society and the Somali community. For Guleid, who also chairs the Eastleigh Businessmen Association, the crackdown has had him interrogating his identity as a Kenyan Somali.
"I am a Kenyan through and through. I was born here and I do not know anywhere else to call home. But when such things happen, they make me feel like an alien. Does Kenya want us, does Kenya appreciate us?" he said.
Xenophobic feelings
These same questions are probably in the hearts and minds of nearly three million Somalis in Kenya, even as Somali leaders fear for what they see as increasing xenophobic feelings by non-Somali Kenyans.
"The trend has been that security forces have been against us, but we have had the ordinary wananchi on our side. But there is a worrying element of intolerance against Somalis from the streets and even in the media," he said.
This sentiment, he noted, has taken root over the past five years in which Kenya has suffered more than 80 terrorist attacks attributed to Somalia's al-Shabaab militants.
Nairobi lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi blamed the Government for sowing the seeds of anti-Somali sentiment through its fight against the militant group.
"A small group of top security officials has been instrumental in selling the message that Somalis are the cause of all security problems and more so in this country," he said.

A pregnant Somali woman falls from 3rd floor of Nairobi building trying to hide police

Kenya: A  pregnant Somali woman falls from 3rd floor of Nairobi building trying to hide police

A pregnant Somali woman and her unborn baby have narrowly survived after falling down from the 3rd floor of a building in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighbourhood while trying to hide from the barbaric police crackdown midnight last night.

The woman identified as ‘Nadifo Abdi’ managed to hide in the corridor behind the window, but unexpectedly fell down from the 3rd floor.

Talking to the BBC Somali service via phone from Nairobi hospital on Sunday morning the woman said that several times in the past she paid bribes to police to secure herself from detention, but this time she had no money to pay and instead sought refuge to hide in behind the window.

“We were in our apartment in the 3rd floor when police knocked at the door, I figured out that police arrived and I then asked a woman with me to wake up and open the window for me so that I could hide myself behind the window, but I fell down” Nadifo said in an interview with BBC Somali service on Sunday.

A doctor copping with Nadifo’s situation said that her and the yet born baby survived, but added that the pregnant women suffered from injuries in her backbone.

Meanwhile, Habibo Hassan Omar who is a relative to Nadifo, said that the incident was a very harrowing and even a shocking experience. “It is a very touching matter that a pregnant woman falls from such tall building at midnight” Habibo noted while crying.

The sad incident coincides with a time that Kenyan forces have widened the xenophobic swoop against Somalis living in Nairobi. It was two weeks ago when local media reported the death of another woman due to suffocation, while in a police detention.

Thousands of other Somalis including children and old people are currently being held in custodies with poor facilities.

Email:islow@hiiraan.com


GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE (1985-14) Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Somalia: Canadian Integraion TV with prominent Somali model

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE » Somalia: Canadian Integraion TV with prominent Somali model

The Toronto integration TV (Popular channel with weekly Episode Series Showtime) programmes serves to bridge the gap for Somali-Canadians as they grow and integrate into Canadian main stream society.

The focus of the programme is to enhance Afro-Canadian audience’s lives. To integrate means to take the best of both worlds and create a new foundation for success.
On today’s programme, we will learn about the world of fashion, through the eyes of a prominent Somali model, Ayan Elmi (Somali canadian Fashion Model). On our Lifestyle segment, we will see what traditional Somali fashion looks like.
In Somali Maah Maah, we will learn some new proverbs with a prominent Somali journalist Mohamed Ahmed Ilkacase. Finally, in “A Way of Life” with Shiek Said Regeah, we will learn about repentance and what it means in Islam.

Similarities of Some Verses in the Quran and the Bible - IqraSense.com : Wisdom from Quran and Hadith : IqraSense.com

Similarities of Some Verses in the Quran and the Bible

Assalamu-Alaikum and Greetings !

Quran mentions that Allah (God) revealed various scriptures / books to various nations including the scripture of Abraham, the Psalms of David, the Torah, the Gospel, and finally the Quran. As Allah mentions in the Quran:

“To thee (Muhammad) We sent the scripture (Quran) in truth confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety…”

Observing the Quran and Bible, therefore, will show a number of similarities some of which are highlighted in the article below.

This article sheds light on the similarities between some of the verses mentioned in the Quran and related messages in the Bible. It should be noted that the verses below are only some of the many where such parallels can be made between the two scriptures.

About the Scriptures mentioned in the Quran

Quran mentions that Allah (God) revealed the following scriptures / books to various nations. They are as follows:
    • The scripture of Abraham: “…Then We had already given the family of Ibrahim (Abraham) the Book (Scripture) and Al-Hikmah (As-Sunnah – Divine Revelation to those Prophets not written in the form of a book), and conferred upon them a great kingdom.” Quran (4:54)
    • The Psalms of David: “And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth. And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others, and to Dawud (David) We gave the Zabur (Psalms).” Quran (17:55)
    • The Torah: “Indeed, We gave the Book (Torah) to Musa (Moses)…” Quran (11:110)
    • The Gospel: “Then, We sent after them Our Messengers, and We sent ‘Îsa (Jesus) – son of Maryam (Mary), and gave him the Injeel (Gospel)…” Quran (57:27)
    • The Quran: “Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran in order that you may understand.” Quran (12:2)
According to Islamic belief, as the divine revealed books were changed by people over the years, hence there was need to refresh that message and the need for the final divine revelation – Quran – that God has promised will not change until end of time.
Here are the related Quran verses.
    • About changing Allah’s original revelations: “Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, “This is from Allah (God),” to purchase with it a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby.” Quran (2:79)
    • Revelation of the final Divine message: “To thee (Muhammad) We sent the scripture (Quran) in truth confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety…” Quran (2:97)
    • God’s promise to protect His final message: “Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).” Quran (15:9)
    • Closeness of Christians to Muslims: “…nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.” Quran (5:82)
The following sections highlight similarities between some of the Quranic verses and verses as they are found recorded today in the New Testament books (Bible).

