Sunday, February 16, 2014

PETROLEUM IN KENYA : GARISSA COUNTY, MADOGASHE PROJECT

A Canadian oil firm in Garissa County has suspended all its activities following a disagreement with the locals. According to Francis Karanja, one of Vanoil's directors, the company planned to start the drilling of the first of its two wells in Madogashe-1 on the South Anza basin at a cost of 2.2 million. He however accused residents of the county of putting up unnecessary barriers to the exploration activities.



Friday, January 31, 2014

SOMALI MODEL, UBAH HASSAN's MAJI UMBRELLAS PARTNERS WITH OXFAM AMERICA

Somalian native and fashion model, Ubah Hassan is the creator of Maji Umbrellas.

Her partnership with Oxfam has enabled her to design two umbrellas, the Blue Sahara and the Moonshade, that sell for $40 each and proceeds go towards efforts to provide clean water to the Horn of Africa region that is plagued with drought. The cost of each umbrella will provide clean drinking water for 20 people for a day!


Ubah Hassan, a supermodel of amazing natural beauty and even more amazing natural inner beauty.

Ubah is also an Oxfam America Sisters on the Planet ambassador. So, the next time you need a new umbrella or just want to help and don’t know how, purchase a Maji Umbrella and know you’ve made a difference! Be thankful for the rain! Bad hair days and all! We take the simple things in life, like water, for granted.

It is understood by assesments carried by local NGO's in Kenya's drought stricken areas that 90% of the households don't have water and the remaining 10% (with access of water, it is unclean leading to various illnesses. 

Ubah Hassan world-renowned runway supermodel is more than just a pretty face. Asides from promoting fashion trends around the globe, Ubah Hassan plays a large role in promoting social awareness for the drought and famine crisis in the Horn of Africa. 

As the ambassador of Oxfam’s America Sisters on the Planet and the spokesperson for the FEED program, this model/ activist knows the importance of taking action.

Ubah Hassan was inspired to expand her contribution to the global fight against hunger when in 2011 the United Nations declared a famine in her native country of Somalia. She created the non-for-profit organization Maji Umbrellas to improve the access of clean water within the Horn of Africa. With the $40 purchase of each umbrella, 20 people will be provided with a days worth of drinkable water. The profits from Maji Umbrellas also go towards funding sustainable solutions to water shortages, which devastates millions of people around the world. 

The word “Maji” in Swahili means “water” and Hassan hopes that when people are sporting her umbrellas they understand the role they are playing in helping to provide clean access to water. The umbrella also symbolizes the importance of rain, especially in areas where water shortages are persistent and major cause of death and diseases.

 According to the United Nations, 1 in 8 people lack access to clean drinkable water. Ubah Hassan knows first-handedly the feeling of constant thirst when she and her family fled warn torn Somalia at the age of 7. With such a strong personal connection to this cause Ubah Hassan is committed to bringing people together through her Maji Umbrellas.

 “As a model I promote luxury goods; handbags, shoes, couture clothing. But as an activist, social entrepreneur and native of Somalia, I know what real luxury is; access to clean water”- Ubah Hassan

Monday, January 20, 2014

SOMALIS HAVE INVESTED IN EASTLEIGH AND ARE GOING NO WHERE.......


 



This is the agony of a Mother in Eastleigh.“I sent my son to the supermarket only to hear he was caught and arrested at Pangani Police station” said Sahara Hassan, a resident in Eastleigh.

The police themselves frequently carry out massive swoops – arresting anyone who looks like a Somali.


Recently after a thorough check on daily police swoop in Eastleigh, a reader of my blog wrote the following:

"It is very unfortunate and discriminatory to subject all somali people intimidation and unjustifiable harassment by security forces under the pretext of fighting insecurity and ensuring security yet all they are after is to loot and collect bribe from Somali people irrespective of whether is a citizen, refugee or criminal/alshabab member as long as he or she is vulnerable to intimidation and fear which can cause him or her pay out for his/her freedom!!.

In the context of this unconstitutional and illegal misconduct of govt security forces, one can clearly foresee and conclude that insecurity threat the country face is from within the country security institutions and not from external/outside factors. The illegal immigrants living within the country came through either road, air or sea manned by various government officers and due to the failure to perform their work as stipulated by their term of reference created this disorder and threat faced by the country yet they earn their monthly pay from the taxpayers pocket!! Now that their act of omission and commission became a real monster that have caused death and destruction to their innocent citizens and others, they now came up with unpopular and nonviable security measures to further pursue the mass looting and bribe collection under the cover of ensuring security and stability laced with public opinion manipulation to divert their attention and won their unlimited support!!

This is absolutely misplaced sensitive priority and immediate intervention and wisdom is needed to tackle and resolve the threat of insecurity both in short and long term period the country and public face because the current measures and strategy will not only further the level of insecurity but will sow the seed of division, hatred and mistrust among the people of the country which is not good for the country stability, development and prosperity. The leadership of the country must approach the insecurity threat and other multi societal, religious and cultural problems with wisdom, all inclusive and consultative solution to promote team work, unity and harmony in the country.

The Security and Stability of our Nation(Kenya) is every one responsibility including the foreigners and visitors living or staying few days in the country because insecurity affect the life and property of everybody so let us promote and contribute the country stability and security through unity and teamwork. Let us remain patience and safeguard the spirit of nationhood and unity with justice and fairness as our strong shield."

