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Somalia`s New Tongue Twisting Names
By Roobdoon Forum

How to Start
Your Own Xubin and Waax Country

By Roobdoon forum

Carrab Lo'aad Caws Looma Tilmaamo
By C/fataax Faamo(RF)
Running as a Nation Watches
Roobdoon Forum
Obama
New Beginning
in Muslim World
Islaamist
Islamist Vs Islamist
Waliid
Hammiga Waliid & Hangoolka UNPOS
Roobdoon Forum
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Puntland: A Quisling Scheme
Roobdoon Forum


Silsiladda Taxataran ee Beesha Axmed Harti
By M B Dubbe


Morasante
Silsiladda Taxataran ee Beesha Maxamuud Harti
By M B Dubbe


 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody takes a Washington lobbyist
The Indian Ocean Newsletter
April 12, 2013


 


After Somaliland, which hired the Glover Park Group (GPG) to lobby for it in Washington, now it`s Mogadishu`s turn to take one.


The governor of the Central bank of Somalia (CBS), the economist Abdusalam Omer, wrote on 3 April to the American former Democrat congressman Toby Moffett to confirm that he was appointing his public relations company Moffett Group to be CBS`s official representative in the United States. Omer is an old acquaintance of the Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who appointed him to the post in January (ION 1349). The letter states that Moffett`s task will be to determine which funds owned by Somalia or Somalian people are still frozen in American banks and other financial institutions. Now that the United States and Somalia have normalised their diplomatic relations, Abdusalem Omer considers that any such funds should be handed back to the CBS. The CBS governor asked Toby Moffett to mobilise congressmen from both parties to ask the American government to locate and evaluate the sums involved. Omer`s letter concluded by setting a date for the two men to meet again before the end of the month, to coincide with his trip to Washington for the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


The Moffett Group had already been hired in 2011 by Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud aka Farole, the President of Puntland (an autonomous region in the north east of Somalia) to try to persuade ConocoPhillips, which had abandoned searching for oil in Somalia in 1991, to resume doing so in Puntland (ION 1324). The person mandated to liaise between Puntland and the Moffett Group is Kadir Abdirahman Mohamud, its President`s son.


© Copyrights 2013 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved


Hersi Ali Hassan hires a lobbyist
The Indian Ocean Newsletter
March 29, 2013


The Hargeisa government now has an accredited lobbyist in the United States. The contract was signed on 27 February between the powerful minister of the presidency Hersi Ali Haji Hassan, and Carl A. Smith, the CEO of the PR company Glover Park Group (GPG). This firm was founded in Washington in 2001 by four former members of President Bill Clinton`s administration and the campaign team of former Vice President Al Gore (Michael Feldman, Carter Eskew, Joe Lockhart and Chip Smith). Under the terms of the contract, GPG will provide PR and lobbying consulting services in the USA for the Somaliland government until 30 April. Hargeisa will pay GPG an initial fee of $22,500, plus the same amount each month for all the additional advice GPG may provide on how to promote its relations with the United States. The minister to the Somaliland presidency will be in direct charge of the purse strings for this account. Other services could be to place advertising and to set up and maintain a web site.


Hersi Ali Haji Hassan thereby confirms that he has become a heavyweight in the Hargeisa government, notably through his close connection with First Lady Amina Mohamed Jirdeh, the wife of President Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud aka and in neutralizing his rival, Vice President Abdirahman Abdillahi “Saylici”.


© Copyrights 2013 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved


The man who has the TFG`s ear
The Indian Ocean Newsletter
March 10, 2012



A British marketing and media specialist is involved in the recent public relations and security contracts in Mogadishu and Garowe.


The CEO of Market Evolution, a British company specialised in consumer market studies, Toby Constantine, has acted as the go-between for the Transitional Federal Government(TFG) in Mogadishu and the Puntland administration in Garowe for several recent contracts. The firm Frontier Media Partners created by Constantine last year, was associated with the contract to set up a coastguard unit in Somalia inked last month between the TFG defence minister, Hussein Arab Essa, and the Kenya based security firm Halliday Finch International.


