UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
SACB - Somalia Aid Coordination Body
SAMO - Somali African Muki Organisation
SDA - Somali Democratic Alliance
SDM - Somali Democratic Movement
SLA - Somali Liberation Army
SNA - Somali National Alliance
SNDU - Somali National Democratic Union
SNF - Somali National Front
SNM - Somali National Movement
SNU - Somali National Union
SORRA - Somali Relief and Rehabilitation Agency
SPM - Somali Patriotic Movement
SSA - Somali Salvation Alliance
SSDF - Somali Salvation Democratic Front
SSNM - Southern Somali National Movement
USC - United Somali Congress
USF - United Somali Front
USP - United Somali Party
** HUNGER THREATENS SOMALIA **
USAID SITUATION REPORT
(USAID/BHR/OFDA Situation Report #3, 7 Jul 95) U.S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Humanitarian Response (BHR) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
A tenuous peace continues to hold throughout Somalia in the wake of the withdrawal of UNOSOM forces and the expiration of the U.N.'s mandate on March 30, 1995. The Mogadishu seaport, the main conduit for food and other supplies into the capital and other areas, remains open, albeit sporadically, due to an agreement between rival Hawiye subclans. While localized fighting continues in portions of the country, Somalia has not reverted to anarchy, as many analysts had feared. The international community remains cautiously optimistic regarding the long- term prospects of nation building in Somalia as a result of the relatively positive security situation following the withdrawal of peacekeeping forces.
Other effects of UNOSOM's withdrawal do, however, continue to reverberate throughout the country. UNOSOM spent an estimated $1 billion per year in Somalia, primarily in Mogadishu, and served as the country's largest employer. Since March, Mogadishu has experienced hyperinflation, currency depreciation, and rising unemployment as approximately 5,000 Somalis lost their jobs. Coupled with rising food prices in the capital, this decrease in purchasing power appears to have resulted in declining nutritional conditions in Mogadishu, particularly among the highly vulnerable internally displaced population (IDP). Other pockets of malnutrition, unrelated to UNOSOM's departure, were also discovered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Lower Juba. Comprehensive assessments are underway in both areas to determine the full extent of food insecurity.
Food insecurity could increase in the next few months as the upcoming main season ("Gu") harvest is estimated at about 235,000 to 250,000 metric tons (MT). This represents a 20% decrease from last year's main harvest and about 50% of the pre-war average. A comprehensive crop assessment will be conducted by the World Food Program's (WFP's) Food Security Assessment Unit (FSAU) next month. Carryover food stocks from 1994 remain high, so it is expected that the result of the poor harvest will be higher prices in urban areas, rather than widespread food shortages...
Despite the withdrawal of U.N. peacekeepers, international involvement in Somalia continues through the funding and operation of extensive humanitarian programs. The U.N. estimates that 47 U.N. agencies and NGOs are active throughout Somalia. Despite isolated security incidents, program implementation appears to be progressing well in most areas. A recent assessment of the IDP in Mogadishu, conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), resulted in a major revision of IDP roles. IOM concluded that there are only 138,359 people who qualify in this category in the capital-- half of what had previously been estimated by UNOSOM. The majority of the IDP reside in shelters throughout Mogadishu...
AGENCIES FEAR WORSE TO COME IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA
(Reuter 9 Aug 95)
NAIROBI - Aid agencies said on Wednesday that malnutrition rates may increase in Somalia's southern port of Kismayu due to an influx of people driven by a poor harvest in the nearby Juba Valley.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Doctors Without Borders) Belgium said a nutritional survey in July showed moderate and severe malnutrition in Kismayu and surrounding displaced camps stood at 17.8 percent.
MSF said this was no significant change from a survey last September which put moderate and severe malnutrition at 14.3 percent. But overall the situation appeared to be deteriorating. It said residents of Kismayu town in the survey showed higher malnutrition rates than displaced people in the camps.
"This is because the people in the camps have been there for about five years so they have found ways of making some money and surviving," MSF Kismayu coordinator Gilbert Hascoet told Reuters.
"In contrast we have had 15,000 newcomers arriving in the town itself in the last six months and mostly they haven't been able to find a way of earning money to buy food," he added.
