Saturday, June 07, 2003

Somali Leader At Peace Talks Dies in Nairobi
NAIROBI, 6 JUNE 2003(The Nation)--The leader of a group taking part in the Somali peace talks has died.
General Adan Gabyow, who was a Defence minister in the government of deposed President Siad Barre, died at the Nairobi Hospital on Tuesday, Mr Hussein Aideed, a Somali leader also in the talks, said on Wednesday.

Gen Gabyow had been in hospital for two months after he suffered a stroke.

Mr Aideed sent condolences to the family and relatives of Gen Gabyow, who has been active in the talks at Mbagathi, Nairobi, since last year.

"General Adan Gabyow was one the leading lights in the promotion of the Somali peace process for the past seven months and he cherished unity of the people," Mr Aideed said.

"He will be remembered as a man of integrity and strong resolve in the current negotiations under Igad."

Gen Gabyow was one of the seven declared presidential candidates for the June 18 elections. Mr Aideed said his death would add more impetus to the dream of a united and democratic Somali.

He served in the Kenya Army as a major before joining the Somali National Defence Force in 1967.

The Kenya government has provided a plane to carry his body to his Buale home in Somalia. Gen Gabyow had two wives and 18 children.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

SOMALIA: Families flee fighting in Middle Shabelle
NAIROBI, 4 JUNE 2003 (IRIN) - Hundreds of families are fleeing their homes in the Middle Shabelle Region, south-central Somalia, local sources told IRIN on Wednesday. The exodus follows an outbreak of heavy fighting in the village of Raghe-Eil between opposing militias, the second incident of its kind since March.

"Many families have been fleeing their homes in the village [Raghe-Eil] and the surrounding areas since Thursday [29 May]," said a local journalist in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The fighting, concentrated within a 20 km radius around the village of Raghe-Eil, 95 km northeast of Mogadishu, was between the two Abgal sub-clans of Muhammad Muse and Warsangeli, the source said. It reportedly started after forces loyal to the self-styled "governor" of Middle Shabelle, Muhammad Umar Habib a.k.a. Muhammad Dhere, a Warsangeli, captured the village, said the journalist. MORE
His Excellancy--President Riyales Address on May 18
HARGEISA-- Following is the English translation of the text of President Dahir Riyale Kahin's address to the people of Somaliland on 18th May, the 12th anniversary of the declaration of Somaliland as a sovereign state. The speech also carries Riyale's message to the people on his inauguration as the first elected President of the country. The inauguration ceremony took place on May 16.

Leaders of the National Parliament,

Chairmen of the three National Parties,

Commanders of the Armed Forces,

The Heads of the Social Clans,

The Religions Scholars,

The Women,

the youth and all other Sections of the Society of Somaliland,

The Businessmen.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

The different situations that Somaliland had passed through can not be summarized in one speech, but if I try to give you a brief outline, it is worth remembering when the country fell into the hands of the SNM fighters; they courageously decided to hold a reconciliation conference in Buroa between the hitherto feuding tribes to make peace and reconciliation. In the conference it was collectively decided to reclaim and declare Somaliland’s independence.

May 18th declaration of independence was followed by the Borama conference where the national charter was drawn up, and where his Excellency the late president Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, may Allah bless his soul was elected. In 1996-1997, the late president Mohamed Ibrahim Egal was re-elected along with the Vice president Dahir Rayale Kahin. Our constitution was also drawn up at that time, which made it possible for us to conduct free, peaceful, and democratic municipality and presidential elections, while parliamentary election still remain. Those successes were the result of the continuous support of the people of Somaliland to their government, and the prevalent peaceful conditions, of which we are about to reap the fruits of those achievements in the near future. I advice you to guard, care and protect those successes and pray that the Almighty may guard us and help us reach our aspirations.

This inauguration ceremony today marks a watershed in the history of our young nation. It is a new beginning, giving us new hopes and new dreams. It also demands us to achieve new goals, open new windows of opportunity and meet the challenges ahead with a new spirit of dedication and determination.

Today we have to renew our faith in our selves and in our capabilities and together create a new national spirit of unity and patriotism. Today, as I take the oath of office of the President of our country, I do this with a feeling of great humility and honor. I express my deepest thanks to all citizens of Somaliland, who have voted for us and have renewed their trust and mandate to me and my Vice president to lead the country over the coming five years. It is a trust and a heavy responsibility on our shoulders and we will work to the best of our ability to be worthy of it.

