It Is an Exhilarating Time to Launch a Newspaper
Welcome to the second edition of the independent post weekly newspaper. The independent post newspaper is a sister publication of HUBAAL Somali language newspaper.
Emphatically, the time has come for us to prove that the pen is mightier than the sword. We must wield this mighty weapon with integrity, honesty and, above all, honor. Integrity will prove our dedication to Community. Honesty will be the content of all we write. Honor will be the hallmark of our efforts to bring truth to as many as will listen.
As grand as this sounds, it is absolutely necessary that we maintain these intentions if we are to present The Free Press as the very embodiment of the Press as named in Somaliland Constitution. The protection from infringement provided by our Constitution can only be defended if we conduct the Press in an honorable and beneficial way. If we allow our publication to become a detriment to other freedoms we will fail. If we allow our publication to seed discontent for political, social, religious or financial reasons we will fail. If we allow our publication to be a gathering place for those who would distort, mislead or those who would destroy we will fail. We will fail if we take our responsibility to our readers and ourselves too lightly and allow distraction to enter our discussions. If we fail there is no Free Press.
If we can bring one truth to one new reader we will succeed. If we can provide a gathering place for those who would work with others to build a better way of life we will succeed. If we can convince just one that reporting the truth is essential we will succeed. If we can spread the honest news to an ever growing reader we will succeed. If we keep the faith, work hard and be a friend as well as a messenger we will succeed.
We promise to our distinguished readers that the newspaper will be reliable, best informed, and will offer “Real News” that was brightly written. Also we will endeavor constantly to produce content in the highest sense, which will reflect credit upon those who create it.
We do not propose here to give many promises but we know that we will be judged by our performances quite regardless of any promises which might be made here. What we do want is that our readers should feel that THE INDEPENDENT POST is their paper and has an individual meaning to every Somaliland citizen.
We implore all Members to take their pen in hand and chronicle the world as they see it before them. Each Member has a unique view and understanding of what they witness. It behooves each of us to let all the Members see our viewpoint. This is a unique and important time in Somaliland. It is a time of change, a time of opportunity and a time of need. It is time we use The Free Press to spread the word. The time for The Free Press is now.
Lastly a note of thanks to those who have contributed to the first and second edition of the independent post newspaper.
We look forward to publishing your work in the future.
Somalia lawmakers elect new president
Mogadishu (HMH)-he academic beat President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in a run-off poll by 190 to 79 votes, officials said. The election is the final stage of a UN-backed process to set up a new administration for the war-torn Horn of Africa country.
The new parliamentarians, selected last month by a group of traditional elders, rose one after the other amid tight security to cast their ballots in a packed room at the police academy.
African Union and UN security officials conducted body searches and fingerprint checks on all those allowed anywhere near the venue.
No candidate secured the required two-thirds majority in the first round of voting, conducted by secret ballot.
It is the first time for years that a president has been chosen on Somali soil, a sign of improving security.
Many sceptical observers had voiced fears that the vote by lawmakers would simply return the same corruption-tainted leadership but dark horse Hassan Shaikh Mohamud, an academic and activist, was neck-and-neck with Sharif.
However, the al-Qaeda linked group al-Shabab still controls many southern and central parts of the country, and has staged frequent suicide attacks in the capital since it was driven out of Mogadishu last year by African Union troops and pro-government forces.
Despite qualifying for the second round, outgoing Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and moderate Islamist Abdulkadir Osoble then pulled out after coming third and fourth respectively. Eighteen candidates were eliminated at the first hurdle.
Outgoing Somali President Shaykh Shariff Hasan conceded defeat during a live broadcast on national TV, saying he was “satisfied” with the results of the “just elections”.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is an academic as well as a civic activist who has worked for several national and international peace and development organisations.
He graduated from the Somali National University in 1981 and went on to study in India, where he obtained a master’s degree from Bhopal University.
For two years he worked for the United Nations children’s organisation Unicef as an education officer in south and central Somalia, until the departure of UN peacekeepers in Somalia in 1995.