Belief that Allah (God) is the only Deity

Here are some of the verses on this topic from the Quran and also as it appears in the Bible today.
    • Quran 2:255: “Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, The Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth.…”
    • Quran 2:165: “And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah (God). But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else).…”
The Bible says:
    • Mark 12:28-30: (A teacher of the Law asked) “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus replied, “The most important one is this: “Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

Belief in Angels

The Quran describes them as Allah’s creation who carry out duties assigned by Him with absolute obedience, such as recording our words and deeds, guarding us, taking our souls at death, praising God, asking forgiveness for those on earth, and those who conveyed divine messages to prophets, messengers, and the Virgin Mary.
    • Quran 6:61: “…and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one’s good and bad deeds) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our Messengers (angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.”
    • Quran 86:4: “There is no human being but has a protector over him (or her) (i.e. angels in charge of each human being guarding him, writing his good and bad deeds).”
    • Quran 42:5: …The angels exalt [God] with praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth…
    • Quran 3:39: “Then the angels called him (Zakariah), while he was standing in prayer in Al-Mihrab (a praying place or a private room), (saying): “Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya (John)…”
The New Testament states the following:
    • Exodus 23:20: “I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”
    • Revelations 7: 11: “All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.”
    • Luke 15:10: …The angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents.
    • Luke 1:11-13: Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.… The angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.

Belief in Prophets

Muslims believe in all prophets and messengers of Allah who were sent at different times to their people to lead them to the path of God. The Quran says, “We sent no messenger before you [O Muhammad] without revealing to him: There is no god but Me so worship Me.” (Quran, 21:25). The Quran says that the faithful believe “in God, His angels, His books and His messengers, [saying], ‘We make no distinction between any of His messengers…’” (2:285)
    • Quran (21:25): “And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad but We revealed to him (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah), so worship Me (Alone and none else).”
    • Quran (2:285): “The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say), “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers” – and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”
The following are the names of the prophets that are mentioned both in the Quran and the Bible. The names pronounced in Arabic appear in parentheses.
      • Adam (Aadam)
      • Enoch (Idrees)
      • Noah (Nuh)
      • Salih
      • Abraham (Ibrahim)
      • Ishmael (Ismaeel)
      • Issac (Ishaq)
      • Lot (Lut)
      • Jacob (Yacoob)
      • Joseph (Yusuf)
      • Job (Ayyub)
      • Moses (Moosa)
      • Ezekiel (Thul-kifl)
      • David (Dawud)
      • Solomon (Sulaiman)
      • Elias
      • Elisha (Al-Yasa)
      • Jonah (Yunus)
      • Zachariah
      • John (Yahya)

God’s knowledge and power

Regarding God’s power, following are some of the verses.
    • Quran 57:22: “No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.”
    • Quran (63:64): “Then tell Me about the seed that you sow in the ground. Is it you that make it grow, or are We the Grower?”
The New Testament states the following:
    • John 1:3: Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.
    • 1 Corinthians 3:7: So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

Belief in the Hereafter and Accountability before God

Some of the verses related to resurrection in the hereafter and accountability of ones actions are the following:
    • Quran (3:185): “Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).”
    • Quran 39:68: “And the Trumpet will be blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except him whom Allah wills. Then it will be blown a second time, and behold they will be standing, looking on (waiting).”
    • Quran 21:47: “And We shall set up balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We to take account.”
The Bible says:
    • Mathew 12:33: And you can be sure than on the Judgment Day everyone will have to give account of every useless word he has ever spoken. Your words will be used to judge you – to declare you either innocent or guilty.
    • Mark 5:28-29: …All who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out–those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.
    • Revelations 21:8: But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
    • Matthew 13: 41-43: This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
    • Mathew 5:12: Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven ….

Belief in Prayer

The need to establish prayers is mentioned numerous times in the Quran. Allah says:
    • Quran 20:14: “Verily! I am Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me, and perform As-Salat (prayers) for My Remembrance.”
The Bible says:
    • Mathew 26:36: Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed…
    • Mark 1:35: Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Belief in Fasting

    • Quran 2:183: “O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you (Christians, Jews), that you may become Al-Muttaqun (pious)”
The Bible says:
    • Mathew 9:14: Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”
    • Luke 2:37: (about a prophetess who) was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.

Belief in Alms and Charity

The importance of charity is stressed in numerous places in the Quran.
    • Quran 9:60: “As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat – obligatory charity) are only for the poor, and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds), and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam), and to free the captives, and for those in debt, and for Allah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.”
    • Quran 2:219: “…And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “That which is beyond your needs…”
    • Quran (19:55): “And he (Ismail) used to enjoin on his family and his people prayers and the Zakat (obligatory charity) and his Lord was pleased with him.”
The Bible says on charity:
    • Acts 10:2: He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
    • 1 Timothy 5:8: If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
    • Luke 3:11: John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”

About the “Prophethood” of Jesus in Quran and Bible

The following are the verses of Jesus’ prophet hood that appear both in the Quran and the Bible.
    • Quran 19:29-32: “Then she (Mary) pointed to him. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle? “He ['Îsa (Jesus)] said: “Verily I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;  And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer), and Zakat (charity), as long as I live. And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest.”
    • Quran (3:49): “And will make him [('Îsa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, a figure like that of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s (God’s) Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe.”
The Bible says the following on Jesus prophethood:
    • Mathew 13:57: And so they rejected him (in Nazareth). Jesus said to them, “A prophet is respected everywhere except in his home town and by his own family.”
    • Mathew 21:10-11: When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was thrown into an uproar. Who is he? The people asked. “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee,” the crowds answered.
    • Mathew 21:45: The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables and knew that he was talking about them, so they tried to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowds who considered Jesus to be a prophet.“
    • Luke 7:16: (After Jesus brought a dead man to life) They were all filled with fear and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us!” they said.
    • Luke 24:19: “…Jesus of Nazareth…This man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything he said and did.”