Aid agencies are concerned about increasing malnutrition, especially in the capital Mogadishu, following the withdrawal of the last U.N. peacekeepers in March and fear that famine may return to Somalia unless they are allowed to operate in safety...
WFP TO RESUME FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN KISMAAYO
(SWB 29 Jul 95 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 28 Jul 95])
Nairobi, 28th July: The World Food Programme (WFP) announced yesterday that it will attempt to distribute 140 tons of urgently needed food to the most vulnerable people in Kismaayo this weekend [29th-30th July], following a five-week suspension of WFP operations in the city. WFP was forced to halt activities [on] 19th June, when local militia went on yet another looting spree in its warehouse, stealing 240 tons of wheat flour. They then seized full control of the facility. Other UN agencies also suspended non-emergency operations.
Harassment of international staff, including frequent attempts to extort food and cash from WFP staff, resulted in the withdrawal of WFP internationals from Kismaayo in late April. WFP national staff kept the office open until all operations were suspended on 19th June, a faxed statement from [the] WFP Nairobi office reported.
WFP decided to make a renewed attempt at distribution after community elders promised to ensure that the militia would release the food from the warehouse...
** AID EFFORTS **
ECHO SUPPORTS MEDICAL AND FOOD AID FOR VICTIMS OF CONFLICT IN SOMALIA (European Commission press release via RBB, Ref: IP/95/694, 30 Jun 95) The conflict that has been devastating Somalia since 1991 has left its people very vulnerable and dependent on humanitarian aid. The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) has approved a grant of 350,000 ECU for medical aid and for a survey to check on food needs.
ECHO plans to work with two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on programmes scheduled to last up to six months.
The Coordinating Committee of the Organization for Voluntary Service (COSV), an Italian NGO, will work at the medical centre in Hoddur, where no other international agency is active at present. Its aim is to set up a programme that will benefit a catchment area covering some 100,000 people, and to train personnel to take over in due course. This programme is being carried out in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation and World Food Programme.
Action Internationale Contre la Faim, a French NGO, will carry out a survey to establish food needs in six potentially endangered parts of the country. Somalia has a population of about nine million, and about a third is thought to be vulnerable to malnutrition. This survey will define current needs and set out a framework for future action in this area. It will be carried out in collaboration with the World Food Programme.
An ECHO representative on the spot will continue to monitor these activities for the next six months.
OPERATION ECHO-FLIGHT EXTENDED IN EAST AND CENTRAL AFRICA
(RBB 15 Aug 95 [RAPID Ref: IP/95/907, 9 Aug 95])
Humanitarian aid for crisis-stricken areas of Somalia and Southern Sudan will have the back-up of Operation ECHO-Flight at least until February 1996 thanks to European Union funding for this lifeline. A grant of 3,500,000 ECU will maintain the service for six months from August.
The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) launched the ECHO-Flight service in May 1994. It works with nine aircraft, based in Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Somalia. The grant of 3,500,000 ECU will provide the funding for a C-130 Hercules "heavy lift" aircraft.
The service is essential in a region where overland transport is too hazardous because of security risks. ECHO-Flight aircraft in general are used to fly cargo and passengers, as well as evacuating emergency medical cases. The service has been designed primarily for the benefit of non-governmental organisations working in humanitarian aid operations. It is free of charge to them. The heavy lift aircraft is used mainly to airdrop food aid. It can also land with seeds and tools as necessary...
SAUDI TV TO ORGANISE CHARITY CAMPAIGN
(Moneyclips via RBB 9 Aug 95 [Saudi Gazette])
Riyadh, Aug. 4 (SPA): The Saudi Television will organise a charity campaign in co- operation with the Higher Authority for collecting donations for the Muslims of Bosnia- Herzegovina and Somalia next Friday, August 11, in line with directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahad.
The programme entitled 'Campaign of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for solidarity with the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina' will be a 12-hour programme from 1 pm to 1 am. It will receive offers of cash donations through telephone and fax numbers which will be announced tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a second consignment of relief materials destined for the Bosnian Muslims collected by the authority left Jeddah Islamic Port yesterday, the Okaz Arabic daily reported. A major portion of the urgent dispatch will be distributed among refugees anxiously waiting for food and medical supplies near Tuzla airport who are the victims of the latest Serb aggression in the Bosnian cities of Srebrenica and Zepa.