EASTLEIGH - LITTLE MOGADISHU

 


Call it "the city within a city," "Mogadishu ndogo (The Small Mogadishu)" or whatever name, Eastleigh district in the Kenya capital city of Nairobi is without doubt the most vibrant and budding commercial hub in Eastern Africa, generating billions of shillings in taxes remittance to the local and central governments of Kenya daily. The area is inhabited by Somalis, both of Kenya and Somalia(The refugees).

The area is swiftly growing and investors have found it an apt destination for their money. Hundreds of buildings are under construction, others superbly furnished. Commercialists mainly of the Somali ethnic community have enthusiastically dominated the estate in its entirety. Moreover, despite the trouble met by the Kenyan-Somalis and Somalis in Kenya, they endeavor to engage in an exceptional profitable and productive commerce. Insecurity also threatens to scare away business people. Entrepreneurs normally fall victim of daytime robbery while the security agencies appear less concerned. Many were killed at the doorstep of their business premises by unknown assailants.

However, the picture is different at Night, The Resident, majority of Somali ethic group tgether with other minorities, Boranas, Oromos, Ethiopians are constantly under police harrasment and arrests especially at night. Residents sight police harassment as a major setback to potential investors in Eastleigh.

“They demand bribes as an exchange for their freedom” says a resident who opted to remain anonymous.

The police regularly conduct impromptu swoop in the area rounding up people they claim are illegal immigrants. During such exercises even Kenyan citizens of Somali ethnicity are caught their possession of the nationality cards notwithstanding.

Due to the dominance by the ethnic Somali community, Eastleigh is seen by many as a sanctuary for Somali pirates and Islamist extremists like Al Shabaab and other Al-Qaeda affiliated groups. Many have the notion that monies received during hijacking of ships at the Somali coast finds its way here as commercial investment. Police officers especially after dark, immediately round up Somalis on the pretext of insecurity, membership to gang groups or of being terrorists.

Then, it is understood some knife-wielding gang, known as Superpower, has also added salt to the injury. They are said to be attacking businesses and individuals with impunity— mostly at dawn and dusk and Police are after them. When the police catch someone, They will ask him/her to give "kitu kidogo" or accuse them as "alledged" members of this group. This makes the victim to pay someone for his release and this method has prompted even media entities to call easleigh as an ATM(Automated Teller Machine), a situation where residents are caught and pay the police some money.

Tracing the origin of the The superpower's dreaded criminals, Starehe CID boss Ndumba says that a few years ago a group of wealthy business owners in Eastleigh created a vigilante to provide protection. But the businessmen later decided to withdraw their financial support for fear of being accused of financing a terrorist group. This was after a series of bombings in Eastleigh since 2011. It is yet unclear if Superpower has links to terrorists like Al Shabaab.

His arguments are echoed by Eastleigh North chief Paul Ngugi, who in an earlier interview with The Nairobian said Somali business leaders are thought to have bankrolled the gang. But like the Frankenstein monster, it has acquired a life of its own and turned on its creators. Today, according to the police, most complaints lodged against the gang are from the business community.

The police has confirmed that a major pending operation against the gang is already being conducted — a position Nairobi County police boss Benson Kibue seemed to confirm, even though he declined to give details. “Something major will be done, just wait,” said Kibue and we don't know if this is what is causing grief to the residents. The crackdown and harassment of Somalis in Eastleigh has already damaged an economy that is worth "billions of dollars" to Kenya, said Farah, the lecturer at Nairobi University.

"Kenya's government is going overboard," he said. "These security concerns mean they're undertaking a relocation that is illegal, won't solve the problem, will alienate refugees and rights activists. And they're going to lose money."


Police are raiding even matatus without neccesarily following procedures. If you are a Somali, even a Kenyan Somali, with an official Identification document(ID) is arrested, and is told to pay some few money to secure his release or else, he/she will be an "alledged" Superpower and taken to custody.
 

Recently, nearly 50 aliens were arrested in a police swoop in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area in which the Eastleigh North County Rep Osman Adow, said has become a norm. The County representative alleged that police officers demanded up to Sh 30,000 to free those arrested. Starehe police commander Samuel Anmpiu denied the claims adding that any one caught would be dismissed.

“Any officer found to be taking bribes and wrongfully arresting innocent Kenyans will be dealt with,” he said.

This is the agony of a Mother in Eastleigh.

“I sent my son to the supermarket only to hear he was caught and arrested at Pangani Police station” said Sahara Hassan, a resident in Eastleigh. A big number of Somali refugees live in Eastleigh.

But, Wasia Masitsa, a lawyer working with Kituo cha Sheria, which provides legal aid to refugees in Eastleigh, said police were arbitrarily arresting people of Somali origin.

“We have a lot of Kenyan Somalis who have even been victims of police swoops and other forms of violations,” he said.

“The government has not been able to establish a very credible nexus between the presence of refugees in the city and the insecurity,” he said. Yet, you get a very deep sense of growing xenophobia against Somalis be they refugees or even Kenyan Somalis.


"You can't castigate an entire community. You can't blame all Somali refugees for the attacks." adds LeilaWaithira, A lawyer

AL-SHABAAB "ALLEDGED" BOMBS

There are a series of attacks alledgegedly carried out by al-shabaab. Anything that goes off, as in a bomb form is attributed as Somalis have done. Majority of Somalis are peace-loving people except some few radical elements. People know this, but out of frustration or maybe even just ignorance, they want to blame everything on Somalis. They have top blame on their adversaries. something - someone they can see, not some group that is just a word to them.