This company will provide training and logistics support for these coastguards. It is headed by Sam Mattock, a British ex-serviceman who worked for Control Risks in Nigeria (from 2004 to 2006) and subsequently founded Halliday Finch International with Toby Constantine as one of the directors. Prior to that, in October 2011, Constantine had been appointed advisor to Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud, known as Farole, the President of Puntland, the autonomous regional administration in the north east corner of Somalia, for the development of mineral and fishing resources. He won this contract in partnership with the Moffett Group, an American public relations company headed by the former Democrat congressman, Toby Moffett.


The connection with this American group was not too hard for Constantine to establish, because he is Toby Moffett`s son-in-law, having married his daughter Julia Moffett in 2005.


© Copyrights 2012 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved  


Formaggio in the Mousetrap
Biyokulule Online
Friday, April 01, 2011


Most of Somalia`s annual budget consist of aid pledges from foreign donors in return that the aid will be used to fight against hunger, corruption, and all elements that contribute to good governance. The year 2009 alone, the U.S. contributed humanitarian assistance worth of $ 189 million to civilians affected by the violence in Somalia. And by the end of that year, the U.S. put Somalia on a special condition on its humanitarian aid, whereby aid money was placed on hold due to US anti-terrorism rules. The U.S. State Department`s press officer, Russell Brooks, justified his government`s move by simply stating that “It is Al-Shabab, not US bureaucracy that threatens to deny Somalis urgently needed humanitarian aid”.


Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson was also critical of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and accused it of not been able to deliver services to the people, implying that TFG has failed to earn more assistance. To burnish Villa Somalia`s image and neutralize Obama Administration`s negative perception of the al-Sheikh group that are now crowded inside Villa Somalia, President Sharif has instructed his Premier to hire a powerful American firm to lobby for them.


On March 05, 2011, Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo) signed a deal with US lobbying firm Park Strategies LLC, to provide consulting, advisory and advocacy services to the government for one year starting March 2011. According to a copy of the contract that Roobdoon Forum obtained, the monthly payment to Park Strategies is 20,000 dollars, which they say is tantamount to the actual expenses for a lobbying service.


The contract is in fact Somalia`s first open lobbying diplomacy. This means that Villa Somalia has at least taken a different route than that of former regimes in regards to the lobbying firms in U.S.


Early 1980s, the Reagan Administration doubled its aid to Somalia, to counter the increasing Soviet and Cuban influences in sub-Saharan Africa [Read Below]. In late 1980s however, Washington cut off most of its aid to Somalia, accusing Siyad Barre of human rights violation. Washington tied everything to Siyad Barre`s willingness to negotiate peace with opposition groups. Realizing his low score, Siyad Barre decided to hire an American consulting firm, convincing himself that his government did not have the skills to transform his tattered image. He hired Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly to represent on behalf of Somalia, lobbying first and foremost for the release of those USAID funds.


Siyad Barre regime has paid undisclosed amount of money to this influential US lobbying firm to polish its image with the Bush Administration. Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly advocated Siyad Barre`s regime mainly in “Matters of general interest to the Somali Democratic Republic ... foreign aid authorization and appropriations bills ... legislation affecting U.S. participation in the World Bank, IMF, regional development banks and development in Africa.”


Although lobbyists are paid to work for someone, a sensible and a responsible lobbyist must be able to see when the leaders of a poor nation such as Somalia are diverting its needed aid money on lobbying, intended to boost their tattered image. Even the late American lobbyist, Edward Von Kloberg, who was infamous for lobbying tyrants and dictators said, once he was explaining the choices he made in his life, “I did refuse to represent one dictator, Gen. Mohammed Farah Aidid, the Somalian warlord”.


Since Lobbyists/consulting firms only work for the money and do not work for the interest of Somalia, they are not the ones who provide facts to the Somalis and to the International Community to maintain legitimacy. It is therefore a mindboggling to see Villa Somalia occupants to siphon off a hefty chunk of aid money in order to hire a New York lobbyist firm. This move will surely damage the reputation and credibility of Somalia, through the eyes of the donors.


Cheese Spot for Lobbyists


The fez-wearing sheikhs come to power believing that their concerns represent the best definition for patriotic endeavours, believing that they were the ones who expelled Ethiopian forces from Somalia. These al-sheikhs who were defined by their guns are now claiming to possess the al-xaqq, al-lobbyism and al-AMISOM. This assumption is one of the greatest afflictions of the last two years in Somalia. Moreover, we are going through a phase in which “know-it-all” Prime Minister is suffering the same al-Sheikhs tendencies. He considers his cabinet members as the most educated line-up ever run the country – many of whom are American and Canadian citizens.