The Higher Authority for collecting donations is headed by Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Riyadh Region.
** BAIDOA **
(ION 8 Jul 95, p.4)
Lengthy negotiations earlier this year led in May to the creation of a supreme council of the Dighil-Mirifle clans under the chairmanship of Abdulkadir Mohamed (aka Zoppo, an Italian word meaning lame) and under the executive leadership of the lawyer Hassan Sheikh Ibrahim ..., who drafted the "constitutional act" of this new regional unit which includes the administrative regions of Bay and Bakol (with Baidoa as capital). The draft constitution defends the indentity of the Dighil-Mirifle clans, declares Islam to be the state religion, rejects separatism, calls for disarmament of the local population, and proposes a federal type framework for Somalia. The Nairobi-based European Union representative for Somalia, Sigurd Illing, was present in Baidoa on May 25 when the supreme council was officially installed. He said afterwards that an EU representative office would be opened in the town and would be set up in a building made available by the regional body and which is to be renovated at a cost of about US$ 70,000. Other offices have been put at the disposal of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the US agency USAID. The supreme council has already promulgated a fiscal law, another on the detention of firearms, and has made initial contacts with a view to repairing Baidoa airport (which the EU may agree to finance)...
SOMALIS MAKE PEACE TRADITIONAL WAY
(Reuter 19 Jul 95)
MOGADISHU - Clan elders in central Somalia have reached a peace agreement after at least 20 people were killed in violence between ethnic militias last weekend, residents contacted by radio said on Wednesday.
A traditional "peace feast" will be held in the central town of Baidoa and other spots where clashes took place for three days last week between the Leysan on the one hand and the allied Haren and Eley clans on the other, elders said.
The fighting, in which about 45 people were wounded in Baidoa, forced aid workers from the United Nations and other relief agencies to stop work. They were able to resume the work as a result of the peace agreement.
Clan elders have also forged a peace deal between the Hadame and Jirron clans which recently fought in the central Bakool province, forcing expatriate workers of the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) to evacuate.
An estimated 300,000 people starved to death in the 1993 famine, which was worst in Bakool and the Bay province of which Baidoa is the capital...
** HUMAN RIGHTS AND REFUGEES **
INDEPENDENT EXPERT TO STUDY SOMALIA
(UNIC 28 Jul 95 [UN document ECOSOC/5622 27 Jul 95])
GENEVA, 25 July--The Economic and Social Council this afternoon adopted 59 resolutions and decisions on human rights concerns, including the right to development and the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities...
In a decision on assistance to Somalia in human rights, the Council approved the Commission's request to the independent expert to study ways and means of how best to implement a programme of advisory services for that country upon request. That would be effected through the contributions of agencies and programmes of the United Nations currently in the field, aimed at re-establishing respect for human rights and the rule of law and strengthening the police, the judicial and prison systems in Somalia...
ECHO TO AID SOMALI REFUGEES IN KENYA
(RBB 15 Aug 95 [RAPID, Ref: IP/95/911, 9 Aug 95])
Kenya is currently hosting some 48,500 Somali refugees fleeing the breakdown of law and order in Somalia since 1991. The European Union is contributing to an appeal on their behalf with a grant of 329,000 ECU.
The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) will work in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross on a project to provide food, water and sanitation, as well as basic medical care for the refugees. About a quarter of them are now very vulnerable. They are living in refugee camps based in Marafa, Swaleh-Nguru, Hatimi and Jomvu on the Kenyan coast.
ECHO's contribution will cover the costs of hiring staff, both expatriate and local, and transport on the spot for six months.
This operation is being carried out in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Kenyan authorities.
LIBYA EXPELS HUNDREDS OF SOMALIS
(Reuter 20 Jun 95)
TUNIS - Libya has expelled nearly 350 Somalis who are now stranded on the Libya- Tunisia border, travellers said on Tuesday.
The Somali group, including women and children, has since Monday been in the no- man's-land between the Libyan and Tunisian control posts unable to cross to Tunisia because of lack of passports and visas, a witness told Reuters by telephone from the border.