Four years after that he co-founded the Somali Institute of Management and Administration Development in Mogadishu, which later evolved into Simad University.
In 2011, he founded the Peace and Development Party and is currently serving as its chairman. He speaks Somali and English. The election process began five hours late at a police academy in Mogadishu, following tight security checks.
The election was also delayed by the swearing-in of the last batch of MPs and then a vote on whether a group of disputed MPs, including former warlords, could take part. The MPs voted in favour of this.
The new speaker of parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari, had urged MPs to vote with their consciences.
“May God help us to elect a good leader in an atmosphere of tranquillity. We must give the youth of Somalia a bright future,” he said.
The process is still in many ways owned by outside powers who have for years been involved militarily and politically in Somalia, the BBC’s Mary Harper reports.
But Hassan Sheikh Mohamud could represent a different kind of future for the country because he is not associated with the violence and corruption of the past, our correspondent says.
Nevertheless he faces massive challenges on multiple fronts, she adds – firstly, he will have to deal with the powerful politicians who lost the elections; then he has to try to reunite a country torn apart by two decades of civil conflict, much of which is controlled by the al-Shabab militia. Since the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has seen clan-based warlords, Islamist militants and its neighbours all battling for control
UDUB Boycotts Upcoming Local Council Elections
· “The Decision of the PPR&VC was a character Assassination against UDUB Party” Waran Ade
· UDUB Chairman appeals for 2 weeks extension to President Silanyo and NEC before he Leaves for France
Hargeisa (HMN) – UDUB, the country’s oldest political opposition party will not participate in the forthcoming local council elections due to long time internal conflict which finally caused the withdrawal of the party from November Local Government Elections.
According to a statement released by the party’s presidential candidate Mohamed Ali Waran’ade who attributed the withdrawal to a recent decision by the PPR&VC that nullified their party’s presidential candidates.
FMR President Rayale has left the country and was said to send an extension request letter to the president Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo and Somaliland National Election Commission in order his party to beat the deadline.
The letter of UDUB leader is said to ask the president to extent the candidate submission dates for a fortnight thus enable UDUB complete its nomination process interrupted by the decision by the Political Parties Registration and Verification Committee- PPR&VC that nullified the nomination of the opposition party’s presidential candidates
UDUB political opposition party leader and the FMR President of Somaliland Dahir Rayale Kahin insisted that the announcement of their presidential candidates was not contrary to UDUB’s bylaws and was set according to their rules, where he also urged the Political Parties Registration & Verification Committee to refrain from making hasty and illegal decisions.
“UDUB is the oldest political party in the country and as all are aware it is directly attributed with having established prevalent government as well as nurtured the country’s democratization having masterminded all past democratic elections that include local councils, Parliamentary and two presidential ones.” Waran Ade said in his withdrawal press release,
Waran Ade pointed out the committee’s decision of nullifying their presidential candidates to be a character assassination action against their party.
At the same time we demand compensation due from announcement by the PPR&VC that have made the party loss public confidence in addition to time, material and funds wasted in preparation of the 28th November elections that UDUB has withdrawn from. In the meantime, the party will enter a case against the PPR&VC at the High cum constitutional court” end Quote
It had been thought UDUB the oldest political party in the country, would not meet that deadline owing to the major infighting that had afflicted the party from early this year, splitting it into to two factions whose resolution ensued after the Jamal/Ahmed Yusuf faction defected to UCID.
As per the Waran’ade statement that also informs that the party would reverse, anon, its election participation withdrawal if the PPR&VC apologizies for its unconstitutional decision against it.
If affected, the UDUB case will be the second case instituted against PPR&VC by a disgruntled political entity at the High cum Constitutional court whose bench of five judges ruled against the consortium of party’s members of UDHIS, NDB, JAMHURIGA AND HORYAAL political groups.
Hadrawi Wins an International Award
The Independent Post – Ibrahim Warsame “Hadrawi” has been awarded the 2012 Prince Claus Award and $25,000 prize by the committee for his contribution to arts.
