Somaliland247's Blog

April 30, 2010

Somali Torture Claim: Alleged Victim Says He Still Suffers

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 4:24 pm

Abdi Aden Magan - War Criminal

Abdi Aden Magan - War Criminal

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man who said he was tortured by a former Somali military colonel now living in Columbus said his pain was so great that he spent 20 years trying to find the person responsible.

Earlier this month, a federal lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages was filed on behalf of Abukar Hassan Ahmed, who was a professor and human rights lawyer in Somalia during the 1980s.

The lawsuit claimed Abdi Aden Magan, of Columbus, authorized the torture of Ahmed when Magan served as investigations chief of the National Security Service of Somalia.

The complaint alleged that Ahmed was placed in “solitary confinement for a year and three months” without being charged with a crime, 10TV’s Kevin Landers reported.

VIDEO

It also alleged that Ahmed was put on a starvation diet and had his genitals “squeezed with iron instruments.”

On Thursday, Ahmed said the effects of the torture still linger.

“Mentally I’m not so good because I have some nightmares, so I’m still suffering from that torture,” he said.

Ahmed said sand and rocks were stuffed in his mouth and he was beaten with sticks.  He said the acts were ordered by Magan.

“In front of me, he told his subordinates to do their job,” Ahmed said.  “That means they have to torture me.”

A few weeks ago, Magan denied claims that he tortured Ahmed.  He said that he learned about the allegations over the computer.

“This is absolutely unacceptable,” Magan said.  “Absolutely (false) information.”

Ahmed said he spent 20 years trying to find Magan, and that he was surprised to find him living in the United States.

“I was ashamed that the United States would host such criminals in their country,” he said.

According to Ahmed, Magan’s only option is to admit his guilt.

“There is nowhere you can hide yourself until you confess and repent,” he said.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for additional information.

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April 22, 2010 :  Columbus Man Faces Somali Torture Claim

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Somaliland National Electoral Commission (SNEC) Press Conference

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 3:04 pm

Hard times lead 21 Somaliland couples to share wedding

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 1:06 am

The expense of a traditional wedding, especially when economic times are hard, is driving some young Somalilander’s to leave their homeland.

Twenty-one couples have shared a joint wedding in Somaliland, where the traditional lavish celebrations are increasingly unaffordable at a time of economic slump.

The function was held this week at a hotel in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland, and was arranged by Telsom, a telecoms company that employs all the bridegrooms.

The Horn of Africa region is staunchly Muslim, so the men and women celebrated separately.

The expense of a traditional wedding, especially when economic times are hard, is driving some young Somalis to leave their homeland.

“One of the reasons why the youth migrate is weddings are expensive, and I appeal to the community to simplify marriage by reducing the cost,” Sheikh Mohamed Sheikh Omar Dirir, one of the area’s most prominent religious leaders, told guests.

www.timescolonist.com

April 29, 2010

Africa Needs a New Map

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 4:26 am

Africa Needs a New Map
It’s time to start seeing the redrawing of the continent’s colonial borders as an opportunity, not a threat.
BY G. PASCAL ZACHARY | APRIL 28, 2010

Muammar al-Qaddafi isn’t exactly known for brilliant ideas on maximizing political justice; his own country, Libya, is essentially his private fiefdom. But a few weeks ago, he had a pretty good one: to partition Nigeria, “the giant of Africa,” as he called it, in half. Religious violence along the border between the country’s north and south seemed to have drawn a pretty clear battle line; Nigeria’s massive and massively diverse population seemed to warrant separate states. After years of watching this oil-rich country of 150 million struggle to manage its obvious divides, Qaddafi just gave voice to what others must have been thinking: Time to split Nigeria up.

But in Africa, the declaration fell on deaf ears. Nigeria recalled the Libyan ambassador and firmly rejected the idea. Even for a continent accustomed to Qaddafi’s antics, this time the Libyan leader went too far. Talking about redrawing continental borders — which are today almost exactly as they were at the time of independence 50 years ago — is something of a cardinal sin. But Qaddafi did not exactly repent. He had misspoken, he said: Nigeria should not be split in two, but perhaps into three or even four nations.

Silence about borders has become Africa’s pathology, born in the era of strongman leaders that followed decolonialization. Loath to lose any of their newly independent land, the continent’s leaders upheld a gentleman’s agreement to favor “stability” over change. Today, the unfortunate result is visible in nearly every corner of Africa: from a divided Nigeria, to an ungovernable Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to the very real but unrecognized state in Somaliland. Borders created through some combination of ignorance and malice are today one of the continent’s major barriers to building strong, competent states. No initiative would do more for happiness, stability, and economic growth in Africa today than an energetic and enlightened redrawing of these harmful lines.

