Policy WATCH
Mubarak's Musings
Somalia's 'Transition' Can Go Either Way

In the past week, Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was officially no more; the cabinet ministers are acting on a caretaker basis, most of the new parliament members were sworn in, and a date was set for elections of the parliament speaker, after which the presidential elections will take place.

Despite everything not going according to schedule (presidential elections were due on August 20th), the process to move beyond the current transition is nevertheless steadily moving forward.

Somali people the world...

Shabaab Encouraging Hizbul Islam to Make a Comeback?
Fear Factor: Al-Shabaab Losing Means of Intimidation, No Thanks to the TFG
TFG Arrests Thousands of Somalis: Intelligence Success or Paranoia?
Returning to Mogadishu: Detained for "Being Too Handsome"
Has President Sharif Usurped Legislative Power?
President Sharif Tries to Recruit Somali Students in Kampala for Military
Is Mahiga Preventing Opposition to the Draft Constitution?
The Brewing Shabaab Split... Yet Again
The Ethiopian Error
A Message From The Supreme Leader
Who Was Responsible For The Nairobi Attack?
The Battle For Mogadishu Is Not Over
The New Islamist Split Within the TFG
The Year of Unity...Again
Somalia Report Has Obtained An Advance Copy of the Arms Embargo Document
Somalia Report has obtained an exclusive leaked copy of the upcoming 2012 report prepared by the UN's Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) which investigates possible UN arms embargo violations.

This is an initial report that is...

Somalia Report Interviews Marian Abdi Ghedi
National Theater Bombing Reveals Rifts in TFG
Initial Document For Feb 23 Meeting Reveals Less Than Ambitious Agenda
Suggestions That Engagement with Al-Shabaab Promote a Taliban-Like Exit
Will the London Conference Take on Somalia's Oldest and Toughest Region?
British Delegates Visit Puntland Prior to London Conference on Somalia
Rift Between TFG and ASWJ Threatens Stability of Galguduud
Uncoordinated and Self Interested Actions May Only Add to Somali Woes
Diplo Cable Lays Out How Kenya Failed to Get Full Support for Jubaland Offensive
Sec of State Hillary Clinton Orders Embassies to Sell the Use of Contractors
U.S. Now Openly Discusses Entering The War In Somalia, But Not On The Ground
Optimists, Mercenaries and Carpetbaggers Descend on Mog
Agreement Confirms Extension of TFG, New PM and New Cabinet Selections
Media Messages Show How Far Apart Good Intentions and Somalia Really Are
Conference "Shows More Leg" But What Are UAE's True Intentions?
More Missing than Learned at UAE Hosted Anti-Piracy This Week in Dubai
Anti-Piracy Conference in Dubai ©WAM
Anti-Piracy Conference in Dubai ©WAM

Readers of Somalia Report and attendees of anti-piracy conferences will sense that there might be two separate worlds when it comes to reporting on Somalia and piracy. One world is air-conditioned, with luxury hotel suites, pressed suits, wet bars and dry PowerPoints. The other anti-piracy world is sweaty, gritty and smells like charcoal fires, sweat and brine. Although Dubai is only a week’s sail away from Somalia it might as well been light years away in comprehension, action and relevance.

The world of Somali piracy has yet to meet the conference world. The exception would be the few high level Somali politicians who venture forth from Northern Somalia to Dubai to press their case in private discussions while politely meeting and greeting the guests in public. ...

US Offers up to $33 Million for Shabaab Leaders
Part One: A Look at the Use of Maritime Security Guards or PCASP
"Global Conversations" by UK Ambassador Matt Baugh
Somalia: Roadmap to Peace or War?
Battle Between Mogadishu Mayor and Radio Shabelle Heats Up
Meeting Calls For Support of the Roadmap, Return of Ousted Speaker, and Unity
Why is the UK Returning to Somalia?
A Short History of Kenya's Pirate Prosecutions
Polls to Determine Leaders will be Held Before Next August
Security Council’s Debate Offers Much Talk, Little Action
Security Council Meets To Determine What Next For Favorite Failed State
Options For a Post TFG Somalia
Investigation Reveals Somali's Land Based Anti-Piracy Program Under Attack by UN
Editorial Examines a Top Down or Bottom Up Approach to Somalia
Somalia Flag
Somalia Flag
As Somalia debates a new constitution and ends its transitional period this year, mini-states have been popping up across the country in an attempt to solidify power and legitimacy while they still can. Somalia Report has been examining this trend and produced a lengthy report "A War in Waiting: Somalia's Disintegration into Mini-States" and today presents an op-ed by Somali scholar and community leader, Ahmed Dirie, who warned of this trend five years ago. Mr. Dirie is also an editor at Somalia Report.