The Difference…

The main difference between Christianity and Islam is reflected in the following Quranic verse:
    • Quran (4:171): O people of the Scripture (Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allah (God) aught but the truth. The Messiah ‘Îsa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, (“Be!” – and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Ruh ) created by Him; so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not: “Three (trinity)!” Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allah is (the only) One Ilah (Deity / God), glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.

– End

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Somalia in bid to ban Kenya miraa import | The Star

Somalia in bid to ban Kenya miraa import | The Star

THE Somalia parliament is set to debate a motion seeking to ban miraa imported from Kenya. Kenya exports about three million kilogrammes of miraa to Somalia annually.
The motion was filed by an MP who lives in Nairobi after the parliament was ‘angered’ by the ongoing swoop in Kenya that has led to the deportation of hundreds of Somalis. A local media outlet said majority of MPs have supported the motion. The MP declined to be named for fear of victimisation.
Most Somalia MPs reside in Kenya and occasionally fly to Mogadishu for house sessions. “Somalia must be respected as an important trade partner to Kenya. Its citizens must be respected too,” said the MP. He said Somalis have found themselves unwelcome in the country where they have sought refuge. “Claims of terror links are unsubstantiated.”

Murdered Somali youth motivated group to launch educational task force - Toronto | Globalnews.ca

Murdered Somali youth motivated group to launch educational task force - Toronto | Globalnews.ca

Warsame Ali was just 26 years old when he and a friend were shot and killed.
They were the fifth and sixth young Somali-Canadian men to be killed in Toronto in 2012.
That sparked Ali’s Mother, Habiba Adan to look for answers as to why the young men were dying.
She was part of A Positive Change Toronto – a group of people from the Somali community who wanted to look at what was happening to their young men.
One of the things that stood out was education.
According to the TDSB, Somali-Canadian students have a 25 per cent dropout rate – 11 points higher than the board average.
“There is no doubt. Numbers don’t lie,” Adan said.
The dropout rate increases to 33 per cent for Somali boys.
Adan says there is a need to focus on the children in schools, to keep them in schools, in order to combat violence.
“If the child or youth drops out of the school, then they are not working,” Adan said. “There is no place else to go and it will be very easy to be attracted to illegal things.”
In 2012, the group approached the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) about starting a task force, similar to the one that started to address the problems with Portuguese students.
The next year, the 22 person task force released a list of recommendations including more scholarships, homework help and a focus on Somalia in the curriculum.
The Canadian Somali Congress and a group of concerned parents and members of the community however say the recommendations send the wrong message.
Ahmed Hussen says that by targeting Somali youth would only stigmatize them.
“They have to be segregated and stigmatized in order to get help with their school work?” Hussen asked.  “A regular student who is struggling gets help within the system.”
Adan says people can have their opinions, but the goal should be to help the children.
“Helping them within the system will increase their self-esteem and their chance to succeed, that is what we are looking for,” she said.

Somali presidential adviser quits - politics - News - StarAfrica.com

Somali presidential adviser quits - politics - News - StarAfrica.com

The Somali government spokesman who also served as presidential adviser has quit from his job in unexplained circumstances.In an interview on local radio in Mogadishu on Friday, Abdiraham Omar Osman Yarisow confirmed that he was leaving his post but gave no further details.
Mr. Yarisow, who has been in office for a year was also in charge of several positions such as Ministries of Treasury and Information in the transitional governments.
He rejected suggestions of a rift between him and high ranking government officials.
The Office of the Presidential is yet to react to Yarisow’s resignation.

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE (1985-14) Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group Somalia: Tunisia and AD Bank Invited Top Ministerial Delegation » GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE (1985-14) Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE: Tunisia and AD Bank Invited Top Ministerial Delegation

According to the Somalia Government spokesman, Ministerial Delegation led by Foreign Minister Abdirahman Dualeh Bayleh left Mogadishu to the capital Tunis in Tunisia after the official invitation received  from the African Development Bank and the new government of Tunisia.
The official Somali delegation including the Minister of Finance HE Hussein Abdi Halane and other members of the set during their stay in Tunisia to meet with HE Donald Kaberuka President of the African Development Bank, some of the heads of various departments of the bank, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tunisia HE Mongi Hamdi, Minister of Economy and Finance HE Hakim Ben Hammouda and other officials.
Foreign Minister  Dr. Abdirahman Dualeh Abdirahman Beileh during a press conference held in Mogadishu International Airport before leaving him said that the leadership of the African Development Bank will discuss the facilitation of financial support in the country of Somalia, with some Government ministers of Tunisia and will present a new proposal to develop relations between the two countries, and taking part in economic growth and investment.
Dr. Abdirahman Dualeh Abdirahman Beileh mentioned that their country will go to Tunisia after the country’s unions and the United Arab Emirates to attend a conference on investment.
Foreign Minister Dr. Abdirahman Dualeh Abdirahman Beileh has indicated that they will meet the  Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other ministers, and will discuss the implementation of development projects of reconstruction and investment in standards.