Like it or not, talk of a new map is echoing around Africa today for one very clear reason: Sudan, the continent’s largest country by landmass, is scheduled to hold a referendum vote next January, in which the people of the country’s autonomous south could decide to secede. Many see the prospect of instability as threatening. Yet there is no better time to rethink the tangled issue of African borders. If it works in Sudan, perhaps other countries should follow.

In fact, many thought the borders would change back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when most African nations broke free from colonial rule. “An aversion to the international borders drawn by the colonial powers, if not their complete rejection, has been a consistent theme of anticolonial nationalism in Africa,” wrote the scholar Saadi Touval in 1967. He went further, pretty much summing up the problems that still persist today: “The borders are blamed for the disappearance of a unity which supposed existed in Africa in preolconial times; they are regarded as arbitrarily imposed, artificial barriers separating people of the same stock, and they have said to have balkanized Africa. The borders are considered to be one of the humiliating legacies of colonialism, which, according to this view, independent Africa ought to abolish.”

Yet by the time Touval published those words, alienation toward colonial borders had given way to their embrace. In 1964, the Organization of African Unity (the forerunner to today’s African Union) decided that sticking with inherited borders promoted “stability.” Faced with a secession attempt by the oil-rich and Igbo-dominated region of “Biafra,” Nigeria stuck with the old map, brutally putting down the revolt three years later. At a cost of 1 million lives, the Biafrans were defeated, and Nigeria — a nation the British stitched together out of three distinct “administrative” pieces only in the 1950s — was made whole again.

That fidelity to colonial-era borders coexisted with the emergence of dictatorships in Africa in the 1960s and 70s. Governments on the continent were failing to deliver even basic services, preferring to behave as “vampire states” that preyed burdensomely on their own people, none of whom they wanted to let out of their territorial grasp. To be sure, there were a few cracks. Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1993, leaving both countries militarized along their new, grudgingly accepted borders. Other minor adjustments here and there also took place, but the creation of Eritrea is the only major change in African borders since they were drawn by colonial powers a century and a half ago.

The result has been conflict, which often looks ethnic but is really all about territorial control. Borders in Africa don’t come close to following tribal lines, splitting some groups up and artificially joining others together. The Ewe of Togo would surely rather be united with the millions more of their people living across the border in Ghana. The Igbo in Nigeria continue to dream of their own nation — their troubadour, novelist Chinua Achebe, openly proclaiming that his ethnic group is no less deserving than Swedes or Danes of their own nation-state.

Rethinking the borders could go far to quelling some of these conflicts. Countries could finally be framed around the de facto geography of ethnic groups. The new states could use their local languages rather than favoring another ethnicity’s or colonial power’s tongue. Rebel secessionist movements would all but disappear, and democracy could flourish more easily when based upon policies, rather than simple identity politics. On top of that, new states based on ethnic lines would by default be smaller, more compact, and more manageable for governments on a continent with a history of state weakness. (Though by European standards, many of these new African nations would still not be small when compared with, say, Slovenia or Slovakia.)

And it’s not just Nigeria and Sudan that would benefit from the redrawing. The DRC is surely at the top of the list. (As Africanist Basil Davidson said in 1994, “The Congo never should have been one state. It simply suited Belgian convenience.”) Its war-torn and benighted eastern region — a geographically coherent area — would stand a much better change of integrating with the economically thriving nearby region as an independent state. It is already geographically connected to Rwanda through the Congolese border city of Goma. And Rwanda, as part of the East African trade community, could serve as a hub for that part of Congo in regional economic affairs. If this sounds too rosy, one shouldn’t shy away from asking the hard-nosed question: Since Eastern Congo is today one of the poorest, worst-run places in the world, how could independence make things worse?

A similar regional synergy could be envisioned for South Sudan, now trapped in a northern-oriented government where all routes lead to landlocked Kharoum. The south Sudanese already trade heavily with Ugandans to the south. And the government of Kenya is preparing to build a massive port at Lamu, near its coastal border with Somalia, in part to move goods back and forth to South Sudan.

And what of Somalia, a benighted nation stitched together out of three pieces — bequeathed by two European powers — only in 1960? Somalia is today effectively three nations anyway, two of which, Somaliland and Puntland, cannot receive international recognition despite providing relatively decent services to their residents. If they were true “states” by international standards, aid, diplomats, and security assistance from, for example, U.S. Africa Command, could pour in.