As the maxim says “every trap requires some cheese”, it is understandable that President Sharif borrowed some wisdom from that English piece of wisdom and realized that even lobbyists can be trapped with a piece of Farmajo (formaggio). It is understood that PM Farmajo is lobbying to get thousands of U.N. peace-keepers into the country to maintain the status quo of the “Vatican State“.


Whether they came with the American Premier from overseas or not, any cabinet member who falls into the mousetrap of the al-Sheikh group and thus aim in bringing success to al-Sheikh projects (i.e. siding with them) will have the same fate. So far, one the major mistakes that some cabinet members from the Diaspora have committed was their participation in Sheikh Sharif`s Government and believing that they will be able to spread democracy and put an end to Warlordism and clanism. However, the exact opposite is happening because Sheikh-warlords are now more prominent and have a forceful presence in Villa Somalia. Everything that these Diaspora Somalis hoped to achieve in the TFG has failed, be it the spreading of democracy. On the contrary, what they are witnessing is that so called Sheikhs appropriating aid money and running the TFG institutions as a company in which they own. They are witnessing or even collaborating with criminals who plunder people`s resources and continue to cause the people to live in misery.


Somalis should realize that few donors will be going to be ready to donate aid when such leaders like Sheikh Sharif and Farmajo are wasting aid money for personal matters, while aggravating the famine in our country. Why would anyone want to donate aid money to be wasted like this? Donors rather prefer leaders that give them the assurance of putting aid money to where it belongs. Aid-receiving TFG should be familiar with the practices of fighting against corruption, good governance, human rights and accountability as the prerequisite for aid as the red rag to a bull. That is, both Villa Somalia and regional administrations should make the aid programs public and transparent, and accept monitoring by independent entities and the public. It should also make sure that the charity money is used specifically for the benefit of the poor, drought-displaced people.


Since much aid money has already been spent, donors will ask Villa Somalia: where are you getting from the lobbying money? And it will be difficult, if not impossible, to persuade aid-givers to throw more aid-money into the TFG`s empty basket. Villa Somalia has now proved to the donors that no amount of aid-money can relieve the suffering of the Somalis, so long Villa Somalia`s spending spree on foreign lobbyists and mercenaries is building.


Previously, Somalia has been accused of diverting food aid to clan militias. Enough evidences demonstrated that Somali warlords and regional leaders had diverted food aid, causing numerous donors to withdraw their aid from Somalia. And lately, there are many incidents where food aid that should have been used for feeding the hungry was diverted for other purposes.


The Forum expresses its profound concerns that Villa Somalia misappropriated the money given by Western donors to the suffering Somalis. It appears that aid-money was either used to pay the wages of lobbyists or, to speak bluntly, diverted to private accounts by Villa Somalia elites and its staff.


Somalis have learned a great deal from everything that happened in the last two decades. Corruption is now common practice in this failed state. There are a very few people who are getting rich; and these few still continue to pull the strings of politics and the economy in Somalia. This cannot continue in this way. The population is suffering. There has been no economic recovery yet, and a few are getting rich at the expense of many. This has to stop. Hence, The Forum has suggested freezing the accounts of these criminals and other corrupt people abroad.


The Forum plans to launch an offensive battle against the lobbyists who are hired to damage Somalia`s reputation. The campaign involves the mobilization of Americans who still consider themselves as the “friends of Somalia” and want to play a role in spreading information and their love and admiration for Somalia.


Finally, there are thousands of Somali-Americans who will lobby and speak out for their ancestral home. They do not expect money or any benefit in return. They only want to express their goodwill for Somalia and see Somalia recover from the decades of civil wars. Somali-Americans and American friends of Somalia can in fact become the most effective weapon against the lobbyists who are hired to damage Somalia`s reputation. Hiring foreign lobbyists will only do harm and drag the civil war in Somalia. The Forum knows that poor Somalia can`t afford to have New York or Washington lobbyists and does not need to hire one unless Villa Somalia`s al-Sheikhs intend to spin their dysfunctions for personal gains.