You don’t need much to see what is mutating. Some in Kenya are translating the war on al-Shabab as a war on Somalis. They have little adequate background on who al-Shabab are. They do not have much sympathy anymore of the reasons why hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled from Somalia in the first place.
The country’s leadership sometimes does not help. When the grenade and improvised bomb attacks begun in October 2011, the then internal security deputy minister, the late Orwa Ojode, referred to al-Shabab as a snake whose tail may be in Somalia but the head is in Eastleigh and it must be decapitated. The statement was seriously faulted as irresponsible and with the ability to raise serious reprisals.

It did raise tensions and following every attack, fingers have been pointed at al-Shabab and by extension the Somali community – whether or not anybody has claimed responsibility. While there are a number of theories about who's behind the attacks, the most common explanation is that al-Shabab fighters and sympathisers are retaliating for Kenya's ongoing presence in southern Somalia.

    


Another is that al-Qaeda agents are trying to drive a wedge between Kenya's ethnic and religious groups, or that Somali inter-clan feuds are spilling over. For their part, many Somali refugees accuse Kenyan security agents of carrying out attacks to spur an anti-Somali backlash.

The clashes that have rocked Eastleigh in recently just go to show the deep mistrust between non-Somalis and ethnic or even Kenyan Somalis. Buildings owned by Somalis are pelted with stones and looted. We have heard reports of Somalis being beaten up. After the Sunday explosion the media reported on Somalis being forced out of public service vehicles. The police themselves frequently carry out massive swoops – arresting anyone who looks like a Somali.

Don’t get me wrong –I’m not saying that the security arm should not do its job. It’s a known fact that Eastleigh is a conduit for small arms. Police have on many occasions recovered explosive materials, grenades and guns in the homes or shops of some.






More pictures


Read also : Xenophobia against Somalis in Kenya

Friday, January 03, 2014

CREATION OF SISTER CITIES: WAJIR &

The Mayor of Edina Mr Jim Hovland with the Senator of Wajir Abdirahman Ali and the secretary of the economic council of Wajir council Dr Siyad Abdullahi. The creation of sister cities program in the pipele!!

KCPE: NEP COUNTIES KAMA KAWAIDA

Wajir East, Wajir West, wajir North and Mandera West ranks ahead of Garissa in the list of 50 Bottom Counties!..Balambala ijoins Fafi in the bottom champions, What a contrast to the Results before.

Atleast Lafey District in Mandera County escaped the bottom 50 Net.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

TWIN BOMB ATTACKS IN WAJIR - KENYA


Seven people who were shot at during the twin attacks in Wajir on Thursday evening were on Friday afternoon airlifted to Nairobi for specialized treatment.

Wajir County Commissioner Naftali Mung’athia said the seven had bullets lodged in various parts of their bodies and could not get treatment at Wajir general hospital where they had been taken after the 8pm incident. Police also recovered a grenade that failed to detonate after it was hurled at residents outside a studio near Baraza Park in the centre of the town.

“We suspect that the attackers were not the al-Shabaab militia but their sympathizers because the attack was not well coordinated. If they were the al-Shabaab we would have had more collateral damage,” Mr Mung’athia told Reporters on phone.

The county governor Ahmed Abdullahi and the county commissioner visited the injured at the hospital and promised to work together to prevent such attacks. Mr Mung’athia said the attackers arrived in the town in a taxi and hurled the grenades where one person died on the spot before driving off and shooting other residents at the ADC market about a kilometre away. (READ: Twin blasts kill one and injure scores in Wajir attack)

YET TO ARREST ATTACKERS

The county security committee met on Friday morning and laid down plans on how to tackle the security menace that is threatening peace in the region. Speaking to the Nation on Thursday evening, Mr Mung’athia said security officers were pursuing the attackers but none had been arrested at the time of writing. Residents who spoke to the Nation blamed the police for not divulging reports after concluding their investigations but Mr Mung’athia promised to reveal everything on the attacks.

“We have enough personnel in the town to maintain security but the main challenge is along the porous border point. We are appealing to the government to increase our personnel around those areas to assist us secure the county,” said Mr Mung’athia.

The governor said there were few security officers in the county and asked the National government to supplement them to help improve security.
 

During the Jamhuri Day celebrations, Wajir leaders called on the government to employ more police reservists to help curb cases of increased insecurity. Wajir South MP Abdullahi Diriye said the main problem in the area was lack of enough security officers and linked recent attacks at Liboi area to the shortage.

He pointed out several areas in Wajir South and Wajir East where there are no police posts saying they were prone to attacks.

The county commander urged the residents to embrace the Nyumba Kumi initiative to improve their security, saying residents needed to know their neighbours for improved security.

MATATU BLAST NEAR PANGANI POLICE STATION


At least four people were Saturday evening killed and 25 injured in an explosion on a matatu near Pangani Police Station, around Pangani Girls, Juja Road in Nairobi. The 32-seater matatu was headed for the City Centre from Eastleigh when the explosion that is believed to have been inside the bus went off. 

Police said at least 20 others were admitted at various hospitals with multiple injuries following the 5pm incident.

Nairobi head of police Benson Kibue said the explosion caused massive damage on the matatu and other five other cars that were trailing the ill-fated vehicle. "We have casualties and it seems to have been an explosion from the matatu. People have been badly injured," said Kibue. He added that the death toll may rise because of the nature of injuries that were witnessed. Witnesses said they saw body parts at the scene of the blast. 