The Somaliland born Poet laureate was among eleven nominated for this 2012 Prince Claus Award Committee 2012 which consists of five independent experts from different countries representing a broad range of disciplines.
The Prince Claus Awards are presented annually to individuals and organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean for their outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development and the positive effect of their work on their direct environment and the wider cultural or social field. Quality is a sine qua non for an Award.
The Prince Claus Fund presents one Principal Prince Claus Award of €100.000,- and ten Awards of €25.000,-. The Principal Prince Claus Award is presented annually in Amsterdam by one of the Fund’s Honorary Chairmen in the presence of the Royal Family.
The other ten awards are presented by the Dutch ambassador in the countries where the laureates live and work, increasing the local impact of the Award.
Apart from the Eloísa Cartonera which was established in 2003, Buenos Aires as a graphic arts and publishing co-operative of handmade books made of recycled materials and Somaliland Poet Ibrahim Warsame “Hadrawi”,the other receipting’s of the this year Prince Claus Awards are from Tunisia,Algeria,Syria,J ordan,Mexico,Kenya,Cambodia,
Radio Hargeisa worldwide transmission updates
Radio Hargeisa transmissions have
not been noted internationally for almost a week.
Southgates – According to Mr. Don Jensen who is a professional Ham radio buff ,Radio Hargeisa hasn’t been noted anywhere, not in New Zealand, India, Japan, Europe in about a week now despite use of various advanced radio
Mr. Don Jensen a retired American journalist further revealed that the station, which had earlier on been noted in Japan, India and Europe, were yet to be received in the US before they completely went off air.
Mr. Jensen who has continuously kept Somalilandsun abreast on worldwide transmissions of Radio Hargeisa via email messages surmised the following:
Quote “I suspect that Mr. Suleiman (technical Director) may be taking steps to find a better 41 meter band frequency, outside the amateur radio (ham radio) band. This would presumably put it somewhere higher than 7,200 kilohertz. Nevertheless, he does have a practical dilemma.
Both Ethiopia and Eritrea have been chasing each other around and around on many frequencies, most with Eritrea’s Voice of the Broad Masses two channels.
Being chased from frequency to frequency by Ethiopian jamming transmitters.
An Ethiopia itself, the broadcasting station, not jammers, changes frequency a lot as well.
The other day, Ethiopia was on 7,120 kHz, the same frequency that Radio Hargeisa had been using. So trying to avoid these stations that jump from frequency to frequency, sometimes on a daily basis, it a difficult task. I suspect that the one-time RH frequency from a few years ago, 7,530 kHz might be a better choice. End Quote)
The technical director of the ministry of information Mr. Ahmed Suleiman who concurred with Mr. Jensen attributed the absence of transmissions to ongoing plans that involved moving from the testing phase to a full operational one. “The transmissions have been ceased temporarily thus facilitate shifting from the testing face to full operations” Said Mr. Suleiman
Ministry of Education looks forward to continued collaboration with save the children
New School Year Can Mean New School Successes
This week schools all over Somaliland welcomed back old students and greeted many new ones for the first time. It is our strong hope that this scholastic year will witness more Somaliland children attending formal and non-formal education than ever before. We are working hard to ensure that all children who call Somaliland home can access quality basic education. To do this we work in close partnership with a wide range of education partners. In particular we would like to highlight the significant contribution our partner Save the Children has made to the education system in Somaliland.
For over 20 years now we have been working with Save the Children. During this time they have helped to improve the quality of life for thousands of Somaliland’s children.
As our partners in Somaliland’s development we know that Save the Children remains committed to fostering change in all aspects of children’s lives. They have helped our youth to acquire skills for trade, advocated for child friendly policies and laws, and helped our communities to access clean water and improve sanitation. They continue, like we do, to strive for a Somaliland in which every child realises their right to good quality, protective and inclusive education.
We at the Ministry of Education have particularly enjoyed working closely with Save the Children. Their tireless work has helped to expand and enhance access to inclusive quality basic education to children across Somaliland. In the last three years alone, over 11,000 children have managed to access school for the first time thanks to their work.