14 persons die of Thirsty in Galgadud and Hiiran regions | Somalicurrent.com

14 persons die of Thirsty in Galgadud and Hiiran regions | Somalicurrent.com

At least 14 persons were reported to have been died due to thirsty that hit districts under control of Galgadud and Hiiran regional administrations and that dozens of others are at risk to die of dehydration.
Administration officials of Hiiran and Galgadud have confirmed this news to the media, according to Barkulan, a local Somali Radio.
Chairman of Galgudud region Husein Ali Weheliye (Irfo) has held a press conference in Dhuso-mareeb city where he officially confirmed the death of 3 persons in areas between Galgadud and Hiiran regions.
Settlements controlled by Geel-jir, Balanbal and Guri-eel districts have all been hit by water scarcity which causes people to hardly live in those areas.
On the other hand, almost 11 other persons were reported to have been died of dehydration in Matabaan and Mahas settlements of Hiiraan region after being hit by major thirsty, as confirmed by Chairman of Beled-wayne district of Hiiran region Mohamed Osman Abdi to the media,
The chairman added that the condition of the number of people affected by water shortages is getting worse day after day.
Youth Organization in Hiiran has fetched 2 water vending trucks as an emergency relief to the people in several settlements in those region.
Chairman of Hiiran Youth Organization Mohamed Abdiluhi Burale told Barkulan the existence of the serious humanitarian condition in those regions and that things are getting worse and the situation needs to be tackled before it gets out of hand. He also mentioned that the scarcity of water has even affected livestock’s, and that there are dozens of people and livestock who are on the verge of dying due to water shortage.
Beled-wayne administration are expected to have an emergency meeting with aid relief agencies to discuss on best approaches that an emergency relief can be delivered to the people hit by the water shortages.
Business people in Beled-wayne pledged  to provide water to the people affected by the scarcity of water which claimed the lives of more than 14 persons.
Administration officials of in Hiiran and Galgadud regions have requested from federal government of Somalia to urgently react to the situation and provide an emergency aid to those who direly need it.
People in those regions were reported to have been traveling around 40 to 50km in search of water.
The situation is predicted to get worse unless swift actions are taken by federal government, aid agencies, business people and the regional administration of those sites hit by water shortage.
Mohamoud Godah

BBC News - Somali mother's shock over 'lost' plane stowaway

BBC News - Somali mother's shock over 'lost' plane stowaway

The mother of a Somali teenager who survived a US flight in a wheel well has told the BBC of her shock and relief to discover he is alive.
Ubah Mohamed Abdullahi, who lives in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, says it was the first news she had heard about her "lost son" for six years.
Divorced from his father, she has not been in contact with the family since they moved to the US in 2008.
The boy's father said the 16-year-old had been trying to return to Somalia.
Yahya Abdi survived lack of oxygen and freezing temperatures on a five-hour flight from California to Hawaii.
'Uncontrollable sobbing'
Ms Abdullahi said that both her brother and father who live in Europe had phoned to tell her about her son Yahya's lucky escape.
End Quote Ubah Mohamed Abdullahi
"My father watched the news from the TV and saw the pictures of my son, and then he called me and told me that he had seen my son on news channels," she told the BBC Somali service.
"Thank God, now he is safe and in a good condition."
Talking on the phone from a refugee camp in Sheed Dheer where she has lived since 2008, Ms Abdullahi said she was shocked that her son could have put himself in such danger.
BBC Somali's Abdifitah Ibrahim Cagayare says in the middle of the interview Ms Abdullahi broke down and sobbed uncontrollably.
She said that since her two sons and daughter went to the US in 2008 with her ex-husband she had been desperately trying to get in touch with them.
"We are divorced… I called him [her ex-husband] several times through his relatives and he refused to talk to me," she said.
"I want to hear the voice of my children, I want to see them, please help me and guide me to that, please," the mother wept.
Somalis seeking refuge in Ethiopia in 2011 during the famine
A famine in Somalia in 2011 led many people to go to neighbouring Ethiopia in search of food
After Yahya Abdi was found disorientated on the runway in Maui on Sunday, he reportedly told investigators he had been in an argument at home and then went to the airport, choosing the aircraft nearest to the fence.
In an interview with US broadcaster Voice of America, the boy's father, Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi, said "Allah had saved" his son.
He said his son was "always talking about going back to Africa" and since the family came to the US, the boy had been bothered by "education problems".
Since 1991 Somalia has seen clan-based warlords, rival politicians and Islamist militants battle for control - a situation that has allowed lawlessness and piracy to flourish.
The years of anarchy and drought have forced many Somalis to seek sanctuary elsewhere but since a UN-backed government was installed in 2012, a small measure of stability has returned to some areas of the country.

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE (1985-14) Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group Somalia: UNSC condemns the murder of Somali Parliamentarians » GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE (1985-14) Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE: UNSC condemns the murder of Somali Parliamentarians

UNSC Press Release: Update, Following the murder of Federal Somalia parliamentarians, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. Security Council both strongly condemned the
assassination of His Excellency Abdiaziz Isaaq Mursal, parlimentarian to be killed in less than 48 hours in Mogadishu – the top United Nations official in the country strongly condemned the incident and pledged the world
body’s resolve in standing by the Somali people as they worked to build a stable, peaceful country.
A member of Somalia’s Federal Parliament, Mr. Mursal was shot dead by Al-Shabaab gunmen, according to a statement issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), which notes that the fresh violence in
Mogadishu also included the killing of one night before, a media worker; news archive reporter.
His excellency  Mursal is the second parliamentarian to be murdered in the capital in less than 48 hours, following the death of Isaak Mohamed Rino, who was killed early yesterday when an improvised explosive device
planted in his vehicle detonated. UNSOM says that the Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility for both attacks.
“I am appalled to learn of the death of Mr. Mursal and I condemn his murder in the strongest terms,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Nicholas Kay, who added that he was also saddened by the shooting  death of Radio Dalsan worker Muhammad Hassan Amar. “The media must be allowed to carry out their work without fear of attack,” he said.
The Power & Influence page of Geeska Afrika Online:  Somalia’s Federal parliamentary speaker condemns the recent killing of at least 15 people, including two lawmakers, by Al-Shabaab militants. The targeted ssassinations  took place in Mogadishu, Baydhaba and Kismayo this week.
Mr. Kay went on to say: “I am concerned by the recent attacks we have seen in Mogadishu. We remain resolute in our support for the Somali people and their representatives as they work to realize their hopes and aspirations for a peaceful and stable future.”
“The people responsible for these heinous crimes have nothing to offer the Somali people but violence and insecurity. I call on the authorities to investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice as quickly as possible,” said Mr. Kay, who also heads UNSOM.
He offered his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Mursal and Mr. Amar, as well as to the Federal Parliament of Somalia and the country’s media fraternity.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Anti-terror operation will go on, President Kenyatta says