Tunisian officials would not comment.
Libya earlier this year said it would expell about 2.5 million foreign workers, saying that U.N. sanctions imposed on it since 1992 had a negative impact on the work force...
TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS FOR SOMALIS EXTENDED IN US
(Business Wire via RBB 1 Aug 95)
WASHINGTON--Attorney General Janet Reno has ordered an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for approximately 350 nationals of Somalia currently living in the United States. The extension designation, effective immediately, will be valid until Sept. 17, 1996.
Because this is an extension, and not a new designation, all Somali registrants must have been "continuously physically present" in the United States since Sept. 16, 1991, and either already registered for TPS or eligible for late initial registration. This extension will ensure that eligible Somalis will not be forced to return to their homeland while present dangers exist...
** VIOLENCE CONTINUES **
MORE THAN 60 KILLED IN CLAN FIGHTING IN SOMALIA
(Reuter 8 Jul 95, by Aden Ali)
MOGADISHU - At least 61 people have been killed in central Somalia and the capital Mogadishu in fighting between rival clan militias in the past week, Somalia sources and militia officials said on Saturday.
Most of the fighting took place in central Somalia between supporters of General Mohamed Farah Aideed's Habre Gedir clan and those of the Marehan clan of the Somali National Front (SNF) of late dictator Mohamed Siad Barre...
"Inter-clan skirmishes have risen in the three weeks since supporters of Aideed proclaimed him president of the whole of Somalia," Tarabi told reporters. "It is because people are a little more uncertain of political trends."
A spokesman for Aideed's Somali National Alliance (SNA) said that before the fighting broke out, mostly in Aideed-supporting villages in Galgadud, SNF militia had raided the area and killed 23 people to punish them for apparently backing the wrong group.
Tarabi denied that, saying SNF militia were not involved in any massacre of innocent people.
Somali sources said that among other deaths two people were killed and dozens wounded on Friday when rival factions within the SNA shot at each other along the road to the airport in Mogadishu.
Fighting then spread to the airport but died down in the night and on Saturday Mogadishu remain calm.
Tarabi said four Marehan clansmen had been killed in Mogadishu in the past three days, the body of one being found handcuffed on Mogadishu beach. He blamed their deaths of Aideed militia.
The SNA official blamed "blood feuds" for the fighting but Tarabi said jostling for political power led to the fresh wave of fighting.
In Mogadishu, Aideed on a visit to his radio, which he terms his information ministry, said that those who took part in the struggle for Somali emancipation would be honoured.
He also pledged that "the fruits of their treason" would go to those Somalis who he said had sided with the Horn of African country's enemies.
Three weeks ago, after Aideed was ousted as SNA chairman by his one-time financier, Osman Atto, in a party coup, Aideed's followers declared him president of the country.
SOMALI BLAZE TOLL AT LEAST 12
(Reuter 11 Jul 95)
MOGADISHU - At least 12 people, many of them looters shot by guards, were killed in a huge fire in the Somali capital's main market, witnesses said on Tuesday.
The overnight fire in Mogadishu caused millions of dollars of damage to the market which sells everything from food to guns and gold.
Clan militia leader Mohamed Farah Aideed led his men personally in battling the fire which started in south Mogadishu's Bakaaraha market at dusk on Monday.
Gunmen from his arch-rival Ali Mahdi Mohamed's faction in the north of the city also downed their weapons in an attempt to help during the 10-hour struggle against the blaze...
/HAB/ According to reports by pro-Aideed radio as reported by SWB, Aideed has appointed a committee to investigate the blaze, as well as a "peace committee and a force to ensure the security of the market..."
On the other hand, pro-Ali Mahdi radio has reported Ali Mahdi as saying that the fire was not an accident, but "the result of deliberate banditry". Ali Mahdi also accused Aydid of ordering militia members to shoot "indiscriminately" in order to prevent people from extinguishing the blaze and saving property.
MORE THAN 60 ESCAPE FROM MOGADISHU CENTRAL PRISON
(Reuter 12 Aug 95)
MOGADISHU - More than 60 Somalis, former militia gunmen jailed for robbery, indiscipline or killings, escaped from Mogadishu's central prison on Friday, witnesses said.
