|(M e d e s h i)
by Ann Pyles
The camels of Djibouti have one hump and are called dromedary camels. They are very interesting and always around - on the road, by the road, in the villages, in the cities, in the countryside. Usually a nomadic family will have a herd of goats, a few camels and maybe sheep. The camel may be used to transport wood, water, building materials, food etc. But, most are sold to Dubai where they are fattened up and slaughtered for their delicious meat. Djiboutian camels are prized and much sought after in the Middle East. I am told that there are no large camel producers. Buyers of camels for the meat market, purchase the camels from individual nomads, consolidate them and ship them amass to Dubai for processing.
We see the camels hobbled at night and tethered to trees near the villages. The baby camels are many times seen enclosed in a makeshift cage around a tree for shade inside the village compound itself.
At this time of year, at the end of the hot season, the camel is without much fur. But as the season gets cooler they will get furrier. The group of camels you see pictured are contained and awaiting transport via ship out of Djibouti City to Dubai. They are brought here in open trucks, from as far away as Ethiopia, traveling on their knees for 2 days or more. This website gives some interesting information about the dromedary camel
(M e d e s h i)
Somalia / Somaliland dwarf Ethiopia in Mobile Marvels
Sept. 26 Economist offers a knockout, 14-page report on "Mobile Marvels," or how, "Once the toys of rich yuppies, mobile phones have evolved in a few short years to become tools of economic empowerment for the world's poorest people. These phones compensate for inadequate infrastructure, such as bad roads and slow postal services, allowing information to move more freely, making markets more efficient and unleashing entrepreneurship."
This focuses on three trends: the spread of mobile phones in developing countries and the accompanying rise in home-grown mobile operators that exceed the heretofore Western incumbent firms; the rise of China's two leading telecoms-equipment makers from low-cost, low-quality operators to high-quality and innovative powers; and development of a raft of new phone-based services in the developing world, which go far beyond text messages and phone calls, with new data services including agricultural advice, health care and financial transfers. And whereas government-run phone monopolies do remain in places like Ethiopia, they are being dwarfed in impact and innovation by the real competition one finds in spots like war-ravaged Somalia, a poor nation with no real government where a dozen mobile operators seek market share and explain a far greater "mobile teledensity" (how many phones one finds per 100 people) than Ethiopia. As telling are the many ways in which it's now apparent that the spread of phones promotes economic development, especially money transfers or mobile banking, which derives from the custom in the developing world of using prepaid calling credit as an informal currency far more efficient than physically sending it from one place to another.
"In the grand scheme of telecoms history, mobile phones have made a bigger difference to the lives of more people, more quickly, than any previous technology. They have spread the fastest and proved the easiest and cheapest to develop. It is now clear that the long process of connecting everyone on Earth to a global telecommunications network, which began with the invention of the telegraph in 1791, is on the verge of being completed. Mobile phones will have done more than anything else to advance the democratization of telecoms, and all the advantages that come with it."
The Huffington Post
(M e d e s h i)
Somali militants execute 'spies'
Islamist militants in Somalia have executed two people they accused of spying for foreign organisations.
(Typical Al-shabab execution - Medeshi file photo)
Hundreds watched as a firing squad arranged by the al-Shabab group shot the pair in the capital, Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab officials said the men had been found guilty of working for the US CIA and African Union peacekeepers.
Analysts say the killings may have been in retaliation for a US raid earlier this month, in which an al-Qaeda suspect is said to have been killed.
The US regards al-Shabab as a proxy for al-Qaeda in Somalia, and says the group threatens to destabilise the region.
One witness to the execution told AP news agency that 10 al-Shabab fighters shot the pair in Mogadishu's main livestock market in front of hundreds of people.
Al-Shabab's Sharia courts, usually held in the open, have in the past sentenced people to execution, amputations and public floggings.
Two weeks ago, US forces launched an attack from helicopters in southern Somalia, reportedly killing Kenyan-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan who was wanted by the US for attacks in Kenya.
It was the first such US incursion into Somalia for years.
Days after the raid, suicide bombers attacked an AU base in Mogadishu and killed at least 16 people.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility, saying the attack was in revenge for the US raid.
Islamist rebels control much of central and southern Somalia, including parts of the capital city.
Al-Shabab is attempting to impose an extreme brand of Islamic law on the areas it controls.
Its fighters are battling troops loyal to the government - which controls little territory and is backed by the US, UN and peacekeepers from the AU.
Other radical Islamists, who are allied to al-Shabab in some areas and fight them in other places, also vie for control of large parts of the country.