Roobdoon Forum
Friday, April 01, 2011


President Farole gets a powerful lobbyist in Washington
The
Indian Ocean Newsletter
January 05, 2012


The President of the autonomous administration of Puntland (north-eastern Somalia) Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud known as Farole, has hired a new American lobbyist on security and anti-piracy issues. In a letter dated 21 November 2011, he authorised Stephen Heifetz, a partner in the firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP, to represent Puntland in Washington on both subjects. Heifetz`s work should in particular be to find funding to create a Puntland Maritime Police Force. In a document dated 7 November, Heifetz promised Farole that he would carry out this lobby activity “at no cost to you” inasmuch as it did not interfere with the interests of his paying customers. The latter include the firm Sterling Corporate Services (SCS) that he advises “regarding counter-piracy issues”. If SCS interests ever come into conflict with those of Puntland, Heifetz would stop representing the latter. This would appear to suggest that SCS may be interested in Farole`s counter-piracy projects.


In any case, Heifetz will provide Puntland with a powerful ally in Washington. Formerly with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (1996-98), he subsequently worked for the Department of Justice (1998-2000), before joining the private firm WilmerHale (2000-2005), where he specialised in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations. He then joined the Department of Homeland Security (February 2006 to March 2010) as Deputy Assistant Secretary in charge of Policy Development. There, he was in charge of air and maritime cargo screening, aviation and transportation security, visa screening. He is also a member of the think tank Council on Foreign Relations.


Heifetz is not President Farole`s first lobbyist in the United States. In 2009, Farole hired Duane Morris to try to obtain American funding for Puntland. And last year, he took on the services of The Moffett Group, owned by the former Democratic congressman Toby Moffett, to try to persuade ConocoPhillips, which had abandoned oil exploration in Somalia in 1991, to resume operations in Puntland.


© Copyrights 2012 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved


Somaliland lobbyists in the United Kingdom
The Indian Ocean Newsletter
December 10, 2011


A group of British supporters of the Hargeisa government has banded together to found the Somaliland Development Corporation (SDC). The main initiators of this company, whose goal is to help finance projects in Somaliland, are the former head of the law firm Clifford Chance, Jeremy Carver, the head of EnexEnergy Resources, Len Tiahlo and the former diplomat Myles Wickstead former Secretary of the Commission for Africa now a teacher at The Open University. They are supported in this project by Steve Taylor director of Crown Agents and by Paul Whiteway, of Independent Diplomats, a consulting firm that has already done work for Somaliland.


© Copyrights 2011 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved


Hargeisa`s lobbyist in South Africa
The Indian Ocean Newsletter
December 16, 2006


Hargeisa`s lobbyist in South Africa has once again pleaded the case for Pretoria to “provisionally recognise” Somaliland. In a document from the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg dated November 2006 and published with the help of funding from Sweden. Iqbal Jhazbhay considered that recognising Somaliland should be an integral part of a larger South African proposal to the African Union (AU). According to him, this initiative would come under the wing of the negotiation of a non-aggression pact and a peace treaty for the Northeast of Africa through the establishment of a Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation for Northeast Africa. A lecturer in the religious studies department of the University of South Africa (UNISA) and a member of the religious affairs commission of the African National Congress (ANC, ruling party), Jhazbhay is an old friend of Somaliland.


According to him, “provisional recognition” of this administration of the North West of Somalia by Pretoria and promoting this decision to the AU would send a clear signal to the radical Islamists in Mogadishu and their allies, against any initiative to expand their power in the North of Somalia.


© Copyrights 2006 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved


Opinion
Dictatorship is Good for Lobbyists
by Samuel Olara
November 25, 2009



Kampala, Nov 25, 2009 (The Independent/All Africa Global Media) -- Past their sell-by-date, African dictators are getting a chance at respectability and creature comforts, thanks to former government officials, and ex-diplomats, turned savvy PR mercenaries.


African strongmen and their hatchet men have realised that they have a fighting chance of holding onto power, by simply spending billions on aid and other scarce state resources, to hire the services of the best lobbyists money can buy in influential western capitals. As hired-hands, lobbyists and PR agents make their fortunes by burnishing the images of these dictatorships and advancing their undemocratic interests against those of their own countries.


For example, Ms Jendayi Frazer, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, who was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President George W. Bush, has become a consummate PR mercenary for the autocratic regime of Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. In her Op-ed in `The Wall Street Journal` “Four Ways to Help Africa”, she urged the White House to move beyond rhetoric and deepen Washington`s engagement with African leaders, along the lines espoused by the former Bush White House Administration (see `Wall Street Journal` August 25, 2009).