They said 68 escaped from the prison near the port on Friday afternoon. Prison warders have not been paid since U.N. troops pulled out in March but receive food for work from the U.N. food agency.
The prison is in territory controlled by faction leader Mohamed Farah Aideed, elected "president" of Somalia by supporters in June. His government has received no international recognition.
** KIDNAPPINGS CONTINUE **
GERMAN VETERINARIAN FREED IN SOMALIA AFTER 19 DAYS
(Reuter 14 Jun 95)
NAIROBI - A German veterinarian kidnapped in northeastern Somalia was freed after 19 days and no ransom was paid, the European Union special envoy's office said on Wednesday.
In a statement it said Heinz Stachelsheid who works for the German aid agency Johanniter International was kidnapped by gunmen near from the village of Badhan on May 25.
"No clear reasons have as yet emerged for the abduction," said the statement, adding Stachelsheid was now resting in the Red Sea port of Djibouti and would return to Germany later on Wednesday.
It said his safe and unconditional release was the work of traditional leaders and particularly the sultan of the Warsengeli who showed commitment to international cooperation...
More than a dozen foreign aid workers have been kidnapped in Somalia since 1993 by gunmen demanding ransoms or in financial disputes with their agencies. All have been freed unharmed...
UNICEF INFORMATION OFFICER FREED
(Reuter 4 Aug 95)
NAIROBI - A Somali working for the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) was freed on Wednesday by supporters of faction leader Mohamed Farah Aideed after nearly two weeks in captivity.
In a statement on Friday, UNICEF said Aden Mohamed Ali, an assistant information officer in Mogadishu, was freed and flown to the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Thursday after talks with Aideed's administration and the supporters who arrested him.
It said he had been held "on suspicion of disseminating information harmful to Aideed's recently proclaimed government" but gave no details...
SOMALIS SET CONDITIONS FOR RELEASE OF PAKISTANIS
(Reuter 10 Aug 95)
MOGADISHU - A spokesman for Somali faction leader Mohamed Farah Aideed has set conditions for the release of 12 Pakistani fishermen held in Mogadishu for more than four months.
The spokesman for the government set up by Aideed in June, which has no international recognition, said on Wednesday the men should pay an unspecified fine for intruding into Somali territory.
He also said the government of Pakistan should formally recognise Aideed's group as the legitimate Somali government.
It only became publicly known last week that the Pakistanis and one man of Palestinian origin were being held at a house in south Mogadishu when journalists saw gunmen take them out one- by-one to wash shortly before Moslem prayers.
One of the gunmen told journalists this week the 13 had been held for more than four months in very bad conditions and were fed once every 24 hours. He said they had no change of clothes.
Guards said the Pakistanis and Palestinian were arrested for fishing illegally in Somali waters south of Mogadishu...
** SHARIA **
CLAN LEADER CALLS FOR ISLAMIC SHARIA LAW
(Reuter 10 Jul 95)
MOGADISHU - Clan militia leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed wants Islamic sharia law, with amputations for theft to execution for murder, imposed across Somalia to bring law and order to the anarchic country.
Mogadishu radio, which supports Ali Mahdi, quoted him late on Sunday as saying "implementation of Islamic sharia law is the only way out of the present economic and socio-political problems in the country".
He made this call during talks with religious leaders in the northern enclave of Mogadishu which is controlled by his militias and where sharia courts have been functioning since August 1994.
Sharia has become popular among many Somalis because the harsh system of punishments has helped drive off the streets armed thugs who have terrorised people since the country collapsed into lawlessness four years ago.
But sharia has been opposed by Ali Mahdi's arch-rival Mohamed Farah Aideed, whose clan militia controls parts of south Mogadishu.
Somalia had a secular constitution from independence in 1960 -although it has not been adhered to since all state institutions collapsed with the overthrow of the last government in 1991. Most Somalis have aligned themselves according to their clan in the troubled 1990s. Religion and nationalism have so far failed to bring them together.
Many Mogadishu residents also point out that swarms of Aideed's Habre Gedir clansmen have invaded Mogadishu and the fertile hinterland during the last four years of civil strife, occupying houses and vast swathes of farming land.