Today I have been sworn in as the president of Somaliland and not the president of any single party or group. I will be the president of all Somalilanders regardless of whether they have voted for or against me. This is one of the many blessings of democracy that all must share the victory. My commitment to serve this nation goes across political lines and rises above all political persuasions. I also extend my hand to other parties to join us, because we believe only together we can build a peaceful, strong and prosperous Somaliland. MORE

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

SOMALIA: Fact-finding mission ends tour
NAIROBI, 3 JUNE 2003 (IRIN) - A fact-finding mission from the African Union (AU) and the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), sent to look into the security situation in the country, has arrived back in neighbouring Kenya.

The 21-member mission, led by Maj-Gen Joseph Musomba of Kenya, which has been in Somalia for the last 12 days, also included observers from the EU and the Arab League, and Somali delegates, according to a statement by the organisers of the Somali peace talks in Kenya.

Musomba told IRIN that the aim of the mission had been to prepare the ground "for the future deployment of African Union military observers". The mission would help plan for the deployment of peacekeeping troops "if the conference [peace conference] approves such a step".

Musomba said the team had encouraged those it met "to abide by the ceasefire agreement". He said most of the Somalis his delegation had met wanted peace. "The ordinary people we met are crying for peace. It is the leaders who are letting their people down," he asserted.

He said it would be a shame if the talks in Nairobi did not produce "positive results". "The Somali people we saw have so much expectation and hope for the eventual outcome of the conference."

Musomba called on the international community, IGAD, the AU and the Arab League "to put pressure on the leaders to make peace and agree on an all-inclusive government", at the conference.

He added that he was surprised to learn that fighting had erupted in Middle Shabelle while the mission was still in Somalia. However, he said, he would reserve comment until he had all the information about the situation.

Over 20 people have been killed in the course of an outbreak of heavy fighting in the Middle Shabelle Region, south-central Somalia, according to sources in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The fighting in the village of Raghe-Eil, 95 km northeast of Mogadishu, pits militias loyal to faction leader Muhammad Dhere against those of the Abgal sub-clan of Muhammad Muse. The clashes, which broke out on Thursday, were still continuing sporadically, a local journalist told IRIN.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Somalia prepares to choose a new president
JEDDAH, MAY 31, 2003 (ARAB NEWS)--The Somali tribes are preparing to elect the leader for the United Somalia Republic party, Abdul Nour Ahmad Dourman, as a president of the country in succession for the current President Abdi Qasem Salad Hassan whose term of office expires in July.

Dourman who has US citizenship returned back to Makadishu and announced he is carrying a new project for rebuilding and unifying Somalia. Before his return to Somalia, he made contact with several Arab leaders and officials in the USA.

In a press statement, Dourman stressed his determination to unify all lands of Somalia, noting that his policy to achieve this is represented in having a citizen referendum in which all Somalis can take part to determine the shape of the state.

The leader of the united Somali Republic party explained he had started internal consultations to arrange the process of assuming the authority. He rejected considering his pursuit to assume authority as a "peaceful coup," rather an attempt to fill the political vacuum in the country.

He said that everyone knows that the previous government was a provisional one and did not have enough of the confidence of the Somali leaders, noting the dangers of the current situation in Somalia.

SOMALIA: Over 20 killed in another ceasefire violation
NAIROBI, 2 JUNE 2003 (IRIN) - Over 20 people were killed in the course of an outbreak of heavy fighting in the Middle Shabelle Region, south-central Somalia, according to sources in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The fighting in the village of Raghe-Eil, 95 km northeast of Mogadishu, pits militias loyal to faction leader Muhammad Dhere against those of the Abgal sub-clan Muhammad Muse. The clashes, which began on Thursday, were still continuing sporadically on Monday, a local journalist told IRIN.

The fighting coincides with a visit to the country of an international fact-finding mission. The team, which includes representatives of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the EU, and the Arab League is in the country to observe the effectiveness of the ceasefire agreement signed by the Somali parties participating in the peace conference being held in Kenya.

So far, at least 23 people have been killed and scores wounded "in and around Raghe-Eil", Ahmadey Shaykh Hasan of the Muhammad Muse sub-clan told IRIN on Monday. Ahmadey said that on Thursday, 18 people, 17 of them civilians and one militiaman from the village, were killed in Raghe-Eil. On Sunday, Muhammad Dhere forces attacked the village of Qordhere, 30 km west of Raghe-Eil, and killed five more people, he said. "Two of those killed were Koranic school children," he added. MORE