Anti-terror operation will go on, President Kenyatta says

President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured Kenyans that the government will not back down in the ongoing fight against terror and other forms of crime in the country.

Speaking at the General Service Training School in Embakasi on Thursday during the pass-out parade for 1,779 recruits, the President said for the country to attract investors and other visitors, peace and stability were of paramount importance.
“We are committed to the fight against crime whatever form it may take, ranging from terrorism to cattle rustling,” he said.
Even as he asked the police to increase their resolve to combat terror networks, the President told them to treat Kenyans with dignity and “obey the law as they enforce the law”.
President Kenyatta reassured Kenyans that the ongoing war on terror was not targeting any religion or community but criminals who posed a threat to stability and economic development in the country.
The President promised to commit more resources to provide security officers with modern equipment and tools to enable them effectively execute their duties and urged Kenyans to share relevant information with police in the battle against crime.
On illegal weapons, President Kenyatta said that those who voluntarily surrender firearms were covered by the government amnesty.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
The President led Kenyans in observing a moment of silence in remembrance of the two police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty at Pangani Police Station on Wednesday. (READ:Car explodes, killing four in city)
He praised the officers, Francis Murage and Samuel Cheptoo, and many others who have lost their lives in the line of duty for their dedication and commitment. Two officers injured in the Pangani explosion are currently undergoing treatment.
Deputy President William Ruto said the government was developing a robust security policy that would ensure police and other security agencies are equipped with modern technology to match sophisticated terrorist and criminal networks.
The Deputy President expressed optimism on the security situation in the country, saying: “There are clear signs that the security challenges faced in the country will be overcome.”
Interior and National Coordination Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku said the ongoing security operation only targets criminals, aliens without proper documentation and terrorists.
Source: Daily Nation

Somali community fear stigmatization with new TDSB action plan - Toronto | Globalnews.ca

Somali community fear stigmatization with new TDSB action plan - Toronto | Globalnews.ca

A Toronto District School Board (TDSB) plan to offer additional help to Somali students is being criticized by community groups and parents because they feel it will stigmatize their children.
The TDSB created a task force in 2012 to address performance concerns regarding students of Somali decent.
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A board staff report indicated that 25 per cent of Somali-speaking students had dropped out of school in 2011 compared to just 14 per cent from the general TDSB population.
Statistics also suggest Somali students are 50 per cent more likely to be suspended, have lower standardized test scores and be placed in special education classes.
A list of recommendations released earlier this year suggested developing new teaching strategies, expand homework support and mentorship programs, and provide additional hands-on, interactive and technology-based learning opportunities.
But some argue special help isn’t needed and will further stigmatize their community.
Liibaan Moalin, a father of three children in the TDSB system, started an online petition urging the Ontario premier, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and TDSB Chair Chris Bolton to stop implementing the task force and its recommendations.
“We are parents of Canadian children of Somali descent who find the idea of the proposed TDSB-funded ‘Somali Task Force’ extremely offensive and racist,” the petition writes.
“We believe if such a program is implemented, an entire community that is already part of a marginalized group, will further be stigmatized and segregated from the mainstream Canadian community.”
More than half of the task force is made up of parents who say the action plan has good support among the Somali community.
But despite opposition from some parents and groups, the TDSB subsequently voted to accept the review of staff recommendation at its trustee meeting Wednesday.
The board has created support programs for specfic demographic groups in the past.
An Africentric Alternative School began operating in 2009 in response to an “achievement gap” affecting students of African descent.
A task force was created three years ago to look at why graduation rates are lower for Portugese-speaking students.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Duale: I will not allow my community to be blacklisted as terrorists

Duale: I will not allow my community to be blacklisted as terrorists

Kenya's National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Bare Duale has been a vocal spokesman of the Jubilee Government, supporting its agenda and programmes zealously. However, his recent criticism of the current security operation in the war against terror appear to have put him at odds with the political establishment he secured. The Standard On Sunday’s Senior Political Writer, OSCAR OBONYO poses the hard questions to the Leader of Majority, on his apparent disagreement with his bosses, his possible political isolation, including his alleged inciting sentiments encouraging terrorists to hurl bombs elsewhere in the country except Nairobi’s Eastleigh.