Ms Frazer declared that: “U.S. policy in Africa is not about love. It`s about advancing America`s core interests: promoting economic growth and development, combating terrorism, and fostering well-governed, stable countries.”


“Mr Obama needs to spend more time meeting and engaging African leaders to address the continent`s challenges.”


She also argued that Bush had helped reduce “interstate wars” between Uganda, Rwanda and DRC by holding bilateral and tri-lateral meetings.


“Now Mr Obama needs to galvanise US efforts to end the militia violence of Rwandan and Ugandan rebel groups still operating in the Congo,” she wrote. Frazer`s article was crafted to help advance specific interests of African governments like Uganda. This is because Frazer is now a lobbyist.


Since they were booted out of the White House, Frazer has taken up a position as a “strategic advisor” to Rosa Whitaker of the Whitaker Group, contracted to look after Yoweri Museveni`s interests in Washington. According to reliable sources, the Ministry of Finance recently signed a contract for “International Presidential Advisory Services in the political, social and economic fields” with the group for Shs 2 billion, about one million dollars.


Although there are distinct limits to what they can achieve, lobbyists remain the undemocratic, unofficial means through which pariah regimes advance their interests in Washington.


The US State Department`s Bureau of African Affairs Report released in August 2009 by the Department`s Office of the Inspector General cited Frazer`s incompetence and mismanagement as one of the many problems that plagued that office. (See: SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED OIG Report No. ISP-I-09-63, Inspection of the Bureau of African Affairs - August 2009)


To think that as a lecturer Frazer is polluting the minds of America`s future policy makers with her vindictive demeanour coupled with her total lack of knowledge about Africa and its people is a wonder to behold.


Frazer epitomizes the general sheer incompetence of the Bush administration. She exhibits poor policy assessment skills and also lacks diplomatic etiquette. So how can she discuss US foreign policy in Africa and fail to mention the tectonic shift in policy emphasis after 9/11, from focus on `promotion of democracy` towards focus on the “war on terrorism”; better still “security and counter-terrorism”.


This is what ultimately affected Africa`s move towards eradicating dictatorship. And its why 5.7 million people perished in eastern DR Congo, 350,000 perished in Darfur, and over 600,000 perished in northern Uganda. This is why constitutions are changed and elections rigged at will.


Indeed the only serious chance that the region ever had of ending war with the LRA was destroyed by Ms Frazer. This was disclosed in an interview given to Aljazeera recently by the vice-president of Southern Sudan, Dr Riek Machar, who said that “Museveni and Kabila were pressurised into Operation Lightning Thunder by the US through Jendayi Frazer.” The end result is that thousands continue to die and suffer needlessly.


The hallmark of Bush`s presidency was disdain for technocratic competence and prudence. Whether because of politics or ideology or mere incuriosity, little attention was paid to conventional professional expertise. There was complete lack of policy apparatus in Capitol Hill thanks to amateurism, irresponsibility and corruption than substantive policy choices made by Ms Frazer and her staff.


Barack Obama on the other hand, is characterised above all by disciplined intelligence. From his painstaking organisation during the primaries, to his selection and management of highly capable subordinates, to his sobriety and judiciousness throughout, he displayed precisely the qualities the Bush administration had lacked. Like no other American president before him, Obama knows more about Africa than what the Frazers of this world take him for.


In his Ghana Africa Policy speech, President Obama pledged support for those African countries that showed commitment to the rule of law and democratic practice. Countries that demonstrated the fundamentals of good governance - defined in the policy as stability and leadership accountability - would also be supported by the US government. African governments that are successful in these directions will be supported with better trade opportunities, given help in strengthening their internal development capacity and engaged in stronger bilateral and multilateral relations.


Obama emphasised the need for Africans themselves to take charge of Africa, and his desire to reconfigure America`s approach to Africa, changing it from that of a “patron” to a partner.


However, given that the continent is wobbling with the combined colossal weight of poverty, civil wars, genocide, famine, the scourge of HIV/AIDS, religious extremism, economic mismanagement, rapid population growth, and a dearth of benign, democratic leadership, Ms Frazer`s future prospects are rosy. After all, murder and mayhem are good for business. So, too, is a lack of conscience.


© 2009 AllAfrica, All Rights Reserved


 


 


 



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