In November 2007, I published a detailed article "Regional Reconciliation and Reconstruction Approach: A Paradigm Shift for Somalia" on a now-defunct online magazine and several other Somali-run websites and feverishly zapped the article through an email to dozen officials and members of the international community. At that time, I thought the article was timely and could provide some constructive insight and propositions as Somalia was at a very critical stage. The proposition coincided with the...

Video Transcripts of Presentations
Opening comments by Prime Minister David Cameron

Media Questions

Short Clips

TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Media Questions

Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Musuveni

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé

Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Clear Signs of Predetermined Direction
Breaking News
TFG Calls for AMISOM to Beledweyne, Locals Hate AMISOM But Despise Ethiopians
Somalia’s Traditional Federal Government (TFG) say that African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeepers will soon be deployed to the Beledweyne district in Hiraan region and they will replace the Ethiopian troops who presently control Beledweyn district after they evicted al-Shabaab at the end of December. Abdisamad Moalim Mohamud, TFG Minister for Interior and National Security said that they are planning to deploy AMISOM to Beledweyne, “AMISOM troops will be deployed in the south-central regions of Somalia, and AMISOM will control those places which we have seized from al-Shabaab. The Ethiopians are helping both TFG and AMISOM to push out al-Shabaab from the region, once that is successful, then AMISOM and TFG forces will take over from Ethiopian troops,” the minister told local media in Mogadishu.

ASWJ officials who spoke to Somalia Report said, “there is no need for AMISOM in Beledweyne or even the Ethiopians. Somalis can keep the region secure. The presence of AMISOM...

Shift in Policy Seen as Somaliland Seeks to Demonstrate Independence
Strategy Developed to Attack Shabaab on Four Fronts
At Press Conference in Nairobi, Rashida Manjoo Discusses Violence Against Women
A Call for Responsibility in Armed Conflict May Not Resonate With Proxies
New Report Shows Little Love for US Foreign Policy in the Region or Somalia
Contractors, Civilians and Carpetbaggers Coming to Mogadishu
Jihadis, Pirates, Rogue Nations and Mercenaries All Featured in Document
UK Agency Proposes Aggressive Plan but Drops Basic Education Programs
Advocates Tougher Legislation And Local Support Against Piracy and Terrorism
Infighting, Mistrust, Lack of Funding, and War Hinder The TFG
Can The 4.5 Clan Structure Evolve Into Democratic Political Parties.
Breaking News
Former Anti-"Mercenary" SecState Clinton is Now the Industry's Biggest Booster
Armed Security Guard At Sea
©Somalia Report
Armed Security Guard At Sea

Somalia Report was the first and only news service to leak the internal memo from Hillary Clinton directing all regional embassies to pitch the use of armed contractors on board ships. This is in line with and expands upon the UK's approval of private security companies on just their ships. This is akin to legalizing band aids without actually curing the wounds that require them.

What also makes the U.S. stance unusual is that Clinton has reversed her aggressive election-era stance against the use of private security and become a behind-the-scenes supporter.

A November news...

Edict Affects 200 of Worlds' 50,000 Plus Sailing Vessels
A Two Sided Struggle For Power with Mahiga the Referee
Illinois-Based Naval Intel Officer Known For Hawkish Stand On Anti-Piracy Ideas
Timid, Reactive Approach Continues
The EU Considers Support of Breakaway Regions
Lloyds List Releases Roundup and Lessons Learned From Malmo
Lloyds List
Craig Eason of Lloyds List provides a series of interviews and overview of Piracy videotaped at the recent ICOPAS meeting in Malmo, Sweden. Craig also acted as moderator and put his industry insider skills to work at asking questions of presenters in between presentations.

Piracy Where Does The Industry Go From Here

The IMO has taken it upon itself to orchestrate the response to the rise of piracy as it can not solve the problem on it sown. Lloyd's List looks at how the solution to piracy can be fought on many...

Interview With The Chairman of the Parliamentary Constitutional Committee
Interview with Matt Goshko, Somalia Unit Spokesperson, US Embassy, Nairobi