The incident attracted a huge crowd at the scene which is few meters from Pangani police station. Of the deceased, one was a woman. The matatu's right hand side was ripped off following the blast. 15 of those injured were taken to Guru Nanak hospital before being transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital. Kibue said the attack could be the work of Alshabaab terrorists but motive is not yet known. He added they suspect among the killed was the man who had the explosion.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

KHAT - MIRAA BAN BILL TO BE TABLED SOON IN KENYA: THIS IS A DRUG DESTROYING OUR PEOPLE

KHAT (MIRAA) FACTS  

Dutch and Spanish scientists have warned that long-term use of the drug khat (miraa), obtained from a plant native to East Africa, lowers inhibitions with potentially dangerous results. This comes as The Home Affairs Select Committee of the UK Parliament fears that the new Khat ban (more commonly known as Miraa) could drive distribution into the criminal underworld and into the International Narcotics ring.

The US carried out the Operation Somalia Express (in July 26, 2006) which took an 18-month investigation that included the coordinated takedown of a 44-member international narcotics-trafficking organization responsible for smuggling more than 25 tons of khat - worth more than $10 million - from the Horn of Africa to the United States. It is not "allowed" or illegal in Gulf Countries notably the UAE.


And the sale and consumption of Miraa (khat) in Garissa County, In Northern Kenya, Where it is consumed heavily, will soon become a thing of the past if a Bill seeking to regulate the trade sails through the County Assembly.  Mr Hajir Mohamed Dahiye the county executive member for commerce and co-operatives has prepared a Miraa Bill that is expected to control and restrict selling and consumption of the twig. 

The UK Home Secretary Theresa May banned miraa on July 3 citing through the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs saying there were scientific evidences that showed miraa is bad for you. The Netherlands banned the import of miraa, or khat, in January and the UK was just following suit. Kenya exports about 5 tons to Amsterdam daily, 7 tons to London daily and 20 tons to Somalia daily.  Still over 40 tons of Miraa are consumed locally and within the region. 


The Miraa Bill is at an advanced stage and is expected to be tabled in the County Assembly for debate in two weeks time. According the executive officer, the Bill which proposes harsh penalties for those found contravening the laid down rules has the support of County Assembly members and locals.  Mr Mustafa Khalib, who has been consuming Miraa for the last 15 years and a trader of “Makokha” a type of khat in Bura town says:

“Everyone understands that Miraa is a bad drug. It has made me to drop out of school at a tender age, sent me to jail after stealing, but notwithstanding all that, it places a meal on my table" .....



Addressing a life skills training forum recently for over 40 women Miraa sellers drawn from parts of the county in Garissa town, Dahiye blamed consumption of miraa on breakdown of families and poor performance in schools in North Eastern region. 

“Our schools at the primary and secondary level have made holding the tail at national exams their comfort zone. Our children are extremely bright, but they are missing classes because they are absent from lessons most of the time either chewing Miraa or dozing off nursing previous night’s hangover,” he said. 

He said: “As a leaders of the county government, we have known for a long time the effects of Miraa on our society and we want to address these miraa-related social ills to make sure our county doesn’t lag behind other counties in development.”

The Bill proposes fines of between Sh10,000($150) and Sh50,000($600)  for those found chewing, selling or advertising Miraa. “Those found advertising Miraa in a public place such as hanging the Miraa tree leaves in front of business premises will be fined Sh50,000, while chewing in public places will attract fines between Sh10,000 and Sh20,000 and two months probation as they clean the town,” says Khalib.



According to Wikipedia, Miraa contains the alkaloid called cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria. It states that Miraa is a plant whose fresh leaves and soft twigs are chewed to release a juice containing cathinone and cathine, the active chemicals that alter the mood of the abuser. Consumers also refer to miraa using less familiar names such as Khat, Veve, Muguka, Goks, Gomba, Mbachu, Mairungi, Alele, Giza or Halwa. In 1980, the World Health Organization classified khat as a drug of abuse that can produce mild to moderate psychological dependence, albeit less than tobacco or alcohol.

The Kenya National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse Act lists the Effects of Khat/Miraa on a long-term use can precipitate the following effects: Negative impact on liver function, permanent tooth darkening (of a greenish tinge), susceptibility to ulcers, and diminished sex drive. Those who abuse the drug generally cannot stay without it for more than 4–5 days, feeling tired and having difficulty concentrating. Occasionally a psychosis can result, resembling a hypomanic state in presentation.
 

 The Current use of miraa in Kenya is 3.9%; it also varies by region of residence and gender. Like tobacco products, use of miraa is largely a male dominated affair. In North Eastern region, 35.8% of the male respondents reported using miraa. This was closely followed by Coast at 12.8%. Miraa usage is marginal in Nyanza and Western Kenya. In Eastern region where the bulk of the miraa comes from, only 9.4% reported being current users of the drug. It is also interesting to note that North Eastern region (7.6%) has the highest proportion of female users of miraa.

 Though popular in certain areas of the country, Kenya has Somalia to thank for the vast profits being raked in by the multi-million shilling cut-throat trade – the chief export of Meru County. Various medical reports have indicated that chewing Miraa leads to increased energy levels, alertness, confidence and mood elevation. However, prolonged use has several side effects, such as insomnia, a condition that the users sometimes try to overcome with sedatives or alcohol. 