Of course, splicing up Africa’s countries is no panacea for the continent’s woes. You might argue, for example, that conflicts would not be stopped at all; they would just go from being civil wars to interstate conflict between two divorced neighbors. That may well happen, and of course no conflict is good news. But the international community has much stronger deterrents for such country-to-country spats than internal civil war. And new states would likely be reluctant to incur the repercussions of diplomatic and economic isolation. Others will wonder if new borders can really change the continent’s record of abysmal governance. The answer is a certain yes: There is no better incentive to get your house in order than taking over a responsibility as huge as running your own state.

Many of these concerns are valid. But the redrawing of Africa may happen whether we will it or not. Next year’s vote in Sudan could finally put to pasture the acceptance of African borders as unchangeable — and put the engineering of new African states at the top of the international agenda. Qaddafi was crazy enough to tackle the issue head on. Now who will be brave enough to be next?

http://www.foreignpolicy.com

April 28, 2010

Election officials back June poll in Somaliland

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 9:38 pm

Source: Reuters
* Many errors in voter list corrected-official

* Some 1.1 million people registered to vote

By Hussein Ali Noor HARGEISA, April 28 (Reuters) – Somaliland’s presidential elections slated for June were given a stamp of approval on Wednesday by the Somaliland election commission. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) said it had completed a voter registration list that corrected many errors, which had been the reason given by clan elders for repeatedly extending the term of President Dahir Riyale Kahin. “We have a sound voter registration list with which we can hold a presidential election in June 2010,” NEC spokesman Mohamed Ahmed Hirsi Ghelle told a news conference. “All correction of errors in the voter system has been completed.”

Ghelle said the list had 1.1 million people on it and was acceptable for the long-awaited election. He said the list would be refined again in May.

Somaliland — which has sought international recognition as sovereign state — is governed by the opposition-led House of Representatives, which is elected by the people, and an upper house comprised of senior clan elders.

SOMALILAND: Rains displace hundreds in Somaliland

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 1:31 am

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HARGEISA, 27 April 2010 (IRIN) – At least 200 families have been displaced and 185 houses destroyed following heavy rains and strong winds, which also killed six people in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland, officials said.

Some 2,500 people have been displaced in all, according to the Red Crescent. The worst-affected areas were the southern Hargeisa districts of Ahmed Dhagah, Mohamed Moge and Mohamoud Haybe.

“One of my sister’s children aged about six passed away when the house fell on him,” Fathiya Omar, a resident of Sinai settlement in Hargeisa’s Ahmed Dhagah District, told IRIN.

“At about two in the afternoon, on [23 April], we suddenly saw something like a dark cloud covering our whole settlement. Within minutes, it had taken all our houses’ roofs off,” Hodo Ahmed, 25, who lives in the October settlement of Mohamoud Haybe District, said.

About 94 families are displaced in Ahmed Dhagah, the district commissioner, Khadar Yusuf Ali, said.

Officials are worried there could be further displacement in the Dami Dam Internally Displaced Persons settlement, in Hargeisa, due to continuing rains.

“Our houses are full of water,” Asha Mohamoud, said in Dami Dam.

According to the Ministry of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Re-integration, household items and plastic tents worth US$35,000 have been distributed. The UN World Food Programme has also supplied food aid to the affected.

Some residents complained of a lack of assistance, however. “I am a mother of 12 and for the last two nights we have slept outside. We have not received any help… we are waiting for Allah’s support,” Nimo Hassan told IRIN on 26 April.

April 27, 2010

Somaliland News 27/04/2010

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 10:50 pm

Hargaysa Khasaaraha Roobkii

Hogaamiyaha Xisbiga Ucid

Xisbiga udub London

Two Somalis to Attend President Obama’s Entrepreneurial Summit April 26-27

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 2:27 am

Two Somalis to Attend President Obama’s Entrepreneurial Summit April 26-27

U.S. Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya

Press Release
April 26, 2010

Nairobi, 26 April 2010 – President Obama, together with the Department of State and the Department of Commerce, will host the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., on April 26 and 27. Entrepreneurs from more than 50 countries with sizable Muslim populations have accepted President Obama’s invitation to celebrate the risky, exhilarating life of entrepreneurship and share ideas about sparking new businesses in their communities.

The conference — A New Beginning: The Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship — builds on President Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo June 4, 2009 in which he promised to host a summit on entrepreneurship “to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.”

“We now seek a broader engagement” that involves greater exchanges in education, health, science and shared ideals, he said in Cairo.

The conference will highlight the role that entrepreneurs play in communities in creating jobs and improving societies. Results expected from the gathering are new programs, partnerships, relationships and networks, which will encourage starting new businesses and social projects.

In all, about 250 people of various religious backgrounds are expected to participate in the meeting. They will come from Africa; the Middle East; South, Central and Southeast Asia; and Muslim communities in other regions and countries, including the United States.

