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Somalia Report Weekly Newsletter- Volume 6

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Saturday June 25, 2011 - 06:53:25 in Reports by Super Admin
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    Somalia Report Weekly Newsletter- Volume 6

    Weekly Newsletter

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Weekly Newsletter

Dear Readers,

It was a case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss this week in Somalia, as Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo quit as prime ministeronly to be replaced by another highly educated Somali-American, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.

Farmajo was forced out by parliamentary speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, in exchange for his backing for a one-year delay to elections. However, Aden is said to be unhappy about having another educated member of the Somali diaspora running the government, and the fact that Farmajo is hanging around, with a possible cabinet position mooted. Aden's control of parliament could mean Abdiweli faces a rough ride in getting his appointment approved, and the government's squabbles are far from over.



Many feared that Farmajo's departure could affect government gains against militant Islamist group al-Shabaab, and the size of the task facing his replacement was illustrated as violence continued in south and central Somalia. The most disturbing incident came when at leasteight civilians died in a roadside bombattack that targeted and missed an AMISOM convoy in Mogadishu.

The issue of civilian casualties has often been discussed, with all parties accused of not taking enough care to protect the general population, but the real human cost is often lost amid the high numbers.Somalia Reporttook an in-depth look at theplight of one family affected by the violenceto bring home exactly what this conflict means to the millions of ordinary Somalis longing for peace.

We also spoke to a former al-Shabaab fighter, who signed up at 13, about his four years with the militants and howhe fled when he was ordered to carry out a suicide bomb attackon Mogadishu airport.The young man, now in hiding, revealed how top al-Shabaab leaders ordered him to take part in the attack, which his young friends carried out, claiming the lives of nine people.

Meanwhile,clan-based violence continued in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland,with fears growing that key towns such as Bosaso could become a battleground for an increasingly bloody conflict between two Majeerteen sub-clans. The continued conflict and tension is bad news for a region that has so often been lauded for its relative peace.

On the piracy front, monsoon season meant there were no attacks, but there were still significant developments.

The foreign security team arrested in Mogadishu en-route to dropping ransom money for the MV Suez and MV Yuan Xiangwere sentenced to whopping jail sentences- a move which surprised everyone. The decision of the Somali government to keep the confiscated $3.6 million was perhaps less surprising. Diplomats believe a deal will be cut to release the men, but the convictionsraise serious questions over the future of ransom paymentsand the safety of captive seafarers.

That's it from us. Coming up next week are many more in-depth stories, including a piece on cross-border trade between Kenya and Somalia looking at the sale of ammunition by Kenyan forces to middlemen who then flog it off to all-comers in Somalia, and more analysis on what we can expect from the new government.

Regards,
The Editor.



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