Other effects are thought that many of the Miraa using people experiencing health problems, do so not from Miraa but mainly from the accompaniments that they use while chewing the Miraa.  Tooth decay, mouth ulcers sore throats, stomach upsets and bad chests result from using raw sugar, over sugared tea/coffee, sodas, sweets etc. Other Miraa users today are also drug addicts and must therefore face the consequences of their bad habits.  Problems like appendicitis are caused by chewing Miraa on empty bellies.  Psychosis is a wayward allegation and has never been proven.

Reckless driving and criminal behaviour are some of the possible results of long-term use of khat, research leader Lorenza Colzato, a cognitive psychologist at the Netherlands\’ Leiden University, told AFP of the findings..."It is associated with loss of self-control which may have dangerous consequences." She said noting that this is serious because khat was the drug of choice of millions of people in Africa — about 60 percent of the population of Somalia and 80 percent of Yemeni’s used it regularly.


 
Another survey conducted by DARS and Synovate in Hargeisa in June found that the youth there are aware of the adverse effects of consuming the drug. 59 percent of those surveyed said chewing miraa leads to family problems while 58 percent felt it hinders personal development. Consumers often divert income to purchase Miraa, neglecting their families in the process.

The withdrawal symptoms include lethargy, mild depression, slight trembling and recurrent bad dreams

The study further says that, continued use may endanger health in that the resulting anorexia leads to malnutrition and increased susceptibility to infectious diseases.

The same story could be said for Kenya, if young people are not made aware of these side effects. The miraa high takes hours to achieve and users stay with the buzz for several hours, making it extremely popular. Parents neglect cautioning their children about it because it seems like a lesser evil than tobacco or alcohol. However, reversing the side effects of the drug are much more taxing.

Other conditions that can be caused by miraa chewing are oral cancer, constipation and impotence.


Effects on your health: Miraa has notable effects on your health key among the-;
  • Miraa has similar but less intense effects than the stimulating effects of cocaine.
  • Upon chewing, you experience an unusual feeling of excitement and alertness. You may talk too much, lose concentration on simple tasks or even forget simple facts.
  • Chewing miraa causes rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure, symptoms that are sometimes confused with increased sexual libido or stamina.
  • When chewed continually, miraa gives you chronic constipation since it causes dehydration.
  • Using miraa to stay awake places you in danger of causing harm through accidents. When your body suddenly goes to sleep due to accumulated sleep deprivation, you can cause road traffic or factory accidents thereby inflicting damage to life and property.

Effects on your reproduction:
  • The claim that chewing miraa increases your sexual libido is a myth. Instead, evidence suggests that miraa inhibits blood flow to the reproductive system.
  • Chewing miraa constricts the vessels supplying blood to the reproductive tract thereby causing inhibited urine flow, and in men, the inability to attain and sustain an erection.
  • The chemicals in miraa make your body to produce excessive amounts of sperm without you being sexually aroused.
  • The sperms ooze out uncontrollably, a condition known as spermatorrhoea. In extreme cases, men are forced to wear nappies or several underpants. In women, the dehydrating effect of miraa dries the lining of the reproductive tract leading to pain during sexual intercourse and blistering.
  • The micro-injuries can cause reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases.Chewing miraa during pregnancy decreases blood flow to uterus, disrupting flow of nutrients from your bloodstream to the unborn baby.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SABRIN BUS ACCIDENT AT LEHELEY - WAJIR COUNTY: NO DEATH

Today, Sabrin Bus overturned after the driver lost control causing injuries to some passenger.... Alhamdulillah, No death. This incident happened between booji yarey and leheley.... 





Friday, November 15, 2013

THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST DOCUMENTARY: KENYA SOMALI DOCUMENTARY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeagOhyABXU

NOT YET KENYAN







http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeagOhyABXU

Kenya's North Eastern Province, the country's third-largest region, borders Somalia and is exclusively inhabited by ethnic Somalis. Following Kenya's independence 50 years ago, it emerged as a distinctive administrative entity.Given to Kenya by British colonialists, the area has long been the site of ethnic tensions and violence targeting the Kenyan-Somali population - much of it ordered by Nairobi.Economically strangled by Nairobi's political and military might, life there is a struggle.Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow is from this part of Kenya and has lived through the massacres and systematic intimidation by the Kenyan authorities.For Not Yet Kenyan he goes back to see how the region and his people have come through the pogroms and started to prosper only to find that al-Shabab has established a stronghold in the region and is now throwing it into a new chapter of turmoil.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

CNN REPORT FROM KENYA EASTLEIGH: ISLAM CONVERTS INCREASING, ISLAM IS FAR FROM TERRORISM










CNN reporter Nic Robertson visited Eastleigh, A somali Neigbourhood in Nairobi, Kenya where he says, Christian and Muslim preachers are often seen discussing key religious issues, with opposing sides putting forward their arguments to refute the other’s claims about their religion.

In the report, CNN interviewed one Saad Omar Nasser, a new 23-year-old Kenyan Muslim Convert from Christianity.

 “I feel Islam is complete, Everything you want to know (about it), every inquiry you have, you [will] automatically… get an answer [for it].” Saad Omar Nasser tells Robertson, a Kenyan who, after 18 months of soul-searching, decided to change his religion from Christianity to Islam.

Nasser says, Before he made the life-changing decision, he used to listen to the debates between Muslim clerics and Christian pastors who battle it out in the streets of Nairobi and who speak on the Muslim-Christian relations as shown in this picture.

Muslim cleric Yahya Issa, one of the preachers, tells CNN reporter Nic Robertson that between five to 10 Christians convert to Islam after they watch their debates, which have subjects like, Is Jesus God, is Jesus, The son of God or Just a Prophet, Who started Christianity and so on. The CNN reporter said Nasser had converted to Islam in September.