The construction of schools (since 2009 Save the Children have established, expanded and furnished 93 schools in Somaliland), the provision of learning materials and uniforms, the training of teachers (over 1,500 to date) and the development and printing of curriculum materials have also helped thousands more to benefit both directly and indirectly from their efforts. It is with thanks to the likes of Save the Children that the number of school age children, in particular girls as well as those from poor and marginalised communities, accessing and completing quality primary education is steadily increasing in Somaliland.
The First Annual UN and NGO Exhibition that took place last week proved the need for all of us to work together for the good of Somaliland and its children. We highly value the contribution Save the Children has made so far to both Somaliland’s development and its education system. Their work has, and continues to be, well aligned with our own needs and priorities for education in Somaliland. It is our hope that this partnership has both many further years and successes to come.
In collaboration with ourselves, local communities and other partners, they have helped to improve policy, influence change and support services that empower Somaliland’s children and communities to help themselves.
Why Gabiley is kicking the dust against Silaanyo
By Jama Abdi Askar
In a fashion of cruel line- up, the complaints against the current Silaanyo led government are preponderant over the media network of all Somaliland, but the irony is, it’s all coming from the die- hard supporters of kulmiye party. The titles of those grief ridden pen- spinners goes on like, Silaanyo’s odium war against targeted communities, Gabiley being first, the deposed minister who refused to re-instate relatives of the president, and the passport shop Somalia opened up in Hargeisa to naturalist Somaliland citizens, the list goes on and on. What no one had ever anticipated is the nose-dive plummeting of all sensibility in terms of political image at Somaliland, when Silaanyo and crew came to power. The sheer network of kulmiye political campaigns gave us the hint of one-coloured, fragmented and lop-sided group with a intent of evil consequences, yet we ignored.
The signals of political revenge against anti Kulmiye Somalilanders were manifested in those qualitative chorus we faced in the cabinet making days, Silaanyo as we all knew in his forage against Riyale, was in fact a leader who don’t forget those who voted against him, thus a knight of his own votes not for all somalilanders.
But why Gabiley is kicking the dust today, for almost 80 percent of their votes brought siilanyo from the cold? Or in the line of calculating political gains, did Gabiley emotionally danced to the sectarian tune Silanyo and crew played over the Eel-bardale crises? And later settled for the comedian foreign minister that loiters around where the gangs of the Somalia meet over their hyena massala dishes. Off that entire well celebrated political rainbow, the shattering cracks brought sanity to the deafening march of the deaf.
Silaanyo is a dividing figure, guided by the knife man of the cult, Somaliland is in tatters and Muse Biihi of skeleton kulmiye manifested the final blow by running loose around campuses threatening business companies for not greasing the palms of the wicked. Muse is in charge of used-bullet, and the probability of him skimming anything from that party is almost none, loose tongue and stained background run in sharp contrast to a leadership bonus.
A party that comes from Gabilay is not a tasteful ice cream to be consumed by the Akuse cabinet; it just reduces the climax of the show and trashes the yield of the deception. UDHIS and JAMHUURIYA got the hammer of Cain because hostile votes in the past can’t be entertained after all that effort of disdain.
Somaliland of today shares the hallmarks of all that government supporters who run amok every circles of oversees Somalilanders. Aggression in multitudes, a word against the Caesar invites bloody fist fights from funny-shaped characters of homogeneous design. Two critical articles of my early writings cost me a smashed car windows and a broken head-lamp, the vicinity of my ill-luck is England. The war for Somaliland’s dignity is fought at the periphery of savagery. At least I fought in a decent manner!!!
“Somaliland Mass Media Situation in Riyaale’s Era & Today”-Aden Abdi Dahir
No one is perfect in this world and so is the media. Here I am not degrading the media; rather I would say there is still a lot of scope for improvement by which the media can raise up to the aspirations of the people for which it is meant. I cannot think of ademocracy without active and neutral media. With the passage of time they became more immature and a more irresponsible entity. The present media revolution has helped people in making an informed decisions and this has led to a new era in Somaliland democracy.
