English News

Ban condemns deadly attack against police station in Somali town of Beledweyne

Ban-Ki-moon-AFP-640x480Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the deadly attacks on Tuesday against a police station in Beledweyne, Somalia, which follow a number of similar attacks on the Somali people in recent weeks.
“These acts of terrorism against the Government and people of Somalia have caused tremendous suffering,” said a statement issued last night by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
The Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack in Beledweyne, a town near the Ethiopian border, which resulted in at least 19 deaths.
“The Secretary-General expresses his sincere condolences to the families of those killed and his sympathies to those injured. He pays tribute to the forces, especially the police, who courageously repelled the attack,” said the statement.

4 Somali gunmen in Kenya mall attack ID'd

westgate_hordhac3NAIROBI, Kenya—The four Westgate Mall attackers—all ethnic Somalis—crossed into Kenya in June and settled down in Nairobi's ethnic Somali neighborhood, where they worked out at the Andalus Gym, a Western official said Monday.
The official for the first time on Monday confirmed that all four attackers' have been identified. All four are ethnic Somali; none of the four has ever been to the U.S. or U.K., the official said.

Somaliland poet jailed for Westgate support

westA court in Hargeisa, the capital of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland has sentenced Abdiwahid Ali Gama’deed, a poet, to one year in prison for originating verses supporting the terrorist assault on Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mr. Gama’deed had been in prison in the city, located some 1500 km north-west of Mogadishu, for one month before his case was concluded by the court on Saturday.

During court hearings, prosecutors accused the poet of possessing an unlicensed handgun and supporting the Kenya attack in September that cost the lives of at least 70 people.

Gama’deed, a young but popular artiste, was also ordered to pay one million Somaliland shillings.

The poet’s defence lawyer, Hussein Shabel Abdullahi, rejected the sentence terming it unfair.

"The poet (Gama’deed) had not committed a crime against Somaliland," said Mr Shabel. He added: "Everybody in Somaliland is entitled to freedom of expression."

The lawyer said that the court had dropped the illegal weapon possession charge.

"My client produced a permit allowing him to possess a pistol in line with the constitution of Somaliland.

"Instead, the court based its one year prison sentence on my client originating poetic verses encouraging massacre".

The lawyer said that the poet would appeal the verdict, saying that Gama’deed had only described an event that had taken place.

"Any person can describe an event or explosion that occurs anywhere as long as it is something that happened," said Mr Shabel.

"Why not, any person can talk of a blast, for instance, in Iraq," he added.

"Describing that an explosion that has not occurred may generate, perhaps, a case against someone," the lawyer said


Somalia: Mogadishu Gets International Fiber Connectivity

Broadband_SomaliaWest Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) Ltd, a telecommunications carriers' carrier, together with local shareholder Dalkom Somalia, has announced that it will launch connectivity to and from Somalia via the EASSy cable from first quarter of 2014, offering services directly from Mogadishu to the rest of the world. Capacity will be available from 2Mbps to 10Gbps and above.
"Until now, Somalia has been served exclusively by satellite - with high costs and limited bandwidth severely restricting the rollout and uptake of internet access and advanced services. WIOCC and Dalkom will be the first into commercial operation with international fibre-optic connectivity direct into Mogadishu," said Chris Wood, WIOCC CEO

HARGEYSA:Somalia to Get High-Speed Internet After Satellite Deals:BLOOMBERG

HARGEYSA_OCTOBERSomalia will have access to high-speed telecommunications networks after agreeing to two deals that will connect the Horn of Africa nation to fiber optic cables and satellites.
O3b Networks Ltd., a satellite provider that includes Google Inc. (GOOG) and HSBC Principal Investments among its investors, will provide Internet capacity to Hargeisa, Somalia-based Somtel from 2014, the company said in a statement today.

“At present, connectivity is neither reliable nor adequate in Somalia,” Somtel Chief Technology Officer Ismail Dualeh said in the statement. “The O3b solution will give Somtel the chance to bring vastly improved Internet connectivity with better performance.”

Somalia’s first fiber optic broadband link will be built by Mauritius-based Liquid Telecom, the company said in a statement yesterday. The build out of communication networks in the country has been hampered by conflict since the 1991 fall from power of Mohamed Siad Barre’s dictatorship.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Spillane in Johannesburg at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at

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