In north Mogadishu, the sharia courts have served to return properties to their original owners...
** SPLIT: AIDEED--OSMAN ATTO **
IN SOMALIA, A CHAMELEON THRIVES
(NomadNet [NYT 31 Jul 95, by Donatella Lorch])
A millionaire businessman, reputed arms dealer and drug trafficker, self-styled diplomat and peacemaker, Osman Hassan Ali has his own private army in Somalia. But as he limps into the lobby in Nairobi's Intercontinental Hotel, wearing a jacket and striped shirt and clutching a crutch in one hand, he hardly raises an eyebrow.
Accompanied by only one bodyguard, Osman Ato, as he is widely known (Ato is a nickname that means "skinny"), has come for coffee and a chat with an American Embassy official. The get-together is part of a whirlwind of meetings on Somalia's future that occupy much of his time these days as he commutes in and out of Mogadishu...
Straight-talking and focused but coy about his own ambitions, Osman Ato is the chameleon of Somali politicians, showing himself to be a master of survival and adapting to shifting alliances. He financed clan militias during Somalia's civil war; built deadly "technicals," the four-wheel-drive cars mounted with antiaircraft guns and other automatic weapons, and expanded his fortune with United Nations contracts.
Now he says he wants to bring peace to his country so business can thrive and Somalia can rebuild itself. Of all the Somali political players, Osman Ato is the most skillful and pragmatic, Western diplomats say...
In 1992, Osman Ato helped pave the way for the food airlift and later the American troop landing. He was the Americans' main contact and negotiator with General Aidid.
Within half a year as the tension escalated and the United Nations began an all-out assault against General Aidid, the American military bombed Osman Ato's garages, destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars of bulldozers and other equipment as well as equipment that gave him the ability to build technicals. American military officials described him as "General Aidid's evil genius."
As they searched for Mr. Aidid, the American military arrested and imprisoned Osman Ato. In prison on an island off the coast of Somalia for four months, he suffered from malnutrition and severe neglect, former Western diplomats in Somalia say.
A year and a half after his release, Osman Ato's garages are up and running and making technicals again, he says. He is also once again talking and dealing with the Americans, trying to negotiate for funds for reconciliation conferences.
"We had a dispute but that dispute can be settled at a later stage," Osman Ato said about his relationship with the American Government. "We have to work with the Americans. We cannot live without them. We need their help in assisting Somalia. Personal grievances can come at a later date."
His pragmatism has brought at least grudging respect.
"He's very shrewd," said Robert Oakley, a former United States Ambassador to Somalia and its special envoy during the United Nations mission there. "Obviously he knows how to make deals and how to work with the Americans. He understands what makes sense to us.
"Not that he's our man," he said. "Politically, he can't afford to be too close to the Americans. He's one of the people keenly aware of how much damage we did to Somalia."...
"He makes more money than the country is making," Mr. Oakley said.
When the civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991, Osman Ato allied himself with Mr. Aidid and financed his militias. They are both members of the Hawiye clan and its Habr Gedir sub clan.
Mr. Oakley remembers a night in June 1993 when a truck piled high with weapons was smuggled out of Osman Ato's compound just days before his garage was bombed. When United Nations troops dug up the huge sand berms blocking roads near Osman Ato's garage, they found weapons caches. In a recent interview, Osman Ato said his garages were back in business making technicals.
Late last year, his car drove over a land mine in western Somalia and the explosion broke both his feet. He said he was only visiting the area; American diplomats said he was organizing a weapons transaction near the Ethiopian border.
Osman Ato said that when he was imprisoned by the American military, he was handcuffed and blindfolded for long periods of time. American diplomats deny it. But Mr. Oakley said Osman Ato's health had so deteriorated because of neglect and malnutrition that he had to be transferred to a hospital in Baidoa...
UTHMAN ATO SETS UP NEW RADIO STATION
(SWB 1 Aug 95 [KBC radio, Nairobi, in English 30 Jul 95])
Uthman Ali Ato, a former ally of warlord Gen Muhammad Farah Aydid, has commissioned a new radio station in south Mogadishu, his faction said. The new station is to cover a 6,000 km area and will be known as Radio Mogadishu, Voice of the Somali Pacification. It is to broadcast initially in Somali, but later in English and Arabic, and is to operate on the same frequency as the rival warlord's radio station...
