Thursday, July 24, 2003

SOMALIA: Peace talks to move to third and final stageNAIROBI, 24 July 2003 (IRIN) - The organizers of the Somali peace talks in Kenya say a plenary session will start early next week to conclude the second phase of the conference and move on to the third and final phase.

James Kiboi, political and diplomatic liaison officer of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) technical committee, which is steering the conference, told IRIN that an interim charter would be submitted to the plenary session of the conference next week "for discussion and adoption". MORE
SOMALIA: Rights group reports increase in abuses
NAIROBI, 23 July 2003 (IRIN) - Violations of human rights and international law increased in Somalia in the past year, a Somali human rights group has said. A senior official of the Mogadishu-based Isma'il Jimale Human Rights Centre (IJHRC) told IRIN that international law was breached particularly with regard to the "protection of civilians in time of war".

"It is often civilians who are killed in the factional fighting due to indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas," Abdullahi Alas Jimale, IJHRC's chief investigator, said. "The combatants don't care what happens to civilians." MORE
Somaliland people Celebrate Amoud Universiy’s First Graduation
AMOUD, SOMALILAND, 24 July 2003--Somaliland celebrated the graduation of the first class of students from Amoud University amid an atmosphere of jubilation and fanfare on Wednesday, 23 July 2003.

Around 1000 people including Somaliland’s Vice President Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, Speaker of the Upper House, Senate Members, Members of the Lower House, Government Ministers, Opposition leaders, Senior officials, Representatives of International NGOs, intellectuals, business people, women, university students and ordinary citizens from various parts of Somaliland have attended the ceremony. MORE

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Somaliland warns against "declarations of sovereignty"NAIROBI, 21 Jul 2003 (IRIN) - The authorities in the self-declared republic of Somaliland have issued a warning against anyone trying to represent the region at the ongoing Somali peace talks in Kenya.

In a statement, received by IRIN on Monday, Somaliland warned Somali leaders and the international community to "abstain from any unfriendly declaration or acts against Somaliland".

"In the event that any person claims to be representing the government of Somaliland and/or its people in the ongoing Somalia Peace Conference, and in the event that such person or persons are accorded such status, the government of Somaliland hereby officially states that this will hinder any possible future dialogue between Somaliland and any future legitimate government of Somalia (former Italian Somalia) [brackets as received]", the statement said. MORE
SOMALIA: UNHCR resumes repatriation to Puntland
NAIROBI, 22 Jul 2003 (IRIN) - A suspended operation to repatriate Somali refugees from Kenya to the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, resumed at the weekend, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said.

In a statement, it said the repatriation restarted on 19 July after a two-month suspension caused by lack of funds for the flights to Somalia.MORE
Somali poet marches for peace
KISMAYO, 22 July 2003 (BBC)--Somali artists have been marching for peace as faction and government leaders at talks in Kenya fail to agree the formation of a transitional government and a national assembly.
The Hadraawi Peace March, after Somali poet Muhammad Ibrahim Warsame Hadraawi, on Saturday reached the southern port town of Kismaio after covering the 500km from the capital, Mogadishu, in less than a week.

The BBC's Hassan Barisse in Somali says that in Kismaio, Mr Hadraawi, the most popular living Somali poet, told the rally not to despair as the "solution to the problems of Somalia will be found one day". MORE