The CNN reporter claims that, In the wake of the Westgate attack in September and with the news the network claimed in a recent report that al-Shabaab is working to recruit vulnerable youths in Kenya, new converts, is an easy way for Al- Shabaab’s tactics: radicalizing the new converts.


Is this a quick way for Kenyan youths to be radicalized? or are the Kenyan Youth, who are mostly idle, jobless being radicalized by Al-Shabaab in quite a number?

While this may be true, but in the CNN report, which runs for about three minutes, Robertson says, they have not seen a new convert who said he has been radicalised adding , We have not heard or seen a Muslim cleric(preacher) who is preaching hate against Christians or the killing of non-Muslims.

 According to the CNN, Nasser’s change in faith is worrisome.
 

“There are no nationally publicised government figures here for the number of conversions, and in the aftermath of the Westgate mall attack [the conversion] has some people here concerned,” the CNN reporter says.
 
The problems with the Interview is that, Robertson has interviewed only one man, Robert Ochalar, who runs a US-funded organisation that combats extremism in Nairobi neighborhoods. According to Robertson, Ochalar tells him that “Muslim converts are on the increase and radicals prey on their innocence.”

“They are being taken over by these young radicals who take [the converts] in and then distort the whole religion,” Ochalar says. Islam is against terror, killings and all the filth you hear about the world now. That is why it is the only religion which continues to make new recruits.

In the CNN report, it is worth to note that, no Muslim preacher has was heard or seen preaching hate against other people or the killing of non-Muslims.

CNN also didn’t even interview any official from the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, the highest body representing Muslims in Kenya, to ascertain the depth and breadth of radicalisation of young Kenyan Muslims.

With no evidence, CNN claims that al-Shabaab, which attacked the Westgate mall in the same month when Nasser converted to Islam, is at work trying to “recruit vulnerable youths in Kenya.”
“In Kenya’s overcrowded, mostly moderate mosques, new converts have never been so vulnerable,” Robertson concludes in his report.

Moderate mosques? CNN might need to explain what that means  (but I think they are trying to show Islam has extremists just like Christianity and other religions...)

The Only problem is twisting anything Islamic without due regard to Islam as a religion and it's followers...If you need to Know, just read this article, which has a heading....

According to CNN, Conversion to Islam Means ‘Conversion to Terror’ by Sahan Journal

 Stories by mukhtaryare

Friday, October 25, 2013

ILLICIT SMALL ARMS(SALW) POSE REAL THREAT TO KENYA


Summary:

  • Kenya shares border with several countries, Tanzania to the South, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the North west, Ethiopia to the North and Somalia to the East, all these countries have in one way to another, have potential for proliferation of Small arms and Light Weapons (SALW)
  •  Small arms contribute to the escalation of hostilities in communities and engagement in cattle rustling, Terrorism, gang type and crimes
  •  The Kenya Police in conjunction with the Regional Center for Small Arms and Light Weapons (RECSA), Kenya National Focal Point for Arms and supported by UNDP conducted the public destruction of 2,545 recovered illicit firearms. Since 2007, police have confiscated thousands of weapons that were allegedly used in crimes.
  •  Fewer International and Local NGO's work in Small arms and Light weapons Program in Kenya, Apart from RECSA, they include, Oxfam, SaferWorld, Danish Demining Group and Northern Kenya Caucus(NORKENYA) among others.
Recently MPs from Baringo County have called on the national government to carry out disarmament across the North Rift region to end perennial cattle rustling. The MPs, who were speaking during peace prayers, blamed illegal firearms for rampant cattle rustling.

The six legislators, Sammy Mwaita (Baringo Central), William Cheptumo (Baringo North), Hellen Sambili (Mogotio), Grace Kipchoim (Baringo South), Asman Kamama (Tiati) and Baringo women representative Grace Kiptui asked the Government to act speedily.

Pastors from Baringo organised the prayers at Kabarnet High School on Sunday, following rampant cattle theft that has left a trail of deaths and property loss. Schools have been closed and families displaced.

MPs condemned the aggression by bandits suspected to be from East Pokot. “The Government must do massive disarmament across North Rift to end insecurity and bring development in pastoralist areas as it is its responsibility to protect its citizens,” said Mwaita. The MPs, especially those from Baringo North and South, dismissed the voluntary gun-surrender recently launched by the Government, terming it as ineffective.

“Voluntary disarmament is not enough as not all will surrender them. The solution is forceful disarmament which must be done with immediate effect to ensure that peace prevails,” said Kipchoim. She said for almost a year now, seven schools in Marigat are yet to re-open and over 1,500 families abandoned their homes following raiders’ attacks.


 

While that was that....Asha Abdulah, Halima Hassan and Mariam Quyu have one thing in common: they are all widows after their husbands were killed during tribal clashes in Northern Kenya. The three chatting in their own language wondered how a consignment containing 2,000 rounds of ammunition and a rifle was intercepted near their village by security officers in Lagdera on Aug. 30.

The consignment in four boxes were discovered in cargo compartment of a bus plying Mandera-Nairobi route and the police claim that the cache was destined to conflict zone of Tana River in southeast Kenya where raging inter clan strife has claimed 64 people, 230 people injured and 340 houses torched in various villages since August 2012. Quyu admitted that the discovery of the arms haul raises red flag on multi-million illegal arms trade flourishing in northern Kenya which is used as conduit to various local and regional arms market.