The Standard on Sunday: For the first time you are speaking a different language from that of President Uhuru and DP Ruto. Isn’t this the case? Why?     
Duale: We are not in disagreement over war on terrorism. The President, his deputy and I are together on this. However, we will not allow few individuals in government to blacklist members of our community, including children, as terrorists, sympathisers of terrorists or terrorists’ financiers.
Are you not worried that you could be politically blacklisted or isolated for taking a hard stand that appears to contradict your bosses? 
I am a serious stakeholder in the government. I am also the Leader of Majority, courtesy of a negotiated political agreement. And my position is that the energy and zeal with which I have served and defended the Jubilee Government is the same one with which I will continue to defend interests and rights of the Somali and Muslim community in Kenya today.
The senior position you hold places you as a national leader who should protect the rights of all. Why are you an ardent defender of only a section of the Kenyan community?
As the most senior politician from the Somali community, I am the bridge between members of my community and the Jubilee Government. Muslims and members of the Somali community overwhelmingly voted for President Uhuru. And we appreciate the fact that today we occupy a more central position in the Government more than we ever did under the previous governments of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki. Ideally, we have a moral obligation to protect national security, because we are serious stakeholders in this country.
And why are you not as enthusiastic in defending Christians?
I do. In fact, following the recent blast in a church in Likoni, Mombasa, I went to Likoni to empathise with my Christian brothers and sisters, and political leaders of Mombasa County can bear me witness. While there, I mentioned that we could not continue to bury our heads in the sand as our churches remained targets of terrorists. And lest you forget, I am a political and not a religious leader, who even in my Garissa Township Constituency represents interests of everyone, including Christians who account for 30 per cent.
Let us turn to your controversial address at a rally in Eastleigh a couple of days ago, where you reportedly encouraged terrorists to instead do their thing in other places, like in Machakosa?
I want to state categorically that this was the work of erroneous translation by one media house. What I said in Eastleigh was taken completely out of context. I was simply asking the residents of Eastleigh to be more vigilant in identifying and smoking out terror suspects. And I drew a parallel with Machakos to the effect that terrorists cannot operate in that county comfortably because residents will expose them. I stand by this position and I challenge anybody in doubt to take the same video to a linguist in Somali language for apt translation.
Nonetheless, are you apologising to the people of Ukambani over this development as demanded by opposite colleague in the National Assembly, Minority Leader Francis Nyenze?
I want to assure my brother (Nyenze) that these allegations are just that and I therefore owe nobody an apology. This translation must have been made to serve other people’s political interests.
But do you realise the seriousness of the war on terrorism and why the President and his Deputy may be disturbed by your partisan approach?
The President and his deputy need not worry because I am being realistic and not partisan. Terrorism knows no tribe or religion and if Kenyans must know, I am a classic example of what terrorism can do. Between 2011 and now, I have lost 69 people in my constituency. It is wrong to equate terrorism to Islamism because the Quran teaches us that if you kill one life you have killed the whole mankind and if you save one life, you have saved the entire mankind.
Separately, are you not concerned that you may be facing political isolation already? Or how do you explain the fact that members of the President’s TNA party spearhead the push for your censure, while your own URP colleagues have remained mum?
I am a senior member of Jubilee Coalition and 14 other small parties and there was no need for members of my party to defend me. Against who or what? Regarding the Press conference by a section of MPs attacking me, it was not the President’s party but rather Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau and his friends. This was not a TNA affair but an act by a vengeful individual and time will tell what exactly is itching him.
What would you tell parliamentary colleagues from the Somali and Muslim community, some who have advised that you quit Jubilee and form an alternative political outfit if push comes to shove?
I have already formed a giant political party called URP and I do not see the need of forming another outfit. As chairman of 36 Somali MPs across the political divide and a member of another caucus of 67 legislators from the Muslim community, I instead want to encourage them to join me in URP and boost my political growth from within. I want URP and Jubilee to thrive and live as long as South Africa’s ANC. 
Amid all the drama and current dust raised by yourself, do you still relate well with the President and his deputy?
Nothing, in my opinion, has changed. I seriously believe in the political ideologies of President Uhuru and his Deputy, and I trust only they can transform this country to the very great heights that we all dream about. I am particularly humbled by the support of my political teacher and twin brother, who is none other than the DP.
Only six years in elective politics and you are the third highest political figure in the Jubilee Government. What do you attribute this realisation to?
I am a very honest and down to earth politician, who by nature interacts freely even with the most downtrodden. I also thank God for scaling the political heights fast.
Finally, you threatened to quit Jubilee if the Government continued with what you regarded as mistreatment of members of your community in the on going anti-terrorism crackdown. Are you still quitting?  
I have since led two delegations of leaders from the Somali and Muslim community to the President and our concerns have been addressed. In fact, I believe that we should approach the next General Election as a team preceded by a merger between TNA and URP, contrary to the thinking of some, like Jamleck, who want to reduce President Uhuru’s administration into a Murang’a County affair.

VOA Exclusive: Teen Stowaway's Father Says Allah Protected Son

VOA Exclusive: Teen Stowaway's Father Says Allah Protected Son

The father of a teen stowaway who survived a five-and-a-half hour flight to Hawaii this week hidden in a jetliner’s wheel well said Allah saved him from the dangers and extreme temperatures.

“When I watched the analysis about the extraordinary and dangerous trip of my son on local TVs and that Allah had saved him, I thanked God and I was very happy,” Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi, who lives in Santa Clara, California, told VOA’s Somali service in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

Authorities have not named the teen who flew Sunday from San Jose to Maui in the wheel compartment of a Hawaiian Airlines jet and likely passed out, enduring below zero temperatures and low oxygen levels.

The father identified his son to VOA as Yahya Abdi and said he is recovering in a Hawaii hospital.

In Maui, the teen crawled out of the wheel well about an hour after the Boeing 767 landed and was spotted by airport workers on the tarmac. He remains in the custody of Hawaii child welfare services workers.

The father said he first received the news in a phone call from the Hawaii department police.

“They told me that they were holding my son,” he said. “I was shocked. I wondered how my son went there.”

“They tried to explain to me about the stowaway and the plane story,” the father said. “I got confused, and asked them to call the San Jose police department which later explained to me how things happened.”

Abdi said his son was at home on Friday.

“He was with us on Friday noon,” he said “We prayed the Friday prayers together.”