NOW SOMALIA HAS TWO PRESIDENTS
(NA Sept 95, p. 29)
Alice in Wonderland would appreciate Somalia now that General Aideed is the second man to declare himself President. Aideed was unanimously elected by a conference of 15 political organizations meeting in June. But most of the 15 were factions of factions, som e not even representative of the parties they claimed to represent.
General Aideed also conveniently ignored the fact that his main rival Ali Mahdi Mohamed was also theoretically elected national president by a majority of factions in February 1991. So Somalia now has tow presidents, not one.
Within a couple of weeks of the attempted seizure of power by Aideed, heavy fighting broke out in the streets of Mogadishu between his faction and that of Ali Mahdi. At least four people were killed.
Aideed's precipitate action was caused by his chief rival Osman Hassan Ali Ato, who three days earlier had been elected head of the United Somali Congress and the Somali National Alliance, effectively deposing Aideed.
About 140 delegates elected Ato, but Aideed did keep the loyalty of some prominent USC leaders who were made vice presidents. Aideed and Osman Ato are both of the Saad sub- clan of the Habr Gidir clan of the Hawiyes. The division between the two has weakened Aideed's support base even among his own people. Ato's strength is that he is a wealthy businessman who has control over large amounts of heavy weapons and "technicals".
Aideed took the opportunity of his opening address to tell a large rally in Mogadishu that now the colonialists would not be able to poke their noses into Somali affairs.
He went on to attack the Somaliland government and said that the war there was between SNM supporters who wanted to preserve Somali unity and a group led by the President Mohamed Egal. Within a couple of weeks Aideed was pleading with the international relief agencies, asking them to return to Somalia to urgently tackle "malnutrition and widespread hunger". People are dying of hunger in many parts of the country, including Mogadishu.
AYDID OFFERS TO PAY FOR SURRENDERED WEAPONS
(SWB 18 Aug 95 [Radio Mogadishu, Voice of the Masses of the Somali Republic, in Somali 15 Aug 95])
Excerpt from report by Somali pro-Muhammad Farah Aydid radio on 15th August
Mr Muhammad Farah Aydid, the president of the Republic of Somalia, has today issued Decree No 2...
Article One: With effect from 15th August 1995, all heavy and light weapons and explosives which are in the hands of communities, fighters, companies, agencies and Somali people in general are to be surrendered to the government of the Republic of Somalia so that they become national property.
[Article] Two: The government will pay a reasonable sum of money, within six months, for any weapons collected in line with Article One...
** SOMALI FACTIONS MEET IN KENYA **
SOMALIA ORGANIZATIONS' MEETING IN KENYA REPORTEDLY REACHES AGREEMENT (SWB 15 Aug 95 [RVSP in Somali, 12 Aug 95]) Text of report by Somali pro-Uthman Ali Ato radio on12th August
Reliable reports from Nairobi, Kenya, today said that the Somali organizations meeting there have agreed on 11 articles which are in the common interest of the Somali people, and which will be elaborated later.
This meeting was greatly facilitated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference and some Muslim countries, especially Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Malaysia. The Kenya government also expended a lot of energy in making the Somali organizations agree on reconciliation and national reconstruction. The government of Ethiopia was also closely following the debate at the Somali organizations' meeting in Nairobi.
UN WELCOMES FACTIONS' AGREEMENT IN KENYA
(Reuter 17 Aug 95, by Nicholas Kotch)
NAIROBI - ...The U.N. representative for Somalia said he welcomed Thursday's initiative by Somali factions and communities towards forming a common platform to resolve the crisis in Somalia.
But Abdul Kabia, who represents U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, in a statement urged the factions to include supporters of Egal and Aideed in their initiative.
"The United Nations also implores the supporters of these two individuals (Egal and Aideed)...to enter into genuine dialogue with their compatriots in achieving a peaceful political settlement of the Somali crisis," the statement added.
Representatives of Ali Mahdi Mohammed, who also calls himself president and controls north Mogadishu, endorsed Atto's stand [against Aideed's claim of being president] at the news conference but did not comment on Mahdi's current status.