The bus ferrying the arms haul left Mandera (border) town that borders Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia and passed various security checkpoints undetected before police acting on tip off from a rival arms dealer stormed the bus and intercepted the boxes containing the assorted ammunition and one rifle.

Did the arms haul passed all several security check points undetected? Was the consignment verified, checked and cleared at security check points along Kenya/Somalia border before reaching Mandera town?

These questions lead to thriving small arms and light weapon trade in the two arms market located in southern central Somalia and managed by Al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabaab militant group.


Quyu told Xinhua the bustling underworld business is undertaken by a wealthy cartel that procures arms from the two markets before ferrying across the border into Kenya. The illicit arms pass through some security checkpoints where they enjoy security patronage and further taken through undesignated routes to various transit points in northern Kenya and other areas in Nairobi. The two markets that supplies arms to Kenyan and regional markets are located in two towns of Bualle and Bardera in southern Somalia that are under control of Al-Shabaab terror groups and Kismayu port city acting as the main gateway of arms from various illegal arms exporters like Yemen, former Soviet satellite states, Libya, Egypt and Eritrea.Two arms markets were formerly located a few km from Kenya- Somalia border (Burahache and Dobley) and it was moved further interior into Southern central Somalia towns after Kenya Defense Force (KDF) waged war against the terror outfit two years ago.

According to an ex-gun runner, Hassan Uruko who is based along Kenya/Somalia border and who has since fled the area after losing favor with Al-Shabaab, the onslaught by KDF culminated with relocation of the arms market into areas viewed as bastion of the terrorist outfit.
 

“I lost favor with Al-Shabaab after they suspected me of procuring arms for a blacklisted community and I had stopped dealing with them and fled the area to undisclosed location,” Uruko told Xinhua in an interview.

    “I use to buy arms from Dobley arms market for various groups, communities and clients coming from as far as Moyale, Marsabit and people from Ethiopia,” he said. 

    “When I was in the business, the market was located in Dobley and also Burahache which is close to Elwak town but the current war in areas controlled by Al-Shabaab has seen the group taking the market everywhere. I liked the former Dobley market as it was supermarket of arms and weapon spare parts,” Uruko said.

Uruko said the relocation of the arms market from close proximity to Kenyan territory has not stopped the proliferation of small arms and light weapons into Kenya but only skyrocketed the price.

    He said the relocation of the markets has also changed the way these delicate and dangerous weapons are smuggled, handled and taken to various end users in various destinations within Kenya and far afield.

Uruko claimed Al-Shabaab have used the two arms market to sustain their armed activities as they rake millions of dollars from arms sales to support their terror activities. They also used part of the arms proceeds to recruit more Kenyan youths into terror outfit and also supply various conflict hotspots with various sophisticated arms that has caused death, destruction, massive displacement and recurrent conflict that undermine development and tranquility.

South-Central Somalia arms markets supplies various types of arms like AK-47, G-3, Aker, Patchet, M-16, FN rifle, various types of pistols, assortments of ammunition, home- made anti- aircraft launchers and various weapon spare parts, Uruko said.

He said the arms smuggling and supply business is controlled and managed by various cartels and players who control certain areas and delivering the cache of arms to other players who deliver it to the intended market and community for use in armed conflicts.
According to him, the Al-Shabaab terror organization places tight grip on the two markets for fear of arms falling into hands of their enemies or communities that are not subscribing to their ideologies.

He reveals that the organizations had appointed a commander to oversee the two arms markets with various deputy commanders in charge of procuring arms from illegal arms source, others are in- charge of the market and sales while others take control of security for convoy that source arms from the market.

Another group takes charge of money transfer as most transactions are done through Hawala money transfer service while other buyers prefer dropping bags of dollars before collecting their cargo.

It’s the duty of the deputy commander in charge of the market and sales to establish which buyers are genuine before they take the tricky journey from various points in northern Kenya to the arms market. This clearance procedure has seen formation of local clearance unit in northern Kenya town whose responsibility is to check conflict trend between communities, collect local intelligence as they seek potential customers.
 

“This is the only business I know,” said Abdi Koronto, an arms sale fixer who has worked with various groups procuring arms in the two markets situated in Bualle and Bardera and the former markets in Burhache and Dobley.
 

“I have assisted many people, clans, militias, groups, bandits, security officials in procuring arms from former markets in Dobley and Burhache and also the new ones in Bardera and Bualle before I decided to withdraw from the business due to the risks and danger coming from new development in Southern Central Somalia.”
 

 “In the past I have worked with various administrations that took control of the market including Al-Itihahad al Islamiya, Islamic Courts Union and now Al-Shabaab,” he adds.

Koronto said his work was to coordinate potential customers, check their background and where the arms will be used, and also doing some ground work like collecting intelligence.
 

“I used to check which officers will be manning various security checkpoints along the borders, check of any movement of security personnel along the border areas used to sneak the arms and also check if local communities along the border areas are unhappy with then consignments going through their areas at night hours,” Koronto said.

He remembered vividly his customers ranging from local politicians in high circles of northern Kenya politics to prominent community elders and also security officials procuring arms for crime markets in other parts of Kenya especially Nairobi areas, Coastal towns and other crime prone areas.


Recently, The Kenya Police in conjunction with the Regional Center for Small Arms and Light Weapons (RECSA), Kenya National Focal Point for Arms and supported by UNDP conducted the public destruction of 2,545 recovered illicit firearms. Since 2007, police have confiscated thousands of weapons that were allegedly used in crimes.