According to media reports in Hawaii and California, the boy jumped a fence at San Jose International Airport shortly after 1:00 a.m. Sunday and remained on the tarmac for six hours without being detained by authorities. Authorities say surveillance footage shows the teen jumping the fence.

The teen had argued with is family and was trying to fly out to see his mother in Somalia, unidentified law enforcement officials said. The teen reportedly told investigators that he crawled into the belly of the Hawaiian Airlines plane because it was closest to the fence. He had nothing with him but a comb, they said.

When asked what forced the teen to take the risky trip, the father said: “He did not receive education when he was in Africa. Since we came here he had learning challenges at school. He was not good at math and science and I think he had a lot of education problems bothering him.”

Media reports in California said the teen recently transferred to Santa Clara High School and fellow students described him as shy.

“He was very quiet person,” his father said. “He was always busy with watching the TV and using computer. I can say he was really cool boy.”

The father said his son often talked about Africa.

“He was always talking about going back to Africa, where his grandparents still live,” he said. “We want to go back, but due to the current living conditions we can’t go back.”

The father said that he was informed by authorities in Hawaii that the teen is going through health checks and that he would be returned home soon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stowaway teen says he was trying to see mom in Somalia, official says - CNN.com

Stowaway teen says he was trying to see mom in Somalia, official says - CNN.com

A 15-year-old boy who survived a flight from California to Hawaii by hitching a ride in the plane's wheel well said he was trying to get to Somalia to see his mother, a law enforcement official told CNN on Tuesday.
He remains in a hospital in Hawaii, Kayla Rosenfeld, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Human Services, said Tuesday afternoon.
The teen, who has not yet been identified, spent more than six hours on the ground before the Maui-bound jet took off, another government official says.
The boy jumped an airport fence in San Jose, California, shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday, hours before Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 took off at 7:55 a.m., the official said.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, didn't know when the teen climbed into the wheel well, but said the plane already was at the airport at 1 a.m.
Investigators say they don't think the teen knew where the plane was heading and just went to the nearest aircraft.
Authorities said the boy came out of the wheel well of the Boeing 767 about an hour after it landed at the Kahului Airport on the island of Maui.
He is in the custody of child welfare services workers, said Kayla Rosenfeld, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Human Services.
The teen told authorities he was from Santa Clara, California, and ran away from home on Sunday, FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said.
Emanuael Golla, a senior at Santa Clara High School who told CNN he had met the boy but isn't good friends with him, described him as extremely shy and quiet and said he had just transferred to the school within the past few weeks.
The boy told authorities that he crawled into the wheel well and lost consciousness when the plane took off.
He survived the nearly five-hour flight in subzero temperatures at oxygen-depleted heights -- as high as 38,000 feet -- against the odds, authorities believe.
Since 1947, 105 people are known to have attempted to fly inside wheel wells on 94 flights worldwide, the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute says.
Of those, 25 made it through, including a 9-year-old -- a survival rate of 24%. One of the flights went as high as 39,000 feet. Two others were at 38,000 feet.
The conditions at high altitudes can put stowaways in a virtual "hibernative" state, the FAA said.

Cracking down on Nairobi's Somalis - Features - Al Jazeera English

Cracking down on Nairobi's Somalis - Features - Al Jazeera English

Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.