The impact of media is really noteworthy. Excessive coverage or hype of sensitive news has led to communal riots at times. The illiterates were more prone to provocation than the literates which as a result led to the recent scandal in which Abdirahman Yussuf Duale “Boobe” the Minister of Information lost his status to some illiterate individuals but highly favorites of president Siranyo to their prone provocation coverages towards Riyale’s government from which today took them to high positions as we all know.
The journalism situation presented itself differently in 2010 during the campaign of Dahir Rayaale Kahin were the established media turned out to take more of a pro-war attitude. The whole field of journalism has decreased over time and parts of journalism observers affirm that this period “is not a time of reporting in any media”. This comes with the framework and the problem that many journalists tend “towards reflecting the status quo, rather than radically challenging it”.
This decrease, however, cannot lead to the presumption that there are not enough critical topics to write or report about. In fact, the opposite is the case and there is enough material to work with like the so many personal scandals, financial wrongdoing, political corruption, enrichment in public office, and other types of wrongdoing without fully fulfilling their function which is Siranyo government way of governance by even having in leach most of the many professionals in the media to feel that it is not their role to challenge this administration and “driven by their own interests rather than the desire to protect the public interest”.
The election of a new president is supposed to end violence and anarchy in Somalia. But the war-torn country is still dogged by violence and corruption, and experts don’t expect that to change any time soon.
When the new man at the helm of war-troubled nation of Somalia is elected, a sigh of relief will be heard from UN headquarters in New York all the way to Mogadishu. Many observers had feared the latest attempt to form a government had failed after lawmakers missed the August 20 deadline to elect a new head of state. Apparently, it was the United States that forced the Members of Parliament to give in and carry out the election. The vote of Somali MPs marks the end of the agonizing transitional period to set up a new administration.
Bribes are all too common
Questions however remain whether the administration can make a difference in the country that has been without a functioning government for more than 20 years. The parliamentary election last month was seen as a test run for the presidential elections. The polls however revealed that many of the chronic ills of Somali politics are still alive and well: Many Members of Parliament reportedly did not get a seat because of their competency, but because of “brown envelopes” – bribes of about $60,000 (47,000 euros) each.
Members of Somalia’s parliament are said to have paid bribes
Legal expert Mohamed Osman Jawari was subsequently elected speaker – a post that traditionally carries much weight in Somalia. He is one of the experts tasked with drafting the new constitution. Many experts however doubt that the current draft is acceptable to the majority of Somalis.
“Most of the key issues raised in the draft such as federalism or the role of Islam in Somali politics have been edged out,” Roland Marchal of the Centre for International Studies and Research in Paris told DW. Instead, the new parliament has to debate these issues again from scratch. “After eight years of negotiations, you can hardly call that a success,” Marchal said.
A helpless international community
The troubled transitional process shows how helpless the international community still is in Somalia. The UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) was supposed to moderate the process. But the office is mired in so many disputes that Somalis called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to sack his special representative to the country, Augustine Mahiga.
At the same time, many Somalis doubt the motives of the international community. They fear that countries such as Norway are more interested in the country’s fish grounds or recent oil finds than in establishing a functioning government. Many observers fear that large parts of the population will lack trust in the new government set up with assistance from the international community.
Campaigning, Somalia style
The UN has accused President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of corruption
In the last days and weeks, contenders for the presidential post met regularly amidst the hustle and bustle of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu to forge alliances. Just like before, ethnicity mattered more than ideology in these campaigns. 25 candidates had registered as candidates by September 7, which marks the official deadline. They included former prime ministers, business men and academics. Even the head of the BBC’s Somali Service decided to leave his desk in London in favor of a campaign office in Mogadishu. On the weekend, the candidates officially introduced themselves to parliament. Sunday was their official campaigning day.
Most of the candidates are familiar faces in Somali politics. Many observers doubt that they stand for a new beginning in the war-torn nation. “There are two many cooks in the kitchen that are not trained to cook in the first place,” Somalia expert Markus Höhne from the Max-Planck-Institute told DW.