Two Somalis – Nasra Weheliye Malin and Ms. Alhan Mohamed Jama – will be among the Summit delegates. The four were selected based on their innovative ideas and ability to promote entrepreneurship, their commitment to community service, and gender, geographic and urban/rural diversity. The four look forward to meeting other delegates and participating in presentations aimed at advancing entrepreneurship through technology and innovation, access to capital, and mentoring and fostering youth entrepreneurship.

Brief biographies of the two Somali delegates are provided below:

Nasra Weheliye Malin

Finance Director, NationLink Telecom

Nasra Weheliye Malin, Finance Director of NationLink Telecom, is one of Somalia’s most successful businesswomen. Born to a family of entrepreneurs, Malin holds one of the top management positions in Somalia. She is well-respected across clan, region, and community – a unique achievement for a woman in Somalia’s conflict-ridden environment. Malin’s family owned many businesses, with significant multi-million dollar interests across sectors in Mogadishu before the civil war. During the civil war, Malin sought new and innovative ways to provide basic services to the war torn population. They were among the handful entrepreneurs operating in an extremely challenging environment to meet the basic needs of the population.

Malin is a Founder and Executive Director of Nationlink Telecom, one of the leading telecommunications operators in Somalia. This very high profile position has never before been filled by a Somali woman. NationLink Telecom was started in September 1997. The company provides telecommunication services to all regions of Somalia and is one of the leading service providers in the country. The company’s focus is in the core areas of mobile telephony, fixed lines, Internet and mobile satellite services. The overall objective of NationLink Telecom is to provide telecommunication services to all Somalis and by doing so, positively change their lives. The company employs over 1500 people, 183 of whom are women.

Malin was educated in Somalia and the U.S. She studied at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri where she received a BA in business administration and finance. Married to a medical doctor and a mother of four daughters, Malin carefully balances her time between family and business.

Alhan Mohamed Jama from Somaliland

Director, Ismail Import Partners

As the Director of Ismail Imports, Alhan Mohamed Jama has established an undeniable reputation for success in Somaliland. A seasoned entrepreneur and founding partner of Ismail Imports, Jama’s negotiation skills led to the successful partnership with Hargeisa Minerals & Resources Company. This partnership allowed Ismail Imports to become one of the main players in the frankincense export industry in Somaliland. Ismail Imports produces frankincense which is exported to the international market at a fraction of the prior cost. As a partner at Ismail Imports, Jama negotiated various agreements and established a network of clients in Saudi Arabia, the leading importer of frankincense. She also established relationships with distilleries located in Burlington, Vermont. These successful business deals have earned her respect and a reputation in the region for being a savvy businesswoman.

Jama is also committed to socially responsibility and through her leadership and generosity, Dayax Primary School operates in one of the most neglected regions of Somaliland. Since the schools inception, Jama has been its primary benefactor. She understands the importance of education and has ensured that others have the same opportunity to pursue their dreams as she has. Jama is also a very active supporter of the Kulmiye political party whose aim is to usher a new era of peace, democracy, and prosperity into Somaliland. While she does not hold an official position in the party, Jama is a leader in the campaign for Kulmiye to come to power in the upcoming election. Jama earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Thiele University in Greenville, Pennsylvania.

Further Information

Interested members of the public are invited to learn more about the Summit by viewing and event participating in some of the wide variety of activities listed on http://www.entrepreneurship.gov/summit.

Throughout Monday and Tuesday, April 26-April 27, 2010. Several events from the summit will be streamed with opportunities for journalists worldwide to participate. During the online forum, journalists will be able to pose online questions and receive back an on-the-record response. For a list of streaming events and journalist opportunities https://statedept.connectsolutions.com/esummit/eventschedule

April 26, 2010

Somaliland President Meet Ethiopian President Girma W-Gorgies

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 9:58 pm

Ethiopia keen to further enhance existing relations with Somaliland

By ENA

Addis Ababa, April 26, 2010 (Addis Ababa) – President Girma Woldegiorgis said Ethiopia is desirous to further strengthen existing relations with Somaliland.

President Girma made the statement here on Monday while holding talks with Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin.

According to a senior government official, Girma said encouraging development is being registered in the country.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin on his part briefed President Girma on existing peace and stability in Somaliland.He said encouraging development is being registered in the social and economic sectors in Somaliland.

Relations with neighbouring states and Somaliland is getting strengthened from time to time, he said.
NewsDire.com

April 25, 2010

Hargaysa Khasaarihii Roobobkii oo sii Kordhaaya

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 10:20 pm

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