In Eastleigh, a mostly Somali area of Nairobi, residents say they constantly look over their shoulders when entering grocery stores, to make sure no security agents are following them.
Some families have locked themselves up in their homes, and children rush to alert their parents whenever they see a policeman passing by. Some say they would like to leave Kenya, but are worried for their safety.
Over the past three weeks, Somalis living in Kenya have been under attack by a police force often criticised for brutality and corruption. Somali neighbourhoods in Nairobi are on lockdown, and those who have protested, including rights activists, have been labelled as terrorist sympathisers.
Somali-owned businesses in Eastleigh have suffered millions of dollars in losses because of the operation, said Hassan Guled, the chairman of the Eastleigh Business Association. The Kenyan government has recently announced it is investigating 20 banks on suspicion they are funding the Somali armed group al-Shabab. Somalis call the move an "economic war".
Operation Usalama (Peace) Watch began in earnest after a blast killed six people on March 31 in a mostly Somali area of eastern Nairobi. Since then, Kenyan security forces have been storming homes in the capital, rounding up thousands of Somali refugees and Somali Kenyans. 
Ethnic Somalis have accused security forces of beating people, including children, stealing money and valuables, and raping women and teenage girls.
Last week 17 organisations - including Amnesty International, the state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Transparency International Kenya and the Kenyan branch of the International Commission of Jurists - said the security operation "constitutes discrimination contrary to the provisions" of the country's constitution. 
The United Nations' refugee agency said it was "disturbed" by reports of abuses connected with the operation.
Zipporah Mboroki, the spokeswoman for Kenya's police, told Al Jazeera the operation will continue until Kenya "is safe". She said the police force has not received any complaints from the public about the operation, adding anyone can take their grievances to the independent policing oversight authority.
Kenya, which is home to about 2.4 million citizens of Somali origin, also hosts hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees. The country's decision to deploy troops to Somalia in 2011 has triggered retaliatory attacks by al-Shabab, whose fighters last year stormed an upscale mall in Nairobi and killed 67 people.
Somali refugees in Kenya have long suffered at the hands of Kenyan security forces. Last year, Human Rights Watch published a report "You Are All Terrorists", in which Somalis in Kenya described being subjected to beatings by the police, often causing serious injury and long-term pain.
Beatings, bribes and rape allegations
A three-week investigation by Al Jazeera has revealed that Kenyan security forces have committed abuses against Somalis, and the ongoing operation has not been carried out in a "humane" way, as the country's police chief, David Kimaiyo, has said.
"The operation was only to target criminal individual persons," not refugees or other foreigners in Kenya, said Kimaiyo on Citizen TV station. He denied that security forces harassed people during the operation, and said they did not "in any way" subject anyone to torture.
Rights group slams Kenyan government for its treatment of refugees
But interviews with more than three dozen people inside and outside detention camps, jail cells and police stations, told a different story. Most of the victims spoke anonymously for fear of reprisals.
Police have arbitrarily detained large numbers of people, including pregnant women - some of whom later had miscarriages or gave birth at detention centres.
During the investigation, this Somali-Kenyan journalist was arrested for entering a detention camp with a video camera, held incommunicado for three days, and subjected to humiliating searches. His equipment - video camera, phone, tape recorder and notebook - was impounded, and returned after the video was deleted. 
"Go to your home and leave us alone," this journalist heard a policeman yelling at a Somali Kenyan prisoner. He also heard a detective calling a prisoner a "goat" - a derogatory term police officers here sometimes use to refer to Somali refugees.
Many detainees were living in fear and degrading conditions, even after their Kenyan identification cards were verified. Some were forced to urinate and defecate inside their cells.
In camp after camp, detainees spoke of security guards asking them for bribes - or in some cases, for sex - in exchange for their release. Relatives of rape victims, including a pregnant woman and 16- and 17-year-old girls, said they were too afraid to speak out.
Victims of the crackdown told Al Jazeera that female police officers were unusually cruel, claiming that they ridiculed Somali women who suffered miscarriages at detention centres as being "too afraid to return to their country". Halimo - a Somali refugee who was kicked by a female officer in the abdomen, where she recently had an operation - said she was told to part with her jewellery to ward off arrest.
Pregnant and mistreated
The harrowing tale of Bisharo Hassan Hussein, a pregnant Somali refugee in Nairobi, is an example of the operation's excesses.
Pregnant women have been detained during the operation, some of whom, like Sadiya, gave birth while in custody [Malkhadir Muhumed/Al Jazeera]
Hussein was in her room last week when, at around 2am, policemen stormed her apartment and ordered her to board a waiting truck. When she told them that she was unable to do so, they lifted her up and threw her inside. She landed on top of other detainees in the vehicle.
Hussein said she suddenly went into labour and started crying as the police truck began moving. She was released after passersby bribed a police commander with the equivalent of $14. She was later taken to a private hospital, where doctors operated on her after more than 10 hours of labour.
Her daughter, whose right side intermittently shakes from the head to the leg, was in an incubator for days. Hussein's bladder has been damaged, and she uses a catheter to urinate. She is still in the hospital with a swollen stomach.
Other detainees are being held in overcrowded, makeshift camps and police cells. Medical care is often lacking. The five-month-old son of Ilhan Mohamed Osman, a Somali refugee, had a high fever when Al Jazeera visited him recently at Nairobi's Kasarani football stadium. There was no doctor around to attend to him.
Zeynab Mohamed Muse "Bulhan", a refugee who was detained in the security operation, was hospitalised for suffocation and died two days later, according to relatives. And Mohamed Kadiye Robe, a 67-year-old diabetic with high blood pressure, reportedly died of shock after his whole family was arrested.
A new 'strategy of tension'?
Many Somali Kenyans now fear the crackdown could be a prelude to a wider government-led "strategy of tension" that could lead to their denationalisation. In the 1980s, Kenyan security forces launched a screening process that stripped tens of thousands of Somali Kenyans of their Kenyan nationality.
Last week, political and religious leaders from the Somali community met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss the issue. Kenyatta assured them that his government was not targeting any specific religion or community.
But many doubt the veracity of Kenyatta's pledge. Former Deputy Parliament Speaker Farah Maalim - an ethnic Somali - argued that the government is profiling Somalis "to curry favours" with Western countries.
Residents living in Nairobi's Somali areas have claimed that security agents are behind recent blasts in the city, with the aim of scapegoating Somalis. In fact, the suspects in custody for the attacks are non-Somalis.
Somalis hit back at Kenya security crackdown
Meanwhile, the operation may be driving a wedge between Kenya's Christians and Muslims. Most Muslims and rights activists side with the Somalis, while many Christians are cheering the crackdown.
Among Kenya's Somalis, the operation has increased the fear of inter-communal violence. Many in Somali neighbourhoods said they were worried that any future attack will cause non-Somali Kenyans to turn on them. In 2012, after a blast killed several people in Eastleigh, mobs shouted, "Somalis must go," attacking Somali-owned businesses and homes. This was followed by days of skirmishes.
But Kenyatta has downplayed these fears. "This nation was built on the hard toil of 50 years, and it will not be divided by the atrocities of fools and murderers," he said this month.
'Let's start shooting'
Maina Kiai, a human rights activist and UN special rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, warned about a situation developing in Kenya that could lead to large-scale ethnic violence. "Demonising an entire community is foolish... We don't want to radicalise even more a community that feels unwanted here," he wrote in the Daily Nation.
Somalis blame one of the Daily Nation's senior editors, Mutuma Mathiu, for setting the tone of the operation after he wrote last month that "every little, two-bit Somali has a big dream - to blow us up, knock down our buildings and slaughter our children".
"We are at war. Let's start shooting," he wrote in an commentary headlined: "Are we just going to sit around and wait to be blown to bits by terrorists?"
"Australia holds [immigrants] in horrible camps in Papua New Guinea," he noted.
The police, ethnic Somalis say, appear to be heeding Mathiu's words.
"I don't know why the Kenyan government is treating us like this," said Osman, the mother of the sick son at Kasarani stadium. "They can be kind and compassionate, but they opted to be cruel and heartless. God help us."
Follow Malkhadir Muhumed on Twitter: @mmuhumed
Source: Al-Jazeera