The country has been wracked by conflict since 1991, when it last had an effective national government.
Some three million people - half the population - need food aid, while hundreds of thousands of people have fled the country.
Story from BBC NEWS:
(M e d e s h i)
SOMALIA: Puntland cracks down as potential migrants gather in Bosasso
A Somali refugee in Aden, Yemen (file photo): Thousands of Somalis and Ethiopians are in Bosasso, the commercial capital of Somalia's self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, attempting to cross the Gulf of Aden into Yemen
NAIROBI, 28 September 2009 (IRIN) - The authorities of Somalia's self-declared autonomous region of Puntland have begun cracking down on would-be migrants and people smugglers, who have been using its ports to reach the Gulf States, a senior police officer told IRIN.
He said thousands of Somalis and Ethiopians had gathered in Bosasso, the commercial capital, with the aim of attempting to cross the Gulf of Aden into Yemen.
"We estimate there are between 3,000 and 5,000 migrants currently in and around Bosasso," said Col Osman Hassan Awke, the Bari regional police chief.
He said security units had taken over some of the beach ports used by smugglers to pick up migrants.
"Marere beach [10km south of Bosasso], which was one of the main ports used by smugglers, is now a police post," Awke said, adding that despite the police effort in Puntland to stem the flow of migrants, "they still continue. We shut down one or two known ports and then they find another one."
He said the police would continue to set up posts on "most of the important beaches". However, he said the police did not have the means to stop the smuggling completely, without help from the international community.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, a total of 924 boats and more than 46,700 people have made the journey to Yemen from the Horn of Africa since January.
"So far this year, 322 are known to have drowned or went missing at sea and are presumed dead," Roberta Russo, spokeswoman for UNHCR Somalia, told IRIN on 28 September.
A local journalist, who requested anonymity, told IRIN the region's authorities had in the past tried to stem the migrant flow without success.
"They even tried to repatriate them to their homes in Ethiopia or southern Somalia but it did not work," the journalist said.
He said many migrants simply returned: "These are desperate people and no matter what, they will get on the boats if they want to."
Awke said the police had stopped repatriating migrants because "as soon as we send them they are back, and we don’t have the resources to keep sending them back".
He claimed aid agencies were not doing enough to help with the situation, adding that there was not even an official camp to host the migrants. "They are all over the place, which makes policing them that much more difficult."
However, Russo said: “In 2006 there was an attempt to create a camp for the migrants, but the initiative failed as, instead of protecting its inhabitants, the camp became a breeding ground for all kinds of violations.”
In 2009, the agencies and authorities reconsidered the option of opening a camp but abandoned the idea.
Russo added that UNHCR and its partners were distributing information on the dangers of crossing the Gulf of Aden and the options for migrants and asylum seekers.
The journalist said Puntland had a long coastline and would be hard-pressed to police it. "They [the authorities] don’t have the resources to effectively patrol it."
Smugglers were reportedly charging each migrant US$150 to $200 for the trip to Yemen, said the journalist. "Many migrants will have to work for over a year to make that kind of money."
(M e d e s h i)
Fresh appeal for sanctions on Eritrea
September 28th, 2009 by addis portal
The east and Horn of Africa regional bloc Igad has once again expressed its disappointment at the international community’s failure to take practical action against Eritrea.
Mr Kipruto arap Kirwa, the peace and reconciliation facilitator in Somalia, told reporters in Addis Ababa that Igad had “conclusive evidence” that Eritrea and al-Qaeda were supporting and financing militant groups in Somalia.
Go beyond words
Mr Kirwa called on the international community to take immediate and effective action, to go beyond words and act against all spoilers in the region. Igad and the African Union recently made strong recommendations for sanctions against Eritrea and other entities, “aiding, financing and facilitating resources for the al-Shabaab and other negative entities”.
The resolutions were tabled before the UN Security Council in June. The US has also pushed for an immediate endorsement of the proposals. However, other Security Council members: China, France, Russia and the UK, are divided on the resolutions.
The resolutions had proposed air and sea blockage in the region to prevent the flow of arms and foreign combatants to Somalia. They also proposed freezing the assets and imposing travel ban against individuals involved in the Somalia crisis.
Eritrean top officials on the list include Yemane Gebreab — head of political affairs and presidential adviser at the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) party, Ali Abdu — Information minister and Teame Abrehasillase — Intelligence chief. They are among the individuals allegedly involved in arms smuggling activities in Somalia
© News from the Horn of Africa - London