Fewer International and Local NGO's work in Small arms and Light weapons Program in Kenya and include, Oxfam, SaferWorld, Danish Demining Group and Northern Kenya Caucus(NORKENYA) among others.







 



“I have many years’ experience in this work and the only livelihood I know is gun running and fixing and I have dealt and assisted many people including some senior politicians in northern Kenya and other prominent elders and personalities,” Koronto added.
 

 “I use to receive many orders and each order takes me 15 days to investigate the potential buyer and where he or she comes from and if the buyer is connected to my client Al-Shabaab enemies or spies,” he said.

Koronto said it takes him four days to establish the buyer and also liaise with other Al-Shabaab agents in Kenya to follow up on the buyer and obtain background information and submit profile to the commander before arranging for secret collection location along Kenya-Somalia border.

    “Other customers decide to go to the arms market and choose various types of arms and I organize for their movement only after I get such order or clearance from Al-Shabaab high command,” he said.


Part reporting by
By Fabian Mangera and Stephen Ingati ISIOLO, Kenya (Xinhua) 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

ABDINOOR ON HOW TO CONTAIN THE AL-SHABAAB....His views

 By Abdi Noor Mohamed (The writer is a Deputy County Commissioner. He Holds an MA in Peace and Reconciliation Studies and another in International Security. The  views expressed here are his own)...


The smoke billowing from the Westgate shopping mall may have subsided but the scars of the attack will be permanent, the wounds difficult to heal. The Al-Shabaab insurgency has claimed responsibility for the attack, which coincided with World Peace Day killing 67. For us to confront them, a cogent analysis is primordial.

So far, the literature on the group represents an axiomatic view that Al-Shabaab is a Somalia based insurgency with links to Al-Qaeda seeking an Islamic government in Somalia and exit of foreign forces.

What if the latter were to leave tomorrow and an Islamic government is established in Somalia? Would Al-Shabaab disband? In such cases, the insurgents would invent new grievances and continue what they know best; violence. So who are they?

Somalia has been seen as an in important destination to establish an Al-Qaeda bastion, but the treasure trove of analysis on Somalia points out that Al-Qaeda did not succeed due to many factors, which can be summarised as the wrong personnel, cause, time and allies. I opine here that Al-Qaeda did not leave Somalia, but had to mitigate against the aforementioned drawbacks leading to the birth of Al-Shabaab, which is Al-Qaeda incarnate, by  finding the right personnel, cause, time and allies.

Right personnel came in the  form of  Adan Hashi Ayro, Al-Shabaab’s first commander (now deceased)  Ahmed Haji Godane, the current commander, Muktar Robow and Ibrahim Haji Ahmed a.k.a Afghani. They were all   Somalis  under  the  tutelage  of Osama Bin Laden in the valleys and mountains of Afghanistan. Not only did they understand the culture, but were also from different major clans, save for Godane and Afghani who belonged to the same  clan.


 

Opportunity presented itself in 2005. The government of the Djibouti elected Abdul-Qasim failed to take off and Somali delegates were in Nairobi to elect a new Somali president. The birth pangs associated with this vacuum necessitated the coming together of various Sharia courts in Mogadishu to form the Islamic Courts Union in 2006. The Somali Al-Qaeda men quickly jumped onto the bandwagon and strategically took three of the eighteen seats available. For the Somali Al-Qaeda men, being part of the ICU was one thing and convincing Somalis to embrace the Al-Qaida ideology of global jihad was another. In 2006, while still being part of the ICU, they revived Somali irredentism by claiming that they would ‘liberate their brethren in Ethiopia and Kenya’.

Ethiopia fell into the well laid trap of the jihadists by crossing the Somali border.  Al-Qaeda cognoscenti travelled to Somalia in droves. Thousands of Somali youth from Minneapolis to Mogadishu joined Al-Shabaab to fight the Ethiopians. By the time Ethiopia left Somalia in 2009, the youth were part of the global jihadist network by default. Time to discard the Somali cause had arrived. Ahmed Godane, the current leader of Al-Shabaab, glorified Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, in 2008.

The international community should adopt what is referred to in American military parlance as a kinetic-military response. From what the world is learning from Iraq and Afghanistan, military force leading to collateral damage may further alienate the same population we want to protect, to the chagrin of the overall goal - defeating Al-Shabaab. Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of British Intelligence orMI5, has enough experience and intellect in dealing with groups like Al-Shabaab, having worked at the organization for 34-years. In her famous BBC Reith lecture in 2011, Securing Freedom, she informed us that in a discussion with her colleagues on whether the United States would take direct military action in Afghanistan where al- Qaeda was based after 9/11, they  all agreed that ‘terrorism is resolved through politics and economics not through arms and intelligence, however important a role these play.’
We must win the moderates on our side and isolate  extremists. It has often been said that ignoring the population in counterinsurgency is like playing chess while the enemy is playing poker. Deliberate efforts must be made to win the hearts and minds of the Somali population. Al-Shabaab has used cherry-picked verses from the Quran to justify their violence. This makes clerical de-legitimacy vital. Somali and other Muslim scholars need to be mobilised to delegitimise Al-Shabaab’s suicide ways and motive.

Finally, AMISOM will deny Al- shabab a key propaganda tool if it comes up with a pullout timetable to hand over the security of the country to Somali security organs. An open ended intervention may in the long run be viewed as imperialistic.

The writer is a Deputy County Commissioner. He Holds an MA in Peace and Reconciliation Studies and another in International Security. The  views expressed here are his own.