"We are saying there is no government in Somalia. But we are not pointing the finger at anyone," was Atto's response...
** RIVAL GROUPS CLAIM EMPTY OAU SEAT **
RIVAL SOMALI GROUPS TRY TO CLAIM EMPTY OAU SEAT
(Reuter 22 Jun 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Delegations from rival Somali militias are trying to claim their destroyed country's vacant seat at the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) before the annual heads of state summit starting on Monday.
Mogadishu warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed, whose supporters unilaterally declared him "president" last week, sent his new "foreign minister" Jama Mohamed Qalim on Thursday to Addis Ababa...
Meanwhile, a delegation representing Aideed's bitter rival Ali Mahdi Mohamed - who has claimed since 1991 he is the true president - is reported to have arrived in Addis Ababa to also lobby for the vacant seat.
At its head is Osman Hassan Ali Atto, Aideed's former financier and right hand man who fell out with him before United Nations forces abandoned Somalia in March.
OAU spokesman Ibrahim Dagash said Aideed had requested the organisation hand over the seat at the foreign ministers' talks, but the official said:
"The secretariat will not allow Aideed's delegation to occupy the Somali seat at the council unless the foreign ministers decide otherwise."
He said the foreign ministers were expected to discuss the issue of what to do with Somalia's seat on Thursday or Friday...
OAU DECIDES TO KEEP SOMALIA SEAT VACANT
(Reuter 6 Jul 95)
ADDIS ABABA - African leaders have decided to give Somalia's seat in the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) to none of the warring Somali factions, OAU officials said on Thursday.
They said the OAU summit in Addis Ababa last week had decided to recognise no party in Somalia as the legitimate government and to keep Somali's seat vacant until a broad-based government was formed there...
** FOREIGN RELATIONS **
ALI MAHDI HITS OUT AGAINST LIBYA
(Reuter 19 Jul 95)
MOGADISHU - Somali clan militia leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed accused Libya on Wednesday of aiding rival Mohamed Farah Aideed and said it would be held responsible for any new fighting in Somalia.
Speaking to reporters at his north Mogadishu home, Ali Mahdi urged the international community to discourage Libya from backing Aideed's proclamation by supporters as president of Somalia...
MOI SUPPORTS AIDEED
(Reuter 26 Jul 95)
NAIROBI - ...Kenya's President Daniel arap Moi said at an Organisation of African Unity (OAU) heads of state summit in Addis Ababa last month that Aideed's election as president was a step in the right direction...
KENYA ARRESTS, RELEASES OSMAN ATTO
(Reuter 27 Jul 95, by Nanna Mwaluko)
NAIROBI - Kenyan authorities released Somali clan militia chief Osman Hassan Ali Atto overnight after holding him for nearly 24 hours, relatives said on Thursday.
No comment was available from the authorities on the arrest of Osman Atto, a former right- hand man of militia chief Mohamed Farah Aideed and now a major rival of his.
"He was released last night. He is now holding talks with government officials over the matter. It is only after the meeting that we will know why they arrested him in the first place," a relative told Reuters.
Between 30 and 40 Kenyan police officers, some in uniform and others in plain clothes, raided Osman Atto's Nairobi home on Tuesday night.
"They left early on Wednesday with Mr Atto and about 20 other Somalis under arrest and took his documents," another relative said. He said Atto and the other Somalis had valid visas for Kenya...
KENYA APOLOGISES FOR SOMALI FACTION CHIEF'S ARREST
(Reuter 28 Jul 95, by Peter Smerdon)
NAIROBI - Somali faction leader Osman Ali Hassan Atto said on Friday Kenya's president had apologised for his arrest and assured him he did not support any individual as Somalia's leader.
Osman Atto told Reuters President Daniel arap Moi was apparently unaware of his arrest by Kenyan police with 20 other Somalis in Nairobi early on Wednesday and the government had intervened for their release.
Moi met Osman Atto and representatives of other factions on Thursday and warned them not to use Kenya as a base to attack each other and said the government should be informed in advance of their meetings.
"His (Moi's) main topic was he did not support any faction or individual and there was no Somali government. He apologised for our arrest and said he was sorry for the incident," he said...
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