Somalia’s previous transitional governments have also failed to raise hope that Somali politics have changed for the better in recent times. Incumbent president Sharif Sheikh Admed has been heading a corrupt and inefficient administration since 2009. A leaked UN report accuses his government of “systematic embezzlement, pure and simple misappropriation of funds and theft of public money.” Between 2009 and 2010, the government stole seven out of every ten dollars of public funds. Besides corruption, observers are also deeply worried about the country’s human rights situation. Germany’s Society for threatened peoples calls it “disastrous.”
Where’s the Justice for Ogaden?
By Abdullahi Hassan
‘The struggle of the Somali people against the Ethiopian Garrison rule is better understood as an anti-colonial war-no less intense and no less justified than the struggle of Mozambique and Angola against the Portugal or the struggle of the people of Namibia against South Africa.’
Editorial, New Internationalist, April 1978.
It is very encouraging to read that Ethiopia has finally accepted to settle the Ogaden issue through negotiation; thanks to the diplomatic role played by the Kenyan government.
After almost one hundred years of brutal colonial occupation and subjugations, it now seems that Ethiopia has finally realized the impotence of its imperial ambitions.
There is a limit to oppression and injustice!
The ongoing conflict in Ogaden is the longest unresolved armed conflict in Africa and, indeed, it’s the heart of the brewing political and humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa. The tragic history of this conflict goes back to as early as the nineteenth century’s scramble for Africa as Ogaden passed from one European colonial rule to the other until it was eventually annexed to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) against the wishes of the Somali people.
The inevitable havoc and lose of life and property that came in the wake of the Ethiopia’s “ill-fated” colonial occupation haunts the region to this day.
As the above-mentioned editorial excerpt had rightly underscored, the struggle of the Somali people in Ogaden is a genuine national liberation struggle against one of the colonial remnants in the world. But unfortunately, our people were failed by the international community, particularly those who have created our problem in the first place.
Much of the evil and misery which befall mankind stems from ignorance and misunderstanding, and this applies not only to individuals but also to nations. … Subsequent to the “Ogaden” war of 1977-78, I became convinced that here was an issue basic to the concept of freedom, but an issue which was not properly comprehended to a point where justice was being withheld from the Somalis. … The Somali-Ethiopian dispute is no long a purely African matter, it must be one for international attention, and a concerted effort should be made to the notice of the United Nations. … Those, therefore, who have a debt of honor to repay (those who, in the past, involved in the origins of the Somali-Ethiopian dispute) should be in the forefront in striving for an initiative, both political and humanitarian. … Unless and until there is greater understanding, the Horn of Africa will continue to be riven by strife with resulting suffering, lose of life, and an exodus of refugees (Fitzgibbon, 1982).
Today, Ogaden is in a dire political and humanitarian situation. With the hope to perpetually keep it as a colony, and in order to pave the way for foreign-owned oil companies to exploit our resources, the colonial regime in Addis Ababa has lately intensified its tempo of oppression against our people. Escaping from the ballooning genocide perpetuated by the Ethiopian colonial forces, many civilians-in their hundreds of thousands-have fled to neighboring countries for refuge where they languish in squalid refugee camps.
In its last report on the region, the Human Rights Watch has brought once again to the attention of the world the difficult situation faced by the people of Ogaden. The organization has given out a detailed and balanced report worthy of respect and implementation, but unfortunately the international community continues to shun, disregard, and treat the plight of our people rhetorically.
Where is the humanity?
Indeed, it flies in the face of logic and humanity to leave the Somali people in Ogaden to fend for themselves; its unfair to leave them reel so long under the pungent yoke of slavery and colonialism while the colonial orders in the above-mentioned countries-and many more after them-were liquidated decades ago or so with the help of the international community.
To end the Ethiopia’s century-old injustice, it is incumbent upon the United Nations, the African Union, and the rest of the international community to exercise their moral authority over Ethiopia so as to gracefully liquidate its colonial occupation.
People in the region are yearning for a world where freedom and peace reign supreme and a political settlement to the Ogaden issue is indispensable for that peace.